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WP Rawl donates 500 cases of fresh produce to Harvest Hope

This Christmas, WP Rawl made the holidays a little merrier for families serviced by Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia, SC, through a donation of fresh produce to the local food bank.

Fresh produce is oftentimes hard to come by or absent in food banks across the country, in particular during the holidays. WP Rawl donated 500 mixed gift boxes of fresh produce to Harvest Hope, which included apples, oranges, regular and sweet potatoes, celery and onion mix, collards, butternut squash, cabbage, squash and zucchini.DSC 0912Over the holidays WP Rawl helped families in need with a donation of 500 mixed gift boxes of fresh produce.

“This donation of packed fruits and vegetables for our clients during the Christmas season is such a thoughtful and generous gift; these boxes will be used throughout our Emergency Food Pantries and Mobile Food Pantries,” Denise Holland, Harvest Hope Food Bank chief executive officer, said in a press release. “Having fresh fruit and vegetables is very important to our clients at this time of year and some have little to no access to it otherwise. I am so thankful for the support from WP Rawl for their help in providing delicious, fresh produce to struggling families in our community.”

The donation is one of several ways that WP Rawl assists Harvest Hope throughout the year. This summer, the local leafy greens grower and shipper hosted the Katie’s Krops Camp at their headquarters in Pelion, SC, which included a service project at the food bank. For the project, the campers built a raised bed-vegetable garden with 12 beds and various types of vegetables per bed, which is meant to serve as a sustainable source of fresh produce for Harvest Hope. WP Rawl hopes that this holiday donation will supplement the vegetables they are already growing on site. The donation was made in honor of all of WP Rawl’s customers and employees as a thank you for their support.

“As a family and as a company, it is important to us to share with our global and local communities,” Ashley Rawl, vice president of sales, marketing and product development at WP Rawl, said in the press release. “It is so satisfying to see that the Harvest Hope staff and volunteers have enjoyed maintaining the raised beds that the Katie’s Krops campers built this summer and we are happy to continue to help them in various ways throughout the year.”

WP Rawl’s year-long mission to end hunger leads them to give back to other organizations such as RAMP, the Rockin’ Appalachian Mom Project and Katie’s Krops.

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

WP Rawl donates 500 cases of fresh produce to Harvest Hope

This Christmas, WP Rawl made the holidays a little merrier for families serviced by Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia, SC, through a donation of fresh produce to the local food bank.

Fresh produce is oftentimes hard to come by or absent in food banks across the country, in particular during the holidays. WP Rawl donated 500 mixed gift boxes of fresh produce to Harvest Hope, which included apples, oranges, regular and sweet potatoes, celery and onion mix, collards, butternut squash, cabbage, squash and zucchini.DSC 0912Over the holidays WP Rawl helped families in need with a donation of 500 mixed gift boxes of fresh produce.

“This donation of packed fruits and vegetables for our clients during the Christmas season is such a thoughtful and generous gift; these boxes will be used throughout our Emergency Food Pantries and Mobile Food Pantries,” Denise Holland, Harvest Hope Food Bank chief executive officer, said in a press release. “Having fresh fruit and vegetables is very important to our clients at this time of year and some have little to no access to it otherwise. I am so thankful for the support from WP Rawl for their help in providing delicious, fresh produce to struggling families in our community.”

The donation is one of several ways that WP Rawl assists Harvest Hope throughout the year. This summer, the local leafy greens grower and shipper hosted the Katie’s Krops Camp at their headquarters in Pelion, SC, which included a service project at the food bank. For the project, the campers built a raised bed-vegetable garden with 12 beds and various types of vegetables per bed, which is meant to serve as a sustainable source of fresh produce for Harvest Hope. WP Rawl hopes that this holiday donation will supplement the vegetables they are already growing on site. The donation was made in honor of all of WP Rawl’s customers and employees as a thank you for their support.

“As a family and as a company, it is important to us to share with our global and local communities,” Ashley Rawl, vice president of sales, marketing and product development at WP Rawl, said in the press release. “It is so satisfying to see that the Harvest Hope staff and volunteers have enjoyed maintaining the raised beds that the Katie’s Krops campers built this summer and we are happy to continue to help them in various ways throughout the year.”

