– Latin America edition

Costa Rica receives first Mexican avocados since closure of borders
On May 5, 2015 Costa Rica informed the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it had banned avocado imports from eight countries, including Mexico.On Saturday, just three years after that day, the first container of Hass avocados from Mexico arrived in Costa Rica.The news was confirmed by the director of the…..

Job Offers:
• HotHouse Consulting, Crop advisor

Banco Central reacting
Argentina possibly headed for another currency crisis
Argentina’s reliance on US dollar funding, coupled with the depreciation of its own currency is sending the country in to the all-too-familiar direction: financial turmoil.The Argentine peso sold off to a new historic low against the US dollar last week. The country’s central bank, the Banco Central de la…..

Expansion of supply window
Golden kiwi season commences
Zespri is set for another season with the first SunGold Kiwifruit arriving late last week. The company said the SunGold has a tropical-sweet taste and longer shelf life, which will be supported this season with a new consumer campaign bringing the Zespri brand to life; and promoted at retail with in-store…..

Walter Pott presents itself as a broad-based company
Import, ripening and packaging – all at one location
Walter Pott GmbH was once a retail store and one of the pioneers in the field of tropical fruits. This traditional company has a focus on importing, ripening, processing and not least the marketing of bananas and has over the years established itself as a modern trading and service company. There is a reason…..

China: «New apple harvest may increase overall purchase price»
«It is our understanding that the frost of April 6th and 7th has affected 70% of all major apple production areas. The cold weather was most severe in Shaanxi and Gansu. In some places the harvest was reduced by 50%-60%. Not only the production volume suffered, the product quality too has gone down. It is…..

Planting season commences for California sweet potatoes
Sweet potato growers in California have been met with the right mix of weather conditions to mark the start of the planting season. Moderate temperatures now and into the forecast period have built confidence in the upcoming season. During the spring, and particularly March, heavy rain helped charge the soil…..

NZ: Zespri moving closer to Chinese based production
Zespri says growing a commercial kiwifruit crop in China is a step closer, with pleasing results from an ongoing trial into producing fruit in the country.The trial is now in its third year, with the company’s Corporate Affairs Manager in China, Ivan Kinsella, saying it will open the door for increased…..

Jordi Martí, of CMR Group: «The increasingly milder winters boost demand for watermelons»
Spain: «Melon demand greater than the supply»
The off-season melon campaign has gone through some ups and downs, marked by the weather, both at origin and at destination. «At the beginning of the campaign, the good weather at destination gave consumption a boost and accelerated the demand, but ahead of the middle of the campaign, there was a long period…..

Unifrutti remains optimistic about South African lemon prospects
Unifrutti has been involved in the South African citrus industry for the past 20 years and has built a strong reputation in particularly the lemon category. “In terms of the growing South African lemon volumes, our view remains optimistic,” says Riaan Ellis, trading operations manager at Unifrutti South…..

AU: GPS technology, export networking and biosecurity among agriculture budget initiatives
Farmers are set to benefit from a funding boost to upgrade GPS technology, aimed at improving productivity and yields, reducing agricultural waste and chemical run off and avoiding the need to overwork the soil.Australian Federal Government Budget papers, released on Tuesday evening, revealed a spend of…..

Special Greece

Warm weather brought early start for Greek cherries
The unusually warmer weather in Greece for this time of year has meant that small quantities of Early Lory, Early Bg and limited amounts of Burla cherries are already available. Although sizes are still a bit smaller with mixed colours, which is typical for the start of the season, there are a few orchards…..

Global Focus Melons/Pineapple

Sarmiento melon shipments to arrive soon in Spain and Europe
The export of Sarmiento melons has been motivated by the need of its producers to open new marketing windows and put an end to the usual oversupply suffered each year in the domestic market; a trend that causes prices to fall.For this reason, the Argentinian company Sud Fruit SRL plans to start exporting to…..

United States
First quarter organic sales start strong in 2018
Organic fresh produce sales started the year strong with eight percent dollar and volume growth compared to the first quarter of 2017, according to the Organic Produce Network (OPN). Organic packaged salads remain the category driver, responsible for 19 percent of all organic fresh produce sales. Behind…..

