Bryan Zingel, Tyler Hoopes, and Hiroyuki “Moto” Iwamoto Detail Sakata Seed America Specialty Tomato Program
MORGAN HILL, CA - Tomato brown rugose fruit virus, commonly referred to as ToBRFV, is a highly virulent and aggressive tabamovirus that not only harms tomatoes but growers’ bottom lines. ToBRFV impacts all areas of the supply chain and, as Sakata Seed America tells it, impacts tomato growers’ decisions for new varieties year after year as well. Luckily, the seed breeding company has a clear vision for the future of tomato production as it combines its history of tomato breeding and development with leading technology to create the “perfect”, premium products.
“Sakata recognizes the significance and priority of breeding new products with ToBRFV resistance, as it is becoming a mandatory requirement in much of the market. That being said, the end customer expects the same high level of flavor and eating quality they are used to. Our research specialists work tirelessly, to provide the market with the combination of improved flavor, production, quality, and other key resistances,” says Bryan Zingel, Senior Product Manager. “The correct balance in this breeding combination is very challenging to make, but when the next innovation strikes, the product package will deliver for the grower, marketer, retailer, foodservice, and consumer.”
All areas of the supply chain will see the Sakata advantage, as new variety candidates that enter Sakata’s R&D process follow very strict protocols to determine and confirm the distinct benefits for each customer in the value chain.
Sakata’s robust global specialty tomato program, is world renown and features a portfolio of leading commercial medley types such as Chocostar, Royalstar, Fonzi’s Pinky, and Sweet Treats. Not only do these varieties come with IR: ToBRFV resistance, but they also have the treasured combination of high marketable yields, flavor, and reliability.
“Sakata is working quickly to follow up with new introductions of red grapes and medley types that are well-balanced and include ToBRFV resistance, all of which provide only the best product package for the customer,” adds Tyler Hoopes, Sakata Specialty Tomato Product Manager for the North America region. “The industry needs to secure the future of the fresh tomato business, as many stakeholders and key influencers continue to feel the detrimental effects of the virus. Our specialty tomato program is active and prospering, as times like these bring innovation and unity toward a common cause. Sakata will continue to fight the virus and support customers by bringing them the best combination in genetics to have a superior position in the security of their business again, now and in the future.”
Innovation in disease resistance continues to thrive, but having the best tomato on the market, also means that high marketable production “with flavor” must be on point. Taste is a defining requirement, and shoppers will continue to be drawn to products that provide that powerful experience. Luckily for tomato growers, Sakata’s portfolio of premium offerings pack that umami punch, an irresistible flavor profile, consumers seek.
“In addition to important resistances in our tomatoes, there is much more to ensuring the genetic combination has the best package. Another characteristic that is near and dear to our entire team is flavor, which is a top focus for any new variety Sakata releases to the global market,” Hiroyuki “Moto” Iwamoto, International Sales Manager, shares. “This is because of our Japanese heritage, as Sakata strongly believes in the fifth flavor sense umami, which is a key component to enjoying high-quality fruit.”
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