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Gérard Roué, TerreAzur:

"France: "Demand for innovation on the tomato market"

The French company TerreAzur, the subsidary of the POMONA group for the fresh products, presents Locabelle: a tomato grown only in France. The first plants were planted in open ground at two production sites, in early April 2017. This summer, the tomato will be launched nationally. Locabelle wants to meet expectations of consumers looking for a local, and tasty product. Gérard Roué, product manager: “Over the last four years, many innovations have been introduced in France in the area of coloured, ribbed tomatoes, such as the ribbed black and the pineapple tomato. These tomatoes are still very expensive. The Locabelle will be sold at an accessible price.”

The Locabelle is cultivated by 21 producers, spread over all the French regions. Gérard: “The tomatoes are produced close to the consumer, at a maximum distance of 150 kilometres. This allows to harvest the tomato at maturity and minimizes the time of transport. The tomatoes spend as little time in the cold storage as possible, which is important to retain the flavour.” 

The name of the Locabelle is full of meaning. ''Loca'' for local roots, French regions, and the know-how of TerreAzur's producing partners. And "belle" for its dress, its flesh, and its slightly ribbed, round shape on the upper part, guaranteeing an authentic visual."

Lucas Mounnier, producer in Maillane

This year, the tomato market is tough. “The cold weather in April has affected both production and consumption in a negative way. Meanwhile, temperatures have risen, but the weather conditions differ from region to region. In Brittany the weather is good and volumes are high, while the poor weather conditions in the South caused a low consumption. Since two or three days we have to cope with very low prices. It is remarkable that the residue-free tomatoes are still sold at reasonable prices.”

In order to develop the Locabelle variety, TerreAzur has joined the research of the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA). "From INRA Monfavet's genetic resources collections, about 60 crossbreeds were made to arrive at this new variety, selected for its endurance in open-field cultivation, its good performance when harvested at maturity, and its taste qualities."

For more information:
Groupe Pomona
3 avenue du Docteur Ténine 
CS 80038 
92184 Antony cedex
552 044 992 RCS Nanterre

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