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AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

Australia, with its huge variety of climates, has the capacity to grow avocados all year-round in different production sites in Queensland and down the east coast.

John Tyas, CEO of the Avocados Australia Board, explains that, “most of this fruit is currently intended for the domestic market, which absorbs about 95% of the production. Exports go mostly to Singapore, Malaysia and a little to the Middle East.”

At the moment, the Board is in the middle of re-negotiations with Thailand because of a new protocol, but it is also looking to enter China, “where there are huge opportunities. We are really interested in gaining access, because a third of Australia’s plantations have yet to come into full production.”

As far as acreage goes, Australia currently has 8,000 hectares, from which 65,000 tonnes are produced per year. “With the new plantings, the production is expected to increase by 50% in the next 5 or 6 years. It won’t be long before we reach 100,000 tonnes per year,” affirms John.

“We still think there’s room for growth domestically, but exports are a very important part of the mix, particularly to the Asian market, which accepts small calibres that Australia doesn’t value. Mexico is already exporting and Chile has also just gained access to China, and these two will hopefully help turn avocados into a less exclusive product in the Chinese market.”

Publication date: 12/3/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

Australia, with its huge variety of climates, has the capacity to grow avocados all year-round in different production sites in Queensland and down the east coast.

John Tyas, CEO of the Avocados Australia Board, explains that, “most of this fruit is currently intended for the domestic market, which absorbs about 95% of the production. Exports go mostly to Singapore, Malaysia and a little to the Middle East.”

At the moment, the Board is in the middle of re-negotiations with Thailand because of a new protocol, but it is also looking to enter China, “where there are huge opportunities. We are really interested in gaining access, because a third of Australia’s plantations have yet to come into full production.”

As far as acreage goes, Australia currently has 8,000 hectares, from which 65,000 tonnes are produced per year. “With the new plantings, the production is expected to increase by 50% in the next 5 or 6 years. It won’t be long before we reach 100,000 tonnes per year,” affirms John.

“We still think there’s room for growth domestically, but exports are a very important part of the mix, particularly to the Asian market, which accepts small calibres that Australia doesn’t value. Mexico is already exporting and Chile has also just gained access to China, and these two will hopefully help turn avocados into a less exclusive product in the Chinese market.”

Publication date: 12/3/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

Australia, with its huge variety of climates, has the capacity to grow avocados all year-round in different production sites in Queensland and down the east coast.

John Tyas, CEO of the Avocados Australia Board, explains that, “most of this fruit is currently intended for the domestic market, which absorbs about 95% of the production. Exports go mostly to Singapore, Malaysia and a little to the Middle East.”

At the moment, the Board is in the middle of re-negotiations with Thailand because of a new protocol, but it is also looking to enter China, “where there are huge opportunities. We are really interested in gaining access, because a third of Australia’s plantations have yet to come into full production.”

As far as acreage goes, Australia currently has 8,000 hectares, from which 65,000 tonnes are produced per year. “With the new plantings, the production is expected to increase by 50% in the next 5 or 6 years. It won’t be long before we reach 100,000 tonnes per year,” affirms John.

“We still think there’s room for growth domestically, but exports are a very important part of the mix, particularly to the Asian market, which accepts small calibres that Australia doesn’t value. Mexico is already exporting and Chile has also just gained access to China, and these two will hopefully help turn avocados into a less exclusive product in the Chinese market.”

Publication date: 12/3/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

Australia, with its huge variety of climates, has the capacity to grow avocados all year-round in different production sites in Queensland and down the east coast.

John Tyas, CEO of the Avocados Australia Board, explains that, “most of this fruit is currently intended for the domestic market, which absorbs about 95% of the production. Exports go mostly to Singapore, Malaysia and a little to the Middle East.”

At the moment, the Board is in the middle of re-negotiations with Thailand because of a new protocol, but it is also looking to enter China, “where there are huge opportunities. We are really interested in gaining access, because a third of Australia’s plantations have yet to come into full production.”

As far as acreage goes, Australia currently has 8,000 hectares, from which 65,000 tonnes are produced per year. “With the new plantings, the production is expected to increase by 50% in the next 5 or 6 years. It won’t be long before we reach 100,000 tonnes per year,” affirms John.

“We still think there’s room for growth domestically, but exports are a very important part of the mix, particularly to the Asian market, which accepts small calibres that Australia doesn’t value. Mexico is already exporting and Chile has also just gained access to China, and these two will hopefully help turn avocados into a less exclusive product in the Chinese market.”

Publication date: 12/3/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

Australia, with its huge variety of climates, has the capacity to grow avocados all year-round in different production sites in Queensland and down the east coast.

John Tyas, CEO of the Avocados Australia Board, explains that, “most of this fruit is currently intended for the domestic market, which absorbs about 95% of the production. Exports go mostly to Singapore, Malaysia and a little to the Middle East.”

At the moment, the Board is in the middle of re-negotiations with Thailand because of a new protocol, but it is also looking to enter China, “where there are huge opportunities. We are really interested in gaining access, because a third of Australia’s plantations have yet to come into full production.”

As far as acreage goes, Australia currently has 8,000 hectares, from which 65,000 tonnes are produced per year. “With the new plantings, the production is expected to increase by 50% in the next 5 or 6 years. It won’t be long before we reach 100,000 tonnes per year,” affirms John.

“We still think there’s room for growth domestically, but exports are a very important part of the mix, particularly to the Asian market, which accepts small calibres that Australia doesn’t value. Mexico is already exporting and Chile has also just gained access to China, and these two will hopefully help turn avocados into a less exclusive product in the Chinese market.”

