Blog Archives

Hot lettuce market levels offs at high rate

With good demand and decreasing supplies, the rising lettuce market appears to have found its place above $ 30.

“We’ve had very good prices for the last 10 days to two weeks,” said Denny Donovan, sales manager at Fresh Kist Produce LLC in Salinas, CA. “Salinas, Huron and Santa Maria are all winding down, so it looks like this will hold until volume picks up in the desert.”

Donovan said Fresh Kist, which pulls most of its winter vegetables from the Imperial Valley in California, won’t see an increase in supplies until after Dec. 1. He said it is very difficult to predict how long the market will stay hot when a shift to a new district is taking place. Before that district starts producing, it is difficult to get a read on yields.

For the Fresh Kist acreage in the Imperial Valley, he said the fields look normal with possibly above-normal yields. If that holds true as the crews get into the field, a more in balanced supply-and-demand curve should result once December rolls around.

But Donovan said the good market has extended to most of the vegetables that are popular for Thanksgiving, including Romaine and the other lettuces as well as celery, broccoli and cauliflower.

On Nov. 11, Iceberg lettuce was above $ 30 f.o.b. and Romaine was headed to a similar lofty level. Broccoli and cauliflower were in the mid-teens, and celery, which was in single digits a week ago, was also trading in the $ 15 per-carton range.

Steve Church, president and chief executive officer of Church Bros., which is also headquartered in Salinas, said this red-hot November is capping a good run for Western vegetable shippers.

“We’ve had very good markets since May on our core crops of lettuce, Romaine, cauliflower and broccoli,” said Church. “We’ve had a higher-than-normal market throughout the summer and fall.”

He said warm nights and warm days have had the Salinas fields producing ahead of schedule all season, causing grower-shippers to constantly be harvesting new fields a bit early. As the coastal California seasons for the various crops wind down, this cutting of fields ahead of schedule has caught up with the industry, as there are few fields left to cut for this time period.

Church said this has caused some shippers to go into the desert acreage a bit early and start raiding from future fields, which could mean that this hot market lasts until Christmas.

“I am predicting that the market, especially on Romaine and broccoli, lasts at least through the week of Dec. 15,” he said.

The longtime industry veteran said for most of the Western vegetable industry, Christmas week and the following week are the two lightest-demand weeks of the year. Church indicated that the low-demand period might finally give the fields a chance to catch up and the market could return to a more normal level.

Brian Cook, sales manager for San Miguel Produce Inc. in Oxnard, CA, which specializes in greens, told The Produce News Nov. 11 that Thanksgiving demand is always good and this year is no exception. He said there might be a bit extra demand because of the hot market for other vegetables, but that had yet to manifest itself in a rising market price for greens.

“This time of year — from Thanksgiving through Christmas — we sell three times more greens than at other times of the year, but we are ready for that,” said Cook. “We plant every week and right now we have a very steady market.”

He said the greens industry, however, may get a good boost over the next month as high prices in the other commodities convince home cooks to serve the more-affordable greens for their holiday meals.

Kale, chard, collard greens are all in the midst of a renaissance, and those items just may find some new devotees this holiday season.

“That would be a great thing for us,” Cook said.

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

US (CA): Lettuce prices remain high

With tight supplies out of California’s Central Coast, prices for lettuce from California have remained high. A combination of factors will likely mean light supplies into December, meaning the market will remain strong until at least then.

“We have a demand exceeds supply situation,” noted Mark McBride of Coastline Produce. “Highly unusual weather resulted in supplies out of Salinas being ahead of schedule, and they’re much lighter for this time of year.” Production out of Huron has been limited by a lack of water this year, and unfavourable weather in the desert-growing regions has thrown off production and quality. That has all contributed to higher prices.

As of November 7, a carton of Boston 24s out of the Salinas-Wattsonville area ranged in price between $ 11.65 and $ 16.50. For a carton of Romaine 24s, prices were between $ 24.75 and $ 28.55. Stiff prices will likely stick around for at least a few more weeks, noted McBride.

