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Tomato Paste export, challenges, and opportunities

Seamerco research team wrote this article


Tomato paste is one of the most popular food seasonings in the world, with an annual consumption of 40 million tons. The consumption of tomato paste has a unique range of consumers, from factories that produce food products to restaurant &home foods. Because of increasing in global demand, the export of tomato paste has constantly increased. Germany, Japan, France, and England are the largest importers of tomato paste in the world and the countries of America, Italy, Spain, and China are also the largest exporters of this popular product. With the increasing demand for high-quality tomato paste worldwide, exporting can create new opportunities and increase your income. However, navigating the complexities of international markets requires a strategic approach. From researching target markets and understanding regulations to establishing distribution networks and building solid relationships, there are essential factors to consider. In this article, we review the conditions of the global export of tomato paste and its challenges and opportunities.

Influential factors in tomato paste export conditions:

Several factors play an essential role in determining the export conditions of tomato paste. Ensuring compliance with these factors is critical to ensure smooth trade and avoid any possible obstacles or rejections at customs. From quality standards to packaging and labeling requirements, price determination at various stages of export from the purchase of raw materials, the final price after production, and the selling price at the time of export, as well as the amount of supply, demand and the feasibility of transportation factors that are effective in export conditions tomato paste.

Quality of tomato paste:

The quality of your tomato paste is essential when it comes to export. Different countries and regions have different quality standards and certifications that must be met. These standards may include factors such as tomato solids concentration, absence of additives, and pH level. Carrying out thorough quality control measures is essential to ensure that your product meets the specifications required for export. In addition, it is vital to understand the taste preferences of your target market’s food culture. Some regions prefer a sweeter taste, while others prefer a more acidic taste. Adapting your product to the importance of the destination market can significantly increase your export opportunities. Doing taste test and getting feedback from potential customers can help tailor your product to their preferences.

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Competitive pricing in the export of tomato paste:

Competitive pricing of tomato paste is crucial for international market success. Various factors should be considered when determining the pricing strategy for exports. A thorough cost analysis is essential for deciding the pricing strategy for exporting tomato paste. This analysis should include manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and any additional costs associated with export requirements. It is essential to consider all costs to ensure profitability while remaining competitive.

Supply and Demand:

Since tomato paste is one of the most popular products in the food industry and is used in preparing various foods and sauces, the demand in international market is extreme. Factors such as population growth, increasing attention to health and nutrition, improving urban life, and increasing the desire to use ready-made food products increase the demand for tomato paste. At the same time, the supply of tomato paste also significantly impacts the market. Tomato paste is produced in different countries,  climate, weather conditions, production technology, and production costs determine its quality & price. Also, international trade and import of tomato paste play an essential role in the supply of this product.

Business rules and regulations:

Exporting tomato paste involves a set of documents and procedures that must be followed carefully. Familiarity with these requirements ensures a smooth export process and avoids any delays or rejections at customs. Records required for exporting tomato paste may include commercial invoices, packing lists, certificates of origin, and health certificates. These documents provide proof of origin, quality, and conformity of your product. Ensuring that all records are accurate, complete and follow the destination country’s regulations is essential.


Transportation and logistics play an essential role in the export of tomato paste. It is necessary to choose the correct transportation method and ensure the proper conditions of the product warehouse and storage to maintain the quality and freshness of tomato paste. The choice of mode of transportation depends on various factors such as distance to destination, cost considerations, and urgency of delivery. Generally, tomato paste is shipped by sea or air transportation. Sea shipping is more cost-effective for large shipments, while air shipping is faster and more suitable for smaller loads.

Challenges and obstacles of tomato export:

Like any other industry, exporting tomato paste faces challenges and obstacles can affect its prosperity and success. These challenges result from the expansion of the tomato paste export market because different countries follow the production and export of this product. Competing with other producers and entering new markets requires competitive, solid strategies, which clearly shows the importance of knowing the challenges of tomato export. The challenges of production and quality, packaging, and marketing are the most important chapters of this discussion.

Production and quality challenges:

Producing high-quality tomato paste and international standards are essential issues in exporting. Ensuring the supply of quality raw materials, using the right technology in production, observing sanitary procedures, and optimizing production processes can help improve product quality and increase customer satisfaction. However, whether the produced quality satisfies the customers is always challenging.

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Quality control in the production process:

One of the primary challenges in tomato paste production is quality control in the production process. This includes selecting high-quality raw materials, using appropriate equipment, technologies in production, applying health and safety standards. To meet this challenge, it is necessary to set up an effective quality control system and continuously evaluate and improve the production process.

Health and nutrition standards:

Each country may set standards for importing tomato paste. These standards include health and nutrition restrictions, minimum amounts of active ingredients, traceability and information on packaging, and more. Compliance with these standards and regulations may require changes in the production process, selection of raw materials, and proper packaging.