Apples make a run for it at the Boston Marathon
The 122nd Boston Marathon is officially on the books, and Rainier Fruit is becoming a familiar sight for runners and attendees as the company marks their third consecutive year as a major sponsor of the event. As the Official Apple of the Boston Marathon, Rainier Fruit makes nearly 100,000 apples available to…..

Turkey: Overproduction of watermelons drives prices down
The early harvest watermelons in Adana, Turkey are being sold at 0.40 – 0.50 USD per kg level, down from last year’s 0.65 USD level. Adana is responsible for 20 % of Turkey’s watermelon production and watermelon is grown in an area of 1.2 million square feet.Yuregır Chamber of Agriculture Mehmet Akin…..

Mobile greenhouse ready to educate the public this summer
The Greenhouse Education Center is a greenhouse on wheels – and it may be coming to a city near you! NatureFresh™ Farms is on the road again with the Greenhouse Education Center program, taking part in events at retail stores, schools, and fairs all summer long. A brand-new crew of passionate student leaders…..

Greenyard announces appointment of Geert Peeters as CFO
Greenyard announces that Geert Peeters will join the company as Chief Financial Officer as from September 2018. Geert Peeters will succeed in this role COO Carl Peeters, who, besides the role of COO, also took the role of CFO since the beginning of this year. He will also be part of the Greenyard Leadership…..

Asianuts introduces Organic medjoul dates in biodegradable packaging
Common plastic packaging creates a social debate. Many consumers want to reduce plastic use, but on the other hand it can not come at the expense of price, convenience or quality.Asianuts has now introduced a packaging for bio dates that is 100% compostable and made from sustainable sources such as FSC…..

TOMRA expands global technology division
Sorting software and hardware developer and manufacturer, TOMRA, today announced the appointment of Felix Flemming to Head of Digital for TOMRA Sorting Solutions. In this role, Felix is leading TOMRA Sorting Solutions’ rapidly developing capabilities in digital technology and building a team of innovators to…..

Singapore asset manager advises:
Forget passive investing, go into the likes of avocados
Last Thursday, Stephen Diggle, founder of Singapore-based Vulpes Investment Management, stated that the broad global economic expansion is making assets expensive, so forget investing passively. Instead, he recommend considering niche growth areas like avocados.»Be very specific about what you do. Look for…..

Innovation in the fresh fruit industry
In Scandinavia it is standard procedure for many retailers to sell melons and watermelons in quarters or halves, even slices. However, for the fresh produce service departments process of cutting and slicing was a tedious, time-consuming and sometimes even dangerous process. In 2017 the Norwegian innovation…..

Ukraine: Agrofusion plans to process 630,000 tons of tomatoes
The Agrofusion Group, a large tomato paste and industrial tomato producer in Ukraine, plans to plant and process 630,000 tons of tomatoes in 2018, including 9,900 tons of organic tomatoes. According to a posting on the group’s website, in 2017, it has started producing organic tomato paste. “Last week all…..

Declaration is for 7 May until 8 June 2018
Shortage of seasonal labour declared for BOP kiwifruit industry
New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI) supports the Ministry of Social Development’s (MSD) declaration of a labour shortage for the kiwifruit industry in the Bay of Plenty. The declaration announced today is for the period 7 May until 8 June 2018.The Bay of Plenty has now entered its peak period of…..

Tunisian fruit exports up 180% from Jan to May 2018
Fruit exports from Tunisia did very well in the first five months of 2018. According to figures published by the Tunisian Agricultural Ministry, fruit exports rose by 180% in the same period in the previous year, with a 97% increase in value.Between January 2 and May 2, some 1,342 tons of fruit were exported…..

Better results via UN training program
Egyptian grape farmers satisfied by harvest
Sayed Ali, an Egyptian villager in the Delta province of Beheira, is just one of 800 farmers and labourers in the region who benefit from a training program organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Egypt. This was set up in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture…..

Faerch Plast enters into exclusive negotiations to acquire CGL Pack
A leading European supplier of trays for the food industry, Faerch Plast, with headquarters in Holstebro, Denmark, is considering further strengthening its position as a significant supplier to the expanding global food industry by entering into final exclusive negotiations to acquire CGL Pack from PSB…..