“We’re still going to see the effects of the heat into the coming weeks,” he explained. “We’re hoping the situation improves gradually, and mid-December is the earliest chance we have to returning to something close to normal.”

For more information:

Mark McBride

Coastline Produce

+1 831 755 1430

FreshPlaza.com

US (CA): Lettuce prices remain high

With tight supplies out of California’s Central Coast, prices for lettuce from California have remained high. A combination of factors will likely mean light supplies into December, meaning the market will remain strong until at least then.

“We have a demand exceeds supply situation,” noted Mark McBride of Coastline Produce. “Highly unusual weather resulted in supplies out of Salinas being ahead of schedule, and they’re much lighter for this time of year.” Production out of Huron has been limited by a lack of water this year, and unfavourable weather in the desert-growing regions has thrown off production and quality. That has all contributed to higher prices.

As of November 7, a carton of Boston 24s out of the Salinas-Wattsonville area ranged in price between $ 11.65 and $ 16.50. For a carton of Romaine 24s, prices were between $ 24.75 and $ 28.55. Stiff prices will likely stick around for at least a few more weeks, noted McBride.

“We’re still going to see the effects of the heat into the coming weeks,” he explained. “We’re hoping the situation improves gradually, and mid-December is the earliest chance we have to returning to something close to normal.”

For more information:

Mark McBride

Coastline Produce

+1 831 755 1430

FreshPlaza.com

Whole Foods Raw Almonds Recalled for High Levels of Natural Chemical

Marin Food Specialties, Inc. of Byron, CA, is voluntarily recalling Organic Raw Almonds (bitter almonds) sold at Whole Foods Markets due to potentially elevated levels of the natural chemical hydrogen cyanide, according to laboratory test results.

The almonds were labeled as “Whole Foods Market Organic Raw Almonds Imported from Italy” and “Whole Foods Organic raw Almonds Imported from Spain” and packaged in 13.5 oz. plastic tubes.

Recalled almonds have sell-by dates from 4/8/15 to 6/7/15 with a UPC code of 9-99482-00071-7.

The recalled almonds were sold in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Reno, Nevada and Idaho. A complete list of Whole Foods stores where the product was sold can be found in the recall notification.

Eating foods that contain high amounts of hydrogen cyanide (also known as prussic acid) may result in some of the following symptoms within minutes: dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, restlessness and weakness.

Exposure to even higher quantities of hydrogen cyanide may cause even more serious health effects, including convulsions, loss of consciousness, low blood pressure, lung injury, slow heart rate, and respiratory failure leading to death.

No illnesses have been reported in association with this product. However, due to the time involved in tracing an illness back to a food source, it is impossible to say whether or not any illnesses have occurred.

All recalled almonds have reportedly been pulled from Whole Foods stores.

Food Safety News

UK: High prices for spring onions

First Egyptian supply at Masr Fruit
UK: High prices for spring onions

The UK market is short of spring onions, this is due to storms last week which effectively put an end to the Dutch and German supplies, the English season also ended early leaving the market pretty empty.

“This has put the focus on the Egyptian crop,” said Zine Zouggari from Masr Fruit’s UK office. “We will receive the first container of spring onions from Egypt today, coming in at Felixstowe, next week will see more containers arriving.”

Zouggari said that normally arrivals from Egypt would start mid November, but have been pushed forward due the the short supply from elsewhere. He said prices would be much higher than normal until the middle of next week when bigger volumes start to arrive in the UK.

Publication date: 10/31/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

UK: High prices for spring onions

First Egyptian supply at Masr Fruit
UK: High prices for spring onions

The UK market is short of spring onions, this is due to storms last week which effectively put an end to the Dutch and German supplies, the English season also ended early leaving the market pretty empty.

