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Chainmail RZ Rijk Zwaan magazine for all chain partners | February 2014

Spotlight on mini cucumbers

Everyone benefits from Golden Emerald

35-523 RZ Pointed pepper now in yellow too

Contents 2

Windset Farms puts mini-cucumber in the spotlight


New: ‘Living lettuce displays’ offer fresher-thanfresh presentation

6 7 8 10 11 12

Windset Farms puts mini-cucumber in the spotlight Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – when it comes to marketing its

Locally grown ‘greenback’

products, Windset Farms is not afraid of using social media. The Canadian company

tomatoes inspire Australia

even has its own chefs who prepare delicious recipes on TV using Windset fruit and vegetables. Windset’s efforts are helping to put the mini-cucumber on the map as a

‘Everyone benefits from

perfect ingredient for a healthier diet.

Golden Emerald melons’ Love my Salad ‘shares a healthy future’ in Spain

Succesful chain collaboration in Eastern Europe

Chain collaboration boosts sales in Tokyo

Adding value for customers

13 14

with Sensational Ingredients

Riverford takes local vegetables to the next level

Director of sales Jeff Madu and owners Steven Newell and John Newell (from left to right) built up an enthusiastic market for Picowell RZ from their base in British Columbia.

Responding to consumers on a worldwide scale

Colophon The magazine Chainmail RZ is published in English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Russian and German by Rijk Zwaan Distribution B.V. It is distributed to chain partners worldwide and has a circulation of 8,000. Text and editorial team: Rijk Zwaan Photography: Rijk Zwaan, Tjipke Meijer Lay-out: Do Company, Rotterdam Printing: Drukkerij Van Deventer Reproduction stating source is allowed. Chainmail RZ has been created with the utmost care. Nevertheless no liability can or will be accepted for any incorrect information. Rijk Zwaan Distribution B.V. Burgemeester Crezéelaan 40 P.O. Box 40, 2678 ZG De Lier The Netherlands T +31 (0)174 53 23 00 F +31 (0)174 53 21 63 E 2

They are undeniable eye-catchers:

Picowell RZ

convenient packs containing several

Windset Farms started started with

mini-cucumbers for when you’re on

Picowell RZ six years ago. “The product

the go and the logo clearly shows the

was new in Canada at that time. We

producer: Windset Farms. Maki Mukai,

built up a respectable market from our

Marketing Assistant, emphasises the

base in British Columbia and Picowell

role of such strong branding towards

is now also cultivated and sold in

the growing group of loyal customers.

Santa Maria (California) and

“While our packaging grabs shoppers’

Las Vegas (Nevada).

attention on the shelf, it’s also an

Yes, the mini-

important communication method:

cucumber is

it enables us to share information about the quality of our products, the healthy nutrients they contain and tasty serving suggestions. And that’s just on the outside, one bite of a crunchy mini-cucumber is enough to keep our customers coming back for more.”

Rijk Zwaan | Chain magazine

wholeheartedly accepted. Consumers

it is a very productive variety, which

appreciate its handy size which works

means happy growers. Rijk Zwaan always

well for smaller families and produces

provides expert technical advice along

minimum waste. Plus of course, this

with its varieties; we receive support

vegetable is a good fit with the growing

from an entire team. They listen to our

awareness of healthy eating, mini-

suggestions and are great at solving any

cucumbers are becoming popular for

problems. That is very reassuring, and

children’s lunchboxes.”

helps to keep our operation running

Crunchy bite “The quality has to be right every time.

smoothly. Together, we’re capable of supplying the tastiest, top-quality vegetables.” 

Whenever someone buys our cucumbers, the taste and texture must be perfect. That’s why we’ve been opting for Rijk Zwaan varieties for years. Picowell has an attractive dark green exterior, excellent flavour and a crunchy bite. Moreover,

Friends in Freshness The Windset story started back in 1996 when the Newell family built a greenhouse in Abbotsford, Canada. And although the company has expanded significantly since then, its goal remains the same: to grow the best vegetables all year round using state-of-the-art technology combined with sustainable growing techniques. Another thing that remains unchanged is the importance of collaboration: the owners of Windset Farms believe that strong relationships form the company’s basis. Hence, they refer to all their partners as ‘Friends in Freshness’. From retailers, consumers and corporate chefs through to the people who work in the greenhouses, everyone plays a part in the success of Windset’s fresh produce.

