Florida Tomato Committee
Growing tomatoes in Florida? Like the sunny Mediterranean region, Florida has the warm temperatures necessary for cultivating tomatoes. This state's tomato industry is believed to have started in the 1870s. Today, Florida is the nation's largest producer of fresh tomatoes. With almost every southern county in the state cultivating tomatoes, Florida produces virtually all the fresh-market, field-grown tomatoes in the US from October through June each year, and accounts for about 50% of all fresh tomatoes produced domestically.
Consumers love fresh Florida tomatoes. Among vegetables, fresh tomatoes rank third in popularity with American consumers, after potatoes and lettuce. Tomato consumption in the US has increased by 50% over the past 40 years, and continues to climb. In 2007, per capita consumption reached 20.3 pounds per person, according to USDA's Economic Research Service.