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100 years of ZAP: from regional to global player

January 2024


The ZAP (Anna Paulowna Cooperative of Sowing Seed and Seed Potato Growers Association) celebrated its 100th anniversary on 10 October 2013, and is now Royal ZAP. This is definitely something of a rarity. A small growers association that persistently continues to exist in a country that, for more than a century, can be characterised by mergers and expansion. What started in 1913 with the regional marketing of sowing seeds, still forms a small successful marketing group of both sowing seeds and seed potatoes four generations later, and has now become a global player. With seventy growers, forty of whom are members, the ZAP has been cultivating 1,000 hectares of high-quality seed potatoes and approximately 400 hectares of sowing seeds for many years. The number of seed potato varieties in the association has reached seventy in recent years. The Spunta, with 250 hectares, is the largest variety and the Meerlander the smallest with 3 hectares. The secret recipe for reaching this great age according to director Gerard de Geus is mainly hidden ‘in the enormous solidarity among the members and the passing on of the expertise of high-quality cereal and seed potato selection from generation to generation.’

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