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“Piel de Sapo melons increasingly valued on European market”

Manager Jose Beltran of Hispalco s.a.:
“Piel de Sapo melons increasingly valued on European market”


Hispalco s.a. has been exporting fruit and vegetables to the European markets for over 20 years. Its brand Monna Lisa is known on the market as a quality brand of high prestige. “Her mysterious smile is a symbol and guarantee of quality, service and exclusivity. This challenge is difficult to control in these times, but we have made our position in the market and continue to grow,” says manager Jose Beltran.


The commercial department and quality controllers at Hispalco work with the producers every day to get the best results. After the success of Monna Lisa the company started their second brand Unicorn a number of years ago to serve a larger customer base.


At the moment the company is also working hard to strengthen the organic branch with the brand Hispalco Bio by creating a new product line, which distinguishes itself from the conventional line. These product have been grown 100% organically, and are organically certified.


The season of stone fruit, melons and watermelons is now in full swing. The company has also started selling cherries and grapes from Puglia and Sicily under the brands Gioconda and Unicorn. “The best plantations and varieties can be found in these regions of Italy. We will also offer French peaches and nectarines from Langedouc and Rousillon in the sizes A and AA from the end of July, also under the exclusive brands Unicorn and La Joconde, to offer the customers a quality products, as opposed to one Spanish variety with an increasingly low supply.”


Hispalco supports the idea of exporting more Piel de Sapo melons, as they are becoming increasing valued in the European markets. “With a sweeter and juicer flesh and longer shelf life the Piel de Sapo is a great product with added value,” says Jose Beltran. When we ask the manager of Hisplaco what the secret behind the success is, he answers; “There is no secret or magic potion. It’s a matter of hard work, remaining constant and being surrounded by people who share the same values and prove this by never losing their entrepreneurial spirit.”


For more information:

Hispalco, S.A.

C/ Barranco Pascual, 45

Esq. C/ Labradores

Polígono Industrial Campo Aníbal

46530 Puzol (Valencia)

Tel.: 00 34 96 340 44 22

Fax: 00 34 96 340 40 56

Publication date: 6/27/2013


FreshPlaza.com

European peach and nectarine estimate reduced

The estimates for European production of peaches and nectarines has been reduced by 7% since the last estimate announced at Europech in April.

Elisa Macchi, director of CSO presented the data regarding the production and sale of peaches and nectarines in Europe during the “Frutta d’estate. Progetti approfondimenti e prospettive” conference held in Bologna on 10th June


From 2000 to 2010, the growing area in Italy shrunk from 82,401 to 65,955 hectares, a 20% decrease. However, despite the fact that growing area in regions such as Emilia Romagna (-35%), Veneto (-33%) and Lazio -52%) have been reduced, Puglia and Sicily have 60% and 20% increases respectively.

The decrease in area at a national level of course meant less production, and the potential dropped from almost 1.8 to 1.6 million tons.

Regarding the trend elsewhere in Europe, France went from 450,000 to less than 300,000 tons, whereas Spain increased from 500,000 to almost 900,000 tons. Greece remained at around 300,000 tons.

The director of the CSO also talked about Catalonia as an example, as it concentrated more than 30% of the Spanish production. In this region, production went from 250,000 tons in the first years of the 00s to 400,000 tons of 2011. Other regions such as Rioja, Navarra and Aragon have also increased. In particular, peach volumes went from 60,000 to 130,000 tons, nectarines went from 60,000 to almost 180,000 tons and flat peaches to 60,000 in 2012.


Going back to Italy, Macchi talked about the sales trends for peaches, which from 2005 to 2012 have increased by 6%, and for nectarines, which from 2010 to 2012 have decreased by 3%.

Analysing exports, Elisa Macchi underlined how Spain, which went from 300,000 to 650,000 tons, exports almost 80% of its production.

Greece, which has been increasing recently, reached 160,000 tons in 2012, 50% of its production. Italy, however, dropped from 400,000 tons to 350,000, 24-25% of the peach and nectarine production.

In particular, Italian exports are constant in July and August (even in June), though they drop in September, after they had been rising in the first few years of the 00s.

Spain increases all volumes between June and October. Only May is stable or slightly decreasing, even though the month is still dominated by Spain. The exports of France and Greece are only marginal. French volumes are diminishing whereas the Greek ones seem more constant but are only representative in June/July. 


