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Strikes delay Mexican avocado season

While the grower strike is largely resolved, the setback will affect supply and prices over the coming weeks. 

Avocado prices have been fairly high for the opening of the 2016-17 Mexican harvest due to a producer strike, but the issue appears to be resolved and prices are expected to start stabilizing.

Diario.mx reported growers in Michoacan did not harvest for the week of July 4-11, protesting outside the offices of the Mexican Avocado Grower and Packer Exporter Association (APEAM) calling for fixed dollar payments on exports.

In the domestic Mexican market prices reached MXN65 (US$ 3.50) per kilogram (2.2 pounds) last week, compared with an average price of MXN15 (US$ 0.81) for the previous season.

APEAM representative for the municipality to Tancítaro, Javier Mora, told the publication negotiations had been in pesos for exports, so even if the value of the dollar rose the price received would be the same.

The story reported that after the strike that affected 90% of the state’s municipalities, growers reached a deal to be paid in pesos but with a dollar equivalency.

In an avocado market update, U.S. company Mission Produce said effects would be continue to be felt even though the situation was getting back to normal in Mexico and industry volume was up slightly last week due to higher Californian production.

“Basically the numbers don’t look as bad as the reality, but the combination of severely curtailed production will have repercussions for the next several weeks; until more fruit is available for the market,” Mission said in the update.

“Mexican shipments to the U.S. were about 16 million pounds, down from 22 million the prior week. The grower embargo is essentially resolved at this point, but the slowdown will have a lingering effect for several weeks as the pipeline refills.

“Production estimates for the next three weeks are 18, 22 and 25 million pounds, signaling that the Flor Loca harvest is ramping up.”

The update highlighted volume from California would decline in the coming weeks, but Mexico should rebound to fill the void.

“Market pricing should remain high until supply and demand are more in balance.”

Despite the news of protests, Mexican Agriculture Minister Jose Calzada Rovirosa attributed the higher prices to a “cyclical” situation for the crop in the local press.

“This has to do with cyclical processes. The harvest finished in June and the new harvest started on July 10 and here prices will surely start dropping substantially,” he was quoted as saying.

“In terms of time, I don’t know, but I want to comment that around 2.5 million [metric] tons of avocados are produced and Mexico produces 1.3 million.”

Photo: www.shutterstock.com

www.freshfruitportal.com

 

FreshFruitPortal.com

Port strikes upset market balance

Washington apple exporter hopeful
Port strikes upset market balance

Port problems in the West are changing the market situation. Some fruit that was targeted for export to the Far East is being pulled back and sold in North American markets.

“Some of the fruit that we have targeted to the Far East is being redirected into North American markets. We are hearing of a meeting this week on the port status and are hopeful for an agreement,” says Howard Nager from Domex Superfresh Growers. The timing of this slowdown has been unfortunate as November and December are some of the busiest times of the year.

However with a record crop Washington growers and shippers can provide more options and flexibility to retailers and consumers. “Because of the heavy volumes and vintage crop of Washington apples, we will be able deliver our customers greater volumes and greater promotional opportunities for a longer period of time, so they might not have to shift to Southern Hemisphere apples at all.” says Howard Nager of Domex Superfresh Growers.

“In New York the growers did not have  a record crop this year, but a very high quality crop,”says James Allen from New York Apple Association. “The volume from  Washington has put some pressure on the prices, and now the port problems are causing exports to back up. This gives our shippers some extra challenges.”

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Port strikes upset market balance

Washington apple exporter hopeful
Port strikes upset market balance

Port problems in the West are changing the market situation. Some fruit that was targeted for export to the Far East is being pulled back and sold in North American markets.

“Some of the fruit that we have targeted to the Far East is being redirected into North American markets. We are hearing of a meeting this week on the port status and are hopeful for an agreement,” says Howard Nager from Domex Superfresh Growers. The timing of this slowdown has been unfortunate as November and December are some of the busiest times of the year.