WP Rawl’s year-long mission to end hunger leads them to give back to other organizations such as RAMP, the Rockin’ Appalachian Mom Project and Katie’s Krops.

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

Daltex hope to increase share of UK market

More to Russia
Daltex hope to increase share of UK market

This season Egyptian grape exporter Daltex had a volume of 4000 tonnes of grapes.  Mr. Magdi G. Abdel  Messih of Daltex expects around the same volumes of grapes next season. “Our area hasn’t changed, so we expect around the same amount. We do hope to increase our market share in the UK, our main export destination, as we now have a subsidiary there, Hana Fresh UK. We also hope to send some more to Russia due to the European export ban, but the UK remains our most important market.”

All Daltex farms are GlobalGAP and Tesco’s Nurtured Choice certified, and all packing facilities are BRC certified.


Daltex exports the grape varieties Superior Seedless, Red Flame, Red Globe and Sugraone, as well as melons, strawberries, pepper, peanuts, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. Their fresh products vary from delicate to bulk products and from necessity to niche. The grape season runs from May to mid September.

Contact details:

Mohamed Magdi

mob: +201 2234 36796

tel: 202 3305 0505
[email protected]

Publication date: 11/3/2014
Author: Katja Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

US (CA): Date growers hope demand continues to grow

With California’s date harvest set to begin next month, growers are hoping that demand for their product continues to grow as it’s done over the last several years.

“Demand for dates this past crop year has been good,” said Lorrie Cooper of the California Date Administrative Committee. “As each year passes, demand for dates become higher.” She attributed the growth to a greater emphasis on healthy eating on the part of consumers. With diabetes on the rise and the ill effects of a bad diet becoming more apparent, people are looking to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet. The sweet taste that dates afford have made dates an attractive product, both fresh and when processed into other food products.

“Consumers are becoming more aware of processed versus natural sugars,” explained Cooper. “So consumers are eating more fruits and vegetables. Dates, in the last five years, have also become one of the main ingredients, as natural sweeteners, in fruit bars.”

This year’s harvest is expected to begin next month, and estimates put state production between 45 million and 50 million pounds for all date varieties. The Coachella Valley grows about 90 percent of the dates in the United States, with the other 10 percent grown in the Bard Valley near Yuma, Arizona. Medjool date production is centred in the Bard Valley, while the Coachella Valley’s growers produce about 25 varieties of dates.

For more information:

Lorrie Cooper

California Date Administrative Committee

+1 760 347 4510

FreshPlaza.com

Israeli fruit producers hope conflict quietens down by September

Israeli fruit producers hope conflict quietens down by September

The mango campaign is currently underway in Israel and Oron Ziv, of the Israeli producer and exporter Befresh Europe, is hoping for a successful season, “despite it being also bound to be difficult, as at the moment some clients are not keen to work with Israeli suppliers and there are additionally some problems with oversupply.”

Regarding pomegranates, which are also just starting, Oron affirms that the first container has only just arrived to the market and so far the situation is looking okay, although the season is still at too early a stage to make any accurate estimation.

Regarding the block of European supermarkets to Israeli products, which is gradually affecting not just produce from specific areas, but the country as a whole, Oron hopes “that both the conflict and the market situation will have quieted down by September, with the start of the citrus and avocado campaigns, as right now, for instance, the Scandinavian market is totally blocked.”

On the other side of the coin, the recent Russian ban on EU products could represent an opportunity for Israel to ship more goods directly to Russia. Oron explains that “it will depend on the product and the prices. The pepper shipments, for example, will certainly shift towards Russia, although Russian importers may not be able to pay some of the most expensive products, like the Orri. ”

Oron, in any case, believes that the difficulties have a lot to do with the market situation in general, as many clients are eager to purchase high quality products, even if they come from Israel. “The mango market, for instance, is currently flooded with cheap produce from Brazil. It is always a combination of political and market issues, and thus how it will all evolve is difficult to predict.”

