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US: Larger orange production expected in 2014-2015

The latest USDA orange forecast predicts the 2014-2015 crop will be slightly bigger than the 2013-2014 one.

Last season’s orange production in the United States reached 156.4 million boxes, and, if the the latest USDA forecast pans out, the upcoming season’s production will be 2.5 percent larger than that. Production for the 2014-2015 orange season is expected to reach 160.4 million boxes, with gains in both Valencia and non-Valencia orange production. Florida, the state with the largest production of oranges in the country, is expected to have 108.0 million boxes of oranges for the upcoming season.

Grapefruit production is forecast to dip to 24.8 million boxes for the upcoming season – down from the previous season’s production of 25.4 million boxes. Florida’s production of grapefruit is expected to decrease only slightly, from 15.7 million boxes last season to 15.0 million boxes for 2014-2015.

Lemon production is expected to decrease by 800,000 boxes for the upcoming season, with production in California, the state that grows the most lemons, remaining unchanged at 19.0 million boxes.

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CA (BC): Larger apple sizes, increased competition in British Columbia

A good bloom set and favourable weather conditions have made for good volumes and larger-sized fruit in British Columbia. But a large crop in Washington State has offered increased competition and made for lower prices.

“Apart from some localized hail, the apple crop seems to be good in quality, colour, condition and size,” said Glen Lucas, general manager for the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. “I’ve heard different things, but it seems like it’s also going to be an above-average crop.” It’s not clear how much above average this year’s crop will be. What is clear is that quality will be good, meaning that this year’s pack-outs will provide plenty of fruit for the fresh market.

Because acreage has remained steady over the last few years, this year’s larger crop is attributed to better yields brought on by favourable weather. That weather has also made for larger fruit, which growers hope will offset some of the lower prices spurred on by increased competition from Washington State apples.

“The apple market seems to be picking up with steady movement, but we’re competing against lower prices from Washington,” said Don Wescott of BC Tree Fruits Limited. “We’re facing a lot more market pressure from Washington, because they have a record crop, so they’re scrambling to move as much product as they can. So prices are down from last year, I’d say about a couple of dollars per box.” Larger fruit sizing is helping growers in this situation, as is the current exchange rate, which is helping Canadian exporters.

For more information:

Glen Lucas

BC Fruit Growers’ Association

+1 250 762 5226

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USDA predicts larger Florida orange crop for 2014-15

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its initial forecast for 2014-15, pegging the orange crop at 108 million boxes, up from last season’s total of 104.4 million.

Early-mid varieties accounted for 52 million boxes, while Valencias came in at 56 million boxes.

“This is a positive number as the Florida citrus grower continues to battle citrus greening disease,” Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Florida Citrus Mutual, said in a press release. “It’s been a tight few years for production and 2014-15 is no different.”

The USDA makes its initial estimate in October of each year and revises it monthly as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July. The full estimate can be found at http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm for the complete USDA estimate.

The USDA’s estimate of the 2014-15 Florida grapefruit crop came in at 15 million boxes. Specialty fruit is estimated at 3.7 million boxes. The yield for frozen concentrate orange juice is anticipated to be 1.60 gallons per 90-pound box.

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

USDA predicts larger Florida orange crop for 2014-15

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its initial forecast for 2014-15, pegging the orange crop at 108 million boxes, up from last season’s total of 104.4 million.

Early-mid varieties accounted for 52 million boxes, while Valencias came in at 56 million boxes.

“This is a positive number as the Florida citrus grower continues to battle citrus greening disease,” Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Florida Citrus Mutual, said in a press release. “It’s been a tight few years for production and 2014-15 is no different.”

The USDA makes its initial estimate in October of each year and revises it monthly as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July. The full estimate can be found at http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Florida/Publications/Citrus/cpfp.htm for the complete USDA estimate.

The USDA’s estimate of the 2014-15 Florida grapefruit crop came in at 15 million boxes. Specialty fruit is estimated at 3.7 million boxes. The yield for frozen concentrate orange juice is anticipated to be 1.60 gallons per 90-pound box.

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

Northwest pear growers forecast larger crop than originally expected

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Larger supply causing difficult sales of peppers

Robbert van Essen: “Lit cultivation creates added value”
Larger supply causing difficult sales of peppers

Valstar Holland has been the market leader on the Dutch pepper market for a number of years. What is unique is that the growers who supply to the sales organisation have some lit cultivation, so that the company, with the exception of a short period and December and January, can supply peppers all year round. “Red, green and yellow peppers, as well as Jalapeños, have lit cultivation. This means we can create added value,” says Robbert van Essen, who is responsible for the pepper sales.


