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Industry to discuss North and Latin American ports, shipping and logistics

TOC Americas conference and exhibition
Industry to discuss North and Latin American ports, shipping and logistics

Senior executives from North and Latin America’s container port, shipping and logistics sectors will unite in Cartagena, Colombia next week for the 14th annual TOC Americas conference and exhibition.

With the advent of Panama Canal expansion, changes to regional economies and trade flows, growing vessel sizes and a raft of new infrastructure developments, the state of shipping and logistics across the Americas is changing rapidly. All this will be reflected in a busy 3-day conference programme, with sessions covering international trade trends, container shipping forecasts, port development, terminal operations, equipment and technology, hinterland issues, and cold chain logistics.

Delegates will be able to learn how container ports can improve productivity without disrupting day to day operations, attendees will find out why shippers make ocean freight procurement decisions, analyse regional shipping networks after the Panama Canal expansion, prepare for the container and reefer shipping trends impacting supply chains, and discover best practices for transporting perishable cargo.

Major shipping lines in attendance
TOC Americas is a magnet for shipping line executives with an operational, network design, and port and terminal focus. This year’s conference promises to be no exception, with participation from key figures including Robbert van Trooijen, CEO, Latin America and Caribbean, Maersk Line; Howard Finkel, Executive Vice, President Trade Division, COSCO Container Lines Americas, Poul Hestbaek, SVP Latin America West Coast & Caribbean, Hamburg Süd; Boris Leyton, VP Operations & Logistics WCSA, CSAV; and Karlien Brolsma, General Manager Procurement, Maersk Line Central America.

Terminal productivity

Terminal productivity is under the spotlight as larger container vessels are deployed on all markets and trades. Shippers and carriers are looking to terminals for faster, more reliable turnaround times in order to ensure supply chain integrity. On Day Two of TOC Americas 2014, a panel of experts will discuss how the growing stresses of ship size vs. port capabilities can be reconciled in the debate Latin American Terminal Productivity & the Supply Chain Impact. Delegates will be able to hear from speakers representing Maersk Line, CSAV, Moffatt & Nichol, AECOM, SSA Marine, SPRC, and Virginia International Terminals.

Port technology exhibition
TOC Americas includes the region’s biggest dedicated container port equipment and technology exhibition. Visitors will be able to view the latest advances in container handling technology and automated solutions for the berth, in the yard and at the gate. Click here to see the latest floor plan.

Networking focus
As usual, the region’s premier container shipping conference and port technology expo will bring together industry leaders representing port authorities, terminal operators, shipping lines, freight forwarders and cargo owners.

Alongside the formal conference sessions and exhibition, TOC Americas also offers a social environment in which to network and meet new and old business contacts. The night before the trade show begins, ice-breaker welcome drinks will be held in a casual setting at the official event hotel (Monday, October 13).

After the first day of the event closes, a networking reception will be held on the quayside at event host Port of Cartagena’s Manga container terminal, with drinks, canapés and live entertainment (Tuesday, October 14).

Day 2 of TOC Americas will end with ‘Happy Hour’ drinks on the trade show floor at 16:15hrs (Wednesday, October 15), which is free for all delegates and exhibitors to attend.

Please visit tocevents-americas.com for more information.

Publication date: 10/10/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Kraft Recalls American Singles for Possible Storage Temperature Problem

Kraft Foods Group of Northfield, IL, announced Friday that it is voluntarily recalling 7,691 cases of select varieties of regular Kraft American Singles Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product.

The company stated that a supplier did not store an ingredient used in this product in accordance with Kraft’s temperature standards. While unlikely, this could create conditions that could lead to premature spoilage and/or foodborne illness, so the company issued the recall as a precaution.

Kraft stated that it has had no consumer illness complaints for the product associated with this recall. The affected product is limited to four varieties with “Best When Used By” dates of Feb. 20, 2015, and Feb. 21, 2015.

The affected product was shipped to customers across the United States. It was not distributed outside of the U.S.

