Excellent growing conditions; Food from Spain to announce marketing campaign Canary volumes hold up as white fly kept in check Canary tomato growers are encouraged by not only excellent growing conditions as the season gets under way, but by evidence they are holding back debilitating white fly outbreaks which struck plantations some two years ago. A combination of new varieties and grafting over plants has kept the disease in check, according to trade sources. As a result exports are expected to remain in line with last year. Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura ship over 23 million cartons of fruit to the UK between now and late spring, half the total production. The first fruit arrived last week at Southampton where it is being distributed through an upgraded terminal leased from Associated British Ports which has added a further 5,000 sq m of temperature controlled space. The first vessel, Global Harvester, discharged some 874 tonnes and will initially be one of two arriving on a weekly charter service. The season will also mark the second year that the islands are promoting their fruit, emphasising that being grown in the sunshine on slightly saline soil gives it a special taste. Export activity is funded by the two exporter associations Aceto and Fedex and supported by both local and national governments. Details of the marketing campaign will be announced by Food from Spain shortly. l English tomato growers have confirmed that the past season has been one of the least profitable years on record. Margins indicate that the results will be 15% down on last year. Apart from low light levels in the spring which reduced yields, the industry was competitively priced by its multiple customers, and Spanish fruit penetrated the market. Speaking at a conference, consultant Gerry Hyman also claimed that in spite of the acclaimed promotional campaign, with a British logo on the packs, there had been a lack of success with consumers in differentiating the product. Other speakers told the conference they believed that next year the concentration of production into larger units would continue. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}