East-West Seed Appoints New Chairman of the Board
East-West Seed is pleased to announce that Ard Groot has been appointed the Chairman of the Supervisory Board (SB) effective 1 January 2018. He succeeds his father and company founder Simon Groot, who will continue to serve the Board as Honorary Chairman and Founder.
“I’m greatly inspired to take up this role, with the support of our members of the supervisory board (SB), our dynamic and forward-looking board of management (BOM), dedicated managers and all our 5,000 professional and hard-working staff around the world,” says Ard Groot. “I am happy to build on the legacy that my father Simon worked so persistently to create. We have come a long way in the last 35 years. Since our humble beginnings, we have established strong and mature companies in many countries. Innovation leading to improved vegetable crops with better yield and quality is now fully accepted and appreciated by farmers.”
Groot’s appointment upholds the stability and continuity of the family ownership of the business, which the board considers crucial to sustaining East-West Seed’s long-term vision. He served as Vice Chairman of the Board since 2012. Longtime seed industry professional Douwe Zijp will take over the role of Vice Chairman. In his role Ard will continue to closely collaborate with the Board of Management, consisting of CEO Bert van der Feltz van der Sloot, Vice President Simon Jan de Hoop, and Vice President Michel Devarrewaere, who are charged with executive management of the company.
Founder Simon Groot emphasizes the company’s long-term vision to serve smallholder farmers in the tropics. “It gives me a sense of pride to pass on the leadership of the Board into the new generation, ensuring that East-West Seed remains an independent, privately owned and most importantly, farmer-centric company. I am convinced that this is the best way to sustain our long-term vision. Serving farmers has always been, and will always be the driver of East-West Seed.”
Bert van der Feltz, president and CEO of East-West Seed, is optimistic about the company’s future. “We remain focused in developing the tropical vegetable markets in Asia, Africa and tropical Americas. We want to bring East-West Seed to a greater level of granularity — to know our farmers better and offer them innovative, tailormade solutions. Knowledge transfer, something that is unique to East-West, will continue to be our main instrument for farmer development and market stimulation. We will develop further as a robust organization of talented seed professionals working together as one team, passionate about our mission. Ard Groot’s leadership of the supervisory board is essential in this process of expansion and organizational growth.”
The ceremonial turnover of the SB chairmanship takes place on 24 January 2018 in Hortanova Farm in the Philippines, whose significance as the birthplace of East-West Seed makes the occasion more special and meaningful.
The Supervisory Board forms the basis of East-West Seed’s corporate governance. They perform a non-executive role and are appointed to promote the company’s interests by supervising and giving advice to the Board of Management. The current SB is composed of Ard Groot (chairman), Douwe Zijp (vice chairman), Dietrich Schmidt, Ivan Chung, Rutger Groot, Joost Pekelharing, Johnny Santos, James Amatavivadhana, and Simon Groot (honorary chairman and founder).