Publication date: 12/3/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

Australia, with its huge variety of climates, has the capacity to grow avocados all year-round in different production sites in Queensland and down the east coast.

John Tyas, CEO of the Avocados Australia Board, explains that, “most of this fruit is currently intended for the domestic market, which absorbs about 95% of the production. Exports go mostly to Singapore, Malaysia and a little to the Middle East.”

At the moment, the Board is in the middle of re-negotiations with Thailand because of a new protocol, but it is also looking to enter China, “where there are huge opportunities. We are really interested in gaining access, because a third of Australia’s plantations have yet to come into full production.”

As far as acreage goes, Australia currently has 8,000 hectares, from which 65,000 tonnes are produced per year. “With the new plantings, the production is expected to increase by 50% in the next 5 or 6 years. It won’t be long before we reach 100,000 tonnes per year,” affirms John.

“We still think there’s room for growth domestically, but exports are a very important part of the mix, particularly to the Asian market, which accepts small calibres that Australia doesn’t value. Mexico is already exporting and Chile has also just gained access to China, and these two will hopefully help turn avocados into a less exclusive product in the Chinese market.”

Publication date: 12/3/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

Australia, with its huge variety of climates, has the capacity to grow avocados all year-round in different production sites in Queensland and down the east coast.

John Tyas, CEO of the Avocados Australia Board, explains that, “most of this fruit is currently intended for the domestic market, which absorbs about 95% of the production. Exports go mostly to Singapore, Malaysia and a little to the Middle East.”

At the moment, the Board is in the middle of re-negotiations with Thailand because of a new protocol, but it is also looking to enter China, “where there are huge opportunities. We are really interested in gaining access, because a third of Australia’s plantations have yet to come into full production.”

As far as acreage goes, Australia currently has 8,000 hectares, from which 65,000 tonnes are produced per year. “With the new plantings, the production is expected to increase by 50% in the next 5 or 6 years. It won’t be long before we reach 100,000 tonnes per year,” affirms John.

“We still think there’s room for growth domestically, but exports are a very important part of the mix, particularly to the Asian market, which accepts small calibres that Australia doesn’t value. Mexico is already exporting and Chile has also just gained access to China, and these two will hopefully help turn avocados into a less exclusive product in the Chinese market.”

Publication date: 12/3/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia

Australia, with its huge variety of climates, has the capacity to grow avocados all year-round in different production sites in Queensland and down the east coast. John Tyas, CEO of the Avocados Australia Board, explains that “most of this fruit is currently intended for the domestic market, which absorbs about 95% of the production. Exports go mostly to Singapore, Malaysia and a little to the Middle East.”

At the moment, the Board is in the middle of re-negotiations with Thailand because of a new protocol, but it is also looking to enter China, “where there are huge opportunities. We are really interested in gaining access, because a third of Australia’s plantations have yet to come into full production.”

As far as acreage goes, Australia currently has 8,000 hectares, from which 65,000 tonnes are produced per year. “With the new plantings, the production is expected to increase by 50% in the next 5 or 6 years. It won’t be long before we reach 100,000 tonnes per year,” affirms John.

“We still think there’s room for growth domestically, but exports are a very important part of the mix, particularly to the Asian market, which accepts small calibres that Australia doesn’t value. Mexico is already exporting and Chile has also just gained access to China, and these two will hopefully help turn avocados into a less exclusive product in the Chinese market.”

Publication date: 11/28/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Fresh Market expanding direct-mail effort

The Fresh Market is expanding its use of targeted direct-mail offers — to encourage greater frequency of store visits — following positive consumer responses from its initial tests, Craig Carlock, president and CEO of the Greensboro, N.C.-based chain, told analysts Thursday.

Carlock also said the company expects to add more than 70 new stores over the next three years, half of which will be in the Southeast; and it is evaluating its supply arrangements in advance of its contract with a third-party distributor expiring early in 2016.

Talking about the direct mail campaign, Carlock said the chain has been pleased with the response rate and the positive return-on-investment following tests during the first three quarters of the year.

“Given these positive results, we are expanding our efforts. We have refined our offering and are extending the mailings to more homes — targeting customers and potential customers whose demographics and proximity to The Fresh Market stores scored the highest in our tests.”

The primary goal of the direct-mail effort is to drive increased frequency, with a secondary objective of attracting new customers, he explained.


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“Our greatest opportunity lies more in increasing the frequency with which [existing] customers shop our stores than in acquiring new customers. Research shows less than 2% of our customers shop at The Fresh Market on a weekly basis, so only a few more trips per year across our active customers would result in a significant increase in comp transaction growth over time.

“And as consumers move up in frequency, we observe a positive correlation in their spending per trip.”

With regard to new-store growth, Carlock said The Fresh Market expects to achieve annual unit growth of 12% to 15% per year, although 2015 will be a transitional year “to redeploy resources from the Western U.S,” he pointed out. Approximately half of all new locations will be in the Southeast, where the chain hopes to double its store base, he said.

The Fresh Market operates 164 stores in 27 states, including approximately 75 in the Southeast.

Carlock also said The Fresh Market is exploring its supplier and logistics options prior to the expiration of its distribution contract with Burris Logistics, Milford, Del., in February 2016.

