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UK Sales of Chicken Decline, Possibly Due to Campylobacter News

Grocery purchases of chicken in the United Kingdom have declined nearly 7 percent by volume and 4 percent by sales since this time last year.

Experts are speculating that the public has been influenced by media coverage of the high levels of Campylobacter contamination found on raw chicken, according to meatinfo.co.uk.

Media coverage related to food safety in the UK has largely focused on Campylobacter in chicken this year. First, a whistleblower at a poultry factory revealed alleged violations of hygiene rules for two major chicken producers, and, later in the year, the UK’s Food Standards Agency released a report stating that 70 percent of fresh whole chickens bought in the UK are contaminated with some level of Campylobacter.

The statistics on lower chicken sales were released by market research firm Kantar Worldpanel, which speculated that the heightened news around Campylobacter on chicken likely contributed to the situation. But other factors are credited with the decline in chicken sales as well, such as increased spending power leading to the purchase of more expensive meats.

In November, leading UK grocery retailer Marks & Spencer announced a new initiative to reduce the presence of Campylobacter on chicken in its stores, the “Campylobacter Challenge“. The plan intends to reduce chicken contamination levels through a combination of five strategies, including rapidly chilling chicken carcasses and wrapping them in a bagging system that allows customers to cook the chickens without physically handling the raw meat.

Food Safety News

Kiwifruit prices expected to decline as imports hit the market

Kurt Cappelluti, sales manager at Stellar Distributing Inc. in Madera, CA, said marketplace dynamics will be changing by the end of October as kiwifruit imports from Italy continue to arrive in the United States.

“The glut is two weeks away,” he told The Produce News Oct. 13.

Stellar Distributing was established in the 1990s by parent company Catania Worldwide, which began operations in Toronto in 1929. Today, the third generation of the Catania family moves an extensive array of fresh produce to the global marketplace. The company is now headquartered in Mississauga, ON.

Stellar Distributing grows and markets kiwifruit and figs. The company also markets chestnuts, limes, apricots, pomegranates and persimmons. As a company, Stellar is vertically integrated, working with an extensive network of growers and suppliers in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

“Kiwi consumption continues to grow,” Paul Catania Jr., owner of Catania Worldwide, told The Produce News. “More and more people are growing the Gold variety.” Globally, he said Italy is the second-largest producer of kiwifruit. “U.S. kiwi will always have a home,” he added.

Cappelluti said the 2014 kiwifruit season has been a good one, and California production ramped up in early October. He said Stellar has been moving 25 loads of quality kiwifruit per week. Sales of California kiwifruit will continue through the end of April.

“The kiwi deal has been strong,” he stated. “But I see the deal crashing in the next two to three weeks.”

California and Italy are both Northern Hemisphere producers, and Cappelluti said Italian producers expect overall volume will be up approximately 15 percent this season. As a result, he said the United States will surely see increased competition from exports for shelf space at retail. Pricing, he added, is expected to decline as Italian exports are received in the United States.

“We want to be fair to all global growers,” he said, adding that Stellar also imports kiwifruit from Chile, New Zealand, France and Greece. “I don’t want to see a severe crash in the United States.”

As prices begin to fall, Cappelluti said it will be important for retailers to work with companies that can deliver promised volume.

“Choose wisely,” he said. “It’s important to go to companies that specialize in kiwi.”

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

Kiwifruit prices expected to decline as imports hit the market

Kurt Cappelluti, sales manager at Stellar Distributing Inc. in Madera, CA, said marketplace dynamics will be changing by the end of October as kiwifruit imports from Italy continue to arrive in the United States.

“The glut is two weeks away,” he told The Produce News Oct. 13.

Stellar Distributing was established in the 1990s by parent company Catania Worldwide, which began operations in Toronto in 1929. Today, the third generation of the Catania family moves an extensive array of fresh produce to the global marketplace. The company is now headquartered in Mississauga, ON.

Stellar Distributing grows and markets kiwifruit and figs. The company also markets chestnuts, limes, apricots, pomegranates and persimmons. As a company, Stellar is vertically integrated, working with an extensive network of growers and suppliers in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

“Kiwi consumption continues to grow,” Paul Catania Jr., owner of Catania Worldwide, told The Produce News. “More and more people are growing the Gold variety.” Globally, he said Italy is the second-largest producer of kiwifruit. “U.S. kiwi will always have a home,” he added.

Cappelluti said the 2014 kiwifruit season has been a good one, and California production ramped up in early October. He said Stellar has been moving 25 loads of quality kiwifruit per week. Sales of California kiwifruit will continue through the end of April.

“The kiwi deal has been strong,” he stated. “But I see the deal crashing in the next two to three weeks.”

California and Italy are both Northern Hemisphere producers, and Cappelluti said Italian producers expect overall volume will be up approximately 15 percent this season. As a result, he said the United States will surely see increased competition from exports for shelf space at retail. Pricing, he added, is expected to decline as Italian exports are received in the United States.

