Sreda Obitaniya program on OTR channel (Public Television of Russia) did a piece on how to select tasty and healthy tomatoes in a store or in a market and examined the Russian tomato segment.
The following employees of ECO-Culture holding participated in the story as the invited experts:
Rustem Mustafin – Marketing Director
Alexander Mogilny – Chief Agronomist of the greenhouse complex
Maxim Fomin – Distribution Center Director.
The reporters claimed that only 45 percent of tomatoes we can find on the shelves are produced by domestic producers. It means that more than half of these are being imported. At the same time, Russian vegetables are no worse, if not better than the foreign ones in terms of taste and other qualities. In particular, this applies to ECO-Culture products. They cultivate tomatoes in greenhouses without using growth stimulants, pesticides, or any other chemicals: only organic methods are applied to increase crop yields and protect plants from diseases and pests.
According to Rustem Mustafin, they distribute to retail chains four categories of healthy and delicious tomatoes grown in environmentally friendly agricultural conditions.
The Chief Agronomist of the greenhouse complex A. Mogilny told about a predatory bug macrofullus they breed in insectaria helps to fight the most hazardous tomato pests: whiteflies and aphids. For pollination during the period of ovary formation, the company uses the help of bumblebees. The number of hives per greenhouse is calculated depending on the seasonal activity of the insects.
Grown in such conditions, the tomatoes are then delivered to distribution centers, where they undergo a multi-stage quality control procedure. This way, only the perfect ripe vegetables without defects and with sufficient sugar content get to the packing department. M. Fomin, the Distribution Center Director, explained the details of grading and testing processes.
In addition, the authors of the program give a few tips on how to select good tomatoes. Apparently, the vegetables should have a solid color, a smooth and shiny surface with no dents or damages. It’s better to buy tomatoes on a branch – these ones tend to be sweeter. In addition, ripe and safely grown vegetables always have a strong flavor, a bright and juicy flesh, and the seed chambers having no empty spaces. This is the kind of product they make in “ECO-Culture”.