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McDonald’s cuts tomatoes from burgers in parts of India

Even though tomato prices have risen in India, the company said the decision was prompted by quality issues. 

McDonald’s customers in northern and eastern India will have to make do without sliced tomatoes for the time being, the Times of India reported. McAloo Tikki

The story reported a notice was displayed on McDonald’s outlets by operator Connaught Plaza Restaurants, notifying temporary unavailability meant it was unable to include the standard vegetable.

The notice said unpredictable condition had affected the crop, quality and supply, the story reported.

“We are working towards resolving this issue,” a spokesperson for McDonald’s India (North & East) was quoted as saying.

“We are making do with lettuce and onions. We are waiting for supplies to resume,” an executive at a McDonald’s outlet in central Delhi told the publication.

The story reported wholesale market tomato prices rose 17% year-on-year in June, while a similar trend had been seen in retail.

www.freshfruitportal.com

 

FreshFruitPortal.com

Houweling’s tomatoes achieves ‘Best’ rating by Whole Foods Market

Houweling’s tomatoes achieves ‘Best’ rating by Whole Foods Market

In September of 2013, Houweling’s Tomatoes was among a group of top produce suppliers invited by Whole Foods Market to hear firsthand the retailer’s plan to launch a Responsibly Grown rating system. Taking queues from similar programs implemented in their meat, fish, beauty and other departments, the grocer laid out the framework for what was recently launched. After completing the assessment process, Houweling’s Tomatoes Camarillo farm earned a “Best” rating for its tomatoes.

“When we first learned of the program we were excited,” said David Bell, Houweling’s Tomatoes CMO. “As a sustainable greenhouse farming leader, many of the measurements identified by Whole Foods Market’s Responsibly Grown program including air, energy, waste, farmworker welfare, water conservation, pest management, etc. were already in place within our operation. This allowed us to efficiently go through the program and achieve the ‘Best’ rating for our Camarillo farm. Our Delta, BC farm is currently navigating the rating system and we expect it to achieve a top rating in the next few weeks.”

The Whole Foods Market Responsibly Grown program is designed to create transparency as companies submit separate rating units for each farming location. This will allow the retailer’s produce team members to scan cases at store level, ensuring products meet Whole Foods Market’s standards and the ratings are properly communicated to their loyal customers.

Bell continues, “Unique to Houweling’s, we have complete control from seed through harvest, as a result of our specialized seedling propagation division. This point of difference contributed to Houweling’s commitment to only pack product grown on our farms under the Houweling’s label. This dovetails well with the Whole Foods Market program as systems were already in place ensuring transparency.”

Houweling’s Tomatoes grows year-round, sustainable greenhouse tomatoes on 175 acres in Camarillo, CA, and Delta, BC. In January of 2015, Houweling’s will begin harvesting from their new 28 acre farm in Mona, UT. Led by Casey Houweling and his team, the company is committed to growing a full array of flavourful, sustainably grown, year-round tomatoes.

For more information:
David Bell
Houweling’s Tomatoes
Tel: +1 604.946.0844 ext. 205
Email: [email protected]
www.houwelings.com

Publication date: 11/10/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Houweling’s tomatoes achieves ‘Best’ rating by Whole Foods Market

In September of 2013, Houweling’s Tomatoes was among a group of top produce suppliers invited by Whole Foods Market to hear firsthand the retailer’s plan to launch a “Responsibly Grown” rating system. Taking cues from similar programs implemented in their meat, fish, beauty and other departments, the grocer laid out the framework for what was recently launched.

After completing the assessment process, Houweling’s Tomatoes Camarillo farm earned a “Best” rating for its tomatoes.

Heirloom3ct “When we first learned of the program, we were excited,” David Bell, chief marketing officer at Houweling’s, said in a press release. “As a sustainable greenhouse farming leader, many of the measurements identified by Whole Foods Market’s ‘Responsibly Grown’ program, including air, energy, waste, farmworker welfare, water conservation and pest management, were already in place within our operation. This allowed us to efficiently go through the program and achieve the ‘Best’ rating for our Camarillo farm. Our Delta, BC farm is currently navigating the rating system and we expect it to achieve a top rating in the next few weeks.”

