Italian tomato canners are working extended shifts to process the large quantities of fruit ripened due to the heat.

Record temperatures have accelerated ripening and at least two of the largest canners are working three shifts. For others, the availability of the crop over a shorter than normal period is causing problems. Growers are anxious to deliver their crops before a sudden change of weather brings the season to a premature end.

Sources in Naples believe the season could end suddenly, causing another shortfall in supplies. Long range weather forecasts are warning of storms at the end of the month but UK importers remain relaxed. One said: “The pack will be better than last year, but we are concerned that there may not be a third crop, which normally allows processing well into September.” No prices have yet been announced, suggesting canners were not in any hurry to pre-sell their packs. The quality of the crop is good.