The following varieties are being recalled:

ProductSize
Name of Product
Units/Case
Best When Used By Code Dates
Package Code
Case Code
12 oz. 12 oz Kraft American Singles (16 slices) 48 20 FEB 2015 and 21 FEB 2015 0 21000 60464 7 00 21000 60464 00
16 oz. 16 oz Kraft American Singles (24 slices) (36 count case) 36 20 FEB 2015 0 21000 61526 1 00 21000 61450 00
16 oz. 16 oz Kraft American Singles (24 slices) (12 count case) 12 20 FEB 2015 0 21000 61526 1 00 21000 61526 00
64 oz. 64 oz (4 lb) Kraft American Singles (4×24 slice) 8 20 FEB 2015 0 21000 63360 9 00 21000 62559 00

Consumers can find the “Best When Used By” dates on the bottom of the product package. No other Kraft Singles products are impacted by this recall.

The affected product was produced at Kraft’s Springfield, MO, manufacturing facility.

Consumers who purchased any of these products should not eat them but return them to the store where purchased for an exchange or full refund. Consumers also can contact Kraft Foods Consumer Relations at 1-800-396-5512.

Food Safety News

Recent Lapses in Global Food Safety Worry North American Consumers

Stomachs in China have been turning after a recent food scandal at the processing plant of a major supplier of Chinese fast-food restaurants.

A Chinese investigative television program exposed the conditions at a U.S.-owned meat processor that supplies major brands such as McDonald’s and KFC. The exposé showed workers at the processing plant picking up meat from the floor and mixing expired meat with fresh meat.

The parent company that owns the facility at the center of this scandal described the case as “appalling.” Most troubling, “The incident highlights the difficulty in ensuring quality and safety along the supply chain in China,” stated a reporter from Reuters.

This isn’t the first such scandal to rock the fast-food industry. In 2012, the issue was chicken nuggets that contained significant amounts of antibiotics. Other recent food-safety concerns have included fox meat passed off as donkey meat and expired duck meat.

Chinese Middle Class Demands Safer Food and Beverage Products

Although China is still a developing nation, we don’t need to be reminded that it is also a massive economy that has a global impact. Half a billion people in China are middle class; that’s nearly twice the population of the United States. Yes, there are some differences in consumption patterns, but, as Peter Hall, chief economist for Export Development Canada (EDC), states, “While Asian demand for luxury goods may be fettered by global economic decline, demand for food is much less elastic. Want proof? Over the latest economic downturn, Canada’s food exports to emerging markets has grown from a mere 14% of agricultural exports in 2002 to over 30% today.”

That means that, like any other place in the world, if someone has lost confidence in the quality of fast food due to an incident that put you and your family’s health at risk, you probably have an inclination to pick up some food from the grocery store that you know is safe and resort to cooking at home for a while. But what if you are watching a Chinese food scandal unfold from the other side of the world? Should North Americans be concerned that similar practices might take place here?

Are Consumers in North America Right to Worry about Food Scares Similar to the Recent Ones in China?

Let’s face it, food scandals can and do happen everywhere in the world. However, food systems in advanced nations like the U.S. and Canada greatly limit such abuses and allow for almost immediate containment of tainted food. Gordon Hayburn, director of food safety at Trophy Foods Inc., offered me his own personal opinion on food safety, mentioning the apparent lack of trust among the general public, which, like everything else, is usually exacerbated through social media sharing.

“It is unfortunate,” he says. “Humans are the only species I have ever seen that will at times willfully contaminate their own food supply. But if you consider the fact that in North America there are nearly 300 million people, then in theory close to 1 billion meals are consumed on a daily basis. So if you take that into account, there are really not that many incidents where food is contaminated. Furthermore, while I cannot speak on behalf of developing countries, I really do believe that the vast majority of food safety employees are doing their best to uphold food safety standards.”

It’s a Two-Way Street: Governments Need to Enforce Food Safety, and Consumers Need to Better Educate Themselves

Citing a number of food safety and security cases, Gordon explains that, while first-world countries are faced with the challenge of better enforcing food safety standards, consumers also need to become more educated and practice using their common sense. For example, Gordon draws attention to several recent cases where bakeries and food companies in Canada and the U.S. have made false claims stating their products are either “organic” or “gluten-free.” Trophy Foods Inc. recently went through a rigorous process to become certified gluten-free, but without consumers educating themselves on what to look for on packaging, it actually disincentivizes companies from making an investment in a legitimate certification process.

