“When trade asks for more, we respond”
Illuminated tomato area of BelOrta increases by 10 hectares

BelOrta’s illuminated tomato area has been growing since they started. By now, the area consists of 46 hectares for the 2017/18 season. In the previous season, it was 10 hectares less. This is an increase of 28 per cent for BelOrta. “Due to BelOrta’s central location, our tomatoes can quickly reach their destination. This constant supply of tomatoes means trade can also have daily fresh product in shops in winter,” says Sofie Lambrecht from BelOrta.

As of 2003
She indicates that BelOrta was one of the pioneers in illuminated cultivation. “We have had young tomatoes since 2003, both autumn cultivation and illuminated cultivation. We’ve only started separately supplying them from 2004. Initially we started with 8,000 m2.”

Baron major grower
BelOrta has had an area for all major segments and large specialities under illumination for some years now. “This winter, we’ll supply seven segments: Prince, Princess, Elite, Baron, Prunella, Ministar and Cherrystar. Within the assortment, a remarkable shift can be seen. The major growers are Baron (9.5 hectares), Elite, Ministar and Cherrystar.”

According to Sofie, there’s definitely a market for these products. “How much this market wants to pay for the product is more important. Each year it’s a struggle to find additional sales. Besides, we’re still largely dependent on what is planted in Southern Europe, and the weather conditions there.” During these months, there’s also a bit of competition from Southern Europe. “Qualitatively they’re a bit behind compared to our tomatoes. But in the end, price is often the deciding factor. Customers looking for fresh and quality product are willing to pay a bit more for our vegetables. Snack tomatoes have a very specific production. This is only on contract, and for buyers who are really looking for a product with an added value.”

Does BelOrta have plans to expand? “We reassess this every season with the growers. If it turns out trade wants more, we’ll be the first to respond to this,” Sofie concludes.

For more information:
Maarten Verhaegen
Division Manager Sales
T. +32 (0)15/56 53 17
E Maarten.Verhaegen@belorta.be

Publication date: 10/5/2017

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