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Study: 70 Percent of Chickens in UK Stores Test Positive for Campylobacter

Seventy percent of supermarket chickens in the United Kingdom have tested positive for Campylobacter in the first half of a year-long study being conducted by the country’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).

In recent years, FSA has said its number-one food safety priority is to reduce contamination of Campylobacter, a foodborne bacteria largely associated with chicken that causes diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping.

As part of that effort, the agency plans to test 4,000 supermarket chickens for Campylobacter over the course of a year. Now halfway through, they’ve tested 1,995 chickens and their packages.

Eighteen percent of chickens tested above the highest category of contamination levels (more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram), while six percent of packages also tested positive for Campylobacter.

While the levels of contamination varied between retailers, no store has yet to meet targets for reducing Campylobacter levels.

According to FSA, Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, sickening roughly 280,000 people a year. In the U.S., Campylobacter is estimated to cause 1.3 million illnesses each year.

Earlier this week, major U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer announced its “Campylobacter challenge,” a 5-point program intended to reduce levels of illnesses contracted from its chicken. Strategies outlined in the plan include rapidly chilling chickens as they’re processed and offering bonuses to farmers who produce chickens on Campylobacter-free farms.

In 2011, food safety law firm Marler Clark funded a bacterial survey of retail chicken sold in the Seattle area, finding that 65 percent was contaminated with Campylobacter. (Marler Clark underwrites Food Safety News.)

Additionally, 42 percent of chicken in that survey was contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus. In total, 80 percent of chicken samples were found to harbor some potentially harmful pathogen.

Food Safety News

Study: 70 Percent of Chickens in UK Stores Test Positive for Campylobacter

Seventy percent of supermarket chickens in the United Kingdom have tested positive for Campylobacter in the first half of a year-long study being conducted by the country’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).

In recent years, FSA has said its number-one food safety priority is to reduce contamination of Campylobacter, a foodborne bacteria largely associated with chicken that causes diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping.

As part of that effort, the agency plans to test 4,000 supermarket chickens for Campylobacter over the course of a year. Now halfway through, they’ve tested 1,995 chickens and their packages.

Eighteen percent of chickens tested above the highest category of contamination levels (more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram), while six percent of packages also tested positive for Campylobacter.

While the levels of contamination varied between retailers, no store has yet to meet targets for reducing Campylobacter levels.

According to FSA, Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, sickening roughly 280,000 people a year. In the U.S., Campylobacter is estimated to cause 1.3 million illnesses each year.

Earlier this week, major U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer announced its “Campylobacter challenge,” a 5-point program intended to reduce levels of illnesses contracted from its chicken. Strategies outlined in the plan include rapidly chilling chickens as they’re processed and offering bonuses to farmers who produce chickens on Campylobacter-free farms.

In 2011, food safety law firm Marler Clark funded a bacterial survey of retail chicken sold in the Seattle area, finding that 65 percent was contaminated with Campylobacter. (Marler Clark underwrites Food Safety News.)

Additionally, 42 percent of chicken in that survey was contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus. In total, 80 percent of chicken samples were found to harbor some potentially harmful pathogen.

Food Safety News

Study: 70 Percent of Chickens in UK Stores Test Positive for Campylobacter

Seventy percent of supermarket chickens in the United Kingdom have tested positive for Campylobacter in the first half of a year-long study being conducted by the country’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).

In recent years, FSA has said its number-one food safety priority is to reduce contamination of Campylobacter, a foodborne bacteria largely associated with chicken that causes diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping.

As part of that effort, the agency plans to test 4,000 supermarket chickens for Campylobacter over the course of a year. Now halfway through, they’ve tested 1,995 chickens and their packages.

Eighteen percent of chickens tested above the highest category of contamination levels (more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram), while six percent of packages also tested positive for Campylobacter.

While the levels of contamination varied between retailers, no store has yet to meet targets for reducing Campylobacter levels.

According to FSA, Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, sickening roughly 280,000 people a year. In the U.S., Campylobacter is estimated to cause 1.3 million illnesses each year.

