Syngenta Barfoots Istem Caulishoots cauliflower

Syngenta Vegetable Seeds has revealed that its Istem cauliflower has been nominated for the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award 2022 (FLIA).

Istem is described as a high-yielding variety that 'appeals to consumers with its sweet, nutty curds individually held on top of tender, succulent stems'.

It is designed to be eaten whole, meaning there is no food waste, can be eaten raw or cooked, and is high in fibre and vitamin C.

Istem was launched in the UK market in 2021 and has already been awarded a 3-star Superior Taste Award by the Brussels International Taste Institute.

Resilience and vision

Lotfi Bani, Istem project manager in Europe, said that when two members of Syngenta Vegetable Seeds’ team spotted a side-shooting cauliflower, they 'knew it was the future'.

“That was 2012, but it was a long way from being marketable,' Bani noted. 'It has taken resilience and vision to breed, trial and taste-test the Istem.”

In 2020, Syngenta extended its partnership with UK grower Barfoots, which farms, harvests and packs the vegetables by hand under the joint Istem-Caulishoots brand.

“The Istem is a perfect example highlighting our priorities at Syngenta Vegetable Seeds,' Bani continued.

'We put growers and sustainability at the heart of everything we do. We have the capability to use agile, science-based agronomic solutions to create sustainable crops, while anticipating consumer preferences and market trends. The Istem exemplifies this. It not only cuts food waste, it also offers consumers a great-tasting, healthy, convenient choice.”

According to Syngenta, extensive trials are planned in 2022 across Europe, Africa, Middle East, North America and Australasia, preparing for it to launch in new markets very soon.

Fruit Logistica

Syngenta said it would have many innovative products on display at Fruit Logistica, including the Zefiros squash, which was developed to help farmers stay productive and profitable in the face of rising temperatures as a result of global warming.

The group will also showcase its Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV)-resistant varieties such as Lansor and Barosor.

Other products on show will include the personal size Piel de Sapo melon, the Angello seedless sweet pepper and burger leaf lettuce.