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Italy: CSO releases 2016-17 pear forecast

O.I. Pera president Gianni Amidei says the lower volumes should be easily absorbed by the market. 

Provisional estimates from Italy’s predominant pear-growing region show production is likely to be down this year, but growers are choosing to focus on the positives of taking less weight off a European market still struggling with the impacts of the Russian ban. peras_88084450 npanorama

In a release, the country’s Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli (CSO) highlighted the estimates stemming from an O.I. Pera Coordination Committee meeting in Ferrara on July 14.

In Emilia-Romagna, which accounts for 70% of Italian pear cultivation, provisional estimates stand at 448,000 metric tons (MT), representing a 13% fall year-on-year.

From a production standpoint, the leading variety Abate Fetel is in for a 14% reduction at 220,000MT, while other key varieties are set for less fruit including Williams (-11%) and Conference (-13%).

The expected drops are greater still for Santa Maria (-25%), Kaiser (-19%) and Decana (-17%).

“The new business year, given the estimates, is definitely positive,” said O.I. Pera president Gianni Amidei.

“It is believed this production can be easily absorbed by the market, given the extent of product demand in recent years.

During the meeting, the majority of participants also highlighted a need to set strict sizing standards for Conference pears in order to safeguard quality.

Photo: www.shutterstock.com

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Food-Safety Regulatory Forecast for 2015

In late November, the White House released its “Current Regulatory Plan and the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions” for fall 2014, and it provides a helpful roadmap to 2015 food-safety regulatory actions.

The first actions on Food Safety News’ radar are the five of the seven major Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules to be finalized by the end of 2015.

The rules regarding preventive controls for human food and preventive controls for animal food will be finalized by Aug. 30, and the rules for produce safety, the foreign supplier verification program, and third-party accreditation will be finalized by Oct. 31. (The other two rules regarding sanitary transportation and intentional adulteration will be finalized by March 31, 2106, and May 31, 2016, respectively.)

Another one we’re keeping an eye on is the Veterinary Feed Directive, which will require that the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in animal feed and water be under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. The rule, proposed in December 2013, is slated to be finalized in April of next year.

In March, FDA is also planning to make permanent interim measures to minimize human exposure to materials that scientific studies have demonstrated are highly likely to contain the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) agent in cattle infected with the disease.

Additional FDA regulation:

Stage of Rulemaking Title RIN Date of Action
Proposed Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Fermented,
Hydrolyzed, or Distilled Foods
0910-AH00 Jan. 2015
Proposed Registration of Food Facilities: Amendments to Food
Facility Registration Requirements
0910-AG69 March 2015
Proposed Updated Standards for Labeling of Pet Food 0910-AG09 April 2015

 

In July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is planning a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for new requirements for contamination control in cattle slaughter operations. The agency is proposing to amend its regulations to require that all establishments that slaughter cattle (including calves) develop, implement and maintain written procedures to prevent contamination of carcasses and parts by enteric pathogens (e.g., Salmonella and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli) and fecal material throughout the entire slaughter and dressing operation.

FSIS is also proposing to remove from the regulations the current regulatory Salmonella performance standards for beef carcasses and ground beef and the generic E. coli testing requirements for cattle.

Also in July, FSIS is expected to finalize amendments to recordkeeping regulations to specify that all establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef products for sale in commerce must keep records of the supplier of all source materials used and identify the names of those source materials.

Additional FSIS regulation:

Stage of Rulemaking Title RIN Date of Action
Proposed Affirmation of Interim Final Rule With Amendments: Control
of Listeria Monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Meat and Poultry
Products
0583-AD53   Feb. 2015
Final Electronic Export Application and Certification as
a Reimbursable Service and Flexibility in the Requirements for
Official Export Inspection Marks, Devices, and Certificates
0583-AD41   Feb. 2015
Proposed Requirements for the Disposition of Non-Ambulatory
Disabled Veal Calves
0583-AD54   April 2015
Proposed Addition of Namibia to the List of Countries Eligible to Export
Meat Products to the United States
0583-AD51   June 2015
Proposed Product Labeling: Use of the Voluntary Claim “Natural” on
the Labeling of Meat and Poultry Products
0583-AD30   Sept. 2015

 

Beyond the Unified Agenda, it’s difficult to predict what 2015 holds for food-safety regulation.

Perhaps FDA will move forward on finalizing its rule for the process of determining food substances as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) or will announce plans to address caffeine powder, but the agency definitely has its hands full finishing regulations related to FSMA.

The U.S. has filed an appeal of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) recent decision regarding country-of-origin labeling, but Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has said that there is no regulatory fix for COOL. The new Congress may ultimately decide to remove relevant elements of the COOL laws.

