From our vision
to our mission:
How we bring our
values to life.
“Seeding the future for generations“: In just a few words, our vision describes the overriding objective that inspires our daily work. And our mission, “Our passion for plants sustains farming, food and planet,” underscores our motivation for achieving this objective. Our more than 5,000 employees in over 70 countries are dedicated to bringing these words to life. We’ve asked some of our colleagues from research and development to share their understanding of our common values and what drives them to realize our objectives.
Vision – Seeding the future for generations
Our vision comprises all of KWS key values – With foresight, we shape a sustainable future, staying close to generations of farmers and serving as a trusted, reliable partner to all our customers while staying independent as a family-owned company.
Mission – Our passion for plants sustains farming, food and planet
We are convinced that our specialization in plant breeding and seed production makes a difference. We breed and research with passion – and thus makes an important contribution across the entire agricultural production. This impactful work goes beyond increased yields: Through varieties with relevant characteristics such as drought resistance or reduced plant protection requirements, we create solutions and support agriculture in successfully addressing the challenges of the coming years.
KWS seeds are at the very start of the food chain. We bring our expertise and passion forward into the entire farming value chain and beyond. We think in terms of our customers and their customers: Which variety properties are relevant for further processing of the crop and the final product and how can plant breeding already enable this? We think in terms of our planet: With focus on the reduction of inputs such as crop protection products or water, innovations for alternative energies and, of course, the efficient use of available land represent a contribution to sustainable agriculture of the future.
With our services (via consulting and digital tools), we help farmers get the most out of our seeds on healthy soils. Our broad and growing portfolio of crops and vegetables provides a foundation for preserving biodiversity in the fields. Through our daily work, we make an important contribution to the supply of good food to our growing world population. And that is what we are proud of.
Our passion for breeding sunflowers drives us to overcome every challenge we face along the way. It may be that many farmers in many countries will end up growing one of our hybrids, so that our sunflowers will play an important role in the food chain.
Kristóf Poór | Assistant Breeder Sunflower | Kozármisleny, Hungary
Every decision a breeder makes has an impact on the future. We develop the seeds that farmers will use for years — or even decades — into the future. The goal provides as much a sense of meaning as it does a sense of responsibility: Produce seeds that feed the world.
Fátima Montiel | Breeder Corn | Córdoba, Argentina
Learning from others — not only in scientific matters, but also in everyday matters. I like the diversity within our company. KWS cares about people.
Julio Cerono | Senior Breeder Corn | Chivilcoy, Argentina
I’m especially impressed by the commitment and trust the people at KWS bring to their work — while conducting research and development with humility and the necessary respect for nature.
Péter Streb | Sunflower Breeder | Kozármisleny, Hungary
I grew up on a family farm, so it’s great to now be part of a company developing high-performance varieties that form the foundation for agricultural success and food security.
Silke Wieckhorst | Group Lead Breed-ing Technologies Corn and Oilseed Crops | Einbeck, Germany
Oilseed rape is a crop that provides people with healthy, regionally produced vegetable oil and dairy cows with local protein-rich feed. It also facili-tates crop rotation. I’m doing valuable work by breeding oilseed rape in a way that will enable it to remain an attractive option for farmers.
Andreas Gertz | Lead Breeder Oilseed Rape | Einbeck, Germany
How do you incorporate our vision “Seeding the future for generations” into your work?
Andreas Gertz Oilseed rape is a cultivated crop that provides people with healthy, regionally produced vegetable oil and, at the same time, offers a local protein-rich feed for dairy cows. Additionally, it facilitates crop rotation. Breeding oilseed rape in such a way that it will continue to be an attractive option for farmers to cultivate makes me feel like I’m making a valuable contribution.
Julio Cerono Our vision and mission are integrally tied to my breeding activities: By continuously developing corn — as is the case in my area of work — using both traditional and modern breeding techniques to benefit our society, we’re not only contributing to the well-being of future generations, we’re also making a significant contribution to the sustainability of farms, the sustainable production of food and the sustained prosperity of the entire planet.