However with a record crop Washington growers and shippers can provide more options and flexibility to retailers and consumers. “Because of the heavy volumes and vintage crop of Washington apples, we will be able deliver our customers greater volumes and greater promotional opportunities for a longer period of time, so they might not have to shift to Southern Hemisphere apples at all.” says Howard Nager of Domex Superfresh Growers.

“In New York the growers did not have  a record crop this year, but a very high quality crop,”says James Allen from New York Apple Association. “The volume from  Washington has put some pressure on the prices, and now the port problems are causing exports to back up. This gives our shippers some extra challenges.”

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Port strikes upset market balance

Washington apple exporter hopeful
Port strikes upset market balance

Port problems in the West are changing the market situation. Some fruit that was targeted for export to the Far East is being pulled back and sold in North American markets.

“Some of the fruit that we have targeted to the Far East is being redirected into North American markets. We are hearing of a meeting this week on the port status and are hopeful for an agreement,” says Howard Nager from Domex Superfresh Growers. The timing of this slowdown has been unfortunate as November and December are some of the busiest times of the year.

However with a record crop Washington growers and shippers can provide more options and flexibility to retailers and consumers. “Because of the heavy volumes and vintage crop of Washington apples, we will be able deliver our customers greater volumes and greater promotional opportunities for a longer period of time, so they might not have to shift to Southern Hemisphere apples at all.” says Howard Nager of Domex Superfresh Growers.

“In New York the growers did not have  a record crop this year, but a very high quality crop,”says James Allen from New York Apple Association. “The volume from  Washington has put some pressure on the prices, and now the port problems are causing exports to back up. This gives our shippers some extra challenges.”

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Port strikes upset market balance

Washington apple exporter hopeful
Port strikes upset market balance

Port problems in the West are changing the market situation. Some fruit that was targeted for export to the Far East is being pulled back and sold in North American markets.

“Some of the fruit that we have targeted to the Far East is being redirected into North American markets. We are hearing of a meeting this week on the port status and are hopeful for an agreement,” says Howard Nager from Domex Superfresh Growers. The timing of this slowdown has been unfortunate as November and December are some of the busiest times of the year.

However with a record crop Washington growers and shippers can provide more options and flexibility to retailers and consumers. “Because of the heavy volumes and vintage crop of Washington apples, we will be able deliver our customers greater volumes and greater promotional opportunities for a longer period of time, so they might not have to shift to Southern Hemisphere apples at all.” says Howard Nager of Domex Superfresh Growers.

“In New York the growers did not have  a record crop this year, but a very high quality crop,”says James Allen from New York Apple Association. “The volume from  Washington has put some pressure on the prices, and now the port problems are causing exports to back up. This gives our shippers some extra challenges.”

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Port strikes upset market balance

Washington apple exporter hopeful
Port strikes upset market balance

Port problems in the West are changing the market situation. Some fruit that was targeted for export to the Far East is being pulled back and sold in North American markets.

“Some of the fruit that we have targeted to the Far East is being redirected into North American markets. We are hearing of a meeting this week on the port status and are hopeful for an agreement,” says Howard Nager from Domex Superfresh Growers. The timing of this slowdown has been unfortunate as November and December are some of the busiest times of the year.

However with a record crop Washington growers and shippers can provide more options and flexibility to retailers and consumers. “Because of the heavy volumes and vintage crop of Washington apples, we will be able deliver our customers greater volumes and greater promotional opportunities for a longer period of time, so they might not have to shift to Southern Hemisphere apples at all.” says Howard Nager of Domex Superfresh Growers.

“In New York the growers did not have  a record crop this year, but a very high quality crop,”says James Allen from New York Apple Association. “The volume from  Washington has put some pressure on the prices, and now the port problems are causing exports to back up. This gives our shippers some extra challenges.”