And, speaking of the 114th Congress, we wouldn’t be surprised to see new versions of bills such as the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act, the Pathogen Reduction and Testing Reform Act, and the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act introduced next year.

Food Safety News

Forecast shows unexpected growth in Florida orange crops

Forecast shows unexpected growth in Florida orange crops

Experts predict a spike in the price of Florida’s citrus this upcoming harvest season, meaning slightly more revenue for the state’s farmers. But an unexpected increase in orange production could keep retail prices low.

Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that’s cut Florida’s citrus crops in half since it first struck the state’s trees in 2005. The lower supply has helped farmers fetch higher prices per orange. But, former University of Florida professor of agricultural economics Tom Spreen says farmers are still having a hard time breaking even.

But a bit of relief could come in this upcoming harvest, with the most recent projection showing a slightly higher orange output. That means retail prices on orange products could stabilize, even though wholesale prices might be higher. Florida Department of Citrus economist Marisa Zansler says the increased production is unexpected after several seasons of decline. She adds scientific advances in the fight against citrus greening disease, and a government replanting program, give hope for a revitalization of the industry.

Some remain more cautiously optimistic. Retired UF professor Spreen says the citrus industry is in need of help sooner, rather than later.

“My guess is that a solution will be found, or it may even be solutions,” Spreen says. “There may in fact be a number of tactics that are developed. It’s just the question right now is how soon is it going to come?”

Spreen says some orange juice producers have begun offering subsidies to encourage wary farmers to plant more trees.

Please visit www.wfsu.org for more information.

Publication date: 10/30/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Forecast shows unexpected growth in Florida orange crops

Forecast shows unexpected growth in Florida orange crops

Experts predict a spike in the price of Florida’s citrus this upcoming harvest season, meaning slightly more revenue for the state’s farmers. But an unexpected increase in orange production could keep retail prices low.

Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that’s cut Florida’s citrus crops in half since it first struck the state’s trees in 2005. The lower supply has helped farmers fetch higher prices per orange. But, former University of Florida professor of agricultural economics Tom Spreen says farmers are still having a hard time breaking even.

But a bit of relief could come in this upcoming harvest, with the most recent projection showing a slightly higher orange output. That means retail prices on orange products could stabilize, even though wholesale prices might be higher. Florida Department of Citrus economist Marisa Zansler says the increased production is unexpected after several seasons of decline. She adds scientific advances in the fight against citrus greening disease, and a government replanting program, give hope for a revitalization of the industry.

Some remain more cautiously optimistic. Retired UF professor Spreen says the citrus industry is in need of help sooner, rather than later.

“My guess is that a solution will be found, or it may even be solutions,” Spreen says. “There may in fact be a number of tactics that are developed. It’s just the question right now is how soon is it going to come?”

Spreen says some orange juice producers have begun offering subsidies to encourage wary farmers to plant more trees.

Please visit www.wfsu.org for more information.

Publication date: 10/30/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Forecast shows unexpected growth in Florida orange crops

Forecast shows unexpected growth in Florida orange crops

Experts predict a spike in the price of Florida’s citrus this upcoming harvest season, meaning slightly more revenue for the state’s farmers. But an unexpected increase in orange production could keep retail prices low.

Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that’s cut Florida’s citrus crops in half since it first struck the state’s trees in 2005. The lower supply has helped farmers fetch higher prices per orange. But, former University of Florida professor of agricultural economics Tom Spreen says farmers are still having a hard time breaking even.

But a bit of relief could come in this upcoming harvest, with the most recent projection showing a slightly higher orange output. That means retail prices on orange products could stabilize, even though wholesale prices might be higher. Florida Department of Citrus economist Marisa Zansler says the increased production is unexpected after several seasons of decline. She adds scientific advances in the fight against citrus greening disease, and a government replanting program, give hope for a revitalization of the industry.

Some remain more cautiously optimistic. Retired UF professor Spreen says the citrus industry is in need of help sooner, rather than later.

“My guess is that a solution will be found, or it may even be solutions,” Spreen says. “There may in fact be a number of tactics that are developed. It’s just the question right now is how soon is it going to come?”

Spreen says some orange juice producers have begun offering subsidies to encourage wary farmers to plant more trees.

Please visit www.wfsu.org for more information.

Publication date: 10/30/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Australia forecast to produce eight million trays of mangoes

Australia forecast to produce eight million trays of mangoes

The Australian mango industry is on track for one of its best seasons ever.

The national forecast is for a bumper harvest of about eight million trays, which is well up on last year’s crop of seven million trays.

