Known for its warm climate and high levels of sunshine, Florida has a thriving agricultural industry. With many customers seeking out produce grown within the state, the ongoing demand means Florida tomatoes are a popular commodity. With 50 percent of domestic tomato growth occurring in just one state, there is also a significant demand for produce freight services.
Moving goods from one location to another can be complicated. However, when you are transporting fresh goods, such as Florida tomato shipping, the logistics are even more complex. The U.S. Department of Agriculture issues a number of regulations regarding the transport of produce. There are numerous laws which apply to this area of freight forwarding. When it comes to Florida tomato shipping, for example, the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and the Country of Origin Labelling laws apply.
Tomatoes are grown all over the world, although they require clear, warm and mostly dry weather in order to thrive. A relatively temperate climate is required to grow consistently good tomatoes. They are produced mainly in environments in which this can be all but guaranteed.
In the U.S., California and Florida are the leading producers of tomatoes. While some crops are harvested in other states, such as Indiana and Ohio, the vast majority of tomatoes grown in America come from just two states. However, Florida is, perhaps most well-known for tomato production. Accounting for around half of all tomatoes grown in the country, Florida plays a major role in the industry.
When transporting any goods, senders are concerned with the time it will take to deliver their goods, the safety with which they will be handled and the cost of shipping. In the case of Florida tomatoes or any other fresh produce, however, there are other issues to be aware of.
When you’re transporting fresh Florida tomatoes, for example, their perishable nature means they need to be stored appropriately. Providing they are moved in the right conditions, their freshness can be extended, which enables retailers to get them on the shelves before they go bad.
In addition to this, fresh produce needs to be moved with care. Fruits and vegetables, like Florida tomatoes, can easily be squashed, bruised or destroyed, so any form of transportation must ensure that minimal damage is done.
Typically, fresh tomatoes are transported in refrigerated units. Depending on the size of the shipment, refrigerated shipping containers, cargo trucks and trailers are used to move fresh produce from one location to another. In addition to keeping the cargo at a consistent, regulated trailer, it is essential that all storage and transport facilities are kept clean and free of debris, in line with USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
As well as preparing to ship Florida tomatoes in advance, freight service providers must undertake careful monitoring throughout the transportation process. There are strict rules regarding recordkeeping when it comes to tomato shipping, so it is important to choose a logistics company that has in-depth knowledge of their duties and obligations.
While producers need to follow specific regulations to transport Florida tomatoes within the U.S., there are additional guidelines to follow if you plan to export produce to different countries or jurisdictions.
When tomatoes are harvested, they can be picked when they are ripe and ready to eat or when they are green and unripe. During the ripening process, tomatoes naturally produce ethylene gas. It is this gas production that turns the tomato from green to red.
In some cases, food producers harvest tomatoes when they are green and use ethylene gas to facilitate a consistent ripening process. This ensures that the tomatoes are fresh and ready to use upon delivery.
However, not all producers use ethylene gas to manage the ripening process. In fact, some farmers and food producers are committed to growing organic produce, which is not artificially ripened or modified in any way.
In order to meet the demands of the industry, Florida tomato producers vary the methodologies and processes they use. While some companies do choose to use ethylene gas to deliver fresh tomatoes, others prefer not to.
When you are shipping any type of fresh produce, it is important to know what temperature they should be transported at. If tomatoes get too hot when transported, the ripening process speeds up. Conversely, if Florida tomatoes are transported at a temperature that is too cold, they could be subject to chilling injury. This means that the produce will arrive in a deteriorated state if the wrong method of tomato shipping is used.
To ensure Florida tomatoes are consistently top quality, they should be stored and transported at 12°C with a relative humidity of approximately 90-95%. When producers want the tomatoes to ripen in storage or in transit, however, they should be cooled to 20°C.
When transporting Florida tomatoes, it is essential that logistics firms adhere to the relevant guidelines, regulations, and laws. As well as ensuring produce arrives looking and tasting great, the strict governance of fresh produce transportation minimizes the risk of subsequent contamination.
If you’re looking for a trusted fresh producer provider for shipments of Florida tomatoes, contact us at R+L Global Logistics today. With extensive industry experience, we’re well-placed to facilitate tomato shipping and the transportation of produce. Our range of services ensures temperature-controlled transportation, as well as tracked, recorded and monitored movements.
As well as providing domestic tomato shipping services, we also offer comprehensive international tomato shipping and delivery options. For farmers and food producers who want to export their goods to overseas markets, our international produce shipping routes provide the perfect opportunity to work with new customers in a variety of regions.
With Florida tomatoes in high demand across the world, local producers can benefit from using both international and domestic shipping options. To learn more about our temperature-controlled freight shipping services or to arrange tomato shipping today, contact R+L Global Logistics on (866) 353-7178.
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