Mar 10, 2022GFVGA Board, ITC staff review reports on impacts of imported cucumbers, squash
Georgia Fruit Vegetable Growers Association staff and board members met with representatives from the United States International Trade Commission in February to review findings of the commission’s investigations into the effects of imported squash and cucumbers on the southeast market.
The reports, issued in January of 2022, focused on the competitiveness of SE grown squash and cucumbers as well as recent trends in seasonal patterns and pricing of both crops.
Full copies of the ITC reports are available at www.gfvga.org/page/Trade.
The overall findings of the reports come as no surprise to Georgia growers who have long felt the sting of lower prices fueled by an ever-increasing volume of produce imports primarily from Mexico. However, the findings clearly demonstrate the vast gap in farm labor wages between the two countries is likely the primary factor putting southeastern growers at a decided disadvantage that impacts our ability to compete on price, product differentiation and reliability of supply. Lower wages, coupled with government support, have led to a exponential increase in investments in protected agriculture structures that allow year-round production in Mexico.
The findings also demonstrate that imports are not only increasing in volume but are increasingly coming into the southeastern market on a year-round basis, impacting Georgia growers who face cheap competition in their traditional harvest periods.
Imported product is also coming into southeastern markets at lower price points consistently throughout the year as indicated in the red boxes in the chart above. Mexico is the world’s largest squash exporter with 94% of those exports headed to the United States.
— Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Association