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FAO International Year of Fruit & Vegetables

International Year of Fruit & Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Raw or cooked. Sweet or bitter. Soft, crunchy or pungent. All of them unique and special. Full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Fruit and vegetables don’t just fill your plate, but they are part of a healthy diet. So it’s with good reason that the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations is putting fruit and vegetables firmly in the spotlight in 2021!

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Fruits and vegetables, your dietary essentials

This year, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is creating extra awareness of the importance of fruit and vegetables in human nutrition and health. Fruit and vegetables also play a key role in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

7 April - World Health Day - How to make vegetables more appealing

As vegetable breeding company we look for ways to make vegetables more appealing. We do so by combining our breeding expertise with sensory research and consumer research, and we also work together with chain partners. Annette Meeder, a taste researcher at Rijk Zwaan, shares four examples.

Seeds: the foundation of fruit and vegetables

Colour, flavour, shelf life, yield and resistances – all of these characteristics are contained in a tiny vegetable seed. What’s the secret? It’s a natural product, so it’s not as simple as mixing together a list of ingredients. It takes skilful vegetable breeding, at the start of the food chain.

Breeding: crossing and selecting varieties

As a vegetable breeding company we are continuously working to develop healthy and appealing vegetable varieties. Our aim is to breed vegetable varieties that meet as many needs as possible – the needs of growers, retailers and consumers. That is a complex challenge. Our breeders keep crossing and selecting vegetable varieties for as long as necessary until they have developed a variety that has all the desired traits. On average, this can take between 6 and 16 years.

Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals

To sustainably preserve our planet and ensure everyone has access to tasty, healthy and nutritious vegetables, we need to continually improve in the areas of cultivation, harvesting and processing. By breeding more robust varieties with better resistances, higher yield and improved shelf life, we contribute to more sustainable and efficient production and processing of vegetables. This is how we give meaning to our mission of sharing a healthy future.