There is never a dull moment in the world of tomatoes. Breeders constantly come up with new varieties, which growers like to produce to stand out among the competition. One of those breeders is Yüksel, known for their special tomatoes in various colors and shapes. This Turkish company recently opened a trial facility in Canada. “Right now we are testing forty varieties, some of which are already commercial, the others we are trying to make commercial”, says Tyler Clark, who's both operating the farm and doing sales & marketing in North America for the breeding company.
“We are constantly breeding and trying new varieties. One of our new varieties that's proving to do really well is a big red one, which is - surprisingly - given the name Big Red.
"We also came up with a yellow tomato, called 24 Karat", Tyler shows. The remarkably shaped tomato is one of the heirloom varieties Yuksel is known for, being offered in many colours. "There's also the Quesimodo, Stealth and Tourmaline, which we've had for a couple of years. The heat resistance is remarkable and therefore it's an important collection to growers."
"In addition we have a couple of new striped varieties. Our Tiger F1, a striped tomato is one of the most popular varieties at the moment. Espresso, a truss tomato for single fruit harvest, is following closely."
Growing market for small tomatoes
Tyler also sees the popularity of bite-sized tomatoes is growing. "Therefore we're also breeding smaller varieties. Our varieties distinguish themselves in strong plants with good setting and tasty, quality tomatoes with a long shelf-life. We communicate with growers to establish what variety suits them best and help during the season to find the best growing conditions for each situation."
With the trials coming up for the next season, currently planting is being done. The new plants are doing well - just like the company in general. “Specialties, on which we focus, might not offer the highest margin of profit for a breeding company since the market is relatively small and the efforts in breeding are just as high as in the bigger segments, but we are happy to see that our sales are increasing. We continue to invest in research and breeding and have many more colors and shapes to come!"