Supplies of greenhouse tomatoes are up.
“Overall, supply has been greater this year compared to last. Our production in Canada ran three to four weeks longer than the previous year due to favorable weather, and the fall crops being planted have ensured secure supply,” says Marc Danner, general manager of Suntastic at Lipman Family Farms based in Immokalee, FL.
Along with greenhouses in Ontario, Canada, Lipman, which grows beefsteak tomatoes, tomato on the vine (TOVs), cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes (as well as greenhouse-grown multi-colored bell peppers, cucumber varieties, and mini sweet peppers), has green houses in Nebraska as well as partnerships in Canada and Mexico.
Increasing holiday demand
The company is transitioning into holiday supplies in the next few weeks and Danner notes that demand is expected to increase in response to seasonal purchasing. “Along with this, the domestic TOV market will keep product from reaching last year’s spikes,” he says.
As many growers and shippers have found in 2020, demand this year has been unpredictable in response to COVID-19. “Retail continues to dictate much of the greenhouse tomato market, especially as many Americans still prefer to eat from home, and as the holiday season approaches,” says Danner. “As the market continues to ebb and flow around unusual circumstances, we are preparing for the holiday season ahead and securing our markets in all segments.”
That said, the company sees growth in the future of greenhouses. “As a traditionally field-grower and supplier of tomatoes and vegetables, we see the future in greenhouse growing and expect this trend to remain in the retail front, as well as growth in other segments,” says Danner. “Therefore, we are continually investing appropriately in our greenhouse category and expanding our capabilities year-round.”