October 28, 2014 / Week N° 44

Archive for the Interviews Category

Brazilian drought causes lime prices to double

October 28th, 2014

With some Brazilian water reservoirs at 5% capacity, lime prices have shot up to US$2.79 per kilogram.

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Chiquita announces Brazilian takeover

October 27th, 2014

After months of back and forth, Chiquita has agreed to a US$14.50 per share takeover by Cutrale-Safra.

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U.S.: Paramount Citrus to go national with Wonderful Sweet Scarletts

October 27th, 2014

Paramount Citrus president David Krause is “betting big” on grapefruit and is confident for a leadership position in mandarins.

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Zespri’s five-year plan for New Zealand kiwifruit

October 24th, 2014

New Zealand kiwifruit icon Zespri has raised its grower return forecast for the season. Two company executives explain some of the reasons why and outline plans for future campaigns.

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Chilean and Mexican avocado deals running late, says Araiza

October 23rd, 2014

Mission Produce’s Ron Araiza points to changes in the avocado industry, including greater security measures, new facilities and the search for new growing regions.

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Advisory firms clash over ChiquitaFyffes deal

October 22nd, 2014

The gloves are off in the Chiquita saga, as a proxy advisory firm accuses the banana giant of relying on valuations ‘unsupported by market trends’ and using ‘questionable methodologies’ to undermine the Brazilian bid.

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South African table grape volumes back on track

October 21st, 2014

After a slip in table grape production during the last season, South Africa is now expecting a 4-7% increase.

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Chile: ‘a normal export season is still expected’, says ASOEX

October 21st, 2014

A report by the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association says while recent frosts may have caused damages of up to 80% in ‘extreme cases’, the 2014-15 export season will be an ordinary one.

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Poland looks to UAE, China to offset upcoming apple losses

October 20th, 2014

Union Owocowa’s Jolanta Kazimierska says the toughest times are just around the corner for Poland’s apple sector.

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Handheld citrus greening detection device requires ‘cultural change’

October 20th, 2014

A Brazilian professor says farmers using his HLB-detection machine could control the disease ‘within three years’.

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Chiquita rejects new Brazilian offer

October 16th, 2014

Chiquita says Cutrale-Safra have ‘failed to deliver’ an irrevocable offer, claiming a merger with Fyffes would provide much better value than US$14 per share.

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Fairfood International calls for change in Philippine pineapple industry

October 16th, 2014

A Fairfood International report alleges huge pay disparities between employees and ‘contractual’ workers at Dole Philippines and Del Monte Philippines Incorporated.

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Chilean producers crushed by second consecutive year of frosts

October 16th, 2014

A Chilean grower says frosts in southern production regions have destroyed 30-100% of several fruit crops.

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Guatemala plans Interoceanic Corridor to rival Panama Canal

October 16th, 2014

A Guatemalan businessman working on an ambitious maritime transit system says the project will serve the needs of increasing global trade while improving quality of life in the region.

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Brazilian firms sweeten Chiquita offer

October 15th, 2014

In a last-ditch effort, Cutrale-Safra have upped their Chiquita takeover offer to US$14 per share, saying it provides ‘complete certainty’ in terms of value to shareholders.

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‘Significant’ new California farmers’ markets bill aims stamp out fraud

October 15th, 2014

Californian authorities will soon have far more funds to help combat inauthentic produce in farmers’ markets.

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South African court case to test validity of Tango mandarin variety

October 14th, 2014

Is irradiating budwood for seedless characteristics enough to make a citrus variety be considered different? A landmark South African court case will set out to answer this question next year.

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Costa Rican govt to compensate banana spraying victims

October 10th, 2014

Almost 12,000 former banana workers and relatives affected by the chemical DBCP are in line to receive compensation from the Costa Rican government.

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Ecuador to help ease U.S. mango shortage

October 10th, 2014

Despite reduced Latin American mango production, Kingston Fresh will import more Ecuadorian fruit this season.

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Cancer-fighting properties of Australian berry revealed

October 9th, 2014

A berry from northern Australia has destroyed cancerous tumours in 75% of clinical tests.

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Chilean exporters set to enjoy favorable exchange rate for U.S. market

October 9th, 2014

A favorable exchange rate will likely help the Chilean produce industry in the summer season.

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Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited to replace HAL

October 8th, 2014

After a lengthy process Australia’s new levy-backed horticultural industry body has been formed.

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NZ: Kiwifruit Claim co-founder withdraws from case

October 7th, 2014

A key figure has pulled out of a claim against the New Zealand government, but another plaintiff has emphasized that participating growers will have no liabilities if the case fails.

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Colombian avocado industry expects strong export future

October 7th, 2014

Due to new avocado plantings and a recent focus on certification, Colombia is expecting 600% export growth by 2018.