February | 2014


Boost to lettuce sales

New: ‘Living lettuce displays’ offer fresher-than-fresh presentation A special lettuce deserves a unique display. John Bonner and Tim Ryan from Great Lakes Growers wanted a presentation format that recreated the greenhouse setting as closely as possible. In collaboration with retailers, they have developed a living lettuce display that allows shoppers to freshly pick their own head of Salanova® lettuce – without leaving the store.

The living lettuce display keeps lettuces ultra-fresh.


At least 65 supermarkets in the US states of Ohio,

Ultra-clean Salanova® lettuce

Pennsylvania and Michigan have already got a ‘living

“And let’s not forget how gorgeous this lettuce

lettuce display’. These ‘store-friendly’ displays keep

looks! The living displays enable shoppers to

the Salanova lettuces neat and tidy while they wait to

appreciate its pure and simple beauty. Growing

be purchased by shoppers – who, just like the retailers,

it involves no soil, just water (enriched with

are wildly enthusiastic. After all, lettuces don’t get

nutrients). We combine this with the attractive

much fresher than that. “We only supply to order,”

structure and vibrant colour of Rijk Zwaan’s

explains Bonner, head of growing at Great Lakes.

Salanova varieties. The convenience aspect of

“Retailers are assured that the lettuces they receive

the Salanova lettuce makes our product even

from us have been picked that very same morning.

more appealing: with just one cut, the lettuce

They go straight into the living display, rootball and all.

separates into countless tiny leaves, ready for

Ultra-fresh in the store and ultra-fresh into consumers’

use! It’s just as easy as opening a salad bag,

homes. Providing the Salanova is refrigerated

but with the added advantage that our fresh

immediately, it stays fresh for two weeks. A living

Salanova tastes much better. It’s deliciously

lettuce like this really can’t be beaten on shelf life.”


Rijk Zwaan | Chain magazine

Collaboration with retailers

once, we have to rely on the retailers

“To be honest, it’s a win-win situation,

themselves – the ball is in their court,

retailers enjoy a huge boost to lettuce

but we’ve developed the living display

sales while consumers can buy fresh,

concept in close collaboration with

locally grown lettuce all year round. The

our retail customers; hopefully they

living lettuce displays also reduce the

are just as proud of the program as we

need for packaging, which is good for

are and they will keep the display trays

the environment. Our greatest challenge

clean and remove any lettuces that are

lies in maintaining the displays: the

past their best. We’re now working on

living displays need to be kept clean,

fine-tuning the display. After all, it’s a

otherwise all the benefits are lost.

tricky business, presenting fresh lettuce

Since we can’t be in all the stores at

without refrigeration.” 

The ball is in the retailers’ court now, say John Bonner (left) and Tim Ryan (right) from Great Lakes Growers.

Great Lakes Growers produces, sells and markets top-quality lettuces and herbs in the North East of the USA. All products are grown hydroponically in greenhouses. In addition to investing in technology and automation, Great Lakes has also developed various in-store displays and food service packaging. The company makes no secret of its ambition to become market leader in the eastern United States. With an astute marketing strategy and a pioneering approach, ‘the sky’s the limit’. Great Lakes intends to continue on its path to growth until the company can meet all the market requirements, in terms of both capacity and product innovations, and collaboration agreements with equally impassioned chain partners are indispensable to its approach. Rijk Zwaan’s unique Salanova® teamed with Great Lakes’ living lettuce display is guaranteed to deliver mutual success.

February | 2014


Locally grown ‘greenback’ tomatoes inspire Australia As its name suggests, the Mediterranean salad tomato – a type of beef tomato – has been a firm favourite in countries such as Spain for many decades. Rijk Zwaan recently introduced this traditional speciality in Australia too, where it was a welcome surprise to communities with Mediterranean roots. They were delighted to finally be able to enjoy the well-balanced, sweet/sour flavour of ‘greenback’ tomatoes once again.

