WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing changes to the handling requirements under the federal marketing order for tomatoes grown in Florida. The Florida Tomato Committee recommended the changes to bring previously exempt Roma tomatoes under the marketing order’s handling regulations.
The committee also recommended developing exemption language for greenhouse and hydroponic tomatoes by establishing a new definition for “controlled environment.” Changes to pack and container requirements are also proposed to reflect current industry practices.
The proposed rule for this action was published in the Federal Register June 9, 2020. Written comments are due by July 9, 2020.
Submit formal written comments concerning the proposed change at www.regulations.gov. You may also mail them to Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237 or fax them to (202) 720-8938.
All comments to this proposed rule submitted by the deadline will be made available for public review and will be considered before a final rule is published.
More information about the marketing order is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 966 Florida Tomatoeswebpage, the AMS Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage or by contacting the Marketing Order and Agreement Division at (202) 720-2491.