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Miscellaneous

NASA and vegetable production in space
"I don't like calling them gardens; gardens are where you go sit and drink coffee or tea; they are more like laboratories that not only serve to produce food for the astronauts, but also oxygen and water. NASA's goal is to supply everything necessary for life in space," saidGary Stutte,researcher at the U.S......

Spain’s seeks to boost exports by benchmarking Chile
"We had a meeting in which we were presented with a strategic plan that is being carried out for the fruit sector of Extremadura, which includes a benchmarking trip to Chile because they want to boost their exports, and, in order to do so, they took Chile and Italy as role models, which is very positive.....

Greece: Strawberry picker shooting victims must pay court fees
A group of Bangladeshi strawberry pickers who were shot and wounded when they asked to be paid have been fined by a Greek court.The charges stems from an incident in April 2013, when strawberry trader Nikos Vaggelatos and farmer Kostas Chaloulos shot and injured 28 migrant workers for requesting recompense.....

Tasmanian grower awarded $1.7m after court battle
A vegetable grower in Tasmania has been awarded $1.7 million after winning a court battle in the Tasmanian Supreme Court in Hobart against former owners of a vegetable processing company in Queensland.Processor Bunny Bites went into liquidation in 2013, owing growers and creditors millions.In the Supreme.....

It reduces the duration of procedures by 80%
New customs system Ecuador and Colombia now operational
According to the Andes news agency, the new International Transit of Goods (TIM) customs system, on the border between Ecuador and Colombia, became operational after the two countries formalized the agreement last week.Time management at the border will go from six hours to three minutes with the unification.....

UK: Fruit packing manager manslaughter trial underway
The manager of a fruit packing operation in Hampshire has gone on trial accused of the manslaughter of two of his workers.Scott Cain and Ashley Clarke, both in their twenties, died after falling unconscious in a building used to store apples at the Blackmoor Estate near Liss in Hampshire.The building did not.....

Forced mushroom pickers rescued from Dutch farm
Some 24 Bulgarians found working at a mushroom farm in Standdaarbuiten, Noord-Brabant on Monday are allegedly victims of a forced labor scheme. The Inspectorate for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) raided the farm while authorities in Bulgaria carried out their own inspections to shut the.....


Chile: Together guilds demand Government end Customs' strike
The Fruit Exporters Association of Chile AG (Asoex), SalmonChile, the National Confederation of Cargo Transport, ChileTransportes and the Association of Entrepreneurs from Chile demanded that the government authorities end the nine-days customs' strike.The representatives agreed that, even though the customs.....

ISIS harming Jordan’s commercial ties
The control of large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria by Islamic State (ISIS) has led to a substantial decline in Jordan's national exports, an official has said.Omar Abu-Wishah, the chairman of Jordan Exporters' Association, said Iraq and Syria used to be the main destination for Jordan's agricultural.....

Guatemala: Banana exports increased by 56%
The agriculture and fisheries sector AGEXPORT is reaping the rewards of the latest actions implemented, which include participation in fairs and missions, such as the recent fair AGRITRADE Expo & Conference. The Bank of Guatemala reported that exports of non-traditional agricultural products during the.....

General Produce teams up with Farm-to-Fork for bubbles & berries brunch
As a proud supporter and inaugural partner of the America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital initiative in Sacramento, General Produce is pleased to provide locally grown produce for this year’s kick-off event, “Bubbles & Berries.”As one of the area’s oldest produce distributors, General Produce relies on their.....


Bram Troost: 25 years in fruit and veg sector
Last Saturday Bram Troost was surprised by his family with a private party to celebrate his 25 years in the fruit and vegetable sector. For this party a few people from the Netherlands and abroad were invited to celebrate this memorable occasion with the family. In the days leading up to the party Bram had.....


plan to tackle tax evasion
European tax plan on table again
The European Commission has pulled out an old tax plan from 2011. The plans provides a European tax system for companies, which should stop the tax evasion of multinationals. EU commissioner Vladis Dombrovskis says a new version of the plan will be presented on the 17th of June.The so called Common.....


Peru: Port strike generates over $100 million losses
The Exporters Association (Adex) estimated that the strike by the workers at the port of Callao has caused the country to lose more than $100 million dollars. Additionally, they said, the strike would cause the country to have problems in providing basic products, such as bread, chicken, oil, flour,.....

Join United Fresh and GLOBALG.A.P. for important industry conference
The sense and nonsense of farm certification
GLOBALG.A.P., the world’s largest and most trusted farm certification standards organization, and United Fresh, the nation’s leading produce trade association, invite United Fresh Convention (June 8-10) attendees to stay in Chicago for an exciting one-day conference, Thursday, June 11, with leading.....

200 million less hungry people than 25 years ago
A U.N. report has noted that 795 million people were hungry in the year 2014. That's a mind-boggling number. But in fact it's 200 million lower than the estimated 1 billion hungry people in 1990.The improvement is especially impressive because the world population has gone up by around 2 billion since the.....

US (TX): Heads of lettuce hide bundles of pot
Border Patrol agents seized 3,579 pounds of marijuana hidden in a shipment of lettuce that was passing through the Falfurrias checkpoint this past weekend.The 150 bundles of marijuana were inside the boxes of produce. The driver was arrested while agents searched and confiscated the tractor-trailer.This was.....


Easy way to pick apples from the ground...