The Australian launch of the Montenegro RZ variety is a Sensational Flavours initiative by Frances Tolson, Rijk Zwaan Chain Manager located in Sydney. The products in that segment excel in terms of taste, as does the beef tomato. Its firm and juicy bite combined with its aromatic flavour – a perfect balance of sweet and sour – make this product ideal for salads. Plus, with its green exterior and its flesh flaming first pink then red, Montenegro really catches the eye.

Sydney Produce Market®

Brothers Charlie, Joe and Wally Boustani (from left to right) sell Montenegro RZ at the Sydney Produce Market.

According to Frances, this ‘greenback’ tomato reminds many Australians from Mediterranean

it caters primarily to professional buyers from

backgrounds of picking and eating tomatoes straight

supermarkets, restaurants, greengrocers, exporters

from the vine in their childhood. “Montenegro gives

and processors. Charlie: “We haven’t seen such

us a fresh and locally grown seasonal product that

a large (180 to 220 grams) and tasty tomato for

brings these sweet-tasting memories alive.” Frances invited chefs and vegetable distributors to rediscover the good-old tomato taste. “This tomato

years. The storeowners love it, especially because Montenegro remains so firm, even when it turns red.” In the meantime, the product has also been picked up by several restaurants in Sydney. Stephen Seckold, Executive Chef at the Flying Fish

gives them something new

Restaurant in Pyrmont, describes the ‘greenback’

to inspire their customers

tomato as “a real find”. And Sally of Lucio’s Italian

with.” Wholesaler Charlie

restaurant in Paddington uses them too: “We serve

Boustani from Boustani

the beef tomato as a side dish, and we’ve had

Brothers Sydney was

nothing but positive feedback!”

immediately enthusiastic, and sells Montenegro from his stand at the Sydney Produce Market®. He also provides point-of-sale materials to interested parties and coordinates in-store demonstrations of Rijk Zwaan’s ‘greenback’ tomato.

Favourite ingredient The Sydney Produce Market® is Australia’s largest

Montenegro is especially suited for the growers who wish to focus on supplying locally. This variety has a particularly extensive resistance pattern enabling it to be grown both traditionally and organically. Growers can of course rely on technical support from Rijk Zwaan. “Thanks to our collaboration with growers, wholesalers and retail, we have been able to introduce a fantastic new and tasty product in Australia that has great potential for the future”, concludes Frances enthusiastically. 

fresh fruit and vegetable wholesale market, and 6

Rijk Zwaan | Chain magazine

Successful collaboration between Thai growers, supermarkets and Rijk Zwaan

‘Everyone benefits from Golden Emerald melons’ Nice and sweet with a distinctive aroma, that’s how consumers in Thailand prefer their melons – which is why Rijk Zwaan developed Golden Emerald especially for that South-East Asian market. And to ensure that it ends up in as many consumers’ homes as possible, chain manager Apinun Uppabunlung arranged for food retailers TOPS and Makro to meet enthusiastic growers.

Horti Asia 2013 in Bangkok was the ideal opportunity for growers and supermarket representatives to catch up with each other, so Rijk Zwaan organised a meeting there. Apinun Uppabunlung could not have chosen a better venue because the three-day horticulture fair saw over 150 kilograms of Golden Emerald sliced for demonstrations and tasting sessions. Convinced by the melons themselves and backed up by positive visitor responses, the retailers and growers agreed to work together to sell the tasty Golden Emerald through as many stores as possible.

Quality product Six months after the initial meeting, Mr Somnuk

In-store demonstrations introduce Thai shoppers to the golden-yellow melons.

