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1 year ago

The Partnership no. 18

HdSP “In 2016, Grand

HdSP “In 2016, Grand Frais was looking for good quality, tasty tomatoes, and we offered them the exclusive for both Avalantino and Campari in France." What is the added value of this relationship for Grand Frais? A.E. “We can offer our customers a product that is really different, and we also benefit from our close relationship with the growers!” HdSP “Grand Frais is making a long-term investment in Avalantino since they have exclusive rights to it. They have been promoting this variety heavily on the radio, and Campari is now sold in their outlets under the SAVEOL brand name ‘Les authentiques’. With these two varieties, Grand Frais can offer good quality, tasty tomatoes at a reasonable price. I am quite sure that some consumers are now going to Grand Frais just to buy their Avalantino tomatoes.” The value of partnerships in a digital world Jan Panman, Regional Sales Director Enza Zaden Export In February 2020 our worldwide Export team came together in Almeria, Spain. We had our quarterly sales meeting at the premises of Enza Zaden Spain in El Ejido. During this week we visited the demo greenhouses with our breeders to see the latest tomato and sweet pepper materials and travelled to Murcia for an open field leafy day. Together with lots of international visitors and many distributors from different countries. Column HdSP “Grand Frais works closely with their suppliers, especially their growers. This strong relationship enables them to offer their customers high-quality products at a reasonable price. Grand Frais shops are often located next to large hypermarkets. They also sell specific products you are unlikely to find in other outlets.” How has Enza Zaden contributed to this success? A.E. “Enza Zaden promoted a three-way discussion between the grower, the retailer, and themselves - the breeder. Enza Zaden was quick to realise that this approach appealed both to us and our growers. This new way of thinking lends the growers more job satisfaction and at the same time makes our regular customers happier.” HdSP “We gave them the varieties they were looking for. We also offered to do specific follow-ups with the growers to make sure the crops were successful.” What has changed over the years? A.E. “The mutual trust between all stakeholders and the willingness to be creative.” HdSP “The total production area has grown enormously. We meet at least once a year to discuss other crop opportunities, and we also feel more confident.” What developments are on the horizon, and what does your joint future look like? A.E. We are keen to source other new varieties for exclusive use and to develop new ways of thinking about our collaborations.” HdSP “We want to improve our contact with the chain and gain a better understanding of their needs and the way they work. We had a global meeting – growers, Enza Zaden and Grand Frais – to discuss Grand Frais’ expectations - quality, taste - and to offer our growing advice. On this occasion, growers were able to visit Grand Frais and better understand their expectations. Grand Frais is opening 20 to 30 stores each year and Avalantino is available in all their stores. So, total production capacity should grow around 15% a year. Our partnership is based on confidence and mutual understanding: Enza Zaden France’s challenge is to present new, interesting varieties to Grand Frais. We are thinking about the Orange Summer pumpkin, as well as specific cultivars of other crops." This week in Spain early February had become an essential week in the year: it was the moment to see our colleagues from different continents, have coordinated discussions, interact with breeders, product managers and invite key customers to show our materials and create partnership. It had become a tradition and a strong team building exercise during the last 15 years. Our world has changed since then: closed borders, no international travelling, Covid-19 had and has a huge impact on our private and professional lives. We were worried: how would an international team like our Export team handle this, how could we maintain contact with our distributor networks and customers worldwide? And of course: would everybody and their families remain healthy and safe, in Guatemala, Brazil, Jordan, South Africa, India or Korea, to name a few countries where Enza Zaden is present? Now, in September 2020, we realize how important online communication has become: web meetings are essential for team cohesion, to intensify our customer contacts. We also realize how important all our local teams on the ground are! Maintaining the flow of variety trials, in field meetings with our customers, supporting breeding programs and information flow. The contact with our distributors worldwide has become stronger, more frequent. Vegetables are essential in our diets and worldwide the vegetable production areas are still increasing and professionalizing. Enza Zaden has a great, continuously improving product assortment, and fantastic teams and partners throughout the world. How did this cooperation start? A.E. “A few years ago, we started to explain our new approach – i.e. strategy - to Enza Zaden and other major breeders on the market. We had heard that a new, promising tomato variety called Avalantino was being trialed in Switzerland, and we decided to visit the grower. In the meantime, we had an opportunity to talk with Enza Zaden and they immediately proposed a straightforward collaboration for this new variety.” The growers are the link between Enza Zaden and Grand Frais: what has this partnership brought them? A.E. The growers have a real sense of being part of a team; they no longer feel left out of the process. They are involved in the development strategy for our joint project. In this situation, they pay more attention to new cultivation strategies for even better quality and taste. At the same time, they have the opportunity to exchange their cultivation expertise and practical experience with other growers by comparing and evaluating each other’s work.” People, Product and Partnership….together. Jan Panman works for Enza Zaden for more than 23 years. He is an experienced Export Sales Director skilled in Life Sciences, Vegetables, Tropical Farming and Marketing & Sales. Jan has a M.Sc. in Tropical Agronomy from Wageningen Agricultural University. Before the corona crisis he travelled around the world to meet colleagues, growers and distributors and connect with them. He believes that investing in true partnerships results in a strong basis you need in challenging times like this. 26 | The Partnership The Partnership | 27

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