Who knew that tomatoes could be the next big threat to the Indian economy? Move over oil prices and currency fluctuations, it’s time for the humble tomato to take center stage! 🍅💰 With prices skyrocketing to record highs, it’s no wonder that politicians are on high alert. It could destabilise governments! After all, we all know the power of the tomato – it’s the holy trinity of Indian cooking, the base for curries, and the key ingredient in most Indian side dishes.
Sadly, the situation is no more a laughing matter. The inflated prices of this vegetable (technically a fruit), are having far-reaching consequences on small businesses in the agri-food sector.
1. 💲Increased costs: Small businesses that rely on tomatoes as a key ingredient in their products (for eg., ketchup manufacturers) have seen a significant increase in their costs. The rise in tomato prices has made it difficult for them to maintain their profit margins. Increasing the prices of their products could lead to reduced demand. Classic catch-22!
2. 📉Reduced profits: To protect sales, these agri-food SMEs are absorbing the higher costs of tomato procurement and not passing them on to their customers. The result is profit margin erosion. It is too early to tell, but we bet that there will be cash flow problems for these SMEs, at least in the short term.
3. 👩🍳Supply chain disruptions for restaurants: Even if it is possible for some restaurants to absorb the increase in cost of tomatoes, there is no guarantee that they are able to procure good-quality tomatoes in the market. The tomato supply chain is in disarray leading to delays in production and delivery. We won’t be surprised if your favourite burger joint rations those ketchup sachets! 🍔
4. 🤼♂️ Increased Competition: The result of the above three issues?? SME food businesses that are unable to absorb the increased cost of tomatoes may get squashed (we couldn’t resist the pun!) by larger businesses that have more resources to manage the price surge.
But fear not, because every crisis presents an opportunity. Perhaps it’s time to pivot to a new business model – tomato farming, anyone? Or maybe we can start a new trend of tomato-less curries and revolutionize the Indian culinary scene. As they say, when life gives you lemons (instead of tomatoes), make lemonade (instead of ketchup)! 🍋
In all seriousness, though, the soaring prices of tomatoes are a reminder of the fragility of our food supply chain and the need for sustainable agricultural practices. Let’s hope that this tomato crisis serves as a wake-up call for all of us to take action to create a more resilient and equitable food system!
PS: Why did the tomato prices turn red?
Because they wanted to ‘ketchup’ with rising food inflation and make some saucy profits. 😉
Peace out! ✌️