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Rijk Zwaan breaks ground for new Seed Quality Centre

On Monday 17 October 2016, vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan from the Dutch town of De Lier, drove the first stake into the ground for its new testing and research facility called the Seed Quality Centre (SQC). The new building is being constructed at a site on Zijtwende in De Lier, approximately 500 metres from the Rijk Zwaan headquarters. The new facility will create more room for growth and the application of new testing and research techniques related to seed quality.

Over the coming year, a laboratory building, a unit with climate-controlled cells and a greenhouse are all being constructed on the new site. The SQC will house Rijk Zwaan’s departments in De Lier that conduct tests and research into seed health. The laboratory for germination testing will also move from its current location on Burgemeester Crezéelaan to the Zijtwende address. Furthermore there will be a new molecular lab that supports breeding and where the variety authenticity of commercial seed can be assessed. Approximately 65 employees will be based at the facility.

Hans Linders, Quality Manager at Rijk Zwaan, comments: “Thanks to this expansion, Rijk Zwaan will gain more room for growth, modernisation and the application of new technology. It is also a way for the company to spread its valuable research across more locations.”

The facility has been designed by the architects RoosRos Architecten. Construction work is expected to be completed in autumn 2017. The SQC project was discussed with the municipality and local residents beforehand.

Henk van Lenteren, who has been working at Rijk Zwaan for 46 years, drove the symbolic first stake into the ground. He was the founder of Rijk Zwaan’s first germination laboratory in the early 1970s.

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