3 years ago

The Partnership no. 13

  • Text
  • Enza
  • Tomatoes
  • Partnership
  • Zaden
  • Tomato
  • Biodiversity
  • Melon
  • Varieties
  • Flavour
  • Consumer

Today's trends ask for

Today's trends ask for shelf-life analysis 14 | The Partnership

Trends Pre-packaged leafy crops – often mixed and pre-cut – are meeting the growing demand for healthy vegetables that are easy to prepare. Supermarkets and other chain partners like to see these products retain their fresh flavour, smell, texture and appearance for a prolonged period. Enza Zaden has pushed the boundaries – both in genetics and in the commercial support of customers – in this field based on years of shelf-life analysis. As Senior Portfolio Manager, Ian Botes considers the Portfolio department to be a spider in the web formed by Breeding (Research and Development), Marketing and Sales and Seed Operations within Enza Zaden. “My main task is to manage the lifecycle of our leafy crops portfolio,” he explains. “The management of these segments requires coordination and consultation with both internal and external parties.” Major change Botes is in contact with market parties within the fresh chain almost on a daily basis. Firstly, this includes the growers of leafy crops, who provide valuable feedback about the cultivation properties of varieties and explain what they would like to see changed or improved. Secondly, the Portfolio Manager also speaks to parties further along the chain, who do not belong to the group of direct customers: processing companies, retailers and bulk consumers within the food service segment. “A major change has taken place in the sales of leafy crops, from unprocessed to processed, ready-to-use products. This applies not only to the individual consumer, who nowadays prefers to select ready-to-use salads from the refrigerated section. Bulk consumers – such as hospitals, care facilities and caterers – are also increasingly buying washed and pre-cut products, sometimes even ready-to-use mixtures. As the quality of processed products generally deteriorates more quickly than unprocessed products, the shelf-life is a major point of attention.” Complex range of factors The success of existing and new varieties depends on more than just cultivation properties. Although this will undoubtedly be the first thing that growers look at, they will ultimately choose varieties that offer a high added value for customers. Leafy crops that are likely to end up as pre-cut vegetables in transparent bags in the refrigerated section of a supermarket must have a reasonable shelf-life in this situation. The Partnership | 15

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