April 27, 2015 / Week N° 18

Archive for the Today’s Headline Category

Russia tightens EU food import restrictions

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.

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Chile: Body of Fruticola Atacama worker found

April 27th, 2015

Fruticola Atacama’s Horacio Parra says the discovery of the body of worker Jennifer Novoa has brought great peace to her family.

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U.S. gives green light to Peruvian papaya imports

April 24th, 2015

Peru will join the likes of Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia as a supplier of papayas to the continental United States.

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Chile: Initiative aims to produce world’s southernmost truffles

April 24th, 2015

Two truffle varieties may soon be produced in a Patagonian region of Chile where hopes are high an experimental project could mimic European success.

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Growers claim Calbuco Volcano eruption has little impact so far on blueberries, apples

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.

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Russia suspects fraudulent documents in blocked vegetable shipment

April 23rd, 2015

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.

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Retailers sharing data with growers a ‘win-win’, says Red Sun Farms

April 23rd, 2015

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.

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New plant breeders’ rights standard proposed

April 23rd, 2015

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.

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NZ scientists test mating disruption techniques against avocado pest

April 23rd, 2015

Plant & Food Research is testing a biological method used in apple orchards to fight leafrollers in avocado crops.

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USDA allows Chinese apple imports

April 22nd, 2015

Just a few months after Chinese authorities opened market access for all U.S.-grown apple varieties, the USDA has reciprocated.

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U.S.: Western Growers enters Silicon Valley alliance

April 22nd, 2015

A major U.S. agricultural association believes technology and innovation will be essential to feed a soaring global population.

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Greece dominates EU agricultural promotion funding

April 22nd, 2015

More than a third of the EC’s latest round of agricultural promotion funding will go to the fresh produce sector.

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SanLucar receives €4M loan to develop Tunisian raspberries

April 22nd, 2015

A Spanish produce group with a strong focus on German-speaking markets has received a boost to its North African raspberry production.

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Chilean port workers strike over lack of labor reform consultation

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.

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U.S.: Robotic strawberry harvester ‘mimics human behavior’

April 21st, 2015

The owner of Wish Farms has a strawberry-picking robotics project that even his competitors are investing in.

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Human trial to test broccoli sprout extract’s cancer-fighting properties

April 21st, 2015

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) scientists are investigating the ‘green chemoprevention’ properties of a molecule found in broccoli sprouts, cabbage and kale.

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Australia: TR4 eradication “not feasible” in Queensland

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.

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Australia: Patties Foods frozen berry tests come up negative for Hep A, E. coli

April 20th, 2015

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.

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Tru-Cape’s new Johannesburg facility signals growth in African markets

April 20th, 2015

A South African pome fruit distributor has bolstered storage space to cope with an upcoming spike in volume over the next five years.

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Editor’s Note: Fuerza Atacama – After the flood, a view from the mud

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.

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Fruticola Atacama: In the eye of the storm

April 17th, 2015

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.

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U.S.: Organic food sales jump 11% in 2014

April 16th, 2015

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’.

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Chile: Floods to impact future Copiapo Valley grape output

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’.

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Budget doubles for irrigation recovery in northern Chile

April 15th, 2015

Chile’s National Irrigation Commission has pledged significant funds to rehabilitate agriculture in the Atacama region, but the clock is ticking for growers.

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Israel: ‘Highly unusual’ storms batter summer fruit crops

April 15th, 2015

Severe weather ‘that came out of nowhere’ and damaged Israeli stonefruit and table grape production could lead to price rises.

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South Africa: Smaller citrus sizing could further impact exports, says CGA

April 14th, 2015

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’.

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Chilean kiwifruit leader accuses Zespri of anti-competitive behavior

April 13th, 2015

Carlos Cruzat says New Zealand’s Zespri has ‘regressed’ in its market behavior since it was fined for monopolistic practices in Korea almost four years ago.

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South Africa: CGA releases citrus export forecast

April 10th, 2015

The 2015 citrus campaign has “difficult” written all over it, according to a South African industry body.

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China: Blueberry company becomes first to hit stock market

April 10th, 2015

Following a very positive first five years of operation, Richland Agriculture Corp has big plans for the future.

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Chile: Copiapó grape farm damages estimated at US$50M

April 9th, 2015

More than 900 hectares of vineyards and 1,000 hectares worth of olive and vegetable plantations have been damaged by floods in Chile.

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Australia: Second Queensland farm hit with TR4 disease

April 9th, 2015

Panama Disease Tropical Race IV has been found on a farm in Mareeba in North Queensland, far from the site of the initial outbreak.

