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Weather conditions in Chile have been favorable for this season’s crops

Apart from some recent rains that affected cherry volumes, weather conditions have been favorable for this season. “We expect to see volume increases across all commodities, even cherries,” said Karen Brux, managing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, North America, based in San Carlos, CA.

The news is especially good because Chile saw large volume decreases in 2013-14 due to severe frosts in the country.Karen-BruxKaren Brux

Looking specifically at the blueberry category, Brux noted that there is a huge increase over 2013-14.  Exports of Chilean blueberries are expected to increase by 30 percent over last season, with volume exceeding 200 million pounds.

“Roughly 70 percent of exports come to North America, so that’s great news for our market,” added Brux.

She also noted a few promotion tips for retailers. Many shoppers still associate certain commodities, like blueberries or stone fruit, with a specific season, but Brux said, “Retailers should let their customers know that they can continue enjoying their favorite summer fruits during the winter, thanks to Chile.

“It goes without saying that retailers should communicate the key selling points of whatever product they’re carrying to their shoppers,” she continued. “For example, a large retail chain is flying in all of their Chilean stone fruit to offer what they believe are the freshest, best-tasting fruits for their shoppers. We’re helping them develop point-of-sale materials that communicates this. Another large retail chain brings in Muscat grapes from Chile and builds beautiful displays with information that highlights the unique taste of this grape.”

This also brings attention to the broader grape category. Brux said retailers see sales increases across all varieties. The CFFA works with them to develop targeted promotions.

“It’s additionally helpful to give consumers season-appropriate usage ideas and wellness messages,” Brux pointed out. “Consumers are familiar with summer usage ideas for items like cherries, blueberries, grapes and stone fruit, but what about during the cold winter months? We worked with one retail chain to introduce our roasted Brussels sprouts and Chilean grapes recipe via a video that was sent out to a database of more than 300,000 customers. The CFFA also has numerous usage ideas and corresponding images for everything from a cherry, wild rice and quinoa salad to cherry chocolate chip muffins to smoked salmon with blueberry compote or a festive green grape salsa for St. Patrick’s Day.”

For people committing to a healthier lifestyle in the New Year, the CFFA also has commodity-specific health messages available. It is, for example, currently working with a registered dietitian from a large retail chain in the Northeast to supply short sound bites on all of the Chilean fruits.

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

Mexican citrus affected by weather

Mexican citrus affected by weather

Hurricanes hitting different parts of Mexico’s citrus-producing regions could lead to lighter crops for the 2014-2015 season.

Orange production in Mexico, most of which is centred in the state of Veracruz, is forecast at 4.3 million metric tons, according to a report from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Production for the previous season is estimated at 4.3 MMT, and the report points to cold weather and drought conditions as factors in the slight decline. In fact, dry conditions, as well as rising production costs and volatile returns, have caused many growers to abandon their orange groves this year. Yields are expected to reach 13.3 metric tons per hectare for the 2014-2015 season, while the previous season’s yields reached 13.6 metric tons per hectare.

The lime crop for 2014-2015 is expected to be about the same as the one from the previous season. Both crops are estimated at 2.2 MMT. Grapefruit production is expected to reach 420,000 MT for the 2014-2015 season, a slight drop from the previous season’s production. Yields are also expected to take a dip, with 2014-2015 grapefruit yields forecast at 24.2 metric tons per hectare, while the previous season’s yields are estimated at 24.7 metric tons per hectare.

Publication date: 12/24/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Here Comes the Cold Weather — and Mus Musculus

For much of the country, as the temperatures drop, there is increased activity of mice to find a harborage area. For any food operation, or homeowner, for that matter, this means an increased potential of infestation if some proactive measures are not taken to eliminate entry. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Think like a mouse.

2. Any hole, gap or crack leading directly outside must be either sealed or flush with the floor. If you see sunlight, chances are that gap may be large enough for a mouse to squeeze through. Simply using some type of spray foam to plug a hole may work temporarily until the mice decide to chew through it, so put a metal scrub pad in the hole before it is sealed. I’ve seen mice tunnel through fireproof insulation three floors high, chew through wires, sheetrock, plaster and plywood, so they are resilient and can get to where they want to go.

