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Tomatoes, how to stand out on the market

While the demand for small tomatoes , mainly datterini and colored tomatoes, increases across Europe , producers and seed companies are organizing to offer varieties that stand out on the market.

While the demand for small tomatoes , mainly datterini and colored tomatoes, increases across Europe , producers and seed companies are organizing to offer varieties that stand out on the market. Surely for the segment of small-sized tomatoes, taste remains the main prerogative at the time of purchase , which is why the search for varieties with a high taste, towards which consumers focus their interest, increases.

The research and development department of Sais Sementi , a seed company that deals with the production, varietal improvement and marketing of seeds of horticultural species, took up the challenges of the market when it started the varietal improvement program for the new datterino tomatoes, which led to the 2019 to the Joyello variety (ex Joy).

sais pomodoro benchmarking piccola az

The company accompanied the first agronomic tests with an important benchmarking research with the aim of verifying whether the new variety could stand out on the market, responding to the consumer’s high taste expectations. The research was followed by the Italian consulting, control and analysis company Sata Srl. Which identified the strengths and weaknesses of the product compared to its competitors.

“From a simple analysis of the market trends of fresh table tomatoes, it was deduced that in the last ten years the datterino tomato had filled the lack of organoleptic quality of the cherry tomato, responding to the expectations of the consumer and of the product segment with a high organoleptic profile. ”Says Simona Toloni , product manager of Sais Sementi (Seed).And he continues: “In line with this market evidence, we have decided to use sensory analysis and more specifically benchmarking as a tool for choosing varieties right from the first phase of the ‘datterino’ tomato variety improvement program”.

“From an initial sensory analysis, an above-average quality of the Joyello variety had already been highlighted – specifies Simona Toloni – starting from this first study we decided to support a benchmarking test comparing Joyello with the leading variety in the Italian datterino tomato market, a variety similar in cycle and resistance to Joyello “.
The benchmarking study was carried out on four harvests of an experimental test with transplantation in Vittoria in August 2018 and the end of collection in May 2019.

The four samples were evenly distributed over the entire collection period.The results obtained from the test confirmed what was glimpsed in the first sensory analysis or “the Joyello variety was superior to the comparison variety – says the product manager – The product profile showed fewer defects in 3 out of 4 crops , less weight loss in one crop on 4 and the same level for the other three, similar pulp hardness values, obtaining good results in the physico-chemical profile and in the colorimetric profile “.

Benchmarking integrated the agronomic tests, carried out at the same period. Both tests confirmed that the Joyello tomato has all the credentials to play a leading role in the high value-added datterino tomato market . “The agronomic tests – the company concludes – verified the high performance of the plant in terms of yield, tolerance to cold and tolerance to cracking of the fruits. They also demonstrated that Joyello can be grown for both short and long cycle crops depending on the structure and commercial needs. Resistance to Tylcv and Nematodes allow transplants in counter season in the southern Mediterranean area ”.

The benchmarking study produces a stable method for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the product compared to competitors and for recognizing areas for improvement (, even for small-sized tomatoes such as datterino).” The market is confronted every day with a demanding consumer for whom sensory quality becomes a tool of choice – explained the Sata technical manager of the benchmarking service Thais Mendes da Silva – In this context, benchmarking is an essential tool for all companies that aim to offer a superior quality product, and to understand where the product should be directed, thus identifying the right strategy for promotional activities “.

Futamura Italy Fresh

And he added: “This study considers analytical, sensory and organoleptic parameters, which are evaluated with analytical methods and interpreted through appropriate statistical analyzes. With this approach, the service is able to consider the natural heterogeneity of the samples, which is the most important point. critical for fresh products, such as fruit and vegetables, to the point of invalidating the result “.



“Natural Branding”: Made in Germany

The term “Natural Branding” was applied by the Laserfood company as a word trademark, but not as a technology. However, on 5 May 2020, this trademark “Natural Branding” was declared invalid by the EUIPO (Invalidity No. 000029701C) due to its descriptive character. For this reason, EcoMark – as well as any other company – is allowed to use the description “Natural Branding” for laser marking of fruits and vegetables. The proceedings are currently still pending in the court of appeal. It is expected that the new decision will confirm this, as no new evidence was presented in the appeal.

The mentioned regulation 510/2013 is about the use of iron oxides and hydroxides (E 172) as contrast enhancers after fruit laser processing, not about the laser process itself. The use of laser technology for fruits and vegetables is not a protected process and is therefore permitted to virtually anyone. In this respect, there can be no question of “fraudulent behavior by competitors”. The only protected process that exists is a patent (see also Regulation 510/2013) for spraying fruits and vegetables with a special liquid after laser treatment. However, the liquid is not approved for organic products, and there is no connection to the term “natural branding”. That is why, in the organic sector, only the pure laser technology is used, which is not patented.

In 2018, EOSTA won the award for sustainable packaging, not with the technology of the company Laserfood, but for the basic use of laser technology instead of packaging. At that time, EOSTA was also already in possession of a Natural Branding machine from the company EcoMark Ltd.

The term “Natural Branding” had demonstrably been used by EOSTA and EcoMark for a long time when Laserfood was still using the term “natural light labeling”. It was not until “natural branding” had become accepted as a term for the laser labeling of fruits and vegetables that the company Laserfood applied for the trademark “natural branding” and only then used it itself.

