Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

NatureSweet submits support for preserving Tomato Suspension Agreement

With broad support from tomato producers, trade associations, state and local leaders, and beyond, NatureSweet has submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce, strongly urging the government to preserve the 2019 Tomato Suspension Agreement.

A small group of domestic tomato producers is petitioning the Department of Commerce to terminate a longstanding trade agreement between the United States and importers of fresh tomatoes from Mexico. The Tomato Suspension Agreement, which has been in place in various forms since 1996 and was most recently renegotiated in 2019, ensures fair trade practices and a stable market for imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico to the United States. Without the 2019 Suspension Agreement in place, NatureSweet, headquartered in Texas, and countless other companies would face tariffs of more than 20 percent on the import of fresh tomatoes into the United States.

“The suspension agreement is critical to keeping specialty tomato varieties on American grocery store shelves,” says Skip Hulett, vice president of general counsel for NatureSweet. “Nearly all of the grape and cherry tomatoes consumed by American families come from Mexico, where growing conditions are ideal for year-round production.”

NatureSweet has been producing produce for more than 30 years. The company has operations in both the United States and Mexico and employs more than 6,000 agricultural workers. Terminating the suspension agreement would not only impact its ability to provide fresh produce to Americans, but it would also jeopardize jobs and the company’s ability to continue transforming the lives of agricultural workers in North America.

“We provide year-round jobs, pay our employees almost 40 percent above the median wage for agricultural workers, we help our workers obtain access to improved medical care services, education and develop careers,” adds Hulett. “This tariff would punish companies like ours, which are doing the right thing.”

In a compliance audit released this month, the Department of Commerce found zero consequential violations of the agreement by importers of fresh tomatoes. Recently, a coalition of more than 400 companies across the supply chain representing 32 states signed a letter to the Commerce Department urging the Department to keep the agreement in place. NatureSweet will continue to partner with industry leaders to encourage Commerce to reach a resolution that allows economies on both sides of the border to continue thriving.

For more information:
Jenny Halpin
[email protected]

Publication date: