Bejo Zaden BV (Bejo) is a privately owned company, having a history of over 100 years in vegetable seeds, specialized in breeding, production and sales. The company’s main crops in terms of breeding and sales are onion, carrot and brassica’s. Its most established markets are Western and Eastern Europe and North, Central and South America, but it is continuing to develop markets in Asia and Africa.

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Global Seed Companies

Summary of results:

Bejo ranks ninth in the 2019 Index and scores better than in 2016, in part due to its reasonable performance in Research & Development. The company also scores relatively well in Marketing & Sales, thanks to a wide distribution network in all index regions, and earns point for its commitment to supporting smallholder farmers. The company can improve its overall performance by increasing disclosure of its activities, especially in Genetic Resources, Intellectual Property and Seed Production.

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Operations in Scope
  • Countries in Scope
  • Company Presence
  • Production Locations
  • Breeding Station/R&D
Index Crops in Portfolio
Field crops
Pepper (hot)
Pepper (sweet)
Leading Practices

    Following 15 years of research, Bejo released its first true potato seed variety in 2017. Potatoes are normally grown from vegetatively propagated tubers, called seed potatoes, whereas true potato seed varieties are grown from seed. Unlike seed potatoes, true potato seed can be stored for much longer and is easier to transport, ensuring wider availability of and access to potato planting materials on the market. Bejo will focus on Africa, Asia and Central America in the coming years for further testing and knowledge transfer in cultivation methods.

Areas for Improvement

    Although Bejo has strengthened its commitments across the measurement areas, it could improve its overall transparency in terms of how its activities benefit smallholder farmers.

    Given its extensive distribution network across index regions, as well as an established presence in Guatemala and Vietnam, the company is encouraged to disclose how it reaches smallholder farmers in these regions.

Notable Findings

    Bejo has one of the largest distribution networks of all the global index companies, with sales activities in 46 countries across all four index regions. This is an increase compared to 2016.

    The company’s public commitment to smallholder farmers includes providing training and breeding and developing vegetable varieties suitable for this client group.

    The company does not support granting patents on native traits and characteristics. It promotes free exchange of biological materials, such as the breeders’ exemption under plant variety law.

    For the Senegalese market, the company has developed a yellow onion variety called Trophy. The variety has been promoted through field demonstrations and offers an alternative to onion imports because it can be grown year-round for local markets.

    The company has an organic assortment that encompasses 150 varieties.

    The company collaborates with the Fundación Centro Educativo Agrícola to teach agricultural techniques to Guatemalan school children.

    In Senegal and Indonesia, the company supports farmers by providing access to seeds and extension services to improve the production of onions and shallots respectively. In Senegal, training is also provided on crop storage and postharvest loss reduction.