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"Argentina: "The great tomato conflict"

The Chamber of Food Products Manufacturers (CIPA) will visit the Ministry of Production to express the urgent need to implement measures to prevent the disappearance of the 35% of the country's producers, concentrated in Mendoza, San Juan, and La Rioja.

The executive director of CIPA, Marcelo Ceretti, said that they would meet with the Ministry of Production on March 7. "We were called to discuss a competitiveness agenda, but we are going to talk about the dire situation we're in because of the huge imports of tomatoes from Italy and corn from Brazil."

Since imports could cause the sector to lose 35% of its tomato producers, it will urge the government to set criterion values ​​for the country's imports (they currently don't exist and there may be dumping), that is to say, minimum reference prices; in addition to the temporary elevation of external tariffs. "The installed capacity is 60 percent and imports of canned teardrop tomatoes, in presentations of 2.5 kilos or less, grew by fifty times since 2015 and quadrupled between 2016 and 2017."

Last year, the General Directorate of Customs promised to establish the criterion values ​​in dollars. "We had been informed that it would be set at FOB US $ 0.78 per kilogram," Ceretti said. Meanwhile, the Tomate 2000 Association proposed "improving the levels of reimbursements in these products to improve export incentives. Especially for all the different exports of whole tomato, pasta, and tomato sauce products."

They also asked minister Francisco Cabrera so that the productive sector can have available financing to bridge the gap between the proposed technological package and what producers apply.


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