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European Commission announces support measures for EU perishable fruit & vegetable producers

European Commission announces support measures for EU perishable fruit & vegetable producers

In the context of Russian restrictions on imports of EU agricultural products and following on from last week’s Management Committee meeting discussion of the market situation, the European Commission is moving as from today to introduce support measures for certain perishable fruits & vegetables.

Commenting on the decision, Dacian Cioloș, EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, stated: “Taking into account the market situation following the Russian restrictions on imports of EU agricultural products, with effect from today, I am triggering CAP emergency measures which will reduce overall supply of a number of fruit and vegetable products on the European market as and when price pressures become too great in the coming months. All farmers of the concerned products – whether in producer organisations or not – will be eligible to take up these market support measures where they see fit. Acting early will provide an efficient support to the price paid to producers on the internal market, help the market adjust and be cost effective.”

Background
The products concerned by the measures announced today are the following: tomatoes, carrots, white cabbage, peppers, cauliflowers, cucumbers, and gherkins, mushrooms, apples, pear, red fruits, table grapes and kiwis. The markets for these products are in full season, with no storage option for most of them and no immediate alternative market available.

The exceptional measures announced today will include market withdrawals especially for free distribution, compensation for non-harvesting and green harvesting. The financial assistance will cover all producers whether they are organised in producers organisation or not. The measures will have a retroactive affect as from August 18. In other words, any volumes withdrawn from today onwards (or subject to green harvesting or the other measures) will already be covered by these additional measures, subject to the necessary controls. These measures will apply until the end of November with a budget foreseen of €125 million.

The ongoing market situation for all products will be discussed in another meeting with Member State experts and experts from the European Parliament scheduled to take place in Brussels on Friday.

The European Commission will continue following markets development for all the sectors affected by the Russian ban on agriculture and food products in close contacts with Member States and will not hesitate to support further sectors heavily dependent on exports to Russia or to adapt the measures already announced, if necessary.

For more information:
Europe Direct
Tel: +00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11
Email: Please click here.

Publication date: 8/18/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Naming Likely Cyclospora Source Was ‘Rush to Judgment,’ Says ‘Perishable Pundit’

Naming Taylor Farms de Mexico as the likely source of this summer’s national Cyclosporiasis outbreak was a “rush to judgment” still without sufficient evidence, says “Perishable Pundit” Jim Prevor.

The award-winning food writer, editor and lecturer from Boca Raton, FL, says in the current digital issue of his column that  “there was an unseemly rush to announce things without satisfactory evidence or even a coherent theory.” Spread of the Cyclospora parasite eventually came to involve at least 643 people in 25 states, mostly between this past June and August.

Nebraska and Iowa public health officials connected 238 cases in those two states to a salad mix produced by Taylor Farms de Mexico and mostly served up by the Darden-owned Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants. Taylor voluntarily ceased shipments for a short period to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration time to investigate, but FDA found no evidence of the Cyclospora.

Prevor points out that, as of its latest report issued Sept. 20, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta had “no evidence of the vast majority of cases having any connection to Taylor Farms de Mexico or any other Taylor Farms operation.”

“The Number One state having cyclosporiasis is Texas,” he adds. “It has almost half the known cases, yet to quote the CDC: ‘The preliminary analysis of results from an investigation into a cluster of cases that ate at a Texas restaurant does not show a connection to Taylor Farms de Mexico. The investigation is ongoing.’”

Prevor also says that the little information made public by Iowa and Nebraska officials makes it “hard to assess the accuracy of their claims, but Darden has stated it doesn’t use Taylor Farms lettuce mix in Texas.” With his own knowledge of the fresh produce industry, Prevor speculates that parasites could have come from a single growing area and Taylor was implicated for its large volumes, but “in reality, everyone buying from that growing region was affected.”

Then he knocks down his own theory, saying, “The outbreak is so long-lasting, with illness onsets spreading over two months, this doesn’t match likely growing and harvesting patterns.”

Indeed, CDC data show the illness onsets for Iowa and Nebraska peaking almost a month before Texas. And Prevor says only a small percentage of Taylor’s produce went to Iowa and Nebraska, with no indication it was widespread in Taylor’s overall production.