3. Keep doors closed when not in use, especially in a warehouse next to a field, where even Bigfoot can walk right in.

4. Be careful of potential exterior harborage areas. Those hay bales — yes, they’re very fall-like and a nice-looking Halloween decoration — but they’re also a nice, warm and comfortable area for mice to inhabit. Bags of mulch and even vending machines are as well. Just keep that in mind the next time your dispensed scratch-off lottery ticket looks like it has been nibbled on the end. Those make perfect nesting material, and the grand prize you might win may have four legs.

5. Be mindful of any potential outdoor food source that can be an attraction, such as an unkept garbage area, seed, pet food and anything else that will attract rodents.

6. Make sure to thoroughly check any food and/or paper deliveries for evidence of infestation. Is one of your vendors possibly bringing you something more than you bargained for?

7. Finally, ask yourself: Just exactly what are those holes in the ground outside your back door?

Mice can be a big problem once they have gained access to your interior, not only for the spread of potential disease, product loss, damage to reputation, citations and/or fines from the health department, but also for the money you will spend in labor to clean up after them and for the pest-control company to get rid of them.

Keep in mind that, with a potential reproduction rate of five to 10 litters a year, times five to six babies each, an unchecked mouse population can grow fast. And it all starts with entry.

Food Safety News

Here Comes the Cold Weather — and Mus Musculus

For much of the country, as the temperatures drop, there is increased activity of mice to find a harborage area. For any food operation, or homeowner, for that matter, this means an increased potential of infestation if some proactive measures are not taken to eliminate entry. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Think like a mouse.

2. Any hole, gap or crack leading directly outside must be either sealed or flush with the floor. If you see sunlight, chances are that gap may be large enough for a mouse to squeeze through. Simply using some type of spray foam to plug a hole may work temporarily until the mice decide to chew through it, so put a metal scrub pad in the hole before it is sealed. I’ve seen mice tunnel through fireproof insulation three floors high, chew through wires, sheetrock, plaster and plywood, so they are resilient and can get to where they want to go.

3. Keep doors closed when not in use, especially in a warehouse next to a field, where even Bigfoot can walk right in.

4. Be careful of potential exterior harborage areas. Those hay bales — yes, they’re very fall-like and a nice-looking Halloween decoration — but they’re also a nice, warm and comfortable area for mice to inhabit. Bags of mulch and even vending machines are as well. Just keep that in mind the next time your dispensed scratch-off lottery ticket looks like it has been nibbled on the end. Those make perfect nesting material, and the grand prize you might win may have four legs.

5. Be mindful of any potential outdoor food source that can be an attraction, such as an unkept garbage area, seed, pet food and anything else that will attract rodents.

6. Make sure to thoroughly check any food and/or paper deliveries for evidence of infestation. Is one of your vendors possibly bringing you something more than you bargained for?

7. Finally, ask yourself: Just exactly what are those holes in the ground outside your back door?

Mice can be a big problem once they have gained access to your interior, not only for the spread of potential disease, product loss, damage to reputation, citations and/or fines from the health department, but also for the money you will spend in labor to clean up after them and for the pest-control company to get rid of them.

Keep in mind that, with a potential reproduction rate of five to 10 litters a year, times five to six babies each, an unchecked mouse population can grow fast. And it all starts with entry.

Food Safety News

Michigan crops looking good, despite being late due to cold weather

Like so much of the United States, the winter and spring in Michigan was long, cold and wet. These factors have delayed production in the state, but fruit and vegetable growers alike indicated that their fresh products will be in good condition.

Some vegetables, such as radishes, were shipped as early as May and early June. As the calendar turns to July, Michigan vegetable shipping will be gearing up toward full production.FruitOverviewJohn Schaefer, Jr., president of Jack Brown Produce Inc., in Sparta, MI, said his firm will be shipping storage apples into July. Schaefer said the early indications for the 2014 crop are for an ‘excellent season.’

Buurma Farms, Inc. has vegetable farms in Gregory, MI, and Willard, OH. Loren Buurma, company treasurer, told The Produce News that the two locations provide supply security for the firm, should one of these locations endure bad weather.

“The key is to keep the chain business” through consistent supplies, he said. Buurma ships from Georgia farms from February to June.

