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Australia plans to double mango exports to U.S. in 2016-17

While Australian mangoes only represent a tiny percentage of the U.S. market, the relative newcomer is set to expand its presence in North America this year.

Speaking with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA) CEO Robert Gray said hopes were high the sector could double U.S.-bound shipments this year from last season’s 100 metric tons (MT).

In addition, Northern Territory mangoes are expected to be exported to the market for the first time with four businesses registered from the Katherine region.

“Last year we only used Queensland fruit, which meant we only had half the season to supply,” Gray told the broadcaster.

“The aim this year is to start in October and have product going into the US for the full four or five months of the Australian mango season.”

In June, Gray told www.freshfruitportal.com the industry would also be testing new trade routes into the U.S. market this year.

Australia currently has a testing protocol for mango exports to the country.

www.freshfruitportal.com

FreshFruitPortal.com

Chile expects to double China-bound avocado exports

The Chilean Hass avocado industry is looking to build on last season’s exports of around 90,000 metric tons (MT), particularly in China where volumes are still small but are growing very quickly.

Chilean Hass Avocado Committee managing director Juan Enrique Lazo told www.freshfruitportal.com the industry only shipped one container when the market was opened for the 2014 season, but shipments have increased significantly since then.

“Last year we reached 5,300 [metric] tons, and this season we expect to at least double that,” Lazo said.

He said the sector would be undertaking much larger promotion campaigns in China to keep up with the extra volume.

“We will hit points of sales, we’ll do cooking activities, and we’ll have a presence on social media,” Lazo said, adding the promotions would take place during the Northern Hemisphere fall through to November.

He said the first harvests were expected in the first week of August, and it was possible that would also coincide with the first shipments to China.

From a production perspective, Lazo said while Chile had been experiencing a cold winter, there had not yet been reports of frost damages from orchards.

“We haven’t had any serious frosts, but the cold always has an effect, for example in delays for starting harvests – sizing takes a bit more time, and the metabolism is slowed during these months,” he said.

Last season Chile produced 180,000 metric tons (MT), and Lazo expected this figure to rise to 200,000MT in 2016-17, provided no unexpected weather events occur.

Photo: www.shutterstock.com

www.freshfruitportal.com

 

FreshFruitPortal.com

Plans to double okra sales to Europe

Plans to double okra sales to Europe

“We see okra being the next big thing,” said Paul Boris, President & Co-Owner for Agritrade Farms, a grower, shipper and importer headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Florida. “Okra has historically been a very ethnic-oriented food that we envision quickly going more mainstream.  It has phenomenal health and wellness attributes, which is where we are focusing much of our marketing efforts,” said Boris.
 

Agritrade is currently shipping product on a year-round basis, and is also introducing several new retail consumer packages utilizing modified atmosphere technology to extend shelf life. Nearly all of Agritrade’s okra production, which comes from Honduras and the Dominican Republic, is pesticide-free, and is also Global Gap Certified.  All shipments are done via air to Europe, so Boris said they could expand into any market. They shipped 300,000 boxes last year, and with their expanded production in the Dominican Republic, they hope to double their okra sales in Europe.   “We currently ship about 60 percent of our production to North America and the remaining 40 percent to Europe.  I think there’s a lot of room for global okra growth.  We’re hoping okra will be the next big thing, sort of like kale.  We at Agritrade Farms consider ourselves okra missionaries and we are happy to sing the praises of the of okra’s health and wellness benefits,” said Boris.


 
Boris hopes the image of okra as a superfood will gain traction in the wake of studies that suggest okra may have an effect on a range of ailments, from diabetes to breast cancer. For example, Boris mentioned an article headlined, “Eat This Now: Okra” by Alexandra Sifferlin in the July 22, 2013 in Time magazine.  The article stated that the okra trend is spurred by the fact that it is full of fibres that can help to lower cholesterol. Okra also contains nearly 10 percent of daily recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid.   “It was the preferred vegetable for the Olympic athletes of the Beijing Olympic Games,” says Kantha Shelke, a food scientist at Corvus Blue LLC and spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists. (IFT)
 