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Port strikes upset market balance

Washington apple exporter hopeful
Port strikes upset market balance

Port problems in the West are changing the market situation. Some fruit that was targeted for export to the Far East is being pulled back and sold in North American markets.

“Some of the fruit that we have targeted to the Far East is being redirected into North American markets. We are hearing of a meeting this week on the port status and are hopeful for an agreement,” says Howard Nager from Domex Superfresh Growers. The timing of this slowdown has been unfortunate as November and December are some of the busiest times of the year.

However with a record crop Washington growers and shippers can provide more options and flexibility to retailers and consumers. “Because of the heavy volumes and vintage crop of Washington apples, we will be able deliver our customers greater volumes and greater promotional opportunities for a longer period of time, so they might not have to shift to Southern Hemisphere apples at all.” says Howard Nager of Domex Superfresh Growers.

“In New York the growers did not have  a record crop this year, but a very high quality crop,”says James Allen from New York Apple Association. “The volume from  Washington has put some pressure on the prices, and now the port problems are causing exports to back up. This gives our shippers some extra challenges.”

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

European-Style GM Crop Destruction Strikes Oregon

Federal felony charges of economic sabotage and domestic terrorism could be brought if whoever destroyed two sugar beet fields in Jackson County, Oregon earlier this month is ever brought to justice.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investing the destruction of about 6,500 sugar beets that occurred on the nights of June 8 and 11 at two separate fields, both leased by Syngenta AG, the Swiss multinational biotech company.

GMO Free Jackson County, which opposed planting genetically modified crops in the area, posted a notice on its website denying any involvement in the pulling up the sugar beets.

“From the beginning, GMO Free Jackson County has advocated only lawful means of addressing the GMO issue,” it said. “We remain firm in that commitment. We encourage everyone opposed to GMO crops to become involved in the public process of supporting the passage of Measure 15-119 that will ban GMO crops in Jackson County.”

Syngenta AG began contracting with Jackson County farmers to grow sugar beets on leased land last year. GMO Free Jackson County began campaigning against the GM sugar beets, saying they would contaminate surrounding lands. It drafted the ballot measure that will appear on Jackson County ballots on May 20,1914.

Jackson County is on the state’s border with California and is probably best known for the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) in Ashland. Its politics, however, can be dicy. In 2007, voters said they preferred keeping all the county’s libraries closed.

It was on the other side of Oregon that plantings of an abandoned GM wheat variety were found growing in what USDA called an isolated event.  The GM wheat was a Monsanto product, dropped a decade ago for its lack of worldwide marketability.

Food Safety News

Strikes in Belgium shut down Delhaize stores: Reports

More than 100 stores owned by Delhaize in Belgium were unable to open Friday after employees at the company called a wildcat strike to protest the retailer’s proposed restructuring, reports said.

Warehouse workers walked off the job Thursday after union representatives received word of a proposal from Delhaize that would save jobs but eliminate pay for worker breaks and reduce leave, reports said.

The proposal was revised from a June restructuring plan that would have eliminated around 2,500 jobs and close 14 stores.

Delhaize officials have said the company is beset by a higher cost structure than its peers in Belgium, as detailed in this slide at right presented at the retailer’s most recent financial conference call in August.

Striking workers reportedly have blocked the entrance to two Belgium warehouses.

The below Tweet from a Belgian news site shows a photograph of striking workers wearing a sign that translates to “We are all on sale.”

Delhaize officials were not immediately available for comment Friday. One newspaper said a spokesman said the disruption “will have huge economic repercussions for the company.”

Supermarket News

Strikes in Belgium shut down Delhaize stores: Reports

More than 100 stores owned by Delhaize in Belgium were unable to open Friday after employees at the company called a wildcat strike to protest the retailer’s proposed restructuring, reports said.

Warehouse workers walked off the job Thursday after union representatives received word of a proposal from Delhaize that would save jobs but eliminate pay for worker breaks and reduce leave, reports said.

The proposal was revised from a June restructuring plan that would have eliminated around 2,500 jobs and close 14 stores.

