January 21, 2015 / Week N° 04

Archive for the Interviews Category

‘The ball is in the West’s court’ to solve food import ban, says Russian minister

January 21st, 2015

The ruble may be on the mend and diplomats are hopeful for a Russia-EU agricultural trade resolution, but challenges still remain.

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U.S.: No strike today at Hunts Point Terminal Market

January 18th, 2015

The biggest fruit market in the U.S. has averted a strike action that could have taken place today, after a tentative wage deal was reached.

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U.S.: “Contingency plans in place” for Hunts Point Terminal Market

January 16th, 2015

The Hunts Point Produce Cooperative was just “pennies per hour apart” from the last offer proposed by unionists who are threatening to strike.

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U.S.: Hunts Point union negotiations aim to ward off strikes

January 16th, 2015

Hunts Point Terminal in the Bronx supplies 9% of the U.S. population with fruits and vegetables every day, but the operation could grind to a standstill on Sunday if a deal is not reached with the Teamsters union.

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U.S.: Calavo forecasts new record earnings in 2015

January 15th, 2015

Calavo Growers CEO Lee Cole says all indicators are “pointing affirmatively” this year, after the company notched solid results for 2014.

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Australia gains U.S. access for mangoes, litchis

January 14th, 2015

While most Australian litchi and mango growers have traditionally focused on the domestic market, they will now have a new sales outlet thanks to the official opening of the U.S. market for their crops.

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U.S.: Chiquita shuts up shop in Charlotte

January 14th, 2015

Chiquita vowed in March that it would keep its headquarters in Charlotte, but that has changed under the new ownership of Cutrale-Safra.

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Mastronardi launches new U.S. pepper greenhouse venture

January 13th, 2015

Building on a successful Michigan tomato operation, Sunset Produce will soon grow peppers in a large-scale U.S. pepper greenhouse.

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German and Russian ag ministers to meet in Berlin

January 13th, 2015

Hopes are high that talks between German and Russian ministers will help ease trade restrictions on food products.

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Fuel price drop sparks reefer ‘renaissance’, says Cool Carriers

January 12th, 2015

Baltic Reefers could not have chosen a more apt time to buy NYK Cool, which under a new name is steaming ahead with new produce trade contracts.

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Chile: San Antonio port strike lifted

January 9th, 2015

Fetraportces workers were threatening to block fruit-shipping terminals, but their strike action has finished after reaching a deal with Puerto Central.

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Europe to hold vote on Indian mango ban

January 8th, 2015

A Defra spokesperson has confirmed the European Commission will vote soon on whether to lift a ban on Indian mangoes.

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Euro Watch: Exporter ‘flexibility’ needed to avoid a cease in trade

January 8th, 2015

A weak euro may push some fruit importers to abandon the trade of certain products as a last resort.

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Leadership transition for Chiquita Brands

January 7th, 2015

Brian Kocher will serve as interim CEO of the new privately-owned Chiquita Brands International.

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Are illegal stowaways a threat to the U.K.’s fresh produce industry?

January 7th, 2015

Truckloads of fruit are sometimes rejected in the U.K. due to the presence of illegal immigrants hiding in shipments.

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Cutrale-Safra completes tender offer for Chiquita

January 6th, 2015

With a tender offer now complete, the Brazilian takeover of Chiquita Brands is right around the corner.

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Chilean fruit exporters worried about San Antonio port strike

January 6th, 2015

Fedefruta hopes a port workers’ union in San Antonio will make good on a promise not to suspend the export of perishables during strikes.

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South African fruit firm buys Dutch exotics importer

January 6th, 2015

Halls will be expanding its presence in the European exotic fruit market.

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Water levels in key Chilean production region ‘critical’

January 5th, 2015

A report says the already dire situation in Chile’s Coquimbo region with water scarcity will only get worse.

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Thermo King says exporters can reach new destinations with ‘active’ CA tech

January 5th, 2015

By using technology that actively controls the atmosphere in reefer containers, Thermo King says produce can be shipped much further than normal while retaining much of its original quality.

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Year 2014 in Review – Second Half

December 30th, 2014

The Chiquita takeover, Russia’s produce ban, Andy Hall’s defamation case, improved U.S.-China relations and Australian FTAs were some of the leading produce news topics of 2014.

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Year 2014 in Review – First Half

December 29th, 2014

Warning signs for a potential Russian produce embargo were at play during an eventful first half of 2014.

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Costa Rica grants environmental approval for APM Terminals project

December 19th, 2014

A US$1 billion port project in Costa Rica has been given the green light by environmental authorities.

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Argentine cherries reach Hong Kong market

December 19th, 2014

Argentine cherry exports have been made more viable with the help of direct flights from Patagonia to international markets.

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U.K.: Waitrose offers up Brazilian grape selection

December 18th, 2014

Waitrose will stock various table grape varieties such as Sweet Mayabelle for the festive season.

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U.S.: West Coast port talks end ‘not close’, says employer

December 18th, 2014

The Pacific Maritime Association says rumors that the negotiations are close to a final contract are not true and both sides remain apart on several issues.

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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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