Fruit Logistica Innovation Award 2024

Staay Food Group and Hazera Seeds present new watermelon

Exceed mini watermelon nominated for Fruit Logistica Innovation Award 2024

The Exceed mini watermelon has been nominated for the 2024 Fruit Logistica Innovation Award, marking a proud moment in the long-standing partnership between Staay Food Group and Hazera. The winner will be announced at Fruit Logistica in Berlin (7-9 February), where Staay will be present to premier the Exceed watermelon.

Mark Loojenga, Marketing Manager at Staay Food Group, and Michal Taraska, Global Value Chain Lead at Hazera, discuss the product, the partnership and what to expect at the Food Logistica.

EXCEED mini watermelon nominated for Fruit Logistica Innovation Award 2024
Exceeding expectations

According to Mark and Michal, the Exceed watermelon has earned its nomination through a unique combination of qualities that benefits growers, retailers and consumers. “The Exceed watermelon is a durable and eco-friendly variety, with strong resistance to diseases like powdery mildew and has plants that provide multiple harvests. Not only does this make life easier for the grower, but it also requires less fungicides and significantly less water than the production of traditional watermelons”, Mark says. Michal adds that this also helps reduce food waste: “Exceed makes it possible to reduce losses in production and during transport.”

“And due to the variety’s extended shelf-life of over 5-10 days longer than traditional watermelons, this variety displays a long-lasting freshness in both supermarkets and consumer’s homes”, he continues. With its compact, uniform size the Exceed watermelon answers a strongly growing call in the (Northern) European and American markets for smaller watermelons. “The size is suitable for ever smaller households and easy to keep in the fridge. And they’re seedless, which is both a major convenience for consumers and a waste-saver.” Mark adds. “But it’s the taste and color they come back for.” Michal: “The Exceed mini watermelon has a really sweet and crispy taste, as is shown by its above average Brix level.”

Team effort
The Exceed mini watermelon is the latest success in a long-standing collaboration between Staay Food Group and Hazera. “Staay is a strong and dynamic partner, which is key for successfully introducing a new product to the market”, Michal says. He underlines the importance of such a partnership for Hazera. “We can provide the best Formula One car, but we still need a top-class driver to win the race. In Staay Food Group, we’ve found that driver.”

An analogy Mark wholeheartedly agrees with. “Hazera provides top-quality seeds that are perfectly suited for our fields in Costa Rica. And with this newly developed variety, we perfectly reflect the demands of the market; we’re able to grow the right products. The Exceed mini watermelon is another step in our close and fruitful cooperation.”

Premier release at Fruit Logistica Berlin
The premier release of the Exceed mini watermelon for the European market will take place at Fruit Logistica, where Staay Food Group will be present at stand B45 in hall 3.2. “Here, we will also display a selection of other products we grow and offer ourselves,” Mark elaborates. “For the first time we can show our three club varieties of colored pears together: The Red Conference, Early Desire and Dazzling Gold are all exclusively available through Staay Food Group. Secondly, we show our hydroponic lettuces, and finally our wide range of available vine tomatoes. In addition, we will bring special attention to our branch in Venlo, which focusses on the food service industry. This location provides a quite unique service for the German market, where customers can buy products per box instead of per pallet and can combine different products on one pallet. This is ideal for restaurants, who usually don’t need entire pallets of one product.”

The prize-giving ceremony for the innovation award will take place on 9 February 2024, 2.30 p.m. at the FLIA Technology special exhibition area between Halls 1.1 and 2.1. Mark and Michal agree this nomination “shows we are on the right track in our team effort to successfully align the development, cultivation, sales and marketing of excellent and innovative products.”

Staay Food Group B.V.
Mark Loojenga
Marketing Manager
+31 6 13 80 89 81
mark.loojenga@staay.nl
www.staay.nl
Hazera Seeds B.V.
Rosaline Hazenbroek
Marcom Specialist
+31 6 28 09 60 68
rosaline.hazenbroek@hazera.com
www.hazera.com


Staay Food Group
is an international cultivation, sales and marketing organization in fresh fruit and vegetables with a global network; The World is our Garden. Staay Food Group is a family business, founded in 1946. It delivers tailor-made products to customers in retail, wholesale, foodservice and processing.

HAZERA: Growing Together
Hazera’s headquarters are situated in Israel and The Netherlands, with subsidiaries in twelve countries and an extensive distribution network providing services in over 100 additional markets. This worldwide presence enables us to be close to our customers.
Hazera is part of the Limagrain Group, an international agri-business based in France. Being a farmers’ cooperative, the Limagrain Group understands the needs of its customers and has grown to become the largest seed company in Europe, specialising in vegetables, field crops and cereal products. Limagrain’s vegetable seed division is the second largest company in the industry.