“We want to be fair to all global growers,” he said, adding that Stellar also imports kiwifruit from Chile, New Zealand, France and Greece. “I don’t want to see a severe crash in the United States.”

As prices begin to fall, Cappelluti said it will be important for retailers to work with companies that can deliver promised volume.

“Choose wisely,” he said. “It’s important to go to companies that specialize in kiwi.”

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

Kiwifruit prices expected to decline as imports hit the market

Kurt Cappelluti, sales manager at Stellar Distributing Inc. in Madera, CA, said marketplace dynamics will be changing by the end of October as kiwifruit imports from Italy continue to arrive in the United States.

“The glut is two weeks away,” he told The Produce News Oct. 13.

Stellar Distributing was established in the 1990s by parent company Catania Worldwide, which began operations in Toronto in 1929. Today, the third generation of the Catania family moves an extensive array of fresh produce to the global marketplace. The company is now headquartered in Mississauga, ON.

Stellar Distributing grows and markets kiwifruit and figs. The company also markets chestnuts, limes, apricots, pomegranates and persimmons. As a company, Stellar is vertically integrated, working with an extensive network of growers and suppliers in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

“Kiwi consumption continues to grow,” Paul Catania Jr., owner of Catania Worldwide, told The Produce News. “More and more people are growing the Gold variety.” Globally, he said Italy is the second-largest producer of kiwifruit. “U.S. kiwi will always have a home,” he added.

Cappelluti said the 2014 kiwifruit season has been a good one, and California production ramped up in early October. He said Stellar has been moving 25 loads of quality kiwifruit per week. Sales of California kiwifruit will continue through the end of April.

“The kiwi deal has been strong,” he stated. “But I see the deal crashing in the next two to three weeks.”

California and Italy are both Northern Hemisphere producers, and Cappelluti said Italian producers expect overall volume will be up approximately 15 percent this season. As a result, he said the United States will surely see increased competition from exports for shelf space at retail. Pricing, he added, is expected to decline as Italian exports are received in the United States.

“We want to be fair to all global growers,” he said, adding that Stellar also imports kiwifruit from Chile, New Zealand, France and Greece. “I don’t want to see a severe crash in the United States.”

As prices begin to fall, Cappelluti said it will be important for retailers to work with companies that can deliver promised volume.

“Choose wisely,” he said. “It’s important to go to companies that specialize in kiwi.”

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

Kiwifruit prices expected to decline as imports hit the market

Kurt Cappelluti, sales manager at Stellar Distributing Inc. in Madera, CA, said marketplace dynamics will be changing by the end of October as kiwifruit imports from Italy continue to arrive in the United States.

“The glut is two weeks away,” he told The Produce News Oct. 13.

Stellar Distributing was established in the 1990s by parent company Catania Worldwide, which began operations in Toronto in 1929. Today, the third generation of the Catania family moves an extensive array of fresh produce to the global marketplace. The company is now headquartered in Mississauga, ON.

Stellar Distributing grows and markets kiwifruit and figs. The company also markets chestnuts, limes, apricots, pomegranates and persimmons. As a company, Stellar is vertically integrated, working with an extensive network of growers and suppliers in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

“Kiwi consumption continues to grow,” Paul Catania Jr., owner of Catania Worldwide, told The Produce News. “More and more people are growing the Gold variety.” Globally, he said Italy is the second-largest producer of kiwifruit. “U.S. kiwi will always have a home,” he added.

Cappelluti said the 2014 kiwifruit season has been a good one, and California production ramped up in early October. He said Stellar has been moving 25 loads of quality kiwifruit per week. Sales of California kiwifruit will continue through the end of April.

“The kiwi deal has been strong,” he stated. “But I see the deal crashing in the next two to three weeks.”

California and Italy are both Northern Hemisphere producers, and Cappelluti said Italian producers expect overall volume will be up approximately 15 percent this season. As a result, he said the United States will surely see increased competition from exports for shelf space at retail. Pricing, he added, is expected to decline as Italian exports are received in the United States.

“We want to be fair to all global growers,” he said, adding that Stellar also imports kiwifruit from Chile, New Zealand, France and Greece. “I don’t want to see a severe crash in the United States.”

As prices begin to fall, Cappelluti said it will be important for retailers to work with companies that can deliver promised volume.

“Choose wisely,” he said. “It’s important to go to companies that specialize in kiwi.”

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

Fears of decline in UK rhubarb sector

Fears of decline in UK rhubarb sector

The UK outdoor rhubarb production is coming to a close. Janet Oldroyd Hulme from E.Oldroyd & Sons, said they are hoping to get one more week before the weather causes the outdoor plants to shut down.

“As of yet there have been no cold units recorded, but any frost, heavy rain or wind will start the shutdown of the plants. We had rhubarb until this time last year due to the mild weather then. This year, of course, has seen the mildest September on record.”

The production will be moving inside very soon. The plants which have been growing outside for two years, storing the energy needed for growth are just waiting for the first frost to release that energy before being brought inside.

