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Tomato Suspension Agreement – Ongoing Talks

The Tomato Suspension talks between Florida and Mexican leaders are ongoing, and there has been plenty of speculation to talk about, but nothing is concrete as of yet, leading to much confusion and worry in the industry.

On one side, negotiations are still ongoing, and many believe that this is a good thing and believe that a new agreement will be reached.

When asked about predicting a successful negotiation, James Munguia from Del Campo Supreme stated “I do believe a new agreement will be reached. It’s in the best interest of everyone.”

He noted that many Florida-based growers have agreements with growers in Mexico or even own their own production.

“Some members of the FTE (Florida Tomato Exchange) are invested in Mexico or dependent of the tomatoes grown there. If they (FTE) are not growing their own tomatoes in Mexico, they are purchasing tomatoes grown in Mexico,” Munguia said.

The same thought seems to resonate among other companies whom we’ve spoken to about a possible new agreement being reached.

Jamy Rosenstein from Atlantic Fresh Trading stated, “I believe a new updated agreement will not only happen, but it will help reduce waste and almost force Florida growers to change the way they grow.”

So, what if a new agreement isn’t reached? While we may not know for sure what the effects or consequences may be if a new agreement isn’t reached, general thoughts about the possible outcomes seem to be similar across the industry.

Same as other companies, Munguia from Del Campos Supreme believes that duties will come into play, and they would have to be paid in the end, by consumers.

Only time will tell if a new agreement is reached and what changes arise, but I agree with Rosenstein, when he said “Change is inevitable in our industry. A lot of the business models in our industry just don’t work anymore. Plus, new and inventive products come out every year.”

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Marco Campos is Media Coordinator, Latin America for Blue Book Services