Greenco wins Tomato Inspiration Award 2017

Greenco from the Netherlands has won the Tomato Inspiration Award 2017. On February 9 the tomato company specialized in snack tomatoes won the award during the fourth Tomato Inspiration Event in Berlin.

The Tomato Inspiration Event is an annual initiative of HortiBiz, supported by numerous partners from the horticultural sector. The gold sponsors are Koppert Biological Systems, Oerlemans Plastics, Priva and Saint Gobain Cultilene, the silver sponsors are Axia Vegetable Seeds, Enza Zaden, Monsanto Vegetable Seeds, Svensson and Van Dijk Heating and content sponsor is GreenTech. 

The event takes place yearly in Berlin. This year the fourth edition was held. During the event the Tomato Inspiration Award is traditionaly given to the most inspiring tomato grower in the world. This year Greenco from the Netherlands won. Greenco is the inventor of the snack tomato and opened the market in 2005 with its brand Tommies  to put 'snack vegetables' on the map. After 12 years Greenco still has a leading position and a strong brand because of its customer-driven approach. Greenco has a lot of contact with the retailer to create a win-win situation. Greenco talks with her clients about their wants and needs in order to jointly optimize the product. Innovations are tested on the basis of quantitative and qualitative consumer research. Greenco sees sustainability as an integral part of its commitment to offer the highest possible quality for the best mini-vegetables. That aim is also applied to the production, the way products are packaged and marketed and how the company deals with employees and suppliers. A good example is the new greenhouse of 10 ha in Middenmeer, where it’s all about growing tomatoes in a most natural way with efficient use of energy. One of the goals is to produce CO2-neutral, and possibly even to produce CO2-negative in the future. Geothermal energy is used to heat the greenhouse, excess heat is shared with the nearby sweet pepper grower.     

"Our dream is to get people healthier. By eating vegetables several times a day, it is easier to get the recommended daily amount of 250 grams of vegetables", says Jos van Mil. "Eating vegetables should be easier and more fun by breaking through barriers and by being present. We do this through innovation, marketing campaigns and communications. For all this to come true, Greenco started the 'Mini-vegetable BIG’ campaign in 2015. With that we make a structural contribution to improving the health of the Netherlands."

Lifetime achievement award
Ton Janssen, founder of Tasty Tom in the Netherland, was given a lifetime achievement award. Janssen received the award for his contributions over the years to promote the tomato. In 1994 the image of the Dutch tomato hit rock bottom when German media reported about the product for tasting like water. It was the moment Ton Janssen stept up and decided all tomatoes from that moment had to be tasfull. He started the brand Tasty Tom, which proved itself over the years as a tasty tomato all year long. With that and by telling the story of the tomato and the grower, Ton Janssen inspired other growers worldwide and lifted the level tomato industry again. And he still promotes the tomato at every event and every opportunity he gets. For that he was rewarded with the lifetime achievement award. 

Janssen said to be very proud of the award and he announced he will stop growing tomatoes next year. His company will be sold and from then on he will focus on being an ambassador for the industry only.

Sundrop Farms wins Tomato Inspiration Award 2016

BERLIN – Thursday night February 4th Sundrop Farms was declared winner of the Tomato Inspiration Award 2016. The 100 most innovative tomato growers in the world came together in Berlin for the 3rd edition of the Tomato Inspiration Event. This year the attendees chose the winner themselves.

The 3rd Tomato Inspiration Award was given to Philipp Saumweber of Sundrop Farms at the Puro Skybar in Berlin during the annual Tomato Inspiration Event. This time no specific themes and no international jury. During the event, the attendees were asked to vote for the nominee that inspired them the most. Previous winners of the award - Windset Farms (2014) and Duijvestijn Tomaten (2015), as well as the 7 partners of the event, have individually contributed to a longlist of inspiring producers or producer associations. The quest for the best possible consensus resulted in four nominations: APS Salads from Cheshire (UK), the Flandria label of the joint Belgian auctions (LAVA) from Leuven (Belgium), Sundrop Farms from Adelaide (Australia) and Zeiler Gemüsevertrieb from Münchendorf (Austria). The nominees had been introduced earlier via short trailers in HortiBiz’s newsletter and on Sundrop Farms received the most votes and was therefor declared winner of the Tomato Inspiration Award 2016.

