Although for the last 29 years now, WPTC congresses and ISHS symposiums on the processing tomato have been held together, the interaction between the two was often limited to a joint session or invited speaker, and to poster sessions. At the last congress held in Greece in June 2018, decision was made, largely at the initiative of Cosme Argerich, WPTC Research Coordinator, Diane Barrett, retired Fruit & Vegetable Products Specialist from UC Davis and Zach Bagley, Director of the California Tomato Research Institute (CTRI), to organise a roundtable discussion on the needs of tomato growers and processors and how the scientific community could help them address these.
A tandem of a researcher and an industry representative from 8 major tomato processing countries were asked to make a short presentation highlighting the few major production-related and processing-related researchable problems or topics in their country.
The main topics presented are highlighted in the table below:
Following these presentations, the debate between the presenters and members of the large and varied audience led to the conclusion that there was a need for everyone to be able to identify who-is-who in tomato research through the creation of a database which could be used by anyone working in the sector to find an expert on a specific topic to solve a practical issue (how to tackle a pest, how to apply a new technology, where to get a specific analysis done…) and for researchers to pinpoint whom they could collaborate with and invite to join international research consortium.
WPTC agreed to fund the creation of the database which has now been developed and is hosted on the Tomato News website, as it is the hub for everyone in the tomato processing industry. All researchers working in the private or public sector are invited to create their own page and to make sure it is being maintained with all their research topics, new publications. The database has a search facility to search by name, organization, location or by specific keywords.
We hope this new feature will be an asset for everyone in the industry.
Database: www.tomatonews.com “RESEARCHERS”