According to Janet the market has been depressed this year, with supermarkets battling for position, which reduced prices despite an increased demand for rhubarb. There has also been increased interest from the processing industry, as rhubarb is now being used for many more products, including juices and conserves, but as Janet explains you need to be a big grower to make it financially viable these days.

Dutch rhubarb is staring to appear on the market now. According to Janet they wait until the UK season is over and prices are on the rise.

The number of growers in the Rhubarb Triangle, 23m² area in Yorkshire, has significantly decreased in recent years. In fact, going back as far as the war years there were over 200 growers in the area. Ten years ago that was 20 and now it has declined to just 11.

Janet is concerned about how the rhubarb growing industry is going, low returns may drive more growers out and that will not be good for the sector. “There has been an increase in outdoor crop yields this year due to good growing conditions, hopefully that will also be reflected in the forced yields which have been reduced in recent years due to climatic changes.” 

For more information:
E.Olderoyd & Sons
Tel: +44 113 282 2245
[email protected]
www.yorkshirerhubarb.co.uk0

Publication date: 10/13/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Habitat loss on breeding grounds cause of monarch decline, study finds

Habitat loss on breeding grounds in the United States — not on wintering grounds in Mexico — is the main cause of recent and projected population declines of migratory monarch butterflies in eastern North America, according to new research from the University of Guelph.

The groundbreaking study was published in the Journal of Animal Ecology.

“Our work provides the first evidence that monarch butterfly numbers in eastern North America are most sensitive to changes in the availability of milkweed on breeding grounds, particularly in the Corn Belt region of the United States,” said Ryan Norris, a professor in Guelph’s Department of Integrative Biology.

He conducted the study with lead author and current Guelph post-doc Tyler Flockhart, as well as scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Australia’s national science agency).

These results contradict the long-held belief that monarch butterflies are most vulnerable to disturbances on wintering grounds in Mexico. They also confirm suspicions that recent declines have actually been driven by breeding events.

During the winter months, monarch butterflies congregate in a small area at high densities in Mexico. Scientists thought factors on those wintering grounds, such as climate change or deforestation, were the greatest threat to the population.

That led to multiple Mexican presidential decrees to protect butterfly overwintering habitats and efforts to curb illegal deforestation.

“The protection of overwintering habitat has no doubt gone a long way towards conserving monarchs that breed throughout eastern North America. However, our results provide evidence that there is now another imminent threat,” said Flockhart.

Milkweed is the only group of plants that monarch caterpillars feed upon before they develop into butterflies. Industrial farming contributed to a 21-per-cent decline in milkweed plants between 1995 and 2013, and much of this loss occurred in the central breeding region, the study said.

More than 70 per cent of milkweed in this region is located in agricultural-intensive landscapes where genetically modified crops are increasing, as opposed to 16 per cent in conservation lands and 10 per cent in public areas such as roadways, the study said.

Changes in milkweed abundance can affect everything from larval competition for food to egg-laying in adults.

“The rapid loss of milkweed projected for this region, attributable to land cover changes and shifts in agricultural practices, is a very large concern,” said Flockhart. Left unchecked, milkweed loss will cause the monarch population to decline by at least another 14 per cent, the study said.

The researchers developed a model to predict effects of habitat loss on both breeding and wintering grounds and the effects of climate change. They aimed to explain the observed population decline and make predictions for the next 100 years.

Their results connect an increase in genetically modified, herbicide-resistant crops and the current population decline of monarch butterflies in eastern North America.

“Reducing the negative effects of milkweed loss in the breeding grounds should be the top conservation priority to slow or halt future population declines of the monarch in North America,” Flockhart said.

Norris added:”Planting milkweed in the south and central United States would provide the largest immediate benefit.”

Earlier pioneering studies from Norris’s research lab have tracked year-round migration patterns of this iconic species using chemical markers and have looked at how monarchs migrate to their Mexican wintering grounds.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Guelph. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Virtual bees help to unravel complex causes of colony decline

Scientists have created an ingenious computer model that simulates a honey bee colony over the course of several years. The BEEHAVE model, published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology, was created to investigate the losses of honeybee colonies that have been reported in recent years and to identify the best course of action for improving honeybee health.

A team of scientists, led by Professor Juliet Osborne from the Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter (and previously at Rothamsted Research), developed BEEHAVE, which simulates the life of a colony including the queen’s egg laying, brood care by nurse bees and foragers collecting nectar and pollen in a realistic landscape.

Professor Juliet Osborne said: “It is a real challenge to understand which factors are most important in affecting bee colony growth and survival. This is the first opportunity to simulate the effects of several factors together, such as food availability, mite infestation and disease, over realistic time scales.”

The model allows researchers, beekeepers and anyone interested in bees, to predict colony development and honey production under different environmental conditions and beekeeping practices. To build the simulation, the scientists brought together existing honeybee research and data to develop a new model that integrated processes occurring inside and outside the hive.

