In the last 20 years, Austria's per capita tomato consumption has roughly doubled. Growing tomatoes in Austria is much more sustainable and ecologically justifiable than importing them to Austria from Southern Europe or North Africa, Christian Zeiler told ORF. "Apart from the fact that it is better from an environmental viewpoint, but one will also notice a difference in taste and nutrients. Fruits that are harvested when still unripe - so they can be transported a long way - just don't come close to what you think of as an aromatic tomato."
"There are enough people who want to buy and eat tomatoes all year round - even on January 1 and February 15 - who in the past were disappointed by the fact that they are not available with their full flavor all year round in Austria," he continues. According to Zeiler, the demand for tomatoes grown in Austria has recently increased significantly, also receiving a further boost from the pandemic. "Here, the trend is a return to regional products. Nevertheless, there is certainly still room for a kilo or two of extra sales."
Christian Zeiler markets his tomatoes mainly under private labels.
/ Image: Zeiler Vegetables
The fruits of the Münchendorf greenhouses can be found exclusively in Austria; nothing is exported. "We harvest our tomatoes when ripe. Then, they have 24 to 36 hours to reach the retail shelves." They are sold exclusively to Austrian supermarkets.