September 12, 2014 / Week N° 37

Archive for the Interviews Category

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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North America sees huge price ranges for blueberries

July 31st, 2014

Fall Creek’s Cort Brazelton looks at how northern blueberry markets are faring, what this means for upcoming foreign suppliers, and Morocco’s recent U.S. breakthrough.

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Moroccan fresh blueberry exporters gain access to U.S. market

July 30th, 2014

U.S. consumers simply can’t get enough of blueberries, and soon they will have another source of origin for the antioxidant-rich fruit.

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Russia whacks temporary ban on a raft of Polish produce items

July 30th, 2014

After much speculation, Russian authorities have finally acted. Polish apples and a range of other produce items are now banned.

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Dutch company uses ‘country-specific’ greenhouse technology on farms

July 30th, 2014

A Dutch horticultural supplier has been praised for its innovative technology used on a South African farm.

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Favorable exchange rates raise Del Monte results in Q2

July 29th, 2014

Bananas, pineapples, tomatoes and melons were some of Del Monte’s strongest performing products in the second quarter.

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Chile: cherry prices go sky high in record year for growers

July 29th, 2014

Chilean cherries prices shot up this year but not all growers received the full benefit of the increase.

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India: Bollywood star officially becomes Maharashtra fruit ambassador

July 28th, 2014

One of the most recognizable faces in Indian cinema is now officially a representative of the country’s leading fruit-growing state.

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Fresh German-Chilean shipping line acquisition deal in the works

July 25th, 2014

With a merger deal on the cards between CSAV and Hapag-Lloyd, another Valparaiso company is on track for a transaction with a multinational based in Hamburg.

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Apartheid citrus documentary airs in Ireland

July 25th, 2014

A new documentary looks at how young Dublin retail workers took action against the injustices of racial segregation in South Africa in the 1980s.

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U.S. appeals court throws out Chiquita terrorist payment claim case

July 24th, 2014

A case relating to alleged paramilitary payments from Chiquita in Colombia has been dismissed by a federal court in Florida as being outside U.S jurisdiction.

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Ex-Woolworths chief promoted to CEO at Walmart U.S.

July 24th, 2014

Retail veteran Greg Foran has been promoted from head of Walmart Asia to CEO of Walmart U.S.

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U.S. organic company says debate should not focus on health benefits

July 24th, 2014

The CEO of Organics Unlimited agrees with criticism of a recent study, saying you can’t “compare apples to apples”.

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South African govt responds to CBS interception in Europe

July 23rd, 2014

A South African government department has emphasized its focus on compliance following the interception of fruit with citrus black spot (CBS) in Europe.

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EU members call for sanctions against Russia

July 22nd, 2014

The EU is looking to put tougher sanctions on Russia in a bid to stop the flow of weapons into the Ukraine.

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U.S.: ‘demand for cranberries fairly stagnant’, says grower group

July 22nd, 2014

Wisconsin cranberry growers are due for an average crop this year amid unenticing market conditions.

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China: Goodfarmer to develop produce “multinational” status, says Liu Zijie

July 22nd, 2014

Shandong Goodfarmer’s president talks about Ecuadorian bananas, Zespri kiwifruit and creating a new Latin American company.

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First CBS interception in Europe “disappointing” for South African citrus growers

July 21st, 2014

South Africa no longer has a clean sheet on citrus black spot this year, and an expert is investigating the farm in question.

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Organic industry reacts to comparative nutrition study

July 21st, 2014

U.S. and European organic companies assess the many facets of their category and how it relates to a recent study claiming superior nutritional benefits.

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U.K. organic health study is misleading and dismisses key facts, experts say

July 21st, 2014

British scientists have questioned why higher antioxidants in organic fruit should equate to public health benefits.

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U.S.: Sysco to pay US$19.4M settlement over unrefrigerated food sheds

July 21st, 2014

Foodservice provider Sysco has agreed to pay damages for its prior use of noncompliant drop sites in California.

