SEEDS 2000 Inc., one of the leading seed research and productions companies in the region, announced Nov. 30, 2011, that it has been acquired by Nuseed, a global seed and traits company based out of Melbourne, Australia. For SEEDS 2000, headquartered in Breckenridge, MN, the merger will mean a myriad of changes for employees; from an exporting prospective, the acquisition of a regional company by an international player may be a step towards increasing global sales.
“Nuseed is a multinational company, so they bring people and expertise from markets that we haven’t entered yet or are trying to expand in,” said Matt Breker, International Sales Manager at SEEDS 2000. “It really helps bring a lot more horsepower to our international business.”
SEEDS 2000 is not a newcomer to the international exporting game. Jay Schuler and Gerhardt “Gary” Fick started SEEDS 2000 in 1992, following years of a variety of other seed-related projects, with a focus primarily on the development of elite oil and confection sunflower hybrids that benefit both the farmer and end-use customer. Over the past five years, the company’s global footprint has exploded, according to Schuler and Fick. SEEDS 2000 now has approximately 45 employees, five of which are involved in international marketing.
Exporting from SEEDS 2000 began in 1999 in Austria. Today, China is the largest market for the company’s seeds, with product also being shipped to Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Japan, Ghana and a number of European Union countries, just to name a few.
The hope of the SEEDS 2000 and Nuseed merger is to meet the growing demand of sunflowers for the world, and the company has expertise to fit the bill. SEEDS 2000 has three doctorate-level plant breeders in Breckenridge and one in Argentina. Their sunflower genetics are currently being sold in a number of foreign markets, and the addition of Nuseeds’ varieties will only expand international options.
“Our company will be able to offer a wider range of genetics internationally and domestically because now we have access to additional genetics from Nuseed. Internationally and domestically we’ll see improved products,” Breker said.
Nuseed is focused on the enhancement of food and feed value through seed technology. The company currently develops proprietary canola, sunflower, and sorghum products that are marketed in over 25 countries. Nuseed has existing sunflower breeding and marketing operations based in California, Argentina, Serbia and Australia.
Although Schuler admits the acquisition was difficult after twenty years of working with SEEDS 2000, he ensures customers that the SEEDS 2000 brand isn’t likely to disappear and the goal is to help make the company grow. For international sales staff such as Breker, the acquisition points towards a future of opportunity.
“It’s a really an exciting time to be a part of SEEDS200 and to be a part of the Nuseed organization, especially as we move forward in some of these international markets because we’ll be much more aggressively entering some of these markets,” Breker said.