December 16, 2014 / Week N° 51

Archive for the Interviews Category

NZ: Zespri considers Chinese kiwifruit production partnerships

December 15th, 2014

Zespri’s Matt Crawford discusses production possibilities in China and a red kiwifruit variety trialled in Singapore.

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U.S.: California court takes Dole’s side in fruit mix labeling case

December 12th, 2014

A California court has denied a consumer’s allegation that Dole’s use of ascorbic and citric acids in packaged products makes the label “All Natural Fruit” misleading.

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Watermelon sourced from the Canary Islands boosts supply for Hillfresh

December 12th, 2014

The first batches of Canary Islands watermelons have arrived in the Netherlands in a new Ramafrut-Hillfresh deal.

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China intercepts fungus in Chilean blueberry shipment

December 12th, 2014

Chilean blueberry exporters will need to be on the lookout for stem canker in their packing lines.

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U.S.: West Coast exporters ‘substantially delayed’, says Western Growers

December 5th, 2014

Western Growers says there are exporters ‘backing off’ their shipping volumes due to congestion in West Coast ports, and it is unclear when conditions will begin to improve.

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China green lights South African apple imports

December 4th, 2014

The South African apple industry hopes the new Chinese market access will act as a ‘springboard’ to enter other Asian countries in the future.

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The Packaging Pitch: Cauliflower to take kale’s food trend reign in 2015

December 4th, 2014

Marketing expert Lisa Cork says a shift to low carb diets will make cauliflower a hot crop to watch in 2015.

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Decofrut forecasts 17% fall in Chilean cherry exports

December 3rd, 2014

A Chilean consultancy has provided a variety-by-variety glimpse of cherry damages in the wake of weekend rains.

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Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV finalize shipping merger

December 2nd, 2014

Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV have completed their tie up to become the world’s fourth-largest container liner shipping company, with expected annual sales of US$12 billion.

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Spain: Laser Food signs global deal with US$900M equipment group

December 2nd, 2014

A laser labeling technology is coming to the U.S. produce industry, and potentially anywhere that JBT Corporation has customers.

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Doubts linger after brief Chilean port strike

November 27th, 2014

Chile’s cherry and blueberry industries have very different views on the effects of recent port strikes.

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Mission Produce teams up with Lantao for Chinese avocado sales

November 27th, 2014

Mission Produce has raised its avocado sales in China by 15% since a partnership was reached with Lantao.

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U.S: new fumigation method allows for greater fruit volumes

November 27th, 2014

Exporters whose fruit requires fumigation in the U.S. now have a much more practical solution on offer in Florida.

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Russia may include Switzerland in produce import embargo

November 26th, 2014

A 400-fold increase in Swiss apple exports to Russia has sparked suspicions of smuggling to avoid a trade ban on EU produce.

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Field management app Eland gains ground in Argentina and Chile

November 24th, 2014

Originally designed for commodity crops, an Argentine field management app is making an impact in Chile’s fruit and vegetable sector.

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U.S. rules hit Chilean organic blueberry hectares, says North Bay

November 21st, 2014

North Bay Produce’s Ruy Barbosa talks about Chilean blueberry uniformity and the implications of fumigation measures.

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Japanese market opens for fumigation-free Chilean cherries

November 20th, 2014

A decision by Japan’s MAFF will now allow for much greater volumes of Chilean cherries this Christmas.

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Del Monte opens new Canadian fresh cut facility

November 19th, 2014

Fresh Del Monte Produce has opened a new operation to supply fresh cut salads, fruits and vegetables to the Canadian market.

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Spanish citrus sector angered by EU labeling decision

November 18th, 2014

A decision to single out citrus growers in labeling the use of postharvest chemicals has been supported by the General Court of the European Union.

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U.S.: High times for strawberries and blueberries, says Riordan

November 18th, 2014

California Giant Berry Farms owner Patrick Riordan says he is “blessed” to be involved in the category.

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Brazilian blueberry market “spectacular”, says Chilean export nursery

November 18th, 2014

Business may not be growing as quickly as in Peru, but a Chilean blueberry nursery is expanding in Brazil.

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Peruvian mega-irrigation project seeks new farming investors

November 17th, 2014

The first crops have been planted as part of a US$280 million dam project in Peru to support agriculture, including sugarcane, avocados and blueberries.

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China: Fruitday gears up for Mexican blackberries, Chilean avocados

November 14th, 2014

After tripling sales in the last year, Fruitday co-founder Loren Zhao looks ahead for fruit imports in 2014-15.

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‘Price factor becoming far less important for shoppers’, says Tesco U.K.

November 14th, 2014

Tesco’s Simon Mandelbaum spoke at PMA Fruittrade about the changing needs of U.K. consumers.

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McDonald’s supplier gets USDA approval for GM potato

November 11th, 2014

A genetically modified potato that produces fewer cancerous chemicals could soon hit the U.S. market.

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South Africa: Dutoit branches out into early cherries for U.K. market

November 11th, 2014

Gysbert du Toit talks about the evolution of an early cherry deal from South Africa in a tie-up with Californian varieties.

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Reefer equipment scarcity becoming an issue, says Maersk

November 10th, 2014

Speaking prior to PMA Fruittrade Latin America, a Maersk representative says reefer demand is exceeding supply.

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Australia: Mainland cherry registrations for Chinese exports a “good step”

November 10th, 2014

Mainland Australian cherry growers had previously ignored the option to export directly to China with cold treatment, but that approach has changed this season.

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Lemon demand has risen 10-15%, says Limoneira exec

November 10th, 2014

At first it was just shortages driving up prices, but now Limoneira believes stonger lemon demand is here to stay.

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U.S.: West Coast port employer says union action has reached California

November 7th, 2014

The Pacific Maritime Association claims a union is now withholding skilled workers in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

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Californian court makes landmark order against UFW, ALRB

November 6th, 2014

Gerawan Farming has achieved a breakthrough in its struggle against the forced unionization of farmworkers.

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U.S.: Marketing Washington State’s “monster” apple crop

November 6th, 2014

We take an in-depth look at how some major Washington apple producers are marketing their huge crops this season, as well as other key issues like storage space and labor availability.

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Vietnam considers Australian fruit import suspension

November 4th, 2014

After dealing with years of headaches forming a new protocol to regain Thai market access, the Australian horticultural industry may face new non-tariff challenges in another South East Asian market.

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Spanish group discourages new Tango mandarin plantings

November 4th, 2014

A recent report could have bearings on legal disputes over mandarin variety rights in Spain and South Africa.

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Q&A: California attorneys “suing farmers as fast as they can”

November 4th, 2014

With California’s produce sector feeling the crunch, lobby group Western Growers is fighting for sensible decisions from state and federal governments.

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U.S.: ILWU accused of ‘illegal slowdowns’ in West Coast ports

November 3rd, 2014

The Pacific Maritime Association claims a union has broken an agreement by severely reducing productivity in the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

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New Octubrina clementine hits U.K. supermarket shelves

November 3rd, 2014

Production will ramp up over the next few years for a new clementine variety that was discovered in Spain.

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U.S.: “There will be companies that Canadians don’t sell to,” says Lemaire

November 3rd, 2014

CPMA president Ron Lemaire looks in depth at what less payment protection in the U.S. could lead to for Canadian produce exporters.

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Walnuts linked with preventing Alzheimer’s disease

November 3rd, 2014

An animal study has concluded that walnuts’ nutritional content could protect brains from Alzheimer’s disease.

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Fresh Del Monte income triples in Q3

October 28th, 2014

Profitability soared for Fresh Del Monte in the third quarter on the back of strong sales for bananas and pineapples.

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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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