SLUGGISH DEMAND FOR TOMATOES AFFECTING WORKERS, BRONSON PROMISES HELP
Florida farmworkers are feeling squeezed by a low demand for tomatoes -- a result of many grocery stores retaining high post-hurricane prices after the supply was back to normal.
"Because some of the farms have not been able to pick, that translates into many harvesters not working, as well as some of the workers in the packinghouses not working," the release quotes Tony DiMare, president of DiMare Co. He says some contractors have come to growers looking for pay advances for the workers. "The people they supply for the harvesting are all needing money. They're on very fixed incomes. If you have a work stoppage, these people are sitting down," he said.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson toured affected tomato operations in South Florida Tuesday (January 18) and told growers he has directed his Division of Marketing and Development to assist them in moving the current tomato crop into the marketplace. FFVAis cooperating with the Department of Agriculture in generating media attention for this situation.
"We want American consumers to know that Florida is back in the fresh tomato business," Bronson said. "We encourage corporate buyers for grocery chains and restaurants to move swiftly to help satisfy consumers' pent-up demand for this delicious and healthy product."