January 27, 2015 / Week N° 05

Archive for the Top Stories Category

Exotic expansion plans for Halls’ fruit basket

January 27th, 2015

Halls International’s Ate Kalsbeek discusses some of the new items lined up after the acquisition of Columbus Exotics.

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Cypriot exporter enjoys strong demand for ‘Baby Stripe’ eggplant

January 27th, 2015

A producer of a mini eggplant says growing interest is ‘all a matter of consumers adapting a new mentality’.

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Chilean cherry exporter hopeful for price rebound in China

January 27th, 2015

A huge spike in volume has made the Chinese cherry market challenging this year for Chilean shippers.

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Peru poised for first mango exports to South Korea next season

January 27th, 2015

U.S. and South Korean market developments are on the cards for Peruvian mango shippers in February.

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Moroccan ClemenGold mandarins about to hit Irish shelves

January 26th, 2015

Donnelly Fresh Produce and ClemenGold discuss expansion developments for a unique mandarin variety in Europe and Africa.

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Blowdowns hit northern Peruvian banana plantations

January 26th, 2015

Although 500 hectares of banana plantations in Peru have been hit by winds, diseases are a more pressing concern.

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Argentina: CAFI reaches pay deal with farmworker union

January 26th, 2015

While the Argentine union UATRE agreed to a 35% pay rise, another syndicate representing packers is still in talks.

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Italy: Southern Seeds develops huge yellow bell pepper

January 26th, 2015

A bell pepper developed in Italy weighs 18% more than standard varieties and is less prone to cracking.

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U.S. apple listeria hysteria spreads in South East Asia

January 23rd, 2015

Vietnam is the latest country to take a tough stance on certain U.S. apples to prevent a listeria outbreak spreading internationally.

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Indian eggplant growers should follow mango industry lead, says IARI

January 23rd, 2015

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute’s Anand Singh discusses what’s next in overcoming EU bans on produce imports.

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Laser Food to zap into South Africa, Latam

January 23rd, 2015

With Laser Foods’ newfound ‘global structure’, the company says 2015 is going to be a transformational year.

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Peruvian citrus exports to jump 10%

January 23rd, 2015

Many of Peru’s W. Murcott trees are reaching adulthood and will add to shipping volumes this season.

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U.S.: Chiquita puts price tag on Charlotte exit

January 22nd, 2015

Severance payments, relocation costs and incentive refunds are set to tally up to tens of millions of dollars for Chiquita Brands as part of its move out of Charlotte.

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Chilean producer awarded prize for mobile lettuce cultivation system

January 22nd, 2015

A Chilean lettuce grower has implemented a hydroponic system that moves crops around the greenhouse.

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NZ apple export season running late but looking ‘promising’

January 22nd, 2015

Pipfruit NZ says the industry will begin alligning its proprietary varieties to become more customer-focused.

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Australia: Costa family ponders IPO

January 22nd, 2015

Australia’s largest privately-owned produce company may change hands through a share market listing or an outright sale.

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State of the Market – Week 3, 2015

January 21st, 2015

White seedless grape prices hit the lowest levels seen in three years during week 3 in Europe.

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Moroccan citrus expectations drop following adverse weather

January 21st, 2015

Only 30% of Morocco’s citrus crop is believed to be of export quality after rain and strong winds last November.

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South African pomegranate season running two weeks early

January 21st, 2015

The head of the South African pomegranate industry gives a seasonal outlook on production and markets.

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Subsole forecasts strong year for Chilean kiwifruit

January 21st, 2015

A Chilean kiwifruit exporter forecasts less competition with New Zealand green varieties this year.

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Canada: Westmoreland enlists Ifco for packaging solutions

January 20th, 2015

A Canadian greenhouse vegetable grower will be able to reduce its use of cardboard boxes with a new partnership.

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Mexican berry growers prepare first China-bound shipments

January 20th, 2015

With Mexico’s first berry shipments to China just a few days away, one industry body is predicting large returns.

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Korean retailers cotton on to avocado ripening, says NZ industry rep

January 20th, 2015

Avanza director John Carroll gives the wrap on strong performances for avocados in a range of markets this season.

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Opinion: “Latin Americanizing” the banana industry

January 20th, 2015

Banana Link’s Alistair Smith urges Cutrale-Safra to focus on corporate social responsibility as the new owners of Chiquita.

