Simon Groot

    Story

    Simon Groot is a 6th generation descendant of the family that laid the foundation of the Dutch vegetable seed industry. During his many travels as marketing director of the family seeds business Sluis & Groot (now Syngenta) he had noticed the poverty of smallholder farmers in South East Asia, and the need for high-quality seed so farmers could increase their productivity and income.

    In 1982 Simon Groot started East-West Seed in the Philippines in cooperation with the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam and Filipino seed trader Benito Domingo. A team of young breeders from Wageningen University (WUR) and from the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB) started to develop hybrid vegetable varieties. 
    In 1986 ‘Jade Star’ was introduced, the first locally developed commercial bitter gourd in tropical Asia. Soon tomato and eggplant varieties followed, plus pumpkin, several brassicas and leafy vegetables like kangkong. 

    Simon Groot soon extended his activities throughout South and Southeast Asia: Thailand in 1984, Indonesia in 1990, Vietnam in 1995, India in 2003, Myanmar in 2009, Tanzania, Guatemala and Cambodia soon followed. 

    In 2011 Simon Groot received a “Doctor of Science in Agricultural Sciences, Honoris Causa” from Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and the university council of Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand, in recognition of his work in vegetable plant breeding and the development of plant breeding programs in Thailand and in tropical Asia.

    Simon Groot has been an inspiration to other seedsmen, who followed his initiative in developing the seed markets in Asia. In 1994, he was one of the founding fathers and after that an active member of the Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA), and in 2003 of a consortium of vegetable breeders to support AVRDC  - The World Vegetable Center - with funds and expertise. He was honored with a lifetime membership of APSA in 2014. In 2015, he was awarded the Mansholt Business Award for Sustainable Entrepreneurship at Wageningen University.

    Bio

    Team : Supervisory Board

    Current position : Honorary Chairman of the Supervisory Board & Founder, East-West Seed Group

    Works for East-West Seed since : 1982

    Based in : Nonthaburi, Global

    Education

    Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand

    Doctor of Science in Agricultural Sciences, Honoris Causa

    Other Team Members

    Mary Ann Sayoc

    “I like most the philosophy that Simon Groot espoused - serving the farmers and increasing their income from vegetable ...

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    Robert Acosta

    “EWS gave me the opportunity to touch the lives of thousands of smallholder farmers from far-flung areas who are workin...

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    Tino Aromin

    “I love working with farmers. EWS offers me this opportunity to serve farmers more, with full support and less operatio...

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    Paul Denis Batungbacal

    “EWS never wavers from its commitment to serve farmers.”Denis is the the country’s Human Resources Manager....

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    Daisy Caraos

    “Working with East West Seed is like being an instrument of success for the people we serve.”In 1983, fresh out o...

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    Eric Reynoso

    “The best part of my job is working with and learning from people - farmers, dealers, colleagues.”  Eric joi...

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    Irene Sion

    "I'm a daughter of a farmer, working in East-West Seed is my simple way of helping my fellow farmers."Irene’s journey w...

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    Henk Hermans

    “East-West Seed is an organization led by a strong purpose--to serve farmers.  I am honored to join East-West Seed...

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    Ard Groot

    Ard Groot comes from seven generations of seedsmen who formed the foundations of the Dutch seed industry in Enkhuizen, The Ne...

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