On the other side of the coin, there is also a need for more inspectors, and that’s not just in the U.S. and Canada; it’s a problem that is facing most first-world countries. There are well-written laws, but not enough food safety inspectors to adequately enforce them. Just like triage in a hospital, inspectors will have to prioritize which cases receive immediate attention.

A Burgeoning Demand for Skilled Labor in Food Science and Technology

Another problem facing the food safety and security industry is that there are not enough young people being drawn to a profession in food sciences. Gordon explains, “I and my partner are actually not from Canada. My partner received a job offer first and I followed. Within one day, I found a job.”

In Canada, organizations such as the Food Processing Human Resources Council (FPHRC) are running programs like “Youth into Food Processing” to help gain interest from young people who are considering a career in the industry, along with offering a government wage subsidy program to help small- to mid-sized businesses with the expense of hiring a recent graduate into a food sciences position. Still, many industry experts say there isn’t enough being done to persuade young students to consider a career in food science.

Food Safety News

Recent Lapses in Global Food Safety Worry North American Consumers

Stomachs in China have been turning after a recent food scandal at the processing plant of a major supplier of Chinese fast-food restaurants.

A Chinese investigative television program exposed the conditions at a U.S.-owned meat processor that supplies major brands such as McDonald’s and KFC. The exposé showed workers at the processing plant picking up meat from the floor and mixing expired meat with fresh meat.

The parent company that owns the facility at the center of this scandal described the case as “appalling.” Most troubling, “The incident highlights the difficulty in ensuring quality and safety along the supply chain in China,” stated a reporter from Reuters.

This isn’t the first such scandal to rock the fast-food industry. In 2012, the issue was chicken nuggets that contained significant amounts of antibiotics. Other recent food-safety concerns have included fox meat passed off as donkey meat and expired duck meat.

Chinese Middle Class Demands Safer Food and Beverage Products

Although China is still a developing nation, we don’t need to be reminded that it is also a massive economy that has a global impact. Half a billion people in China are middle class; that’s nearly twice the population of the United States. Yes, there are some differences in consumption patterns, but, as Peter Hall, chief economist for Export Development Canada (EDC), states, “While Asian demand for luxury goods may be fettered by global economic decline, demand for food is much less elastic. Want proof? Over the latest economic downturn, Canada’s food exports to emerging markets has grown from a mere 14% of agricultural exports in 2002 to over 30% today.”

That means that, like any other place in the world, if someone has lost confidence in the quality of fast food due to an incident that put you and your family’s health at risk, you probably have an inclination to pick up some food from the grocery store that you know is safe and resort to cooking at home for a while. But what if you are watching a Chinese food scandal unfold from the other side of the world? Should North Americans be concerned that similar practices might take place here?

Are Consumers in North America Right to Worry about Food Scares Similar to the Recent Ones in China?

Let’s face it, food scandals can and do happen everywhere in the world. However, food systems in advanced nations like the U.S. and Canada greatly limit such abuses and allow for almost immediate containment of tainted food. Gordon Hayburn, director of food safety at Trophy Foods Inc., offered me his own personal opinion on food safety, mentioning the apparent lack of trust among the general public, which, like everything else, is usually exacerbated through social media sharing.

“It is unfortunate,” he says. “Humans are the only species I have ever seen that will at times willfully contaminate their own food supply. But if you consider the fact that in North America there are nearly 300 million people, then in theory close to 1 billion meals are consumed on a daily basis. So if you take that into account, there are really not that many incidents where food is contaminated. Furthermore, while I cannot speak on behalf of developing countries, I really do believe that the vast majority of food safety employees are doing their best to uphold food safety standards.”

It’s a Two-Way Street: Governments Need to Enforce Food Safety, and Consumers Need to Better Educate Themselves

Citing a number of food safety and security cases, Gordon explains that, while first-world countries are faced with the challenge of better enforcing food safety standards, consumers also need to become more educated and practice using their common sense. For example, Gordon draws attention to several recent cases where bakeries and food companies in Canada and the U.S. have made false claims stating their products are either “organic” or “gluten-free.” Trophy Foods Inc. recently went through a rigorous process to become certified gluten-free, but without consumers educating themselves on what to look for on packaging, it actually disincentivizes companies from making an investment in a legitimate certification process.

