March 30, 2015 / Week N° 14

Archive for the Top Stories Category

Russia trashes gray market apples

March 30th, 2015

Recent photos show Russian authorities have dumped illegal fruit in landfill sites.

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U.K.: Earliest ever raspberries hit Waitrose shelves

March 30th, 2015

British Summer Fruits (BSF) expects outdoor raspberry crops to be two weeks later than last year.

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NZ kiwifruit export season kicks off

March 30th, 2015

Zespri’s Lain Jager says New Zealand’s kiwifruit volumes are set to be back to pre-Psa levels this year.

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Peru: Strong demand spurs on strawberry exports

March 30th, 2015

A Peruvian industry head says improved technology could boost frozen strawberries’ potential.

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Mexico: New avocado export system better serves industry, says APEAM

March 27th, 2015

APEAM is pleased that no sanctions or penalties were posed in a recent competition authority decision.

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U.K.: Scientist says govt drew wrong conclusion from neonicotinoids study

March 27th, 2015

A biology professor reportedly says the U.K.’s position on a type of pesticide “doesn’t add up”.

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Indonesia: Fresh Grow to launch ‘King Tomato’ range after positive trial

March 27th, 2015

Fresh Grow says ‘lower-cost and unmatched quality beat-out less fresh, higher-costing imports.’

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South Africa: Eastern Cape citrus sector receives funding to boost exports

March 27th, 2015

Some US$1.8 million of funding will reportedly help an area of the Eastern Cape reach the EU market.

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Costa Rica: CANAPEP says eco-group “overstated” water pollution problems

March 26th, 2015

A Costa Rican NGO has petitioned the IAHCR to help halt pineapple expansion in the Caribbean country.

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Mexican resolution puts an end to avocado export services monopoly

March 26th, 2015

Mexican avocado packers no longer need to be members of APEAM to export to the U.S.

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No risk of Russian ban on Serbian fruit, says ambassador

March 26th, 2015

Serbia has reportedly established a new system of sending phytosanitary certificates to Russia in advance.

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Brazil’s Argentine pome fruit ban “unjustified and hasty”, says CAFI

March 26th, 2015

A major Argentine industry body warns of “severe social consequences” if Brazil’s pome fruit ban continues.

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State of the Market – Week 12, 2015

March 25th, 2015

A reduced supply allowed for white seedless grape price stabilization in the U.S. in week 12.

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WHO-affiliated group deems glyphosate “probably carcinogenic”

March 25th, 2015

Monsanto is ‘outraged’ at a determination from the IARC that the world’s most used herbicide is probably carcinogenic to humans.

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Dominican Medfly outbreak far from commercial fruit production, says mango rep

March 25th, 2015

Mango and avocado exporters believe the U.S. trade restrictions on Dominican fruit should be over soon.

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Russian ban prompts harvest change for early-season Spanish cherries

March 25th, 2015

An exclusive Spanish cherry group has had to reconfigure its greenhouse conditions to adapt to the loss of the Russian market.

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Swiss group to boost Colombian agro-industry with its first ever buyer mission

March 24th, 2015

Following success in Peru, Switzerland Global Enterprise will hold its first buyer visit to Colombia this year.

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Australia: Farm robotics raise student interest in horticulture

March 24th, 2015

Drone technology has helped get more young people interested in horticultural research at the University of Queensland.

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Russia mulls ban on Serbian fruit imports

March 24th, 2015

Serbia will have to explain its sharp uptick in apple shipments to Russia if it is to avoid a ban on the trade.

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Ecuadorian tariffs could have flow-on effects for Chile’s overseas grape exports

March 24th, 2015

The delicate balance of Chilean grape prices abroad could be impacted by Ecuador’s recent protectionist policy.

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Indo-Israeli centres of excellence going strong

March 23rd, 2015

The Indo-Israel Agriculture Project Cooperation Project (IIAP) recently held its biggest workshop yet.

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Russian authorities intercept another Polish apple shipment

March 23rd, 2015

Some 58MT of Polish apples have been blocked from entering Russia via Kazakhstan.

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Russia may capitalize on U.S. ban of Dominican fruit

March 23rd, 2015

The U.S. ban on Dominican Republic fruit has the potential to play in favor of a Russian market in need of more supply.

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Australia: Other banana farms come up negative for Panama Disease TR4

March 23rd, 2015

While there is good news for the Australian banana industry, a grower body has urged everyone to stay vigilent.

