English

16 May 2022

With ‘The future is sky’, Rijk Zwaan highlights the importance of shared entrepreneurship in cucumber breeding

Vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan has been active in cucumber since 1937 and partnerships have always been of paramount importance, ensuring continuous innovation and new cucumber varieties with the right resistances and agronomical traits. That is the key message in Rijk Zwaan’s first video in its ‘The future is sky’ series aimed at high-tech cucumber growers. Thanks to a mindset of shared entrepreneurship, Rijk Zwaan has succeeded in becoming a knowledge partner in all cucumber segments. Its portfolio includes more than 50 available varieties for the smaller high-wire segment alone.

A mindset of shared entrepreneurship

Rijk Zwaan has been active in the cucumber market for many decades, in both traditional and high-tech cultivation. Production in low greenhouses gradually evolved as new cultivation techniques disrupted cucumber cultivation methods. Thanks to a mindset of shared entrepreneurship, Rijk Zwaan was able to respond to these rapid developments in line with the company’s ambition to be the preferred breeding partner in all cucumber segments. To realise this ambition, the breeding department and the rest of the company have always strongly believed that it is essential to stay in close contact with growers. 

Innovation in cucumber types for new and existing systems

This ambition is also visible in the company’s high-wire portfolio and expertise; Rijk Zwaan is active across all types and has more than 50 high-wire cucumber varieties in its assortment, ranging from snack cucumbers to long cucumbers. The long-standing relationship of trust with growers enables Rijk Zwaan to not only dream with growers about the future, but also to dare to make decisions and subsequently to do what has been decided. This has led to the development of strong varieties such as Skyview, Verdon and Bonwell. Together, a solution can always be found – for any climate, any greenhouse and any season.

Partnership is in the company’s genes

It is evident that partnership is in Rijk Zwaan’s genes. “I see Marcel van Koppen as an independent person. He comes in without prior knowledge of what I have cut and punched, which allows him to effectively and objectively assess how things stand,” says Jan Reijm, cucumber grower at Reijm and Zn. This mutual communication and constant exchange of knowledge is valuable in ensuring that Rijk Zwaan knows what is going on in the market and can identify the needs of its partners as the basis for conducting dedicated research into resistances and traits.

From one generation to the next

Rijk Zwaan’s work is far from finished, as innovation never stops. The company will continue to support growers from one generation to the next and keep exchanging knowledge, always with a focus on the future.  Over the coming period, in 'The future is sky' series, the company will share its expertise on industry trends and present growers’ and breeders’ inspirational real-life stories to underline just how much the company values its partnerships. You can plant the seed yourself, but true growth is achieved together. ‘The future is sky’.