Preface by the CEO

the world

Feeding the world. With this theme for the year HZPC provides content for its mission: to contribute to the development of responsible food for a growing world population. A challenging mission. There is great and ever increasing urgency. The need for affordable, responsible food is increasing more and more as the result of an every growing world population. The potato can play a significant global role here. This is exactly where the core of HZPC's business lies.

Among other things our breeding is focused on growing our new potato varieties under the most challenging conditions.  A great deal of breeding potential has not yet been exploited. We are therefore working on improving the yield per hectare while reducing the water footprint at the same time. In so doing we make a lasting contribution to food security and sustainability. We are convinced that the potato has all the attributes required to maintain its position among the world's five biggest food crops. It will thus have a role to play in the challenges concerning the global food problem.

Our sustainability ambition does not always make things easy for us. We notice that we sometimes wish to progress more quickly than the available capacity permits. However, I cannot be anything but satisfied with what we have achieved since the publication of our previous Sustainability Report. We supply seed potatoes to more and more countries and people all over the world, including places where political conflicts or violence are taking place.  We will not be held back by difficult circumstances and we act in line with our mission. Our standpoint is that food is a basic right for every citizen of the world.

The issues which we will devote our attention to in the near future mainly relate to improving the sustainability of the chain and how we can make it transparent. We will therefore also be having very intensive talks with stakeholders in the period which lies ahead. Their feedback is valuable in terms of determining materiality. It is also of value in enriching our sustainability policy and making it more rigorous where necessary.

Our first sustainability report met with a positive reception in 2014. That strengthened our resolve to further raise awareness of issues internally and externally. We thereby set the most important objective of our sustainability mission in the organisation: converting knowledge into shared values. Not just by ourselves but with the commitment and involvement of all our employees, growers, breeders and chain partners. Sustainability is very much about acting together.

Gerard Backx