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Stories - 24-01-2023

Spanish alternative for tasty mini tomato on the vine in wintertime

The production of greenhouse vegetables in Northern Europe drops sharply in the winter, especially in view of today’s high energy prices. Rijk Zwaan actively helps chain partners to think about alternatives. “Together, we are working to find new solutions for supply problems in the marketplace,” says Juan José López, Managing Director of the Spanish producer Cualin Quality. This collaborative approach fits in with Rijk Zwaan’s theme at Fruit Logistica: ‘Freshly Forward, from Foundation to Future’.

Free supply of natural light and warmth

“Clients know Cualin Quality for our tasty premium-quality tomatoes on the vine and freshness in deliveries,” comments López. “Our mission is ‘To grow flavour’. Since 2000, we have been producing tomatoes in modern, state-of-the-art greenhouses on 38 hectares in Antas, in the south of Spain. Spain has the highest number of sun hours in Europe, both in winter and summer, and we take maximum advantage of this free supply of natural light and warmth,” he continues.

Shortage of tasty mini cherry tomatoes on the vine

Northern Europe is an important market for Cualin Quality, López explains: “Year after year, this market suffers a supply shortage of tasty mini cherry tomatoes on the vine in the autumn, winter and spring. From September until April, Northern European growers produce less or sometimes don’t produce at all.” The Spanish company has found the solution in Rijk Zwaan’s Reddery RZ variety – a mini cherry tomato on the vine.

Reddery RZ is the most efficient and economic choice

“The variety still has a good flavour when grown in Spain in the winter,” states Nicolas Hirschegger, Master Grower and Technical Director. “Other important advantages are the minimal cracking, the better vine shape and the improved delivery performance. We see less waste in cropping, in packing and during transport. This ensures good taste and quality on supermarket shelves. The combination of fewer issues and better crop performance makes Reddery RZ the most efficient and economic choice.”

A good alternative for UK summer production

Because of these advantages, Reddery RZ was also tested by UK growers, according López: “These growers learned that the summer production of the variety in the UK is similar to the leading varieties in the segment. The crop adapts itself well to the circumstances and can be regarded as a good alternative for existing varieties in the UK.”

A union of professionals

López is pleased with the partnership between Rijk Zwaan and Cualin Quality for both the production and the marketing of tomato varieties. “I define it as a ‘union of professionals’. Together, we are working to find new solutions for supply problems in the marketplace,” he concludes.

Join Rijk Zwaan in moving Freshly Forward

‘Freshly Forward, from Foundation to Future’ – this is the theme Rijk Zwaan has chosen to encapsulate its roadmap for tackling today’s challenges, together with its partners. You are o welcome to visit the Rijk Zwaan Retail Centre in Berlin – our experience and consumer research facility.