According to Diabetes.co.uk, the global diabetes community, okra is fast gaining a reputation as a so called ‘superfood’ for people with or at risk of diabetes or cancer. Evidence of okra having anti-diabetic properties has increased in recent years, with multiple Vitro (laboratory) and Vivo (animal) studies confirming okra as a potent blood glucose-lowering (or anti-diabetic) food.  Okra is also known to prevent and improve digestion, lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of some types of cancer, especially colorectal cancer.  The website also says okra is also known to increase energy levels, improve symptoms of depression and also helps to treat a sore throat, irritable bowel and lung inflammation. 
 
For more information:
Paul Boris
Agritrade Farms
Tel: +1 (954) 324.8877xt1
Email: [email protected]
www.agritradefarms.com
 

Publication date: 11/26/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

A-maize-ing double life of a genome

Early maize farmers selected for genes that improved the harvesting of sunlight, a new detailed study of how plants use ‘doubles’ of their genomes reveals. The findings could help current efforts to improve existing crop varieties.

Oxford University researchers captured a ‘genetic snapshot’ of maize as it existed 10 million years ago when the plant made a double of its genome — a ‘whole genome duplication’ event. They then traced how maize evolved to use these ‘copied’ genes to cope with the pressures of domestication, which began around 12,000 years ago. They discovered that these copied genes were vital to optimizing photosynthesis in maize leaves and that early farmers selecting for them ‘fuelled’ the transformation of maize into a high-yield crop.

A report of the research is published this week in the journal Genome Research.

‘Although whole genome duplication events are widespread in plants finding evidence of exactly how plants use this new ‘toolbox’ of copied genes is very difficult,’ said Dr Steve Kelly of Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences, lead author of the report. ‘With crops like wheat it’s not yet possible for us to unravel the ‘before and after’ of the associated genetic changes, but with maize we can chart how these gene copies were first acquired, then put to work, and finally ‘whittled down’ to create the modern maize plant farmed today.’

It is particularly useful for such genetic detective work that close relatives of maize did not duplicate their genomes 10 million years ago: those that retained a single copy went on to become the plant we now know as sorghum. This enabled the researchers to compare genetic data from these ‘duplicated’ and ‘non-duplicated’ descendants of ancient maize, something that is not yet possible with other duplicated crops like wheat.

In the wild plants have to overcome the challenges posed by pathogens and predators in order to survive. However, once domestication by humans began plants grown as crops had to cope with a new set of artificial selection pressures, such as delivering a high yield and greater stress tolerance.

‘Whole genome duplication events are key in allowing plants to evolve new abilities,’ said Dr Kelly. ‘Understanding the complete trajectory of duplication and how copied genes can transform a plant is relevant for current efforts to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of crops, such as the C4 Rice Project [c4rice.irri.org/]. Our study is great evidence that optimizing photosynthesis is really important for creating high-yield crops and shows how human selection has ‘sculpted’ copies of genes to create one of the world’s staple food sources.’

Story Source:

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

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

A-maize-ing double life of a genome

Early maize farmers selected for genes that improved the harvesting of sunlight, a new detailed study of how plants use ‘doubles’ of their genomes reveals. The findings could help current efforts to improve existing crop varieties.

Oxford University researchers captured a ‘genetic snapshot’ of maize as it existed 10 million years ago when the plant made a double of its genome — a ‘whole genome duplication’ event. They then traced how maize evolved to use these ‘copied’ genes to cope with the pressures of domestication, which began around 12,000 years ago. They discovered that these copied genes were vital to optimizing photosynthesis in maize leaves and that early farmers selecting for them ‘fuelled’ the transformation of maize into a high-yield crop.

A report of the research is published this week in the journal Genome Research.

‘Although whole genome duplication events are widespread in plants finding evidence of exactly how plants use this new ‘toolbox’ of copied genes is very difficult,’ said Dr Steve Kelly of Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences, lead author of the report. ‘With crops like wheat it’s not yet possible for us to unravel the ‘before and after’ of the associated genetic changes, but with maize we can chart how these gene copies were first acquired, then put to work, and finally ‘whittled down’ to create the modern maize plant farmed today.’

