A. Rudakov, the President of APH ECO-Culture, has signed an exclusive supply agreement with representatives of the Dutch companies Enza Zaden and Rijk Zwaan for seeds. The agreements with another two companies from the Netherlands and Israel are scheduled to be concluded by the end of June. Thus, ECO-Culture will entry the 2019-2020 winter planting cycle with five unique tomato strains, presented to the Russian consumer for the very first time. For those, the holding will allocate more than 80 hectares of land with the expected yield of over 35 thousand tons a year. The cost of premium seeds is estimated to be more than 250 million rubles a year.
The conclusion of an international agreement is an unprecedented event in the history of Russian agro-industry that marks a new phase in development for the greenhouse segment. Such agreements can be signed at the international level only with the guarantee of high production volumes and strict adherence to the guidelines provided. The agreement confirms an international status of the holding as a credible producer trusted by seed suppliers around the world. ECO-Culture has achieved that by developing its own infrastructure and improving production processes for many years. The new tomatoes unique for the Russia market will provide the holding with an opportunity to present itself on a new level – as an exclusive product supplier.
The fact that new strains belong to the premium segment will significantly diversify the company’s product portfolio. At this point, a major share is taken by tomatoes of widespread strain types, such as “round”, or “plum-shaped”. New products are expected to be sold for the price 20-30% higher than current ones for packed tomatoes. The brand will provide both retail chains and end customers with a unique offer: tomato strains of exceptional quality with a high Brix degree, meaning the fruits are sweeter. Among them are the following ones: red mini plum tomato, pink grape tomato, yellow cherry, strawberry tomato, and others.
Alexander Rudakov, the President of APH ECO-Culture: “Signing the exclusive seed supply agreements, we make a huge step,
both for our holding and our partnership with major international plant breeding companies. We see our mission as to offer our customers tasty, healthy, and eco-friendly tomatoes, and now we have the chance to present a unique line of premium tomatoes with a high Brix sugar degree. I believe that creating a unique product portfolio for Russian retailers and end consumers will provide us with a strong competitive advantage. Such agreements wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for years of notable and positive efforts of the ECO-Culture team”.
The agro-industrial holding “ECO-Culture” is the leader in the eco-friendly greenhouse vegetable production in Russia. The main crops cultivated are tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce.
Today the holding’s production capacity makes more than 145 hectares of high-tech greenhouses (Stavropol Krai, Leningrad and Lipetsk Oblasts). By the end of 2018, its production share of vegetables was 6 percent of the domestic tomatoes market. By 2023, the figure is expected to reach 30 percent..
The ECO-culture consists of seven operating greenhouse complexes. In 2019, they plan to expand production by commissioning new production sites in Stavropol Krai, as well as Lipetsk and Tula Oblasts. By 2023, the high-tech greenhouse complexes of APH ECO-Culture for the vegetable production in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan will cover 1,000 hectares, with the annual production amount being more than 400 thousand tons.