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Idaho potatoes continue to strengthen brand nationally, expand it internationally

Idaho is known for potatoes. Idaho continues to lead the nation in potato production, as it has done for many years, and more than 96 percent of the Idaho Potato Commission’s target audience identify Idaho as the state best known for growing potatoes.

Internationally, people also associate the Idaho name with potatoes, as Frank Muir, president of the IPC, has observed on many occasions, and Idaho now ships fresh potatoes to more than 20 export markets.IPC-Frank-MuirFrank Muir

But “even though we are the No. 1 brand in potatoes, we are not resting on our laurels,” Muir said, in an interview with The Produce News Nov. 17. “We continue to grow our strength,” building the Idaho brand both nationally and internationally.

When The Produce News talked to Muir, he and other IPC staff members had just returned from a trade mission to Chile and Brazil. “We had a very successful trip, especially regarding dehy,” he said. “So I think we will be shipping dehydrated potatoes down to both countries shortly.” With fresh potatoes, “we’ve got a few more challenges there, particularly with Brazil, but hopefully we will be able to work some of those things out and ship Idaho potatoes fresh down south.”

Domestically, Idaho’s potato production represents about one-third of all U.S. potatoes harvested each year, Muir said. The state’s 2014 harvest, which was just recently completed, yielded about 13 billion pounds of potatoes from a little over 320,000 acres. “That is enough potatoes to fill 500 football stadiums 10 feet high,” he said.

The crop size is down from what was expected earlier in the season due to cool weather in the weeks before harvest. The weather also delayed the timing of the crop, which had been expected to be early. In the end, it turned out to be about a normal-sized crop with normal timing, and “what I would call a right-sized crop for this year,” Muir said. That has been good for the markets, as prices were rising approaching the holiday period, something that they typically may not do. “I think that is a positive indication for how this year will turn out.”

Idaho has a reputation not only for being the No. 1 potato-growing state but also for having a quality product, Muir noted. “Every time we conduct research, we will ask things like what word first comes to mind when you hear ‘Idaho potatoes,’ and the No. 1 word is always quality, so Idaho has a very strong, positive imagery in consumers’ minds.”

One of the things the Idaho potato industry is doing to strengthen the Idaho brand nationally and expand it internationally is to “expand our portfolio of potato offerings,” Muir said. Traditionally, Idaho has been known for its russet potatoes, but over the past decade, growers have diversified their offerings and many of them now offer an assortment of specialty potato varieties. In fact, the No. 1 grower of fingerling potatoes in the country today is an Idaho potato grower, and “Idaho has become the No. 2 grower of reds” in the United States. It is something we as an industry here in Idaho can be very proud of.”

So popular are Idaho potatoes that many people make the assumption that whatever potatoes they see in the market are most likely from Idaho, so they may often buy potatoes they think are Idaho-grown when, in fact, they are not. For that reason, one of the major messages the IPC pushes in its consumer outreach is the importance of looking for the “Grown in Idaho” seal .”We have created this incredibly strong brand imagery,” he said, “so we have to convince folks to always be looking for the ‘Grown in Idaho’ seal in order to make sure they are getting genuine Idaho potatoes.”

For its 75th anniversary celebration three years ago, the IPC launched a big flatbed truck with a giant Idaho potato on the back on a national tour. The tour was so successful that it was sent out across the country again in 2013 and then again this year. In all, the Big Idaho Potato Truck has travelled more than 75,000 miles, and there are plans to extend the campaign at least another two years. Everywhere the truck goes, it garners press coverage and attracts TV camera crews as well as crowds of spectators. “It has been incredibly successful,” Muir said.

For the 2014 tour, the 75th Anniversary logo on the side of the truck was changed to read, “You know it’s real when you see the seal,” encouraging people to look for the “Grown in Idaho” seal.

The commission has partnered with the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, reminding people that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, and that message appears on the back of the truck. “It also helps that our truck is red,” Muir said.

Idaho potatoes are certified as heart healthy by the AHA and “can bear the Heart Check Mark on all of our advertising and promotions,” he added.

Playing off of the truck’s success, the IPC has launched for the 2014-15 marketing season, a new television commercial, the third in a series portraying an actual Idaho potato farmer, Mark Coombs, lamenting that the truck and the Tater Team went out across the country and were having so much fun that they won’t come home. People loved the first ad, so last year, a new ad depicted the farmer and his dog, a bloodhound, taking off across the country looking for the truck in a red and white vintage Studebaker pickup. In the new ad, Coombs and another Idaho potato farmer, James Hoff, fly across the country in search of the truck in a red and white 1943 Stearman biplane.

The commercial, which will air on national cable television through February, has been well received, Muir said. “People love the story line.”

In its foodservice promotions, the commission continues with its February Potato Lovers Month display contest, “probably the most successful retail contest in produce in the country,” Muir said. Now in its 24th year, the contest has grown from an average of 600 participants prior to 2005 to more than 4,500 displays the past two years.

“On the foodservice side,” he said, “we continue to work with chefs in a wide range of ways to expand their use of potatoes in very creative ways.”

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

South Texas continues to expand as produce entry point

In 2013, about 170,000 truckloads of fruits and vegetables from Mexico came into the United through the ports of entry in South Texas, making it the leading state in the country for imports of fresh produce.

“About 40-45 percent of the fresh produce consumed in the United States is imported,” said Bret Erickson, president and chief executive officer of the Texas International Produce Association, based in Mission, TX. “More than 50 percent of those imports come through Texas.”

The crossing bridge at Pharr in the Rio Grande Valley is the busiest port of entry, with about 100,000 of those truckloads in 2013. Laredo, Progreso and Rio Grande City make up the vast majority of the other 70,000 loads. Erickson said the number of trucks crossing in Texas is increasing every year.  

