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REO Veiling: increasingly becoming a leader in tomatoes

REO Veiling: more and more a leader in tomatoes
PRESS RELEASE

 

REO’s main products are now tomatoes, which have surpassed the auction’s renowned leeks and other Belgian vegetables.

In 2020, tomato volumes reached over 64,240 tons at the Roeselare REO Veiling, ahead of the leeks, which are now stable at around 55,000 tons per year. Glasshouse vegetable production has almost doubled over the last 3 years, with 33,800 tons marketed in 2017. Production of other vegetables remains rather stable (see table below): 56,858 tons of leek, 9.5 million punnets of strawberry, 16.6 tons of endives, 9.4 million punnets of mushrooms, 37 million cucumbers, and 33.7 million heads of lettuce. Despite Covid-19 and the drought in May and June 2020, REO Veiling still had a good year. “Many people started to cook for themselves and used fresh vegetables for that,” said REO’s commercial manager Dominiek Keersebilck. The turnover of around €207 million was just €800,000 less than the record set in 2019. “We can look back on a successful year, with growth in supply of 2.5%. That is a record,” said Keersebilck.

Top 12 products of REO Veiling

1

Tomatoes

69.2 million

kg

2

Leek

56.9 million

kg

3

Strawberries

9.5 million

punnets

4

Endive

16.6 million

kg

5

Mushrooms

9.5 million

punnets

6

Butterhead lettuce

33.8 million

heads

7

Cucumber

37.7 million

pieces

8

Courgettes

30.1 million

pieces

9

Convenience

5.4 million

kg

10

Cauliflower

4.2 million

heads

11

Celeriac

7.3 million

pieces

12

White cabbage

6.2 million

heads

   

More sales to Benelux and southern European countries

REO exclusively sells the products of its members, who are based in Belgium and northern France. Due to the pandemic, Benelux countries now account for a larger part of turnover. France is the leading export market, accounting for 86% of the total volume. Germany and the UK are also key destinations. “We have been closely following everything around Brexit, and we are convinced that due to our location and the image of our products, such as leek, beef tomatoes and strawberries, we will strengthen our advantage on the UK market, in close cooperation with the main Belgian exporters,” said Keersebilck. Southern European countries are also becoming more important for the exports of the REO Veiling, in particular for open-field vegetables like leek and lettuce.

 

 

 

Flandria, Fine Fleur and Tomabel premium brands

The REO Veiling markets 3 brands: Flandria, Fine Fleur and Tomabel. “With Flandria and Fine Fleur, we focus promotion on the Belgian consumer through a variety of actions,” said Keersebilck. Cooperation with the famous European volleyball team Knack Roeselare allows REO to combine top sports, healthy vegetables and champion quality. Regarding packaging, there will be a major shift from fixed blue crates to foldable green crates in 2021. In cooperation with Europool Systems, REO is adapting and investing in new washing lines, as well as in automatic inbound and outbound processes. The auction will also develop new packaging for its top brand Tomabel, starting with strawberries.

Belgian reputation in Asia and Canada

Field vegetables from Belgium are popular specialties supplied by airfreight to long-distance markets like Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan. Among these products are curly endive, Belgian endive and special-grown leek. “We want to introduce more open-field varieties in Canada like celeriac and leek. We are also working on products containing no soil,” said Keersebilck, who also believes in the market potential of celeriac in South-East Asia, even if the pandemic currently makes it somewhat difficult to introduce new items to foreign markets.

Food safety & sustainability strategies at REO

The auction provides all the certifications required by its customers. The 10 major ones are:

  • Unitar SDG Pioneer Award 2020: REO Veiling was the first to receive the award with 88 other laureates. It recognises the numerous sustainability actions undertaken within the context of the 17 United Nations Development Goals (SDGs) over the last 3 years.
  • ACS Handel or Self-Checking Guide for trade and processing of potatoes, fruit, vegetable, and it is issued by Integra. The guide contains all the requirements and recommendations relating to food safety (including traceability and reporting obligation) and quality (considerations under the authority of the FASFC), which apply to potato, fruit and vegetable processing facilities and in trade involving PFV products.
  • Organic business certificate for companies processing organic products (issued by Integra).
  • Productcertificat Flandria® quality label,
  • FCA (Feed Chain Alliance): food for the animal feed sector, issued by Promag.
  • ISO 22000 governing food safety
  • IFS certificate issued by Integra
  • QS certificate issued by Integra
  • OVM certificate issued by the Job Centre West Flanders, a not-for-profit organisation.