Elisa Macchi also compared production costs of Big Tops and the cost of placing the product in punnets in Italy (in blue, Emilia Romagna) and Spain (in red, Catalonia) which brought to light the fact that Italy is not competitive as regards variable, raw material and labour costs.


2013 expectations
What Elisa Macchi anticipated on June 10th has been confirmed by the latest estimates by the CSO on June 15th i.e. the 2013 production of peaches and nectarines in Italy, estimated at 1,520,000 tons has shrunk by 7% with respect to 2012.


This year’s drop in production, mostly due to bad weather in Spring, regards both peaches and nectarines, both registering -7%.


The production is of around 784,000 tons in Southern Italy (-8% with respect to 2012) and almost 642,000 tons in the North (-5%). In this case, the loss is not as bad because Piedmontese production returned normal after one year of productive deficit. 


This year, the development and ripening of fruit were late with respect to last year and, while in the South it could be recuperated towards harvesting time, it was not possible in the North. The varied ripening calendars prevented production from overlapping and therefore there was a difference between early productions in the South and the late ones in the North. 

Updates from other countries
At a European level, a 7% drop with respect to 2012 is expected in 2013, an 8% drop with regards to the last five years.


In Greece, hailstorms affected volumes, which are hovering around 175,000 tons for peaches (-24% than 2012) and 57,000 tons for nectarines (-29%).

France produces around 258,000 tons (-8% than 2012).

Spanish production is also decreasing: the production of fresh peaches (excluding flat peaches) is expected to be around 293,000 tons, +12% than 2012 though only -4% with respect to 2011. Flat peaches increase, and are now around 130,000 tons thanks to the fact that younger orchards started producing. Nectarines register +7% with respect to 2012, though -7% with respect to 2011.

“There are two considerations to make from the domestic and European data. At a European level, we must consider that last year there were no surpluses both from a total volume and weekly income point of view.

“Last year, Spain had problems both in the early and late period because of hailstorms. The increase is due to a confrontation with the low production of 2012 and the levels expected this year are definitely lower than the potential this country has. The other aspect we must consider is the good timing of the productions, which should avoid surpluses which often penalize the market.”

FreshPlaza.com

“European retailers want programs with Israeli growers”

Oron Ziv from Befresh Europe
“European retailers want programs with Israeli growers”


Oron Ziv checking the grapefruit

After a bad season last year for Israeli citrus exports, the start to this year’s citrus export season has been promising. BeFresh, an importer and exporter of fresh produce based in Tel Aviv, has benefited from the good prices in Europe for their grapefruit. With low avocado consumption in Europe, they also see potential in expanding the market for that product across the continent.


Workers in the pack house, packing the grapefruit
 
“It was a tough season for grapefruit last year, but we started in a much better market situation this year,” said Oron Ziv of BeFresh. “Prices were low and there was no demand this spring, so shipments from South Africa stopped around August. Because there was a lack of grapefruit, we came into a good market.” The dearth of fruit on the market, a result of an early exit by South African exporters who weren’t getting good returns, cleared the pipeline for Israel’s exports in September.

“Historically, November is a dead month for us for grapefruit, and we usually find ourselves with a big stock of fruit,” explains Ziv. “But nobody has fruit in stock this year.” That lean pipeline is encouraging to Israeli shippers, because when the market for their grapefruit warms up again there won’t be a glut of product on the market bringing down prices.


Stapling the boxes that are ready
 
Most competition on grapefruit comes from Turkey. Though fruit from Florida and Spain is also available when Israel exports their fruit, they don’t compete for the same share of the market that Israel seeks. Florida fruit is the gold standard when it comes to grapefruit, and it commands prices that put it on a different level from any other fruit, and the Spanish season doesn’t overlap significantly with the Israeli season. But Turkish fruit is, roughly, on the same level as Israeli fruit in terms of price and quality, though Ziv believes Israeli fruit still holds an edge.


The forklift brings the pallets that are ready to the palletizer

“Turkey has large quantities, so they need to sell their fruit, and they do it at low prices during the winter,” said Ziv. “But I think people are willing to pay more for Israeli fruit because of the taste and appearance of our grapefruit.”