On the other side of the coin, there is also a need for more inspectors, and that’s not just in the U.S. and Canada; it’s a problem that is facing most first-world countries. There are well-written laws, but not enough food safety inspectors to adequately enforce them. Just like triage in a hospital, inspectors will have to prioritize which cases receive immediate attention.

A Burgeoning Demand for Skilled Labor in Food Science and Technology

Another problem facing the food safety and security industry is that there are not enough young people being drawn to a profession in food sciences. Gordon explains, “I and my partner are actually not from Canada. My partner received a job offer first and I followed. Within one day, I found a job.”

In Canada, organizations such as the Food Processing Human Resources Council (FPHRC) are running programs like “Youth into Food Processing” to help gain interest from young people who are considering a career in the industry, along with offering a government wage subsidy program to help small- to mid-sized businesses with the expense of hiring a recent graduate into a food sciences position. Still, many industry experts say there isn’t enough being done to persuade young students to consider a career in food science.

Food Safety News

South American fruit to start moving through Savannah

South American fruit to start moving through Savannah

A new pilot program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow Georgia Ports Authority to facilitate the delivery of fresh fruit from South America — whose growing season is opposite ours — to markets throughout the Southeast.

“South American fresh fruit destined to the Southeast market has traditionally been shipped to northern U.S. ports,” said GPA executive director Curtis Foltz. “Delivery through Savannah means fruits won’t have to be trucked as far to reach southeastern markets, allowing fresher offerings for stores and longer shelf life for consumers.”

Starting Sept. 1, the Port of Savannah will begin handling South American-grown fruit that has undergone cold treatment, a process that prevents the transmission of agricultural pests.

Through the USDA program, citrus fruits, grapes and blueberries will be chilled for at least 17 days prior to entry into the U.S. to protect against fruit flies. The process will be done in producing countries — including Peru, Chile and Brazil — or at transshipment points such as Panama.

The fruit will move in refrigerated containers held just above freezing during transit aboard cargo vessels, effectively cutting the time the fruit must remain stationary for treatment.

“We will work closely with the Georgia Port Authority and Customs and Border Protection over the next year to evaluate the application of cold treatment and monitor its progress,” said Osama El-Lissy, deputy administrator to plant protection and quarantine, a program under USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Bringing cold treatment to the Port of Savannah is just one example of USDA’s commitment to facilitating trade while protecting American agriculture.”

In addition to faster delivery in the Southeast, the program also cuts logistics-related emissions by reducing truck miles and allowing more efficient shipments. Trucks carrying refrigerated cargo containers may weigh up to 100,000 pounds, where domestic trucks may be loaded only to 80,000 pounds. Transit savings could mean lower prices for consumers.

Removing potential pests via cold treatment also reduces the need for pesticides.

“Cold treatment is an environmentally-friendly alternative to fumigation-based pest control methods that emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” said APL Vice President for Global Reefer Trade Eric Eng. “Its increasing acceptance by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other import authorities around the world enhances the overall viability of shipping fresh produce by sea.”

Cliff Pyron, Georgia Ports’ chief commercial officer, said port customers have been requesting the delivery of fruit closer to the fast-growing market of the southeastern U.S.

“We look forward to a successful pilot, leading to a permanent program expanded to include new countries and more commodities,” Pyron said. “Because the South American growing season is opposite that of the U.S., these shipments are vital for keeping fresh produce on shelves year-round.”

Garden City Terminal in Savannah has a refrigerated container capacity of more than 2,600 containers. The Port of Savannah is the only port in the nation to have refrigerated racks on this scale.

Source: savannahnow.com

Publication date: 7/9/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Big Y collecting worn American flags for proper retirement

For the third year in a row, in honor of Flag Day, Big Y is collecting worn, torn, faded or badly soiled American flags for proper retirement. Big Y is working with local Boy Scouts, American Legions, VFW’s and military organizations to properly retire the collected flags.

