Is the Tomatina a waste of tomatoes?

Starting at 10.45 am on Wednesday, 22,000 people had a tomato war with 150,000 kilos of the vegetable in Buñol, a Valencian town, to celebrate La Tomatina. The popular festival is 70 years old, and to mark the event the volume of tomatoes was increased by 29,000 kilos compared to 2014. The ammunition is supplied by Cetrimed, a producer of fruits and vegetables based in La Llosa, Castellon, which has been providing its surplus tomatoes to this popular celebration for over a decade.

Some people on social media argue about the potential waste that such a festival can entail.

"For two weeks, we keep the tomatoes that do not meet the requirements for the domestic market in cold storage," explains Javier Mechó, head of the company, to the newspaper EL PAÍS. The parameters referred to are related to size and maturity level. Tomatoes of the Pear variety which are smaller or a little softer are those which will end up in one of the six trucks from which the tomatoes are thrown during La Tomatina. "Some of them rot, but most arrive under the conditions required for the festival," he points out; that is, soft enough for them not to hurt anybody.

Mechó explains that thanks to the agreement reached between Cetrimed and Buñol, all the surplus that used to be thrown away in the past is now used at the festival. "Furthermore, it is beneficial for the company, because it gives us more work," concludes Machó.

Source: EL PAÍS

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