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Grown in Sinaloa and Jalisco
Year-round demand fuels greenhouse tomato market
Consumer demand for tasty tomatoes that are available year-round continues to fuel the growth in the greenhouse tomato market. Most varieties of common tomatoes are now able to be grown commercially in a greenhouse environment. For growers, it also gives them the flexibility to produce a variety at any time of the year, or all year, depending on their requirements.
Jimmy Munguia, of Del Campo explained their regime, "Our growing regions include Sinaloa and Jalisco in Mexico, where we have large greenhouse operations. As of now, Del Campo grows about 75% of stock in the greenhouse and 25% conventionally. We do Beefsteak tomatoes between December and May, but Vine Ripe, Roma and Grape Tomatoes we grow all year. It all depends on our scheduling and according to customer demand."
Assurance of quality
Apart from being able to supply tomatoes all year round, another reason greenhouse production is in place is in order to offer efficiencies, enabling the farm to monitor and deliver on product quality. Factors like sizing and environmental impacts can me more easily managed.
"Customers prefer to have flavorful and aesthetically pleasing tomatoes at any time of the year," said Munguia. "This is something that can be achieved in the greenhouse because you provide the plant with a perfect environment. The effects of mother nature can be controlled and problems managed in a way you can't possible do in an open field. One of the most telling results is the consistent sizing you can attain, which is highly preferable for both the grower and buyer. Overall, customers prefer greenhouse tomatoes because they appreciate the quality which can be attributed to the controlled and managed environment."
Demand looking to strengthen as summer stock decreases
As Fall progresses and the summer field stock starts to decrease, the demand for greenhouse varieties will increase towards the end of the year. As a result, prices are expected to move north as well.
"Last week, the market price was in the vicinity of $8 - $10 for 15lb cartons, depending on the size," Munguia continued. "Generally, the bigger sizes sell for more because they are perceived as being higher quality. Of course, if everyone had large tomatoes, then the price would fall, but this is a general trend. We are expecting prices to trend higher as the field tomatoes start disappearing."
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