The vice president for production of ECO-Culture holding spoke with the heads of the popular weekly program “Supermarket” on Moscow FM radio. Alexei Shemetov told about the company’s activities, its geographical coverage, products, and peculiarities of greenhouse tomato crops, and also explained the difference between tomatoes and pomodoros.
The first part of the conversation was devoted to the current and future performance of the holding. Alexei Shemetov says over the years of fruitful work, the company, which was founded in 2010, has become a leader in the production of environmentally friendly vegetables in Russia. According to the 2018 year-end results, the share of ECO-Culture’s products in the Russian tomato market amounted to 6 percent, which is expected to increase to 30 percent by 2023.
Today, the company’s capacity is 207 hectares of high-tech modern greenhouses located in Stavropol, Leningrad, Tula, and Lipetsk regions. Over the next 3-4 years, the production area will increase to 1,000 hectares, with an annual volume of vegetables reaching 600,000 tons. The company’s greenhouses are being built not only in Russia but in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan as well. In particular, an extensive project of 500 hectares is being now under development in Kazakhstan.
The further discussion concerned the tomato cultivation technology and the differences between greenhouse products and those grown in the open field. According to Alexei Shemetov, most of the company’s greenhouses are used to produce cherry, cocktail, and plum tomatoes. The main features of vegetables offered by ECO-Culture are strong tomato flavor (organoleptic properties and sugar content) and high bediness. The high values of the latter are achieved through competent plant care, sterility, environmental friendliness of the production, and compliance with storage technology standards.
As for taste and nutritional qualities, the technology of cultivation is also important. In the holding’s greenhouses, tomato vines are grown on coconut substrate, which is the closest possible substitute for soil. During the process of development and growth, the plant is constantly supplied with all the necessary micro and macro elements with the periodic analyzing of the substrate. Only biological methods are used against pests, and special bumblebees are being bred to serve as pollinators.
The dialogue also touched upon other topics – how to choose tomatoes in a store during the winter, what the ” right ” vegetables should taste like, which tomatoes are more healthy, and what methods can be used by unscrupulous producers to cheapen the production.
During the show, the hosts had a chance to check the quality of ECO-Culture’s tomatoes, which they found amazing.
Background information. In their weekly show “Supermarket”, the hosts in the face of the Eichfus brothers choose one popular product and run its comprehensive analysis.
You can listen to the full episode on the Moscow FM radio website.