Sevita welcomes partners that share ‘Seeds for Healthier Way of Life’ vision
Top Canadian supplier of food-grade non-GMO soybeans invests in research and seeks partnerships in Asia
Consumer opposition to food products made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is proliferating. People are increasingly reaching out for products with “clean” labels and no artificial colours or flavours, and buying organic crops and food items made without GMOs. Involved in the business of feeding people, Sevita welcomes this development. The leading developer and supplier of food-grade non-GMO soybeans is not just providing the world’s need for protein. Its certified seeds also outline a level of quality, security, traceability and food safety that uphold a healthier way of life and a sustainable resource for farmers.
True to its name, which comes from the Spanish words semillas and vita, Sevita offers seeds that give life. Buyers and growers seek Sevita’s seed lines for their contribution to producing healthier food. Popular for its “food as medicine” soybeans, Sevita offers products with enhanced nutrition, taste and agronomic traits that improve yield.
As the No 1 contractor and supplier of exclusive lines of Canadian, non-GMO soybeans to the global soy-food industry, Sevita participates in research, production, processing and export of grains and oilseeds to markets all over the world. It develops its own proprietary varieties and controls its certified seed and crop production system to preserve the purity and identity of its 15 soybean types.
“We find the seed variety that contains high protein for the consumer and provides a good yield for the farmer,” says David Hendrick, Sevita’s founding partner and chairman of the board. “Because we develop the variety, we can do the farmer contracting, retain traceability, and keep the seeds separate from other varieties.”
Sourcing the best-quality soybeans from the finest growers is not an easy task, so Sevita maintains a fully integrated or closed-loop system to ensure all activities within its value chain – from genetics to the consumer – are linked.
Investing heavily in research, Sevita develops its own non-GMO varieties through its seed company PROSeeds, and contracts the seeds with farmers who must sell all of their harvest back to Sevita. The company then cleans and packs the soybeans, and ships the finished product to buyers worldwide.
The key to keeping all of these components efficient and robust is good relationships. Sevita cultivates solid partnerships with customers, farmers, processors, research institutions, regulatory agencies and soy-food manufacturers across Canada, the United States, Japan, Asia and Europe. These collaborations generate innovative varieties that fit end-user demands while benefiting growers. With the appointment of experienced food and agricultural company executive Don Rees as the president this year, Sevita seeks to further strengthen its business relationships and leadership.
“In any business, whether it’s agriculture or engineering, the success always comes down to relationships,” Rees says. “We have strong relationships with the end-users and farmers. It’s all about the people.”
Soybean production was the link that opened Sevita’s doors to Asia. Since consumers in Japan and Southeast Asia get their protein mostly from fish and soybeans, Sevita seized the opportunity 22 years ago to export to consumers in Japan. To date, Sevita is active within the soybean markets of Japan, South Korea, Western Europe, Taiwan, mainland China and other markets of Southeast Asia. It is keen on further improving its soybean functionality, yield and agronomics to drive innovation and cement Sevita’s top position in the non-GMO soybean varieties field. With opportunities to sell high-oleic soybean oil opening up, Sevita is upbeat about growth.
“We are focused on innovation and adding value,” Hendrick says. “We offer high-protein and high-yield varieties to growers, but we also want to talk to potential partners who can provide the infrastructure to crush the soy, refine the oil, and joint venture with Sevita to market the value added high oleic oil.”