Last year, some Israeli products already had a bad season, namely grapefruits, but other countries, like South Africa, were also affected by these issues. “Demand appears to be going down and Israel produces large volumes of red grapefruit. Producers will likely shift to more profitable citrus varieties, like the Orri, so we’ll see what impact this will have on prices.”

Oron points to the need to develop new varieties, but also to the fact that “this is a long process. It takes some time before new varieties become good commercial varieties; the ones we are currently testing, for example, will likely take a decade before we can claim them to have become a success like the Orri. Growers naturally not only look at the selling price, but also to costs and the average yield over the years.”

For more information:
Oron Ziv
BeFresh Europe
Mobile  +972 52 3252464
Mobile  +31 6 22514987
Office   +972 52 2555135
Fax +972 153 547625599
[email protected]
www.befreshcorp.com

Publication date: 8/13/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Israeli fruit producers hope conflict quietens down by September

Israeli fruit producers hope conflict quietens down by September

The mango campaign is currently underway in Israel and Oron Ziv, of the Israeli producer and exporter Befresh Europe, is hoping for a successful season, “despite it being also bound to be difficult, as at the moment some clients are not keen to work with Israeli suppliers and there are additionally some problems with oversupply.”

Regarding pomegranates, which are also just starting, Oron affirms that the first container has only just arrived to the market and so far the situation is looking okay, although the season is still at too early a stage to make any accurate estimation.

Regarding the block of European supermarkets to Israeli products, which is gradually affecting not just produce from specific areas, but the country as a whole, Oron hopes “that both the conflict and the market situation will have quieted down by September, with the start of the citrus and avocado campaigns, as right now, for instance, the Scandinavian market is totally blocked.”

On the other side of the coin, the recent Russian ban on EU products could represent an opportunity for Israel to ship more goods directly to Russia. Oron explains that “it will depend on the product and the prices. The pepper shipments, for example, will certainly shift towards Russia, although Russian importers may not be able to pay some of the most expensive products, like the Orri. ”

Oron, in any case, believes that the difficulties have a lot to do with the market situation in general, as many clients are eager to purchase high quality products, even if they come from Israel. “The mango market, for instance, is currently flooded with cheap produce from Brazil. It is always a combination of political and market issues, and thus how it will all evolve is difficult to predict.”

Last year, some Israeli products already had a bad season, namely grapefruits, but other countries, like South Africa, were also affected by these issues. “Demand appears to be going down and Israel produces large volumes of red grapefruit. Producers will likely shift to more profitable citrus varieties, like the Orri, so we’ll see what impact this will have on prices.”

Oron points to the need to develop new varieties, but also to the fact that “this is a long process. It takes some time before new varieties become good commercial varieties; the ones we are currently testing, for example, will likely take a decade before we can claim them to have become a success like the Orri. Growers naturally not only look at the selling price, but also to costs and the average yield over the years.”

For more information:
Oron Ziv
BeFresh Europe
Mobile  +972 52 3252464
Mobile  +31 6 22514987
Office   +972 52 2555135
Fax +972 153 547625599
[email protected]
www.befreshcorp.com

Publication date: 8/13/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

New hope for powdery mildew resistant barley

New research at the University of Adelaide has opened the way for the development of new lines of barley with resistance to powdery mildew.

In Australia, annual barley production is second only to wheat with 7-8 million tonnes a year. Powdery mildew is one of the most important diseases of barley.

Senior Research Scientist Dr Alan Little and team have discovered the composition of special growths on the cell walls of barley plants that block the penetration of the fungus into the leaf.

The research, by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls in the University’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine in collaboration with the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research in Germany, will be presented at the upcoming 5th International Conference on Plant Cell Wall Biology and published in the journal New Phytologist.

“Powdery mildew is a significant problem wherever barley is grown around the world,” says Dr Little. “Growers with infected crops can expect up to 25% reductions in yield and the barley may also be downgraded from high quality malting barley to that of feed quality, with an associated loss in market value.