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Opinion: Improving Mexican farmworker lives a shared responsibility

January 19th, 2015

Fair Trade USA’s Hannah Freeman provides an in-depth look at the good, the bad and the ugly on Mexican farms.

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U.S. court upholds ruling on two USDA grape patents

January 19th, 2015

A California judge has ruled the USDA maintains rights to grape varieties Scarlet Royal and Autumn King.

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Egyptian exporter expands grape and stonefruit supply

January 19th, 2015

Fruit exporter Pico plans to expand its core offering while adding new crops such as pomegranates and avocados in the mix.

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Russian-EU deals to take a dive at International Green Week Berlin

January 19th, 2015

Germany and Russia are willing to quickly boost agricultural trade if the two countries’ political problems can be solved.

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Mexico: Lime production rebounds in Colima

January 16th, 2015

While the year began with scarcity, efforts against HLB actually led to a lime production rise in 2014 in Colima.

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Peruvian mango shipments underway

January 16th, 2015

Peru’s mango exports to date are significantly down on packed volumes during the same time last year.

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Azerbaijan swoops in on Russian apple market opportunities

January 16th, 2015

A Russian official says Azerbaijan will hold a firm place in the country’s apple market even if the ban on EU fruit is lifted.

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Ecuadorian mango industry hopes for Chinese market access by October

January 16th, 2015

The Mango Ecuador Foundation is optimistic about gaining access to the Chinese market before next season.

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AHEA delighted with Australia-Japan FTA ratification

January 15th, 2015

Australia’s second-largest horticultural export destination will now start reducing tariffs on items like citrus fruit, grapes and asparagus.

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Malaysia steps up standards for citrus imports

January 15th, 2015

Malaysia’s latest import regulatory change shows its days as an easy, non-protocol market are on the way out.

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Colombian govt offers banana growers inputs for whitefly control

January 15th, 2015

ICA has taken measures to combat a pest that has caused considerable damage to bananas in Quindío and Risaralda.

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More centers of excellence promised across India in joint Israeli agri-tech project

January 15th, 2015

The third phase of an Israeli-Indian horticultural technology, research and trade project is now underway.

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State of the Market – Week 2, 2015

January 14th, 2015

An influx of South African plums hit the European market during week 2.

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EU Parliament approves state autonomy in GM crop restrictions

January 14th, 2015

The EU Health Commissioner has congratulated parliamentarians for putting their differences aside in passing GM crop legislation.

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Indian grape harvest ‘on track’ for a decent export season

January 14th, 2015

Sopan Kanchan says bouts of inclement weather have been ‘nothing the Indian grape industry can’t handle’.

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Early campaign marks early mid-season volume spike for South African grapes

January 14th, 2015

South Africa’s table grape volume is well ahead of previous years, but the total should taper to a “normal” level.

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Mastronardi launches new U.S. pepper greenhouse venture

January 13th, 2015

Building on a successful Michigan tomato operation, Sunset Produce will soon grow peppers in a large-scale U.S. pepper greenhouse.

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German and Russian ag ministers to meet in Berlin

January 13th, 2015

Hopes are high that talks between German and Russian ministers will help ease trade restrictions on food products.

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EU bumped up Colombian fruit imports in 2014

January 13th, 2015

Colombian growers were able to raise exports of a range of exotic fruit crops to the EU last year.

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Euro Watch: Dutch export character could lead to gains

January 13th, 2015

A Netherlands-based economist believes his country’s produce traders could actually benefit from a weakened euro.

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Aussie produce industry hopeful for India FTA prospects

January 12th, 2015

India is next in Australia’s sights after a series of FTA breakthroughs with China, Japan and South Korea.

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Mayan Sweet onions from Peru trialed in British market

January 12th, 2015

Pacific Produce hopes to replicate the U.S. success of Peruvian sweet onions in the U.K.

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Mexico: INIFAP introduces new peach variety

January 12th, 2015

A new peach cultivar introduced in Mexico has greater tolerance to disease and ripens in a period with less hail risk.

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U.S.: The Fresh Market signs up to Fair Food label initiative

January 9th, 2015

A North Carolina store has partnered with the CIW to source Florida tomatoes from the Fair Food program.

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U.S.: FirstFruits Marketing pledges support for youth-driven NGOs

January 9th, 2015

The growers of Opal apples are doubling their contribution to youth-backed social causes in 2015.

