Seed World

Rijk Zwaan Invests Heavily in Research and Development

Although Rijk Zwaan closed its most recent financial year with a slight drop in revenue and profit, largely due to the strength of the euro, the company is continuously expanding its workforce and investing heavily in research and breeding of vegetables.

The turnover of € 413 million marks a decline of approximately 2 percent compared to the previous financial year, largely due to the strength of the euro against other invoicing currencies. This caused profit to fall to € 59 million, compared to € 88 million in the previous year. In view of the incidental nature of the decline in revenue and profit, the company sees no reason to adjust its investment plans. Rijk Zwaan is focusing on the long term.

Substantial expansion of research, breeding and production activities

In the past financial year, the vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan spent € 115 million on research and development (R&D). It invested approximately € 80 million in new-build projects and in extending its offices and research facilities. In fact, the company is one of the 15 biggest investors in R&D in the Netherlands.

The laboratory facilities in Fijnaart have been expanded by 65 percent and at the head office in De Lier the company has acquired 12 hectares of land from 11 different owners as the basis for extending the greenhouse facilities over the next five years. This will allow the brand-new Seed Quality Centre, which is currently located approx. 500 meters away from the head office, to be connected with the existing head-office facilities, creating one huge campus.

Rijk Zwaan is also expanding internationally. The company has constructed a new research center in China and the breeding facilities in Spain and France have been extended. A large plot of land has been purchased in Brazil for breeding trials and the production facilities in Tanzania, Chile and Australia have all been significantly extended.

People are the key to success

Rijk Zwaan’s primary corporate objective is to offer its employees a pleasant and long-term job with attractive employment conditions. In the most recent financial year, the size of the workforce increased to over 3,000 people and further growth of an extra 1,000 employees is expected over the next five years.