“Over the long haul we’re going to add stores, grow comps and negotiate good supply arrangements, not just with our primary supplier but also with produce suppliers and specialty grocery suppliers,” he said. “We’re going to be able to fill up trucks better, and we’re going to have more leverage with those who sell us the food. And I firmly believe all of these things will help us sustain and build our margin over time.”

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Supermarket News

Fresh Market expanding direct-mail effort

The Fresh Market is expanding its use of targeted direct-mail offers — to encourage greater frequency of store visits — following positive consumer responses from its initial tests, Craig Carlock, president and CEO of the Greensboro, N.C.-based chain, told analysts Thursday.

Carlock also said the company expects to add more than 70 new stores over the next three years, half of which will be in the Southeast; and it is evaluating its supply arrangements in advance of its contract with a third-party distributor expiring early in 2016.

Talking about the direct mail campaign, Carlock said the chain has been pleased with the response rate and the positive return-on-investment following tests during the first three quarters of the year.

“Given these positive results, we are expanding our efforts. We have refined our offering and are extending the mailings to more homes — targeting customers and potential customers whose demographics and proximity to The Fresh Market stores scored the highest in our tests.”

The primary goal of the direct-mail effort is to drive increased frequency, with a secondary objective of attracting new customers, he explained.


CONNECT WITH SN ON FACEBOOK

Like the Supermarket News page for updates throughout the day.


“Our greatest opportunity lies more in increasing the frequency with which [existing] customers shop our stores than in acquiring new customers. Research shows less than 2% of our customers shop at The Fresh Market on a weekly basis, so only a few more trips per year across our active customers would result in a significant increase in comp transaction growth over time.

“And as consumers move up in frequency, we observe a positive correlation in their spending per trip.”

With regard to new-store growth, Carlock said The Fresh Market expects to achieve annual unit growth of 12% to 15% per year, although 2015 will be a transitional year “to redeploy resources from the Western U.S,” he pointed out. Approximately half of all new locations will be in the Southeast, where the chain hopes to double its store base, he said.

The Fresh Market operates 164 stores in 27 states, including approximately 75 in the Southeast.

Carlock also said The Fresh Market is exploring its supplier and logistics options prior to the expiration of its distribution contract with Burris Logistics, Milford, Del., in February 2016.

“Over the long haul we’re going to add stores, grow comps and negotiate good supply arrangements, not just with our primary supplier but also with produce suppliers and specialty grocery suppliers,” he said. “We’re going to be able to fill up trucks better, and we’re going to have more leverage with those who sell us the food. And I firmly believe all of these things will help us sustain and build our margin over time.”

Suggested Categories More from Supermarket News

Supermarket News

Brazilian apples expanding to India, Russia and Middle East

Grupo Fischer
Brazilian apples expanding to India, Russia and Middle East


The Brazilian Grupo Fischer was created in 1932 by the German Carl Fischer, but only started expanding exponentially from the 1960’s with the construction of Citrosuco’s juice processing plant.
                    
The Citrosuco division, devoted to the production of orange juice, introduced the means for offshore transportation, and in 1985 it started working also with apples in Fraiburgo, Santa Catarina. Today the group is formed by both the orange juice and apple production segments.

The Apple Businesses currently owns around 2,500 hectares of apple plantations, almost 3,000 hectares of pines (for wood extraction); it produces about 1,200 tonnes of kiwis per year and another part is devoted to seeds, soya beans, corn, etc., although apples are the core of the business.

Fischer’s apple production reaches 150,000 tonnes per year; 60% Gala and 40% Fuji. “We believe that the Royal Gala in our country is the best in the world, not only in terms of colour, but also flavour. When it comes to Fuji, it has a good colour and flavour as well, although the shape is flat.  explains Wilson Passos, commercial manager of Fischer.

80% of the fruit (both Gala and Fuji) is distributed in the domestic market and 20% is exported, mostly to Europe (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany) and the Middle East. Wilson affirms that “we are also trying to expand to India and Russia for next year.”

Winnie Hsia , export analist, adds that “we already had some business with Russia six years ago, and it is not an easy market, as they demand cheaper fruit and big sizes. We also ask for advanced payment of 90% of the costs.” Rafael Negrini says that we are working with a government agency  APEX to find potential importers. We are also going to Moscow’s next fair in September.”

One of Fischer’s most noteworthy aspects in terms of marketing is its brand “Turma da Monica” (Monica’s gang), based on a famous character in Brazil. “We have had this brand for 20 years, and its main principle is to promote fruit consumption amongst children. All the small-sized Cat-1 fruit ranging between 150 and 216 goes directly to this brand,” affirms Wilson.


Las Manzanas “Turma da Monica”

Despite being targeted at children, the brand has however become famous amongst other segments, mainly because “the fruit is smaller and suitable for a snack and it has a great sweet taste; it can also be easily stored in the refrigerator,” explains Rafael.

Wilson assures that Fischer is also constantly in touch with consumers by means of a phone number, which they can use to report problems or give suggestions. “We also frequently conduct market researches in collaboration with supermarkets when we introduce new varieties, and this is another way to be in contact with the market.”

“We are always working in the development of new varieties to improve aspects such as colour, reducing the application of agricultural pesticides, improving their resistance to pests and increasing their shelf life,” affirms Wilson.

Fischer also makes great efforts in terms of traceability, which is enforced for the entire production. Wilson assures that “we also strive to meet the requirements for every certification that our clients demand, including Global G.A.P., BRC or HACCP and the enforcement of good practices in both packing houses and plantations.” Rafael adds that “Fischer is really oriented towards sustainability and reducing waste, inspecting all processes from harvest to final sale, including sorting and transport.”
In terms of future plans, Fischer is currently researching new clones in an effort to expand its range of varieties, focusing on Royal Gala apples, aiming to increase its market share by 20-30%, both domestically and internationally and to cover the growing demand from its clients.