“Over the last few years the sales of peppers has gone quite well. Unfortunately this has meant that quite a few smaller growers have opted to join the pepper cultivation. Spain had a good pepper season this year and continued to supply for a long time, which meant they were in our way for a number of weeks. All of this resulted in a more difficult market this year. At the moment the kilo price of the red and green peppers is between 1 and 1.25 Euro and that’s quite mediocre. The expectation is that the market will improve a little over the next few weeks,” says Robbert.


Beside domestic cultivation in the Netherlands and Belgium, fixed partners in Israel and Spain supply imported peppers to Valstar Holland. “The quality is much better than that of the Moroccan peppers,” says the seller. Valstar’s main buyers of peppers are retail and wholesale in the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands. The first connections to the United States have already been made and it is our goal to continue to extend this export.


According to Robbert the pepper consumption is reasonably stable. “The peppers are mainly consumed by Asians. Last year we saw good sales in the special varieties such as the Jalapeño, Habanero and Naga Jolokia pepper, but this area has been extended and you notice there is too much pretty quickly.”


For more information:
Robbert van Essen
Valstar Holland
ABC Westland 110
2685 DB Poeldijk
T: +31 174 530817
F: +31 174 530888
[email protected]
www.valstar.nl

Publication date: 7/14/2014


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Costco Rotisserie Chicken Recall Larger Than First Announced

Costco’s recall of rotisserie chicken products from its El Camino Real store in San Francisco is larger than was originally announced five days ago, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said Thursday.

The recall, originally issued on Oct. 12, concerns potential contamination with  the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak that may also be related to raw chickens from Foster Farms. The PFGE pattern (0258) associated with the outbreak is rarely seen in the United States.

FSIS, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health and the County of San Mateo Public Health Department, determined through epidemiologic and traceback investigations that there is a link between the Costco El Camino Real rotisserie chicken products and this illness outbreak.

At this time, it appears that the problem may be the result of cross-contamination after the cooking process in the preparation area. FSIS is continuing to work with CDC, public health partners in California and Costco on the investigation.  So far, the recalled products from Costco are not associated with any specific illness.

FSIS said the Costco recall was expanded to include 13,455 “Kirkland Signature Foster Farms” rotisserie chickens and 638 units of “Kirkland Farm” rotisserie chicken soups, leg quarters, and salads to the original recall of 9,043 units.

Costco sold the total of 23,136 rotisserie chicken products at the single location between Sept. 24 and Oct. 15, 2013.

FSIS Recommendations for Preventing Salmonellosis:

  • Wash hands before and after handling raw meat and poultry with warm/hot (preferred) or cold soapy running water by rubbing hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Also wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot (preferred), soapy water and clean up any spills right away. The mechanical action of vigorous rubbing of hands and utensils/surfaces creates friction that helps to dislodge bacteria and viruses from hands and surfaces.
  • Additionally, warm/hot water helps to dissolve fats/foods, aiding in cleaning/microbe removal and can also assist in deactivation of pathogens. For more information on hand washing, go to http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing.
  • If soapy water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations. However, sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs, including viruses.
  • Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be thoroughly cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, and their juices and thoroughly cooked foods. Thoroughly cook raw meat and poultry to safe internal temperatures (160º F for ground meat such as beef and pork and 165º F for all poultry, as measured with a food thermometer) before eating. Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase (one hour if temperatures exceed 90º F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.

Food Safety News

Spain: Larger lemon production volumes and lower prices

Turkey benefited by lower exchange rate
Spain: Larger lemon production volumes and lower prices

The rains in late August and early September had promised a two week advance in the start of the lemon season, although the unusual heat and lack of rain that followed have pushed it back to the normal period, allowing for the produce from the Southern Hemisphere to be sold out. Consequently, the Fino lemon harvest started two weeks ago and will last until March, when it will be replaced by the Verna from early April to late June.

Production volumes for this season are estimated to reach 910,000 tonnes; an 11% increase compared to last season, when 820,000 tonnes were harvested. “This could still change depending on the weather and pace of the harvest, as calibres may change and consequently also the volumes. It is not a great increase in production, but it will allow us to ensure the fruit’s availability for the entire campaign,” explains José Antonio García, director of AILIMPO.

The bad news for Spain is that Turkey already started with sales on 20 September with a 20% increase in production and much lower prices. “Their production costs are obviously much lower, but it should also be considered that the Turkish government provides financial aid to exports of around 60€ per tonne, and that the exchange rate between the Turkish Lira and the Euro, marked by the 19% devaluation of the former, allows Turkey to reduce prices without it having an impact on profitability.”


