Once a year, Origene Seeds invites its distributors from all around the world for a seven-day intensive. During the week, they tour and explore the company's experimental plots in moshav Bnei Darom, get reacquainted with current varieties, and are introduced to new ones. Distributors from 20 countries joined this year's week-long event.
Toward the end of the week, the company holds an open day for overseas visitors, local customers, growers, distributors, and the press.
This year, they put a spotlight on four new melon and watermelon varieties - Origene Seeds' flagship products. The latest fruits were displayed at the entrance to the pavilion that welcomed the guests for refreshments, after their visit to the field.
Ofir Elasar shared with us the company's strategy. "Our goal," he says, "is to develop products that suit and meet the needs along the entire value chain, including abundant yields for the growers, shelf life for wholesalers and retailers, and for the consumers - great taste and shelf life as well."
Ofir introduced the new varieties:
Melon and cantaloupe
Imoji - yellow, super sweet with shelf life that corresponds with the growers, retailers, and consumers needs alike. The extended shelf life holds an additional advantage because growers can pick the crops in stages, instead of all at once.
The Imoji's crispiness makes it popular in Spain since the Spanish like their melons crunchy as opposed to Israeli consumers, for example, who like them aromatic.
Justin - a type of melon with orange flesh. Its shape is round to slightly oval, weighing between 1.5-2 kg. The Justin produces sugar even in extremely high temperatures, and therefore growers can cultivate it in summer, achieving a deliciously sweet fruit.
The Justin can grow in open field and net greenhouses and is mainly produced in Israel for local consumption, and in Brazil for the Western European market. Its extended shelf life makes shipping from Brazil to Western Europe viable.
Mimo – Piel De Sapo type, typical Spanish melon, the only Spanish-type commercial melon with orange flesh (Spanish melons' flesh are usually white). The Mimo is extra sweet, weighs between 2-3 kg, and its shelf life is long.
Lajoya - a super sweet, medium-sized watermelon; what makes this type unique. Weighing 5-6 kg, it fits into any home-size refrigerator, whole. The Lajoya is suitable for cultivation in open field and net greenhouses, and it is Brazil's market-leading seedless watermelon mainly produced for exportation to Western Europe.
"All the products on display," says Ofir, "are both for local markets as well grows around the world in More than 30 countries !
During the event, Origene Seeds also presented its fantastic collection of pumpkins and gourds. Ofir explains: "Origene Seeds' offerings include edible as well as ornamental varieties.
Edible squashes have become a world trend, especially the butternut, because it is low in calories and high with nutritional values. Also," he adds, "It is easy to prepare; you just put it in the microwave for a few minutes, and it is ready - a perfect fit for the new generations' lifestyles."
According to Ofir: not being prone to diseases, relatively easy to cultivate, high-quality crops, and an exceptionally long shelf life - at least two months, are among the butternut squash's merits.
"The demand for butternut has grown tremendously since increasing amounts go to fresh-cut produce. Namely; cut, vacuum-packed on the spot, and sold in the retailers' refrigerators. This trend has brought about many factories that specialize in fresh produce ready-to-eat, heat, and cook."
"Origene Seeds," Ofir concludes, "has positioned itself as a major, leader and inovative supplier of cucurbits varieties. The plan is to continue doing what we believe in - investing in R&D and introducing to the market superb products that carry added value for the entire value chain.