Jasmine Lopez, Associate Breeder for Lipman Family Farms Discusses Innovative Crimson Tomato Line
IMMOKALEE, FL - While our industry remains in constant movement, creativity and innovation are key. Lipman Family Farms has an entire Research & Development team dedicated to keeping that spirit alive and remaining a step ahead of the trends.
Jasmine Lopez, Associate Breeder for the tomato-growing pioneer, took the time to share with me a little bit more about what’s cooking behind the curtain and how the department determines what direction to take with its newest projects.
1. What led to deciding to bring the attributes of the Crimson Tomato to other Lipman varieties?
“We want to be known as the crimson tomato people,” Jasmine explains, laughing as she tells me that many outside the company call her the tomato lady for all the times she is bringing product for them to try. “We’ve had a very strong response from the consumers that has inspired the team to bring certain attributes to other types of tomatoes, including grapes, romas, Vintage Ripes, and more.”
It’s not just the color and flavor characteristics associated with The Crimson that will now be added to the entire line of new varieties, but also firmness and shelf-life. “We are looking to bring these advantages to both consumers and retail, as well as higher lycopene content, which has been associated with better health,” Jasmine tells me.
2. Can you share a bit about the process of creating a product to introduce to the market?
“We want to provide what people want in the market, but we are not just reactive,” Jasmine explains, adding that part of being innovative in research and development is being on both sides of the market. “We love to create new things, to introduce new products and ideas and see what everyone likes, as well as respond to the things that consumers or customers want.”
Being vertically-integrated is another edge Lipman has, as Jasmine shares with me the resources they have in-house such as market insights, surveyors, and creators: again, ensuring that the company is on both sides of the creative process.
As for how Lipman came to be the tomato innovator it is today? “We created something people loved, and now that standard is set very high,” Jasmine laughs at her concise summary.
3. What is something important for the industry to know about Lipman’s research and development process?
“What we are doing is still a natural process,” she says of one of North America’s largest field growers. “For example, we are using some of the background of The Crimson Tomato to incorporate those favorite attributes across the board through conventional and classic breeding processes.”
There is more in the pipeline, she assures me, with other projects already in the works. With an eye on providing products that not only meet or inspire demand, but also produce higher yields for growers and better options for buyers, keep an eye out for all the latest from the Lipman family.