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Castellini increases presence in Southeast

The Castellini Group of Cos., a leading distributor of fresh produce based in Cincinnati, announced plans to construct a vegetable processing and distribution center in Conley, GA.

The location in Georgia strengthens Castellini’s presence in the Southeast, enabling it to reach 80 percent of the U.S. market within a single day by truck.

“Our expansion in the Southeast will allow us to better serve current customers and continue our growth strategy by opening up new markets,” Bill Schuler, president and chief executive officer of Castellini, said in a press release. “By working together with the state of Georgia and Clayton County, we’re able to further grow our business while bringing much-needed jobs and economic growth to the region. We appreciate all the assistance they’ve provided to help make this initiative a reality.”

Castellini offers a full line of fresh produce and value-added services, which include a complete line of organic produce, fresh-cut processing, tomato repacking and transportation, for its retail, foodservice and wholesale customers.

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

Double-digit increases expected for U.S. imports of Chilean cherries

The Chilean Cherry Committee, an entity associated with the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, expects total exports of fresh cherries from Chile to reach 100,000 tons this year. As the second-largest export market for Chile, North America anticipates a 45 percent increase in volume over the 2013/14 season.

To support this dramatic growth, the Chilean Cherry Committee is pursuing a targeted promotion campaign across the United States and Canada, with increased funding earmarked for retail promotions.

chileancherries “Thanks to an extraordinarily successful harvest, we’re going to see increased volume and promotions in North America,” Karen Brux, managing director of North America for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, said in a press release. “The Chilean Cherry Committee is committed to expanding the North American market for Chilean cherries, and we have promotion funding available for retailers to make that happen. We’re in the process of meeting with retailers to confirm holiday promotions.”

This year’s strong harvest is positive news for the Chilean cherry industry, which was hard hit in 2013 by a devastating freeze.

“The initial estimate for 2013-14 was 85,000 tons, but after the freeze this dropped to 68,000 tons,” Brux said in the press release. “With Chile on track to export at least 100,000 tons during the 2014-15 season, this is a significant step for the industry. It’s also great news for North American retailers, who want to offer their shoppers a beautiful, premium, great-tasting fruit over the holiday season.”

Chile is the largest cherry exporter in the Southern Hemisphere and the second-largest exporter of cherries in the world. Fresh cherries from Chile are available in December and January, with export peaks expected from weeks 49-51.

The Chilean Cherry Committee is offering holiday-themed point-of-sale merchandising materials that encourage shoppers to “bring home the cherry best.” Supporting recipes, images and other materials are available for both in-store and online marketing.

The Chilean Cherry Committee was formed under the auspices of ASOEX, which is based in Santiago, Chile. The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association is its North American counterpart and directs all marketing and promotional activities for fresh Chilean fruit in the United States and Canada.

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

Double-digit increases expected for U.S. imports of Chilean cherries

The Chilean Cherry Committee, an entity associated with the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, expects total exports of fresh cherries from Chile to reach 100,000 tons this year. As the second-largest export market for Chile, North America anticipates a 45 percent increase in volume over the 2013/14 season.

To support this dramatic growth, the Chilean Cherry Committee is pursuing a targeted promotion campaign across the United States and Canada, with increased funding earmarked for retail promotions.

chileancherries “Thanks to an extraordinarily successful harvest, we’re going to see increased volume and promotions in North America,” Karen Brux, managing director of North America for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, said in a press release. “The Chilean Cherry Committee is committed to expanding the North American market for Chilean cherries, and we have promotion funding available for retailers to make that happen. We’re in the process of meeting with retailers to confirm holiday promotions.”

This year’s strong harvest is positive news for the Chilean cherry industry, which was hard hit in 2013 by a devastating freeze.

“The initial estimate for 2013-14 was 85,000 tons, but after the freeze this dropped to 68,000 tons,” Brux said in the press release. “With Chile on track to export at least 100,000 tons during the 2014-15 season, this is a significant step for the industry. It’s also great news for North American retailers, who want to offer their shoppers a beautiful, premium, great-tasting fruit over the holiday season.”

Chile is the largest cherry exporter in the Southern Hemisphere and the second-largest exporter of cherries in the world. Fresh cherries from Chile are available in December and January, with export peaks expected from weeks 49-51.

The Chilean Cherry Committee is offering holiday-themed point-of-sale merchandising materials that encourage shoppers to “bring home the cherry best.” Supporting recipes, images and other materials are available for both in-store and online marketing.

The Chilean Cherry Committee was formed under the auspices of ASOEX, which is based in Santiago, Chile. The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association is its North American counterpart and directs all marketing and promotional activities for fresh Chilean fruit in the United States and Canada.

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

Double-digit increases expected for U.S. imports of Chilean cherries

The Chilean Cherry Committee, an entity associated with the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, expects total exports of fresh cherries from Chile to reach 100,000 tons this year. As the second-largest export market for Chile, North America anticipates a 45 percent increase in volume over the 2013/14 season.

