The first names have been announced for Global Tomato Congress, which places sustainability centre stage on the event’s return to Rotterdam on 16 May

The challenges of the past year are far from over, and that is reflected in the agenda for Global Tomato Congress, which is back in Rotterdam on 16 May with a programme filled with talks and discussions about how to safeguard the future of the fresh tomato business.

The theme of this year’s event is sustainability at a time of crisis – expert speakers will examine the best means of ensuring the future success of tomatoes, in the face of high costs, ToBRFV and the increasing impact of climate change.

Cindy Van Rijswick of market analyst Rabobank will set the scene, providing insights into the impact of high energy costs and rising inflation on the European tomato business.

Luc Vanoirbeek, general secretary of the Association of Belgian Horticultural Cooperatives (VBT), will speak on the importance of economic sustainability and the need for greater cooperation in the category.

Max Van Den Hemel of Dutch consultants Delphy will talk about the advantages of data-driven crop management and the benefits of collaboration with breeders in the fight against ToBRFV, referencing the company’s work with BASF.

Eduard Fitó of Spanish seed company Semillas Fitó will present on the way forward for tomato breeders, asking if it is time to adapt varieties to a low labour, fully automated future.

Dirk Aleven of FoodVentures will share his experience opening greenhouses for tomatoes in Kazakhstan, highlighting the advantages of local, sustainable production.

And following the recent tomato shortages in the UK, Abdelkhalak Torres of Moroccan exporter Delassus will look at the growing potential of Morocco and discuss how such shortages can be avoided in the future.

Stay tuned, as more speakers for Global Tomato Congress are announced in the coming days. You can register for the event here now.