Sustainable and appealing shelves with CleanLeaf®
The new way of growing aubergines.
For the grower, CleanLeaf represents a new generation of aubergine varieties with very few trichomes (hairs), which helps growers to cultivate residue-free products more efficiently and predictably.
Regarding retail, consumers currently have high expectations in terms of organic produce and low pesticide levels. With CleanLeaf, Rijk Zwaan enables sustainable production and helps retailers to achieve their sustainability goals.
Interested in more information about CleanLeaf?
Please contact your local aubergine specialist and/or your local chain manager
Rijk Zwaan Worldwide
Recently, Rijk Zwaan launched its first CleanLeaf variety, called Kesia RZ, which is aligned with rising consumer expectations related to sustainability. With CleanLeaf, a new way of growing aubergines has been introduced. Thanks to the presence of fewer hairs on the plants, integrated pest management (IPM) is easier, resulting in residue-free products, which leads to a more sustainable shelf. In addition, Kesia RZ has a good shelf life, which leads to less food waste.
Not only are the plants themselves hairless but so too is the calyx of the aubergine, plus it is greener compared to conventional varieties. This makes it more appealing to consumers since they associate this greener calyx with fresh & green.
Improved Integrated pest management (IPM)
CleanLeaf varieties are less attractive to both whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) and thrips larvae (Frankliniella occidentalis) compared with conventional varieties. In various trials, we have seen less development of whitefly (eggs, nymphs and adults) on CleanLeaf. When both a conventional and CleanLeaf variety are placed in the same greenhouse, a clear preference for the conventional aubergine can be seen, resulting in a higher pest pressure.
Less attractive to pests
Regarding thrips larvae, we see a significantly smaller thrips larvae population in CleanLeaf, resulting in fewer adult thrips in greenhouses with CleanLeaf aubergines. Thanks to this lower pest pressure, predators such as A. Swirskii can do their job more effectively, resulting in a stable balance and little to no need for corrective actions.
Better working conditions
With CleanLeaf varieties, no hairs are floating in the air anymore, preventing throat irritation by employees. This improves the working conditions for greenhouse employees and enables them to work with the aubergines for sustained periods, rather than having to switch to more labour-friendly crops.
Juan J. Rodríguez and Francisco Mañas, both aubergine growers in the west of Almería, share their experiences with CleanLeaf’s first aubergine variety: Kesia RZ.