Inputs

Targets

  • Maximise the efficient and sustainable use of all crop inputs through setting aspirational targets, measuring our industry achievements and regularly reviewing progress towards those goals.

  • Achieving a truly sustainable environmentally friendly and carbon neutral system.

  • It should be noted that British growers have, during the last 10 years, made significant progress in all aspects of reducing, re-using, recycling and optimising the use of all crop inputs and achieving efficiency of use with respect to all crop inputs though recognise that as new technologies and systems evolve ongoing progress is still achievable in this respect.

Strategies

  • Desk studies to establish best practice and innovation around the world.

  • Conduct research to establish if outputs from the desk studies have UK potential.

  • Identify parameters which limit fruit quality and investigate methods by which greater control can be exerted, including the aerial and root zone environment.

  • Development of new growing systems and techniques to meet the requirements of 21st Century crop production requirements.

  • Energy

    • Continue to investigate alternative and renewable energy streams such as waste heat from other industries.

    • Continue to improve efficient use of energy (glasshouse design and thermal screen technology etc)

    • Gather evidence to support policy and planning regulations to help growers make better use of waste heat.

    • Horizon scan, awareness of and influence ongoing developments in energy Policy where such developments may have a significant impact on our industry.

  • Labour

    • Develop strategies to improve motivation and participation in our businesses of staff at all levels to ensure we attract the best talent and ensure a sustainable future for the British Tomato industry at this fundamental level in respect of succession planning and staff retention ensuring horticulture is seen as an attractive and profitable career path.

    • Identify appropriate ergonomic solutions to crop husbandry and harvesting activities and develop best practice in these areas.

    • Progress options for automation of some tasks.

  • CO2

    • Data mine/model/research ways of reducing CO2 input with consideration for specific tomato types.

    • Target CO2 input to more accurately follow plant demand.

    • Develop alternative sources of CO2 in preparation for fossil fuel free production.

  • Nutrients

    • Update existing nutrient efficiency and supply models to suit modern Tomato cultivars.

    • Improve understanding of nutrient uptake and research efficient use of nutrients in soil and hydroponic systems.

    • Optimisation of the re-circulation of nutrients in hydroponic systems.

  • Water

    • Investigate methods to reduce water usage without compromising plant health and fruit quality.

    • Develop purification systems for the safe re-use of waste and rain water supplies.

  • Light

    • Provide technical and economic solutions on supplementary and 'All Year Round' (AYR) lighting technologies.

    • Research applicable new lighting technologies (Plasma, LED.s etc) to enable rapid uptake where benefits are economically viable.

  • Substrates

    • Optimisation of the root zone environment and the relationship between plant and rhizosphere microbial populations.

    • Development of improved and novel substrates.

Download Research Document PDF138.47kb

Fact 01

Did You Know?

Tomatoes accounted for nearly a third of the 36 million tonnes of fresh veg sold in W.Europe in 2014.

Andy Roe

Meet the grower

Andy Roe

Andy has been growing tomatoes for 26 years at Flavourfresh in Banks, near Southport Merseyside wher…

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