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"Florida tomato growers could hike prices, reduce choice"

In a time where everyone seems to agree that working together to bring high paying jobs to the U.S., manage inflation, and decrease the reasons why people would illegally migrate, it's incredible to see how the effort of a few wealthy growers in Florida could work against all this.

Since 1996, tomato growers in Mexico have been operating under a "Suspension Agreement," ensuring managed trade of fresh tomatoes from Mexico and enabling U.S. consumers to rely on high-flavor tomatoes in their grocery stores all year-round. Among other things, the suspension agreements have established a minimum price that makes sure there is no unfair competition, and that consumers and retailers can choose in a stable market. The agreements are reviewed every five years.

In 2019, there was an update, and it was welcomed because the proposal, "for the first time," had "useful suggestions on how to prevent circumvention." Frequent compliance reviews are performed by the Department of Commerce, quarterly inspection data is gathered from every signatory and by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, while the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Mexican government also monitor the agreement. The Department of Commerce has consistently determined that the agreement is "preventing price suppression or undercutting and can be effectively monitored." To put it very simply, the 2019 Tomatoes Suspension Agreement is working.

Why does this matter? The stability provided by the Suspension Agreement fuels growth in U.S.-based post-harvest industries such as logistics, transportation, warehousing, wholesale, retail, and foodservice. It fosters tens of thousands of jobs in United States and billions of dollars into the economies of Arizona and Texas, alone. All of this is driven by consumers having access to the tomatoes they prefer at a quality they expect, all year-round.


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