b'Jaap Mazereeuw Celebrates a Century of GrowthThe NOC chair talks about growing up in the seed sector and now leading a global seed company.Aimee Nielson and Marcel BruinsIN THE BUSTLING CITYof Rotterdam, The Netherlands, the International Seed Federation (ISF) is preparing to cel-ebrate its centennial anniversary in a big way at the annual ISF World Seed Congress. A significant milestone in the history of global agriculture and the seed sector, the Centennial and this year\'s ISF Congress are not just a commemoration of history but a showcase of the seed industry\'s pivotal role in food secu-rity and sustainability. At the helm of the host country\'s efforts is Jaap Mazereeuw, CEO of Enza Zaden and chairman of the Congress National Organizing Committee (NOC). Mazereeuws lifelong passion for horticulture, the evolution of Enza Zaden and the detailed preparations behind organizing such a monumental event are on display.From a Young Trader to Seed VisionaryJaap Mazereeuw\'s journey into the seed industry began in a garden, where, as a 10-year-old boy, he cultivated and sold vegetables. "I had a small garden at the back of Enza Zaden, he remi-nisces I grew my own vegetables and sold them in the neigh-borhood. After school, I used to cycle past the greengrocers to write down the prices, always ensuring my buyers that my price was competitive.His professional path led him to Trkiye at the age of 24, where he spearheaded local breeding programs for melon, zucchini and eggplant. This move marked the beginning of what became a global expansion for Enza Zaden, establish-ing their second research and development station outside the Netherlands. Mazereeuws international experience laid the groundwork for his eventual leadership role in the company. After seven years in Trkiye, he returned to the Netherlands and became responsible for several global breeding programs. 8/ SEEDWORLD.COMINTERNATIONAL EDITION 2024'