Guernsey tomato farmer says industry has 'come to an end'

Guernsey tomato crate from the 50s Tony Le Page says the local tomato "has come to an end"

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Tomato grower Tony Le Page is shutting down his once prosperous farm as it is no longer financially sustainable.

Mr Le Page, from Petit Creux, Vale, said, "The Guernsey tom has come to an end."

He said the Guernsey tomato has been put under threat as supermarkets chose cheaper European farmers.

European growers have been offering cheaper products to UK stores, undercutting Guernsey growers by up to 20%, he said.

Through the 1950s and 1960s over half of the population worked inside the greenhouses that took up 7% of the surface area of the island, but only a few tomato growers remain.

Sue Seabrook, from M&S Seabrook at Lanbury Nursery, said a suggestion that the greenhouses should remain and farmers help make the island self-sufficient was "romantic".

She said the situation was "very sad" but that growing food commercially was no longer possible.

"What you pay in the supermarket is not what growers get," Mrs Seabrook said.

The Guernsey Growers' co-operative, which represents the growers' interests, would not comment on the future of growers.

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