The story of John

‘Growing opportunities for flavoursome specialty’

John Buijsman, crop specialist

Romanesque cauliflower or ‘Romanesco’ originates from Italy and is popular among healthy-food lovers and foodservice customers around the world. Rijk Zwaan is responding to this small yet expanding market with its summer and autumn variety called Puntoverde RZ. Crop Specialist John Buijsman is convinced that this unique variety deserves a place on supermarket shelves everywhere.


“Before moving into a commercial role I used to be a breeder at Rijk Zwaan. I spent seven years working on the programme that ultimately resulted in Puntoverde RZ. Our biggest challenge was to extend the availability of Romanesco, because the existing varieties could only be grown in the autumn which meant it was a seasonal product. Puntoverde RZ is a unique variety because it can be produced from June to November in moderate climates. By extending the season, we’ve made this vegetable more interesting for supermarkets.”

Mathematical formula

“No one forgets seeing it thanks to its eye-catching appearance. Romanesco is a stunning product, with the shape of its spirals based on a mathematical formula - a true miracle of nature. It has a more distinct taste than cauliflower.”

"The variety is not only popular with consumers but also with growers. I regularly visit producers of Puntoverde RZ and they tell me that it’s very easy to grow. Over the past season, we’ve seen that the harvested product has an excellent quality.”

Global interest

“Thanks to all these positive experiences, the demand for the variety has risen strongly over the past few years. It’s attracting interest globally, not only from Europe but also from the USA and Canada. I’m convinced that Puntoverde RZ not only deserves a place in foodservice but also on supermarket shelves.”

Interested? Our colleagues are happy to help you.