Bringing in the first seeds of made-for-Ontario tomatoes

October 22, 2019
Written by Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (edited)
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) has partnered with Eminent Seeds to produce and distribute the seeds for the first three varieties of greenhouse-grown tomatoes-on-the-vine (TOVs) developed by the research and innovation centre with input from consumers and growers alike.

The Netherlands-based Eminent was chosen after an intensive vetting process, is a trusted leader in breeding and marketing high-performing and unique varieties of tomatoes that can be grown all over the world, says Vineland. Eminent Seeds will work closely with Vineland to ensure the widespread release of seeds to Canadian greenhouse growers to produce the first commercial crop of these new TOVs with improved flavour and production traits in 2020.

“We now have a commercial outlet for the varieties Vineland has been developing,” said Ian Potter, Vineland’s President and CEO. “It’s a significant step toward making the results of our tomato breeding program widely available to participant growers and the entire industry.”

“There’s synergy on both sides of this partnership and that’s what makes it work,” said Peter Van Duin, Managing Director of Eminent Seeds. “This is about having these seeds available in the right quantity at the right time without compromising on seed health.”

Vineland’s new varieties have been more than six years in the making, thanks to a valued research partnership with Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) to develop hybrid varieties of greenhouse tomatoes with new and differentiated flavour profiles.

The new varieties have been bred to suit Canada’s unique greenhouse growing conditions with disease resistance characteristics growers expect. They also boast higher yields than the varieties currently grown in Canada for commercial production. Consumers have also been heavily involved in the process, providing Vineland researchers with input on preferred aroma, taste and texture. That information was used to guide Vineland’s tomato breeding program.

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“This delivers on Vineland’s mission to improve the economic viability and competitiveness of the Canadian horticulture industry,” Potter said. “We have partnered with a qualified and reputable collaborator to deliver results and impact.”

Eminent Seeds Eminent Seeds has specialized in growing, selecting and developing specialty tomatoes, sweet peppers and chilli peppers for the past 35 years in the area of Westland in the Netherlands. Since 2014, Eminent Seeds has been using classical breeding techniques to create a new generation of varieties with their own distinct colours, shapes, sizes and flavours.

Questions or comments? Email greenhouse@annexweb.com

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