“In recent times we’ve seen resistance in powdery mildew to the class of fungicide most commonly used to control the disease in Australia. Developing barley with improved resistance to the disease is therefore even more important.”

The discovery means researchers have new targets for breeding powdery mildew resistant barley lines.

“Powdery mildew feeds on the living plant,” says Dr Little. “The fungus spore lands on the leaf and sends out a tube-like structure which punches its way through cell walls, penetrating the cells and taking the nutrients from the plant. The plant tries to stop this penetration by building a plug of cell wall material — a papillae — around the infection site. Effective papillae can block the penetration by the fungus.

“It has long been thought that callose is the main polysaccharide component of papilla. But using new techniques, we’ve been able to show that in the papillae that block fungal penetration, two other polysaccharides are present in significant concentrations and play a key role.

“It appears that callose acts like an initial plug in the wall but arabinoxylan and cellulose fill the gaps in the wall and make it much stronger.”

In his PhD project, Jamil Chowdhury showed that effective papillae contained up to four times the concentration of callose, arabinoxylan and cellulose as cell wall plugs which didn’t block penetration.

“We can now use this knowledge find ways of increasing these polysaccharides in barley plants to produce more resistant lines available for growers,” says Dr Little.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Russian importers hope situation will not escalate

Russian importers hope situation will not escalate

Russia is a great importer of all sorts of fruit and vegetables from many countries, including Europe, South Africa, Israel or China. The former is a great source of business, and as a result, Russian importers fear the effects of the possible sanctions that may close the Russian borders to European products, although they are also optimistic and hope the situation will not escalate.

Asif Jafarov, of Akhmed Fruit Company, explains that at the moment “numerous products are imported from Europe, so a ban would cause a great disturbance,” but he believes that it will all be fine by September, perhaps even by mid-August.

For her part, Larissa Khachikyan, of the Russian company Friend Fruits, explains that “the summer campaign is a period of low imports, but we continue to work with suppliers with whom we have collaborated for years and the situation is fine. Right now, for example, we are working with exporters from Italy, Spain, France and South Africa. The country we work with depends on the season.” Overall, Europe accounts for around 50% of the company’s imports.

Larissa affirms that even though there are some rumours about Chile being currently afraid to work with Russia, her firm relies on both its long-term business relationships and its reputation to overcome any hurdles that may come.

Publication date: 7/24/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Russian importers hope situation will not escalate

Russian importers hope situation will not escalate

Russia is a great importer of all sorts of fruit and vegetables from many countries, including Europe, South Africa, Israel or China. The former is a great source of business, and as a result, Russian importers fear the effects of the possible sanctions that may close the Russian borders to European products, although they are also optimistic and hope the situation will not escalate.

Asif Jafarov, of Akhmed Fruit Company, explains that at the moment “numerous products are imported from Europe, so a ban would cause a great disturbance,” but he believes that it will all be fine by September, perhaps even by mid-August.

For her part, Larissa Khachikyan, of the Russian company Friend Fruits, explains that “the summer campaign is a period of low imports, but we continue to work with suppliers with whom we have collaborated for years and the situation is fine. Right now, for example, we are working with exporters from Italy, Spain, France and South Africa. The country we work with depends on the season.” Overall, Europe accounts for around 50% of the company’s imports.

Larissa affirms that even though there are some rumours about Chile being currently afraid to work with Russia, her firm relies on both its long-term business relationships and its reputation to overcome any hurdles that may come.

Publication date: 7/24/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Russian importers hope situation will not escalate

Russian importers hope situation will not escalate

Russia is a great importer of all sorts of fruit and vegetables from many countries, including Europe, South Africa, Israel or China. The former is a great source of business, and as a result, Russian importers fear the effects of the possible sanctions that may close the Russian borders to European products, although they are also optimistic and hope the situation will not escalate.

Asif Jafarov, of Akhmed Fruit Company, explains that at the moment “numerous products are imported from Europe, so a ban would cause a great disturbance,” but he believes that it will all be fine by September, perhaps even by mid-August.