The first results of the model show that colonies infested with a common parasitic mite (varroa) can be much more vulnerable to food shortages. Effects within the first year can be subtle and might be missed by beekeepers during routine management. But the model shows that these effects build up over subsequent years leading to eventual failure of the colony, if it was not given an effective varroa treatment.

BEEHAVE can also be used to investigate potential consequences of pesticide applications. For example, the BEEHAVE model can simulate the impact of increased loss of foragers. The results show that colonies may be more resilient to this forager loss than previously thought in the short-term, but effects may accumulate over years, especially when colonies are also limited by food supply.

BEEHAVE simulations show that good food sources close to the hive will make a real difference to the colony and that lack of forage over extended periods leaves them vulnerable to other environmental factors. Addressing forage availability is critical to maintaining healthy hives and colonies over the long term.

Professor Osborne added: “The use of this model by a variety of stakeholders could stimulate the development of new approaches to bee management, pesticide risk assessment and landscape management. The advantage is that each of these factors can be tested in a virtual environment in different combinations, before testing in the field. Whilst BEEHAVE is mathematically very complex, it has a user-friendly interface and a fully accessible manual so it can be explored and used by a large variety of interested people.”

BEEHAVE is freely available at http://www.beehave-model.net.

The project was funded by an Industrial Partnership Award from BBSRC with co-funding from Syngenta. It involved collaboration between ecologists and modellers from Exeter (Professor Osborne, Dr Becher and Dr Kennedy, who started the project at Rothamsted Research), Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research — UFZ Leipzig (Professor Grimm and Ms Horn) and Syngenta (Dr P Thorbek).

Professor Osborne’s research group studies the behaviour and ecology of bees and other pollinators. They started the project when based at Rothamsted Research and moved to the University of Exeter in 2012. They work with beekeepers, conservation organisations, farmers and industry with the aim of conserving bee populations, and protecting and promoting wild flower and crop pollination.

Professor Melanie Welham, BBSRC’s Science Director, said: “Healthy bees are vital to our food supply as they pollinate many important crops. This virtual hive is an important new research tool to help us understand how changes to the environment impact on bee health.”

Dr Pernille Thorbek (Syngenta) adds: “Studying several stressors in multifactorial field trials is immensely complicated and difficult to do. BEEHAVE is an important new tool which can simulate and explore interactions between stressors and can improve understanding and focus experimental work.”

“BEEHAVE can help explore which changes to agricultural landscapes and beekeeping practices will benefit honeybees the most.”

Dr David Aston, President of the British Beekeepers Association, commented that: “This model will be an important tool in helping us to understand the interactions and impact of the diverse stressors to which honey bee colonies can be exposed.

“Not only will it be invaluable for scientific research purposes but it will also be an important training tool to help beekeepers better understand the impacts of their husbandry and other factors on the health and survival of their colonies.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Pathogenic plant virus jumps to honeybees, may explain bee population decline

Jan. 21, 2014 — A viral pathogen that typically infects plants has been found in honeybees and could help explain their decline. Researchers working in the U.S. and Beijing, China report their findings in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The routine screening of bees for frequent and rare viruses “resulted in the serendipitous detection of Tobacco Ringspot Virus, or TRSV, and prompted an investigation into whether this plant-infecting virus could also cause systemic infection in the bees,” says Yan Ping Chen from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, an author on the study.

“The results of our study provide the first evidence that honeybees exposed to virus-contaminated pollen can also be infected and that the infection becomes widespread in their bodies,” says lead author Ji Lian Li, at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science in Beijing.

“We already know that honeybees, Apis melllifera, can transmit TRSV when they move from flower to flower, likely spreading the virus from one plant to another,” Chen adds.

Notably, about 5% of known plant viruses are pollen-transmitted and thus potential sources of host-jumping viruses. RNA viruses tend to be particularly dangerous because they lack the 3′-5′ proofreading function which edits out errors in replicated genomes. As a result, viruses such as TRSV generate a flood of variant copies with differing infective properties.

One consequence of such high replication rates are populations of RNA viruses thought to exist as “quasispecies,” clouds of genetically related variants that appear to work together to determine the pathology of their hosts. These sources of genetic diversity, coupled with large population sizes, further facilitate the adaption of RNA viruses to new selective conditions such as those imposed by novel hosts. “Thus, RNA viruses are a likely source of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases,” explain these researchers.

Toxic viral cocktails appear to have a strong link with honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a mysterious malady that abruptly wiped out entire hives across the United States and was first reported in 2006. Israel Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), Acute Bee Paralysis Virus (ABPV), Chronic Paralysis Virus (CPV), Kashmir Bee Virus (KBV), Deformed Wing Bee Virus (DWV), Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV) and Sacbrood Virus (SBV) are other known causes of honeybee viral disease.

When these researchers investigated bee colonies classified as “strong” or “weak,” TRSV and other viruses were more common in the weak colonies than they were in the strong ones. Bee populations with high levels of multiple viral infections began failing in late fall and perished before February, these researchers report. In contrast, those in colonies with fewer viral assaults survived the entire cold winter months.