The Whole Foods Market “Responsibly Grown” program is designed to create transparency as companies submit separate rating units for each farming location. This will allow the retailer’s produce team members to scan cases at store level, ensuring products meet Whole Foods Market’s standards and the ratings are properly communicated to their loyal customers.

“Unique to Houweling’s, we have complete control from seed through harvest, as a result of our specialized seedling propagation division,” Bell added in the press release. “This point of difference contributed to Houweling’s commitment to only pack product grown on our farms under the ‘Houweling’s’ label. This dovetails well with the Whole Foods Market program as systems were already in place ensuring transparency.”

Houweling’s Tomatoes grows year-round, sustainable greenhouse tomatoes on 175 acres in Camarillo, CA, and Delta, BC. In January 2015, Houweling’s will begin harvesting from its new 28-acre farm in Mona, UT. Led by Casey Houweling and his team, the company is committed to growing a full array of flavorful, sustainably grown, year-round tomatoes.

 

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Backyard Farms® tomatoes considered ‘Best’ by Whole Foods

Backyard Farms® tomatoes considered ‘Best’ by Whole Foods

Backyard Farms has announced that Whole Foods Market has designated Backyard Farms tomatoes with a “Best” rating as part of the natural and organic foods retailer’s Responsibly Grown program.  This is the highest ranking that the grocer assigns to produce available for purchase in its stores.

The Whole Foods Market Responsibly Grown program was developed to reward farmers who work hard to protect human health and the environment, prohibit the use of the most harmful chemicals while measuring and reducing others, and provide consumers with an at-a-glance rating for sustainable farming practices.  The program is in direct response to issues facing the agricultural industry including the widespread use of pesticides, the accessibility of fresh water, the loss of farmable land due to erosion and other degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and the decline of bee and butterfly pollinator populations.

“We are thrilled to receive a ‘Best’ rating from Whole Foods Market,” said Stuart Jablon, president and COO of Backyard Farms.  “We share many of the same corporate values, of which several are recognized with this rating, and Whole Foods Market is an outstanding partner to work with both in general and as part of this rating process.  It is a strong statement that a grower of our size was able to work with Whole Foods Market in a meaningful and thoughtful manner.  Whole Foods Market set very high standards as part of this program and we appreciate that they were able to recognize and understand all of the hard work our employees put in to make these standards a reality for Backyard Farms customers.”

Backyard Farms earned the highest rating of “Best” by meeting or exceeding several criteria including 16 farming practices to protect air, soil, water and human health; no use of Whole Foods Market prohibited pesticides; water and energy conservation; advanced soil health; protection of rivers, lakes and oceans; farmworker health and safety; protection of bees and butterflies; and industry leadership on pest management and environmental protection.  The designation follows Whole Foods Market recently having named Backyard Farms its North Atlantic Region Produce Supplier of the Year.

Responsibly Grown ratings include “Good,” “Better” and “Best.”  Backyard Farms was selected to participate in the Responsibly Grown pilot program last year and was one of the first growers to receive the “Best” rating nationally.  Backyard Farms tomato varieties include Tomatoes on the Vine, Cocktail Tomatoes, Beefsteaks and its newest offering, Somerset Pinks.

For more information and store locations, visit www.backyardfarms.com.

Publication date: 11/5/2014


FreshPlaza.com

“Supply of Canarian tomatoes two weeks later”

Gert-Jan Slobbe, Fortuna Frutos:
“Supply of Canarian tomatoes two weeks later”

Across the board, supply of Canarian tomatoes is two weeks later than usual. According to Gert-Jan Slobbe of Fortuna Frutos, this is related to the financial problems there. “Producers were owed subsidies by the Spanish government. Right before the season, part of this was received, but part of it still hasn’t been disbursed. This has resulted in planting being delayed.”


This Monday, Fortuna Frutos Continental in Barendrecht will receive the first shipments of both cars and containers, but according to Gert-Jan, these aren’t large volumes yet. “Next week on Wednesday, the first ship will leave port. It has a capacity of 3,000 pallets for both the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, but the ship will not even be filled by a quarter.”