Yoddamnern, Vice President Buying Produce at Central Food Retail Company Ltd., is proud of

downey mildew, which is very important for us. This

what has already been achieved. “Golden Emerald

means a higher yield, and hence higher revenue.

is a high-quality product that excels in terms of

Also, the retailers pay a good price, a typical

sweetness, flavour and shelf life. It’s a wonderful

example of a win-win situation.

addition to the wide melon range at TOPS Supermarket, and a good example of a successful chain project. We’ve collaborated with Rijk Zwaan

In-store demonstrations

previously on the supply of Salanova. The concept

Thanks to the collaboration between growers

is unchanged: Rijk Zwaan looks for producers,

and supermarkets, the final link in the chain – the

supports the growing activities and, for Golden

consumers – can now enjoy Rijk Zwaan’s latest

Emerald, also provides some of the promotional

innovation. As with many new products, the golden-


yellow melon is being introduced to Thai shoppers

Central Food Retail (TOPS) owns 103 stores in

through in-store demonstrations. Its green flesh and

Bangkok alone and a further 114 outside the city.

the small kernel certainly attract attention. But then

Grocery chain Makro also sells Golden Emerald, and

what? With a brix value of between

Big C Superstore may be joining them in the future

13 and 17, tasting equals buying

as well. The Thai melon producers face a sizable

– again and again! Rijk Zwaan


is now hoping to extend the cultivation and consumption

One of those producers is Mr. Samak Sornchai.

of Golden Emerald to other

Rijk Zwaan is no stranger to him either. “We were

countries. 

already growing their watermelons and now Golden Emerald too. It’s a nice variety to work with: a plant with strength and vitality that is resistant to Februrary | 2014


Love my Salad ‘shares a healthy future’ in Spain At the Fruit Attraction show in Madrid the 5 a Day organisation invited exhibitors to help address the declining consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables – even though we know they are tasty and healthy. Love my Salad, the social salad network initiated by Rijk Zwaan, was ready for the challenge and set out to inspire the visitors.

Love my Salad – the social salad network

are to prepare and enjoy.

In order to appeal to younger visitors and inspire

promoted on Facebook,

them with new and unusual recipe ideas, Love

Twitter and the blogs.

my Salad invited along four well-known Spanish

This cross-media approach helped to achieve two

culinary bloggers who were each challenged to

objectives: putting fresh vegetables in the spotlight

devise a special salad and prepare it on the Love my

(where they belong) and generating extra exposure

Salad stand where visitors could taste and discover

for the Love my Salad initiative.

All the activities were

delicious fresh vegetables and see how easy they A healthy lifestyle based on eating more fruit and vegetables is a great match with Rijk Zwaan’s ‘Sharing a healthy future’ campaign, so it made perfect sense for the company to participate with Love my Salad. The World Health Organisation (WHO) encourages people to consume at least 400 grams of fruit and vegetables every day. Content manager Yolanda Granados and community manager Silvia Cicioni delivered a master stroke. “Traditionally the Spanish eat lots of fresh vegetables and healthy ingredients such as olive oil. Unfortunately, however, the American fast-food culture is becoming increasingly popular with the younger generation and for this reason, we presented hyper-modern and ultra-tasty salads. You could say ‘salads 2.0’! Cool salads, freshly made on the stand.”


Rijk Zwaan | Chain magazine

@OrielosKitchen makes calcium-rich salads

Chef Orielo: “Love my Salad offers me a unique opportunity to promote my vision of fresh vegetables and healthy eating.” When Love my Salad asked blogger Chef Orielo to prepare a special salad for the Fruit Attraction event, he didn’t hesitate. “A unique opportunity to promote my vision of fresh

Fruit Attraction Madrid

vegetables and healthy eating,” he says enthusiastically. “Love

Fruit Attraction is Spain’s leading fruit and vegetable

my Salad is a meeting place for everyone who strives to lead

exhibition. Although the event has only been running

a happy and healthy lifestyle. You can ask questions about

for five years, it has already grown into a vibrant and

products and share experiences or recipes. It’s perfect.”

contemporary meeting place for everyone involved in

Lactose intolerant

the Spanish horticultural sector. From 16-19 October 2013 producers, dealers and representatives from

“Lactose-free recipes are my speciality and I share one of

the processing industry once again travelled to

my salads each month on the Love My Salad website where I

Madrid to see the latest innovations and meet each

hope to inspire readers on how to use lactose-free ingredients.

other. Love my Salad shared the fun and vitality with its

For the show, I created a new modern salad combining

original 2.0 tasting salads on the stand in the ‘5 al dia’

spinach, baby red Salanova®lettuce leaves, caramelised


cherry tomatoes, toasted Mediterranean crusty bread and a vinaigrette of pistachio and anchovy. All the ingredients are rich in calcium, which is important for people who are lactose intolerant since they cannot eat dairy products” said chef Orielo. “On behalf of the other three chef bloggers @garbancita, @elcocinerofiel and @futurobloguero.we were proud to be involved in Fruit Attraction. It was a fantastic experience, really fun, and we all enjoyed being able to contribute to a positive campaign.”  