For her part, Larissa Khachikyan, of the Russian company Friend Fruits, explains that “the summer campaign is a period of low imports, but we continue to work with suppliers with whom we have collaborated for years and the situation is fine. Right now, for example, we are working with exporters from Italy, Spain, France and South Africa. The country we work with depends on the season.” Overall, Europe accounts for around 50% of the company’s imports.

Larissa affirms that even though there are some rumours about Chile being currently afraid to work with Russia, her firm relies on both its long-term business relationships and its reputation to overcome any hurdles that may come.

Publication date: 7/24/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Russian importers hope situation will not escalate

Russian importers hope situation will not escalate

Russia is a great importer of all sorts of fruit and vegetables from many countries, including Europe, South Africa, Israel or China. The former is a great source of business, and as a result, Russian importers fear the effects of the possible sanctions that may close the Russian borders to European products, although they are also optimistic and hope the situation will not escalate.

Asif Jafarov, of Akhmed Fruit Company, explains that at the moment “numerous products are imported from Europe, so a ban would cause a great disturbance,” but he believes that it will all be fine by September, perhaps even by mid-August.

For her part, Larissa Khachikyan, of the Russian company Friend Fruits, explains that “the summer campaign is a period of low imports, but we continue to work with suppliers with whom we have collaborated for years and the situation is fine. Right now, for example, we are working with exporters from Italy, Spain, France and South Africa. The country we work with depends on the season.” Overall, Europe accounts for around 50% of the company’s imports.

Larissa affirms that even though there are some rumours about Chile being currently afraid to work with Russia, her firm relies on both its long-term business relationships and its reputation to overcome any hurdles that may come.

Publication date: 7/24/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Russian importers hope situation will not escalate

Russian importers hope situation will not escalate

Russia is a great importer of all sorts of fruit and vegetables from many countries, including Europe, South Africa, Israel or China. The former is a great source of business, and as a result, Russian importers fear the effects of the possible sanctions that may close the Russian borders to European products, although they are also optimistic and hope the situation will not escalate.

Asif Jafarov, of Akhmed Fruit Company, explains that at the moment “numerous products are imported from Europe, so a ban would cause a great disturbance,” but he believes that it will all be fine by September, perhaps even by mid-August.

For her part, Larissa Khachikyan, of the Russian company Friend Fruits, explains that “the summer campaign is a period of low imports, but we continue to work with suppliers with whom we have collaborated for years and the situation is fine. Right now, for example, we are working with exporters from Italy, Spain, France and South Africa. The country we work with depends on the season.” Overall, Europe accounts for around 50% of the company’s imports.

Larissa affirms that even though there are some rumours about Chile being currently afraid to work with Russia, her firm relies on both its long-term business relationships and its reputation to overcome any hurdles that may come.

Publication date: 7/24/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Hawaii’s Restaurants Hope to See Green

New color-coded placards informing diners about food-safety violations are about to appear in Hawaii restaurants.

The rule was implemented in February, but the Hawaii Department of Health wanted to spend a few months educating restaurant workers before requiring them to comply. The placards are now expected to be posted by the end of July.

Green placards are for when no more than one major violation is observed during a routine inspection. The violation must be corrected at the time of inspection.

Yellow placards will be posted when a major violation remains uncorrected or when two or more major violations are observed, if corrected at the time of inspection. A follow-up inspection will be conducted within two business days to ensure compliance. If no major violations exist, a green placard will be posted.

Red placards are posted when there’s an imminent health hazard observed or when a permit is suspended. Examples include sewage overflow, no hot water, rodent/vermin infestation, or severe unsanitary conditions. The red placard has to remain posted and the restaurant closed until a follow-up inspection confirms that the hazard no longer exists.

The goals of the program are to reduce the occurrence of foodborne illness, increase compliance with the food code, and inform the public of the most recent inspection results.

Along with posting the placards, restaurants in Hawaii have other new rules to follow such as renewing their permits every year instead of every two years, not allowing bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods, and posting warnings for diners that consuming raw or undercooked foods can increase the risk of illness.

