Mid Season Tomato Crop 2002

The colour of the trusses in the above photographs tells its own story! We are now about halfway through the tomato crop and this last week we have had very few tomatoes to pick and market! The reason is that we lost two trusses in bad light six to eight weeks ago and accordingly the yield has dropped from about 150 6 kilo trays to only 60. But there are a lot of tomatoes to come as you can see. So in a week's time we shall be busy again. The only problem is that the tomato market has already dropped out through a flood of imports to the UK. The average price for 6 kilos in April was about 6.20. In May it is likely to be only 2 to 2.25 when we receive our cheque from the wholesaler. For anyone who has a family and staff to support it is a grim prospect. Here, we have not got that responsibility but we still need a return from our capital investment, running costs - and our labour!
Growing food has always been a hazardous occupation, of course and it is only in the last half century that the horticulture sector has been able to increase yields very significantly. Today it is the larger growers who benefit from this, growing in five acre blocks and so producing more for less and still come out at the end in the black! We smaller fry just have to grin and bear the appalling fluctuations of the market as other countries find the UK a happy place to dump their goods.
Just spare us a thought! The tomatoes are actually very super!!

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