26 Jun 2019

Start construction of new breeding site

On Tuesday 25 June 2019, the construction of a new breeding site was officially launched by vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan. Facilities for breeding tomato, sweet pepper, hot pepper and aubergine varieties will be constructed at this breeding site. The new facilities will be constructed on a plot behind Rijk Zwaan’s ‘Seed Quality Centre’ and 'De Vesting' in De Lier, the Netherlands and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. During the first pile driving ceremony, the company announced that the new breeding site will be named 'De Hybride'.

The new breeding site will comprise an approximately 8.7 hectare greenhouse, a 6,000 m² industrial building and 1,300 m² of office space. The tomato, pepper and aubergine breeding teams will be working at the new site. This involves approximately 80 employees. In addition, another approximately 30 employees will be working on the implementation side.

Better varieties

The expectation is that the demand for high-quality vegetable seeds will continue to increase, in part because the world population is growing. Rijk Zwaan is increasingly breeding crops for international sales markets. The new construction is needed to facilitate the growth in the demand for seed breeding and to continue to be able to offer employees a pleasant and sustainable job.

Jair Haanstra, Chairman of the Construction Committee and employed by Rijk Zwaan as Breeding Manager Aubrika: ‘The expansion gives Rijk Zwaan additional space for breeding and conducting crop research for tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers and aubergines with the objective of enabling us to offer our customers and growers even better varieties.’

Start of construction 'De Hybride'

During the festive start-up of construction, Kees Mulder drove the first pile. Kees has been working at Rijk Zwaan for over 40 years and as Station Manager De Lier has been involved in various new construction projects for many years. Managing Director Marco van Leeuwen announced the name of the new breeding site. The construction of the new breeding site was reviewed in advance with the municipality, the Dutch water board and all local residents. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.