February | 2014


Successful chain collaboration in Eastern Europe How do you get a fresh product through the right store and onto

On-shelf abundance

consumer plates every day? The answer: chain collaboration. There

Through previous collaborative projects, Rijk

is growing interest in long-term relationships of this kind, including

Zwaan had built a good relationship with local

in Hungary where Rijk Zwaan chain manager Kamill Tóth recently

wholesaler Metro C&C, an innovative organisation

put grower Jaszvega in contact with wholesaler Metro. And through

that was happy to partner with pioneering growers

on-pack QR codes, consumers are now becoming more closely

such as Jaszvega. Step by step they worked

involved too.

together to enhance the fresh produce range in stores. Tóth: “In Summer Metro stocks up to 18 different lettuce types, not only thanks to our wide diversity of varieties but also because of the growers’ technical advancements. They now grow crops in the open field in heated greenhouses and in unheated tunnels. By expanding its production facilities Jaszvega can now supply fresh products in the winter too.”

QR code “It’s great to see all the companies involved working together towards a common goal: providing consumers with as fresh a product as possible. Quality requirements, preferences and availability – everything is discussed before the season starts. In April we added something new to Jaszvega’s lettuces: a QR code. Scanning this code takes consumers directly to the Love My Salad website where they can find more information In addition to traditional butter lettuce, Borbély Sándor (left) and Kovács Róbert (right) from Jaszvega grow various special lettuce types.

about the product – currently in Hungarian and Entrepreneurs Borbely Sandor and Kovacs Robert

perhaps later in English too. The lettuces also carry

started out in 2005 with two hectares of butter

a ‘Grown in Hungary’ label. I’m in no doubt that

lettuce in the Hungarian town of Jaszfenyszaru

such initiatives encourage consumers to buy and

and just eight years later they had evolved into

eat more fresh produce – and we achieve that by

a horticultural giant with 15 hectares of lettuce

working together.” 

specialities. Undeterred by the locals’ conservative eating habits, they introduced products such as iceberg lettuce, lollo, oak leaf, cos, Salanova®,

Kamill Tóth from Rijk Zwaan (right) put Borbély Sándor and Kovács Róbert in contact with Metro. This collaboration resulted in a considerable increase in the number of different lettuce types on the retailer’s shelves.

endive, frisée and radicchio. The young growers had high ambitions but knew that they could not achieve them alone. After all, to change deeply rooted eating habits you need support from food wholesalers. And to produce such a wide assortment, technical knowledge of varieties is crucial. Rijk Zwaan acted as facilitator: Jörg Werner, business development manager and Kamill Tóth, chain manager for Hungary, saw the opportunities and set up a chain project.


Rijk Zwaan | Chain magazine

Chain collaboration boosts sales in Tokyo The traditional Japanese cuisine, called ‘Washoku’, was recently placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. One thing that makes this cuisine so special is its focus on vegetables – the diversity of vegetable-based dishes is enormous! Therefore, the unique and tasty Salanova® is right at home in Japan, and the collaboration between Shinjuku Vegeful, Agri Green and Rijk Zwaan has resulted in Salanova being launched there very successfully.

In Japan, over 70 percent of all vegetable

their clients are enthusiastic about this

products are sold through wholesalers.

leafy product and such feedback helps

One of the major players in Tokyo is

Shinjuku Vegeful to stay informed about

Shinjuku Vegeful, and they have been

customer requirements and consumer

very enthusiastic about Salanova ever

reactions to new products.

since its launch in 2010.