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Mexico: Farmworkers were ‘forced’ to strike, claims BerryMex

April 9th, 2015

Heated farmworker protests in Baja California last month may have crippled agriculture in peak season, but a major Driscoll’s supplier alleges many were ‘threatened’ not to return to the fields.

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Russia: Putin disappoints on Greek import speculation

April 8th, 2015

Today’s meeting between Vladimir Putin and Alexis Tsipras was not fruitful enough to lift the Kremlin’s ban on Greek food imports.

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Russia may lift food import embargo on Greece, Cyprus, Hungary

April 8th, 2015

Three European Union member states that oppose Western sanctions against Russia could see their agricultural trade re-open with the country.

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U.K. retailer to stock Thai mango plums

April 8th, 2015

Like a mango with an edible peel and the texture of a plum, the ‘plango’ is the latest exotic introduction at Marks & Spencer.

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Chile: Irrigation still off-line for Atacama growers

April 7th, 2015

Weeks of production compromised and 6,000 horticultural laborers potentially out of work; this is the damage left by flooding in a normally very dry part of Chile.

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U.S.: New president for Dole Food Company

April 7th, 2015

Dole has announced its president C. Michael Carter will be retiring, and has looked internally for his replacement.

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China: Branding is more than just a logo, Zespri rep tells Shanghai forum

April 7th, 2015

During PMA Fresh Connections: China, leaders from some of the most iconic names in produce discussed the building blocks behind good branding.

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Arctic apple developer eyes all North American market segments

April 6th, 2015

The Okanagan Specialty Fruits head says “prospects are huge” for the GM apple following regulatory approval for the U.S. and Canada.

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U.S.: Union negotiations off the table for Sakuma Brothers Farms

April 3rd, 2015

Berry grower Sakuma Brothers has questioned the legitimacy of a union calling for a boycott against its products, describing demands as “unreasonable”.

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Australia: Exchange rate to boost Asian pome fruit campaign, says APAL

April 2nd, 2015

Australia’s pome fruit grower body says greatly improved orchard practices have led to roughly 15% more class 1 fruit than 2014.

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Chilean govt pledges U$4.8M for irrigation recovery after floods

April 1st, 2015

Representatives of Fresh Del Monte and Frutícola Atacama discuss flood effects in northern Chile, where funding is on its way for recovery.

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Panama Disease TR4 detected in Pakistan, Lebanon

March 31st, 2015

A Dutch scientist has confirmed outbreaks of Panama Disease Tropical Race IV in Lebanon and Pakistan, but communication issues may be a challenge in containing the disease’s spread.

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U.S.: Gerawan upbeat for new crop and unfazed by exchange rates

March 31st, 2015

California’s largest stonefruit grower says the strong dollar is not affecting overseas demand for its upcoming crop.

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U.S. opens doors to Mexican figs

March 30th, 2015

APHIS believes irradiation treatment will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of importing fresh figs from Mexico.

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U.S.: Driscoll’s stands behind Sakuma Brothers Farms

March 30th, 2015

Amid calls for a boycott, Driscoll’s says previous union claims against a berry supplier have been resolved and it has no place intervening in labor negotiations.

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Chile: SAN urges immediate assistance for stranded farmers

March 27th, 2015

Chile’s National Agricultural Society (SAN) says the severe flooding has left many stranded without water for days, as produce companies use private helicopters to rescue those in need.

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First South African apples take off for Chinese market

March 27th, 2015

The South African Apple and Pear Producers’ Association (SAAPPA) is “over the moon” about the opening of the Chinese market.

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Indian vineyard offers lifeline to local farmers hit by hail

March 27th, 2015

An Indian wine producer is using the recent severe hail storms as an opportunity not only to boost its economy port production but also to help table grape growers facing major financial losses.

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NZ: Scales Corp profits pip IPO forecast for 2014

March 26th, 2015

The parent company of Mr Apple has exceeded expectations in its first annual result announcement to the NZX.

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Storms damage northern Chilean grapevines, infrastructure

March 26th, 2015

The Copiapó Valley has been one of the worst hit agricultural zones from recent storms in northern Chile.

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U.S.: Boycott threatens Driscoll’s supplier

March 26th, 2015

“It’s so hard to bring in workers from abroad, and what happens when they do it legally? They get punished.” One industry insider says this is the true story behind a farm labor battle raging in Washington State.