Oron Ziv holds a box of Sweetie

Easy Peelers
Easy peelers have also been good for Israeli exporters, though there have been some markets lost to competing products in other countries. Spanish and Moroccan mandarins have edged out Israeli fruit in Europe. The cheaper production costs in both those countries make it hard to compete, and the shorter transit times for Spain gives that country’s exporters an advantage. As a result, Israeli exporters have largely ceded Europe in that category.
 
The bright spot for Israel, when it comes to easy peelers, has been the Or clementine. The wildly successful product has spurred increased acreage for a product that is in demand and commands premium prices. The challenge, as more growers look to cash in with the Or, is in the marketing.


 
“The acreage of new plantings is massive for the Or,” said Ziv. “There are more and more plantings every year. In that past few seasons, Israel has exported about 50,000 to 60,000 tons, but this season’s forecast is around 100,000 tons of fruit that is ready for export. If this figure is realistic, then it will be a big challenge to market the Or.” But he added that even if Israel produces enough Or clementines to fully satisfy European demand, North America and Asia are also potential markets for expansion. The qualities of the Or have made it a hit in Europe, and it’s reasonable to believe that those same qualities can make it a hit in other markets.
 
Avocado
An area in which BeFresh sees much potential is their avocado program. It’s estimated that avocado consumption in Europe has grown by 25% over the last five years, and there are signs that consumption will continue to rise. Ziv noted that while per capita annual consumption of avocados in Israel is about seven kilograms, it’s only about two or three kilograms in Spain and France, and it’s under one kilogram in Holland. That leaves a lot of room for more avocados.
 
“If you can make avocados more available in Europe, there’s huge room to develop that market,” said Ziv. Most European consumers prefer Hass avocados, which leaves the green-skinned variety that Israeli consumers prefer, out of export programs. The slow-maturing nature of avocado trees, however, could slow expansion, as it takes over seven years for an avocado tree to bear its full yield potential.


 
Melons
Melons were a tough product for BeFresh last season, with the traditional gap between Spanish production and Brazilian production greatly diminished. While Spanish shipments of melons to Europe usually come to a halt near the end of August, supplies lasted into September last season. At the same time, Brazilian supplies, which don’t typically arrive in Europe until October, hit the European market much sooner. That meant that the September and October window that Israeli shippers use to sell their melons in Europe was largely gone last season. But this year looks better.
 
“It was not a big success for the Galia melon season for us last year because we were squeezed out,” said Ziv. “But we produced less this year, due to our bad experiences last year, and we’re now enjoying a good situation.” While they shipped about 30% less volume of melons this year, a sharp drop from last year’s shipments, their profits were much better because of higher prices.


 
BeFresh’s success with melons this year was also due to their partnership with the largest melon grower in Israel. That gave them direct access to a steady supply of melons with consistent quality. Though BeFresh is a small company, they are able to consistently deliver melons to retailers. Large supermarkets appreciate that, and Ziv explained that those ties give them an advantage when dealing with retailers.
 
“The advantage is that I work with the grower, so the retailer is getting product straight from the farm,” said Ziv. “But you also need a combination of supermarket programs and open market selling.” While the retailer programs are attractive because they offer steady payments for a set period of time, retailers typically only ask for a few sizes. Ziv’s job with BeFresh, is to find a home for all of the product he receives from growers, not just for the handful of sizes supermarkets want. That’s where the open market comes in.
 
“You need a good combination with the packing house, the local market and the export market,” said Ziv. “It’s like a puzzle, to find the right market for each segment of your produce. It’s easy to sell just the best sizes, but it doesn’t help the grower if you can only sell 20 percent of his produce.”

For more information:
Oron Ziv
BeFresh Europe Ltd.
Phone: +972 3 968 2929
Fax: +972 4 672 5001
Email: [email protected]
www.befreshcorp.com
 

Publication date: 11/21/2014


FreshPlaza.com

European suppliers maintain presence at World Food Moscow

European suppliers maintain presence at World Food Moscow

Despite the restrictions imposed on European goods by the Russian government, there was a healthy European presence at the recent World Food Moscow. Though it’s uncertain when the current situation between Russia and the European Union will be resolved, European fresh produce suppliers want to maintain their relationships in Russia for when the situation improves.

“There were quite a lot of Europeans attending,” noted Irina Koziy, general director of «FruitNews» News Agency in Russia. Koziy attended the event and noted that although the attendees were more nervous than usual, given the current political climate and embargo on food products, European participants made a strong impression.

