Blog Archives

Superfresh Growers expects large sized apples and pears for new crop year

Yakima, WA- July 15, 2016 Domex Superfresh Growers is gearing up for new crop northwest apples and pears. They expect a promotable crop of large sized, flavorful fruit, thanks to optimal spring and summer growing conditions.

“Cell division has been terrific, due to another early bloom and moderate spring and summer temperatures,” says Mike Preacher, director of marketing and customer relations for Domex Superfresh Growers. “We expect apples to peak on 88-count and larger, and D’anjou pears will peak on larger sizes this season. Additionally, we expect the fruit to have good color and flavor. All of this means great sales opportunities for retailers, and great eating experiences for customers.”

“With large sizes on the horizon, retailers should also consider adding or moving to five pound bags,” Preacher said.

Bartlett pear harvest is expected to begin the last week of July, and apple harvest will start the first week of August.

The timing of this year’s crop is early, similar to last season. “This allows for Labor Day and Back-to-School promotions of apples and pears,” says Preacher. He added that “with the northwest cherry crop potentially ending a couple weeks earlier than normal, apples and pears will make a great choice for filling promotional space.”

Domex Superfresh Growers is a leading grower and shipper of both conventional and organic apples, pears, cherries and apricots from the Pacific Northwest.

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

USDA: Food Prices to Climb This Year

WASHINGTON — Total food prices this calendar year will rise 2.5% to 3.5%, according to a forecast just released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.

Much of the rise will result from the delayed effects of last year’s drought in the Midwest.

Even though the drought was severe, destroying a huge amount of field crops, food prices remained flat during 2012.


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


That’s because, while prices rose for beef and veal, poultry, fruit and other foods, those hikes were offset by drops in the price of pork, eggs, vegetables and nonalcoholic beverages. Other food categories remained flat.

Read more: Fresh Food Prices Set to Rise in 2013

In addition, while the drought ravaged corn and soybean crops, which does affect food prices, it typically takes months for commodity price changes to show themselves at retail, according to the ERS.

“Most of the impact of the drought is expected to be realized in 2013,” the ERS report states.

Not surprisingly, beef prices are already up 1.7% in May over last year in May. Conversely, a decline in exports and an increase in hog production have kept pork prices almost flat. In fact, May pork prices were down 0.2% from May a year ago.

USDA’s ERS bases its forecast on current conditions and inflation.

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

Retailers, producers gear up for Year of the Goat

Retailers can be assured that produce departments will be well stocked with fresh Asian items during Chinese New Year. The Year of the Goat officially begins on Feb. 19.

Patsy Ross, marketing director for Christopher Ranch LLC, said the Gilroy, CA-based company offers a variety of products to add flavor to any meal. “We handle fresh ginger year-round,” she told The Produce News. “We also have some processed ginger items, chopped ginger and garlic ginger stir fry.”

At the current time, Christopher Ranch is transitioning from South American-grown ginger to its Hawaiian ginger crop.Asian3Lakeside Organic Gardens grows Asian vegetables in California’s Imperial Valley. The company plants sweet alyssum to attract beneficial insects such as hover flies which eat aphid larvae. Seen here is a cabbage field in which this pest control practice is used. (Photo courtesy of Lakeside Organic Gardens) “The Hawaiian ginger season normally runs from December through June,” she said. “The Hawaiian ginger is grown in the Hilo, Hawaii, area. We have worked with ginger growers in Hawaii for over 25 years.”

Trends at the consumer level have been favorable for Asian produce. “Interest in Asian cuisine has moved from every town in America having a Chinese food restaurant to Japanese, Thai, Korean and Vietnamese foods both in restaurants and in grocery stores,” she commented. “Ginger is an important flavor profile in all types of Asian cuisine.”