Normally, vegetable harvest dates on the Michigan farm are 10 to 14 days behind the Ohio operation. But it was Ohio this spring that experienced a relatively colder spring growing season. Thus, Buurma’s Michigan farm is only three or four days behind Ohio.

Buurma said that radishes started in early June. His shipments of Michigan celery began the week of June 9. This was followed by collards, kale, flat parsley, cilantro and other such crops.

In Byron Center, MI, Nick Huizinga, general manager, of Hearty Fresh Inc., indicated that Michigan cabbage harvest will be a week late, starting about July 10 this year. Michigan cucumbers and squash are “on pace as usual and will be on the market in August.”

Bruce Heeren, marketing director for Michigan Fresh Marketing in Comstock Park, MI, said his company started shipping squash June 10 and cucumbers June 20-25. Tomatoes will be on the market in mid-July. “Those are three of our bigger items,” Heeren said.

In Michigan’s apple business, John Schaefer, Jr., president of Jack Brown Produce Inc., in Sparta, MI, said his firm will be shipping storage apples into July. Schaefer said the early indications for the 2014 crop are for an “excellent season.”

Up the road from Jack Brown at Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc., Don Armock indicated that on the ridge of Michigan’s apple country, bloom is “seven to ten days later than normal.” While marketers like early production, Armock said “it is really better if the crop is later because the apples are harvested in later ‘apple weather.’” This means cooler temperatures at harvest time in mid-September. Apple varieties like Gala, McIntosh and Honeycrisp have the best flavor when they gain color with those late summer dropping temperatures.

The 2013 crop “had the potential for a full crop but it didn’t quite become a full crop. This year it has the potential to be a full crop” and may very well meet that potential, Armock said.

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

Italy: Weather affects strawberry campaign

Secondulfo PO
Italy: Weather affects strawberry campaign

“The weather deeply affected the campaign, so much so that nothing developed at the usual times,” explains Salvatore Secondulfo, owner of OP Secondulfo, 


Strawberries developed more during the winter months, “therefore we expect lower yields towards the end of the season. Unfortunately, there were less nutrients in the plants during their most productive period.”


According to the owner, there are many factors that influence the campaign. “Due to the change in climate, Germany, as well as other Central and Northern European countries, is now cultivating more fruit, so it can satisfy internal demand and import less produce. In addition, the produce in exporting countries ripened earlier than usual, thus reducing their commercial period.”


“Despite this, we feel the strawberry campaign was good, especially in February, March and April 2014. We are confident we have done a good job, nonetheless, we are open to improvements. Basilicata for example adopted a number of different commercial strategies and achieved good results.”

OP Secondulfo covers around 400 hectares of kiwis, grapes, peaches, strawberries, apricots and nectarines. Produce is sold under the KiwiPiù and MissDolcezza brands.


Contatti:
Annarita Secondulfo
OP Secondulfo
Via Antico Cilento
84091 Battipaglia (SA)
Tel.: +39 (0)828 547515
Fax: +39 (0)828 547519
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.secondulfo.com

Publication date: 5/23/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Italy: Weather affects strawberry campaign

Secondulfo PO
Italy: Weather affects strawberry campaign

“The weather deeply affected the campaign, so much so that nothing developed at the usual times,” explains Salvatore Secondulfo, owner of OP Secondulfo, 


Strawberries developed more during the winter months, “therefore we expect lower yields towards the end of the season. Unfortunately, there were less nutrients in the plants during their most productive period.”


According to the owner, there are many factors that influence the campaign. “Due to the change in climate, Germany, as well as other Central and Northern European countries, is now cultivating more fruit, so it can satisfy internal demand and import less produce. In addition, the produce in exporting countries ripened earlier than usual, thus reducing their commercial period.”


“Despite this, we feel the strawberry campaign was good, especially in February, March and April 2014. We are confident we have done a good job, nonetheless, we are open to improvements. Basilicata for example adopted a number of different commercial strategies and achieved good results.”

OP Secondulfo covers around 400 hectares of kiwis, grapes, peaches, strawberries, apricots and nectarines. Produce is sold under the KiwiPiù and MissDolcezza brands.


Contatti:
Annarita Secondulfo
OP Secondulfo
Via Antico Cilento
84091 Battipaglia (SA)
Tel.: +39 (0)828 547515
Fax: +39 (0)828 547519
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.secondulfo.com

Publication date: 5/23/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Bad weather conditions mean Q1 GAAP net loss for Chiquita

Confident in ‘return to the core’ strategic plan
Bad weather conditions mean Q1 GAAP net loss for Chiquita

Chiquita Brands International, Inc. has released financial and operating results for the first quarter 2014. The company reported GAAP net loss of $ 25 million in 2014 compared to GAAP net income of $ 2 million 2013.  GAAP operating income for 2014 was $ 1 million compared to income of $ 25 million in 2013. The company also reported comparable operating income[1] of $ 7 million for 2014 compared to comparable operating income of $ 23 million for 2013.

“While we are confident in our 2014 progress toward our long term financial targets and benefits from our ‘return to the core’ strategic plan, our first quarter results did not meet expectations,” said Ed Lonergan, Chiquita’s president and chief executive officer.  “Drought conditions in Central America and winter storms in North America and over the Atlantic disrupted our value chain and market demand for our products.  While we grew our North American banana volume in excess of 5 percent compared to first quarter of 2013, shortfalls in contracted and owned farm supply required purchase of expensive weekly market fruit to serve our contracted business and resulted in inefficient shipping choices and short supply to our weekly market customers across countries.  In salads and healthy snacks, winter weather resulted in mismatched demand versus supply in both our retail and foodservice businesses, impacting service and raw product requirements.  While retail salad volume grew 5 percent compared to first quarter of 2013, our foodservice and fruit ingredient businesses volumes were substantially lower year on year due to a number of factors.”

Lonergan continued, “While weather impacts are a fact in our industry, our responsibility as leaders is to mitigate these risks.  In addition to bringing together two complementary businesses, we believe that the combination with Fyffes, which we announced on March 10, 2014, will fundamentally improve our ability to deal with weather risks and event-driven supply volatility in our bananas business due to the broader growing and shipping profiles of the combined entities.  Last week, ChiquitaFyffes filed a registration statement with the SEC in connection with the proposed combination, and we have begun the regulatory review process in both North America and Europe.  We plan to close the transaction by the end of the year and remain excited about the opportunities for the combined business.  Also last week, we began implementation of efficiency and pricing actions in our salads business, supporting our long term profitability objectives for this business.”

Please click here to view the full financial report.

http://online.wsj.com/article/HUG1784031.html

Publication date: 5/12/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Problematic Northern weather hampered Florida product movement

Right now, the talk in Florida is about weather. The state’s fresh producers experienced a relatively mild winter, and crops in the Sunshine State are progressing with good growing conditions reported.

But the cloud’s silver lining did not come without some cost elsewhere in the nation. “One of the biggest challenges the industry has had is the bad weather in the North,” said Mike Stuart, president of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association in Maitland, FL. FFVA-Mike-StuartMike StuartStuart said the unpredictable waves of ice, snow and rain made it difficult to move product in areas like Atlanta. The problems got progressively worse going north, he noted.

The logistics dilemma was something of a one-two punch. Stuart said there were some problems procuring trucks to move product into the Northern states. And trucks that were moving could not always get supplies to customers.

And the situation was just as dicey for consumers, who were hamstrung by weather and unable to get to the grocery store to stock up.

“We’re all thankful spring is coming,” he commented. “Product has been moving. But not as robustly as we’d like.”

With temperatures warming up, Stuart said pent-up consumer demand will be satisfied.

On the legislative front, Stuart said, “We’re in a holding pattern as far as immigration reform is concerned. It’s ground to a halt in the House. In the meantime, producers face a dramatic amount of uncertainty with their labor force.”

Eyeing the need to ensure an adequate number of workers, producers are expressing more interest in the H-2A temporary worker visa program. “It’s fraught with problems,” he continued. “It’s far from ideal. But we need reform. We need it badly.”

Stuart is gratified that Florida can now “control its own destiny” when it comes to clean water regulations. Last year, a consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the Florida Department of Environmental Protection the ability to implement rules for numeric nutrient criteria in state waters. Stuart said this was a major step forward, not just for agriculture but for the state as a whole.

