Australia's tomato industry - boom or bust?

Feb 23, 2012 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: ABC News

The collapse of large tomato grower and processor SP Exports has shaken the community of Childers in Queensland, as has the withdrawl of Heinz from Victoria's Girgarre factory.

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1 - 20 of 30 Comments Last updated Feb 26, 2012
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“Yes I hate”

Since: Feb 12

here

#1 Feb 23, 2012
At the moment (last 2 weeks actually) I have been buying beautiful hothouse tomatoes for 99c/kg. Ripened on the vine & full of flavour.

Since: Dec 10

Canberra, Australia

#2 Feb 23, 2012
FNQsteve wrote:
At the moment (last 2 weeks actually) I have been buying beautiful hothouse tomatoes for 99c/kg. Ripened on the vine & full of flavour.
Aren't you the lucky one...is there anything better than fresh off the vine tommies....
obviously not from one of the two big monopolies one which has a top rating show that states how fresh their fresh produce is and I have never seen it. wonder why In Perth I think things have to come from halfway round the world for the condition of our fruit and veg, ugh!

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#3 Feb 24, 2012
FNQsteve wrote:
At the moment (last 2 weeks actually) I have been buying beautiful hothouse tomatoes for 99c/kg. Ripened on the vine & full of flavour.
I eat my own home grown organic tomato's all year round, cherry tomato's through winter and many varieties through summer.

This is just another example of what the free market and monopolisation of food supplies, means cheap profit making imported goods are sourced rather thane local produce.

“Yes I hate”

Since: Feb 12

here

#4 Feb 24, 2012
Palawa wrote:
<quoted text>
I eat my own home grown organic tomato's all year round, cherry tomato's through winter and many varieties through summer.
This is just another example of what the free market and monopolisation of food supplies, means cheap profit making imported goods are sourced rather thane local produce.
What imports?
This is nothing to do with free market or monopolisation. Customers don't want tomatoes months old that have been kept & ripened in cold storage. They have no taste.

The tomatoes I buy are from a real independant supermarket (no not IGA) & the grower suppplies about 6 or 7 such supermarkets (all in small towns). He is a small operation who filled a niche. He & several others can be found at markets where he sell hundreds of kilos on a sunday.

If a company thinks they can do hydroponics on a scale of hundreds of acres then good for them but the outdoor dirt tomato farmer should have thought about us & the end product rather than how he can best preserve his tomato (cold storage) and f@ck the flavor.

Since: Oct 11

Timmins, Canada

#5 Feb 24, 2012
Tomatoes in Ontario ripen at the end of summer beginning of fall. Sitting out on the deck with a cup of coffee and a bacon and tomato sandwich made from fresh field tomatoes, is the breakfast of champions. I rate it above most of the meals I have had in luxury restaurants. Of course the fresh air and birds singing make it even nicer.

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#6 Feb 24, 2012
FNQsteve wrote:
<quoted text>
What imports?
This is nothing to do with free market or monopolisation. Customers don't want tomatoes months old that have been kept & ripened in cold storage. They have no taste.
The tomatoes I buy are from a real independant supermarket (no not IGA) & the grower suppplies about 6 or 7 such supermarkets (all in small towns). He is a small operation who filled a niche. He & several others can be found at markets where he sell hundreds of kilos on a sunday.
If a company thinks they can do hydroponics on a scale of hundreds of acres then good for them but the outdoor dirt tomato farmer should have thought about us & the end product rather than how he can best preserve his tomato (cold storage) and f@ck the flavor.
To begin with IGA is not independent, but a little known subsidiary of Woolworths. Lots of produce is flown into the country every day, including tomato's, then packed in Aus and classed as produced in Aus because it was packed here. Fools get conned every day because they believe the lies of their corporate masters

Hydroponics use huge amounts of artificial fertilisers and chemicals to control contamination and fungal growth.

Any one with half a brain would either grow their own food, or source if from local growers, city droobs are stuck with eating polluted contaminated shit as they are to lazy and selfish to look for good food.

Since: Jan 12

Where The Wild Things Grow

#7 Feb 24, 2012
Palawa wrote:
<quoted text>
To begin with IGA is not independent, but a little known subsidiary of Woolworths. Lots of produce is flown into the country every day, including tomato's, then packed in Aus and classed as produced in Aus because it was packed here. Fools get conned every day because they believe the lies of their corporate masters
Hydroponics use huge amounts of artificial fertilisers and chemicals to control contamination and fungal growth.
Any one with half a brain would either grow their own food, or source if from local growers, city droobs are stuck with eating polluted contaminated shit as they are to lazy and selfish to look for good food.
Growers in my area supply the markets in the city, then we go to the supermarket and buy the produce grown here, which has been transported to the city and back again - how ridiculous, not only does it cost more, it is no longer fresh. Recently local farmers markets have been established where you can buy fresh produce and there are stalls selling produce which has not been sprayed or grown using artificial fertilisers. Although I live in town, I have neighbours who grow their own vegetables and some fruits, year round, always more than they can consume so people exchange and give others excess produce - entirely different to what is available in the stores.

