ISF World Seed Congress 2024: Trading tables and handshakes

Staff
4 Min Read

The International Seed Federation celebrates its 100th anniversary. During its annual conference, the ISF World Seed Congress, the global seed industry commemorates this milestone. For this special occasion, the core group of conference attendees came to the Netherlands, along with less frequent visitors, including King Willem-Alexander, who opened the ceremony.


King Willem-Alexander opens the ceremony alongside speakers from the opening ceremony. View the full photo impression here (in Dutch).

The congress had last been organized in the Netherlands in 1996. “It had to be here,” was what they thought in the Netherlands when it was time to plan the congress, which coincided with the celebration of 100 years of the ISF. After some lobbying, the Netherlands achieved its goal. For this special occasion, the Dutch incorporated a novelty into the concept: a country pavilion, a Dutch pavilion, of course.


Centor Europe was one of the participants at the Dutch pavilion. View the full photo impression here.

At the pavilion, many companies, including technical ones, could present themselves. Traditionally, the congress focuses on politics and policy on the one hand, and seed trade on the other hand. For this purpose, the congress features a hall full of tables. This edition, too, saw the hall completely booked.


Niels Louwaars of Plantum in a gray suit shook many hands, and received congratulations. During the fair, he welcomed dignitaries. View the full photo impression here.

Politics and technology
On the exhibition floor, this famous hall was also a popular conversation topic. Yet, outside the hall, there were also many activities. For instance, King Willem-Alexander’s visit to the exhibition floor on Monday morning after the opening. And the approximately 1800 congress attendees from 76 countries could enjoy presentations and chats with exhibitors.


Everyone finds a seat just before the start of the opening ceremony. View the full photo impression here.

Among the visitors, many men in suits, the decision-makers with whom technology suppliers would like to have a chat. Roughly a quarter of the attendees are specifically there for the political and policy aspect. In Rotterdam, they hope to provide input from the seed sector so that global politics can further work on it. There are plenty of challenges, and for every country the saying goes: in the seed sector, no one can succeed on his own.

The other three-quarters of the attendees are primarily focused on trade. If they got the opportunity to do so, they also spoke to exhibitors or attended presentations.


Technology and breeding in one image: Edwin Snabel (Bosman Van Zaal), Arnoud Bolten (Polariks) and Erik Vesseur (Takii). View the full photo impression here.

For the three congress days, a five-day program was set up. It started on Sunday, with a dinner and a golf tournament, and it ended on Thursday with four Field Visits to various companies. Those who want to know more can visit the congress website for more information. We are happy to provide an impression of the morning of the opening through photo report.


On Monday morning, Willem-Alexander visited the exhibition floor. It was an event in itself. Photo sessions and selfies were all included. Those who got the chance, took a photo. View the full photo impression of the opening morning of the congress here.

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