The Empire of Red Gold

The world’s most consumed fruit has an untold story. The industrialization of the humble tomato preceded the globalized economy that was to follow. It is now as much of a commodity as wheat, rice, or petrol. The tomato’s ability to create strongly identifiable products, such as ketchup, pizza sauce, soups, sauces, drinks or frozen dishes is unbeatable.

As early as 1897, ten years before Ford started to mass produce cars, Heinz was already converting tomatoes into standardized cans of puree. They were one of the first companies to understand the power of branding. They banned unions, imposed uniform standards of production and established genetic laboratories that ensured identical tomato plantations all around the world.

Today, wherever you are in the world, you can eat the same tomatoes. This film will trace the journey of tomato paste from Africa, Italy, China and America to show the consequences of this global business.


  • Year: 2017
  • Duration: 70 & 52 mins
  • Production: LITTLE BIG STORY
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France



  • Prix Tournesol du Documentaire Vert at Festival du Film Vert 2018 (Switzerland & France); Grand Prix - Prize of the Government of the Slovak Republic (Ekotop EnviroFilm Festival 2018, Slovak Republic); Honorable Mention in the ’Youth Award Section’, and International TV Award in the ’Documentaries & TV International Competition’ (Cine Eco Seia 2018, Portugal); Award of the Ministry of Agriculture (Life Sciences Film Festival 2018, Czech Rep.). Festivals Festival du Film Vert 2018 (Switzerland & France), Festival FreDD 2018 (Toulouse, France), Seoul Eco Film Festival 2018 (South Korea), Ekotop EnviroFilm Festival 2018 (Slovak Republic), Cinemambiente 2018 (Italy),DIG Awards 2018 (Italy), FINCA Buenos Aires 2018 (Argentina), NaturVision 2018 (Germany), Gödöllö International Nature Film Festival 2018 (Hungary), Festival Alimenterre 2018 (France & Belgium), Life After Oil International Film Festival 2018 (Italy), Matsalu Nature Film Festival 2018 (Estonia), Life Science Film Festival 2018 (Czech Rep.), Devour! Film Festival 2018 (Canada), Cine Eco Seia 2018 (Portugal), Festival International du Film sur l’Agriculture Biologique de Tokyo 2018 (Japan), Festival des Solidarités 2018 (Saint Etienne, France), Festival Ciné Attac Marsan 2019 (France), Sonoma International Film Festival 2019 (USA), Pelicam International Film Festival 2019 (Romania), Terra di Tutti Film Festival 2019 (Italy), Festival du Cinéma d’Attac 2019 (Belgium), Festival 8 Ambiente 2023 (Italy).

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