Sundrop Farms from Australia was elected most inspirational tomato grower of 2016 during the Tomato Inspiration Event held in Berlin on 4 February. The 100 most innovative tomato growers in the world gathered in Berlin for the third edition of this event. This year it was up to the guests to elect the inspirational winner.

The Tomato Inspiration Award was presented to Philipp Saumweber of Sundrop Farms at the Puro Skybar in Berlin. As there were no specific themes associated with this year’s event, there was no call for the appointment of an international jury. Instead, the participants themselves were invited to cast their votes for the grower who inspires them more than any other.

Previous winners Windset Farms (2014) and Duijvestijn Tomaten (2015) contributed to the event alongside the organisers of the event in the compilation of a long list of the most inspirational producers and product organisations. This resulted in four nominations: APS Salads from Cheshire (UK), the Flandria label of the joint Belgian auctions (LAVA) from Leuven (Belgium), Sundrop Farms from Adelaide (Australia) and Zeiler Gemüsevertrieb from Münchendorf (Austria). Sundrop Farms ultimately won the most votes and was acclaimed the winner.

High-tech in the desert

This year, Sundrop Farms will be opening a state-of-the-art production facility in Port Augusta, in the southern part of Australia. The site will feature four controlled greenhouses (each covering five hectares of land), a desalination system and a field of solar panels that consists of a tower 115 metres high and over 23,000 mirrors to capture the sun’s energy. The new site is unique in the world and will offer employment to some 175 workers and produce over 17,000 tonnes of tomatoes annually. The facility will make use of solar energy, seawater and natural crop protection agents. You can follow the construction of Sundrop Farms from close by on YouTube.

The Tomato Inspiration Event is organised by KAS Tuinbouwcommunicatie and HortiBiz, and sponsored by Bayer, Delphy, Koppert Biological Systems, Oerlemans Plastics, Priva, Saint-Gobain Cultilene and Svensson.

Source: Tomato Inspiration Event. Photo: Sundrop Farms.