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June 2012

Sprouts A newsletter for employees of East-West Seed Group

Pushing forward

with strategy

Message from the BOM

HMTD Launch in Vietnam

Who are your sales planners?

Message from the BOM


mplementing strategy is a bigger challenge than creating it. By now we are familiar with our six core initiatives under the Focused Tropical Leader strategy. Beyond knowing the strategy by heart, we need to follow through with the right actions to achieve our strategic goals. One vital question to ask ourselves: are we spending enough time on activities that further our strategy? Or, on the contrary, are we spending too much time on things that have little to do with it?

Indeed, the successful implementation of strategy takes more time and effort than its formulation. Implementation requires ownership at all levels, and the process must remain dynamic and responsive. In the past, we have measured our performance in key operations through our KPIs. But with the Strategic Plan as our main focus, we need to rethink what “performance” means. Are our WIGS really aligned with our strategic goals? Strategy implementation and dealing with change requires us to successfully break with the old.

Joost Pekelharing President

Bert van der Feltz Senior Vice President

This year we will focus on Regular Team Reviews (RTRs) to give us more space to implement the strategy and focus on strategic plan activities. We have created Committees for Strategic Implementation or “CSI”, who will help the General Manager to keep on track. The important thing to remember is that your work matters and you have the capacity to contribute to a successful strategic implementation. Also, as the company grows, it becomes essential to grow and develop relationships and communicate with one another. After all, we are each other’s strategic partner. Let us work together to overcome the initial hiccups that are inevitable with change, and maintain the momentum of strategy implementation.

Simon Jan de Hoop Vice President for R&D

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Francine Sayoc EDITORIAL ADVISOR Simon Jan de Hoop MANAGING EDITOR Karina Van Leeuwen NEWS & FEATURES EDITOR Tabeth Velasco PAGE EDITORS Katchie Panergayo Tian Jinlan James Karuhakosol Cherry Relevante Sushil Kumar Prem Mehta Ruby Samonte LAYOUT & DESIGN Christian Talavera



Calling all writers! As Sprouts becomes the general company newsletter, we welcome articles from all departments - not just R&D. If you want to contribute stories from Sales and Marketing, SOM, QA, Technology Transfer, HR, etc., please email

s? h S r U o t y p W

Sprout(ing) - noun, the practice of soaking, draining, and then rinsing seeds at regular intervals until they germinate, or sprout. Much like seeds, we are growing, maturing, learning and enjoying the work we do. Something beautiful emerges from our daily efforts... and then it just SPROUTS!


EAST WEST SEED LAUNCHES COMMERCIAL INTRODUCTION OF PRIMED, PELLETED, ENCRUSTED SEEDS by Prem Mehta and Nathabhat Soontornpalin ched pelleted tomato seeds of THAILAND: EWIT commercially laun . A special type Afghanistan during April this year

Samrudhi and Siddhi in lity and to market the seeds to ensure qua of packaging was also designed forethe pictures below. EWIT has also appearance which are shown in of part r seeds in this market for the latte casted additional sales of pelleted this year.

PHILIPPINES: EWPH, Farm-Ready Seedling is in-

troducing the use of Primed and Pelleted seeds for producing commercial seedlings for Tomato (Diamante Max)

and Hot Peppers (Red Hot and Django). These value added treatments will further enhance seed vigor, uniformity,

precision sowing and thus overall quality of seedlings to our farmers.

INDIA: EWIN plans to sell en-

crusted onion seeds of Prema during the year. The advantages of encrusted onion seeds are:


Increase in seed size, which makes them easier to sow. Encrusting material (powder) absorbs moisture and speeds up seed germination and vigor. With encrusted onion seeds sown directly without the need for a raising nursery, there are

cost savings in labor, land and other inputs. Earliness in bulb maturity by approximately 20 days as compared to nursery sown crop.


n field Ard Groot is hard at work in an onio ut 960 abo , at Willcox. At the end of the day . led. mb crates were filled and asse


