To meet those demands, experts at Ahern Seeds identify the best breeders from around the world to partner with and help develop the finest genetics for our growers. One of our partners who we proudly represent is
Founded in 2005 by Amid Avidov, Top Seeds, Inc. is a premier seed breeding company concentrating on tomato, sweet pepper, eggplant, cucumber, and watermelon. Top Seeds utilizes the pioneering technology of their parent company, KAIIMA, called Enhanced Polyploid or EP. Focusing on sustainable agriculture, this non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) technology enhances the productivity of crops while increasing their tolerance to stress and disease. Top Seeds recognizes the need for solutions against hunger in our world and they believe that EP technology can possibly impact this issue in a big way.
Jan Leune, CEO of Top Seeds, foresees many advancements in the future. “Vegetable seed research is still young and there is huge potential for growth,” says Leune. According to Leune, the new breeding techniques that Top Seeds is using develop seeds that not only attain high quality, but also produce high flavor crops.
Top Seeds, is breeding for all segments in the world, for every shape and size, a key part of their portfolio is breeding of the niche tomato, with many shapes, colors, and great taste. “People are willing to pay more for a high flavor tomato, which has strongly increased the demand for this kind of tomato in the USA over the past three years,” says Leune.
Top Seeds and Ahern work together to provide growers with seeds that produce delicious tomatoes in whatever region they are in.
Ahern is the sole distributor of Top Seeds products in Mexico. “Our teams work in tight collaboration screening tomatoes and peppers under all micro-climatic, cultural, and geographic conditions. Following a four phase development process over a minimum of 3 seasons, only the most productive and highest quality genetics are selected for commercial introduction,” says Kevin Ahern, CEO of Ahern Agribusiness, Inc.
For Ahern and Top Seeds our success is reflected by the success of our growers. Contact us today to learn how we can grow with you. Click here
Interview with Alon Lerner
We are very excited to share with you an interview with Alon Lerner, Vice President of Research & Development for KAIIMA, regarding breeding strategy and where the industry is headed.Read the Interview
KAIIMA is the parent company of our partner Top Seeds, Inc. KAIIMA developed a pioneering non-GMO technology platform that, combined with superior genetics, boosts the inherent productivity and efficiencies of crops. Ahern product manager, Roman Lopez, explains, “Top Seeds’, commercialization of varieties with high flavor and quality will be the most significant contribution to the industry. We would be the first to provide the tomato grower with completely different and unique tomato varieties which is only possible with the collaboration between both teams.”
We are very excited to share with you an interview with Alon Lerner, Vice President of Research & Development for KAIIMA, regarding breeding strategy and where the industry is headed.
What is KAIIMA’S breeding strategy?
In general, we look to major markets and ask: What does the farmer need? What does the customer need? What added value can we bring to the grower that is not already in the market?
We are a small company; the only chance that we have to penetrate the market is to bring real value to our customer. By analyzing what they really need we can put a lot of effort in improving the specific traits or characteristics of a variety. Usually, when we launch a new variety you can easily distinguish that it’s not another “me too” variety, often referred to in the market. It is something that brings additional value to the grower.
What are some of your short and long term goals?
In the short term, we look to grow our market shares with a wide range of Roma indeterminate tomatoes and rootstocks. We are also going to deliver varieties for different segments including beef tomatoes with Fusarium 3 resistance. We have already started trialing beef tomatoes with F3 resistance in Mexico however, they are not commercial yet.
Finally, the sweet pepper is something that we are putting a lot of effort in. Due to the success of the Top 141 variety, we are now trialing new genetics that will fill all the planting slots.
Regarding our long term goals, it is important to mention that we have a very strong specialty tomato portfolio. In Mexico, we are trying to establish connections with the right growers in order to explore how we can expose these genetics to them.
What is the game changer that you are going for with these tomatoes?
Our varieties are easy to distinguish because they tend to be more flavorful. In the future our goal is to bring excellent taste to the commodities. Referring to the long shelf life tomato, our vision is to add high flavor; we have the genetics. We are not coming to the market with gimmicks. Even specialty varieties have to consider many other aspects such as yields, resistances, and cracking tolerance. Only then is the product ready. It is not enough to say that it will produce a flavorful tomato.
In the long run we need to focus on seed treatments, the quality of the seed, germination, etc. More on breeding: we are developing and using KAIIMA’S technology which was uniquely developed to improve resistances for diseases including nematode. The great thing is that our competition’s tools are entirely unlike ours. For corn and soy they have the tool of GMOs, but with fresh fruit crops it is much more restricted and all those GMO tools are not acceptable for most breeding programs. That is why it is a huge advantage for us to have non-GMO opportunities to develop or improve existing traits. It is something that in the future will give us a significant advantage.
What are the health benefits of using non-GMO technology?
I think that the fact that we are investing so much on developing these multi resistant, non-GMO varieties is evidence of their benefits. We are targeting the high end market where people are willing to pay more for the product and even buy organic fruit. If the varieties are subject (nonresistant) to many diseases then the farmer has a huge challenge in growing them and the potential loss is greater in production. So, only by investing in the development of varieties, not only for commodities but also for specialties, that are multi-resistant do we enable the grower to strengthen their crop. The final product is healthier for the customer.
View our Top Seeds Videos
Top Seeds Varieties
We offer a variety of tomatoes adaptable to all conditions and needs of different microclimates in Mexico.