Posted on

Mini symposium on tomato quality on Thursday 15 April

Mini symposium on tomato quality on Thursday 15 April

Normec’s quality experts have organised a short, online, free mini symposium about tomato quality on Thursday 15 April 15:00 – 16:30 (CEST). The event is aimed at quality managers and quality inspectors, as well as category managers and buyers.

The tomato world is rapidly developing. With the introduction of new varieties, the rise of local production and the introduction of new product groups such as snack tomatoes, tomato quality has become even more important. With the choices we make in quality, we have an impact on the lives of millions of consumers. Every step in the tomato supply chain has unique challenges and offers opportunities to positively affect quality and consumer satisfaction. 

The event will focus on history, production, diseases and disorders, quality standards, quality in the supermarket, quality from consumer perspective, and the future.

The speakers will include: Peter van der Veeken, Karin Gorree and Jelger de Vriend.

Posted on

Hazera, supporting agriculture in Africa

Hazera decided to support agricultural development in Africa, providing high quality seeds and expertise to support people improving their living conditions.

Vegetable seed company Hazera’s mission is to contribute to the supply of high quality vegetables all over the world. With this mission in mind, the company decided to support agricultural development in Africa, providing high quality seeds and expertise to support people improving their living conditions. In Ethiopia a development project that began with the adoption of one village is expanding now to 13 additional villages. Another project is supported in Holeta, where the Roseland foundation is developing the community through education and agriculture. More broadly, Hazera is training farmers all over Africa and is introducing vegetable varieties that can bring African farms to healthy profit.

The Ethiopian villages project was initiated and accompanied by Hazera together with its local distributor, Green Life. Challenge was to make local farmers more professional, so that they could better support their families. The project began in the small village of Gedenser, in eastern Ethiopia. Its agricultural potential called for a long-term investment, requiring the villagers to commit themselves to study and work in order to learn agriculture and make a living from it. Hazera contributed seeds to the project for 3 basic crops: onions, tomatoes and peppers. Hazera representatives brought together all the families involved, helped teach them to use organic animal manure for soil fertilization and provided agricultural equipment and supplies. After about a year, the villagers began to make a living from their produce. The project drew the attention of senior officials from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture and from 2017 the project will be expanding to 13 more villages in Ethiopia!

The Roseland Academy initially started as a school located in Holeta Town, near Addis Abeba. Besides ensuring education and taking care of the children, the foundation also wants to improve life standard by developing vegetable cultivation. Harvested products are used for healthy meals prepared by the children and their mothers. By now, production is even exceeding the needs. The surplus vegetables, such as tomato, cauliflower, onion, cucumber and pepper, are sold on the local market, generating income for the community that is re-invested in new development projects.

Jawadat Badawieh, Hazera’s Manager responsible for African markets: “Beside these two exemplary development projects, Hazera is providing farmers training in a range of African countries such as Tanzania, Angola, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda and most recently in West-Africa, more particularly in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Senegal. In the last country we were also present at the Congress of the African Seed Trade Association at the beginning of March.

There is much demand from farmers for expertise and good practices. Hazera can offer those, and our selected vegetable varieties and genetics fit very well to African climate conditions. Hazera is seeking cooperation with governmental institutions, NGO’s and unions to enhance agricultural development and yields. The dream is to create successful projects such as those in Ethiopia also in other countries. At this moment I’m seeing opportunities in Uganda or maybe Rwanda. It would be very honourful for us to have the success concept transplanted to other countries and, more important, it would be beneficial for farmers.”

In Ethiopia, Hazera is also active with seed production for its vegetable varieties, another way to introduce professional knowledge into this continent full of promise. A potential that is also seen clearly by Hazera’s mother company Limagrain, that has considerably strengthened its presence in Afica through its daughter companies and through several recent acquisitions such as Link Seed (South Africa) and Seed Co (several countries).

As Hazera’s CEO Rami Dar stated: “Hazera aims to help feed the world’s growing population and develop agriculture throughout the world. By supporting and developing agriculture in Africa we can help millions of people to improve their living conditions”.

Posted on

LIDL explains how to recognise quality in fruit and veg

Screenshot 2015-02-26 at 14

Global discounter LIDL has launched a quality campaign in its German home base teaching how to recognize good quality.

The campaign includes a TV ad now on air in Germany which asks “How can you tell what really is good?”

The initiative focuses on six product groups: fruits and vegetables, fresh baked goods, fresh meat products, wine, coffee and chocolate.

An accompanying web site says how fresh, crisp and juicy they are is a guide to quality in fruit and vegetables “and not the fact someone made a colourful pyramid out of them.” Good vegetables are usually plump, crisp and firm. For many types – such as tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers – a strong and uniform skin colour is an indication of ripeness, it says.

Lidl has included a fruit and vegetables ‘horoscope’ to guide consumers as to the ‘stars of the season’. It provides an overview of Lidl’s changing range according to the time of year. Being in season is another factor in good quality fruit and vegetables. “We only offer a product when it has reached the ideal level of maturity and thus tastes really good,” it says.

See the web site (in German)