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1 year ago

ThePartnership no. 15

  • Text
  • Vegetable
  • Squash
  • Smartfood
  • Radish
  • Onions
  • Organic
  • Zaden
  • Partnership
  • Enza
  • Varieties

convenience products and

convenience products and the steady increase in the number of supermarkets where these products are available all year round. “We are seeing an increasing variety of packaging and product applications,” says Gladouniak. “An emerging market segment is the pre-cut radish product. Of course this is closely associated with the increased demand for ready-to-use mixed salads and raw vegetables.” Working with pre-cut radish places high demands on the initial quality and uniformity of the product and also on the shelf life of the slices, which need to retain their bite and flavour for about a week. The packaging and the conditions in the packaging – preferably low in oxygen – also play an important role. Enza Zaden has been investing in post-harvest research for many years, to select the best varieties for this critical market segment and to best meet the needs of growers and vegetable processors and supermarkets. Game changer Celesta There is one variety that has had a global influence on the cultivation and sales of round, red radish in the last fifteen years. “Celesta has proven to be a real game changer,” says Rudi Jock. “It was selected about seventeen years ago in Germany and immediately made a good impression in trials of different varieties. I cannot think of any other example of a radish variety that has dominated for such a long time and is still gaining in popularity. I would estimate that roughly 70% of all radish of the red-round type grown in Germany for the important spring/ autumn segment is Celesta. And this percentage continues to increase. You can sow it from early to late in the season and the growing result – and the product quality – is always predictably good.” physical yield due to the large bulbs. “However, Celesta is the favourite for the higher market segment,” according to Jock. “Yes, it is a unique variety,” adds breeder Andrea Schieder. “The bulb is very resistant to tearing under cold and wet conditions in the spring and the autumn and the skin remains intact at high temperatures in the summer. We saw this again this last year, during the long, extremely warm summer in Europe. Other advantages of Celesta include that it is very resistant to Downy Mildew and produces a reliable round bulb shape with a fine root. The bulbs and the compact leaves also retain freshness during brief storage and transport. It is hard for a breeder to find a better variety than Celesta, even for myself. It is a true all-rounder.” A wide range is essential Nevertheless, according to Jock, it remains important to offer a wide range, so that breeders can always make the best choice regardless of the season, the current climate and the growing methods. “That also applies to Poland, Ukraine and Russia. In addition to outdoor cultivation, the radish is also grown under small plastic tunnels, in foil greenhouses and – on a small scale – under glass. In the case of bunched radish, you need to be extra critical about leaf characteristics, such as compactness, sturdiness and retaining freshness and colour after the harvest. Other features are important for radishes that are packaged as loose bulbs or destined for cutting facilities. And bulbs that are going to be harvested mechanically need to have a slightly thicker skin to withstand the process. This means that there are many considerations that play a role in the composition of our portfolio.” Andrea Schieder: “I am never bored due to the variation in growing methods and applications. You could say that resistances and disease tolerances are a must in modern hybrids, for example against Downy Mildew and Fusarium. In that context, it is also good that we breed our radishes in the Pfalz. This is the largest uninterrupted growing area for radish in the world and therefore also has a relatively high disease burden. If a new variety performs well there, then you can trust it to perform well anywhere.” Guidance Malinowski remarks that it is common for Enza Zaden to support growers, so that they can get the best out of their crop and variety. “I consider this an essential part of our added value, to offer customers good information about the growing properties of varieties and about new developments. This is why I like to take them along to variety trials and demonstrations. The radish market is constantly changing and it is important for growers to be well informed.” “Even though radishes are small, I think they are a very sexy product,” Schieder concludes. “A company that really conveys this message well is the Dutch-Italian radish specialist Ortolanda. They are on track with both their cultivation and marketing. Growers in Poland, Ukraine and Russia should definitely take a look at this company’s website. It will definitely inspire them to go for top quality and continue following the growth path.” As a result, Celesta occupies a firm first place in most other countries as well. This also goes for Poland for instance, where it is grown both for the home market and increasingly for export. Celesta now also occupies a significant market share in Ukraine and Russia. Vienna, the variety that came out of the same series, is also still very popular there, because it can produce a high “Celesta has proven to be a real game changer.” Rudi Jock Harvesting and bunching radish in the large radish production area Krasnodar, Russia. 10 | The Partnership The Partnership | 11

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