October 24, 2014 / Week N° 43

Archive for the Today’s Headline Category

Chiquita shareholders reject Fyffes merger

October 24th, 2014

Chiquita plans to enter discussions with Cutrale-Safra after its shareholders rejected a proposed merger with Fyffes.

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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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Cutrale-Safra slip in with last minute Chiquita offer

October 23rd, 2014

Just one day out from the ChiquitaFyffes shareholder vote, Brazilian suitors have upped their bid to US$14.50 per share.

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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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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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Chilean frosts ‘nothing like last year’, say industry leaders

October 18th, 2014

Chilean fruit industry representatives say it could be 15 days yet before a full estimate of recent frost damages can be given.

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South Africa may hit stonefruit export record in 2014-15

October 18th, 2014

While some South African stonefruit export volumes will be 10-15% higher year-on-year, oversupply issues are lingering in one of the country’s key markets.

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Chile: frosts may lead to varied situation for blueberry exports, says CBC

October 17th, 2014

The Chilean Blueberry Committee says export reductions could be between 0-15% for different companies this season.

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U.S. citrus giants announce alliance to expand Wonderful Halos brand

October 17th, 2014

Paramount Citrus will become Mulholland Citrus’ exclusive sales agent in a partnership that aims to expand the consumption of Wonderful Halo mandarins across North America.

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China: Lenovo pioneer turns to social media for kiwifruit marketing

October 17th, 2014

One of China’s most influential men is looking at new ways to trade kiwifruit via smartphone e-commerce.

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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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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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Argentina will be ‘substantial’ processed blueberry player, says Comfrut

October 13th, 2014

As Chile’s frozen blueberry industry continues to grow, falling international prices could see its next-door neighbor focus far more attention on the sector in the ‘medium-term’.

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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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Agronometrics to launch commercial service

October 9th, 2014

After almost three months testing the waters with a trial run for potential clients around the world, Agronometrics plans to go live today with its fruit market data service.

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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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Seeka throws weight behind NZ Kiwifruit Claim

October 7th, 2014

The divisions in New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry continue to grow, as the country’s largest producer joins the class action alleging the government did not do enough to prevent the entry of Psa.

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NZ Kiwifruit Claim ‘in no way anti-Zespri’, says group chairman

October 6th, 2014

The head of the group launching a legal suit over negligence relating to Psa entering New Zealand has hit back at critics, stressing the need for accountability and saying growers ‘have nothing to lose’.

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EU regulators approve Chiquita-Fyffes merger

October 3rd, 2014

The European Commission has given the go-ahead to a potential merger between Chiquita and Fyffes, saying there would be no detrimental effect on market competition.

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Boycott fails to dampen Israel’s expectations

October 3rd, 2014

While some supermarkets are unwilling to buy produce from Israeli-occupied territories, the country’s fruit and vegetable sector has proven resilient throughout the recent Gaza crisis.

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Disney to take the Mickey to Chinese grape consumers

October 2nd, 2014

A Chinese partner will soon start selling Disney-branded grapes sourced from Dayka & Hackett in the U.S.

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Australia: a high value response to high wages

October 1st, 2014

In the face of high labor costs, Australian growers like Kerry Smerdon have looked to premium crops like macadamia nuts and custard apples to gain an edge.

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France bans aerial pesticide spraying in overseas territories

September 30th, 2014

Although Guadeloupe and Martinique banana growers can no longer spray pesticides aerially on their crops, the development has been welcomed by the industry.

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EU announces €165M emergency funding package

September 29th, 2014

Citrus fruits will now be included in a bigger and better European support package for growers hit by the Russian produce import ban.

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Gains and setbacks for California farm labor laws

September 29th, 2014

Western Growers CEO Tom Nassif has responded to two recent farm labor decisions made by California Governor Jerry Brown.

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Crop trust aims to raise millions to avoid climate change ‘catastrophe’

September 29th, 2014

The global crop conservation organization says it is imperative we conserve genetic diversity now for the sake of humanity’s future in a rapidly changing world.

