Winter is coming, and with it we'll also see the start of the Monterosa tomato campaign, which aims to bring a summery touch. This tomato, a cross between an indigenous Catalan variety and the Italian Costoluto Genovese, stands out precisely for being on a par with the Mediterranean flavour of the tomatoes that are traditionally harvested in the warm summer months.
"The Monterosa was conceived eight years ago by Semillas Fitó, but it was discarded commercially in Almeria after it was impossible to find a suitable production area. Three years ago, I discovered it and decided to focus completely on it," explains Francesc Llonch, Monterosa project manager and sales person at Gavà Grup.
The good reception of this tomato in the market has allowed the Monterosa to quadruple its cultivated acreage since last winter, reaching 100 hectares this campaign.
"At the moment, we are harvesting around 130,000 kilos of tomato and we expect harvest peaks of about 300,000 kilos per week this campaign," affirms Francesc Llonch. "The weather has been good except for ten days when there was plenty of rainfall, which resulted in increased humidity levels and a higher risk of disease, something that motivated us to take extreme precautions."
The Monterosa is an asymmetrical and ribbed tomato, with a velvety skin and very showy sepals that give it an exuberant and voluptuous appearance. It has an intense rosaceous colour when ripe, as well as a herbaceous aroma. "We market 60% of the tomatoes via supermarkets and the other 40% via wholesale markets. The greatest interest comes from France, Italy, Poland and Spain, but we also ship to Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Germany."
Francesc Llonch has observed changes in tomato consumption trends. "I don't think the market is currently supplying the tomatoes that consumers are really looking for. Actually, there is a limited number of varieties with an authentic tomato flavour, especially in winter."
"Although competition in the tomato sector is very tough, we are very satisfied, because the vast majority of those who try the Monterosa love it. Our sales are increasing every week. Things are going very well," he points out.
For more information:
Francesc LlonchGavà Grup
C/ Longitudinal 9, nº 91.
08040 Barcelona. Spain
T: +34 935561250
M: +34 609744420