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U.S. distributor goes to court over banana no-show

Long Island-based fruit company Esposito Brothers has launched a lawsuit over an alleged failure to deliver a large shipment of bananas in mid-2013, the New York Post reported.

The publication reported 21,000 boxes of Ecuadorian-sourced Bonita bananas Esposito ordered from Fruit Importers Americas Inc. did not arrive in July that year.

The story reported the lawsuit was against “Ecuador’s biggest fruit conglomerate”, but Esposito declined to comment on the case or provide clarification as to the details.

The suit seeks at least US$ 27 million in damages, the story reported.

Photo: www.shutterstock.com

www.freshfruitportal.com

FreshFruitPortal.com

FirstFruits Marketing donates over 350,000 pounds of apples to local food banks

FirstFruits Marketing of Washington finished its sixth annual Take a Bite Out of Hunger program at select retailers with a collective donation of 350,000 pounds of apples to local food banks. This brings the total program donation to approximately 1,600,000 pounds over six seasons.
 
TAB-logo 1 FirstFruits created Take a Bite Out of Hunger with the goal of helping feed the underserved while bringing attention to the problem of food insecurity in the United States. In its sixth year, FirstFruits continues to partner with retailers and wholesalers to make fresh apple donations. Donations are made in a retailer’s name to local food banks with the retailer contributing the cost of freight. This year’s participating retailers and wholesalers included Ahold, Charlie’s Produce, Dave’s Marketplace, Good Food Stores, Harvey’s, McKay’s Markets, Northwest Grocers, Red Apple Markets, Roundy’s, Stater Brothers, Super 1 Foods, Thriftway and United Supermarkets.
 
“The Take a Bite Out of Hunger program continues to grow every year thanks to the continued support and dedication from our partners,” said Chuck Zeutenhorst, general manager of FirstFruits.  “Their participation is not just about the donation, but also about engaging and educating consumers about the issues surrounding hunger.”
 
Hunger isn’t just about being hungry. It’s about food insecurity, or not having regular access to safe, affordable and nutritious foods. As of 2014, 14 percent of all U.S. households were food-insecure according to the USDA. Of those, households with children reported food insecurity at a higher rate than those without children — 19 percent compared to 12 percent.
 
The Take a Bite Out of Hunger™ program provides full retail support with campaign-themed polybags and merchandisers, point-of-sale cards and ad slicks. At the conclusion of the program, local press is invited to cover the food bank donations.

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

ConAgra expands recall of chicken and beef over metal fragments

The July 6 recall by ConAgra Foods was expanded Friday to include an additional 191,791 pounds–up from the original 3,806 pounds—for a total of 195,597 pounds of chicken and beef P.F. Chang’s brand entrée products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically metal.

recalled P.F. Changs chicken beef ConAgraThe problem was first discovered on July 1 by an employee at the Russellville, AR ConAgra facility who observed metal fragments while dispensing sugar from a supplier for sauce formulation during processing. No injuries have yet been associated with the metal fragment contamination.

The fragments range in size between 2 and 9 millimeters (mm) in diameter, and are curled, malleable and shiny. The metal fragments may be embedded in the sauce contained within the frozen entrée products.

The frozen chicken and beef entrée items were produced on various dates between May 31, 2016 and June 22, 2016. The following products are subject to recall:

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Signature Spicy Chicken” with “Use By” date of 6/08/17 and case code 5006616500.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Mongolian Style Beef” with “Use By” date of 6/17/17 and case code 5006617400.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Mongolian Style Beef” with “Use By” date of 6/1/17 and case code 5006615800.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Beef with Broccoli” with “Use By” date of 6/4/17 and case code 5006616100.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Sweet & Sour Chicken” with “Use By” date of 6/3/17 and case code 5006616000.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu General Chang’s Chicken” with “Use By” date of 6/3/17 and case code 5006616000.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Garlic Chicken with Dan Dan Noodles” with “Use By” date of 6/8/17 and case code 5006616500.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Grilled Chicken Teriyaki with Lo Mein Noodles” with “Use By” date of 6/10/17 and case code 5006616700.

• 22-oz. plastic bagged meal packages of “P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Signature Spicy Chicken” with “Use By” date of 5/26/17 and case code 5006615200.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. 233” or “EST. P-115” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to distributors and retail locations nationwide.

