According to a consultant for the global food producer Heinz, tomato production in China has increased six-fold over the last three years, offering a significant threat to the comfortable Californian growers across the Pacific.Aided by food processing plants in and around tomato farms, annual production in China is expected to reach 2.5m tonnes over the next two to three years. In California, production was damaged in 1998 by floods and pest attacks, but recovered a year later to post a record high harvest of 12.2m tonnes. This year, only 9.5m tonnes are expected to be harvested, but many bulk paste and diced tomato suppliers have plans to increase plant capacity in 2001. With the current reduction in the Tri Valley's demand for raw product however,