To support this dramatic growth, the Chilean Cherry Committee is pursuing a targeted promotion campaign across the United States and Canada, with increased funding earmarked for retail promotions.

chileancherries “Thanks to an extraordinarily successful harvest, we’re going to see increased volume and promotions in North America,” Karen Brux, managing director of North America for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, said in a press release. “The Chilean Cherry Committee is committed to expanding the North American market for Chilean cherries, and we have promotion funding available for retailers to make that happen. We’re in the process of meeting with retailers to confirm holiday promotions.”

This year’s strong harvest is positive news for the Chilean cherry industry, which was hard hit in 2013 by a devastating freeze.

“The initial estimate for 2013-14 was 85,000 tons, but after the freeze this dropped to 68,000 tons,” Brux said in the press release. “With Chile on track to export at least 100,000 tons during the 2014-15 season, this is a significant step for the industry. It’s also great news for North American retailers, who want to offer their shoppers a beautiful, premium, great-tasting fruit over the holiday season.”

Chile is the largest cherry exporter in the Southern Hemisphere and the second-largest exporter of cherries in the world. Fresh cherries from Chile are available in December and January, with export peaks expected from weeks 49-51.

The Chilean Cherry Committee is offering holiday-themed point-of-sale merchandising materials that encourage shoppers to “bring home the cherry best.” Supporting recipes, images and other materials are available for both in-store and online marketing.

The Chilean Cherry Committee was formed under the auspices of ASOEX, which is based in Santiago, Chile. The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association is its North American counterpart and directs all marketing and promotional activities for fresh Chilean fruit in the United States and Canada.

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

Double-digit increases expected for U.S. imports of Chilean cherries

The Chilean Cherry Committee, an entity associated with the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, expects total exports of fresh cherries from Chile to reach 100,000 tons this year. As the second-largest export market for Chile, North America anticipates a 45 percent increase in volume over the 2013/14 season.

To support this dramatic growth, the Chilean Cherry Committee is pursuing a targeted promotion campaign across the United States and Canada, with increased funding earmarked for retail promotions.

chileancherries “Thanks to an extraordinarily successful harvest, we’re going to see increased volume and promotions in North America,” Karen Brux, managing director of North America for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, said in a press release. “The Chilean Cherry Committee is committed to expanding the North American market for Chilean cherries, and we have promotion funding available for retailers to make that happen. We’re in the process of meeting with retailers to confirm holiday promotions.”

This year’s strong harvest is positive news for the Chilean cherry industry, which was hard hit in 2013 by a devastating freeze.

“The initial estimate for 2013-14 was 85,000 tons, but after the freeze this dropped to 68,000 tons,” Brux said in the press release. “With Chile on track to export at least 100,000 tons during the 2014-15 season, this is a significant step for the industry. It’s also great news for North American retailers, who want to offer their shoppers a beautiful, premium, great-tasting fruit over the holiday season.”

Chile is the largest cherry exporter in the Southern Hemisphere and the second-largest exporter of cherries in the world. Fresh cherries from Chile are available in December and January, with export peaks expected from weeks 49-51.

The Chilean Cherry Committee is offering holiday-themed point-of-sale merchandising materials that encourage shoppers to “bring home the cherry best.” Supporting recipes, images and other materials are available for both in-store and online marketing.

The Chilean Cherry Committee was formed under the auspices of ASOEX, which is based in Santiago, Chile. The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association is its North American counterpart and directs all marketing and promotional activities for fresh Chilean fruit in the United States and Canada.

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

Double-digit increases expected for U.S. imports of Chilean cherries

The Chilean Cherry Committee, an entity associated with the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, expects total exports of fresh cherries from Chile to reach 100,000 tons this year. As the second-largest export market for Chile, North America anticipates a 45 percent increase in volume over the 2013/14 season.

To support this dramatic growth, the Chilean Cherry Committee is pursuing a targeted promotion campaign across the United States and Canada, with increased funding earmarked for retail promotions.

chileancherries “Thanks to an extraordinarily successful harvest, we’re going to see increased volume and promotions in North America,” Karen Brux, managing director of North America for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, said in a press release. “The Chilean Cherry Committee is committed to expanding the North American market for Chilean cherries, and we have promotion funding available for retailers to make that happen. We’re in the process of meeting with retailers to confirm holiday promotions.”

This year’s strong harvest is positive news for the Chilean cherry industry, which was hard hit in 2013 by a devastating freeze.

“The initial estimate for 2013-14 was 85,000 tons, but after the freeze this dropped to 68,000 tons,” Brux said in the press release. “With Chile on track to export at least 100,000 tons during the 2014-15 season, this is a significant step for the industry. It’s also great news for North American retailers, who want to offer their shoppers a beautiful, premium, great-tasting fruit over the holiday season.”

