Interview of Khorasan daily with Mahvand Khorasan’s CEO

Member of the Board of Directors of Khorasan Razavi Transformative Industries Association

Officials should not comment on the price of tomato paste out of their scope of expertise.

There has been a lot of talk about tomato and tomato paste prices in recent days. This crop expedited a sharp increase in prices last year due to a lack of planting and, on the other hand, the attractiveness of the export of raw fruit, which led to increase in prices.

This situation incurred damages to both the producer and the consumer of tomato paste.

Nowadays, there is a talk on decreasing the price of tomato and, on the other hand, the necessity of decreasing the price of tomato paste, in a way that the spokesman of State Ta’zirat Organization has pointed out extraordinary appealing, penalties and fines for offending producers.

This is while Khorasan Razavi Transformative Industries Association has a different view on this issue; because of this, we have referred to the board of directors for this purpose.

In response to the question “why the prices of tomato and tomato paste has experienced increases in prices last year?” Engineer Reza Babaei said: the increase in prices continued until the beginning of the harvest season of tomato fields in Khorasan province and Fars province which is mid-August of this year, but with the beginning of the harvest season and due to the increase in cultivated area and problems caused by the lack of export opportunities for tomato paste, the price of tomato this year decreased by an average of 8000 Rials.

Officials are not informed about the technical details.

In response to the question that the media and some officials are talking about the profitability of tomato paste production factories, and what is the opinion of the association? He said the attack on the profitability of tomato paste production factories has caused a disappointment to this class, and it is no surprise that officials who are working with ignorance of the technical details and misrepresentation of the cost price and selling prices of the producers cause dissatisfaction and discontent of the consumers and the cynicism and misconduct of the agencies concerned. The effects of these unrealistic comments will in the future affect manufacturers.

The above-named member of the board of the Khorasan Razavi Transformative Industries Association said: “there have been reports recently in the national media, 20:30 news and Radio Iran morning news, in which officials have stated that the price of 1 kilogram of tomato paste can ranges from 70000 to 100000 Rials, while the producers are selling it for up to 250,000 Rials, and the spokesman of the Ta’zirat organization acknowledges that these cases will be dealt with urgently and extraordinarily, and that offending producers will also be subject to penalties and fines.

He said that at present in stores and distribution centers, this product may be priced at between 160,000 Rials and 200,000 Rials, but this price relates to the production before the beginning of the tomato harvest season because at that time the cost price for the producer was about 120,000 Rials to 130,000 Rials. This product was in the warehouses of distribution centers, being sold now.

Engineer Babaei, pointing out that the board of directors of the Khorasan Razavi Transformative Industries Association reserves the right to respond to the maters and it rejects such talks in general, said: in proving this, we must declare that the cost price of tomato paste with all production costs ranges from 70,000 to 80,000 Rials and the average selling price is below 100,000 Rials and this association representing its about 50 members declare its readiness to deliver the product of 800 grams tomato paste cans to all centers for distribution and supply.

Home-made tomato paste versus industrial tomato paste:

On to answer the question of whether consumers are moving towards producing home-made tomato paste and some officials encouraging people to do it, and that whether home-made tomato paste has the same nutrition value of industrial tomato paste? He said: “in another report, people and consumers have been encouraged to produce home-made tomato paste to counteract the expensive price and profitability, but according to scientific researches, home-made tomato paste lacks any nutritional value due to direct heat processing.” Homemade tomato paste is practically like a trash of tomato that lacks the vitamins of A and C which are abundant in tomatoes. Whereas industrial tomato paste is produced at a temperature of 75°C under vacuum and this preserves the properties of tomatoes. However, it does not require any additives or preservatives when passing through standard machines during the pasteurization process.

He finally added that “given all the problems facing production and industry and in the year of boosting domestic production, officials are expected to avoid making unprofessional comments in the national media that create unfair environment and accusing producers of having unreasonable profitability and unfair profits. We wish that under the auspices of the Almighty, that industry will develop, and that producers can continue on their path to employment, exchange, and ultimately boost national benefits.