Tomato Prices Could Double; Trade Agreement With Mexico In Question
It seems we live in interesting times. Or, maybe we should say expensive times. First it was gas. Then it was our paychecks. Next was the price of milk. Now, it appears that the prices we pay for tomatoes might be getting ready to double – if a trade agreement that the United States has with Mexico falls through.
The possible price hike is the result of a brewing trade war between Florida tomato growers who accuse their Mexican counterparts of “dumping,” or selling their tomatoes below fair market value.
U.S. growers, represented by the Florida Tomato Exchange, have been lobbying to end a 17-year-old trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, which sets a minimum price for tomatoes.
That would be bad news for consumers – both at home and in restaurants.
The price of hothouse round tomatoes, for instance, is projected to rise from $2.02 per pound to almost $4 a pound. Roma tomatoes would increase from $1.25 per pound to $3.96 per pound.
The price study was compiled by Chicago-based consulting firm Nielsen Perishables Group.
Without the trade agreement, those prices would become the norm and would force U.S. tomato eaters and users to adjust their menus – and their wallets.