This is advice for a very specific tomato grower: one growing tomatoes in a poly tunnel in bottomless pots over growing bags, with a drip irrigation, which is called ring culture, in a climate where the sunlight is weak. If you are that brand of tomato grower, and you can understand a deeply British provincial accent, the watch Steve Ott, editor of Kitchen Garden, in this short video (1:34) showing how he tears leaves off tomato plants.
You have to make sure that the tomato fruits are getting enough sunlight, so strip off the lower stems to let in the sunlight. Don’t tear off too many, though. The leaves are where the tomato plants manufacture their food. The plants in the video are Roma tomatoes. This plum tomato is good for soups and sauces, says Steve.