“Russia and India are promising markets for us in this direction. We already have a good relationship with a company in India, but the problem in that market is that there is a need of more clarity about what to include in the phytosanitary certification, as there are numerous rules in place to protect the domestic production, ” explains Wilson.

Rafael adds that “we have asked the Brazilian authorities to negotiate to make the process easier. Last season we were not able to get the necessary certifications, but next year we expect to be able to enter the Indian market.”

 “Fischer’s main philosophy is to always deliver what was committed with our customers,” concludes the commercial manager.
 

Publication date: 9/12/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Brazilian apples expanding to India, Russia and Middle East

Grupo Fischer
Brazilian apples expanding to India, Russia and Middle East


The Brazilian Grupo Fischer was created in 1932 by the German Carl Fischer, but only started expanding exponentially from the 1960’s with the construction of Citrosuco’s juice processing plant.
                    
The Citrosuco division, devoted to the production of orange juice, introduced the means for offshore transportation, and in 1985 it started working also with apples in Fraiburgo, Santa Catarina. Today the group is formed by both the orange juice and apple production segments.

The Apple Businesses currently owns around 2,500 hectares of apple plantations, almost 3,000 hectares of pines (for wood extraction); it produces about 1,200 tonnes of kiwis per year and another part is devoted to seeds, soya beans, corn, etc., although apples are the core of the business.

Fischer’s apple production reaches 150,000 tonnes per year; 60% Gala and 40% Fuji. “We believe that the Royal Gala in our country is the best in the world, not only in terms of colour, but also flavour. When it comes to Fuji, it has a good colour and flavour as well, although the shape is flat.  explains Wilson Passos, commercial manager of Fischer.

80% of the fruit (both Gala and Fuji) is distributed in the domestic market and 20% is exported, mostly to Europe (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, the Netherlands and Germany) and the Middle East. Wilson affirms that “we are also trying to expand to India and Russia for next year.”

Winnie Hsia , export analist, adds that “we already had some business with Russia six years ago, and it is not an easy market, as they demand cheaper fruit and big sizes. We also ask for advanced payment of 90% of the costs.” Rafael Negrini says that we are working with a government agency  APEX to find potential importers. We are also going to Moscow’s next fair in September.”

One of Fischer’s most noteworthy aspects in terms of marketing is its brand “Turma da Monica” (Monica’s gang), based on a famous character in Brazil. “We have had this brand for 20 years, and its main principle is to promote fruit consumption amongst children. All the small-sized Cat-1 fruit ranging between 150 and 216 goes directly to this brand,” affirms Wilson.


Las Manzanas “Turma da Monica”

Despite being targeted at children, the brand has however become famous amongst other segments, mainly because “the fruit is smaller and suitable for a snack and it has a great sweet taste; it can also be easily stored in the refrigerator,” explains Rafael.

Wilson assures that Fischer is also constantly in touch with consumers by means of a phone number, which they can use to report problems or give suggestions. “We also frequently conduct market researches in collaboration with supermarkets when we introduce new varieties, and this is another way to be in contact with the market.”

“We are always working in the development of new varieties to improve aspects such as colour, reducing the application of agricultural pesticides, improving their resistance to pests and increasing their shelf life,” affirms Wilson.

Fischer also makes great efforts in terms of traceability, which is enforced for the entire production. Wilson assures that “we also strive to meet the requirements for every certification that our clients demand, including Global G.A.P., BRC or HACCP and the enforcement of good practices in both packing houses and plantations.” Rafael adds that “Fischer is really oriented towards sustainability and reducing waste, inspecting all processes from harvest to final sale, including sorting and transport.”
In terms of future plans, Fischer is currently researching new clones in an effort to expand its range of varieties, focusing on Royal Gala apples, aiming to increase its market share by 20-30%, both domestically and internationally and to cover the growing demand from its clients.

“Russia and India are promising markets for us in this direction. We already have a good relationship with a company in India, but the problem in that market is that there is a need of more clarity about what to include in the phytosanitary certification, as there are numerous rules in place to protect the domestic production, ” explains Wilson.

Rafael adds that “we have asked the Brazilian authorities to negotiate to make the process easier. Last season we were not able to get the necessary certifications, but next year we expect to be able to enter the Indian market.”

 “Fischer’s main philosophy is to always deliver what was committed with our customers,” concludes the commercial manager.
 

Publication date: 9/12/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Expanding export markets important to moving increased Washington apple volume

The Washington Apple Commission continues with due diligence to promote exports of the state’s ever-increasing apple volume. “With the larger anticipated Washington apple crop, we are putting heavy emphasis on export opportunity,” President Todd Fryhover told The Produce News. “I can say all programs are fully funded and we’re hopeful to see a 20-percent increase or more for 2014-15.”

Buzz in the orchard is translating to excitement for a successful season. “With 140 million [boxes] on the trees, the first exports will begin right away,” Fryhover commented.ExportOverview1Last season, the Washington Apple Commission launched a new regional marketing campaign, Mother’s Love, in Southeast Asia. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission) Movement to Mexico, Canada and Taiwan continues to be robust, and important markets are developing in Southeast Asia and Central America.

