The state agricultural commissioners for Florida and Texas recently urged U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to reinstate juice content requirements on grapefruit imports. The commissioners claimed that a so-called “patch” – released earlier this year by the USDA – creates unfair advantages for Mexico and other countries over domestic grapefruit producers.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a letter to Vilsack: “It appears that a ‘patch’ was quietly released earlier this year removing juice content requirements for imported fresh grapefruit. from Mexico and other countries, while the domestic industry is still required to meet these standards. ”
“This deeply troubling action creates further unfair advantages for Mexico and others over our domestic industry, which already faces challenges with citrus greening as well as loss of access to foreign markets.” due to supply chain issues causing backlogs at US ports. “
In a similar letter, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller told Vilsack that allowing Mexico to bypass standards that Texas must adhere to would hurt Texas producer prices as well as consumer perceptions of the country. grapefruit.