Publications

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  • Trade Issues Facing U.S. Horticulture in the WTO Negotiations

    VGS-285-01, August 30, 2001

    This article discusses issues affecting U.S. trade in fruits and vegetables that are likely to be considered during upcoming trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Tariff reductions, tariff-rate quotas, export subsidies, and domestic support are discussed, as are the impacts of anti-dumping and countervailing measures and the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement on horticultural trade flows.

  • U.S. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Marketing: Emerging Trade Practices, Trends, and Issues

    AER-795, January 25, 2001

    In the past year, trade practices between fresh produce shippers and food retailers gained national attention. Shippers are concerned that recent retail consolidation has led to market power and the growing incidence of fees and services. Retailers argue that these new trade practices reflect their costs of doing business and the demands of consumers. Trade practices include fees such as volume discounts and slotting fees, as well as services like automatic inventory replenishment, special packaging, and requirements for third-party food safety certification. Trade practices also refer to the overall structure of a transaction-for example, long-term relationships or contracts versus daily sales with no continuing commitment. This study compares trade practices in 1999 with those prevalent in 1994, placing them in the broader context of the evolving shipper/retailer relationship. Most shippers and retailers reported that the incidence and magnitude of fees and services associated with transactions has increased over the last 5 years. Fees paid to retailers are usually around 1-2 percent of sales for most of the commodities we examined, but 1-8 percent for bagged salads.

  • The Spice Market in the United States: Recent Developments and Prospects

    AIB-709, July 03, 1995

    On both a volume and value basis, the United States is the world's largest spice importer and consumer, with both imports and consumption on an uptrend for the past 10 years. While the United States imports more than 40 separate spices, seven of these (vanilla beans, black and white pepper, capsicums, sesame seed, cinnamon, mustard, and oregano) account for more than 75 percent of the total annual value of spice imports. While the United States imports spices from more than 50 countries, 5 of these countries (Indonesia, Mexico, India, Canada, and China) regularly account for one-half of the annual value of spice imports. The United States produces nearly 40 percent of its annual spice needs, with imports supplying the remainder. Growing domestic production consists of capsicum peppers, mustard seed, dehydrated onion and garlic, and herbs. U.S. spice exports have also been expanding in recent years, led by dehydrated garlic and onion. Rising domestic use of spices reflects growing Hispanic and Asian populations, a trend toward the use of spices to compensate for less salt and lower fat levels in foods, and heightened popularity of ethnic foods from Asia and Latin America.