Simon Groot

    Story

    Simon Groot is a 6th generation descendant of the family that laid the foundation of the Dutch vegetable seed industry. During his many travels as marketing director of the family seeds business Sluis & Groot (now Syngenta) he had noticed the poverty of smallholder farmers in South East Asia, and the need for high-quality seed so farmers could increase their productivity and income.

    In 1982 Simon Groot started East-West Seed in the Philippines in cooperation with the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam and Filipino seed trader Benito Domingo. A team of young breeders from Wageningen University (WUR) and from the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB) started to develop hybrid vegetable varieties. 
    In 1986 ‘Jade Star’ was introduced, the first locally developed commercial bitter gourd in tropical Asia. Soon tomato and eggplant varieties followed, plus pumpkin, several brassicas and leafy vegetables like kangkong. 

    Simon Groot soon extended his activities throughout South and Southeast Asia: Thailand in 1984, Indonesia in 1990, Vietnam in 1995, India in 2003, Myanmar in 2009, Tanzania, Guatemala and Cambodia soon followed. 

    In 2011 Simon Groot received a “Doctor of Science in Agricultural Sciences, Honoris Causa” from Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and the university council of Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand, in recognition of his work in vegetable plant breeding and the development of plant breeding programs in Thailand and in tropical Asia.

    Simon Groot has been an inspiration to other seedsmen, who followed his initiative in developing the seed markets in Asia. In 1994, he was one of the founding fathers and after that an active member of the Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA), and in 2003 of a consortium of vegetable breeders to support AVRDC  - The World Vegetable Center - with funds and expertise. He was honored with a lifetime membership of APSA in 2014. In 2015, he was awarded the Mansholt Business Award for Sustainable Entrepreneurship at Wageningen University.

    Bio

    Team : Supervisory Board

    Current position : Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board & Founder, East-West Seed Group

    Works for East-West Seed since : 1982

    Based in : Nonthaburi, Global

    Education

    Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand

    Doctor of Science in Agricultural Sciences, Honoris Causa

    Other Team Members

    Dilip Rajan

    Dilip joined East-West Seed as General Manager for India in June 2018. He has over 25 years' international experience wi...

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    Rutger Groot

    Rutger Groot is a member of the supervisory board of East-West Seed (since 2006) and concurrently chairs the East-West Seed K...

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    Ard Groot

    Ard Groot comes from seven generations of seedsmen who formed the foundations of the Dutch seed industry in Enkhuizen, The Ne...

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    Bert van der Feltz

    Mr. van der Feltz is President and CEO of the East-West Seed Group. Earlier he served as Senior Vice President of the company...

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    Simon Jan de Hoop

    Very excited to be part of a company that had to be built up from scratch.One of the very first employees to join back in 198...

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    Michel Devarrewaere

    Mr. Devarrewaere has over 28 years of experience in the seed industry in both the public and private sectors, where he held t...

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    Stuart Morris

    Just a small change to their farming methods can have a big impact on their livelihood. Stuart believes the vegetable fa...

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    Dr. Conrado Balatero

    We take an integrated breeding approach for developing new varieties.Dr. Conrad’s journey began with East-West Seed in ...

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    Dr. Hatthaya Arunothayanan

    An academy of learning.“Our biotech provides the tools to our plant breeders to completely transform the breeding progr...

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    Lysette Lacambra

    Happy farmers means happy extension workers. After starting out as a Technology Transfer Specialist in the Philippines f...

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    Dr. Darush Struss

    Biotech makes modern plant breeding possible.As well as an “MS degree in Plant Pathology, a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding fro...

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    Lamai Yapanan

    Turning plant breeding from a science into an art form.Lamai firmly believes that “a plant breeder is both scientist an...

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