Michał Taraska, global value chain lead at Hazera Seeds, highlights the ways the vegetable seed specialist is contributing to greater efficiency, reduced waste and better quality

Hazera Exceed watermelon

As we begin 2024, what are your main hopes for the year ahead?

Michał Taraska: Our primary hope for 2024 is to continue innovating. When I say innovating, I don’t only mean introducing new products that better suit the needs of the market, such as the Exceed watermelon, but also seeking new opportunities for sustainable growth.

We see ourselves at Hazera to be at the front of the changes that could contribute to less waste and more efficient farming. Our tomato range, which we call ‘Tomatoes that Work for You’’, is a particularly good example. Not only is it resistant to ToBRFV virus, but its production is also less labour-intensive. We believe our products will become popular both with growers and retailers in the coming year.

As for the challenges, I think navigating the volatile global market is a big issue at the time of inflation and unstable political situation.

What are the key developments or changes at Hazera?

MT: Recent months have seen our company focus on technological advancements in breeding methods, enhancing crop resilience and quality. We have invested significant resources in our glasshouse infrastructure to develop high-tech tomatoes.

We have already noticed that our efforts are paying off. The development of products such as Pendragon tomatoes and mini seedless watermelons are proving popular with consumers. These successes strengthen our team spirit and foster even more creativity within the company.

How is the market for your products performing?

MT: Although we still have high inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, people are more conscious about the importance of healthy diets, so we can see a growing consumption of good quality fruit and vegetables.

Even more expensive varieties such as Rosamunda tomatoes are proving popular, and those products which are reasonably priced and respond to the needs of modern consumers are doing well and will do well in the future, like in the case of the handy-size seedless watermelons.

Our flagship product, Exceed, fits perfectly smaller-size households, and we believe its popularity will grow.

To see the full interview, pick up a copy of Eurofruit Magazine’s Fruit Logistica Edition – Part 1, or download the Eurofruit app