Delhaize officials have said the company is beset by a higher cost structure than its peers in Belgium, as detailed in this slide at right presented at the retailer’s most recent financial conference call in August.

Striking workers reportedly have blocked the entrance to two Belgium warehouses.

The below Tweet from a Belgian news site shows a photograph of striking workers wearing a sign that translates to “We are all on sale.”

Delhaize officials were not immediately available for comment Friday. One newspaper said a spokesman said the disruption “will have huge economic repercussions for the company.”

Supermarket News

Strikes in Belgium shut down Delhaize stores: Reports

More than 100 stores owned by Delhaize in Belgium were unable to open Friday after employees at the company called a wildcat strike to protest the retailer’s proposed restructuring, reports said.

Warehouse workers walked off the job Thursday after union representatives received word of a proposal from Delhaize that would save jobs but eliminate pay for worker breaks and reduce leave, reports said.

The proposal was revised from a June restructuring plan that would have eliminated around 2,500 jobs and close 14 stores.

Delhaize officials have said the company is beset by a higher cost structure than its peers in Belgium, as detailed in this slide at right presented at the retailer’s most recent financial conference call in August.

Striking workers reportedly have blocked the entrance to two Belgium warehouses.

The below Tweet from a Belgian news site shows a photograph of striking workers wearing a sign that translates to “We are all on sale.”

Delhaize officials were not immediately available for comment Friday. One newspaper said a spokesman said the disruption “will have huge economic repercussions for the company.”

Supermarket News

Chile: “We will seek free transit regulations to prevent port strikes”

TGF-FruitImageInterview with Juan Carolus Brown, new president of Fedefruta
Chile: “We will seek free transit regulations to prevent port strikes”

Great challenges are ahead for the new president of Fedefruta, Juan Carolus Brown, who replaced Cristián Allendes. His team was formed yesterday, with the latter in it, as well as Felipe Garcia-Huidobro (first Vice President), Jorge Valenzuela (second Vice President), María Inés Figari (secretary), Antonio Walker Prieto, Domingo Romero, Ramón Achurra Larraín and Claudio Vergara, who will serve as head treasurer.

In an interview to Estrategia, the civil engineer from the Catholic University, MBA from the University of Chicago and grower (as part of the family business tradition), revealed the strategies he will adopt while in command at Fedefruta.

What are the main challenges you will face as president of FEDEFRUTA?

“In the next two years, we would like some regulation or free transit law for perishable goods to be approved, because we have had to face two port strikes during times when high fruit volumes are usually shipped, causing huge losses which will hopefully not happen again. Regarding labour issues, we want the temporary worker statutes to be approved; a project which has been presented, but that should be pushed forward so that people can be hired whenever they are needed. We wish to come to some agreement about the immigration of people willing to work in the agricultural sector, and we have also been summoned by the agricultural authority to assist in the modernisation of SAG.”

What do you think about the Government’s plan to reform the water regulations?

“We are primary users of water and we use those rights on a daily basis, unlike other sectors. We will try making sure that this doesn’t change.”

What do you mean with sectors that do not use their water rights allocated?

“Concerns arise from mining companies, which have water rights that they do not use, but are kept for future projects. And that should, in my opinion, be subject to regulation.”

How could the water ownership issue be resolved?

“The problem is that laws give too much power to mining firms; their water seems to be prioritised, and they are often given rights even when the channels are supposed to be depleted.”

Is the sector still hampered by droughts? It has been said rainy months are coming.

“Droughts are not over as soon as it starts to rain, and until reservoirs reach their normal levels, we cannot say that the problem has been overcome. We would need a cycle of about four or five years of rainfall for the crisis to be definitely resolved.”

Meanwhile, the dollar has reached a value of 550 pesos. Will this affect you? 