The resulting sauce is a component in the frozen entrée products. On July 14, 2016, ConAgra Foods was notified by the supplier of an FDA recall involving multiple production lots of sugar due to potential metal contamination. The recall action involved additional lots of sugar potentially used in FSIS regulated products at ConAgra Foods, and resulted in this expansion of the initial recall action.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website.

Food Safety News

SweeTango crop continues to grow with 18 percent increase over 2015

Members of the Next Big Thing Growers’ Cooperative, a 45-member cooperative of family growers headquartered in Lake City, MN, released their estimates for the 2016 crop of SweeTango, the apple that was developed by the University of Minnesota to feature the best characteristics of the Honeycrisp and Zestar! apple varieties.sweetang

The projected crop yield is 450,000 standard 40-pound boxes, which is an 18 percent increase over last year’s crop of 380,000 and 9 percent larger than the 2014 harvest of 413,000 boxes.

Preliminary projections estimated a yield of 465,000 boxes for 2016, however severe storms on July 8 in northern Michigan produced hail up to two inches in diameter that caused extensive damage to the crop in that region, thereby reducing the overall estimate. Other growing regions across the United States and Canada have not been adversely affected by weather to date.

The timing of the harvest varies by growing region, as orchards are spread across differing climates in locations like Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and Nova Scotia. Washington will begin harvest first in early August, which means SweeTango will start appearing in the market around Labor Day.

As the SweeTango apple crop has continued to grow over the past decade, so does the length of the season. Once a hyper-seasonal fruit due to limited yields from a relatively small number of young orchards, SweeTango’s season is now expected to extend from early September to late December. This is great news for SweeTango’s enthusiastic and loyal consumer following.

Theron Kibbe, executive director of Next Big Thing Growers’ Cooperative noted, “We are looking forward to a good size SweeTango crop of excellent quality, with sizes that retailers are successful with. We have a robust marketing program in place that will drive shoppers to stores with SweeTango apples on their lists. We also will be partnering with retailers with in-store activities designed to increase trial and introduce new shoppers to SweeTango’s tangy-sweet flavor and exceptional crunch.”

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

Ecuador suspends preferential trade with US over Snowden affair

Move will see tariffs introduced on agricultural exports
Ecuador suspends preferential trade with US over Snowden affair

Ecuador has made the surprising announcement that it is giving up its preferential trade agreement with the United States, a move which could have serious repercussions for agricultural industry. The shock news comes in the wake of the ongoing Edward Snowden affair.

The former CIA agent, turned whistle-blower, is though to be seeking asylum from Ecuador. The country is gaining something of a reputation for sheltering those involved in the leaking of government secrets and is currently housing Wikileaks’ Julian Assange in its London Embassy.

Ecuador’s Minister of Communications, Fernando Alcarado, announced the decision, saying, the country “unilaterally and irrevocably renounces…trade preferences.” He described the decision as a demonstration of Ecuador’s commitment to its values and a sign that it would not allow foreign powers to influence national sovereignty via the exertion of commercial pressure.

Ecuador, he said, “doesn’t accept…threats from anybody and it doesn’t trade its principles or give them up for commercial interests, no matter how important.”

Ecuador’s left wing president, Raffael Correa, has sought to calm concerns on the domestic front over the move, stating that the suspension of preferential trade, which will see the introduction of tariffs on exports, including broccoli and bananas, would have limited impact.

Other have been quick to disagree, pointing out that the relatively straightforward trade processes with the US have turned certain Ecuadorian enterprises into major international industries. Romiro Crespo, of Quito based Analytical Investments, said, “If commerce is restricted there’s going to be unemployment…this does not penalise the government, it penalises the people.”

Just how effective a gesture this proves to be remains to be seen of course and, currently, the prospect of Snowden, who is trapped in international limbo at Moscow airport, making it to Ecuador and one of its embassies is very small, his passport having been revoked by the US authorities.

Publication date: 6/28/2013
Author: Ben Littler
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Mexico Blocks U.S. Hogs at Border Over Diarrheal Disease

U.S. hog farmers exporting to Mexico are going to have more hoops to jump through.

In reaction to a multistage outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED, among piglets in the U.S., Mexico has officially imposed a ban on further hog imports. This will mean more restrictions and more inspections of U.S. hogs entering Mexico; clearing the border will only occur on a case-by case basis.

PED is a fairly common illnesses among hog populations, with symptoms said to be similar to
gastroenteritis. The current outbreak involves hogs in 13 states. It was first identified by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) on May 17.