Positive effect
The late start of the season could actually have a positive effect, he thinks. “Normally, the larger volumes are already coming in early November, now it will not be until the third and fourth week. The past three years, we had a very bad start in November due to a mild autumn in Europe and an early start of Moroccan, Spanish and Canarian cultivation. This resulted in a lot of supply and low prices. I do expect the start will be better now.”


The waiting, according to Gert-Jan, is for the role Russia will play in all of this. “From Fortuna Frutos, a small volume went to Russia. Because of the boycott, I expect less competition from Morocco, but perhaps a larger Spanish supply. We’ll have to wait and see how these factors will balance each other out. For round tomatoes, the season is expected to end a bit sooner, and volumes will also be lower.”


The weather conditions on the Canary Islands have been great so far. “All in all, the tomato and cucumber acreage of both Tenerife and Gran Canaria is the same as last year. For tomatoes, the Fortuna group has a small expansion of 8 hectares, thanks to a new cooperative joining us. The cucumber acreage remained the same. Supply of these will start a bit earlier. In total, Fortuna Frutos has a production acreage of 300 hectares on the Canary Islands.”


Reduction
The reduction of the number of importers of Canarian tomatoes in both the Netherlands and the United Kingdom is a good thing, Gert-Jan thinks. “Fifteen years ago I already said that the fragmentation isn’t to the advantage of the Canarian producers. This joining of forces and further professionalizing is a logical consequence. In the Netherlands, the number has already been reduced to three, and there are a lot fewer in the United Kingdom as well.”


Both Fortuna Frutos Continental and International – importing the entire range of vegetables, headed by Stephane Rion – are shipping the complete range at Opticool Logistics in Rotterdam, starting October 1.


For more information:
Gert-Jan Slobbe
Fortuna Frutos Continental
Oslo 17
2993 LD Barendrecht
Tel: +31(0)180-751400
Fax: +31(0)180-751444
www.fortuna-frutos.com

Publication date: 10/30/2014


FreshPlaza.com

To wilt or not to wilt: New process explains why tomatoes are susceptible to a disease-causing fungus

Plant breeders have long identified and cultivated disease-resistant varieties. A research team at the University of California, Riverside has now revealed a new molecular mechanism for resistance and susceptibility to a common fungus that causes wilt in susceptible tomato plants.

Study results appeared Oct. 16 in PLOS Pathogens.

Katherine Borkovich, a professor of plant pathology and the chair of the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, and colleagues started with two closely related tomato cultivars: “Moneymaker” is susceptible to the wilting fungus Fusarium oxysporum whereas “Motelle” is resistant. In their search for what makes the two different, the researchers focused on microRNAs, small molecules that act by regulating the expression of a variety of genes, including genes involved in plant immunity.

They treated roots from the two cultivars with water or with a solution containing F. oxysporum and looked for microRNAs that were increased in response to the fungus in Moneymaker (where they would inhibit resistance genes) or decreased in Motelle (where they would allow expression of resistance genes). They identified two candidate microRNAs whose levels went down in Motelle after treatment with the fungus.

Because microRNAs inhibit their targets by binding to them, computer searches can find target genes with complementary sequences. Such an “in silico” search for targets of the two microRNAs identified four candidates in the tomato genome, and all four resembled known plant resistance genes.

“When we compared the levels of the four potential targets in the two cultivars after exposure to the fungus, we found that all four were up-regulated in response to F. oxysporum — but only in Motelle; the levels in Moneymarker were unchanged,” said Borkovich, the corresponding author of the study.

To test whether up-regulation of the target genes was indeed what made Motelle resistant, Borkovich and her colleagues employed a virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) system that can down-regulate specific genes in tomato. After exposure to F. oxysporum, disease symptoms, including leaf wilting, were seen in VIGS Motelle plants that silenced any one of the four genes. Although the symptoms were not as severe as in Moneymaker plants, this suggested that all four targets contribute to resistance.

“Taken together,” Borkovich and her coauthors conclude, “our findings suggest that Moneymaker is highly susceptible, because its potential resistance is insufficiently expressed due to the action of microRNAs.” Moreover, “because the four identified targets are different from the only known resistance gene for F. oxysporum in tomato,” they say, “there is much to learn about the immune response to an important pathogen family that infects numerous crop plants.”