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New Indian banana brands slip into Gulf markets

March 26th, 2015

Pick N Serve managing director Subrata Mondal believes he can get an edge over Ecuadorian and Philippine banana suppliers to the Gulf region.

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Brazil halts Argentine pome fruit imports

March 25th, 2015

Brazilian authorities say they detected the codling moth in 15 Argentine apple and pear shipments in the first quarter of 2015 alone.

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Anxious wait for Serbian apple exporters after Russian accusations

March 25th, 2015

Serbian apple exporters depend heavily on the Russian market, with some believing re-export claims may be a ‘mix up’.

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PMA’s annual Chinese event gains local traction

March 25th, 2015

Online trading platforms, brand development and market access will be just some of the subjects discussed at PMA Fresh Connections: China.

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Chilean govt to introduce US$169M national drought plan

March 24th, 2015

The construction of new dams and rainwater harvesting initiatives are just some of the actions planned by the Chilean Government to combat an ongoing drought.

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Medfly found in northern Chile

March 24th, 2015

Chile’s Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) has declared a fruit fly outbreak in La Serena, capital of the Coquimbo region.

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Chiquita exec payouts could exceed US$23M

March 24th, 2015

A report to the SEC reveals the extent of Chiquita’s completed and planned severance packages for leading executives, as well as hundreds of layoffs in Latin America.

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Australia: Valleyfresh enters JV with Perth wholesaler

March 23rd, 2015

With the help of a Freshmax subsidiary, a previously unavailable type of pre-packing service will be up and running in one of the world’s most isolated cities.

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NZ kiwifruit growers “overwhelmingly” support industry changes

March 23rd, 2015

More than 90% of New Zealand’s kiwifruit growers have voted in favor of the KISP recommendations, with an industry head criticizing the “small vocal minority” who oppose the single desk structure.

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Budding overseas empire for Australia’s Queen Garnet super plum

March 23rd, 2015

The palpable buzz around an anthocyanin-rich Queensland-bred plum is spreading internationally, with a French nursery upbeat for commercial harvests and U.S. growers playing their cards close to their chests.

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European School Fruit Scheme safe for now with funding allocated

March 20th, 2015

Germany, Italy and Austria are the biggest beneficiaries in the latest EU School Fruit Scheme budget.

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Californians called upon to save citrus industry

March 20th, 2015

California Citrus Mutual and Bayer CropScience have teamed up with the #CitrusMatters campaign to help prevent the spread of HLB.

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U.S.: California hits second highest table grape export volume in 2014-15

March 20th, 2015

California raised its table grape exports to several destinations this season, including Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, the U.K. and Indonesia.

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Fresh Fruit Portal owner joins Verdant Partners

March 19th, 2015

Gustavo Yentzen has joined the likes of Don Goodwin and Dawn Gray as an advisor with Verdant Partners.

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Nicaragua Canal construction could displace more than 100,000 people

March 19th, 2015

The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) has denounced alleged human rights violations associated with the construction of the Nicaragua Canal.

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NZ: Zespri hosting another buyer visit this week

March 18th, 2015

After a visit in February sparked controversy, New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri is currently hosting another group of foreign buyers.

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Some NZ growers disappointed by “extravagant” Zespri buyer visit

March 18th, 2015

New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry has seen dissent in the ranks after around NZ$500,000 was spent on a recent buyer visit, but Zespri claims it was necessary to boost sales of a rising gold variety crop.

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Chile: Strike lifted in Valparaiso

March 17th, 2015

Fruit industry leaders have congratulated port operators and workers in Valparaiso for finding a prompt resolution to a cargo dispute.

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India: Gigantic hail stones ravage grape crops

March 17th, 2015

“Farmers have never really seen anything like the size of the hail stones,” says an Indian grape industry leader.

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Australia: Panama Disease TR4 confirmed in Queensland

March 16th, 2015

The head of the Australian Banana Growers’ Council says although the detection of Panama Disease Tropical Race 4 is a ‘substantial challenge’, he is confident it’s one the industry can successfully meet.

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Nadorcott case against Tango just a delay tactic, says Eurosemillas

March 16th, 2015

Spanish growers have been undeterred by calls not to plant the seedless Tango mandarin variety, with demand outstripping supply.

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African seed library could help lift nations out of poverty

March 16th, 2015

The African Seed Access Index is starting out in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe, with plans to cover 20 countries in the continent.

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Industry veteran to head up Capespan South Africa

March 13th, 2015

A former head of the Fresh Produce Exporters’ Forum (FPEF) will join Capespan South Africa as managing director in May.

