Just one year after its building was announced, the new R&D and marketing facility called Tomato Vision opened in Maasland, the Netherlands. The centre includes 14,000 m2 of high-tech glasshouse where 800 unique new hybrids are tested and selected for specific market needs, using ultra-modern and traditional breeding technologies. The greenhouse has been designed to mimic real conditions at the growers, featuring different sections for lit and unlit cultivation with ultimate climate control. An area of 1,500 m2 is open to visitors to offer them a unique first insight into upcoming introductions along with a deeper understanding of Syngenta’s whole active glasshouse portfolio. Tomato Vision is also a platform to engage and connect with customers to identify their needs.
Ruud Kaagman, Global Tomato Crop Unit Head at Syngenta says: “We want to develop varieties that truly meet growers’ and customers’ demands. By creating this connection between our breeders and the market, we are able to deliver fine-tuned varieties.”
Grabbing the digital opportunity
As the Covid-19 pandemic has recently highlighted how digital communications can overcome physical constraints, Tomato Vision will have an online inaugural opening. “This wonderful achievement will reach our customers and partners around the world. Of course, we would like to welcome our visitors physically as soon as possible, but for now we can bring you Tomato Vision at your desk, wherever that is”, says Ruud Kaagman.
Hygiene and biosecurity conditions already challenged the access to glasshouses and the current context makes every meeting in person difficult. By using modern digital communication tools and virtual reality technology, Syngenta wants to interact with visitors and provide them a worthwhile experience at Tomato Vision.
Experiencing tomatoes from concept variety to plate
Syngenta’s tomato portfolio is highly diverse as the result of more than 20 breeding programs around the world. They offer performant varieties in all different segments for active and passive glasshousing. Tomato Vision invites the visitor to an immersive journey from concept varieties to tomatoes on the menu, making the portfolio and breeding programs more comprehensible and allowing growers and value chain partners to exchange knowledge, ideas and expectations. This will influence future developments in tomato breeding, encourage cooperation and collaboration between parties and ultimately improve the tomato business for everyone, the breeder expects.
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