Also at De Ruiter, cultivation managers can’t visit clients at the moment. “Most of the interaction we have with growers is via phone or webinars,” says Huib Koerts (Commercial Lead EMEA Glass / De Ruiter). The info they need, the growers provide. Growers are very involved and loyal, and willing to provide input. De Ruiter holds a lot of virtual meetings, and people attend very loyally.
The market, including consumers, requires vegetables like cucumber and tomato that match its demands on taste, shelf life, and of course, resistances to current harvest threats. De Ruiter has new tomato varieties, Radiance and Marinice, which are on the market for the first year now.
The trials were already in place before the crisis started, so there were no changes possible. “It’s extremely hard to follow those, since we can’t visit the greenhouses they’re in,” says Huib. “It’s important we receive all the information we need, to make sure that we are prepared for when a bigger group of people starts growing these varieties.” The growers are very cooperative and share a lot of needed information.
“Growers are important partners for us, especially when it comes to trials of new varieties. Together, we have found new, digital and safe ways of interaction, so we can share our results. We fully appreciate the efforts growers are making and thank them for their contribution to a healthy and productive future.”
“The creativity the vegetable industry has shown in connecting to all partners in the chain is unparalleled. At De Ruiter, we have a deep respect for the versatility of growers, plant raisers, advisors, and other professionals for the way they are interacting with us and all sections of the industry.” The webinars are popular and people keep attending, they are curious about what is happening in the field of genetics.
Huib continues: “De Ruiter would like to extend a big THANK YOU to all hard-working vegetable professionals and commend those who are staying strong during these difficult times. With this video, all De Ruiter colleagues from the EMEA area say: thank you, keep up the great work, stay safe, and stay healthy!”