Understanding obstacles and opportunities for successful market introduction of crop varieties with resistance against major diseases

Edwin Nuijten, Jan de Wit, Leen Janmaat, Annegret Schmitt, Lucius Tamm, Edith T. Lammerts van Bueren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Organic agriculture only allows a few ‘natural’ compounds for managing pests and diseases such as copper which is applied as fungicide in apple, grape, potato, and tomato production. But as a heavy metal, copper is under debate in the organic sector. One key strategy to replace copper use is the market introduction of resistant varieties. In this article, key obstacles and opportunities for the introduction of new apple and potato varieties are identified and described. A comparative analysis integrating agricultural, economic, cultural, and social perspectives is conducted based on literature review, information on internet, and interviews with key experts, mainly from the organic sector. As a framework for analysis, the concepts of brokerage and the multilevel perspective have been used. The following solution pathways are described: (a) make use of added value of varieties, (b) create demand (pull effects), (c) well-coordinated marketing concepts, (d) new marketing concepts such as the Flavour Group Concept, (e) gradual introduction through shorter chain (when limited funding), and (f) match varieties to food chain styles. Key lessons are the following: (i) there must be an urgent need that develops into a pull factor; (ii) for creating pull factors, it is important to involve others; (iii) a shared language and a common culture between involved stakeholders needs to be developed; (iv) without push factor, no new steps will be realised; (v) new concepts need to fit in existing chain structures; (vi) patience is often important, and (vii) some luck is often crucial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-299
JournalOrganic Agriculture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Agronomic and societal value
  • Brokerage
  • Comparative approach
  • Market introduction
  • Multilevel perspective
  • Resistance breeding


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