The excellent crop conditions of tomatoes in the northern part of the country are met by unsatisfactory market conditions. The supply is higher than the demand, leaving most produce with reduced shelf life because of the hot and dry weather. A week ago it was a “nightmare” at the Johannesburg market, a trader says. “Stock started going bad; we had to get rid of a lot of our stock”.

Clive Garrett, marketing manager of South Africa’s most famous tomato producer, ZZ2 says they always expect overproduction this time of the year as people are returning from holiday. “We expect things will improve when the schools re-open.” At the Cape Town market it looks a bit different, due to the drought in the Western Cape. Cape Town’s tomatoes are grown in the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape in the Olifants River area and Robertson. . Tomato production has been markedly reduced by the drought in these areas. – Fresh Plaza

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