It is particularly useful for such genetic detective work that close relatives of maize did not duplicate their genomes 10 million years ago: those that retained a single copy went on to become the plant we now know as sorghum. This enabled the researchers to compare genetic data from these ‘duplicated’ and ‘non-duplicated’ descendants of ancient maize, something that is not yet possible with other duplicated crops like wheat.

In the wild plants have to overcome the challenges posed by pathogens and predators in order to survive. However, once domestication by humans began plants grown as crops had to cope with a new set of artificial selection pressures, such as delivering a high yield and greater stress tolerance.

‘Whole genome duplication events are key in allowing plants to evolve new abilities,’ said Dr Kelly. ‘Understanding the complete trajectory of duplication and how copied genes can transform a plant is relevant for current efforts to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of crops, such as the C4 Rice Project [c4rice.irri.org/]. Our study is great evidence that optimizing photosynthesis is really important for creating high-yield crops and shows how human selection has ‘sculpted’ copies of genes to create one of the world’s staple food sources.’

Story Source:

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

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

A-maize-ing double life of a genome

Early maize farmers selected for genes that improved the harvesting of sunlight, a new detailed study of how plants use ‘doubles’ of their genomes reveals. The findings could help current efforts to improve existing crop varieties.

Oxford University researchers captured a ‘genetic snapshot’ of maize as it existed 10 million years ago when the plant made a double of its genome — a ‘whole genome duplication’ event. They then traced how maize evolved to use these ‘copied’ genes to cope with the pressures of domestication, which began around 12,000 years ago. They discovered that these copied genes were vital to optimizing photosynthesis in maize leaves and that early farmers selecting for them ‘fuelled’ the transformation of maize into a high-yield crop.

A report of the research is published this week in the journal Genome Research.

‘Although whole genome duplication events are widespread in plants finding evidence of exactly how plants use this new ‘toolbox’ of copied genes is very difficult,’ said Dr Steve Kelly of Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences, lead author of the report. ‘With crops like wheat it’s not yet possible for us to unravel the ‘before and after’ of the associated genetic changes, but with maize we can chart how these gene copies were first acquired, then put to work, and finally ‘whittled down’ to create the modern maize plant farmed today.’

It is particularly useful for such genetic detective work that close relatives of maize did not duplicate their genomes 10 million years ago: those that retained a single copy went on to become the plant we now know as sorghum. This enabled the researchers to compare genetic data from these ‘duplicated’ and ‘non-duplicated’ descendants of ancient maize, something that is not yet possible with other duplicated crops like wheat.

In the wild plants have to overcome the challenges posed by pathogens and predators in order to survive. However, once domestication by humans began plants grown as crops had to cope with a new set of artificial selection pressures, such as delivering a high yield and greater stress tolerance.

‘Whole genome duplication events are key in allowing plants to evolve new abilities,’ said Dr Kelly. ‘Understanding the complete trajectory of duplication and how copied genes can transform a plant is relevant for current efforts to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of crops, such as the C4 Rice Project [c4rice.irri.org/]. Our study is great evidence that optimizing photosynthesis is really important for creating high-yield crops and shows how human selection has ‘sculpted’ copies of genes to create one of the world’s staple food sources.’

Story Source:

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

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

A-maize-ing double life of a genome

Early maize farmers selected for genes that improved the harvesting of sunlight, a new detailed study of how plants use ‘doubles’ of their genomes reveals. The findings could help current efforts to improve existing crop varieties.

Oxford University researchers captured a ‘genetic snapshot’ of maize as it existed 10 million years ago when the plant made a double of its genome — a ‘whole genome duplication’ event. They then traced how maize evolved to use these ‘copied’ genes to cope with the pressures of domestication, which began around 12,000 years ago. They discovered that these copied genes were vital to optimizing photosynthesis in maize leaves and that early farmers selecting for them ‘fuelled’ the transformation of maize into a high-yield crop.

A report of the research is published this week in the journal Genome Research.