REO Veiling is also investing heavily in communication and big data. The Care4Growing mobile app developed with partners is a good example of investment in technology aimed at raising competitiveness in the supply-chain.

Food surplus and waste management

REO Veiling is a pioneer in the fight against food waste in Europe. In 2017, it won the very first Food Waste Award, issued by FSE Networks in collaboration with OVAM and Komosie. Every year, REO Veiling sells about 250,000 tons of home-grown fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. To deal with food waste, it seeks useful partnerships for these products. In the first instance, surplus food goes to the food banks of West Flanders, East Flanders, Hainaut and Namur. As a result, 500,000kg of fresh fruit and vegetables, or an average of 1 articulated lorry trailer per week, is sent to underprivileged people every year. In addition, surplus waste is also re-used to feed animals. Indeed, REO Veiling is the only Flemish vegetable auction which is FCA-certified to reuse its products as animal fodder. And it is not only dairy cows from the same region that are fed with REO products, but also animals in Bellwaerde (animal and amusement park).

enVie combines food waste and social engagement

The social enterprise enVie now allows the Belgian people to enjoy delicious soups that are “full of commitment”: each bottle of soup is made in Brussels from surplus fresh Belgian vegetables by a motivated team of employees who, through the project, have become reintegrated into the labour market after a long period of unemployment. REO Veiling supplies surplus fresh vegetables to enVie, mainly those that are suitable for making soup (e.g. courgette, leek, celery, tomato, etc.). “As a grower’s cooperative, we believe in the absolute added value of cooperation to tackle issues such as sustainability and food waste. By working together with our various partners in a targeted way, we can still make use of surplus fruit and vegetables, which means added value for us as a producer, the social enterprise and ultimately also the consumer,” said Dominiek Keersebilck, commercial director of REO Veiling. Via this initiative, EnVie has created an extra sales channel for REO Veiling in its fight against food waste.

Vacuum cooler for leafy vegetables

REO Veiling has a vacuum cooler. A vacuum is created in the vacuum box. As a result, the water evaporates at room temperature. Together with the water, heat is extracted from the lettuce, as a result of which, it is quickly refrigerated and the product can be kept for much longer. This means that the lettuce can remain longer on store shelves or can be transported by lorry to remote destinations such as Spain and Italy. REO Veiling also encourages the use of multi-use packaging for its products. The packaging comes in virtually all colours, sizes and materials, based on the customer’s preferences.

Rapid growth in organics

Organics have registered rapid growth at the REO Veiling. The main product is organically certified Tomabel special mushroom. Other key products are leek and celeriac, as well as niche products like Babyleaf. “We will continue to grow in organics,” said Keersebilck.

REO Veiling turnover with organics

2017

€6 million

2018

€7.3 million

2019

€7.9 million

2020

€10.3million

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Chinese demand premium tomatoes

Chinese demand premium tomatoes - Joyce Cui, vice-president of Haisheng Agriculture Co (China) © Global Tomato Congress

Joyce Cui, vice-president of Haisheng Agriculture Co (China) © Global Tomato Congress

 

Chinese consumers are seeking better-quality and safer tomatoes. This is the news that Joyce Cui, vice-president of Haisheng Agriculture Co (China), brought to the Global Tomato Congress on 16th March. “In general,demand is for the new concepts and better products,” said Cui.

Market data points to an over-supply of traditional tomato production, but a short supply of premium varieties. China is the world’s largest tomato producer with 1m hectares of growing area – 42% of which is in open fields and 35% under plastic.

In 2017, Cui’s firm, Haisheng, embarked on state-of-the-art ‘Dutch’ greenhouse tomato production with a view to growing new varieties, many of which were imported from Europe. When the company launched its own tomato brand on the market in 2017, with a much higher price point than traditional tomatoes, it was well accepted by retailers and consumers.

We may be seeing the fruit of this work in other parts of the world over the coming years as the firm seeks to expand its markets.

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Global Tomato Congress to offer visions of future

Global Tomato Congress to offer visions of future

The Global Tomato Congress 2021, which will take place online on 16 March from 10am-4pm CET, will explore the latest innovations in the tomato category with a mix of talks, interviews, and discussion. This makes it the best place to find out what’s happening right now in the world of fresh tomatoes. Leading players from across the fresh tomato business will share their ideas and insight at Global Tomato Congress, which combines exclusive, informative content with the best networking opportunities.

And with more than 800 people from over 50 countries expected to attend this year’s meeting, it is also the only place to network with a large number of people all connected to the category.

