Tomato business centreThis article was originally published in Foodnews
A NEW business centre has been set up by tomato producers and the state government in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Minas Gerais is Brazil's third largest tomato growing area, producing 406 000 tonnes of tomato annually, around 11% of the country's total output. It is hoped the Unicenter will help improve product quality, encourage producers to expand their market, and reduce use of pesticides. According to the president of the business centre, Milton Moreira Duarte, an improvement in production and quality has enabled growers to sell tomato at more competitive prices directly to supermarkets, avoiding the need for middlemen. "The price for a 20kg crate of tomatoes varies between BRL20.00-25.00 (USD12-15). By selling directly, we can increase the value by between 10-20%," he explained.