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CoViD-19: mobilization of the tomato industry (3) March 27 UPDATE

25/03/2020 - Press release , François-Xavier Branthôme - CoViD-19
Information received from companies around the world

The tomato processing industry is participating in the global effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic; considering that information can contribute to responsible management of this crisis situation, Tomato News will continue to publish the testimonies received from companies and professional structures around the world.

This article will be updated throughout the week as information is sent to us spontaneously by our contacts.

Egypt, March 26, 2020
Our Dear Valued Clients and Partners whom are interested in Egyptian processed tomatoes: 

From the social responsibility side of Paste & Juice to follow the current situation of COVID-19 and its impact on our suppliers and growers of industrial fresh tomatoes, we are following closely our tomato growers to make sure that they have all necessary tools and materials and following the right procedures and measures of safety.

General Manager-Eng. Tarek El-Katan of P&J Co. has declared: “While the safety precaution is requesting to stay at home, considering tomato processing industry is one of the essential industries in food sector in Egypt, our workers requested to keep production running normally but the request has been approved under one strict condition “Health & Life Safety of Workers are the Priorities”; accordingly a strict monitoring of the implemented safety & hygiene procedures for our workers safety, and taking the proper precautions to be safe and away of infection & currently our factories are processing in full capacity”.

Moreover, we are taking an additional precautions by checking to prevent anyone who is sick or has a communicable disease from handling, processing or preparing food for human consumption; however the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), scientists and authorities across the world put such concerns to rest, confirming there have not been any reports of transmission through food”

We are always ready to help and serve our clients worldwide with our fresh produced tomato paste & fruits puree.

Stay Home Safe and Eat Healthy
Mohamed Aboel-Ela
Research & Development Section Head 

Japan, March 26, 2020
Here is an update from Japan/Asia in the tomato/food sector. 
With people staying in more (as they should be), and kids being at home due to school closures, we see an increase in sales for processed tomato products such as ketchup in countries where ketchup is used at home for cooking like Taiwan and Japan. In Japan, dishes like Omurice (ketchup chicken rice wrapped in blanket of egg omelette) and Napolitan Spaghetti (sautéed spaghetti flavored with ketchup) use a lot of ketchup, and these are many kids’ favorite dishes and are considered comfort food for everyone. In Taiwan, ketchup is a must-have condiment for many home cooked food. 
Not directly related to tomato industry, but, sit down restaurants, especially the high end restaurants are suffering from lack of tourism. Also, many foodservice establishments are offering coupons or pay in advance systems where customers can get credit for future use. Major restaurant chains that mainly do take out/carry out business has increased in sales. 
There is a websites that is trying to help individual restaurant owners and craft food manufacturers affected by this corona virus to sell products online. It is focused on helping out a local region to make it appealing by supporting sustainability and buy local. 
For example, this award winning fruit preserve chef is explaining that so many events have been cancelled, and has s so much left over kumquat in the fridge, and no space to buy more kumquat while it is in season, and doesn’t know what to do. 
I did not find a tomato related products, but, I am sure there are lots of ways that we can market tomatoes associated with certain regions and promote it, if any bad effect from COVID-19 continue to hurt the industry. It will be an opportunity to promote CA tomatoes, for example, to raise money for Italian restaurants in CA hurting from this situation. 
I think everyone in the industry will need to and want to start planning further out, although it is impossible to predict the future. I think communication across the various countries, producers will become important, and it will make us stronger”. 
Noriko Misawa, Business Development Manager, Kagome Co., Ltd, Japan
European Union, March 26, 2020
Coronavirus: EU Commission stands ready to continue supporting EU agri-food sector
Following the outbreak of coronavirus, the European Union's agri-food sector is showing its resilience and continues to provide Europeans with high quality and safe food. Nonetheless, farmers and producers are facing difficulties and increasing pressure. Ensuring food security and an effective food supply chain across the continent remains one of the Commission's priorities.
The Commission keeps monitoring closely all agricultural markets and trade of food products, with the EU market observatories being regularly updated. During today's videoconference meeting, Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski presented an overview of the situation to the EU Agriculture Ministers.
Commissioner Wojciechowski said: "We are facing an unprecedented crisis and I am ever more grateful to our farmers and producers for their continuous hard work, despite the increasing difficulties and pressure. These challenging times have shown the resilience of our food supply chain. Today's meeting allowed us to have an overview of this fast changing situation. I listened carefully and took good note of all the suggestions and requests that the Commission will now analyse and reply to. I will continue to follow the situation in close contact with Member States. We are ready to take further action when necessary."
Since the beginning of the crisis the following measures were adopted by the Commission to support the agri-food sector:
  Extension of the deadline for CAP payment applications: The new deadline for applications will now be 15 June 2020, instead of 15 May, allowing more flexibility for farmers to fill in their applications in these difficult and unparalleled times. The extension has already been communicated for Italy and the Commission is working on the legal steps to implement it for all Member States. 
  Increased state aid: Under the newly adopted Temporary Framework for state aid, farmers can now benefit from a maximum aid of €100,000 per farm and food processing and marketing companies can benefit from a maximum of €800,000. This amount can be topped up by de minimis aid , a type of national support specific to the agricultural sector that can be granted without prior approval from the Commission. Recently the ceiling of this aid was increased to €20,000 (and up to €25,000 in specific cases). This means th at the total national support that can be granted per farm adds up to €120,000 (or €125,000) under the temporary framework. 
  Continuous flow of food products across the EU: the Commission is coordinating closely with Member States to ensure a functioning single market for goods by creating "Green Lanes". These green lanes, based on designated key border crossing-points, will have border crossing checks that will not exceed 15 minutes. Passage is now granted for all goods, including agri-food products. 
Some complementary data: Market observatories 
Italy, March 23, 2020

"With reference to the previous note dated March 9th and, following up the further restrictions imposed by the Italian Government and by local authorities with the Law Decree approved on March 22nd, to face the current emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, CFT Group announces that it is included in the list of companies allowed to continue operations since it provides services to guarantee the business continuity of the food industry.

The Group reconfirms that sales, engineering, technical and after sales departments are fully operative on a smart-working basis, while strict sanitary-hygiene measures have been taken, in full compliance with the regulations adopted by the Italian Government, in order to guarantee the safety of all employees in the production and logistic departments which will, therefore, remain operational.

Moreover, the Group is carefully monitoring the whole supply chain in order to be updated about potential critical issues and to be consequently able to take preventive measures in order to manage operations according to plans.

Until today, thanks to the strong effort and commitment of all its employees, CFT has been able to keep efficient all its processes and, even though in difficult conditions, will continue ensuring the ongoing supply of its products and services trying to minimize the impact of this emergency situation.

In case of any further change in the current situation, the Group will promptly inform the market."

Sources: Kagome, 
TomatoEurope, European Commission,

Some complementary data

For more complete official information (WHO) regarding CoViD-19:

Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

How long does the virus survive on surfaces? Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?

General information and daily updates 

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