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Film Review: The Starfish Throwers

March 20th, 2015

The new documentary set to air tomorrow shows the beauty of how a 40-pound cabbage can turn into a global movement.

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Chinese kiwiberry importer overcomes hiccups from NZ fruit fly detection

March 20th, 2015

The inclusion of Auckland Airport in a Queensland fruit fly detection zone caused minor setbacks for the kiwiberry trade.

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U.S., NZ take Indonesia to WTO over import license restrictions

March 20th, 2015

Two leading agricultural nations have taken aim at Indonesia’s “trade-restrictive import licensing regime”.

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China: Hainan mango growers look to new markets

March 19th, 2015

Hainan mango growers are optimistic about market opportunities in mainland China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.

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Virgin Australia chairman may take top role at Costa Group

March 19th, 2015

The Australian Financial Review has speculated that Virgin Australia chairman Neil Chatfield could head up the Costa Group.

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Philippines: Dry spell hits around 5% of banana production, says PBGEA

March 19th, 2015

The Philippine banana sector is exporting less fruit to the Middle East due to conflict in the region.

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Italian organic kiwifruit brand ‘conquers’ Australia

March 19th, 2015

A northern Italian kiwifruit grower is making the most of Australia’s high fruit demand, and is planning other international ventures.

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State of the Market – Week 11, 2015

March 18th, 2015

The European white seedless grape market was strong during week 11.

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U.S.: Florida blueberry growers ‘pleased’ with fruit set

March 18th, 2015

The Florida blueberry harvest should kick off later this month, barring any cold snaps.

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California: ‘Highly unusual’ weather to accelerate summer crop season

March 18th, 2015

Barry Bedwell says it appears as though recent hot weather won’t impact negatively on fruit quality.

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Table grape season wrapping up in South Africa

March 18th, 2015

As South Africa’s table grape season is on its last legs, weather conditions for harvest are the best seen in decades in the Hex River Valley.

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Pipfruit NZ to help revitalize Indian apple sector

March 17th, 2015

In exchange for supporting India’s apple sector, the New Zealand industry hopes trade tariffs will be removed.

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Chile: ASOEX calls for govt action to end Valparaiso port strike

March 17th, 2015

A Chilean strike puts fruit shipments at risk of missing thresholds for the U.S. Marketing Order.

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Australian govt responds quickly to TR4 confirmation in Queensland

March 17th, 2015

The Australian Federal Government has pledged funding and expert staff to support the Panama Disease TR4 containment effort.

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South Africa suspends citrus shipments to Spain

March 17th, 2015

Justin Chadwick says Spain’s methodology for identifying CBS in citrus imports is “clearly a big concern”.

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Costa Rica recognizes first carbon neutral banana farm

March 16th, 2015

A Costa Rican banana farm hopes its eco-friendly practices will serve as an example to the industry.

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Honduras: Finca Tropical responds to anti-union allegations

March 16th, 2015

A banana supplier to Chiquita has defended its labor record following recent criticisms from FESTAGRO.

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NZ: Seeka says packhouse fire shoudn’t impact on ‘operational performance’

March 16th, 2015

Seeka’s insurance claim following a packhouse fire has been accepted.

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Chinese greenhouse cherries cash in on early market

March 13th, 2015

Greenhouse production means small volumes of fresh Chinese cherries, blueberries and nectarines are already hitting the market.

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Australia: FAO rep optimistic despite TR4 doom and gloom

March 13th, 2015

A plant disease expert believes Queensland will be able to contain the suspected case of TR4.

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U.S.: Dole at odds with Delaware appraisal laws

March 13th, 2015

Dole executives have reportedly said they may consider moving the business out of Delaware if appraisal laws aren’t changed.

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Israeli bred grape tomato commercialized in Mexico

March 13th, 2015

Seed company Hazera said its ‘Olivia’ tomato provides growers with consistent sizing and sugar levels.

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Advertorial: Awe Sum Organics’ Pear Season Begins

March 12th, 2015

Awe Sum Organics’ new crop organic Argentine pears are arriving now on both coasts of the U.S.

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Chiquita supplier accused of anti-union activity in Honduras

March 12th, 2015

FESTAGRO alleges a banana picker was fired after an accident at Finca Tropical, but an HR representative says he never worked there.

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Greek strawberry grower says Russian embargo “only on paper”

March 12th, 2015

With the import ban from Russia, Greek strawberry oversupply may be alleviated somewhat due to weather impacts.

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U.S.: Newark vertical farm to take ‘precision and performance to another level’

March 12th, 2015

AeroFarms says it is investing heavily in software for its vertical farms to ‘scale-up and go worldwide’.

