The story of Bauke and Thijs
“Offering customers a realistic experience — whether live in the field or digitally”
Twice a year, vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan organises international demo days for open-field crops at its Research & Breeding facility in Fijnaart, the Netherlands. Although coronavirus measures and travel restrictions meant that the set-up was a little different this year, many things remained the same. “The demo field was full of Rijk Zwaan’s very latest lettuce, spinach, brassica and carrot varieties. And just like always, it revolved around personal contact,” says Bauke van Lenteren, Marketing Specialist Lettuce at Rijk Zwaan.
Rijk Zwaan’s most recent open-field demo took place from 14 September to 16 October 2020 in Fijnaart. “Because we had taken all the necessary COVID-19 precautions, customers from the Netherlands were able to come to Fijnaart in person. We talked to customers from all other countries digitally. Thanks to a good video connection, a proper preparation, crop specialists equipped with cameras out in the field and a studio next to the field, we could engage in one-on-one conversations with customers. Many of them were pleasantly surprised about the interaction and quality,” continues Bauke.
It was a complex process to achieve the necessary level of digitalisation, as Thijs Rensink, Specialist Digital Commerce, explains: “It all starts with good Wi-Fi out in the field. That used to be an added bonus, but now it’s a must. And although we can’t digitalise how our products actually taste, we tried to make the experience as realistic as possible. One customer even said that they could almost see the flavour!”
Rijk Zwaan is continuously innovating in conjunction with its partners, including in terms of digitalisation. That’s how we share a healthy future.
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