Fryhover provided some numbers that illustrate the importance of export markets. “The 2013-14 WA apple crop is approximately 115 [million boxes]. For [2014-15], the August estimate indicates 140.19 [million boxes], our largest crop, above the 2012-13 volume of 128.25 [million boxes],” he stated. “Thirty-four percent is our goal and has been the percentage in past seasons. We are enthusiastically working towards reaching this goal this season.”

Levels of increased production in Washington’s apple industry have been carefully planned. “Some of the numbers above might seem daunting,” Fryhover continued. “However, I would like to point out that we have been investing in more productive orchards, new varieties with a taste and texture for everyone, technology at the warehousing level and generally getting better and better at growing, packing and delivering high quality apples worldwide.”

Prospects are good as the harvest approaches. “I’ve been around a long time, and this is one of the most ‘even’ crop loads I’ve seen,” he stated. “Providing Mother Nature doesn’t create issues or labor is short, this should be a good season.”

Last season, WAC initiated a new regional marketing campaign, Mother’s Love, in Southeast Asia. Export Marketing Director Rebecca Lyons said the program was highly successful. Lyons spoke with The Produce News to explain the concept of the campaign and the successes achieved.

“We wanted to create a region-wide campaign to engage our target consumers, women between the ages of 25 to 45, and appeal to their desire to feed their families delicious, wholesome food,” Lyons commented. “Using the reputation of Washington apples coming from a safe, clean and healthy environment, the campaign focused on mothers providing only the best for their families.”

Most of the promotional events associated with the campaign were held between November 2013 and March 2014. “Activities included specially designed point-of-sale material, display contests, consumer games and activities, in-store demonstrations and sampling, roadshows and other market-specific activities,” Lyons went on to say.

The countries targeted by the Mother’s Love campaign were Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. “Together, these countries account for over 4.5 million 40-lb cartons of Washington apples, worth approximately $ 93 million in f.o.b. sales,” she stated. “Although due to the smaller crop versus 2012-13, our overall exports have decreased by over 7 percent, these countries — with the exception of Thailand, which decreased 5 percent — have all shown strong increases this season. During the campaign, we saw overall shipments to the markets increase an average of 50 percent compared to the same time frame last year.”

WAC plans to expand the program within current Southeast Asian markets. “We are increasing the program reach beyond the major metro regions to appeal to consumers in outlying regions, which are experiencing strong growth in retail penetration and offer additional opportunities for Washington apples, particularly Red Delicious,” Lyons said.

Although Red Delicious accounts for approximately 50 percent of Washington apple exports, Lyons said Mother’s Love was not a variety-specific promotion. “We did encourage retailers to feature multi-varietal displays to heighten the visual appeal to consumers. We are seeing more and more displays of three or more varieties in the organized retail sector,” she said. “They want to provide their customers with choices, and Washington certainly offers a lot of them.”

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

Expanding export markets important to moving increased Washington apple volume

The Washington Apple Commission continues with due diligence to promote exports of the state’s ever-increasing apple volume. “With the larger anticipated Washington apple crop, we are putting heavy emphasis on export opportunity,” President Todd Fryhover told The Produce News. “I can say all programs are fully funded and we’re hopeful to see a 20-percent increase or more for 2014-15.”

Buzz in the orchard is translating to excitement for a successful season. “With 140 million [boxes] on the trees, the first exports will begin right away,” Fryhover commented.ExportOverview1Last season, the Washington Apple Commission launched a new regional marketing campaign, Mother’s Love, in Southeast Asia. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission) Movement to Mexico, Canada and Taiwan continues to be robust, and important markets are developing in Southeast Asia and Central America.

Fryhover provided some numbers that illustrate the importance of export markets. “The 2013-14 WA apple crop is approximately 115 [million boxes]. For [2014-15], the August estimate indicates 140.19 [million boxes], our largest crop, above the 2012-13 volume of 128.25 [million boxes],” he stated. “Thirty-four percent is our goal and has been the percentage in past seasons. We are enthusiastically working towards reaching this goal this season.”

Levels of increased production in Washington’s apple industry have been carefully planned. “Some of the numbers above might seem daunting,” Fryhover continued. “However, I would like to point out that we have been investing in more productive orchards, new varieties with a taste and texture for everyone, technology at the warehousing level and generally getting better and better at growing, packing and delivering high quality apples worldwide.”

Prospects are good as the harvest approaches. “I’ve been around a long time, and this is one of the most ‘even’ crop loads I’ve seen,” he stated. “Providing Mother Nature doesn’t create issues or labor is short, this should be a good season.”

Last season, WAC initiated a new regional marketing campaign, Mother’s Love, in Southeast Asia. Export Marketing Director Rebecca Lyons said the program was highly successful. Lyons spoke with The Produce News to explain the concept of the campaign and the successes achieved.

“We wanted to create a region-wide campaign to engage our target consumers, women between the ages of 25 to 45, and appeal to their desire to feed their families delicious, wholesome food,” Lyons commented. “Using the reputation of Washington apples coming from a safe, clean and healthy environment, the campaign focused on mothers providing only the best for their families.”

Most of the promotional events associated with the campaign were held between November 2013 and March 2014. “Activities included specially designed point-of-sale material, display contests, consumer games and activities, in-store demonstrations and sampling, roadshows and other market-specific activities,” Lyons went on to say.