Variety Purity Task Force set up to fast-track purity data by Nathabhat Soontornpalin


he Variety Purity Task Force (VPT) was set up last October with the key objective of making reliable purity data available in the shortest lead time possible, in order to support sales as well as ontime payment to seed production farmers. This initiative will smoothen the process and encourage communication within the East-West Group. VPT is an independent working group and reports directly to BOM. Its goals are: • To increase transparency in queueing and prioritizing of purity testing • To manage dynamic planning to match capacity and projected incoming samples • To leverage understanding and trust in DNA technology among all internal customers • To organize the samples handling and samples flow • To set the marker development priorities and update the actual list VPT has made a forecast of incoming samples of each purity testing mode: DNA, IEF, GOT and shifting testing mode to avoid bottle neck

in testing queue. This year all varieties of hot pepper, tomato, eggplant, and cucumber are now tested by DNA-SNP in which service capacity is enormous; resulting in high efficiency and shorter testing lead time. Quarter 2 is our peak season for purity testing; this year the lead time of DNA test is two weeks in comparison to two to three months same period last year. We relocated IEF testing of India production to EWPH where we have bigger capacity. We are now working on process improvement, ABS data management and communication. The direction of purity testing will be toward DNA. This VPT will be in action for one more year. Chairman: Nathabhat Soontornpalin, Deputy General Manager - EWIT Members: Weerachart Thongteera, Group Quality Systems Manager - EWROH Piyurada Danaisiripong, Assistant Researcher - HGR Tapanee Attamangkune, QA Manager - EWTH Martin Hinlo, QA Manager - EWPH Shridhar Jagdale, QA Manager - EWIN Prasert Prapanoppasin, Production Coordination Manager - EWROH


Senior VP Bert van der Feltz joins the ceremonial rites to mark the opening of the Myanmar office





he set up of the Dry Heat Treatment (DHT) machine at the Nanning R&D station marked the start of stronger consciousness on seed health among the team. Thanks to the great training of Dr. Vanla, Dr. Conrad and other colleagues, the East-West Seed China R&D team became more aware of the importance of seed health and has started to work together to improve on it. In the latter part of last year, Mr. Xu, our pathologist, gave an interesting training to the workers on proper identification and management of diseases caused by viruses. He prepared pictures and games to clearly demonstrate how the disease can be transmitted and at the same time how to control it. The farm group has assigned disinfection areas in front of each greenhouse and nursery gate where everyone must sanitize their hands with alcohol, wear clean clothes and keep the door of the greenhouse closed to prevent insects from entering. We follow the principle of “greenhouse first before open field; young trial first before old

by Tian Jinlan

trial�. This is done to limit the spread the spread of virus Since weeds can provide alternative shelter to insects and alternate hosts for diseases, scheduling of disease, insect and weed control has improved with better planning and implementation. With everyone’s cooperation, disease incidence in the field is regularly monitored. From Q4 of 2011 to Q1 of 2012, the R&D staff in China had several opportunities to participate in lectures on breeding and disease resistance. Ms. Tian Jinlan, Mr. Tang Yongqia and Mr. Xu Shicheng went to Qingdao, Shandong province to attend 10-day training on Module 1: Basic principles on plant genetics, plant breeding and selection. The training is supported by the Dutch government- TTI Consortium, Wageningen UR Plant Breeding, Qingdao Agricultural University and seed companies. During



training, our three colleagues were exposed to basic genetics, tackling subjects about the chromosomes, genes and segregation to reproduction, selection method and use of molecular markers. This training was followed with Module 2: Breeding for resistance and quality which was conducted last April 20-30, 2012 also in Qingdao Agricultural University, Shandong province. It focused on breeding for disease resistance and breeding for quality. Training on Module 3 is scheduled in October this year. Last February 21-28, Dr. Martin Beek visited the Nanning research station to conduct training for all the breeders. During his one week stay, Dr. Beek discussed with the breeders the basics and some advanced topics on breeding. More importantly, the sessions were also used to discuss the bottlenecks breeders are experiencing and how to address them.


Chairman Simon N. Groot attends the inauguration of the new corn plant in Suphanburi




ietnam -- The company has announced the establishment of a

$5-million (VND 100 billion) state-ofthe-art biotech vegetable research center in the Vietnam Singapore Industrial


Park (VSIP), along with the reintroduction of its renowned Hai Mui Ten Do (HMTD) brand in Vietnam. The successful three-day launch was held in the province of Vung Tau, where dealers, farmers and representatives from government joined the conference and field day. East-West Seed (EWS) reintroduced its brand in Vietnam to make quality seeds available to more farmers and vegetable producers through two channels, the EWS Hai Mui Ten Do brand and East-West Seed International (EWIT) through its distributor Viet Nong. “Having two brands will enable us to reach out to more farmers. It is also important for us to get direct market feedback and testing, which we can do by

