RAGT – Cultivating Life around the globe
RAGT are a global agricultural powerhouse. Their name is an abbreviation of the four regions in southern France where the company has its origins – Rouergue, Auvergne, Gévaudan and Tarnais. RAGT Australia proudly sits as one of nineteen local subsidiaries and receives the backing, support and access to RAGTs plant breeding program, technical services, IP and seed solutions.
Dating back to 1885 with its origin in the Aveyron agriculture department in the region of Occitanic, Southern France, RAGT was established by taking charge of the commercial services of the agricultural unions.
RAGT was truly born on 22 February 1919, under the name of Coopérative Agricole Rouergue-Auvergne-Gévaudan, on the initiative of Maurice Anglade, then Chairman of the Union des Associations Agricoles du Plateau Central. The first Chairman was Charles de Rodat, a farmer in the commune of Druelle, near Rodez.
By the end of the World War one agriculture was evolving and become more professional with new economic requirements emerging. The need for financing made it necessary to have equity capital and working capital.
The cooperative status no longer suited this requirement and on 8 July 1925 Maurice Anglade dissolved and liquidated the agricultural cooperative and a limited company was created. Some of the farmers who held large shareholding were brought together to ensure the control and governance of the company. Maurice ANGLADE remained influential within the board of directors until 1943.
Paul Duvivier, an agricultural engineer joined RAGT in 1932 becoming General Director in 1943. He was elected President in December 1957.
Emile Singla succeeded Paul Duvivier in 1973. A farmer and agricultural engineer, he continued to develop and diversify RAGT’s activities, in particular providing a decisive boost to the seed business and research.
During this period an agreement was entered into with the American Dekalb (1972-1999), which allowed RAGT to launch breeding programmes in maize, sorghum and subsequently, sunflower. RAGT also bolstered its position on the European markets in the 1970s, and fourteen years later, the first foreign sales subsidiary was created: RAGT Saaten in Germany and Austria
In the late 1990s, the company was re-structured and the RAGT Group was born. The branches of activity were transformed into fully-fledged subsidiaries. Thus RAGT Semences was created with the regional activity housed in RAGT Plateau Central. During this period, Edouard Fabre and Alain Fabre succeeded each other as Chairman of the Executive Board and then of the Supervisory Board.
Between 2001 and 2010, RAGT Semences created a number of subsidiaries including Poland, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Ukraine. At the same time, RAGT Semences bought up the PBIC cereal business from Monsanto and became a major new stakeholder in the straw cereal market (soft wheat, malting barley).
RAGT Semences is now a key player on the European market. It has developed a wide range of field seeds for 85% of the European UAA and has dominated the soft wheat market in Europe since 2010 as well as holding leading positions in the European maize, sunflower, rape and soybean markets.
RAGT is committed to innovation, with a strong research activity of some 300 people across Europe, investing nearly 18% of its turnover in research each year.
2019 was an important year for the RAGT group as it celebrated its Centenary! 100 years of passion for agriculture and innovation.