Jim Provost, owner of I Love Produce in Kelton, PA, agreed. “Ginger is really growing in demand for its flavor and health benefits,” he stated. “Peru has become a major player in the world ginger market, and I Love Produce has helped significantly contribute to that growth. After China, Peru exported more ginger to the United States in 2014 than any other country. The quality of Peru ginger is the best in the world in terms of skin condition and flavor, and they have an excellent crop this year.”

I Love Produce also moves a variety of Asian pears, including Gingo, Golden and Ya, from China. “Asian pears are also growing in popularity,” he said, adding that the company is packaging Asian pears under the “Eat Brighter!” campaign. “We are the only company using Eat Brighter! to help sell Chinese pears,” he went on to say. “Kids love the juicy sweet flavor of Asian pears, so the Eat Brighter! campaign is a great way to promote this product to both children and their parents.”

The company also markets oriental sweet potatoes.

Lindsey Roberts, who handles marketing communications for Lakeside Organic Gardens, said the company grows organic Asian produce on 800 acres in California’s Imperial Valley. “Volume is on par, and quality looks great,” she told The Produce News. “As kimchi and other fermented foods grow in popularity, so does the demand for Napa cabbage. We supply many organic fermented food producers with bok choy, green cabbage, carrots and Napa cabbage. Carrots complement Asian cooking very nicely as well.”

The Santa Cruz, CA-based company helps consumers incorporate Asian produce into menu planning and preparation. “On our social media platforms, we encourage people to learn about all the vegetables we grow and give easy ideas to incorporate vegetables into everyday menus,” Roberts noted. “The Asian items are popular in stir frys and soups. In January, we will share our rendition of a delicious California cole slaw recipe.”

Paul Boris, co-owner and vice president of Agritrade Farms LLC in Deerfield Beach, FL, said the company specializes in okra branded under the “Gumbo-Licious” label. Okra accounts for approximately roughly 50 percent of Agritrade’s total sales, and 40 percent of okra is marketed in Europe. “Okra is extremely healthy and is experiencing tremendous growth among Americans and Europeans as they become more concerned about eating healthy,” Boris commented.

Agritrade imports Asian vegetables from the Dominican Republic and Honduras. The line includes items such as banana flower, Chinese bitter melon, Chinese eggplant, curry leaves, green long beans, Thai eggplant and tindora.

“There are approximately 18 million Asians and Asian Americans living in the U.S. representing about 5 percent of the population,” Boris stated. “Major cities with Asian demographics include New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Honolulu. There are approximately 5 million Asians and Asian Canadians living in Canada representing approximately 15 percent of the population. Major cities with significant Asian populations include Toronto and Vancouver.”

Boris said Asian vegetables are becoming more popular with American consumers. “Many Americans are first introduced to the flavors of Asian vegetables in restaurants,” he observed. “Look at the American growth of guacamole, salsa and others via the American growing Hispanic demographics. Asian vegetables are experiencing similar growth on a smaller scale with new American customers enjoying the great taste of Asian cooking.”

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

Retailers, producers gear up for Year of the Goat

Retailers can be assured that produce departments will be well stocked with fresh Asian items during Chinese New Year. The Year of the Goat officially begins on Feb. 19.

Patsy Ross, marketing director for Christopher Ranch LLC, said the Gilroy, CA-based company offers a variety of products to add flavor to any meal. “We handle fresh ginger year-round,” she told The Produce News. “We also have some processed ginger items, chopped ginger and garlic ginger stir fry.”

At the current time, Christopher Ranch is transitioning from South American-grown ginger to its Hawaiian ginger crop.Asian3Lakeside Organic Gardens grows Asian vegetables in California’s Imperial Valley. The company plants sweet alyssum to attract beneficial insects such as hover flies which eat aphid larvae. Seen here is a cabbage field in which this pest control practice is used. (Photo courtesy of Lakeside Organic Gardens) “The Hawaiian ginger season normally runs from December through June,” she said. “The Hawaiian ginger is grown in the Hilo, Hawaii, area. We have worked with ginger growers in Hawaii for over 25 years.”