Food Safety News

India: This mango season is lost, hope that will be lifted for next year

Hopes to lift ban next year
EU ban ruins Indian mango season

An EU-wide ban on mangoes from India which came into force at the beginning of May will stop imports into the EU potentially until December 2015. The ban also includes aubergines, two types of squash, and a type of leaf used in Indian cooking.

Non-European food pests were found in 207 shipments of fruit and vegetables in 2013.

Kaushal Khakhar from Kay Bee Exports feels this ban was unfairly imposed, he explains that companies such as his have invested a lot of time and money into ensuring that all phytosanitary measures are in place and adhered to, “A lot of people who are large exporters like us have suffered a big loss of business, even after complying with regulations, we have never had any problems with shipments to Europe, but there are big differences in exporters some are not as careful.”

Normally Kay Bee would send 400 tons of mangoes by air to the EU each season and India as a whole would send 3,500 tons.

Kay Bee has exported some mangoes to the US and Middle East, but these are emerging markets and do not make up for the EU market. Some exports are very focussed on the EU and if they can’t export there they will not export at all.

The export ban is having a crushing effect on domestic negative returns for farmers with prices around 30% lower than normal.

According to Mr Khakhar the ban will not be reviewed until next year, so this season is lost with only 3-4 weeks remaining, he is hoping for a lifting of the ban in time for next year’s season.

Kaushal Khakhar
Kay Bee Exports
Office: +91 22 41578900
Mobile : + 91 9870405667
Fax: +91 22 25376610
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 5/20/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Industry Associations Hope FSMA Rules Won’t Duplicate Marketing Agreements, Orders

National and regional marketing agreements and orders may give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) some options as it continues to issue and revise rules to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

In comments to the FSMA proposed rule for produce safety, a number of industry associations asked FDA to take into account food-safety programs that already exist under federal and state marketing agreements and orders.

For instance, the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement (LGMA) wants to ensure that FSMA does not add extra layers of inspections, audits, and documentation, which LGMA already requires of its members.

“[W]e are already verifying that members are in compliance with our standards. If our standards don’t already encompass or exceed what is in FSMA, then we will make sure they do,” said Scott Horsfall, chief executive officer of LGMA.

Horsfall further explained that his organization supports FSMA and is not asking for an exemption. Rather, LGMA is seeking more of a “partnership” with FDA.

The Almond Board of California seems to have taken a slightly different approach and has asked FDA to consider an exemption or variance for almonds.

In the Almond Board’s comments on the proposed rule for produce safety, the group notes that the California almond industry is subject to a federal marketing order issued and enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The marketing order requires a minimum 4-log reduction of Salmonella bacteria in almonds before they enter commerce.

As such, the Almond Board’s comments suggest that a rule for produce safety would be duplicative and unnecessary for almonds, which are essentially a low-risk food by virtue of the mandatory kill step requirement created and enforced by USDA.

The Scope of Marketing Agreements and Orders

Notably, marketing agreements and orders have some key differences. Membership to marketing agreements, whether at the state or federal level, is voluntary. But marketing orders set mandatory standards for all affected parties.

So, while membership with the LGMA is voluntary, once a member joins LGMA, compliance with their standards is mandatory. Notably, LGMA, in combination with Arizona Leafy Green Products Shipper Marketing Agreement, encompasses 90 percent of the leafy greens entering commercial markets.

In contrast, all almonds grown in California, which make up 99 percent of all commercial almonds in the U.S., are subject to the California almond marketing order.

What will be the Relationship between Marketing Agreements and FSMA?

At this point, FDA is not poised to create industry-specific variances and exemptions, at least not based on marketing orders and agreements.

“FDA does not intend to grant a blanket exemption to growers or signatories of marketing orders,” a spokesperson for the agency told Food Safety News. “Alternatives to certain requirements would be permitted when adequate and documented scientific data or information support such alternatives.”

Moreover, FDA officials are both aware of, and willing to work with, existing or new compliance programs. As the FDA spokesperson stated, “[I]t is worth noting that rigorous food safety programs under national or regional marketing agreements can be an important tool for fostering compliance with the produce safety rule.”

