Monday, February 11, 2013

Mexican strawberries squeeze Hillsborough farmers

Mexico is exporting a record number of strawberries to the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Through Jan. 28, Mexico exported 20 percent more of the fruit than the same period a year before, which also was a record-setting year.

"Mexico is importing more and more each year over past four or five years," said Carl Grooms, owner of Fancy Farms in Plant City. "Anytime another country brings in an agricultural item and puts it on a shelf, it takes away opportunities of American farmers."

The problems that come with importing goods is a double-edge sword. Competition is good, and should always be seen as such. Competition is what keeps prices down and controls the market. If we only had one strawberry farmer, they would control the prices, making a huge profit and no one to say otherwise.

But when you’re losing American jobs because of it, then that becomes the problem. I think a lot of this can be changed with better marketing schemes. American consumers like to purchase American products. We feel like it’s our duty to support the local farmer, so I believe there could lie the solution. Along with Americans enjoying the idea of domestic made goods, they could expand on that idea and show how little time is spent between the farm and the store shelf. The product is fresher when grown locale versus produce that comes from across the border.
All in all, the farmers need to do something to try and squeeze the Mexican farmers out of the market here, because they certainly aren’t going away.
To read more on the topic, click here.

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