The tomato market was rather difficult last week, but that changed at the end of the week. "For the vine, everything is over one Euro again, and the specialties are doing better again too," says Paul Van de Mierop of Den Berk Délice. "Fortunately, the daily market doesn't bother us too much when it comes to specialties, because we are growing more and more on commission for these products. Since this year, we've focused even more on that, both in vine and specialties, and for us it's a lot better than that hassle with varying prices all the time. You're a lot less dependent."Nice shapes and colours under illumination
It's winter, and at Den Berk Délice it's time for illuminated cultivation again. "We remain in production all year long, and we started with illuminated tomatoes again. We're also conducting some trials with newer varieties like Heirloom and Sweetelle, the specialties with special shapes and colours. We also grew these during the year, and now we're looking at how they perform under illumination."
The main focus for winter remains our Miss Perfect though. For this variety, we tripled in illumination. With Juanita as well, we expanded a bit."
Mass produce from the south
In terms of specialties, competition from the south is increasing by the year. "Spain and Morocco have a large production, and you do notice this puts pressure on the market. This year was extreme though. Normally, the tomatoes gradually enter the market from week 42 on, but now the southern countries suffered from the heat, and they only arrived around week 45/46. There was a mass of produce on the market then, and it will take a while before that's gone. Now it has calmed down again."
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