‘Although whole genome duplication events are widespread in plants finding evidence of exactly how plants use this new ‘toolbox’ of copied genes is very difficult,’ said Dr Steve Kelly of Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences, lead author of the report. ‘With crops like wheat it’s not yet possible for us to unravel the ‘before and after’ of the associated genetic changes, but with maize we can chart how these gene copies were first acquired, then put to work, and finally ‘whittled down’ to create the modern maize plant farmed today.’

It is particularly useful for such genetic detective work that close relatives of maize did not duplicate their genomes 10 million years ago: those that retained a single copy went on to become the plant we now know as sorghum. This enabled the researchers to compare genetic data from these ‘duplicated’ and ‘non-duplicated’ descendants of ancient maize, something that is not yet possible with other duplicated crops like wheat.

In the wild plants have to overcome the challenges posed by pathogens and predators in order to survive. However, once domestication by humans began plants grown as crops had to cope with a new set of artificial selection pressures, such as delivering a high yield and greater stress tolerance.

‘Whole genome duplication events are key in allowing plants to evolve new abilities,’ said Dr Kelly. ‘Understanding the complete trajectory of duplication and how copied genes can transform a plant is relevant for current efforts to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of crops, such as the C4 Rice Project [c4rice.irri.org/]. Our study is great evidence that optimizing photosynthesis is really important for creating high-yield crops and shows how human selection has ‘sculpted’ copies of genes to create one of the world’s staple food sources.’

Story Source:

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

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

A-maize-ing double life of a genome

Early maize farmers selected for genes that improved the harvesting of sunlight, a new detailed study of how plants use ‘doubles’ of their genomes reveals. The findings could help current efforts to improve existing crop varieties.

Oxford University researchers captured a ‘genetic snapshot’ of maize as it existed 10 million years ago when the plant made a double of its genome — a ‘whole genome duplication’ event. They then traced how maize evolved to use these ‘copied’ genes to cope with the pressures of domestication, which began around 12,000 years ago. They discovered that these copied genes were vital to optimizing photosynthesis in maize leaves and that early farmers selecting for them ‘fuelled’ the transformation of maize into a high-yield crop.

A report of the research is published this week in the journal Genome Research.

‘Although whole genome duplication events are widespread in plants finding evidence of exactly how plants use this new ‘toolbox’ of copied genes is very difficult,’ said Dr Steve Kelly of Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences, lead author of the report. ‘With crops like wheat it’s not yet possible for us to unravel the ‘before and after’ of the associated genetic changes, but with maize we can chart how these gene copies were first acquired, then put to work, and finally ‘whittled down’ to create the modern maize plant farmed today.’

It is particularly useful for such genetic detective work that close relatives of maize did not duplicate their genomes 10 million years ago: those that retained a single copy went on to become the plant we now know as sorghum. This enabled the researchers to compare genetic data from these ‘duplicated’ and ‘non-duplicated’ descendants of ancient maize, something that is not yet possible with other duplicated crops like wheat.

In the wild plants have to overcome the challenges posed by pathogens and predators in order to survive. However, once domestication by humans began plants grown as crops had to cope with a new set of artificial selection pressures, such as delivering a high yield and greater stress tolerance.

‘Whole genome duplication events are key in allowing plants to evolve new abilities,’ said Dr Kelly. ‘Understanding the complete trajectory of duplication and how copied genes can transform a plant is relevant for current efforts to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of crops, such as the C4 Rice Project [c4rice.irri.org/]. Our study is great evidence that optimizing photosynthesis is really important for creating high-yield crops and shows how human selection has ‘sculpted’ copies of genes to create one of the world’s staple food sources.’

Story Source:

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

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

A-maize-ing double life of a genome

Early maize farmers selected for genes that improved the harvesting of sunlight, a new detailed study of how plants use ‘doubles’ of their genomes reveals. The findings could help current efforts to improve existing crop varieties.

