Arjan van Steekelenburg Hazera

Arjan van Steekenlenburg

Hazera is looking to tap into the global trend for healthy veggie snacking by developing the new Camelot Tomato, a product that the seed company has said 'changes the game for the whole supply chain.'

Its introduction has been driven by the fact consumers are increasingly opting for new varieties of fresh produce that require little effort or preparation.

'The Camelot is just like the legendary castle it was named after, a place of harmony and a stronghold,' Hazera stated. 'Its unique taste, flawless appearance, sweetness, and extraordinarily long shelf-life make it worthy of its noble title.'

For about 15 years, growers have been harvesting tomatoes while still green, and letting them ripen and redden during transportation.

“Unlike most tomatoes of this kind, the Camelot should not be harvested too early,' said Arjan van Steekelenburg. 'In order for it to reach full potential, growers must let it ripen on the vine, and pick it only once it has reached its unique shade of red.

'Nobody can manage the ripening process better than the plant itself,' he continued. 'You just need to get the timing right for great results. From the moment the tomatoes are harvested, as they move along the entire supply chain and up to the consumer’s table… or often lunchbox nowadays, they will keep fresh and tasty for up to 20 days.”

This, Hazera noted, helps to optimise the entire supply chain, because by the time they get on the retail shelf, Camelot tomatoes still have between 7-12 days of freshness left.

Everyone benefits from these advantages, The company said, from growers and distributors to retailers, grocery shoppers and consumers.

“We believe Camelot tomatoes represent a revolution in the sector for other reasons too,' explained Juan Jeronimo Montes. 'Even in regions with varying climates like Morocco and Spain, they can be grown and harvested all year round, throughout the seasons.

'These are highly productive plants that make for very profitable business, while consumers get more value for their money,' he added. 'Our team works closely with growers and distributors in these countries, providing advice, technical support, and assistance, regardless of location, growing method, or external conditions.”