The ideas and information contained in this module are primarily directed at local government management and staff, particularly those who supervise or direct tourism activity in their municipalities.
Tom-ay-to,, tom-ar-to - however you say it, Simply Tomatoes are an Australian success story. From a family farm in Boort, Victoria, now exporting to the far reaches of the Middle East and beyond, Marilyn Lanyon's green tomato business is growing exponentially thanks to the quality of the product and her relentless pursuit of identifying opportunities for new growth.
Victoria's Commissioner for Environment Sustainability, Kate Auty, toured the state's northwest recently.
"I believe in the Middle East market is perfect for our product. Middle Easterner's taste buds take well to Simply Green Tomatoes. When they taste it, they immediately like it."
Marilyn and Ian Lanyon are the owners and creators of Simply Tomatoes, a business specialising in gourmet marinated green tomaotes. Marilyn and Ian have not always produced this niche product, but were once one of the largest processing tomato growers in Australia.
A humble tomato producer from Boort in central Victoria has value-added her tomatoes into an antipasto product and is selling it to 22 countries around the world. Marilyn Lanyon has been growing tomatoes from processing since 1978, but in 2002 she created Simply Green Tomatoes - a concept where she picks the tomatoes green, soaks them in brine, olive oil, herbs and garlic.
Just five years ago Marilyn Lanyon's farm was facing a disastrous future, with some inspired lateral thinking, she was able to convert a problem into an opportunity.
Tomatoes to woollen quilts might be a stretch for most but for Boort farmers Marilyn and Ian Lanyon the connection is clear - both require a sharp business mind.