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U.S.: mushroom grower expands to cope with rising demand

October 7th, 2014

Mushroom company To-Jo has boosted a range of its facilities as new industry marketing concepts help increase sales.

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Chile: geothermal greenhouse produces positive results

September 24th, 2014

An initiative in Chile to use geothermal energy in a greenhouse could increase crop yield by 40% annually.

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Russia blocks more unauthorized produce shipments

September 24th, 2014

Russia has returned tomato and potato consignments to Belarus as no countries of origin were given.

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Mexico and China agree to berry export protocols

September 23rd, 2014

China and Mexico have reached an agreement for berry exports, with protocols set to be signed by November.

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China publishes new produce import approval list

September 23rd, 2014

Washington apples and Israeli citrus are just two of several new fresh fruit items listed by China’s AQSIQ as approved for import.

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Turkish fig season gets underway

September 23rd, 2014

Univeg is preparing to receive around 50 truckloads of Black Bursas from the world’s biggest fig exporter.

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Northern Peru’s productive potential

September 22nd, 2014

We take a visit to Peru with a buyer mission organized by SIPPO, which is also looking to find new partners in Colombia.

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Vegetable pre-breeding vital for global food security

September 22nd, 2014

To “feed the world” by 2050 without nourishing it is a self-defeating policy, according to the World Vegetable Center’s Dyno Keatinge.

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U.S.: farming couple take leap of faith with Aronia berry

September 18th, 2014

Two farmers who invested heavily in the Aronia berry say the industry is ‘where the cranberry business was 30 years ago’, and see a big future for the fruit.

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California: CCM urges Governor to veto ‘ambiguous’ groundwater legislation

September 17th, 2014

The California Citrus Mutual says state groundwater management plans ‘will create more problems than they solve.’

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U.K.: Tesco launches pink-fleshed ‘Surprize’ apple

September 17th, 2014

Tesco has launched another funky apple with colorful flesh, two years after the last one.

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Chilean fruit exports take a tumble for the season

September 17th, 2014

Chile saw a 11.4% reduction in fruit exports for the 2013-14 season, largely due to port strikes and frosts.

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Chiquita and Fyffes seek EU merger clearance

September 16th, 2014

In order to gain permission for a tie-up in the Phase I review period, Chiquita and Fyffes say they are considering offering concessions to the EU.

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Mexican officials to visit China to speed up berry export protocol

September 16th, 2014

Mexico could start shipping several types of berry to China by the end of this year.

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Mango exporters ‘can go anywhere’ with new tech use, says Maersk

September 15th, 2014

Maersk says that like avocados and bananas, mangoes also stand to benefit from controlled atmosphere containers.

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Chiquita launches US$30M Guatemalan port revamp

September 12th, 2014

A new port expansion looks set to consolidate Chiquita’s position as the leading Guatemalan banana exporter.

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Drought makes California orange forecast questionable, says CCM

September 12th, 2014

California Citrus Mutual believes the latest NASS orange crop forecast is too high.

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T&G teams up with Unifrutti Chile in Peruvian grape JV

September 10th, 2014

Unifrutti Chile and New Zealand’s Turners & Growers expect a new Peruvian grape partnership will yield fruit next year.

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EU suspends €125M emergency measures amid fraud suspicions

September 10th, 2014

The European Commission has said its aid scheme designed to support farmers affected by the Russian ban ‘has to be closed due to a disproportionate surge in claims’.

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Chiquita signs confidentiality agreement with potential buyers

September 10th, 2014

Chiquita has further relaxed its stance on the proposed merger from two Brazilian companies by entering into a non-disclosure agreement.

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Thailand: first Natural Fruit v. Andy Hall case draws to a close

September 10th, 2014

Andy Hall has been given back his passport by judges who have been described as “conscientious and careful”.

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China to open its doors for Costa Rican pineapples ‘within four months’

September 9th, 2014

Pineapple exports from Costa Rica could be allowed into China later this year, but transit challenges remain.

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South Africa suspends certain EU-bound citrus exports

September 8th, 2014

A U.K industry body says the suspension of some citrus exports from South Africa to Europe will cause ‘major issues’ for the British market.

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U.S.: Silvia Lopez, the voice of anti-union protests at Gerawan Farming

September 8th, 2014

Fruit picker Silvia Lopez discusses her fight to end forced unionization on a California farm.

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Canadian cherry exporter hails ‘unlimited opportunities’ in China

September 5th, 2014

As a very successful second season with excellent prices in China draws to a close, one Canadian cherry company says shoppers are ‘more sophisticated’ than five years ago.

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U.S.: Dole Food Company distances itself from Andy Hall case

September 3rd, 2014

Dole Food Company claims it has no connection with the Thai Pineapple Industry Association.

