United Press International (UPI):
ORLANDO, Fla., April 6 (UPI) — U.S. farmers have destroyed millions of pounds of perishable food like tomatoes, lettuce and green beans because growers lost a vast number of customers after the coronavirus pandemic struck.
“It’s a catastrophe, it really is,” said Tony DiMare, a long-time tomato grower based in Palm Beach County, Fla.
DiMare said he let 10 million pounds of tomatoes rot on the farm in a region south of Miami because no market existed for them.
“It’s been a disaster at every level — lost crops, lost sales, lost packing inventory,” DiMare said.
The closure of food-service establishments in many parts of the country in March meant that farmers who grow produce for those customers suddenly had a large surplus in storage and in the fields.
Growers said efforts to find retailers or food banks failed, forcing them to plow under their crops. Without immediate aid from government stimulus funding, they said they will have to destroy more food.