In memory of Nanne Pieter Groot (1925-2019)

Nanne Piet was the grandson of one of the founders of Sluis & Groot, the company that was at the origin of what is now Syngenta. After the war he went to work in the company and learned the trade from practice and especially from his father, who was nicknamed 'Bloemen' (Flowers in Dutch) Nanne. This also included internships in St-Remy and California. As his father’s successor, he became responsible for production and research of flower seeds.

Nanne Piet was not a man to be in the spotlight, he worked behind the scenes. He preferred to ensure that Sales had the right products and resources to conquer the market. He knew what was needed to gain better control of the flower seed market: a good product, the right varieties. He was delighted with the first F1 hybrid violet, Sunny Boy.

He knew what he wanted and chose the best people to achieve the goals together (also) in the long-term. For this he did not hesitate to set up a company in Indonesia, ‘Bibit Baru’, to be able to continue to provide the necessary products all year round. It became a success.

It was a pleasure to work with Nanne Piet. His modesty did not hinder him. Even though he was the boss, he never played that role. He respected everyone, made use of the talents of his people and stood up for them.

Through the Saet & Cruyt museum he stayed in contact with the seed and the seed world after his retirement. He followed the developments to ‘Sow to Grow’ with interest until the end. He was very happy with its location in Enkhuizen. The city where his ancestors once established a company that would gain world fame thanks in part to the vision and commitment of Nanne Piet. A hard worker with a lot of humanity.

We lose a real ‘seedman’ with Nanne's passing. And also for him goes:

The Flower dies, but it’s about Seed.

May he rest in peace.
Henc Valkema


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