During the Fruit Attraction in Madrid the brands De Ruiter and Seminis made their debut under the Bayer flag. For the domestic Spanish market and for export to North West Europe, the breeder has introduced Zyrconita, a loose cherry tomato with a high production, a good post harvest and a calibre that is more in demand than the current varieties in the segment.

A new Lamuyo pepper was also brought to the attention of the Spanish growers. There was also special attention for a tomato for the organic market, which is a fast growing market in Spain according to Spanish chain manager Miguel Sanchez. "The seed of all varieties used in the organic market are available untreated, which is very important for the organic market."

Miguel Sanchez and Nico van Vliet
Besides all these novelties his Dutch colleague Nico van Vliet also sees a certain brand loyalty in European retailers. "Take for instance the fine vine cherry tomato Juanita, which has now been in supermarkets for ten years. When retailers are satisfied with a variety, they won't just switch to a different brand."

Bayer tries to play into varieties that allow a reduction in use of packaging in breeding. "Growers want to promote their own brand on the packaging, but if a retailer is investing in packaging reduction, it can go quickly in the chain. Our breeders have been investing in strong vine attachment for years to prevent drop out during harvest and also play into the consumer desire for more sustainable packaging," according to Nico.

"Consumers expect the quality of a premium cherry tomato to still be perfect a week after opening the packaging. That means smooth, shiny tomatoes with fresh green parts, still neatly attached to the vine. A tomato loose in the packaging is often considered unusable."

"Varied consumer research in Germany shows that the variety Strabena is the answer to the demand for the perfect midi cherry tomato. Strabena excels in sustainability and shows fresh green parts and forms tomatoes still neatly attached to the vine for a longer period. As an example, the Belgian Cooperation Hoogstraten, also present at Fruit Attraction, sells the Strabena both as ten loose tomatoes with crown in one box and on the vine."


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