“This makes it difficult for Spanish exporters at the beginning of the campaign, especially in Eastern Europe, where the Spanish and Turkish produce collide. Last year, Turkey had very little presence in those countries, but things have changed this season.”

In any case, these markets are generally the recipients of second class produce; and thus, if things got difficult in the fresh fruit market, “Spain has the advantage of a really advanced processing industry with a very large capacity.”

Prices are slightly lower than in the same period of 2012, and according to José Antonio García, this trend is expected to continue during the entire campaign. Despite this, “we are moderately optimistic about the campaign, during which we should be able to commercialise the entire production while obtaining profitable prices, both for producers as well as exporters.”

Publication date: 10/9/2013


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Larger apple crops create export opportunities

With expectations that the volume of Washington’s annual apple crop will continue to increase in the future, the industry is recognizing the importance that development of export markets will hold in moving product into the pipeline. Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, told The Produce News, “Washington is going to have to increase its export opportunities by 10-15 percent. This is an interesting year. We somewhat have our finger on the pulse.”

ExportOverview1The ongoing development of export markets will become increasingly important in years to come as the size of Washington’s annual apple crop continues to grow in volume. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission)Fryhover said apple growers have had some good years, and newer blocks of trees continue to come into bearing. He provided some assessments and insights about the current season. “We will have a little over 119 million cartons of apples this season. This is down 10 million boxes from last year. But this will be our second largest crop.”

The 2012-13 apple season is finishing up, and Fryhover said 40 million packages were exported. “Mexico has been phenomenal,” he stated. “We hope that continues. Canada has been great. Taiwan was up almost 30 percent this past year.” Central America and Southeast Asia have been slated as important developing markets.

On the negative side of the balance sheet are the United Kingdom and China.

Fluctuations in the value of currency have also had an impact. According to Fryhover, exports to India all but shut down due to the devaluation of India’s rupee.

Apple varieties such as Gala and Granny Smith are increasingly making their way offshore. “They are moving into export markets where they might not have gone before,” Fryhover stated.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Larger apple crops create export opportunities

With expectations that the volume of Washington’s annual apple crop will continue to increase in the future, the industry is recognizing the importance that development of export markets will hold in moving product into the pipeline. Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, told The Produce News, “Washington is going to have to increase its export opportunities by 10-15 percent. This is an interesting year. We somewhat have our finger on the pulse.”

ExportOverview1The ongoing development of export markets will become increasingly important in years to come as the size of Washington’s annual apple crop continues to grow in volume. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission)Fryhover said apple growers have had some good years, and newer blocks of trees continue to come into bearing. He provided some assessments and insights about the current season. “We will have a little over 119 million cartons of apples this season. This is down 10 million boxes from last year. But this will be our second largest crop.”

The 2012-13 apple season is finishing up, and Fryhover said 40 million packages were exported. “Mexico has been phenomenal,” he stated. “We hope that continues. Canada has been great. Taiwan was up almost 30 percent this past year.” Central America and Southeast Asia have been slated as important developing markets.

On the negative side of the balance sheet are the United Kingdom and China.

Fluctuations in the value of currency have also had an impact. According to Fryhover, exports to India all but shut down due to the devaluation of India’s rupee.

Apple varieties such as Gala and Granny Smith are increasingly making their way offshore. “They are moving into export markets where they might not have gone before,” Fryhover stated.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Peru poised to become larger player in U.S. avocado market in coming seasons

Peruvian avocados first gained access to the U.S. market late in the season in 2011, making 2013 the third year but the second full season that avocados from Peru have been available to buyers in the United States.

The Peruvian season runs from June through September, corresponding to the peak of the California avocado season, and also to the peak consumption months for avocados in the United States.

This year the Peruvian Avocado Commission expects a total volume of between 40-45 million pounds of avocados from Peru to come into the U.S. market, which is only a small portion of the aggregate total volume of about 1.7 million pounds of avocados from all sources the industry expects to be consumed in the United States in 2013.

010-GlobalAvos-PeruAvoA Hass avocado grove in Peru. (Photo courtesy of Peruvian Avocado Commission)But in coming seasons, “Peru will continue to increase its presence in the U.S. market,” Xavier Equihua, CEO of the Peruvian Avocado Commission, told The Produce News.

Noting the continued double-digit growth of avocado consumption in the U.S., Equihua, who is also CEO of the Chilean Avocado Importers Association, emphasized that “there is room for everybody.”

There is a potential in 2014 for Peru to export 90-100 million pounds of avocados to the United States, he said. “There are young trees beginning to bear fruit that will be ready next year.”

