Most plants in the world propagate through seeds. Our ancestors discovered already very early that by harvesting and sowing seeds of selected species they could produce food much easier.
Very soon we also discovered that by selecting the best individual plants we could enhance the quality of the species and produce more food or make it better adapted to the local circumstances. Farmers worldwide have done this themselves for centuries and centuries. Nowadays professional seed companies, like Bejo, have further specialized in breeding of stronger vegetable varieties and production of high quality seed. And most farmers, whether they are growing for their own use in the garden or are highly mechanized conventional or organic farmers, they are all using these seeds to give maximum effort to healthy crops. Together we are responsible for the majority of our food supply at an affordable price with as little impact on the environment as possible.
Local farming expertise
Production of seed can be done nearly everywhere in the world and the areas that are most favourable for a certain crop are selected. Climatic conditions play an important role, but also the absence of certain diseases next to others. In Tasmania growing conditions specifically for beetroot and carrot are very favourable and local farming expertise is at very high level. Tasmania is therefore already an important production area for Bejo seed, and Bejo is further investing to also expand on organic production of Bejo varieties.
Since modern varieties all have very specific traits that make them suitable for a specific culture, we don’t want a contamination by cross pollination with another variety occurring. Some of the special traits may get lost, or other unwanted traits can be introduced into the variety. This can be safeguarded by isolating the different seed production fields from each other, which is simply done by planting them all at a certain distance from each other. Farmers in a seed production area make agreements with each other about the distance they keep between their seed production fields.
Crops that are pollinated by bees or insects (they only travel a limited distance) are distinguished from crops where the pollen is transported by the wind (where distances are much larger). Along with contamination from another production field there is also a possibility of a cross pollination from a plant in the wild of the same species or of a flowering plant in a garden or property. Seed companies therefore make regular inspections to see if plants of the same species are found in the wild, and all people that live within a certain distance of a seed production field receive a letter in which they are kindly asked to keep an open eye for flowering plants that may contaminate seed production fields.
Ensure healthier crops
As a seed producer Bejo is aware of public discussions such as climate change, the effect of insecticides on environment and health, declining bee population, food supply, and tries to take its responsibility in this respect for as much as we can have an influence. In our breeding programs we bring priority to developing strong varieties with disease resistances ensuring healthier crops and bringing back the need for crop protection. Bejo has a very large research program for organic seeds. Around 10% of our turnover is coming from organic seeds. We learn from our organic seed production and apply best practices in both our organic and conventional cultivation. To help safeguarding the bee population we have large bee breeding and research programs running in several areas in the world, including Tasmania.
Should you have any interest to learn more about our activities, please feel free to contact us, or follow our news updates on our websites and social media.