Global challenges

By 2050, the world population will have increased to 9.7 billion people. Sufficient food will have to be available in order to feed all these people. There is however a limited supply of agricultural land. Diseases affecting food crops, limited product knowledge and inefficient processing also lead to lower yields and even to food waste. Fresh water is scarce in many parts of the world. Climate change will also impact the food chain due to the corresponding extreme conditions.

Distribution of food is another challenge. There is an obesity epidemic in western countries and malnutrition in developing countries. The lack of nutrients in the food is a key factor. A shortage of vitamins and nutrient components leads to impaired health and reduces well-being amongst large groups of people.

We do all we can to contribute to the development of responsible food for a growing world population. The need for affordable, responsible food is increasing more and more as the world population expands considerably. The potato can play a significant global role here. Our most significant contribution is the development of good genetic initial materials.


Impact of climate change and retention of natural resources

Enough food for a growing global population expanding to 9.7 billion by 2050*

Obesity versus malnutrition

HZPC's contribution:

Strong crops that adapt to challenging conditions Responsible food production Light-concepts
Food waste in the chain Yields on existing agricultural land Varieties with high nutritional value, high anthocyanin levels
Lower impact on the environment  

Pillar HZPC CSR strategy:


Take care of the environment

  • Development of sustainable varieties
  • Efficient logistics
  • Chain responsibility


Contribution to food security

  • Feeding people around the world
  • Development of adapted varieties
  • Taking care of genetic resources


Social impact

  • Healthy diet
  • Focus on flavour and nutritional value


*Source: United Nations

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations set 17 ambitious objectives in 2015, which they called: Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). These SDGs were signed by 193 countries worldwide. Collectively, they are working on topics such as climate, health, well-being, tackling poverty and responsible consumption and production.

HZPC is specifically focussing on the following Sustainable Development Goals:

HZPC is also contributing towards:

The three pillars of our CSR policy


Objectives and KPIs are formulated within each pillar. These are often formulated on a qualitative basis. This is due to the fact that several aspects are difficult to measure. We hope to formulate more measurable, quantitative targets in the future. The progress and details within the pillars can be found under the aforementioned titles, as chapters on this website. The foundation that supports all our activities, is the long-term relationships that we have with our employees, growers and breeders.

Relationship with stakeholders

HZPC has relationships with lots of different stakeholders. There is a different role for each of these stakeholders; the role of employer, purchaser or client, supplier, supporter or producer. We want to be transparent in all we do, with respect to these stakeholders. And we also maintain good relationships within which we can engage in effective dialogue. We deem this so important that we have established it as one of our core values:

‘We build long-term relationships and take responsibility for our actions.’

We have examined our most important stakeholders and defined them as follows: affiliated growers, affiliated breeders, employees, consumers, customers, governments, (food) science, suppliers, social organisations, certificate holders, umbrella organisations. We enter into dialogue with them in relation to our topics and take action based on their feedback.

Explanatory notes
Actions with reference to this dialogue
Affiliated growers / breeders

‘Connecting Growers’ programme

We would like to see the share of certificates held by active growers increase.

Start in 2021

Expertise (new and existing) about products and growing, increasing sustainability of growing and distribution The topics of product development and improving sustainability and innovation in the chain are placed on the agenda by means of growers' and breeders' meetings Organisation of return sessions in small groups at growers' premises to discuss impact
Employees In dialogue with employees about satisfaction, vitality and health within HZPC

Participation in Great Places to work® in 2017

Raising results for discussion in teams and taking action to realise improvements
Personal conversations

Stakeholder consultation for testing CSR policy
-    customers
-    employees
-    suppliers & partners in the chain



Stakeholder consultation for testing CSR policy

In 2020, a new stakeholders’ consultation will take place. The last consultation was organised in 2016. Alongside these consultations, we listen and respond to interim feedback from our stakeholders.

The input from the consultation and the interim feedback is then used to form the current CSR organisation.

Carbohydrate Competence Center (CCC) The CCC wants to generate, develop and share high-quality knowledge on carbohydrates, to promote innovation and to contribute to a healthy and sustainable society. Public-private partnership between 19 companies and 6 knowledge institutions. Completed in 2017 Product development (e.g. Sunlite and the Leon&León in 2019).
CIP (International Potato Centre) Maintaining genetic diversity  CIP provides sustainable solutions to problems around the world, such as hunger, poverty and the disappearance of natural raw materials. In the Netherlands, HZPC will bring this initiative to the attention of various parties in the potato sector to see whether the link between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and benefit sharing for the safeguarding and maintenance of biodiversity can be rolled out further in the future.
Experts from the worlds of business, government, research & development and social and political interest groups (including Agriterra, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, LTO Nederland, IDH, LEI Wageningen) Feeding a growing urban population 'Small farmers big deal' calls upon agri-food enterprises, the Dutch government and knowledge institutions to give farmers' organisations and cooperatives in developing countries a bigger role to play in Dutch trade, aid and investment policy. We jointly consider the strategy and content of the campaign and place the campaign topic on the agenda in our network.



Stakeholder consultation

The latest full stakeholder consultation took place in 2016. Various stakeholders were interviewed during this process, including customers, employees and management. On the basis of a questionnaire, we elicited their opinions on HZPC's CSR policy. This feedback was then used to create a materiality analysis, which was harmonised with the Board and the CSR steering committee. We then set up working groups for those areas which were lacking substance within the organisation, or which required a boost.

After the consultation, we obtained feedback from various groups at other moments. This includes consulting growers on the topic of ‘Growers with a sustainability plan’ in 2019. We also collate the feedback we obtain from growers and customers. A new, comprehensive stakeholders’ consultation is planned for 2020.

Determining the focus and content for reporting

In order to inventorise and select the relevant reporting topics, we use:

  • GRI-guidelines
  • previous HZPC annual reports and CSR reports
  • input from opportunity and risk analyses
  • input from internal and external stakeholders

We identify important subjects with respect to the environment, food security, society and the economy. These topics are relevant if we can exercise influence over them. They have the biggest impact on operations and generate most concerns among stakeholders. Investigating, weighing up and prioritising these topics enables us to set the material subjects. These topics are further elaborated within our policy and programmes.

Recently, the topic of ‘economic growth’ was added to the list of material subjects. This topic relates back to the HZPC business strategy and was added in consultation with internal stakeholders. The topic has not yet been discussed with external stakeholders but will be included within our next stakeholders’ consultation.

HZPC Materiality matrix


The most important subjects


  • Develop new varieties maximising/securing yield with reduced input
  • Growers with a sustainability programme
  • Local for local
  • Optimise transport

Contribution to food security:

  • Develop new varieties maximising/securing yield with reduced input
  • More varieties to more countries
  • Genetic sources

Social impact:

  • Develop sustainable varieties
  • Build human capital
  • Stakeholder dialogue and transparency


  • Economic performance