Interactive sessions include live chat and Q&A with speakers, so delegates can ask them the questions that matter most to them. They can also enjoy Global Tomato Congress sessions while networking with other attendees, and if they miss any sessions, these are all available on demand to watch later.

This year’s congress will focus on important topics including consumer behaviour, sustainability, advanced breeding, automated production, artificial intelligence, marketing, and packaging. In particular, it will focus on the future, concentrating on the modernisation of fresh tomato supply chains that serve retail, wholesale, and foodservice channels all across the world.

The line-up features several tomato category experts, including Sam Warren of UK retailer Sainsbury’s, Europanel’s consumer insight director Davide Perotto, Jörg Werner and Jan Doldersum of Rijk Zwaan, Anne Williams of Bayer Vegetable Seeds, and Pilar Checa of Syngenta.

Following Perotto’s introduction, which presents the major category developments to watch out for in 2021, Werner and Doldersum will look more closely at retail and consumer market trends in Germany.

Also featured on the programme are some of the trade’s leading commercial players: Henri Lambriex of Dutch supplier RedStar, Jo Lambrecht of Belgian company BelOrta, Raúl Medina of Spanish group Agroponiente, and  Perry Dekkers of Netherlands-based Growers United.

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Yuksel Seeds presents Azarbe, its new variety of loose tomato

Yuksel Seeds presents Azarbe, its new variety of loose tomato
Photos: Yuksel Seeds

Yuksel Semilla has listened to the market and has responded by adding the new Azarbe loose tomato variety to its wide catalogue of products, along with other outstanding varieties, such as Marcus or Cassarosa.

The market is constantly searching for a loose tomato that meets consumer demands: a fruit with firm skin, an attractive red colour and, of course, a great flavour. This is how Azarbe was born, making it a perfect product for export.

This new variety, launched during the last week of December and the first of January, is characterised by its high ease of setting at high temperatures and great yield.

Azarbe has a firm skin, a dark red colour, and a slightly flattened starry and open calyx. This new variety is recommended for early fall cycles, sowing or transplanting in late July or early August.

What’s more, taking advantage of the festive period during which this presentation occurs, the seed house will offer a special gift to all attendees of the event as a fit way of closing this difficult year. However, due to health protection issues relating to Covid-19, in order to attend, it will be mandatory to make a reservation by phone, calling Francisco Trujillo on 651 86 38 19, when you will be informed of the time and place of the presentation of the Azarbe F1 tomato.

 

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Syngenta to introduce its first commercial ToBRFV resistant tomato variety

Syngenta to introduce its first commercial ToBRFV resistant tomato variety
Press release & photo: Syngenta
  • New commercial tomato variety with ToBRFV resistance to be offered in early 2021
  • Syngenta’s strong pipeline underscores its commitment to adding value to vegetable products using innovative technology solutions
  •  Innovation breakthrough to support growers around the world to combat crop losses from devastating disease

Enkhuizen, the Netherlands, 30 November 2020 Syngenta Vegetable Seeds today announced the launch of its first commercial Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) resistant variety, available in early 2021. The new variety will be released in areas where growers face severe disease pressure from the virus and will support against crop losses.

“The Syngenta Vegetables R&D team is ahead of the curve with the launch of the first commercial ToBRFV resistant variety,” explains Ruud Kaagman, Global Crop Unit Head for tomatoes. “Following this launch, we will aim to introduce varieties with resistance to ToBRFV across our breeding programs and across the globe. Broad resistance will be built in the portfolio during the next several years.” 

What is ToBRFV?

ToBRFV is a newly discovered tobamovirus related to Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV). The very stable and very infectious virus infects both tomatoes and peppers.

Tobamoviruses are mechanically transmitted (contact disease) within and between crops by people and equipment. Symptoms caused by ToBRFV in tomato are similar to those caused by other tobamoviruses in susceptible plants: mosaic pattern on leaves, narrowing of leaves, necrosis on pedicle, calyces or petioles and/or yellow spots on the fruits. This impacts the quality and yield for growers significantly.

Syngenta’s World-Class R&D drives innovation to meet market demands

Syngenta is committed to adding value to vegetable products using innovative technology solutions. Technology drives faster, more efficient and accurate variety developments – allowing to better serve growers and partners along the value chain with unique traits that create greater appeal and consumption.

Different levels of resistance to ToBRFV exist in Syngenta’s current germplasm, but with modern technology, the R&D team discovered and targeted the specific genes related to the resistance.

