Directions/Trends in Fresh Market Tomatoes in N. America John Lindbo Solanum Breeding Program Manager HM-Clause; Davis, CA N American Fresh Market Tomato Seed N America Market Size: ~57M Euro (~77M USD) – Half: Determinant – Half: Indeterminant Factors affecting Market Value in future: • Seed Demand: – Overall acreage decreasing – Increased productivity trend. – Politics and Policies: • US Govt reached deal with Mexico re tomato trade. • Agreement will raise prices at which MX tomatoes can be sold in US; Will make domestic production more cost-competitive. • This may decrease MX acreage for export due to new anti-dumping suspension agreement.? • Pricing: – Likely inflation-only or slight increase for new traits. • Market Value…likely to be ~flat: – Price increases offset by sales reduction. FM TOM Production Trends: US* • US: reduced acreage – Both CA & FL decreased 8-10% last 3 years. • US: Production (tons) – FL: 20% drop last 3 years. – CA: ~ flat last 3 years • Good weather winter 2011/spring 2012 • Pressure from low cost tomatoes from MX • Prices have been low. *USDA Reports (June 2012) Production Trends:MX Trending to more protected culture. Protected culture in Baja and Sinaloa year round tomato production yields and quality increasing Trend of semi-/indeterminant varieties being replacing determinants. Rounds being replaced by Saladette types. MX prod now about 75% saladette; 25% round • Since 2003: US Imports of Round from MX (-43%) – Import of saladette from MX (+58%) Production Trends: Methods • Protected culture tomatoes now dominate retail industry. • Vine-ripe taking away from mature green. • Mature green still supported by food service/restaurants. • Large growth in protected culture in MX – Increased yields and quality – In US Market: ~60-70% of protected culture tomatoes from MX • Year round protected culture supply reducing shortsupply/high price periods for growers. Consumer Trends • In grocery stores: Consumers avoid store interior: Shop perimeter. • Catch their attention with innovation, convenience & diversification of your products. Tomatoes on the vine Vine ripe small snacking tomatoes Better quality (color & taste) • “Locally sourced” labelling appearing in markets. • US per capita consumption of FM Tom stable. • Articles in popular press re: tomato taste (University studies from UC Davis, FLA, Tasti-lee story). More tomato niche market potential? Improved taste a likely area of differentiation in future.