With a wealth of knowledge and experience of the seed industry, the Executive Committee helps to set the direction of ISF.

Donald Coles

Donald Coles President

Donald Coles is Managing Director of Valley Seeds Pty Ltd. He is Director of the Australian Seed Authority, and was elected President of the Australian Seed Federation in 2012. Donald holds a Diploma in Farm Management and a Masters of Business Administration from Deakin University.


Donald has held national positions within Australian Government agencies and affiliated bodies such as the Gene Technology Regulator and the Rural Industries Development Corporation.

Donald’s 40-year career spans supply chain management, quality assurance systems, retailing and retail supply. During this time, he has been directly involved in breeding new plant varieties, specifically the development, maintenance and auditing of trial protocols for forage, turf and cereals.

Donald’s extensive experience in agri business is combined with a detailed understanding of food and fibre production. Donald also has experience in a range of industries, including biotechnology in plants, forage, turf, lawn and vegetable seed, as well as potato, beef, mutton and wool.

Marco van Leeuwen

Marco van Leeuwen Vice President

Marco van Leeuwen is managing director of Rijk Zwaan, a position he has held for the last 10 years. His areas of interest include commercial affairs, seed production and logistics. He is an alumni of IESE Business School.


After his agricultural business management study in 1993, Marco started working for Dutch vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan. Since then he has held several roles related to seed operations, marketing & sales before he was appointed as Managing Director in 2009. In this position Marco wants to contribute towards sustainable global food production and food security with healthy vegetables.

Next to his new role in ISF, Marco is also currently chairman of the Anti-Infringement Bureau, whose main aim is to prevent infringements of and enforce the intellectual property rights of the vegetable breeding industry.

Eduard Fitó

Eduard Fitó Past President

Eduard is Director of Corporate Affairs and Business Development at Semillas Fito where he has held a number of roles since 1994. After graduating in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Lleida, Eduard joined Semillas Fito's seed production department, soon transferring to breeding where he managed the maize program and established a new tomato breeding program.


Between 2002 and 2012 Eduard took on various roles in the company, developing the vegetables and field crop business.

In addition to his role as ISF President, Eduard is also Chairman of the Spanish Seed Association (ANOVE) and a board member of the Anti-Infringement Bureau (AIB).

Christoph Betschart

Christoph Betschart Treasurer

Christoph is Head of Procurement for Forage and Turf Business at fenaco Genossenschaft, a Swiss company where he has worked since the beginning of his career in 2012. Christoph is an educated farmer and an Agricultural Engineering graduate of the Bern University of Applied Sciences with a Masters degree in Business Administration.


During agricultural internships in different countries, Christoph gained a wide range of hands-on farming experience. Outside work, he is an active member of a gymnastics club and an ice hockey goalkeeper.

Marc Cool

Marc Cool Chair of Breeders Committee

Marc Cool is Global Seed Policy Leader for Corteva Agriscience TM. He attended the Agricultural University of Wageningen in the Netherlands where he graduated with a Masters Degree in Plant Breeding and Plant Pathology.


Marc’s 30-year seed experience spans the alfalfa seed industry in California where he developed new markets for proprietary varieties and technology, to the turf and forage grass industry in Oregon where he worked in sales, marketing and management. Marc was General Manager of an organic vegetable seed company before moving to China as Director of Marketing and Product Strategy at DuPont Pioneer, and he now works in the External Affairs Division of the new Corteva Agriscience Company.

Marc is an active member of various seed trade associations, and is actively engaged in legislative and regulatory affairs guiding the global seed industry.

As a fifth generation seedsman, Marc spent most of his summers detasselling and breeding corn on his grandfather’s corn seed farm in Wisconsin.

Trade related topics - Seed Treatment

Optimizing production begins with elite genetics and protecting plants