Over the past ten years, the Seed Valley partnership has evolved from a sector initiative into a solid brand name for the seed industry in Noord-Holland (North Holland region). The Netherlands is a global leader in the development of vegetable and flower varieties, with Seed Valley acting as the knowledge centre for these activities.
The Seed Valley partnership was established ten years ago when breeding companies were struggling to attract suitable employees. Alongside this, the degree programme in Plant Sciences at Wageningen University had only received four applications. This led to a tipping point: the companies joined forces to implement a programme that would boost their image on the labour market and see them partner up with educational institutions.
Seed Valley now works closely with educational institutions and is attracting a huge amount of interest from directors and policymakers. State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Mona Keijzer, spoke during the anniversary evening, ‘In my eyes, Seed Valley is a “seed paradise.” It is truly the Garden of Eden for young people who want to work in an environment that combines nature and new technology.’
A growing network
The network and the companies that form part of it continue to grow. More than 3,500 employees work for the forty affiliated companies. Every year, 300 vacancies are open at various levels and within various disciplines. The new generation of employees wants to work on a better world and leave a sustainable legacy – an ambition that poses many challenges in the plant-breeding sector.