MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida’s tomato growers are in danger of going out of business altogether.
The South Florida Business Journal reports tomato growers from around the state met in Naples on Wednesday, claiming that a 1996 agreement between the U.S. and Mexico setting a minimum price for tomatoes is putting them out of business, according to the Naples News.
The 2011-12 season was one of the worst on record for Florida tomato growers, whose crop lost nearly $200 million of its value.
If the 1996 agreement says in place, the tomato industry in Florida, and in the U.S., will not exist, said Reggie Brown, manager of the Florida Tomato Committee.
Brown claims that the minimum price agreement is not enforced, and that the minimum price has not been raised in 16 years, while the cost of producing the crop in the U.S. has doubled.
The South Florida Business Journal contributed material for this report.