“For me, personally, their attendance left a very good impression,” said Koziy. “Because even though they’re not able to send their products to Russia, it shows they’re serious about this market.” That European suppliers are willing to make an effort to maintain the relationships they have in Russia is a testament to the importance the Russian market has for European shippers. But the relationship is a reciprocal one, and many Russian buyers are also eager for a resolution to the current situation.

“Some Russian companies have been able to find new partners and change their sources,” noted Koziy. “For other companies, it’s a big challenge if they focused on products that came from the European Union.” Programs that could be used to wean Russians off foreign imports may pay off in the long run, but they currently aren’t much help because it takes more than just one season for local producers to make up for the deficit brought on by the European ban.

“You can’t plant an orchard to have a peach harvest in less than one year,” explained Koziy. “So we just have to survive with the changes that have happened and hope that those changes will be played back in the next few months for the good of the Russian market and Russian customers.” It’s hard to tell the full impact that the ban on European goods has had on supplies of food or prices because the fresh produce market is always in flux. For consumers, who often deal with price fluctuations and changing inventories, current market conditions could be just a more pronounced version of a typical year. But the effects are there, and even if consumers can’t quantify them exactly, they see fewer options and higher prices. That the effects are apparent to everyone in the country, however, doesn’t guarantee that the cause of those effects – the ban on European goods – will be lifted any time soon.

“We know a lot of people are complaining about the current prices and even the Russian government has recognized that prices went up because of restrictions implemented on food products,” said Koziy. “But we are not in Europe, so the Russian government is not going to change its decisions immediately just because prices went up. So I really don’t know what the Russian government is planning.”

Publication date: 9/26/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Concerns about low wages behind Moroccan tomatoes sold in European supermarkets

Female Moroccan tomato pickers living in poverty:
Concerns about low wages behind Moroccan tomatoes sold in European supermarkets

Fairfood International’s newest report exposes the poverty wages paid to workers in the Moroccan tomato sector. These tomatoes are picked and packed by tens of thousands of workers who do not receive a living wage for their arduous work. The fruit is then sold by European supermarkets who receive the lion’s share of the profits.

Fairfood’s report The fruits of their labour – The low wages behind Moroccan tomatoes sold in European supermarkets was published on 9th September 2014 and is an initiative of Fairfood’s Morocco ‘hotspot’ project. This project has conducted research in the Souss Massa Drâa region: one of the main sources of tomatoes for many European supermarkets during the winter months.

This report ties in with Fairfood’s upcoming Living Wage campaign, which sees a living wage – a wage sufficient for the basic needs of workers and their families, such as food, clothing, healthcare and education – as a human right.

The key issues in the report are:

  •     In winter, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Albert Heijn and other European supermarkets sell tomatoes which are sourced from Morocco.
  •     They are picked and packed by tens of thousands Moroccan workers, mainly female, who earn painfully low wages.
  •     Moroccan tomato pickers and packers earn between 5 and 8 Euro a day, while their costs of living are around 15 Euro a day. Therefore they are unable to make ends meet and must live in poverty
  •     Supermarkets have the power and influence to determine what consumers buy, as well as how and under what conditions the food is produced
  •     Fairfood calls upon supermarkets to take up their responsibility and to ensure a living wage for all their workers in their supply chains


Click here to read the complete report (PDF)

Publication date: 9/9/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Concerns about low wages behind Moroccan tomatoes sold in European supermarkets

Female Moroccan tomato pickers living in poverty:
Concerns about low wages behind Moroccan tomatoes sold in European supermarkets

Fairfood International’s newest report exposes the poverty wages paid to workers in the Moroccan tomato sector. These tomatoes are picked and packed by tens of thousands of workers who do not receive a living wage for their arduous work. The fruit is then sold by European supermarkets who receive the lion’s share of the profits.

Fairfood’s report The fruits of their labour – The low wages behind Moroccan tomatoes sold in European supermarkets was published on 9th September 2014 and is an initiative of Fairfood’s Morocco ‘hotspot’ project. This project has conducted research in the Souss Massa Drâa region: one of the main sources of tomatoes for many European supermarkets during the winter months.

