August 18, 2014 / Week N° 34

Archive for the Interviews Category

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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First Aussie seafreight apples about to hit mainland China

July 1st, 2014

The first Australian apple shipment via sea to mainland China is due to arrive this week, featuring a newly developed variety.

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Challenging outlook for Mediterranean grapes

July 1st, 2014

In the face of tough competition with summer fruit, many Spanish and Italian grape growers are shifting their varietal offerings to get ahead.

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Russian problems prompt new outlook for Moroccan citrus

July 1st, 2014

Delassus’ Fatiha Charrat looks back on what she describes as the ‘worst season ever’ for Moroccan citrus.

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Inside New York’s bustling, lock-tight produce trading hub

June 30th, 2014

We take a closer look at the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market – the largest of its kind internationally in terms of revenue.

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U.S.: Florida citrus merger a ‘slam dunk’ in changing business environment

June 30th, 2014

Two major Florida citrus companies will merge packing operations to better cope with HLB consequences.

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European diplomats visit South African citrus operations

June 30th, 2014

The CGA hopes a recent diplomatic visit will help dramatically reduce citrus black spot interceptions in Europe.

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U.S.: doubling Chiquita’s rent ‘not punitive’, says Gulfport

June 30th, 2014

Gulfport says charging Chiquita more rent over the lease extension period isn’t retaliation for leaving.

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A tale of two states for U.S. sweet cherry production

June 27th, 2014

The biggest U.S. states for sweet cherry production have witnessed significant changes, in opposite directions.

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U.S. Northwest finds cherry amour the world over

June 27th, 2014

A range of markets are showing great interest in U.S. Northwest cherries, but it would take the “entire world” to move the 2014 crop.

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Spain: Valencia fruit industry racked by hail

June 26th, 2014

Citrus, melons and persimmons have been some of the fruit crops most affected by severe hailstorms in eastern Spain.

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El Niño already impacting Peruvian fruit crops, says weather agency

June 26th, 2014

Peru’s El Niño phenomenon is not in a strong phase, yet slight temperature upticks are having an effect on mango, grape and citrus crops.

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NZ: T&G plans to double global apple sales by 2020

June 26th, 2014

Turners & Growers’ new pipfruit manager discusses ambitious plans for the next six years.

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Chile develops asparagus preservation liquid

June 26th, 2014

Chilean asparagus growers may soon be able to export more to the U.S. via seafreight thanks to a new liquid.

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Iraq turmoil may impact Middle East fruit market, says exporter

June 25th, 2014

Produce traders are losing “large swathes of land” with Middle Eastern populations due to conflict.

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U.S.: union optimistic talks will be resolved without port strikes

June 24th, 2014

The ILWU says there is ‘nothing substantive’ in fears over West Coast port strikes and talks should end well.

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Canadian cherry growers expect ‘exponential’ China-bound exports

June 23rd, 2014

British Colombia’s cherry growers say the new deal with China is a gigant step for the industry.

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FAO reviews possible upcoming El Niño effects on agriculture

June 23rd, 2014

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says there is a 70% chance of an El Niño event occurring during the Northern Hemisphere summer.

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Malaysia, Thailand hit rock bottom in human trafficking report

June 20th, 2014

The latest U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report was damning of two major agricultural countries, but showed positives for one significant fruit shipper.

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Peru sets rules for importing U.S. kiwifruit plants

June 20th, 2014

Peru is not usually the first country associated with kiwifruit, but growers have expressed interest in importing kiwifruit plants from the U.S.

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Strong outlook for global citrus brand ClemenGold

June 18th, 2014

ClemenGold will continue to open new markets this year and has new varieties in the works.

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U.S.: APHIS proposes new fee for import treatments

June 18th, 2014

APHIS is considering a new US$375 fee for import treatments which could have far-reaching effects.

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Thai companies are “increasingly willing to engage”, says Hall

June 17th, 2014

Despite US$10 million in lawsuits hanging over his head, Andy Hall has returned to Thailand to continue working for the rights of abused migrant workers in the country’s food export industries.

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Chilean citrus exporters forecast less trade with U.S.

June 17th, 2014

With South African citrus growers shipping more to the U.S., Chile is likely to diversify its markets.

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U.K.: fresh produce a major victim in Asda climate change report

June 17th, 2014

U.K. retailer Asda has given a startling estimate of expected fresh produce losses as a result of climate change.

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Flavor and shelf life vital to future berry growth in U.K.

June 16th, 2014

Execs from Angus Soft Fruits and BerryWorld talk shop about varietal development and raising winter consumption.

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Smartphone app mixes home gardening with education and design chic

June 13th, 2014

With the help of a smartphone app, a U.K. company makes hydroponic gardening an easy and visually appealing addition to the living room.

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U.K. study finds tomato extract helps heart disease patients

June 13th, 2014

New research from Cambridge University shows a powerful medical use of lycopene from tomatoes.

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Australia: Woolworths pulls out of Asian buyer visit

June 13th, 2014

A Woolworths decision to renege on an Asian buyer visit commitment has been described as “churlish” by Ausveg.

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U.S.: POM Wonderful responds to Supreme Court ruling against Coca Cola

June 12th, 2014

A POM Wonderful spokesperson says today’s legal win over Coca Cola brings greater assurances to consumers over food labeling.

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Argentina: Ecofrut explains fruit payment lawsuit

June 11th, 2014

A large Argentine fruit company has been ordered to pay more than US$100,000 to settle a case with a grower.

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First South African citrus shipments hit the U.S.

June 11th, 2014

A hungry U.S. market and faster shipments look to fare well for South Africa’s citrus exporters.

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U.S.: Asian citrus psyllid quarantine zone expands in Tulare

June 11th, 2014

A citrus pest quarantine zone in California’s Tulare County has expanded by 15%, with a further extension potentially on the cards.

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U.S.: Zacks gives Chiquita “strong sell” rating

June 10th, 2014

Zacks has said “avoid this stock or consider jumping ship” in recent comments about Chiquita.

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