Trends at the consumer level have been favorable for Asian produce. “Interest in Asian cuisine has moved from every town in America having a Chinese food restaurant to Japanese, Thai, Korean and Vietnamese foods both in restaurants and in grocery stores,” she commented. “Ginger is an important flavor profile in all types of Asian cuisine.”

Jim Provost, owner of I Love Produce in Kelton, PA, agreed. “Ginger is really growing in demand for its flavor and health benefits,” he stated. “Peru has become a major player in the world ginger market, and I Love Produce has helped significantly contribute to that growth. After China, Peru exported more ginger to the United States in 2014 than any other country. The quality of Peru ginger is the best in the world in terms of skin condition and flavor, and they have an excellent crop this year.”

I Love Produce also moves a variety of Asian pears, including Gingo, Golden and Ya, from China. “Asian pears are also growing in popularity,” he said, adding that the company is packaging Asian pears under the “Eat Brighter!” campaign. “We are the only company using Eat Brighter! to help sell Chinese pears,” he went on to say. “Kids love the juicy sweet flavor of Asian pears, so the Eat Brighter! campaign is a great way to promote this product to both children and their parents.”

The company also markets oriental sweet potatoes.

Lindsey Roberts, who handles marketing communications for Lakeside Organic Gardens, said the company grows organic Asian produce on 800 acres in California’s Imperial Valley. “Volume is on par, and quality looks great,” she told The Produce News. “As kimchi and other fermented foods grow in popularity, so does the demand for Napa cabbage. We supply many organic fermented food producers with bok choy, green cabbage, carrots and Napa cabbage. Carrots complement Asian cooking very nicely as well.”

The Santa Cruz, CA-based company helps consumers incorporate Asian produce into menu planning and preparation. “On our social media platforms, we encourage people to learn about all the vegetables we grow and give easy ideas to incorporate vegetables into everyday menus,” Roberts noted. “The Asian items are popular in stir frys and soups. In January, we will share our rendition of a delicious California cole slaw recipe.”

Paul Boris, co-owner and vice president of Agritrade Farms LLC in Deerfield Beach, FL, said the company specializes in okra branded under the “Gumbo-Licious” label. Okra accounts for approximately roughly 50 percent of Agritrade’s total sales, and 40 percent of okra is marketed in Europe. “Okra is extremely healthy and is experiencing tremendous growth among Americans and Europeans as they become more concerned about eating healthy,” Boris commented.

Agritrade imports Asian vegetables from the Dominican Republic and Honduras. The line includes items such as banana flower, Chinese bitter melon, Chinese eggplant, curry leaves, green long beans, Thai eggplant and tindora.

“There are approximately 18 million Asians and Asian Americans living in the U.S. representing about 5 percent of the population,” Boris stated. “Major cities with Asian demographics include New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Honolulu. There are approximately 5 million Asians and Asian Canadians living in Canada representing approximately 15 percent of the population. Major cities with significant Asian populations include Toronto and Vancouver.”

Boris said Asian vegetables are becoming more popular with American consumers. “Many Americans are first introduced to the flavors of Asian vegetables in restaurants,” he observed. “Look at the American growth of guacamole, salsa and others via the American growing Hispanic demographics. Asian vegetables are experiencing similar growth on a smaller scale with new American customers enjoying the great taste of Asian cooking.”

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

Retailers, producers gear up for Year of the Goat

Retailers can be assured that produce departments will be well stocked with fresh Asian items during Chinese New Year. The Year of the Goat officially begins on Feb. 19.

Patsy Ross, marketing director for Christopher Ranch LLC, said the Gilroy, CA-based company offers a variety of products to add flavor to any meal. “We handle fresh ginger year-round,” she told The Produce News. “We also have some processed ginger items, chopped ginger and garlic ginger stir fry.”