From May 22 to June 11, all Big Y locations, including Fresh Acres and Table & Vine, will have special receptacles for accepting the worn flags. These flags will be delivered to the local organizations listed above to ensure proper retirement with dignity and respect. Since 2012, Big Y has collected more than 10,000 American flags for proper retirement.

The collecting organizations will hold a special flag retirement ceremony that conforms to the United States Flag Code.

United States Federal Law provides that “the flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” (36 U.S.C. 176(k)) The burning symbolizes purification and rebirth when performed during a ceremony. After a final tribute, a flag is cut in 13 strips that represent the original 13 colonies, and the 50 stars to pay homage to the 50 states. The strips are then respectively placed on a fire. The ashes are then collected and buried after the Pledge of Allegiance is recited and a moment of silence is observed.

Flag Day was established in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. It is celebrated every year on June 14 to observe the adoption of the first national flag in 1777. Big Y proudly displays the American Flag outside of every location.

“As a symbol of our being an American owned supermarket, Big Y is proud to help our communities by properly retiring their worn, tattered or soiled American flags,” Big Y CEO Donald H. D’Amour said in a press release. 

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Big Y collecting worn American flags for proper retirement

For the third year in a row, in honor of Flag Day, Big Y is collecting worn, torn, faded or badly soiled American flags for proper retirement. Big Y is working with local Boy Scouts, American Legions, VFW’s and military organizations to properly retire the collected flags.

From May 22 to June 11, all Big Y locations, including Fresh Acres and Table & Vine, will have special receptacles for accepting the worn flags. These flags will be delivered to the local organizations listed above to ensure proper retirement with dignity and respect. Since 2012, Big Y has collected more than 10,000 American flags for proper retirement.

The collecting organizations will hold a special flag retirement ceremony that conforms to the United States Flag Code.

United States Federal Law provides that “the flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” (36 U.S.C. 176(k)) The burning symbolizes purification and rebirth when performed during a ceremony. After a final tribute, a flag is cut in 13 strips that represent the original 13 colonies, and the 50 stars to pay homage to the 50 states. The strips are then respectively placed on a fire. The ashes are then collected and buried after the Pledge of Allegiance is recited and a moment of silence is observed.

Flag Day was established in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. It is celebrated every year on June 14 to observe the adoption of the first national flag in 1777. Big Y proudly displays the American Flag outside of every location.

“As a symbol of our being an American owned supermarket, Big Y is proud to help our communities by properly retiring their worn, tattered or soiled American flags,” Big Y CEO Donald H. D’Amour said in a press release. 

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

BBQ fundraiser a success for Cal Giant, American Cancer Society

The Original Spring Lamb Barbecue celebrated its 55th anniversary on Saturday May 17 at the Crosetti Ranch nestled in the foothills of Watsonville, CA. Organizers raised $ 75,000 for the American Cancer Society this year.

This long-standing event, which has a reputation for being ‘stag,’ was attended by more than 750 men — and two women — on a picturesque day. Lamb was barbecued several different ways on four different pits, and there was a horseshoe tournament that included more than 60 teams on the historical property.dananthonykennyDan Nicola, chief financial officer of Cal Giant; Anthony Gallino, vice president of sales; and Ken Chappell, Spring Lamb committee member.

Over the 55 years of this long-standing event, hundreds of volunteers from the Pajaro Valley have been committed to participating in the Spring Lamb BBQ, which contributes to its longevity. The staff at California Giant — along with committee members — gain strong support from friends in the produce industry for the event and acknowledge those that have lost their battle with cancer each year. 

This annual BBQ was started by John Moncovich, the father of Bill Moncovich, chief executive officer and partner in California Giant Berry Farms, along with several friends back in 1959. They donated funds the very first year to the American Cancer Society and that tradition has held true ever since.       

In 2008, the American Cancer Society acknowledged the longevity of the event and the cumulative contribution of more than $ 1 million dollars. The society praised Bill Moncovich and the organizing committee for hosting the oldest, consecutively held, fundraiser for the American Cancer Society in the United States. This accomplishment was also recognized by Congressman Sam Farr at the 50th anniversary.