Texas, in fact, is expecting an even greater percentage of produce imports from Mexico in the near future, now that the Mexican “super highway” connecting the Pacific Ocean near Mazatlan with the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville is almost complete.

Some have estimated that annually an additional 500,000 truckloads of goods (not just produce) will rumble through Texas into the United States because of the ease of driving across that country through the mountains and into the Lone Star State.

Erickson said the significant increase in produce imports over the last couple of decades is the chief reason the Texas Produce Association added the word “international” to its moniker.  

“It reflects the growth and direction of our membership and recognizes the importance of imports to Texas,” he said.

The TIPA is recognizing how south Texas agriculture has changed with its new produce convention that will be held in San Antonio this spring. Like the ongoing trend in produce shows, it will be a regional show but with a huge international flavor. Erickson expects about half of the exhibitors to be Mexican companies that sell their produce into the United States and ship through Texas.

Of course, the Texas International Produce Association has its roots in the Rio Grande Valley and it still has its two boots planted in Texas soil. In mid-November, Erickson said the U.S. Department of Agriculture was counting the recent ballots concerning a continuation referendum on the south Texas onion deal. The TIPA executive said it was a regularly scheduled vote and there appeared to be no extra politicking for or against the measure.

Earlier this year, a previous referendum was voided because of the use of an outdated mailing list. In the past, the federal marketing order has been approved by growers, but Erickson said his concern is simply that it be a fair vote that truly represents the wishes of the industry. The results are expected to be announced in early December.

Erickson also offered kudos to Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, who was picked by the Republican leadership to be chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture the day before. Erickson said Conaway is a friend of the ag industry and has visited with TIPA and its leadership three times in the previous 18 months.

“We are very fortunate to have him in that role,” he said.  “He is familiar with grower issues in Texas including the water situation, citrus greening and the important role imports play in our economy.”

When Conaway was at TIPA, Erickson said comprehensive immigration reform was discussed. After years of working for a solution in Congress and having the optimism for action dashed, Erickson said his membership is now just looking for anything that can help it stabilize its workforce.  

“I know of actual examples of growers who have had hundreds of thousands of dollars of crops rot in the field because they couldn’t get them harvested,” said Erickson.

He added that Rep. Conaway appears open to helping to find a solution for agriculture.

With regard to current crops, Erickson said Texas citrus shipments were well ahead of last year’s pace, though some recent rain did slow the harvesting down a bit.

“Right now the citrus season is rockin’ and rollin’,” he said. “Overall the crop looks very good — very comparable to last year.”

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

South Texas continues to expand as produce entry point

In 2013, about 170,000 truckloads of fruits and vegetables from Mexico came into the United through the ports of entry in South Texas, making it the leading state in the country for imports of fresh produce.

“About 40-45 percent of the fresh produce consumed in the United States is imported,” said Bret Erickson, president and chief executive officer of the Texas International Produce Association, based in Mission, TX. “More than 50 percent of those imports come through Texas.”

The crossing bridge at Pharr in the Rio Grande Valley is the busiest port of entry, with about 100,000 of those truckloads in 2013. Laredo, Progreso and Rio Grande City make up the vast majority of the other 70,000 loads. Erickson said the number of trucks crossing in Texas is increasing every year.  

Texas, in fact, is expecting an even greater percentage of produce imports from Mexico in the near future, now that the Mexican “super highway” connecting the Pacific Ocean near Mazatlan with the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville is almost complete.

Some have estimated that annually an additional 500,000 truckloads of goods (not just produce) will rumble through Texas into the United States because of the ease of driving across that country through the mountains and into the Lone Star State.

Erickson said the significant increase in produce imports over the last couple of decades is the chief reason the Texas Produce Association added the word “international” to its moniker.  

“It reflects the growth and direction of our membership and recognizes the importance of imports to Texas,” he said.

The TIPA is recognizing how south Texas agriculture has changed with its new produce convention that will be held in San Antonio this spring. Like the ongoing trend in produce shows, it will be a regional show but with a huge international flavor. Erickson expects about half of the exhibitors to be Mexican companies that sell their produce into the United States and ship through Texas.

Of course, the Texas International Produce Association has its roots in the Rio Grande Valley and it still has its two boots planted in Texas soil. In mid-November, Erickson said the U.S. Department of Agriculture was counting the recent ballots concerning a continuation referendum on the south Texas onion deal. The TIPA executive said it was a regularly scheduled vote and there appeared to be no extra politicking for or against the measure.

Earlier this year, a previous referendum was voided because of the use of an outdated mailing list. In the past, the federal marketing order has been approved by growers, but Erickson said his concern is simply that it be a fair vote that truly represents the wishes of the industry. The results are expected to be announced in early December.

Erickson also offered kudos to Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, who was picked by the Republican leadership to be chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture the day before. Erickson said Conaway is a friend of the ag industry and has visited with TIPA and its leadership three times in the previous 18 months.

“We are very fortunate to have him in that role,” he said.  “He is familiar with grower issues in Texas including the water situation, citrus greening and the important role imports play in our economy.”

When Conaway was at TIPA, Erickson said comprehensive immigration reform was discussed. After years of working for a solution in Congress and having the optimism for action dashed, Erickson said his membership is now just looking for anything that can help it stabilize its workforce.  

“I know of actual examples of growers who have had hundreds of thousands of dollars of crops rot in the field because they couldn’t get them harvested,” said Erickson.

He added that Rep. Conaway appears open to helping to find a solution for agriculture.

With regard to current crops, Erickson said Texas citrus shipments were well ahead of last year’s pace, though some recent rain did slow the harvesting down a bit.

“Right now the citrus season is rockin’ and rollin’,” he said. “Overall the crop looks very good — very comparable to last year.”

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

South Texas continues to expand as produce entry point

In 2013, about 170,000 truckloads of fruits and vegetables from Mexico came into the United through the ports of entry in South Texas, making it the leading state in the country for imports of fresh produce.

