By Naomi Hatch
A letter of support for the importation of tomato plantlets from Mexico by NatureSweet was approved by the Snowflake Town Council last week.
NatureSweet purchased the Snowflake tomato farm from Eurofresh in April 2013 through a bankruptcy court.
Town Manager Paul Watson advised the council that if the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) were to adopt a rule allowing tomato plantlets to be imported from Mexico, it would cut costs and help NatureSweet succeed. Currently the firm must purchase plantlets from Canada at high costs, and due to the long transportation time, they deal with plant stress.
In part, the letter read, “NatureSweet is a major area employer (in Snowflake) and their acquisition of the Eurofresh greenhouses saved rural Arizona jobs.
“It is critical to do all we can to maintain the existing jobs that we have and to provide additional jobs where possible. It is our understanding that USDA approval of the request to import plantlets from Mexico will save the company several million dollars annually, thus helping to insure the continued economic success of these greenhouses.”
In other business Jan. 14, the council approved Resolution No. 14-01, urging the Arizona Legislature to discontinue sweeps of Highway User Revenue Funds and to restore funding to pre-sweep levels.
Mayor Kelly Willis noted that this has been done for several years.
“This is important now that the state is back on their feet, according to the governor in the State of the State speech yesterday,” commented Watson.
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By Naomi Hatch