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Fyffes raises the stakes in proposed Chiquita merger

September 26th, 2014

In a bid to sway interest away from Brazilian competition, Fyffes is now offering Chiquita shareholders a much greater share in the combined entity.

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Researchers engineer plants for far higher photosynthesis efficiency

September 26th, 2014

A scientist has hailed the exciting possibility of increasing major global crop yields by 60%, using genetic modification to speed up photosynthesis.

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Australia: bee-delivery system a win for cherry growers

September 25th, 2014

A biological control system used for strawberries has been rejigged by Australian scientists for cherries, and could potentially be applied to a range of other crops.

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Brazil opens market for Chilean citrus

September 24th, 2014

Chilean citrus exporters will now have a handy outlet if Northern Hemisphere markets get swamped in the future.

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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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Costa Rican pineapple growers get thumbs up for pesticide control

September 23rd, 2014

Authorities have found a good level of pesticide control on Costa Rica’s pineapple farms, but a recent study in a banana-growing area has not been so positive.

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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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Indian phyto strengths on show in bid to lift EU mango no-go

September 17th, 2014

An EU delegation recently visited India to inspect the country’s mango supply chain.

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Chiquita and Fyffes seek EU merger clearance

September 16th, 2014

In order to gain permission for a tie-up in the Phase I review period, Chiquita and Fyffes say they are considering offering concessions to the EU.

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Mexican officials to visit China to speed up berry export protocol

September 16th, 2014

Mexico could start shipping several types of berry to China by the end of this year.

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Chile: profits blossom for Hortifrut in 2013-14

September 15th, 2014

Chilean berry multinational Hortifrut did not let the Lobesia botrana crisis and port strikes get in the way of an exceptional financial result for 2013-14,

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U.S.: ALRB General Counsel seeks orders against Gerawan Farming

September 12th, 2014

Delegitimization attempts have kicked up a notch in a fierce debate over worker freedom and union membership in California’s Central Valley.

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South Africa: citrus suspension ‘unfortunate, but best decision’, says CGA

September 11th, 2014

South Africa’s citrus association wishes it could have avoided the recent export suspension, but couldn’t risk further restrictions from Europe.

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T&G teams up with Unifrutti Chile in Peruvian grape JV

September 10th, 2014

Unifrutti Chile and New Zealand’s Turners & Growers expect a new Peruvian grape partnership will yield fruit next year.

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EU suspends €125M emergency measures amid fraud suspicions

September 10th, 2014

The European Commission has said its aid scheme designed to support farmers affected by the Russian ban ‘has to be closed due to a disproportionate surge in claims’.

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Chiquita signs confidentiality agreement with potential buyers

September 10th, 2014

Chiquita has further relaxed its stance on the proposed merger from two Brazilian companies by entering into a non-disclosure agreement.

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Thailand: first Natural Fruit v. Andy Hall case draws to a close

September 10th, 2014

Andy Hall has been given back his passport by judges who have been described as “conscientious and careful”.

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Ebola measures disrupt West African produce supply

September 10th, 2014

While describing Ebola quarantine efforts as necessary, the FAO says they have cut off crop supplies from productive West African growing regions.

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Strong markets result in a lucrative Q3 for Limoneira

September 9th, 2014

Higher lemon prices than usual are one of the key reasons why Limoneira saw a 22% revenue increase for the third quarter.

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Spanish stonefruit set for Chinese splash in 2015

September 9th, 2014

An earlier season could give Spanish stonefruit exporters an edge in China once the market opens up.

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U.S.: Chiquita bends to takeover possibility

September 8th, 2014

Fyffes has given Chiquita a waiver allowing Chiquita to engage in discussions with its Brazilian suitors.

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South Africa suspends certain EU-bound citrus exports

September 8th, 2014

A U.K industry body says the suspension of some citrus exports from South Africa to Europe will cause ‘major issues’ for the British market.

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U.S.: Silvia Lopez, the voice of anti-union protests at Gerawan Farming

September 8th, 2014

Fruit picker Silvia Lopez discusses her fight to end forced unionization on a California farm.

