01 February 2024, Netherlands: Yellow watermelon is a niche product, but one with potential, according to Angel del Pino of Anecoop: “It is an ideal partner for red watermelon, because they complement each other to perfection in all sorts of delicious dishes.” When the Spanish cooperative went in search of a yellow variety with better quality and size, it was pleasantly surprised by Rijk Zwaan’s new variety, Tropical Honey RZ. Innovating helps Anecoop to move ‘freshly forward’, in line with Rijk Zwaan’s theme at Fruit Logistica.
Commitment to quality and innovation
Anecoop Group is made up of 67 cooperatives and companies, which together add up to more than 22,000 Spanish farmers. “As a social enterprise, one of our priorities is to ensure the future of our producing members. We build mutually beneficial relationships with our clients and suppliers based on cooperation. They can rely on our commitment to quality and innovation,” emphasises Angel del Pino, Director of Production and Innovation.
Size and internal quality meet the demands
The search for a strong and high-quality yellow-flesh watermelon is one example of this commitment, Angel continues: “In recent years, we have been looking for better quality and more reliable yellow-flesh watermelon varieties to include in our seasonal programme.”
That’s where Tropical Honey RZ comes in. “We have been running several trials in the last two years. Clients in the foodservice channel and the major distribution channels in Europe have confirmed that the variety meets their expectations. The size of this variety is perfect for our clients, and the internal quality meets the consumer demands for this niche.”
First commercial production
Together with the good agronomic performance, this motivated Anecoop to include the variety in its watermelon programme. He continues: “We have planted a sufficient number of hectares to supply this melon to our customers, and they will be receiving the first commercial production this year,” he states.
Part of the Bouquet brand
The yellow watermelon will be part of Anecoop’s Bouquet brand, which guarantees consumers top-class fruits and vegetables. “Our watermelon family includes four types of seedless watermelons: red, yellow, mini and black,” says Angel. “This watermelon’s yellow flesh makes it an ideal partner for the red one, as their two colours complement each other to perfection in all sorts of delicious dishes.”
Increasing the volume of this niche
Tropical Honey RZ helps Anecoop to move ‘freshly forward’, according to the Director of Production and Innovation: “A new variety with adequate characteristics can significantly boost the consumption of yellow watermelon and increase the volume of this niche in the future.”
Angel is equally enthusiastic about the collaboration with Rijk Zwaan. “We have known each other for more than 20 years: sharing information, trying new varieties, and cooperating to understand our clients’ needs. For us, Rijk Zwaan is more than a supplier. It is a company of people we work with as partners when developing new production and commercialisation projects. Especially in challenging times, with the tight economic situation in Europe and climate change affecting our crops, we have to keep on working closely together. This is essential to fulfil our vision and mission.”
‘Freshly Forward, from Foundation to Future’ – this is the theme Rijk Zwaan has chosen for tackling today’s challenges, together with its partners. We will be presenting robust and resilient solutions as well as inspiring innovations at Fruit Logistica 2024 (Hall 1.2, D-13). You are also welcome to visit the Rijk Zwaan Retail Center in Berlin – the company’s very own experience and research facility.
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