Under the title "New solutions for a new market", Rijk Zwaan has offered a comprehensive webinar program to analyze the trends that add value to consumers in this new scenario.
The experts invited were Hans-Christoph Behr AMI (Agrarmarkt Informations-GmbH), who analyzed the European melon and watermelon market and highlighted the increase in consumption of the category with a presentation called "Innovations in smaller and seedless formats achieve increases in the demand"; Cindy Van Rijswick, Rabobank Research Food & Agribusiness, who outlined the impact of Covid-19 in the international fresh fruit sector and talked about how “There are new healthy priorities for consumers and new opportunities for producers,” Marian García, better known as Boticaria García, PhD in Pharmacy, Nutritionist and commentator at RNE, Zapeando and El Mundo, who gave a talk about connecting with the consumer, where the producers “are the good guys in the film”.
Lastly, Lionel Bardin, Crop Manager for Melons and Business Manager at Rijk Zwaan LATAM, presented a global perspective of the situation of the category and commented on the market trends and challenges and the solutions provided by Rijk Zwaan. Ricardo Ortiz Portero, Business Manager at Rijk Zwaan Ibérica, was the moderator of the webinars.
Vincent Van Wolferen, Crop Co-ordinator for Melon & Watermelon, said that “it has been the most international edition and we've been able to take part more easily than in previous editions. The 14 digital talks offered have attracted participants of over 25 different nationalities, including Australia, the US and Thailand.”
Attendees from all over the world have had the chance to learn about the qualities of the product they need, such as flavor, firmness, shelf life and sustainability.
"Ready to Eat": More production, stability and homogeneity.
One of the most relevant projects is the “Ready to Eat” concept: a new range of Cantaloupe LSL melons that stands out for how easy it is to identify the optimal moment for the harvest and consumption. This is done through two markers: the change of color of the skin, which goes from green to cream, and the marking of the cracking next to the peduncle.
This line guarantees a premium product for the consumer due to its high sugar content and flavor.
This range includes varieties with resistance to aphids and powdery mildew, ideal for organic cultivation: Casasol RZ, Paniol RZ and Frivol RZ for cultivation in Spain; Zinasol RZ for Morocco and Spain; and Mirandol RZ for Senegal and Spain.
New Generation of Yellow Melon
Rijk Zwaan presented a new line of varieties with resistances to close the production cycle that are intended for the export market and are highly demanded by the organic market. These new materials maintain a caliber of 1.5-2kg. The Yacal RZ (early-mid-season) reaches an optimal sugar level very quickly and has a good flavor and plant vigor; the Noval RZ (mid-season) and the Hasdrubal RZ (late in Murcia and La Mancha, which complements the Yeral).
Mellissimo®, export leader.
It is a concept Piel de Sapo melon, with a delicious flavor and perfect size for export. The range includes the Bravura RZ, Dolsura RZ and Ricura RZ varieties, as well as the new Minithor RZ. It has a smaller caliber (1.5 to 2.5 kg) and the same sugar content as the rest of the varieties. It guarantees quality throughout the year.
Sandissima®, ideal for practical size export
In the watermelon range, the Sandissima concept stands out for being a line of small, high-quality watermelons, ideal for the export market. The varieties in this range have unique features, an outstanding flavor, a practical size of 3 to 4kg and fewer seeds, and can be used both as a main crop or pollinator. The Sandissima offers multiple benefits to all links in the chain, with quality products in a suitable format and high profitability thanks to the higher production and lower costs.
This year, the newest addition is the Coralzinho RZ, a striped mini watermelon with micro seeds of intermediate caliber that complements the Gatinho RZ and the Tigrinho RZ. It is ideal both for greenhouse and open ground cultivation throughout the entire cycle. It provides an early flowering that is maintained over time, with a smaller number and size of micro seeds and very good internal quality. The other novelty is the Crimson 62-430 RZ for late open ground cultivation, which stands out for its firmness.
Lastly, it is worth highlighting the launch of the Tropical concept; that is, colored, tasty watermelons. Tropical Sunshine RZ, is the first variety in the Tropical range. It is characterized by its black skin and deep yellow flesh. It has a very sweet flavor and a size of 4-6 kg.