Barenbrug UK, the Suffolk-based grass-seed breeder, has announced its acquisition of Scottish specialist seed company, Watson Seeds, which also comprises of Seed Logistics and GroGreen.
Watson Seeds was founded 33 years ago by third-generation seedsman, Johnny Watson, who expressed his delight at the sale of the company to Barenbrug. He said: “This is a meeting of two likeminded companies known for their commitment to excellence in grass. Over my lifetime I’ve appreciated and respected the work of Barenbrug, and I’ve always thought that we would have the potential to be a great team together.
“It will very much be business as usual for Watson Seeds. Our ambitious plan for continued growth and development will benefit from access to the resources and support of the global Barenbrug group. I’m increasingly encouraged by Barenbrug’s materials, and how its advances in grass breeding are so well suited to our farming environment.
“I’m delighted that we have a new, exciting chapter in our company, for the benefit of our customers and to meet the challenges and opportunities of our customers in the future.”
Paul Johnson, managing director of Barenbrug UK, said: “The sale of Watson Seeds, Seed Logistics and GroGreen to Barenbrug UK reflects the long-standing strength of the relationship that exists between these businesses. Barenbrug has long been one of the main seed suppliers to these companies and we are very closely aligned in ethos and values: family-owned businesses with the emphasis on integrity, quality and service, and focusing on the customer’s needs.”
Mr Johnson said the acquisition is a significant step for Barenbrug’s UK operation: “By giving us a much stronger offering in Scotland, we will complement our existing geographies and strengthen our position across the United Kingdom. Watson Seeds has an established on-farm trials and variety observation programme, which when combined with our own Scottish variety trials programme will considerably enrich our grass-breeding programme.
“We already have two new varieties on the Scottish Recommended List, but this acquisition will give added impetus to our efforts to further improve our varieties’ standing in the RL, just as we have done in England and Wales.”
Barenbrug UK, Watson Seeds, Seed Logistics and GroGreen will continue to function as separate businesses and identities.