For fresh produce marketing in Australia and New Zealand
Gabrielle Easter



Thursday 18th August 2016, 15:04 Melbourne

Rijk Zwaan serving up fresh innovations

Delayed pinking lettuce and creative salad making techniques were on show at the 2016 National Horticulture and Innovation Expo

Rijk Zwaan serving up fresh innovations

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Growers, marketers and the public were treated to the latest varieties in vegetables and leafy greens at the 2016 Nationals Horticultural and Innovation Expo.

Taking place in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley in July, Rijk Zwaan used the expo to showcase its Knox lettuce varieties and local trials of brassicas, lettuce and spinach.

The culmination of ten years of research has led to the development of Knox, a delayed pinking trait that keeps a range of lettuce varieties cut lettuce fresher for longer.

Rijk Zwaan developed the Knox lettuce varieties, which include cos, iceberg, batavia and Salanova, to create a better salad eating experiences and reduce wastage.

Showcasing the Knox lettuce varieties at the horticultural expo, Rijk Zwaan says the delayed pinking trait was a talking point for salad producers and processors.

“Knox absolutely changes the game for processed lettuce. Produce that looks this much fresher after packaging means consumers will enjoy their salads more,” said Harry Turna, Rijk Zwaan lettuce coordinator for Asia and Oceania. “It will mean less bags being thrown away with their use by date just because they don’t look good anymore, which is better for retail and better for the environment.”

Also on display were Rijk Zwaan’s varieties of spinach, including its hydrid Swiss chard Charlie RZ, and a range of the company’s brassicas, including the Romanesco cauliflower Puntoverede, the smooth green cauliflower Vitaverda RZ, and the pointed cabbage Tourima RZ.

Sharing the love

Engaging with industry and community on another level, Rijk Zwaan also sponsored the Lockyer Valley Growers ‘Love My Salad’ tent, with local chef and Love My Salad ambassador Glen Barratt dishing up a range of salads showcasing local and seasonal produce.

“[Barratt’s focus on regional and seasonal fits really well with our intention of bringing the public closer to the farmers that are actually growing their food,” said Lockyer Valley Growers president Anothony Staatz. “What better way to do this than with a local chef using local produce? We want to show that make eating vegetables can be fun and enjoyable!’

Rijk Zwaan’s Frances Tolson was on hand with local growers to offer tips on selecting produce, sharing essential skills on salad making, and offer personal stores on growing vegetables in the region.

Love My Salad is an online global community, founded in Australia in 2010 by Rijk Zwaan Australia director Steven Roberts. Love My Salad aims to drive vegetable consumption by sharing recipes, information and inspiration online through its website and social media channels.

For more news and developments on salads & herbs, sign up now to receive the upcoming spring edition of Produce Plus

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