The countries targeted by the Mother’s Love campaign were Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. “Together, these countries account for over 4.5 million 40-lb cartons of Washington apples, worth approximately $ 93 million in f.o.b. sales,” she stated. “Although due to the smaller crop versus 2012-13, our overall exports have decreased by over 7 percent, these countries — with the exception of Thailand, which decreased 5 percent — have all shown strong increases this season. During the campaign, we saw overall shipments to the markets increase an average of 50 percent compared to the same time frame last year.”

WAC plans to expand the program within current Southeast Asian markets. “We are increasing the program reach beyond the major metro regions to appeal to consumers in outlying regions, which are experiencing strong growth in retail penetration and offer additional opportunities for Washington apples, particularly Red Delicious,” Lyons said.

Although Red Delicious accounts for approximately 50 percent of Washington apple exports, Lyons said Mother’s Love was not a variety-specific promotion. “We did encourage retailers to feature multi-varietal displays to heighten the visual appeal to consumers. We are seeing more and more displays of three or more varieties in the organized retail sector,” she said. “They want to provide their customers with choices, and Washington certainly offers a lot of them.”

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

California fruit recall keeps expanding

California fruit recall keeps expanding

As food recalls go, the recent stonefruit recall from California-based Wawona Packing Company is arguably both better and worse than most: better in that there have been no confirmed reports of people getting sick from contaminated food, worse in that the scope of the recall keeps growing.

On July 19, the FDA first announced that Wawona was voluntarily recalling plums, pluots, white or yellow peaches, and white or yellow nectarines, due to fears of possible contamination by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria; Wawona released a 30-page list (in .pdf form here) of the block ID numbers of all potentially affected batches of fruit. Affected brand names include Wawona, Sweet2Eat and Harvest Sweet.

In Canada, the Food Inspection Agency posted a recall notice for that country on July 21.

Initial reports suggested Wegmans stores might have received contaminated stock, but since then the list has steadily grown to include Ralph’s and Food4Less stores, ShopRite, Stop and Shop, Trader Joes’, Walmart and Sams’ Club, Costco, Krogers and more. (An all-inclusive list of stores is not available at this time; that list may yet grow longer.) Also, recalled products include not merely the fruits themselves, but any baked or processed goods made from it.

Anyone with fruit or food from the suspect batches should either return it for a refund, or throw it away.

Remember also that not all stonefruits, nor even all stonefruits packaged by Wawona, are at risk; only those from the batch numbers on this .pdf list.

Source: consumeraffairs.com

Publication date: 7/24/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Chia Seeds: 65 Salmonella Infections, Expanding Recall

Chia seeds are an increasingly popular ingredient in the health food world. The Dr. Oz Show and various health magazines have been highlighting them, and recipes with this “superfood” have been popping up all over Pinterest and BuzzFeed.

But before you go adding chia powder to your morning smoothie, check to be sure it isn’t on the list of recalled products that might be contaminated with Salmonella.

At least 65 Salmonella infections in the U.S. and Canada have been linked to such products since May.

The 21 cases in the U.S. are in people aged 1 to 81 across 12 states. Among 15 ill persons with available information, two report being hospitalized — not an unusual rate for standard infections. No deaths have been reported to date.

The outbreak strains include Newport, Hartford and Oranienburg. The 44 cases reported across four Canadian provinces include these, as well as the Saintpaul strain. Six of the Canadian victims have been hospitalized.

Antimicrobial resistance levels are unclear as test results are still pending.

“This is the first time that chia seeds have been identified as a food that transmits Salmonella,” said Dr. Laura Gieraltowski, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and one of the lead investigators on the outbreak.

The list of recalled products has been expanding since the first one issued by Navitas Naturals on May 28. Two other U.S. companies have since recalled their chia powder products, and Navitas has expanded its recall to include a broader date range.

“The traceback investigation is still ongoing, but [the U.S. Food and Drug Administration] did trace back chia products reported by the ill people that did show that it came from a particular farm,” Gieraltowski said.

Eight brands in Canada have announced their own recalls of seeds, powders, trail mix, and fruit and nut bars.

“I don’t think it was surprising that it’s in a lot of other products, but it’s definitely worrisome,” Gieraltowski said. Most of the people CDC officials talked to have reported putting chia powder in their smoothies, but it can be a bit of a “stealthy” ingredient if people don’t realize it was an ingredient in their smoothie mix or other food.

So folks at CDC are concerned that information about the recall isn’t getting out. Because chia seeds have a long shelf-life, it’s possible that people are still eating potentially contaminated product.

“My own family members — two of which use chia seeds — had no idea about the recall,” Gieraltowski noted.

Chia products are usually eaten raw, so there’s not much consumers can do to minimize their risk. CDC, FDA, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are telling consumers not to eat the recalled foods. Instead, they’re advised to throw them out or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.

While first investigating the cluster of Salmonella Newport illnesses identified in PulseNet, Gieraltowsk said the initial signals pointed to “health food.” Vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free diets were being reported by victims.

Investigators decided to do open-ended interviews rather than a longer standardized questionnaire in which a health food product or supplement was unlikely to be covered.

When the same brand of chia powder came up in the first three interviews, “We knew that we had it from there,” Gieraltowski said.

After starting their investigation, CDC noticed similar cases in Canada via PulseNet and reached out to their counterparts up north. When the Canadians looked into their cases, they also found the chia product commonality.

“It was a really great joint investigation with our international partners as well,” Gieraltowsk said.

The agencies are still trying to determine the relationship between the actual chia seeds and the powder.

Chia powder is made by sprouting the seeds and then grinding up the sprouts. Since sprouts are a common vehicle for pathogens, Gieraltowski said this process may be amplifying the contamination of the seeds.

