1868 : start up of the company by Ferdinand, Alexandre and Arnould LEMAIRE

In the 19th century, with the continetal blocus and the sugar scarcity from the Antilles, the sugar beet cultivation starts in the north of France.


The growth of sugar industry is very important in the area of Douai and Arras, and generates a significant demand of sugar beet seeds.


Also, as many other farmers, Louis Alexandre LEMAIRE, the owner of "la ferme de l'Obeau" at Auchy-lez-Orchies begins the breeding and the production of beet seeds. On his death, his three sons, Ferdinand, Alexandre et Arnould crate LEMAIRE brothers company in 1868.




1889 : Ferdinand LEMAIRE gets the golden medal at the world fair of Paris

In 1872, Ferdinand LEMAIRE realise very succesful trials with his varieties in Romania.


Between 1889 and 1896, Ferdinand LEMAIRE travels in Russia and gets a colossal deals with his sugar beet seeds.


In 1889, he gets the golden medal at the world fair in Paris. In 1890, he becomes president of the union chamber of sugar beet seeds producers created in Lille.


In 1895, seeds productions occupie half of the town's terroir.


The first world war destroyed the local economy and farms suffered major damage..


1938 : the company takes the name of LEMAIRE DEFFONTAINES

In 1920, the seed producers of the North of France apply the discoveries of Louis de VILMORIN and start the breeding of cereals varieties.


Louis LEMAIRE, elder son of Ferdinand, creates "Louis LEMAIRE et fils" company. On his death, in 1938, the company takes the name of LEMAIRE DEFFONTAINES after the marriage of his son Jean LEMAIRE to  Agnès DEFFONTAINES, from the "Ferme du Hem" at Auchy-lez-Orchies.


At this time, the varieties of wheat marketed are listing in France by SOGROUP, an union of cereal breeders from the North of France..

1970 : Jacques LEMAIRE gives a new strategic direction to the company

From 1970, Jacques LEMAIRE who has been trained at the National Institut of Agronomic Research  (INRA de Versailles), stops the production of sugar beet seeds and organises the breeding of cereal varieties and hires new technicians like Jean-Michel DELHAYE.


In 1984, new breeding programs are started in protein peas and triticale. Jacques LEMAIRE and his wife, are reviving international relationships, and their son Philippe joins the company the same year.

1993 : a new generation at the head of the company

Philippe LEMAIRE, Véronique LEMAIRE and her husband, Marc BLERVAQUE, take the head of the company in the middle of the agricultural marasm (following the setting up of the new common agricultural policy).


A new breeding program in spring barley by in vitro culture is started.


1997 : a booming business

In 1997, a new phase of growth begins with succesfull varieties of winter wheat and winter barley.


A new head office is built and a specific breeding program of organic wheats is started.