The new Spanish greenhouse vegetable season is about to start for Horticola Guadalfeo from Motril. “We currently have the final supply from the tomato productions in the mountains, but these no longer have export quality. In the next two weeks, we’ll therefore have a bit less production. The cold and wet weather had a lot of influence on the tomato production,” says Ellen van Kester.
Horticola Guadalfeo has the unusual combined production of speciality tomatoes and Chinese cabbage. “We started growing the Chinese cabbage very early on, but that production is decreasing more and more. Our focus is on speciality tomatoes. We have different customers for both products, although some overlap can be noticed as well,” Ellen says. “We have speciality tomatoes available in a broad range from both Motril and Almeria. Volumes aren’t enormous, but specialities are less suitable for that, anyway.”
“We’ve supplied the blue Marazul tomato exclusively for two years now. This tomato is very much in demand, both on the domestic market and at our export destinations. We expand with this every year, and more and more supermarkets want to work with it. We supply Marazul to Germany, Estonia, France, Poland and Romania, for example. This tomato isn’t very popular in the Netherlands, which isn’t a major market for speciality tomatoes to begin with,” Ellen continues.
According to the Dutch woman in Spanish employ, the Marazul tomato is distinctive in multiple aspects rather than just because of its blue colour. “The University of Granada compared this tomato to red tomatoes, and the biggest difference is that Marazul tomatoes contain more vitamins B6 and C. This tomato also contains a lot of anti-oxidants. We can also put that on the packaging, if desired.”
For now, the company from Motril isn’t working with organic vegetables yet. “So many cooperatives and companies have already boarded the organic train, I wonder if it would be beneficial for us at all. With our range, we can already be quite distinctive from colleague companies,” says Ellen, who has now been working for Horticola Guadalfeo for 12 years. “I started here just to try it and see what would happen. I didn’t think I’d end up working here for 12 years. If I would ever return to the Netherlands? Never say never, but it might be a while before I move back.”