This report ties in with Fairfood’s upcoming Living Wage campaign, which sees a living wage – a wage sufficient for the basic needs of workers and their families, such as food, clothing, healthcare and education – as a human right.

The key issues in the report are:

  •     In winter, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Albert Heijn and other European supermarkets sell tomatoes which are sourced from Morocco.
  •     They are picked and packed by tens of thousands Moroccan workers, mainly female, who earn painfully low wages.
  •     Moroccan tomato pickers and packers earn between 5 and 8 Euro a day, while their costs of living are around 15 Euro a day. Therefore they are unable to make ends meet and must live in poverty
  •     Supermarkets have the power and influence to determine what consumers buy, as well as how and under what conditions the food is produced
  •     Fairfood calls upon supermarkets to take up their responsibility and to ensure a living wage for all their workers in their supply chains


Click here to read the complete report (PDF)

Publication date: 9/9/2014


FreshPlaza.com

“A lot of overlap in European and Brazilian melons over the next few weeks”

Lean van den Hombergh, Frankort & Koning:
“A lot of overlap in European and Brazilian melons over the next few weeks”

The Brazilian melon season is coming slowly but surely. Frankort & Koning expect the first arrivals on Friday, after which the numbers will increase weekly. Commercial director Leon van den Hombergh expects a difficult start to the season. “There are a number of melons on the field in Spain. Prices of around a dime per kilo are being made and the qualities vary strongly. We won’t compete with Brazilian melons in price, so it will have to be done in quality.”



 
“Spain can mainly continue with yellow melons and watermelons for a while, but there are also quite a few Galia and Cantaloupe available. I expect an overlap until around week 37/38 and it will be even later for yellow melons and watermelons, depending on the quality,” says Leon. “The mediocre weather recently has meant a disappointing consumption. Spain has harvest the largest reserves. The Spanish melons also aren’t allowed into Russia, so there is enough left to be marketed.”

“The factor with the largest influence on the melon market is still the weather. it wasn’t to our advantage over the last few weeks, but if the weather cooperates, we know we can sell a lot, despite the large supply. The week has started with sun, which gives consumers hope. We need good weather to get the melon feeling back. But we know this is a challenge. Brazil has a strong production and the first few weeks will be tough, especially now that there is a lot of cheap alternative fruit on the market.”

For more information: 
Leon van den Hombergh
Frankort & Koning
Venrayseweg 126
5928 RH Venlo
Tel: +31 (077) 389 72 72
Fax: +31 (077) 382 61 34
www.frankort.nl

Publication date: 9/2/2014


FreshPlaza.com

NZ: Lower European apple prices bite into Scales profit

NZ: Lower European apple prices bite into Scales profit

Scales Corp, the listed fruit and vegetables logistics company, said first-half profit fell 22 percent from a year earlier, reflecting lower apple prices and the one-off costs of its NZX listing.

Profit was $ 20.6 million in the six months ended June 30, down from $ 26.4 million in the same period a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 3.4 percent to $ 150.2 million.

Scales debuted on the NZX in July at $ 1.60 per share. Of the $ 148 million worth of shares sold, $ 30 million was new capital to be used to reduce debt, while private equity firm Direct Capital sold into the offer, reducing their stake to 20 percent from 84.2 percent. Shares of Scales last traded at $ 1.53, and have fallen 4.4 percent below its offer price.

The company is New Zealand’s largest apple exporter and also owns businesses across the primary sector, including sea and air freight services, cold store operations, and food ingredients, pet foods and juice concentrate businesses.

Last year the company lifted annual profit 50 percent to $ 20.4 million, on the back of rising Asian demand for apples.

“We are continuing to develop our presence in Asia and other near markets, aided by the fact we expect premium variety apple plantings to yield increased volumes for 2015,” said managing director Andy Borland. “Together with a group of other primary sector New Zealand exporters, we are establishing ServeCo, a collaborative venture based in Shanghai which is designed to assist the partners’ trade into China.”

The company is boosting its cold store network’s capacity by 16 percent, building an 8,700 square metre Polarcold plant at the Ports of Auckland inter-modal freight hub at Wiri, South Auckland. Fonterra Cooperative Group had already signed on to use half of the space, Borland said, which is expected to be complete in the third quarter of next year.