Sundrop Farms is a developer, owner and operator of high tech greenhouse facilities that rely on nature’s abundance of sunlight and saltwater to produce high-value crops. This year Sundrop Farms will open a 20 hectare state-of-the-art greenhouse facility in Port Augusta, South Australia. The site will include four 5ha controlled greenhouses, a desalination plant and solar field comprising of a 115 metre high tower and more than 23,000 mirrors reflecting the sun’s energy. The 20 hectare site will be the first of its kind globally, employing approximately 175 people and producing more than 17,000 tonnes of tomatoes annually using solar power, seawater and natural pest management.

The Tomato Inspiration Event is an initiative by HortiBiz. The event is being funded by Bayer, Delphy, Koppert Biological Systems, Oerlemans Plastics, Priva, Saint-Gobain Cultilene and Svensson.

Winner 2015: Duijvestijn wins Tomato Inspiration Award

Duijvestijn Tomaten from the Netherlands is the best tomato grower in the world in the field of Crop & Process Technology. On Thursday February 5th the company was declared winner of the Tomato Inspiration Award 2015. It was announced during the 2nd edition of the Tomato Inspiration Event in Berlin.

John Newell of last year’s winner Windset Farms presented the award to Duijvestijn Tomaten from the Netherlands. Duijvestijn Tomaten was particularly praised by the jury of experts for their efforts in the field of geothermal energy and to development and realization of the ID Kas, a new sustainable and energy-efficient greenhouse concept.

Over 200 horticultural representatives attended the Tomato Inspiration Event. Amongst them the top 100 tomato growers in the world. Ten of them were nominated as world’s most innovative tomato grower in the field of Crop & Proccess Technology. The jury consisted of Gene Giacomelli , the director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson (USA), Ep Heuvelink, professor at the chair group Horticulture and Product Physiology at Wageningen University (Netherlands),  Stefania De Pascale, professor of horticulture at the University of Naples Federico II (Italy) and Tadahisa Higashide, chief researcher at NARO Institute of Vegetable and Tea Science in Tsukkuba (Japan). 

R & L Holt from England finished in second place with their ultra modern Springhill Nurseries. Houweling’s Tomatoes from Canada en Royal Pride Holland from the Netherlands share a third place, while United Farms from Mexico completes the top 5. Other nominated companies were Wiig Gartneri from Norway, D’Vine Ripe from Australia, Matysha Maroc from Morocco, Scherzer Gemüse from Germany and RedStar from the Netherlands.

About the Tomato Inspiration Event
The Tomato Inspiration Event is an initiative of HortiBiz, the multimedia English-language platform for professional greenhouse growers around the world, and is supported by the horticultural companies Bayer CropScience,  Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds, DLV GreenQ, Incotec, Koppert Biological Systems, Philips, Priva, Revaho, Saint Gobain Cultilen and Svensson.

Winner 2014: Windset Farms wins Tomato Inspiration Award

Windset Farms from Canada is the world’s best tomato grower in marketing and sales. Today Windset Farms was declared winner of the Tomato Inspiration Award 2014. This price was awarded to Windset CEO Steven Newell during the first Tomato Inspiration Event held at the Ellington Hotel in Berlin. 

Over 200 horticultural representatives attended the Tomato Inspiration Event today in Berlin. Amongst them the top 80 tomato growers in the world. Five of them were nominated as world’s best tomato grower in marketing and sales, being Agricola El Rosal from Mexico, GreenCo from the Netherlands, Mastronardi/Sunset from Canada, RedStar from the Netherlands and Windset Farms from Canada. A professional jury chose Windset Farms as overall winner of the Tomato Inspiration Award 2014. 

Windset Farms was awarded for their outstanding performance in marketing and sales. Windset Farms owns growing operations with a total acreage of approximately 267 hectares in the greater Vancouver area in Canada, Las Vegas, Nevada and Santa Maria, California in the US and in Mexico. The company also contracts growers in North America, Europe and New Zealand. It grows red and yellow grape, campari and cocktail, roma, tomato on the vine, beefsteak, and heirloom tomatoes. In addition it also grows various types of peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, and strawberries. Meiny Prins, CEO of Priva, presented the award to Windset Farms.

The Tomato Inspiration Event is an annual initiative of HortiBiz.  The first event has  been supported by eight partners: Bayer CropScience, Saint-Gobain Cultilene, GreenQ/DLV Plant, Koppert Biological Systems, Nunhems, Priva, Revaho and Svensson. Together they invited the top 100 tomato growers in the world to meet in Berlin, from which 80% have accepted the invitation. Over 200 people attended the event, including growers, speakers, partners and press. The event enables prominent tomato companies to meet and inspire each other and raise the sector to an even higher level.