Consolidation stabilises tomato supply

After the record pack of tomatoes in 2004 when the world oversupply crippled producers, attempts have been made to stabilise the industry by consolidation and sensible planting programmes - but now the prospect of undersupply is looming. In 2004, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Spain and Portugal produced nearly 11 million tonnes to meet demand of under 10 million. This year, 10 million tonnes are forecast, which may be below market requirement as demand has grown in the past four years. Prices paid to growers are expected to be higher than last year's.