Rise & Shine
with Johan
Breeding spinach with maximum resistance.
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The Spinach Guru that’s always

looking for the pot of gold.

As a true farmer’s son, Johan’s ambition is to help spinach farmers around the world earn a stable income. When he was younger, he would help his father on the farm, forever fascinated by the plant science behind it all. Today, he’s our Spinach Guru – and we’re incredibly proud to have him on board.

Johan explains, “The world changes rapidly. And when you realize that developing a spinach variety takes five years, you see you have to think pretty far ahead as a breeder. I’m always looking for breeding methods that will improve our current varieties so that, in the end, growers can rely on their yield.”

Johan’s challenge.

When breeding spinach, the focus is always on breeding varieties that are free of diseases and have the maximum in disease resistances. But there’s another key aspect, says Johan. “It’s also important not to lose sight of the crop’s horticultural value. We make sure that our spinach varieties not only score high on resistances, but also have the best phenotypes. That means that our varieties have high uniformity and thick, round, dark-green leaves, with a good crunch and a long shelf life.”

Proud member of the Vegetable Squad.

In close contact with customers.

If you ask Johan, the most unique thing about working at Pop is that we have our boots on the ground. Johan: “Spinach breeding is driven by disease resistance, so you have to be dynamic. Our strong focus on spinach allows us to respond super-fast. That applies to breeding, but also to seed production delivery and communicating with customers. I regularly visit our customers and growers to hear about their needs and to see how our varieties perform. That’s quite unique for a breeder. I think it’s this approach that helped us become the world’s market leader in spinach.”

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