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Poor translations keep Andy Hall in the dark in Thai trial

September 3rd, 2014

Several international organizations have raised concerns as to whether Andy Hall will get a fair trial in Thailand. Early signs show those worries may have been justified.

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U.S.: avocado acquisition a ‘good combination between their culture and ours’

September 3rd, 2014

Eco Farms’ head says the new venture with Total Produce will allow it to double volume within five years.

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Total Produce buys in to California avocado deal

September 2nd, 2014

In a “robust” results announcement for the first half, multinational Total Produce has drawn attention to its recent purchase of a stake in U.S. avocado grower Eco Farms.

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NZ growers take action to mitigate rain risks for cherries

September 2nd, 2014

New Zealand cherry industry players discuss several steps underway to make the most of booming opportunities in Asia.

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Business Social Compliance Initiative expresses ‘great concern’ over Andy Hall case

September 1st, 2014

An organization that works with hundreds of European retailers and importers has said it’s ‘time for cooperation rather than litigation’, in response to the charges brought against activist Andy Hall.

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Thailand: 300,000 sign petitions to drop charges against Andy Hall

August 31st, 2014

The number of petitioners in support of Andy Hall continues to rise, joining the likes of United Nordic, leading U.K. retailers and Fyffes.

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U.S. may allow South African citrus from black spot-infested areas

August 29th, 2014

U.S. authorities claim South Africa should be treated the same way as Florida when it comes to citrus black spot.

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U.S.: Sun Pacific ‘affected dramatically’ by the drought

August 29th, 2014

‘Water prices are way up, water availability is way down, and it’s scary’, says a Californian citrus grower.

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U.S. NGO sues Chiquita for “deceptive” advertising

August 28th, 2014

A Seattle-based NGO claims the Rainforest Alliance is re-thinking its endorsement of Chiquita bananas, following allegations of water contamination in Guatemala.

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California: Gerawan responds to UFW statement, misconduct allegations

August 28th, 2014

Gerawan Farming says ‘It is unfortunate that our employees need to take such a drastic action’.

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Chiquita and Fyffes find US$20M in new synergies from proposed merger

August 27th, 2014

Brazil’s Cavendish Global may seek to sway shareholders from the merger, but Chiquita and Fyffes have found new benefits that could be gained from their partnership.

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California: UFW hits back at ‘anti-labor’ Center for Worker Freedom

August 27th, 2014

The United Farmworkers Union has accused the Center for Worker Freedom of “cynical outreach to Latinos”, backed by the “architect” of last fall’s Federal Government shutdown.

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Farmworkers versus unions, a new fight in California

August 26th, 2014

Employers will not be the targets in a peach picker protest to take place today, but rather unions and the State of the California.

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USDA researcher reveals encouraging results of phosphine fumigation tests

August 25th, 2014

Research shows worker safety and food quality could be improved by using phosphine instead of methyl bromide on crops.

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Australia: Select Harvests to make landmark acquisitions

August 24th, 2014

A leading Australian almond company plans to spend US$59 million on new properties and water entitlements in a bid to double production by 2018.

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Communist rebels attack two Philippine banana plantations

August 24th, 2014

A Del Monte aircraft hangar was one site of rebel attacks on banana operations in the Philippines over the weekend.

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Brazilian authorities approve GM fruit fly trials

August 22nd, 2014

A U.K. company is taking a further step in testing fruit fly controls through genetic modification, but GeneWatch believes the move could threaten the food supply.

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Peruvian avocado industry accuses Chile of unfair treatment

August 22nd, 2014

A Peruvian industry representative has asked ‘why aren’t Californian avocados tested for sunblotch in Chile too?’

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Russia eases ban on certain produce

August 21st, 2014

In order to help its own farmers, Russia has scrapped some agricultural items from its import ban including onion and potato seeds.

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Chilean scientists find new way to control fruit decomposition

August 21st, 2014

A Chilean team may have come up with something of an elixir of shelf life.

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Brazilian table grape producer expects ‘tough season’ after cloudy weather

August 21st, 2014

Brazil’s leading table grape producer says cloudy weather greatly affected white seedless production this year, however a strong domestic market and 14 new varieties mean it isn’t all bad news.

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EU slates €125M for emergency measures to prop up produce industry

August 18th, 2014

The European Union will tap emergency funding to support growers affected by Russia’s import ban, but not all crops will be included.

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Peru: Camposol profit surges more than 2.5 times in Q2

August 18th, 2014

Peppers were the only produce item that didn’t show growth for Peruvian exporter Camposol in the second quarter.

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Brazilian suitor urges Chiquita shareholders to reject Fyffes merger

August 18th, 2014

After the Chiquita board said “no” to a takeover offer, two Brazilian groups are making a direct pitch to shareholders.

