Tomatoes from China in the ketchup

News 8 December, 2017
  • Marie-Eve Dumont

    Thursday, December 7, 2017 23:21

    Thursday, December 7, 2017 23:21

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    Your ketchup on your fries or your sauce on your pasta could have been made with tomatoes from China, without that you know it.

    “We can find tomato, chinese everywhere. The market is totally globalized. If you buy a box of peeled tomatoes from Italy, the whole tomato may be Italian, but the juice comes from a concentrate chinese diluted with water to reduce costs “, explains Jean-Baptiste Malet, author of the book and producer of the documentary The empire of the red gold.

    Heinz also bought a lot of tomato concentrate in chinese, to make his touting.

    “All the major multinational companies that make prepared foods, such as frozen pizza, buy on the world market of tomato paste, and the first exporter in the world that is China caters these major agri-food companies “, adds Mr. Malet.

    But the Canadians ate until 2014 of tomatoes in ontario in their Heinz ketchup. One of the largest factories of transformation of tomato in the world, located in Leamington Ontario has closed its doors following the sale of the company to american billionaire Warren Buffett.

    Not writing

    “I have talked with workers, canadian, Heinz and they told me that they have seen the concentrated chinese arrive in their factories,” says Mr Malet.

    Since that time, the company French’s, known for its mustard, produced their ketchup with tomato canadian.

    It must be said that Canadians do not eat all the days of the tomato chinese. The first producer of tomato paste in the world is California. People in North America eat between other a lot of tomatoes in california.

    The problem is that it is sometimes impossible to know where actually the tomatoes in our stores, or our spaghetti sauce commercial.

    “In general, when one speaks of high-end product, the source is displayed. Sometimes it happens that on products, there was a small Italian flag with a “Product manufactured in Italy”, it does not mean that the ingredients are Italian. There is nothing that is forcing manufacturers to tell us where the ingredients come from in their product, ” insists the author and director.

    It is known that China does not have the same environmental standards and phytosanitary Europe or the countries of the North America for the production of tomatoes.

    2 under the kilogram

    “In China, it is a little the Wild West. There are thousands of producers who supply the factories that make concentrate. It is impossible to know where it comes from, ” said Mr. Malet.

    In addition, as can be seen in the documentary, the workers in the fields in China are paid the equivalent of two cents per kilogram of tomatoes collected. We even see children working there.

    “‘ll have to wonder until where it goes into the free trade, and capitalism. Make a tomato round the world, it is absurd, it’s expensive to the environment. From a social point of view, it is a problem. In addition, it destroys the jobs of Canadians, this is not sustainable as a model, ” he concludes.