End users

Shinjuku Vegeful Co. Ltd. Shinjuku Vegeful is the result of a merger between two wholesalers,

Thanks to the chain collaboration

Tokyo Shinjuku Seika and Tokyo

Since 2010, Yoshio Yunoki, Rijk Zwaan’s

outlined above, Japanese consumers

Yodobashi Seika, in 2005. Since

Chain Manager for Japan, and Fumio

are increasingly able to find Salanova on

then, the company has been based

Kitamura of Sumika Agrotech, Rijk

the shelves in mid-sized supermarkets

at Tokyo’s Yodobashi Wholesale

Zwaan’s Salanova distribution partner

and greengrocer stores. The fresh lettuce

Market. Shinjuku Vegeful employs

in Japan, have been working together

is also used by many restaurants, such

262 people and generates annual

with grower Agri Green. This company is

as the oyster bar chain called ‘Jack

revenues of approximately USD60

among the biggest hydroponic growers in

Pot’ which is especially popular among

million through the sale of fresh and

Japan and a preferred supplier of spinach

Tokyo’s young female inhabitants. Here,

processed fruit and vegetables.

to wholesaler Shinjuku Vegeful. Yoshio:

the chefs make the most of the various

The Salanova® varieties sold by

“Agri Green was already cultivating

shapes and colours available to produce

Shinjuku Vegeful are all sourced

Salanova, and was particularly impressed

delicious creations. In addition to

from grower Agri Green. The listed

by the uniqueness of this convenience

Salanova’s versatility, they notice that it

varieties include Cook RZ, Exact RZ,

lettuce. Also, thanks to its high-tech

helps to reduce waste. Thanks to the ‘one

Bellagon RZ and Triplex RZ.

cultivation methods, the company

cut, ready’ principle, plus the product’s

always produces high-quality lettuce.”

shelf life both as a whole head and when

Therefore, the launch of Salanova

cut, less lettuce is thrown away. 

through Shinjuku Vegeful was a logical step for both parties. The grower ensured supply of a top-quality product and Rijk Zwaan provided promotional material to introduce it to Japanese consumers.

Wholesaler A recipe for success! When asked about Salanova’s benefits, Shinjuku Vegeful mentions its attractively shaped leaves and colour, delicious flavour and long shelf life. The wholesaler now sells the lettuce through distributors to retailers and food-service customers, mostly in Tokyo. The distributors report that February | 2014

Thanks to its attractively shaped leaves, delicious flavour and long shelf life, Salanova® is popular with retailers and food-service customers alike. 11

Adding value for customers with Sensational Ingredients Make a point of visiting the Rijk Zwaan stand at Fruit Logistica 2014 to discover Sensational Ingredients for yourself. This is a line of varieties with higher levels of components such as vitamin C or folic acid, for instance, or specific ingredients of interest to the food colourings industry. These varieties enable you to create and launch added-value products.

Sensational Ingredients is the sixth product line for Rijk Zwaan, complementing Sensational Flavours and Sensational Snacks plus the more accountrelated product lines of Convenience, Organic and Industry. With Sensational Ingredients we want to highlight varieties that score particularly well in terms of certain substances focused around three areas: 1. Taste – for example sweetness in melons thanks to sugars (glucose, fructose) and Brix, bitterness of endive thanks to sesquiterpene lactones and spiciness of chilli peppers thanks to capsaicin 2. Industrial applications – dry matter percentage of white cabbage for dehydrating (e.g. soups), betanin in beetroot, carotenoids in carrots 3. Nutrition – vitamins, minerals, folic acid, etc.

Rijk Zwaan pays extra attention to analysing food components during the breeding and selection process. Varieties and crops with significantly higher levels of certain substances are included in the Sensational Ingredients product line. Two examples are:


We share our biochemical analysis data with our

In addition to its characteristic flavour, beetroot

partners as a way of initiating dialogue about the

contains a substance which also makes it interesting

market interest and the importance of certain food

to the processing industry: betanin, which can be used

components. We then discuss how these products

as a colouring in products such as sauces, jams or jelly

should be positioned, labelled and promoted plus

and is even used as ink. Rijk Zwaan’s new-generation

which other aspects should be analysed to ensure a

beetroot varieties have a significantly higher betanin

successful market launch. 

content than today’s standard variety. With our Monti RZ (oval) and Belushi RZ (round) we offer suitable alternatives for the processing industry and the fresh market, respectively.

