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This week’s highlights


Total Produce buys 45% stake in Dole for $300m
Total Produce has agreed to buy a 45% stake in rival fresh produce company Dole for $300m.Total Produce said the deal was motivated by its expectation that demand for fresh fruit and vegetables will rise strongly driven by what it calls «a structural trend towards health eating and snacking»……

Italy: Innovative systems to increase productivity
At Orticoltura tecnica in campo (24th-26th January2018), Idromeccanica Lucchini presented two innovative protected crop cultivation systems. The purpose is to increase productivity per surface unit……

Berry growers learn about improved retractable roof technology
More growers are seeking out better technologies when it comes to retractable roofs. That is the message from Luis Gaxiola of Cravo Equipment, based in Ontario Canada. Cravo is a family-run business with 35 years of experience in designing and manufacturing automatic retractable roof houses. Gaxiola gave a presentation at the North American Strawberry Growers Association conference in New Orleans last week……

Is renewable energy good for your business?
Many companies in the fresh produce industry are considering whether investing into renewable energy is a good business decision. The fact is that there are an array of options available to consider. The most well-known are the ones that relate to power generation, such as solar and wind power. However, there are now numerous ways producers can limit their environmental footprint and transition their operations to a more sustainable model…..

After the traditional boom in the exotics market in Europe in December, the market was calm in the first weeks of the year. The demand is limited in many European countries, although Dutch traders report that conditions are tight due to a delayed supply. The Formosa papaya is doing especially well in Europe. For Brazil, Europe is also the most important export destination for this variety. A shortage has been reported in the US, although the prospect is that the supply will pick up again in the coming weeks…..

US study: Curcumin improves memory and mood
According to the results of a study conducted by UCLA researchers, daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin improved memory and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss…..

New Zealand’s avocados officially allowed to enter China?
On January 29, the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) announced that the New Zealand avocado has been granted official market access to China….

Avocado grower experiences growing demand for tropical fruit pulp
Fresh Directions International will be exhibiting at Fruit Logistica Berlin next week. «We’re a family owned avocado growing business, exporting from the Dominican Republic to markets in the US, Canada and Europe,» said Sabrina Castillo, of Fresh Directions International…..

«Fresh lettuce and herbs completely free from any pesticides»
In Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates, Dutch fruit and vegetable trader Levarht will set up a sustainable green factory for the production of lettuce, baby leaves and herbs…..

Unique Tasmanian apple popular in Asia
The Huon Valley in Tasmania has long been known for its apple growing with many growers having been there for generations. One such grower is B W Griggs & Sons who have been growing apples for six generations, the last three on the current farm in the Huon Valley…..

South Africa releases first top fruit estimate for the season
Hortgro, the South African industry body for the top fruit and stonefruit industry, has just released its first top fruit export estimate for the new season. At this point the forecast stands at an 8% decrease for apples (about 2.6 million 12.5kg equivalent cartons fewer than last year) and a 3% decrease for pears…..

Super Bowl demand results in avocado volume increase of up to 50 percent
This coming weekend is Super Bowl Sunday. According to George Henderson of West Pak Avocado, the Big Game continues to fuel their busiest time of the year……
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