For the first time ever the same company has scooped first prize at the Fruit Logistica Innovation Awards, with the delayed pinking lettuce variety Knox from Rijk Zwaan Export crowned winners for 2017.
Eleven years after scooping first prize back in 2006 for the Salanova lettuce, Rijk Zwaan Export has done it again after receiving the most votes during the 25th Fruit Logistica in Berlin.
Knox lettuce is the result of 10 years development and can extend shelf life by around two days due to delayed pinking, contributing to better inventory management for retailers and reducing their waste.
Speaking to PBUK directly after the announcement on Friday (Feb. 10), thrilled marketing manager and business development, Jan Doldersum, gave a nod to the voters, organisers of the award and the “fantastic” team behind the lettuce creation, as well as thanking retailers for their support.
“The first big win for us was 11 years ago with the Salanova so it feels absolutely fantastic to be the first company to win this award twice,” he says.
“This just goes to show the power of innovation in our company as we spend 30% of our turnover every year on R&D which makes winning this award possible.
“Winning such a prestigious accolade twice will have a big impact on our business and give us an extra edge in terms of our added value and will definitely enable a push on the sales side of the business.
“The whole team is definitely going to party tonight.”
Coming in a close second place was “The Cracking Monkey – Pili Nuts” by Die Frischebox GmbH, Germany and taking the third spot was “Natupol Excel – Bumble Bee Vision” from Netherlands-based, Koppert Biological Systems.
Companies from other countries to have won over the years include Israel which has won the innovation award twice, as well as Australia, Switzerland and Spain.
“Big compliments to our team who did a fantastic job, thank you so much for all your hard work. I would also like to honour our partners in the supply chain for all of their support which is needed to explain the advantages of this product,” adds Doldersum.
“We are extremely honoured and thank our partners.”
In another first, this year Fruit Logistica topped 3,000 exhibitors and 75,000 trade visitors.