Background

Investing and innovation

In line with company strategy, HZPC once again invested heavily in Research & Development, product development and market development in 2017/2018. We are also continuing to expand our organisation and develop our people.

HZPC focuses on the long term. We do not change our investment strategy according to incidental financial results.

HZPC also wants to produce the best varieties and the best seed potatoes both now and in the future. In order to remain profitable in the long term, it is wise to continuously invest in research

‘Breeding and developing potato varieties must progress more significantly, as this serves the interests of food supplies across the world’
Gerard Backx, CEO

QUICKER

HZPC has a robust portfolio of over eighty varieties. Research & Development is performing exceptionally well. We work with the latest and most advanced breeding technology, which has already allowed the company to progress well and realise a range of achievements.

Nevertheless, we would like to progress more quickly. The development of potatoes is currently too slow compared to rice, cereals, and corn, for example. If we do not move forward, we will be overtaken.

Our sector needs to ensure faster progress in the area of potato breeding and development. Potato growing requires continuous improvement otherwise the crop will become too expensive. For the global food supply, that would be very regrettable.

HZPC also wants to continue producing the best varieties and the best seed potatoes in the future. Alongside the regular breeding of potato varieties, we are also working hard on developing new methods for breeding.

Acceleration can be realised by applying breeding techniques such as cisgenesis and genetic modification. HZPC is of the opinion that these innovations do not entail any significant risks. We believe that products created using these techniques should not be regarded as GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms).

The directors of HZPC and the entire plant breeding/refinement industry across Europe was bitterly disappointed when, on 25 July 2018, the European Court ruled that even varieties created using newer, more focussed mutation techniques must be regarded as GMO. HZPC sees this ruling as extremely negative in terms of advances in plant breeding. If a product is considered to be GMO, very expensive and comprehensive checks must be carried out before it can enter the European market. This is not feasible for a company such as HZPC and it means that these techniques cannot be applied in Europe. HZPC would like to apply these techniques outside Europe in areas where the resulting products, created using these techniques, are not defined as GMO. This will prevent progress in potato development outside Europe being delayed by European policy. We are disappointed, however, that European ware and seed potato growers cannot benefit from this progress.

 

SEED

In its breeding and development programme, HZPC is also creating space for the creation of hybrid potatoes and growing potatoes from seed. After a few years of testing in the Netherlands, we have now begun using trial fields in Tanzania for this purpose.

 

SOLENTUM®

HZPC specialises in the entire potato chain. Our company Solentum® develops ideas and tools that are used for the growing, storage, sales and processing of potatoes. There is worldwide interest in, and use of, the devices developed by the company, i.e. SolEye®, SolAntenna®, SolGrader®, SolKnocker® and Solfry®. We identify social issues and fulfil consumer trends.