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Company History

In its present form, Syngenta is a young company. But it stems from an industrial tradition going back almost 250 years. We are proud of that heritage and of the many milestones en route to today's leading position worldwide. Tomorrow starts by building on them further.


Syngenta acquires the Maribo Seed sugarbeet business from Nordic Sugar. This acquisition consolidates Syngenta’s position in European sugar beet.

Syngenta completes its $600 million capacity expansion program for the production of crop protection products; this is Syngenta’s largest ever investment program.

Syngenta and Embrapa, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, start partnership to improve crop quality and yield in various crops, such as corn, cotton and soybean.

Syngenta joins Sustainability Consortium as founding member.

Syngenta enters into a public-private partnership with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) to focus on the development and advancement of technology in wheat.



Syngenta acquired two U.S. lettuce seed companies: Synergene Seed & Technology, Inc. and Pybas Vegetable Seed Co., Inc.

Syngenta Ventures has made an equity investment in U.S. biotech company Metabolon, its first direct investment.

Syngenta was ranked among the Top 20 Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Employers according to survey results published in a special feature of Science magazine.

Syngenta and IRRI collaborate in undertaking rice research, build scientific capacity, and establish a Scientific Know-how Exchange Program to benefit Asia’s rice farmers.

Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) announces a public-private partnership between Syngenta, CIMMYT and SFSA to identify and map genetic markers for use in wheat resistance breeding against Ug99 stem rust.

Syngenta acquires Monsanto’s hybrid sunflower seeds activities. The acquisition strengthens Syngenta’s leading sunflower business.

Syngenta launches “Operation Pollinator”, a program to provide essential habitat and food sources for pollinating insects across Europe.

Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences announce an agreement to cross license their respective corn traits for commercialization within their branded seeds businesses.

Syngenta announces research collaboration with Anhui Rice Research Institute of China to conduct tests of novel gene functions in key crops such as corn and soybean.



Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences announce a research and development agreement to evaluate current and future Dow AgroSciences compounds for incorporation into Syngenta's market-leading seed treatment portfolio.

Syngenta acquires Argentine seeds company SPS, a company specialized in the development, production and marketing of seeds including soybean and corn.

Syngenta announces PleneTM, a breakthrough sugar cane planting technology in Brazil to dramatically improve the cost efficiency of sugar cane planting. Syngenta´s innovation would reduce planting costs per hectare by some 15%.

Syngenta acquires the Chrysanthemum and Aster business from the US flowers producer Yoder Brothers. Chrysanthemums are one of the top five selling pot and garden flowers in the global industry.

Syngenta acquires the US flower seeds producer Goldsmith Seeds. The acquired company breeds, produces and sells a broad range of pot and bedding products, including major crops such as cyclamen, impatiens and petunia.

Syngenta receives the 2008 World Business and Development Award (WBDA) for the development and successful introduction of a new sugar beet that can be grown under tropical climate conditions and brings significant advantages to farmers, the environment, the sugar and ethanol industries and the economy.

Syngenta launches refreshed corporate brand and visual identity and introduces its company purpose “Bringing plant potential to life”.

Syngenta builds major global biotech research center in Beijing, China. The new facility has a global scope and complements Syngenta’s biotech research activities in the US.

Syngenta strengthens Stein campus through CHF 85 million investment; inauguration of expanded research center including the Seed Care Institute.

Syngenta donates corn genetics stocks to the Maize Functional Diversity Group.

Syngenta, DuPont sign agreement for access to broad insect control technology in corn

AgroFresh and Syngenta to form strategic alliance on Invinsa™ crop stress protection.



Syngenta and the Royal Society of Chemistry announce the creation of the Pan Africa Chemistry Network to help promote the economic and social development of the continent.

Syngenta introduces tropical sugar beet for food and biofuels. The introduction of tropical sugar beet in India brings significant advantages to farming and economy.

Syngenta reinforces vegetable seeds with Zeraim Gedera acquisition.

Syngenta enters into five-year research collaboration with the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) in Beijing, China. Syngenta will have rights to commercialize developed field crops traits for global agriculture markets.

Syngenta to take stake in Sanbei, Chinese seeds company.

Syngenta to acquire Fischer, leading European flowers company.



Syngenta acquires Conrad Fafard, Inc., a leading North American producer of packaged growing media, expanding the companies NAFTA lawn and garden business.

Syngenta to acquire Emergent Genetics Vegetable A/S.

Syngenta and the ETH Zurich Foundation announce the creation of a scholarship foundation for PhD students conducting research projects at ETH Zurich in the area of plant science.

DuPont and Syngenta announce licensing agreements and the formation of GreenLeaf Genetics LLC, a joint venture that will bring expanded choice to North American farmers through broader access to the companies’ proprietary corn and soybean genetics and biotechnology traits.

Syngenta included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the first time.



Syngenta and COMPO in strategic alliance for consumer lawn and garden products.

Syngenta and INSEAD announce the creation of a scholarship foundation for students from emerging countries to study for a Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) at INSEAD.

Syngenta enters into three-year research collaboration with Hubei Biopesticide Engineering Research Center (HBERC) of the Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences based in Wuhan, China. The aim of the collaboration is to discover natural chemicals that can be used as starting points for the development of novel crop protection agents.