Issues of water quantity are equally important. “Water quantity is very much an unknown,” he continued. According to Stuart, Florida has very little storage capacity and must rely on aquifers. “Areas in agricultural production move up and down,” he said of the dynamics involved with urban development. As urbanization continues to take hold in the coastal areas, Stuart said agricultural development has moved inland. “Thankfully, we have available land,” he stated.

One of the biggest hot-button issues in Florida is Huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening disease. HLB is a bacterial disease that is not harmful to animals or human populations. But, as Stuart commented, it is fatal to citrus trees. HLB is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid.

“That’s a dark cloud over an iconic commodity in the state,” he said. Left unchecked, Stuart said, HLB will cause a significant decline in citrus production, and the industry’s very real future depends upon finding a solution.

Stuart said that, through the leadership and diligent efforts of Florida Citrus Mutual and other private organizations, research dollars were earmarked in the farm bill to find ways to combat HLB.

Florida’s agricultural producers continue to provide their input to the Food & Drug Administration regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act. “We have given the FDA significant feedback to make the rules helpful and not put an undue burden on producers,” he stated.

Stuart said the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, under the leadership of Commissioner Adam Putnam, has done an outstanding job promoting commodities through “Fresh From Florida.” The program significantly ramped up in the past several years. “We’re delighted with that,” he told The Produce News.

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

Cool weather delays start of Texas deal, new Vidalia ship date could extend season

The Texas onion deal will be a little late out of the gate this season but growers will get some help extending that season with a new later start date for Vidalia onion growers.instead

A cold winter by Texas standards — averaging about 10 degrees cooler than normal — will mean the Texas deal will not begin until about mid-March after harvest a week earlier. Mexico has also been behind this season due to cooler temperatures.

In late 2010, Texas onion growers appeared to be sitting pretty. They were coming off a year where their crop fetched as much as $ 40 a box — roughly a dollar a pound. Consumer demand had grown steadily for several years. Any past problems were squarely in the rearview mirror.

Then, as almost always happens, a few growers decided if some was good, more was better. Overplanting was rampant, production boomed. The predictable result of too much product on the market was a drop in pricing. Two years of struggle followed.

In 2013, growers cut back acreage by 40 percent. Most managed to work out water rights in drought-plagued Texas. The result was a return to solid markets and solid profitability.

Texas growers learned from the struggles of 2011-12, put that knowledge into play in 2013 and will follow the same template for 2014.

They may actually get a boost from an unlikely (and in some cases unwilling) ally as well — Vidalia onion growers. Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black earlier this year established a prohibition against early shipping of Vidalia onions. Though there is a court challenge under way, as it stands now, no Vidalia onions can be packed or shipped prior to April 15. Some Georgia growers said they will not even begin that soon this year.

That means Texas will have a wider window of exclusivity for its homegrown product, as much as a six-week window.

“Over the years the Vidalia growers have chipped away at the Texas deal by packing earlier and earlier,” said Marvin Davis of Tex Mex Sales in Weslaco, TX. “They weren’t doing themselves any favors by putting early-season product on the market before it was ready, some of them anyway. If consumers don’t have a good experience early in the season, they’re not going to come back.”

A judge is expected to rule on a court challenge to the Georgia pack-and-ship date some time in March. If the date is upheld, Texas growers will reclaim part of their original exclusivity window. If not, they stand to benefit anyway as some Vidalia growers have said they will not ship earlier onions regardless of the outcome of the judicial proceedings.

Meanwhile, “Sweet onions coming out of Mexico this year have been outstanding and the Texas crop looks even better,” said Delbert Bland of Bland Farms LLC in Glennville, GA, which also has operations in Mexico and the Lone Star State. “With the new highway and bridge in Mexico, the Southwest is becoming more important in the onion deal every day.”

“It’s still early, but the crop looks really good,” added Tex Mex’s Mike Davis.

Lone Star State growers are looking at promising markets — in the low and mid-20s in late February and early March — and decreased production in Mexico this year after similar drops in 2013 bode well for Texas.

Some key growing areas also benefited from several significant rain events over the last few months that helped growers stave off ever-present worries about water supplies.