Boyd Arthur, from the Australian Mango Industry Association, has been visiting mango growing regions across the north and says the flowering and fruit set in all areas has been impressive.

The Northern Territory is expected to produce half of the Australian crop during the 2014/15 season (four million trays), which will be a welcome relief for growers there, who last year suffered one of their worst season’s on record.

Mangoes from the Territory have been trickling into the market since June, but the harvest will ramp up in mid to late October.

Source: abc.net.au

Publication date: 9/5/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Northwest pear growers forecast larger crop than originally expected

With harvest currently underway, representatives of the Northwest pear industry have officially updated their initial projections for the 2014 fresh pear crop yield.

Reports of a crop of excellent quality have been confirmed from all corners of the pear-growing regions in Washington and Oregon, and the updated projection is showing a crop larger than previously forecast in the spring.

The revised estimate points to more than 20.2 million standard 44-pound box equivalents (or 445,144 tons) of pears for the fresh market. This estimate is 2 percent larger than the five-year average, and 6 percent smaller than last year’s record crop. The Northwest pear industry’s initial spring projection showed a crop of 18.7 million boxes.

Harvest began in late July with the Starkrimson and Bartlett pear varieties. Anjou, Red Anjou, Bosc, Comice, Concorde, Forelle and Seckel will be picked from late August through mid-October. No significant weather issues have affected the crop to date.

The top three varieties in terms of production remain the same as in previous years: Green Anjou pears are anticipated to make up 53 percent of the total 2014 crop, while Bartlett and Bosc pears are expected to yield 22 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

The updated estimates for the organic portion of the Northwest pear crop have increased proportionally, showing a total of 976,780 standard 44-pound box equivalents (21,489 tons) of organic pears in the 2014 harvest. This is an increase of about 3 percent when compared to the 2013 record organic crop, and a 16.6 percent increase over the five-year average.

“Compared to last year’s record crop, this crop is more consistent with the five-year average,” Kevin Moffitt, president and chief executive officer of the Pear Bureau Northwest, said in a press release. “We’re looking forward to another crop of excellent quality and fruit size to meet the demands of the domestic and export markets. Our representatives across North America and around the world have a full season of promotions in place to help boost sales, and we’re looking forward to working with our retail partners in another successful pear season.”

 

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

Charentais melon forecast : Morocco – Spain – France

Charentais melon forecast : Morocco – Spain – France
Yellow Charentais area increases in Spain


Production Morocco

The melon forecasts for Charentais from Morocco, Spain and France were presented at last week’s Medfel, Perpignan (France). Production of Charentais melons in Morocco covers 1560-1800 ha, of which 950-1,050 ha is in the Marrakech area.  The melon season begins at the end of February and lasts until April in Dakhla (260-300ha), followed by the start of greenhouse production in Agadir (350-450ha) and Marrakech at the end of March. Greenhouse harvest in Marrakech is slightly delayed this year.  Field crops are harvested from the 20th April for the yellow Charentais and the 25th April for the green, reaching it’s peak between the 5-15th May. There has been a slight drop in acreage in Dakhla this year and a continual decrease in Agadir.  Acreage remains stable in Marrakech and Kenitra despite a decrease in small producers.  The season is good this year with no weather problems.


Production Spain

Harvest in Spain begins between April-May in Almeria, in ‘competition’ with the Moroccan green Charentais, followed by May-July in Murcia-Malaga.  Yellow Charentais surface has increased in the Murcia-Malaga area and acreage reaches 2,500-2,600 ha (of which 500-600 ha are used for green Charentais).  Weather has been favourable and overall, crops are healthy.  Acreage remains stable in Almeria (especially that of greenhouse green Charentais) totalling 300-350 ha.  Volume increases between the 15-20th May through until the end of June with some continuing into July.  Crops are healthy with calibre varying depending on the plot.  


Production France

French melons are slightly early this year.  Melons from heated greenhouses were on the market at the start of May, followed by tunnels at the end of the month.  Charentais melon acreage in France totals 14,060 ha, of which 5,400 ha is in the South-East where the main production is under covers and tunnels (3,400 ha), followed by 1,350 ha in outdoor crops and 650 ha sheltered.   Favourable weather conditions mean that crops are healthy, about a week early at the moment, but to be confirmed depending on the weather over the second half of May.  Acreage has dropped slightly in the South-West to 3,500 ha (100 ha in large shelters, 1,500 ha under covers and tunnels, 1,900 ha outdoors) and to 4,900 ha in the Centre-West (30 ha in large shelters, 2,100 ha under covers and tunnels, 2,770 ha outdoors) but crops are healthy and volume could make up for the surface decrease.   The South-West and Centre-West have experienced good conditions, are slightly early but this could change depending on the weather over May and June.