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#8 Feb 24, 2012
sairla wrote:
<quoted text>
Growers in my area supply the markets in the city, then we go to the supermarket and buy the produce grown here, which has been transported to the city and back again - how ridiculous, not only does it cost more, it is no longer fresh. Recently local farmers markets have been established where you can buy fresh produce and there are stalls selling produce which has not been sprayed or grown using artificial fertilisers. Although I live in town, I have neighbours who grow their own vegetables and some fruits, year round, always more than they can consume so people exchange and give others excess produce - entirely different to what is available in the stores.
Excellent way to go, if everyone did that, supermarkets would go out of business and people would again know what and from where they were getting ti from

What makes me laugh is people think buying organic food in the cites is fine when that food has been driven along heavily polluted highways and is contaminated by the time it gets sold and old.

“Yes I hate”

Since: Feb 12

here

#14 Feb 24, 2012
Palawa wrote:
<quoted text>
To begin with IGA is not independent, but a little known subsidiary of Woolworths. Lots of produce is flown into the country every day, including tomato's, then packed in Aus and classed as produced in Aus because it was packed here. Fools get conned every day because they believe the lies of their corporate masters
Hydroponics use huge amounts of artificial fertilisers and chemicals to control contamination and fungal growth.
Any one with half a brain would either grow their own food, or source if from local growers, city droobs are stuck with eating polluted contaminated shit as they are to lazy and selfish to look for good food.
1st thats why I said not IGA. My local supermarket is owned by a local couple not a company part of a chain or buying group. Their fruit & veg come mostly from farmers within 200km. Direct off farm - where they are allowed to ripen on the plant - not picked early, sprayed & almost frozen.

I don't know how other hydropics do it but this guy sprays no chemicals to control bugs/pests and the roots bath in water with a brown coal & a fish based fertiliser (sorry can't remember name). Not all his tomatoes are unblemished. I have a window hydroponic system & use no chemicals. I would have assumed all hydroponic farms were the same?

when I was young I remember driving into melbourne as a kid & seeing all the market farms from Bulli to Keilor. All gone & all housing. Seems city folk can't win. No cheap housing & no fresh fruit & veg.

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#15 Feb 24, 2012
FNQsteve wrote:
<quoted text>
1st thats why I said not IGA. My local supermarket is owned by a local couple not a company part of a chain or buying group. Their fruit & veg come mostly from farmers within 200km. Direct off farm - where they are allowed to ripen on the plant - not picked early, sprayed & almost frozen.
I don't know how other hydropics do it but this guy sprays no chemicals to control bugs/pests and the roots bath in water with a brown coal & a fish based fertiliser (sorry can't remember name). Not all his tomatoes are unblemished. I have a window hydroponic system & use no chemicals. I would have assumed all hydroponic farms were the same?
when I was young I remember driving into melbourne as a kid & seeing all the market farms from Bulli to Keilor. All gone & all housing. Seems city folk can't win. No cheap housing & no fresh fruit & veg.
We have an aquaponics system, slightly different to most as we don't grow in rock etc, we use soil and support it. The system works exactly the same way but gives a natural base for plants. Brown coal is a known carcinogen, doubt I'd put it anywhere near my gardens or food supplies.

“Yes I hate”

Since: Feb 12

here

#16 Feb 24, 2012
Palawa wrote:
<quoted text>
We have an aquaponics system, slightly different to most as we don't grow in rock etc, we use soil and support it. The system works exactly the same way but gives a natural base for plants. Brown coal is a known carcinogen, doubt I'd put it anywhere near my gardens or food supplies.
brown coal is used as a soil conditioner as it helps hold moisture around plant roots but it also contains good levels of potassium & calcium. I've not heard of it being carcinogenic in its raw state. As victorias brown coal power stations close it will become lot more commonly used as a fertiliser/soil conditioner - especially in drye areas.

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#17 Feb 24, 2012
FNQsteve wrote:
<quoted text>
brown coal is used as a soil conditioner as it helps hold moisture around plant roots but it also contains good levels of potassium & calcium. I've not heard of it being carcinogenic in its raw state. As victorias brown coal power stations close it will become lot more commonly used as a fertiliser/soil conditioner - especially in drye areas.
Coal in its natural state contains uranium, thorium, acidic sulphates releases radon gas and not something I would want near the food I produce.

“We don't have to take it”

Since: Jun 08

WhereTFamI?

#18 Feb 24, 2012
Palawa wrote:
<quoted text>
Coal in its natural state contains uranium, thorium, acidic sulphates releases radon gas and not something I would want near the food I produce.
Most people think Pine coal is safe too. The tar extracted from it is put in creams and lotions to treat skin complaints, dandruff, itches, psoriasis, head lice etc and is carcinogenic.

Also burning some wood releases toxic gasses so breathing the smoke is dangerous. How many people say 'I love the smell of a camp-fire' and don't know? But you'd already know all that.

