Sakata celebrates centennial

March 15, 2013 -  By

MORGAN HILL, CALIF.—Sakata Seed Corp. was founded in 1913, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is recognized today as a global leader in the development of innovative flowers and vegetable genetics. Sakata is organized into four major divisions operating in Asia, South America, Europe, and North and Central America and has presence in more than 32 countries.

Sakata Seed America was established in California in 1977, and was the first overseas division for Sakata Seed Corp. Sakata Seed America serves as the headquarters for the North and Central American operations.

“A century of continuity in business matters to our customers; Sakata has not only survived through world wars, economic crises and natural disasters, but has continuously adapted, creating new standards in both ornamentals and vegetables lines,” says Sakata Seed America President and CEO Dave Armstrong. “In a global marketplace characterized by intensive consolidation, Sakata stands as symbol of independence, innovation and reliability.”

Company highlights include:

  • 1913: Takeo Sakata starts Sakata Noen, now known as Sakata Seed Corp.
  • 1934: Sakata’s F1 petunia ‘Victorious Mix,’ the world’s first all-double petunia, earns an All-America Selections award.
  • 1943: WWII conflicts causes Sakata to safeguard seed stock by sending it to Canadian partners, including Stokes Seeds.
  • 1951: Sakata Garden Center opens in Yokohama, Japan.
  • 1965: Takeo Sakata is awarded the All-America Selections Medallion of Honor for his exemplary work in the ornamentals industry.
  • 1966: The world’s first commercial F1 hybrid pansy ‘Majestic Giants,’ bred by Sakata, receives an All-America Selections award.
  • 1977: Sakata Seed America is established.
  • 1981: Celosia ‘Apricot Brandy’ wins an All-American Selections award.
  • 1985: The Salinas Research Station opens in California.
  • 1988: The Morgan Hill, Calif., office opens, becoming the Sakata America headquarters.
  • 1990: The Yuma Production/Research facility opens in Arizona.
  • 1999: Zinnia ‘Profusion’ debuts in the United States; the Cherry and Orange colorways are awarded All-America Selections Gold Medals.
  • 2006: The ground-breaking new series ‘SunPatiens’ wins The Home Depot Most Innovative New Product award.
  • 2010: Sakata established the Sakata America Holding Co.
  • 2011: Miraculously, the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan causes no significant damage to Sakata’s business activities or personal injury to its staff.
  • 2013: Zinnia ‘Profusion Double Hot Cherry’ and ‘Profusion Double Deep Salmon’ win All-America Selections awards.
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