January 29, 2015 / Week N° 05

Archive for the Today’s Headline Category

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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Year 2014 in Review – First Half

December 29th, 2014

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

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Chile: fig exporters’ perpetual fight to get their produce to market

December 24th, 2014

Figs’ very short shelf life means Chilean shippers face a unique set of challenges compared to many Northern Hemisphere producers.

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Olmos: Inside northern Peru’s gigantic precedent for large-scale irrigation

December 23rd, 2014

A grape and blueberry grower says Peru’s Olmos Irrigation Project is like an easy-access “agricultural condominium”.

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EC to claim back €102M from members for improper CAP spending

December 22nd, 2014

The European Commission will recover money from three states who ‘unduly’ spent agricultural policy funds.

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U.K.: Tesco & Asda react to calls for more fairtrade fruit

December 19th, 2014

British shoppers have ‘bombarded’ Asda and Tesco with more than 100,000 emails calling for the retailers to sell 100% fairtrade bananas.

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

December 18th, 2014

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

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U.S.: California storms very positive but drought not over yet, says CFFA

December 17th, 2014

The California Fresh Fruit Association says recent rainfall has been excellent for the industry, but it is too early to speculate on water allocation for next year.

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Mexico makes progress in fight against fruit fly

December 16th, 2014

Growers in parts of the Mexican state of Michoacan will be able to access new markets after the national agricultural watchdog downgraded the prevalence level of fruit fly.

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Belgium: Strike action could tarnish our reputation, says Port of Antwerp

December 15th, 2014

There are about 50 vessels blocked from entering or leaving an important fruit import hub in Europe.

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NZ: Zespri considers Chinese kiwifruit production partnerships

December 15th, 2014

Zespri’s Matt Crawford discusses production possibilities in China and a red kiwifruit variety trialled in Singapore.

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U.S.: California court takes Dole’s side in fruit mix labeling case

December 12th, 2014

A California court has denied a consumer’s allegation that Dole’s use of ascorbic and citric acids in packaged products makes the label “All Natural Fruit” misleading.

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U.S.: California citrus industry gives mixed views on storm

December 12th, 2014

While California Citrus Mutual has said the current storms in the state are a ‘plus all the way round’, others say it will delay harvesting at a peak time.

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Mexico starts anti-dumping investigation into U.S. apple imports

December 11th, 2014

Growers in the Mexican state of Chihuahua have filed a complaint alleging unfair trade practices from U.S. apple exporters.

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U.S.: Del Monte recalls fresh cut fruit in some states

December 10th, 2014

Listeria contamination risks from Gala red apples grown in Pennsylvania have led Del Monte to recall some of its fresh cut fruit products.

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Chilean avocado exports could drop by half this season, says Cabilfrut

December 10th, 2014

Despite an attractive domestic avocado market this season, a large Chilean grower has warned there will be consequences if the industry loses focus on foreign trade.

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Belgian port prepared for strike action next week

December 9th, 2014

Many companies in the Port of Antwerp have advised shipping lines not to make calls on certain days next week.

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Indian grape sector strengthened by 2014 export campaign

December 9th, 2014

An increasing number of Indian table grape growers are learning how best to produce their fruit to meet high international trade standards.

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U.S.: West Coast exporters ‘substantially delayed’, says Western Growers

December 5th, 2014

Western Growers says there are exporters ‘backing off’ their shipping volumes due to congestion in West Coast ports, and it is unclear when conditions will begin to improve.

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China green lights South African apple imports

December 4th, 2014

The South African apple industry hopes the new Chinese market access will act as a ‘springboard’ to enter other Asian countries in the future.

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EU could lift Indian mango ban ‘early next year’, say industry reps

December 4th, 2014

Although Europe’s ban on Indian mango imports was originally set to last until the end of 2015, experts from the Asian country claim trade could start up again much sooner.

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Exchange rate bears well for new Belgian apple deal in India

December 3rd, 2014

BVF’s Marc Evrard discusses his expectations for an incipient pome fruit program in India.

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Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV finalize shipping merger

December 2nd, 2014

Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV have completed their tie up to become the world’s fourth-largest container liner shipping company, with expected annual sales of US$12 billion.

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South African table grape exporters positive after ‘perfect’ weather

December 2nd, 2014

One South African table grape exporter says ‘everything that can go well so far this season is good’, as producers continue to plant new varieties.

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Chilean cherry crop falls 15% after heavy rainfall

December 1st, 2014

Up to 40% of cherries in a key Chilean growing region are no longer eligible for export following rainfall on Saturday.

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NZ fruit growers embrace ozone tech for healthy orchards

December 1st, 2014

OA-Global’s ozone technology products worked wonders on kiwifruit trials in New Zealand, and the company hopes for similar success in new geographies and crops.

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Argentine pome fruit exporters hold ‘high expectations’ for India

November 28th, 2014

Two Argentine apple shippers are delighted at the new Indian market access, with both saying they were surprised at the news and that a strong future is in store.

