TRADE AND MARKE T ING Dutch breeding sector strengthens its position in the world with investments The variety presentations at the beginning of November attracted a record number of visitors this year. There is no disguising the fact that the Netherlands has strengthened its prominent position in the world in the domain of potato breeding. It is not without reason that the trading companies and the breeding stations radiated a great deal of self-confidence this year. They felt supported, of course, by the good product prices of recent years, but that is not where it stops. They are looking ahead. All seed potato companies give a clear vision of the future and a strategy with which they will respond to developments in the international potato sector. Look at the new breeding imperium of Van Rijn KWS, for example, or Meijer’s pursuit of investment. What becomes quite clear here is a split in the development of new varieties. Bigger breeding stations are clearly opting for investing in modern technology such as marker technology, the smaller ones for collaboration. They do that by holding on to existing breeders, taking over companies or, on the contrary, actively looking for new professional or hobby breeders. Potato World 2009 • number 1 11 Pagina 10

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