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Ventura County Sustainability Exchange hosts one‐stop-shop sustainability event

In conjunction with this year’s PMA Fresh Summit, the growers and distributors of Ventura County are inviting fresh produce industry members into their backyards for the Ventura County Sustainability Exchange. This unique collaborative event brings together top growers from throughout the region to put Ventura County on the map and show the industry why it is a one‐stop‐shop for sustainably grown produce.

“Buyers from all over the country will be impressed to see the substantial investments that Ventura County producers have made to incorporate sustainability into producing their products,” John Chamberlain, director of marketing for Limoneira, said in a press release. “The Ventura County Sustainability Exchange will firmly establish the county as the one‐stop‐shop for sustainable produce.”

VCSE invitees will be able to experience the operations of these growers first hand, as leading companies like Limoneira, Calavo, San Miguel Produce, Agromin, Deardorff Family Farms and Houweling’s Tomatoes invite them along for tours of their fields and facilities. For example, guests will visit the Limoneira and Calavo Headquarters in Santa Paula, CA, to tour its 2MG solar facilities and learn about their waste-management practices and high-density planting.

Star power will be there to greet VCSE attendees throughout their stay. Refreshments will be provided by Nobu mixologist Brian Leon in Limoneira’s orchards. Dinner will be catered by the culinary expertise of Chef Jason Collis, who will be turning the local produce of Ventura County’s growers into gourmet culinary creations.

Before savoring Collins’ cooking however, renowned comedian Patrick Martin will take center stage. With the same blend of humor and captivating visual illusions that has taken him before such prestigious audiences as the White House, the Olympic Arts Festival and top Fortune 500 corporations, VCSE attendees will be in for a night to remember.

Guest speakers during the event will include the Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales, Food Share Inc. President Bonnie Weigel and Kathleen Phillips, the supply chain sustainability manager for Pro*Act.

More consumers than ever are looking for healthy, sustainable food choices. The search for products that retailers can sell to this growing body has consumers has lead buyers and produce experts of all stripes to Ventura County.

At the end of their two-day trip through the fields and operations of these growers, VCSE attendees will understand first-hand what makes the county a leader in sustainability for the fresh produce community.

“VCSE would like to thank its sponsors, Cool Planet, Agromin, Driscoll’s, Houweling’s, San Miguel, Deardorff, Limoneira and Calavo, for making this event possible,” VCSE said in the release.

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Lipman acquires The Produce Exchange

Lipman, a leading North American field tomato grower based in Immokalee, FL, has acquired The Produce Exchange, a leading grower and distributor of quality produce. With operations in Washington, California and Arizona, TPE joins Lipman’s national network of farming, packing, processing and repacking.

“We are thrilled to welcome The Produce Exchange team to Lipman,” Kent Shoemaker, chief executive officer of Lipman, said in a press release. “We are confident that their close-to-the-customer services, in addition to their West Coast supply in tomatoes and vegetables, will enhance Lipman’s ability to create more success with our customers.”

With this acquisition, Lipman is able to expand its geographic footprint and increase its depth in supply in both vegetables and tomatoes, including both open field and protected agriculture.

TPE brings unique varieties of fresh produce that will now be offered to Lipman customers. With four locations along the West Coast, TPE will ensure Lipman’s customers receive excellent produce year-round.

“Joining the Lipman family of companies is exciting for all of us at The Produce Exchange,” Sam Jones Jr., president of The Produce Exchange, added in the press release. “We look forward to using Lipman’s national farming and repacking network to give our customers access to the acre.”

Jones, employed by TPE since 1980, will maintain his leadership role.

“Lipman and The Produce Exchange have a lot in common and it is summed up best by TPE’s mission statement: The relentless creation of extraordinary successes together with our partners,” Shoemaker said. “Strategically, our values are in alignment, our facilities and farms complement one another, and our seasoned people together bring experience that will give our customers what they need to be successful.”

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

Argentina to ease foreign exchange controls after peso slump

Argentina to ease foreign exchange controls after peso slump

Argentina is to relax its strict foreign exchange controls, a day after the peso suffered its steepest daily decline in 12 years.

Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich said the country would reduce the tax rate on dollar purchases and allow the purchase of dollars for savings accounts.

The measures would take effect from Monday, he said.

On Thursday, the peso fell 11% against the dollar, its steepest fall since the country’s 2002 financial crisis.

The central bank had been acting to support the waning currency amid a loss of investor confidence in the country. But the bank abandoned this policy on Thursday, sparking the peso’s fall.

Despite efforts to support the economy, inflation has soared and many analysts expect it to reach about 30% this year.

That erodes confidence in the peso, prompting investors to put their money into US dollars rather than the sinking domestic currency.

Mr Capitanich said the government would reduce the tax rate on dollar purchases to 20% from the current 35%.

He said: “This decision reflects the government’s belief that in the context of a floating exchange rate, the price of the currency – that is, the dollar – has reached an acceptable level for the objectives of economic policy.”

BBC economics correspondent Andrew Walker said: “Argentina seems to be moving towards a more flexible exchange rate system, which could mean further weakness for the peso.

“That would help the country’s competitiveness, but the danger is that it could aggravate what is already a serous inflation problem.”

Concerns about Argentina hit financial markets around the world amid worries that other emerging economies are struggling. The currencies of Turkey, Russia, South Africa, and Mexico fell against the dollar.

The FTSE Emerging Markets index fell more than 1% in morning trading on Friday. Shares in investment firm Aberdeen Asset Management, which has exposure to emerging markets, fell almost 6%, the biggest casualty on the FTSE 100.

Under the presidency of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina has introduced a number of restrictions on transactions with foreign currency.

This week, it introduced new restrictions on online shopping as part of efforts to stop foreign currency reserves from falling any further.

Anyone buying items through international websites must sign a declaration and produce it at a customs office, where the packages have to be collected.

The government now limits tax-free purchases to two a year.

Argentina’s reserves of hard currency dropped by 30% last year, making support for the peso increasingly unaffordable.

In 2002, millions of Argentines saw their incomes and living standards collapse amid a crisis that included a government default on international debts and 41% inflation.


Publication date: 1/24/2014