The lion’s share of the proceeds from the Spring Lamb each year are donated the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, and additionally funds are shared with the Jacob’s Heart Foundation, a local organization that supports families of children with cancer.

For more information on how to sponsor the Spring Lamb Barbecue held each year on the third Saturday in May and its fund raising effort to fight cancer, contact California Giant Berry Farms at 831/728 -1773 or visit www.springlamb.org.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Sun World appoints Carolina Uquillas as South American licensing manager

Sun World International LLC is expanding its presence in South America and, in order to accommodate that expansion, has named well-respected Chilean grape breeder and agronomist Carolina Uquillas to manage its fruit licensing business throughout Brazil, Chile and Peru.

She assumes responsibilities for managing all of Sun World’s growing South American activities. Executive Vice President David Marguleas said Uquillas joined Sun World Jan. 13 and will be based at the California company’s Santiago, Chile, office. Carolina-UquillasCarolina Uquillas

Sun World licenses a wide-ranging intellectual property portfolio, including proprietary grapes and stone fruit licensed to growers and export-marketers throughout Chile, Peru and northeastern Brazil.

“South America is an essential Southern Hemisphere production region for our international licensing business and for quality-minded supermarket retailers seeking differentiated varieties,” Marguleas said in a press release. “Carolina brings keen knowledge of variety development and best production practices as well as an appreciation for what brands and unique varieties can accomplish for progressive grower-marketers.” 

For the past six years Uquillas led the Chilean government’s INIA grape-breeding program, where she had responsibility for developing new varieties, designing crosses and evaluating selections as well as assisting with the commercialization of varieties.

“Carolina worked closely with growers throughout Chile, has a keen understanding of the fruit industry and supply chain and is eager to apply her experience and energy to Sun World, its varieties and brands,” Marguleas said.

She obtained her PhD in plant molecular biology from the Catholic University of Chile and subsequently attended the University of California’s Plant Breeding Academy. She and her family live in Santiago.

In addition to licensing its fruit varieties to producers throughout South America, Sun World has licensed leading Chilean fruit marketing companies, including Subsole, Unifrutti, Gesex, Frutera Santa Maria, Dole, Tuniche and Agricom as well as Peruvian counterparts such as Camposol and Agricola Don Ricardo and Brazilian marketers such as VDS, Special Fruit, COANA and Expofruit.

Sun World is one of the leading U.S. producers and marketers of fresh fruit and operates one of the world’s largest table grape and stone fruit breeding programs. Since its inception in the mid-1970s, the company’s Variety Development Center has released more than 90 varieties with improved flavor, size, color, shelf life and extended seasonality. In addition to production on its own California farms, Sun World licenses producers to grow its proprietary varieties in North America, Europe, South America, Australia, the Middle East and South Africa. For more information, please visit www.sun-world.com.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Chilean Fresh Fruit Association keeping North American importers abreast of movements and volumes

In mid-January, Karen Brux, the North America managing director for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association and the marketing director for the Chilean Avocado Importers Association, headquartered in San Carlos, CA, provided The Produce News with import data on Chilean produce exports for the current season, adding comments on products that have notable volume changes.

Beginning with blueberries, Brux said that 22,516 tons had been exported from Chile this year, compared to 34,000 during the same time period last year.CFFAaconex Puah FAA5254In Cherries, Chile exported 8,356 tons so far this season compared to 7,998 last year.

“Our original forecast for blueberries was that exports would be up by seven percent,” she said. “But blueberry shipments are still behind last year. This is due primarily to fumigation requirements put in place after multiple detections of the European Grapevine Moth.”

She noted that in late December, it was announced that fumigation would be required in Chile prior to shipping, but in early January that was amended. Fumigation is now taking place upon arrival into the United States, and the volume of blueberries departing Chile for the United States is starting to increase.

In Cherries, Chile exported 8,356 tons so far this season compared to 7,998 last year. Plum exports are exactly in line with last year’s figures.

Other stone fruits have not fared as well, however. Chile had exported 2,252 tons of peaches so far this season compared to 6,425 tons last year. Nectarines are down from 5,411 tons a year ago compared to 2,828 tons this year. Apricots have also felt a drop this year to 232 tons compared to 822 during the same period last year.

