International Market Leader
SESVanderHave is the global market leader in the sugar beet seed industry. Each year, SESVanderHave processes and sells one and a half million units of sugar beet seed. Each unit containing one hundred thousand seeds, in the recognised blue colour of SESVanderHave (except for the USA, where the SESVanderHave seeds are pink). These seeds are sold and sown in over fifty countries worldwide.
To achieve this, SESVanderHave has a network of businesses and local agents all over the world. Three high-tech, state-of-the-art factories in Tienen (Belgium), Kiev (the Ukraine), and Alexeyevka (Russia) process the majority of the seeds.
Worldwide there are huge differences in climate conditions, soil quality and in diseases and pests threatening the sugar beet plant. Besides, at any given location conditions can and do vary from year to year, for instance changing climates or the development of new diseases.
As a global leader, SESVanderHave is committed to finding solutions for all such factors. SESVanderHave offers varieties for each region that are best adapted to the local soil, pests, diseases, and of course the climate. The ability to develop adapted varieties is not only the result of many years of solid, in-depth research, but also because SESVanderHave knows and understands local needs through a comprehensive network of local specialists. “They know their local markets and what their customers demand and need to be profitable. That is no doubt a considerable benefit”, says Bruno Vandamme, Commercial Director of SESVanderHave.
From Japan to the USA
The moderate climate in Western Europe is the cradle of the sugar beet industry and of the success of SESVanderHave. At the same time, SESVanderHave continues to explore new markets. A long-term presence in Eastern Europe, in own local production facilities, is the best example of this. But also China, Japan, North-Africa, the United States and the Middle East are becoming increasingly important markets. An example new market in SESVanderHave’s effort in developing sugar beets suited for tropical regions - the so-called ‘SESVanderHave Tropical Beet’ - are also beginning to bear fruit.
‘SESVanderHave Tropical Beet’
Historically, sugar beet production has been associated only with countries with a moderate climate. “The ‘SESVanderHave Tropical Beet’ is about to change this”, says Jean-Noël Evrard, International Marketing Manager of SESVanderHave.
“Tropical beets are more resistant to extreme conditions such as drought, temperature, excessive rainfall and exotic diseases. In order to adapt to these extreme conditions, SESVanderHave has - for some years now - invested in research plots in India. There, the tropical sugar beets are tested extensively, both by independent official bodies and in own test programmes. The results are very promising: yields equal those of record European harvests”, says Jean-Noël Evrard.
Bio-ethanol from sugar beets: fuel for the future
Alongside this, sugar beets can also be processed to recover considerable quantities of ethanol. This bio-ethanol is a basic material used in production of bio-fuels, for which there is growing demand. So, sugar beets are also delivering energy solutions, and as an innovative global leader, SESVanderHave is pioneering research into the role of sugar beets for the production of bio-ethanol.
“The development of the ‘SESVanderHave Tropical Beet’ and the new applications of sugar beets are both typical of SESVanderHave’s constant search for innovation and improvement” explains Jean-Noël Evrard. “Committed research, a flexible approach and in-depth knowledge of local markets ensure that SESVanderHave remains an international leader in the sugar beet seed market.”