GR Fresh’s Tony Incaviglia Discusses Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Veg Market Amidst Coming Tomato Suspension Agreement Changes
MCALLEN, TX - It looks as though the tight tomato market could be loosening up soon, giving way to more volume in the coming weeks as growers come back from delays brought on by a Christmas cold spat from Mother Nature. But as product comes in, questions remain about how final numbers will shake out as the new Tomato Suspension Agreement approaches, GR Fresh’s Tony Incaviglia shares with me.
“The new suspension agreement and new inspections are starting, and we can’t know if everything will go as expected. We are currently anticipating a buyers’ market, but it isn’t absolute because there’s only so much we can plan for once product gets through customs. Questions still remain,” the Vice President of Sales and Marketing says.
The USDA has pushed inspection changes to April, a move Tony agrees with as hiring will be necessary to make more inspectors readily available for a large jump in product crossing the border.
“I think this move allows them to ramp up slowly as volume declines after the big shipments coming in February and March,” Tony shares. “It will be quite a big undertaking on both sides, but I think everyone is as aware as they can be of what is coming. It’s a changing landscape, no doubt, but we are starting to tread waters we previously had never been in.”
Despite the challenges both by Mother Nature and a pending “new normal” the industry can’t yet assess, Tony is optimistic both about the market’s ability to adapt and the product itself, with cucumbers and round tomatoes looking particularly strong and other categories shaping up.
As we continue to monitor this and all influential categories in fresh produce, AndNowUKnow will report the latest.