Mexico’s National Food Health, Safety and Quality Service (Senasica) has asked USDA for technical information about the PED outbreak and measures being used in the U.S. to prevent it from spreading. The Mexican agency also wants information on actions taken by the U.S. to ensure that exports are safe.

PED is not a reportable disease under the rules of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). It is typically spread by animal-to-animal contact or by contaminated equipment they come into contact with.

In announcing its action at the border, Mexico said it was thing the following preventive actions, including:

  • Asking USDA for its risk mitigation strategies.
  • Increasing epidemiological surveillance of hog farms to spot any spike in pig mortality.
  • Keeping hogs imported prior to May 17 under quarantine.
  • Inspecting locations where hogs were brought into Mexico during the last three months.

So far, Mexico has no reported cases of the disease and plans what it calls “extreme vigilence to keep it that way.

Officially called the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), the illness in hogs has no effect on port safety.”

“Since PEDV is widespread in many countries, it is not a trade-restricting disease, but rather a production-related disease,” according to a National Pork Board statement.

Food Safety News

S.C. watermelon production up 64 percent over 2013

Aided by good weather, South Carolina’s 2014 watermelon crop recorded a robust gain of 64 percent over last year’s total, according to a National Watermelon Report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As production ended in early August, the state had shipped almost 81 million pounds of seeded and seedless watermelons.

Georgia, usually the leading state for watermelon production, was still shipping in early August and was close to the 586 million pounds to date.SC-WATERMELON-COOPER-RIVER-Brooke Hastings Allender, South Carolina’s 2014 Watermelon Queen, and watermelon queens from four other states handed out 30,000 free watermelon samples to runners at the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC, in March. North Carolina, which was winding down production Aug. 12, reported a total to date of 79 million pounds; last year’s total for the Tar Heel state was close to 102 million pounds.

Matt Cornwell, executive director of the South Carolina Watermelon Association and a marketing specialist with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, said the increased production “was welcomed by our growers, who had a bad year in 2013 when heavy rains during harvest held down production. This year’s harvest was back to normal.”

The South Carolina watermelon harvest began in early June and ended by Aug. 12, for all but two growers, who grew a second, late-harvest crop, Cornwell said. This year’s crop consisted mainly of seedless melons, roughly by a 10 to 1 margin. The Tar Heel state crop was about 85 percent seedless. Both states shipped by truck; Georgia used trucks and piggyback rail, and California used rail and trucks. The Carolinas rank in the top 10 states in the nation for producing watermelon.

Promotion events, usually featuring the South Carolina Watermelon Queen, included college and university football practices; a minor league baseball game; marathons and bridge runs; civic events such as food festivals; visits to farms, hospitals and schools; in-store promotions at Bi-Lo, Giant Foods, Lowe’s, Piggly Wiggly and Whole Foods, among others; and trade shows and news media interviews.

This year, the South Carolina Watermelon Association promoted watermelon at sporting events, with giveaways of fruit slices and signage extolling the health benefits of watermelon. The highlight of the promotions, Cornwell believes, was the Cooper River Bridge run in Charleston, SC, where the association gave away 30,000 five-ounce servings of watermelon, which Cornwell calls “nature’s sports drink.”

For 2015, Cornwell said, “Demand for watermelon is growing, and South Carolina has a natural advantage in that the soil and climate are good for melons. Because of our location, we are one of the first states to have watermelon on the market, and we can reach the major population centers of the East Coast and Midwest. The outlook for 2015, weather permitting, is good. Two growers experimented this year with a late-harvest crop of watermelons, and did really well, shipping into September. I expect we’ll see more growers try a second crop in 2015.”

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

S.C. watermelon production up 64 percent over 2013

Aided by good weather, South Carolina’s 2014 watermelon crop recorded a robust gain of 64 percent over last year’s total, according to a National Watermelon Report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As production ended in early August, the state had shipped almost 81 million pounds of seeded and seedless watermelons.

Georgia, usually the leading state for watermelon production, was still shipping in early August and was close to the 586 million pounds to date.SC-WATERMELON-COOPER-RIVER-Brooke Hastings Allender, South Carolina’s 2014 Watermelon Queen, and watermelon queens from four other states handed out 30,000 free watermelon samples to runners at the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC, in March. North Carolina, which was winding down production Aug. 12, reported a total to date of 79 million pounds; last year’s total for the Tar Heel state was close to 102 million pounds.

