Speaking Wednesday at the Florida Tomato Conference in Labelle, Florida, Michael Schadler, manager of the Florida Tomato Committee and executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Exchange, highlighted the strengths and challenges of Florida’s tomato industry ahead of growers beginning to plant this year’s crop.
“We’re getting going now. There’s a lot of guys planting. They’re laying plastic. Actually, in north Florida, we’ll get going at the end of this month,” Schadler said. “But we’re optimistic. We had a good crop last year. The market didn’t always cooperate. Prices were down a little bit last year, and our costs were up. Everybody is suffering the higher costs. If you can’t pass that on to your customer, that can’t be sustainable for very long. The markets have been good over the summer. We’re hoping those will continue into the fall.”