Tomato war between Mexico and the US
1 March 2012
Mexico and Florida Tomato Growers are complaining bitterly about the abundance of tomatoes, which ruins the market. Mexicans and Americans are blaming each other. The American magazine for the vegetable market The Packer talks about 'the Great Tomato War of 2012.
The temporary overproduction made the price of tomatoes go down to around 22 US dollar cents per pound (36 eurocents per kilo). This price is only slightly above the minimum price that was agreed at the NAFTA free trade agreement for import tomatoes on the US market. This protective mechanism is establshed in 1996 after Florida accused Mexicans for dumping potatoes at their market.
Tomato growers in Florida are now complaining that the production in Mexico has grown to rapidly, especially in the provinces of Sonora and Sinaloa. But traders from the Latin American country don’t agree and say just some weeks ago there was a shortage of tomatoes in Mexico.
Also, growers in Mexico are dissatisfied. According to president Carlos Alberto Esquer Lopez of the producer organization Hortalizas del Yaqui y Mayo, a year ago prices were much better. The production is higher at the moment, because the temperature in Mexico went up quit suddenly.The only winner is the consumer, said Tommy Wilkins, director of purchasing fresh retail chain United Supermarkets LLC of Texas. 'It is a good time for consumers'', he told The Packer. “Customers are now taking home the most exclusive varieties at a great price. We hope they will also buy the exclusive tomatoes when there is no more production.”