“About 40-45 percent of the fresh produce consumed in the United States is imported,” said Bret Erickson, president and chief executive officer of the Texas International Produce Association, based in Mission, TX. “More than 50 percent of those imports come through Texas.”

The crossing bridge at Pharr in the Rio Grande Valley is the busiest port of entry, with about 100,000 of those truckloads in 2013. Laredo, Progreso and Rio Grande City make up the vast majority of the other 70,000 loads. Erickson said the number of trucks crossing in Texas is increasing every year.  

Texas, in fact, is expecting an even greater percentage of produce imports from Mexico in the near future, now that the Mexican “super highway” connecting the Pacific Ocean near Mazatlan with the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville is almost complete.

Some have estimated that annually an additional 500,000 truckloads of goods (not just produce) will rumble through Texas into the United States because of the ease of driving across that country through the mountains and into the Lone Star State.

Erickson said the significant increase in produce imports over the last couple of decades is the chief reason the Texas Produce Association added the word “international” to its moniker.  

“It reflects the growth and direction of our membership and recognizes the importance of imports to Texas,” he said.

The TIPA is recognizing how south Texas agriculture has changed with its new produce convention that will be held in San Antonio this spring. Like the ongoing trend in produce shows, it will be a regional show but with a huge international flavor. Erickson expects about half of the exhibitors to be Mexican companies that sell their produce into the United States and ship through Texas.

Of course, the Texas International Produce Association has its roots in the Rio Grande Valley and it still has its two boots planted in Texas soil. In mid-November, Erickson said the U.S. Department of Agriculture was counting the recent ballots concerning a continuation referendum on the south Texas onion deal. The TIPA executive said it was a regularly scheduled vote and there appeared to be no extra politicking for or against the measure.

Earlier this year, a previous referendum was voided because of the use of an outdated mailing list. In the past, the federal marketing order has been approved by growers, but Erickson said his concern is simply that it be a fair vote that truly represents the wishes of the industry. The results are expected to be announced in early December.

Erickson also offered kudos to Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, who was picked by the Republican leadership to be chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture the day before. Erickson said Conaway is a friend of the ag industry and has visited with TIPA and its leadership three times in the previous 18 months.

“We are very fortunate to have him in that role,” he said.  “He is familiar with grower issues in Texas including the water situation, citrus greening and the important role imports play in our economy.”

When Conaway was at TIPA, Erickson said comprehensive immigration reform was discussed. After years of working for a solution in Congress and having the optimism for action dashed, Erickson said his membership is now just looking for anything that can help it stabilize its workforce.  

“I know of actual examples of growers who have had hundreds of thousands of dollars of crops rot in the field because they couldn’t get them harvested,” said Erickson.

He added that Rep. Conaway appears open to helping to find a solution for agriculture.

With regard to current crops, Erickson said Texas citrus shipments were well ahead of last year’s pace, though some recent rain did slow the harvesting down a bit.

“Right now the citrus season is rockin’ and rollin’,” he said. “Overall the crop looks very good — very comparable to last year.”

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

South Texas continues to expand as produce entry point

In 2013, about 170,000 truckloads of fruits and vegetables from Mexico came into the United through the ports of entry in South Texas, making it the leading state in the country for imports of fresh produce.

“About 40-45 percent of the fresh produce consumed in the United States is imported,” said Bret Erickson, president and chief executive officer of the Texas International Produce Association, based in Mission, TX. “More than 50 percent of those imports come through Texas.”

The crossing bridge at Pharr in the Rio Grande Valley is the busiest port of entry, with about 100,000 of those truckloads in 2013. Laredo, Progreso and Rio Grande City make up the vast majority of the other 70,000 loads. Erickson said the number of trucks crossing in Texas is increasing every year.  

Texas, in fact, is expecting an even greater percentage of produce imports from Mexico in the near future, now that the Mexican “super highway” connecting the Pacific Ocean near Mazatlan with the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville is almost complete.

Some have estimated that annually an additional 500,000 truckloads of goods (not just produce) will rumble through Texas into the United States because of the ease of driving across that country through the mountains and into the Lone Star State.

Erickson said the significant increase in produce imports over the last couple of decades is the chief reason the Texas Produce Association added the word “international” to its moniker.  

“It reflects the growth and direction of our membership and recognizes the importance of imports to Texas,” he said.

The TIPA is recognizing how south Texas agriculture has changed with its new produce convention that will be held in San Antonio this spring. Like the ongoing trend in produce shows, it will be a regional show but with a huge international flavor. Erickson expects about half of the exhibitors to be Mexican companies that sell their produce into the United States and ship through Texas.

Of course, the Texas International Produce Association has its roots in the Rio Grande Valley and it still has its two boots planted in Texas soil. In mid-November, Erickson said the U.S. Department of Agriculture was counting the recent ballots concerning a continuation referendum on the south Texas onion deal. The TIPA executive said it was a regularly scheduled vote and there appeared to be no extra politicking for or against the measure.

Earlier this year, a previous referendum was voided because of the use of an outdated mailing list. In the past, the federal marketing order has been approved by growers, but Erickson said his concern is simply that it be a fair vote that truly represents the wishes of the industry. The results are expected to be announced in early December.

Erickson also offered kudos to Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, who was picked by the Republican leadership to be chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture the day before. Erickson said Conaway is a friend of the ag industry and has visited with TIPA and its leadership three times in the previous 18 months.

“We are very fortunate to have him in that role,” he said.  “He is familiar with grower issues in Texas including the water situation, citrus greening and the important role imports play in our economy.”

When Conaway was at TIPA, Erickson said comprehensive immigration reform was discussed. After years of working for a solution in Congress and having the optimism for action dashed, Erickson said his membership is now just looking for anything that can help it stabilize its workforce.  

“I know of actual examples of growers who have had hundreds of thousands of dollars of crops rot in the field because they couldn’t get them harvested,” said Erickson.

He added that Rep. Conaway appears open to helping to find a solution for agriculture.

With regard to current crops, Erickson said Texas citrus shipments were well ahead of last year’s pace, though some recent rain did slow the harvesting down a bit.

“Right now the citrus season is rockin’ and rollin’,” he said. “Overall the crop looks very good — very comparable to last year.”

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

South Texas continues to expand as produce entry point

In 2013, about 170,000 truckloads of fruits and vegetables from Mexico came into the United through the ports of entry in South Texas, making it the leading state in the country for imports of fresh produce.

“About 40-45 percent of the fresh produce consumed in the United States is imported,” said Bret Erickson, president and chief executive officer of the Texas International Produce Association, based in Mission, TX. “More than 50 percent of those imports come through Texas.”

The crossing bridge at Pharr in the Rio Grande Valley is the busiest port of entry, with about 100,000 of those truckloads in 2013. Laredo, Progreso and Rio Grande City make up the vast majority of the other 70,000 loads. Erickson said the number of trucks crossing in Texas is increasing every year.  

Texas, in fact, is expecting an even greater percentage of produce imports from Mexico in the near future, now that the Mexican “super highway” connecting the Pacific Ocean near Mazatlan with the Gulf of Mexico near Brownsville is almost complete.

Some have estimated that annually an additional 500,000 truckloads of goods (not just produce) will rumble through Texas into the United States because of the ease of driving across that country through the mountains and into the Lone Star State.

Erickson said the significant increase in produce imports over the last couple of decades is the chief reason the Texas Produce Association added the word “international” to its moniker.  

“It reflects the growth and direction of our membership and recognizes the importance of imports to Texas,” he said.

The TIPA is recognizing how south Texas agriculture has changed with its new produce convention that will be held in San Antonio this spring. Like the ongoing trend in produce shows, it will be a regional show but with a huge international flavor. Erickson expects about half of the exhibitors to be Mexican companies that sell their produce into the United States and ship through Texas.

Of course, the Texas International Produce Association has its roots in the Rio Grande Valley and it still has its two boots planted in Texas soil. In mid-November, Erickson said the U.S. Department of Agriculture was counting the recent ballots concerning a continuation referendum on the south Texas onion deal. The TIPA executive said it was a regularly scheduled vote and there appeared to be no extra politicking for or against the measure.

Earlier this year, a previous referendum was voided because of the use of an outdated mailing list. In the past, the federal marketing order has been approved by growers, but Erickson said his concern is simply that it be a fair vote that truly represents the wishes of the industry. The results are expected to be announced in early December.

Erickson also offered kudos to Texas Rep. Mike Conaway, who was picked by the Republican leadership to be chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture the day before. Erickson said Conaway is a friend of the ag industry and has visited with TIPA and its leadership three times in the previous 18 months.

“We are very fortunate to have him in that role,” he said.  “He is familiar with grower issues in Texas including the water situation, citrus greening and the important role imports play in our economy.”

When Conaway was at TIPA, Erickson said comprehensive immigration reform was discussed. After years of working for a solution in Congress and having the optimism for action dashed, Erickson said his membership is now just looking for anything that can help it stabilize its workforce.  

“I know of actual examples of growers who have had hundreds of thousands of dollars of crops rot in the field because they couldn’t get them harvested,” said Erickson.

He added that Rep. Conaway appears open to helping to find a solution for agriculture.

With regard to current crops, Erickson said Texas citrus shipments were well ahead of last year’s pace, though some recent rain did slow the harvesting down a bit.

“Right now the citrus season is rockin’ and rollin’,” he said. “Overall the crop looks very good — very comparable to last year.”

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

Galilee Export to expand avocado, mango programs

Galilee Export to expand avocado, mango programs

As the export arm of Milouot, Galilee Export has established itself as one of the two largest exporters of avocados & Citrus in Israel. They’re now looking to build on that success and expand both their mango and avocado operations.


Tamir Porat

Out of the vacuum left by the liquidation of Agrexco, Galilee was formed as a cooperative to help growers ship their products to other markets. Through expanding acreage and the addition of new growers to the cooperative, Galilee cemented their position as one of the top exporters of fruits mainly Avocado. Currently, they sell about 17,000 tons of avocados to foreign buyers every year, and not wishing to rest on their laurels, Dror Eigerman, Galilee’s new CEO, is looking to build on that success by increasing the volume of fruit they handle.

“This year we signed an agreement with ZEMACH that will bring us extra avocados,” said Eigerman. The deal could boost Galilee’s annual exports to 23,000 tons, and it will also bring an added benefit of increasing the volume of mangos they sell. Currently, Galilee exports around 1,600 tons of mangos annually, but the new production they’ve acquired could yield an additional 3,000 tons of mangos per year. The area in which Galilee’s new partner grows its avocados also means they’ll have fruit earlier in the season, which could allow them to reap the better prices often seen at the start of the export season.

Galilee is also looking to bring more aspects of their mango operation in-house. The vertical integration would give them a better command of the process, would be more cost-efficient and would allow Galilee to stay on top of evolving market trends.

“Ready-to-eat is the future with avocados, so we’re investing in ripening rooms in France,” explained Eigerman. “Supermarkets are asking for 12-month supplies, so it makes sense to invest in ripening rooms that will help guarantee supplies and guarantee us a place on the shelf. So I’d prefer to be the one leading.” The ripening rooms will be located in the southern part of France, where Israeli shipments can quickly reach Europe. Once there, avocados can be ripened and efficiently distributed throughout Europe via France. Eigerman noted that they need the kinds of advantages this move will bring in light of increasing competition from Chile. While Spain is their biggest rival in Europe when it comes to avocados, Chile is making big strides in Europe.

“Chile is the one we’re colliding with on Hass avocados, and they’re growing,” said Eigerman. “As long as Chile continues to develop, we’ll be in a competitive market. At the moment we have an advantage in quality, volume and ability to deliver, but they are coming with volumes later and later in the season.” South Africa & Peru still ships avocados to Europe when Israel begins their export season, but at that point, Israeli growers only have Ettinger avocados, which are sold mainly domestically, so Israeli exporters don’t really compete with South Africa.

Eigerman sees mangos and medjool dates as products they can grow their market presence with. Aside from the additional mango production from ZEMACH, he wants to bring additional growers into the fold. But he noted that new growth needs to be balanced in order to preserve the unique character they’ve built so far.

“Coming from Mehadrin, the difference between there and Galilee has been that Mehadrin was like an armada and Galilee is like a commando unit,” said Eigerman. “This company was started with avocado and citrus, and later on growers brought in mangos and sharon fruit. So we’re getting more products in, but only the ones we choose. One product I believe in is the medjool date. It has a good shelf life, we have a good area behind us now, it’s easier to grow than avocados and I think it will keep growing.” He mentioned optical sorting machines as a way to make their date program more efficient, though they’ve not yet installed those machines.

While they don’t have the advantages with dates and mangos that they do with avocados, Eigerman said they’ll proceed in a growth pattern that prioritizes control. Much like the in-house ripening they’re building in France, integrating all aspects of the export program for each commodity is key to retaining control over the things that can be controlled.

“The biggest threat we face is the rising costs of water, electricity and labour,” said Eigerman. “It’s nothing critical at the moment, but it is a problem. The currency, it’s strong, but I would prefer a better currency situation. But we can’t control it.” The exchange rate with the Russian ruble has made it so that Russian importers, who are suffering under a ban on European goods, are looking to Israel in greater numbers for fresh produce, but they often can’t offer the competitive prices needed to secure that produce. So Eigerman doesn’t think they’ll expand into that market. In the future, he mentioned Asia as a possibility for expansion, but Chinese phytosanitary regulations must first be dealt with at the government level.

But those challenges can definitely be dealt with, noted Eigerman, especially given their company make-up and strong ties to growers. Because they’re small and nimble, they can adapt quickly, and the fact that they’re actually a cooperative of growers also helps.

“At the moment, we are slim, and we have to keep it like this,” said Eigerman. “Our future is bright because our strength is that we are growers. Growers understand what clients need and then we have the strength to give them what they need.”

For more information:
Dror Eigerman
Galilee Export
Office:+972-3-6539012
Mobile: +972-52-4475506
Fax: +972-3-6539026
[email protected]
www.galilee-export.com

Publication date: 11/17/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Galilee Export to expand avocado, mango programs

Galilee Export to expand avocado, mango programs

As the export arm of Milouot, Galilee Export has established itself as one of the two largest exporters of avocados & Citrus in Israel. They’re now looking to build on that success and expand both their mango and avocado operations.


Tamir Porat

Out of the vacuum left by the liquidation of Agrexco, Galilee was formed as a cooperative to help growers ship their products to other markets. Through expanding acreage and the addition of new growers to the cooperative, Galilee cemented their position as one of the top exporters of fruits mainly Avocado. Currently, they sell about 17,000 tons of avocados to foreign buyers every year, and not wishing to rest on their laurels, Dror Eigerman, Galilee’s new CEO, is looking to build on that success by increasing the volume of fruit they handle.

“This year we signed an agreement with ZEMACH that will bring us extra avocados,” said Eigerman. The deal could boost Galilee’s annual exports to 23,000 tons, and it will also bring an added benefit of increasing the volume of mangos they sell. Currently, Galilee exports around 1,600 tons of mangos annually, but the new production they’ve acquired could yield an additional 3,000 tons of mangos per year. The area in which Galilee’s new partner grows its avocados also means they’ll have fruit earlier in the season, which could allow them to reap the better prices often seen at the start of the export season.

Galilee is also looking to bring more aspects of their mango operation in-house. The vertical integration would give them a better command of the process, would be more cost-efficient and would allow Galilee to stay on top of evolving market trends.

“Ready-to-eat is the future with avocados, so we’re investing in ripening rooms in France,” explained Eigerman. “Supermarkets are asking for 12-month supplies, so it makes sense to invest in ripening rooms that will help guarantee supplies and guarantee us a place on the shelf. So I’d prefer to be the one leading.” The ripening rooms will be located in the southern part of France, where Israeli shipments can quickly reach Europe. Once there, avocados can be ripened and efficiently distributed throughout Europe via France. Eigerman noted that they need the kinds of advantages this move will bring in light of increasing competition from Chile. While Spain is their biggest rival in Europe when it comes to avocados, Chile is making big strides in Europe.

“Chile is the one we’re colliding with on Hass avocados, and they’re growing,” said Eigerman. “As long as Chile continues to develop, we’ll be in a competitive market. At the moment we have an advantage in quality, volume and ability to deliver, but they are coming with volumes later and later in the season.” South Africa & Peru still ships avocados to Europe when Israel begins their export season, but at that point, Israeli growers only have Ettinger avocados, which are sold mainly domestically, so Israeli exporters don’t really compete with South Africa.

Eigerman sees mangos and medjool dates as products they can grow their market presence with. Aside from the additional mango production from ZEMACH, he wants to bring additional growers into the fold. But he noted that new growth needs to be balanced in order to preserve the unique character they’ve built so far.

“Coming from Mehadrin, the difference between there and Galilee has been that Mehadrin was like an armada and Galilee is like a commando unit,” said Eigerman. “This company was started with avocado and citrus, and later on growers brought in mangos and sharon fruit. So we’re getting more products in, but only the ones we choose. One product I believe in is the medjool date. It has a good shelf life, we have a good area behind us now, it’s easier to grow than avocados and I think it will keep growing.” He mentioned optical sorting machines as a way to make their date program more efficient, though they’ve not yet installed those machines.