Introducing the new Global Value Fresh Chain Lead of Hazera: Michal Taraska

Growing up on his family farm in Poland, Michal Taraska developed two main interests: agriculture, coming from the family business, and the commercial aspect, stemming from his grandfather who owned the bank in their village. Now, he combines those two passions in his role as Global Fresh Chain Lead for Hazera. In this article, Michal introduces himself and shares his insights on the Global Tomato Congress (GTC) he recently attended in the Netherlands. 


“What I like about working in the seeds business is that you are involved right from the beginning of the process. These early stages are crucial for producing quality products,” Michal says. And when it comes to growing fresh produce, he knows what he is talking about. Having grown up surrounded by crops like onions, sugar beans, and wheat grown for seeds, Michal pursued an Agriculture Course at the University of Science and Technology in Bydgoszcz, followed by a series of jobs with leading seed production companies. For the past 8 years, Michal has been further developing his expertise with the Limagrain group, spending the first five years as the Sales and Development Manager in HM. Clause, and the past three years as a Project Manager responsible for partnerships with retailers.

From local to global impact

“One of our main projects there was to promote our Rosamunda Tomato variety in the fresh chain market,” Michal says. “It was a significant challenge since the Fresh Market was considered saturated and standardized. However, thanks to a strong team effort and a lot of hard work, we managed to introduce our innovative variety on the shelves of many major supermarkets and retailers. It’s an achievement that I’m very proud of.” His successful leadership role in this project led Michal to the conclusion: “If we can achieve this in Poland, can we also do it in other markets and on a global scale? It’s a great challenge with a lot of responsibility, but I’m ready to embrace it.”

Professional goals

As the Global Value Fresh Chain Lead of Hazera, Michal wants to continue getting Hazera’s products on the shelves of major retailers worldwide. “We have fantastic products and innovations that I want to introduce to the world. Another important goal of mine is to develop strong relationships with the people within our company and sister companies because achieving our goals will always be a team effort and lead to team victories. My new position combines the three things I love most about our field of work: the inspiring people, a healthy product that can have a positive impact on people’s lives, and the challenging projects we undertake.”

Inspiration all around

To find solutions for the challenges that come his way, Michal draws inspiration from two main sources; other people and the world at large. “I believe that listening to others, especially those with different perspectives, is an essential resource for generating new ideas on how we approach our business. But inspiration also comes from the world around you. I draw a lot from my hobby, kitesurfing. The interaction with wind and water allows me to recharge my batteries and enter a creative state of mind where my best ideas emerge.”

Global Tomato Conference 

“My first attendance at the GTC left a strong impression on me,” Michal says. “It was inspiring to meet numerous experts from the seed industry and affiliated businesses all in one place. However, I was somewhat surprised by the relatively low number of growers and retailers in attendance. I believe events like this play a crucial role in knowledge sharing and collaboration, ultimately contributing to our collective goal of helping growers address the challenges they face. But I see opportunities to enhance the value of a conference like this by expanding its scope and involving more retailers and growers.”

“I was impressed by the consistent quality of Hazera’s products on display and the positive reception they received,” Michal continues. “The combination of firmness, extended shelf life, visually appealing characteristics, and delightful taste make Hazera’s tomato varieties a compelling choice for both retailers and consumers.” Michal concludes with a final lesson learned from the GTC and advice for growers: “Striking a right balance between providing resistance to viruses and maintaining delicious taste  will enhance the overall desirability and marketability of the tomatoes produced, benefiting both producers and consumers.”

Do you want to stay connected with our Hazera people?

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Meet the people behind the crops: Netta Doitch

In Hazera, we tend to put the spotlight on our successful products, yet their success starts with the People of Hazera: the truly committed and passionate experts who make it all happen on a daily basis. Meet Netta Doitch (43), our Global Lead Tomato Breeding from Mefalsim, a small Kibbutz in the southern part of Israel. It seems as though it was meant to be- the daughter of a flower and strawberry farmer, Netta (meaning “a young plant” in Hebrew), was destined for a life in agriculture.


Netta in person

Figure 1- Netta Doitch, Global Lead Tomato Breeding Hazera

When she was young, she gladly helped her dad around the farm and without knowing it performed “cuttings” from a very young age, removing a small part of the plant’s stem, and replanting it together with a “rooting hormone”, to receive a genetically identical plant. “I always enjoyed agronomy and loved visiting agricultural events. When I was in high school, I recall reading in the newspaper about a successful “breeding” of red and blue bananas and decided, even though I did not know what “breeding” was, that this is what I wanted to do for a living. Netta went on to get her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with specialization in Genetic Breeding and Biotechnology and later fulfilled her dream to become a breeder, doing so with a true feeling of love and chosen destiny.

Netta has been with Hazera since 2009, when she started out as Tomato Breeder Assistant. Two years later she became an Associate breeder and led the determinate heat set tomatoes and indeterminate round open field tomato projects. Approximately 12 years later, she is now, the Global Lead Tomato Breeding; and amongst her many projects she also leads the breeding projects of the Indeterminate Round Open Field (IROF) tomatoes.

