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Matthew Jones



Rijk Zwaan focused on ‘seeding change’

Seed breeder highlights its commitment to sustainability at Hort Connections

Rijk Zwaan focused on ‘seeding change’

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Rijk Zwaan projected the powerful message of ‘seeding change’ at this year’s Hort Connections trade show and conference in Melbourne.

The leading seed breeder commissioned a live artist to paint an interactive mural on the back wall of its stand over the two-and-a-half day event, held on 24-26 June.

Rijk Zwaan Australia managing directors Steven Roberts and Tim March unveiled the finished wall art during a gathering at the stand on Tuesday evening (25 June).

“Over the past two days, we’ve seen this blank wall comes to life with a really important message for our industry: that if we are to create a healthier and more sustainable future, it starts with planting the seed for change,” March said.

“For us, seeding change is very literal. Seeding change is at the heart of what we do as a vegetable breeding company. We do this by spending years, in some cases even decades, drawing what we can from nature to create varieties that not only meet consumer demands in terms of taste, convenience, nutrition, and aesthetics, but are bred with sustainability in mind and offer benefits for the entire chain. This includes resistance breeding, improving yields and reliability, and natural traits that help to reduce food waste.”

Rijk Zwaan is committed to sustainability and has aligned its objectives to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Some of the goals Rijk Zwaan contributes to include ending hunger, promoting sustained and inclusive economic growth and encouraging responsible consumption and production.

“What we are hearing from our partners resonates with our own direction for Rijk Zwaan, and that’s the renewed focus on sustainability,” Roberts said.

“We are already making a difference by creating traits, such as Knox, which delays pinking in lettuce and therefore reduces waste. We are giving growers more reliable and successful crops through our Blueleaf plants, and solving efficiency problems for processors by continually developing the one-cut Salanova range.

“At the end of the food chain, we are keeping customers in mind with products that are expanding the range of snacking vegetables, from tomatoes to cucumber, and now even lettuce.”

Also on display at Rijk Zwaan’s stand was Knox Cos, along with a new greenback tomato variety, Lagoverde RZ. The company showcased an assortment of capsicum varieties, ranging from Sweet Palermo to a white Hungarian cooking capsicum.

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