Dutch potato co-op buys control of Alta. seed firm

Dutch potato breeding co-operative Agrico has stepped up its direct interest in the North American seed potato sector by buying control of one of its major seed dealers.

The co-op last week announced it has bought a 21 per cent stake in Parkland Seed Potatoes, raising its ownership to 60 per cent of the Edmonton company.

Agrico has worked with Parkland since the Alberta company launched in 1997, then bought a 25 per cent share of the company in 2005. It boosted its interest to 49 per cent in 2008.

“North America offers us promising opportunities for systematically generating more income for our co-operative,” Agrico general director Jan van Hoogen said in a release.

Parkland contracts with growers in both Canada and the U.S. to produce Agrico’s seed varieties for sale in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, providing seed stock for use by growers supplying the fresh, chipping and processing potato industries.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, other than that it gives Agrico “added value in the form of a share in the trade margin” as well as royalties on Agrico’s varieties.

The co-op has subsidiaries and stakes in seed companies in France, Britain, Poland, Italy and Sweden as well as Canada, plus sales agents in “virtually all” seed potato-importing countries. — AGCanada.com Network



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