Source: Medfel

Publication date: 5/20/2014


FreshPlaza.com

UK: Bumper crop of sweeter, juicier strawberries forecast

UK: Bumper crop of sweeter, juicier strawberries forecast

British strawberry growers are predicting a highly successful crop this year thanks to the wet and warm winter.

More than 51,000 tonnes of the fruit are expected to be picked at British farms and sent to supermarkets this summer. This is 5,000 more than last year with the 10 percent increase attributed to the wettest winter in 250 years.

The warmer temperatures this spring have also meant home grown strawberries are on shop shelves three weeks earlier this year.

According to British Summer Fruits, the industry body, this year’s crop will be sweeter and juicier than normal. Chairman Laurence Olins said: “Strawberries are a British staple of the early summer season. It may have been a later start to the British strawberry season, but there will be a good supply of British strawberries for everyone to enjoy.”

Twenty five years ago, the British strawberry season lasted just six weeks. However, investment in new varieties and protective covers, means they can now be grown in the UK for more than half the year.

Anthony Snell, who runs AJ & CI Snell in Herefordshire with his wife Christine, said: “We picked out first strawberries on the last day of April and we’ve been going for a couple of weeks now and the volume is picking up. It’s been great weather for bumblebees to do their work so we’re optimistic this year. The season is really good. We will produce around 1,000 tonnes and employ 300 seasonal workers.”

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Publication date: 5/13/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Florida Citrus forecast adjusted; oranges up 300,000 boxes

Florida Citrus forecast adjusted; oranges up 300,000 boxes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) monthly forecast of the 2013-2014 Florida orange crop released Friday inched up 300,000 boxes to 110.3 million boxes.

Early-mid varieties accounted for the full increase, coming in at 53.3 million boxes. Valencias remained at 57 million boxes.

“This is good news and we are hopeful there will not be any more decreases throughout the last two months of season,” said Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “It has been a challenging season to say the least but growers continue to produce quality fruit which is a testament to their resiliency.”

The USDA makes its initial estimate in October of each year and revises it monthly as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July. However, the federal government shutdown delayed the initial estimate until Friday Nov. 8.

During the 2012-2013 season, Florida produced 133.6 million boxes of oranges.

The USDA’s estimate of the 2013-2014 Florida grapefruit crop decreased 400,000 boxes from 16 million boxes to 15.6 million boxes. White grapefruit increased by 100,000 boxes while colored grapefruit were reduced by 500,000 boxes. Specialty fruit held steady at 3.83 million boxes. The yield for frozen concentrate orange juice (FCOJ) decreased from 1.60 to 1.58 gallons per 90-pound box.

For more information:
Andrew Meadows
Citrus Mutual
Tel: +1 (863) 682-1111
Email: [email protected]
www.flcitrusmutual.com

Publication date: 5/12/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Florida orange crop forecast sees slight increase

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly forecast of the 2013-14 Florida orange crop inched up 300,000 boxes to 110.3 million boxes.

Early-mid varieties accounted for the full increase, coming in at 53.3 million boxes. Valencias remained at 57 million boxes.

“This is good news and we are hopeful there will not be any more decreases throughout the last two months of season,” Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Florida Citrus Mutual, said in a press release. “It has been a challenging season to say the least, but growers continue to produce quality fruit, which is a testament to their resiliency.”

During the 2012-13 season, Florida produced 133.6 million boxes of oranges. 

The USDA’s estimate of the 2013-14 Florida grapefruit crop decreased 400,000 boxes from 16 million boxes to 15.6 million boxes. White grapefruit increased by 100,000 boxes while colored grapefruit were reduced by 500,000 boxes. Specialty fruit held steady at 3.83 million boxes.

For the complete USDA estimate, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm.

The Florida citrus industry creates a $ 9 billion annual economic impact, employing nearly 76,000 people, and covering about 525,000 acres.

Founded in 1948, Florida Citrus Mutual is one of the state’s larger citrus grower organizations. For more information, visit www.flcitrusmutual.com.

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

Safmarine meets reefer volume forecast in 2013, anticipates growth in 2014

Safmarine meets reefer volume forecast in 2013, anticipates growth in 2014

The perishable seaborne transport market grew less than anticipated in 2013 and Safmarine’s volumes for 2013 reflected this market reality according to Marc Rooms, Safmarine’s Global Head of Reefers.

With Safmarine’s reefer volumes as forecast for 2013, the carrier is now looking to take on new business in 2014, especially if doing so represents an opportunity to grow its business in tandem with that of its customers.

