The powerful message of ‘seeding change’ emerges from colourful paintings of vegetables and seeds at the Rijk Zwaan stand at the annual Hort Connections conference.
Always exploring new ideas, Rijk Zwaan commissioned a live artist to paint an interactive mural on the back wall of its trade stand over the two-and-a-half day conference.
Managing Directors, Steven Roberts and Tim March unveiled the finished wall at a gathering at the stand on Tuesday evening.
“Over the past two days, we’ve seen this blank wall comes to life with a really important message for our industry: that if we are to create a healthier and more sustainable future, it starts with planting the seed for change,” Tim said.
“For us, seeding change is very literal. Seeding change is at the heart of what we do as a vegetable breeding company. We do this by spending years, in some cases even decades, drawing what we can from nature to create varieties that not only meet consumer demands in terms of taste, convenience, nutrition, and aesthetics, but are bred with sustainability in mind and offer benefits for the entire chain. This includes resistance breeding, improving yields and reliability, and natural traits that help to reduce food waste.”
Rijk Zwaan is committed to sustainability and has aligned its objectives to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to create a better world by 2030. Some of these goals Rijk Zwaan contributes to include ending hunger, promoting sustained and inclusive economic growth and encouraging responsible consumption and production.
“What we are hearing from our partners resonates with our own direction for Rijk Zwaan, and that’s the renewed focus on sustainability,” Steven said.
“We are already making a difference by creating traits, such as Knox™, which delays pinking in lettuce and therefore reduces waste. We are giving growers more reliable and successful crops through our Blueleaf® plants, and solving efficiency problems for processors by continually developing the one-cut Salanova® range.”
“At the end of the food chain, we are keeping customers in mind with products that are expanding the range of snacking vegetables, from tomatoes to cucumber, and now even lettuce. In terms on convenience and ‘on-the-go’ products, Cos lettuce varieties like Coronita RZ and Verodita RZ are being used in place of tacos and flatbread wraps to offer healthier and gluten-free options. Our efforts to connect with consumers extends to our social initiative, Love My Salad, which our partners can use to further spread their own message.”
While Rijk Zwaan created conversation and buzz about the mural, equally important was the opportunity for attendees from all sectors in the horticulture industry to look at a range of vegetables produced from Rijk Zwaan seeds.
On display was Knox Cos, the new greenback tomato variety, Lagoverde RZ, as well as an assortment of capsicum varieties from Sweet Palermo to a white Hungarian cooking capsicum. The market leaders, Monarca RZ eggplant and truss tomato, Endeavour RZ were also show and visitors to the stand enjoyed snacking on super sweet snack tomatoes and refreshing snack cucumbers.
Hosted by AUSVEG and PMA Australia-New Zealand Limited, the Hort Connections trade show ran from 24 – 26 June in Melbourne and brought together a wide cross-section of the horticultural industry from growers, processors, wholesalers to the food service sector and retailers.