USDA: Transcription of QA session from tomato web seminar

03/18/2013 03:45:00 PM
Tom Karst

U.S. law requires 85%. If the Mexican government has put in a law requiring 100%, that is on that side of the border. The Agreement has to meet the requirements of U.S. law and U.S. law says 85%.

Is a terminal market seller in violation of the Agreement if they sell for below the reference price even though they paid the selling agent the reference price or higher, essentially the seller absorbing the loss?

According to the terms of the Agreement, it is that first sale that has to be above the reference price, so if they are absorbing the loss and that first sale was still above the reference price, it was made in accordance with the Agreement.

If a load is received outside of the USDA hours of operation, on the weekend for example, and an inspection is needed, how do we request the inspection to ensure we meet the eight hour time limit?

Over the years I have seen records of phone calls, the inspection only has to be requested. I have seen certification statements, affidavits. The inspection has to be called. It can be emailed, faxed. If you have confirmation that it has been requested, it meets the requirement.

Does the Agreement cover or overlap to the Canadian market in any form?

No, the Agreement covers Mexican tomatoes sold in the United States.

There are some questions about greenhouse products.

The Agreement does not use the term greenhouse it uses controlled environment. We know there has been a shift in how the product is being reported under the new Agreement unless it meets that in the AMS Tomato Facts report. Unless the tomatoes meet that strict definition in the Agreement for controlled environment, they are open field or specialty. The Agreement does not define greenhouse.

If a purchase is made at the farm, how is the price determined?

I have never in 17 years not heard of that. All expenses beyond the port of entry to the United States need to be added to the reference price.

What are examples of the adapted environment? I think we gave a couple: shade cloth, minimally protected agriculture, shade cloth, tents, anything that doesn’t meet the definition in the Agreement.

There are some questions, particulars about the inspection process and if you have a certain percentage of defects.


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