The ribbon cutting ceremonies for the HMTD launch were led by Mr. Nguyen van Hoa (Deputy Director, Crop Protection Department), Mr. Jos Schellaars (Consul General of the Netherlands), EWS SVP Mr. Bert van der Feltz, Chief Representative of EWS in Vietnam Mr. Wiwat Phupaibul, Mr. Nguyen Quoc Ly (Director of the National Center for Variety Evaluation and Seed Certification).

being present in the market we serve. This enables us to continue improving our varieties,” said Bert van der Feltz, East-West Seed SVP. East-West Seed HMTD has first been introduced to the Vietnamese market by the East-West Seed Group in 1997. Viet Nong Co. Ltd is the exclusive distributor of East-West Seed International, successfully selling EWIT varieties since 2009. “The




HMTD and Viet Nong will bring together our marketing and business expertise, along with an excellent portfolio of products – all in the effort to better serve our farmer customers. It will ensure wider coverage and efficiency in making quality vegetable seed varieties available to our customers,” said Wiwat Phupaibul, Chief Representative of EWS in Vietnam. Mr. Wiwat Phupaibul shows the scale model of the facility to be built at the Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP).






SVP Bert van der Feltz and Chief Rep. Wiwat Phupaibul tour Dutch Consul General Jos Schellaars at the techno-demo plot.

The Hai Mui Ten Do team





by Nannapat Pannathornsate

he sales planner position is quite new in the company, created only in early 2010. As our market expanded rapidly, the production of seeds was scattered among the different production companies. Logistics became more complicated and there was greater pressure to deliver seeds on time to the sales and marketing teams. Now more than ever the Sales Planner is becoming more important in our business operation. They are the link between Sales & Marketing (S&M) and Seed Operation (SOM) teams. Their mission is to make sure that seeds are available and ready to sell at all times for their local team. Their role is to PULL all the varieties that are needed by their respective sales team no matter where the stock lies, make sure all batches are tested, and line up the packaging so that finished product is ready for sale. At the same time they ‘PUSH’ the varieties that their company produced for sister companies so as to achieve their intercompany sales budget. The idea was: “who will care more about the products than the people who need them?” To fulfill this role the Sales Planner has to perform the following tasks:



• Sales planners shall update regularly their local sales forecast in ABS to show demand to SOM for making the production plan and intercompany sales forecast (sister company, SISCO, producing for each other). • They must have timely update of all available products to S&M. This information has to be very accurate because all S&M teams depend on this information and it should be shared immediately. • They should monitor stock and sales, and coordinate with Plant and QA on seed processing and quality. • They must ensure timely communication among all players across borders so that no delays occur in shipment. Nowadays shipment of seeds across borders is becoming more and more complicated. • They shall obtain information from Production and QA of each SISCO, to help them know the sellable quantity, and availability; this in turn helps them in easy sharing of the product. • Some sales planners also handle logistics (import-export) which involves external factors, such as government regulations and restrictions for import and export of vegetable seeds. All information is shared to the team on the intranet.


Sales planners need strong communication skills, in more than one language using multiple communication media (not just email) because they have to deal with many partners in different fields. They must be firm and diplomatic at the same time, because sometimes they have difficult messages to get across. Helping and supporting each other are important values for the sales planner team. They call each other “sister” or “brother” to foster the feeling of family, working as one without any barriers of nationality, company, etc.

The Sales Planners of East-West Seed Group EWTH : Petchnapa Thongchompu (Ghoon) EWIT : Ramida Thanuthanakhun (Ling) EWIN : Jayashree Nair (Jay) EWINDO : Atik Setyawati (Atik) EWPH : Eric Adrian Panting (Eric)




he Seed Technology teams from EWTH and EWPH participated in a week-long training on Seed Pelleting and Seed Encrusting given by Johan Asbrouck from Rhino Research in Phichit, Thailand. During this workshop, the teams learned the basics of

Seed Pelleting and Encrusting including different materials and equipment required in the process. They also gained hands-on experience and successfully made pelleted seeds.



he Seed Technology Department of East-West Seed India has established a new Pollen Lab at its R&D station in Bangalore. The 48-square meter pollen lab was set up as part of the implementation of the group initiative on Intellectual Property protection. Initially, the pollen technology will be implemented during the 2012 cropping season for two main Solanaceous crops of EWIN (Tomato, Hot Pepper). The lab consists of five rooms: two rooms for pollen drying, working area for laboratory workers, a pollen storage room and a small office.