Chile is the largest cherry exporter in the Southern Hemisphere and the second-largest exporter of cherries in the world. Fresh cherries from Chile are available in December and January, with export peaks expected from weeks 49-51.

The Chilean Cherry Committee is offering holiday-themed point-of-sale merchandising materials that encourage shoppers to “bring home the cherry best.” Supporting recipes, images and other materials are available for both in-store and online marketing.

The Chilean Cherry Committee was formed under the auspices of ASOEX, which is based in Santiago, Chile. The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association is its North American counterpart and directs all marketing and promotional activities for fresh Chilean fruit in the United States and Canada.

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

Double-digit increases expected for U.S. imports of Chilean cherries

The Chilean Cherry Committee, an entity associated with the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, expects total exports of fresh cherries from Chile to reach 100,000 tons this year. As the second-largest export market for Chile, North America anticipates a 45 percent increase in volume over the 2013/14 season.

To support this dramatic growth, the Chilean Cherry Committee is pursuing a targeted promotion campaign across the United States and Canada, with increased funding earmarked for retail promotions.

chileancherries “Thanks to an extraordinarily successful harvest, we’re going to see increased volume and promotions in North America,” Karen Brux, managing director of North America for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, said in a press release. “The Chilean Cherry Committee is committed to expanding the North American market for Chilean cherries, and we have promotion funding available for retailers to make that happen. We’re in the process of meeting with retailers to confirm holiday promotions.”

This year’s strong harvest is positive news for the Chilean cherry industry, which was hard hit in 2013 by a devastating freeze.

“The initial estimate for 2013-14 was 85,000 tons, but after the freeze this dropped to 68,000 tons,” Brux said in the press release. “With Chile on track to export at least 100,000 tons during the 2014-15 season, this is a significant step for the industry. It’s also great news for North American retailers, who want to offer their shoppers a beautiful, premium, great-tasting fruit over the holiday season.”

Chile is the largest cherry exporter in the Southern Hemisphere and the second-largest exporter of cherries in the world. Fresh cherries from Chile are available in December and January, with export peaks expected from weeks 49-51.

The Chilean Cherry Committee is offering holiday-themed point-of-sale merchandising materials that encourage shoppers to “bring home the cherry best.” Supporting recipes, images and other materials are available for both in-store and online marketing.

The Chilean Cherry Committee was formed under the auspices of ASOEX, which is based in Santiago, Chile. The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association is its North American counterpart and directs all marketing and promotional activities for fresh Chilean fruit in the United States and Canada.

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

To-Jo increases production, completes facility expansion

To-Jo Mushrooms Inc., a family-owned-and-operated grower-shipper of fresh and prepared mushrooms based in Avondale, PA, has recently expanded its farm production through the securing of an additional 200,000 square feet of mushroom-growing capacity. These new growing beds will be dedicated to both white and brown mushroom production and will enable To-Jo to harvest an additional 8 million pounds of product annually to better serve its customer base.

The increase in production coincides with the completion of an 8,000 square foot expansion of its Avondale headquarters that includes a new state-of-the-art fresh mushroom receiving area, additional cold-storage capacity and a new pre-cleaned mushroom processing area.

The expansion is in line with the company’s strategic vision, and will enable To-Jo to keep pace with the growing demand for mushrooms in both the foodservice and retail divisions of its business.

“By continuously improving our facilities and increasing our production capacity for our customers we will ensure that only the freshest, highest-quality products will be delivered out from our facilities on a daily basis,” To-Jo President Tony D’Amico said in a press release. “These improvements will help keep To-Jo at the forefront of an ever-expanding mushroom category.”

To-Jo services and collaborates with many of the larger retailers, restaurant chains and foodservice distributors across the country. The company distributes its full line of fresh mushrooms through its company-owned fleet of vehicles and offers its value-added lines of products nationally through a wide network of distribution partners.

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

To-Jo increases production, completes facility expansion

To-Jo Mushrooms Inc., a family-owned-and-operated grower-shipper of fresh and prepared mushrooms based in Avondale, PA, has recently expanded its farm production through the securing of an additional 200,000 square feet of mushroom-growing capacity. These new growing beds will be dedicated to both white and brown mushroom production and will enable To-Jo to harvest an additional 8 million pounds of product annually to better serve its customer base.

The increase in production coincides with the completion of an 8,000 square foot expansion of its Avondale headquarters that includes a new state-of-the-art fresh mushroom receiving area, additional cold-storage capacity and a new pre-cleaned mushroom processing area.

The expansion is in line with the company’s strategic vision, and will enable To-Jo to keep pace with the growing demand for mushrooms in both the foodservice and retail divisions of its business.

“By continuously improving our facilities and increasing our production capacity for our customers we will ensure that only the freshest, highest-quality products will be delivered out from our facilities on a daily basis,” To-Jo President Tony D’Amico said in a press release. “These improvements will help keep To-Jo at the forefront of an ever-expanding mushroom category.”

