Tomatoes, the humble fruit that has been keeping European dishes rich, juicy and utterly delicious since the 16th century.
Due to recent weather conditions and the dreaded COVID 19, prices have started to rise and availability starting to fall, causing a knock on effect to customers and manufacturers.
What has caused the tomatoes supply prices to rise?
There are a number of factors contributing to the fall in availability including:
Rainy season delaying transplanting of seedlings.
At the start of the tomato season, we had an unprecedented amount of rain delaying transplanting of seedlings from poly-tunnels to fields.
The result of this is a shorter growing season and a delayed new season harvest.
Typically harvesting would begin towards the end of July, but this year’s harvest won’t start until the start of August.
The risk of rain towards the end of August and early September could prevent farmers from being able to harvest further reducing the available raw material.
Lower yield from previous season.
Last season produced a lower yield, resulting in lower stock being carried over into this season.
Typically producers will aim to cover the balance towards the end of current season contracts with new season product.
As the delayed harvest will not see new season material shipping until September, the market is getting very short and producers are only willing to contract 75% of expected volume due to market uncertainty.
Yet another COVID-19 challenge
Demand for processed tomato products during COVID-19 has seen a huge uplift, particularly in Italy where they have run out of domestic raw materials.
As a result of this, they have been purchasing material from alternative European regions to help cover requirements, taking further stock out of the market.
The shorter production window has had a huge impact on the availability of low brix products such as chopped tomatoes and passata.
There will be significantly less of these vital ingredients in the market, and the price of both has seen a big price increase.
To stop this becoming an issue for our customers, new and current, we are in discussions with several producers trying to get the best prices possible.
We are more than happy to share these prices with you, so please get in touch with the team today on firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call on 01386 761555. We will look forward to hearing from you.