The state agriculture 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” -issued earlier this year by the USDA- creates unfair advantages for Mexico and other countries over domestic grapefruit producers.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried stated in a letter to Vilsack: “There appears to have been a ‘patch’ quietly issued earlier this year eliminating juice content requirements for fresh grapefruit being imported from Mexico and other countries while the domestic industry is still required to adhere to these standards."
"This deeply troubling action is creating further unfair advantages for Mexico and others over our domestic industry, which is already facing challenges when it comes to citrus greening as well as loss of access to foreign markets due to supply chain issues causing backlogs at U.S. ports.”
In a similar letter, Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller told Vilsack that allowing Mexico to bypass standards that Texas must adhere to will hurt Texas producers’ price as well as consumers’ perception of grapefruit.