A lot more action expected in the coming weeks
South Africa: Avocado thieves targeted
A Hi-Tech Lowveld’s Special Services team recovered two large batches of stolen avocados over the weekend. Hi-Tech Security Lowveld operations manager Callum MacPherson said the team came across two pickup truck loads of avos. The second occurred during a special operation on a farm in the Kiepersol area on…..

Really still an amazing piece of engineering
Lovely map of the Panama Canal and its ingenious system of locks

Unica Fresh sells its dried snacks on Amazon
Unica Fresh has started selling its BuenOh! line of dehydrated snacks on Amazon. The company expects to position this 100 percent natural snack in the market as a healthy, delicious, reference product that is ideal for vegans, and suitable for Celiacs.With this launch, the BuenOh! snacks will be available in…..

Swiss wholesaler opens wholesale market space of approx. 15,000 sqm.
Transgourmet plans new expansion steps in Austria
Wholesaler Transgourmet, headquartered in Basel, is going onto the Austrian market. «We have expansion plans in Austria,» said a spokeswoman to a Swiss business newspaper. In May, the Coop subsidiary intends to open a hypermarket with almost 15,000 square meters of space in Vorarlberg’s Schwarzach, near the…..

Enzafruit Continent sells 10-millionth carton of Jazz™
This week the sales team of Enzafruit Continent started its New Zealand Jazz™ season with the milestone of selling their 10-millionth carton of Jazz™ apples. This memorable volume was realized through sales of French, Italian, German and of course New Zealand Jazz™ apples.This season’s new crop Jazz™ is again…..

Reasons why farmers prefer avocado over maize
Farmers in the Kenyan rift valley have been abandoning maize production due to high costs of production and the relatively flat returns. And now a nut organization, Habex agro, is planning to take advantage of this frustration and introduce farmers to high return crops like macadamia, avocados and mangoes……

Japan: Okayama researcher claims non-tropical bananas are a success
The bananas grown in Okayama Prefecture, where the temperature drops below zero in winter, are attracting attention at home and abroad. After some 40 years of research, Setsuzo Tanaka, who had no farming experience, developed a method to enable bananas to survive cold weather. His work enables the cultivation…..

Carrefour (China) imports 474 tons of Thai durians
Direct purchasing is the new normal
Durians are a hot item, and direct purchasing of the «King of Fruits» seems to have become the new normal.This week, Carrefour (China) promoted their supply of Thai durians.»Carrefour shops in China will begin to supply imported Thai durians in May this year. Carrefour (China) sent a delegation to Thailand in…..

Chenggong Farmers’ Cooperative
Taiwan: Jackfruit presented as economic panacea
According to Chenggong Farmers’ Cooperative officials, baby jackfruit could become a profitable signature product for farmers in Taitung County’s Chenggong Township. The fruit is a part of local diets, cooperative marketing and sales head Chiu Chin-sheng said, adding that the co-op has transformed more than…..

Packaging solution extends shelf life of grapes
When it comes to grapes, the challenge is that they begin to deteriorate as soon as they are picked. So extending grape shelf life is critical to helping grocery stores save money and to also address the food waste issue.Packaging and shipping grapes in Expandable Polystyrene (EPS) increases the shelf life…..

Launch of organic colour inductor for red grapes
Grapes are grown practically all over the world. For its part, Mexico produces table grapes, industrial grapes and raisins, and the state of Sonora accounts for about 70% of the national production.In the international markets, grapes must undergo strict phytosanitary controls and meet high standards of…..

Europe’s population sizes projected onto North America
Comparing the population sizes of parts of North America with those of Europe.
Because what else are you going to do, today?

American E.coli outbreak highlights problem of traceability
With an outbreak of E. coli hitting a major part of the US romaine lettuce supply, the challenges of tracing produce in the food chain are quickly growing more apparent. The recent E. coli outbreak involving romaine lettuce put a lot of consumers and retailers in a difficult, often confusing position.Now the…..

Supermarket group Mestdagh cuts 450 jobs
7-Eleven: new format stores
Israel: Online supermarket Co BringBring challenges the big chainsAn Israeli online food retail startup called BringBring is trying to prove that a venture providing online shopping can be profitable. The startup, in which food and beverage giant Coca-Cola Israel (Central Bottling Company) has invested,…..

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