Earlier this week, major U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer announced its “Campylobacter challenge,” a 5-point program intended to reduce levels of illnesses contracted from its chicken. Strategies outlined in the plan include rapidly chilling chickens as they’re processed and offering bonuses to farmers who produce chickens on Campylobacter-free farms.

In 2011, food safety law firm Marler Clark funded a bacterial survey of retail chicken sold in the Seattle area, finding that 65 percent was contaminated with Campylobacter. (Marler Clark underwrites Food Safety News.)

Additionally, 42 percent of chicken in that survey was contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus. In total, 80 percent of chicken samples were found to harbor some potentially harmful pathogen.

Food Safety News

Italy: Positive melon campaign – less produce but satisfying prices

Bruno Francescon
Italy: Positive melon campaign – less produce but satisfying prices

“The 2014 melon campaign started very well in February with produce from Senegal: the fruit was of exceptional quality and clients responded well, so much so that we did not have enough to meet demand. Unfortunately, we finished our imports from Africa overlapping with production from Sicily, but it was an excellent spring campaign in general,” explains Bruno Francescon, chairman and administrator of a PO.


“As regards the Sicilian produce, prices were quite low, then temperatures dropped in May and demand remained low too, so we could barely cover production costs.”


“TerraEqua” is the brand of Francescon melons cultivated in Senegal.

“June and July went very well due to the increase in volumes and sufficient prices…up until the night between July 17th and 18th, when a hailstorm in the Mantua area changed things. Expectations were positive and quality was good, but we still had 700 ha to harvest and 400 ha were affected.”


“We recorded a +20% in July thanks to increased exports and new clients, but then in August and September we lost something like 500 trucks of melons. Thankfully, prices doubled in the last two months – almost €1/kg on average.”

“The 2014 campaign has been actually positive, with 25% less volumes but with a slightly increased turnover.”

Contacts:
OP Francescon
Via Retenago, 13
46040 Rodigo (MN) – Italy
Tel.: +39 0376 650727
Fax: +39 0376 684777
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.op-francescon.it

Publication date: 10/22/2014
Author: Rebecca Baron
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

QPMA convention ushers in positive change

The Quebec Produce Marketing Association held its 67th annual convention in scenic Charlevoix, Québec, at the Fairmont Manoir Richelieu Aug. 21-24. Under the umbrella theme “People at the Heart of the Industry,” over 500 guests attended the banquet and attendees enjoyed networking events, business sessions, meetings and motivational speeches.

Celebrating women in leadership roles was a big part of the event with 2013-14 QPMA President Marie Gosselin of of Les Serres du St-Laurent (Savoura) presiding over events. During the annual general meeting, Judith Basque of Loblaw/Provigo joined the executive, marking the first time the association’s five-member executive committee included three women.Basque-Perreault-Gosselin-QJudith Basque of Loblaw/Provigo, Sophie Perreault QPMA President/Director General and outgoing QPMA 2013-2014 President Marie Gosselin of Les Serres du St-Laurent (Savoura).

With overwhelming support from the membership, a key change was made to the leadership of the association with Sophie Perreault being named president and director general. The key change to the role will help provide more stability for the volunteer executive committee and provide a little more heft to the role when dealing with government. The change was voted upon unanimously by the membership at the AGM.

“Our association is moving ahead as never before, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to contribute. I certainly plan to stay on the scene and keep actively involved in the QPMA,” stated outgoing president Gosselin. Gosselin’s presidency was a busy one with strategic planning and revisions to the organisational structure. Key work on government relations and issues management were a big focus in the past year as well.

“It’s a great pleasure to see Sammy become my successor. He’s a hard worker, he’s a straight talker, a committed guy,” said Gosselin by way of introduction of the 2014-15 QPMA President Sammy Cacciatore of Sun Grape Marketing.

