The story of Paul and Geoff

'High-quality lettuce thanks to Bremia resistance'

Hawaii is not just a tropical paradise. Thanks to the collaboration between Rijk Zwaan USA and local firm Pacific Produce, owned by Paul Singleton and Geoff Haines, the volcanic island of Maui is also a production region for high-quality lettuce.

Volcano

“Pacific Produce has approximately 7 hectares of lettuce production – we grow it hydroponically in the open air. Our farm is situated on the western side of the dormant volcano Haleakala, at 1,000 metres above sea level. At that altitude, the daytime temperature is stable at around 20-21° Celsius. Average rainfall is approximately 600 mm per year which is enough to provide an ample supply of clean water.” 

Pheasants and mildew

“Lettuce is not the only thing that thrives on the Haleakala volcano; wild pheasants are a considerable pest locally. But our biggest challenge when growing lettuce is to prevent mildew (Bremia). Rijk Zwaan’s mildew-resistant varieties are one of the reasons behind Pacific Produce’s success. With help from Rijk Zwaan employees, much of our production has switched to varieties with the newest Bremia resistances.”

Popular with chefs

“We supply fresh whole heads to high-end restaurants, hotel resorts and retailers in Hawaii. We grow various Rijk Zwaan lettuce varieties, including several Salanova® types. Their colours and leaf shapes are wonderful. We’ve noticed that chefs love it!”