The broccoli that U.K. consumers want

Chains such as ASDA want smaller formats, with longer shelf life. Rijk Zwaan has two new developments that are ideal for this market

The United Kingdom leads European broccoli consumption with 6 kg per head/year. What requirements do consumers want? Susana Cano, from IPL-ASDA’s technical team revealed this at the Symposium ‘Broccoli. Destination: Fresh’ by Rijk Zwaan. “Consumers want small broccoli heads, with thin stems, film-wrapped and with a longer shelf life. They prefer to buy two 330 g. heads than one 600 g one, although this might be more expensive.” Amongst the trends are florets, bio produce and the need to package at source.

José Antonio Hernández, a Brassicas Specialist from Rijk Zwaan recalled that one of the most important challenges is increasing production. The company’s latest developments add a bonus for farmers and distribution alike.

Robredo RZ F1 brings very good conservation and since it ripens so early (it arrives a week before any other variety from any competitors because the cold does not affect it as much), allows cycles to be broken due to bad weather conditions for harvests in December, that is to say, September transplants. “Above all it is recommended for January, February and March transplanting in any region, either Mediterranean or inland. In high areas, it could be put in during August along with February-March plantations. In the Mediterranean, we recommend it for September and also for weeks 1 to 8,” Hernández states. Its perfect shape in the spring, with a thin stem and very good conservation and harvests of one or two entries in autumn and spring, are other advantages.

Due to its structure, Larsson RZ F1 (25-735) has dual suitability and it is particularly recommended for high regions. “It is the typical broccoli at the end of autumn-winter, with August transplants.” And also for Cartagena and inland regions in Totana and Lorca, the specialist recommends transplanting in October, November and December and even the first two weeks of January. It has tightly closed heads and is characterized by its good post-harvest. It allows greater density in the plantation frame, maintaining a perfect shape and increasing the yield. Agronomically, it behaves well against Alternaria, minimising its action.

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