Massachusetts is the largest tomato producing state in New England, growing some 55 million pounds of tomatoes annually with a farm-gate value of $4.6 million. More than 550 acres are dedicated to tomato production in the Bay State which ranks 18th in tomato production nationally.
The annual Massachusetts Tomato Contest is sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture, the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Association, and the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers' Markets. The event kicks-off Massachusetts Farmers' Market Week and is now held in conjunction with the City Hall Plaza farmers' market.
Tomatoes from farms across Massachusetts regularly compete for top honors in the contest with more than 60 tomato entries for first, second, or third place tomato awards in the slicing, cherry and/or heirloom categories. Tomato trophies are awarded to the top three winners in each category and certificates are given to the top ten winners in each category.
A panel of judges, including food media, chefs and produce specialists, evaluates the entries from commercial growers on shape, color and flavor, with more value given to flavor.