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New greenhouse in Made forms basis for Hazera’s global High-Tech tomato program

Thanks to the new High-Tech greenhouse, Hazera can take significant steps forward in its High-Tech tomato program, says Business Development Manager Robbert Biemans. "This program is now truly maturing. The steps we are taking in Made will benefit growers worldwide." He delves into the activities in the new greenhouse, and what they will mean for Hazera's High-Tech tomato portfolio.

"Within Hazera, we have extensive experience in breeding tomatoes, with strong market positions in Spain, Mexico, and Asia," Robbert begins. "But the genetics developed for those markets are suited for growing conditions that are very different from High-Tech cultivation. With the arrival of the greenhouse in Made, we now have a location where we can perform highly controlled tests under competitive circumstances. We can oversee the entire process, providing early insights into the performance of new varieties and allowing us to make better choices more quickly. This level of knowledge and insight enable us to share more information with the growers."

The more predictable, the better
"The most significant benefit of this control is predictability. And because you have better predictive value in the High-Tech greenhouse, you can better inform growers about what to expect in their own greenhouses." According to Robbert, a significant advantage of High-Tech greenhouses is that they can create very similar conditions anywhere in the world. "When we develop a High-Tech tomato variety in Made, we only need to test the final details of the process in the local market to ensure that the variety will perform well locally. This allows us to make much larger strides more quickly, rather than having to develop a variety separately for each local market."

World full of possibilities
Once the greenhouse is operational, the current focus on ToBRFV-resistant varieties will continue. "We will apply this in all segments. In terms of breeding for High-Tech varieties, we focus on vine tomatoes, mini plum tomatoes, and round cherry tomatoes. We are also working on the development of beefsteak tomatoes for the High-Tech market." Subsequently, Robbert expects Hazera to develop an increasingly broader Hgh-Tech tomato portfolio. The continuous search for improvement plays an important role in this. "We're focusing on opportunities to better characterize varieties. This allows us to respond more quickly to market trends, such as varieties that taste better, require less energy, require less labor, or are resistant to new diseases."

The new research facility also offers broader opportunities within the Limagrain Group. "When it comes to tomatoes, we, like our sister companies, have our own specialties. With this greenhouse as a research engine for the entire group, we can intensify our collaboration in the High-Tech field." Given the new developments, Robbert is very pleased with the assistance of former grower André van Zeijl and the Dutch team. "André knows the impact a breeder has on a grower better than anyone else and knows exactly how tomato cultivation works. This will help us enormously, also in further improving cooperation with the growers."

High demand for High-Tech
"The High-Tech market consists of large, professional growers. With our professionalism and tomato expertise, I am confident that we can find common ground", Robbert says about the opportunities for Hazera's High-Tech program. "There is a growing global demand for the production of vegetables and fruits closer to the consumer. With High-Tech, this is possible. Whilst you produce more intensively, you also have less disease pressure, consume less water, and have a higher predictability." And how wonderful it is that Hazera has found this global solution at its next-door neighbor in Made? "Not only because this can accelerate and streamline cooperation, but also from a sustainability perspective: we are taking over a practical and successful greenhouse that has been operating for years, instead of building something new."

Robbert emphasizes that the arrival of the new greenhouse will not affect Hazera's demonstration at the Delphy Improvement Centre in Bleiswijk. "Breeding work will be done at the Made location. But growers, retailers and other interested parties are still very welcome to come in and view our new varieties at the demonstration, such as our IR ToBRFV-resistant mini plum tomato Pendragon. Naturally, our latest High-Tech tomato varieties will also be on display in Bleiswijk every year."

For more information:
Hazera Seeds
‏Tel: +972 8850 8815
Fax: +972 8850 2442
[email protected]

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