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26 Apr 2023

Rijk Zwaan's approach to fighting food loss and waste.

Did you know that one third* of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted worldwide? Food waste is at the heart of many of the major problems the world is currently facing. In these uncertain times, it is important to get the basics right, be it through improved resilience a longer shelf life, or reliable yields.

Fresh foundation

Rijk Zwaan consolidates its core strengths: Robust, resilient and reliable solutions to help build a better future with dependable supply of healthy and high-quality vegetables. In Rijk Zwaan Afrisem we are focused on developing vegetable varieties that are well-suited to the African climate and growing conditions. There we breed determinate tomato (outdoor), African eggplant, African hot pepper, African kale as well as screening global varieties for local conditions. 

Extending shelf life reduces food loss and waste.

In our breeding programs extending the shelf life can be part of the breeding goals. For example, The African eggplant is an important community crop in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, existing varieties do not have a long shelf life. The fruits are consumed with a white colour but a few hours after harvest, the crop turns from white to yellow, then orange and red, making it unsellable. The breeding program of Rijk Zwaan increased the shelf life of our Eggplant variety to one week making this vegetable more valuable in the market  and giving farmers more options but also importantly, reducing food loss and food waste. 

Addressing food waste through innovative solutions.

Overall, reducing food waste is a critical issue that requires innovative thinking and collaboration across the entire food supply chain. By developing new vegetable varieties with longer shelf life, Rijk Zwaan is dedicated to address the issue of food waste while also creating new opportunities for farmers to increase their income and improve their livelihoods. That is why Rijk Zwaan Is moving freshly forward both with and for partners in the entire Vegetables supply chain.