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Decofrut forecasts Chilean pear export uptick in 2015

January 9th, 2015

A Chilean market intelligence consultancy expects the country’s pear shipments to return to 2013 levels this year.

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U.S.: HAB forecasts new record for Super Bowl avocado consumption

January 9th, 2015

American football fans are set to tackle 240 million avocados head on the week leading up to the Super Bowl.

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Chile: Strike lingers in San Antonio Port

January 8th, 2015

Strikes have not yet hit Chile’s fruit exports, but dockworkers threaten to spread their actions to terminals responsible for perishables.

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Australian table grape industry calls for quick resolution to Vietnam fruit blockade

January 8th, 2015

The Vietnamese market closure has caused particular complications for Australian black seedless grape exporters.

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Australian produce groups support Ombudsman’s stance on labor exploitation

January 8th, 2015

Two Australian produce industry bodies hope the Fair Work Ombudsman takes the right steps to regulate dodgy labor-hire operators.

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Ecuadorian firms aim to take the lead in Chinese market

January 8th, 2015

Ecuador is the world’s leading banana exporter but it is yet to take the number one spot in the Chinese market.

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State of the Market – Week 1, 2015

January 7th, 2015

Peruvian Red Globes bucked the weak trend for grapes in Europe between Christmas and New Years.

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U.K.: 2015 is the year of Cavolo Nero, says Waitrose

January 7th, 2015

Cavolo Nero, also known as Tuscan Kale and Black Cabbage, is taking British foodies by storm.

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Opinion: Perception of biotech foods boosted by consumer benefits

January 7th, 2015

Consumers have not yet seen enough tangible benefits from biotech food to make the category popular, argues OSF’s Neal Carter.

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Argentine pundits forecast fruit sector slump from falling euro

January 7th, 2015

Argentine fruit exporters suffering from the effects of a weak ruble are now faced with another currency challenge – the falling euro.

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IG International aims to double Chilean cherry sales in India

January 6th, 2015

IG International is confident about Chile’s cherry potential and is also launching a new dragonfruit program.

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India: Mango trees could be destroyed in favor of pears

January 6th, 2015

Financial challenges mean mango cultivation could face the chop in parts of the Punjab.

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Mexico: New orchard certifications to boost Michoacán mango exports

January 6th, 2015

Mango trees in a central Mexican state had their flowers in full bloom last month.

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South African fruit firm buys Dutch exotics importer

January 6th, 2015

Halls will be expanding its presence in the European exotic fruit market.

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Opinion: why everyone should be ‘doing business naked’

January 5th, 2015

Dawn Gray says produce companies need to embrace the idea that an educated customer is the best customer.

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Initiative in Patagonia to market exotic fruits

January 5th, 2015

A project is underway in southern Chile to sell a natural juice product made from regional fruit.

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Water levels in key Chilean production region ‘critical’

January 5th, 2015

A report says the already dire situation in Chile’s Coquimbo region with water scarcity will only get worse.

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Colombia launches new project to boost papaya exports

January 5th, 2015

A project in Colombia will focus on papaya post-harvest operations so growers can reach more markets.

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Thermo King says exporters can reach new destinations with ‘active’ CA tech

January 5th, 2015

By using technology that actively controls the atmosphere in reefer containers, Thermo King says produce can be shipped much further than normal while retaining much of its original quality.

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State of the Market – Week 51, 2014

December 24th, 2014

The first Chilean table grapes of the season hit the U.S. market during week 51.

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Prospects lifted for Pakistani kinnow exporters

December 24th, 2014

Russia’s EU and U.S. import ban has comes as good news to Pakistan’s shippers of a certain mandarin variety.

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Kalettes ‘slow to take off’ in U.S. despite widespread interest

December 24th, 2014

A U.S. Kalette producer says it has been hard to work out the best growing methods for the new product.

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U.S.: Pacific Maritime Association requests federal mediation in port talks

December 24th, 2014

The entity representing West Coast port employers says outside help is needed to reach a contract agreement.

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Spain: AVA-ASAJA laments rough year for Valencian agriculture

December 23rd, 2014

The agricultural year of 2014 has been described as an ‘unmitigated disaster’ for Valencian growers.

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Crimson Seedless grape harvest to start in South Africa

December 23rd, 2014

Thompson Seedless harvests are wrapping up in early-growing northern parts of South Africa but red varieties are still going strong.