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Indian deal could be lifeline for Polish apple sector

March 13th, 2015

Poland’s Fruit Union president is positive about the recent visit of the country’s agriculture minister to India.

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Calavo to expand Mexican avocado packing operations

March 12th, 2015

Calavo Growers is already banking on the expected opening of the U.S. market for avocados grown in Jalisco.

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Global banana industry must ‘rethink whole business model’, says expert

March 12th, 2015

Dan Koeppel says the suspected case of Panama disease TR4 in Queensland should not come as a surprise given the lack of a ‘global strategy’.

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Chilean growers call for “reciprocal” tariff action against Ecuador

March 11th, 2015

Chile’s Fedefruta has cried foul about Ecuador’s food import tariff hike to 45%, which is due to be implemented today.

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IG International eyes North American greenhouse acquisition

March 11th, 2015

IG International is expanding its global reach with a long-term goal of bringing technical expertise and better varieties to India.

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Ecuador’s fruit import tariffs to hit 45%

March 10th, 2015

The world’s biggest banana-exporting country is about to implement a massive tariff hike on food imports in a bid to even up its balance of payments.

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Chinese customs links smuggling case to South American fruit

March 10th, 2015

Chinese authorities have been tight-lipped amidst an investigation into fruit smuggling in Dalian, but one official has revealed a few more details about the case.

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U.S.: “World’s largest indoor vertical farm” planned for New Jersey

March 9th, 2015

AeroFarms plans to make urban farming history with a new project on a former industrial site in Newark, New Jersey.

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U.S.: Expenses squeeze Limoneira results in Q1

March 9th, 2015

Higher costs offset the benefits of favorable market conditions and larger lemon volumes for Limoneira in the first quarter.

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100% U.S. focus for Peruvian organic banana co-op in 2015

March 9th, 2015

Peru’s CEPIBO has historically sent the majority of its organic bananas to Europe, but this year the export strategy is very different.

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U.S.: Calavo Growers forecasts avocado volume uptick in Q2

March 6th, 2015

After driving up margins in early 2015, Calavo Growers foresees continued increased avocado packing in the second quarter.

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Peruvian avocado exporters on track for two new Asian markets

March 6th, 2015

Both China and Japan are one step closer to allowing imports of Peruvian avocados.

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Russia’s economic woes bite into middle class fruit purchases

March 6th, 2015

Irina Koziy explains three main factors that are impacting fruit sales in Russia, and what traders ought to do to get through these tough times.

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Vegetables the first step for organic food converts

March 6th, 2015

Carrots came out on top in a recent U.K. study of organic produce consumption trends.

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Germany: BayWa supports antitrust authorities in clearing up accusations

March 6th, 2015

“Our greatest interest lies in resolving this matter completely and in punishing any misconduct to the fullest extent,” said BayWa CEO Klaus Lutz.

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New app aims to strengthen fruit trade relationships

March 5th, 2015

A new app aims to simplify how produce sellers and buyers interact across time zones and continents.

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NZ: Fire destroys shed at Seeka packhouse

March 4th, 2015

No people were injured in a “significant fire” that hit a New Zealand post-harvest facility for kiwifruit and kiwiberries.

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Australia: Panama Disease Tropical Race IV suspected in Queensland

March 4th, 2015

The Australian banana industry is on high alert after a suspected case of Panama Disease Tropical Race IV (TR4) was detected on a plantation in the North Queensland region of Tully.

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Peru: Camposol upbeat for Ica’s ag future with Cilloniz at the helm

March 4th, 2015

While Camposol’s production is focused in Chavimochic, the group holds land in the key horticultural department of Ica where an industry consultant is now president.

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Chilean govt declares agricultural emergency after Villarica Volcano eruption

March 3rd, 2015

Blueberry growers around Pucon would have been much more affected by the recent volcanic eruption if their season wasn’t all but over.

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European oversupply dints Total Produce results

March 3rd, 2015

Total Produce recorded a lower result for 2014 but acquisitions helped raise profits in non-Eurozone European operations.

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GM apple developers set to finally cash in after takeover deal

March 3rd, 2015

A US$4.2 billion biotech company has bought into the fresh-cut and foodservice propositions of Okanagan Specialty Fruit’s (OSF) Arctic apples.

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Sun World to release ‘explosive’ grape varieties in Chile

March 3rd, 2015

A leading table grape breeder says public varieties are on the way out and growers need to ‘get with the program’ to avoid poor market prices.

