From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, May 15, 1941

The Need of Grading And Packing of Tomatoes

One of the largest buyers of tomatoes in the United States had a representative in Oneonta last Thursday. He was here with a representative from Auburn in view of getting the tomato growers together in the near future to discuss the best marketing methods for Blount County tomatoes.

This buyer said that Blount County tomatoes compared favorably with those grown in any part of the United States, but the fact that they weren’t properly prepared for the market was placing a heavy penalty on the tomato growers.

He said that the price of No. 1 tomatoes in a bushel of field run tomatoes would bring more if graded and packed, than the whole bushel would bring if sold in bulk. Besides, the grower would have the No.2 and No. 3 grades left to sell at a slightly lower price.

His company will buy all tomatoes that are sound and at the right stage, but they must be graded and properly prepared for the market.

Blount County has the soil and the climate for growing tomatoes and the next thing is the proper handling so that the benefit of the difference in price can be paid to the growers and not all the profit passed on to the middle man.

A Tomato Growers Association is the best and only way that this can be accomplished and there is no time like the present. Blount County has already given too many fine tomatoes away. It is not too late to have this tomato association operating in time to handle this year’s crop if the work is started right away.