“I’m deeply convinced of the need for the QPMA. There’s simply no other place like ours where all the stakeholders in the Quebec produce industry can get together,” said Cacciatore in his introductory speech as new QPMA president. He thanked and commended Gosselin on the hard work during her tenure and terrific strides over the past year, particularly in the strategic planning, association governance and modernisation of the mission and structure of the association.

The Pillar of the Industry for 2014, Bernadette Hamel, was welcomed onstage during the closing banquet with a thundering standing ovation. She made her mark at QPMA by being elected its first female president in 2007-08. “Her contribution to the industry and her career path make her an example and a source of inspiration for everyone in the business, as well as a Pillar of choice. For all these reasons and more, she most definitely deserves the recognition we are giving her tonight,” said Gosselin.

“Over the years, I’ve had the great privilege to work for people who have helped me grow in this industry by giving me the chance to meet its many challenges head on,” said Hamel.

“You all know that having a successful career doesn’t happen without the support of a strong team, and I’m happy to say I’ve had the good fortune to manage some of the hardest-working, most-dedicated and passionate employees in the business,” continued Hamel. When asked what was next after reaching all these milestones and accolades, Hamel replied, “Retirement!” with a good chuckle — but not any time too soon she was quick to note.

The 2015 QPMA Convention will be held Aug. 20-22 at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec under the theme, “A Healthy Industry, A Shared Responsibility.”

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

QPMA convention ushers in positive change

The Quebec Produce Marketing Association held its 67th annual convention in scenic Charlevoix, Québec, at the Fairmont Manoir Richelieu Aug. 21-24. Under the umbrella theme “People at the Heart of the Industry,” over 500 guests attended the banquet and attendees enjoyed networking events, business sessions, meetings and motivational speeches.

Celebrating women in leadership roles was a big part of the event with 2013-14 QPMA President Marie Gosselin of of Les Serres du St-Laurent (Savoura) presiding over events. During the annual general meeting, Judith Basque of Loblaw/Provigo joined the executive, marking the first time the association’s five-member executive committee included three women.Basque-Perreault-Gosselin-QJudith Basque of Loblaw/Provigo, Sophie Perreault QPMA President/Director General and outgoing QPMA 2013-2014 President Marie Gosselin of Les Serres du St-Laurent (Savoura).

With overwhelming support from the membership, a key change was made to the leadership of the association with Sophie Perreault being named president and director general. The key change to the role will help provide more stability for the volunteer executive committee and provide a little more heft to the role when dealing with government. The change was voted upon unanimously by the membership at the AGM.

“Our association is moving ahead as never before, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to contribute. I certainly plan to stay on the scene and keep actively involved in the QPMA,” stated outgoing president Gosselin. Gosselin’s presidency was a busy one with strategic planning and revisions to the organisational structure. Key work on government relations and issues management were a big focus in the past year as well.

“It’s a great pleasure to see Sammy become my successor. He’s a hard worker, he’s a straight talker, a committed guy,” said Gosselin by way of introduction of the 2014-15 QPMA President Sammy Cacciatore of Sun Grape Marketing.

“I’m deeply convinced of the need for the QPMA. There’s simply no other place like ours where all the stakeholders in the Quebec produce industry can get together,” said Cacciatore in his introductory speech as new QPMA president. He thanked and commended Gosselin on the hard work during her tenure and terrific strides over the past year, particularly in the strategic planning, association governance and modernisation of the mission and structure of the association.

The Pillar of the Industry for 2014, Bernadette Hamel, was welcomed onstage during the closing banquet with a thundering standing ovation. She made her mark at QPMA by being elected its first female president in 2007-08. “Her contribution to the industry and her career path make her an example and a source of inspiration for everyone in the business, as well as a Pillar of choice. For all these reasons and more, she most definitely deserves the recognition we are giving her tonight,” said Gosselin.

“Over the years, I’ve had the great privilege to work for people who have helped me grow in this industry by giving me the chance to meet its many challenges head on,” said Hamel.