Syngenta included in the FTSE4 Good Sustainability Index for the first time.

Syngenta announces the donation of important genetic information on Phytophthora infestans or Potato Late Blight, one of the most devastating plant diseases in global agriculture, to an international scientific gene database.

Syngenta and Sumitomo enter herbicide license agreement.



Syngenta donates Golden Rice to the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board for developing countries.

Syngenta and Delta and Pine Land (D&PL) of the USA announced today a long-term agreement to develop and commercialize novel biotechnology products for cotton.

Syngenta acquires Golden Harvest: US corn and Soybean business further enhanced.

Syngenta donates genomics seed collection.

Syngenta and Fox Paine agree to acquire Advanta BV , one of the world’s leading seed companies, from AstraZeneca of the UK and Royal Cosun of the Netherlands.

2004 Syngenta and Tanimura & Antle form a partnership to deliver premium quality produce to consumers. The joint venture, Dulcinea Farms, LLC., will market Dulcinea™ branded produce items including the PureHeart™ miniature seedless watermelon and a new ultra sweet Tuscan style cantaloupe.

2004 Syngenta acquired all outstanding shares of Dia-Engei, the Japanese leader in producing and marketing seedlings of flowering plants and vegetables.



Syngenta announced the world’s first hybrid barley variety was introduced in the United Kingdom . The variety is named Colossus.



Syngenta and Diversa form a broad collaboration to establish a shared biotechnology research platform and to discover products.

Dr. Stephen Goff, director of Genome Technology at Syngenta, has been named Research Leader of the Year by Scientific American magazine.

Syngenta releases the Rice Genome Map.

Mary Dell Chilton receives the Franklin Institute Award.



The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture is launched.

The Torrey Mesa Research Institute (TMRI), the genomics research center of Syngenta, completed the Rice Genome Map in collaboration with Myriad Genetics Inc.

Syngenta inherits the strengths and traditions of two excellent companies. However, it will have a clear personality of it own. Our name, Syngenta, has two distinct roots. "Syn" stems from Greek. It reflects synergy and synthesis, integration, and consolidating strengths. "Genta" relates to humanity and individuals. It stems from the Latin "gens," for people or community. So Syngenta means "bringing people together."



November 13: On November 13, 2000 Novartis and AstraZeneca merged their agribusinesses to form Syngenta, the first global group focusing exclusively on agribusiness.




Astra AB of Sweden and Zeneca Group PCL of UK merge, becoming AstraZeneca.



Novartis announces the formation of NADI, the Novartis Agricultural Discovery Institute, one of the largest single research endeavours dedicated to agricultural genomics research and development.



Zeneca attains the rights to chlorothalonil from ISK.

Zeneca acquires Mogen, a Netherlands-based plant Biotechnology Company.

Novartis attains the crop protection division of Merck & Co, adding the insecticide abamectin to its list of products.



Zeneca offers the first GM tomato puree to customers. Tomatoes were enhanced to stay ripe in the field longer, resulting in better processing.

Zeneca Seeds and Cosun/ Royal VanderHave Group form the joint venture company Advanta.

Zeneca’s strobilurin fungicide Amistar® achieves registration.

Sandoz and Ciba merge to form Novartis in one of the largest corporate mergers in history.



Zeneca is established after ICI demerges three of its businesses (Pharmaceuticals, Agrochemicals and Specialties) beginning in ’93.



Ciba-Geigy AG acquires Maag Group.



ICI acquires Stauffer Chemical Company.



ICI launches its insecticide Karate®.



ICI Seeds is formed to add seed-breeding capability to the business.



Ciba establishes a special biotechnology unit.

Sandoz acquired the Zaadunie group of Holland. Sluis & Groot (S&G)was one of the prominent marketing companies of Zaadunie. S&G is one of the three brandnames within Syngenta Seeds.



Introduction of systemic fungicide Ridomil by Ciba-Geigy.




Sandoz attains Northrup King.



Sandoz acquires Rogers Seed Company, moving into the seed market.



Ciba expands into the seeds business with the acquisition of the US-based Funk Seeds International.



PPL becomes fully independent from ICI agricultural division.



ICI establishes ICI Americas Inc.

Ciba and Geigy merge to form Ciba-Geigy.



PPL becomes apart of ICI’s Agriculture Division.



Geigy introduces triazine-based herbicides (Simazine, Atrazine) allowing farmers to control weeds for the first time.



A group of chemicals originally discovered in 1947 were re-evaluated by ICI, leading to the discovery and development of diquat and paraquat.



PPL becomes wholly owned by ICI.



Dr. Bill Templeman of ICI, at Jealott’s Hill, discovers the selective properties of alphanapthylacetic acid, leading to the synthesis of the herbicides MCPA AND 2,4-D.



Paul Müller, a Geigy researcher, discovers the insecticidal efficacy of DDT.



Plant Production Limited (PPL) is formed as a fifty-fifty joint company between ICI and Cooper McDougall & Robertson Ltd.



Geigy production of insecticides.



ICI begins work on the Agricultural Research Station at Jealott’s Hill in the UK.



Imperial Chemical Industries is formed with merger of Brunner Mond Ltd, Nobel Industries, British Dyestuffs Coronation Ltd, and United Alkali Co. Ltd.



Ciba is established.



Sandoz is founded.



Geigy is founded.