Specialities and small tomatoes are becoming more and more popular in Europe, Morocco and Turkey compared to round and other classic tomato varieties. This trend is also distinctive in the KÖLLA producing countries.
In Spain, the high competition with Morocco is noticeable for round tomatoes as well as for cherry and date cherry tomatoes. Despite the higher production costs due to the pandemic, we expect the percentage of standard imports from Moroccan and Turkish production will increase significantly this season.
To differentiate themselves more, Spanish producers are concentrating on the cultivation of special varieties – such as the RAF, Monterosa or Marmande tomatoes. In Italy, the production of tomato specialities includes Costoluto and Camone in addition to the well-known Piccadilly and San Marzano varieties.
In the past years, it could be observed that especially in the Benelux countries the illuminated winter production of bush and cherry vine tomatoes has grown. This development has also led to investments in better infrastructure and more modern greenhouses in the Southern European countries that the producers can meet the high–quality requirements with their lighted products. This strong competition among the producing countries is moving a large number of producers towards further diversification of varieties and towards innovations in cultivation.
A especially sensitive issue is currently occupying Italian producers in particular. They have some problems with the tomato virus ToBRFV, which can lead to discolouration of leaves and fruits. Unsuitability of these products on the market and complete clearance of the greenhouse are usually the consequences. Large parts of the Sicilian summer production is also affected by the virus – more precise forecasts regarding the upcoming winter production are not yet available.
As we always work in close contact with our producers, we assume that targeted measures will be available soon. In order to ensure more control over the virus infection already now, our producers are currently increasing additional preventive measures.