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NZ: Seeka profit hike a sign of Psa recovery

March 2nd, 2015

New Zealand’s Seeka has managed to exceed expectations in a kiwifruit market where margins are tightening, and plans to increase post-harvest capacity and kiwiberry production.

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Tropical fruit volume boosts Fyffes profits in 2014

February 27th, 2015

Produce multinational Fyffes will be pursuing price increases in all markets this year in response to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the euro.

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Russia’s greenhouse revolution

February 27th, 2015

With warmer weather than the rest of the country, could Belgorod become the “Netherlands of Russia” with the help of greenhouse entrepreneurship?

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Russian political faction calls for end to food import embargo

February 27th, 2015

A deputy chairman from the Russian Lower House has scoffed at a bill to challenge the food import ban.

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U.S.: Overarching brand has “monumental” implications for produce industry

February 26th, 2015

Tongue-in-cheek with celebrity backing, a new “superhero meets sports” brand for fruits and vegetables called FNV is poised to change the way the U.S. public interacts with produce.

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South Africa: Dry weather may hit citrus sizing but quality “excellent”, says CGA

February 26th, 2015

South Africa’s total citrus volumes this season should be roughly in line with previous years.

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NZ: T&G profit falls short of expectations for 2014

February 25th, 2015

New Zealand-based produce company Turners & Growers did not quite achieve the 10-20% profit rise for 2014 that its board had forecast on Jan. 21.

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U.S.: Western Growers partners with Colorado association

February 25th, 2015

Western Growers will collaborate with the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association on areas of ‘mutual interest’, including federal policy issues and food safety.

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Australia: Reid Fruits fights for IP rights in China

February 25th, 2015

An Australian cherry shipper is taking steps to tackle the counterfeiting of its brand in Asia.

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China: Zespri distances itself from Dalian Yidu

February 24th, 2015

As a former employee continues to make damning claims against Zespri over its handling of a past fraud case, the company is cutting the cord with an importer implicated in a new one.

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U.S.: GM labeling would be ‘as good as a ban’, says critic

February 24th, 2015

While one critic of GMO labeling says legislation would be a “Pandora’s box” and hinder scientific development, the Center for Food Safety points to the success of transparency in GM-heavy Brazil.

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Australia to screen Chinese frozen berries

February 23rd, 2015

The Australian Government has announced new measures to act on the recent Hepatitis A outbreak that has been linked to imported Chinese frozen berries.

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German apple grower eyes Chinese, South Korean market openings

February 23rd, 2015

BayWa CEO Klaus Lutz says it is “ridiculous” that the EU does not have harmonized market access processes for fruit exporters in destination markets.

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U.S. West Coast port workers reach tentative deal

February 21st, 2015

An end to the debilitating U.S. West Coast port dispute may be in sight after the PMA and the ILWU agreed to a new contract.

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Peru: Camposol results take a dive in Q4

February 20th, 2015

A seven-fold rise in avocado profits was not enough to offset dramatic falls in financial performance for Camposol’s asparagus, grape and mango operations in the fourth quarter of 2014.

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Q&A: Total Produce on the changing dynamics of European produce markets

February 20th, 2015

The head of Europe’s largest fresh produce distributor says a prolonged Russian import ban would lead to structural changes, but is upbeat about prospects for berries, organics and exotics in Mediterranean markets.

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Indian mango shippers encouraged to supply Japan via APEDA concession

February 20th, 2015

New government support will make the Japanese market much more accessible for India’s mango industry.

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U.S.: Sunkist grower payments up by a quarter in 2014

February 19th, 2015

Revenue surpassed US$1 billion for the largest citrus shipper in the U.S. last year, bolstered by a new partnerships in India and Brazil.

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U.S. port row has compromised US$50M in Chilean fruit exports, says Fedefruta

February 19th, 2015

The U.S. Ambassador to Chile received leaders of Fedefruta yesterday to discuss effects from the West Coast port dispute.

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Mexico: Social responsibility alliance to ‘expand’ into retail, foodservice

February 19th, 2015

Although no U.S. retailers have yet been invited to join a newly formed social responsibility alliance in Mexico, Wal-mart has pledged its support and has made several key changes since a damning LA Times investigation.

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Raspberries may be culprit in Australian Hep A outbreak

February 18th, 2015

The Australian distributor that recalled frozen berry products is concentrating on raspberries from a specific source in China as a possible cause of the recent Hepatitis A outbreak.

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USDA considers allowing avocado imports from second Mexican state

February 18th, 2015

Mexico’s second-largest avocado production state could soon be allowed to ship the Hass variety to the U.S.

