New name, same great people and products

The name behind some of New Zealand’s best-known pastures and forage crops is changing this spring.


Thirty-three years after it first teamed up with a family-owned seed business in the Netherlands, Barenbrug will be known as Barenbrug, effective 1 July. 


Managing director Michael Hales says the Royal Barenbrug Group has been part of the NZ company since it was founded, providing unique access to plant genetics, science and knowledge.


“This collaboration has been a key part of our success in the NZ pastoral industry – we would not be where we are today without it.”


While the name on the distinctive yellow seed bags will be different this season, Michael says farmers can be reassured everything else remains the same: “Our people and products are unchanged.”


So too is the company’s long commitment to providing NZ pastoral producers the best seed they can grow.


“The Royal Barenbrug Group has always given us the scope here in NZ to tailor the business to the needs of NZ farmers. As a result, we’ve been able to develop many innovative and successful pastures which are widely used throughout the country.”


Founded in 1904 by Joseph Barenbrug, the Group is now a fourth generation family business with 22 research programmes across all major climatic zones, and operating companies in 18 countries.


It has 715 employees, including 105 in research and development. Annual turnover is in excess of $NZD425 million and the company invests more than $NZ20 million into research every year.


NZ marketing manager Graham Kerr says the work done in NZ to develop pastures and crops for Kiwi farmers is supported by the global links with Barenbrug.


“New developments in genotyping and genetic assessment are giving us insights we’ve never had before. And new sensor-based assessment its speeding the development of plants to better meet New Zealand’s productive and environmental needs.


“The linkages through the Barenbrug Group gives us a lot more R&D horsepower to get things done.”   


Barenbrug is based on a 224 ha breeding and research station in Canterbury, and has a total staff of 60 throughout NZ. Its advanced pasture and forage cultivars include several industry firsts, such as Trojan, Rohan, Shogun, Tabu+ and the new Maxsyn.



Michael Hales, Managing Director and Graham Kerr, Marketing Manager