Borkovich was joined in the research by Shouqiang Ouyang (first author of the research paper), Gyungsoon Park, Hagop S. Atamian, Jason Stajich and Isgouhi Kaloshian at UC Riverside; and Cliff S. Han at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

“Next, we would like to find out if any of the microRNAs we identified are conserved in additional plant species that are infected by other F. oxysporum strains,” Borkovich said. “We are interested, too, in identifying the proteins and genes in the fungus that are important for regulating expression of these microRNAs in one cultivar but not the other. In other words, what is it about the fungus that the plant is sensing?”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California – Riverside. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Genetic history of tomatoes revealed by new sequencing

This week, an international team of researchers, led by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, is publishing in the journal Nature Genetics a brief genomic history of tomato breeding, based on sequencing of 360 varieties of the tomato plant.

The C.M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center here at UC Davis played an important role in this study by providing seed of both cultivated tomato varieties and related wild species.

This study, which builds on the first tomato genome sequence completed just two years ago, shows in great detail how the processes of early domestication and modern breeding influenced the genetic makeup of cultivated tomatoes. (UC Davis researchers also led an effort to sequence the genome of a wild relative of the cultivated tomato.)

Analysis of the genome sequences of these 360 varieties and wild strains shows which regions of the genome were under selection during domestication and breeding. The study identified two independent sets of genes responsible for making the fruit of modern commercial tomatoes 100 times larger than their wild ancestors.

An important finding is that specific regions of the tomato genome were unintentionally depleted in genetic variation: for example, in DNA around genes conferring larger fruit size or genes for resistance to diseases afflicting tomato plants.

These stretches of genetic uniformity illustrate the need to increase overall genetic diversity in modern varieties and highlight the important role that the Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center and similar collections play in housing much of the genetic variability that will be critical for future breeding and research on tomato.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California – Davis. The original article was written by Roger Chetelat. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

California’s Taylor Farms Recalls Some Tomatoes and Salad Kits

No sicknesses have yet been connected to a Taylor Farms recall of several lots of tomatoes and salad kits for possible Salmonella contamination. The Tracy-based Taylor Farms, located in California’s San Joaquin County, is one of the nation’s biggest producers of salad makings.

Saturday, Taylor Farms issued a recall for Expo Fresh Roma tomatoes it shipped to Costco locations in Los Angeles and Hawthorne, CA; Tacoma and Lynnwood, WA; and Las Vegas, NV. It involves only tomatoes listed as packed on Sept 5 or 6, 2014

Included in the recall, however, are Sicilian Vegetable Salad sold at deli counters in Safeway, Vons, and Pavilions grocery stores in California, Nevada, and Arizona with used by dates of Sept. 20 and 21, 2014. The kits are for the salads containing tomatoes.. Taylor Farms the possible Salmonella contamination was discovered during routine testing.

Food Safety News

Concerns about low wages behind Moroccan tomatoes sold in European supermarkets

Female Moroccan tomato pickers living in poverty:
Concerns about low wages behind Moroccan tomatoes sold in European supermarkets

Fairfood International’s newest report exposes the poverty wages paid to workers in the Moroccan tomato sector. These tomatoes are picked and packed by tens of thousands of workers who do not receive a living wage for their arduous work. The fruit is then sold by European supermarkets who receive the lion’s share of the profits.

Fairfood’s report The fruits of their labour – The low wages behind Moroccan tomatoes sold in European supermarkets was published on 9th September 2014 and is an initiative of Fairfood’s Morocco ‘hotspot’ project. This project has conducted research in the Souss Massa Drâa region: one of the main sources of tomatoes for many European supermarkets during the winter months.

This report ties in with Fairfood’s upcoming Living Wage campaign, which sees a living wage – a wage sufficient for the basic needs of workers and their families, such as food, clothing, healthcare and education – as a human right.