To-Jo services and collaborates with many of the larger retailers, restaurant chains and foodservice distributors across the country. The company distributes its full line of fresh mushrooms through its company-owned fleet of vehicles and offers its value-added lines of products nationally through a wide network of distribution partners.

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

Marco pack house system increases productivity for Windset Farms in California

Marco pack house system increases productivity for Windset Farms in California

Marco’s YCM yield control equipment is bringing important productivity improvements for Windset Farms at their expansive fresh produce operation in Santa Maria, California.

Installed in 2013, the multi-line system, designed to simplify and deskill the manual packing process, is helping Windset increase throughput of their extensive range of pre-packed tomatoes. The installation features Marco’s ingenious ‘one light–one fruit’ operator display, designed to significantly increase line speeds and reduce overpack/giveaway.

Each light segment on the visual light display represents a single fruit. The YCM terminals can be pre-programmed to store different types and weights of tomato, making pack line changes very simple and rapid. As pre-packed tomatoes travel down the packing line, they are placed on the scale and then Windset operators are visually prompted to ‘add’ or ‘take out’ individual tomatoes to ensure pack weight compliance.

Windset’s Chief Operating Officer John Newell has been very impressed with the Marco solution: “Marco’s original improvement predictions at first seemed very optimistic, but we have certainly not been disappointed. The improvements in productivity and reductions in giveaway since the installation last September are dramatic. We also have gained additional benefits in terms of increased pack house visibility and we can now measure individual operator performance so that targeted training can be given where necessary.”

Marco are exhibiting at the upcoming Fruit Attraction exhibition in Madrid (October 15th-17th), stand 3E12C.

For more information:
Becky Hart 
Marco

Tel: +44 (0)1732 782 380
E-mail: [email protected]
www.marco.co.uk

Publication date: 9/19/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Federal Data Show Increases, Decreases in Antimicrobial Trends

A day before its 2014 Scientific Meeting at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) released its latest Executive Report, detailing the trends in antimicrobial resistance.

NARMS is a partnership between FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Agriculture to track antibiotic resistance in foodborne Salmonella, Campylobacter, Enterococcus and E. coli bacteria.

According to the 2011 data, 85 percent of non-typhoidal Salmonella collected from humans had no resistance to any of the antibiotics tested. Multi-drug resistance in Salmonella from humans, slaughtered chickens and slaughtered swine was the lowest since NARMS testing began. However, multi-drug resistance in Salmonella from retail poultry meats generally increased, with slight fluctuations.

During its 16-year history, NARMS has found Salmonella resistance to ciprofloxacin, one of the most common antibiotics to treat Salmonella infections in humans, to be very low (less than 0.5 percent in humans, less than 3 percent in retail meat, and less than 1 percent in animals at slaughter).

Resistance to third-generation cephalosporins, another important drug class for treating Salmonella infections, rose among isolates from retail ground turkey between 2008 and 2011 and among certain Salmonella serotypes in cattle between 2009 and 2011.

And Salmonella Heidelberg prevalence among all retail meat increased from about 10 percent in 2010 to 11 percent in 2011, but remained below the 2002-2010 average of 19.8 percent.

More than 90 percent of Campylobacter come from retail chicken each year, and Campylobacter jejuni is more prevalent than Campylobacter coli. C. coli also tends to be more resistant than C. jejuni, regardless of source.

In C. jejuni, erythromycin (the drug of choice for treating Campylobacter infections) resistance has remained at less than 4 percent in isolates obtained from humans, retail chicken and slaughtered chicken since testing began.

In the same class of antibiotics is ciprofloxacin, for which resistance in C. coli from retail chicken rose to its highest peak of 29 percent in 2005, but, since FDA withdrew approval for the use of enrofloxacin in poultry, resistance has since decreased to 18 percent.

However, this is not the case for C. jejuni, in which resistance to ciprofloxacin rose from 15 to 22 percent from 2002 through 2011.

Of the ground turkey, ground beef and pork chop samples that tested positive for E. coli, tetracycline was the most common source of resistance — 80 percent of ground turkey, 18 percent of ground beef and 47 percent of pork chops. In chicken, the 41 percent resistant to tetracycline was surpassed by 44 percent sulfisoxazole and 43 percent streptomycin.

Another highlight of the data is that 52 percent of ground turkey samples were resistant to ampicillin, up from 31 percent in 2002.

And, since 2005, nalidixic acid resistance in E. coli has decreased in chicken from 7 to 2 percent and in ground turkey from 10 to 2 percent.

“While some encouraging trends were observed, these findings underscore the need for continued efforts to curb antimicrobial resistance,” FDA said. “Monitoring antimicrobial resistance through NARMS is an important component of the overall effort to minimize antimicrobial resistance and promote appropriate and judicious use of antimicrobial drugs in both humans and animals.”