“What is a common myth or preconception about your job or field of expertise?”

“It seems as though everybody believes that breeding ruins the taste in vegetables”. Nowadays she just explains to whoever asks that she works in Tomato Genetics without transgenic interference.

simply working in tomato genetics

Figure 2- Simply working in “Tomato Genetics”

“In your opinion, what is the most important personality trait/strength someone would need to work in your industry/be successful in your job?”

According to Netta, being a good breeder requires super focus on the goal, you have to ‘breathe’ breeding every day, the plant dictates your work and not vice versa. Netta also highlights the constant change of environments in a breeder’s life: “You can say that I wear two hats: “In winter, you can find me all neat and dressed up in office clothing, whereas in summer you could hardly recognize me, as I’m all covered in plant parts, soil, and remains of tomatoes.” In other words, you have to be highly adaptable and “passionate” about your field of work.

a day in the life of a breeder

Figure 3- A day in the life of a breeder

“Tell us about a project you’re really proud of and why”

“I’m really proud of our Giga tomato, part of the IROF project in Brazil. When examining where we started and where we are at today, it is truly amazing!”. In the beginning of the project, we started out with zero resistance but very strong and vegetative plant genetics. The genetic change and adding the required disease we achieved was truly significant. The variety Giga in Brazil has excellent firmness, size, and unique array of resistances.

Burned field of tomatoes

Figure 4- Project start: totally burned plants in Brazil

We went from totally “burned” plants, changed the selection method and started doing selections in the region, which was a major change in the way we work.

green field

Figure 5- One of many hybrid evaluation field trials. Brazil 2012

For more than ten years, together with Arno Van Staden, Tomato Regional Product manager in Marketing, we studied the Brazilian market and trends ,we built a breeding platform in Brazil from scratch which gave us the boost for high level of Xct-resistant plant without compromising all other quality traits.

climbing-each-and-every-obstacle-togehter

Figure 6- Climbing each and every obstacle together. With Arno Van Staden

This success story of Giga is a remarkable example of great cooperation between R&D and Marketing”, Netta goes on to say: “We walked it hand in hand, with top synchronization that greatly contributed to the success of the project”. On top of everything, we have succeeded in creating excellent genetic material for other markets as well.

IROF

Figure 7- GIGA variety “Has Quality” launch 2022

“Tell us something about you that most people don’t know”

I like to cook but I don’t like fresh tomatoes- I prefer cucumbers. Also, I recently got my kibbutz’s “annual entrepreneur for the community” award for the farm work I do at my home village/

netta with the kids

Figure 8- Volunteer work farming for her community with the next generation

This short glimpse into Netta’s life and daily work truly showcase that breeding does run in one’s DNA.

Want to know more about our people?

Follow us on our social media channels to stay connected with our Hazera people! If you have any questions left, don’t hesitate to ask them via our contact page!

Basic guidelines for soil preparation and onion sowing

Tillage  and sowing

Sowing onions is a precise job because the seeds are fine and should not be sown too deep. We recommend sowing 1.5 to 2.5 cm deep on a firm moist soil. Before sowing, you first have to till the soil, of course. On sand, this means ploughing, digging and in some cases non-turning tillage. In all cases, ensure a flat seedbed.  The following applies to each type of tillage: make sure the soil does not dry out too deeply. We are dealing with drying weather, which means the top layer of the ploughed soil can dry out too much. After ploughing or spading, the soil must be “closed”. This means that when ploughing the soil, the seedbed is prepared immediately, so only the top layer dries but the seedbed remains sufficiently moist. If you use a furrow packer, we recommend combining this with a “follower” (a cross roller, or a Cambridge roller ,etc.). This way, the soil is also “closed” and the moisture remains at the top. This also applies to the aforementioned  tillages. Till the soil shortly before sowing.

When you start sowing, check at what depth the soil is moist and adjust the sowing depth accordingly. When sowing, check regularly whether the seeds are well pressed into the moist soil. Repeat this several times.

Plant numbers

Depending on the bed width and the number of rows, the seed is distributed. Regardless of the sowing system, the most ideal plant number is between 80-90 pl./m2. Plant number generally means a good yield, especially when varieties are used that have a relatively high specific weight, which means they are already heavy in themselves. The number of plants per linear metre is shown on the right, depending on the width of the bed and the number of rows per bed.

Thousand grain weight

The thousand grain weight of onion seed is always stated on the bags and can vary quite a bit. The risk is that too much or too little seed is sown, which can cause an irregular crop position.

When the seed drill is adjusted to a thousand grain weight of 4.2 grams and a following variety has a thousand grain weight of, for example, 3.6 grams, this can cause double seeds on the sowing discs if the suction pressure of the seeder is not adjusted accordingly, and therefore an irregularity in the position of the crop. So check this carefully!

