עגבניות דניאלה וצ'רי: המהפכה האדומה
המוצר: זני עגבניות מוכלאים
המפתחים: פרופ' נחום קידר ז"ל, ד"ר אהוד קופלביץ, ד"ר יוני אלקינד, גב' נעמי גביש
החברה: הזרע תחילת הפיתוח: 1980
Product: Crossbred Varieties of Tomatoes
Developers: Prof. Nachum Kedar Z"L, Dr. Ehud Koplewitz, Dr. Yoni Elkind, Mrs. Naomi Gavish
Company: Hazera Start of Development: 1980
Hazera was founded in 1939 as a cooperative of the agricultural settlements with the objective of supplying vegetable seeds to the Jewish settlements in pre-State Israel. In the years since, it has become a commercial company specializing in the development of superior varieties of vegetables while combining traditional crossbreeding and modern technologies.
In the past, tomatoes softened quickly and were therefore picked long before maturing, thereby detracting from their flavor and color. Hazera set out to create an ideal variety of tomato with a longer shelf-life that would result in a firmer, more mature and redder product.
The gene that delays the ripening process (RIN – Ripening Inhibitor) was discovered during the second half of the 20th century. Although an important discovery, it was not implemented commercially due to the unwanted taste and color that generally accompanied the gene.
The late Prof. Nachum Kedar, who headed the tomato breeding team at the Faculty of Agriculture, initiated use of the RIN gene to develop new varieties of tomatoes while still improving their flavor, firmness and color. The team searched for genetic sources for each of the desired attributes and began the long process of crossbreeding and selection of the best results.
Tomato variety R-144, named “Daniela”, was introduced to the market in the 1990s. Daniela had advantages for everyone: for the grower (a large harvest, high quality and profitability), for the marketing chains (longer storage and transportation times), and for the consumers (flavor, attractive color and firmness).
Daniela caused a revolution in the tomato market and became an international hit, positioning Hazera as a company of leading global stature. Over time, further similar tomato species were developed at Hazera and other companies, based on the Daniela.
The Daniela and its associated varieties have generated sales worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Prof. Kedar’s cultivation team and the Hazera marketing team registered another international achievement with the creation of the cherry tomato variety which contained the NOR (Non-Ripening) gene, thereby fulfilling their goal of developing a small, sweet and healthy “snack” with a firm texture and long shelflife.
Development of the first commercial cherry varieties ended in the mid 1980s and since then, Hazera sells tens of millions of cherry tomato seeds every year, in a wide range of colors, shapes, sizes and flavors.
Professor Kedar was later awarded the Israel Prize for Agriculture. In 2006, Hazera was purchased by the French corporation Limagrain and subsequently became the global Hazera Seeds company. The company’s headquarters and R&D centers are today located in Israel and Holland.