Innovation is the foundation and strength of our company. We invest more than thirty percent of our turnover in research, broadening and developing the knowledge of our employees and cooperation with other parties. And that pays off in the form of a constant flow of innovations. Each week, Enza Zaden launches two new varieties onto the global market. Varieties that offer positive distinctive benefits and add true value. Varieties that excel in consistency, reliability and quality. In other words, varieties that our business relations can rely on.
Developing new vegetable varieties calls for a lot of patience. And by that we really do mean patience as it may take six to twelve years before we have developed a new vegetable variety and launched it onto the market. To recoup the costs this process entails, the variety must be an absolute winner. The investments are huge, in a financial sense and in the time involved. The stakes are high for our company and our employees.
The research stations of Enza Zaden are located all over the world, and cooperate closely. They rapidly exchange specific knowledge that enables them to create even better innovations.
Food must be reliable, healthy and tasty. During the development process of new vegetable varieties we place a strong focus on natural, authentic flavours and a high nutritional value. Our subsidiary Vitalis specialises in organic seed production. The innovations created by Vitalis allow us to respond to the growing, worldwide demand for organic vegetables.
The rapid growth of the world population, combined with dwindling land availability to grow crops is placing enormous pressure on the availability and safety of food. For this reason, one of our special areas of focus in our breeding activities is productivity and disease resistance. The objective is increased production of high-quality vegetables and a continuous drive to increase the sustainability of global horticulture.
The Enza Academy, the internal training institute, offers up and coming talent and (senior) managers customised training courses aimed at further personal development and international cooperation. In addition to leadership and management training provided by teaching professionals from institutes including INSEAD, master classes are developed based on specific themes and topics. These include new breeding techniques or project management, for example.
To encourage innovation and out-of-the-box thinking even more, researchers and breeders are given the opportunity to spend time on their own pilot projects. And each year our company presents the Innovation Award to employees who have contributed to product or process improvement in an innovative way.
Enza Zaden is a company that revolves around cooperation. As a family business we apply a long term vision and consider long term relationships to be of the utmost importance.
Alongside our intensive collaboration with other chain parties, we also closely cooperate with universities and institutes over the world. Wageningen University and VU Amsterdam are just two examples. Our company is one of the founders of KeyGene, based in Wageningen. It is one of the world´s leading biotechnological research companies and develops pioneering technology and techniques for application in vegetable crops.