Its horticulture segment, which includes its Mr Apple business, orchards, and fruit packing and storage businesses, increased sales 1.9 percent to $ 90.1 million in the six months, while operating earnings slipped 11 percent to $ 23 million. Scales blamed a drop in European apple prices for the decline, which it said was partially offset by higher volumes, with its Mr Apple final export volume 7 percent above forecast, and higher early season prices.

Storage and logistics increased sales by 4 percent to $ 61 million, while profit slipped 7.7 percent to $ 7.9 million. Sales in its food ingredients business rose 12 percent to $ 18.8 million, for a 3.4 percent gain in earnings of $ 2.8 million.

Improved operating cash flows meant Scales halved its forecast net working capital facility to $ 11.2 million, reducing forecast average prospective net debt to $ 38.2 million, below its prospectus forecast of $ 44.1 million, it said.

In its offer documents, Scales forecast net profit to fall to $ 15.9 million in 2014, before rising to $ 20.8 million in 2015.

“We have hit out targets and expect to remain on track to meet the prospectus guidance for the full-year result,” said chairman Jon Mayson.

According to its prospectus, Scales expects to pay a dividend of between 9.4 cents per share and 9.6 cents per share, implying a gross dividend yield of 7.2 percent to 8.2 percent, for the 2014 financial year, and between 10.5 cents to 10.7 cents per share, for a gross yield of 8 percent to 9.1 percent, the following year.

Source: nzherald.co.nz

Publication date: 8/29/2014


FreshPlaza.com

NZ: Lower European apple prices bite into Scales profit

NZ: Lower European apple prices bite into Scales profit

Scales Corp, the listed fruit and vegetables logistics company, said first-half profit fell 22 percent from a year earlier, reflecting lower apple prices and the one-off costs of its NZX listing.

Profit was $ 20.6 million in the six months ended June 30, down from $ 26.4 million in the same period a year earlier, the Christchurch-based company said in a statement. Sales rose 3.4 percent to $ 150.2 million.

Scales debuted on the NZX in July at $ 1.60 per share. Of the $ 148 million worth of shares sold, $ 30 million was new capital to be used to reduce debt, while private equity firm Direct Capital sold into the offer, reducing their stake to 20 percent from 84.2 percent. Shares of Scales last traded at $ 1.53, and have fallen 4.4 percent below its offer price.

The company is New Zealand’s largest apple exporter and also owns businesses across the primary sector, including sea and air freight services, cold store operations, and food ingredients, pet foods and juice concentrate businesses.

Last year the company lifted annual profit 50 percent to $ 20.4 million, on the back of rising Asian demand for apples.

“We are continuing to develop our presence in Asia and other near markets, aided by the fact we expect premium variety apple plantings to yield increased volumes for 2015,” said managing director Andy Borland. “Together with a group of other primary sector New Zealand exporters, we are establishing ServeCo, a collaborative venture based in Shanghai which is designed to assist the partners’ trade into China.”

The company is boosting its cold store network’s capacity by 16 percent, building an 8,700 square metre Polarcold plant at the Ports of Auckland inter-modal freight hub at Wiri, South Auckland. Fonterra Cooperative Group had already signed on to use half of the space, Borland said, which is expected to be complete in the third quarter of next year.

Its horticulture segment, which includes its Mr Apple business, orchards, and fruit packing and storage businesses, increased sales 1.9 percent to $ 90.1 million in the six months, while operating earnings slipped 11 percent to $ 23 million. Scales blamed a drop in European apple prices for the decline, which it said was partially offset by higher volumes, with its Mr Apple final export volume 7 percent above forecast, and higher early season prices.

Storage and logistics increased sales by 4 percent to $ 61 million, while profit slipped 7.7 percent to $ 7.9 million. Sales in its food ingredients business rose 12 percent to $ 18.8 million, for a 3.4 percent gain in earnings of $ 2.8 million.

Improved operating cash flows meant Scales halved its forecast net working capital facility to $ 11.2 million, reducing forecast average prospective net debt to $ 38.2 million, below its prospectus forecast of $ 44.1 million, it said.

In its offer documents, Scales forecast net profit to fall to $ 15.9 million in 2014, before rising to $ 20.8 million in 2015.

“We have hit out targets and expect to remain on track to meet the prospectus guidance for the full-year result,” said chairman Jon Mayson.

