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Increasing interest in the German market for the Intense tomato

Increasing interest in the German market for the Intense tomato, credit: Valstar Holland B.V.
© Valstar Holland B.V.


The tomato you didn’t know you needed

Does this sound familiar? When you’re slicing a tomato, the chopping board is covered in juice and the slices fall apart. Or, you take a freshly made tomato sandwich to work or school in the morning and by lunchtime all you’re left with is soggy bread soaked in tomato juice. But not with the Intense tomato! It’s perfect for slicing and dicing, retaining both its firm structure and its juice. This makes Intense tomatoes ideal for sandwiches, bruschetta, salads and pizzas. The easy way to add more freshness and flavour to your food!

The tomato stands out for its unique properties and should therefore not be missing on the vegetable shelf. It is a good addition to have with all other tomatoes. The product has been available on the German market for a number of years now and the number of consumers buying these tomatoes are still growing.

Research of the Intense among Germans has shown that they find no matching properties with other tomatoes and none as convincing as this tomato. What is especially positive, is the solid flesh which is ideal for slicing the tomato and the low loss of juice. Because of these characteristics, many consumers remain loyal to the brand, 87% therefore consider themselves a fan.

The Intense tomato has been presented in style at the Valstar stand during the Fruit Logistica. Valstar handed out some toast with a perfect slice of tomato and visitors enjoyed tomato carpaccio with a little bit pesto. A great success!

© Valstar Holland B.V.


New, sustainable packaging

Valstar has developed a new package to better highlight the characteristics of the Intense tomato. Under the Intense logo “die Schnittfeste” has been added to emphasise the firm structure of the tomato. The most used applications are shown and you will find a recipe for pizza and sandwich on the packaging. In this way it is clear at a glance what the tomato is suited for.

The theme of sustainability cannot be missed. The new packaging consists for the most part of cardboard, which is made from 100% FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper. But why then a plastic window? The reason for this is partly to protect the product. In addition, the research showed that visibility of the product is very important for the consumer to assess the condition of the tomato. Nobody wants to come home with damaged tomatoes. The window consists of PLA (Polyactic acid) foil, this bioplastic is made from a renewable, vegetable source and is compostable.

© Valstar Holland B.V.


For inquiries: Henny van de Wetering, Valstar Holland B.V.,, 


Source: Press Release
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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
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Dutch tomato exports continue to fall

Small EU tomato crop drives higher prices

The tomato exports have dropped 20% over the past ten years, from 1.36 million tons to 1.09 million tons, according to Coexphal data. As the average price per kilo has risen from €0.83 to €1.5, in value terms, the exports have increased from €1.12 billion to €1.62 billion. The export volumes of Spanish tomatoes have also fallen over this period, but by 6.8%. 

The main markets for Dutch tomatoes in 2018 were Germany (434.7 million kilos), the UK (180.6 million kilos), Sweden (58.5 million kilos), Italy (45.7 million kilos), and Poland (34.6 million kilos).

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US imposes 17.5% tariff on Mexican tomatoes

US imposes 17.5% tariff on Mexican tomatoes

It’s not just Chinese imports that are subject to US tariff hikes. As of Tuesday 7th May, the US has imposed a 17.5% tariff on Mexican tomato imports. The move comes following unsuccessful negotiations to renew a 2013 agreement that suspended a US anti-dumping investigation. The US Commerce Department said in February that the US would halt the investigation as long as Mexican producers sold their tomatoes above a pre-set price.

“As of tomorrow a tariff of 17.5 percent will be applied on the value of the product,” said Luz Maria de la Mora, Mexico’s undersecretary of foreign trade. “It’s going to affect financial flows but that is going to be directly transferred to US consumers.”  The measures will remain in place until a new suspension agreement is reached and could lead to immediate and significant price rises for US consumers. Mexico exports about US$2 billion of tomatoes to the US each year.

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US to exit tomato trade agreement with Mexico

US to exit tomato trade agreement with Mexico

The US has announced it will withdraw from the tomato suspension agreement with Mexico by May 7, 2019, although this does not mean the end of negotiations. According to the RaboResearch, the withdrawal could still be avoided if both parties can reach a renewed suspension agreement.

Half of the fresh tomatoes currently consumed in the US are imported from Mexico. If there is no new suspension agreement by May 7, the US will impose a temporary anti-dumping duty of 17.5% on imports of Mexican tomatoes. The US International Trade Commission will also decide whether or not the US tomato industry has been harmed by tomato imports from Mexico. If substantial harm is the verdict, a new anti-dumping duty will be imposed. Alternatively, if no harm is determined, all restrictions to imports of fresh tomatoes will be removed.

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Global tomato trade grew 4.6% in 2017

Global tomato trade grew 4.6% in 2017

The world’s tomato trade was worth US$9.16 billion in 2017, a 4.6% rise from 2016, but a drop of 0.9% from 2013. The EU imported $5.8 billion worth of the total (63.4%), followed by North America (28.5%), Asia (7.4%), Africa (0.3%), Latin America (0.3%) and Oceania (0.1%). In terms of countries, the US was far and away the world’s number-one importer of tomatoes in 2017, with volumes received totalling around US$2.5 billion – an increase of 2% on 2016. The next largest tomato importer was Germany, with imports remaining flat at US$1.48 billion. The fastest-growing markets since 2013 is Belarus (+229.1%), Spain (+120%), France (+17.7%) and Canada (+10.3%). Four countries recorded falls in imported tomato volumes: Russia (-49.4%), Belgium (-23.4%), the Netherlands (-10%) and Sweden (-1.7%).