The key issues in the report are:

  •     In winter, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Albert Heijn and other European supermarkets sell tomatoes which are sourced from Morocco.
  •     They are picked and packed by tens of thousands Moroccan workers, mainly female, who earn painfully low wages.
  •     Moroccan tomato pickers and packers earn between 5 and 8 Euro a day, while their costs of living are around 15 Euro a day. Therefore they are unable to make ends meet and must live in poverty
  •     Supermarkets have the power and influence to determine what consumers buy, as well as how and under what conditions the food is produced
  •     Fairfood calls upon supermarkets to take up their responsibility and to ensure a living wage for all their workers in their supply chains


Click here to read the complete report (PDF)

Publication date: 9/9/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Concerns about low wages behind Moroccan tomatoes sold in European supermarkets

Female Moroccan tomato pickers living in poverty:
Concerns about low wages behind Moroccan tomatoes sold in European supermarkets

Fairfood International’s newest report exposes the poverty wages paid to workers in the Moroccan tomato sector. These tomatoes are picked and packed by tens of thousands of workers who do not receive a living wage for their arduous work. The fruit is then sold by European supermarkets who receive the lion’s share of the profits.

Fairfood’s report The fruits of their labour – The low wages behind Moroccan tomatoes sold in European supermarkets was published on 9th September 2014 and is an initiative of Fairfood’s Morocco ‘hotspot’ project. This project has conducted research in the Souss Massa Drâa region: one of the main sources of tomatoes for many European supermarkets during the winter months.

This report ties in with Fairfood’s upcoming Living Wage campaign, which sees a living wage – a wage sufficient for the basic needs of workers and their families, such as food, clothing, healthcare and education – as a human right.

The key issues in the report are:

  •     In winter, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Albert Heijn and other European supermarkets sell tomatoes which are sourced from Morocco.
  •     They are picked and packed by tens of thousands Moroccan workers, mainly female, who earn painfully low wages.
  •     Moroccan tomato pickers and packers earn between 5 and 8 Euro a day, while their costs of living are around 15 Euro a day. Therefore they are unable to make ends meet and must live in poverty
  •     Supermarkets have the power and influence to determine what consumers buy, as well as how and under what conditions the food is produced
  •     Fairfood calls upon supermarkets to take up their responsibility and to ensure a living wage for all their workers in their supply chains


Click here to read the complete report (PDF)

Publication date: 9/9/2014


FreshPlaza.com

US (VA): High-tech greenhouse in Dublin plants 30,000 tomatoes

US (VA): High-tech greenhouse in Dublin plants 30,000 tomatoes

After about a year, one of the largest high-tech greenhouses in North America is planting its first tomatoes in Dublin.

One of the first things noticeable about the sprawling property is the nearly million square feet of glass covering nearly 20 acres of tomatoes.

Just off Route 100 in Dublin is where Mexico-based Red Sun Farms is staking its claim in America. That starts with planting nearly 30,000 hydroponic tomato plants on some 12 acres.

“Fifteen thousand today and 15 thousand tomorrow,” said John Secker, is Red Sun Farms’ master grower. Secker and his ”for now” small crew are doing all that planting by hand.

“It’s very technical. All the systems here are automated other than the plant care, that has to be done with people,” Secker said. “But all my irrigation, heating, ventilation we’ll have energy screens in the winter, tried to reduce our energy costs. That’s all automated.”

Red Sun says its tomato plants, when ready, will supply customers in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Jay Abbott is Director of Operations for Red Sun Farms.

“I think what makes this so different is that you don’t typically see a high-tech greenhouse in the Mid-Atlantic states. It can be very hot, high humidity area. But the New River Valley is really unique in its growing climate,” Abbott said.

Today, Red Sun Farms says there are fewer than 10 Latin American workers on the property. Brought in to show the newer, local employees how to get the process going.

Red Sun says the first harvest should be ready around October.

When asked about genetically modified foods, Abbott said, “Beyond being certified organic, (Red Sun Farms) will also be certified for the entire greenhouse as a non-GMO greenhouse. We as a company do not use GMO seed.”

Red Sun signed an agreement with several local governments, towns, cities and counties that it will hire as many as 205 full-time workers. The average hourly wage is about $ 12 an hour.