“With fast development and use of molecular markers, Syngenta is able to rapidly make use of this resistance, deploying it in a large range of varieties; spreading the resistance in our germplasm. Before the utilization of molecular markers, it could take up to 10 years to develop a resistant variety. With broad use of molecular technology, Syngenta can more accurately and quickly breed a resistant variety,” says Pilar Checa, Global Breeding Lead for tomato.

Breeding for the future in tomatoes

The introduction of this breakthrough ToBRFV resistant variety signals Syngenta’s global dedication to supporting its growers and partners. With more than 350 different varieties of tomato available to growers all over the world, Syngenta understands the importance of developing a range of performing varieties to meet the diverse needs of its network of growers. To meet these needs, Syngenta prioritizes linking technology and people to ensure high-value vegetable crops reach their full genetic potential. With Syngenta’s resources and scale, it drives innovation to improve flavor, quality, convenience and productivity – for the benefits of growers, marketers, retailers and consumers.

For more information on Syngenta Vegetable Seeds, please visit  www.SyngentaVegetables/ToBRFVresistance

About Syngenta

Syngenta is one of the world’s leading agriculture companies. Our ambition is to help safely feed the world while taking care of the planet. We aim to improve the sustainability, quality and safety of agriculture with world class science and innovative crop solutions. Our technologies enable millions of farmers around the world to make better use of limited agricultural resources. With 28,000 people in more than 90 countries we are working to transform how crops are grown. Through partnerships, collaboration and The Good Growth Plan we are committed to improving farm productivity, rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more visit www.syngenta.com and www.goodgrowthplan.com.

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YOOM™ tomato wins prestigious Three Star Superior Taste Award in recognition of its marvelous taste

YOOM™ tomato wins prestigious Three Star Superior Taste Award in recognition of its marvelous taste
PRESS RELEASE

 

Enkhuizen,The Netherlands, October 14th, 2020 – Syngenta’s new purple cocktail tomato YOOM™ has been awarded the 2020 prestigious Three Star Superior Taste Award, by the International Taste Institute in Brussels, Belgium.

In recognition of its “remarkable taste”, the distinctive YOOM™ tomato scored an impressive 91.3% in a rigorous blind tasting evaluation, that was carried out by prestigious chefs and sommeliers from around the world.

The professional jury of over 200 taste experts rated the YOOM™ tomato:

  • 91.3% as its overall score
  • 93% for its pleasing and consistent visual aspect, due to its attractive, distinctive color
  • 91% for its overall gustative impression
  • 91% for its aroma which plays an essential role in its flavor perception
  • 91% for its flavors which are a perfect sweet and sour balance for an umami taste
  • 89% for its texture, which is a key hedonic factor in foods

 

Stijn Roelandt, Sous Chef at Hof van Cleve, 3 Michelin Stars, who is on the judging panel, explained that the competition consists of a very strict judging process, where the products are blind tasted.

“This means we have to be completely objective as we do the sensory analysis and as a result, only truly good products achieve certification,” he said.

This year also saw the distinctive YOOM™ tomato win the prestigious Gold Award at the Fruit Logistica Innovation Awards 2020 in Berlin, which honors outstanding innovations in the fresh produce Industry, from production to the point of sale.

YOOM™ stood out as an innovation due to its highly attractive purple color, great flavor and vitality boost. Besides his marvelous taste, YOOM™ also provides large quantities of vitamins and anthocyanins compared to regular red tomatoes which makes it a healthy food option for the consumer.

Jeremie Chabanis, Syngenta Value Chain Head EAME, said: “Taste is of central importance to today’s discerning customers and so it is great YOOM™ is being recognized for its exceptional flavor and innovation in the marketplace through these prestigious awards. In collaboration with growers, we have created a tomato that offers a gourmet experience for consumers who seek an uplift their daily meals, while being easy to grow and delivering good shelf-life, benefiting stakeholders from across the value chain.”

YOOM™ tomatoes are currently available in, Belgium, Switzerland Austria Denmark, Germany, France, Greece and Spain Hungary, Japan Korea Australia, with distribution soon to expand to markets that include, Canada, United Kingdom, the United States and China.

Discover more at: www.yoomtomato.com

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La Palma to launch La Palma eRoom at MACFRUT Digital 2020

La Palma to launch La Palma eRoom at MACFRUT Digital 2020

MACFRUT Digital 2020 will be held from 8-10 September. This international fruit and vegetable fair welcomed more than 1,000 exhibitors from 90 countries in the 2019 edition, over 43,500 visitors and was scheduled to be held last May in Rimini (Italy). Eventually, due to the current health crisis, it was moved to September in a virtual format, where exhibitors will have a privileged channel to dialogue with buyers registered on the platform.