Matt Cornwell, executive director of the South Carolina Watermelon Association and a marketing specialist with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, said the increased production “was welcomed by our growers, who had a bad year in 2013 when heavy rains during harvest held down production. This year’s harvest was back to normal.”

The South Carolina watermelon harvest began in early June and ended by Aug. 12, for all but two growers, who grew a second, late-harvest crop, Cornwell said. This year’s crop consisted mainly of seedless melons, roughly by a 10 to 1 margin. The Tar Heel state crop was about 85 percent seedless. Both states shipped by truck; Georgia used trucks and piggyback rail, and California used rail and trucks. The Carolinas rank in the top 10 states in the nation for producing watermelon.

Promotion events, usually featuring the South Carolina Watermelon Queen, included college and university football practices; a minor league baseball game; marathons and bridge runs; civic events such as food festivals; visits to farms, hospitals and schools; in-store promotions at Bi-Lo, Giant Foods, Lowe’s, Piggly Wiggly and Whole Foods, among others; and trade shows and news media interviews.

This year, the South Carolina Watermelon Association promoted watermelon at sporting events, with giveaways of fruit slices and signage extolling the health benefits of watermelon. The highlight of the promotions, Cornwell believes, was the Cooper River Bridge run in Charleston, SC, where the association gave away 30,000 five-ounce servings of watermelon, which Cornwell calls “nature’s sports drink.”

For 2015, Cornwell said, “Demand for watermelon is growing, and South Carolina has a natural advantage in that the soil and climate are good for melons. Because of our location, we are one of the first states to have watermelon on the market, and we can reach the major population centers of the East Coast and Midwest. The outlook for 2015, weather permitting, is good. Two growers experimented this year with a late-harvest crop of watermelons, and did really well, shipping into September. I expect we’ll see more growers try a second crop in 2015.”

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

Annual fundraiser for Ag Against Hunger raises over $14,000

Ag Against Hunger coordinates an annual fundraiser called the “New York Express” every October, and this year a truckload of donated Iceberg lettuce, celery and cauliflower from Salinas, CA, was sold at Hunt’s Point in New York City, raising $ 14,034 for the Salinas-based non-profit.

The Nunes Co., Steinbeck Country Produce, Taylor Farms, Ocean Mist, Tanimura & Antle and Dole Fresh Vegetables donated pallets of Iceberg lettuce, celery and cauliflower for this fundraiser, which benefits Ag Against Hunger’s fall and winter produce distribution programs. The funds raised will also help to fill the salad bars for local schools through AAH’s More Produce for Schools program.

C.H. Robinson donated the associated transportation and delivery costs for the product that travelled from Salinas to New York. M&R Tomato Distributors Inc. of New York sold the product, which was coordinated free of charge through Denise Goodman of M&R Tomato to benefit Ag Against Hunger.

“On behalf of the board of directors of Ag Against Hunger, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved again in our annual fall fundraiser,” Alicia Cask, board member for Ag Against Hunger and transportation planner for Fresh Express/Chiquita, said in a press release. “We are so very grateful for all the continued generosity and support from our local shipper and carrier partners. Without all the commitment and support of our local growers, we could not make this yearly fundraiser a success. The proceeds from this event will help us to continue to serve the local needy communities with healthy and nutritious choices of fruits and vegetables.”

The money raised represents nearly 351,000 servings of fresh vegetables and fruit for people utilizing food bank services.

Since 1990, Ag Against Hunger has collected over 218 million pounds of fresh, nutritious surplus produce from over 50 tri-county grower-shippers and distributed it to food banks throughout the West Coast. The produce is distributed in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties first, where it feeds over 158,000 low-income people each month through local food banks. After local needs are satisfied, the produce is then available to over 240 agencies for distribution to millions more in need.

To learn more, visit www.agagainsthunger.org.

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

Over 50,000 attendees get a peek at a sci-fi future at Pack Expo International in Chicago

CHICAGO — With over 1.2 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 2,400 exhibitors, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies Pack Expo International 2014 drew record-breaking crowds of more than 50,000 for the Nov. 2-5 exhibition, here.

With next-level technology on ample display, the floor looked as much like the set of a futuristic science fiction movie as a trade show.PE-3Bob Harandi of Nestle/Dreyer’s and Jeff Grossman of International Paper.

Packing, filling, weighing and processing machines buzzed and whirred non-stop around the floor, while life-size servo motor powered robots battled it out in a Plexiglas boxing ring in one booth and attendees took turns behind the wheel of a hyper-realistic F1 racing simulator in another.