Food Safety News

Chia Seeds: 65 Salmonella Infections, Expanding Recall

Chia seeds are an increasingly popular ingredient in the health food world. The Dr. Oz Show and various health magazines have been highlighting them, and recipes with this “superfood” have been popping up all over Pinterest and BuzzFeed.

But before you go adding chia powder to your morning smoothie, check to be sure it isn’t on the list of recalled products that might be contaminated with Salmonella.

At least 65 Salmonella infections in the U.S. and Canada have been linked to such products since May.

The 21 cases in the U.S. are in people aged 1 to 81 across 12 states. Among 15 ill persons with available information, two report being hospitalized — not an unusual rate for standard infections. No deaths have been reported to date.

The outbreak strains include Newport, Hartford and Oranienburg. The 44 cases reported across four Canadian provinces include these, as well as the Saintpaul strain. Six of the Canadian victims have been hospitalized.

Antimicrobial resistance levels are unclear as test results are still pending.

“This is the first time that chia seeds have been identified as a food that transmits Salmonella,” said Dr. Laura Gieraltowski, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and one of the lead investigators on the outbreak.

The list of recalled products has been expanding since the first one issued by Navitas Naturals on May 28. Two other U.S. companies have since recalled their chia powder products, and Navitas has expanded its recall to include a broader date range.

“The traceback investigation is still ongoing, but [the U.S. Food and Drug Administration] did trace back chia products reported by the ill people that did show that it came from a particular farm,” Gieraltowski said.

Eight brands in Canada have announced their own recalls of seeds, powders, trail mix, and fruit and nut bars.

“I don’t think it was surprising that it’s in a lot of other products, but it’s definitely worrisome,” Gieraltowski said. Most of the people CDC officials talked to have reported putting chia powder in their smoothies, but it can be a bit of a “stealthy” ingredient if people don’t realize it was an ingredient in their smoothie mix or other food.

So folks at CDC are concerned that information about the recall isn’t getting out. Because chia seeds have a long shelf-life, it’s possible that people are still eating potentially contaminated product.

“My own family members — two of which use chia seeds — had no idea about the recall,” Gieraltowski noted.

Chia products are usually eaten raw, so there’s not much consumers can do to minimize their risk. CDC, FDA, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are telling consumers not to eat the recalled foods. Instead, they’re advised to throw them out or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.

While first investigating the cluster of Salmonella Newport illnesses identified in PulseNet, Gieraltowsk said the initial signals pointed to “health food.” Vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free diets were being reported by victims.

Investigators decided to do open-ended interviews rather than a longer standardized questionnaire in which a health food product or supplement was unlikely to be covered.

When the same brand of chia powder came up in the first three interviews, “We knew that we had it from there,” Gieraltowski said.

After starting their investigation, CDC noticed similar cases in Canada via PulseNet and reached out to their counterparts up north. When the Canadians looked into their cases, they also found the chia product commonality.

“It was a really great joint investigation with our international partners as well,” Gieraltowsk said.

The agencies are still trying to determine the relationship between the actual chia seeds and the powder.

Chia powder is made by sprouting the seeds and then grinding up the sprouts. Since sprouts are a common vehicle for pathogens, Gieraltowski said this process may be amplifying the contamination of the seeds.

Food Safety News

Paramount Citrus expanding processing capacity for Halos

Paramount Citrus will increase the capacity at its Wonderful Halos plant in Delano, CA, by 75 percent to meet increasing demand for the fruit, according to a company press release.

The expansion at the plant, which is already among the largest and most advanced citrus packinghouse in the world, will enable Paramount to process more than 52 million Mandarins a day.

As part of the expansion, Compac Sorting Equipment is designing an additional 30 lanes to be integrated into the pregrader, taking its total width to 70 lanes. The system will also add a fourth autonomous bin stacking robot and six additional bin filling lines, taking the total fillers to 52.

Compac solutions are considered the industry standard for machine vision technology and performance. This is achieved via Compac’s advanced suite of software known as the InVision system. Using high definition digital cameras, mandarins are scanned as they pass under the sorter’s inspection cabinet. Taking up to 30 images of each individual mandarin as it is rotated allows the software to build a complete 3D model of each mandarin instantly. The software is then able to assign each individual mandarin to its correct packing destination.

After the presizing process, fruit is stored until orders are received and then sent to a high-speed packing cell, which processes one type of product at a time. Each packing cell features a 10-lane Compac sizer for the confirmation of quality, and automatic demand-based distribution of the fruit to various net-bagging devices.

The number of packing cells will be expanded from five to eight cells in 2014 to cater to the increased production and demand for Halos. When completed in September 2014, this packing plant will be home to 150 lanes (15×10 lane) of Compac sorting units.

“Compac systems provide us with superior and proven technology,” Jason Blake, vice president of operations in California for Paramount Citrus, said in a press release. “Computational methods are much more accurate than other vendors’ systems. They provide a higher quantity of available data and product information, as well as more options for grading and sorting of various fruit characteristics.”

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

Foxy and Mother Nature’s Farm expanding quinoa sales

One can’t pick up a food magazine or watch a cable food show without seeing the wonders of quinoa explored. Often it is paired with vegetables and now a clamshell pack of quinoa is available in some retail produce departments.

IMG 0359The Nunes Co. has licensed the “Foxy” brand to Mother Nature’s Farm, a Little Falls, NJ-based company that markets grains to the supermarket industry. Under its sister company – Nature’s Earthly Choice – the principals in the firm have been riding the quinoa sales boom for the past few years in center store.