Oxford University researchers captured a ‘genetic snapshot’ of maize as it existed 10 million years ago when the plant made a double of its genome — a ‘whole genome duplication’ event. They then traced how maize evolved to use these ‘copied’ genes to cope with the pressures of domestication, which began around 12,000 years ago. They discovered that these copied genes were vital to optimizing photosynthesis in maize leaves and that early farmers selecting for them ‘fuelled’ the transformation of maize into a high-yield crop.

A report of the research is published this week in the journal Genome Research.

‘Although whole genome duplication events are widespread in plants finding evidence of exactly how plants use this new ‘toolbox’ of copied genes is very difficult,’ said Dr Steve Kelly of Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences, lead author of the report. ‘With crops like wheat it’s not yet possible for us to unravel the ‘before and after’ of the associated genetic changes, but with maize we can chart how these gene copies were first acquired, then put to work, and finally ‘whittled down’ to create the modern maize plant farmed today.’

It is particularly useful for such genetic detective work that close relatives of maize did not duplicate their genomes 10 million years ago: those that retained a single copy went on to become the plant we now know as sorghum. This enabled the researchers to compare genetic data from these ‘duplicated’ and ‘non-duplicated’ descendants of ancient maize, something that is not yet possible with other duplicated crops like wheat.

In the wild plants have to overcome the challenges posed by pathogens and predators in order to survive. However, once domestication by humans began plants grown as crops had to cope with a new set of artificial selection pressures, such as delivering a high yield and greater stress tolerance.

‘Whole genome duplication events are key in allowing plants to evolve new abilities,’ said Dr Kelly. ‘Understanding the complete trajectory of duplication and how copied genes can transform a plant is relevant for current efforts to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of crops, such as the C4 Rice Project [c4rice.irri.org/]. Our study is great evidence that optimizing photosynthesis is really important for creating high-yield crops and shows how human selection has ‘sculpted’ copies of genes to create one of the world’s staple food sources.’

Story Source:

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

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

A-maize-ing double life of a genome

Early maize farmers selected for genes that improved the harvesting of sunlight, a new detailed study of how plants use ‘doubles’ of their genomes reveals. The findings could help current efforts to improve existing crop varieties.

Oxford University researchers captured a ‘genetic snapshot’ of maize as it existed 10 million years ago when the plant made a double of its genome — a ‘whole genome duplication’ event. They then traced how maize evolved to use these ‘copied’ genes to cope with the pressures of domestication, which began around 12,000 years ago. They discovered that these copied genes were vital to optimizing photosynthesis in maize leaves and that early farmers selecting for them ‘fuelled’ the transformation of maize into a high-yield crop.

A report of the research is published this week in the journal Genome Research.

‘Although whole genome duplication events are widespread in plants finding evidence of exactly how plants use this new ‘toolbox’ of copied genes is very difficult,’ said Dr Steve Kelly of Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences, lead author of the report. ‘With crops like wheat it’s not yet possible for us to unravel the ‘before and after’ of the associated genetic changes, but with maize we can chart how these gene copies were first acquired, then put to work, and finally ‘whittled down’ to create the modern maize plant farmed today.’

It is particularly useful for such genetic detective work that close relatives of maize did not duplicate their genomes 10 million years ago: those that retained a single copy went on to become the plant we now know as sorghum. This enabled the researchers to compare genetic data from these ‘duplicated’ and ‘non-duplicated’ descendants of ancient maize, something that is not yet possible with other duplicated crops like wheat.

In the wild plants have to overcome the challenges posed by pathogens and predators in order to survive. However, once domestication by humans began plants grown as crops had to cope with a new set of artificial selection pressures, such as delivering a high yield and greater stress tolerance.

‘Whole genome duplication events are key in allowing plants to evolve new abilities,’ said Dr Kelly. ‘Understanding the complete trajectory of duplication and how copied genes can transform a plant is relevant for current efforts to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of crops, such as the C4 Rice Project [c4rice.irri.org/]. Our study is great evidence that optimizing photosynthesis is really important for creating high-yield crops and shows how human selection has ‘sculpted’ copies of genes to create one of the world’s staple food sources.’

