In the Dutch imported tomato market, Spanish products are increasingly losing ground to those from Morocco. That's according to Hagé International's Ger Kingma. "There are fewer and fewer Spanish tomatoes every year. Tomatoes are a budget item. To keep up with price levels, many people are switching to the Moroccan product."
"Moroccan tomatoes' quality used to be regarded as inferior. That's drastically improved in recent years. The fact that they have an almost permanent presence on the English market says it all. That's impossible with a poor-quality product. Morocco is only still lacking social certification; not every exporter has this. But we only work with certified suppliers."
Ger says the current import tomato season faces the necessary challenges. "From the start, the tomatoes were far too cheap. Retail sales continue, but the whole free market has been disrupted. That distorts trade considerably. And it's impossible to sell all the varieties and sizes to retailers."
"The tomatoes aren't all B-grade; you must be able to sell the rest too. This is a worrying trend for the growers as well. Requirements are only becoming stricter. And you don't' always automatically receive compensation for that," Ger concludes.