Since 1992, Reprosam has been the exclusive distributor of Rijk Zwaan in the Czech Republic. In 2003, the republic of Slovakia was added. Chain manager Zbynek Skvára sells seeds and establishes chain projects. A successful partnership is that of cultivation company ZOSI Agro and retailer Globus. The latter opened the first big, modern supermarket in the Czech Republic in 1996. Because they aim for freshness and flavour, Globus prefers to work with local growers.

Bell pepper is a vegetable that sees a lot of consumption in the Czech Republic. So for the past years, growers have been working hard on getting domestic production going. And they succeeded. The open ground cultivation has been expanded a lot, and especially since the introduction of drip systems and small tunnel greenhouses, growers have gotten the bell pepper production on track. The season now starts 2 to 3 weeks earlier, and the total yield has increased. Result: import of Hungarian Wax and Palermo varieties is not necessary any more, during the open field season.

Hungarian Wax
Without a doubt, ZOSI Agro is the largest bell pepper grower of the Czech Republic. Through Rijk Zwaan distributor Reprosam, this company has Century RZ and Galga RZ (both Hungarian Wax) growing, among others. Owner Tomas Zoufaly: "This year we're also doing tests with Bravia RZ. The results are promising. We grow all our bell peppers in the south of the Czech Republic. Early July, we start with Hungarian Wax, then later the Kapia and Palermo varieties follow. These varieties need some more sunlight to ripen fully."

Palermo variety
ZOSI Agro's bell peppers are sold at Globus, among others. This hypermarket chain aims for diverse and well-stocked fresh produce shelves. Preferably with produce from local growers. So the partnership between Globus and ZOSI makes sense. "Thanks to our size, we meet the product numbers and wishes of Globus," Zoufaly continues. "And with the Palermo varieties, we were also able to offer something completely new. We first tested this variety for 2 years ourselves. Ultimately, Mabrouka RZ turned out to cope best with our continental climate. Last season, we switched to the Massouda RZ, which is nice and sweet. Globus sells the Palermos in flow-packs of 250 grammes. That's 2 to 3 bell peppers." 

Cultivation advice
"Together with Zbynek Skvára, we have also started tests with blocky bell peppers. Let's see how this variety responds to the local conditions. Reprosam is guiding us in this process. During the season, the crop specialists visit weekly to give cultivation advice. I am very satisfied about that. And we also gratefully make use of Reprosam's chain network. Not just when it comes to bell peppers, but also for gherkins, eggplants and white cabbage. For some time now. Twenty years ago, my first gherkin harvest was Harmonie RZ from Rijk Zwaan." 

Source: Chain magazine Rijk Zwaan

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