At the current time, Christopher Ranch is transitioning from South American-grown ginger to its Hawaiian ginger crop.Asian3Lakeside Organic Gardens grows Asian vegetables in California’s Imperial Valley. The company plants sweet alyssum to attract beneficial insects such as hover flies which eat aphid larvae. Seen here is a cabbage field in which this pest control practice is used. (Photo courtesy of Lakeside Organic Gardens) “The Hawaiian ginger season normally runs from December through June,” she said. “The Hawaiian ginger is grown in the Hilo, Hawaii, area. We have worked with ginger growers in Hawaii for over 25 years.”

Trends at the consumer level have been favorable for Asian produce. “Interest in Asian cuisine has moved from every town in America having a Chinese food restaurant to Japanese, Thai, Korean and Vietnamese foods both in restaurants and in grocery stores,” she commented. “Ginger is an important flavor profile in all types of Asian cuisine.”

Jim Provost, owner of I Love Produce in Kelton, PA, agreed. “Ginger is really growing in demand for its flavor and health benefits,” he stated. “Peru has become a major player in the world ginger market, and I Love Produce has helped significantly contribute to that growth. After China, Peru exported more ginger to the United States in 2014 than any other country. The quality of Peru ginger is the best in the world in terms of skin condition and flavor, and they have an excellent crop this year.”

I Love Produce also moves a variety of Asian pears, including Gingo, Golden and Ya, from China. “Asian pears are also growing in popularity,” he said, adding that the company is packaging Asian pears under the “Eat Brighter!” campaign. “We are the only company using Eat Brighter! to help sell Chinese pears,” he went on to say. “Kids love the juicy sweet flavor of Asian pears, so the Eat Brighter! campaign is a great way to promote this product to both children and their parents.”

The company also markets oriental sweet potatoes.

Lindsey Roberts, who handles marketing communications for Lakeside Organic Gardens, said the company grows organic Asian produce on 800 acres in California’s Imperial Valley. “Volume is on par, and quality looks great,” she told The Produce News. “As kimchi and other fermented foods grow in popularity, so does the demand for Napa cabbage. We supply many organic fermented food producers with bok choy, green cabbage, carrots and Napa cabbage. Carrots complement Asian cooking very nicely as well.”

The Santa Cruz, CA-based company helps consumers incorporate Asian produce into menu planning and preparation. “On our social media platforms, we encourage people to learn about all the vegetables we grow and give easy ideas to incorporate vegetables into everyday menus,” Roberts noted. “The Asian items are popular in stir frys and soups. In January, we will share our rendition of a delicious California cole slaw recipe.”

Paul Boris, co-owner and vice president of Agritrade Farms LLC in Deerfield Beach, FL, said the company specializes in okra branded under the “Gumbo-Licious” label. Okra accounts for approximately roughly 50 percent of Agritrade’s total sales, and 40 percent of okra is marketed in Europe. “Okra is extremely healthy and is experiencing tremendous growth among Americans and Europeans as they become more concerned about eating healthy,” Boris commented.

Agritrade imports Asian vegetables from the Dominican Republic and Honduras. The line includes items such as banana flower, Chinese bitter melon, Chinese eggplant, curry leaves, green long beans, Thai eggplant and tindora.

“There are approximately 18 million Asians and Asian Americans living in the U.S. representing about 5 percent of the population,” Boris stated. “Major cities with Asian demographics include New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Honolulu. There are approximately 5 million Asians and Asian Canadians living in Canada representing approximately 15 percent of the population. Major cities with significant Asian populations include Toronto and Vancouver.”

Boris said Asian vegetables are becoming more popular with American consumers. “Many Americans are first introduced to the flavors of Asian vegetables in restaurants,” he observed. “Look at the American growth of guacamole, salsa and others via the American growing Hispanic demographics. Asian vegetables are experiencing similar growth on a smaller scale with new American customers enjoying the great taste of Asian cooking.”

