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New name, business as usual for well-known pasture company

The name behind some of New Zealand’s most widely used farm pastures, including Trojan, Shogun, Tyson and Rohan, has changed this month to better reflect its global connections.

Thirty years after it first teamed up with a family-owned seed business in the Netherlands, Agriseeds will from 19 July be known as Barenbrug Agriseeds.

Managing director Michael Hales says that despite the name change it will be business as usual for the company.

“The Royal Barenbrug Group has been part of Agriseeds since the company was founded as a start-up in 1987.

“Just as importantly, Barenbrug has been able to give us a technical edge, providing unique access to plant genetics, science and knowledge.

“It’s the largest privately owned seed company in the world, and without having been able to share its resources, we would not be where we are today.”

A key outcome of this collaboration has been a raft of market-leading pastures developed specifically to improve livestock production and profitability for NZ farmers, he says.

And while the Royal Barenbrug Group is a large global operation, those involved in the organisation are acutely aware of the role local knowledge plays in the creation of great pasture.

“They’ve put the weight of their resources and expertise behind the team here in NZ, at the same time as giving us the scope to meet the needs of local farmers.”

The Barenbrug connection has also enabled advanced scientific research on endophyte technology and opened export opportunities for NZ seed growers.

While the name on the yellow seed bags is different this season, Michael Hales says everything else remains the same, as does his team’s long-standing commitment to providing NZ farmers the best pasture they can grow.

The Royal Barenbrug Group was founded in 1904 by Joseph Barenbrug, and is now a fourth generation family business. It has 29 subsidiaries world-wide, with 14 breeding stations across five continents encompassing all the major global climatic zones.

The group has 740 employees, including 105 in research and development. Annual turnover is in excess of $NZ425 million and the company invests heavily into research every year.

Barenbrug Agriseeds is based on a 224ha research farm in Canterbury and has a total staff of around 60 throughout NZ. Its innovative and successful pastures include best-sellers Trojan, Shogun, Tyson and Rohan.

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