Market trends and breeding innovation charting the path for indoor farming

The second annual Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit to be held in New York City, June 19-20 2019, provides a unique opportunity for over 300 thought leaders to come together and advance the sustainability, profitability and health-focus of the indoor trend that’s changing the dynamics of fresh food production. Enza Zaden is proud to announce its participation in the event for the first time, and to offer insight into the value of seed breeding innovation for high-tech greenhouses and vertical farms.

“Seed that’s bred specifically for controlled conditions is critical to meeting consumer demands and achieving desired business outcomes,” says Freek Knol, Greenhouse Business Manager North America, Enza Zaden USA.

Enza Zaden currently offers 12 hydroponic varieties – including Cristabel ‘crispy’ lettuce – with 15 more to be released in the next few years. The unique lighting, mechanics, technical know-how, desired traits, yields and packaging requirements of each indoor growing operation help to inform ideal variety suggestions, and avoid the significant trial-and-error expense of seed bred for open-field growing.

Enza Zaden’s dedicated breeding programs are informed by ongoing market trend and consumer preferences research across North America, the EU and Asia, as well as strong partnerships with retail organizations and produce platforms. Insights gained enable innovative adaption of fresh products in partnership with customers.

“Technology stakeholders, led by widespread consumer demand for local produce, are setting an aggressive and inspiring pace for dedicated seed breeding and operational innovation that’s never been seen before in the fresh food industry. We’re excited to be part of this exciting, entrepreneurial chapter in fresh and healthy local food production,” says Knol.

Enza Zaden is a global leader in vegetable seed breeding, with operations in 21 countries, and North American research stations in California, Florida, and Culiacan, Mexico. The company is a well-known leader in leafy greens and offers top programs in more than 30 other vegetables and culinary herbs.

Look out for Freek Knol hosting a roundtable discussion on ‘Plant Science: How can we optimise traits to indoor systems?’ on June 20 at the Indoor AgTech Innovation Summit in New York.