“Prices should be strong,” said Bret Erickson, president of the Texas International Produce Association. “We still need moisture. But quality looks to be excellent and we will have a good supply of sweet onions out of Texas.”

In 2013 “there was one week in there you could actually call winter and that was it, the first week of January,” said Don Ed Holmes of The Onion House in Weslaco. This year the cooler weather provided a reverse of 2013.

And while the crop is late, Holmes was quick to note that onions are dormant during much of the production cycle, getting most of their growth in the month before harvest, and thus virtually impervious to cooler weather.

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

Cool weather delays start of Texas deal, new Vidalia ship date could extend season

The Texas onion deal will be a little late out of the gate this season but growers will get some help extending that season with a new later start date for Vidalia onion growers.instead

A cold winter by Texas standards — averaging about 10 degrees cooler than normal — will mean the Texas deal will not begin until about mid-March after harvest a week earlier. Mexico has also been behind this season due to cooler temperatures.

In late 2010, Texas onion growers appeared to be sitting pretty. They were coming off a year where their crop fetched as much as $ 40 a box — roughly a dollar a pound. Consumer demand had grown steadily for several years. Any past problems were squarely in the rearview mirror.

Then, as almost always happens, a few growers decided if some was good, more was better. Overplanting was rampant, production boomed. The predictable result of too much product on the market was a drop in pricing. Two years of struggle followed.

In 2013, growers cut back acreage by 40 percent. Most managed to work out water rights in drought-plagued Texas. The result was a return to solid markets and solid profitability.

Texas growers learned from the struggles of 2011-12, put that knowledge into play in 2013 and will follow the same template for 2014.

They may actually get a boost from an unlikely (and in some cases unwilling) ally as well — Vidalia onion growers. Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black earlier this year established a prohibition against early shipping of Vidalia onions. Though there is a court challenge under way, as it stands now, no Vidalia onions can be packed or shipped prior to April 15. Some Georgia growers said they will not even begin that soon this year.

That means Texas will have a wider window of exclusivity for its homegrown product, as much as a six-week window.

“Over the years the Vidalia growers have chipped away at the Texas deal by packing earlier and earlier,” said Marvin Davis of Tex Mex Sales in Weslaco, TX. “They weren’t doing themselves any favors by putting early-season product on the market before it was ready, some of them anyway. If consumers don’t have a good experience early in the season, they’re not going to come back.”

A judge is expected to rule on a court challenge to the Georgia pack-and-ship date some time in March. If the date is upheld, Texas growers will reclaim part of their original exclusivity window. If not, they stand to benefit anyway as some Vidalia growers have said they will not ship earlier onions regardless of the outcome of the judicial proceedings.

Meanwhile, “Sweet onions coming out of Mexico this year have been outstanding and the Texas crop looks even better,” said Delbert Bland of Bland Farms LLC in Glennville, GA, which also has operations in Mexico and the Lone Star State. “With the new highway and bridge in Mexico, the Southwest is becoming more important in the onion deal every day.”

“It’s still early, but the crop looks really good,” added Tex Mex’s Mike Davis.

Lone Star State growers are looking at promising markets — in the low and mid-20s in late February and early March — and decreased production in Mexico this year after similar drops in 2013 bode well for Texas.

Some key growing areas also benefited from several significant rain events over the last few months that helped growers stave off ever-present worries about water supplies.

“Prices should be strong,” said Bret Erickson, president of the Texas International Produce Association. “We still need moisture. But quality looks to be excellent and we will have a good supply of sweet onions out of Texas.”

In 2013 “there was one week in there you could actually call winter and that was it, the first week of January,” said Don Ed Holmes of The Onion House in Weslaco. This year the cooler weather provided a reverse of 2013.

And while the crop is late, Holmes was quick to note that onions are dormant during much of the production cycle, getting most of their growth in the month before harvest, and thus virtually impervious to cooler weather.

