Hazera’s new head of commercial: Tom Antens

“We must strive for quality and excellence in all aspects, to truly make the difference”.
Tom Antens returned to Hazera on 1st July 2023 as Head of the Commercial Department. “Even though Hazera is a strong brand in many markets, there’s still a lot of room to grow and new markets to explore. I see a lot of potential”, said Tom.

Tom is 47 years old and lives in Baarle-Nassau, the Netherlands, with his wife and two children. He previously as Sales Manager for the Middle East, North-Africa and Oceania. He later joined HM Clause as Business Manager. “I was in charge of leading and structuring all business activities in Turkey, a fast-growing subsidiary, as well as the commercial activities in the Middle East and North-Africa”.
During the past four years, Tom has worked for HM Clause as Commercial Director for Turkey, Algeria, EMEA Export and Africa, overseeing sales for these high-growth markets. “In this period, I also fulfilled the role of board member of a joint venture that HM Clause had with Seed Co. in Africa. We worked to combine their established brand awareness on the continent and our products to cater for the rising needs of African growers for hybrid vegetable seeds.”

Team effort
Now, returning with significant experience, Tom is excited to be back at Hazera. “I’m looking forward to working with both new and familiar faces. My goal is to form a close-knit team and bring stability to the Commercial Department as I have done in previous roles. From there, we can explore new markets for our Hi tech and ToBRFV resistant tomatoes and strengthen existing ones, realizing our growth potential along the way.”

Strong potential
“I strongly believe that, within Hazera, we have the people, knowledge, ambition, and commitment to get the company to the place that I believe we can get to. In my opinion, Hazera has a big growth potential and I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge to achieve it with the team.”

Game changer
“The question I ask myself is: how do we make the difference?”. According to Tom, the answer is quality and reliability. “Hazera’s products are widely regarded to be innovative. But, to really understand why clients choose us, we must place them at the centre point; not just in the Commercial Department, but in all departments within Hazera. We can excel by listening carefully to our growers and translating their input in our innovations. By combining this with operational excellence, we can grow together and truly stand out from the competition.”

Continuous improvement keeps Hazera Seeds in the global top

Hazera is committed to developing high-quality seeds that allow communities to flourish. To do that, Hazera focuses on continually improving its operational excellence in research, production, processing and quality for both customers and employees. “We deliver the best to our customers, and we want to keep it that way”, says Tyrrel Chisenga, Seed technologist. “We put in a lot of effort, but there is always room for improvement.”

“We breed for new varieties, and multiply seeds for growers and farmers alike”, Tyrrel explains. “After production, we perform extensive quality control tests to confirm that our seeds meet the commercial quality standards. Based on the various tests that we execute, we initiate processing activities to ensure that we deliver quality. We also take care of physiological enhancement to ensure seedling vigour and establishment even under sub-optimal conditions. Our efforts are to make sure the seeds that our farmers sow and nurture into a crop, grow and eventually end up as delicious vegetables in supermarkets across the world.”

Quality control and Seed technology
Quality control and Seed technology are an indispensable component for Hazera when it comes to making sure we deliver the best quality. “Nature comes with its challenges and when we encounter challenges that may compromise the final product quality after production we initiate research into the causes and solutions”, says Tyrrel. “Such research may encompass  physiological, physical, health, genetic aspects of the seeds or efficiency of processes. Everything we do is to ensure optimum quality for our customers.”

On top of the game
Even though Hazera adheres to the commercial quality standards and guarantees quality, there is always room for improvement, Tyrrel finds. Hazera invests in continually improving seed quality. “These investments include machinery for seed enhancement, automation of processes and the use of imaging systems for better inline decision making. Additionally, there are improved protocols with reduced lead times. We introduced the Lean management system in our processing plants. We created a work environment that allows the smooth and fast flow of processes and at the same time reduces work load. This allows us to cater to the needs of our customers in a brief period.”

For Hazera, its employees are on the same pedestal as the customers. Tyrrel: “The most important thing for the welfare of our employees is to make sure that their work remains interesting and safe. That is why we made a new tomato pelleting formulation that is safer for our employees to apply. It also results in improved sowability and seedling performance.”

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