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State of the Market – Week 10, 2015

March 11th, 2015

Some containers of Chilean blueberries arriving in the EU had gas regulation problems in week 10.

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Australia: Tasmanian irrigation projects strengthen Costa’s berry business

March 11th, 2015

Australia’s largest privately-owned produce company expects to double its Tasmanian berry production.

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Pakistan kinnow campaign boosted by Russian market

March 11th, 2015

Pakistan has been able to raise exports of Kinnow mandarins to markets ranging from Russia to Canada.

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Can Kenyan avocados outprice the competition in Hong Kong?

March 11th, 2015

Terra Exports plans to raise its shipments of Kenyan avocados fifteenfold for the Hong Kong market this year.

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U.S.: Pink Lady to add several varieties to brand

March 10th, 2015

Pink Lady-branded apples will be available earlier in the season following the inclusion of new varieties.

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U.K. firm develops micro-perforated lids for soft fruits

March 10th, 2015

A new British innovation allows berries to breathe but also prevents contaminants from affecting the fruit.

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Chile: Smallholder apple farmer upbeat for China despite market concerns

March 10th, 2015

A Chilean apple company plans to plant cherry trees to complement future online sales in China.

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U.S.: New primocane-fruiting blackberry released

March 10th, 2015

The University of Arkansas has released a blackberry cultivar suitable for traveling long distances.

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Chile: Coquimbo fruit sector estimated to have lost US$1B to drought

March 9th, 2015

An industry head as requested a series of state support measures to aid a regional industry in crisis.

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Chilean fresh blueberry exports set new record

March 9th, 2015

With just a few weeks left of the Chilean blueberry export season, total volumes could hit 91,000MT.

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Palestine Crops upbeat for renewed veggie trade with Israel

March 9th, 2015

Mohammed Zwayyed is positive about Gaza’s new produce trade relationship with Israel, but expects some restrictions will remain.

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South Africa: DFI announces ‘realistic’ land reform strategy

March 9th, 2015

South Africa’s Deciduous Fruit Industry land reform initiative would add 1,227 new hectares of pome fruit and stonefruit over five years.

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Moldova: Russian collaboration will continue, says Agrodenidan

March 6th, 2015

A Moldovan apple exporter was in a critical situation before a recent Russian market reopening for certain companies.

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Australia: Queensland warned of ‘serious consequences’ if TR4 spreads

March 6th, 2015

The Costa Group has urged industry cooperation following a suspected detection of Panama Disease TR4.

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Israel reopens for Gaza produce imports

March 6th, 2015

Israel has opened is doors to Gaza-grown produce after banning exports from the territory when Hamas took control in 2007.

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Portugal encourages investment from Chilean produce companies

March 6th, 2015

On a recent visit, a Portuguese minister said Chilean fruit exporters might be able to use its ‘EU gateway’ Port of Sines.

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Brazil: Early 2015 rains lift Gala apple quality

March 5th, 2015

Rainfall in two key Brazilian production areas from January to March is unlikely to be lower than historic averages.

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Melons from Portuguese island receive granted protected status from EU

March 5th, 2015

Melons from an island in the Azores join a list of 1,200 EU products with a Protected Geographical Indication.

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Stress on young bees could explain colony collapse, U.K. study shows

March 5th, 2015

Researchers say bees that are forced to forage too early in their lives put the colony at risk.

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Belgium: Univeg to enter merger talks with Greenyard Foods, Peatinvest

March 5th, 2015

A tie up of three Belgium-headquartered companies could combine sales worth in excess of €3.7 billion.

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State of the Market – Week 9, 2015

March 4th, 2015

Local U.S. apple prices were 5-27% lower year-on-year in week 9.

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Aussie blueberry growers need urgent protocol support

March 4th, 2015

Australian blueberry growers have prepared a 50-page export strategy, emphasizing an impending oversupply at home.

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Freshfel delegate speaks of ‘general consensus’ for EU School Fruit Scheme

March 4th, 2015

An EU meeting held yesterday appeared promising for the continuation of EC-backed school fruit programs.

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Link discovered between guava smell and weevil pest

March 4th, 2015

Colombian researchers believe a new method for controlling the guava weevil pest could be in store.

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Australia: APAL anticipates production and quality boost in 2015

March 3rd, 2015

Per hectare pome fruit yields in Australia are on the up thanks to improved orchard management.