Source: www.wdbj7.com

Publication date: 8/1/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Health warning on Moroccan cherry tomatoes

French importer accused
Health warning on Moroccan cherry tomatoes

The Czech agricultural and food inspection authorities published 2 health alerts on the 18th and 19th May concerning a batch of Moroccan cherry tomatoes.  The French health authorities registered ”26 cases of food poisoning linked to consuming cherry tomatoes”.  Victims suffered from ”digestive symptoms (vomiting, abdominal cramps, sore throat)”.  French authorities note that these are ”short term” symptoms and occur ”very quickly after consuming the tomatoes”.

All sufferers consumed tomatoes imported from Morocco. According to news magazine www.h24info.ma, the tomatoes were marketed by Idyl, a French company that produces, packages and imports Moroccan fruit and vegetables into France. The company responded directly on this accusation: “We have been informed by French health authorities of consumer complaints concerning indigestion of limited duration potentially linked to the eating of a variety of cherry tomatoes from Morocco. Although no analysis has revealed the slightest product non-conformity, Idyl company has decided, as a precaution, to stop marketing this variety from May 2 2014 on.”

The tomatoes were sold in many French supermarkets. Czech authorities discovered that Idyl imported over 50,000kg of cherry tomatoes into the country between the 20th April – 2nd May.  At first consumers were advised against a certain lot, but the following day they were warned not to eat any cherry tomatoes from Morocco.

Publication date: 5/22/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

SUNSET® Y.E.L.O.™ Tomatoes add colour and flavour to Mastronardi line

SUNSET® Y.E.L.O.™ Tomatoes add colour and flavour to Mastronardi line

Mastronardi’s latest addition to their signature line of greenhouse grown products is a bright burst of colour that’s here to stay.

SUNSET® Y.E.L.O.™ is the perfect way to add the colour of sunshine to any dish.
An acronym for Youth, Energy, Life Om, Y.E.L.O.™ is the perfect product for consumers who love flavour as much as they love taking care of their bodies and minds.

“We believe that Y.E.L.O.™ is the perfect product for today’s foodie, health nut, or gourmet chef,” said CEO Paul Mastronardi. “The colour is unique and the flavour is very sweet and not too acidic, lending to its versatility in the kitchen.”

Y.E.L.O.™ is currently distributed in SUNSET’s top seal clamshell, which uses up to 20% less plastic than ordinary clamshells. Consumers can find them packed with Campari® to provide even further recipe inspiration.

“Many consumers know that Campari® is a tomato they love and trust. Because Y.E.L.O.™ comes from the same greenhouse as Campari®, we wanted to give consumers the combo pack to introduce a new flavourful product and a great way to make colourful dishes.”

In addition to flavour, Y.E.L.O.™ boasts many health benefits- they’re fat-free, cholesterol free and have nearly 50% more Vitamin C than other red tomatoes. Combined with their bright colour and flavour, they really are ideal for healthy bodies and minds.

Consumers can find the sweet duo at retailers across North America. For recipe inspiration for Y.E.L.O.™ and other SUNSET® products, visit sunsetgrown.com

Publication date: 5/22/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

SUNSET® Y.E.L.O.™ Tomatoes add colour and flavour to Mastronardi line

SUNSET® Y.E.L.O.™ Tomatoes add colour and flavour to Mastronardi line

Mastronardi’s latest addition to their signature line of greenhouse grown products is a bright burst of colour that’s here to stay.

SUNSET® Y.E.L.O.™ is the perfect way to add the colour of sunshine to any dish.
An acronym for Youth, Energy, Life Om, Y.E.L.O.™ is the perfect product for consumers who love flavour as much as they love taking care of their bodies and minds.

“We believe that Y.E.L.O.™ is the perfect product for today’s foodie, health nut, or gourmet chef,” said CEO Paul Mastronardi. “The colour is unique and the flavour is very sweet and not too acidic, lending to its versatility in the kitchen.”

Y.E.L.O.™ is currently distributed in SUNSET’s top seal clamshell, which uses up to 20% less plastic than ordinary clamshells. Consumers can find them packed with Campari® to provide even further recipe inspiration.

“Many consumers know that Campari® is a tomato they love and trust. Because Y.E.L.O.™ comes from the same greenhouse as Campari®, we wanted to give consumers the combo pack to introduce a new flavourful product and a great way to make colourful dishes.”

