New Tomato Labeling Regulations to Benefit Consumers,
Vine-ripened and greenhouse tomatoes are
The Tomato Magazine
New labeling regulations for tomatoes sold in California
will benefit both consumers and producers by clearly defining "vine-ripened"
and "greenhouse grown."
"These changes are an excellent example of California agriculture
as producers of a safe and secure supply of food, fiber and shelter that
is marketed fairly for all Californians," said CDFA Secretary A.G.
Kawamura. "It is important to note that the tomato industry itself
approached us and asked for the changes. Both consumers and farmers will
benefit from more accurate labeling."
The tomato industry sought the changes to ensure that consumers get what
they pay for-vine-ripened and greenhouse tomatoes usually cost more-and
to protect the investments of farmers who incur additional production
costs to enter the specialized markets.
Producers who violate the new regulations risk having their products pulled
from retail shelves.
The new regulations state that a tomato may be labeled as vineripened
only if it begins to show color change from green to red while still on
the vine. The previous regulations allowed the vine-ripened designation
if the color change began by the time tomato was packaged. In addition,
tomatoes labeled with the term "greenhouse grown" must be produced
in a fixed steel structure using irrigation and climate control. Tomatoes
grown under variable conditions that do not meet the "greenhouse
grown" definition may now be labeled as "hothouse".
© 2005 Columbia Publishing
>> Return to top
Columbia Publishing & Design