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

10 Food-Safety Resolutions for the New Year

(This article by Diane Wright Hirsch, MPH, RD, a food-safety educator with the University of Connecticut Extension, was published here on Dec. 30, 2014, and is reposted with permission.)

Food safety is not something we usually think of when we are making our New Year’s resolutions. In fact, it is likely that you will promise to lose weight, exercise more, read more, spend less, stop smoking, start spending more time with family, plant more vegetables, etc., etc., etc. A resolution is simply a course of action that you have decided on that you are determined to complete. Why not try making a food-safety resolution? You don’t even have to think much about it. I have done the work for you. The list is here, as well as why each action is a good idea. So, get started. Most of these options are MUCH easier than losing 10 pounds, and you can still eat the potato chips without feeling guilty (in moderation, of course).

1. Buy (and use) a food thermometer.

Because it is important to ensure that foodborne pathogens are destroyed during the cooking process, a food thermometer is an essential food-safety tool in the kitchen. There is no other way to determine if a hamburger, roast, or piece of salmon is sufficiently heated. Buy the thermometer and follow these temperature guidelines for cooking: Cook roasts and steaks to a minimum of 145 degrees F; all poultry should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F; cook ground meat to at least 160 degrees F (remember, color is not a reliable indicator of doneness); cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm, not runny, and egg dishes such as quiche should be cooked to 145 degrees F; cook fish to 145 degrees F; bring sauces, soups and gravy to a boil (212 degrees F) when reheating, and reheat other leftovers to 165 degrees F.

2. Wash your hands before preparing food.

OK, this may seem like a no-brainer. Sometimes when we do something by rote, rather than thinking about it, we can get complacent. We may think a quick little rinse under some tepid running water will do the trick. It will not. So, recommit yourself to an effective hand-washing regimen. Before you pick up that paring knife or prepare that brick of cheese for slicing, wash your hands. Scrub your hands for at least 10-20 seconds under running water WITH SOAP. The soap helps to break up the soil that hides the microorganisms on your hands. Then the running water can do its job and flush the soil and bacteria away. Be sure to wash again after handling raw meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or produce; between handling different foods; after coughing, sneezing, or handling garbage, or after contaminating hands in any way.

3. Don’t cook for others when you are sick.

According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, ill food workers are often the source of foodborne illness outbreaks. In some cases, restaurants have closed due to lack of business resulting from a well-publicized outbreak. While you may not work in food service, if you are preparing food for family members, friends or housemates, it makes sense to heed this advice: Do not prepare food for others if you are sick — particularly with vomiting or diarrhea. Even if you are suffering from a really bad cold or flu with extensive coughing and sneezing, it may make sense to let someone else do the cooking.

4. Never buy another kitchen sponge.

I will be honest. I added this to the list because I have a problem with kitchen sponges. It is probably not fair since dishcloths and paper towels are just as likely to distribute bacteria and other pathogens around the kitchen if not handled safely. A study by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute indicated that the most effective way to clean/sanitize a kitchen sponge is to soak it for five minutes in a solution of bleach and water (3/4-cup bleach in 1 gallon of water). Less effective, but still fairly good choices, are to microwave the wet sponge for 1 minute on high or to put sponges in the dishwasher. But who really does this every time a sponge gets dirty? A tall stack of dishcloths that can be thrown in the (hot water) wash is my choice. I may only use one per day, or, if I am cleaning up after cutting up raw meat or chicken, I may go through two or three in a day. I have a basket full of them.

5. Wash your fruits and veggies before eating — all of them.

Simple as that. Wash all fruits and vegetables just before preparing and/or eating them. Wash under running water and use a scrub brush on hard rinds. Wash the rinds even if you do not eat them. Washing will not guarantee that all raw produce is germ-free, but it will reduce your risk.