“You’ve got to be careful in that simulator,” said Robert Jenkins of Church and Dwight, owners of the Arm & Hammer brand. “If you spin out, you’ve got mud on your windshield and it’s there for the rest of the race.”

Amid the hubbub, attendees jockeyed for space in 143 educational sessions — and vied for prized tickets to a command performance by comedian and former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno at a reception benefiting the K9s for Warriors project and sponsored by International Paper, Bemis, DuPont and ProMach.

PMMI Director of Member Communications Kate Achelpohl noted that the packaging industry grew by 6 percent from 2012 to 2013 and should make a similar leap this year.

“The Pack Expo shows are always tremendous, but the International show is just mind-boggling,” said Don Reggio of Norcross, GA-based RockTenn, which showed off its packaging capabilities and machinery in a booth that dwarfed the company’s display at PMA Fresh Summit just two weeks earlier. “Even better, it’s always a great return on investment.”

The next PMMI show will be the debut of Pack Expo East, scheduled for Feb. 16–18, 2015, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Expo Pack Guadalajara 2015 will be held March 10-12, 2015, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Expo Pack México 2015 will take place June 16-19 in Mexico City, Mexico, and Pack Expo Las Vegas is set for Sept. 28-20.

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

Over 50,000 attendees get a peek at a sci-fi future at Pack Expo International in Chicago

CHICAGO — With over 1.2 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 2,400 exhibitors, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies Pack Expo International 2014 drew record-breaking crowds of more than 50,000 for the Nov. 2-5 exhibition, here.

With next-level technology on ample display, the floor looked as much like the set of a futuristic science fiction movie as a trade show.PE-3Bob Harandi of Nestle/Dreyer’s and Jeff Grossman of International Paper.

Packing, filling, weighing and processing machines buzzed and whirred non-stop around the floor, while life-size servo motor powered robots battled it out in a Plexiglas boxing ring in one booth and attendees took turns behind the wheel of a hyper-realistic F1 racing simulator in another.

“You’ve got to be careful in that simulator,” said Robert Jenkins of Church and Dwight, owners of the Arm & Hammer brand. “If you spin out, you’ve got mud on your windshield and it’s there for the rest of the race.”

Amid the hubbub, attendees jockeyed for space in 143 educational sessions — and vied for prized tickets to a command performance by comedian and former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno at a reception benefiting the K9s for Warriors project and sponsored by International Paper, Bemis, DuPont and ProMach.

PMMI Director of Member Communications Kate Achelpohl noted that the packaging industry grew by 6 percent from 2012 to 2013 and should make a similar leap this year.

“The Pack Expo shows are always tremendous, but the International show is just mind-boggling,” said Don Reggio of Norcross, GA-based RockTenn, which showed off its packaging capabilities and machinery in a booth that dwarfed the company’s display at PMA Fresh Summit just two weeks earlier. “Even better, it’s always a great return on investment.”

The next PMMI show will be the debut of Pack Expo East, scheduled for Feb. 16–18, 2015, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Expo Pack Guadalajara 2015 will be held March 10-12, 2015, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Expo Pack México 2015 will take place June 16-19 in Mexico City, Mexico, and Pack Expo Las Vegas is set for Sept. 28-20.

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

Over 50,000 attendees get a peek at a sci-fi future at Pack Expo International in Chicago

CHICAGO — With over 1.2 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 2,400 exhibitors, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies Pack Expo International 2014 drew record-breaking crowds of more than 50,000 for the Nov. 2-5 exhibition, here.

With next-level technology on ample display, the floor looked as much like the set of a futuristic science fiction movie as a trade show.PE-3Bob Harandi of Nestle/Dreyer’s and Jeff Grossman of International Paper.

Packing, filling, weighing and processing machines buzzed and whirred non-stop around the floor, while life-size servo motor powered robots battled it out in a Plexiglas boxing ring in one booth and attendees took turns behind the wheel of a hyper-realistic F1 racing simulator in another.

“You’ve got to be careful in that simulator,” said Robert Jenkins of Church and Dwight, owners of the Arm & Hammer brand. “If you spin out, you’ve got mud on your windshield and it’s there for the rest of the race.”

Amid the hubbub, attendees jockeyed for space in 143 educational sessions — and vied for prized tickets to a command performance by comedian and former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno at a reception benefiting the K9s for Warriors project and sponsored by International Paper, Bemis, DuPont and ProMach.

