14 Apr 2022

Rijk Zwaan hands out 3,500 seed kits to primary schools and after-school clubs

As part of Rijk Zwaan’s vision of ‘Sharing a Healthy Future’, we’re keen to teach and inspire schoolchildren about vegetables. We do this in several ways, including going into primary schools and after-school clubs to hold talks about vegetables, and handing out seed kits. Jolanda van Kralingen, Specialist Communication, explains more about this aspect of the company’s contribution to society.

At a young age

“Children who know more about the food they eat are more likely to make healthy and sustainable food choices. So it’s very effective to let them discover and experience the wonders of nature for themselves by tending to a vegetable patch a whole season long. Sowing seeds, caring for plants and seeing them grow, harvesting the vegetables and then using them as ingredients to make tasty dishes – these are all unforgettable experiences at such a young age,” says Jolanda.

3,500 seed kits

Rijk Zwaan first started handing out seed kits to selected Dutch primary schools in 2017. The initiative was so popular that it was extended in 2018, and since then all primary schools and after-school clubs in the Netherlands have been able to order a seed kit.

Jolanda van Kralingen is involved in this initiative: “This year we will be supplying 3,500 seed kits to primary schools and after-school clubs in the Netherlands. The kit is very varied, and includes lettuce, tomato, leek and radish seeds, to name but a few.” Besides vegetable seeds, the kit also contains an instruction booklet, a poster for on the classroom wall and a sowing calendar which indicates exactly which vegetables should be sown, planted and harvested in which month.

Rijk Zwaan works with a range of partners as part of the seed kit project. Many of Rijk Zwaan’s subsidiaries around the world support vegetable-growing initiatives and donate seeds to community gardens or schools. All the seeds included in the seed kits for schools are pesticide-free.

Teaching about healthy eating

“Each seed kit includes an instruction booklet. But to provide extra help to schools that are keen to set up their own vegetable patch we’ve created a special page on our consumer website, LoveMySalad.com, dedicated to growing vegetables with children. That page offers useful tips for sowing and planting, as well as information about the origin of the seeds, teaching materials and a sowing calendar,” she adds. As a member of a Dutch initiative called Voedseleducatie Platform, Rijk Zwaan works together with the government, industry, scientific education and other community organisations to develop objective and high-quality learning resources to teach children about healthy eating.

Jolanda's story is just one example of how Rijk Zwaan shoulders its corporate social responsibility, and how we bring our mission of ‘Sharing a Healthy Future’ to life. To find out what else we do, go to www.rijkzwaan.com/csr