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Publication: The 2020 Processed Tomato Yearbook

31/08/2020 - Martin Stilwell , Press release - 2020 WPTC congress
Every year, Tomato News publishes its printed Processed Tomato Yearbook which is distributed free of charge at industry events (Tomato News Conference, WPTC Congress, CibusTec, ...) and sold on our website. Printing of the 2020 Processed Tomato Yearbook was halted in February when the announcement was made by WPTC that the congress in San Juan was postponed.
As the congress is finally not taking place in 2020, we have decided not to print the yearbook, but to make the 80-page publication available on the website for all our readers. 

You can access the yearbook HERE

Editorial for the 2020 Processed Tomato Yearbook
I wrote to you all in late January in anticipation of our World Congress of San Juan Argentina. A few months only and what extraordinary change! I hope both you and your families have been well.
At the time I was reminded that this would have been the first Congress for some considerable time without the presence of our great friend Maria Nomikos and how we would miss her vibrant good humor, her enthusiasm, her optimism and her friendship.
The Congress has now been moved forward to 2022, our lives and habits have been changed as we all wait anxiously for the emergence of a treatment or vaccine for Covid 19.
What is happening with our crop and our Market?
It is at the moment impossible to examine any market without taking the impact of the Pandemic into account. In this regard, it is particularly interesting to look pragmatically at what we have learned in these few months. 
The Covid 19 virus is adapted astonishingly well to our modern habits and ways of life. 
It spreads rapidly and easily from person to person. 
The summer months only appears to marginally reduce its infectivity.
The great majority of us show only mild symptoms.
An unfortunate number of these are severely affected.
Of these a significant number die.

The current situation in the Summer of the Northern Hemisphere is that the Pandemic is being held back by Social distancing, hygiene and varying degrees of more widespread or localized “lockdowns”.
Currently most countries worldwide have a medium or low number of “background” infections.
This will provide a reservoir for further rapid spread infections when conditions are more (un)favorable this autumn and winter.
So, don´t become complacent, take care and keep yourselves and your families safe.
How have all these changes affected Tomato consumption?
“Eating at Home” which precludes “Eating out” at a restaurant or when travelling has become the new normal.
The consequences are very significant for us.
Looking at North America I suggested in the last Editorial I wrote to you and published in Tomato News that consumption of Industrial products was increasing significantly and exceeding the drop is sales to the Restaurant Hotel and Catering markets. I suggested with surprising accuracy that this increase would reduce the June the 1st inventories would drop to 18 weeks usage.
If we look below at the next major consumer Market and we look at the 20 largest importers Germany, UK, Japan, Netherlands, France, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Belgium, Canada, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Romania, South Korea, Philippines, Thailand and Kazakhstan.

As we are examining changing trends in usage which are more important than the individual numbers, I exclude significant producer/Consumers such as USA, Spain, Brazil since the Balance between local production – Consumption – Imports and Exports is particularly hard to calculate.

We clearly have a surge of imports.
As we work through the current North Hemisphere harvest, we are encountering particular difficulties, once again California is facing problems with an unprecedented heatwave which will have an uncertain effect on its harvest, similarly hot periods in Spain during July have also caused damage.
At Tomato News we are planning to organize a Webinar this Autumn, which will be vitally important in helping to plan the next crop in an informed manner.
My very best wishes to you all and to your families, 
Martin Stilwell
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