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U.S.: Perez port meetings ‘positive and productive’

February 18th, 2015

The U.S. Department of Labor says Secretary Perez yesterday told both parties in the West Coast port conflict an immediate agreement was ‘imperative’.

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Valfrutta aims to make Cornelio Italy’s signature pepper brand

February 18th, 2015

A unique pepper variety developed by Enza Zaden and grown in Sicily is on track for 12-month production and an ambitious export scheme.

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U.S.: Port of Oakland imports down 39% on 2014

February 17th, 2015

The U.S. Department of Labor says Secretary Perez will today meet with both parties in the ongoing West Coast port conflict and ‘urge them to resolve their dispute quickly.’

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U.S.: Fresh Del Monte back in the black

February 17th, 2015

Higher selling prices and greater banana volumes helped a leading produce multinational shake off its 2013 loss to record a net income of US$142.4 million for 2014.

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China: Food smuggling case in national media spotlight

February 17th, 2015

The floodgates have opened in China’s crackdown on agricultural import smuggling and customs evasion, with local media reporting that 33 people have been arrested in a recent high-profile case.

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Mexico: Results “will take time” for new social responsibility alliance

February 17th, 2015

AHIFORES spokesperson Mario Robles says discussions are already underway with government to implement improved company store services for workers.

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Compagnie Fruitiere to expand organic production, open new hospital

February 17th, 2015

From corporate social responsibility to ships that use less fuel, a French company is developing on several fronts of its €800 million produce business.

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Chilean fruit industry denies links to Australian Hep A scare

February 16th, 2015

The Chilean Association of Fruit Exporters (ASOEX) has emphasized its country’s fruit is not to blame for a recent recall of frozen berry products in Australia.

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Early concerns ease for 2015 South African pome fruit deal

February 16th, 2015

South Africa aims to ship its first apples to mainland China in March, as growers continue to seek new markets to support higher volumes in the pipeline.

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U.S.: Obama steps in to resolve West Coast port dispute

February 15th, 2015

The White House is intervening in the West Coast port conflict with the aim of a quick resolution.

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Mexican, U.S. produce players officially launch social responsibility alliance

February 15th, 2015

After more than a year of negotiations, a group representing 90% of Mexico’s produce industry has been formed to tackle social responsibility issues.

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USDA gives green light to GM apples

February 15th, 2015

Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) is one step closer to getting its genetically modified, non-browning apples on the U.S. market.

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Japan: Kabocha and Yuzu turn heads at Fruit Logistica

February 13th, 2015

Whether it’s edible-skin squash, a unique citrus fruit or fresh wasabi, Japanese horticultural companies are banking on growing overseas interest in their national cuisine.

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SanLucar pioneers new fruits in Tunisia, Ecuador

February 12th, 2015

A Spanish firm focused on the German-speaking market is testing a range of new fruit projects in Africa, the Middle East, South America and its own backyard.

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Polish farmers to continue protests against new land sale laws

February 12th, 2015

A spokesperson for the International Coalition for the Protection of the Polish Countryside says news laws “will expose Polish land to be bought by foreign buyers and will threaten small farmers.”

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U.S.: West Coast port employer to temporarily halt operations

February 11th, 2015

The Pacific Maritime Association says it cannot justify paying union workers premium rates over the upcoming weekend and holidays, while the union says the employers’ actions are “bad for the industry and the U.S. economy.”

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South Africa alleges “inconsistent” citrus inspections in Southern Europe

February 11th, 2015

“Viability” is a term that could revive South Africa’s stability in the European citrus market, where talks are lined up aiming to remove discrepancies in citrus black spot (CBS) inspection methods.

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Southern Hemisphere expects larger pome fruit crop

February 10th, 2015

While Southern Hemisphere apple production is expected to increase 5%, exports are anticipated to decline by the same percentage partly due to oversupply issues in Europe.

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Polish industry takes steps to escape “industrial” fruit prices

February 10th, 2015

Polish apple and mushroom exporters are forging ahead in new markets, rising above the price crash wrought by the Russian embargo.

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Inside one of Europe’s largest banana ripening facilities

February 9th, 2015

The head of a major U.K. banana ripening facility likens the business to a ‘hamster wheel’, and says reputations can be ‘built over years and lost in days’.

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Israeli papaya breeder wins Fruit Logistica Innovation Award

February 6th, 2015

Aviv Flowers Packing House has taken one of the produce industry’s most prestigious prizes, with a seedless papaya that boasts a complex flavor, a long shelf life and a lack of any pungent aftertaste.