Food Safety News

Climate Change Increases Risk of Crop Slowdown in Next 20 Years

The world faces a small but substantially increased risk over the next two decades of a major slowdown in the growth of global crop yields because of climate change, new research finds.

The authors, from Stanford University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), say the odds of a major production slowdown of wheat and corn even with a warming climate are not very high. But the risk is about 20 times more significant than it would be without global warming, and it may require planning by organizations that are affected by international food availability and price.

“Climate change has substantially increased the prospect that crop production will fail to keep up with rising demand in the next 20 years,” said NCAR scientist Claudia Tebaldi, a co-author of the study.

Stanford professor David Lobell said he wanted to study the potential impact of climate change on agriculture in the next two decades because of questions he has received from stakeholders and decision makers in governments and the private sector.

“I’m often asked whether climate change will threaten food supply, as if it’s a simple yes or no answer,” Lobell said. “The truth is that over a 10- or 20-year period, it depends largely on how fast Earth warms, and we can’t predict the pace of warming very precisely. So the best we can do is try to determine the odds.”

Lobell and Tebaldi used computer models of global climate, as well as data about weather and crops, to calculate the chances that climatic trends would have a negative effect of 10 percent on yields of corn and wheat in the next 20 years. This would have a major impact on food supply. Yields would continue to increase but the slowdown would effectively cut the projected rate of increase by about half at the same time that demand is projected to grow sharply.

They found that the likelihood of natural climate shifts causing such a slowdown over the next 20 years is only 1 in 200. But when the authors accounted for human-induced global warming, they found that the odds jumped to 1 in 10 for corn and 1 in 20 for wheat.

The study appears in this month’s issue of Environmental Research Letters. It was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is NCAR’s sponsor, and by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

More crops needed worldwide

Global yields of crops such as corn and wheat have typically increased by about 1-2 percent per year in recent decades, and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization projects that global production of major crops will increase by 13 percent per decade through 2030 — likely the fastest rate of increase during the coming century. However, global demand for crops is also expected to rise rapidly during the next two decades because of population growth, greater per-capita food consumption, and increasing use of biofuels.

Lobell and Tebaldi set out to estimate the odds that climate change could interfere with the ability of crop producers to keep up with demand. Whereas other climate research had looked at the crop impacts that were most likely, Lobell and Tebaldi decided to focus on the less likely but potentially more dangerous scenario that climate change would reduce yield growth by 10 percent or more.

The researchers used simulations available from an NCAR-based climate model (developed by teams of scientists with support from NSF and DOE), as well as several other models, to provide trends in temperature and precipitation over the next two decades for crop-intensive regions under a scenario of increasing carbon dioxide. They also used the same model simulations without human-caused increases in carbon dioxide to assess the same trends in a natural climate.

In addition, they ran statistical analyses to estimate the impacts of changes in temperature and precipitation on wheat and corn yields in various regions of the globe and during specific times of the year that coincide with the most important times of the growing seasons for those two crops.

The authors quantified the extent to which warming temperatures would correlate with reduced yields. For example, an increase of 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) would slow corn yields by 7 percent and wheat yields by 6 percent. Depending on the crop-growing region, the odds of such a temperature increase in the next 20 years were about 30 to 40 percent in simulations that included increases in carbon dioxide. In contrast, such temperature increases had a much lower chance of occurring in stimulations that included only natural variability, not human-induced climate change.

Although society could offset the climate impacts by planting wheat and corn in cooler regions, such planting shifts to date have not occurred quickly enough to offset warmer temperatures, the study warned. The authors also found little evidence that other adaptation strategies, such as changes in crop varieties or growing practices, would totally offset the impact of warming temperatures.

“Although further study may prove otherwise we do not anticipate adaptation being fast enough to significantly alter the near-term risks estimated in this paper,” they wrote.

“We can’t predict whether a major slowdown in crop growth will actually happen, and the odds are still fairly low,” said Tebaldi. “But climate change has increased the odds to the point that organizations concerned with food security or global stability need to be aware of this risk.”

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Habitat fragmentation increases vulnerability to disease in wild plants

Proximity to other meadows increases disease resistance in wild meadow plants, according to a study led by Anna-Liisa Laine at the University of Helsinki. The results of the study, analysing the epidemiological dynamics of a fungal pathogen in the archipelago of Finland, will be published in Science on 13 June 2014.

The study surveyed more than 4,000 Plantago lanceolata meadows and their infection status by a powdery mildew fungus in the Åland archipelago of Finland. The surveys have continued since 2001, resulting in one of the world’s largest databases on disease dynamics in wild plant populations.

“Contrary to expectations of ecological laws, there was less disease in those areas of the landscape that supported dense meadow networks. This suggests that disease resistance has increased in these areas where there’s more gene flow between the plant populations. This hypothesis was confirmed in a laboratory study where we measured a higher susceptibility to infection in plants originating from isolated meadows. The results are a powerful demonstration that while plants stand still, their genes don’t. Landscape structure strongly impacts how pollen and seed travel, shaping the genetic diversity of local populations,” says Laine.