TRSV was also detected inside the bodies of Varroa mites, a “vampire” parasite that transmits viruses between bees while feeding on their blood. However, unlike honeybees, the mite-associated TRSV was restricted to their gastric cecum indicating that the mites likely facilitate the horizontal spread of TRSV within the hive without becoming diseased themselves. The fact that infected queens lay infected eggs convinced these scientists that TRSV could also be transmitted vertically from the queen mother to her offspring.

“The increasing prevalence of TRSV in conjunction with other bee viruses is associated with a gradual decline of host populations and supports the view that viral infections have a significant negative impact on colony survival,” these researchers conclude. Thus, they call for increased surveillance of potential host-jumping events as an integrated part of insect pollinator management programs.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Mi Pueblo Cites 16% Decline in Traffic

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Mi Pueblo Food Centers, which is seeking to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, said customer transactions fell 16% in November, vs. the year-ago period.


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In a filing last week with the U.S. Bankrupcty Court for the Northern District of California, Mi Pueblo reported total sales of $ 25.6 million in November, which fell about $ 2.97 million short of projections. The chain, which operates 20 supermarkets in the region, posted net income for the month of $ 1.3 million.

Since filing bankruptcy in July, Mi Pueblo reported sales of $ 100.6 million.

The company listed its total assets as $ 79.9 million, with total liabilities of $ 67.6 million.

Read more: Immigration Said to be Factor in Bankruptcies

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Beva Fruits speaks about decline of grapefruit sales worldwide

Beva Fruits speaks about decline of grapefruit sales worldwide

Global sales of grapefruit have continued to decline during the past decade, with some people attributing it to reports that grapefruit could have a bad reaction with certain types of medicines. The claims have been around for a long time, but were recently revised to include more medicines than previously mentioned.

Bruno Edery of Beva Fruits, who acts as grapefruit category manager for four retailers in France, says that he has noticed a growing general disinterest at consumer level in grapefruit, regardless of origin. “Even a country such as Japan, which has always been the ‘champion’ of grapefruit sales, has experienced a significant decline in sales. France on the other hand is still one of the countries where sales are good, and also this season we are experiencing a relatively good, stable market with acceptable price levels. But we have to be very aware of worldwide developments”.


 
Edery says that part of his company’s continued success in this category is based on the fact that he personally negotiates all grapefruit contracts with the four major retailers in France, and does so in the presence of his suppliers. He says this type of transparency – including the discussions around how to position the fruit and maintain sales – is the key to success in the fresh produce business.
 
Specialising in citrus from Florida, South Africa and Israel, as well as apples and pears from the southern hemisphere, Edery has seen other citrus items (such as oranges and easy peelers) growing as a category. “Let’s face it, grapefruit is a specialty product with a unique taste, and it has to compete with many other fresh produce items with a more ‘agreeable’ taste. Much is being done at retail level to push sales of items such as clementines, grapes, pineapples and other exotic fruits, and grapefruit is also lagging behind in this respect. My growers and I are hard at work to devise strategies to maintain our grapefruit sales, and we have to take all factors into account. But I find it hard to believe that the decline in grapefruit consumption should be attributed to one factor only, such as the possible reaction to certain types of medicine only”.

For more information, please contact:
Bruno Edery (CEO)
Beva Fruits France
Tel: +33 (0)1 41 80 08 07
Mobile +33 6 07 75 23 89
Fax +33 (0)1 41 80 08 09
Email: [email protected]
www.bevafruits.com
 

Publication date: 9/24/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Beva Fruits speaks about decline of grapefruit sales worldwide

Beva Fruits speaks about decline of grapefruit sales worldwide

Global sales of grapefruit have continued to decline during the past decade, with some people attributing it to reports that grapefruit could have a bad reaction with certain types of medicines. The claims have been around for a long time, but were recently revised to include more medicines than previously mentioned.

Bruno Edery of Beva Fruits, who acts as grapefruit category manager for four retailers in France, says that he has noticed a growing general disinterest at consumer level in grapefruit, regardless of origin. “Even a country such as Japan, which has always been the ‘champion’ of grapefruit sales, has experienced a significant decline in sales. France on the other hand is still one of the countries where sales are good, and also this season we are experiencing a relatively good, stable market with acceptable price levels. But we have to be very aware of worldwide developments”.


 
Edery says that part of his company’s continued success in this category is based on the fact that he personally negotiates all grapefruit contracts with the four major retailers in France, and does so in the presence of his suppliers. He says this type of transparency – including the discussions around how to position the fruit and maintain sales – is the key to success in the fresh produce business.
 
Specialising in citrus from Florida, South Africa and Israel, as well as apples and pears from the southern hemisphere, Edery has seen other citrus items (such as oranges and easy peelers) growing as a category. “Let’s face it, grapefruit is a specialty product with a unique taste, and it has to compete with many other fresh produce items with a more ‘agreeable’ taste. Much is being done at retail level to push sales of items such as clementines, grapes, pineapples and other exotic fruits, and grapefruit is also lagging behind in this respect. My growers and I are hard at work to devise strategies to maintain our grapefruit sales, and we have to take all factors into account. But I find it hard to believe that the decline in grapefruit consumption should be attributed to one factor only, such as the possible reaction to certain types of medicine only”.