Mineral administration

What the plant needs in terms of minerals to achieve its kilos, but also to continue to meet the right quality requirements is very important. When which mineral is needed and at which growth stage the plant has the greatest need for the elements is crucial for the quality and final yield. Talk to your fertiliser supplier/business consultant and ask what would be wise for each type of soil and variety. For example, if you grow onions on light sandy soil, this requires a different strategy in terms of mineral application than if you have onions on clay soil of 40% silt.

Hazera center-stage at MOP Arava Israel 2023 annual expo

Want to be the first to see the next generation of the Israeli tomato and be impressed by the new variety portfolio of Hazera? Join us for a unique opportunity and meet our team for a deeper understanding of the quality, performance and potential of Hazera’s new varieties.

The exhibition in the Arava is the perfect opportunity to get a glimpse of the future of the Israeli tomato with “Rubicon”/ “Doria” – a new Saladette tomato variety that is suitable for picking in a cluster. The tomato is delicious, firm, has a long shelf life and excellent preservation on the plant, as well as a bright red and attractive fruit.

Rubicon (“Doria”): from the grower to our plate. Photograph: Ofer Hajub

In addition to “Rubicon”, Hazera- a world pioneer in the seed industry, will launch the “Yellow Whitney” – the heart tomato that made Israelis fall in love and is now available in red and yellow. The Yellow Whitney is the first yellow Midi Plum tomato of its kind – it is extremely tasty, has impressive yellow fruit, is very firm and crunchy and has a strong plant and a high yield.

 

 

 

 

Yellow Whitney. Photograph: Ofer Hajub

Come see and taste! Still young at heart, the queen of flavor, The “Maggie” tomato, is ringing in its first decade with a party! Maggie is known as a high-quality Israeli tomato, with a juicy green gel, which gives it a fine taste and rich aroma. Maggie is grown throughout the year nationwide in Israel among selected farmers only and packaged in a closed and marked package – and now with a new branding in honor of its 10-year celebration.

 

 

 

 

Maggie “the Taste” Tomato. Photograph: Ofer Hajub

At the exhibition, Hazera will launch new varieties of radishes: “Whitella” in white and “Purpella” in purple: round radishes for growing in open and closed areas, with impressive and strong colors, suitable for growing all year round with a high yield and excellent internal quality.

 

 

 

 

New radish varieties. Photograph: Hazera

Come and get an impression of a red, curly romaine lettuce: “Purple Heart“. Beyond the nutritional benefits of romaine lettuce, which is 5 times richer in vitamins than other types of lettuce, the variety “Purple Heart” is characterized as crunchy and extremely tasty and has a bright red color that penetrates deep into the leaf.


 

 

 

“Purple Heart”. Photograph: Hazera

Come and meet the team of Hazera at the Araba expo taking place on February 15 and 16 in Ein Hatzeva, Israel and join “Rubicon” /”Doria” on her fresh produce journey from the field, to the retailers, and straight to her kitchen!

Hazera launches ToBRFV resistant varieties in Mexico

Hazera launches ToBRFV resistant varieties in Mexico

After having announced the pipeline of its ToBRFV resistant varieties, Hazera is proud to launch its first resistant varieties for the Mexican market and showcase them at the most important event for agriculture in Latin America- EXPO AgroAlimentaria Guanajuato® 2022 in Mexico.

 

ToBRFV launch

ToBRFV is very noticeable in Mexico and growers have been faced with diminished yields and battered fruit. ToBRFV is a huge problem for tomato production, affecting the yield and fruit quality with coloring issues and brown spots on fruits impacting directly on the marketable yield.

Since ToBRFV hit tomato growers worldwide, Hazera’s R&D team has been working tirelessly, for several years, to find varieties capable of giving an effective level of ToBRFV resistance without compromising the yield and fruit quality. “These efforts included in-depth trials in many locations, under different conditions in a global scale, to confirm that we are able to provide solutions, with the right balance between performance and ToBRFV protection”, according to Alejandro Szechtman, Hazera’s Portfolio Marketing Director.

With the optimal balance between protection and performance, Canelo, one of Hazera’s tomato varieties with resistance to ToBRFV, is an indeterminate Roma type with a vigorous plant, which maintains a balanced yield under adverse environmental conditions, due to its wide array of resistances. “Through vast trialing of Canelo in most regions of Mexico, including San Luis Potosi, Baja California, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Coahuila, Canelo provides high yield, excellent fruit quality, good maturation with an intense red color, as well as excellent firmness, maintaining L and XL sizes with average weights of 150 to 160 grams throughout the production cycle”, according to Javier Angulo- Product Development Manager, Mexico.

 

“Canelo”

Canelo is a very productive variety, ideal for growing in a net house or greenhouse. Additionally, with its ToBRFV resistance, Canelo is able to serve the Mexican grower as an effective tool to face the highly infectious virus, which is supported by local growers, who claim that “Canelo is a very strong and healthy plant with outstanding high fruit quality.”

