For the first time we’ve com­pleted a full sup­ply chain from pad­dock to re­gion ’ plate within the lo­cal Kagome has gone lo­cal in toma­toes

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

JA­SON Fritsch is the Willy Wonka of toma­toes.

He is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Kagome, the largest to­mato pro­cess­ing fac­tory in Aus­tralia.

Every year the Echuca-based fac­tory pro­cesses about 250,000 tonnes of lo­cally grown toma­toes and turns them into purees, pastes, sauces and other to­mato prod­ucts.

Last week the fac­tory be­gan a part­ner­ship with their next-door neigh­bour Cadell Trad­ing Food Ser­vices, which will di­rectly dis­trib­ute Kagome prod­ucts to lo­cal busi­nesses.

“For the first time we’ve com­pleted a full sup­ply chain from pad­dock to plate within the lo­cal re­gion,” Ja­son said.

“We’re sup­port­ing to­mato grow­ers in the re­gion, man­u­fac­tur­ing those toma­toes here lo­cally at Kagome and dis­tribut­ing through Cadell to lo­cal restau­rants, pubs and clubs.”

Lo­cals who or­der a parma at their lo­cal pub can ex­pect in­gre­di­ents de­liv­ered by Cadell and John Bull to­mato sauce made by Kagome.

‘‘We are the base on your pizza, we are the mari­nara on your Sub­way sand­wich,’’ Ja­son said.

“It’s a unique story in this day and age and we want peo­ple to be aware that this really good prod­uct is be­ing grown, made and dis­trib­uted here lo­cally.”

The idea for the part­ner­ship be­gan when Cadell staff mem­bers were in­vited for a tour of the Kagome fac­tory.

Golden ticket win­ner and Cadell sales man­ager Shane Howe said he was im­pressed by the cut­ting edge to­mato tech­nol­ogy.

“They can trace a bin of toma­toes back to a spe­cific pad­dock, it’s in­cred­i­ble.”

Shane said the new part­ner­ship was their way of keep­ing jobs in the re­gion and help­ing lo­cal busi­nesses.

“We’re very mind­ful of what hap­pens in a small town if you don’t keep the in­dus­try alive – just look at what’s hap­pened in Rochester,” he said.

“Here in Echuca we’ve got a man­u­fac­turer that em­ploys a lot of lo­cals and we are a lo­cal dis­trib­u­tor that is owned and op­er­ated by lo­cals.

“It doesn’t hap­pen much in this day and age and it’s good to see lo­cal busi­nesses sup­port­ing one an­other and sup­port­ing the com­mu­nity.’’

Ja­son Fritsch, Kagome PAD­DOCK TO PLATE: Cadell sales man­ager Shane Howe and Kagome chief ex­ec­u­tive Ja­son Fritsch with a box of John Bull to­mato pouches and pic­tured right Holly Evans in the Kagome pad­docks where the process be­gins.

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