In taking apart the investigation, Prevor calls it “a low tech affair” for its reliance on consumer questionnaires and what people can remember about what they ate.

This is not the first time the federal-state investigation of the Cyclospora outbreak has come in for criticism. Some prominent food safety experts were critical earlier about the slow pace of the investigation. For their part, federal investigators have said that their work is complicated.

As the editor of both print and digital products, Prevor is widely recognized for his expertise in perishable food industries and has often weighed in on food safety issues involving produce.

Cyclospora is a single-cell parasite that causes the intestinal infection known as cyclosporiasis. In its last report, CDC said the evidence suggests that not all the cases of cyclosporiasis in the various states are directly related to each other.

Food Safety News

Perishable airfreight scrutinized at the 5th Cool Logistics Conference

Perishable airfreight scrutinized at the 5th Cool Logistics Conference

Frank van Gelder, Business Consultant for Adelantex, Cool chain airfreight projects, will challenge the airfreight sector about unnecessary food losses and perishable supply chain inefficiencies at this year’s Cool Logistics Global conference, taking place on 24-26 September in Rotterdam.

According to van Gelder, current practices in the perishable airfreight supply chain will have to change, if not, more commodities such as fresh fruit and vegetables will continue to opt for cheaper sea transport. “Given the onward march of technology even significant volumes of fresh seafood could gravitate away from airfreight in the future”, adds Alex von Stempel, Managing Director, Cool Logistics Resources Ltd.

Joining the speakers for a closing panel debate will be two major perishable cargo owners: salmon giant Marine Harvest, represented by Arne Lossius, Director of Marine Harvest Terminal, one of the world’s largest exporter of salmon, and Andreas Allenspach, former fresh produce category buyer at Swiss Retail major Migros.

Cool Logistics Global is convened this year under the headline theme ‘Transparent, efficient and fair: Charting a new course for global perishable supply chain operations.’ Covering two days of business sessions, a full day of operational debate, field trips to a FloraHolland flower auction and Maasvlakte 2 port development, plus two evening receptions, the event once again brings together shippers, carriers, 3PLs, ports and terminals, technology providers and other key stakeholders to network in advance of annual contract negotiations.

The full programme and list of participating speakers and delegate companies can be viewed here.

For more information:
Helen Coffey
Email: [email protected]
or book online by visiting: www.coollogisticsconference.com/conference/register

Publication date: 9/10/2013


FreshPlaza.com

BJ’s names C.H. Robinson Perishable Vendor of the Year

Citing innovation, collaboration and creativity, BJ’s Wholesale Club presented C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. with its Perishable Vendor of the Year Award.

awardC.H. Robinson delivers BJ’s produce department a complex supply chain management and consulting program, weekly club-level pricing and quality checks, industry sales benchmarking and category reporting and analytics, according to a press release issued by C.H. Robinson, based in Eden Prairie, MN.

C.H. Robinson complements its category management and supply chain management services by supplying BJ’s with innovative packaging and product offerings in their Tropicana citrus and tropicals, Mott’s apples, Welch’s grapes, and Rosemont Farms vegetable product lines.

“For the past four years, the produce department and the quality of the product has been the number one reason people come to BJ’s to shop,” Jack MacAskill, vice president at BJ’s Wholesale, said in the press release. “The brands C.H. Robinson provides resonate with our customers that these are labels they can trust.”

In addition to its branded product offerings, C.H. Robinson assisted BJ’s in the development and delivery of the “Farm to Club” produce program, which is available in each of its 200 clubs in 15 states. The program, which provides BJ’s members with quality, fresh produce from their state’s local farms, rolled out during the spring and summer of 2012.

BJ’s commended C.H. Robinson’s commitment to community involvement and charity via the Pink Ribbon Watermelon program. The Pink Ribbon Watermelon program enables retailers to participate in a comprehensive program that includes consistent supply, in-store support and a cause-marketing component. Since 2008, the program has raised over $ 680,000 for breast cancer research.

“Collaborating with the BJ’s team allowed our organizations to develop a long-term winning strategy together,” Doug Johnson, strategic account manager at C.H. Robinson, added in the press release. “Receiving this award is a proud accomplishment for our team and one we look forward to building upon in the future.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines