Everything that we do has farmers at the heart of it. We are a company created and owned by farmers and Limagrain Field Seeds exists to supply farmers with the best genetics so they can be as successful and sustainably profitable as possible growing the crops the markets request.
The story of Limagrain is truly inspiring, how a group of relatively small farmers in Limagne Val d’Allier (centre of France) cooperated to create the world’s 4th largest seed company. The farmer shareholders of Limagrain have a daily proximity to all levels of our business and are genuine leaders with a long-term vision.
Limagrain Field Seeds is unique among global seed companies to have this model of farmer ownership and leadership and it is something, for which we are incredibly proud and that we want to highlight as a key factor of differentiation.
No farmer grows only one crop and no global seed business can be successful with a single crop. Limagrain Field Seeds focus is for a portfolio of multi-crops, which correspond to the needs of farmers in all continents.
We have 4 strategic crops: Corn, Wheat, Sunflower, and Oilseed Rape. Corn and Wheat are both global crops and we consider them to be part of our identity, because they serve as the base for the activities of our Cooperative farmer members. In addition, we have a portfolio of tactical crops adapted to each region: Barley, Soybean, Millet, Rice, and Pulses.
The ambition of Limagrain Field Seeds is to provide farmers with the best genetics wherever they are, whether they be large or small. Today, through Perseverance, Limagrain Field Seeds has a global presence, composed of 6 Business Units covering 6 continents with subsidiaries in over 40 countries and sales in 80 countries.
Cooperation is in our DNA. By working in partnerships based on respect and common values, Limagrain Field Seeds has been able to achieve our global ambitions through the creation multiple partnerships across all continents, via our 13 joint ventures in Europe, the USA and Canada, Africa, China and Australia. These partnerships cover both business and research activities.
In 2020, Limagrain created 2 new joint ventures in the continent of Africa with our strategic partner Seed Co.
Date: August 4th 2020
In July, 2020 three of South Africa’s leading agricultural seed companies joined forces to create the joint venture company Limagrain Zaad South Africa. This represents the coming together of Link Seed (Group Limagrain), Klein Karoo Seed Marketing or K2 (Zaad Group), and Seed Co South Africa – part of the largest seed company on the Continent of Africa – to create one new company to provide a competitive multi-crop alternative for farmers in Southern Africa.
K2 offered an agronomical and forage seed product range, as well as vegetable seed across Southern Africa. Seed Co is involved in the creation, multiplication and distribution of improved hybrid seed varieties such as maize, wheat, soybeans, sugar beans, cowpeas, sorghum, groundnuts and vegetables across the African continent. Link Seed, a Limagrain affiliate, offered a range of maize and soybean cultivars in South Africa. The French company Limagrain, through Vilmorin & Cie is the fourth largest seed company in the world, producing and distributing field seeds, vegetable seeds and cereal products.
With this joint venture, Limagrain Zaad South Africa (as part of the Limagrain Field Seeds division) offers a superior multi-crop portfolio of products and services to producers and will be a key player in the field (agronomic) and pasture seed segment.
Limagrain Zaad South Africa has a unified sales team selling three top brands of seeds – LG, K2 and Seed Co – enabling them to market a complete offering to producers in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini and Namibia.
An Important Alternative
Farming in Southern Africa is highly competitive and often employs the leading technologies available worldwide. Today, the market is dominated by a couple of multinational companies and the size of Limagrain Zaad South Africa and their access to technologies will give farmers an important alternative for all major field and pasture crops.
According to Wandile Sihlobo, agricultural economist and chief economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz), there needs to be competition in any sector of the agricultural industry. “Any negotiation that would benefit the sector are always healthy,” he said.
Limagrain is a French cooperative, owned and led by farmers. “Everything that we do has farmers at the heart of it. We are a company created and owned by farmers and they allow us to take a long-term view to create benefits for farmers, large or small across six continents,” commented Frédéric Savin, CEO of Limagrain Africa.
Limagrain Zaad South Africa will have access to every important technology, including all major GM trait platforms as well as Limagrain’s global Gene Editing programs and their proprietary agrility digital farming platform. Managing director Eugene Muller explains: “We have created a new unified team of highly talented and motivated seed professionals, ready to serve our farmers. Des Cuff and I, along with the whole team are excited by the opportunity to deliver high quality technology driven products to our farming communities and that we will be Stronger Together.” Cuff is the newly appointed deputy managing director.
A New Beginning
Both Muller and Cuff have dedicated their working lives to serve the farming communities in southern Africa and bring a wealth of experience and competence to the table. All staff coming from the three parent companies have already been trained in their new positions and products to ensure a seamless transition, ready to provide the best service possible for farmers.
The head office of Limagrain Zaad South Africa will be in Greytown, with Research and Development (R&D) stations in Potchefstroom and Bapsfontein. Seed Production will be done in various locations across South Africa. Seed Processing facilities are in Greytown and Bethal. Our distribution network (which include own and rented depots as well as the cooperative network throughout the country) ensures supply to farmers throughout the territory we service.
Group Limagrain, through Vilmorin & Cie is the fourth largest seed company in the world, created and led by French farmers in a unique cooperative model. Limagrain is a creator and producer of plant varieties with integrated activities across field seeds, vegetable seeds and cereal products.
Limagrain Field Seeds, with its international LG brand is the multi-crop global fields seeds division of Group Limagrain. Limagrain Field Seeds is composed of six business units covering six continents with subsidiaries in over 40 countries, and sales in 80 countries.
The team comprises of seven members with Sheryl Wulfsohn as head of human resources, Margot Andrieu as head of quality assurance, and Johnnie Hunlun of finance and administration. Fanie Meiring manages the sales and marketing team, whilst Danie Leeuwner heads the product portfolio management. Jacques Breytenbach oversees the entire supply chain, and Louis Vlaswinkel will lead the Research and Development function.
Issued by: Karbon Media on behalf of Limagrain Zaad South Africa. For more information:
Riaan Malherbe, firstname.lastname@example.org, 083 269 4668.