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Canadian cherry exporter hails ‘unlimited opportunities’ in China

September 5th, 2014

As a very successful second season with excellent prices in China draws to a close, one Canadian cherry company says shoppers are ‘more sophisticated’ than five years ago.

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Poland: drones used to ‘photomap plant health’ on farmland

September 4th, 2014

A Polish company that manufactures UAVs for precision agriculture says growers can save 30% on fertilizer costs.

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U.S.: South African citrus pilot program lands in Texas

September 3rd, 2014

Houston, we have South African oranges.

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Poor translations keep Andy Hall in the dark in Thai trial

September 3rd, 2014

Several international organizations have raised concerns as to whether Andy Hall will get a fair trial in Thailand. Early signs show those worries may have been justified.

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EU announces extra funding to ‘alleviate’ Russian ban impact

September 3rd, 2014

The European Commission has increased the 2015 budget for Common Agricultural Policy programs by 50% as a ‘medium-term’ response to Russia’s embargo.

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U.S.: APHIS determines new pest-free areas in Australia

September 3rd, 2014

Some Australian fruit will now require less stringent treatment for export to the United States, after authorities recently recognized different states and territories as free of certain pests.

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Poland slashes export insurance rates to bolster produce exports

September 3rd, 2014

Poland is incentivizing shipments to new markets with cuts in export insurance, and a new logo campaign.

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Turkey offers niche import promise

September 3rd, 2014

Retail and produce experts look at Turkey’s potential as a destination market for high-value products.

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Total Produce buys in to California avocado deal

September 2nd, 2014

In a “robust” results announcement for the first half, multinational Total Produce has drawn attention to its recent purchase of a stake in U.S. avocado grower Eco Farms.

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NZ growers take action to mitigate rain risks for cherries

September 2nd, 2014

New Zealand cherry industry players discuss several steps underway to make the most of booming opportunities in Asia.

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Business Social Compliance Initiative expresses ‘great concern’ over Andy Hall case

September 1st, 2014

An organization that works with hundreds of European retailers and importers has said it’s ‘time for cooperation rather than litigation’, in response to the charges brought against activist Andy Hall.

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Thailand: Andy Hall feels confident ahead of trial tomorrow

September 1st, 2014

Andy Hall feels recent reactions from European buyers were prompted by “ridiculous” statements from the Thai Pineapple Industry Association (TPIA).

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Chiquita denies Guatemalan water contamination claims

September 1st, 2014

Banana trader Chiquita has described claims in a recent lawsuit as inaccurate, and says invitations for mediation have gone unanswered.

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Thailand: 300,000 sign petitions to drop charges against Andy Hall

August 31st, 2014

The number of petitioners in support of Andy Hall continues to rise, joining the likes of United Nordic, leading U.K. retailers and Fyffes.

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U.S. may allow South African citrus from black spot-infested areas

August 29th, 2014

U.S. authorities claim South Africa should be treated the same way as Florida when it comes to citrus black spot.

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Carrefour targeted in Spanish grower protest

August 28th, 2014

Spanish growers have accused retailers of taking advantage of the Russian ban with extremely low prices.

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U.S. NGO sues Chiquita for “deceptive” advertising

August 28th, 2014

A Seattle-based NGO claims the Rainforest Alliance is re-thinking its endorsement of Chiquita bananas, following allegations of water contamination in Guatemala.

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California: Gerawan responds to UFW statement, misconduct allegations

August 28th, 2014

Gerawan Farming says ‘It is unfortunate that our employees need to take such a drastic action’.

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U.S.: West Coast port talks make headway

August 27th, 2014

Clear progress is made in the U.S. West Coast port negotiations as both sides reach a ‘tentative agreement on terms for health benefits’.

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Chiquita and Fyffes find US$20M in new synergies from proposed merger

August 27th, 2014

Brazil’s Cavendish Global may seek to sway shareholders from the merger, but Chiquita and Fyffes have found new benefits that could be gained from their partnership.

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California: UFW hits back at ‘anti-labor’ Center for Worker Freedom

August 27th, 2014

The United Farmworkers Union has accused the Center for Worker Freedom of “cynical outreach to Latinos”, backed by the “architect” of last fall’s Federal Government shutdown.