In nature, Laine says, diseases appear to be “between the devil and the deep blue sea” — either their host populations are small and fragmented or, when abundant, they have evolved higher levels of disease resistance.

Pathogens and pests are not unique to agricultural environment as wild populations also host diverse pathogen communities. However, devastating epidemics that are characteristic of agricultural pathogens are rarely documented in nature.

According to Laine, the mechanisms that keep diseases “in check” in nature are poorly understood. Most epidemiological research targets the phase of rapid disease spread. However, much could be learned by studying the mechanisms that enable long-term persistence of infection at moderate levels. The Plantago meadow network is ideal for this purpose as typically less than 10 per cent of the meadows are infected.

Anna-Liisa Laine is an Academy Research Fellow funded by the Academy of Finland. Her research on disease evolution and epidemiology is funded through the Academy’s Centre of Excellence Programme and the European Research Council’s Starting Grant funding scheme.

Story Source:

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

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Coca-Cola increases stake in Keurig

Coca-Cola has become the largest shareholder of Keurig Green Mountain by increasing its stake in the single-cup coffee giant to 16%, according to reports.

Earlier this year, Coca-Cola purchased a 10% minority equity stake in the company for an estimated $ 1.25 billion and agreed to provide its beverages in single-pod form for the Keurig Gold cold-beverage machine, scheduled for release later this year.

Tom Pirko, president of beverage consulting firm Bevmark observed that the strategy is part of Coca-Cola’s “creeping acquisition policy” which may eventually result in a full acquisition.

“This is something that’s pretty standard with Atlanta right now, where they buy a share and then increase that share to the point where if they’re really happy with the investment, they’ll buy it out entirely,” he said. “They didn’t increase it to 50% but they have enough of stake to in some ways gently determine the future of Keurig. They’re kind of waiting to see how it all comes together.”

Retailers are also likely taking note, said Pirko, given Coca-Cola’s intent to market its beverages — which take up a sizeable portion of supermarket beverage aisles in bottle and can form — in Keurig Gold-compatible pods.

“What we have here is an enormous retail business that is looking to transfer some of its energy to in-home preparation,” he said. “Of course people still have to buy pods and capsules, but essentially when a brand begins some kind of a migration away from retail, that makes things different for the supermarket buyers. They don’t want to see this great retail presence, that has made everyone rich, transferred away from the store. They’re going to try to drive harder bargains and may say ‘okay, if you’re going to move this away from us and you want to keep all this shelf space, you’re going to have to give us a little more in terms of our discounts and promotions.’”

Supermarket News

Italy: Consorzio Mundial increases Red Falcon melon crops

Italy: Consorzio Mundial increases Red Falcon melon crops

Pigmented Red Falcon melons, a type of Cantaloupe melon by Nunhems, was created specifically for the soil and weather conditions of South-Eastern Sicily.


Red flesh melons are cultivated and sold exclusively by the companies who are part of Consorzio Mundial, which covers 1,500 ha, 1,000 of which are dedicated precisely to Red Falcon. 

As the chairman of the Consortium, Giuseppe “Pino” Marrali, explains that, “Red Falcon crops are getting increasingly popular. We sell only the best melons under the Mundial brand. We package them in processing warehouses equipped with cold storage units, so the produce can be kept in its best condition. We export 15% of the total production.” 


The Consortium handles around 35/40 thousand tons of melons per year. The produce is sold between April and July and harvesting started a few days ago.


“Our processes are certified by Sata, an external company that guarantees that we comply with the standards required by the market. We want to guarantee that the produce is controlled along the whole chain.”


Marrali concludes by saying that “the melon market is getting increasingly competitive, but we see it as a stimulus to do things better.”

Per contacts:
Ivan Della Piazza (Marketing manager)
Tel.: +39 348 0159820
Giuseppe Marrali: +39 336 504868
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.consorziomundial.com

Publication date: 4/24/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Italy: Consorzio Mundial increases Red Falcon melon crops

Italy: Consorzio Mundial increases Red Falcon melon crops

Pigmented Red Falcon melons, a type of Cantaloupe melon by Nunhems, was created specifically for the soil and weather conditions of South-Eastern Sicily.


Red flesh melons are cultivated and sold exclusively by the companies who are part of Consorzio Mundial, which covers 1,500 ha, 1,000 of which are dedicated precisely to Red Falcon. 

As the chairman of the Consortium, Giuseppe “Pino” Marrali, explains that, “Red Falcon crops are getting increasingly popular. We sell only the best melons under the Mundial brand. We package them in processing warehouses equipped with cold storage units, so the produce can be kept in its best condition. We export 15% of the total production.” 


The Consortium handles around 35/40 thousand tons of melons per year. The produce is sold between April and July and harvesting started a few days ago.


