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USDA withdraws proposal to add Romas to Florida tomato marketing order

Date April 19, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is withdrawing a proposal that would have revised the handling requirements under the federal marketing order for tomatoes grown in Florida. After receiving feedback from industry stakeholders, USDA determined there is insufficient support for the proposed changes that were recommended by the Florida Tomato Committee.

The proposed changes included bringing previously exempt Roma type tomatoes under the marketing order’s handling regulations, developing exemption language for greenhouse and hydroponic tomatoes, and reviving pack and container requirements.

The notice withdrawing the proposed action was published in the Federal Register on April 15, 2021.

Information about the marketing order is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 966 Florida Tomatoes webpage, the Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage or by contacting the Marketing Order and Agreement Division at (202) 720-2491.

Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help producers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually.

AMS provides oversight to 29 fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.