“You all know that having a successful career doesn’t happen without the support of a strong team, and I’m happy to say I’ve had the good fortune to manage some of the hardest-working, most-dedicated and passionate employees in the business,” continued Hamel. When asked what was next after reaching all these milestones and accolades, Hamel replied, “Retirement!” with a good chuckle — but not any time too soon she was quick to note.

The 2015 QPMA Convention will be held Aug. 20-22 at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec under the theme, “A Healthy Industry, A Shared Responsibility.”

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

QPMA convention ushers in positive change

The Quebec Produce Marketing Association held its 67th annual convention in scenic Charlevoix, Québec, at the Fairmont Manoir Richelieu Aug. 21-24. Under the umbrella theme “People at the Heart of the Industry,” over 500 guests attended the banquet and attendees enjoyed networking events, business sessions, meetings and motivational speeches.

Celebrating women in leadership roles was a big part of the event with 2013-14 QPMA President Marie Gosselin of of Les Serres du St-Laurent (Savoura) presiding over events. During the annual general meeting, Judith Basque of Loblaw/Provigo joined the executive, marking the first time the association’s five-member executive committee included three women.Basque-Perreault-Gosselin-QJudith Basque of Loblaw/Provigo, Sophie Perreault QPMA President/Director General and outgoing QPMA 2013-2014 President Marie Gosselin of Les Serres du St-Laurent (Savoura).

With overwhelming support from the membership, a key change was made to the leadership of the association with Sophie Perreault being named president and director general. The key change to the role will help provide more stability for the volunteer executive committee and provide a little more heft to the role when dealing with government. The change was voted upon unanimously by the membership at the AGM.

“Our association is moving ahead as never before, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to contribute. I certainly plan to stay on the scene and keep actively involved in the QPMA,” stated outgoing president Gosselin. Gosselin’s presidency was a busy one with strategic planning and revisions to the organisational structure. Key work on government relations and issues management were a big focus in the past year as well.

“It’s a great pleasure to see Sammy become my successor. He’s a hard worker, he’s a straight talker, a committed guy,” said Gosselin by way of introduction of the 2014-15 QPMA President Sammy Cacciatore of Sun Grape Marketing.

“I’m deeply convinced of the need for the QPMA. There’s simply no other place like ours where all the stakeholders in the Quebec produce industry can get together,” said Cacciatore in his introductory speech as new QPMA president. He thanked and commended Gosselin on the hard work during her tenure and terrific strides over the past year, particularly in the strategic planning, association governance and modernisation of the mission and structure of the association.

The Pillar of the Industry for 2014, Bernadette Hamel, was welcomed onstage during the closing banquet with a thundering standing ovation. She made her mark at QPMA by being elected its first female president in 2007-08. “Her contribution to the industry and her career path make her an example and a source of inspiration for everyone in the business, as well as a Pillar of choice. For all these reasons and more, she most definitely deserves the recognition we are giving her tonight,” said Gosselin.

“Over the years, I’ve had the great privilege to work for people who have helped me grow in this industry by giving me the chance to meet its many challenges head on,” said Hamel.

“You all know that having a successful career doesn’t happen without the support of a strong team, and I’m happy to say I’ve had the good fortune to manage some of the hardest-working, most-dedicated and passionate employees in the business,” continued Hamel. When asked what was next after reaching all these milestones and accolades, Hamel replied, “Retirement!” with a good chuckle — but not any time too soon she was quick to note.

The 2015 QPMA Convention will be held Aug. 20-22 at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec under the theme, “A Healthy Industry, A Shared Responsibility.”

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

QPMA convention ushers in positive change

The Quebec Produce Marketing Association held its 67th annual convention in scenic Charlevoix, Québec, at the Fairmont Manoir Richelieu Aug. 21-24. Under the umbrella theme “People at the Heart of the Industry,” over 500 guests attended the banquet and attendees enjoyed networking events, business sessions, meetings and motivational speeches.

