Our vision, mission and goals also translate into our corporate objectives with respect to target returns for our certificate holders and competitive prices for our seed potato growers in various countries. We are proud that we have again been able to achiev these objectives.
Research and breeding form the cornerstone of our aim to improve potato production worldwide. In recent years, the number of employees in research has increased. We have in particular recruited people with supplementary knowledge and skills. The benefits of this policy are already visible. The new varieties that we will soon be bringing to market are an important addition to our existing variety portfolio.
Much attention is given to new research projects. HZPC wants to be at the forefront when it comes to implementing new techniques in potato breeding. This requires a lot of research. The newer breeding techniques that are already being used in other crops can be applied to potato breeding. This will further advance potato genetics, a subject that HZPC devotes a lot of time and energy to. By doing so, HZPC also aims to prevent other breeding companies, not yet active in potatoes, from catching up and overtaking current potato companies in implementing the possibilities of improved genetics. HZPC has set out its strategy for potential hybridisation of potatoes and the impact this will have on the market over the coming decades.
For the long term, HZPC maintains its growth strategy and aims on the one hand to achieve further penetration in the markets where it is already active, and on the other to develop relatively new markets for HZPC varieties. The potato is a crop that continues to increase in global acreage. This creates many opportunities for a company like HZPC, although not all markets are easily accessible. HZPC is confident about the possibilities to further develop a number of newer markets with new varieties, new techniques, and our knowledge and experience.