“This has put the focus on the Egyptian crop,” said Zine Zouggari from Masr Fruit’s UK office. “We will receive the first container of spring onions from Egypt today, coming in at Felixstowe, next week will see more containers arriving.”

Zouggari said that normally arrivals from Egypt would start mid November, but have been pushed forward due the the short supply from elsewhere. He said prices would be much higher than normal until the middle of next week when bigger volumes start to arrive in the UK.

Publication date: 10/31/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

UK: High prices for spring onions

First Egyptian supply at Masr Fruit
UK: High prices for spring onions

The UK market is short of spring onions, this is due to storms last week which effectively put an end to the Dutch and German supplies, the English season also ended early leaving the market pretty empty.

“This has put the focus on the Egyptian crop,” said Zine Zouggari from Masr Fruit’s UK office. “We will receive the first container of spring onions from Egypt today, coming in at Felixstowe, next week will see more containers arriving.”

Zouggari said that normally arrivals from Egypt would start mid November, but have been pushed forward due the the short supply from elsewhere. He said prices would be much higher than normal until the middle of next week when bigger volumes start to arrive in the UK.

Publication date: 10/31/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

UK: High prices for spring onions

First Egyptian supply at Masr Fruit
UK: High prices for spring onions

The UK market is short of spring onions, this is due to storms last week which effectively put an end to the Dutch and German supplies, the English season also ended early leaving the market pretty empty.

“This has put the focus on the Egyptian crop,” said Zine Zouggari from Masr Fruit’s UK office. “We will receive the first container of spring onions from Egypt today, coming in at Felixstowe, next week will see more containers arriving.”

Zouggari said that normally arrivals from Egypt would start mid November, but have been pushed forward due the the short supply from elsewhere. He said prices would be much higher than normal until the middle of next week when bigger volumes start to arrive in the UK.

Publication date: 10/31/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

UK: High prices for spring onions

First Egyptian supply at Masr Fruit
UK: High prices for spring onions

The UK market is short of spring onions, this is due to storms last week which effectively put an end to the Dutch and German supplies, the English season also ended early leaving the market pretty empty.

“This has put the focus on the Egyptian crop,” said Zine Zouggari from Masr Fruit’s UK office. “We will receive the first container of spring onions from Egypt today, coming in at Felixstowe, next week will see more containers arriving.”

Zouggari said that normally arrivals from Egypt would start mid November, but have been pushed forward due the the short supply from elsewhere. He said prices would be much higher than normal until the middle of next week when bigger volumes start to arrive in the UK.

Publication date: 10/31/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

UK: High prices for spring onions

First Egyptian supply at Masr Fruit
UK: High prices for spring onions

The UK market is short of spring onions, this is due to storms last week which effectively put an end to the Dutch and German supplies, the English season also ended early leaving the market pretty empty.

“This has put the focus on the Egyptian crop,” said Zine Zouggari from Masr Fruit’s UK office. “We will receive the first container of spring onions from Egypt today, coming in at Felixstowe, next week will see more containers arriving.”

Zouggari said that normally arrivals from Egypt would start mid November, but have been pushed forward due the the short supply from elsewhere. He said prices would be much higher than normal until the middle of next week when bigger volumes start to arrive in the UK.

Publication date: 10/31/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

UK: High prices for spring onions

First Egyptian supply at Masr Fruit
UK: High prices for spring onions

The UK market is short of spring onions, this is due to storms last week which effectively put an end to the Dutch and German supplies, the English season also ended early leaving the market pretty empty.

“This has put the focus on the Egyptian crop,” said Zine Zouggari from Masr Fruit’s UK office. “We will receive the first container of spring onions from Egypt today, coming in at Felixstowe, next week will see more containers arriving.”

Zouggari said that normally arrivals from Egypt would start mid November, but have been pushed forward due the the short supply from elsewhere. He said prices would be much higher than normal until the middle of next week when bigger volumes start to arrive in the UK.

Publication date: 10/31/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

High safety practices held with Québec cranberries

High safety practices held with Québec cranberries

The cranberry season in Québec is off to a great start. Bieler Cranberries, the biggest cranberry grower in the province are enthusiastic about an upcoming season. “It’s a bigger harvest than last year,” states Isabelle Parent of Atoka Cranberries, “It’s due to the weather in August and September  which was hot and moist.”
   
The cranberry market has decreased since last year resulting in a loss of twenty cents per pound on processed cranberries and thirty cents per pound on fresh. Atoka Cranberries focuses primarily on delivering processed cranberries with 95% of the crops being dried for bakery, cereal, and snacks. The sister company, Bierler Cranberries is the main supplier of the cranberries with an estimate of this season’s crop reaching  40 million pounds, while Atoka Cranberries saw a total volume  of 60 million pounds.
   
Whether the cranberries are processed or fresh, Atoka always prides itself on the flavour and quality of the fruit. “In our farm and our processing plant we have a very high food safety protocol to ensure our cranberries are not only of the highest standard, but that there is no risk. Our consumers are reassured that our cranberries are delicious and safe.”
    
For more information:
Isabelle Parent
Atoka Cranberries Inc.
Tel: +1 819-356-2001
[email protected]

 

Publication date: 10/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

High safety practices held with Québec cranberries

High safety practices held with Québec cranberries

The cranberry season in Québec is off to a great start. Bieler Cranberries, the biggest cranberry grower in the province are enthusiastic about an upcoming season. “It’s a bigger harvest than last year,” states Isabelle Parent of Atoka Cranberries, “It’s due to the weather in August and September  which was hot and moist.”
   
The cranberry market has decreased since last year resulting in a loss of twenty cents per pound on processed cranberries and thirty cents per pound on fresh. Atoka Cranberries focuses primarily on delivering processed cranberries with 95% of the crops being dried for bakery, cereal, and snacks. The sister company, Bierler Cranberries is the main supplier of the cranberries with an estimate of this season’s crop reaching  40 million pounds, while Atoka Cranberries saw a total volume  of 60 million pounds.
   
Whether the cranberries are processed or fresh, Atoka always prides itself on the flavour and quality of the fruit. “In our farm and our processing plant we have a very high food safety protocol to ensure our cranberries are not only of the highest standard, but that there is no risk. Our consumers are reassured that our cranberries are delicious and safe.”
    
For more information:
Isabelle Parent
Atoka Cranberries Inc.
Tel: +1 819-356-2001
[email protected]

 

Publication date: 10/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Supermarkets urged to take high road on wellness

Supermarkets need to step up their games in the face of mixed consumer reactions to their health and wellness efforts.

That’s the opinion of Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru, who urged new approaches during a presentation at SN‘s educational event during Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore.

Phil Lempert tells an Expo East audience that supermarkets need to “take the lead” in health and wellness. (Photo by Kate Patterson)He outlined the mixed results of a recent consumer survey his organization conducted for SN Whole Health. In the survey, about half of respondents rated their supermarkets only fair in selection of natural, organic and better-for-you products and in servicing their desire to eat healthier.

“Where’s the disconnect, we’re only delivering fair,” he said.

Supermarkets need to act at a time when they are facing a range of challenges across their businesses, from shrinking store sizes to increased retail competition and the growth of online-only rivals.

“I’ve never seen in my career as many changes in the supermarket industry,” he said. “And it’s going to get worse in the next five years.”

Part of the solution on the wellness front is for supermarkets to embrace the role of being the trusted party because consumers are confused about the facts, on issues such as GMO labeling, he said.

“Supermarkets have the opportunity to offer unbiased, factual, traceable information, and very few are doing it,” he explained.

“Some huge chains with thousands of stores have only one or two registered dietitians for the entire chain. So the message isn’t getting out to consumers.”