Celebrating women in leadership roles was a big part of the event with 2013-14 QPMA President Marie Gosselin of of Les Serres du St-Laurent (Savoura) presiding over events. During the annual general meeting, Judith Basque of Loblaw/Provigo joined the executive, marking the first time the association’s five-member executive committee included three women.Basque-Perreault-Gosselin-QJudith Basque of Loblaw/Provigo, Sophie Perreault QPMA President/Director General and outgoing QPMA 2013-2014 President Marie Gosselin of Les Serres du St-Laurent (Savoura).

With overwhelming support from the membership, a key change was made to the leadership of the association with Sophie Perreault being named president and director general. The key change to the role will help provide more stability for the volunteer executive committee and provide a little more heft to the role when dealing with government. The change was voted upon unanimously by the membership at the AGM.

“Our association is moving ahead as never before, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to contribute. I certainly plan to stay on the scene and keep actively involved in the QPMA,” stated outgoing president Gosselin. Gosselin’s presidency was a busy one with strategic planning and revisions to the organisational structure. Key work on government relations and issues management were a big focus in the past year as well.

“It’s a great pleasure to see Sammy become my successor. He’s a hard worker, he’s a straight talker, a committed guy,” said Gosselin by way of introduction of the 2014-15 QPMA President Sammy Cacciatore of Sun Grape Marketing.

“I’m deeply convinced of the need for the QPMA. There’s simply no other place like ours where all the stakeholders in the Quebec produce industry can get together,” said Cacciatore in his introductory speech as new QPMA president. He thanked and commended Gosselin on the hard work during her tenure and terrific strides over the past year, particularly in the strategic planning, association governance and modernisation of the mission and structure of the association.

The Pillar of the Industry for 2014, Bernadette Hamel, was welcomed onstage during the closing banquet with a thundering standing ovation. She made her mark at QPMA by being elected its first female president in 2007-08. “Her contribution to the industry and her career path make her an example and a source of inspiration for everyone in the business, as well as a Pillar of choice. For all these reasons and more, she most definitely deserves the recognition we are giving her tonight,” said Gosselin.

“Over the years, I’ve had the great privilege to work for people who have helped me grow in this industry by giving me the chance to meet its many challenges head on,” said Hamel.

“You all know that having a successful career doesn’t happen without the support of a strong team, and I’m happy to say I’ve had the good fortune to manage some of the hardest-working, most-dedicated and passionate employees in the business,” continued Hamel. When asked what was next after reaching all these milestones and accolades, Hamel replied, “Retirement!” with a good chuckle — but not any time too soon she was quick to note.

The 2015 QPMA Convention will be held Aug. 20-22 at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec under the theme, “A Healthy Industry, A Shared Responsibility.”

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

QPMA convention ushers in positive change

The Quebec Produce Marketing Association held its 67th annual convention in scenic Charlevoix, Québec, at the Fairmont Manoir Richelieu Aug. 21-24. Under the umbrella theme “People at the Heart of the Industry,” over 500 guests attended the banquet and attendees enjoyed networking events, business sessions, meetings and motivational speeches.

Celebrating women in leadership roles was a big part of the event with 2013-14 QPMA President Marie Gosselin of of Les Serres du St-Laurent (Savoura) presiding over events. During the annual general meeting, Judith Basque of Loblaw/Provigo joined the executive, marking the first time the association’s five-member executive committee included three women.Basque-Perreault-Gosselin-QJudith Basque of Loblaw/Provigo, Sophie Perreault QPMA President/Director General and outgoing QPMA 2013-2014 President Marie Gosselin of Les Serres du St-Laurent (Savoura).

With overwhelming support from the membership, a key change was made to the leadership of the association with Sophie Perreault being named president and director general. The key change to the role will help provide more stability for the volunteer executive committee and provide a little more heft to the role when dealing with government. The change was voted upon unanimously by the membership at the AGM.

“Our association is moving ahead as never before, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to contribute. I certainly plan to stay on the scene and keep actively involved in the QPMA,” stated outgoing president Gosselin. Gosselin’s presidency was a busy one with strategic planning and revisions to the organisational structure. Key work on government relations and issues management were a big focus in the past year as well.