PMMI Director of Member Communications Kate Achelpohl noted that the packaging industry grew by 6 percent from 2012 to 2013 and should make a similar leap this year.

“The Pack Expo shows are always tremendous, but the International show is just mind-boggling,” said Don Reggio of Norcross, GA-based RockTenn, which showed off its packaging capabilities and machinery in a booth that dwarfed the company’s display at PMA Fresh Summit just two weeks earlier. “Even better, it’s always a great return on investment.”

The next PMMI show will be the debut of Pack Expo East, scheduled for Feb. 16–18, 2015, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Expo Pack Guadalajara 2015 will be held March 10-12, 2015, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Expo Pack México 2015 will take place June 16-19 in Mexico City, Mexico, and Pack Expo Las Vegas is set for Sept. 28-20.

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

Over 50,000 attendees get a peek at a sci-fi future at Pack Expo International in Chicago

CHICAGO — With over 1.2 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 2,400 exhibitors, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies Pack Expo International 2014 drew record-breaking crowds of more than 50,000 for the Nov. 2-5 exhibition, here.

With next-level technology on ample display, the floor looked as much like the set of a futuristic science fiction movie as a trade show.PE-3Bob Harandi of Nestle/Dreyer’s and Jeff Grossman of International Paper.

Packing, filling, weighing and processing machines buzzed and whirred non-stop around the floor, while life-size servo motor powered robots battled it out in a Plexiglas boxing ring in one booth and attendees took turns behind the wheel of a hyper-realistic F1 racing simulator in another.

“You’ve got to be careful in that simulator,” said Robert Jenkins of Church and Dwight, owners of the Arm & Hammer brand. “If you spin out, you’ve got mud on your windshield and it’s there for the rest of the race.”

Amid the hubbub, attendees jockeyed for space in 143 educational sessions — and vied for prized tickets to a command performance by comedian and former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno at a reception benefiting the K9s for Warriors project and sponsored by International Paper, Bemis, DuPont and ProMach.

PMMI Director of Member Communications Kate Achelpohl noted that the packaging industry grew by 6 percent from 2012 to 2013 and should make a similar leap this year.

“The Pack Expo shows are always tremendous, but the International show is just mind-boggling,” said Don Reggio of Norcross, GA-based RockTenn, which showed off its packaging capabilities and machinery in a booth that dwarfed the company’s display at PMA Fresh Summit just two weeks earlier. “Even better, it’s always a great return on investment.”

The next PMMI show will be the debut of Pack Expo East, scheduled for Feb. 16–18, 2015, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Expo Pack Guadalajara 2015 will be held March 10-12, 2015, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Expo Pack México 2015 will take place June 16-19 in Mexico City, Mexico, and Pack Expo Las Vegas is set for Sept. 28-20.

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

GE Salmon Company Fined Over Permit Problems in Panama

The government of Panama has revealed that, in July of this year, it levied a fine on AquaBounty Technologies, the Massachusetts-based company seeking government approval to bring the first genetically modified salmon to market in the U.S.

AquaBounty apparently did not have the necessary water use and water discharge permits necessary for running its operations in Panama, where it has a pilot facility, and total coliform bacteria were allegedly above acceptable levels.

The Panamanian government determined that the company had repeatedly violated regulations and should be issued the maximum allowable fine of $ 9,500.

AquaBounty says that company officials immediately contacted the proper authorities in Panama after becoming aware of the permitting failures, and that everything was squared away by August. The company also paid the fine.

“The nature of the violations had no bearing on the containment or health of our fish, or the safety of our operations,” the company said in a statement.

AquaBounty added that its facility is frequently inspected by the Panamanian government and continues to operate without any restrictions. In addition, it said that the company’s facility was built and operating before some of the permit regulations were passed.

In response to the violations and fine, U.S. consumer groups such as Food & Water Watch and the Center for Food Safety are calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to deny AquaBounty’s application to sell GE salmon in grocery stores here.

AquaBounty’s CEO Ron Stotish told Seafoodsource that those groups were being “blatantly misleading” by implying that there is a safety issue concerning the fish when there is none.

FDA is still reviewing AquaBounty’s application. The fish is an Atlantic salmon that contains genes from a Pacific Chinook salmon and an ocean pout that allow the fish to grow to market size twice as fast.

For years, FDA has declined to provide a timeline for when the agency might make its decision. AquaBounty says it began the FDA application process in 1995.