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


Supermarkets also need to be honest and proactive in communicating their local products initiatives, he added.

“Consumers are confused about sustainability, local and fresh,” he said. “We need clearer definitions. Supermarkets need to be truthful.

“Let’s take the lead on health and nutrition traceability.”

Lempert said the industry can learn from Walmart’s tough approach in making sure it meets sustainability goals.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

“Banana shortage causes remarkably high prices in summer”

Marcel van der Lem:
“Banana shortage causes remarkably high prices in summer”

Although traditionally bananas are eaten a lot less during summer, the past weeks showed a remarkably high level. “Usually during summer production is larger and sales are less, but as a result of a storm in Colombia, during which a lot of damage was done to the plantations, a banana shortage arose”, says Marcel van der Lem of the wholesaler and ripening facility from Uitgeest that bears his name.


“Currently the market price is around 15% higher than average, but will probably still go up. Although cheaper ones can be found, you’ll get the best bananas in the Netherlands from us,” Marcel laughs. “A month ago, the market price was also higher than average. The price went up then, also because consumption is increasing now. I don’t expect the price to go down again any time soon. Demand is consistent, but that also depends on the weather. With warm weather, people consume more tropical fruit and fewer bananas. All in all, banana consumption is quite high in the Netherlands.”


Van der Lem has 28 ripening cells with a capacity of 33,000 boxes.

Its clients are Dutch retailers and exporters. The organic share of bananas in Van der Lem’s ripening facility in Uitgeest is 20%.

According to director Marcel van der Lem, this rather high share is caused by the fact that the ripening facility is well able to work with small loads. “For us, it’s no problem if we get one container each week with organic bananas, to deliver it over the next week at a pallet a day. We’re working with quite a few Fairtrade bananas, but it’s mostly smaller purchases. So I don’t see the volume increasing significantly.”


The well-known 99 cents Jumbo asks for its bananas, hasn’t been imitated much by other retailers, says Marcel. “Personally, I don’t think it’s wise for retail to structurally drop prices, but they have every right to do so. Although with the low prices for traditional bananas, it becomes ever harder for the organic bananas, because the price difference gets too big. The Dutch consumer is apparently susceptible to the low prices for traditional bananas.”

For more information:
Marcel van der Lem
Van der Lem B.V.
Molenwerf 26
1911 DB Uitgeest
Tel: +31(0)251 – 362 345
[email protected]
www.vdlem.nl

Publication date: 9/15/2014


FreshPlaza.com

CDC Report Finds High Sodium Consumption Among U.S. Kids

More than 90 percent of U.S. children aged 6-18 years eat more sodium than recommended, putting them at risk for developing high blood pressure and heart disease later in life, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report released on Tuesday.

This report provides the most recent data detailing how much sodium school-age children eat and where it comes from.

Using data from CDC’s 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, CDC researchers determined that about 43 percent of sodium eaten by children comes from the 10 foods they eat most often: pizza, bread and rolls, cold cuts/cured meats, savory snacks, sandwiches, cheese, chicken patties/nuggets/tenders, pasta mixed dishes, Mexican mixed dishes, and soups.

“Too many children are consuming way too much sodium, and the result will be risks of high blood pressure and heart disease in the future,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Most sodium is from processed and restaurant food, not the salt shaker. Reducing sodium intake will help our children avoid tragic and expensive health problems.”

Key findings in the Vital Signs report include:

  • U.S. children aged 6 to 18 years eat an average of about 3,300 mg of sodium a day before salt is added at the table. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children eat less than 2,300 mg per day total.
  • Most sodium is already in food before it is purchased or ordered. Approximately 65 percent comes from store foods, 13 percent from fast food and pizza restaurant foods, and 9 percent from school cafeteria foods.

To help reduce the amount of sodium children are consuming daily, parents and caregivers, as well as schools, communities, and places that sell, make or serve food, are all encouraged to take steps  to ensure more low-sodium options. For example, parents can establish healthy eating habits in their children by providing a diet high in fruits and vegetables without added sodium.