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U.S.: APHIS proposes rule to allow Chinese apple imports

July 18th, 2014

A recent posting on the Federal Register puts China one step closer to gaining access to the U.S. apple market.

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South African avocados face stronger Peruvian competition in Europe

July 18th, 2014

An ‘oversaturated’ U.S. avocado market has led to Peru competing more heavily with South Africa in the EU.

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U.S.: Farm Bill funding pays greater attention to organic growers

July 18th, 2014

The USDA has slated a record level of funding for organic certification cost-share assistance.

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Ecuador-EU trade agreement is “marvelous”, says banana industry leader

July 17th, 2014

Ecuador is now one step closer to being on par with its banana-exporting competitors in Europe when it comes to tariffs.

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U.S.: new study reveals worrying impacts of Californian drought

July 16th, 2014

The new study from UC Davis says groundwater reserves cannot be treated like an ‘unlimited savings account’.

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Chile: grape pioneer passes away

July 15th, 2014

An important figure in Chile’s agricultural development, Alfonso Prohens, has died.

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Many Colombian banana growers in misery after strong winds

July 14th, 2014

4,500 hectares of banana plantations have been destroyed by strong winds in northern Colombia.

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Organic crops have significantly more antioxidants, study finds

July 14th, 2014

Organic proponents hope a recent landmark international study will dispel consumer confusion about the category’s benefits.

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Spain: Driscoll’s ‘learning a lot’ about Drosophila control methods

July 14th, 2014

Driscoll’s has taken the lead with the Spanish government on researching vinegar fly Drosophila Suzukii, and has reported a promising outlook for controlling the pest.

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Chile: Court of Appeals rejects bid to block Peruvian avocado imports

July 11th, 2014

A request from Chilean growers to block Peruvian avocado imports will now come before the Supreme Court.

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Mexico strengthens southern border against agricultural threats

July 11th, 2014

Mexico has spent US$22 million on building and upgrading border facilities to prevent the entry of exotic pests and diseases.

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Figs running earlier than ever, says U.S. grower-shipper

July 11th, 2014

From figs to persimmons to chestnuts, U.S.-based Stellar Distributing is on the hunt for new international trade deals.

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U.S.: PAC throws old avocado marketing concepts “out the door”

July 10th, 2014

The Peruvian Avocado Commission aims to show leadership in revamped web design in the produce industry.

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Colombia unites with Peru and Chile to develop agriculture

July 9th, 2014

A Colombian agricultural development body will work with other South American countries to strengthen the industry.

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Rival aims to shake Huizhan’s hold on China’s imported fruit wholesale market

July 9th, 2014

First it was Longwu, then Huizhan stepped in, and now another player aims to build a project in Jiangsu north of Shanghai to “revolutionize” China’s imported fruit market.

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U.S.: leafy greens first, then cannabis for NYSE-listed company

July 9th, 2014

A U.S. company is investing in vertical farming facilities for leafy greens, with a transition to cannabis in its sights.

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U.S.: Fresh Del Monte executives sell off millions in stock

July 4th, 2014

Fresh Del Monte leaders have made handsome profits by cashing in on stock options in the company.

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Belarus blocks Ukrainian potato imports

July 3rd, 2014

After losing the Russian market, Ukraine has now lost access for its potatoes in Belarus.

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Australian researchers develop intelligent ‘Ladybird’ farm robot

July 3rd, 2014

University of Sydney researchers have unveiled a new robot that could significantly assist farmers.

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Identity and ownership change for Chilean blueberry company

July 3rd, 2014

Alpine Chile will now be known by the name Navy Blue Export S.A., driven by trade strategies for Europe and Asia.

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Drastic fall for exports of Argentine mandarins, oranges

July 2nd, 2014

An Argentine citrus industry representative says growers urgently need the U.S. and Brazilian markets to be opened if they are to improve their lot.

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