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India: Unexpected downpours in Pune damage leafy crops

March 3rd, 2015

Spinach, coriander, tomatoes, cucumber and grapes are some crops that have been hit by heavy rain in Maharashtra.

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New banana variety gives Philippine growers “hope to rise again”

March 3rd, 2015

The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) is offering a Panama Disease Race IV-resistant banana cultivar to growers in Davao.

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Russia may allow some EU food imports, says Kremlin spokesperson

March 3rd, 2015

A Kremlin representative says Russia may be able to get around the food import ban by using local processing as a condition of entry.

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Russia: Food embargo removal bill “violated party discipline”

March 2nd, 2015

Three Russian lawmakers who proposed to remove the import ban have been reprimanded for the action.

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China: Red kiwifruit production region hopes for foothold in EU market

March 2nd, 2015

Part of a Chinese county has received the Protected Eco-Origin Product certification for red kiwifruit varieties.

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School fruit would “fall apart” in many countries if EU scheme is scrapped

March 2nd, 2015

Raquel Izquierdo de Santiago gives her assessment as to why the EU School Fruit scheme should definitely not be pulled or changed.

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Peru: Sierra Exportadora to plant soursop trees

March 2nd, 2015

A Peruvian company hopes to plant dozens of hectares of a fruit that is often promoted as an alternative cancer treatment.

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U.S.: White seedless table grapes could hit ‘bargain prices’

February 27th, 2015

Capespan North America says there will likely be a ‘fast peak and abrupt end’ for Thompsons.

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Seoul searching pays off for Aussie cherry industry

February 27th, 2015

Stemming from a recent FTA, Australia’s cherry exports to South Korea have experienced exponential growth.

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Russian market reopens for some Moldovan apple shippers

February 27th, 2015

Russian authorities have approved several Moldovan firms for apple exports.

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Fairtrade ‘absorbing’ farms, changing livelihoods

February 27th, 2015

With GDP per capita that is five times lower than the EU, is China ready for fairtrade produce? Fairtrasa’s Patrick Struebi thinks yes.

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U.S.: Chiquita forced to stay longer at Gulfport

February 26th, 2015

Port congestion in New Orleans has delayed the completion of a logistics move for Chiquita Brands International.

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U.S. pistachio industry celebrates new dietary recommendations

February 26th, 2015

Pistachio growers all around the globe have cause for celebration on World Pistachio Day.

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Ireland dragging heels on fairtrade bananas, new report claims

February 26th, 2015

While Irish retailers have been slow on the uptake of fairtrade bananas, two stores recently committed to stock 100% fairtrade pears.

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Australia: Frozen berries were source of growth for Patties Foods in 2014

February 25th, 2015

The company that recalled its berry products due to a recent health scare recorded strong results for its fruit brand last year.

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EU School Fruit Scheme under threat

February 25th, 2015

Freshfel has urged the European Commission not to put ‘better regulation’ ahead of children’s health.

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State of the Market – Week 8, 2015

February 25th, 2015

Large Red Globe volumes from South Africa pushed prices down in Europe in week 8.

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Aussie grower expects “balanced” citrus crop for 2015

February 25th, 2015

“I’d prefer an average volume crop of good size to a massive crop of small fruit,” says Seven Fields’ Brett Jackson.

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Argentina: San Miguel anticipates ‘loss in competitiveness’ this season

February 25th, 2015

San Miguel aims to overcome complex challenges outside of its control for the processed and fresh citrus sectors.

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California: China citrus import suspension means ‘robust trade won’t materialize’

February 24th, 2015

There is as yet no indication as to when China’s citrus import suspension on Tulare County might be lifted.

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Australia: Cyclone Marcia hits “two years’ income” for some growers

February 24th, 2015

Some growers have been hit hard by Cyclone Marcia while timing has been very lucky for others.

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Washington apple industry applauds U.S. West Coast port breakthrough

February 24th, 2015

After missing “critical shipping opportunities”, the Washington Apple Commission is pleased the ports are back up and running.

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U.K.: Factory closures and job losses at Produce World

February 24th, 2015

A major U.K. vegetable supplier intends to form a joint venture with brassica grower and marketer Lincolnshire Field Products.

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Aussie produce industry calls for stricter country of origin labeling

February 23rd, 2015

Both the AHEA and Ausveg believe the recent Hepatitis A outbreak has re-opened the debate on COO labels.

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Colombia: Asoppitaya to expand crop offering

February 23rd, 2015

After making its name in dragonfruit, Colombia’s Asoppitaya plans to move into organic crops and other tropical fruits.

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