Pharr Bridge to host info session for tomato industry ahead of new inspections

Pharr will host members from the tomato trade industry on Tuesday at the Pharr Research & Development Center for an informational session about new tomato inspections that are expected to begin this spring.

Tomato industry stakeholders will receive briefings from a panel of inspection agents from the Texas Cooperative Inspection Program and the United States Department of Agriculture. They will also be allowed to ask questions.

Tuesday’s session comes ahead of new mandatory USDA inspections on all tomatoes imported from Mexico, which will begin April 1.

The new inspections are a result of the 2019 Tomato Suspension Agreement, which was finalized this fall and lifted the 17.56% tariff that the Trump administration had imposed in May on Mexican tomatoes, many of which cross into the United States through the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.

In 2017, half-a-billion dollars worth of tomatoes crossed the bridge in Pharr, according to the Texas International Produce Association.

Tuesday’s session will begin at 2 p.m., according to bridge staff.

mferman@themonitor.com