The Empire of Red Gold
The world’s most consumed fruit has an untold story. The industrialization of the humble tomato preceded the globalized economy that was to follow. It is now as much of a commodity as wheat, rice, or petrol. The tomato’s ability to create strongly identifiable products, such as ketchup, pizza sauce, soups, sauces, drinks or frozen dishes is unbeatable. As early as 1897, ten years before Ford started to mass produce cars, Heinz was already converting tomatoes into standardized cans of puree. They were one of the first companies to understand the power of branding. They banned unions, imposed uniform standards of production and established genetic laboratories that ensured identical tomato plantations all around the world. Today, wherever you are in the world, you can eat the same tomatoes. This film will trace the journey of tomato paste from Africa, Italy, China and America to show the consequences of this global business.