La Palma, a leading international fruit and vegetable company, will participate in this meeting to of strengthen its presence in the European market and work side by side with all the links in the production and distribution chain, from the seed house to the final consumer. “These exceptional circumstances have led us to consider this new form of meeting with our clients as an alternative to the face-to-face fairs that we usually attend. For us, proximity is essential,” said the cooperative’s management in a press release.

Last May, in anticipation of the current situation, Cooperativa La Palma held what was to be its first virtual assembly in its 47-year history, an event that was followed by its 700 farmers who connected online from their homes.

This time, the cooperative is going a step further in its digital transformation. For MACFRUT Digital 2020, and in anticipation of future virtual fairs such as Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect, La Palma will inaugurate a new digital room, La Palma eRoom. It is an area created especially for the occasion where the commercial team can arrange e-meetings with any part of the world from its main headquarters in Carchuna. All this will take place in a fully equipped space that is reminiscent of one of its fair stands. La Palma eRoom is also another advance in sustainability, offering even greater efficiency and significant logistical savings compared to face-to-face fairs.

“The idea arises from trying to transfer the concept of the fair stand to our facilities in the most faithful way possible. We wanted to take a step forward and adapt so that distance does not pose a problem when it comes to communicating with our customers. At La Palma, we have always been characterised by our innovative character. On this occasion, we have used our state-of-the-art facilities to create La Palma eRoom. Continuing our usual line of work, we are prepared to offer the most innovative experiences.”

In order to maintain the excellence that characterises Cooperativa La Palma, it has been developing an innovative, highly professional and constantly improving agriculture, a “Positive Agriculture” as the firm calls it. The company anticipates and adapts to new consumer demands to maintain high levels of quality and consolidate its strong position in the European market in the segment of cherry tomato and specialty mini vegetables.

Regarding the product offer, La Palma maintains its leadership in the range of mini-vegetables with a wide variety of specialty tomatoes, snack cucumbers and mini peppers. To this is added a line of subtropicals: custard apple, avocado and mango, where increased production will guarantee supply to European countries.

At the same time, the cooperative continues to invest in brands. We can see brands of high quality and personality such as the Amela® tomato, which has revolutionised the market by presenting a unique consumption experience, uniting sweetness and acidity in one product while also offering extraordinary organoleptic qualities: a gourmet tomato of recognised prestige in Japan that has already conquered European palates thanks to La Palma.

Another example is the exquisite Adora®, an unsurpassed brown ribbed tomato that has received outstanding awards in the sector, quickly positioning itself as the market leader in its category. We will be able to find the tomato again in stores very soon when harvest season begins in October.

The company is currently working on developing new lines of higher-quality products, studying different shapes, colours and flavours to continue to amaze consumers. “Having established ourselves as a benchmark in the world of mini-vegetables, we now seek to surprise consumers by transferring the intense flavour of these small vegetables to other larger-format products,” said the press release.

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EU tomato production continues to fall

EU tomato production continues to fall

 

The EU’s 2020 tomato crop is forecast to drop 7%, as Spanish growers switch to producing more profitable vegetables. Polish tomato production is on the rise, however, following an increase in investments in glasshouse infrastructure. The other member states’ crops should remain relatively stable. As producers switch to smaller-sized varieties, yields are dropping; but this is compensated for by extended harvesting calendars. EU production of tomatoes for processing is projected to rise by 1%.

EU tomato exports are predicted to be down 7% from 2019, and 13% below the 5-year average. Although shipments fell by nearly 20% between January and April 2020, due to logistical problems caused by the pandemic, demand has since picked up. Meanwhile, EU tomato imports continue to rise (+3% on 2019 levels and 11% above the 5-year average). The main source is Morocco (71%), followed by Turkey (13%).

 

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Clause’s Genio, Creativo, Dolcetini cherry tomatoes meet the challenges facing food retailing

Clause’s Genio, Creativo, Dolcetini cherry tomatoes meet the challenges facing food retailing
© HM.CLAUSE /// Press release

 

Valence, May 6th. 2020 – The current crisis has greatly impacted how often consumers visit food retails but also how they shop there.    

Against this background food retailers must adapt their offer to control supply and avoid food waste. A real challenge for the fruit and vegetables section. A better range of varieties will help foster what’s on offer and increase the attractiveness of the section.

