Chatham-Kent accounts for 55% of Ontario’s tomato production
From Chatham Daily News
Over the past few weeks we have seen a number of crops being harvested and we will see more in the coming weeks. One crop that has a significant economic impact in our community is the tomato. Did you know that Chatham-Kent is the No. 1 producer of tomatoes in all of Canada?
There are two basic types of tomatoes grown in our area. One can be referred to as “fresh market” tomatoes. These are the tomatoes you buy at the local farmer’s market or grocery store or the ones you would grow in your backyard. These are often the “beefsteak” varieties – large and juicy.
The other type is called ‘processing tomatoes’ and these are used as the name suggests, for processing. These tomatoes would go into products such as tomato juice, ketchup, tomato paste, tomato sauce, canned, whole and diced peeled, tomato soup, and so on. Due to the mechanical harvesting and bulk handling requirements, these tomatoes have thicker flesh walls and a stronger outer skin. The centre core on most processing varieties is virtually absent to further enhance canned peel quality.
Processing tomatoes account for most of the tomatoes grown in Ontario and in Chatham-Kent. This year, Ontario producers planted around 10,600 acres of processing tomatoes, which is up from 9,400 acres last year. Of the total acres of tomatoes grown in Ontario, Chatham-Kent accounts for around 55 per cent and Essex County around 45 per cent.