The Laserfood company is not the inventor of the technique for laser branding fruits and vegetables, nor is it the market leader. The technology has also been continuously optimized for use on fruits and vegetables. For example, EcoMark now offers special laser techniques for specific products that are not offered by any other machine manufacturer.

“Building your own laser makes no economic sense when there are good systems ready to buy,” says Richard Neuhoff, managing director of EcoMark Ltd. “Sure – it saves money to buy the laser components cheaply,” Neuhoff adds. “However, the development effort for a good laser is high, and to offer worldwide service for it is not possible for small companies like EcoMark,” he said. That only leads to dissatisfied customers!”


EcoMark Ltd focuses on developing its own software to achieve competitive advantages in handling and for processes, ultimately increasing productivity. There is currently no faster product recognition than EcoMark. “With our concept, we can easily respond to customers’ needs and thus increase productivity. After all, in addition to the environmental reasons for Natural Branding, it is productivity and thus the profitability of the marking that is decisive in the end. That’s where EcoMark can score with the new “NB 12003 Professional” machine.” The fast 3D camera evaluation for product recognition combined with 120W laser power could already sell EcoMark several times.

“Currently, our NB machines are mostly used for organic product marking. However, due to their cost-effectiveness, they are now also increasingly requested for conventional products. It is not possible to mark more cheaply than with a laser, especially for large quantities.”

EcoMark’s claim is that every customer is able to react immediately to the degree of ripeness of the fruit, for example, or to create new products with new logos themselves. After all, this is the daily routine for our customers. If help is needed, however, it is usually very quick, so that the support is usually not charged for. “In the meantime, we live from our good reputation and further recommendations,” says Richard Neuhoff, managing director of EcoMark Ltd.


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Fruit salon – prices are the same as in a jewelry store: the most expensive fruit store operates in Japan

The Japanese are more than extravagant people, they always come up with something, go ahead of the rest of the world. This time they distinguished themselves with the world’s most expensive fruit salon.

Sembikiya is essentially a fruit shop, but the goods here are so expensive and the interior of the store resembles a jewelry salon, so “fruit salon” is a rather apt name.

This is the main store of the Japanese fruit giant Sembikia. It has been run by the same family since 1834. At the time, it was an ordinary fruit shop, but one day the second generation wife of the owner of the shop decided that they could make money in another way.

So, this is more of a gift shop than a store. About 80–90% of these goods are bought as a gift, because in Japan it is customary to give expensive fruits for official events (weddings, business negotiations and hospital visits).

Square watermelon – for only $ 212.

$ 69 for a package of royal strawberries (12 pieces).

Or a watermelon denuke for $ 127 ???

By the way, in 2011, farmers from Hokkaido were very sad because the price of these watermelons fell: the most expensive of them was then sold for “only” $ 4,000. Only 100 of these watermelons are grown in Hokkaido every year.

Yubari melons (one for $ 160 or two for $ 265). These are the most expensive fruits on earth. Once such a melon was sold at an auction for $ 23,500.

What’s so special about them? First, they are grown in ideal greenhouses and covered with hats to keep them from drying out in the sun. Each plant produces only one fruit, and to get the sweetest fruits, farmers cut the fruits ahead of schedule.
The Sembikia family claims that it was she who started the tradition of giving expensive fruits.


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Generational change at KWS


At this year’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, seed specialist KWS will be initiating a generational change to be implemented in several steps. Continuity, family tradition and expertise are the focus of the future Supervisory and Executive Board line-ups.

Andreas J. Büchting (74), Chairman of the Supervisory Board of KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA and general partner KWS SE, will resign from his position as scheduled at the end of his period in office in December 2022. At the request of the KWS SE family shareholders Büchting and Oetker, the current spokesperson of the Executive Board, Hagen Duenbostel (51), will be recommended as his successor starting in 2025 at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on December 6, 2022, and will subsequently begin the customary two-year cooling-off period on this date. It is intended that the former spokesperson of the Executive Board, Philip von dem Bussche (71), will assume the office of Chairman of the Supervisory Board on an interim basis through the end of 2024.

Felix Büchting (47) will succeed Hagen Duenbostel as the Executive Board spokesperson. With these decisions, the two top management positions will be filled for the long term.

Overview of the intended changes in the Executive Board and areas of responsibility:

  • End of 2021: Léon Broers will leave the KWS Executive Board as scheduled. Felix Büchting will assume responsibility of Research and Breeding. Peter Hofmann will assume responsibility of Cereals, Vegetables, Oilseed Rape/Special Crops & Organic Seed.
  • January 2022: Nicolás Wielandt, currently Head of Corn Europe, will join the KWS Executive Board. He will take over responsibility for Corn Europe (Peter Hofmann) and Corn South America (Hagen Duenbostel).
  • Fiscal Year 2021/2022: Responsibility for Corporate Governance, Compliance and Risk Management will be allocated to CFO Eva Kienle.
  • January 2023: Felix Büchting will assume the position Spokesperson of the Executive Board and responsibility for Group Strategy from Hagen Duenbostel. Nicolás Wielandt will take charge of Corn North America and Corn China and will therefore be responsible for the entire Corn segment.

KWS is a seed specialist among the world’s leading seed companies and has been independently managed and sustainably developed by the founding families since 1856. With the appointment of Felix Büchting as a seventh-generation representative of the founding family, and Marie Th. Schnell, who in 2016 succeeded her father Arend Oetker as a member of the Supervisory Board, the Büchting and Oetker shareholder families have underpinned their personal dedication and commitment to the company.

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