While they don’t have the advantages with dates and mangos that they do with avocados, Eigerman said they’ll proceed in a growth pattern that prioritizes control. Much like the in-house ripening they’re building in France, integrating all aspects of the export program for each commodity is key to retaining control over the things that can be controlled.

“The biggest threat we face is the rising costs of water, electricity and labour,” said Eigerman. “It’s nothing critical at the moment, but it is a problem. The currency, it’s strong, but I would prefer a better currency situation. But we can’t control it.” The exchange rate with the Russian ruble has made it so that Russian importers, who are suffering under a ban on European goods, are looking to Israel in greater numbers for fresh produce, but they often can’t offer the competitive prices needed to secure that produce. So Eigerman doesn’t think they’ll expand into that market. In the future, he mentioned Asia as a possibility for expansion, but Chinese phytosanitary regulations must first be dealt with at the government level.

But those challenges can definitely be dealt with, noted Eigerman, especially given their company make-up and strong ties to growers. Because they’re small and nimble, they can adapt quickly, and the fact that they’re actually a cooperative of growers also helps.

“At the moment, we are slim, and we have to keep it like this,” said Eigerman. “Our future is bright because our strength is that we are growers. Growers understand what clients need and then we have the strength to give them what they need.”

For more information:
Dror Eigerman
Galilee Export
Office:+972-3-6539012
Mobile: +972-52-4475506
Fax: +972-3-6539026
[email protected]
www.galilee-export.com

Publication date: 11/17/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Galilee Export to expand avocado, mango programs

Galilee Export to expand avocado, mango programs

As the export arm of Milouot, Galilee Export has established itself as one of the two largest exporters of avocados & Citrus in Israel. They’re now looking to build on that success and expand both their mango and avocado operations.


Tamir Porat

Out of the vacuum left by the liquidation of Agrexco, Galilee was formed as a cooperative to help growers ship their products to other markets. Through expanding acreage and the addition of new growers to the cooperative, Galilee cemented their position as one of the top exporters of fruits mainly Avocado. Currently, they sell about 17,000 tons of avocados to foreign buyers every year, and not wishing to rest on their laurels, Dror Eigerman, Galilee’s new CEO, is looking to build on that success by increasing the volume of fruit they handle.

“This year we signed an agreement with ZEMACH that will bring us extra avocados,” said Eigerman. The deal could boost Galilee’s annual exports to 23,000 tons, and it will also bring an added benefit of increasing the volume of mangos they sell. Currently, Galilee exports around 1,600 tons of mangos annually, but the new production they’ve acquired could yield an additional 3,000 tons of mangos per year. The area in which Galilee’s new partner grows its avocados also means they’ll have fruit earlier in the season, which could allow them to reap the better prices often seen at the start of the export season.

Galilee is also looking to bring more aspects of their mango operation in-house. The vertical integration would give them a better command of the process, would be more cost-efficient and would allow Galilee to stay on top of evolving market trends.

“Ready-to-eat is the future with avocados, so we’re investing in ripening rooms in France,” explained Eigerman. “Supermarkets are asking for 12-month supplies, so it makes sense to invest in ripening rooms that will help guarantee supplies and guarantee us a place on the shelf. So I’d prefer to be the one leading.” The ripening rooms will be located in the southern part of France, where Israeli shipments can quickly reach Europe. Once there, avocados can be ripened and efficiently distributed throughout Europe via France. Eigerman noted that they need the kinds of advantages this move will bring in light of increasing competition from Chile. While Spain is their biggest rival in Europe when it comes to avocados, Chile is making big strides in Europe.

“Chile is the one we’re colliding with on Hass avocados, and they’re growing,” said Eigerman. “As long as Chile continues to develop, we’ll be in a competitive market. At the moment we have an advantage in quality, volume and ability to deliver, but they are coming with volumes later and later in the season.” South Africa & Peru still ships avocados to Europe when Israel begins their export season, but at that point, Israeli growers only have Ettinger avocados, which are sold mainly domestically, so Israeli exporters don’t really compete with South Africa.

Eigerman sees mangos and medjool dates as products they can grow their market presence with. Aside from the additional mango production from ZEMACH, he wants to bring additional growers into the fold. But he noted that new growth needs to be balanced in order to preserve the unique character they’ve built so far.

“Coming from Mehadrin, the difference between there and Galilee has been that Mehadrin was like an armada and Galilee is like a commando unit,” said Eigerman. “This company was started with avocado and citrus, and later on growers brought in mangos and sharon fruit. So we’re getting more products in, but only the ones we choose. One product I believe in is the medjool date. It has a good shelf life, we have a good area behind us now, it’s easier to grow than avocados and I think it will keep growing.” He mentioned optical sorting machines as a way to make their date program more efficient, though they’ve not yet installed those machines.

While they don’t have the advantages with dates and mangos that they do with avocados, Eigerman said they’ll proceed in a growth pattern that prioritizes control. Much like the in-house ripening they’re building in France, integrating all aspects of the export program for each commodity is key to retaining control over the things that can be controlled.

“The biggest threat we face is the rising costs of water, electricity and labour,” said Eigerman. “It’s nothing critical at the moment, but it is a problem. The currency, it’s strong, but I would prefer a better currency situation. But we can’t control it.” The exchange rate with the Russian ruble has made it so that Russian importers, who are suffering under a ban on European goods, are looking to Israel in greater numbers for fresh produce, but they often can’t offer the competitive prices needed to secure that produce. So Eigerman doesn’t think they’ll expand into that market. In the future, he mentioned Asia as a possibility for expansion, but Chinese phytosanitary regulations must first be dealt with at the government level.

But those challenges can definitely be dealt with, noted Eigerman, especially given their company make-up and strong ties to growers. Because they’re small and nimble, they can adapt quickly, and the fact that they’re actually a cooperative of growers also helps.

