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Rijk Zwaan supports its partners by sharing insights into organic production

Organic products are becoming increasingly popular among consumers, as confirmed by the latest data from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL). The organic food market increased by 13% on a global level and grew by more than 15% in Europe. Rijk Zwaan has been active on the organic market since 1992 and has developed a strong and broad organic assortment. As part of Rijk Zwaan’s activities to contribute to further market growth, the company’s consumer platform, Love My Salad, has shared an interesting peek behind the scenes at three organic farms.

One of the interviewees is Rob van Paassen, who is an experienced organic farmer. He explains what organic production entails and how it differs from conventional farming. Many people do not realise how much effort it takes to be an organic farmer. In Europe, all organic production companies are monitored by the Skal Institute, which makes sure that farmers follow all the rules associated with organic production. For example, they are not allowed to use artificial fertilisers, they must grow their products in soil and they have to rotate their crop every year to keep the soil fertile.

Moreover, organic farmers are not allowed to use any chemicals to tackle pests and diseases. “That’s why we need to take preventive measures. For example, we grow plants in between the crops to try to attract natural enemies that fight aphids, such as hoverflies,” says Rob. “Every two years, we rotate all our crops to different areas to give the soil a rest in order to guarantee healthier crops. Growing the same crops in the same soil year after year can lead to the build-up of soil-borne diseases.”

However, where there are limitations, there are also solutions. Rijk Zwaan’s Defense label and Cleanleaf® concept are two examples of how Rijk Zwaan offers organic farmers solutions for the ongoing battle against serious diseases and pests. While Defense offers key resistances, Cleanleaf® is a range of hairless aubergine varieties that are less attractive for whitefly and thrips larvae, making them highly suitable for biological control.

Do you want to know more about our organic activities or would you like to read more about the three organic farmers featured on Love My Salad? Please visit the website.

For more information:
Rijk Zwaan

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