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Port of Savannah’s role strengthened by new PortFresh Logistics facility

The opening of PortFresh Logistics during the early fourth quarter of 2016 will strengthen the role the Port of Savannah in Georgia will play as an entry point for fresh produce originating in South America.

PortFresh Logistics is constructing a 100,000-square-foot cold-treatment facility dedicated to perishable cargoes.

“Our services will include cold storage, drayage, inspection — both USDA and in-house — full repacking and regarding capability, pre-cooling, import and export cross dock, on-site U.S. customs stations, third-party food certification, organic handling certification, grower services including sales, inspection and logistics, regional LTL services, fumigation services in partnership with Royal Fumigation, CTPAT and more,” Todd Huber, the company’s vice president of operations, told The Produce News.

PortFreshLogisticsPortFresh Logistics plans to open its new facility in the early third quarter of the year. The 100,000-square-foot cold-treatment facility will provide customers with a variety of services for perishable cargoes. Working with the Port of Savannah in Georgia, the facility is expected to create an additional entry point for fresh produce originating in South America. Photo courtesy of PortFresh Logistics.“Perishable foods are an important growth sector for the Georgia Ports Authority,” said Griff Lynch, executive director of the Georgia Port Authority.

PortFresh Logistics will create 40 new jobs upon its opening. That number is expected to increase to 75 full-time jobs by the fourth year of operation. The company will be led by Chief Executive Officer Brian Kastick and President Rebecca George.

Kastick provided some analysis of the role PortFresh Logistics will play to facilitate the distribution of perishables in the Southeast Corridor. “Currently, more than 90 percent of imported fruits and vegetables entering the U.S. East Coast arrive via Northeast ports,” he said. “That means cargo headed to the Southeast must be trucked down, adding time and expense to the logistics supply chain.

“Using the Port of Savannah offers significant time and money savings per container for areas throughout the Southeast region,” Kastick continued. “We believe the growing population of the U.S. Southeast, government policy changes and perishable industry consolidation will break open significant pent-up demand for the new perishable supply chain gateway built around the Port of Savannah.”

The PortFresh’s state-of-the-art facility will be situated on 20 acres of a 182-acre site specifically designed to allow multiple climate zones. Both import and export cargo will be handled. The facility is located on I-16 on Old River Road, seven miles from I-95 and 15 miles from the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal.

“Savannah is the fourth largest port in the U.S., with the Garden City Terminal being the largest single-terminal container operation,” Huber said. “The proximity of both PortFresh and Garden City to I-95 and I-16 allows for fast terminal truck turnaround. Combining that with lower fees and drayage costs will make this an ideal marriage for importing perishable cargo into the Port of Savannah. On the outbound side, Savannah has an ideal distribution footprint. The proximity to South and Midwest hubs that supply over 40 percent of U.S. consumers is reached better through the Port of Savannah than any major port along the East Coast.”

Huber added that domestic shippers will be able to realize advantages by utilizing the company’s storage and repacking services. “Also, CSX and Norfolk Southern both offer rail service to Garden City Terminal allowing our western U.S. shippers to come East at very competitive rates,” he said.

Huber said PortFresh Logistics will raise the bar on customer service. “Our hours of operation will revolve around customer satisfaction,” he said. “Our customers drive our business. They entrust their product to us. We will do everything possible to satisfy their needs and continually grow that trust.”

Negotiations to bring the project to fruition occurred over a three-year period. A grant from OneGeorgia Equity helped PortFresh defray infrastructure costs for water and sewer lines to the site.

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Link between insecticides and collapse of honey bee colonies strengthened

Two widely used neonicotinoids — a class of insecticide — appear to significantly harm honey bee colonies over the winter, particularly during colder winters, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The study replicated a 2012 finding from the same research group that found a link between low doses of imidacloprid and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which bees abandon their hives over the winter and eventually die. The new study also found that low doses of a second neonicotinoid, clothianidin, had the same negative effect.

