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 A Hundred-Year



They Planted 
so we eat, 
and we plant
so they would eat.

Marionnet GFA ( is a family-owned company in the agriculture sector in France founded by Mr. Alexandre Marionnet in Soings, 200km south of Paris, in 1888. The company had its beginnings in growing grapes and building wooden barrels for wine storage. Later, Alexandre’s son André introduced the culture of asparagus in the area. The success was immediate, and in 1930 the first crops were sent to Paris by horse-drawn carts. The introduction of the first large-scale crops of strawberry plants followed in no time, and from a fruit producer he became a plant producer and initiated the first research programs to discover new varieties. His son, Jacques, introduced tissue culture for strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and asparagus in 1979. It was the first private tissue culture laboratory in France, and it enabled him to provide top quality plants for the market.

In 1986, Marionnet GFA secured its interest in tissue culture date palms by signing a contract with a governmental laboratory, LRPV (Vegetal Physiology Research Laboratory). Both laboratories have been jointly conducting basic and applied research. Jacques Marionnet has two sons: Pascal, the younger, currently head of Marionnet GFA, and the elder, Franck, who established Al Wathba Marionnet in Abu Dhabi in 1997.

Al Wathba Marionnet LLC, managed by Mr. Franck Marionnet and assisted by Mr. Osama Ayyash, was formed under the commercial law of the UAE and approved as a UAE offset project in1997. The company is a proud owner of a tissue culture laboratory in Al Khazna, Abu Dhabi. Al Wathba Marionnet LLC supplied its first date plants to UAE growers as early as 1998, and today, with a production capacity of over 200,000 date plants annually, has become a world leader in the production of tissue-cultured date palm seedlings, operating in over twenty countries as a direct supplier. The company has also taken over the former commercial agents of Marionnet GFA in numerous date-growing countries such as Jordan, Kuwait, and others.

A dedication to producing high quality date palm trees is in our culture. Rather than focusing solely on financial profit by carelessly producing huge quantities, the company’s vision is to have a superior product even though it would limit production volumes. The company keeps close links with several respected figures of the Phoeniciculture in the UAE, who are also consultants and mentors: H.E. Rakkan Maktoum Al Qubaisi, H.E. Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Habtoor, H.E. Juma Al Majid, H.E. Dr. Ahmad Saif and H.E. Abdullah Rashid Al Shamsi.

© 2015 by Al Wathba Marionnet.

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