Exterior View

Pollen viability testing and storage room

New Seed Pathology Manager Joins India


Working place and office

by Prem Mehta

r. Pankaj graduated with an MS degree in agricultural sciences from Mahatma Phule Agricultural University, with specialization in plant pathology and agricultural microbiology. Prior to joining us, he worked with Syngenta India Limited as a Plant Pathologist for many years. Pankaj brings vast knowledge and experience in the area of plant pathology and agricultural microbiology.

India. He will closely work and interact with Seed Production, Stock Seed, Seed Processing, Quality Assurance, Research & Development teams to develop and implement a comprehensive program for seed borne disease testing as a part of EW Group Seed health Policy. Pankaj will also closely interact with his counterparts in other EW locations in Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia.

As a Seed Pathology Manager, Pankaj will play a key role in the development and implementation of the Seed Health Program in

Please join us in welcoming Pankaj to our EWS family and wishing him great success in this challenging role.


Working place for lab workers

We are pleased to announce that Mr. Pankaj Paratey has joined our EW organization as Seed Pathology Manager at Aurangabad, India starting May 2, 2012.


EWINDO holds NATIONAL EXPO 2012: by Retha Amanda D

“Innovation for Solution”


T East-West Seed Indonesia (EWINDO) held its annual National EXPO on the theme: ‘Innovation for Solution’ from May 8-9, 2012. The EXPO was held for the 13th time and participated by 250 farmers from all over Indonesia. “The National EXPO is one of our services to the farmers who have been very loyal to ‘Cap Panah Merah’. Aside from building closer relations with them, we also want to share knowledge about the seed process and raise awareness on the importance of quality seeds,” said Director of Sales and Marketing Afrizal Gindow. EWINDO also introduced nine varieties that are resistant to the Gemini virus. These include tomatoes, long beans and cucumbers. In the event held at the EWINDO office in Purwakarta, the farmers also had the opportunity to discuss with experts on plant pest and disease control, cultivation techniques, and the benefits of using high quality seeds. “We wanted to give farmers the opportunity to exchange experiences with farmers from other areas to broaden their perspective. The farmers are also expected to transmit knowledge they acquired from us to other farmers in their respective regions,” added the Managing Director of EWINDO, Glenn Pardede. EWINDO also conducted the Internal Expo 2012 which was dedicated to its employees. Some competitions were held for the occasion.


EWINDO Managing Director Glenn Pardede opens the National Expo 2012



T East West Seed Indonesia (EWINDO) partnered with the School for Special Needs (SLB) ‘Agro Industri’, Lembang, in conducting a vegetable cultivation training program for special children last March 7, 2012. Through this training, the students are taught how to grow vegetables, with the hope that they will be able to grow their own garden. “We believe that students with special needs have a strong spirit, willingness and whole-heartedness to care for plants, so they are able to produce something that will be useful for an independent life. We provided several training techniques such as vegetable cultivation in polybags, verticulture, utilization of household waste as compost and others,” says Retha A. Dotulong, Corporate Communication Manager of EWINDO.

This training is EWINDO’s corporate social responsibility program in community development. Aside from Lembang, Bandung, West Java, EWINDO also conducted numerous community development programs in various areas in Indonesia. This was the second training with ‘vegetable cultivation in polybag’ theme. It was participated by around 95 students of the SLB Agro Industri and other SLB students as well as teachers from Bandung and its surrounding areas. Mrs Mieke Suswono, wife of the Minister of Agriculture, also attended the event. The training included the stages of cultivation, starting from the seedlings, planting, plant treatment and care, and harvesting. “We expect that students will learn all the stages from the basic ones until more advanced cultivation techniques. In the future we also plan to recruit workers from among the SLB students,” said Retha. Besides training, EWINDO and SLB Agro Industri have developed a partnership since November 2010 to develop the facility including outdoor watering, pathway for transportation facilities, land mapping, water and fence installation, as well as nurseries for student practice. On May 10, EWINDO invited the students with special needs for a field trip in its office in Purwakarta, where they had an opportunity to learn about the seed production process and the importance of high quality seeds.


EWINDO shares the joy of vegetable growing among students with special needs by Retha Amanda D

Sprouts (June 2012)  

The company newsletter of the East-West Seed Group, market leader for tropical vegetable seeds