Limagrain is an international cooperative group specialized in seeds and cereal products. The history of the company dates back to 1965, when local seed growers in France, who had been producing seed since 1942, established a research facility to develop maize varieties. In 1975, Limagrain purchased Vilmorin, a company selling vegetable seeds. In the decades that followed, Limagrain gradually became one of the largest players in the seed industry with Vilmorin & Cie, a holding listed in the Paris stock exchange, grouping all field crops and vegetable seed activities. It is now present in 56 countries. The company employs over 10,000 people worldwide. In 2014, it acquired Thailand-based Seed Asia, which is focused on tropical hybrid maize, and in 2015, Vietnam-based vegetable seed company Tropdicorp.

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South and Southeast Asia

Summary of results:

Limagrain ranks eighth out of 24 index companies. It performs well in Intellectual Property and Research & Development, thanks to its breeding program for a relatively high number of local crops. Its comprehensive approach to handling intellectual property also explains its strong performance in the former measurement area. Although the company has a broad presence in the region and a fairly large portfolio in each country where it operates, it has a relatively low score in Marketing & Sales. Among several suggested improvements, Limagrain is encouraged to disclose its strategies and activities in Capacity Building.

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Operations in Scope
  • Countries in Scope
  • Company Presence
  • Production Locations
  • Breeding Station/R&D
Index Crops in Portfolio
Sales Seed type
afg bgd khm ind idn mmr npl pak PHL lka tha vnm Hybrid OPV GM
Field crops
Rice, paddy
Green bean
Green pea
Pepper (hot)
Pepper (sweet)
Local Crops in Portfolio
  • Choisam
  • Komatsuna
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard
  • Tinda
  • Yardlong bean
Leading Practices

    Limagrain states that the company’s senior management has been leading the industry in advocating the improvement of the Multilateral System of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). Specifically, the company played a role in encouraging the industry to propose financial commitments for access and benefit-sharing, with the aim of simplifying the system for both users and providers.

    The company’s breeding efforts focus on a significant number of local crops that are relevant for the region, such as tinda, choisam, komatsuma, mizuna, mustard and yardlong bean.

Areas for Improvement

    Overall, Limagrain is encouraged to disclose its activities in Marketing & Sales and Capacity Building. With the relatively recent acquisition of companies in South and Southeast Asia, more information would allow a better representation of Limagrain’s activities.

    Limagrain is encouraged to develop and share a strategy on making seeds accessible to smallholder farmers.

Notable Findings

    Limagrain states that it helps to advance the local seed sector through the creation of subsidiaries, including in India and Indonesia, and investments in existing companies in index countries. In 2015, the company acquired Vietnam-based Tropdicorp. The company also notes that through this strategy, it incorporates local values and cultures into the organization.

    Limagrain is a company with a cooperative structure. Its shareholders comprise around 2,000 farmers. The chairman is an elected farmer and co-manages the group with the CEO, an employee appointed by the board of directors.

    The company reports that all its commercial varieties are available for further research and development via the breeders’ exemption of the 1991 UPOV Convention, a cornerstone of the Plant Breeders’ Rights system and an important tool for benefit-sharing and open innovation. In addition, Limagrain made voluntary contributions within the framework of the ITPGRFA in 2016 through the European Seed Association.

    The company declares that it is company policy to address local customers’ needs and feedback through tight and ‘closed loop’ relations between breeders, local product development teams and local sales teams.

    The company monitors its policy on labor standards all over the world. Regarding child labor and minimum wages, its subsidiary HM Clause has two staff members in India dedicated to carrying out internal audits of the company’s farm networks and third-party companies involved in its seed supply chain.

    The company has the second most diverse portfolio in the region, making 50% of its crops available in 50% of the countries where it is active.

    The company has distribution channels in 12 out of 13 index countries. It also services remote areas in these countries.