The agreement defines controlled environment tomatoes "as tomatoes grown in a fully-enclosed permanent aluminum or fixed steel structure clad in glass, impermeable plastic, or polycarbonate using automated irrigation and climate control, including heating and ventilation capabilities, in an artificial medium using hydroponic methods."
Specialty loose tomatoes have a reference price of 45 cents per pound for the winter and 35.68 cents per pound in the summer. Specialty packed tomatoes have a reference price of 59 cents per pound in the winter and 46.79 cents per pound in the summer. The agreement defines specialty tomatoes as grape, cherry, heirloom and cocktail tomatoes.
Under the current suspension agreement, minimum prices for all imported Mexican tomatoes, whether field-, shadehouse- or greenhouse grown, are 21.6 cents per pound in the winter and 17.2 cents per pound in the summer, according to the Commerce Department.
In a Feb. 4 news release, Jungmeyer said the new floor prices would serve only what he called the “inefficient” Florida tomato industry.
“It will also be a thorn in the side of U.S.-Mexican relations for years to come,” Jungmeyer said in the release.
The FPAA was not involved with the negotiations between the Commerce Department and Mexican growers. Mexican officials who signed the draft agreement include representatives of grower groups Confederation of Agriculture Associations of the State of Sinaloa, the Agricultural Council of Baja California, the Mexican Association of Protected Horticulture, the Sonora Regional Agricultural Union, and the National Confederation of Vegetable Producers.