Lycopene in tomato Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables in the world, full of flavour and health. Next to Vitamin C, tomatoes are also rich in the anti-oxidant lycopene, that give the fruits their red colour. Being aware of the positive aspects of lycopene, Rijk Zwaan always measures the content with all of its varieties, sometimes giving extraordinary results. Lyterno RZ has a lycopene content, which is almost twice as much as the average tomato. 12

Rijk Zwaan | Chain magazine

Riverford takes local vegetables to the next level Riverford Farm’s vegetable boxes are hugely popular in the United Kingdom. The concept is as simple as it is effective: subscribers are sent a varied assortment of organic products at regular intervals. Sales currently stand at 40,000 boxes a week! The emphasis is on British products, all year round – and Rijk Zwaan’s varieties play a key role in making that possible.

is now even a Riverford farm in France to ensure an adequate supply all year round. The boxes offer a wider choice of products too, with various dairy and meat products available in addition to vegetables.

‘Right plant, right place’ 25 years ago, Guy Watson from Riverford Farm in

Guy Watson is not afraid of sourcing fruit and

Devon started regularly supplying fresh vegetables

vegetables elsewhere since he is not necessarily tied

to a group of friends. Their enthusiastic reactions

to local products. Instead the growers prefer to look

set the farmer thinking. What if he could supply

for the best (i.e. most sustainable) production site

locally grown produce regionally? His idea was a

in line with the ‘right plant, right place’ principle.

success. Consumers appreciate the ‘field freshness’

However, ‘home grown’ is of course preferable,

plus they support the underlying ideas: fewer food

which is why Riverford is constantly looking for

miles and ‘buying British’.

ways of reinforcing and expanding its range of local products. An annual visit to Rijk Zwaan’s demo fields

The Riverford vegetable boxes were so successful

has become part of that search. Together with Rijk

that Guy Watson could no longer cope on his own

Zwaan’s Product Development Specialist, Martin

which led to South Devon Organic Producers Ltd.

Kyte, and Account Manager Organics, Heleen Bos, the

being established in 1997: a group of enthusiastic

growers select varieties that can cope with the British

growers primarily focused on arable crops such as

climate, and that meet customer needs. Because at

potatoes, carrots, cabbages, leeks, peas and beans.

the end of the day it’s all about strong connections

The company currently comprises nine producers

between vegetables, growers and consumers. 

Riverfords’ boxes strengthen the ties between vegetables, growers and consumers.

farming 530 acres between them. On its own 200 acres Riverford focuses mainly on spinach, lettuce, onions and various crops in polytunnels and there

Riverford grows Salanova® For the past two years Rijk Zwaan’s Product Development Specialist Martin Kyte has been accompanying Riverfords’ growers on their annual visit to the Rijk Zwaan UK demo site at Huntstile Organic Farm in Somerset. “We purposefully spent more time looking at the rows of Salanova. The sheer diversity of types and varieties plus the convenience aspect mean that this lettuce is a great fit with Riverfords’ objectives. The company agreed and Riverford planted a total of 10,000 Descartes RZ, Klee RZ and Seurat RZ plants in polytunnels in Autumn 2013. The harvest started in week 51, and the Salanova leaves are being used in Riverfords’ Winter babyleaf mixes.” Other Rijk Zwaan varieties used by Riverford are mini-cucumbers Khassib RZ, cherry tomatoes Sassari RZ and Cheramy RZ, cos lettuce Victorinus RZ and Quintus RZ, green batavia Emocion RZ, and red batavia Novelski RZ, Louxal RZ, Mohican RZ, Duplex RZ and Redial RZ. Februrary | 2014


Responding to consumers on Italy embraces sweet endive Today’s consumers like sweetness so

make consumers forget the bitter taste

Rijk Zwaan’s new, sweet endive types

traditionally associated with endive.

are a sure-fire success.

