Seed World

Welcome to the Netherlands, the “Silicon Valley” of Seeds

Landscape from the air in the Netherlands. Gettyimages

We’re celebrating 100 years of vital seed sector impact.

As we gather in Rotterdam for the World Seed Congress and mark the centennial anniversary of the International Seed Federation (ISF), let’s take a moment to think about the vital role the Netherlands plays in the global seed sector. This small country, with its rich history of trade and agriculture, has become an indispensable titan in the world of seeds. The country is just as important in biodiversity and food security as it is in commerce.  

The Netherlands, often hailed as the “Silicon Valley of Seeds,” hosts the world’s largest concentration of seed companies in its Wageningen region. This is no mere coincidence but a testament to a tradition of innovation and excellence that dates back centuries. Dutch expertise in horticulture, alongside cutting-edge research in agronomy, makes it a beacon of knowledge and an exemplar in seed technology.

Why does this matter? The work done here — and the seeds cultivated and distributed — feeds billions. It’s about far more than just agriculture; it’s about sustaining life itself. So many breakthroughs in seed technology, so many improvements in crop resilience, and myriad innovations in sustainable farming practices can trace their roots back to the fields of the Netherlands.

Congratulations to ISF on 100 years of profound impact. Their steadfast commitment to promoting quality seed standards and facilitating global seed trade has been instrumental in ensuring food security and environmental sustainability worldwide. These organizations not only set the frameworks for industry practices but also embody the collaborative spirit necessary to tackle the challenges of the seed sector.

As we look forward, the challenges are BIG — climate change, population growth and environmental degradation demand innovative solutions. With a deep respect for both tradition and innovation, the Dutch seed sector continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in agriculture and do their part to address the challenges head-on.

In this issue, I hope you take time to read each story. We’ve gathered some of the best content from all the Seed World regions to give you an overview of what we are covering across the globe. You will find great content from Seed World Canada, Seed World Europe, Seed World United States and our newest brand, Seed World LatAm.

So, here’s to the pioneers — past, present, and future — in the Netherlands’ seed sector. Your work does more than grow seeds; it grows hope. Here’s to another century of innovation, collaboration, and growth. Congratulations to the ISF and ISTA; may your next hundred years be as fruitful and transformative as your first. Make sure and connect with Marcel Bruins and Shawn Brook. They are in Rotterdam and ready to tell you all about what’s going on at Seed World!

As always, it’s an honor to partner with you,