In addition to flavour, Y.E.L.O.™ boasts many health benefits- they’re fat-free, cholesterol free and have nearly 50% more Vitamin C than other red tomatoes. Combined with their bright colour and flavour, they really are ideal for healthy bodies and minds.

Consumers can find the sweet duo at retailers across North America. For recipe inspiration for Y.E.L.O.™ and other SUNSET® products, visit sunsetgrown.com

Publication date: 5/22/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Good season ahead for ”exceptional” French tomatoes

Aurélien Serrault of Le Jardin de Rabelais, based in the Loire valley tells us that the tomato season appears to be good for the moment, and in terms of volume should be similar to the 3,000 tons achieved last year. ”While the sales have been slow for the last 2 weeks, we are happy with the quality of our production and we hope that the market will react positively.” he says. 

Le Jardin de Rabelais produces cherry tomatoes (85% of production) and small 65g vine tomatoes.  Mr Serrault says that ”tests are regularly carried out on new varieties but for the time being we have not been able to find anything that is at the level of what we produce today”.  Their flagship product is their 3kg crates which are very successful with fruit and vegetable retailers in France.

Production is spread out over 11.5 ha in their 5 greenhouses, which are heated and lit in the winter allowing production to continue all year round. ”We have the particularity of having an exceptional taste and quality that is as good in the winter as it is in the summer” says Mr Serrault.  They have been working on a biogas project that should be completed within the year, allowing them to be self-sufficient in energy.   

30% of their production is exported, mainly to the UK and Germany as well as other smaller markets such as Luxembourg, Spain and Russia (volume exported to Russia is not big enough for the current situation to affect their company).  

For more information:
Le Jardin de Rabelais
Zac des Grands Clos
37420 Avoine FRANCE
Tél : +33 02 47 58 90 17
Fax : +33 02 47 58 90 52

FreshPlaza.com

NatureSweet Cherriots tomatoes launch as ready-to-eat snack

NatureSweet, a leading grower of premium, branded fresh tomatoes, has introduced a new line of ready-to-eat snacking tomatoes called Cherriots.

These bite-sized tomatoes meet the growing demand for snacks that support a healthy lifestyle. Cherriots will be sold in a convenient pull-apart three-pack.cherriots

“Studies show that adults eat almost half of their food between meals,” Michael Joergensen, marketing director of NatureSweet, said in a press release. “At the same time, consumers are demanding healthier options to take with them to the office, school, or wherever they go. Cherriots are perfect for those who want to maintain a healthy diet when they’re away from home.”

Nine out of 10 consumers who bought Cherriots said they would keep buying them, according to a survey taken soon after the snacking tomatoes hit the market. Consumers hailed Cherriots as being a unique offering for produce snacks.

NatureSweet upholds the promise of vine-ripened and hand-picked freshness with bold, innovative packaging. Sold in three-packs with about a dozen red tomatoes per pack, Cherriots can easily be broken into individual units for ease of carrying in a lunchbox, purse or gym bag.

As with every NatureSweet tomato, Cherriots are grown in the controlled environment of a greenhouse from seeds. Cherriots are allowed to fully ripen on the vine, which produces exceptional flavor and consistent quality year round.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

NatureSweet Cherriots tomatoes launch as ready-to-eat snack

NatureSweet, a leading grower of premium, branded fresh tomatoes, has introduced a new line of ready-to-eat snacking tomatoes called Cherriots.

These bite-sized tomatoes meet the growing demand for snacks that support a healthy lifestyle. Cherriots will be sold in a convenient pull-apart three-pack.cherriots

“Studies show that adults eat almost half of their food between meals,” Michael Joergensen, marketing director of NatureSweet, said in a press release. “At the same time, consumers are demanding healthier options to take with them to the office, school, or wherever they go. Cherriots are perfect for those who want to maintain a healthy diet when they’re away from home.”

Nine out of 10 consumers who bought Cherriots said they would keep buying them, according to a survey taken soon after the snacking tomatoes hit the market. Consumers hailed Cherriots as being a unique offering for produce snacks.

NatureSweet upholds the promise of vine-ripened and hand-picked freshness with bold, innovative packaging. Sold in three-packs with about a dozen red tomatoes per pack, Cherriots can easily be broken into individual units for ease of carrying in a lunchbox, purse or gym bag.

