07 Oct 2019

Rijk Zwaan expands organic range

Rijk Zwaan’s organic range covers the whole spectrum, from established favourites to interesting newcomers. The vegetable breeding company continues to invest heavily in the development of organic seeds in response to the ever-rising level of demand from growers, retailers and consumers.

Steady in growth

Rijk Zwaan is currently testing a mind-blowing 107 different organic seeds and 300 different non-chemically treated (NCT) seeds from 19 different crops. There continues to be steady growth in the number of strong, resistant organic varieties that set themselves apart in the market, explains Heleen Bos, Specialist Marketing Organics at Rijk Zwaan: “We’re especially big in crops such as lettuce, endive, tomatoes on the vine, peppers, aubergines and cucumbers because we’ve been active in organics for more than a decade. That has resulted in various successful organic varieties such as our sweet pointed pepper called Sweet Palermo®, our striped aubergine Angela RZ, and strong and resistant varieties of butterhead lettuce, iceberg lettuce, oak leaf lettuce and Salanova® lettuce types which often include the Knox™ trait too.”

Organic cucumbers

In terms of innovations in organics, one interesting novelty is a new cucumber which has a longer shelf life thanks to its dark and robust skin. Bos: “The tougher skin also means that it doesn’t require extra packaging, which is a big plus for organics consumers, so we’re going to produce organic seeds from this new variety too.”

Organic snack cucumber Quarto RZ and organic midi cucumber Media RZ have both been around for longer, with Media RZ forming part of the Little & Fresh concept which has been developed in a collaborative partnership between Jumbo, The Greenery, growers and Rijk Zwaan. “We offer a range of unpackaged small-size organic vegetables to address several trends: smaller households, less packaging, less food waste and the rising popularity of organics,” continues Bos.

Spinach and courgette

Rijk Zwaan is not only continuously updating its organics range, but is also looking for ways to expand it – such as by investing in crops such as spinach, carrot, cabbage and courgette. Bos: “We’re already seeing the first signs of success. Organic seeds of our spinach variety called Boa RZ are already available and performing very well in the market, and we will start producing organic seeds of Calagreen RZ, our new courgette variety, this season. It’s a robust crop with an open habit that produces courgettes with a long shelf life. That makes it an interesting variety for the organic market, because the courgettes last longer on shelves without needing extra packaging.” That’s how we share a healthy future.

For more, see www.rijkzwaan.com/solutions/organic