Simon Groot

    Story

    Simon N. Groot is the founder of East-West Seed and the World Food Prize Laureate 2019.

    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.

    Read his full story below

     

    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 : Global

    Education

    Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand

    Doctor of Science in Agricultural Sciences, Honoris Causa

    Other Team Members

    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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    G.C. Shivakumar

    G.C. Shivakumar (GC) is the General Manager of East-West Seed India since March 2021. GC has over 25 years of agribusiness ex...

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    Paul Chaytor

    Paul brings with him 22 years of supply chain expertise, in organizations such as ICI, The Body Shop and, more recently, Nest...

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    Joost van Elzakker

    Joost is East-West Seed's Chief Commercial Officer ensuring we maintain strong connections with - and development of - our ma...

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    Marc-Philippe Garnaud

    Marc is East West Seed's CFO, and his mission is to drive company's financial performance while implementing efficient operat...

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    Cathlea Barote

    Cathlea is East-West Seed's Chief People Officer with extensive HR experience, both at country and regional level.As CPO, Lea...

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    Douwe Zijp

    Douwe Zijp is the CEO of East-West Seed Group as of December 14, 2020, after serving four years as Vice Chairman of the Super...

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    Dilip Rajan

     Dilip is the Chief Strategy Officer on the East-West Seed Managing Board. He joined East-West Seed as General Manager f...

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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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    Mary Ann Sayoc

    Mary Ann is the Public Affairs Lead for the East-West Seed Group. In this role, she represents EWS globally in various policy...

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    Simon Jan de Hoop

    One of the very first employees to join back in 1984, Simon Jan was head-hunted by the founder of East-West Seed, Simon Groot...

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    Michel Devarrewaere

     Michel has over 30 years of experience in the seed industry in both the public and private sectors. He worked for Monsa...

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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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