Maintaining freshness and quality over time:

Tomato paste may undergo a long-term export process. For this reason, maintaining the freshness and quality of the product over time is a significant challenge. For this purpose, proper preservation methods such as pasteurization, natural or chemical preservatives, and proper packaging should be used.

Stable supply of tomato paste:

Customers who go to traders to import tomato paste are often afraid of balancing supply and demand in seasons when there are no tomatoes to turn into tomato paste. In fact, due to the seasonality of tomato cultivation, the constant supply of tomato paste for distribution in import markets is one of the most critical challenges of tomato paste export. To overcome this challenge, professional suppliers, considering the same quality of the raw material (tomatoes) are purchased from different climates so that the production is stable and constant.

The packaging challenge:

Packaging is one of the essential factors in the export of tomato paste. Due to the longtime of transporting products to other countries and the need to maintain quality and freshness of the product, proper packaging is critical.

Maintaining quality and freshness:

One of the main challenges in tomato paste packaging is maintaining the quality and freshness of the product during the export period. This product is vulnerable to light, heat, humidity, and impact. Therefore, packaging should be done in such a way that the quality and properties of the product are maintained with no damage or failure occurs.

Compliance with standards:

To export tomato paste, it is necessary that the packaging conforms to international standards. These standards include the type and material of packaging, labeling, information on the package, weight, and dimensions of the box, and others. Please comply with the relevant standards to ensure the product is accepted in the target markets.

New technology:

Using modern and appropriate packaging technologies can help improve the packaging process. Among the technologies used in packaging tomato paste, we can mention automatic packaging machines, the use of durable and resistant packaging films, and new packaging techniques. These technologies improve the efficiency & quality of packaging and thus contribute to export success.

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Marketing Challenge:

Like any other industry and trade, tomato paste trade and export can face various challenges in the way of marketing. Marketing challenges are particularly complicated due to the wide range of markets and business conditions. Among the marketing challenges are identifying target markets and setting prices and issues related to international trade and standards, which are detailed below.

Market analysis and goal setting:

Exporting tomato paste to different countries requires a detailed market analysis. Understanding the needs, tastes, and standards of other markets and determining practical marketing goals are among the business challenges in this field. To face this challenge, conducting proper marketing research and adjusting marketing and sales strategies to specific marketing objectives is necessary.

Price regulation and price competitiveness:

Product pricing in foreign markets may challenge tomato paste producers. Competition with other local and foreign manufacturers, appropriate pricing, and offering acceptable offers to customers are important factors in setting prices and competing in the global market. To face this challenge, it is necessary to determine the appropriate pricing strategy and consider other factors such as reducing costs, increasing productivity, and providing products with high-added value.

International Trade Laws:

Exporting tomato paste to foreign markets is associated with international trade issues. This includes financial and foreign exchange issues, tariffs and trade restrictions, import regulations, standards, and transportation problems. To deal with this challenge, it is necessary to examine the trade regulations with the destination countries carefully, establish effective communication with the relevant authorities, provide accurate and up-to-date information about trade regulations and standards, and analyze transportation methods to reduce the cost and delivery time of products.

Quality and standards:

International markets often require products with high quality and standards. In this case, tomato paste is also very sensitive. Ensuring the quality of products and complying with health, quality, and technical standards in producing tomato paste is of great importance. To meet this challenge, it is necessary to ensure substantial quality control processes and standards management for acceptable products.

Opportunities in tomato export:

Exporting tomato paste is an excellent opportunity to develop business and create economic independence in the agricultural industry. This activity can directly and indirectly increase income, create employment, and bring about the region’s economic development.

Increasing income: Exporting tomato paste to global markets can increase producers’ revenue and market share. International markets often require high quality and standards of tomato paste, and producers can use this opportunity to increase their income and enter new markets.

Creation of employment: Importing tomato paste can lead to jobs in various fields. From tomato production to paste processing and packaging, these activities require skilled labor and plenty of staffing. In this way, exporting tomato paste can facilitate job creation at the local and regional levels.

Economic development: By developing the export of tomato paste, it is possible to help the economic development and growth of the agricultural industry and related industries. Increasing the production and processing of tomatoes, creating a supply chain of raw materials and developing secondary sectors such as packaging, transportation, agricultural equipment, etc., will cause economic development and create added value in this industry. Exporting tomato paste to new & foreign markets provides business development and expansion opportunities. Due to the increasing awareness of customers worldwide about the benefits of consuming tomato paste, entering foreign markets can help develop exports and promote the brand.

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The successful export of tomato paste requires careful examination of the factors affecting export conditions. Every element determines your success in the international market, from quality requirements and packaging regulations to market analysis & pricing strategies. Despite government regulations and trade barriers, the future outlook for tomato paste exports remains promising despite the challenges posed by government regulations and trade barriers. With this, the only way to be successful in the production and export of tomato paste is to use technologies in line with the production and export capacity.

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