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Global Tomato Congress in The Hague, Holland
Imke Blackett, Premier Seeds
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Global Tomato Congress. This event is organized by Fruitnet Media International and was held, after a 2-year covid break, in The Hague.
The congress targets specialists from the full extent of the tomato supply chain. Nearly 400 delegates and 25 exhibitors from 35 different countries attended a full day program covering a wide range of topics, from technology and breeding, to marketing and global trade.
Presentations were held on 3 different stages and many of the current pressing challenges were discussed, especially now with the aftermath of the Covid crisis, an energy crisis in full swing, and a rise in inflation. Combined with important changes to the retail landscape, the market trends, and a continued push towards greater sustainability.
My main focus was on the ‘Headline Hub’ stage with topics of consumer market trends, key areas of the fresh tomato businesses and breeding. The ‘Fresh Ideas’ stage focussed on new and emerging features of the fresh tomato business, marketing, and category management. The ‘Launchpad’ stage presented products and technologies to add new value including digital tools, advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and modern greenhouse systems.
On the Headline Hub stage, the consumer and their purchasing behaviour was one of the major focuses: The knowledge of their health choices and values, consumer habits and trends (easy, local and convenience), demands (sustainability, quality) and market focus (flexibility and diversity) to be able to deliver and increase interest and consumption. Globally the taste is the number 1 consumer demand, and a long shelf-life is a must.
Innovative breeding (e.g., gene editing) and the big ‘V’ were also major topics, with the main concern on ToBRFV. The impact and challenges on the industry, the input of breeder’s innovations but equally the governments input (awareness and clarity) to avoid scaring the consumer away from the produce were discussed. The industry needs to overcome challenges to find solutions for the future: ‘healthy eating – enjoyable, available, affordable, and sustainable.’
Further, the additional new grounds for the industry to deal with, in form of energy crisis’ costs and consequences, labour costs and availability.
It has been very productive to view and discuss the current global trends and future developments with colleagues from the fresh tomato supply chains.
For further information you are very welcome to contact me directly: email@example.com
Imke Blackett Dipl. Eng. Hort.
Greenhouse Product Development / Sales
Premier Seeds Limited
71F Montgomerie Road | Airport Oaks | Auckland 2022 | New Zealand
T 0272 444 611 | E firstname.lastname@example.org