6. Think twice about eating raw animal foods.

Most foodborne pathogens (microorganisms that cause disease) come from the intestinal system of animals. When animals poop out the pathogens, they can contaminate soil, water, plants, and other sources of the food we eat. So, it makes sense that eating animal foods that have not been cooked sufficiently to destroy the pathogens is risky. Raw eggs (think of the “Rocky” film), raw fish (sushi or ceviche), and raw milk or raw chicken (no one eats raw chicken, do they?) all have the potential to be contaminated with foodborne pathogens. Therefore, it is best to eat them cooked (or pasteurized) and cooked enough to destroy the pathogens. If you are a healthy adult, you may choose to take the risk and eat raw clams, raw milk or raw beef (carpaccio), but children and immune-compromised individuals should avoid raw animal products at all costs.

7. Buy (and use) a refrigerator thermometer.

I often implore Connecticut cooks to buy a refrigerator thermometer when there is an impending storm or other event that may lead to a power outage. With a thermometer in your fridge, you are better able to determine if food is safe as the outage wears on and the temperature inside the box starts to increase. But refrigerator thermometers are important even if the weather outside is not so frightful! It is obvious to most of us that refrigeration is essential to keep food from spoiling. But the cold also keeps the bacteria that cause foodborne illness from multiplying. Temperatures above 40 degrees F can support faster growth of bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter and other microorganisms that can cause foodborne illness. Putting a refrigerator thermometer in the warmest part of your fridge — and looking at it regularly — will help you monitor the temperature to ensure that the refrigerator is doing its job.

8. Learn how to cool foods safely.

Cooking to the proper temperature is one way to make foods safe. But if there are leftovers involved, it is only part of the story. To keep food safe after cooking, it is important to chill the food quickly. Break the food down to small amounts no more than 2-3 inches thick and refrigerate it promptly. Do not keep cooked foods at room temperature for more than a few hours before refrigeration. In fact, it is best to refrigerate as soon as you are through serving and eating your meal.

9. Throw out leftovers if they are more than 4 days old.

During food preparation, perishable food travels in and out of the danger zone several times: from the processor to the store, to your car, to the kitchen, to the refrigerator or freezer, to the counter for preparation, to the oven, to the table, to the refrigerator again. Each trip through the danger zone (or through several pairs of hands) can increase the number of microorganisms on the food. In addition, some pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes can grow and multiply even at 40 degrees F in the refrigerator. Use your leftovers as soon as possible. Take them for lunch, re-purpose them for tomorrow’s dinner, or freeze for eating later. Date them if you cannot remember when they were first served. Throw them away after four days.

10. Teach others how to handle food safely.

Finally, if you are reading this article, you are getting the food-safety message. Many folks simply do not know how food makes people sick. They do not understand that food can look and smell perfectly fine and still be perfectly contaminated. At your church supper, the soup kitchen, a neighborhood picnic, or wherever you see or share food-preparation duties, be sure to share your knowledge of how to prepare food safely so that you do not have to share a foodborne illness.

Food Safety News

Letter From the Editor: A Year After Bill Keene’s Passing

It was a year ago that we lost Dr. Bill Keene, Oregon’s senior state epidemiologist, to acute pancreatitis at age 56. We missed him in 2014. He was posthumously awarded the 2014 NSF Food Safety Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award last April in Baltimore.

Keene was a guy who did his job with passion and humor. He was never limited by somebody else’s expectations. He was a dogged and determined investigator who was usually thinking outside the box.

We shared an interest in history. He had a foodborne illness museum in his office. When I published a list of the deadly foodborne illness outbreaks in history, he began helping me fine-tune it.

I was invited to speak to the California’s environmental health officers in Sacramento, and, as I was being introduced, my phone went off. It was Keene, who had discovered that we had overlooked a deadly outbreak that occurred nearly 100 year ago in Chicago. My audience did not mind waiting a moment so I could make the addition, and more than one explained it to others by saying, “Bill Keene’s talking to him before we get started.”

