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Disruptions - Tomato Supply Chain

Call it ‘Tomayto’ or ‘Tomaato’ 😊 Call it Fruit or Vegetable! This plumb juicy red staple is found abundantly in kitchens all across the World! Versatile and packed with the stuff that’s good for you - Vitamin C, Vitamin K, antioxidant lycopene and so much more we love our Tomatoes!

The supply of Tomatoes coming from the big producers Mexico, California, India, Turkey have dwindled. Lower supply of tomatoes, a staple ingredient in many recipes and ethnic foods globally is driving the price up. Who and what’s to be blamed?

The Tomato supply chain is affected by a host of factors and the disruption of one without the re-balancing of another will surely upset the smooth equilibrium of our farm to table dynamic. Now, try to envision the disruption of one, then two, then three and more of these factors! That’s exactly where we are currently!

The Pandemic, lock-downs, the War, Freight inconsistencies, heatwaves and droughts, floods, local logistics breakdown, labor shortages, fertilizer shortages, soaring energy prices, pests, and disease; all being major disruptors over the last few years.

Earlier this year McDonald’s in the UK hit by a tomato shortage was serving their Burgers with a single slice of tomato instead of two slices! According to the British Tomato Growers’ Association (BTGA), many farmers are out of planting energy-intensive winter crops, which is exacerbating supply shortages of tomato around the world. How does that affect consumers? Rising prices!

Greenhouses rely on heat to sustain at those optimal temperatures, and those not powered by Solar are running smack into rising energy costs, depressing their production, trickling down to higher consumer prices! Consumers at the receiving end are caught in the vicious circle of short supply and rising prices.

We are going to slowly see some re-balancing and yes, it will take time to rebuild our supply chains. But it’s a wake up call for us all. Across the board globally, we collectively, and aggressively must recalculate and re-calibrate our food sources, supply chains, develop more robust, sustainable agriculture, and dependable farm to table systems.

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