FPAA Releases Initial Reaction to Proposed Tomato Trade Deal
February 4, 2013- The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) said today that while the U.S. distributors and allied partners welcomed the prospect of a renewed tomato trade deal, the prices called for in the agreement that was reached this weekend are not reasonable and will have a negative impact on U.S. consumers and workers.
"For months, we have been urging the U.S. Commerce Department to continue the U.S.-Mexico tomatoes suspension agreement, which has brought peace and stability to the U.S. market for fresh vegetable for 16 years," said Lance Jungmeyer, President of FPAA. "But this agreement goes well beyond what is needed, raises prices unacceptably and is not what distributors had in mind."
Previous price increases negotiated in 1998, 2002 and 2008 were more reasonable for the U.S. tomato buyer to absorb, Jungmeyer said. "This new deal goes past protecting the U.S. Industry from injury. For months, the Florida growers have been pushing the U.S. Government to close the market to tomato imports from Mexico, even though this position is not justified by the facts. I can only predict that these prices will lock a big portion of Mexican production out of the market. That will serve no one other than the self-serving interests of an inefficient Florida industry. It will not benefit consumers, or the thousands of workers whose lives depend on trade with Mexico. It will also be a thorn in the side of U.S.-Mexican relations for years to come."
About the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas:
The FPAA is a nonprofit trade association headquartered in Nogales, Arizona, that represents over 120 U.S. member companies involved in growing, packing, sales and transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Mexico. The FPAA leverages the efforts of private companies and partner-associations to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetable from Mexico. Produce from Mexico accounts for approximately 37 percent of fruit and vegetable consumption in the U.S. during the winter months. The Mariposa Port of Entry located in Nogales, Arizona, is the largest port of entry for fresh produce imported into the U.S. from Mexico.
CONTACT: Lance Jungmeyer, 520-287-2707