Since 2011, Enza Zaden has conducted business in Central America as an export region managed by Enza Zaden Export B.V. in the Netherlands and supported by a dedicated regional sales team. This approach has fostered strong relationships with key dealers and driven substantial year-over-year sales growth.
However, in response to changes in Central America’s competitive landscape and market potential, Enza Zaden has set its sights higher. With the goal of unlocking greater opportunities, Enza Zaden is proud to announce a new strategic vision that involves full integration of Central American operations into the dynamic business model of the North American region. This visionary move follows years of strategic planning and reflects the company’s commitment to understanding and supporting customer needs through partnership-style relationships.
“By raising the quality of both the domestic and export markets in Central America, we look forward to replicating our growth trajectory in Mexico and the U.S. since 2007. As we continue to enhance our presence, customers will see the difference that our genetics, our people and our partnerships deliver in Central America and all markets we serve,” said Hermann Castro, regional marketing director, Enza Zaden North and Central America.
The integration will be managed under the leadership of Rodolfo Leyva, regional sales director, North and Central America, and Gonzalo Tovar, commercial director, Enza Zaden Central America. With decades of global and regional experience in the seed industry, both Leyva and Tovar prioritize the development of strong dealer and grower relationships. “By leveraging current strengths and exploring new opportunities, we will build our success in Central America together with our partners,” said Leyva.
From an innovation perspective, rapid knowledge transfer of advanced growing technologies used in Mexico is already underway. Enza Zaden has a pioneering history as a seed breeder, and a global-for-local approach that leverages premium genetics and deep local knowledge to create state-of-the-art solutions. The company’s groundbreaking 2016 identification of a High Resistance (HR) gene for Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) provides a notable example.
Just six years later, following extensive trials in Mexico, Enza Zaden was first-to-market with HR ToBRFV varieties for multiple key tomato production regions around the world. Along with strict phytosanitary measures, the new varieties marketed as the “HREZ” collection provide most important solution tool currently available in the fight against ToBRFV.
“In Central America and all other regions where we operate, we focus on deep awareness of local conditions, augmented by research capacity that enables delivery of the complete package; the right products at the right time, with quality, taste, texture, colour and shelf life that exceed expectations,” said Tovar.
The company’s newest R&D station, emulating Enza Zaden stations in more than 20 locations around the world, will be built in Guatemala, leveraging distinct climate zones to enable extensive trialing and the development of highly targeted products for the region. Also underway is a plan to enhance the current team with dedicated sales and R&D representatives in Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panama. Interconnection of the Central American team with their Mexican and broader North American colleagues will play a key role in the company’s enhanced capacity to deliver for the region.
Leyva explains that he’s very excited about the integration, and that its success ultimately lies in a cohesive team that shares deep understanding of the region’s unique opportunities and challenges. “While Mexico shares a lot of commonalities with Central America, there are a surprising number of business, cultural and phytosanitary differences to be appreciated, by region and by country. Awareness of these nuances is critical to fortifying productive, long-term relationships with our Central American customers, and to ensuring the overall success of our go-to-market approach,” said Leyva.
Enza Zaden’s message to customers is to expect results. “We’re focused on building a better business, one that’s faster, delivers better quality and from which customers can anticipate improved commercial introductions, growing technologies and business tools,” said Leyva.
By leveraging its strengths and aligning efforts across sales, marketing, product and R&D, Enza Zaden is confidently poised to deliver product and service excellence within Central America and end-markets in the U.S. and beyond. On a global scale, this integration underscores the company’s commitment to adaptability, innovation and responsiveness, and to creating more opportunities for more people to have access to healthy food. Growers, dealers and all stakeholders along the chain will benefit from this carefully planned integration that demonstrates how Enza Zaden is “making the difference.”
Source: Enza Zaden October 11, 2023 news release