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Doubts linger after brief Chilean port strike

November 27th, 2014

Chile’s cherry and blueberry industries have very different views on the effects of recent port strikes.

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Low rainfall lifts South African stonefruit quality, says Capespan

November 27th, 2014

While the stonefruit export season is generally going well for Capespan, some key markets are said to be inexplicably ‘flat’.

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Russia may include Switzerland in produce import embargo

November 26th, 2014

A 400-fold increase in Swiss apple exports to Russia has sparked suspicions of smuggling to avoid a trade ban on EU produce.

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Gaza threatens Israel with sanctions after produce blockade

November 26th, 2014

The Gaza Ministry of Agriculture has warned it will retaliate with sanctions if Israel continues to obstruct its fruit and vegetable trade.

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Australia-China FTA “music to our ears”, says Joyvio

November 25th, 2014

A Chinese agribusiness hopes the Australian FTA will also lead to simplified quarantine protocols for fruit imports, and has also signaled plans to include South African sourcing.

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Canadian produce sector hails successful meeting on Parliament Hill

November 25th, 2014

Financial protection for produce sellers was one of the key topics addressed during recent meetings between industry and government in Ottawa.

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Field management app Eland gains ground in Argentina and Chile

November 24th, 2014

Originally designed for commodity crops, an Argentine field management app is making an impact in Chile’s fruit and vegetable sector.

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U.K.: Love Beets looks for South American opportunities

November 21st, 2014

A U.K. company recently visited Santiago de Chile in search of ready-to-eat beetroot export opportunities.

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U.S.: NatureSeal sees bright future for Latin American fresh-cut sector

November 21st, 2014

NatureSeal’s A.J. Martinich looks at some of the key items and regions with growth potential in fresh-cut produce.

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Japanese market opens for fumigation-free Chilean cherries

November 20th, 2014

A decision by Japan’s MAFF will now allow for much greater volumes of Chilean cherries this Christmas.

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Rain damage won’t affect Mexican papaya exports, says Coliman

November 20th, 2014

Increased plantings will help offset some of the impacts of rain on papaya volumes in Colima.

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Del Monte opens new Canadian fresh cut facility

November 19th, 2014

Fresh Del Monte Produce has opened a new operation to supply fresh cut salads, fruits and vegetables to the Canadian market.

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Jamaica to ‘lively up’ U.K. banana market

November 19th, 2014

British consumers no longer have to wait in vain for Jamaican bananas, with more volumes from the Caribbean nation set to soon come their way.

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Spanish citrus sector angered by EU labeling decision

November 18th, 2014

A decision to single out citrus growers in labeling the use of postharvest chemicals has been supported by the General Court of the European Union.

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U.S.: High times for strawberries and blueberries, says Riordan

November 18th, 2014

California Giant Berry Farms owner Patrick Riordan says he is “blessed” to be involved in the category.

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Aussie produce industry welcomes China FTA

November 17th, 2014

Australia’s fresh fruit, vegetable and orange juice sectors are all set to gain after the signing of an FTA with China.

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New Zealand and South Korea complete FTA negotiations

November 17th, 2014

New Zealand’s Prime Minister says the free trade agreement with South Korea will put exporters ‘back on a level playing field’ with U.S. and EU competitors.

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Peruvian mega-irrigation project seeks new farming investors

November 17th, 2014

The first crops have been planted as part of a US$280 million dam project in Peru to support agriculture, including sugarcane, avocados and blueberries.

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China: Fruitday gears up for Mexican blackberries, Chilean avocados

November 14th, 2014

After tripling sales in the last year, Fruitday co-founder Loren Zhao looks ahead for fruit imports in 2014-15.

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Less focus on tomatoes for Mexico’s protected hort sector

November 13th, 2014

AMHPAC president Juan Ariel Reyes discusses changing dynamics and key goals for the Mexican protected horticulture sector.

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Chilean fruit industry expects highest returns ever in 2015

November 12th, 2014

There has been an air of optimism at PMA Fruittrade Latin America today, with Fedefruta’s chief forecasting a 15% rise in fruit exports for next year.

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BanaBay tries its hand at mangoes

November 12th, 2014

After adding pineapples to its product mix in April, British-Ecuadorian group BanaBay is now trialing mango sales.

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Farm monitoring app ‘seeCrop’ wins U.K. award

November 12th, 2014

A new mobile app that pinpoints diseases and pests in fields has won the U.K. leg of the European Satellite Navigation Competition.

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Hailstorms continue to affect NZ kiwifruit orchards

November 11th, 2014

A few New Zealand kiwifruit growers could be ‘significantly affected’ by adverse weather that worked its way north up to the Bay of Plenty region.

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South Africa: Dutoit branches out into early cherries for U.K. market

November 11th, 2014

Gysbert du Toit talks about the evolution of an early cherry deal from South Africa in a tie-up with Californian varieties.

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Australia: Mainland cherry registrations for Chinese exports a “good step”

November 10th, 2014

Mainland Australian cherry growers had previously ignored the option to export directly to China with cold treatment, but that approach has changed this season.

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