Established in 1913, Sakata Seed Corporation (Sakata), which is headquartered in Japan, is one of the largest vegetable breeding companies in the world. Together with its subsidiaries, the company sells horticultural products and materials in Asia, Europe, the Near and Middle East, and throughout the Americas. It breeds, produces, procures and wholesales vegetable, flower and grass seed as well as flower bulbs, vegetable and flower seedlings, and agricultural and horticultural products and services, including for the hobby gardening market.

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South and Southeast Asia

Summary of results:

Sakata ranks 20th in the South and Southeast Asia Index. Although the company performs well in Seed Production for its rigorous labor standards, it suffers from both a lack of formal corporate commitments toward access to seeds for smallholder farmers and transparency in terms of its activities across most measurement areas. The company does not disclose any Intellectual Property positions that benefit smallholders and does not offer any substantial evidence of targeted Capacity Building activities.

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

    No leading practices were identified.

Areas for Improvement

    The company could consider integrating access to seeds for smallholder farmers as a governance objective or developing a strategy around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    The company is encouraged to demonstrate more examples of capacity building or to initiate more projects that help smallholder farmers adopt improved varieties.

Notable Findings

    Sakata’s breeding program focuses on various objectives, such as tolerance to pests and diseases, drought adaptation, cultural preferences and shelf life.

    In India, the company monitors compliance with social standards to prevent child labor and forced labor, and to ensure minimum working conditions regarding health and safety in its operations. It also ensures standards for living conditions and minimum wages are met in its seed production activities.

    The company has a strong focus on assuring the quality of its seed products. Its labs are certified by the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA).

    The company tailors its packages to smallholder farmers in the region with sizes as small as 5g.