Tomato Processing: How to Start Tomato Paste Business

agriculture small business

Tomatoes are one of the most used farm produce in culinary applications. Operating a paste processing company is highly profitable, moderately challenging. They have good economic importance and huge employer of labor.

To run a factory you need semi-automated or automated machinery, factory workers, driver, cleaner, and receptionist. A properly run paste production company will make good profit.

How we eat them

They are a popular ingredient in salads, meals, stews and soups. We dry them make into pastes or puree, eaten raw or used as spicing. Products made from tomatoes are ketchup, pulp, puree, sauce and juice.

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Steps to Start Tomato paste Production

  1. Write a business plan
  2. Carry out a feasibility study
  3. Secure funding
  4. Register the business
  5. Find a good location
  6. Setup the factory
  7. Purchase equipment
  8. Hire staff
  9. Purchase raw material
  10. Produce the paste
  11. Marketing


The amount needed to start an average factory is huge. You need fund to buy the raw n=materials, transportation, salaries, equipment, marketing. Approach a microfinance or commercial bank for loans. Other funding sources are venture capital, angel investors, crowd funding, grants.

Write a Business Plan

Write a tomato paste production business plan and carry out a feasibility study. Then network with tomato farmers find factory location. Things to consider are source of produce, utilities, distance from market. Hire factory workers, purchase equipment, register the business.

Factory location

The factory should have adequate space for production, a frontoffice. Find a location close to market or raw materials. Make sure the factory has adequate utilities like electricity and water. If the location is in a rural area employ local indigenes to encourage job creation and local content.

Register the Company

Register the paste making company as a LLC and get insurance. Apply for trade license and tax identification number. There are health and safety rules, permits and value added tax.

Tomato Production plant

A standardized paste production plant is capital intensive. There are locally fabricated and automated machinery. Tomatoes paste production machinery include separator, canner, weighing scale, pasteurizing tank. Others are canning equipment, pulper, pasteurizer, extractors.

Marketing Tomato Paste

The industry is highly competitive with many established brands. To compete favorably you need huge capital to penetrate the market. Other provisions are branding, quality products, adequate pricing.

The business plan will determine the customer base. The company may cater to domestic or international market. Position the product through intensive marketing and public awareness. Make sure the product has identification number, brand name good quality control.

Use good packaging, standardization and pricing. Make sure the packaging, brand name is easily identified. Packaging considerations include tin, bottle, nylon.

Advertise in television, radio and print. Print flyers, billboards, business card, signboards. Sponsor local events, attend trade shows, television programs. Showcase the product on your website, use social media channels.


The processed products are found in soups, stews and various dishes. Common products made from tomatoes are tomato sauce, puree, pulp, juice and ketchup.

Manufacturing companies package their products in cans, nylons, bottles, drums and glass. The packaging is vacuum sealed and sterilized for longer shelf life of the products.

To start a small scale tomato processing company you need to choose a niche. Focus on a single item and slowly grow your inventory. Luckily the machines used in the processing of tomato can handle multiple product types.

Popularity of the tomato product depends on the type of concentrate, taste and acceptability. Entrepreneurs should invest in product development, packaging, and branding.

During the developmental stages the product goes through sampling, testing and standardization.  Although the market is hugely there is room for small business and large manufacturers.

 The production process of various tomato products is simple and easy to learn. The size and scope of your business depends on the type of machinery, space and functionality.

Things to consider when starting a processing plant are funding, equipment, factory space and trained staff. Here are a few tomato processing business ideas for small businesses.

Common Tomato Products


Ketchup is produced with ingredients such as pepper, spices, sugar, salt and ripe tomatoes.  To produce ketchup you need to wash, cut, trim and steam ripe tomato. Then apply heat to achieve a soft consistency.

Tomato Juice

To produce tomato juice it goes through a pulping machine to separates the skin and seed. It is then heated to obtain the juice, bottled or canned. Tomato juice is further processed to get tomato paste or pulp.

Other common products obtained from tomatoes are puree and tomato sauce. The different products need to pass mandatory provisions such as solid content. 

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