Further, although other studies have suggested that CCD-related mortality in honey bee colonies may come from bees’ reduced resistance to mites or parasites as a result of exposure to pesticides, the new study found that bees in the hives exhibiting CCD had almost identical levels of pathogen infestation as a group of control hives, most of which survived the winter. This finding suggests that the neonicotinoids are causing some other kind of biological mechanism in bees that in turn leads to CCD.

The study appears online May 9, 2014 in the Bulletin of Insectology.

“We demonstrated again in this study that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering CCD in honey bee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter,” said lead author Chensheng (Alex) Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology at HSPH.

Since 2006, there have been significant losses of honey bees from CCD. Pinpointing the cause is crucial to mitigating this problem since bees are prime pollinators of roughly one-third of all crops worldwide. Experts have considered a number of possible causes, including pathogen infestation, beekeeping practices, and pesticide exposure. Recent findings, including a 2012 study by Lu and colleagues, suggest that CCD is related specifically to neonicotinoids, which may impair bees’ neurological functions. Imidacloprid and clothianidin both belong to this group.

Lu and his co-authors from the Worcester County Beekeepers Association studied the health of 18 bee colonies in three locations in central Massachusetts from October 2012 through April 2013. At each location, the researchers separated six colonies into three groups — one treated with imidacloprid, one with clothianidin, and one untreated.

There was a steady decline in the size of all the bee colonies through the beginning of winter — typical among hives during the colder months in New England. Beginning in January 2013, bee populations in the control colonies began to increase as expected, but populations in the neonicotinoid-treated hives continued to decline. By April 2013, 6 out of 12 of the neonicotinoid-treated colonies were lost, with abandoned hives that are typical of CCD. Only one of the control colonies was lost — thousands of dead bees were found inside the hive — with what appeared to be symptoms of a common intestinal parasite called Nosema ceranae.

While the 12 pesticide-treated hives in the current study experienced a 50% CCD mortality rate, the authors noted that, in their 2012 study, bees in pesticide-treated hives had a much higher CCD mortality rate — 94%. That earlier bee die-off occurred during the particularly cold and prolonged winter of 2010-2011 in central Massachusetts, leading the authors to speculate that colder temperatures, in combination with neonicotinoids, may play a role in the severity of CCD.

“Although we have demonstrated the validity of the association between neonicotinoids and CCD in this study, future research could help elucidate the biological mechanism that is responsible for linking sub-lethal neonicotinoid exposures to CCD,” said Lu. “Hopefully we can reverse the continuing trend of honey bee loss.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Link between insecticides and collapse of honey bee colonies strengthened

Two widely used neonicotinoids — a class of insecticide — appear to significantly harm honey bee colonies over the winter, particularly during colder winters, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The study replicated a 2012 finding from the same research group that found a link between low doses of imidacloprid and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which bees abandon their hives over the winter and eventually die. The new study also found that low doses of a second neonicotinoid, clothianidin, had the same negative effect.

Further, although other studies have suggested that CCD-related mortality in honey bee colonies may come from bees’ reduced resistance to mites or parasites as a result of exposure to pesticides, the new study found that bees in the hives exhibiting CCD had almost identical levels of pathogen infestation as a group of control hives, most of which survived the winter. This finding suggests that the neonicotinoids are causing some other kind of biological mechanism in bees that in turn leads to CCD.

The study appears online May 9, 2014 in the Bulletin of Insectology.

“We demonstrated again in this study that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering CCD in honey bee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter,” said lead author Chensheng (Alex) Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology at HSPH.

Since 2006, there have been significant losses of honey bees from CCD. Pinpointing the cause is crucial to mitigating this problem since bees are prime pollinators of roughly one-third of all crops worldwide. Experts have considered a number of possible causes, including pathogen infestation, beekeeping practices, and pesticide exposure. Recent findings, including a 2012 study by Lu and colleagues, suggest that CCD is related specifically to neonicotinoids, which may impair bees’ neurological functions. Imidacloprid and clothianidin both belong to this group.