Silke Wieckhorst I grew up on a family farm, so it’s great to now be part of a company developing high-performance varieties that form the foundation for agricultural success and food security.
Fátima Montiel Every decision a breeder makes has an impact on the future. We develop the seeds that farmers will use for years — or even decades — into the future. The goal provides as much a sense of meaning as it does a sense of responsibility: Produce seeds that feed the world. This means filling your work with passion, expanding and deepening your knowledge of genetics, improving understanding of the environment and committing yourself to achieving a genetic advantage in every new breeding attempt — an advantage that improves harvests in a sustainable approach to agriculture.
Kristóf Poór The core of my job comprises developing very robust hybrids with greater disease resistance year after year in our breeding program in order to help farmers around the world who want to grow sunflowers. Disease resistance is a must for all crops, especially sunflowers. It’s a constant battle between pests and breeders. A sustainable solution has to derive from seeds, from genetic resources. Here at KWS, we have the right people, knowledge and tools to effectively tackle this challenge and to create greater sustainability in farming through seed.
Péter Streb Sunflowers are not only attractive plants with handsome inflorescences that have inspired many painters, but also one of the most important oil plants of our time. Sunflower yields depend largely on the presence of pollinating insects as well as pathogens and nutrient losses due to weeds and abiotic stress. I believe that employing less input material and modern breeding methods will enable us to create genetically resistant hybrids that can be successfully cultivated under extreme conditions.
What do you consider to be at the heart of your profession?
Andreas Gertz Plant breeding has come a very long way. From its slow beginnings in the Agricultural Revolution, with our most important crops evolving through selection from wild ancestors over generations, plant breeding accelerated after Gregor Mendel’s basic principles of genetics became more widely known. And through the use of new technologies, it’s continued to develop in the past 20 years I’ve been working for KWS. What has stayed the same is this: Plant breeding is still a continuously unfolding process for which KWS provides a framework for driving forward development. I’m really fascinated by plants and plant genetics and find it very exciting to observe how certain plant properties both remain constant over generations and can be newly combined in subsequent generations. I also like the fact that you can’t fully predict breeding results and you have to pour all your effort and knowledge into achieving (in the best case) the desired result. I don’t really like playing chess; I prefer games involving a certain amount of chance while still offering enough room to apply your own abilities.
Julio Cerono The most challenging and yet most rewarding part of my job is having the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of farmers and their families by aiming to develop better corn hybrids that offer greater crop security with a higher yield and less need to use agrochemicals. In doing this, I’m directly involved in the joint effort to build a more sustainable future for the society I live in and share with others.
Silke Wieckhorst I love working with my group to provide support for our corn, sorghum and sunflower breeding programs with modern breeding technologies — and seeing how traditional breeding coupled with breeding technologies can accelerate and improve the process of developing market-competitive products.
Fátima Montiel Pursuing a career as a breeder has proved to be an exceptionally interesting, fascinating and meaningful profession. In fact, I’d say it’s more than a job; it’s a way of life. Every year, I travel to different locations to learn about various environments and conditions and then draw conclusions to support development of new plant varieties. As a breeder, I have to be a good observer. With each new season, my knowledge and experience expand, and this feeds into making future decisions. Another crucial aspect of the work I do as a breeder is communicating with other breeders in different parts of the world. It’s incredibly important and very enriching.
Kristóf Poór If you’re enthusiastic about breeding, you’re in the right place at KWS where you’re surrounded by colleagues who have the same sense of resolve concerning agriculture.
We’re doing everything we can to become a marker leader for sunflower breeding, which has posed a significant challenge for the entire sunflower team. A modern breeding program comprises many crucial elements, and only through efficient teamwork can we achieve our shared goals. Our passion for breeding sunflowers drives us to overcome every challenge we face along the way. It may be that many farmers in many countries will end up growing one of our hybrids and it will play an important role in the food chain.
Péter Streb KWS is one of the leaders in breeding for different crops, for example sugarbeet. Our goal is to expand this circle with sunflowers as well.
