Texas International Produce Association's Dante Galeazzi Comments on Lime Pricing Changes by USDA Market News
MISSION, TX - The Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) recently announced a big win for the lime industry. After many requests made by operators, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Market News began reporting lime pricing that is more consistent with the many grade offerings to better reflect the range of quality that exists in the marketplace.
“Lime handlers have been telling us for the last year that the prices reported from Market News were not clear enough to understand the market. Prices at times reflected a $40 difference between the lowest and highest price for the same size. This difference was largely the result of the many grades present in the marketplace,” said Dante Galeazzi, President of TIPA. “We applaud USDA’s decision to make these changes, as we believe it will help eliminate confusion among all users of Market News with regards to limes. The market has changed considerably in the last 20 years, and efforts such as this will improve industry’s dealings with this commodity.”
Market News will now report lime prices similar to the manner in which apple, cucumber, and bell pepper prices are reported, a release noted. Since limes do not require a grade be printed directly on the box, USDA must use specific terminology to communicate the pricing within commodity standards.
Market News will now use the Appearance column to reflect the quality associated with each price reported. The terms used in the Appearance column will be:
- Fine Appearance = U.S. Grade #1 (best of the best)
- Fair Appearance = U.S. Grade #Combination
- Blank or no designation on appearance = less than Fine but better than Fair*
*For Persian limes, No Designation on Appearance would be akin to a “U.S. Grade #1, Mixed Color” or “U.S. Grade #1, Turning,” which are the most commonly handled lime grades.
Alongside efforts such as improvements in price reporting by USDA Market News and TIPA’s Lime Education & Training Day held in August, TIPA is confident the fresh produce community will come to accept opportunities to improve their knowledge of limes.
We join TIPA in celebrating this recent change!