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

Weather puts focus on grocery essentials

This winter’s harsh weather conditions may be having a negative impact on impulse spending at supermarkets, industry analysts told SN last week — although overall the cold and snow may be a positive force for at-home dining. “Severe winter weather pretty much kills trading up,” Andrew Wolf, managing director for BB&T Capital Markets, Boston, said. “Discretionary spending had been making a recovery in 2013, which resulted in stronger sales. But if bad weather …

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Supermarket News

Spain: Delays in orange harvest due to weather conditions

50% of the harvest completed
Spain: Delays in orange harvest due to weather conditions

The citrus harvest campaign in the area of Vega del Guadalquivir, Spain, is suffering some delays as a result of the weather. The president of Asaja, Ignacio Fernández de Mesa, explained that, “the rains are not causing damages, but are delaying the harvest. For now the presence of fungi has not been detected and the fruit is healthy.” He admitted that he is “not sure whether other plantations have been affected by the wind, but even if that was the case, they would be isolated cases.”

Fernández de Mesa showed his optimism after successfully completing the first harvest campaign. He stated that work is currently focused on the late varieties, of which 50% will be marketed for fresh consumption and the other 50% will go to the juice industry. “The first campaign finished with better prices than last year and now they should remain at acceptable levels after two disastrous years.”

Source: diariocordoba.com

Publication date: 2/17/2014


FreshPlaza.com

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Supermarket News

Good growing weather, bad buying weather combine for depressed markets

One California shipper said it a “classic example of beautiful weather out here (California) combining with terrible weather in the East to produce cheap low markets.”

David Cook, sales manager for Deardorff Family Farms, Oxnard, CA, said “we have had gorgeous weather for weeks on end. It seems our winter came during a two week period in early December and it has been beautiful ever since.”

He said that has led to better than usual supplies and East Coast movement that is down a bit because of the terrible weather.

Concurring was Mark McBride, who sits on the sales desk for Coastline in Salinas, CA. “The last 10 days we have hit 70 degrees with no rain or cold. These are ideal growing conditions. Coupled with the Arctic Vortex and all the other storms in the East that are resulting in schools closings and white outs everywhere, we are seeing demand disrupted and shipments delayed.”

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, McBride said he expects the supply exceeds demand situation to remain in effect until normal weather patterns return to both coasts. As he was speaking to this reporter, the Los Angeles area was basking in 80 degree temperatures with lots of sunshine, while New York City was 18 degrees with snow showers. “Anytime you have the two halves of the country doing that, we are not going to have good markets,” he said, quipping that the reverse is what causes good markets.

McBride said cauliflower prices were fairly good for the first two weeks of the new year, but by the third week they had dropped down to the $ 10 f.o.b. mark, which still created a high spot on the sales board. Many other staple items, including iceberg lettuce, romaine, leaf items, celery and broccoli were selling well below the double digit level into deep red number territory.

One of the few strong items was peppers, which are mostly coming from Mexico through Nogales, AZ, at this time of the year. Mike Aiton, marketing manager at Prime Time Sales LLC, Coachella, CA, said cold weather early in the Mexican growing season has delayed heavy production of peppers. He added that cold weather in Florida also hampered production of peppers from that region. “Usually we are not sending a lot of peppers to the East Coast at this time of year but this year we are,” he offered.

Aiton does not expected a big jump in volume until early February and even then, the strong market could continue, especially for the colored peppers. He explained that because of the lack of green peppers and the good market for that product during most of January, a lot of growers were harvesting their colored peppers while they were still green to capitalize on the high prices. Consequently, the volume of the reds, yellows and oranges will probably lag behind a bit once volume picks up.

Cook said strawberries were one item that seemed to be taking advantage of the good weather to produce good numbers and a good market. January is always an iffy month for California producers as cold weather and rain can often impact the new crop. But the aforementioned warm weather was producing some beautiful berries with a market in the $ 18 to $ 20 range.

Baja California, San Diego, Orange County and Oxnard are the points of origin for West Coast berries this early in the season and all four areas were experiencing good weather and good supplies. “I expect the market to stay in this range through Valentine’s Day,” said Cook.

That holiday always creates a good pull for berries, especially stem berries which can return a very good price for shippers. “After Valentine’s Day, volume should pick up and we will probably see the price start to come down,” said Cook.

Decreased supplies of Florida strawberries also were having an impact. Cook said supplies from Florida appeared to be lighter than usual at this time of year.

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