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Study finds Belgian tomatoes to be “less costly” than Spanish

Small EU tomato crop drives higher prices

Belgian tomatoes found to be “less costly” than Spanish tomatoes. This is the finding of a master’s thesis carried out by Ellen Peeters, who looked into the social and economic costs of importing tomatoes. Social costs are borne by society (congestion, accidents, air pollution, noise and climate change), rather than by the consumer.  Peeters said, “When growing tomatoes in Belgium, external costs mainly consist of CO2 emissions, but these represent only 2% of the total cost. The remaining part is the production costs, which mainly consist of energy (31%) and labour (20%). Because to grow tomatoes in greenhouses in the winter in Belgium requires a lot of lighting and warmth, and that quickly increases the price of Belgian tomatoes. When tomatoes are imported from Spain, production costs are generally lower, but external costs are much higher (around 15% of the total). These costs are mainly caused by transport between Spain and Belgium: 10 cents per kilo of tomatoes when transported by truck, 1 cent per kilo of tomatoes when transported by rail.”

Peeters conclusion is that if the latest cultivation techniques are used, producing tomatoes in Belgium is cheaper than importing tomatoes by road from Spain; conversely, Spanish production is cheaper if the tomatoes are transported by rail. This is a particularly relevant finding given that 89% of Spanish goods are currently transported by road.

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Tomato Inspiration announces two keynote speakers

Tomato Inspiration is an important event for international tomato growers being held February 9 in Berlin. It enables prominent tomato companies to meet and inspire each other and raise the sector to an even higher level.

Hein Deprez (Greenyard Horticulture) and GertJan Meeuws (Here, There & Everywhere/Indoor Growing) will be the keynote speakers during the 4th Tomato Inspiration event.

They will be shedding light on current trends and the outlook from now to 2025.

This important event for international tomato growers will be held on February 9 this year in Berlin. The event enables prominent tomato companies to meet and inspire each other and raise the sector to an even higher level.

As it takes place during the week of Fruit Logistica, also in Berlin, a large number of representatives from the worldwide tomato business will be in attendance.

The Tomato Inspiration Event is an annual initiative of HortiBiz, organised with a growing number of partners from the horticultural business.

HortiBiz is proud to present Koppert Biological Systems, Oerlemans Plastics, Priva and Saint Gobain Cultilene as gold sponsors, Axia Vegetable Seeds, Enza Zaden, Monsanto, Svensson and Van Dijk Heating as silver sponsors and GreenTech as content sponsor.

Together they invite the top 100 tomato growers in the world to meet in Berlin at the PURO Skybar.

What will be the fourth edition of this key event will again welcome growers, speakers, partners and press.

This year’s keynote speakers Hein Deprez from Greenyard Horticulture and GertJan Meeuws from Here, There & Everywhere/Indoor Growing, will both try to inspire the attendees in their own way, guiding tomato growers in preparing for the future.

Tomato Inspiration Award

Another high light during the event, is the yearly presentation of the Tomato Inspiration Award.

This award goes to a tomato grower with outstanding performance at a specific level. In 2014 it went to Windset Farms from Canada in the field of marketing and sales, while in 2015, Duijvestijn Tomaten from the Netherlands won the award for being the best in crop and process technology.

Last year, during the third edition of the event, the Tomato Inspiration Award was presented to Sundrop Farms from Australia for its innovative and sustainable way of growing tomatoes under difficult conditions.

Also, the audience was asked to choose its favourite out of four nominees. Sundrop Farms was nominated together with APS Salads from the United Kingdom, Flandria brand from Belgium and Zeiler Gemüsevertrieb from Austria.

This year, attendees will once again choose which nominee has inspired them the most and wins the award.

Invitation only

Tomato Inspiration is an invitation only event.

Those who have received a personal invitation should register via as soon as possible because the PURO Skybar has limited capacity.

For more information, please check


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EU tomato consumption stagnant but value has soared

EU consumption of fresh tomatoes is set to remain stable or fall slightly. But the market for fresh tomatoes is characterised by strong segmentation into many different types and retail sales are increasing in value.

EU consumption of fresh tomatoes is set to remain stable or slightly decrease, with a steady net importing situation, according to the European Commission’s EU Agricultural Outlook.

But the market for fresh tomatoes is marked by strong segmentation into a large number of types of tomatoes with higher value added (in particular different miniature types, cherry and cocktail tomatoes), the report says.

And the “stagnating production trend in quantity coincides therefore with an increasing trend in value.”

According to Euromonitor data on retail sales, the volume of tomatoes sold by retailers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain rose 1% from 2006 to 2015 but by 18% in value.

Source: EU AGRICULTURAL OUTLOOK Prospect for the EU agricultural markets and income 2016-2026, released December 2016

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Coprohnijar – strong commitment to experimental research

Almeria’s benchmark cherry tomato company was founded in 1986 and today remains a pioneering cooperative in the research and development of integrated production cultivation techniques.

Almeria’s benchmark cherry tomato company was founded in 1986 and today remains a pioneering cooperative in the research and development of integrated production cultivation techniques.

For the past decade, it has farmed 20 ha of its own tomato and watermelon plantations and 400 ha belonging to its members, located in Almeria in southern Spain.

Ten hectares of the firm’s own plantations are used for greenhouse cultivation, including a section dedicated to experimenting and testing both new varieties and the most cutting-edge innovative growing techniques.

“The commercial department’s job is to analyse which type of tomato we need for each client. Only then does the technical department select the varieties offered to us by all the seed manufacturers, testing them to see which is the best,” said Coprohnijar CEO Juan Segura.

He said the most successful item in the market at the moment is the cherry tomato, which saw an 8% increase between 2015 and 2016.

The company’s main export markets are the Netherlands, Germany and the UK, as well as other EU destinations.

Coprohnijar has its own customer portfolio, but Segura stressed it is open to taking on new clients and hopes to open up to other countries as well, for example Saudi Arabia.