“An unusual succession of frosts hit Chile in September 2013, with stone fruit and kiwifruit suffering the most,” said Brux. “As of mid-January, estimates projected industry-wide losses of 64 percent for Chilean peaches, 59 percent for nectarines and 63 percent for plums. The Chilean Kiwifruit Committee has reported losses of 60 percent.”

She added that the latest obstacle is the port strike at San Antonio. According to a Jan. 27 article by Michele Labrut  in Seatrade Global, over a dozen ports, including San Antonio — Chile’s largest port in the central region of the country — and Iquique, Tocopilla, Huasco, Caldera and Chañaral in the north have all shut down in a protest that has hurt fruit, copper and other exports estimated so far to be $ 400 million in value.

The first strike broke out in December in the northern port Angamos after operator Ultraport declined to include non-union workers in salary talks. The terminal was completely paralyzed for 16 days.

In late January, workers at five northern ports halted their activities to support Angamos workers. Now southern port workers have walked out in support of a strike at northern terminals for benefits and union rights.

It’s a hard hit for perishable goods from Chile because of the short shelf life.

Despite its current challenges, few would argue but that Chile continues to stand at the top of the professional ladder when it comes to producing high-quality fruits and vegetables and knowing how to properly export them. The country’s counter-seasonal harvest of produce complements U.S. production and provides North Americans with year-round access to a wide variety of fresh fruit.

Chile is also a world leader in safe agricultural and environmental practices. From growing, harvesting and packing practices, to worker safety and environmental stewardship, safety is paramount to Chilean producers, to the point that fruit exports meet or exceed the strictest North American, European and Asian standards.

The Chilean fresh fruit industry has developed a program called Good Practices for sustainability and a set of vigorous guidelines for protecting air, water and soil resources. State-of-the-art drip irrigation systems and access to real-time climate data minimize water consumption.

Use of pesticides is strictly regulated according to international guidelines, and Chile ranks among the top ten countries in the world with the most Good Agricultural Practices certificates according to both United Nations and U.S. standards.

GAP standards were established to ensure that food meets global standards for safety, nutrition and sustainability.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Central American Produce launches hard squash program

Central American Produce has received its first shipment of Mayan Pride butternut squash from its farms in Guatemala. Shipments of spaghetti squash will start arriving to the United States by Jan. 7.bnut2

“We grow our squash in a very unique climate,” Michael Warren, company president, said in a press release. “Our squash is cultivated at high altitudes in volcanic soils, which truly enhances the flavor, sweetness, and vibrant color of each squash variety.  We encourage customers to try our squash and see how it enhances their sales.

“We consider butternut squash to be a super-food,” he said. “It is high in many antioxidant-rich vitamins and minerals, and is recommended for controlling cholesterol and weight reduction. Spaghetti squash is also highly nutritious and a great substitute for potatoes, rice or pasta.“

Central American will have both butternut squash and spaghetti squash available until June.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Sun World grants producer rights to Central American and South American companies

Sun World International LLC has appointed two companies in Central American and South American agriculture as grape producer-marketer licensees.

Camposol S.A. of Peru and Grupo Alta of Sonora Mexico have been granted rights to produce Sun World grape varieties in their respective countries, to distribute and market their fruit and to use Sun World’s brands in the marketplace, David Marguleas, executive vice president of the Bakersfield, CA-based company, said in a press release.

Grupo Alta was established in 1989 by its original founders, Enrique Camou, Carlos Bon and Alan Aguirre, who is its current chief executive officer. Located in the state of Sonora, Mexico, Grupo Alta farms several products in seven different ranches, mainly stone fruit, melons, pecan, hot-house vegetables and table grapes. It prides itself on its commitment to innovation, food safety, ethical standards and packing quality.

Camposol was founded in Peru in 1997 and currently owns more than 25,000 hectares (61,000 acres) throughout Peru’s agricultural regions. It is one of the world’s larger asparagus exporters, one of the world’s larger avocado producers and is a leading grape producer-exporter. Its grape operation is managed by Manzur Fegale, fruit division general manager.