Story Source:

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

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

A-maize-ing double life of a genome

Early maize farmers selected for genes that improved the harvesting of sunlight, a new detailed study of how plants use ‘doubles’ of their genomes reveals. The findings could help current efforts to improve existing crop varieties.

Oxford University researchers captured a ‘genetic snapshot’ of maize as it existed 10 million years ago when the plant made a double of its genome — a ‘whole genome duplication’ event. They then traced how maize evolved to use these ‘copied’ genes to cope with the pressures of domestication, which began around 12,000 years ago. They discovered that these copied genes were vital to optimizing photosynthesis in maize leaves and that early farmers selecting for them ‘fuelled’ the transformation of maize into a high-yield crop.

A report of the research is published this week in the journal Genome Research.

‘Although whole genome duplication events are widespread in plants finding evidence of exactly how plants use this new ‘toolbox’ of copied genes is very difficult,’ said Dr Steve Kelly of Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences, lead author of the report. ‘With crops like wheat it’s not yet possible for us to unravel the ‘before and after’ of the associated genetic changes, but with maize we can chart how these gene copies were first acquired, then put to work, and finally ‘whittled down’ to create the modern maize plant farmed today.’

It is particularly useful for such genetic detective work that close relatives of maize did not duplicate their genomes 10 million years ago: those that retained a single copy went on to become the plant we now know as sorghum. This enabled the researchers to compare genetic data from these ‘duplicated’ and ‘non-duplicated’ descendants of ancient maize, something that is not yet possible with other duplicated crops like wheat.

In the wild plants have to overcome the challenges posed by pathogens and predators in order to survive. However, once domestication by humans began plants grown as crops had to cope with a new set of artificial selection pressures, such as delivering a high yield and greater stress tolerance.

‘Whole genome duplication events are key in allowing plants to evolve new abilities,’ said Dr Kelly. ‘Understanding the complete trajectory of duplication and how copied genes can transform a plant is relevant for current efforts to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of crops, such as the C4 Rice Project [c4rice.irri.org/]. Our study is great evidence that optimizing photosynthesis is really important for creating high-yield crops and shows how human selection has ‘sculpted’ copies of genes to create one of the world’s staple food sources.’

Story Source:

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

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

New banana company to double in size due to big demand

New banana company to double in size due to big demand

BanaBay is a new brand of bananas, launched in the UK just 6 months ago. The company has gotten off to a flying start with 150% increase in imports in the first quarter and is now planning to double the size of the business again over the next four weeks due to increased customer demand for the produce in the UK and new opportunities globally.

Managing director Mark O’Sullivan, said following a year’s development and a 6 month trial period the brand and a new company was launched in December 2012. O’Sullivan and his partner Peter North were contacted by Ecuadorian banana grower, Ceintonsa SA around 2 years ago and the partnership grew from there which led to the formation of BanaBay.  BanaBay is 50% UK and 50% Ecuadorian owned and this has led to the ongoing dedication to quality with the brand.

“The banana market is a very mature market with steady volumes, but people are excited about a new brand, we back this up with consistent quality and service. We have built a solid base with good core customers and this has allowed us to plan our growth strategy quicker than initially expected. We pride ourselves on the care and attention we put into the end product which our customers receive and this ensures retention and ongoing demand,” explains O’Sullivan.

At the moment BanaBay imports bananas to the UK, Europe and Egypt and are looking at widening the market with a trial in Ireland. They are also in talks with other countries/importers.

O’Sullivan says the advantage that BanaBay has over some bigger operators is the control which they have over each stage of the process, from the plantation to the final customer. The company, being relatively small, also has lower overheads currently.

The main customers of BanaBay at the moment are within the wholesale markets, but with a strategy to offer.

As for the future, the company have applied for Fairtrade certification and hope to be moving into selling conventional, fairtrade, organic fairtrade at the end of the year as well as moving into the sale of plantain.

For more information:
Mark O’Sullivan
Logistic Partners Limited & BanaBay Limited
Tel : 0044 845 0030750
Mobile: 0044 7799 347087
Email: [email protected]
www.banabay.co.uk

Publication date: 6/21/2013
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Organics continue double digit growth

While organic products in the marketplace continue to experience double digit growth, they still only represent a small percentage of overall business, meaning there is much room for more growth.