To what degree do you see the lived culture at KWS as fostering fertile ground for shared success?
Andreas Gertz Modern, effective plant breeding can’t be carried out by one individual working alone, as might have been the case a few hundred years ago. You need a team that works well together — and that’s also what I find at KWS: Reliability, stability, the knowledge that development takes a certain amount of time in comparison with other technologies (even if plant breeding is getting faster and faster now, it still takes time compared with other technologies), and responsibility toward employees.
Julio Cerono Openly interacting with colleagues and in this way sharing my ideas, concerns and hopes with every employee regardless of their status. Learning from others – not only in scientific matters, but also in everyday matters. I like the diversity within our company. KWS cares about people.
Silke Wieckhorst I like our team spirit as well as the trustful, respectful way we work together at KWS. The diversity of what I do at work and being part of an international team is very motivating and make me happy to come to work every day.
Fátima Montiel I like the friendly working environment. I collaborate with a lot of people who are all willing to help each other out. I also like the opportunity to “be yourself” — to contribute your own ideas and to be heard. And the company’s guiding principle to “Make yourself grow,” motivates and challenges each of us. In my case, I started as a Field Technician and now do what I love: breed new, beneficial plants!
Kristóf Poór If you’re enthusiastic about breeding and you tackle your work purposefully, you’ll find a supporting environment at KWS. Everyone has something to contribute, and we can learn a lot from one another, even if we work in different areas of specialty. Many experienced breeders can be found at KWS, which is very inspiring to newcomers in the field like me. KWS offers many opportunities for additional training both within and outside the company. Right from my start at the company, I’ve been surrounded by exceptional colleagues and managers, both on the professional and the personal level.
Péter Streb KWS is a leader in sugarbeet and corn breeding. Our goal is to expand this to include sunflowers as well. Perhaps no other company is able to do what KWS has set out to do: Establish a breeding program from one plant species that produces effective hybrids within ten years and in the midst of very tough competition. I’m especially impressed by the commitment and trust the people at KWS bring to their work — while conducting research and development with humility and the necessary respect for nature.
Felix Büchting, Spokesperson of the Executive Board since January 2023, has taken a special journey around the KWS globe in the past couple of months. To meet as many colleagues as possible, give some insights into the history and future of our company and of course to share our new vision and mission, he embarked on several trips to KWS locations in Rumania, Netherlands, Turkey, France, Germany, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and U.S.
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An orange heart beats stronger every day
For us, togetherness arises from human closeness. And this is based on personal appreciation. Both to motivate and inspire. This is how we create our very own team spirit, which we also show to the outside world. The farmer’s ability and our generation-spanning connection is the foundation of our success. By involving farmers and exchanging information on a partnership level, we learn from each other and grow together. As understanding team players, we face the farmer in an honest manner and at eye level. We respect them and focus on their needs.
KWS is a company with a tradition of family ownership, and we operate in that spirit. Our decisions and actions are transparent, reliable and immediately comprehensible. Both internally and externally, we are pragmatic and authentic, fast and uncomplicated and we deliver the best seed. This is our contribution to the farmer‘s success. They expect transparency and reliability, against which they also measure our credibility. If we fail to meet this standard, we solve problems honestly, immediately and in an uncomplicated manner.
Only by acting wisely the world's food supply may be secured. That is why our employees develop innovative solutions for various cultivation conditions. High and secure yields for the farmer always remains the goal, and optimized plant breeding is the central means of achieving sustained growth. We are unbiased in our approach to future challenges in agriculture, whether climatic or regulatory, and we invest sustainably in research and breeding. By remaining responsible towards people and nature, together we shape the future of KWS for an agriculture of various cropping systems.
KWS is a company specialized in seeds. Managed independently for generations, it acts according to the same standards farmers do: Independently, free in choice and prudently. Our employees think and act with entrepreneurial conviction. Enthusiasm for agriculture is what drives them. We demand and promote their freedom and encourage them to act under their own responsibility.