Looking forward, “Hazera is continuing its efforts to provide effective varieties to better cope with ToBRFV on a global scale and, in Mexico, will launch several new varieties, including the up and coming, new Indeterminate Grape Tomato, ‘Pendragon’, a variety that combines ToBRFV IR resistance with high yield, long shelf life, and good taste, following our commitment to provide growers varieties with the optimal balance between protection and performance,” says Alejandro Szechtman.

 

ToBRFV range / “Pendragon”

Development of Fusarium-Resistant Lettuce Varieties

Dr. Yaniv Rotem – Solanaceae Pathologist, Hazera Co.

 General Background

The fusarium disease in lettuce is a deadly wilt and collapse disease that is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae.

The disease was first discovered in Japan in 1955 and has since spread to other countries around the world. Today, there are three known races of the fungus – races 1, 2 and 3.

Starting in 2008, we began encountering the phenomena of wilting and collapse in Israel, in the Besor region and other growing areas. The first identification of fusarium as a cause of wilting and collapse was made in 2009 in Hazera’s phytopathology laboratory, when the fungus F. oxysporum f. sp. lactucae was clearly identified through isolation from infected plants and through the performance of the Koch test. As part of the initial phase of our research work, it was also clearly defined that the fungus found in Israel is of Race 1.

Fusarium disease is particularly severe in summer, but over the years the intensity of the disease has increased in Israel and more and more affected fields are being seen, even in winter.

Symptoms of the Disease

Overall, the symptoms of the disease are similar to wilt diseases caused by fusarium in many other crops:

  • The first symptom of the onset of the disease is the appearance of yellowing in the leaves.
  • At a slightly later stage, we observe a loss of turgor of the plant, necrosis in the leaves, and finally, collapse of the entire plant.
  • When the root and stem of a lettuce plant affected by fusarium are cut, we see a characteristic red-brown color (internal browning).

Images 1, 2: Yellowing of leaves and collapse of lettuce plants in an infected field in the Besor region.

Image 3: Typical internal browning of the lettuce plant stem when damaged by fusarium.

Image 4: Performing the Koch test in the laboratory: On the left – lettuce seedlings infected with fusarium isolate that was isolated from an infected plant brought from the field, in which symptoms and collapse similar to those observed in the field can be seen. On the right – lettuce seedlings infected for comparison purposes with melon fusarium isolate (F. oxysporum f. sp. melonis), in which no damage is visible.

How Is the Disease Transmitted?

  • The disease is caused by a fungus that survives in the soil, mainly in the form of resting spores (chlamydospores) with thick walls that can survive in the soil for many years. When lettuce plants are planted in soil containing these chlamydospores – the mycelium regenerates from them, penetrates the roots of the developing plant, and enters the vascular system in the roots and stem.
  • During the season, the fungus is able to move underground from an infected plant to a healthy neighboring plant by moving between roots that are touching each other.
  • The fungus is able to spread in the field via water moving through the soil as well as on the equipment used to work the soil. Vehicles and agricultural equipment that are moved from field to field – enable the disease to be spread from an infected field to distant healthy fields.

Development of Fusarium-Resistant Lettuce Varieties

  • In the first stage – a number of preliminary experiments were conducted in which the exact method for infecting lettuce seedlings with fusarium was determined in a way that ensures the correct distinction between plants that are susceptible and plants that are resistant to the disease. The method developed enables laboratory testing of a large number of lettuce lines, identification of the resistant lines, and selection of the most resistant plants in order to progress to the next generation.
  • After that, hundreds of lettuce lines were screened in the laboratory in a series of experiments, and the most resistant lines among them were identified.
  • Concurrently with the laboratory work, experiments were conducted in an infected area in the Besor region. Comparison between the results of the laboratory experiments and of the field experiments showed a high correlation between the two methods.
  • In 2013 Hazera launched the first leaf lettuce variety that combines fusarium resistance with good quality – Asaf.
  • In the years that followed, Hazera developed additional resistant varieties: Raviv – a summer romaine, Ishtar – our senior winter romaine, Dikla – a romaine with hearts that are convenient for packing, Lior – a romaine with a large number of inner leaves, and also, Solo Mio – our crunchy iceberg lettuce.

For more information about Hazera’s lettuce varieties, click here.

Image 5: A resistant variety in comparison with a sensitive variety, in the cultivation area in the Besor region.

Image 6: Asaf – a fusarium-resistant variety by Hazera, in an infected area in the Besor region

Press Release: IR ToBRFV varieties in pipeline

Press release
August 2022

Hazera announces varieties with intermediate resistance (IR) to Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (ToBRFV) in pipeline

Hazera is proud to announce the launch of our ToBRFV intermediate resistant varieties- the optimal balance between protection and performance– providing the grower an effective tool to face the highly infectious virus, infecting tomato plants, fruit and affecting growers worldwide. The Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus poses a constant threat to growers worldwide, significantly reducing yields, affecting the quality of fruit, and systematically infecting other plants, as it is a very transmittable virus that can infect through soil, tools, water, and people’s contact.