“For the last several years, we have been marketing ancient grains under the Nature’s Earthly Choice label in the specialty rice and grains department of center store,” said Chuck Watson, president of both operations. “Now we are taking these grains to the produce department in a variety of options.”

The company licensed the “Foxy” brand because it is a well-known brand in the produce department and has helped give the product instant credibility in supermarket produce divisions.

“It’s a great brand with a terrific reputation,” he said.

The original offering has four grains and three quinoa snack packs. The four grains – quinoa, flax seed, chia and wild rice — are sold in 12-14 ounce clamshell containers. The snack packs are nine-ounce gusseted pouches in three flavors: original, honey almonds and blueberry. In addition, two of the grains – the quinoa and flax seed – are offered as organic versions as well.

Each of the packs feature a number of healthy items from the following list: quinoa, flax seed, chia, wild rice, hemp and oats. And of course, the two flavored snack include almonds and blueberries, respectively.

“These grains are often paired with fresh vegetables, so it seems natural to sell them in the produce department,” said Watson. “It’s a very complementary item. I think most consumers are eating vegetables with the quinoa and grains when they prepare them.”

He rattled off a handful of stores in several regions of the country from California to New England that are currently marketing the quinoa lineup in their produce departments.

“I’d say it’s about 50-50 right now,” said Watson. “When I try to sell these packs into produce departments, I am getting about a 50 percent success rate. Most understand the connection but some don’t quite see it. What we need to do is publicize some of our success stories. We have a number of retailers where they are doing quite well. In California, Lucky Stores and Save Mart are handling it in produce and here in the Northeast we have Price Chopper, A&P and Roche Bros. And we have also got them into at least one Albertson’s division.”

Watson said the line is moving through the approval process in several other chains with some first orders on the near horizon.

Matt Seeley, vice president of marketing for The Nunes Co., said that grower-shipper is very enthusiastic about this partnership.

“We are always looking at new opportunities to expand the ‘Foxy’ offerings for consumers,” said Seeley. “The more we looked at and learned about the ancient grains category, the more we thought it was a very good fit with our other healthy products.”

Additionally, Seeley said the opportunity to work with Watson was compelling.

“I’ve known Chuck Watson for 20 years and he has done a masterful job bringing new products to market,” he said.

In 2014, Seeley said The Nunes Co. is anticipating doing some cross-promotions with Mother Nature’s Farm tying in some fresh commodities with the ancient grain line.

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

Foxy and Mother Nature’s Farm expanding quinoa sales

One can’t pick up a food magazine or watch a cable food show without seeing the wonders of quinoa explored. Often it is paired with vegetables and now a clamshell pack of quinoa is available in some retail produce departments.

IMG 0359The Nunes Co. has licensed the “Foxy” brand to Mother Nature’s Farm, a Little Falls, NJ-based company that markets grains to the supermarket industry. Under its sister company – Nature’s Earthly Choice – the principals in the firm have been riding the quinoa sales boom for the past few years in center store.

“For the last several years, we have been marketing ancient grains under the Nature’s Earthly Choice label in the specialty rice and grains department of center store,” said Chuck Watson, president of both operations. “Now we are taking these grains to the produce department in a variety of options.”

The company licensed the “Foxy” brand because it is a well-known brand in the produce department and has helped give the product instant credibility in supermarket produce divisions.

“It’s a great brand with a terrific reputation,” he said.

The original offering has four grains and three quinoa snack packs. The four grains – quinoa, flax seed, chia and wild rice — are sold in 12-14 ounce clamshell containers. The snack packs are nine-ounce gusseted pouches in three flavors: original, honey almonds and blueberry. In addition, two of the grains – the quinoa and flax seed – are offered as organic versions as well.

Each of the packs feature a number of healthy items from the following list: quinoa, flax seed, chia, wild rice, hemp and oats. And of course, the two flavored snack include almonds and blueberries, respectively.

“These grains are often paired with fresh vegetables, so it seems natural to sell them in the produce department,” said Watson. “It’s a very complementary item. I think most consumers are eating vegetables with the quinoa and grains when they prepare them.”

He rattled off a handful of stores in several regions of the country from California to New England that are currently marketing the quinoa lineup in their produce departments.

“I’d say it’s about 50-50 right now,” said Watson. “When I try to sell these packs into produce departments, I am getting about a 50 percent success rate. Most understand the connection but some don’t quite see it. What we need to do is publicize some of our success stories. We have a number of retailers where they are doing quite well. In California, Lucky Stores and Save Mart are handling it in produce and here in the Northeast we have Price Chopper, A&P and Roche Bros. And we have also got them into at least one Albertson’s division.”

Watson said the line is moving through the approval process in several other chains with some first orders on the near horizon.

Matt Seeley, vice president of marketing for The Nunes Co., said that grower-shipper is very enthusiastic about this partnership.

“We are always looking at new opportunities to expand the ‘Foxy’ offerings for consumers,” said Seeley. “The more we looked at and learned about the ancient grains category, the more we thought it was a very good fit with our other healthy products.”

Additionally, Seeley said the opportunity to work with Watson was compelling.

“I’ve known Chuck Watson for 20 years and he has done a masterful job bringing new products to market,” he said.

In 2014, Seeley said The Nunes Co. is anticipating doing some cross-promotions with Mother Nature’s Farm tying in some fresh commodities with the ancient grain line.

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