“Yes I hate”

Since: Feb 12

here

#19 Feb 24, 2012
Palawa wrote:
<quoted text>
Coal in its natural state contains uranium, thorium, acidic sulphates releases radon gas and not something I would want near the food I produce.
Thats like saying you won't breathe air because it contains sulphur dioxide.

They are everywhere & in very small amounts and are safe. Brown coal is not as petrified as black coal and is 60 to 70% water still. Townsville is sitting on & next to huge uranium & thorium deposits and only feet below the surface.

“We don't have to take it”

Since: Jun 08

WhereTFamI?

#20 Feb 24, 2012
FNQsteve wrote:
<quoted text>
Thats like saying you won't breathe air because it contains sulphur dioxide.
They are everywhere & in very small amounts and are safe. Brown coal is not as petrified as black coal and is 60 to 70% water still. Townsville is sitting on & next to huge uranium & thorium deposits and only feet below the surface.
And the highest incidence of osteo-sarcoma in Queensland (I don't know about the other States or other cancers) is in Townsville.

That could be due to other factors of course, but who would know? There is not enough research into why cancer is more prevalent in some areas than others.

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#21 Feb 24, 2012
FNQsteve wrote:
<quoted text>
Thats like saying you won't breathe air because it contains sulphur dioxide.
They are everywhere & in very small amounts and are safe. Brown coal is not as petrified as black coal and is 60 to 70% water still. Townsville is sitting on & next to huge uranium & thorium deposits and only feet below the surface.
It's a matter of balance and taking care to not ingest or be exposed to more problems than you have to. Background and other radiants are Constancy being released into the atmosphere from many origins, that doesn't mean you do what you can to increase your intake.

Everyone to their own approach, is fine by me. It would seem logical, if you wanted to have a long and healthy life you would reduce your exposure to toxins, contaminants and pollutants harmful to the human biology. Yet the facts are the opposite.

Since: Aug 09

Location hidden

#22 Feb 24, 2012
Gottaliv wrote:
<quoted text>
Most people think Pine coal is safe too. The tar extracted from it is put in creams and lotions to treat skin complaints, dandruff, itches, psoriasis, head lice etc and is carcinogenic.
Also burning some wood releases toxic gasses so breathing the smoke is dangerous. How many people say 'I love the smell of a camp-fire' and don't know? But you'd already know all that.
Nothing like a camp fire, however we stay way back from them. The same goes for open fire places, they let out a lot of toxins. Then we come to gas heating, now that to me is absurd considering the gases burning natural, coal or LPG gases give off.

All smoke gives off toxic gases, that's why I don't understand smokers. Other than they are irresponsible gutless fools

“Yes I hate”

Since: Feb 12

here

#23 Feb 24, 2012
Gottaliv wrote:
<quoted text>
And the highest incidence of osteo-sarcoma in Queensland (I don't know about the other States or other cancers) is in Townsville.
That could be due to other factors of course, but who would know? There is not enough research into why cancer is more prevalent in some areas than others.
10 confirmed cases nationwide in 2010 - 4 in QLD. So a very rare cancer.
Townsville hospital is a catchment for a very large area. The cases could be of people from Mt Isa where they have numerous cancer & lead poisoning problems at present. But it is supposedly linked to fluoride. The water in taps around here is shocking. At lest 2 or 3 days a month it looks like weak tea. I don't know why. Small Town of Brandon regularly gets mud through its taps. I hate to think whats in the water up here. You can actually smell the chlorine in the water at times. Wonder why we are also the biggest buyers of bottled water?

“Yes I hate”

Since: Feb 12

here

#24 Feb 24, 2012
Palawa wrote:
<quoted text>
It's a matter of balance and taking care to not ingest or be exposed to more problems than you have to. Background and other radiants are Constancy being released into the atmosphere from many origins, that doesn't mean you do what you can to increase your intake.
Everyone to their own approach, is fine by me. It would seem logical, if you wanted to have a long and healthy life you would reduce your exposure to toxins, contaminants and pollutants harmful to the human biology. Yet the facts are the opposite.
Your quite right it is a balance & about being sensible.
Cane farmers swear by the benefits to the soil & crop from brown coal. And you know its not lumps of coal out of the ground - it is processed & is like a course sand (prob has some special name but I don't know it). We import tonnes of the stuff from overseas. Also it is nitrogen rich - I think I said potassium earlier. This is not a new product, just not produced in Australia - and the carbon tax makes it viable for brown coal to become fertilizer.

Since: Jan 12

Where The Wild Things Grow

#25 Feb 24, 2012
Palawa wrote:
<quoted text>
Nothing like a camp fire, however we stay way back from them. The same goes for open fire places, they let out a lot of toxins. Then we come to gas heating, now that to me is absurd considering the gases burning natural, coal or LPG gases give off.
All smoke gives off toxic gases, that's why I don't understand smokers. Other than they are irresponsible gutless fools
That's interesting, I have never converted to gas and have always been skeptical about it's use, likewise micro-wave ovens, I think I am the only person I know here who doesn't have one - I also won't walk around that section of K-mar/target where the shoes and bags are displayed - the smell from those synthetic items is overpowering.

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