U.S. Department of Commerce Secures Updated Tomato Suspension Agreement

After the urging from the Florida Tomato Exchange, the U.S. Department of Commerce ended the current tomato suspension agreement in February. An updated suspension agreement was announced on August 21 after months of harrowing negotiations with the Mexican industry.

Upon news of the announcement, Florida Farm Bureau President John L. Hoblick stated, “The enhanced enforcement measures and raised price floors in the new agreements provide the best chance for a level playing field for our Florida growers. We are grateful for the work by our trade officials.”

The new agreement includes the following minimum prices for certain categories of Mexican tomatoes imported into the United States:

  • rounds and romas – $0.31/lb.,
  • stem-on tomatoes – $0.46/lb.,
  • tomatoes on the vine – $0.50/lb.,
  • specialty loose tomatoes – $0.49/lb.,
  • specialty packed tomatoes –  $0.59/lb.,
    organic tomatoes – 40% over non-organics.

The agreement also mandates a high percentage of inspections of the Mexican product entering U.S. territory. This is a stipulation not realized in previous agreements.

President Hoblick also added, “I hope the new accords helps us move toward an overall solution for our seasonal and perishable producers…the safety and stability of our domestic food supply is too important to compromise any further.”

Read the Florida Farm Bureau press release.

Read the Department of Commerce announcement.