A 2010 FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine review of the AquaBounty application concluded that the salmon was as safe to eat as Atlantic salmon and does not pose a threat to the environment. According to AquaBounty, the salmon will only grow in land-based, contained facilities and that all the fish are sterile females.

Due to consumer demand, a number of U.S. grocery retailers, including Kroger, Safeway and Target, have already pledged not to sell the AquaBounty salmon should it be approved by FDA.

Food Safety News

GE Salmon Company Fined Over Permit Problems in Panama

The government of Panama has revealed that, in July of this year, it levied a fine on AquaBounty Technologies, the Massachusetts-based company seeking government approval to bring the first genetically modified salmon to market in the U.S.

AquaBounty apparently did not have the necessary water use and water discharge permits necessary for running its operations in Panama, where it has a pilot facility, and total coliform bacteria were allegedly above acceptable levels.

The Panamanian government determined that the company had repeatedly violated regulations and should be issued the maximum allowable fine of $ 9,500.

AquaBounty says that company officials immediately contacted the proper authorities in Panama after becoming aware of the permitting failures, and that everything was squared away by August. The company also paid the fine.

“The nature of the violations had no bearing on the containment or health of our fish, or the safety of our operations,” the company said in a statement.

AquaBounty added that its facility is frequently inspected by the Panamanian government and continues to operate without any restrictions. In addition, it said that the company’s facility was built and operating before some of the permit regulations were passed.

In response to the violations and fine, U.S. consumer groups such as Food & Water Watch and the Center for Food Safety are calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to deny AquaBounty’s application to sell GE salmon in grocery stores here.

AquaBounty’s CEO Ron Stotish told Seafoodsource that those groups were being “blatantly misleading” by implying that there is a safety issue concerning the fish when there is none.

FDA is still reviewing AquaBounty’s application. The fish is an Atlantic salmon that contains genes from a Pacific Chinook salmon and an ocean pout that allow the fish to grow to market size twice as fast.

For years, FDA has declined to provide a timeline for when the agency might make its decision. AquaBounty says it began the FDA application process in 1995.

A 2010 FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine review of the AquaBounty application concluded that the salmon was as safe to eat as Atlantic salmon and does not pose a threat to the environment. According to AquaBounty, the salmon will only grow in land-based, contained facilities and that all the fish are sterile females.

Due to consumer demand, a number of U.S. grocery retailers, including Kroger, Safeway and Target, have already pledged not to sell the AquaBounty salmon should it be approved by FDA.

Food Safety News

Much fewer Brazilian mangoes over the past weeks

numbers are increasing now
Much fewer Brazilian mangoes over the past weeks

Although the total mango supply from Brazil this year is 9% higher than last year, supply was significantly lower in the past few weeks. Wholesalers mentioned daily shortages, and weren’t able to meet demand. Below are the containers shipped over the past few weeks from Brazil to Europe, compared to last year:


Containers of mangoes Brazil – Europe

Week
2014
2013
36
24
68
37
31
85
38
28
67
39
43
90
40
81
127
41
101
132
42
148
149


“Supply has been significantly lower for a few weeks, but now it’s getting there and surpassing it. This will also influence prices. Last week, the mango price was around 9/10 Euro. This week, we’re at about 8-9 Euro. Next week, I’m expecting us to reach 7/8 Euro, and depending on what else will come in, we could go down further to 5/6 Euro”, one importer says. “Those are still great prices, by the way.”

The quality of the mangoes is perfect, according to the trader, but that’s never a big issue with natural blossoming of the second semester. The stronger local market does influence trade quite a bit, according to the importer: “I expect we’ll never get the volumes we used to have in the past from Brazil.”

Publication date: 10/30/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Much fewer Brazilian mangoes over the past weeks

numbers are increasing now
Much fewer Brazilian mangoes over the past weeks

Although the total mango supply from Brazil this year is 9% higher than last year, supply was significantly lower in the past few weeks. Wholesalers mentioned daily shortages, and weren’t able to meet demand. Below are the containers shipped over the past few weeks from Brazil to Europe, compared to last year:


Containers of mangoes Brazil – Europe

Week
2014
2013
36
24
68
37
31
85
38
28
67
39
43
90
40
81
127
41
101
132
42
148
149


“Supply has been significantly lower for a few weeks, but now it’s getting there and surpassing it. This will also influence prices. Last week, the mango price was around 9/10 Euro. This week, we’re at about 8-9 Euro. Next week, I’m expecting us to reach 7/8 Euro, and depending on what else will come in, we could go down further to 5/6 Euro”, one importer says. “Those are still great prices, by the way.”