Since ToBRFV hit, Hazera’s R&D team has been working tirelessly to find varieties capable of giving an effective level of ToBRFV resistance without compromising the yield and fruit quality we’ve invested years to perfect. Over the course of several years, Hazera researchers and agronomists invested endless resources to find solutions to address our growers’ needs worldwide. Moreover, according to Alejandro Szechtman, Hazera’s Portfolio Marketing Director, “These efforts included in-depth trials in many locations, under different conditions in a global scale, to confirm that we are able to provide the optimal solutions, with the right balance between performance and ToBRFV protection”.

Hazera is proud to announce a wide ToBRFV resistant variety pipeline worldwide, with which we will be able to tailor-make the optimal solution per market requirement, beginning with Italy, Greece, Spain, Mexico, Turkey, Israel etc’.

Hazera, through Limagrain’s upstream research, contributed to a network of internal and external collaborative discovery projects on ToBRFV using different approaches. This resulted in Limagrain being the first company to file a patent on ToBRFV resistance in tomato in 2017. While the first generation of tomato hybrids resistant to ToBRFV is being commercialized, Limagrain discovery programs continue to work intensively to find resistances against potential emergent more aggressive forms of this devastating virus.

“Our R&D efforts haven’t ended, we’re still investing to achieve higher resistance, and expand our portfolio to the benefit of growers worldwide,” said Szechtman.

Hazera is a global leader in the seed industry. Hazera has headquarters in both the Netherlands and Israel. We operate subsidiaries in 11 countries, together with a distribution network serving over 130 markets. Our partners operate in all kinds of climates, and under diverse growing conditions and market requirements. For over a century, our top priority has been walking alongside them, developing an enormous variety of seeds and providing comprehensive support every step of the way. Hazera’s team of experts works directly with growers to evaluate their needs, assist during variety selection and provide guidance and support throughout the crop cycle.

Hazera is part of the Limagrain Group, an international agri-business based in France. Being a farmers’ cooperative, the Limagrain Group understands the needs of its customers and has grown to become the largest seed company in Europe, specialising in vegetables, field crops and cereal products. Limagrain’s vegetable seed division is the second largest company in the industry.

New Deputy CEO of Hazera: “It is like a Marathon run, and we want to finish first!”

Since May 19th   2022, Ofer Peleg is the new Deputy CEO of Hazera. He will lead sales, supply chain, production and IT. “We have great ‘DNA’ in Hazera, but also opportunities and potential to become a well-integrated company and realize solid and robust processes.”

Ofer, fifty years old, lives near Tel Aviv, together with his wife and three children, aged 21, 18 and 13. He is used to work for several leading  companies in multicultural and dynamic environments. “I started as an industrial engineer in the pharma industry, and stayed there for about twenty years. At Teva pharmaceuticals, the Israeli global generic leader, I served in various positions in both R&D and Operations, where my last role was to manage three large facilities in Europe, for that role I moved with my family to Amsterdam for two years. After that I became vice-president of the Global supply chain at Sun pharmaceuticals , a global Indian pharma company. In the last four years I was the vice-president of the Global supply chain at Netafim, a global leader in precision irrigation. “At Netafim I focused on the same customers and ambition as Hazera; helping farmers to get the best out of their crops for both quantity and quality.”


Go the extra mile
“I got a very warm welcome, both at Hazera and Limagrain, there is a strong sense of partnership. The people I have met enjoy their profession and are very enthusiastic, willing to go above and beyond  to serve our customers. They know that by doing so, they are making the world a better place. Shortly after I started at Hazera, I was lucky to meet many of my colleagues at the annual Limagrain conference in Prague.


Marathon run

“I just started my learning, there is a huge knowhow and great professionalism here” says Ofer. But our competitors are not waiting for us, and we have to be agile, flexible and focus on quality. We can’t stop, not even for a minute; we are running a marathon and we want to finish first. There is also an opportunity for becoming a well-integrated company and realizing solid and robust processes.”

Way of working
“We produce seeds all over the world; How can we do this as efficient as possible? What is our optimal footprint?, How to optimize our inventory?  How can we  leverage our capabilities?  In my former positions I have helped answering similar kinds of questions. I’m looking forward to share my experience and contribute to Hazera.”

Tomato SHANTY F1 – Côte d’Ivoire

Well done! goes to our friends at “Senin Group”, our representors at Ivory Coast, for the work done with local growers and successful results with Tomato SHANTY F1. This hybrid produce big size, high quality firm fruits, supported by good plant frame. For more Hazera products, please contact the team. See you at the fields!