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New investors on board at Compagnie Fruitiere

February 6th, 2015

After Dole’s exit from the company last year, a leading supplier of West African fruit to the European market now has new minority shareholders.

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U.S.: Pacific Maritime Association makes “all-in” offer to ILWU

February 5th, 2015

The president of the Pacific Maritime Association has said West Coast ports are “truly close to gridlock”, and that the latest contract offer is “as far as we can go at this point.”

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BayWa to plant Jazz apples in Germany

February 5th, 2015

Diversification has been a big part of BayWa’s international strategy, but the apple industry player now plans to apply it closer to home with new varieties and commodities.

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U.S.: Researchers develop ‘fast, easy and accurate’ citrus greening detector

February 5th, 2015

A portable and inexpensive citrus greening detector developed by University of Florida scientists could soon be available to citrus growers.

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Nanotechnology to open doors for Asian mango exporters

February 4th, 2015

A collaborative project funded by the International Development Research Centre has shown nanotechnology could help boost Asian mango shippers’ profits by 15%.

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Total Produce buys 50% stake in Gambles Group

February 3rd, 2015

Total produce has expanded its North American operations with a 50% shareholding acquisition of the Canadian fresh produce company Gambles Group.

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Report reveals trade switch for EU produce exports

February 3rd, 2015

At the opening press conference at Fruit Logistica in Berlin, the European Commission’s Leandro Más Pons discussed the rise of new export markets for produce in the wake of the Russian ban.

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Portugal Fresh aims to raise Rocha pear’s status in Germany

February 3rd, 2015

Out of 83 exhibiting countries at Fruit Logistica, Portugal will have a special place this year as the event’s partner country.

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Malaysian pineapple group to quadruple production

February 3rd, 2015

On a platform of social integration for indigenous groups, Malaysia’s RIPI is ramping up pineapple cultivation at a fast pace.

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New ‘Gem’ pear variety jointly released in U.S.

February 2nd, 2015

The U.S. Agricultural Research Service and three universities have jointly released a high-yielding and fire blight-resistant pear cultivar.

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Chiquita’s Colombian paramilitary payment lawsuits in the spotlight

January 30th, 2015

Chiquita has accused one lawyer, whose firm has provided security to witnesses under threat in the past in other cases, of allegedly paying off witnesses. Whether this is a delay tactic or a case-changing argument is yet to be seen.

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Soriana buys Comercial Mexicana stores for US$2.6B

January 29th, 2015

Organizacion Soriana has consolidated its position as one of Mexico’s leading retail chains after reaching a deal to buy 160 stores from a competitor.

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U.S. apple shippers aim for greater slice of Chinese market pie

January 29th, 2015

Eight U.S. apple varieties have been singled out for promotional activity in China following a recent market opening.

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Aussie litchi industry sets sights firmly on U.S.

January 28th, 2015

The timing of the U.S. market opening is auspicious for Australian litchi growers with a bumper crop running later than usual.

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U.S.: West Coast port users express shock at ‘unbelievable’ congestion

January 28th, 2015

U.S. customs broker J&K Fresh says the U.S. port situation is ‘almost worse than if they were striking’ due to the uncertainty, while the Global Reefers head says he’s never seen anything like this on the West Coast.

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Indonesia joins Asian neighbors in California apple import ban

January 27th, 2015

Citing uncertainty around possible listeria outbreaks due to regional trade, the Indonesian Government has banned certain U.S. apples from the market.

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New CEO for Sun World

January 27th, 2015

With a new CEO at the helm, Sun World will progress in its California grape planting program and will be pulling out of some crops.

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U.S.: Listeria apple media claims in Asia “outlandish”, says Powers

January 27th, 2015

A Northwest Horticultural Council representative says a ‘very difficult situation’ has arisen from inaccurate reports in Asia-Pacific countries about the recall of some U.S. apples.

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U.S. gains Chinese market access for all apple varieties

January 26th, 2015

Bilateral talks between the USDA and AQSIQ have led to China granting market access for all apple varieties from all U.S. apple-growing regions.

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First Mexican blackberries and raspberries arrive in China

January 26th, 2015

Both Driscoll’s and Naturipe have capitalized on China’s recent opening for Mexican berries.

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Australia: Costa Group closes two grape farms

January 26th, 2015

A Costa representative cited a ‘changed industry and market conditions’ as one reason why the company has decided to reduce its ‘grape farming footprint’.