That was the take away message delivered by a trio of speakers at a workshop sessions during the United Fresh Produce Association convention in Chicago, June 10-12.

Laura Batcha, executive director and CEO of the Organic Trade Association, led the discussion and kicked off the session with some numbers about the growth of the category. In 2002, when the USDA came out with quantifiable organic standards and the USDA organic seal, the sector had gross sales in the United States of about $ 3 billion. Those standards, Batcha said, “created a platform for huge expansion.”

By 2013, the market had grown 10-fold and now there are sales of $ 35 billion, with fruits and vegetables leading the category by representing 36 percent of those sales. It is not only the largest sector within that category but it’s the fastest growing, according to the OTA executive.

Elaborating on the impact in the fresh produce industry were panelists Todd Linsky, vice president of organic sales for Grimmway Farms/Cal-Organic Farms, and Michael Hollister, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Driscoll Strawberry Associates Inc. Those two were respectively representing the top selling fruit and vegetable in the category: carrots and berries. Both confirmed that organic sales continue to increase.

Linsky said carrots generate a high velocity of organic sales year round. “They are doing very well,” he added.

Hollister said the great thing about shoppers who buy organic berries and other organic items, is they are “super heavy consumers” buying 25 percent more fruits and vegetables per store visit than their non-organic buying counterparts.

While there are heavy buyers of organic produce and other organic items, Batcha said penetration of organic products runs deep. An annual survey of 1,200 households that OTA has been conducting for the past seven years, reveals 80 percent say they have purchased at least one organic item in the past year. “The vast, vast majority (of households) are aware of organics and participate in some way.”

Batcha said what separates an organic shopper from a conventional one is that the organic shopper is much more likely to associate making a healthy choice with her food buying decisions.

Linsky said this emotional connection that most organic food shoppers associate with the purchase of these products is why he believes the potential for growth continues to be sky high. He said the value of that emotional connection in their food buying choices “is huge.”

Hollister agreed stating that many organic shoppers see a relationship between their food shopping behavior and their lifestyle. It is the urban/cosmopolitan resident that is more likely to be an organic shopper and is currently driving increased sales in the category.

Underscoring that connection, Batcha said the typical organic shopper is much more likely to diversify their buying habits, shopping at three different stores or more a week, presumably searching for the exact items they want. They are a younger buyer and their average spend in a store is $ 125 per visit compared to $ 110 for a non-organic shopper.

But she said the vast majority of organic fruit and vegetable shoppers will buy conventional product if organic is not available. The OTA research shows that 91 percent still make a purchase if an organic item that they are looking for is not available, with a majority of those buying the conventional option but almost 40 percent picking a different organic option.

Linsky believes the shopping at many stores and changing purchases at the grocery store because of lack of availability of the organic option points to the huge potential that remains for the category and retailers. He said no one appears to be offering the organic consumer exactly what they want at one place. Retailers should embrace that heavy produce-shopping consumers and “get her back in your store,” said the carrot salesman.

Hollister reiterated that the organic shopper is a very valuable customer. Natural food stores cater to those customers and if traditional supermarkets want more of that businesses they should find a way to communicate better with that consumer, he said.

Both Hollister and Linsky pointed out that keeping up with the demand for organic fruits and vegetables is one of their biggest challenges from the supply side. The Driscoll executive said they are seeing 20 percent year over year growth in their organic sales but getting the land to increase their production in that amount is difficult. For a grower, it takes three years to transition conventional land to organic production. “It’s a huge investment; it doesn’t happen overnight.”

Linsky concurred. “Ground is a huge challenge,” he said. “And it will continue to be a challenge.”

A question from the audience about Walmart’s contention that the nation’s largest retailer plans to bring organics into the marketplace at a cheaper price brought a warning from Hollister. He indicated that type of talk creates an expectation that is hard to meet. He said growing organic produce is an expensive proposition and it can’t always be delivered at that cheap price that Walmart is noted for. But he added that they love the attention the announcement brings to the category “and we’d love to have that conversation with them.”

