A Chinese television crew in the greenhouse during the Axia Vegetable Seeds open days, but what does that mean? "Due to the joint venture we founded with Shouguang Vegetable Group, both our Chinese partners and a Chinese television crew came over," says Michel de Winter. For a report on the company, Alois van Vliet and breeder Koen van der Knaap were interviewed. The report will be broadcast on Chinese television soon. But before this happens, let’s first have a look at what is available for Dutch growers.

One of the most important new varieties of Axia Vegetable Seeds this year is of course Xandor. The breeders have high expectations thanks to the productive and qualitative characteristics of the variety and the market response to that. "A lot of interest and also concrete choices," says Michel. "Lighted, there will be ten hectares in the Netherlands, and in Belgium another eight, under a combination of SON-T and LED." The variety is doing well under the lamps, although the unlighted cultivation performs equally well.

Loose and truss
Axxy will also grow in the middle segment - possibly even double in acreage - and strikingly enough, this growth is mainly loose. "In general, loose is cheaper than truss, while truss has shown higher production figures in recent years. Now we have a loose variety that equals truss production and even surpasses it. In combination with quality, for many growers the choice is not difficult to make."

In truss and loose, good old Axiradius continues to prove its value as an addition to the taste segment. Also good chances for the Mediax, which distinguishes itself in taste as a loose variety.

Plum tomatoes
The market for plum tomatoes is fairly constant, but the Prunaxx acreage grows relatively quite well. "The growth we see with Prunaxx comes in part because the market is growing a little bit and partly because a large producer cooperative has decided to fill the entire lighted acreage and part of the unlighted acreage with it. Prunaxx can be harvested on the truss as well as loose and is recognizable by the characteristic Roma shape and the durability in the chain. The same is the case for cocktail tomato Timeax; because a (different) producer cooperative has chosen for this variety, the variety is now a significant one on the market. "In addition to the total production and taste this is mainly thanks to early and rapid flowering, resistance and the long truss that forms a beautiful herringbone pattern."

The prominent fruit form is also evident in the new beef tomato HTL1410590, which has been established in beef tomato country Belgium. "In the beef tomatoes, two more numbers will be cultivated in larger tests but the HTL1410590 already has customers lined up. It's an authentic beef tomato: somewhat ribbed."

Snacking in the future
In the demo room, there was plenty of opportunity to snack on several new numbers that will be tested in the coming seasons. "Of course, we are continuously working on improving our existing varieties. Even when a variety has been introduced and thus represents an improvement for the existing main variety, we continue to research and continue to develop the variety. In the smaller section however, completely new numbers are on the way," Michael reveals. "Two in the snack segment, two in the middle plum and two in striking colors. We have a brown mini-tomato that is really tasty and it’s a significant improvement in this segment. The same goes for the yellow cherry: which has passed the tests and is going on the market this year."

For more information:
Axia Vegetable Seeds
Cees Kortekaas (e-mail)
Michel de Winter (e-mail)