Developing the market position

HZPC considers sustainability to be of paramount importance. It is indissolubly joined to our company. Our sustainability policy has three pillars: environmental stewardship, contribution to food security and community involvement. 

Environmental stewardship

Natural resources must be respected and protected. As a company in the agricultural sector, healthy earth is our greatest asset. To contribute to responsible use of the earth’s resources, we focus on:

  • Developing potato varieties which score better in terms of sustainability;
  • Reducing transport kilometres by promoting ‘local for local’ cultivation, amongst other things;
  • Taking more responsibility in the chain;
  • Reducing the environmental footprint of our organisation.

HZPC helps growers to optimise production and to reduce impact and wastage. Education and exchange of knowledge are important parts of this. This is why we organise grower meetings about various topics. In 2015 we started with training sessions about the storage of seed potatoes. This training session was appreciated by our growers and it led to significant improvements in practice. 200 out of the 500 HZPC seed potato growers participated in the first round. The training is being continued in the 2016 season.

Contribution to food security

The worldwide food demand continues to grow immensely. A growing world population and greater prosperity in various parts of the world explain this growth. Only a small part of the growing food demand can be produced on new agricultural land (to be developed). This growing food demand will have to be met, for the most part (80%), by higher yields on existing agricultural land. As market leader in potato breeding, we have a major responsibility in this respect.

Community involvement

We make a significant contribution to the social environment by taking social responsibility with regard to our trial fields by working to prevent child labour and unacceptable working conditions. HZPC also sees it as a duty to encourage a healthy diet for consumers. We cherish our relationship with our stakeholders and we are delighted to support good causes. 

In our digital sustainability report we explain which sustainable choices we make, what ambitions we have and what has already been achieved.

Take a look at our online sustainability report

Partnership with Polish Sustainable Farming Association

Natural resources such as water, fertile land and fossil fuels are under pressure in Poland. A non-commercial partnership was set up by partners within the food chain in 2014: the Polish Sustainable Farming Association. The joint aim is the promotion of sustainable agriculture. HZPC Poland has been a partner since mid 2015.

The sustainability programme highlights the following components within sustainable agriculture:

Farmers can take part free of charge. The only requirement is commitment. The initiative provides added value for all participants in the form of knowledge, skills and better cooperation.

Tomasz Jardzioch,  Director HZPC Polen:
“It is all about a broader consciousness that things don’t just renew themselves. We have to show good stewardship of the land. This programme fits in perfectly with HZPC’s conviction: feeding the world. My ambition is for all Polish growers to join over time. We will all benefit in this way. This is a fantastic project on Polish soil which we are extremely proud of.”

HZPC Annabelle variety best performer in ├ľKO-TEST

In 2015 ÖKO-TEST, a German monthly consumer magazine, examined potatoes from all the German supermarkets. ÖKO-TEST checks products for quality and their effect on the environment in terms of nitrate levels and water consumption. The HZPC variety Annabelle, grown in Portugal, was among the potatoes examined. Annabelle was the only one of the traditional products tested to gain the ‘good’ rating.

Ralf Möller, Director of HZPC Duitsland:
“Our efforts in the field of sustainability put us in a strong position as an organisation to respond to the questions posed by ÖKO-TEST. This enabled us to answer the question about the water footprint for the Annabelle plot in Portugal for example. That was not straightforward but definitely possible. You can see that questions about the impact of products on the environment are becoming increasingly common property. The fact that we capture more and more data enables us to adapt better and better to questions from society.”