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U.S.: Chiquita board rejects Brazilian offer

August 14th, 2014

Banana workers and advocacy groups had raised concern that a Brazilian takeover would set back 15 years of progress. Luckily for them, Chiquita is not recommending the deal to its shareholders.

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When there’s a will there’s a way

August 14th, 2014

Speculation is mounting about the unofficial exports of some European Union-grown fruit to Russia despite the embargo.

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Peru can ‘perfectly complement’ Chilean grapes, says Cilloniz

August 13th, 2014

A Peruvian market consultant says his country can partner with Chile to ensure a smoother grape supply.

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Czech growers fear flood of Polish apples

August 13th, 2014

Czech orchardists are concerned for an oversupply of apples from Poland, but a social media campaign has helped boost consumption.

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Peruvian blueberry grower expects major increase in national production

August 13th, 2014

Peru’s blueberry exports could hit US$40 million this year as it takes advantage of a month-long global supply gap.

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Belarus govt vows nation won’t be gray market for food to Russia

August 12th, 2014

Belarus has vowed it will not become a re-export point for foods banned by its neighbor Russia.

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Brazilian groups make US$611M bid for Chiquita

August 11th, 2014

A corporate tilt from Brazil threatens to derail the proposed merger between produce giants Chiquita and Fyffes.

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Russian produce embargo: North America in-focus

August 11th, 2014

We take an in-depth, crop-by-crop look at the effects of the Russian produce ban on U.S. and Canadian growers.

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Chilean fruit groups express ‘profound concern’ over port reform

August 11th, 2014

ASOEX and Fedefruta have questioned why the fruit industry should pay the cost of port labor issues again.

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Russia: forget about summer blueberries or affordable pears

August 11th, 2014

Two Russian importers claim most products lost from the ban on EU produce can be regained from other countries.

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Europe seeks solutions to Russian food ban

August 8th, 2014

The European Commission is seeking an end to the blockade on its €1.8 billion Russian produce export market, and hasn’t ruled out making emergency funding available to the industry.

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Chile: not enough fruit stocks for ‘immediate response’ to Russian ban

August 7th, 2014

Russia’s recent decision has cut out around a quarter of the country’s produce imports, according to preliminary estimates from consultancy Decofrut.

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U.S. trade groups say others will be hit much harder by Russian ban

August 7th, 2014

One U.S. agricultural group says ‘it is unfortunate that the biggest losers in this will be Russian consumers’.

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Russia looks to Kazakhstan, Belarus after food import ban

August 7th, 2014

Russia is taking active steps to forge a Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in the wake of its ban on a range of food items from the West.

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Dutch produce industry forecasts €600M loss from Russian ban

August 7th, 2014

A Dutch industry representative says the Russian ban is the worst thing to happen to the European produce sector since the E. coli outbreak.

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Russian govt announces list of banned food products

August 7th, 2014

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes sanctions are a “blind alley”, but the latest ban on food imports from the EU, U.S., Norway, Canada and Australia will benefit local farmers.

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Russia: Putin signs decree to ban ag products from sanctioning countries

August 6th, 2014

While the wording is vague, one thing is certain – a decree signed today by Vladimir Putin will mean bans on a range of agricultural goods from the West.

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NZ: future in doubt for recent Zespri kiwifruit variety

August 6th, 2014

A golden Zespri kiwifruit variety marketed as Charm has been shriveling up on supermarket shelves.

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Coca Cola untaps US$5B for African investments

August 6th, 2014

Fruit farmers in Kenya, Nigeria and Malawi are expected to benefit from Coca Cola’s expansive ‘Source Africa’ initiative.

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China re-opens market to California citrus

August 5th, 2014

After a 15-month absence, California’s citrus industry can once again ship its fruit to China.

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Update: Ireland’s SuperValu takes Israeli carrots off shelves

August 5th, 2014

One Irish supermarket chain has responded to calls from a retail workers’ union to boycott Israeli goods due to the Gaza conflict.

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U.S.: huge water savings made with ‘remarkable’ new irrigation methods

August 5th, 2014

A Florida potato grower has said his innovative irrigation method ‘is and needs to be the future’.

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Inside the world’s first seedless mango

August 4th, 2014

We speak with the man behind India’s renowned “practically seedless” Sindhu mango.

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Greek growers ‘hold their breath’ for possible Russian ban

August 1st, 2014

Russia looks likely to place an import ban on Greek fruit which could have drastic impacts on the industry.

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British growers slam proposed EU organic regulation changes

August 1st, 2014

New EU organic certification rules threaten to derail mixed crop farming through a purist approach.

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EU closes door on Ghanaian vegetable imports

July 31st, 2014

Ghana’s burgeoning vegetable exports have not been up to scratch for the EU this year, prompting a temporary ban.

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