Florida growers to tell Administration:
Unfair Mexican trade practices threaten our ability to grow fruits, vegetables

Letters to USTR to bolster our effort are even more important now

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative postponed the trade field hearing scheduled for April 7 in Plant City. Read the announcement here.

FFVA will keep its members updated on any new developments on a rescheduled hearing and associated deadlines for submitting comments and requests to speak in person.

Although we understand the need to postpone the hearing, there is still a sense of urgency surrounding this issue, and we need to maintain our momentum. The comment period remains open, and it is even more important now to submit written comments/letters online. It is critical that FFVA’s members, along with their employees, customers, family and friends speak loudly and clearly about our need for a remedy for the harm caused by Mexico’s unfair trading practices.

Please take a few minutes to write comments that outline how your operation, family and community have been affected by the losses experienced from cheap Mexican imports under two decades of NAFTA.

The comments must be submitted online at www.regulations.gov. Reference docket number USTR-2020-0010 in the “search for” field on the home page. Detailed instructions on how to submit can be found here

If you have questions, please contact Lisa Lochridge by email or 321-214-5206. 

Florida producers of fresh fruits and vegetables will testify before U.S. trade officials and others of the severe economic losses they have suffered from 20 years of unfair competition from Mexico.

Public Hearing
POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Grimes Family Agricultural Center
2508 W Oak Ave, Plant City, FL 33563

WHY IS THE HEARING BEING HELD?

U.S. trade officials are holding the public hearing to learn directly from Florida farmers about the harm that Mexico’s unfair trade practices have caused and seek feedback on how the Administration can remedy the unfair harm.

For more than two decades, the Mexican government has funded elaborate aid programs subsidizing virtually all aspects of specialty crop production, including investment in infrastructure for protected agriculture, equipment, post-harvest management, genetic resources, irrigation technology and more. Those subsidies, coupled with Mexico’s cheaper, ample labor supply, have made Mexico the largest exporter of fruit and vegetable produce to the U.S. market during Florida’s winter growing season.

Florida growers are counting on the Administration and the USTR to launch effective trade recourse to restore market fairness.  Without effective and timely relief, multigenerational family farms will continue to shut down, and specialty crop production in the Southeast will ultimately disappear.  American consumers will be forced to rely solely on foreign-sourced fresh fruits and vegetables during significant periods of the year.

HOW CAN I HELP?

FFVA strongly urges all those who support Florida fruit and vegetable farmers to attend the meeting to fill the auditorium. In addition to attending the hearing, you can send written comments to the U.S Trade Representative by March 27. View instructions on how to submit comments here.

FFVA has prepared a convenient social media toolkit with suggested Twitter posts and graphics for you to use to urge the public to attend this hearing in support of Florida farmers. The more people at the hearing, the bigger the impact. We are optimistic that with your help, we can secure a viable solution for Florida growers in an effective, timely manner. Download the social media toolkit here.

WHEN SHOULD I POST?

We recommend you post several times in advance of the field hearing after it gets rescheduled. We also encourage you to tailor these posts to suit your experience as a farmer or as a consumer of fresh Florida produce. 

  #FairTradeforFloridaFarmers

Sample tweet:

 Florida farmers have lost production, acreage, sales and jobs as a result of Mexico’s unfair trade practices. Next to lose is their ability to produce fruits and vegetables. Show your support for Florida farmers. #FairTradeforFloridaFarmers www.ffva.com/trade

Click here to download the full social media toolkit with more sample tweets. HEARING POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Click here to view all available graphics to share on social media. HEARING POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE





MEDIA CONTACT: 

Primary: 
Lisa Lochridge, APR, Director of Public Affairs
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association
321-214-5206 or lisa.lochridge@ffva.com

Secondary: Alyssa List, Communications Manager
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association
321-214-5207 or alyssa.list@ffva.com