Food Safety News

Israeli exporters hope vegetables can make up for low grapefruit prices

Israeli exporters hope vegetables can make up for low grapefruit prices

An oversupply of fruit has resulted in low prices for grapefruit in Europe this season, and Israeli exporters are hoping that those low prices can be compensated with good seasons for carrots and potatoes.

“It’s been a very tough season with grapefruit,” said Oron Ziv of Befresh Europe. “In all of my experience, I haven’t seen a year like this.” He pointed to large quantities of fruit coming from Turkey, Spain and Israel as one of the reasons for the low prices. Steadily decreasing demand for grapefruit throughout Europe has also played a part, but Ziv was careful to mention that the poor season is not due to any one factor, and that it’s a result of the interplay between many things.

“In Turkey, they can grow with less money, so they can drop their prices,” said Ziv. “That’s really affecting Israeli exporters in Russia, which used to be a big market for us, where they’re increasingly buying from Turkey.” Israeli citrus exporters also have to figure out how to deal with the expected increase in supplies of Orri clementines. While the dramatic production increases that have been predicted have not yet panned out, it’s not clear how European buyers will react to a large increase of Orri clementines.

“We expected to have about 80,000 or 90,000 tons of Orri clementines by this year, but production has been similar to last year’s, at about 50,000 tons,” said Ziv. “But, if production gets up to 100,000 or 120,000 tons within the next five years, the question becomes whether the market will still pay high prices for Orris.”

With respect to potatoes, exporters are hoping last year’s prices will carry over into this year’s fresh season. While shippers wait for supplies from cold storage to leave the market, they’re trying to figure out how to proceed this year.

“Last season was crazy for potatoes, regarding prices,” said Ziv. “There’s already some demand in Italy for larger sizes, but the main demand in Europe will happen in the next few weeks, so it’s difficult to predict how the market will behave.” With no production setbacks or adverse weather during the growing season, there’s a good crop in the pipeline.

Carrot prices have been lower than in previous years, though, noted Ziv. Because most Israeli carrot exporters focus on the Russian market, decreased demand for their product there, has not been good for them. While Russian buyers prefer larger sizes, Israeli product is mostly in the medium range, so, while still early, the carrot season has not been kind to exporters.

“Prices for carrots are not attractive right now,” said Ziv. “So many producers are trying to lower the risk of having a bad year by not relying on just one market, so they want to develop business in Belgium, Germany or France, where they can sell their medium-sized product.”

For more information:
Oron Ziv
BeFresh Europe LTD
Tel: +972  3 9682929
Fax: +972  4 6720001
www.BeFreshcorp.com

Publication date: 3/26/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Dr. Weil’s world of challenge and hope

It felt like Woodstock for the natural food industry. A long, snaking line led to a giant ballroom so packed that attendees sat in the aisles when chairs were all taken.

The main attraction was a Harvard-trained medical doctor and botanist whose work has long been familiar to this admiring crowd.

And Dr. Andrew Weil did not disappoint.

Dr. Andrew WeilAs sharp and insightful as ever, this veteran teacher and author on holistic health outlined extreme challenges with the state of nutrition and diet in this nation and the world, but offered some simple prescriptions to begin to address the problems.

“There’s so much confusion about diet and food today, and I don’t see it getting any better,” he said.

The big problem, he said, is that good nutrition practices are widely agreed upon, but in fact that consensus is not being adequately communicated to health professionals and the media.

“Physicians still receive virtually no training in nutritional science,” he said. “Medical doctors in this country are functionally illiterate about nutrition. It’s not their fault. They weren’t taught it.”

Meanwhile, vested interests, including parts of the food industry, resist change, he said. The government also needs to do more to guide consumers on good nutrition, he added. As one example, he said the government, in promoting produce, doesn’t distinguish between fruits and vegetables in terms of priorities, even though fruits are high sugar sources and need to be eaten with more moderation.

Weil said he’s surprised by the surge of interest in cooking in this country, reflected by the growing output of cookbooks and food shows on TV.

“Fewer people in this country are actually cooking than ever,” he said.

“Cooking has become entertainment, which is discouraging.”


