Four well-known identity-preserved (IP) soybean companies in Ontario have taken their relationship to the next level, merging under a single new letterhead.
Woodstock-based PRO Seeds Marketing and Agworks have merged with Hendrick Seeds and Hendrick AgriFoods of Inkerman, south of Ottawa, to form Sevita International.
The four businesses said in a release last week that they will now operate as Sevita International while maintaining their combined domestic seed marketing under the PRO Seeds moniker.
The four companies said their merger will combine the "development of premium soybean genetics, seed varieties and export brands to deliver the benefits of a fully integrated value chain to farmers and end-users alike."
The companies have been intertwined since last fall in a partnership agreement and shared ownership structure, combining Hendrick Seeds’ genetics with PRO Seeds’ distribution.
Hendrick Seeds, as of September last year, bought a one-third share of PRO Seeds, a soybean marketing and distribution firm co-owned by Agworks and by Rosebank Seed Farms, based at Staffa, Ont., north of London.
Hendrick, through the Hendrick AgriFoods food-grade soy supply business, had bought out a stake in PRO owned by Caledonia, Ont.-based Thomsen-Jung Farms.
Meanwhile another PRO partner, Marc Bercier of Centre de Criblage Marc Bercier at St. Isidore, Ont., redeemed his shares, which left Hendrick and the remaining two owners with a third share each.
David Hendrick, president of Hendrick Seeds and now of Sevita, said the Sevita arrangement stems from the IP, non-genetically-modified (GMO) breeding program Hendrick set up in 2005.
As Sevita, he said, "we can now deliver benefits from the breeding program directly to our growers and to our end-use customers."
The new company said in its release that it will focus on "being market driven in the development of superior non-GMO food-grade soybeans."
"This merger strengthens our ability to develop and deliver premium soybean genetics along with the quality, convenience and dependability (growers have) come to expect from the PRO Seeds brand," said Agworks president Bob Hart, who will be Sevita’s vice-president.
"It also allows us to mitigate environmental risks by contracting over a wider range of maturities in growing areas stretching from Windsor to Prince Edward Island."