Nunhems Carrot variety Romance F1 has made a name for itself in the carrot market.
Product Development Specialist Hans Kole on ten years of Romance F1
In 2020, BASF is celebrating the tenth year since the launch of the carrot variety Romance F1. In this article, Hans Kole, Product Development Specialist for over two decades, speaks about the launch of Romance F1 and shares his thoughts about the future. “We want to be a trustworthy partner,” emphasizes Hans.
It was Robert Oostveen, Senior Breeder for carrot, who first sparked Hans’s interest in this variety. Oostveen was enthusiastic after seeing screening trials in southwest France. One of the standout features was the finer diameter combined with a high level of uniformity, with early blunting and early coloring – a rarity on the market. “That’s one of the reasons why it offers a new choice for customers and has been received so well as a product,” says Hans.
Looking back, there were barely any products like Romance F1. But the market launch was a true revolution, as Hans explains: “We were looking for a variety that has foliar resistances that are suitable enough for conditions in southern Europe, but which is also resistant enough against the breaking and splitting that is common in northern European. Romance F1 has it all. But another plus point is Romance’s genetic characteristics, which opened up the market for organic production.”
Opening up the Market
Hans was pleasantly surprised when Romance F1 started to enter market segments that were very different from the ones that we initially focused on. Romance F1’s good uniformity, big seed sizes, upright foliage, and earliness in color and good blunting make it an attractive variety for many segments. “It goes from washing to bunching. It turned out to be suitable for snacking, storage, industry, and organic – a lot more than we expected,” says Hans.
Romance F1 was launched a decade ago, but it was thanks to the efforts of customers and sales specialists that the market began to recognize Romance F1 ’s qualities. “There was a wide range of positive experiences from all corners of the carrot market. They discovered that Romance F1, alongside proving itself to be reliable, is flexible in different growing conditions and suitable for various market demands.”
Hans explains how he is proud of the development that the variety has gone through. “Romance F1 has a proven record: It has a large range of usages and has made a name for itself in carrot production in many countries with many customers.” He emphasizes that many partners contributed to the Romance F1 ’s rise in popularity. “It’s a very special thing that we were able to grow together with our customers and other partners.” With Romance F1 having established itself in various markets, Hans’s focus has returned to supporting the sales team. “Sharing best practices and giving growing advice is becoming more and more important, especially because we’ve welcomed new customers, new teammates, and various changes at our company,” explains Hans.
Looking ahead, Hans has high expectations for future carrot products with even better genetics. However, stronger disease resistances will also be an important item. “We want to deliver a better service to customers who must adhere to ever stricter chemical application standards. Furthermore, we want to produce a more organic product,” says Hans, who thinks that identifying and confirming the value of Romance F1 remains very important. “But above all, we want to be a trustworthy partner for our customers.”
Hans Kole, Product Development Specialist for Carrots, at BASF.