USDA: Transcription of QA session from tomato web seminar - The Packer

USDA: Transcription of QA session from tomato web seminar

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

By U.S. law, the agreement has to cover 85% of all imports of tomatoes into the U.S. So, in terms of enforcement under U.S. law, non-signatory product is permitted to enter the U.S. The enforcement with pricing etc., comes with Commerce after that. We monitor the imports to ensure that we have at least 85% coverage to ensure that we are meeting the requirements of U.S. law. There have been, as part of the new Agreement, some references in the new Agreement to actions that have been taken by the Mexican government. They have taken some actions that will significantly increase, we believe, the signatory coverage and ensuring greater coverage of the agreement of Mexican imports. But that is something we monitor at Commerce to make sure we are still in compliance.

There is a question out there as to what are the differences between the summer and winter prices, and the statement that the growing costs aren’t less?

This was something that was developed early on in the Agreement, and it has reflected the market realties where we are and we carry it over into the current Agreement, having the two seasons.

We have a question if a grower has 50,000 pre-printed boxes with the 2008 Agreement listed, can they be used first?

We specifically state, we specify a date the old boxes can be used by (and I believe it is September 30), but I am drawing a blank. But if you have pre-printed boxes, there is no reason to waste them. I mean new labels could be printed and put over them. We have seen it because we have now been thru several iterations of the Agreement where parties have blackened out some of the old labeling and put in the new labeling. This time we are asking with the new Agreement that the growing environment be on the box; that is a requirement of the Agreement. That can be rubber stamped, or labeled. I am looking at Brian to make sure there are no PACA concerns because they don’t have the same labeling requirements as the Agreement. So as long as it is clearly marked on the box, as long as all the information is there in a clear, easily detected place, then those boxes can certainly be used. We are not trying to complicate things - it is just that we ask that the new labeling be in there instead of or in addition to what was already on there.

Next question: how is the cost of the freight from the farm to the border figured?

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