“At the moment, we are slim, and we have to keep it like this,” said Eigerman. “Our future is bright because our strength is that we are growers. Growers understand what clients need and then we have the strength to give them what they need.”

For more information:
Dror Eigerman
Galilee Export
Office:+972-3-6539012
Mobile: +972-52-4475506
Fax: +972-3-6539026
[email protected]
www.galilee-export.com

Publication date: 11/17/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Wonderful Halos and Mulholland Citrus collaborate to expand Mandarin market

Paramount Citrus and Mulholland Citrus have entered into a partnership in which Paramount will be the exclusive sales agent for Mulholland’s Mandarins and Mulholland Citrus will grow and pack its Mandarins under the “Wonderful Halos” brand. The goal of the partnership is to expand the consumption and category of Mandarins across North America by consolidating volume in the “Wonderful Halos” Mandarin brand.

Along with partner Fowler Packing, these citrus operations in the Central Valley of California are committed to guarantee the superior taste, quality, freshness and consistency that consumers have come to expect from Wonderful Halos. This is made possible by the sharing of high-standard growing, packing and shipping practices that manage production from tree to table.

“We are focused on working with other like-minded quality farmers to grow the overall Mandarin category within the citrus industry,” David Krause, president of Paramount Citrus, said in a press release. “Working closely with the highly experienced citrus growers at Mulholland Citrus is a logical next step to reinforce the transformation of Mandarins into one of America’s most popular produce items.”

In season from November to April, “Wonderful Halos” is a premium California Mandarin brand and one of the fastest-growing brands in America’s produce aisles.

“At Mulholland Citrus, we share the same values and a similar vision as Paramount Citrus to expand the market for Mandarins and use the power of a well-known brand like ‘Wonderful Halos’ to reach an ever-increasing number of consumers,” Tom Mulholland, owner of Mulholland Citrus, said in the release. “Both of our companies are strongly rooted in California agriculture, and we believe we can help each other give America a healthy alternative as the perfect snack.”

Last year, Paramount Citrus announced its intensions to spend a record $ 100 million in marketing between 2013 and 2018 to grow the Mandarin category and help increase consumer demand, which benefits all citrus growers. Paramount has invested in marketing and brand awareness-building as part of an integrated, national campaign to market the “pure goodness” and uniquely delicious taste of the sweet, seedless, easy-to-peel fruit. Demand across the industry has grown exponentially over the last few years. Due to the new collaboration with Mulholland, retail customers can expect a larger supply of Mandarins available for the 2014-15 season.

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

Wonderful Halos and Mulholland Citrus collaborate to expand Mandarin market

Paramount Citrus and Mulholland Citrus have entered into a partnership in which Paramount will be the exclusive sales agent for Mulholland’s Mandarins and Mulholland Citrus will grow and pack its Mandarins under the “Wonderful Halos” brand. The goal of the partnership is to expand the consumption and category of Mandarins across North America by consolidating volume in the “Wonderful Halos” Mandarin brand.

Along with partner Fowler Packing, these citrus operations in the Central Valley of California are committed to guarantee the superior taste, quality, freshness and consistency that consumers have come to expect from Wonderful Halos. This is made possible by the sharing of high-standard growing, packing and shipping practices that manage production from tree to table.

“We are focused on working with other like-minded quality farmers to grow the overall Mandarin category within the citrus industry,” David Krause, president of Paramount Citrus, said in a press release. “Working closely with the highly experienced citrus growers at Mulholland Citrus is a logical next step to reinforce the transformation of Mandarins into one of America’s most popular produce items.”

In season from November to April, “Wonderful Halos” is a premium California Mandarin brand and one of the fastest-growing brands in America’s produce aisles.

“At Mulholland Citrus, we share the same values and a similar vision as Paramount Citrus to expand the market for Mandarins and use the power of a well-known brand like ‘Wonderful Halos’ to reach an ever-increasing number of consumers,” Tom Mulholland, owner of Mulholland Citrus, said in the release. “Both of our companies are strongly rooted in California agriculture, and we believe we can help each other give America a healthy alternative as the perfect snack.”

Last year, Paramount Citrus announced its intensions to spend a record $ 100 million in marketing between 2013 and 2018 to grow the Mandarin category and help increase consumer demand, which benefits all citrus growers. Paramount has invested in marketing and brand awareness-building as part of an integrated, national campaign to market the “pure goodness” and uniquely delicious taste of the sweet, seedless, easy-to-peel fruit. Demand across the industry has grown exponentially over the last few years. Due to the new collaboration with Mulholland, retail customers can expect a larger supply of Mandarins available for the 2014-15 season.

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

Pink Lady apple operations expand into South East Asia

Pink Lady apple operations expand into South East Asia

Exports of Australia’s most popular apple, the Pink Lady, will start a new marketing campaign for Asian markets. There’s been huge growth in Pink Lady exports across Europe and the UK.

Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) is the licensed owner of the Pink Lady variety, and its managing director for intellectual property, Garry Langford, says an office has been opened in Malaysia to oversee the new campaign.

“This approach provides us with the opportunity to bring some of the money that we otherwise might have spent within the European area to invest in the development of new markets.”

Revenue from Europe has allowed APAL to push into Asian markets closer to home.

“As an industry, we are actively re-encouraging people to export. Clearly it’s a huge opportunity for Australian product to come into South East Asia as well.”

Mr Langford says the new investment will encourage bigger export volumes into Asia.

“We feel like we can give some confidence to those in the system that want to ship out of Australia that we have a good mechanism in place.”     

Source: abc.net.au

Publication date: 8/19/2014


FreshPlaza.com

South African citrus growers look to expand export market

South African citrus growers look to expand export market

Citrus growers in South Africa are looking at exporting more fruit to African countries in case shipments to the European Union are curbed due to stricter import requirements from the economic and political bloc.

