The Lyterno variety is a small breed in the Netherlands, but this truss tomato often has a place in German greenhouses because of its deep red colour and distinctive flavour. During a visit of twelve German growers to the "Trial Center Tomato" of Rijk Zwaan, it became clear that producers always pay attention to distinctive qualities.

De group consisted of Roland Albert and Jörg Freimuth (Bayerischer Gärtner Verband), Franz Egerer of Bayerischer Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft, Christian Drechsler (Bern&Christian Drechsler), Elmar Gimperlein (Bio Maintalkresse), Sybille Tygges (Erzeugerring für Gemüse Main-Dreieck e. V.), professor Henning (Fachhochschule Erfurt), Heinz Wenkheimer (Gartenbau Heinz Wenkheimer GbR), Ulf Maeritz (Gemüseerzeugerring Knoblauchland), Beatrix Hildenbrand (Krass Glascon), André Busigel (Reinhard Busigel) and Thomas Rottner (Rottner Gemüse)

Trial Center Tomato
On Tuesday 30 September, twelve German growers, led by Jochem Wolthuis, visited the Trial Center Tomato Rijk Zwaan, located in Kwintsheul. The visit was part of a tour to various Dutch horticultural firms, including Priva, MPS, the Demokwekerij, GreenQ and Eosta, in a programme that will conclude with a visit to Gakon. 

The visit to Rijk Zwaan was led by Christoph Steffl, employed by the German subsidiary of Rijk Zwaan in Welver. He is familiar with the German, Swiss and Austrian markets and outlined Rijk Zwaan's objectives, core values ​​(quality and innovation) and how the company is preparing for a growing world population, fewer available growing space and problems like obesity. He also touched on issues and trends such as snack vegetables, the popularity of convenience and the demand for regional products as important in the development of new varieties. Additionally, Steffl expressed his great enthusiasm in the company's flat organization. He has good contact with both colleagues and manager Marco van Leeuwen, and this is the result of closeness between all members of this family business.

What is most striking is the focus on flavour. The German production is targeted at a regional level and must stand out in terms of taste and appearance. German growers are primarily interested in middle-size varieties such as the Mecano (also the main breed for La Place), the Cappricia and Lyterno. Lyterno is the most sought after variety by retailers like REWE and Globus, as well as by the Swiss chain Migroskro.

New in the middle segment is the Internal Red. Developed from a wild variety, this tomato has a deep red interior. Now the question is whether this will be the new standard. The Haiku and the Hibachi drew some attention. Pink tomatoes are presented under the concept Silky Pink as a cross between Eastern and Western culture. The taste of the pink tomatoes is also distinctive: a somewhat pungent, spicy flavour. "Larger, pink tomatoes are already known and popular in countries such as Poland. We are now making a move towards the smaller segment."