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Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Sustainable slant for Rijk Zwaan

Vegetable seed company's Fruit Logistica stand will reflect its focus on a healthy and sustainable future

Sustainable slant for Rijk Zwaan

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Rijk Zwaan has said that its stand at this year's Fruit Logistica will be dedicated to the theme of ‘Innovating for sustainability’, as the Dutch vegetbale breeding company looks to present its latest contributions towards a sustainable and healthy future.

This range will include new snacks, new Knox varieties, lettuce varieties for hydroponic production and many more innovations, the group noted.

For the first time, Rijk Zwaan has linked its sustainability objectives to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 goals (#GlobalGoals) for a better world by 2030. Rijk Zwaan’s activities and innovations support four of those goals: to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition (SDG2), to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth (SDG8), to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (SDG12) and to strengthen partnerships (SDG17).

Each of the Rijk Zwaan innovations on display at Fruit Logistica contribute in some way to a more sustainable world, the group said.

Among the innovations are new colours and concepts for snack vegetables. Tasty and attractive snack vegetables stimulate people to snack healthily and to eat vegetables more often throughout the day. The new My Cubies One Bite cucumber is a good example of this, and so too is the Snack Lettuce which won the Accelera Fresh Produce Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award at Fruit Attraction 2018.

Another innovation that reduces waste and hence improves sustainability is Knox, a trait that reduces pinking in fresh-cut lettuce and hence extends the shelf life. More bagged lettuce blends are now possible thanks to the numerous new lettuce varieties containing Knox which have been developed in close collaboration with growers, processing companies and retailers.

Longvita is another variety that supports the aim to reduce waste. This novelty revolves around courgette varieties with a longer shelf life and dark-green colour, both of which add significant value for chain partners.

Rijk Zwaan is also putting other sustainability-related developments in the spotlight at Fruit Logistica.

In addition to organic production, there is a focus on hydroponics for example. Hydroponics is a water-based production system that is an efficient and sustainable way of growing leafy crops using no – or minimal – crop protection agents. This method makes it possible to grow food safely anywhere in the world. Rijk Zwaan offers suitable varieties and extensive technical support for this ‘clean’ production method. Crystal lettuce, Salatrio and Salanova will be on display at the stand.

In Berlin, Rijk Zwaan will be presenting these and many other innovative ways of encouraging consumers to eat more vegetables, such as Cabbisi (mini pointed cabbage ideal for salads), Sweet Palermo sweet pointed pepper (now also available in orange and brown), Violet & Luca (bicolour kohlrabi), Greentense (dark-green pole slicing beans) and Sparkle RZ (spinach-shaped rocket) – all underlining the company’s mission of ‘Sharing a healthy future’.

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