Many Spanish growers are wondering what Dutch tomato availability will be this winter. "We're getting plenty of requests. Still, there's a lot of uncertainty in the market. I don't think the Dutch are being very transparent about how winter production will really be. That's why many people are playing their cards close to their chests. We're not revealing prices either," says Ellen van Kester of Horticola Guadalfeo, which grows specialty tomatoes and Chinese cabbage in Motril, Spain.
Ellen van Kester and her colleague Jose Martin Vargas at Fruit Attraction in Madrid.
Specialty tomatoes are one of Horticola Guadalfeo's focal points. The company exclusively supplies MarAzul and Cherokee tomatoes. "We're the sole supplier of these well-established specialties. We expand the acreage annually, but we also get more customers for them every year. Both tomatoes have been voted Sabor del año (flavor of the year) in recent years, so they've been proven to be tasty."
The company has recently become increasingly active in the local Spanish market. "When I started here 15 years ago, 70% still went out for export and the rest for the domestic market. Now that ratio is pretty much reversed. The further north you go in Europe, the less money people spend on truly flavorful products. Spaniards are more inclined to do that. However, inflation is currently creating challenges. We're in for an exciting season," Ellen concludes.