For more information, please contact:
Bruno Edery (CEO)
Beva Fruits France
Tel: +33 (0)1 41 80 08 07
Mobile +33 6 07 75 23 89
Fax +33 (0)1 41 80 08 09
Email: [email protected]
www.bevafruits.com
 

Publication date: 9/24/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Beva Fruits speaks about decline of grapefruit sales worldwide

Beva Fruits speaks about decline of grapefruit sales worldwide

Global sales of grapefruit have continued to decline during the past decade, with some people attributing it to reports that grapefruit could have a bad reaction with certain types of medicines. The claims have been around for a long time, but were recently revised to include more medicines than previously mentioned.

Bruno Edery of Beva Fruits, who acts as grapefruit category manager for four retailers in France, says that he has noticed a growing general disinterest at consumer level in grapefruit, regardless of origin. “Even a country such as Japan, which has always been the ‘champion’ of grapefruit sales, has experienced a significant decline in sales. France on the other hand is still one of the countries where sales are good, and also this season we are experiencing a relatively good, stable market with acceptable price levels. But we have to be very aware of worldwide developments”.


 
Edery says that part of his company’s continued success in this category is based on the fact that he personally negotiates all grapefruit contracts with the four major retailers in France, and does so in the presence of his suppliers. He says this type of transparency – including the discussions around how to position the fruit and maintain sales – is the key to success in the fresh produce business.
 
Specialising in citrus from Florida, South Africa and Israel, as well as apples and pears from the southern hemisphere, Edery has seen other citrus items (such as oranges and easy peelers) growing as a category. “Let’s face it, grapefruit is a specialty product with a unique taste, and it has to compete with many other fresh produce items with a more ‘agreeable’ taste. Much is being done at retail level to push sales of items such as clementines, grapes, pineapples and other exotic fruits, and grapefruit is also lagging behind in this respect. My growers and I are hard at work to devise strategies to maintain our grapefruit sales, and we have to take all factors into account. But I find it hard to believe that the decline in grapefruit consumption should be attributed to one factor only, such as the possible reaction to certain types of medicine only”.

For more information, please contact:
Bruno Edery (CEO)
Beva Fruits France
Tel: +33 (0)1 41 80 08 07
Mobile +33 6 07 75 23 89
Fax +33 (0)1 41 80 08 09
Email: [email protected]
www.bevafruits.com
 

Publication date: 9/24/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Beva Fruits speaks about decline of grapefruit sales worldwide

Beva Fruits speaks about decline of grapefruit sales worldwide

Global sales of grapefruit have continued to decline during the past decade, with some people attributing it to reports that grapefruit could have a bad reaction with certain types of medicines. The claims have been around for a long time, but were recently revised to include more medicines than previously mentioned.

Bruno Edery of Beva Fruits, who acts as grapefruit category manager for four retailers in France, says that he has noticed a growing general disinterest at consumer level in grapefruit, regardless of origin. “Even a country such as Japan, which has always been the ‘champion’ of grapefruit sales, has experienced a significant decline in sales. France on the other hand is still one of the countries where sales are good, and also this season we are experiencing a relatively good, stable market with acceptable price levels. But we have to be very aware of worldwide developments”.


 
Edery says that part of his company’s continued success in this category is based on the fact that he personally negotiates all grapefruit contracts with the four major retailers in France, and does so in the presence of his suppliers. He says this type of transparency – including the discussions around how to position the fruit and maintain sales – is the key to success in the fresh produce business.
 
Specialising in citrus from Florida, South Africa and Israel, as well as apples and pears from the southern hemisphere, Edery has seen other citrus items (such as oranges and easy peelers) growing as a category. “Let’s face it, grapefruit is a specialty product with a unique taste, and it has to compete with many other fresh produce items with a more ‘agreeable’ taste. Much is being done at retail level to push sales of items such as clementines, grapes, pineapples and other exotic fruits, and grapefruit is also lagging behind in this respect. My growers and I are hard at work to devise strategies to maintain our grapefruit sales, and we have to take all factors into account. But I find it hard to believe that the decline in grapefruit consumption should be attributed to one factor only, such as the possible reaction to certain types of medicine only”.

For more information, please contact:
Bruno Edery (CEO)
Beva Fruits France
Tel: +33 (0)1 41 80 08 07
Mobile +33 6 07 75 23 89
Fax +33 (0)1 41 80 08 09
Email: [email protected]
www.bevafruits.com
 

Publication date: 9/24/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Beva Fruits speaks about decline of grapefruit sales worldwide

Beva Fruits speaks about decline of grapefruit sales worldwide

Global sales of grapefruit have continued to decline during the past decade, with some people attributing it to reports that grapefruit could have a bad reaction with certain types of medicines. The claims have been around for a long time, but were recently revised to include more medicines than previously mentioned.

