Bayer will expand its range of vegetable seeds to include organically produced seeds under the new "Vegetables by Bayer" umbrella. The launch will focus on certified organic production of three major crops for the greenhouse market: Tomatoes, Peppers and Cucumbers. Tomato rootstocks will follow in 2023. The varieties will be sold under the two vegetable seed brands Seminis® and De Ruiter®.
Bayer's expanded portfolio is a response to growing customer demand for high-quality organic seeds. Global consumer demand for certified organic products continues to grow. The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) estimates that the global organic food market is now worth more than EUR 106 billion. The global organic seed market was estimated at $355 million in 2020 and is expected to grow to $480 million by 2025 at an average growth rate of 6.2 percent. This growing demand represents a great opportunity for many of Bayer's vegetable seed customers to grow their business while expanding consumers' food choices, promoting access to nutritious fruits and vegetables.
"We serve growers around the world and believe they should have the freedom to choose the means and practices that best meet the needs of their farms and the needs of their customers," said Inci Dannenberg, Head of Global Vegetable Seeds at Bayer. "The introduction of our certified organic vegetable seeds provides an opportunity to continue to offer growers in the organic food market our premium varieties, whose disease resistance leads the industry. At the same time, we're providing consumers with greater choice."
"Organic certification standards require us to use certified organic seed when available, and this is what our customers expect," said Ricardo Crisantes, Chief Commercial Officer of Wholesum Family Farms. We are very pleased that Bayer is supporting our market with certified organic seed and look forward to having a high quality selection of De Ruiter® seed for our organic greenhouse production."
The launch of the new certified organic seed portfolio is planned for 2022 and will focus on high-growth organic markets in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Spain and Italy, with potential for future expansion depending on market demand. In the meantime, Bayer is taking all necessary steps to obtain the appropriate certification for its facilities and to prepare for the acceptance, processing, storage and distribution of certified organic seed. Vegetable seeds, along with Bayer's organic crop protection products, are another important tool for certified organic farmers around the world.
The announcement comes as the United Nations marks the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables in 2021 to raise awareness of how to increase consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables.
"Bayer's vegetable seed business is committed to being the partner of choice in all areas in which we operate. We offer premium varieties and tailored solutions to help our customers and partners grow their businesses while providing safe, nutritious and tasty fruits and vegetables to people around the world," Dannenberg said.