“It’s a great pleasure to see Sammy become my successor. He’s a hard worker, he’s a straight talker, a committed guy,” said Gosselin by way of introduction of the 2014-15 QPMA President Sammy Cacciatore of Sun Grape Marketing.

“I’m deeply convinced of the need for the QPMA. There’s simply no other place like ours where all the stakeholders in the Quebec produce industry can get together,” said Cacciatore in his introductory speech as new QPMA president. He thanked and commended Gosselin on the hard work during her tenure and terrific strides over the past year, particularly in the strategic planning, association governance and modernisation of the mission and structure of the association.

The Pillar of the Industry for 2014, Bernadette Hamel, was welcomed onstage during the closing banquet with a thundering standing ovation. She made her mark at QPMA by being elected its first female president in 2007-08. “Her contribution to the industry and her career path make her an example and a source of inspiration for everyone in the business, as well as a Pillar of choice. For all these reasons and more, she most definitely deserves the recognition we are giving her tonight,” said Gosselin.

“Over the years, I’ve had the great privilege to work for people who have helped me grow in this industry by giving me the chance to meet its many challenges head on,” said Hamel.

“You all know that having a successful career doesn’t happen without the support of a strong team, and I’m happy to say I’ve had the good fortune to manage some of the hardest-working, most-dedicated and passionate employees in the business,” continued Hamel. When asked what was next after reaching all these milestones and accolades, Hamel replied, “Retirement!” with a good chuckle — but not any time too soon she was quick to note.

The 2015 QPMA Convention will be held Aug. 20-22 at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec under the theme, “A Healthy Industry, A Shared Responsibility.”

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

Ingles achieves positive Q3 earnings

Ingles Markets, Asheville, N.C., said Monday earnings were positive on increased sales for the third quarter ended June 28.

Net income for the quarter was $ 13.8 million, compared with a loss of $ 14.4 million a year ago, when Ingles incurred a pre-tax loss of $ 43.1 million on debt refinancing.

Sales for the quarter rose 4.7% to $ 978.3 million and comparable store sales increased 2.1%, excluding gasoline — aided by the shift of Easter from last year’s second quarter to this year’s third.

The company said customer transactions, excluding gas, rose 0.3% for the quarter and average transaction size rose 1.8%. For the year to date net income rose to $ 33.8 million compared with $ 5.2 million, while sales increased 2.9% to $ 2.9 billion and comps were up 0.9%.

According to CEO Robert P. Ingle II, “We are pleased with the growth of our sales and earnings for the third quarter and fiscal 2014 made possible by our hard-working associates achieving our long-term goals.”

Capital expenditures for the nine-month period dropped to $ 72.6 million, compared with $ 76.8 million a year ago. The company said cap-ex for the year is expected to be in the range of $ 100 million to $ 120 million.

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NZ: Positive outlook on kiwifruit

NZ: Positive outlook on kiwifruit

The kiwifruit industry is seeing positive signs of recovery post Psa with growing optimism on the future of orchards in the region.

Labour MP and Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor visited Te Puke yesterday to see first-hand how the industry is doing.

Damien O’Connor during his visit to EastPack.

“We visited an orchard where there has been visible signs of recovery through grafting and good management, but I’m sure there are some orchards that will still be struggling financially, and to re-establish an orchard with good production. It was a great chance to see what is happening with the kiwifruit industry and see the optimism that is now in the region regarding kiwifruit’s future.”

He says the kiwifruit industry has huge potential.

“This is an industry that has been developing over a long period and now is looking for another period as sunshine returns and prosperity. The fact that Gold varieties can be grown post Psa is a really positive sign and is something the industry should be proud of given the challenges it’s had.”

The Labour MP also stopped off at EastPack and got to see one of the buildings he opened back in 2001.

“It was great to return and see its expansion and it’s continuing to provide valuable opportunities for the region here. There are a large number of employees, who are dependent on that operation and the viability of the kiwifruit industry.”