Bruno Edery of Beva Fruits, who acts as grapefruit category manager for four retailers in France, says that he has noticed a growing general disinterest at consumer level in grapefruit, regardless of origin. “Even a country such as Japan, which has always been the ‘champion’ of grapefruit sales, has experienced a significant decline in sales. France on the other hand is still one of the countries where sales are good, and also this season we are experiencing a relatively good, stable market with acceptable price levels. But we have to be very aware of worldwide developments”.


 
Edery says that part of his company’s continued success in this category is based on the fact that he personally negotiates all grapefruit contracts with the four major retailers in France, and does so in the presence of his suppliers. He says this type of transparency – including the discussions around how to position the fruit and maintain sales – is the key to success in the fresh produce business.
 
Specialising in citrus from Florida, South Africa and Israel, as well as apples and pears from the southern hemisphere, Edery has seen other citrus items (such as oranges and easy peelers) growing as a category. “Let’s face it, grapefruit is a specialty product with a unique taste, and it has to compete with many other fresh produce items with a more ‘agreeable’ taste. Much is being done at retail level to push sales of items such as clementines, grapes, pineapples and other exotic fruits, and grapefruit is also lagging behind in this respect. My growers and I are hard at work to devise strategies to maintain our grapefruit sales, and we have to take all factors into account. But I find it hard to believe that the decline in grapefruit consumption should be attributed to one factor only, such as the possible reaction to certain types of medicine only”.

For more information, please contact:
Bruno Edery (CEO)
Beva Fruits France
Tel: +33 (0)1 41 80 08 07
Mobile +33 6 07 75 23 89
Fax +33 (0)1 41 80 08 09
Email: [email protected]
www.bevafruits.com
 

Publication date: 9/24/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Populations of grassland butterflies decline almost 50 percent over two decades: European report

July 23, 2013 — Grassland butterflies have declined dramatically between 1990 and 2011. This has been caused by intensifying agriculture and a failure to properly manage grassland ecosystems, according to a report from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

In the report the data of the Butterfly monitoring scheme in Germany have been incorporated, which is scientifically supported by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). UFZ scientists have also contributed to the analysis of population trends.

The fall in grassland butterfly numbers is particularly worrying, according to the report, because these butterflies are considered to be representative indicators of trends observed for most other terrestrial insects, which together form around two thirds of the world’s species. This means that butterflies are useful indicators of biodiversity and the general health of ecosystems.

Seventeen butterfly species are examined in ‘The European Grassland Butterfly Indicator: 1990-2011′, comprising seven widespread and 10 specialist species. Of the 17 species, eight have declined in Europe, two have remained stable and one increased. For six species the trend is uncertain.

Butterflies examined in the report include the Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus), which has declined significantly, the Orangetip (Anthocharis cardamines), which seems to be stable since 1990, and the Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon), which shows an uncertain trend over the last two decades.

Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director, said: “This dramatic decline in grassland butterflies should ring alarm bells — in general Europe’s grassland habitats are shrinking. If we fail to maintain these habitats we could lose many of these species forever. We must recognise the importance of butterflies and other insects — the pollination they carry out is essential for both natural ecosystems and agriculture.”

Why are butterflies disappearing?

Intensifying agriculture and abandoned land are the two main trends affecting the populations of grassland butterflies. Agriculture has intensified where the land is relatively flat and easy to cultivate, and, on the other hand,large areas of grasslands have been abandoned in mountainous and wet regions, mainly in eastern and southern Europe. Both intensification and abandonment result in the loss and degradation of habitat for grassland butterflies.

Agricultural intensification leads to uniform grasslands which are almost sterile for biodiversity. In addition, butterflies are also vulnerable to pesticides, often used in intensively managed farming systems.

Farmland is often abandoned for socio-economic reasons. When farming on low-productivity land brings only a small amount of income, and there is little or no support from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), farmers give up their enterprises and the land is left unmanaged. The grassland becomes overgrown and is soon replaced by scrub and woodland.

In some regions of north-western Europe, grassland butterflies are now almost restricted to road verges, railway sidings, rocky or wet places, urban areas and nature reserves. Areas using traditional low-input farming systems, known as High Nature Value Farmland, are also important habitats.

Monitoring Europe’s butterflies

The report is based on the European Grassland Butterfly Indicator, compiled by De Vlinderstichting (Dutch Butterfly Conservation), Butterfly Conservation Europe and Statistics Netherlands, using data from 1990 to 2011. The indicator brings together information from national butterfly monitoring schemes in 19 countries across Europe, most of them European Union Member States. Thousands of trained professional and volunteer recorders count butterflies on approximately 3 500 transects scattered widely across Europe. This volunteer fieldwork is essential for understanding the state and trends of Europe’s butterflies.

While the report is based on data from 1990 to 2011, it should be noted that in many areas of Europe the current changes in land use began before 1990. The report therefore suggests that the recent halving of butterfly numbers may be the most recent development in a much bigger long-term decline.

