7 February 2023 – Despite high inflation dampening sales of organic products, the mood at the organic trade fair BioBeurs, which took place in the Netherlands on 18 and 19 January, was buoyed by two pieces of good news: €26 million worth of funding for the sector from the Dutch government, and vegetable processor HAK’s full transition to organic produce. Rijk Zwaan’s new organic Marmande tomato Tafury RZ was particularly popular with visitors to the event.
Ekomenu won the Future Award for best communication of the year with its ‘Discover your Foodprint’ receipts showing personalised Vegetable, Water, CO2 and Vita scores. CEO Jack Stroeken is understandably proud of this achievement and, despite the recession, he sees a bright future for the provider of organic meal boxes in the Netherlands and Belgium. “We are a good fit with the sustainability, health and online trends. And our short supply chains enable us to keep price increases to a minimum.”
The Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus or ToBRFV has been causing major economic losses in tomato cultivation worldwide. Rijk Zwaan’s team of researchers found new, unique genetics resulting in a high resistance level to ToBRFV.
Rijk Zwaan offers growers and other fresh chain partners peace of mind in today’s challenging times. During the annual Pfälzer Feldtag in Schifferstadt on 8 September, Rijk Zwaan Germany presented a broad range of varieties, from lettuces to brassicas. “The organic sector is looking for less risky crops – in growing but also in promotion and price standability,” says David Pape, Account Manager Open Field Crops.
While the organic fresh produce industry is certainly not exempt from inflation, the overall market is still showing strong growth in the USA. Every organic category is performing differently, though. This was one of the conclusions from an expert session at the Organic Produce Summit in Monterey in July. “We’re seeing the largest price gap between conventional and organic in less-established markets like melon,” states David Perie, Account Manager at Rijk Zwaan USA.
With organic produce currently accounting for just 1.5% of production in Flanders, three local farmers’ organisations have devised a plan to significantly increase this share. Koen T’Syen, organic specialist at Rijk Zwaan: “Closer collaboration in the value chain can achieve the most impact. Supermarket chain Colruyt’s project to sell locally grown organic melons is a great example of this. We can move a step closer to the targets by working together.”