What is the one question that dare not speak its name during this stage of the Salmonella Saintpaul/Tomato crisis?
Who is going to pay for all this? One industry veteran put it this way:
It will be interesting to see who suffers the financial losses on this one. In the Spinach/Spring Mix mess, buyers went back to suppliers for the cost of recalls, delivered product cost, etc.
The shippers didn’t like it, but they swallowed it. I don’t think the tomato growers are going to give credit for the losses- at least I would be very surprised if they do. So we might see retailers and distributors swallowing this one.
Since it is all voluntary — not a mandatory recall; in fact, not a recall at all — many legal agreements don’t apply, so things will wind up being the subject of business negotiations.
A few big processors were in a better position to eat the loss than a lot of tomato growers, shippers and repackers.
Still, how it plays out will be interesting to watch.