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Melbourne hosts inaugural ‘Tomato Innovation Day’

More than 80 growers, suppliers, retailers and educators from across Australia and New Zealand descended on Melbourne for the inaugural De Ruiter™ Living Proof Tomato Innovation Day in Melbourne.

In a first-of-its kind event for Monsanto Australia, attendees were treated to a hands-on, interactive experience that demonstrated how De Ruiter’s™ products can support and grow their operations.

Monsanto’s Vegetables Commercial Lead for Australia and New Zealand, Rachel Palumbo, said the event was a resounding success and showcased the company’s expertise and passion for producing tasty and nutritious food.

“Through sessions on rootstock utilisation, global trends in disease management, taste and sensory insights as well as a variety tour, De Ruiter™ specialist staff and industry experts offered attendees solutions to optimise their individual businesses at every step of the production-to-consumer chain. Fresh produce growers, marketers and retailers operate in a rapidly changing and competitive industry and therefore value strong partnerships with innovative seed companies.

“The professionalism of this event strengthened our relationships across the industry supply chain which will help Monsanto deliver products that meet grower and consumer expectations,” Rachel said.

Attendees also heard from market insights specialist, Martin Kneebone from Freshlogic, that consumers are driven by taste, variety and convenience in tomatoes like never before.

“The evolution in consumer behavior being driven by the move to online retail and a preference for healthy food is a potential game-changer for the tomato industry.

“Online retailing currently accounts for 2-3% of grocery shopping in Australia today while in the UK it is closer to 5-6%. By 2030, estimates suggest that share is expected to rise to between 15-30%. If that happens here, it will be nothing short of a new world order, especially when we have nearly 40% of consumers today saying they will buy online in the future,” Mr Kneebone said.

Martin Kneebone also said that health conscious consumers are willing to ‘treat themselves’ if they understand the nutritional benefits of a variety.
“This presents an opportunity for the industry to add value through brand management and promotions, if the message around nutrition can be condensed,” Martin said.

For more information:
Josip Balint
De Ruiter Seeds
T: +61 0400 377 333

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