“A dollar a little above the 550 pesos is better than at 450 pesos; we are happy with this. But the issue is similar to that of the droughts. We will have higher revenue in pesos than in previous years; however, for the financial situation of fruit exporters to normalise, the exchange rate levels need to stay like this for a while.”

What are the plans for the new fruit season?

“The frosts we had in September 2013 caused some problems, especially in the stone fruit sector, and those that survived will have a very good next season, with 20% higher prices and a production 15% larger.”

Source: Fedefruta

Publication date: 4/18/2014

 

FreshPlaza.com

Recent Greek strikes not as bad as previous incidents

Recent Greek strikes not as bad as previous incidents

Recent protests by striking civil servants in Greece may remind some of similar manifestations in past years, but the fallout from these incidents has not impacted trade within the country like previous strikes did.


“We don’t really feel an impact from the strikes,” said George Frangistas from Gefra. “There have been a couple of reactions from growers and from transport companies, but in reality, there have been no side effects.” Frangistas was referring to the road blocks and sometimes violent altercations that sprang up on Greece’s roads in previous years. But, unlike in past years, where manifestations seriously hampered the transport of fresh produce within the country, this year’s activities have not been major. But that’s not to say growers and shippers haven’t had other issues to deal with.


“Greece is in dire straits,” said Frangista. “People are sad and depressed, so they don’t want to do anything, and I think that’s why nothing serious has happened at the moment.” Poor morale probably has to do with poor economic conditions, which, in turn, have made for low domestic demand for fresh produce. In fact, Frangista noted that most produce that’s grown in Greece heads directly for the export market because of sluggish demand at home.


“Our company is 100 percent exports, so we’re not affected by the domestic situation,” said Frangista. “We focus on the big European supermarkets, so we haven’t felt the effects of the crisis.” But he also warned that the export market has significant barriers to entry for those wishing to escape bad conditions at home. While there might be produce available in Greece, it’s hard to set up the packing houses and trade relationships necessary to successfully export goods. Even if those things can be attained, Frangista noted that Europe can be a tough market to crack because of the relatively few large clients.


“Most retailers go with central buying, so there are only about 10 supermarket groups, so you’re really trying to sell to the same ten people all over Europe,” said Frangista. “They will listen to us about citrus, because we are experts in citrus, but they won’t buy kiwis from us, for example, because they already have experts in kiwis they buy from. So, in the end, Europe is not so big a market.”

For more information:

George Frangistas
Gefra
Tel: +30-210-9636382
Fax: +30-210-9607092
Email: [email protected]
www.gefra.gr
 

Publication date: 3/14/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Recent Greek strikes not as bad as previous incidents

Recent Greek strikes not as bad as previous incidents

Recent protests by striking civil servants in Greece may remind some of similar manifestations in past years, but the fallout from these incidents has not impacted trade within the country like previous strikes did.


“We don’t really feel an impact from the strikes,” said George Frangistas from Gefra. “There have been a couple of reactions from growers and from transport companies, but in reality, there have been no side effects.” Frangistas was referring to the road blocks and sometimes violent altercations that sprang up on Greece’s roads in previous years. But, unlike in past years, where manifestations seriously hampered the transport of fresh produce within the country, this year’s activities have not been major. But that’s not to say growers and shippers haven’t had other issues to deal with.


“Greece is in dire straits,” said Frangista. “People are sad and depressed, so they don’t want to do anything, and I think that’s why nothing serious has happened at the moment.” Poor morale probably has to do with poor economic conditions, which, in turn, have made for low domestic demand for fresh produce. In fact, Frangista noted that most produce that’s grown in Greece heads directly for the export market because of sluggish demand at home.


“Our company is 100 percent exports, so we’re not affected by the domestic situation,” said Frangista. “We focus on the big European supermarkets, so we haven’t felt the effects of the crisis.” But he also warned that the export market has significant barriers to entry for those wishing to escape bad conditions at home. While there might be produce available in Greece, it’s hard to set up the packing houses and trade relationships necessary to successfully export goods. Even if those things can be attained, Frangista noted that Europe can be a tough market to crack because of the relatively few large clients.


