Germains, a family-owned business, was established in Los Angeles, California, in 1871 and grew rapidly to become one the leading seed companies in the Western States of America. A programme of diversification during the 1940s and 1950s saw the establishment of several business divisions, including rose breeding, paper products for the home and garden market and seed pelleting and coating. The significance of the pelleting business extended beyond California and in the 1960s and 1970s facilities had been established in Europe. The business ceased to be a family owned with the pelleting and coating technology eventually coming under the ownership of Associated British Foods.
1871 -Germains was founded by Eugene Germain, a Swiss Pioneer who settled in Los Angeles, California in his early twenties.
1884 – Germain opened a Seed & Bulb House where he became a highly successful seed producer for commercial growers. By 1898, Germains earned the reputation of being the “most complete seed store in the west.”
Expansion Across the Western U.S.
1930s -By the end of the end of the 1930s, Germain owned and operated sixteen retail stores and nurseries in both California and Arizona.
Investing in Plant Breeding & Science
1945 – Germains established a Rose Breeding Division that quickly earned national and international recognition as one of the leading growers and hybridisers in the nation.
Diversifying Into Seed Technologies
1950s – Research and development always played an important part in the Company’s thinking. In the early 1950s, the Filcoat Processed Seed Division formed. Germains was the first to introduce pelleted seed into the American market and with the proven agronomic benefit to coated seed; the Division played an ever-increasing role in commercial agriculture, both nationally and internationally.
Growth for the Long-term
1960s – Germains introduced the first pellet for sugar beet seed to the U.S. market. Germains (UK) Limited was formed and a Filcoat Processed Seed plant was established to serve the UK and Continental European markets. After three years of pelleted sugar beet trials organised by British Sugar, Germains became British Sugar’s recommended pellet of choice.
Establishing Roots in Europe
1970s – Throughout the 1970’s Germains continued to establish relationships with Europe’s sugar industry and introduced the “EB” pellet for sugar beet seed in Continental Europe.
Diversifying Seed Technologies
1980s – The company continued to diversify which led to the introduction of its first light weight vegetable seed pellets to the U.S. market. Due to the high demand, Germains establish a production facility in Salinas, California dedicated to seed treatments. The plant later moved to its current location in Gilroy, California.
A New Era
1990 – Germains was acquired by Associated British Foods plc; a diversified international food, ingredients and retail group with sales of £12.8bn. All seed treatment divisions in the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, UK and US were acquired and brought under a single unified name; Germain’s Technology Group.
Seed Priming Technology Breakthrough
1990s – Germains introduced the seed priming treatment, Advantage, for sugar beet. The seed priming technology later expanded to include vegetable and horticulture crops.
Investing In Our Future
2000s – Germains opened and continues to operate a state-of-the-art Research and Development facility in King’s Lynn, UK. Germains has also established three additional laboratories in the UK, Netherlands and the United States in recent years.
2010 – Germains, rebranded as Germains Seed Technology, carrying on the vision that has been the foundation of our success for 145 years; We Maximise Nature’s Potential.