Around 385 people from 30 countries were in The Hague on 24 May for Fruitnet’s immersive, interactive event

Global Tomato Congress, the world’s leading event for the international fresh tomato business, made an impressive return to its original live format on 24 May as around 385 people from 30 countries came together in The Hague for a day of learning and networking.

With a conference programme focused on the market trends and rapid technological advances that make fresh tomatoes one of the most commercially promising categories in the fresh produce business, attendees were able to fast-track their knowledge of that business opportunity, and at the same time connect with some of the most important players in the business.

“It was a real pleasure to be back in the Netherlands and to pick up where we left off before the pandemic, with a fun, interactive physical event that underlined the real potential that exists for companies in the fresh tomato industry,” commented Mike Knowles, managing director of event organiser Fruitnet Europe.

During a full day of lively discussions, participants heard from a number of key people including analyst Lambert van Horen of Rabobank, retail buyer Adam Davy of ICA Sweden, and sourcing specialist Isaac Arevalo of meal kit delivery group Marley Spoon.

Major names in fresh tomato supply were also involved, such as Margriet Looije of Looye Kwekers (Netherlands), Kacem Bennani Smires of Delassus (Morocco), Jan Engelen of Coöperatie Hoogstraten (Belgium), Florian Gostner and Michael Zagler of Fri-El Green House (Italy), Perry Dekkers and Manon Wouters of Growers United / Prominent (Netherlands), and Juan Gallego of this year’s Fruit Logistica Innovation Award winner Granada La Palma (Spain).

And it was a day when technology in particular came to the fore. Innovations making their debut at Global Tomato Congress included a system for listening to stress signals in plants (Vivent), crowdsourced market insight (Roamler), greenhouse-based robotics and AI (Blue Radix, Certhon and Crux Agribotics), and vertical farming (InFarm).

People who attended Global Tomato Congress 2022 will be able to download presentations from the event in the coming days.