"A third of our staff have relocated to the region for work and lifestyle choices."
Enza Zaden Australia developed from the purchase of the 32ha Yates Vegetable Seeds in Narromine in 2003. Zaden Group consists of 41 companies in 23 countries, with its head office in The Netherlands. It has 17 research stations, 15 commercial subsidiaries, three joint ventures and three seed operation subsidiaries.
Locally they breed lettuce, onion, pumpkin, cauliflower and broccoli. These programs are fully integrated with their international breeding programs. The counter season position with the northern hemisphere provides opportunities to alternate breeding material and growouts to accelerate the time to commercialisation.
Four years ago Enza Zaden purchased an additional 22ha to allow longer rotations between crops and to accommodate larger nurseries. A 3,800m2 glasshouse accommodates lab bench tests, seed productions and breeding. They have 14,000m2 of plastic covered tunnel house structures and erect nearly 800 isolation cages annually.
The Narromine laboratory is actively involved in DNA work, disease screening, double haploid plant production and plant-pathology work. Their breeding programs target both domestic and international markets. The Australian trial locations provide a wide range of climatic and day length variation.
Narromine is a convenient location for the business, being central to the areas that we trial our vegetables. It is well serviced by Dubbo airport, transport and courier operations.
In Narromine we are predominantly involved in research and development. Most of our 45 Australian staff members are based in Narromine and a third have relocated to the region for work and lifestyle choices.
Our breeding programs target global markets. Australia is a relatively low volume market for vegetable seeds so breeders target markets with similar climatic conditions and market requirements. The focus here is on disease resistance and improving the many desirable traits, including flavour, colour, shape, size and storage suitability that consumers demand.