The quality of the mangoes is perfect, according to the trader, but that’s never a big issue with natural blossoming of the second semester. The stronger local market does influence trade quite a bit, according to the importer: “I expect we’ll never get the volumes we used to have in the past from Brazil.”

Publication date: 10/30/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Much fewer Brazilian mangoes over the past weeks

numbers are increasing now
Much fewer Brazilian mangoes over the past weeks

Although the total mango supply from Brazil this year is 9% higher than last year, supply was significantly lower in the past few weeks. Wholesalers mentioned daily shortages, and weren’t able to meet demand. Below are the containers shipped over the past few weeks from Brazil to Europe, compared to last year:


Containers of mangoes Brazil – Europe

Week
2014
2013
36
24
68
37
31
85
38
28
67
39
43
90
40
81
127
41
101
132
42
148
149


“Supply has been significantly lower for a few weeks, but now it’s getting there and surpassing it. This will also influence prices. Last week, the mango price was around 9/10 Euro. This week, we’re at about 8-9 Euro. Next week, I’m expecting us to reach 7/8 Euro, and depending on what else will come in, we could go down further to 5/6 Euro”, one importer says. “Those are still great prices, by the way.”

The quality of the mangoes is perfect, according to the trader, but that’s never a big issue with natural blossoming of the second semester. The stronger local market does influence trade quite a bit, according to the importer: “I expect we’ll never get the volumes we used to have in the past from Brazil.”

Publication date: 10/30/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Costa Rican banana industry cries foul over port strike

Costa Rican banana industry cries foul over port strike

Costa Rica’s National Banana Corporation (Corbana) has called on representatives of the JAPDEVA Workers’ Syndicate (SINTRAJAP) to put an end to strikes in the ports of Limón.

In a release, Corbana said the situation – which reportedly has been alleviated somewhat through the emergency hiring of foreign workers – put the salaries of 40,000 banana workers at risk.

“It is unfortunate that these situations happen – not only is the agricultural industry affected, but also the image of our country for not complying with previously established contracts,” Corbana manager Jorge Sauma said.

“From Corbana we’re calling out to representatives of SINTRAJAP that negotiations are not resolved by creating more conflict, that dialogue is necessary. This country needs to generate more work and the banana industry offers a lot of opportunities, however these confrontations enter the development of the province.

In the release, the organization highlighted that if bananas could not be shipped, costs increased for refrigeration or product was lost due to its perishable nature.

Corbana added that a “small group cannot kidnap the development of a nation for special interests”.

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

Publication date: 10/24/2014


FreshPlaza.com

CDC: Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Backyard Flocks Appears to be Over

They picked up 19 more cases and added a state to the multistate outbreak of Salmonella linked to live poultry from backyard flocks, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is essentially calling it over.

The outbreak traced to the source of the chicks — Ohio’s Mt. Healthy Hatcheries — appears to have ended, according to CDC. But it did not end before causing 363 illnesses in 43 states and Puerto Rico. The outbreak strains involved were Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Hadar.

About one-third of those sickened required hospitalization, but nobody died. The infections came from contact with chicks, ducklings, and other poultry from the Ohio hatchery. CDC reports that 73 percent of those who became ill were in contact with live poultry in the immediate week beforehand.

This is the third year in a row that Mt. Healthy Hatcheries has been associated with a Salmonella outbreak.

CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on Salmonella isolates collected from 11 ill persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis or Salmonella Newport. Of the 11 isolates tested:

  • Two (18 percent) were resistant to tetracycline.
  • Nine (82 percent) were susceptible to all antibiotics on the NARMS panel.

The total number of ill persons identified in each state was as follows: Alabama (9),  Arizona (3), Arkansas (3), California (5), Colorado (5), Connecticut (2), Florida (1), Georgia (17), Idaho (5), Illinois (6), Iowa (5), Indiana (4), Kansas (2), Kentucky (15), Louisiana (1), Maine (9), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (2), Minnesota (3), Mississippi (2), Missouri (2), Montana (3),  Nebraska (5), New Hampshire (3), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (2), New York (36), North Carolina (34), Ohio (31),  Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (33), Puerto Rico (1), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (6), Tennessee (20), Texas (4), Utah (2), Vermont (7), Virginia (25), Washington (10), West Virginia (18), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (1).

Food Safety News