Enza Zaden Australia (including New Zealand) evolved from the purchase of the research business Yates Vegetable Seeds in October 2003. Total personnel for this business number close to 50 full time equivalent staff.
The lettuce, onion, pumpkin, and cauliflower breeding programs have been integrated internationally. The counter season position with the northern hemisphere provides opportunity to ping pong breeding material and grow-outs to accelerate the time to commercialization for products.
Our breeding programs target both domestic and international markets. Breeders select for disease resistance, taste, appearance, suitability to location and storage potential. The locations in which we trial within Australia and New Zealand provide a wide range of climatic and day length variation.
The breeding teams are supported by the dedicated laboratory staff. The laboratory is involved with tissue culture, seed quality analysis, phyto-pathology and DNA extraction.
Vegetable producers in Australia are increasingly large scale, broad acre type operators. The economies that large scale provide being the objective. Almost all farm operations are irrigated. This has been one of the areas of innovation for growers during periods of drought with a move to drip irrigation as opposed to overhead. Selecting varieties that perform in these conditions is also very important.