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Former Dole executive to lead Chiquita

January 23rd, 2015

Former Dole man and European juice industry leader Andrew J. Biles is the new CEO of Chiquita Brands’ banana and pineapple businesses.

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Q&A: Southern Hemisphere pome fruit crop in focus for the U.S., Canada

January 23rd, 2015

Fruit distributor Oppy sees opportunities in a Northern Hemisphere apple market that “would appear oversupplied at first glance”, while the pear import outlook is looking “pretty rosy”.

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Chinese authorities launch fresh investigation into fruit imports

January 22nd, 2015

At least one major Chinese fruit importer has had staff summoned by authorities as part of an investigation into a customs broker.

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Indian growers act quickly on EU mango ban withdrawal

January 22nd, 2015

India’s mango farmers are jubilant at the news they will soon be able to export their fruit to Europe again.

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U.S.: Workers vote ‘yes’ for Hunts Point Terminal Market deal

January 21st, 2015

After achieving the “best wage and benefits package in two decades”, unionists at the Hunts Point Terminal Market have called on the local government for support to renovate vital infrastructure for feeding New York City.

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‘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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Mexico: Fresh Produce Social Responsibility Alliance incorporates two new members

January 21st, 2015

Two leading Mexican grower associations have joined a new group that aims to raise the bar in worker treatment on farms.

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Australian govt reopens anti-dumping case for Italian processed tomatoes

January 20th, 2015

More Italian processed tomato exporters could potentially face anti-dumping duties in Australia if a recently launched case proves successful.

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U.S.: WP Rawl to almost double leafy greens processing capacity

January 20th, 2015

WP Rawl’s new South Carolina production lines involve the latest technology and a two-step wash process.

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U.K. reacts to EU’s lifting of Indian mango ban

January 20th, 2015

“It vindicates our opinion that the ban should never have been put in place,” says Monica Bhandari.

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Indian mango ban lifted by European Union

January 20th, 2015

European plant health experts are content with India’s assurances that mango exports to the EU will be free of quarantine pests.

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Chile: ASOEX joins Bachelet on presidential tour of U.S.

January 19th, 2015

Chilean fruit industry representatives are pleased they have been recognized to join Michelle Bachelet on a U.S. tour.

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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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Fresh NY apple varieties hit U.S. shelves after more than a decade in the making

January 16th, 2015

The breeder behind the recently released SnapDragon and RubyFrost apples is quietly confident the varieties will be a big hit.

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U.S. court denies Chiquita “aided and abetted” homicide in Colombia

January 15th, 2015

The families of U.S. missionaries murdered in Colombia by FARC forces in 1995 have sought damages against Chiquita on 24 counts, of which one was dismissed by a South Florida court last week.

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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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NZ: Zespri on recruitment drive to support gold kiwifruit volume hike

January 15th, 2015

Zespri will need more personnel to cope with a 70% uptick in gold kiwifruit volume this coming season.

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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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Early organic Argentine pears soon to hit the water for U.S. market

January 14th, 2015

Pacific Organic’s Greg Holzman discusses upcoming pome fruit and mango deals, as well as the strong dollar’s effect on produce trade flows.

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Peru: Zeit Organisch forecasts exponential fruit growth in Olmos

January 13th, 2015

A Chilean grower with a unique packing method is developing fruit exports from Olmos in northern Peru, where he now has the option to tap into Odebrecht’s mega-irrigation project.

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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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Setting fresh standards for good labor practices in Mexican farming

January 9th, 2015

Mario Robles reveals some of the possible intentions of Mexico’s Fresh Produce Social Responsibility Alliance in addressing child labor and company store practices.

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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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Peruvian govt program aims to raise GlobalG.A.P. certifications

January 7th, 2015

Sierra Exportadora is helping Peruvian growers find new commercial opportunities for their fruit production.

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U.S.: AAPA, Port of Oakland applaud Federal Mediator action on labor talks

January 6th, 2015

The Federal Mediator’s move on U.S. West Coast port talks has been described as the “first step” in breaking an eight-month negotiating impasse.

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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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U.K.: Ugly fruit & vegetable trials to test shoppers’ bite at Asda

January 6th, 2015

Britain’s Asda has followed in the footsteps of French supermarket Intermarché with an ugly food initiative to sell ‘deformed’ produce.

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U.K. salad specialist launches baby kale ‘superfood’ line

January 6th, 2015

U.K. salad company Florette is targeting on-the-go health conscious foodies as part of baby leaf kale campaign.

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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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