6 years ago

The Partnership no. 7

  • Text
  • Enza
  • Organic
  • Zaden
  • Partnership
  • Tomatoes
  • Varieties
  • Consumers
  • Breeding
  • Products
  • Cultivation

Diversification tomato

Diversification tomato in When we think of which vegetable is firmly on the map all over the world the first one that comes to mind is tomato. Why is that? For a start, they are both very versatile products, especially tomatoes. “Tomatoes offer us so many options,” says Crop Research Director for Tomato Kees Könst. “And that diversification is only increasing.” There are tomatoes of many different shapes, sizes and even flavours. Each region has its own preferences. In Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia, for example, beef tomatoes are very popular. The same holds for South America, where ´Chonto´, or Santa Clara, is also consumed on a large scale. In South-American countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, consumers like plum and beef tomatoes, while those in Japan and Korea tend to go for cherry tomatoes and pink beef tomatoes. This is all generally speaking, because there are also major differences in flavour, use, appearance and cultivation methods. Local understanding Könst: “Diversification is becoming ever more important. Product Global prosperity is increasing, so people have more money to spend. Consumers are consequently becoming more critical, and demand tasty food. Tasty food that is also of high quality, if only because they are spending less and less time on preparing it themselves. This is evident from, for instance, the growing demand for traditional – tastier – types of tomato, such as pink tomatoes in Turkey, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and local types in Italy and France like coeur de boeuf tomatoes." All these regional differences call for a lot of local understanding on the part of breeders. Regional subsidiaries all around the world and local partners with close knowledge of the market and direct contacts with customers are essential for understanding the chain’s requirements. Könst: “I travel a lot for my work. I then visit various supermarkets to see what the products sold there look like, and how they are presented to consumers on the shelves. I also visit people at home. That really gives me a good impression of how the products are used in local cuisine, what requirements they must meet and what could be changed or improved. In Turkey, for example, tomatoes are cut into cubes. So this country wants tomatoes with an optimum red internal colour. Italians cook pasta with tomatoes almost every day, usually cherry tomatoes that are sautéed along with olive oil and garlic. Or they eat them raw, say stuffed with tuna, or they alternately layer slices of coeur de boeuf with slices of mozzarella. We must then ensure that the flavour and texture of the variety concerned combine excellently with the mozzarella.” The Partnership | 5

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