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Snapshot - Geraldton Tomato Industry

Published on Tuesday, 21 February 2023 at 11:46:23 AM

Geraldton Tomato Industry

War & water threatened tomato industry. 

Tomatoes in Geraldton have been growing for over a century at least; the industry however picked up in the early 1900’s, and reached its first peak in 1934-1935, yielding a total of £50,000 with over £30,000 of which was earned outside the State. The industry faced challenges soon in the same year with inadequate water being serviced to the tomato farming triangle of Woorree, to Wonthella, and out to Bluff Point. 

The industry, nonetheless, continued to grow whilst yet facing another crisis in the 1940’s - when Australia declared war on Italy; causing farmers to be held in custody. Many of the residents in Woorree were of Italian heritage, producing most of the tomatoes in the state. After careful consideration, half of those detained were released to continue their work in the farming industry but with almost little to no assistance with the labour of the work entailed.  

Woorree Tomato Growers are featured in ‘War Years Drive Trail’ available for purchase at Geraldton Regional Library.  

 Snapshots is an initiative of the Geraldton Regional Library. For more information, or to donate a historical photo or slide to the Library, contact Heritage Services at the Geraldton Regional Library on 9956 6659 or 


Photo Caption: Tomato Industry in Geraldton (P 1174 – P 1176) Courtesy of Kenneth Allen. 

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