Citrus from the country, which represent about a third of the EU’s imports, will be subject to more stringent checks to prevent citrus black-spot disease spreading to fruit in the bloc, the European Commission, the EU’s administrative arm said last week. CBS is a fungal disease, which isn’t contagious for people, that causes high losses to fruit production, it said.

The Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa said it will adhere to the necessary measures in the “short term” while seeking a “long term” resolution for the 8 billion rand ($ 745 million) foreign currency earner.

“We are busy with research studies on new markets in Angola, Ghana and Nigeria,” Justin Chadwick, chief executive officer of the association, said in a phone interview yesterday from Hillcrest, near Durban in the southeastern part of the country.

Local growers are faced with the risk of not meeting the requirements of the EU, Chadwick said. Despite complying with all the measures and spraying their orchards, growers’ fruit may still have CBS as the fungus takes time to develop, he said. It can be latent until near or after harvest, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

About 1 percent of South Africa’s citrus is shipped to other African countries compared with about 40 percent for its apple industry, which is doing well in Angola, Ghana and Nigeria, Chadwick said.

Source: businessweek.com

Publication date: 6/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Total Produce looks to expand in Europe and North America

Total Produce looks to expand in Europe and North America

Total Produce is considering further acquisitions in both Europe and North America to expand the company and remains on track to meet its stated earnings targets for this year.

At the Dublin-based international fruit distribution group’s AGM held on the 23rd of May, management told shareholders that the business is “continuing to actively pursue acquisition opportunities to further expand the group, both in Europe and North America”.

Chief executive Rory Byrne said that the board views acquisitions as the primary way by which to grow the company.

Shareholders were also told that the business remains on track to meet its previously-stated adjusted earnings per share target of between 8.4c and 9.4c (that figure amounted to 8.77c in 2013) for this year.

All resolutions at the meeting were passed.

In March, Total Produce — which is the former general produce arm of Fyffes — reported a market forecast-beating set of full-year results for 2013; with total revenues (including joint-venture contributions) up by 13%, to nearly €3.2bn, pre-tax profits up by nearly 33% at €48.2m and operating profit, before exceptional items, rising by over 12% to almost €47m.

The company also slashed its net debt from €53m to €11m last year and its defined benefit pension scheme’s liability from €23.7m to €3.9m. Total shareholder dividend was also up by nearly 10% at 2.27c per share.

Analyst reaction has been positive.

In a research note Patrick Higgins of Goodbody said the broker is currently forecasting 4% earnings per share growth for the fruit company this year, which would take it to 9.1c. Goodbody also supports the hunt for more acquisitions.

“Given the relative maturity of the industry, organic growth is expected to be muted, though earnings growth should be supplemented by acquisitions.”

Source: Irish Examiner Ltd.

Publication date: 6/2/2014


FreshPlaza.com

USDA, CDC Expand Collaboration on Assessment of Foodborne Hazards

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed an agreement to define expectations related to interagency assessment of foodborne health hazards potentially associated with meat, poultry and eggs.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) expands collaboration between the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The MOU is part of the One Health initiative, a concept that embraces the idea that a disease impacting the health of humans, animals and the environment can be best solved through improved communication, cooperation and collaboration across disciplines and institutions.

“The FSIS investigation process identifies health hazards in meat and poultry products, and this agreement leverages the expertise of personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to complement that process,” said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza.

The MOU outlines mutual roles and responsibilities for training personnel and planning interagency assessments of FSIS-regulated establishments as part of foodborne illness investigations and health hazard evaluations.

The agreement doesn’t modify any existing interagency collaborative work, which includes illness cluster and outbreak investigations.

“This agreement builds on the current working relationship between our agencies with respect to food safety and reaffirms our mutual commitment to a multidisciplinary approach to conducting foodborne disease investigations,” said Beth P. Bell, director of CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

FSIS personnel have completed training with epidemiologists, environmental health scientists and other subject matter experts within ATSDR, the National Center for Environmental Health and the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. And following the implementation of the MOU, the trained ATSDR personnel will be available to assist FSIS in the interpretation of epidemiological data to identify the possible causes of contamination.

Food Safety News

USDA, CDC Expand Collaboration on Assessment of Foodborne Hazards

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed an agreement to define expectations related to interagency assessment of foodborne health hazards potentially associated with meat, poultry and eggs.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) expands collaboration between the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The MOU is part of the One Health initiative, a concept that embraces the idea that a disease impacting the health of humans, animals and the environment can be best solved through improved communication, cooperation and collaboration across disciplines and institutions.

“The FSIS investigation process identifies health hazards in meat and poultry products, and this agreement leverages the expertise of personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to complement that process,” said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza.

The MOU outlines mutual roles and responsibilities for training personnel and planning interagency assessments of FSIS-regulated establishments as part of foodborne illness investigations and health hazard evaluations.

The agreement doesn’t modify any existing interagency collaborative work, which includes illness cluster and outbreak investigations.

“This agreement builds on the current working relationship between our agencies with respect to food safety and reaffirms our mutual commitment to a multidisciplinary approach to conducting foodborne disease investigations,” said Beth P. Bell, director of CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

FSIS personnel have completed training with epidemiologists, environmental health scientists and other subject matter experts within ATSDR, the National Center for Environmental Health and the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. And following the implementation of the MOU, the trained ATSDR personnel will be available to assist FSIS in the interpretation of epidemiological data to identify the possible causes of contamination.

Food Safety News

Walmart to expand U.S.-made assortment

Walmart is seeking out more suppliers of American-made products. Products made, sourced or grown in the United States currently account for about two-thirds of what Walmart U.S. spends to buy products. But Walmart wants that figure to rise. Local sourcing helps Americans get jobs, supports the local community and creates a more efficient supply chain, Andy Murray, Walmart’s SVP of Creative, said in a keynote presentation at the Path to Purchase Institute’s Shopper Marketing …

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