Seed World

From Cebeco to Limagrain

Limagrain is one of the most successful and important European companies in cereal breeding. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, it has the highest market share in the European market in a leading position.

It all started in 1994, when the Dutch breeding company CEBECO SEEDS GROUP founded Cebeco Seeds, s.r.o. in the Czech Republic. With the ambition to become an essential breeding company, Cebeco chose the private company Plant Select in Hrubčice as a partner for further development.

The breeding station in Hrubčice is the cradle of modern varieties of spring barley. In Hrubčice, the so-called Diamond Series of varieties were developed, which brought about advancements in quality, yield, and several other agronomic parameters.

The Tolar barley variety became the first standard of quality for the emerging direction of brewing. The motivation of the new direction was to return to the roots of Czech beer, which later resulted in the registration of the Protected Geographical Indication České pivo.

In 2002, DLF from Denmark took over the breeding activities, and in 2006 sold the cereal breeding division to the French company Limagrain. Thanks to this acquisition, the team from Hrubčice gained access to new varieties and genetic resources from Limagrain.

An important milestone was in 2002, when varieties Malz and Ebson were registered. In the Czech Republic, the Malz variety quickly became one of the most important varieties.

In the Czech Republic, the demand for breweries and malt houses for varieties with parameters that met the new trend in beer brewing — lower fermentation, and overall lower enzymatic activity — grew. The Bojos variety, which was registered in 2005 and is still the standard of quality for Czech beer and the most cultivated variety in the Czech Republic, perfectly suited these requirements. 2008 was a turning point in the Czech brewing and malt industry, as the Protected Geographical Indication České pivo was registered.

This, of course, also had an impact on the demand for varieties suitable to produce Czech beer. This is where the foresight and close cooperation of our breeders and sales team with breweries and the Research Institute of Brewing and Malting was shown, as the varieties from Hrubčice gained a dominant position in this segment very quickly.

In the segment of varieties for Czech beer, the varieties from the breeding station in Hrubčice hold an extremely significant share and are crucial for Czech malthouses and breweries. These are mainly the varieties Bojos, Laudis 550, Malz, LG Stamgast, and the new LG Slovan.

Currently, Limagrain has a market share of almost 60% in the Czech Republic and more than 80% in Slovakia, which makes it the clear market leader in both countries. Limagrain also achieved significant success and progress in the winter wheat market, where it reached a market share of almost 25% in recent years, becoming the market leader in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The leading varieties include LG Mocca, Dagmar, Avenue, LG Absalon, as well as several other varieties.

Even in winter barley, Limagrain one of the most important companies on the market in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The development of our company is an example of how it is possible to build a position of the market leader from a zero-starting position. Through very close collaboration between the sales and breeding team, with active cooperation from the processing industry — and most importantly, with extraordinary efforts and motivation of the teams combined — outstanding results have been, and will continue to be, achieved.