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Canada: Sunset Produce doubles Coldwater Farms greenhouse capacity

August 26th, 2014

An expanded greenhouse with a diffused glass ceiling will support increased tomato production for Sunset Produce.

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Farmworkers versus unions, a new fight in California

August 26th, 2014

Employers will not be the targets in a peach picker protest to take place today, but rather unions and the State of the California.

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Solving India’s banana waste problem

August 25th, 2014

Danfoss India has ambitious plans to resolve infrastructure problems that are leaving a third of bananas by the wayside.

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Canada pledges to speed up Polish apple access

August 25th, 2014

Canadian authorities have vowed to speed up market access for Polish apple growers, who like their own fishermen have been impacted by Russia’s food import embargo.

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Australia: Select Harvests to make landmark acquisitions

August 24th, 2014

A leading Australian almond company plans to spend US$59 million on new properties and water entitlements in a bid to double production by 2018.

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Communist rebels attack two Philippine banana plantations

August 24th, 2014

A Del Monte aircraft hangar was one site of rebel attacks on banana operations in the Philippines over the weekend.

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Brazilian authorities approve GM fruit fly trials

August 22nd, 2014

A U.K. company is taking a further step in testing fruit fly controls through genetic modification, but GeneWatch believes the move could threaten the food supply.

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NZ: SunGold and organic kiwifruit volumes surge for Seeka in H1

August 21st, 2014

A more competitive postharvest environment hasn’t stopped New Zealand’s largest kiwifruit packer from making big gains in the first half of 2014.

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Russia eases ban on certain produce

August 21st, 2014

In order to help its own farmers, Russia has scrapped some agricultural items from its import ban including onion and potato seeds.

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Brazilian table grape producer expects ‘tough season’ after cloudy weather

August 21st, 2014

Brazil’s leading table grape producer says cloudy weather greatly affected white seedless production this year, however a strong domestic market and 14 new varieties mean it isn’t all bad news.

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South Africa considers altering GM labeling legislation

August 20th, 2014

Stricter regulations could soon come into force in South Africa to clarify what constitutes GM produce.

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Europe: Copa Cogeca welcomes emergency package but calls for more help

August 20th, 2014

European farmer and cooperative organization Copa Cogeca believes more extraordinary measures are warranted to soften the blow from Russia’s import ban.

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Russia intercepts produce imports from banned EU countries

August 19th, 2014

Russia has prevented 11 cases of agricultural imports totaling more than 93MT via Belarus, including shipments from banned EU countries.

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Limoneira invests in northern Chilean citrus

August 19th, 2014

U.S. fruit company Limoneira has made its first investment abroad with a bet on Chilean citrus opportunities.

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California: grower body expects ‘renewed emphasis’ on food safety

August 19th, 2014

A key Californian producer association says this summer’s stonefruit contamination scare was a ‘wake-up call’ for the industry, and has also praised the recently proposed water bond as a ‘valid opportunity’.

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EU slates €125M for emergency measures to prop up produce industry

August 18th, 2014

The European Union will tap emergency funding to support growers affected by Russia’s import ban, but not all crops will be included.

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Potatoes and grapes in the spotlight for India in Russia

August 18th, 2014

IG International’s Tarun Arora looks at the Indian crops to benefit from Russia’s import ban, and how the move will affect European and Middle Eastern growers’ orientations toward his country.

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Quality focus could pull Dutch industry through rough times, says ABN AMRO

August 15th, 2014

An agri-food economist looks at the Dutch boom in certain produce items prior to tensions between Russia and the Ukraine, and what approach is needed from here.

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U.S.: Chiquita board rejects Brazilian offer

August 14th, 2014

Banana workers and advocacy groups had raised concern that a Brazilian takeover would set back 15 years of progress. Luckily for them, Chiquita is not recommending the deal to its shareholders.

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More market stabilization measures on the cards, says EU Ag Commissioner

August 14th, 2014

To tackle challenges from Russia’s food import ban, the EU will implement a faster market monitoring service and new stabilization measures for fruits and vegetables.

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