01 Jul 2020

Knowledge transfer at the heart of development projects Rijk Zwaan

For more than twenty years, the Committee for Development Cooperation of Rijk Zwaan has been supporting projects in developing countries. Financially, but also – and especially – by transferring knowledge on vegetable cultivation to growers. The Committee, or COS, lately published its COS magazine, in which several projects are highlighted.

The COS was established in 1999. Maarten Zwaan, then managing director and owner of Rijk Zwaan, was one of the initiators and as such from the start closely involved in the projects. Today, de COS consists of five employees of Rijk Zwaan and two external advisors. Through the COS, Rijk Zwaan is supporting projects in Peru, Guatemala, Haiti, Albania and Gambia.

The COS always collaborates with local partners who understand the local context. Sometimes the support is mainly financial, however in most projects, employees of Rijk Zwaan also provide technical advice and share knowledge on the cultivation of vegetables with growers. The ultimate goal: to stimulate vegetable consumption within families and to improve farmers’ incomes.

In the brand-new COS magazine, the current projects of the COS pass by. A horticultural school in the midst of Guatemala. Awareness raising and family gardens in the rugged highlands of Peru. Horticultural education on Haiti, which was severely affected by natural disasters in recent years. A greenhouse for growing vegetables at a shelter for kids in Albania. A school garden in Gambia. And the results? A healthier diet, better incomes, and mostly: smiling faces.

Heleen Bos is both Specialist Development Projects at Rijk Zwaan and member of the COS. Heleen: “We are a commercial company, but we are able and allowed to do many good and useful things that bring no gain. At least, no financial gain. Because they are really contributing to improving the day-to-day situation of people and their families. And we can be proud of that!”

Committtee for Development Cooperation 

The Rijk Zwaan Committee for Development Cooperation is involved in development work, with a focus on sharing our knowledge about vegetable farming. We work together with local organisations to provide technical advice and support to farmers and growers in developing countries. Our aim is to stimulate vegetable consumption within families and communities, and to help farmers to improve their income position. 

Are you interested in the development projects and initiatives we support? Have a look at www.rijkzwaan.com/development-projects


Boosting vegetable consumption Peru

The Aprodes Foundation

Watch the video

Download COS magazine

Aprodes Growers Peru
Kusimayo Growers Peru