May 28, 2015 / Week N° 22
May 27th, 2015
After a delayed harvest, the first shipments of Egyptian table grapes arrived in Europe in week 21.
Kloosterboer has recently acquired a 8,500-square-meter cold store built into the side of a mountain near Oslo.
A major British retailer is tapping into a recent European and U.S. trend of providing shoppers with a ‘simple option to lower carb intake’.
Ecuador has embarked on its second promotional campaign in China across 10 supermarkets, with promising first day results.
Using near-infrared hyperspectral imaging (NIR), an Israeli technology is now used to check thousands of pieces apples or avocados at a time, with citrus fruit and mangoes in the pipeline.
A leading Chinese online direct sales company is the main investor in a deal with the country’s largest fresh produce e-retailer.
May 26th, 2015
A three-way tie-up that would create combined sales of US$4.1 billion has just passed an important hurdle.
Russian authorities say problems were found on a shipment of summer fruit originating from Mexico and Morocco.
A French supermarket campaign highlighting the absurdity of throwing away misshapen fruit has received a pat on the back.
ASOEX president Ronald Bown says the Port of Valparaiso is ‘virtually paralyzed’ and the country’s reputation is on the line.
Peru’s Ministry of Agriculture believes the first Hass shipment will set sail to China in July.
After California’s cities and towns were recently forced to cut water usage by a quarter due to the four-year drought, many of the state’s growers have chosen to take similar action.
May 25th, 2015
The Pacific Maritime Association says the new contract that will last until July 2019 features an ‘enhanced arbitration system’.
European politicians believe not enough was done to prevent the entry of ‘leaf scorch’ into the continent and say olive growers need compensation.
A Belgian importer is expecting some 140 metric tons of blueberries for its organic BerryFresh range this season.
Some 120 metric tons of oranges being shipped into Russia via sea were sent back after lab tests confirmed a quarantined pest.
Turners & Growers expects to better anticipate market changes to the benefit of growers, through the help of a new office in China.
Fedefruta’s head says apples, kiwifruit and citrus are some of the crops that have been affected by recent strikes.
As part of efforts to dramatically cut food waste in the country, large French supermarkets will soon face hefty fines if they fail to donate unsold food to charity.
Two major U.S.-based vegetable grower-shippers have struck a deal to offer their customers wider organic product lines.
May 22nd, 2015
Pomegranates, nectarines and avocados were on the agenda during recent meetings between AQSIQ and SAG.
Blueberries are all the rage in Morocco where growers are planting aggressively, but to steer clear of price falls they will need to avoid heavy harvesting from April to June.
The California Fresh Fruit Association’s head believes future state-wide minimum wage rises may limit the sector’s competitiveness internationally.
With fungi affected the flowering stage of Persian limes in a Mexican state, U.S.-bound shipments look set to slip.
A Chilean company affiliated with Illinois-based Sun Belle has signed a deal to develop blueberry plantations in Peru.
May 21st, 2015
The organizers of Shanghai’s iFresh summit hope the event will be a positive force for change, tackling asymmetries in the import game as fruit production modernizes rapidly at home.
May 20th, 2015
The Irish multinational says the first four months of 2015 have been ‘satisfactory’ and full year earnings should be in the upper targeted range.
Greece is one of three European countries which could soon see some of its exporters able to ship to Russia once again.
Demand for grapes was increasing in South Korea due to the nearing of the Budda’s Birthday in week 20.
While glyphosate will no longer be used to eradicate illegal crops, regulations will be established to control its use for agricultural purposes.
A North Queensland farm has been declared as free of Panama Disease Tropical Race IV, but consultancy Deloitte has been appointed to review banana disease testing practices.
A Brazilian apple company is yet to recover from last year’s price falls, with a loss recorded for the first quarter of 2015.
The National Mango Board has urged retailers to act quickly to shift weekly shipments in excess of four million boxes.
‘Low returns’ and ‘political issues’ were two reasons given why Israeli grape exports have decreased significantly over recent years.
May 19th, 2015
Brazil plans to reopen the market to Argentine apples, pears and quince this season, but not as soon as its neighbors would like.
A British MP has delivered a box of Alphonso mangoes to the Prime Minister in appreciation for his help in lifting the Indian import ban.
Australian citrus growers are upbeat for the season ahead with the first shipments set to arrive in mid-June.
Northern Chilean grape growers are working at full tilt to recover productivity in the wake of flood damages.
Although the British strawberry deal has started 10 days later than last year, expectations are high for a strong campaign.