While in Te Puke, Damien took the time to speak with a number of people to gauge how they were feeling leading to this year’s election.

“There’s a good feeling for Labour. There is certainly optimism locally around the kiwifruit industry, but issues around jobs, minimum wage, and migrant workforce were all discussed. He took the opportunity to remind industry leaders that “we need to look after these workers and not in any way undermine their working conditions, their living conditions or squeeze their rates of pay”.

Damien believes EastPack is a great example of the wise utilisation and support for workers and the benefits that can accrue to both the islands and to our industry.

“These are the workers that come out of the Pacific Islands that come over here on work schemes to work for an employer and most of their money goes back to their home. There is some fairly strict criteria around them coming here. There is wide migrant workforce in the Bay and we have to be mindful that none of these workers are exploited.”

Source: sunlive.co.nz

Publication date: 7/18/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Italy: Positive season for Roman cauliflower

Italy: Positive season for Roman cauliflower

The season is almost over for Roman cauliflowers, which are generally sold between November until the end of February or early March.


“This year the campaign was really good, as prices were 10-15% or even 20% higher than those of white cauliflowers,” explains Roberto Piazza, chairman of Fedagromercati Acmo. The campaign was not at all affected by the weather.


“The main characteristic of this vegetable is that the flowers are really close and form a typical pyramid shape. Usually it is sold without leaves to enhance its particular shape.”


“It is very popular in Northern Europe and it is produced also in Germany and France, from where we import starting from September. German cauliflower have an excellent quality and that is why their price is higher.”


According to Piazza, Italians are the only Europeans that do not eat cauliflowers in summer, whereas the Germans, French, Dutch and Spaniards eat them the whole year round.

Publication date: 3/27/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Italy: Positive season for Roman cauliflower

Italy: Positive season for Roman cauliflower

The season is almost over for Roman cauliflowers, which are generally sold between November until the end of February or early March.


“This year the campaign was really good, as prices were 10-15% or even 20% higher than those of white cauliflowers,” explains Roberto Piazza, chairman of Fedagromercati Acmo. The campaign was not at all affected by the weather.


“The main characteristic of this vegetable is that the flowers are really close and form a typical pyramid shape. Usually it is sold without leaves to enhance its particular shape.”


“It is very popular in Northern Europe and it is produced also in Germany and France, from where we import starting from September. German cauliflower have an excellent quality and that is why their price is higher.”


According to Piazza, Italians are the only Europeans that do not eat cauliflowers in summer, whereas the Germans, French, Dutch and Spaniards eat them the whole year round.

Publication date: 3/27/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Roundy’s cites some positive trends in Q4

Roundy’s said Wednesday slight increases in key metrics across its core markets helped boost sales and earnings for the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 29.

According to Robert A. Mariano, chairman, president and CEO of the Milwaukee-based company, “We continued to experience an improvement in our sales cadence across our core markets, which helped us begin to generate a slight increase in a number of key metrics versus the prior year.


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“While we still have important challenges to overcome in our core markets, we believe the investments we made in 2013 and continue to make are beginning to resonate with our customers.”

Net income for the quarter was $ 8.7 million, compared with a loss of $ 98.4 million a year earlier, and adjusted net income — excluding a $ 2.1-million after-tax charge related to the write-off of unamortized loan costs related to a $ 148 million term loan pre-payment loan and a $ 600,000 after-tax expense related to acquisition costs and term loan amendment fees — rose 32.6% to $ 11.4 million.

Sales for the quarter rose 2% to $ 1 billion, while three store closures contributed to a 2.4% decline in same-store sales. The same-store results reflected a 4.2% decline in customer transactions and a 1.9% increase in average transaction size.

For the year net income was $ 34.5 million, compared with a loss of $ 69.2 million in the prior year, and adjusted net income fell 21.9% to $ 36.7 million.

Sales for the year rose 1.5% to $ 4 billion, while same-store sales fell 2.7%, reflecting a 4.7% decline in customer transactions and a 2.2% increase in average transaction size.

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