VanSickle, an international trade and competition expert, said the purchase could affect other growers.
“All this has done is taken a weak player and replaced it with a strong player,” VanSickle said.
“It moves other players down the list as to who’s the next one that’s the most vulnerable. A few of our growers may lose some sleep over it for fear what it means to their operations because they can withstand the risk a lot better than them.”
The purchase comes as Florida growers are exposed to more risk to the markets than ever before, he said.
“This has always been a high-risk industry, but given the increases in costs that have taken place because of regulations, it’s like we’ve doubled the ante to go into this business,” VanSickle said.
“Any time there’s an increase in costs, even if they see revenues going up with them initially, it just exposes growers to more risk,” VanSickle said.
It’s been a tough decade for growers and the purchase represents just another piece of the puzzle in Florida’s produce industry that’s experienced so much bad news.
Del Monte’s gamble in Florida tomatoes will certainly affect Florida growers and fall, winter and spring supplies.
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