KARNA (Cultivation Institute for Potato Varieties for the benefit of the Dutch Potato Starch Industry) was founded by the joint potato starch factories in 1954.
The aim was to cultivate varieties with a high starch yield that were also resistant to various diseases and plagues that occurred in the cultivation area.
After the research institutes in Wageningen started crossing with resistance to nematodes, the sector decided to incorporate its own cultivation company to breed this resistance into starch-potato varieties. Increasing the starch content was another important objective in those days.
The first KARNA variety with resistance to nematodes, Ehud, was included in the Catalogue of Varieties in 1967, followed by varieties including Astarte (1976), Elkana (1978), Karnico (1988) and Kartel (1994). The more modern varieties include Aveka (2002), Altus (2008) and Axion (2008). These varieties combine an excellent starch yield with resistance to various nematode pathotypes, wart disease and Phytophthora.
Up to 2001, KARNA’s seed-potato varieties were largely multiplied by seed-potato farmers who were responsible for cultivating and selling their own seed potatoes by means of a licence contract.
On the instructions of KARNA, multiplication of high-quality seed potatoes was outsourced via Avebe to other seed-potato trading companies, such as ACM (later ZPC) and HZPC Holland B.V. Through the existing network of seed-potato growers, the KARNA varieties were multiplied for Avebe on the basis of commission. The multiplied seed potatoes were sold by Avebe to the starch growers.
In 2001, Averis Seeds B.V. was formed by merging the KARNA Cultivation Institute and the Seed Potato Department of Avebe with the Starch Seed Potato Department of HZPC Holland B.V. As a 100% subsidiary of Avebe, Averis deals with developing and multiplying new varieties and provides Avebe’s starch-potato growers with high-quality seed potatoes.