After 7 months of a tomato season with many ups and downs, it's time to take a quick stock. "Eventually, we have exported more volumes than in 2019; however, the average prices have been lower, especially those of round tomatoes," says Guilhem Flammen, sales manager for France at the Hoogsteder society, a cooperative of fruit and vegetable producers set up in the Netherlands.
The lockdown in France has taken a huge toll on the catering sector throughout the season. Prices and the available volumes have inevitably been affected, especially those of round tomatoes. "As far as we are concerned, the good dynamics in the French supermarket sector have not had a sufficient impact on the demand and the prices of imported tomatoes, since the French production tends to be given priority. Besides, the impact of the virus was very limited in the Netherlands thanks to excellent management by all producer organizations."
A pretty good end to the season for Dutch producers
As for the end of the season, which took place over the past six weeks, it has been quite good for the producers. "The production shortages led to higher prices and we partially recovered from a difficult season. We expect this to continue, despite the lockdowns currently in place in many European countries. We will finish the season with the old harvest in week 47, but we will be ready to start the new harvest from week 46 to give our customers the best possible transition between the two productions."
Joyce on the vine tomato, a Hoogsteder exclusive
The Joyce brand, exclusive to Hoogsteder
Very soon, Hoogsteder will offer the Joyce brand tomato, on which they'll hold exclusive rights this winter. "This tomato will be available until March. It is a product of excellent quality that guarantees stability throughout the winter period."