These new types can be eaten raw, either

Growers, processors and dealers

in salads or on their own, an innovation

alike are all enthusiastic about Avral

full of potential! This endive enables us

RZ and Timehal RZ. These product

to provide the market with a high-quality

launches, which are intended for

and flavoursome leafy vegetable all year

growing in Summer and Spring/Autumn

round.” 

respectively are suitable for open field production in Italy. Chain manager Paride explains the benefits of this product line: “The heads have a very upright growth habit and a bright green

Paride Zamagna, chain project manager Italy

colour while the leaves are nicely curled with a fine vein structure. Importantly, the colour extends well into the head meaning that processors have plenty of material to work with – and hence a high net yield. Avral and Timehal will

Avral RZ

‘Palermo’ pepper now available in yellow too It’s finally possible: a pack containing a

we might even extend cultivation to

red pointed pepper and now a yellow

other countries. With 35-523 RZ we hope

one too. With the 35-523 RZ, Rijk Zwaan

to reach as big an audience as with

has introduced the yellow counterpart

Palermo, which is why we’re aiming

of the successful Palermo. And just

at both local and foreign markets.

like the red Palermo, this type excels

Thanks to its attractive yellow colour,

in terms of flavour, which makes this

firmness and sweet taste, I have high

pepper particularly suitable for salads.

expectations. It’s the missing link in

Plus it’s a tasty dish when stuffed too,

‘traffic light’ packs!” 

believes Alberto Cuadrado Salmerón, Chain Project Manager in Spain. “With this newcomer, we’re initially focusing on winter greenhouse production in

Alberto Cuadrado Salmerón, chain project manager Spain

Spain. The first tests went well and we hope to roll out the variety on a larger commercial scale next year. Who knows,

35-523 RZ


Rijk Zwaan | Chain magazine

a worldwide scale ‘The convenient watermelon’ Watermelons are simply delicious –

colours, good watermelons on both the

but often too big for today’s generally

inside and outside, that are nice and

smaller families. It is of course possible

delicious with a crispy bite. We’ve also

to slice just a couple of wedges as

incorporated benefits for growers: the

needed, but the rest quickly deteriorates

selected varieties excel in uniformity and

in terms of flavour and shelf life. That’s

yield.” 

why Rijk Zwaan has developed a more conveniently sized watermelon. “With our Sandissima® line, we are responding to a clear consumer need,” says David Herzog, Crop Coordinator for watermelons. “We are launching a range of varieties, some produce

David Herzog, crop coordinator rootstock/watermelon

watermelons weighing 2 to 3 kilograms while the others produce fruits of 3 to 4 kilograms, with different attractive skin


Cubelli® is conquering the world Have you seen them yet? The blocky

their customers. The Cubelli family

Cubelli® tomatoes. Thanks to their

currently comprises three varieties,

authentic shape, these tomatoes are

namely 15, 20 and 50 grams, all with a

very appealing to consumers and Rijk

deep-red colour and good flavour. Feel

Zwaan marketing specialist Johan Vis

free to see and taste them for yourself in

often hears words such as “attractive”

our Trial Center Tomato in Kwintsheul,

and “luxurious” used to describe

where numerous tempting varieties

them. “These blocky tomatoes stay

will once again be on display from April

upright well, making them ideal for

onwards.” 

use in various culinary creations – with mozzarella and parsley as tapas for instance or baked in the oven with a little olive oil and sea salt. With so many uses,

Johan Vis, marketing specialist fruit crops

Cubelli is a great fit with the convenience trend: tasty yet easy. Of course, we help growers to highlight this versatility to

Cubelli® February | 2014


Rijk Zwaan’s unique Salanova® lettuce and Great Lakes’ living lettuce display are guaranteed to deliver mutual success.

John Bonner and Tim Ryan from Great Lakes

For a current list of Rijk Zwaan events, please see With any questions, please contact your local Rijk Zwaan representative or send an email to

Rijk Zwaan Distribution B.V. | Burgemeester Crezéelaan 40 | 2678 KX De Lier | The Netherlands |

Chainmail RZ February 2014 EN  

The Rijk Zwaan magazine for chain partners.

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