Enza Zaden really began to expand when Jacob’s son Piet started to breed new vegetable varieties in the late 1950s. In 1962 the Enkhuizer Zaadhandel achieved a major breakthrough with the distinctive tomato variety Extase. Piet: “That really put our company on the map, and its turnover increased rapidly, enabling it to broaden and deepen its breeding programmes, invest in technology and attract well-qualified employees.”
The original greenhouse in which Piet started breeding vegetables is still to be found at the site of our head office in the Dutch town of Enkhuizen. The contrast between the simple small greenhouse of those days and today’s ultramodern research greenhouses is tremendous, and clearly illustrates the boom our company has experienced since its establishment.
In those early days there was already a strong focus on research and development, and that’s still the case today. For many years our company has been investing 30% of its turnover in research & development.