Guatemalan tomatoes are now in demand, according to a news release. Several Guatemala Produce Trade Association (GPTA) members are marketing heirloom tomatoes.
Southern Specialties has been involved in heirloom tomatoes from Guatemala for about five years. “We were introduced to a greenhouse grower interested in producing an heirloom tomato, on a year-round basis, that offered quality beyond what was available in the marketplace,” says Charlie Eagle, Southern’s Vice President Business Development. “We challenged him with that task and today are proud to market Southern Selects heirloom tomatoes, Southern Selects baby heirloom tomatoes and Southern Selects yellow beefsteak tomatoes in a single layer pack. It started as a boutique program that has experienced year-over-year growth since inception among both retail and foodservice.”
Crystal Valley Foods of Miami, FL, has worked closely with a growing partner for over three years as well. “We tested over 40 varieties in a dedicated greenhouse to come up with the baby heirlooms that had the best flavor and shelf life to use in our mix,” says Katiana Valdes, Marketing Director. “The climate in the region allows for high quality, flavorful tomatoes to be grown year-round in Guatemala.”
Guatemala’s heirloom program offers a variety of pack options. “Southern showcases a variety of multiple-colored true baby heirlooms in various size clamshells that add excellent flavor and excitement to the plate,” says Eagle. “Our heirloom tomato pack is a single layer of premium larger heirloom tomatoes featuring approximately 4 varieties in each pack. Our yellow beefsteak tomatoes have gorgeous yellow color and a mild low-acid flavor.”
Crystal Valley currently offers its baby heirloom tomatoes in a 1-pint clamshell. “Within the next couple of months we will also have Crystal Valley branded premium heirloom tomatoes from Guatemala available in a 10-pound single layer case,” says Valdes.
Heirloom tomatoes from Guatemala are available on a year-round basis, the growers said.