Lu and his co-authors from the Worcester County Beekeepers Association studied the health of 18 bee colonies in three locations in central Massachusetts from October 2012 through April 2013. At each location, the researchers separated six colonies into three groups — one treated with imidacloprid, one with clothianidin, and one untreated.

There was a steady decline in the size of all the bee colonies through the beginning of winter — typical among hives during the colder months in New England. Beginning in January 2013, bee populations in the control colonies began to increase as expected, but populations in the neonicotinoid-treated hives continued to decline. By April 2013, 6 out of 12 of the neonicotinoid-treated colonies were lost, with abandoned hives that are typical of CCD. Only one of the control colonies was lost — thousands of dead bees were found inside the hive — with what appeared to be symptoms of a common intestinal parasite called Nosema ceranae.

While the 12 pesticide-treated hives in the current study experienced a 50% CCD mortality rate, the authors noted that, in their 2012 study, bees in pesticide-treated hives had a much higher CCD mortality rate — 94%. That earlier bee die-off occurred during the particularly cold and prolonged winter of 2010-2011 in central Massachusetts, leading the authors to speculate that colder temperatures, in combination with neonicotinoids, may play a role in the severity of CCD.

“Although we have demonstrated the validity of the association between neonicotinoids and CCD in this study, future research could help elucidate the biological mechanism that is responsible for linking sub-lethal neonicotinoid exposures to CCD,” said Lu. “Hopefully we can reverse the continuing trend of honey bee loss.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Link between insecticides and collapse of honey bee colonies strengthened

Two widely used neonicotinoids — a class of insecticide — appear to significantly harm honey bee colonies over the winter, particularly during colder winters, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The study replicated a 2012 finding from the same research group that found a link between low doses of imidacloprid and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which bees abandon their hives over the winter and eventually die. The new study also found that low doses of a second neonicotinoid, clothianidin, had the same negative effect.

Further, although other studies have suggested that CCD-related mortality in honey bee colonies may come from bees’ reduced resistance to mites or parasites as a result of exposure to pesticides, the new study found that bees in the hives exhibiting CCD had almost identical levels of pathogen infestation as a group of control hives, most of which survived the winter. This finding suggests that the neonicotinoids are causing some other kind of biological mechanism in bees that in turn leads to CCD.

The study appears online May 9, 2014 in the Bulletin of Insectology.

“We demonstrated again in this study that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering CCD in honey bee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter,” said lead author Chensheng (Alex) Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology at HSPH.

Since 2006, there have been significant losses of honey bees from CCD. Pinpointing the cause is crucial to mitigating this problem since bees are prime pollinators of roughly one-third of all crops worldwide. Experts have considered a number of possible causes, including pathogen infestation, beekeeping practices, and pesticide exposure. Recent findings, including a 2012 study by Lu and colleagues, suggest that CCD is related specifically to neonicotinoids, which may impair bees’ neurological functions. Imidacloprid and clothianidin both belong to this group.

Lu and his co-authors from the Worcester County Beekeepers Association studied the health of 18 bee colonies in three locations in central Massachusetts from October 2012 through April 2013. At each location, the researchers separated six colonies into three groups — one treated with imidacloprid, one with clothianidin, and one untreated.

There was a steady decline in the size of all the bee colonies through the beginning of winter — typical among hives during the colder months in New England. Beginning in January 2013, bee populations in the control colonies began to increase as expected, but populations in the neonicotinoid-treated hives continued to decline. By April 2013, 6 out of 12 of the neonicotinoid-treated colonies were lost, with abandoned hives that are typical of CCD. Only one of the control colonies was lost — thousands of dead bees were found inside the hive — with what appeared to be symptoms of a common intestinal parasite called Nosema ceranae.