Following recent trade restrictions, one Costa Rican avocado grower believes California could be a potential new market supplier.
Russian authorities have been blocking an average of more than 1,000MT per month of plant-based products coming through Belarus.
May 18th, 2015
Camposol’s earnings took a nosedive in the beginning of 2015, partly due to lower volumes of certain key crops and rising costs.
The devaluation of the Russian ruble has hit a major Turkish citrus exporter hard, with debts owed to a large number of companies and workers.
One of Argentina’s top 10 apple and pear companies is to open structural reorganization proceedings, with some US$5.4 million of debt.
A new bill aims to ensure retailers’ products have not been produced using child or forced labor.
ASPROCAN has been recognized for its low incidence of greenhouse gases across the banana supply chain.
Following more than US$100 million dollars of investment in Costa Rica last year, Dole now plans to create some 150 new jobs.
May 15th, 2015
The California Court of Appeal in Fresno has declared the ALRB’s forced collective bargaining agreements on Gerawan Farming as unconstitutional.
A group representing farmworkers in the Mexican state of Baja California has hailed a recent labor deal as “extremely important”.
Lower banana volume in North America and Europe was partly to blame for the multinational’s substantial net loss in the first quarter of 2015.
A 91% increase in fruit and vegetable prices compared to other foods is driving obesity rates, according to a recent ODI report.
Pomegranates, grapes and lemons being shipped to the U.S. from parts of Chile will now require an additional treatment.
Zespri’s Shane Max says Japanese growers have been reluctant to report Psa out of fear their orchards will be destroyed, while French producers have seen unexpected trunking.
AVA-ASAJA says never before have prices for premium mandarin varieties like Nadorcott and Tango been so low.
Inspectors from an Asian country will visit Vancouver this summer with view to opening up the market to fresh British Columbia blueberries.
Haitian producers covering 1,000 hectares will receive technical assistance from two French groups to grow and ship organic bananas.
May 14th, 2015
With Naturipe’s first commercial office in Mexico having opened late last year, the berry marketer has big plans for the future.
A clearer legislation for Australian quarantine is expected to save AUD$6.9 million per annum in efficiencies.
The Australian state of Victoria gained significant ground on Tasmania this season for cherry exports.
Police in San Quintin have been criticized for an excessive use of force, amid clashes with farmworkers that have been striking since March.
British chef Jamie Oliver believes quality food education is every child’s human right and hopes to create a ‘strong sustainable movement’ to help reverse sky-high obesity rates.
May 13th, 2015
Greenyard Foods and Peatinvest are now one step closer to their combination with Univeg to form the world’s largest fresh produce group.
Local lemon prices in the U.S. were on the up but Navels saw little change in week 19.
The Chilean developers of white-fleshed Pink Globe grapes are aiming to license out more than 3,500 hectares of plantings globally.
Without the Russian market, new data shows just how dramatically Poland’s apple exports have changed this year.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology says El Niño thresholds have been reached in the tropical Pacific for the first time since March 2010.
In April it was apples to India and now it’s pears for China. Argentina is on a roll with inaugural fruit shipments to Asia.
A Yucatan-based company that is developing organic dragon fruit and pineapple projects is giving back to the community in a rather unique way.
Russia’s agricultural watchdog appears to be taking a more pragmatic approach to the issue of food re-exports via the EU.
May 12th, 2015
A French shipper will develop a logistics platform outside of Havana, in what has been described as the first international agreement of its kind in Cuba.
A Cameroon-based subsidiary of Compagnie Fruitière is expecting an 8% boost in banana production this year.
South Africa, Australia and Spain are just three countries unable to ship avocados to Costa Rica due to sunblotch concerns.
PMA CEO Bryan Silbermann says those eschewing the social responsibility movement should immediately get prepared.
Recent comments made by Japanese Ambassador to Peru, Tatsuya Kabutan, bode well for the country’s avocado exporters.
A new Chilean easy peeler is “not superior nor inferior” in taste to a clemenule, but it does ripen three weeks earlier and show better sizing.
May 11th, 2015
A study from the University of Michigan and Texas A&M yielded an unexpected finding – pollen grains may have an impact on rainfall.
BanaBay’s Vitali Donskoi sees huge potential for the company’s bananas in the Russian market.
Using a bacteria native to Australia, a natural product from Chile’s Biogram prevents a serious disease that affects a range of crops.
Monsanto appears unswayed by Syngenta’s rejection of its takeover offer in a bid to form the world’s largest crop protection and seed group.
After a WHO-affiliated March report determined a widely used herbicide was “probably carcinogenic”, the product is now under scrutiny in Colombia.
