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Flying the flag for the home-grown tomato
10:05am Saturday 19th May 2012 in Letters
I WAS interested to read in your 50 years ago column that “Tomato growing in England was doomed” (The Press, May 11) and am pleased to confirm that the UK tomato industry still exists.
May 21 to 27 marks British Tomato Week. Packs should be specially labelled and growers will be displaying in Parliament to highlight our home-grown industry. Unfortunately, most tomatoes are imported, so you do have to look out for the British product. There are still 34 growers in the UK producing great tasting fruit, many in Yorkshire and the north east.
The report 50 years ago believed it would be considered archaic to grow tomatoes in heated glasshouses when they could be grown outdoors in the sun and flown from Italy in hours.
This could not be further from the truth.
While there are great growers in Spain, Italy and Portugal, they don’t grow in plastic greenhouses and their product then spends up to a week on the road to get here. A home-grown tomato is in your kitchen before a Spanish tomato has even reached the Barcelona bypass.
I hope that in 50 years time you are able to report about the great home-grown industry we have, a large degree of which is based within 50 miles of York.
Nigel Bartle, Chairman, British Tomato Growers Association, Earlsborough Terrace, York.