“Most retailers go with central buying, so there are only about 10 supermarket groups, so you’re really trying to sell to the same ten people all over Europe,” said Frangista. “They will listen to us about citrus, because we are experts in citrus, but they won’t buy kiwis from us, for example, because they already have experts in kiwis they buy from. So, in the end, Europe is not so big a market.”

For more information:

George Frangistas
Gefra
Tel: +30-210-9636382
Fax: +30-210-9607092
Email: [email protected]
www.gefra.gr
 

Publication date: 3/14/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Strikes break out once again in San Antonio

Strikes break out once again in San Antonio

Chilean port companies and workers reached an agreement at the to end a 22-day strike — but strikes broke-out once more at San Antonio.

Fresh stoppages late Monday night have threatened an agreement reached between port companies and workers which sought to end three weeks of strikes that hit exporters with multimillion dollar losses. Workers hailed the agreement — which came after 14-hours of government-mediated discussions — as a significant victory. Under the deal, more than 6,500 port workers may be eligible to receive remuneration.

“Finally, we’ve reached an agreement, just as we said we would, now we will raise the movement,” Sergio Vargas, president of the Port Workers’ Front (FTP) told Puertos de Chile. Exporters received the news with enthusiasm, however lamented the losses and delays caused by the extended protest.

Fruit exporters were particularly hard hit — the strikes came at the height of fruit production and much of their produce was spoiled or sold at lower prices in the domestic market. “Considering labour and transportation, lost and devalued fruit, we’ve seen losses across the chain close to US$ 200 million,” Ronald Bown, president of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (Asoex), told The Santiago Times. “And to all of this one must add the damage to our image, credibility and confidence among our clients, which will encourage them to seek other suppliers.”

Port companies committed themselves to awarding US$ 2,730 to all workers who met the requirements of at least six months of activity and a minimum of 18 shifts per month, according to Mundo Maritimo. The retroactive payment is intended to remunerate half-an-hour lunch breaks dating between 2005 to 2013.

“This amount will be paid during February,” the port companies stated in their official announcement published in 24 Horas on Saturday.

The dispute over lunch hours lingers, however, in San Antonio — the country’s major fruit shipping port — and Mejillones — a key copper port — and tensions arose due to the alleged firing of workers in the two ports. “A few problems remain. While we are still working all shifts, union leaders are meeting with port company officials,” Jorge Bustos, leader of United Port Workers (TPU), told The Santiago Times, adding that his organization was “looking into” claims workers had been fired for their participation in the strikes. Port workers in San Antonio held a meeting until late Monday on whether they will strike once more, with local media reporting that at least two terminals decided to resume strikes.

During earlier strikes, violent clashes between workers and Carabineros — Chile’s uniformed police — occurred in both Mejillones and San Antonio, among other ports. Injuries were sustained on both sides. According to the Soy San Antonio website, seven San Antonio strikers were detained by Carabineros and held in custody for six hours on Friday.

The port strikes have not only impacted the national economy, but also caused losses in neighbouring Bolivia. The landlocked nation relies heavily on Chilean ports for its exports and is currently challenging Chile in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to regain access to the ocean it lost in the War of the Pacific (1879-1883).

The Bolivian government stated Monday the country has lost an estimated US$ 30 million with hundreds of Bolivian truckers unable to unload cargo due to the strike. “The mistreatment that Bolivia suffered in the port of Iquique because of Chile is indignant and unacceptable,” Bolivian Productive Development Minister Teresa Morales told Los Tiempos.

In the wake of the agreement Chilean Fruit Growers Federation (Fedefruta) President Cristián Allendes said that exporters still faced significant challenges as a result of the dispute between workers and port owners. “For us this is not over, now we will have to explain why, for reasons beyond our control,

Publication date: 1/29/2014


FreshPlaza.com