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Commodity chains basically reveal a lot about the worldwide organization of production, and more so the worldwide economy and consequently represent a remarkable field of exploration that has so far to be totally regarded by the transport geographers. Apparently, the full understanding of the importance of product chains involves an inclusive approach given that they comprise much further than plain transport thoughtfulness; a massive amount of activities are usually involved. Tomato is a major commodity that’s is consumed in large amounts throughout the world and it has many uses ranging from salads, tomato juice drinks, in pizza, pasta sauces, gazpacho to being consumed as a vegetable and it has numerous nutritious and medicinal values. The production of tomato is either in two ways whereby its either through the organic or conventional method and both processes are aimed at producing tomato for public consumption. Therefore the tomato chain analysis will entail all the processes and actors which contribute in the instigation of the product consumed by the market and they include a series of procedures ranging from removal of the raw materials, assemblage of intermediary goods, to even the supply to the consumption markets.
There are different types of tomatoes suited for each form of farming method, for instance, the genetically engineered seeds are commonly used during the convectional farming method while the traditional seeds are applied in organic farming technique. Moreover, the climate will be another factor which will determine the tomato varieties which are much suited for specific area like heirloom and seasonal hybrids which take close to 80 days before harvesting. Even though many people argue that the organic tomato production is mainly a small scale approach but recently many food and vegetables production companies in Arizona are turning into commercial scale tomato production through the organic method. Organic farming of tomatoes requires raw materials such as an organic fertile farming field, water, planting seeds, and a labor force that’s conversant with farming.
Discovering the best tomato varieties for an organic garden is always a challenge, but the climate and individual taste always play an important part in farmer’s decisions. Some of the varieties which can be used in tomato farming include flamenco, moneymaker, and hybrids like big beef, and majority of the heirloom varieties. Since majority of farmers who employ organic farming technique are the small scaled ones, they tend to plant tomatoes for local consumptions in mainly cooking. Nevertheless, some corporate societies have embarked on green house tomato production and employing the organic farming technique thus growing them under a controlled environment (Aubrey 2013).
The two types of vine found in tomatoes are applicable in both forms of farming, in organic, the determinate varieties of tomatoes are used whereas in conventional method the indeterminate varieties are mainly. Since the large tomato production companies in Arizona are after making financial gains, they tend to plant the indeterminate seed varieties as they keep on producing throughout the season unless stopped. The local farmers turn to the determinate tomato seeds since they have limited resources for maintaining the plants healthy for the rest of the season (How to Grow Tomatoes: Organic Gardening n.d.).
The tomato plantation is located in the area surrounding Tucson city in the larger Arizona state and the community based agricultural society which was involved in production of tomatoes through the organic farming technique is called the Tucson Farmers Society. There are several reasons or rather factors which drew the farming society into establishing a farm in the city of Tucson and one of the major reason is that the metropolitan has close to 989,569 populace as of 2011 and this set of population provides a greater market opportunity for the farm product. Moreover, with such like population quantity, the labor force would be readily available during the farming period and also harvesting. The region has temperate winters and hot summers and more so it is always wetter and cooler due to its upper elevation or rather altitude. Even though it receives rainfall of about 229.7 mm annually, it has a soaring evapotranspiration but the overall environmental condition is quite favorable for tomato growth (Tucson QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau n.d.).
The marketing strategies of the society made it suitable to be established in Tucson since the city had similar amble and accommodating environment which would enable proper implementation of all its strategies. The society aimed at adopting a market-leaning pricing strategy and also competition-oriented pricing. The metropolitan has a median family income of $37,344 and this would form a strong financial basis and advantage to the family. Furthermore the families living below the poverty line are minimal about 13.7%, thus the income flow in the region is stable thus forming a strong market for the commodity.
The site of the plantation which was selected had a properly drained soil and in the organic field the manures used was only of the organic nature like turkey or chicken manure, blood meal and cottonseed meal were applied to provide the plants with nitrogen. The conventional approach of farming would on the other hand use synthetic fertilizers. Once the plants have grown, the pesticides applied in the tomato plantation was the javelin WG Biological insecticide and dusting sulfur whereas in the conventional farms there is intensive use of chemical insecticides such as mustang, herbicides like Gramoxone max, and fungicides like cumulus DF (How to Grow Tomatoes: Organic Gardening n.d.).
The Tucson society majorly employed or rather used manual labor in all their processes like planting, weeding, pruning, and even harvesting and it is in the spraying of herbicides and insecticides were there was the use of knapsack spray machines. The main reason the farm went for manual labor source was due to limited capital resources and also it was a small scale project which didn’t require mechanical labor sources. The salary and working conditions were as per the requirements of the federal regulations and the employees were offered benefits like healthcare and overtime allowances. Contrary, even though the conventional tomato producing company in the state occasionally employed manual labor sources but it had mechanized several of its processes, for instance, there was the use of a tractor planter and motorized pesticide and insecticide sprayer applied during the farming process. The company has been in the tomato production business for over a decade now and therefore it has a strong capital base as well as market share but it usually offered low wages rates and minimal allowances.
The intended market or rather consumer was the local based since the society’s main objective was to ensure that the local Tucson community had enough supply of tomato products. In addition, the production was in small scale therefore it couldn’t cover a large market. However, the conventional tomato production companyin the state of Arizona had farfetched objectives in its production circles since apart from the local market it also produced for export markets. The firm’s plantation was extensive covering about 2,400 acres of land some of which were under green houses while others were open. Moreover, the company was situated near the Tucson International Airport therefore there was faster and effective transport strategy and this ensured that the product reaches its destination in time. The Tucson Society farm on the other hand made use of local transport media like vans and Lorries in supplying of the product.
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