He also expects large sizes again, as is the case this year, because “young trees usually bear large fruit and that is the case with Peruvian fruit.”

Peru has “an incredible potential to become a very large source for avocados to the U.S.,” he said.

Mexico, which has year-round production, is and will always continue to be “by far the largest” supplier of avocados to the U.S. market, Equihua said. “We all know that. But everything is complementary, and there is room for all of these sources.”

Peru has “something that no other foreign origin has,” he said, and that is peak volume during the peak consumption periods in the United States. “I am not saying that Mexico is not a producer of avocados during that period, but their peak production really is not during the July and August periods.” Only California and Peru are at their peak during the peak consumption months.

As U.S. demand for avocados continues to grow, California experiences fluctuations in volume from one season to the next and cannot always meet demand, Equihua pointed out. “You will always have these kinds of fluctuations where you have large summer crops from California and then smaller crops from California, and Peru will make an excellent source for filling those gaps.”

Per capita consumption of avocados in the United States. “is going to continue to increase, and having other origins like Peru in the market gives retailer choices, which is very important,” he said. “Retailers don’t want to be stuck with one origin.”

Nor is Peru relying just on the U.S. market as an outlet for its expanding production. “Their primary market right now continues to be the European Union, and the U.S. is a secondary market right now,” Equihuia said. But the United States “has great potential to become as large or even larger than the European Union” as a market for Peruvian avocados.

“Peru is also looking at diversifying its portfolio,” he continued. Notably, Chile “for sure will be open next year for Peruvian fruit, and there is no doubt that Peru will export avocados to Chile” during the spring and summer months when Chile’s own production is low. Chile is “a great market for avocados,” with per capita consumption second only to Mexico.

In the United States, as consumption continues to climb, there will “be a need for sources like Peru to continue exporting more,” Equihua said, and he expects to see other producing countries to come into the market as well.

With a relatively small volume of Peruvian avocados in the U.S. market at present, the Peruvian Avocado Commission has a fairly small budget, so its marketing activities are limited.

“Our marketing activities this year are very classic,” Equihua said. “It is retail-focused program based on offering retail tags and offering demos,” and targeting East Coast markets. The commission is continuing in its campaign this year with the same theme used in 2012, which is “Monumental Taste.”

A June 13 press release from the commission stated that “the integrated marketing effort is designed to raise consumer awareness and support the product at retail via a robust media buy that includes mobile billboards near retail outlets, radio, in-store signage and store demos. This year’s efforts will focus on key markets including New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston and is intended to put a solid foundation in place for enhanced efforts in the following years.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

US (WA): Larger blueberry crop projected

As Washington’s blueberry crop reaches peak volumes this month, the states growers are anticipating a larger haul this season. The expanded growth is due to the continuing maturation of the state’s blueberry bushes.

Washington’s blueberry harvest started last month with picking in the eastern part of the state. Most of the berries picked in that region come from Duke blueberry bushes, which tend to produce large berries. This month is when the rest of the state’s blueberry growers begin harvesting their crops, and July should see most of the state’s blueberries harvested.

“We’re at peak volumes,” said Suzanne Wolter, director of marketing for Rainier Fruit Company. “July is our peak month.” She estimated that Ranier’s production this year will be 25 percent more than last year’s, and she credited an increase in maturing bushes for the bump in volume. Likewise, many of the state’s other growers are reporting a similar effect.

“The big reason there will be more production this year is because we’ve had a lot of plantings that are now maturing,” said the Washington Blueberry Commission’s Alan Schreiber. “We had 70 million pounds of blueberries last year in Washington, and this year it’s projected to reach 80 million pounds, which would be a new high.” He also mentioned good growing conditions throughout the year as another factor contributing to this year’s large volume of blueberries. In fact, while rain during the earlier part of the year caused many problems for the state’s cherry growers, the state’s blueberry crop has fared well so far.

“We had a wet May and wet June,” said Wolter. “That was challenging when it came to cherries, but our blueberries have handled the weather well.”


Growers have dodged other potential pitfalls this year. While labor scarcity was expected to be a problem, Schreiber noted that, although the worker turnover rate has has been higher than in previous years, there’s been an adequate number of workers for the first part of the season. Similarly, while Spotted Wing Drosophila has been a problem for growers during the last four seasons, its presence has been minimal for the first half of the season. But with supplies expected to last into October, there’s still a significant portion of the season left to manage, and there’s plenty of time for things to go wrong.

“We had a mild winter, so we expected to see more Spotted Wing Drosophila,” said Schreiber. “But this is a pest that gets worse as the season progresses.”

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