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Press Release for Norfolk Healthy Produce Purple Tomato Home Gardener Seeds

February 6, 2024

Davis, California

Norfolk Healthy Produce announced today that they have launched online seed sales of their first product: The Purple Tomato.

The new tomato variety contains purple antioxidants called anthocyanins (the healthy nutrients in blueberries, blackberries and eggplants). Thanks to a bioengineering approach that combines tomatoes with two genes from an edible flower (snapdragon), Norfolk’s tomatoes are the only varieties that have purple antioxidants in the flesh and the skin.

Professor Cathie Martin, who developed the first and only purple-fleshed tomato, has dreamed of this day since publishing her first peer-reviewed scientific report in 2008. “It has been my wish that gardeners could grow and enjoy purple tomatoes, and share in the health and beauty,” She said. “It is so exciting that gardeners in the USA can grow these in the 2024 season!”

Nathan Pumplin, CEO of Norfolk Healthy Produce, stated, “we are thrilled to offer these first-of-a-kind seeds to home gardeners. Our tomato is just a tomato - you can grow it in your garden next to your Sun Golds and Purple Cherokees, and other favorite varieties. We share our gratitude to the thousands of fans, who have shared their interest and encouragement through our website. Please give a big thanks to the breeding and seed production team, as well as the regulatory team, whose care and diligence made this high quality product possible!”

Seeds are available at Packets of 10 high quality seeds cost $20, and are only available in the USA, where the biotechnology regulatory process has been completed with USDA, FDA and EPA. The first variety is an indeterminate cherry tomato, and can be grown with the same gardening methods used for other indeterminate varieties.

The company pointed out that surveys with American consumers showed that 80% are interested to eat, purchase and grow the purple tomato, knowing that it is bioengineered (often referred to as a genetically modified organism, or GMO). Only 5% of consumers were not interested.

“We live at a time with many organic and non-GMO options in produce,” said Pumplin. “Consumers looking for something better and different, enabled with biotechnology, have very few options to choose from. Norfolk Healthy Produce is proud to offer an additional choice to interested consumers and suppliers.”

Norfolk Healthy Produce is also launching fresh tomatoes in grocery stores later this year.

About the Companies
Norfolk Plant Sciences, Ltd. was founded by Prof. Cathie Martin, a group leader at the John Innes Centre and Professor at the University of East Anglia, who developed the high anthocyanin purple tomato through her basic scientific research program. Anthocyanins are antioxidants associated with a host of health benefits and are important to an anti-inflammatory diet. Inspired to increase nutritious and sustainable food options for consumers, Prof. Martin founded the spin-out of John Innes Centre and The Sainsbury Lab, together with her colleague Prof. Jonathan Jones, to enable commercial availability of their scientific discoveries.


Norfolk Healthy Produce, Inc. develops and markets innovative varieties of fruits and vegetables, that deliver excellent health benefits, taste, and differentiation to consumers and suppliers.

Contact: Nathan Pumplin, CEO

(530) 601-1731

Please credit Norfolk Healthy Produce for all images.  


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