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

Oceanside Pole to double Romas and increase rounds

With twice as many Romas as last year in the plans, as well as new acreage planted in grower Harry Singh Jr.’s signature vine-ripe seed, West Coast Tomato Growers and The Oppenheimer Group are entering the third year of their marketing partnership with optimism.

“It’s going to be another great season,” Aaron Quon, director of Oppy’s greenhouse and vegetable categories, said in a press release. “Our partnership has evolved beautifully over the last couple of years, blending our complementary expertise to deliver one of the strongest tomato programs in the industry.”Oceanside-Pole-Tomatoes-2The sunny microclimate between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains provides an optimal environment for growing high-quality tomatoes.

Quon said that while Oppy’s marketing and logistic contributions support the success of the program, it all comes down to having the best tomato.

“Several factors make Oceanside Pole tomatoes deserve their outstanding reputation,” Quon added in the press release. “Mr. Singh starts with a proven seed variety, then employs the labor-intensive but highly effective pole method of growing each plant, which results in greater yields of robust, well-formed tomatoes. The sunny microclimate between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountains provides an optimal environment for the Singh family to apply its 70-plus years of growing experience to produce truly excellent tomatoes.”

Oceanside Pole tomatoes are favored by retailers across the United States and in Canada for their impressively long shelf life and their flavor, as well as their reliable arrival condition, according to Quon.

“With the team at West Coast Tomato Growers, we’ve refined our color staging practices to assure the tomatoes we ship will match our customers’ arrival specifications every time,” Quon explained. “Retailers can count on the condition of the tomatoes, enabling them to schedule these tomatoes into their plans accordingly.”

West Coast Tomato Growers Marketing Coordinator Dick Keim said the season should begin in June and end in November.

“We plant in a way that spreads the production out over as many months as is optimal,” he said. “With the assumption of normal climatic conditions, we’ll start harvesting vine-ripes sometime in the last week of June and Romas in August. The heaviest production will last July through October then naturally taper off.”

Keim anticipates twice the Romas of the 2013 season, an increase driven by demand from customers who tried Oceanside’s superior Roma variety last season and wanted more.

In addition to Oceanside Pole vine-ripe tomatoes, Oppy also markets conventional greenhouse tomatoes from the United States, Canada and Mexico and organic greenhouse tomatoes grown in Canada and Mexico.

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

Exporter expects Pakistani mango volumes to double this season

Exporter expects Pakistani mango volumes to double this season

Imtiaz Enterprises expects that their mango export volume will be double this season as they receive astonishing response from buyers due to the recent ban on Indian mangoes. Many see this as a good opportunity for Pakistan to export more volume of mangoes to the European Union.

The company plans to organize Pakistan mango Festivals this year in new destinations such as Romania, Mauritius and New Zealand.

Considering the EU’s introduction of stricter import regulations, serious monitoring measures are being taken by the Pakistani Government and its allied departments, to strictly comply with EU protocols in order to grip EU market in a better way.
Pakistan Government has self-imposed tough export protocols to ensure that only the highest quality fruit is delivered to the international markets.
 

Hot Water Treated mangoes will be exported from Pakistan this season and the Government has started registering certified farms and pack houses.
 
At present there are over 80 Export Pack houses with the latest certification of BRC, HACCP, ISO2200, IFS and more than 30 Global Gap Certified mango orchards where government has targeted to enrolled minimum 100 orchards this year and multiply the figure by next year.

Pakistan Quarantine Department of Plant Protection (DPP) and All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporter, Importer and Merchant Association (PFVA) are taking measures at full throttle. They have organized series of seminars and awareness programs countrywide to ensure the food safety standards and its compliance.
 
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and Horticulture Boards are also in close coordination to do all possible efforts in order to increase Pakistani mangoes share in the world market.
 
For more information:
Imtiaz Hussain
Imtiaz Enterprises
Tel: +92-21-36870453
Fax: +92-21-36870454
Email: [email protected]
www.imtiaz.biz

Publication date: 5/8/2014


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