How can we feed 9.8 billion world citizens in 2050? And provide them with nutrient-rich food that is produced quickly, with little fresh water and the least possible footprint? This question concerns us daily within HZPC.
Our Research & Development department thinks at least ten years ahead with the breeding of potatoes. In this way we develop potato varieties that perform well under challenging conditions in different climate zones.
Fight hunger with the potato
The highest possible yield per hectare and the smallest possible footprint. That is where our focus lies. With adapted varieties you can produce sufficient, healthy and affordable food anywhere in the world. This will strengthen the population. As a crop, the potato literally has everything to combat hunger and poverty.
We take risks when it comes to complying with our vision: Feeding the world. We export to places where others do not deliver (any more), like Syria, where a humanitarian disaster has been ongoing for years. It is about people for us, whereby we keep ourselves separate from struggles, both of a political and religious nature.
Determine our focus
We recently entered into a dialogue with our stakeholders on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Which topics do they consider important when it comes to CSR within HZPC? Our customers around the world are placing increasing emphasis on chain management. This is in line with HZPC's focus on efficient land use, environmentally friendly cultivation and less consumption of fresh water.
Opportunities in new techniques
We see opportunities for improvement with regard to areas such as making cultivation sustainable or optimising transport in the chain. We also see opportunities in new technologies such as the hybridisation of potatoes and seed potatoes. It contributes to our ambition to reach more people in more countries.
We also see possibilities in techniques that accelerate the breeding process. We already have these breeding techniques, but their use is still being blocked by European laws and regulations. For this reason, we are currently applying classical breeding techniques, which means it takes about ten years to develop a new variety. With modern breeding techniques, the development of a variety can be accelerated. This makes a variety more resistant to diseases and challenging climate, with lower environmental impact.
Within HZPC we see the potato as a unique game-changer. It is a crop that contributes to the solution of the world food problem. This connects us to our growers, our stakeholders and a world full of people. That makes me proud.
CEO HZPC Holding B.V.