British Columbia's see rise in demand for specialty varieties

Overall the tomato market in British Columbia was down in comparison to last year. “We had a great year in 2013,” explains Mike Reed president of BC Hothouse, “Due to the excellent weather we had in July and August, we had more production than the typical markets demand especially when combined with local backyard production of tomatoes at the same time.”

The great growing season in Canada has led to a lower market this season. “There was no substantial heat in many growing regions—greenhouse or field production. Usually there are gaps in tomato production due to intense heat in one or two areas during the summer where we are able to export to fill these gaps, but that didn’t happen this year.”

The increased availability made common varieties like Vine and Beefsteak lower in returns than previous years, however several speciality varieties did well. “Speciality varieties like our Medley Mix, Big Taste TOVs, and Grape Tomatoes have recently become more requested by consumers due to their unique colours and great taste over classic, less flavourful varieties like TOV and Beefsteak, speciality varieties tend to be less market volatile than Beefsteak and TOV.”

More customers this season are demanding tomatoes that taste great. “So-so tomatoes are less in demand, consumers want that great tomato taste that they can find in greenhouse grown tomatoes especially in our speciality varieties.”
British Columbia regions will soon start to decline in their tomato production as growers depend on light levels which begin to drop in October and November. BC Hothouse circumvents this loss of light and produce by importing tomatoes. “We have our partners in Mexico that carry on our production of all the core items that we produce in British Columbia during the summer,” explains Reed, “They have the same quality, food safety protocols, and growing standards as our produce growers in British Columbia.”

For more information:
Mike Reed
BC Hothouse
Tel: 1-800-663-1889

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