Vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan generated a total net turnover of €593 million in its 2022/2023 financial year.
Ben Tax, a member of the Rijk Zwaan board of directors, reflects on 2022/2023: “Over the past financial year, growers and value chain partners could depend on an even broader offering of vegetable varieties. Each year, we invest around 30% of our turnover into research and development. This year, that amounted to €180 million. We currently have 29 crops in our portfolio, including vegetable varieties tailored for different climate zones, cultivation methods and consumer preferences, which is a testament to our ongoing commitment to innovation.”
A few of the company’s introductions in the past financial year were tomato varieties with high resistance against ToBRFV and the first spinach varieties for hydroponic cultivation systems. Additionally, Rijk Zwaan re-entered the market for chicory and leek.
As a vegetable breeding company, Rijk Zwaan looks between six and sixteen years ahead. That is how long it generally takes to develop a new vegetable variety. Ben Tax summarises the company’s investments over the past financial year: “In 2022/2023, with an eye to the future, we expanded our research and breeding stations in southern Spain, which is where we focus on further improving vegetable varieties that are suitable for an ever-drier and hotter Mediterranean climate. Besides that, we’re setting up a new breeding station in Brazil for crops for a tropical climate. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, we’re expanding our facility in Dinteloord to accommodate our recently launched breeding programme for berries.”
In addition to today’s broad portfolio of vegetable varieties, growers, value chain partners and consumers can also expect to see improved berry varieties from Rijk Zwaan in the coming years. “By launching a new breeding programme for strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, we are further diversifying our product offering. This is in line with our strategy of autonomous growth. Moving forward, this will enable us to remain a solid family-owned company and an attractive employer for our workforce of almost 4,000 colleagues. And even more people will be able to enjoy healthy and tasty vegetables – and soon berries too,” concludes Ben Tax.
The Rijk Zwaan annual accounts were filed with the Chamber of Commerce on 9 November 2023.