TOV red round tomato knows no crisis

“The red round cluster tomato, a segment that in Sicily is commonly known as cluster tomato, has always been a safe investment for growers like us”, says Salvatore Cilia, sole administrator of Azienda Agricola Cilia Salvatore – Società Cooperativa Agricola (Punta Secca, Sicily, Italy) and adds: “First of all in terms of costs: Cluster tomato production is cheaper than other segments’, and this is a fact.”

The Cilia farm, active since 1986, extends over an area of around 30 hectares covered with latest generation passive greenhouses. The company is specialized in the production and packaging of high-quality vegetables, GlobalGAP certified. Among the company products, we also find different segments of tomato, from large-sized TOV to cherry, from mini to midi-plum.

“To manage a one-hectare TOV tomato greenhouse – continues the grower – we employ on average one employee and a half; a greenhouse of the same surface area producing cherry or mini-plum, requires a tripled number of workers. Now more than ever, production costs are a determining variable in production choices, let alone the issue of labor shortage, which remains an endemic problem for all agricultural businesses.”

“As far as we know, unlike supply, the demand for TOV has never decreased. – adds the farmer – Indeed, the spread of ToBRFV in recent years has significantly changed the production landscape of cluster tomato, at least in Sicily, and especially in those areas traditionally devoted to such segment. However, as far as we are concerned, – continues Cilia – we have never stopped producing and selling cluster tomatoes: our products are designed for an important Italian retail chain, but also for foreign markets, and the supply request has always been almost constant, without prejudice to the natural market fluctuations.”