Tobi Seeobst sets new standards in terms of sustainability

New apple varieties and close partnership with research institute

Together with the Board of Directors, Tobi Seeobst AG identified strategic fields of action based on the results of the sustainability analyses of twelve producers and Tobi itself. This way it could define concrete next steps in a sustainability roadmap. This way, the fruit group wants to achieve new milestones in terms of sustainability, they say in a brief statement.

Commitment to versatile, robust apple varieties
In addition to redefining its vision, mission and principles, the AG is also committed to producing versatile, robust apple varieties. Sustainable fruit growing can only be achieved in the medium term with varieties that are resistant to diseases or at least have strong robustness against pests, as has long been the case. Varieties with crossed resistance to the scab fungus have been cultivated for some time. However, the first generations of such varieties often still show deficits in taste or appearance. Numerous growers all over the world have been intensively cross-breeding resistant varieties with high-quality flavours for some time now in order to develop a new generation of such robust apples.

However, this is a very long process; it takes about 20 years from the first cross to the market maturity of a variety. "Through intensive contact with many of these breeders, we evaluate the best varieties for the future. Numerous new varieties from all over the world are under trial cultivation in order to test them under local climatic conditions. In addition to robustness, taste, shelf life and appearance are elementary criteria for launching a new variety in production," they say.

Some of them have already gained a foothold in organic farming; Bonita, Dalinette, Juliet, Julka or Lummerland are some examples. "This spring, with the Swing®, we planted an extremely promising new apple for the first time in conventional fruit growing. Swing® is scab-resistant and insensitive to mildew and aphids. Swing® is also extremely robust against the bacterial fire blight disease. Together with its beautiful appearance, good shelf life and excellent taste, Swing® is a prime example of a new generation of robust and sustainable apple varieties."

Intensive partnership
For almost two years, the group has been supporting the consulting firm Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) on its way to greater sustainability. SFS is a subsidiary of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and offers services related to sustainability in agricultural supply chains. "In close cooperation with the sustainability experts, we are implementing concrete measures to improve our performance, particularly in our current sustainability priorities of packaging, gender equality and sustainability in the supply chain," the report concludes.

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