While the 12 pesticide-treated hives in the current study experienced a 50% CCD mortality rate, the authors noted that, in their 2012 study, bees in pesticide-treated hives had a much higher CCD mortality rate — 94%. That earlier bee die-off occurred during the particularly cold and prolonged winter of 2010-2011 in central Massachusetts, leading the authors to speculate that colder temperatures, in combination with neonicotinoids, may play a role in the severity of CCD.

“Although we have demonstrated the validity of the association between neonicotinoids and CCD in this study, future research could help elucidate the biological mechanism that is responsible for linking sub-lethal neonicotinoid exposures to CCD,” said Lu. “Hopefully we can reverse the continuing trend of honey bee loss.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Link between insecticides and collapse of honey bee colonies strengthened

Two widely used neonicotinoids — a class of insecticide — appear to significantly harm honey bee colonies over the winter, particularly during colder winters, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The study replicated a 2012 finding from the same research group that found a link between low doses of imidacloprid and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which bees abandon their hives over the winter and eventually die. The new study also found that low doses of a second neonicotinoid, clothianidin, had the same negative effect.

Further, although other studies have suggested that CCD-related mortality in honey bee colonies may come from bees’ reduced resistance to mites or parasites as a result of exposure to pesticides, the new study found that bees in the hives exhibiting CCD had almost identical levels of pathogen infestation as a group of control hives, most of which survived the winter. This finding suggests that the neonicotinoids are causing some other kind of biological mechanism in bees that in turn leads to CCD.

The study appears online May 9, 2014 in the Bulletin of Insectology.

“We demonstrated again in this study that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering CCD in honey bee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter,” said lead author Chensheng (Alex) Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology at HSPH.

Since 2006, there have been significant losses of honey bees from CCD. Pinpointing the cause is crucial to mitigating this problem since bees are prime pollinators of roughly one-third of all crops worldwide. Experts have considered a number of possible causes, including pathogen infestation, beekeeping practices, and pesticide exposure. Recent findings, including a 2012 study by Lu and colleagues, suggest that CCD is related specifically to neonicotinoids, which may impair bees’ neurological functions. Imidacloprid and clothianidin both belong to this group.

Lu and his co-authors from the Worcester County Beekeepers Association studied the health of 18 bee colonies in three locations in central Massachusetts from October 2012 through April 2013. At each location, the researchers separated six colonies into three groups — one treated with imidacloprid, one with clothianidin, and one untreated.

There was a steady decline in the size of all the bee colonies through the beginning of winter — typical among hives during the colder months in New England. Beginning in January 2013, bee populations in the control colonies began to increase as expected, but populations in the neonicotinoid-treated hives continued to decline. By April 2013, 6 out of 12 of the neonicotinoid-treated colonies were lost, with abandoned hives that are typical of CCD. Only one of the control colonies was lost — thousands of dead bees were found inside the hive — with what appeared to be symptoms of a common intestinal parasite called Nosema ceranae.

While the 12 pesticide-treated hives in the current study experienced a 50% CCD mortality rate, the authors noted that, in their 2012 study, bees in pesticide-treated hives had a much higher CCD mortality rate — 94%. That earlier bee die-off occurred during the particularly cold and prolonged winter of 2010-2011 in central Massachusetts, leading the authors to speculate that colder temperatures, in combination with neonicotinoids, may play a role in the severity of CCD.

“Although we have demonstrated the validity of the association between neonicotinoids and CCD in this study, future research could help elucidate the biological mechanism that is responsible for linking sub-lethal neonicotinoid exposures to CCD,” said Lu. “Hopefully we can reverse the continuing trend of honey bee loss.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Increasing kiwi production in Italy, exports must be strengthened

Expectations and trends analysed by the Cso in Verona
Increasing kiwi production in Italy, exports must be strengthened

Slightly increasing national production (420 thousand tons, +5% with respect to 2012) with bigger grades, whereas cultivated areas decrease (25 thousand hectares, -2% with respect to 2012) because of bacteriosis and because less land is dedicated to kiwi cultivation (except for Southern Italy). In the meantime, exports are getting more important and new markets are being explored, even though a lot of the potential isn’t fully taken advantage of.