“Grupo Alta’s specific attention to producing and marketing quality fruit makes them a compelling partner and a great addition to the Sun World licensing family,” Marguleas said in the press release, adding, “Camposol’s broad-based involvement in the Peruvian fruit industry and its singular commitment to grape production in Peru’s Piura region will bring even greater strength to our aim for truly year-round supply capability.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Sun World grants producer rights to Central and South American companies

Sun World grants producer rights to Central and South American companies

Sun World International LLC has appointed two companies in Central and South American agriculture, as grape producer-marketer licensees.

Camposol S.A. of Peru and Grupo Alta of Sonora Mexico have been granted rights to produce Sun World grape varieties in their respective countries, to distribute and market their fruit and to use Sun World’s brands in the marketplace, Sun World Executive Vice President David Marguleas said.

Grupo Alta was established in 1989 by its original founders, Enrique Camou, Carlos Bon and Alan Aguirre, its current CEO. Located in the state of Sonora, Mexico, Grupo Alta farms several products in seven different ranches, mainly stone fruit, melons, pecan, hot house vegetables and most important, table grapes. It prides itself on its commitment to innovation, food safety, ethical standards and packing quality.

Camposol was founded in Peru in 1997 and today owns more than 25,000 hectares (61,000 acres) throughout Peru’s agricultural regions. It is one of the world’s largest asparagus exporter, one of the world’s largest avocado producers and a leading grape producer-exporter. Its grape operation is managed by Manzur Fegale, fruit division general manager.

“Grupo Alta’s specific attention to producing and marketing quality fruit makes them a compelling partner and a great addition to the Sun World licensing family,” Marguleas noted, adding that “Camposol’s broad-based involvement in the Peruvian fruit industry and its singular commitment to grape production in Peru’s Piura region will bring even greater strength to our aim for truly year-round supply capability.”

For more information:
David Marguleas
SunWorld
Tel: +1-661-631-4156
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 10/1/2013


FreshPlaza.com

American pistachio production set to double over next 5 to 7 years

Pistachio orchards tend to be somewhat alternate bearing, and after last year’s record crop of 555 million pounds for U.S. pistachios (primarily grown in California, but also in Arizona and New Mexico), 2013 is “what we would consider an off year,” said Richard Matoian, executive director of American Pistachio Growers in Fresno, CA.

Even so, this year’s crop estimate is 550 million pounds, just a shade under last year’s record crop. “The reason is we have so many new acres coming into production,” Matoian said. MatRichard Matoian“For an off-year to have this kind of production is incredibly significant.”

With the plantings already in the ground, “we are going to be able to double the size of our crop to about a billion pounds somewhere between 2018 and 2020,” he said. For that reason, the organization’s “whole focus” is going into marketing programs “so that we can market ahead of the production that we are anticipating.”

Each year, American Pistachio Growers is “spending more and more dollars as an organization in marketing activities” because the industry volume continues to grow,” Matoian said. This year, “about 81 percent of our budget is going towards marketing activities.” In particular, “[we] are spending more dollars in foreign markets, to grow and develop new markets.”

The theme of the organization’s marketing campaign continues to be “The power of pistachios,” he said. “We are using that campaign domestically as well as abroad” through a mix of public relations and some specific marketing activities “revolving around what we call ambassadors that we have,” those being mainly celebrity spokespersons who are athletes. They include the USA men’s and women’s water polo team. A new pistachio ambassador this year is Jeremy Jones, a well-known snowboarder, and another athlete-ambassador will be announced soon.

In addition, “we have, of course, Miss California,” he said. This will be the third year for the organization’s involvement in the Miss California campaign.

In the past, he said, “we have taken Miss California to China, and we plan to do so again,” especially because the 2013 Miss California, Crystal Lee, a graduate of Stanford University, is of Chinese descent and speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese.

The organization is also putting a lot of effort into promoting the health and nutritional benefits of pistachios and also in sponsoring nutritional research.

Research already completed in the United States has highlighted the benefits of pistachios in the diet with regard to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It has “everything to do with good guy fats and antioxidants that are in pistachios,” Matoian said.

The current research efforts involve replicating those studies with clinical trials in other countries, he said.

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