IMMOAKALEE, Fla. (AP) -- The growers who produce the bulk of the country's winter tomatoes have reached a major deal with farmworkers on better pay and conditions, ending more than a decade-long battle between the groups.

The new deal finally activates agreements with food chains such as McDonald's, Taco Bell and Burger King, which have been on hold for years because the farmers who supply the tomatos to the chains have refused to implement them.

Workers will receive an extra penny for every pound of tomatoes they pick under the deal announced Tuesday by the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange and pickers with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

For years, the coalition has pressed growers to boost wages and protect Florida tomato pickers from abuse in the field, without success.

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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