After a good summer season with good prices, the situation on the European tomato market has changed. The autumn is a little more difficult and the prices are lower. "The market is quiet at the moment because of the Spanish and Moroccan tomatoes that are back on the market, but the supply is also fairly calm," say Tom De Winter and Peter Parms of Rotom Tomatoes, Belgium. "We expect the supply to increase again, because the traditional cultivation ends and the plants are cleared so everybody harvests their last tomatoes."
“In the summer season we export a lot of tomatoes to Italy and Spain, but when those countries offer their own product at a lower price, our customers still opt for the lowest price. That is why most Rotom tomatoes stay in Belgium during the winter season. We see more and more that Belgian supermarkets have Belgian tomatoes on the shelves all year round. In terms of quality, our tomatoes are much better than those from the South, and also a lot fresher," says Peter.
The company has three production locations in the Sint-Katelijne-Waver region in Belgium. Due to the increasing demand for specialties, Rotom has expanded its cultivation company Den Boterhoek to 10 hectares. Of this new building, an area of 5 hectares will be illuminated. Before they already illuminated 1.4 hectare of their production.
"The new greenhouse comes into production just before Christmas. We have opted for a Philips LED system that not only illuminates the plants from above, but where the lighting also passes through the plant. This is not only positive for the yield, but also for the quality of the tomatoes," Tom concludes.