3 years ago

The Partnership no. 13

  • Text
  • Enza
  • Tomatoes
  • Partnership
  • Zaden
  • Tomato
  • Biodiversity
  • Melon
  • Varieties
  • Flavour
  • Consumer

Growth & in heated

Growth & in heated tomato Heated tomato cultivation is on the increase globally, particularly in North America, Eastern Europe and Russia. Consumers have discovered the large variety of shapes, flavours and colours and are experimenting with new applications. They expect a recognisable product with good flavour all year round. Enza Zaden has more and more to offer in this area. 4 | The Partnership

Movement Product There have been drastic changes to the range of fresh tomatoes on offer in the past 25 years. Depending on the region, the range on offer used to consist primarily of beef tomatoes, loose round tomatoes and – as a sign of what was about to happen – cherry tomatoes. Western Europe was the first region to witness a differentiation in the range of tomatoes on offer. Starting in the early 1990s, the range expanded to include cocktail tomatoes, plum tomatoes, truss tomatoes and snack tomatoes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colours. Experimenting “Consumers have discovered the enormous variety and are experimenting with new uses and forms of preparation,” says Crop Breeding Manager Martijn van Stee. “This stimulates the consumptions, but the pattern of expectations also expands; the consumer expects to be able to buy a recognisable product with good flavour all year round.” This trend has consequences for the strategy and growing methods of producers. Investment in growth, geographic distribution and assimilation lighting has resulted in companies that are able to offer their customers fruit of a consistent, very high quality all year round. North America This development has been visible for some time in North America, according to Area Sales Manager Freek Knol. In addition to the beef tomatoes grown under glass – for which the acreage has remained fairly consistent for a long time – a large acreage of truss tomatoes, cocktail tomatoes, plum, cherry and snack tomatoes has also been added. Initially it was mainly the large truss tomatoes that were gaining ground. In recent years, the more refined flavour tomatoes are exhibiting the strongest growth. 25 years ago, most of the supermarkets had one – maybe two – types of tomatoes on their shelves. Nowadays this has increased to five or six in many cases. Autonomous growth and takeovers The renowned tomato producers are expanding under their own strength and through takeovers of nurseries in regions where they want to strengthen their presence. They are aiming at long-term relationships with supermarket chains and short logistics chains, in order to get their products on the shelves as quickly and freshly as possible. The relationships between seed companies and producers has therefore become closer. Knol notes that Enza Zaden is an emerging name. “Everyone recognises us from Campari, which has been well-known here for twenty years. This variety played a trailblazing role in the differentiation of the tomato segment. In the past, the fresh market consisted almost exclusively of beef tomatoes, grown both under glass and in polytunnels. As supermarkets and consumers became more demanding, the heated cultivation has expanded significantly and the outdoor cultivation has become less important.” In Canada (1,200 ha heated tomato, primarily in Ontario and British Columbia) and the Northern part of the United States, the relatively cheap double polytunnels are gradually being replaced by modern, better insulated glasshouses. Some of these glasshouses are fitted with grow light installations, which make it possible to grow top quality fruit even in the depths of winter. The need for extra grow light is not as high in the Southern part of the United States. This also applies to central Mexico, where the heated cultivation takes place in polytunnels. Knol: “These polytunnels are also very suitable for high-tech tomato cultivation. The heated cultivation in Mexico currently covers approximately 1,500 ha. Fruit grown here is primarily exported to the United States and Canada during the winter months. However, Mexico is an emerging market with a growing middle class. This results in local demand for a more differentiated product range in the slightly more expensive segments.” The Partnership | 5

Enza Zaden Brochures