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Province ripe for tomato boom

Eastern Cape tomato farmers were introduced yesterday to a multimillion-rand business opportunity by fruit processing company Cape Concentrate, which has a factory at the Coega industrial development zone (IDZ).

It wants to process 120,000 tons of tomatoes yearly, which would amount to about 20,000 tons of paste.

Company chief executive Mark Allice said at the meeting in East London: “This could potentially bring between R150-million to R180-million in revenue to the Eastern Cape.”

The company has previously had to turn down orders for 20,000 tons of its products due to a lack of tomato supply. Taking a positive view of that situation, Allice said it was encouraging as it showed strong demand for company products. “If we can get the volume of tomatoes, the product will fly out and will establish the Eastern Cape as a tomato hub.”

The company’s plant is capable of processing 1,000 tons of tomatoes daily.

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