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Seed breeder Bakker Brothers:

"Specialties? We prefer going for volume"

A new color pepper, a distinctive eggplant variety, a snack tomato with a slightly higher brix or a cucumber with a bit more shine. That’s not what Dutch breeder Bakker Brothers are about. "We prefer going for volume, resistances and things like durability. Polytunnels and non heated greenhouses require different breeds."



"Of course we also have innovative products. We develop special breeds, mainly in carrots and eggplant, but in general we are more interested in volume, resistance and properties like durability. With these we can feed the world." These are the words of Coen Niesten, responsible for sales in the European market for breeder Bakker Brothers. The company from North Holland exists since 1928 and was originally mainly active in the seed trade and breeding bean seeds. In recent decades, the range was expanded to include eggplants, peppers and tomatoes. Ten years ago they began focusing on hybrids.

Bakker Brothers has breeding branches in the Netherlands, Jordan and South Africa. This enables them to approximate the growing conditions in their main markets. They also test and screen in more than 20 countries before new varieties are introduced to distributors and farmers, so that the right breed is found for the right location. Their products mainly go to Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

"Not to Western Europe, where many other breeders are active. Looking at cultivation in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Turkey, for example; polytunnels and unheated greenhouses require different breeds than the Western European fruit vegetables."

The switch to hybrids in these markets is still ongoing. "We’re seeing the market for hybrids growing, certainly in the Middle East and also in Asia. This is still less the case in Africa." Although Coen expects a momentum gain. "After flowers you also see some growth in vegetables in Africa. Much cultivation is currently still being done for the local market, but there’s also more professional production with export as an objective."



Breeding
While the cultivation is less high-tech, the breeding of varieties certainly is not. Things like marker technology and analysis at the DNA level of plants are child’s play for Bakker Brothers. "We’re comfortable with these things, among other things thanks to collaboration with other parties. That’s important: If you don’t collaborate, you’re going to lose the battle anyway. Then I could tell you about our enthusiastic team, our fast growth or our new office, but those alone won’t cut it. Your products have to be good."


Bakker Brothers at the Fruit Logistica last year. They will be there again this year. 

Novelties

Notable in Bakker Brothers’ range is the difference with other large Dutch breeding companies. Bakker Brothers aren’t much into the quest for specialties, value increase in the chain or novelties. They are mainly focused on value enhancement for farmers through higher yields per hectare. Coen: "We’re looking at bigger; at the coarser varieties, focusing on resistances and volumes. It’s about increasing yields and feeding the world. Then bulk production is of great importance. In specialties the seed prices are higher because there’s no large volume seed production. We’re in markets that respond well to finding the right resistances; then you can quickly increase your market share." Bakker Brothers succeeded in doing just that in beans for the processing industry. They have a considerable market share in Monserat, Elba and Caledonia. "The processing industry is a major market for us, in which we directly deal with the processors. Sales for the fresh markets are mostly through distributors. This way we also reach smaller growers. Thanks to the distributors, no client is too small for us."


For more information:
Bakker Brothers
Oostelijke Randweg 12
1723 LH Noord-Scharwoude
The Netherlands
Phone: + 31 226 331364
Fax: + 31 226 317641
E-mail: sales@bakkerbrothers.nl



Publication date: 1/9/2017

 


 

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