The EU Biodiversity Strategy recognises the poor conservation status of grasslands. Grasslands should be properly managed, the report states, both within Natura 2000 protected areas and on HNV farmland. A new system of payments under the Common Agricultural Policy could help support better management, the report says.

The European Grassland Butterfly Indicator could be used as a measure of success of agriculture policies. Sustainable funding of butterfly indicators would help validate and reform a range of policies and help achieve the goal of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2020.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Bees ‘betray’ their flowers when pollinator species decline

July 22, 2013 — Remove even one bumblebee species from an ecosystem and the impact is swift and clear: Their floral “sweethearts” produce significantly fewer seeds, a new study finds.

The study, to be published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focused on the interactions between bumblebees and larkspur wildflowers in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. The results show how reduced competition among pollinators disrupts floral fidelity, or specialization, among the remaining bees in the system, leading to less successful plant reproduction.

“We found that these wildflowers produce one-third fewer seeds in the absence of just one bumblebee species,” says Emory University ecologist Berry Brosi, who led the study. “That’s alarming, and suggests that global declines in pollinators could have a bigger impact on flowering plants and food crops than was previously realized.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the study, co-authored by ecologist Heather Briggs of the University of California-Santa Cruz.

About 90 percent of plants need animals, mostly insects, to transfer pollen between them so that they can fertilize and reproduce. Bees are by far the most important pollinators worldwide and have co-evolved with the floral resources they need for nutrition.

During the past decade, however, scientists have reported dramatic declines in populations of some bee species, sparking research into the potential impact of such declines.

Some studies have indicated that plants can tolerate losing most pollinator species in an ecosystem as long as other pollinators remain to take up the slack. Those studies, however, were based on theoretical computer modeling.

Brosi and Briggs were curious whether this theoretical resilience would hold up in real-life scenarios. Their team conducted field experiments to learn how the removal of a single pollinator species would affect the plant-pollinator relationship.

“Most pollinators visit several plant species over their lifetime, but often they will display what we call floral fidelity over shorter time periods,” Brosi explains. “They’ll tend to focus on one plant while it’s in bloom, then a few weeks later move on to the next species in bloom. You might think of them as serial monogamists.”

Floral fidelity clearly benefits plants, because a pollinator visit will only lead to plant reproduction when the pollinator is carrying pollen from the same plant species. “When bees are promiscuous, visiting plants of more than one species during a single foraging session, they are much less effective as pollinators,” Briggs says.

The researchers conducted their experiments at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory near Crested Butte, Colorado. Located at 9,500 feet, the facility’s subalpine meadows are too high for honeybees, but they are buzzing during the summer months with bumblebees. The experiments focused on the interactions of the insects with larkspurs, dark-purple wildflowers that are visited by 10 of the of the 11 bumblebee species there.

The researchers studied a series of 20-meter square wildflower plots, evaluating each one in both a control state, left in its natural condition, and in a manipulated state, in which they used nets to remove the bumblebees of just one species.

The researchers then observed the bumblebee behavior in both the controlled plots and the manipulated plots. “We’d literally follow around the bumblebees as they foraged,” Briggs says. “It’s challenging because the bees can fly pretty fast.”

Sometimes the researchers could only record between five and 10 movements, while in other cases they could follow the bees to 100 or more flowers.

“Running around after bumblebees in these beautiful wildflower meadows was one of the most fun parts of the research,” Brosi says. Much of this “bee team” was made up of Emory undergraduate students, funded by the college’s Scholarly Inquiry and Research at Emory (SIRE) grants and NSF support via the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.

The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory is exacting about using non-destructive methodologies so that researchers don’t have a negative impact on the bumblebee populations. “When we caught bees to remove target species from the system, or to swab their bodies for pollen, we released them unharmed when our experiments were over,” Brosi says. “They’re very robust little creatures.”

No researchers were harmed either, he adds. “Stings were very uncommon during the experiments. Bumblebees are quite gentle on the whole.”

Across the steps of the pollination process, from patterns of bumblebee visits to plants, to picking up pollen, to seed production, the researchers saw a cascading effect of removing one bee species. While about 78 percent of the bumblebees in the control groups were faithful to a single species of flower, only 66 percent of the bumblebees in the manipulated groups showed such floral fidelity. The reduced fidelity in manipulated plots meant that bees in the manipulated groups carried more different types of pollen on their bodies than those in the control groups.

These changes had direct implications for plant reproduction: Larkspurs produced about one-third fewer seeds when one of the bumblebee species was removed, compared to the larkspurs in the control groups.

“The small change in the level of competition made the remaining bees more likely to ‘cheat’ on the larkspur,” Briggs says.

While previous research has shown how competition drives specialization within a species, the bumblebee study is one of the first to link this mechanism back to the broader functioning of an ecosystem.

“Our work shows why biodiversity may be key to conservation of an entire ecosystem,” Brosi says. “It has the potential to open a whole new set of studies into the functional implications of interspecies interactions.”

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News