As with every NatureSweet tomato, Cherriots are grown in the controlled environment of a greenhouse from seeds. Cherriots are allowed to fully ripen on the vine, which produces exceptional flavor and consistent quality year round.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

“Rebellion flavour revolution that promotes tomatoes as snacks.”

“Rebellion flavour revolution that promotes tomatoes as snacks.”
Tomato variety nominated as ‘Best New Vegetable Product’ at United Fresh

Village Farms recently launched the Rebellion; a medley of 4-5 different tomato varieties, including mini San Marzano, orange and yellow grape and black krim. Presented by the company as the “flavour revolution”, it is distributed in 1 pound containers and no two packs are exactly the same in terms of presentation.


According to Helen Aquino, of Village Farms, the pack caters to consumers who seek variety. The smaller tomatoes are useful in salads or as appetisers and allow for a very colourful presentation. “Retailers are charged with the task of figuring out how to increase the consumption of fresh produce while getting more revenue per square foot and statistics show that consumers are leaning towards this sort of speciality variety,” affirms Helen.

Staple tomatoes like the TOV or the Beefsteak are still highly-demanded, but the trend is definitely moving towards these smaller tomatoes ideal for snacking, such as the grape and mini plums, which consequently act as a nice complement,” explains Helen. “Unlike similar formats from other companies, which generally feature deeper tones, the Rebellion, with its yellow and orange, is visually more attractive.”

Best New Vegetable Product
Rebellion received good feedback at the CPMA in Vancouver beginning of the month. Now United Fresh nominated Rebellion as a finalist of ‘Best New Vegetable Product’.  

Village Farms is constantly searching the world for unique varieties. The mini San Marzano, for instance, is exclusively marketed and distributed in the U.S. by the company. “Retailers look for unique items and our strategy is meant to build that bridge with them,” states Helen.


The biggest challenge in the U.S. market, as reflected by campaigns such as the “Half your plate” initiative, is the promotion of fruit and vegetables, not just for their regular consumption, but also as attractive and appealing snacks. With products such as the Rebellion medley, Village Farms is certainly making an effort in this direction.

For more information
Helen L. Aquino
Village Farms
Tel: +1 407-936-1190 x312
Email: [email protected]
www.villagefarms.com

Publication date: 4/16/2014


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Moroccan cherry tomatoes year round to UK retail

Moroccan cherry tomatoes year round to UK retail

Family owned Delassus is one of the largest cherry tomato growers in Morocco. The company has been growing steadily for 15 years and has grown to an area of 400 hectares of greenhouse cultivation. British supermarkets are supplied from these greenhouses with various types of snack tomatoes all year round.

The Moroccan Delassus Group was founded over sixty years ago. They fully dedicated themselves to the production of cherry tomatoes fifteen years ago and were one of the first nurseries to do so. Annual production, of around 25,000 tons, is exported through their own company Duroc.

Consumption of cherry tomatoes is increasing, but the competition also is growing. How does Delassus keep in the game? “The Moroccan market primarily focuses on France, we focus on the British market,” said Fatiha Charrat of Delassus. When it comes to the British market, Spanish production is the most prominent.

The company is aware of the increasing competition on the market. Growers are switching from peppers to tomatoes. Delassus maintains its position with the focus on quality. “Years ago, we chose to grow using substrates to cultivate with a higher quality. With new varieties and product development, we keep our  focus on the quality. This is reflected in product innovation, the company is extending the assortment from six to ten segments.”

In addition to product innovation and quality, contact with the customer is also of great importance. Delassus has been supplying the four major UK retailers for years. “We communicate regularly about crop status, products and they also come and visit us,” said Charrat. The annual programs are pre-discussed – productions peak is in November and December and April and May, but year round the quality is consistent. “You might have more contact with store chains in regards to specialized products, but I think it is especially due to our good relationship with our buyers. We want them to know what is going on and vice versa. “ 

For more information:
Fatiha Charrat
Delassus Group
Tel: +212 665 186 868
Email: [email protected]
www.delassus.com
 
 
 

Publication date: 2/28/2014


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