Rijk Zwaan is now launching a new breeding program for soft fruit aimed at broadening its product portfolio with strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Construction work for a new greenhouse at Rijk Zwaan’s facility in Dinteloord (the Netherlands) marks the official start of the soft fruit breeding program.
Rijk Zwaan has expanded considerably over the past 30 years. This latest investment in soft fruit breeding represents a continuation of the company’s strategy of autonomous growth.
Soft fruit breeding program
Breeding Manager Pieter Egelmeers explains: “Soft fruit is traditionally propagated vegetatively rather than from seeds. We are focusing on both in our breeding program. Building on our knowledge of research, breeding, and seed production, we hope to bring new and innovative strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry varieties to the market that will, of course, add value for growers and other chain partners.”
On average, it can take between 6 and 16 years to breed a new variety. “We are still at the very beginning of our soft fruit breeding program, so it is too early to say when Rijk Zwaan’s first soft fruit varieties will be ready to market,” says Egelmeers.
The facilities for the soft fruit breeding program will be housed in a new building, which entails the construction of a greenhouse plus an office. The new building is an extension of Rijk Zwaan’s existing facility in Dinteloord.
Construction work officially started on Tuesday, April 18, in the presence of Kees Reinink (Board Member) and Anton van Doornmalen (Chairman of the Supervisory Board and co-owner of Rijk Zwaan). The work is expected to be completed in 2024.
Two locations in the Netherlands
The vegetable breeding company is active in over a hundred countries and has more than 35 subsidiaries spread over almost all continents. The two main office locations are based in the Netherlands: one in De Lier (Westland) and the other in West Brabant. Close to Dinteloord, Rijk Zwaan has established its research and breeding location in Fijnaart.
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