“Our processes are certified by Sata, an external company that guarantees that we comply with the standards required by the market. We want to guarantee that the produce is controlled along the whole chain.”


Marrali concludes by saying that “the melon market is getting increasingly competitive, but we see it as a stimulus to do things better.”

Per contacts:
Ivan Della Piazza (Marketing manager)
Tel.: +39 348 0159820
Giuseppe Marrali: +39 336 504868
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.consorziomundial.com

Publication date: 4/24/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Fresh Fruit Cuts increases efficiency and volume with new equipment

In preparation for the start of the California stone fruit season in early May, fresh-cut peach and nectarine processor Fresh Fruit Cuts, located in Fresno, CA, has made numerous facility upgrades to increase efficiency and volume.FFC Logo

After a market test last season, Fresh Fruit Cuts is gearing up for its first full season and strong demand with facility upgrades, including new bagging equipment, volume tray fillers and additional conveyers.

“After last year’s stone fruit season, we were for looking ways to improve our efficiency and reduce labor,” Kim Gaarde, president of Fresh Cut Fruits, said in a press release. “Making these upgrades in equipment will help us realize savings in cost and time while allowing us to not only meet current demand, but continue to grow it in the future.”

While the new equipment’s main purpose is to process peaches, nectarines and plums for the company’s “Woot Froot” brand, it will also be used to process and bag other fresh-cut items.

The new equipment enables Fresh Fruit Cuts to add additional SKUs and pack sizes of form, fill and seal bags, as well as trays.

Fresh Fruit Cuts is currently the only U.S.-based fresh-cut processor to offer sliced peaches and nectarines, the company said in the press release.

This season will start in mid-May and the company will offer fresh-cut sliced peaches and nectarines in three-ounce bags, five-count multipack clamshells, 14-ounce bags, and 10- and 20-ounce and two-pound trays in the “Woot Froot” brand.

Fresh Fruit Cuts, a specialty processor and woman-owned business, endeavors to deliver unique and high flavor value-added products to consumers around the country.

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

Giumarra increases watermelon tonnage in mexico

Giumarra Nogales is currently shipping its west Mexico watermelon program and kicked off the spring season three weeks earlier than last year.

The early time frame is attributed to earlier transplanting, improved growing practices and ideal weather conditions.

“These are some of the nicest quality fields I’ve seen, with excellent size, clean fruit and great tonnage,” John Corsaro, chief executive officer of the Giumarra Cos., watermelons2Cesar Pacheco, sales manager of Giumarra Nogales, overlooks the watermelon fields in Hermosillo with Giumarra’s grower partner.said after a recent visit to the company’s grower-partner ranches in Sonora to assess the crop. Also on the trip were Gil Munguia, division manager of Giumarra Nogales; Cesar Pacheco, sales manager of Giumarra Nogales; and Scott Ross, East Coast business manager for the Giumarra Cos.

In describing the harvest pattern, Pacheco noted the success Giumarra Nogales has had in filling its watermelon gap by trialing watermelon crops in different areas of Mexico outside of its normal production in Sonora. The company now produces watermelons in the Mexican states of Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Colima and Michoacán.

“We will have a slight overlap as we transition out of the fruit from southern Mexico,” Pacheco said in the release. “Our Sonoran program starts just south of Guaymas and progresses northward as we work our way to Hermosillo.”

Giumarra Nogales is well-positioned to service customers with excellent quality and volume throughout June, and it can offer Fair Trade Certified watermelons to customers who are interested. The program markets the certified watermelon for a slight premium, with labeling and point-of-sale materials to let consumers know their purchase is directly benefitting farm workers.

“Our grower is deeply invested in the Fair Trade program and for two years has used it to complement the excellent social responsibility principles already in place at his ranches,” Munguia said in the release. “We hope to see more customers interested in the program in the future as they realize the value of connecting with consumers in this way.”

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

RLB Food Distributors increases warehouse space

The Jan. 24 opening of RLB Food Distributors’ newly acquired 40,000-square-foot refrigerated facility in Fairfield, NJ, has greatly increased the company’s warehousing capabilities.

This added space provides eight additional loading bays to the company’s 85,000-square-foot 13-bay warehouse located three miles away at the company’s headquarters in West Caldwell. Produce shippers benefit as well, as the increase in slotting capacity will allow for a stronger product foothold in RLB’s market area, which spans from northern Virginia to Boston.

“This addition solves our past challenges of a limited number of slots,” Floyd Avillo, president and co-owner, said in a press release. “It means we can now handle more of anything that is chilled and take on new lines and suppliers for our customers. We expect this new facility will allow for us to grow all of our business lines for another 10 to 12 years.”

The Fairfield location is formerly a cheese distribution facility, which RLB purchased and renovated. The company has moved its entire deli, chilled and specialty inventory to Fairfield, while freeing up space in its West Caldwell facility to expand its fresh produce offerings — including organics and locally grown — to serve a broader range of retail customers. The re-engineered produce facility features 10 temperature and humidity zones with 55,000 square feet of warehouse space. An additional 13,000 square feet is devoted to RLB’s fresh-cut processing division, FreshPro.

