Life cycle of fresh tomato was evaluated to determine CO2 emissions during its cultivation and distribution. Low temperature (LT) and modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP) were compared for their effect on quality. Road and sea transport were also compared. The method of cultivation and transport and the distribution systems affected the overall life cycle inventory (LCI, CO2 emissions). Life cycle inventory was larger for greenhouse produce than for that raised under plastic cover and larger for produce transported by road than for that transported by sea. The distance between production and consumption area affected the LCI significantly. It is worthwhile to note that MAP would not be environmentally acceptable over LT packaging in the case of tomatoes transported by road over a distance shorter than 2000 km although such transport does not require any cooling during transport and storage: MAP would be a better option in the case of sea transport beyond 1000 km. The distance over which MAP is the better option is thus dependent on the mode of transport because the two modes of transport differ in speed and, therefore, in emissions. A change in cultivation from greenhouse to plastic cover, in transport from road to sea, and in packaging from LT to MAP is required to minimize the LCI and would abate approximately 0.14–0.24 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year from Japan.
Industrial tomatoes between stock management and planning
"The industrial tomato campaign is currently being planned and the stage of transplants depends on the area of reference. Apulia started in late March, while the Caserta area started early after stopping due to the frost in March," reports Filittpo Torrente, who runs his family business.
According to a few producers from southern Italy, 10% more industrial tomatoes will be planted compared to 2020. "There are no water procurement problems in Apulia, so there should be no problems if the weather remains good."
La Torrente is one of the largest processing businesses in southern Italy, whose brand identifies a wide range of Italian tomato products from Capitanata (Apulia), Basilicata and Campania in particular. 60 thousand tons of tomatoes are grown, including traditional and organic types, during each campaign.
The brand includes around 80 tomato products, including whole and peeled tomatoes, purées and filets as well as a premium range. These products are obtained processing over 10 varieties of tomatoes, including red oblong and round ones, yellow tomatoes, San Marzano from the sarnese nocerino area, tomatoes from Piennolo del Vesuvio, corbarino tomatoes and tomatoes from the hills.
"A lot has changed in over 50 years. I still remember tomatoes being harvested by hand during three cycles to respect ripening cycles. Harvesting is now mechanical, considering we plant resistant tomatoes guaranteed by selected seeds that ripe uniformly. The climate changed a lot, which makes it difficult to make precise forecasts. What has not changed is the traditional approach with which we grow our tomatoes, so as to keep making a difference when it comes to quality."
La Torrente follows the various production phases with a lot of attention thanks to close relationships with growers, who can supply high-quality produce thanks to their experience and skill. Advanced technology is combined with the most genuine traditions that respect he health and sustainability of productions. The company holds leading international certifications and boasts a facility covering 15,000 sq m, 4 production lines and two 80,000 warehouses to store the produce.
"When it comes to planning, we are paying a lot of attention to the next campaign, as the pandemic has been affecting sales for over a year. Although we conquered new market shares in 2020, we need to act with caution and rationality. The 2021 campaign started with little stock after many hoarded small grades during the first lockdown of March 2020. Nonetheless, we managed to supply the big retail chain with regulated prices so as to provide stability to the large Italian and foreign platforms. We will continue doing so, considering that our energies are currently focused on managing stocks and planning the 2021 production."
85% of the turnover comes from the domestic market, while the remaining 15% comes from abroad, especially from Spain - where the brand is particularly appreciated by the H&R sector - the UK, the US, Canada, Japan and India.
native to South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas. The early history of the tomato in the United States was characterized by the colonialist belief that the brightly colored fruit was poisonous. By the time commercial production began in the mid-1800s, the tomato was well established as a popular produce item in the American diet and is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes and sauces, and in drinks. Tomatoes are the second most consumed vegetable in the U.S, behind potatoes. In 2017, fresh market and processed consumption was 20.3 pounds and 73.3 pounds per capita, respectively. The U.S. tomato processing industry, comprised primarily of tomato pastes, sauces and canned tomato products, is distinctly separate from the fresh-market industry. Tomatoes have significant nutritional value; they are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants.
The marketing methods of the two industry segments differ. The majority of fresh tomatoes are handpicked and sold on the open market, while all processed tomatoes are mechanically harvested and sold under contract, with only 1 percent sold on the open market.
Fresh-market tomatoes are produced in every state, with commercial-scale production in about 20 States. Florida edged out California as the largest producer, which is likely due to the ongoing drought in California where production has dropped in the last few years. Florida and California together comprise over two-thirds of total U.S. fresh-tomato acreage. The USDA 2012 Census of Agriculture shows that the total acreage in tomato production has dropped 10 percent since 2007 while the number of farms producing tomatoes rose by 20 percent. The census showed that the largest growth was in farms producing tomatoes on five acres or less. This may be attributed to the increase in the number of small-scale vegetable farms producing for the local market.
In 2020, approximately 12,619.2 tons of fresh market tomatoes and 11,312,256 tons of processing tomatoes were harvested from approximately 272,900 acres, with a total value of approximately $1 billion.
Tomatoes are warm-season crops and are sensitive to frost at any growth stage, so field planting in temperate climates occurs after the threat of frost is past in the spring or transplants are planted and grown under row covers in late spring. Tomatoes produced in temperate climates are also grown in greenhouses and under plastic covered high tunnels to extend the production season. The emergence of greenhouse tomato production has begun to change the shape of the U.S. fresh-market tomato industry. Greenhouse tomato production allows producers to grow fresh tomatoes in structures, sometimes using methods of climate control and alternative soils. Advantages of greenhouse production include uniform appearance and quality, consistency in production, increased yields per acre and enhanced grower capability to sustain year-round production. The 2017national yield per acre average for field-grown fresh and processed tomatoes was 39.4 tons per acre. In 2017, the average price for fresh tomatoes was $37.30 per cwt for fresh tomatoes and $82.80 per cwt for processing tomatoes.