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SPC Ardmona says it’s running out of tomatoes as panic buyers strip shelves

Australian canned food manufacturer SPC Ardmona says it is running out of tomatoes, as panic buyers clear the shelves at supermarkets across the country.

SPC has ramped up production and is now operating 24 hours a day, but raw tomatoes for processing are in short supply.

President of the National Farmers’ Federation, Fiona Simson, says while SPC may be running out of fruit to process, you won’t have trouble finding fresh tomatoes at the supermarket.

“I think what SPC is raising is not so much a food security issue … but a policy issue,” she told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

“There’s a couple of big glasshouse production facilities in different parts of Australia that supply our major supermarkets.

“I don’t think there’s any shortage of fresh tomatoes at all.”

Tomatoes which are sold fresh are generally grown indoors, while tomatoes for canning are grown outside.

“We’re getting to the end of tomato season.

“In terms of local outdoor production we’re pretty much running out of time to grow many more tomatoes.”

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