According to its prospectus, Scales expects to pay a dividend of between 9.4 cents per share and 9.6 cents per share, implying a gross dividend yield of 7.2 percent to 8.2 percent, for the 2014 financial year, and between 10.5 cents to 10.7 cents per share, for a gross yield of 8 percent to 9.1 percent, the following year.

Source: nzherald.co.nz

Publication date: 8/29/2014


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European Commission announces support measures for EU perishable fruit & vegetable producers

European Commission announces support measures for EU perishable fruit & vegetable producers

In the context of Russian restrictions on imports of EU agricultural products and following on from last week’s Management Committee meeting discussion of the market situation, the European Commission is moving as from today to introduce support measures for certain perishable fruits & vegetables.

Commenting on the decision, Dacian Cioloș, EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, stated: “Taking into account the market situation following the Russian restrictions on imports of EU agricultural products, with effect from today, I am triggering CAP emergency measures which will reduce overall supply of a number of fruit and vegetable products on the European market as and when price pressures become too great in the coming months. All farmers of the concerned products – whether in producer organisations or not – will be eligible to take up these market support measures where they see fit. Acting early will provide an efficient support to the price paid to producers on the internal market, help the market adjust and be cost effective.”

Background
The products concerned by the measures announced today are the following: tomatoes, carrots, white cabbage, peppers, cauliflowers, cucumbers, and gherkins, mushrooms, apples, pear, red fruits, table grapes and kiwis. The markets for these products are in full season, with no storage option for most of them and no immediate alternative market available.

The exceptional measures announced today will include market withdrawals especially for free distribution, compensation for non-harvesting and green harvesting. The financial assistance will cover all producers whether they are organised in producers organisation or not. The measures will have a retroactive affect as from August 18. In other words, any volumes withdrawn from today onwards (or subject to green harvesting or the other measures) will already be covered by these additional measures, subject to the necessary controls. These measures will apply until the end of November with a budget foreseen of €125 million.

The ongoing market situation for all products will be discussed in another meeting with Member State experts and experts from the European Parliament scheduled to take place in Brussels on Friday.

The European Commission will continue following markets development for all the sectors affected by the Russian ban on agriculture and food products in close contacts with Member States and will not hesitate to support further sectors heavily dependent on exports to Russia or to adapt the measures already announced, if necessary.

For more information:
Europe Direct
Tel: +00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11
Email: Please click here.

Publication date: 8/18/2014


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Asian genes in European pigs result in more piglets

Pigs which are bred commercially in Europe are found to have a highly varied mosaic of different European and Asian gene variants. The Asian genes in particular result in a large number of piglets in European pig breeds. In the latest issue of the science journal Nature Communications, researchers from Wageningen University explain that a number of important characteristics of European pigs have Asian origins. They previously demonstrated that the genetic diversity among commercial pigs is greater than within the existing populations of wild boar.

The pig we know today has a long history since the original independent domestication of the wild boar in Europe and Asia some 10,000 years ago. This domestication resulted in European and Asian pig breeds with very different characteristics and appearance. Modern commercial European pigs contain DNA originating from Asia. According to the researchers, the genetic diversity in commercial pigs is greater than in existing wild boar populations as a result.

Chinese pigs

The Wageningen research has demonstrated that different parts of the genome of commercial pigs are much closer to Chinese pigs than to European wild boar. ‘At first sight that seems surprising because pigs in Asia and Europe were domesticated independently from one another around ten thousand years ago and you would therefore expect there to be no traces of Asian DNA in European pigs’, says Professor Martien Groenen, under whose leadership the research took place.

In Nature Communications, he and his colleagues explain that the finding has its origin in the UK in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This is because there was a strong rise in the demand for pork during the Industrial Revolution and pig farmers in the UK in particular saw that Asian pigs had characteristics they wanted to improve in their own pigs. In general, Chinese pigs were much more fertile and fatter than their European counterparts. So breeders imported a number of Chinese individuals around this time and crossed them with their own European pigs. The greater genetic diversity within the current commercial pig breeds is therefore the result of crosses between European and Chinese pigs around two hundred years ago.

Strong selection for characteristics such as fertility and fat production of the Asian pigs subsequently ensured that some pieces of Asian DNA are present at high frequency in the European pigs. An example is the AHR gene, of which many European pigs have the Asian version. Sows with the European gene have significantly fewer piglets than carriers of the Asian version.