Ideal shelf-life, a must have for the food chain

Genio, Creativo & Dolcetini. These three cherry tomatoes varieties are champions in the CLAUSE cherry range, and they can be available in the fruit and vegetable section all year round. Thanks to the adaptability of their supply and their ideal shelf life, they also meet consumer expectation, who want more than anything else tomatoes with taste.

“Our task is to provide varieties that can be appreciated by all links in the chain; therefore, we actively collaborate with everyone so that the client can receive products with good organoleptic qualities and premium quality and taste, which are what the final consumer demands.” Manuel Ferrer – HM.CLAUSE Food Chain Specialist explains.

HM.CLAUSE, a major player in tomatoes

Behind the brand name CLAUSE is the HM.CLAUSE company, expert in the breeding of tomato varieties for over 80 years. HM.CLAUSE is the leader in cherry tomato seeds in Spain, Italy and Morocco. A team of breeders is dedicated to the cherry program, with numerous research trials in all three countries aiming at breeding varieties adapted to its vegetable producing customers.

 

 

In parallel, HM.CLAUSE remains attentive to the needs of food retailers and consumers. Consumption of cherry tomatoes grows steadily in Europe, which is no surprise considering modern consumer behavior: ease of preparation, less food waste, healthy snacking and – cherry (tomato) on the cake – children love them!

In other product segments, such as round, beef or elongated tomatoes, HM.CLAUSE drives its variety breeding programs towards an association of optimum shelf-life and excellence in organoleptic quality.

Among recent product launches, it is worth mentioning Harrison, Kabrera and Badira tomatoes as they perfectly meet the requirements of both food retailing and consumers.

  • Harrison was launched in 2019 in Spain: “Harrison tomatoes are ovoid in shape, intensely red and have the perfect firmness. In addition to a great shelf-life it also displays a high brix. Size, firmness, color and taste all meet into Harrison!” Manuel FERRER – HM.CLAUSE Food Chain Specialist explains.
  • Kabrera, a round fleshy type, was launched both in Spain and in Italy: “Kabrera is a genuine revolution in the “beef tomato” segment. Its fruit are large, full and fleshy; they handle manipulations well and have a long shelf life while offering excellent taste qualities!” Giovanni CANINO – HM.CLAUSE Regional Development Manager in Sicily tells.
     
  • Badira, a round shaped type tomato produced in Morocco, has an excellent firmness and ideal shelf-life. “The additional assets of Badira are caliber homogeneity and persistent round shape. It can be available all year round.” Mohamed CHARI, Specialist Tomato Morocco at HM.CLAUSE, adds.

 

Click here to watch our video on the 3 Clause champions: Genio, Creativo & Dolcetini:

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnXv34zuXKc&feature=youtu.be]

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The Yoom tomato scoops Innovation of the Year prize

The Yoom tomato scoops Innovation of the Year prize

This year’s FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Award (FLIA) has gone to the “Yoom™” tomato from Syngenta Seeds. Garnering about 30% of the overall votes, the tomato was the clear winner in the competition to determine the best innovation in the international fruit and vegetable industry. 

This is the second time that Dutch company Syngenta has won the FLIA, having received the award in 2012 too for its red snack pepper “Angello”. The Yoom tomato won voters over with its outer and inner values: depending on the hours of sunlight, its colour ranges from purple to black. What remains constant is its high vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content as well as its sweet-sour and tangy flavour, also known as “umami”.

“We are very pleased to have won this award again, because FRUIT LOGISTICA is the most important convention for the fresh fruit industry. In five minutes the world will know more about our product, because everyone follows the information from FRUIT LOGISTICA. This will be a major boost for our product. And the award is a great acknowledgment of our work as well as a wonderful motivation for our team,” said Jérémie Chabanis, EAME Food Chain Manager Vegetable and Specialties at Syngenta.

Environmentally friendly packaging was at the forefront of the awards, with second and third prizes going to sustainable innovations.

The silver FLIA goes to Polish company Silbo for its certified fruit and vegetable packaging with water-based dyes and adhesives (“Compostable, Flexible, Printed, Packaging”). It is completely compostable, making it especially sustainable.

The bronze FLIA was also awarded to sustainable packaging: the “SoFruMiniPak® Eco View” from SoFruPak Witold Gai from Poland. It seals quickly, is made from renewable resources, ensures good ventilation and optimised cooling, and is 100 per cent biodegradable.

Credit: Alexandra Sautois, Eurofresh Distribution