Tomato Prices On the Rise

It’s deja vu all over again!

No, you’re not imagining things; tomato prices are on their way up!

But wait – weren’t we here last year? This is a direct quote from a piece I wrote last June:

In March, at the end of one of the coldest winters on record, Florida tomato growers had lost up to 70% of their crops. The shortage drove prices up nearly five times that of the year before. The average wholesale price for a case of tomatoes was $30 for a 25-pound box.

Fast forward to today had here’s the latest…

Cold temperatures in Florida and Mexico destroyed much of the winter tomato crop this year. The result? Prices are shooting up.

Freezing winter weather in Florida wiped out nearly 70% of its tomato crop and growers in Texas and Mexico suffered similar temperatures. Some states in Mexico also lost as much as 70% of their tomato crops.

Mexico’s largest tomato producing state, Sinaloa, exports 75% of its crop to the US and up to 70% of its tomato crop was wiped out by a cold snap. Sinaloa usually produces around 12 million crates of tomatoes a year.

The shortage has led to wholesale price increases of more than 400%, up from $6.25 last year to $30.

We have such short memories!

While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) optimistically believes that climate change may have a slight positive effect North American agriculture, they may have forgotten to account for the most critical climatic influence. The EPA says: several factors directly connect climate change and agricultural productivity:

  • Average temperature increase
  • Change in rainfall amount and patterns
  • Rising atmospheric concentrations of CO2
  • Pollution levels such as tropospheric ozone
  • Change in climatic variability and extreme events

It’s the last one of these points that will probably have the largest effect. Witness yet more frosts in Florida, Texas and Mexico.

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Read more here:

Deep freeze raises price of tomatoes

Mexico tomato crop devastated by cold snap

Florida chill puts tomato prices up the vine

Fresh vegetable prices skyrocket 24% this year, leaving little green in pockets

Photo source: mrpbps used with permission under Creative Commons license.

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