Story Source:

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

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Ready Pac introduces Baby Kale European Salad Blend

Ready Pac Foods, based in Irwindale, CA, is capitalizing on the soaring popularity of kale with the release of the Ready Pac Baby Kale European Salad Blend.

More and more consumers are incorporating kale into their everyday meals, with the items experiencing 250 percent increase in dollar sales since last year.Ready-Pac-Baby-Kale-Blend According to International Dairy, Deli & Bakery Association’s 2013 issue of What’s In Store, 78 percent of consumers say nutrient-dense foods like kale have a meaningful effect on their health, and 76 percent say health benefits are the reason to eat them more often.

For shoppers looking for a gateway kale offering, Ready Pac’s Baby Kale European Salad Blend is a perfect solution. In addition to being accessible, this nutrient-dense bagged blend is a rich source of vitamins A and C, and protein.

“The Baby Kale European Salad Blend is a perfect fit for Ready Pac consumers who are ready to ‘up their game’ with superfoods, but need a little help navigating their options,” Tristan Simpson, vice president of corporate communications at Ready Pac, said in a press release. “At Ready Pac, we view kale the same way as we view our brand — complex and deeply nutritious, yet incredibly adaptable. We’re excited to see this product pique the interest of curious, health-driven consumers everywhere.”

Shoppers can find the Baby Kale European Salad at their local Albertsons. To learn more about Ready Pac Salad Blends, in addition to its extended range of fresh-cut solutions, visit http://www.readypac.com/products.

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

Avocado giant Mission Produce to enter the European market

“Avocado to become the new tomato”
Avocado giant Mission Produce to enter the European market

Mission Produce was founded in 1983 and has since grown to become a global leader in the avocado industry. An experienced and knowledgeable field staff, highly efficient packing facilities, an international distribution network, a progressive marketing force and a global grower base all contribute to Mission’s success and future development.

Because of an ever-growing demand for avocados, providing the market with a consistent supply of quality fruit was something that California could not do alone. Mission recognized this fact in 1985 when it became the first US company to import avocados from Mexico. A year later in 1986, Mission was first to import avocados to the US from Chile. Today, Mission can add Peru and New Zealand to the list of countries that provide a source for avocados.


Ine Potting

With crop seasons unique to each country of origin, there is an adequate overlap of fruit availability during the calendar year. As avocado consumption continues to grow, Mission intends to be the key player in the global sourcing marketplace.
Expanding beyond North America, Mission also sells into Asian markets, as well as Europe. Beginning in 2013, Mission established a foothold in the European market by opening a distribution facility in Hazeldonk, in partnership with Mooy Logistics.
Hired as Export Sales Manager for Europe, Ine Potting is responsible for sales in Europe.  Previously Ms. Potting worked for Minnaar, Jover and Hoogsteder (Greenery) and is beginning her second year with Mission. “We started from scratch in Europe, and each day we are progressing more. We intend to strengthen our European operations by being selective with our customer choices and managing the availability of fruit. We found the perfect location with Mooy Logistics, right in between the two most important European ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam,” says Ms. Potting.

Avocado, the new tomato!
Ms. Potting is currently focused on market research in Europe. “We see an enormous potential for avocados in the European market. Average consumption in North America is 2.6kg per capita; whereas in Europe this is only 0.56kg—but is on the rise. We feel that this trend will continue as more people recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and how avocados can contribute to healthy eating. I am convinced that the avocado will become the new tomato!,” says Ine.

Another factor in spurring consumption is providing ripe avocados to the consumer. Mission pioneered avocado ripening in North America, and believes that establishing ripe programs will improve the product’s growth acceptance in Europe.

“Some consumers want to eat an avocado immediately, some after a few days, and some after a week. Mission is a ripening specialist, and we’ve seen sales quadruple by doing a perfect ripening job,” according to Ms. Potting.

“In Europe, many supermarkets want to buy as close to the source as possible, and Mission’s global reach allows us do to that. Depending on market conditions, we can supply Europe on a year-round basis from various countries of origin, and we are consistently looking for additional sources of supply to fill growing demand worldwide.”

For more information:
Ine Potting
Mission Produce Europe
Tel: +31 (0)180-454790
Mob: +31 (0)6 1006 4341
Email: [email protected]
www.missionpro.com

Publication date: 6/13/2014


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