For the first time ever the same company has won the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award twice, with Rijk Zwaan's delayed pinking lettuce variety 'Knox' winning the popular vote at the trade fair in Berlin.
The honor comes 11 years after the Dutch company won first prize back in 2006 with the Salanova lettuce.
"Winning such a prestigious accolade twice will have a big impact on our business and give us an extra edge in terms of our added value and will definitely enable a push on the sales side of the business," marketing manager and business development Jan Doldersum told Fresh Fruit Portal after receiving the award.
"This just goes to show the power of innovation in our company as we spend 30% of our turnover every year on R&D which makes winning this award possible," he said.
"Big compliments to our team who did a fantastic job, thank you so much for all your hard work. I would also like to honor our partners in the supply chain for all of their support which is needed to explain the advantages of this product."
Knox lettuce is the result of 10 years development and can extend shelf life by around two days due to delayed pinking, contributing to better inventory management for retailers and reducing their waste.
Coming in a close second place was “The Cracking Monkey – Pili Nuts” by Germany's Die Frischebox GmbH, and taking the third spot was “Natupol Excel – Bumble Bee Vision” from Netherlands-based Koppert Biological Systems.
Companies from other countries to have won over the years include Israel which has won the innovation award twice, as well as Australia, Switzerland and Spain.
The trade fair has attracted more than 75,000 visitors this year.