Continue reading “Tomato SHANTY F1 – Côte d’Ivoire”

SHANTY IMPROVED F1

Successful training at Demo-day for local growers of Tomato SHANTY IMPROVED F1, was conducted by Amiran last week at Narok. This well-known variety is adapted to tough growing conditions, have strong plant frame and BIG size fruits, which bring high yield potential. Additional advantages are TYLCV, TSWV and Pst resistances. For SHANTY IMPROVED F1 and other Hazera products, please contact our distributor Amiran Kenya. See you at the fields!

Continue reading “SHANTY IMPROVED F1”

A Big Thanks to Our Onion and Tomato Growers!

A big thanks goes to all the Onion and Tomato growers who shared with us their positive experience and feedbacks on our products. Onion Varieties QUARTZ F1, GUADALUPE F1, RED KING F1 and tomato SHANTY IMPROVED F1 are at its peaks! Well done, great work! For more details, please contact Terragrisen Senegal. See you at the fields.

Continue reading “A Big Thanks to Our Onion and Tomato Growers!”

Onion RUSSET F1

Onion RUSSET F1 is clearly one of the leaders in our Africa’s Onion portfolio. Those great pics of High Yield, great Quality and Uniform Harvest been sent to us from beautiful Tanzania. Please contact our distributor, Balton Tanzania, for more Hazera products, including Tomatoes GALILEA F1 and GALILEA IMPROVED F1.

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Open Days at Roshanara, Ethiopia!

Last week Hazera and GREENLIFE conducted Open-Days at Roshanara farm, near Addis Ababa. More than 130 growers visited the event and impressed from our well-familiar SHANTY, GALILEA, RUSSET and LANDINI varieties, next to new exciting developments. Many thanks to the GREENLIFE team, our partners and Official Distributers in Ethiopia for this successful event. Well-done, See you all again next year! Continue reading “Open Days at Roshanara, Ethiopia!”

Great Success for Hazera at this Year’s AFSTA Congress 2019

This year the African Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) congress was held in Mombasa Kenya from March 4 to 7, where it was attended by hundreds of delegates from dozens of countries (both from Africa and worldwide). Hazera was proud to take part in the Congress, alongside leading international and African seeds companies, as an exhibitor and members of AFSTA.

Continue reading “Great Success for Hazera at this Year’s AFSTA Congress 2019”

Open field days in Kenya

As part of Hazera’s ongoing commitment, we are continuing to share our knowledge throughout the world – and this time with growers in Kenya. We held two open field days in Kenya last week, in collaboration with Amiran K Ltd. One field day focused on Russet onions, while the other day highlighted Shanty Improved tomatoes.

Continue reading “Open field days in Kenya”

Greenlife and Hazera together held the Annual Open Day at Koka – Ethiopia, from May 31 to Jun 2nd

The first two days were organized for international visitors who came all the way from Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda and Israel (including the Hazera’s CEO, Rami Dar).

Continue reading “Greenlife and Hazera together held the Annual Open Day at Koka – Ethiopia, from May 31 to Jun 2nd”

Hazera PLC Open Field Event in Ethiopia

Hazera & Greenlife Trading PLC’s Open Field Event in Ethiopia, held from 21 to 25 of May 2014 at the Koka Ethiovegfru Farm, was attended by more than 200 farmers, agricultural professionals, extension workers, media representatives & NGOs from various regions, including Afar, Somalia, Oromia, Amehara and Dire Dawa Administration. Also attending the event, that was held for the 5th year in a row, and is now an annual tradition, were groups of distributors and agronomists from Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan and Zimbabwe participated. Continue reading “Hazera PLC Open Field Event in Ethiopia”

Hazera supports “Fair Planet” in Ethiopia

As part of Hazera’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and contribution to the community,

in the broadest sense of the term, the company provides support to a social startup called “Fair Planet”,

led by Dr. Shoshan Haran – a former Hazera employee, alongside with Alon Haberfeld, who also has a

valued history at Hazera. Continue reading “Hazera supports “Fair Planet” in Ethiopia”

Our partner in Ethiopia participated in the women 1st great run

Our partner in Ethiopia participated in the women 1st great run, with branded T- shirts of Hazera varieties: Sivan onion, Shanty tomato, Serenade pepper, Polimore watermelon. 12,000 women participated under the motto: Violence – Free life: It’s my right! Well done! Continue reading “Our partner in Ethiopia participated in the women 1st great run”

The Annual Open Field Days in Ethiopia 2015

The Annual Open Field Days were Held in Ethiopia, with Collaboration between Hazera and Green Life Trading PLC – Hazera’s Local Agent

The Hazera Annual Open Field Days were held in 3 regions of Ethiopia. Participants and special guests from Hazera in the field days included: CEO of Hazera, Mr. Rami Dar, Head of the Seed Production Department, Mr. Amit Einav, and Commercial Business Unit Manager – Middle East & Africa, Mr. Jawadat Badawieh, as well as a group of distributors and agronomist from Tanzania, Kenya and Sudan that attended the Open Field Days event, 15-20 of May 2015, organized by Hazera and Green Life Trading. Continue reading “The Annual Open Field Days in Ethiopia 2015”

Hazera participated at AFSTA congress in Zimbabwe

This year the AFSTA (African Seeds Trading Association) Congress was held at the Elephant Hill Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe over the first week of March, 2015.

