March 05, 2015 / Week N° 10

Archive for the Today’s Headline Category

Colombian app aims to strengthen fruit trade relationships

March 5th, 2015

A new Colombian 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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