Bill traveled and was both known to his colleagues and open with the media. It got me thinking about where we are with state health departments. Because of the late Bill Keene and the extraordinary efforts of “Team Diarrhea,” conventional wisdom for several years was that Oregon and Minnesota were tops in capacity to combat foodborne illnesses.

Well, maybe it’s time to re-think the conventional wisdom. The second National Health Security Preparedness Index, a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), is out. The index measures how prepared state health departments are to handle emergencies, but it looks at the capacities in such detail that it can also be used to compare specific items for many functions.

For example, many of the items that we think are important to food-safety investigations fall under the Index’s “health security surveillance” section. That’s where they note the number of state epidemiologists per 100,000 population and whether state public health labs are tied into certain data and management systems.

On these surveillance measures, the top performers for 2014 were South Carolina, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts and Hawaii. There are several other parts of the Index, including incident and information management, healthcare delivery, national preparedness level, countermeasure management and community planning and engagement.

When I first learned of the Preparedness Index, I thought it might be one of those designed to give every state a star for something, but it does end up with a range of performances and there is a lot of information for comparing one state to another. When all measurements are tallied, the Index has Utah, New York and Virginia on top.

It’s not the end-all, or even enough to cause me to think that Oregon and Minnesota are not still the best. That’s because being the best is not just about the assets kept in the barn, but the experience that’s available once the fire alarm goes off.  That’s why Bill Keene was so good at what he did.

What’s good is that ASTHO is willing to come up with measurements and come up with a way to spur more competition by the states. We’d like to see future reports specifically address outbreaks of disease as just as much of a preparedness challenge as a storm or a plane crash.

And what would be especially nice to see following my musings on the new Index report would be your thoughts on the subject. Which one or two states do you think are best at investigating foodborne illness outbreaks and why?

Food Safety News

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Next newsletter 5 January
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Another year of ups and downs in the fruit and veg trade is behind us. This year there has been more unpredictable and even extreme weather, as well as difficult trading conditions at times. But on a brighter note there have been breakthroughs in technology and numerous varieties of better and tastier fruit and vegetables.

FreshPlaza will be back in 2015 with all the news from the fresh produce industry. Our office will be closed from 25th December until 5th of January.

The FreshPlaza team would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Publication date: 12/24/2014


FreshPlaza.com

“Spanish citrus sales more difficult than last year”

Gert Bouman, Frutaria:
“Spanish citrus sales more difficult than last year”

Demand for Spanish citrus is currently lagging far behind. That’s what Gert Bouman of Spanish private producer Frutaria says. He points to the recession in Europe as an explanation for the difficult sales – “even worse than last season” – because of which, quite simply, less fruit is sold. “But export to markets outside Europe is also difficult.”


“Of course we see nothing is being sold to Russia. Large volumes weren’t going there anyway, but the produce still has to be sold in other countries. Countries like Poland are also lagging behind this year. The mood is just very lacklustre,” Gert says.  ”We are very busy, but it’s all at very low prices. At the moment, we are fully focusing on retail, because there is little demand on the markets, and you only get low prices. But you’re also seeing promotions on 2 kilos for 99 cents in supermarkets in the Netherlands and Germany. You have to wonder whether that’s good for the industry. The consumer thinks this is the price for an orange, undervaluing the product.”


“The production runs in the south of Spain are good. We ended the Clementine season, and stopped with good quality Navelinas. Now we’re getting the Clemenvilla season started, and we’ve begun with the Salustianas,” Gert says. He thinks a further reorganization of the Spanish citrus sector is unavoidable. The past five years, many cooperatives and private companies have disappeared, a trend which will only continue. With prices like that, there’s no future in the sector, and nobody is enthusiastic about investing in citrus productions, quite the contrary.”


For more information:
Gert Bouman
Frutaria
T: (+34) 661 252 509
M: (+34) 661 252 509
[email protected]
www.frutaria.com

Publication date: 12/17/2014


FreshPlaza.com