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He said the joy of really good, fresh food has been lost of most people in the face of all the processed foods being eaten.

“When I make food for people, they are often knocked out by how delicious it is,” he said. “That’s because I start with great, fresh ingredients. People haven’t tasted that.”

He offered a few general guidelines as takeaways for those trying to sift through seemingly conflicting advice in the media.

First, reduce sweetener consumption, and try to avoid sweetened beverages.

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Second, try to get a better grasp on facts about grains, particularly the differences between whole grains and pulverized grains.

“Grains aren’t the problem, it’s what we’ve done to grains,” he said.

He advised people to stop eating products with flour and sugar in order to manage weight.

In the face of dietary challenges in this country, Weil offered some comforting words to avoid making people feel overwhelmed by the need to follow strict and shifting nutritional advice from multiple sources.

“There’s no such thing as a ‘right’ diet,” he said. “Humans are omnivores and designed to exist on everything.”

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US: New study offers hope for halting incurable citrus disease

US: New study offers hope for halting incurable citrus disease

The findings indicate the bacterial disease interferes with starch and sugar metabolism in young and matures leaves and fruit. The devastating disease Huonglongbing, or citrus greening, looms darkly over the United States, threatening to wipe out the nation’s citrus industry, whose fresh fruit alone was valued at more than $ 3.4 billion in 2012.

Recently, however, a research team led by a University of California, Davis, plant scientist used DNA sequencing technologies to paint a broad picture of how citrus greening impacts trees before they even show signs of infection, offering hope for developing diagnostic tests and treatments for the currently incurable disease.

The new findings indicate that the bacterial disease interferes with starch and sugar metabolism in young and mature leaves and fruit, while also wreaking havoc with hormonal networks that are key to the trees’ ability to fend off infections. Study results were reported Sept. 25 in the PLOS ONE journal.

In this new study, the researchers studied four categories of healthy and diseased citrus trees, with the goal of better understanding how HLB affects trees physiologically during the very early stages of infection. The researchers used gene sequencing technology to study the “transcriptome,” which is the collection of RNA found in the tree leaves and fruit.

Their analysis confirmed that in infected trees, HLB disease caused starch to accumulate in the leaves, blocking nutrient transport through the phloem and decreasing photosynthesis. They also found that normal metabolism of sucrose, a sugar also key to photosynthesis, was disrupted.

Furthermore, the researchers discovered that HLB interfered with the regulation of hormones such as salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and ethylene, which are “the backbone” of the plant innate immune response. And they found that infected trees also had changes in the metabolism of important amino acids that serve as a reservoir for organic nitrogen in many plants. The nitrogen is required to stimulate the plant immune response.

Source: news.ucdavis.edu

Publication date: 10/3/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Avocado exporters hope collaboration bears fruit

Avocado exporters hope collaboration bears fruit

The trend for New Zealand avocado exporters to co-operate rather than compete in offshore markets has taken another step.

The country’s two biggest avocado exporters have joined forces in a new partnership, AVOCO, to sell their fruit in Australia, the biggest overseas market, where they have formerly been rivals.

The partnership is anticipating higher returns this year and says the trade there could reach $ 50 million for the first time.

Southern Produce in the Bay of Plenty and Primor Produce in Auckland have already been co-operating as part of another export grouping, AVANZA, which is focusing on other markets such as Japan.

AVOCO director John Carroll says the new entity means they are now collaborating in all their markets.

He says New Zealand is a small supplier of avocados with 2% of the world’s trade in the crop available for only a portion of year.

Mr Carroll says AVOCO expects to handle about three quarters of New Zealand’s export crop and supply about 75% of the avocado trade to the main Australian market.

He says the partnership is looking at a pretty favourable market in Australia this year despite a Buy Australian campaign running.

He says that while that’s not ideal, commercial realities mean supermarket are keen to supply and offer quality to their customers – which New Zealand growers can supply.

Mr Carroll says after Australia, Japan is the next most important market for New Zealand avocado exports.

Source: radionz.co.nz

Publication date: 7/23/2013


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