California introduces value-added tomato labels

October 15, 2004, as reported by New “vine-ripened” and “greenhouse grown” labels will ensure California tomato growers get the prices they deserve for their value-added products. The labels will also help consumers guaranteeing that the premium price they are paying is indeed buying a premium product. The state's tomato industry asked for the accurate labeling rule.

The new regulations state stipulate a vine-ripened tomato as one that begins to show color change from green to red while still on the vine. Tomatoes labeled as "greenhouse grown" must be produced in a fixed steel structure using irrigation and climate control. Producers who violate the new regulations risk having their products pulled from retail shelves.

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