In order to protect traditional varieties and to prevent their continuous replacement by higher-yielding, hardier and, often, less tasty modern cultivars, TRADITOM follows a two-pronged approach:
- Identify and certify the sensory traits that make these traditional varieties more appealing to consumers. Genetic and phenotypic variability exists both on farm and in repositories of traditional tomato varieties but needs to be better defined and valorised. Some traditional varieties outperform modern cultivars in terms of flavour, shelf life, resistance to moderate drought and salt conditions as well as overall quality.
- Overcome the ‘weaknesses’ of the traditional varieties in terms of yield and pathogen resistance through innovative breeding and agricultural practices. We are convinced that careful breeding, directed to maintain the unique attributes of traditional varieties while improving productivity and disease resistance will result in the flourishing of these products in the European markets.