Last week Bejo attended the Biofach trade fair in Germany. From Wednesday through Saturday we spoke with the many visitors to our stand about the availability of organic seeds and, especially, the need for two approaches to breeding for organic growers. This was also the focus of our symposium on Thursday. One approach, which Bejo takes, is ‘Breeding for Organic’. Bejo researchers start with the entire conventionally available gene pool, for diversity and choice, then select the best crosses to test them further under organic conditions. The second is organic breeding, in which all steps are taken under organic conditions. Both methods are aimed at developing the best varieties for organic growers.
Bart Kuin gave an in-depth presentation illuminating Bejo’s approach. Martin Koller of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FIBL) confirmed that the sector needs both methods, organic breeding and breeding for organic, because there are two different types of growers and consumers. Jan Groen of Green Organics stated that his company’s business depends on reliable varieties, available seed, and that he believes our approach must be maintained for the future.
Another highlight of the week was the meet-up between Director Pieter Gabriëls of Bejo Samen and the Minister of Agriculture for Nordrhein-Westfalen, Christina Schulze Föcking, to discuss the importance of using organic seed for organic vegetables.
Bejo’s strategy for organic seed is to maintain a ‘smart assortment’
In the past two years the Bejo organic assortment has grown tremendously. This increase reflects the growth of the organic sector and shows the great effort that Bejo is putting into its organic program. Bejo’s strategy for organic seed is to maintain a ‘smart assortment’, one that is triggered by customer demand, covering the widest possible range with a strategic choice of varieties. The success of this approach has led to the continuous introduction of new organic varieties. With our organic seeds we contribute to a sustainable supply chain of healthy and tasty food, RIGHT FROM THE START.