According to Rooms, “Our focus is on growing volumes to and from the African continent – Safmarine’s traditional and core reefer market – while identifying opportunities for mutual growth in markets such as Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.”
Rooms says that while Safmarine, as the carrier, is responsible for maintaining the temperature of a reefer container at a defined level between point of acceptance and point of delivery, its responsibility to the cargo goes beyond that of merely transporting the cargo from A to B.

“Transporting highly perishable cargo is also an opportunity to offer our customers the benefits of  our many years of experience in the reefer trade, as well as the expertise of our people – our ‘reefer specialists’ located in countries around the world  – who are there to guide reefer shippers on matters such as sanitisation, pre-cooling and packaging.  

He says by being more than a carrier, Safmarine is able to help to ensure that the cargo – which has benefited from high levels of care during the production process – is packed and transported in the best possible manner to ensure it reaches the market in optimum condition.

“As Global Reefer Manager for Safmarine, I conduct regular information sessions in key countries to ensure that all those Safmarine employees who deal with perishable cargo, have the knowledge and the expertise they need to take best care of the cargo.

“During these educational workshops, I always emphasise that a refrigerated container cannot be expected to enhance the condition of cargo during the voyage.  

The condition in which the cargo arrives at destination is determined by its condition before shipment and the manner in which is it handled prior to seaborne transportation.”

Safmarine has for many years been known as the carrier where people make the difference and sharing its reefer expertise is but one of many ways in which the carrier makes that difference for its customers. 

But, says Rooms, “We’re also a company committed to providing more value for our customers by offering the levels of support and solutions that genuinely respond to the needs of our customers and their business and by being flexible, partnership-minded, accessible, caring and always willing to go the extra mile – factors which are essential in reefer shipping. 

“In short, we are driven by our customers’ priorities and their business – “Together we can go places”.

Publication date: 12/23/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Florida citrus forecast put on hold indefinitely

Florida citrus forecast put on hold indefinitely

The USDA’s widely anticipated initial citrus forecast, originally scheduled for release Friday, has been delayed until President Barack Obama and congressional leaders resolve their federal budget impasse, which has shut down dozens of government agencies since Oct. 1.

The USDA usually releases its first citrus forecast in the middle of October, and it influences the negotiations between Florida growers and juice processors on farm prices for their fruit. Processors buy 95 percent of Florida’s orange crop and more than 60 percent of the state’s grapefruit harvest each season.

Growers are already seeing high drop on their greening-infected trees, said McKenna and Jay Clark, a Wauchula-based grower and Citrus Commission member, but it remains unclear whether drop levels will repeat the 2012-13 rates. “The big thing is the drop and how much of it is built in” to the USDA estimate, Clark said.

USDA officials in September said their forecast model is based on drop rates over the past five to 10 seasons, not including 2004-04 and 2005-06 impacted by hurricane-related drop. Changing the model’s drop rates based on a single season’s experience would be statistically unsound, they added.

Not all the information needed for the forecast was entered into USDA computers before Oct. 1, said Candi Erick, state administrator at the USDA’s Florida Field Office in Maitland, which also shut down. Staff would need “about a week” after the federal government re-opens to finish that job and issue the first forecast, she said.

Source: theledger.com

Publication date: 10/8/2013


FreshPlaza.com

US (CA): Navel orange forecast slightly down

The latest Navel orange forecast for California’s 2013-2014 season has production down slightly from last year’s output.

According to the objective measurement report from the California Agricultural Statistics Service, the 2013-2014 Navel orange forecast for the State is two percent lower than last year’s production. At an estimated 88 million cartons, it predicts this season’s output will be slightly lower than last year’s production.

For the Central Valley, where the majority of the state’s Navel orange production is located, fruit set per tree is estimated at 265, which is below the five-year average of 315. Average diameter of fruit measurements point to fruit sizes that are the largest the State’s growers have had since the 2004-2005 season.

FreshPlaza.com

US (CA): Navel orange forecast slightly down

The latest Navel orange forecast for California’s 2013-2014 season has production down slightly from last year’s output.

According to the objective measurement report from the California Agricultural Statistics Service, the 2013-2014 Navel orange forecast for the State is two percent lower than last year’s production. At an estimated 88 million cartons, it predicts this season’s output will be slightly lower than last year’s production.

For the Central Valley, where the majority of the state’s Navel orange production is located, fruit set per tree is estimated at 265, which is below the five-year average of 315. Average diameter of fruit measurements point to fruit sizes that are the largest the State’s growers have had since the 2004-2005 season.

FreshPlaza.com