More than 320 delegates from 49 countries, both from Africa and from all corners of the globe, participated in the AFSTA congress.

Among the participants were leading international as well as African seed companies. In addition, the AFSTA congress also hosted sessions with lectures by representatives of ISTA – International Seed Testing Association, UPOV – Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, the OECD – Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Continue reading “Hazera participated at AFSTA congress in Zimbabwe”

Son of the Kenyan President on an Agricultural Visit to Israel

Jomo Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s current President and grandson of Jomo Kenyatta – Kanya’s legendary leader, arrived in Israel last week for a visit aimed at expanding his knowledge and studying agriculture in Israel. Kenyatta Junior, who is a successful farmer and considered one of the leaders in this field in Kenya, visited the greenhouses and laboratories of Hazera company in order to learn close up about different growing methods and how to improve agricultural produce. Continue reading “Son of the Kenyan President on an Agricultural Visit to Israel”

Open field day at Ethiopia 2015

Our big Open Field Day was held on January 31 2015, aimed at offering an “on the ground” demonstration of the potential of Hazera’s hybrid vegetable seeds.

The site of the Field Day was located 525 km to the east of the capital Addis Ababa, and 10 Km from the Diredawa Administration Shenili Zone Agropeace Farm. The event was organized in collaboration with Greenlife Trading PLC, Dire Farmers Union and the Diredawa Administration Agriculture Bureau.

The event was attended by more than two hundred participants, ranging from farmers, agricultural professionals, extension workers, investors, media professionals, NGOs, University staff members – from the Dire Dawa Administration, Harare Region, Somalia region and East Harereghe Oromia region. Continue reading “Open field day at Ethiopia 2015”

AFSTA congress was a great success for us!

This year the AFSTA (African Seeds Trading Association) congress was held in Dakar, Senegal, on Feb.28th – Mar.2nd, with 300 delegates from 41 countries (both from Africa and worldwide) attending this annual event. The congress, whose participants included international and African seeds companies, also hosted meetings of the ISTA, UPOV, OECD associations. Continue reading “AFSTA congress was a great success for us!”

Our future in Africa: Tanzania – open field days with Hazera varieties: Shanty tomatoes, Neptune onions and more

Hazera sees Africa as a growth market with great potential. This understanding led to an important visit to Tanzania, with the goal of learning and acquiring a better grasp of the needs of the local market, its development, and Hazera’s collaboration with its local distributor – Balton Tanzania. Continue reading “Our future in Africa: Tanzania – open field days with Hazera varieties: Shanty tomatoes, Neptune onions and more”

A visit of Agricultural entrepreneurs and scientists from Africa

A small group of Agricultual entrepreneurs and scientists from Africa (Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria and Zimbabwe) led by EMRC Belgium is interested in developing partnership with Hazera to boost the seeds industry in their countries. Continue reading “A visit of Agricultural entrepreneurs and scientists from Africa”

Hazera Open Field Days in Ethiopia

As part of the development areas in Ethiopia, on March 17th-18th, Hazera organized field days in Bahar Dar – Northeastern Ethiopia (Kolata area), and in Koga. About 120 visitors, farmers and members of the local Agriculture Ministry attended each day to see our range of tomato, onion and cabbage varieties for open field.

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African Entrepreneurs Visited Hazera

About 25 entrepreneurs from around Africa: Cameroon, Tanzania, Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Kenya and Madagascar, who came to learn from the Israeli expertise and knowledge in agriculture, visited Hazera today. The visitors met with our Commercial Director in Africa, Mr.Jawdat Badawieh, who showcased hazera knowledge and achievement in Africa. Continue reading “African Entrepreneurs Visited Hazera”

Agricultural Study Tour – PASS Tanzania

Yesterday, 11 board members of PASS Tanzania came visit Hazera Israel to learn from the Israeli expertise and knowledge in agriculture from our Commercial Director in Africa, Mr.Jawdat Badawieh, who talked about Hazera activity in Africa, the growth efforts and the importance of this strategic market for Hazera. Continue reading “Agricultural Study Tour – PASS Tanzania”

Hazera continues to develop vegetables in Africa

This time, we focus on the development and training of farmers in Sierra Leone in west Africa, where we held 3 training courses in 3 different locations. We demonstrated the added value that hybrid vegetable seeds could bring to the farmers and market in Sierra Leone.

The training sessions covered subjects such as nursery preparation and principles in growing vegetables in hot and humid climates.

Continue reading “Hazera continues to develop vegetables in Africa”