These are the main points emerged at the “Kiwi 2013/2014: previsioni produttive e situazione di mercato” conference that took place on Friday 3rd October at the Agri-food centre in Verona.

Bigger room for discussion was dedicated to bacteriosis and kiwi blight, which are affecting the entire province of Verona.


The speakers’ table at the conference. At the centre, Elisa Macchi, director of the Cso.


After the initial greetings of Luigi Frigotto, Councillor for agriculture of the Verona province, and Damiano Berzacola, member of the board of the chamber of Verona, the president of the Consortium Fausto Bertaiola underlined how “the response to the emergency situation was correct, but unfortunately it was not enough. Resources were found thanks to the Chamber of Commerce, the Province and some municipalities that funded two support projects. Producers must collaborate more in order to tackle the situation.”

“People who work at the beginning of the production chain should confront themselves with the Region and the various bodies to improve research and find the funds to compensate all companies affected by the PSA. More data is needed on the extent to which the disease has spread though, as we must know all of the aspects of the problem.” 


Elisa Macchi, director of the Cso, then talked about production estimates, with more detailed data than those presented at Macfrut 2013.

Less cultivated areas, but not in the South
In 2013, 25 thousand hectares will be dedicated to kiwi cultivation in Italy, 2% less than 2012. It is the first year that there is a negative result. 


Lazio cultivates 7,350 hectares (-2% than 2012); Piedmont 5,000 (-5%); Emilia Romagna 4,000 (-5%) and Veneto 3,700 (-6%).


In the South, in Campania but most of all in Calabria, cultivated areas increase.

Production – Piedmont back to standard levels

Piedmont goes back to standard levels after the drop in 2012 caused by freeze: 98 thousand tons are expected, 198% more than the previous year though still -20% than the 2008-2011 average.

Definite drop in production in Veneto – only 70 thousand tons (-30% than 2012). Verona, the leading area in the province, is facing a 30% drop in yields with respect to 2012, which though is only 8% less than the 2008-2011 period.

The same goes for Emilia Romagna, as the expected production is of 70 thousand tons, -2% than 2012. The Ravenna province should end with +2% with respect to the previous year, but -2% than 2008-2011. Forlì-Cesena is similar (-3% than 2012), whereas Bologna will do better.

The situation in Lazio will vary from company to company depending on who took measures against bacteriosis. The yield is expected at 128 thousand tons (-4% than 2012).

As regards the other regions, Friuli downsized – -4% cultivated areas and -15% production. Calabria increased cultivated areas and production, but yields will be lower than last year (-25%) because of wind damage.

Campania also increased cultivated areas by 10%.

At a national level, we are talking about around 420 thousand tons (+5% than 2012) with a higher quality (better grades). 403 thousand tons will be suitable for the market, 7% more than 2012. “We still are below our potential, though,” revealed the director of the Cso.

In the Northern hemisphere, Europe will produce 590,900 tons in 2013-2014, more or less the same than in 2012-2013. There have been significant drops in France (55 thousand tons, -13%) and Greece, one of our main competitors (102 thousand, -15% due to the weather). Lower productions also in California (less than 24 thousand tons, -23%) and South Korea (11,500 tons, -15%). 

Exports must be strengthened
Foreign countries become more important: during the 2012-2013 campaign, sales abroad increased despite 20% less production, leading to a good average price of €1.12 per kilo. 


The trend of Italian exports. Click here to enlarge the chart.

Exports in European countries decrease (Germany -8%, Spain +1%, France -15% and Poland -30%) and sales in extra-European countries also dropped by 23% (Russia -36%), whereas business is increasing in the Far East and South America.


Macchi added that our kiwis are going all over the world, but there is room for improvement and competition is important as, from 1992 to today, production increased in all producer countries and all of them export.

Publication date: 10/9/2013


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