Plant improvement, essential to reduce food waste

New Holland Eng

In his speech Fruit Logistica 2019 (Berlin, 6-8 February), mr. Chabanis will explain how new varieties with specific characteristics are being selected and developed to reduce waste and improve efficiency – from the field, through processing, transportation and retail to end consumers.

“The reduction of the losses and the financial and environmental costs that they entail is of paramount importance for the food chain”, he commented. “Syngenta’s breeding priorities now focus on those attributes that will reduce waste and improve sustainability in the food chain.”

Mr. Chabanis has mentioned that, in the field trials of 2018 in the United Kingdom, a new variety of white cauliflower within Syngenta’s Destinica ™ product line produced, for the first time, a crop of 100% marketable buds, which it differs from the usual production of 60% or 65% obtained with the current commercial varieties. He added that the varieties will be available in the market in 2019 or 2020.

Innovations show selected Syngenta horticultural seed varieties to help reduce waste in the food chain.

“A crop with a high marketing capacity drastically reduces losses in the field and ensures a more efficient and sustainable use of all resources, including land, l water, fertilizers and labor ».

In addition, the varietal improvement continues having an enormous influence in the alimentary waste that generate once the crops leave the field, has signaled the mr. Chabanis.

“The new long-stemmed Easy-Broq ™ broccoli varieties, such as Monflor, have been developed to reduce the cutting process of leaves and stems in the processing plant, which generates an exceptional production of frozen or baby foods and minimizes losses, “he explained.

The opportunity to reduce losses without sacrificing quality has also allowed the obtainment of watermelon with pulp ultrafirme by Syngenta transformed the global market of the product. Developing innovative varieties with a better pulp and a longer shelf life means that they can be transported safely and then processed more efficiently, with little degradation and with much higher recovery rates.

“It has allowed watermelon producers to access new markets for fresh produce and supply processors and retailers all year round,” said Mr. Chabanis with enthusiasm. “In the case of consumers, they receive healthy and practical products with a great flavor, along with a longer shelf life that further reduces waste in the home.”

In Fruit Logistica, Mr. Chabanis described the discovery of Syngenta and the development of a very successful baby plum tomato market in Europe, which currently represents more than 50% of the warehouse area in the sector and experiences a 15% growth thanks to the high turnover of consumers.

“Baby plum tomatoes can be produced and marketed with far fewer losses than conventional types,” he said. “Syngenta’s worldwide contacts for plant breeding identified this typology for the first time in Asia and developed high-quality varieties with more reliable harvests and lower growing costs.”

“Baby plum tomatoes offer longer shelf life, better flavor, consistency and consistency in quality. It is essential that they are much more compact so that their transport is more efficient and profitable, and that they arrive in perfect conditions. ”

In general terms, Mr. Chabanis calculated that the waste derived from the supply of tomatoes, from the producer to the final consumer, with the baby plum variety could be reduced by up to 25% compared to conventional varieties.

Arend Schot, head of the vegetable seed business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, highlights Syngenta’s position as a developer of products that improve experiences in the food chain, from the producer to the consumer.

“While we devote a great effort to reduce waste in the food chain and increase yield for producers, our challenge is also to improve the consumer experience through taste, appearance and innovation.

“We now have seed procurement teams dedicated to designing and producing exciting products with advantages for the entire value chain,” he added.

“Using resources more effectively, reducing waste and working with the industry to ensure a high quality and affordable supply are fundamental aspects for Syngenta’s Good Growth Plan, which aims to achieve a sustainable food sector.”

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