Schools and school districts can implement food purchasing policies and standards that reduce sodium in foods and put lower-sodium alternatives in vending machines, school stores and cafeterias. They can also strive to meet or exceed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Nutrition Standards for foods served during the school day.

“Thanks to the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act and the work of schools across the country, students are now receiving healthier meals and snacks featuring less sodium, sugar and fat and more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy,” said Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. “This report demonstrates the importance of continuing to move forward in our efforts to improve nutrition in schools, and to ensure that children and teens nationwide have access to safe, nutritious meals and snacks during the school day.”

The Center for Science in the Public Interest responded to the CDC report by stating these data should “ring alarm bells” and demanding action from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish limits for sodium in processed and restaurant food.

“The [Institute of Medicine's 2010] recommendation advised FDA to set mandatory sodium limits for processed and restaurant foods, gradually reducing those levels in a manner not to be disruptive to industry and to acclimate consumers to less-salty foods. The longer FDA stalls in its public health responsibility, the more our children will suffer the health consequences as they grow older,” said CSPI Health Promotion Policy Director Jim O’Hara.

Food Safety News

CDC Report Finds High Sodium Consumption Among U.S. Kids

More than 90 percent of U.S. children aged 6-18 years eat more sodium than recommended, putting them at risk for developing high blood pressure and heart disease later in life, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report released on Tuesday.

This report provides the most recent data detailing how much sodium school-age children eat and where it comes from.

Using data from CDC’s 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, CDC researchers determined that about 43 percent of sodium eaten by children comes from the 10 foods they eat most often: pizza, bread and rolls, cold cuts/cured meats, savory snacks, sandwiches, cheese, chicken patties/nuggets/tenders, pasta mixed dishes, Mexican mixed dishes, and soups.

“Too many children are consuming way too much sodium, and the result will be risks of high blood pressure and heart disease in the future,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Most sodium is from processed and restaurant food, not the salt shaker. Reducing sodium intake will help our children avoid tragic and expensive health problems.”

Key findings in the Vital Signs report include:

  • U.S. children aged 6 to 18 years eat an average of about 3,300 mg of sodium a day before salt is added at the table. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that children eat less than 2,300 mg per day total.
  • Most sodium is already in food before it is purchased or ordered. Approximately 65 percent comes from store foods, 13 percent from fast food and pizza restaurant foods, and 9 percent from school cafeteria foods.

To help reduce the amount of sodium children are consuming daily, parents and caregivers, as well as schools, communities, and places that sell, make or serve food, are all encouraged to take steps  to ensure more low-sodium options. For example, parents can establish healthy eating habits in their children by providing a diet high in fruits and vegetables without added sodium.

Schools and school districts can implement food purchasing policies and standards that reduce sodium in foods and put lower-sodium alternatives in vending machines, school stores and cafeterias. They can also strive to meet or exceed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Nutrition Standards for foods served during the school day.

“Thanks to the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act and the work of schools across the country, students are now receiving healthier meals and snacks featuring less sodium, sugar and fat and more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy,” said Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. “This report demonstrates the importance of continuing to move forward in our efforts to improve nutrition in schools, and to ensure that children and teens nationwide have access to safe, nutritious meals and snacks during the school day.”

The Center for Science in the Public Interest responded to the CDC report by stating these data should “ring alarm bells” and demanding action from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish limits for sodium in processed and restaurant food.

“The [Institute of Medicine's 2010] recommendation advised FDA to set mandatory sodium limits for processed and restaurant foods, gradually reducing those levels in a manner not to be disruptive to industry and to acclimate consumers to less-salty foods. The longer FDA stalls in its public health responsibility, the more our children will suffer the health consequences as they grow older,” said CSPI Health Promotion Policy Director Jim O’Hara.

Food Safety News