"Spain: "Canary tomatoes should compete on equal terms"

The agricultural processing company Bonny Gómez, the largest agricultural exporter in the Canary Islands, is ready for a new winter season, with high expectations this year due to the "current uncertainty in the tomato and cucumber markets after the strong rains that fell in the south of the peninsula."

Bonny, which has been producing and exporting tomatoes for 77 years, offers every variety of commercial tomato, including round, vine, beef, pear, cherry, cherry on vine, yellow pear cherry, etc., grown in greenhouses, wire meshes and hydroponics.

Taking into account that the Canary Islands has lost some market share to Almería, Jota Cabrera, Exports Manager of the firm, says that the "goal is to maintain the current quota."

"Trouble does not come from competing with Almería, but with Morocco, which should abide by its certificates of compliance and agreed volumes with Europe, as well as be subject to more exhaustive quality and phytosanitary controls. We simply want them to do what was agreed on paper, because otherwise we do not compete on equal terms. It is fine for the European Union to be courteous to Morocco, but we ask customs officers to control what comes in," explains Jota. 

Bonny's Canary tomatoes are characterised by their high quality and by meeting every phytosanitary standard.

England is the main export market for Bonny's tomatoes, as well as Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Germany.

"Compensations for transport are essential to be able to compete on equal terms with other regions of Spain. Our main handicap is long distance transport. Again, what we ask is for administrations to do what they promised."

Bonny always sends their shipments on pallets, leaving the harbour twice a week towards Rotterdam and Southampton.

"When there is shortage in Europe, we can fill the gap, because due to our climate we have a very regular production," affirms Jota. 

Talking of the famous "Local for Local" movement, which prioritises the purchase of local products in countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and Scandinavia, Jota states that Canary tomatoes can compete thanks to the quality that characterises them and to the fact that they are produced in a natural way.

"We have many hours of sunshine in the winter, which is the only natural source of heat. This leaves a much lower carbon footprint than fruit grown with artificial light and heaters. We have four windmills providing electricity to all the facilities, as well as solar panels on the roofs of some packing plants. Furthermore, we were the first to set up a desalination system for agricultural use. We are fully committed to the environment. These values are reflected in the flavour of our products, and customers appreciate it."

The firm has every quality seal, from BRC Global Standard, Global Gap, Tesco Nurture, Marks & Spencer Field to Fork, and above all, from Cedex, for which they are really proud, because it is a certificate rewarding commitment with the ethical and social conditions of the workers.

Bonny always meets customers' requests with the packing, whether it is plastic, flow-wrap, containers, trays, boxes, etc.

For more information:
Jota Cabrera Bonny
Exports Manager

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