Meet Luuk- our new GM

APRIL 2023 Newsletter

I’m excited to write to you after being appointed General Manager USA & Canada at Hazera. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself, share how excited I am to be joining Hazera and the seed industry, and share my commitment to healthy and prosperous business relationships.

I come from the cut flower industry with nearly a decade of experience in agriculture, most recently as the COO at a distributor in the Tri-state area. Before that, I held several commercial roles in Ecuador and the US at a large flower grower.

The decision to work for Hazera was an easy one once I met with its upper management to gain a better insight into the growing market opportunities we have here, the solutions and returns our genetics offer to farmers, and the high-quality vegetable varieties we supply to the world. On a side note, after working my whole professional career with flowers, transitioning to the seed business meant no more Valentine’s Day madness this year. I did not miss that!

All jokes aside, when I visited our headquarters, high-tech labs, and seed production facilities in both The Netherlands and Israel, I was truly impressed with the sophistication of the business and state-of-the-art equipment. But what amazed me most about the vegetable seeds business during my first couple of months: The people. From my colleagues globally and our local team here in the USA to our friendly competitors, business partners, and beloved customers, everybody has been exceptionally friendly and helpful.

Speaking about our customers, I’ve had the chance to meet many of you already in person during events such as the ASTA, NWA, and CSA. Whether I spoke with a dealer, packer/shipper, or grower, everyone was equally passionate and open to sharing their opinion with me. This has helped tremendously in getting up to speed with the industry’s needs and best practices. Thank you for that and keep it coming!

Even though we are officially living in a post-pandemic world, as an industry, we are still dealing with the aftermath. Though fellow seed companies raised their prices mid-year, we decided not to because most of our customers, you the dealers, had their grower prices already locked in until the end of the year. To stabilize our double-digit business cost increases this year, a relatively steep price hike will be inevitable starting on July 1st. (Remember: Limagrain, our parent company, is French and our fiscal year starts then).

As much as you understand how economic factors influence our decision-making, we understand how environmental factors like droughts and flooding in California, early Spring frost in Georgia, or hurricanes in Florida, affect you and your customers’ decision-making. It’s all about a mutual understanding between us as a seed supplier and you as the dealer and the grower.

Thank you for taking the time to read my short introduction. I look forward to more in-person meetings with many of you in the coming months.