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Design released for US$3M South Australian sterile fruit fly facility

December 23rd, 2014

South Australia has moved one step closer to building a landmark facility designed to fight Queensland fruit fly.

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Two new peach varieties released in Argentina

December 23rd, 2014

Buenos Aires peach growers will now have access to two early season varieties with good coloring and texture.

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Former Zespri employee files charges against company

December 22nd, 2014

An ex-Zespri manager incarcerated China is sueing the marketer under the Employment Relations Authority.

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Millions of sterile fruit flies released in Croatian citrus orchards

December 22nd, 2014

A project on Croatian farms that uses barren fruit flies to reduce populations is going ‘extremely well’.

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U.S.: Gladstone set to acquire 331-acre California strawberry farm

December 22nd, 2014

A large U.S. real estate investor won the right at a public auction to buy a strawberry farm for US$17 million.

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Work to begin on controversial US$50B Nicaragua Canal

December 22nd, 2014

Work on the inter-oceanic Nicaraguan canal is expected to begin today, despite widespread protests.

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AgriNurture sells stake in southern Philippines banana plantation

December 19th, 2014

A Philippine agricultural group has sold its share in a banana plantation, which will now be a sourcing partner.

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Costa Rica grants environmental approval for APM Terminals project

December 19th, 2014

A US$1 billion port project in Costa Rica has been given the green light by environmental authorities.

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Exports drop 45% for Peruvian banana group

December 19th, 2014

Disease woes look set to slash exports by 45% this year for a northern Peruvian organic banana group.

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Argentine cherries reach Hong Kong market

December 19th, 2014

Argentine cherry exports have been made more viable with the help of direct flights from Patagonia to international markets.

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USDA develops colored potato varieties

December 18th, 2014

Three new healthy potato cultivars with red and purple flesh are now on sale in the U.S.

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Argentine pome fruit growers forecast earlier harvest

December 18th, 2014

The Williams pear harvest in parts of Argentina will likely begin around a week earlier than normal.

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U.K: Sainsbury’s suppliers to be taught how to spot exploitation

December 18th, 2014

A ‘ground-breaking partnership’ has been created between a major British retailer and a labor investigator.

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U.S.: North Carolina sweet potato production soars

December 18th, 2014

North Carolina is boosting its sweet potato volumes to keep up with a huge national demand growth.

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State of the Market – Week 50, 2014

December 17th, 2014

Demand for medium-sized avocados was strong in the U.S. during week 50.

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Opinion: Why ‘eco-credentials’ will soon become a necessity

December 17th, 2014

Plant & Food NZ’s Dr. Brent Clothier discusses what growers can expect from better detailing their eco-footprint.

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Freshmax markets Love Beets in NZ

December 17th, 2014

After securing national distribution rights, Freshmax NZ plans to bring Love Beets to Australia.

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U.K.: Festive season surge for organic vegetables

December 17th, 2014

A major British supplier says sales of its organic broccoli are up 20% year-on-year.

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Opinion: LA Times’ Mexican investigation reveals blight on produce sector

December 16th, 2014

It’s time to reform the practices of ‘tiendas de raya’ on Mexican farms.

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SeekaFresh delivers record returns

December 16th, 2014

Seeka’s program primarily for Class 2 kiwifruit into Australia is paying much higher than industry averages.

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Farmers angry after severe rain and hail batter Indian grape crops

December 16th, 2014

Maharashtra grape farmers suffering crop damages have protested against the government’s lack of action after recent bad weather.

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Fruit sorting tech company wins Australian Exporter of the Year award

December 16th, 2014

GP Graders has received recognition for its international presence in the world of cherry sorting.

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Extensive promotional campaigns pay off for South African avocados

December 15th, 2014

The value of South Africa’s national avocado market shot up by around 20% year-on-year.

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Spanish exporter ships its first batch of lemons to mainland China

December 15th, 2014

Having met China’s rigorous requirements, one Spanish shipper no longer has to send lemons via Hong Kong.

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Peruvian strawberry exports climb in 2014

December 15th, 2014

Peru has witnessed solid growth for its frozen strawberry industry this year, with buoyant demand in the U.S. and Canada.

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Opinion: Melbourne wholesale apple price trends – what do they tell us?

December 15th, 2014

Charley Xia explores how understanding historic price data could help growers improve returns.

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