It’s not just Chinese imports that are subject to US tariff hikes. As of Tuesday 7th May, the US has imposed a 17.5% tariff on Mexican tomato imports. The move comes following unsuccessful negotiations to renew a 2013 agreement that suspended a US anti-dumping investigation. The US Commerce Department said in February that the US would halt the investigation as long as Mexican producers sold their tomatoes above a pre-set price.
US imposes 17.5% tariff on Mexican tomatoes
Almería, tomato capital of the world
The Spanish province of Almería produces over one million tons of tomatoes for consumption inside and outside Spain. Hence, for the fifth consecutive year, the World Tomato Day was celebrated in this province on 16th March, with the party taking place in Paseo de Almería, rather than in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (as in previous years),to accommodate the larger participation.
US to exit tomato trade agreement with Mexico
Unica Fresh opens commercial delegation in Valencia
The new office will offer clients of this strategic area a more direct and personalised treatment
Unica has opened a new commercial headquarters in Valencia that will cover the entire Levante area. The new office’s first addition is Rubén Morte, who has previously worked in positions of commercial responsibility and quality in several production and marketing companies and who will be responsible, in addition to managing client and products of the entire Unica group, for providing support and service in the city of Valencia and its surrounding areas.
Global tomato trade grew 4.6% in 2017
The world’s tomato trade was worth US$9.16 billion in 2017, a 4.6% rise from 2016, but a drop of 0.9% from 2013. The EU imported $5.8 billion worth of the total (63.4%), followed by North America (28.5%), Asia (7.4%), Africa (0.3%), Latin America (0.3%) and Oceania (0.1%). In terms of countries, the US was far and away the world’s number-one importer of tomatoes in 2017, with volumes received totalling around US$2.5 billion – an increase of 2% on 2016. The next largest tomato importer was Germany, with imports remaining flat at US$1.48 billion.
Study finds Belgian tomatoes to be “less costly” than Spanish
Belgian tomatoes found to be “less costly” than Spanish tomatoes. This is the finding of a master's thesis carried out by Ellen Peeters, who looked into the social and economic costs of importing tomatoes. Social costs are borne by society (congestion, accidents, air pollution, noise and climate change), rather than by the consumer. Peeters said, "When growing tomatoes in Belgium, external costs mainly consist of CO2 emissions, but these represent only 2% of the total cost. The remaining part is the production costs, which mainly consist of energy (31%) and labour (20%).
Outbreak of tomato brown rugose fruit virus (Tobamovirus- ToBRFV)
The EPPO has added the tomato brown rugose fruit virus to its Alert List. The virus (Tobamovirus, ToBRFV) was first identified on tomatoes in Jordan in 2015 (EPPO RS 2016/024), but outbreaks have recently occurred in Germany (EPPO RS 2019/012), in Italy (EPPO RS 2019/013) and in Mexico (EPPO RS 2019/014) where the virus causes major concerns for growers of tomato and capsicum.
CASI redoubles commitment to organic farming this campaign
CASI has doubled its organic area for this campaign, already exceeding 100ha. The cooperative currently has 50 certified members and 20 partners, with production area undergoing conversion, so the organic acreage will continue to grow. In the words of the technical manager of CASI’s organic department, Teresa Camacho, "This is a very important project for CASI, which our partners are welcoming with great enthusiasm. Proof of this is that we are growing each year with natural products that are healthy and respectful of the environment."
Moroccan farmers shift from tomatoes to other crops
Morocco’s farmers are increasingly moving away from tomatoes towards other crops, like bell peppers and blueberries. This comes as a response to the effects of last season’s drought and cold winter. Thousands of Moroccans were left unemployed last year, as the agricultural sector accounts for around 40% of the country’s workforce. Morocco was the fourth largest tomato exporter in the world in 2017, after Mexico, the Netherlands and Spain. Traditionally, much of the crop is shipped to the EU, with France the largest importer.
High hopes for second Prisco pink tomato campaign in Spain
Last year’s production of the highly-valued pink tomato of Hijar has reached 120,000 kilos. The product is mainly sold in the local markets and gourmet stores. The prospects for the second annual campaign are good, both in terms of volume and quality. The Prisco pink tomatoes of Híjar are characterised by their great flavour and texture, and are cultivated in the province of Teruel. Prisco tomatoes are grown in 11,000 m2 of greenhouses. This pink tomato is fleshy, irregular and with a particularly fine and delicate skin. It weighs between 800 g and 1 kg.