“We will be expanding our fresh-cut operation within the West Caldwell facility in the future,” Avillo said. “Currently, the extra space now freed up by moving deli out allows us to have more room for raw product, finished product and packaging and a more efficient production flow.”

Fresh and fresh-cut produce are a major segment of RLB’s business, representing 70 percent of dollar sales in 2013.

RLB offers a full-line of conventional and organic produce and an extensive variety of fresh and branded products. The company is also a full-line supplier of domestic and imported deli products and cheeses, sources private label lines for provisions, prepared foods and salads, and is a distributor/consolidator of chilled foods, soups and prepared foods. This makes RLB a one-stop source for fresh foods.

“We are an innovative perishable specialist that has stayed true to our mission of supplying high-quality products, service and value to retailers who look to offer consistency in variety, taste and freshness to their consumers,” Avillo said. “This is accomplished through our network of loyal suppliers who understand our needs, our commitments to fresh-cut and organics and our associates who are aligned with these principles.”

RLB’s Fairfield and West Caldwell warehouses are HACCP-certified and third-party audited facilities.

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

Stemilt’s premium pear program leads industry to huge category increases

Stemilt’s premium river valley pear program helped the industry achieve huge category increases through the first four months of the season, according to the company’s recent analysis of retail scan data from Nielsen Perishables Group.

D’Anjou pears were up 24 percent in volume and nearly 26 percent in dollar sales year over year according to national composite data from September through December 2013. Other key pear varieties, including Red d’Anjou, Bartlett and Bosc, also realized increases in both categories.

MillerStreetPears 6174D’Anjou pears on one of Stemilt’s modern packing lines at its Miller Street facility in Wenatchee, WA.“Though no two crop years are ever the same — and the 2013-14 crop is up in volume and fruit size is larger than the prior crop — the fact that dollar sales have increased for d’Anjou and other key varieties along with volume increases shows that consumer demand for pears is very strong,” Roger Pepperl, Stemilt marketing director, said in a press release.

There are a number of factors that led to the pear category increases, Pepperl said. Harvest in the Northwest was slightly earlier than normal, which allowed retailers to get a jump on the pear season. The total pear crop is up over last year due to this being an “on” year for pears, and fruit size is running a size larger this year.

“About 10 percent of the volume increase for d’Anjou pears can be attributed to fruit size,” Pepperl said. “Customers might be picking up the same number of pears but are bringing home more weight when they buy bulk simply because fruit size is larger at retail.”

Aside from crop realities, Pepperl believes that increased attention on ripening programs for d’Anjou, value bag offerings, and putting multiple varieties on ad each month is elevating the pear category.

“Here at Stemilt, our pear program has really benefitted over the past several years from capital investments, new products and a focus on getting multiple pears on ad every month during the fall and winter season,” he said. “The increased shelf space for pears during a multi-pear ad often results in 15-20 percent increases in volume when compared to one item pear ads.”

Stemilt pears come primarily from two renowned locales: the Wenatchee River Valley and the Entiat River Valley. Surrounded by alpine mountains, these two regions benefit from cooler temperatures during the growing season and high-quality air drainage, which consistently produces premium quality pears.

The two locales are both located in close proximity to four modern packinglines operated by Stemilt or its pear partner, Peshastin Hi-Up. Additionally, Stemilt’s Miller Street facility in Wenatchee features two Thermal Tech ripening rooms to round out the company’s recognizable RipeRite pear-ripening program.

“Our increased investment in packinglines and pear ripening has resulted in a better consumer eating experience,” Pepperl said. “We already benefit from tremendous pear quality thanks to the location of our pear orchards, and so we focus on tight inventory turns and delivering ready-to-eat pear pressures to retail on normally hard-to-ripen varieties like d’Anjou and Red d’Anjou.”

Stemilt has also increased the volume of bag offerings to provide added value to the pear category. The company includes four varieties of pears in its trademarked Lil Snappers line of kid-sized fruits, and also provides retailers with high-graphic half tri-wall bins, which are perfect for promoting family-sized bags of pears.

“Our pear half tri-wall bins are a great in-and-out merchandising tool to move five-pound bags of pears,” said Pepperl. “It adds one more item to the mix to elevate the category and really appeals to value shoppers.”

Pepperl expects the pear category increases to level down a bit through the spring months as seasonal items — like cherries — start to take some shelf space in produce departments. Overall, the Nielsen data from the primary pear promotion months tells him that consumers are responding to the premium quality of pears, especially when strong merchandising programs are behind them.

“It’s always our goal at Stemilt to continuously improve pear quality in order to provide consumers with an unforgettable eating experience,” Pepperl said. “It’s great to see our efforts pay off in the form of strong category growth nationally.”

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