May 8th, 2015
Swiss multinational Syngenta has rejected an ‘unsolicited preliminary approach’ from Monsanto to acquire the company.
In a record year for volumes with many challenges in markets, Chile’s blueberry export values grew slightly in 2014-15.
One Ugandan says “enough is enough” when it comes to rogue companies shipping contaminated produce.
PMA’s Nancy Tucker says the group’s healthy eating initiative with Sesame Street is ‘an incredible opportunity to make a difference in this world.’
Profits fell by more than half for German produce company BayWa in the first quarter but the group is optimistic for the months ahead.
After passing the US$1 billion mark for banana exports last year, Philippine growers could be deterred from further investment if a House Bill that threatens contract security is passed.
May 7th, 2015
One of the retailers named in a recent Four Corners report into migrant farmworker maltreatment is currently investigating the suppliers mentioned.
In the wake of the Four Corners report on some labor contractors’ dodgy practices, Citrus Australia has urged people to report any incidents of abuse.
While hailstorms have affected New Zealand’s apple volumes, Enzafruit is upbeat for a positive 2015 campaign in Europe.
We speak with the growers of an organic, chocolate-colored tomato now marketed by Dutch company Eosta.
Chile’s southern port of Coronel has witnessed exponential growth in fruit exports in recent years, and is about to receive a boost for the U.S. market.
With a long cherry season ahead, Stemilt Growers gives the lowdown on what retailers can expect through to September.
Blocked produce shipments close to the 200MT mark are fast becoming the norm for Russia’s agricultural watchdog.
May 6th, 2015
Eric Viramontes has kicked off proceedings at this year’s PMA Fresh Connections: Mexico event, hopeful the produce industry can help significantly boost fruit and vegetable consumption in the country.
Prices for Chilean Royal Galas were higher than the South African competition in China during week 18.
A Zespri China representative says a new distribution partner has been found in the Sichuan province, and the company will continue looking for fresh regional alliances.
J.V. Steele has secured the exclusive rights to sell a unique onion variety in the U.S. and Canada.
An Italian variety management company is now licensing Crimson Snow apple production to Serbian grower Agrounija.
Wageningen University and Research Centre has sown the first quinoa fields as part of its field test study in the Netherlands.
May 5th, 2015
Berlin police have seized 386kg of cocaine found in boxes of Colombian bananas that showed up in Aldi supermarkets.
While kiwifruit vine disease Psa shows some resistance to antibiotics, New Zealand researchers have made a breakthrough in biological controls.
For a capital outlay that’s worth more than two thirds its annual turnover, a Peruvian company is expanding rapidly in plantations of asparagus, grapes and blueberries.
Two key pilot initiatives from 2014 will continue for Western Cape citrus exporters to the U.S. this year, but there will be a few minor changes in shipping practices.
The quarantine area around La Serena was recently expanded due to a Medfly detection outside the original zone.
May 4th, 2015
Australian horticultural groups have called on the government to weed out “rogue” labor hire companies that take advantage of workers, emphasizing the need for an official entry scheme for low skilled migrant labor.
With more gold kiwifruit on its way this year, New Zealanders are hoping to raise the fruit’s profile across the Tasman Sea in Australia.
Despite some challenges this season like the strong U.S. dollar, the Chilean walnut industry expects its fortunes to turn.
Golden Wing Mau has opened a 200-square meter store to sell Zespri kiwifruit in Shanghai’s leading wholesale market for imported produce.
Australia’s largest produce company Costa Group is taking a new, more sophisticated approach to testing berry quality.
The fiber-rich Burgundine asparagus variety will be available in Tesco stores in the U.K. starting this week.
Mendoza’s planted hectarage of garlic is expected to shoot up by more than a quarter this season.
The harvest season for a fruit sometimes called ‘citrus caviar’ will kick off in California in June.
April 30th, 2015
Russian authorities have vowed to limit imports of Serbian apples in an attempt to stop the re-export trade of EU-grown fruit.
The head of Nielsen Perishables Group talks about how retailers and growers might be missing a trick in the Latin American market.
WDP Nederland will be making substantial investments in two facilities operated by produce company The Greenery.
In a time of excess supply, the USDA has pledged to make its largest apple purchase in history.
Bangladeshi potato exports to Russia have skyrocketed in recent years, but now the world’s largest country has banned shipments citing phytosanitary risks.
A Peruvian asparagus and artichoke company has refuted allegations it manipulated financial accounts to avoid paying workers a share of its profits.
Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh says banana prices will have to rise after years staying still despite inflation and higher production costs.
Global transportation and shipping company the CMA CGM Group is reinforcing its position in India with a new acquisition.
While G3 kiwifruit blocks are selling for more than NZ$100,000 per hectare in New Zealand, some growers are wondering why their Italian counterparts are getting licenses for free.
April 29th, 2015
AHPIS believes it is safe to resume shipments of Hass avocados and green tomatoes from the Dominican Republic, following Medfly detections in the country last month.
Chilean Red Globe grapes performed well in the U.S., China and South Korea during week 17.
A farmworker union is demanding a 40% pay rise in Tucumán, but the government says economic conditions don’t allow for more than 30%.
Oheng Import & Export Co was one Chinese company receiving the first batches of California cherries in Shanghai earlier this week.
India’s Assocham has put forward a plan of action to transform mango exports but weather challenges will be a setback this year.
Colombia’s Minister of Agriculture believes the country will one day soon export seedless grapes from the Cauca Valley.
April 28th, 2015
Higher banana procurement costs were among the issues that contributed to Fresh Del Monte’s first quarter net income falling by 25%.
Argentina’s Senasa has emphasized a recent pest discovery in an urban area does not affect Oasis Centro’s fruit fly-free status.
“If we’re talking about sustainability, the elephant in the room is basically the environmental impact of hundreds of years of agriculture,” says Roger Royse.
Freshfel members will now have a new tool at their fingertips for analyzing markets and forming strategies.
A new planting technique for blackberries makes it easier for the fruit to be harvested and ensures more berries make the grade.
One avocado producer estimates Colombia’s export volumes shot up by around a half last season.
April 27th, 2015
Having stopped Bulgarian fruit and vegetable re-exports last week amid suspicions of fake phytosanitary certificates, Russia is considering extending the ban to other countries.
Fruticola Atacama’s Horacio Parra says the discovery of the body of worker Jennifer Novoa has brought great peace to her family.
While the British Columbia cherry growers are ‘mobbed’ by Chinese interest, the U.S. Northwest early start is cause for ‘excitement’.
Two neighboring Latin American countries could soon be exporting new fruits and vegetables to the U.S.
While ‘not completely unexpected’, regular testing has found streptomycin-resistant Psa in two Te Puke orchards.
‘Cutecumbers’ will be sold in several cities around the biggest cucumber-producing country in the world.
April 24th, 2015
Peru will join the likes of Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia as a supplier of papayas to the continental United States.
U.S. retailer Waitrose is expecting a ‘bumper crop’ of home-grown tomatoes over the coming months.
Two truffle varieties may soon be produced in a Patagonian region of Chile where hopes are high an experimental project could mimic European success.
The U.S. has identified five potential pests that would need control if Spain were to be granted access for cherry imports.
Peruvian asparagus may have some transit time issues in reaching China, but competition with local produce should be minimal.
Indonesia’s three-month ban on some U.S. apples due to a listeria outbreak has come to an end.
April 23rd, 2015
It is still early days, but preliminary observations from Chilean and Argentine fruit growers are relatively positive after the eruption of the Calbuco Volcano.
The latest interception of suspicious produce coming into Russia had more than 10 times the usual volume from such blocked consignments, which seem to be becoming more frequent.
A Red Sun Farms executive will speak at the upcoming PMA Fresh Connections: Mexico event about how producers can benefit from sometimes hard-to-access information.
Time, translation and bureaucracy can be big hurdles to securing intellectual property rights for fruit and vegetable varieties, but a new system aims to change all that.
Plant & Food Research is testing a biological method used in apple orchards to fight leafrollers in avocado crops.
Predictions for a long heatwave in the U.K. have sparked high expectations for this year’s asparagus crop.
After a 10-year absence, Argentine apple shippers are once more sending their fruit to India.
Growers in Israel’s Arava region will receive government incentives to convert from peppers to other crops.
An ongoing row with the Canary Islands has led to a frustrating and costly season for U.K. potato exporters.
A U.K. fruit supplier has been forced to shut down its factory after losing a key contract with retailer Asda.
April 22nd, 2015
Just a few months after Chinese authorities opened market access for all U.S.-grown apple varieties, the USDA has reciprocated.
A major U.S. agricultural association believes technology and innovation will be essential to feed a soaring global population.
More than a third of the EC’s latest round of agricultural promotion funding will go to the fresh produce sector.
Preference for national apples in the U.S. became apparent as Chilean volumes increased in week 16.
A few weeks of rainfall at the start of a company’s pomegranate harvest did not dampen an ‘extremely positive’ season.
