More than 80 growers, suppliers, retailers and educators from across Australia and New Zealand descended on Melbourne for the inaugural De Ruiter™ Living Proof Tomato Innovation Day in Melbourne.
In a first-of-its kind event for Monsanto Australia, attendees were treated to a hands-on, interactive experience that demonstrated how De Ruiter’s™ proven performance, next generation technology and leading products can support and grow their operations.
Monsanto’s Vegetables Commercial Lead for Australia and New Zealand, Rachel Palumbo, said the event was a resounding success and showcased the company’s expertise and passion for producing tasty and nutritious food.
“Through sessions on rootstock utilization, global trends in disease management, taste and sensory insights as well as a variety tour, De Ruiter™ specialist staff and industry experts offered attendees solutions to optimize their individual businesses at every step of the production-to-consumer chain.
“Fresh produce growers, marketers and retailers operate in a rapidly changing and competitive industry and therefore value strong partnerships with innovative seed companies.
“The professionalism of this event strengthened our relationships across the industry supply chain which will help Monsanto deliver products that meet grower and consumer expectations,” Rachel said.
Attendees also heard from market insights specialist, Martin Kneebone from Freshlogic, that consumers are driven by taste, variety and convenience in tomatoes like never before.
“The evolution in consumer behavior being driven by the move to online retail and a preference for healthy food is a potential game-changer for the tomato industry. Health conscious consumers are willing to ‘treat themselves’ if they understand the nutritional benefits of a variety. This presents an opportunity for the industry to add value through brand management and promotions, if the message around nutrition can be condensed,” Martin said.