The training day about the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus, or ToBRFV, organized by Grupo Agroponiente and Bayer Crop Science and held at the facilities of Vegacañada, a tomato specialist company of the Group, attracted many participants.
The event served to provide information about this virus and to analyze trends in the tomato market.
The EU tomato market
Juan Miguel Robles Acosta, member of the Commercial Department of Seminis (Bayer), spoke about the present and future of the tomato market in Europe, focusing on the producing and exporting countries, as well as the demands from clients and final consumers. He said that “the countries exporting the most fresh tomatoes are not the ones producing the most,” like the Netherlands.
In Europe, more than 90% of exports remain in the continent and only 5% reach third countries. In terms of importation, 80% of Europe's consumption is of tomatoes from EU countries, "while the remaining 20% comes from third countries, mainly Morocco and Turkey," said Robles.
Robles Acosta said that “supermarkets now take the opinions of consumers in high regard. These demand innovation, more product information and healthy products, in addition to an adequate price, although there is a part of consumers who are willing to pay more."
For his part, Luis García, head for Tomato Product Development in the Iberian Peninsula, talked about different aspects related to genetic improvement, while Susana García, director of the New Resistance Department (Discovery Pathology Lead EMEA Bayer Crop Science), focused on the Brown Rugose Tomato Virus, explaining the history, functioning and symptoms of the virus, how to detect it and the treatment once it has been detected.
The last conference of the day was given by the agricultural technical engineer and member of the Technical Department of Grupo Agroponiente Jorge Gómez, who described various preventive and control measures against Brown Rugose virus in protected crops.
According to Gómez, “much attention needs to be paid to disease prevention and hygiene in the greenhouses. If the virus is detected, the plant, including the root, must be destroyed and a quarantine area set up. Access to the greenhouse must be kept to a minimum and entry to the greenhouse must always be done with the appropriate clothing. The watering must be stopped as well as the use of pollinators."
The event ended with a round of questions that gave growers the opportunity to shed light on their doubts.