A Spanish produce group with a strong focus on German-speaking markets has received a boost to its North African raspberry production.
Zespri has planned promotional activities in Berlin, Hamburg and Düsseldorf to spread the word about SunGold kiwifruit.
With previous strains of Panama disease already in the country, India is pulling out the stops to prevent a TR4 incursion.
April 21st, 2015
Feeling ignored by their government over labor forms, a range of Chilean unions have started a one-day strike in the port, mining, forestry and construction sectors.
Chiquita had a victory in court yesterday for one case, right as a new one had just opened with allegations of “pesticide showers” in Guatemala.
One of three new Chilean raspberry varieties grows earlier than the standard cultivar and has a high Brix level.
The owner of Wish Farms has a strawberry-picking robotics project that even his competitors are investing in.
Despite industry concerns a recent cold snap might hamper Turkish cherry production, one grower is expecting higher volumes.
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) scientists are investigating the ‘green chemoprevention’ properties of a molecule found in broccoli sprouts, cabbage and kale.
A U.S.-based subsidiary of two Latin American berry groups is optimistic for this year’s blueberry deal.
April 20th, 2015
Containment is now the only hope for Queensland banana growers after the National Management Group (NMG) for Panama disease TR4 ruled out eradication.
The company implicated in a health scare in Australia has defended its food safety practices, but will now be testing all frozen berries for Hepatitis A and E. coli prior to market release.
Belgian berry importer Special Fruit says new labels, topseals and shakers reflect a ‘unique market move’.
A kiwifruit shipment marked as Chilean has been rejected by Russia’s Rosselkhoznadzor, claiming its certificate was fraudulent.
Peru’s table grape exports rose by more than a fifth in the 2014-15 campaign.
A South African pome fruit distributor has bolstered storage space to cope with an upcoming spike in volume over the next five years.
Despite some serious problems facing the industry, Florida’s citrus growers are said to have had a relatively good season.
April 17th, 2015
In today’s special edition, we take an on-the-ground look at the human and economic impacts of unprecedented floods in Chile’s north.
A table grape facility in northern Chile has been turned into a distribution center to support the post-flood relief effort.
A leading Copiapó vegetable grower discusses the “slow funeral” of his business and hopes for salvaging crops.
The Atacama table grape industry at least has its heritage intact after the first rootstock planted in the region survived recent floods.
“It’s possible to enter but you if you’re walking like an astronaut in the mud you can’t access the tree to harvest,” says olive grower Rafael Garcia.
The Chilean state has given up its search for a missing Fruticola Atacama worker, but since disaster struck three weeks ago the company has taken rescue and relief efforts into its own hands.
April 16th, 2015
The head of an ambitious sustainability campaign says ‘change has never come from a majority, but rather from a trendsetting minority’.
The European Commission wants member states’ education systems to focus more on food sustainability and promoting healthy eating habits.
Boosting exports into Asia and sustainable growing methods are key aims of an Almond Centre of Excellence.
With U.S. organic fruit and vegetable sales last year valued at US$13 billion, an industry head has praised the lack of ‘demographic boundaries’.
An optional levy of 1 cent per kilogram of bananas marketed would reimburse growers affected by the TR4 outbreak.
The National Mango Board is encouraging retailers to carry out promotional activities to move an expected increase in supply.
April 15th, 2015
ASOEX’s Ronald Bown says an early table grape production area in northern Chile will see volumes reduced by ‘at least 30% over the coming seasons’.
Chile’s National Irrigation Commission has pledged significant funds to rehabilitate agriculture in the Atacama region, but the clock is ticking for growers.
Transport strikes led to a difficult market situation for apples and grapes in Colombia in week 15.
A tie-up that could create US$3.9 billion in combined sales is expected to be completed in a few months’ time.
Two specialists in Panama Disease Tropical Race IV will come to Queensland to assist with the recent outbreak.
Severe weather ‘that came out of nowhere’ and damaged Israeli stonefruit and table grape production could lead to price rises.
Following the reopening of the EU market, Indian mango exporters could reportedly soon gain broader access to the U.S. as well.
April 14th, 2015
The California Citrus Mutual claims agriculture has taken the largest water cut out of any sector in the state.
The Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa says producers might need to hold back on some sizes if they’re not ‘viable with markets the way they are’.
Despite China signing a deal to allow all U.S. apple imports in January, a grower body has received ‘no indication’ the process has moved forward.
Demand for natural products in food and cosmetics has helped Peru’s lemon essential oil exports double in five years.
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