A greenhouse at Syngenta's newly-opened Tomato Vision facility in Maasland, the Netherlands. (Syngenta photo)
Woodland, CA (May 27, 2020) – A cutting-edge new demonstration center from Syngenta expected to benefit tomato growers across the Americas opened on May 26.
Located in Maasland, the Netherlands, the facility – called Tomato Vision – is set to change the way tomato varieties are bred. Working in a more than 150,000-square-foot greenhouse, Syngenta breeders are now able to test 800 unique new hybrids and select for specific market needs, combining traditional and cutting-edge techniques. The greenhouse was designed to mimic real growing conditions, featuring different sections for lit and unlit cultivation with complete climate control.
“Tomato Vision will enable us to deliver even more high-performance varieties in all different segments for active and passive greenhouses,” says Jeroen Iprenburg, technical sales rep for active greenhouse crops at Syngenta. “It builds on our ongoing commitment to innovation – innovation that continues to deliver strong tomato varieties for growers across the region.”
Recent additions to the Syngenta tomato line-up that are particularly notable for U.S. and Canadian growers include Duelle (red/grape), Ivorymoon (ivory/grape), Climono (T8C15533, large-fruited TOV) and YOOM®, a recent Gold Award winner at the 2020 Fruit Logistica Innovation Awards.
Connecting with customers
Tomato Vision was designed to directly engage with customers to identify their needs. Within the larger greenhouse, a 16,000-square-foot section is open to visitors, offering them a unique first insight into upcoming introductions, along with a deeper understanding of the entire active greenhouse portfolio from Syngenta.
“We want to develop varieties that truly meet growers’ and customers’ demands,” says Ruud Kaagman, global tomato crop unit head at Syngenta. “By creating this connection between our breeders and the market, we are able to deliver fine-tuned varieties.”
While at Tomato Vision, visitors will experience an immersive journey, from concept varieties to tasting final varieties on the menu. By making the highly diverse Syngenta portfolio – which is the result of more than 20 breeding programs around the world – more comprehensible, growers and value chain partners will be able to exchange knowledge, ideas and expectations. This will influence future developments in tomato breeding, encourage cooperation and collaboration between parties and ultimately benefit the tomato business for everyone.
A digital experience – for now
Tomato Vision is expected to begin engaging with customers immediately, even with limitations set by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The facility’s grand opening overcame physical constraints with an online event, and tours will be given through virtual reality technology.
“This wonderful achievement will reach our customers and partners around the world,” Kaagman says. “Of course, we would like to welcome our visitors physically as soon as possible, but for now we can bring you Tomato Vision at your desk, wherever this is!”
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Syngenta is one of the world’s leading agriculture companies. Our ambition is to help safely feed the world while taking care of the planet. We aim to improve the sustainability, quality and safety of agriculture with world class science and innovative crop solutions. Our technologies enable millions of farmers around the world to make better use of limited agricultural resources. With 28,000 people in more than 90 countries we are working to transform how crops are grown. Through partnerships, collaboration and The Good Growth Plan we are committed to improving farm productivity, rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more visit www.syngenta.com and www.goodgrowthplan.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Syngenta and www.twitter.com/SyngentaUS.
Ruud Kaagman, global tomato crop unit head at Syngenta, leads a virtual tour on May 26 of the Tomato Vision facility. (Syngenta photos)
Members of Syngenta's Tomato Vision team stand in front of a wall with a drawing to reflect the company's ambitions and welcome people to the facility.