RedLine Cooler™ helps track high volumes of produce at Auvil Fruit Company
RedLine Solutions, the leader in produce traceability and inventory solutions, today announced that Auvil Fruit Company has deployed RedLine Cooler to manage and track their growing inventory.Auvil Fruit Company saw business steadily increasing in recent years to now producing about 1.4 million boxes of.....

Cranberry grower appointed to Natural Resources Board
Governor Scott Walker has appointed two new members to the state's natural resources board. Dr. Frederick Prehn and Julie Anderson will each serve a six-year term on the panel.Dr. Prehn is a dentist at Prehn Dental, a third generation practice founded by his grandfather. In addition, he and his wife, Linda,.....

Canada: Westmoreland-TopLine Farms supports athletes with disabilities
Westmoreland – TopLine Farms is supporting the 12th Annual Day of Champions at the local Cardinal Carter Secondary School in Leamington, ON. “We support athletes with disabilities in the Life Skills Program,” said Jimmy Coppola, Director of Marketing. The event will take place Friday, June 5, 2015 and the.....


F4-DEODORANGE®, sanitizing solution for horticultural sector
Ensuring hygiene throughout the various stages and activities in which fruits and vegetables are manipulated is not only essential but also a crucial factor to ensure the absence of unpleasant surprises.The Globalgap norm, which is mandatory since last January 1, 2012, establishes that the staff should have.....

Costa Rica: 'Happiest nation on earth'
While Costa Ricans enjoy high levels of well-being, foreign investors can enjoy high returns in a country that is leveraging its potential as a competitive export base by investing in vital infrastructureIn the New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index, Costa Rica is ranked number one, a result of high.....

Germany: Asparagus pickers mistaken for 'armed mob'
Police in rural northeastern Germany rushed out to track down a reported mob of up to 15 people armed with knives and sticks. Instead, they found a group of asparagus harvesters.Police in the town of Ludwigslust said a man called their emergency number Saturday to report having seen “10 to 15 people armed.....


"Share the Buzz"
What grocery shelves would look like without bees
Earlier this week, a Whole Foods store in Providence, Rhode Island, temporarily removed all of its produce that is grown with the help of pollinators like bees. It then posted the photographic results online, in which whole parts of the fruit and vegetable department are seen to be completely barren. You can.....

NZ: Fruit contractor faces migrant exploitation charges
A Tauranga based fruit farm labour contractor has appeared at the Tauranga District Court this morning on 32 charges under the Immigration Act 2009, including 12 relating to the exploitation of migrant workers.It is alleged that between April and September last year Jafar Kurisi (also known as Md Wagid ALI),.....

Namibia: Grape workers living in squalid conditions
About 10 years ago, government made an undertaking to provide decent housing at Aussenkehr which is home to an estimated 16 000 residents when the farm's landlord Dusan Vasiljevic had donated 600 hectares for the development of a town.But a decade on, residents - most of whom are grape farm workers and the.....

Growing Oman's food economy
The OAPGRC Science Café panel for the event of Malik Al Gahdhami from Alsiraj Hospitality and Dareen Mehdi from Oman Botanical Gardens will discuss the opportunities and challenges facing Oman in increasing production and consumption of locally grown, produced and sourced sustainable foods, and improving.....


Defence mechanism of plants against adverse conditions discovered
Researchers of the University of Córdoba (UCO) have succeeded in finding the function of an enzyme in the regulation of nitric oxide, a component used by plants to tackle adverse conditions, such as pests or drought.In a situation of biotic stress, such as those caused by pests, or abiotic stress, such as.....

Argentina: The fruit sector's plight
The Commercial and Industrial Union of Mendoza (MICU) expressed its concern about the province's fruit sector's situation, which accounts for a significant percentage of the local production."Apart from the crisis in international markets, Brazil has closed its borders to imports of apples and pears," the.....

Mexico: Agricultural exports increase by 7.6%
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), Mexico's agricultural exports increased by 7.6 percent in annual terms during the first quarter (January-April) of 2015.In the reference period, international sales of agricultural goods (agriculture and livestock, mainly) amounted to.....

Chile: Asoex asks Government to intervene strike
The president of the Fruit Exporters Association of Chile AG (Asoex), Ronald Bown Fernandez, expressed the association's deep concern about the indefinite strike being carried out by Customs since last Wednesday, May 20."Our industry is directly affected by any stop of any sector linked to the export.....


Puebla
Mexico: Hailstorms affect exporters
Several exporters of fruits and vegetables from Puebla are struggling to comply with their shipments to the US because of a decline in production caused by the hailstorms in the state in recent days.According to the chairman of the State Board of Agriculture (Ceagro), Francisco Alvarez Lazo, for the past two.....


Making farming 'cool' for Kenyan youths
Today, most youth view agriculture as a 'dirty' occupation often practised by older people in retirement or by those in 'shags' (rural areas) who have to farm to survive. More so, many schools often use agriculture as a form of punishment for deviant behaviour.However, Balton CP, a British multinational.....

Pineapple industry still affecting Costa Rican communities
Twelve years after finding the first traces of pesticides used by the pineapple industry, in the rural water supply, around 7,000 people from four communities in Costa Rica’s Caribbean region are still unable to consume their tap water.The communities of Milano, El Cairo, La Francia and Luisiana are located.....


PMA A-NZ Conferene Day, Dan'l Mackey-Almy
Shared goals open doors for successful produce marketing
Marketing has officially left the trade show, events and packaging only realm, members of the industry have been told. Sales may still dominate, but businesses need to harmonise the interplay between sales and marketing and understand important macro trends to take advantage of key opportunities, according.....

Jet fuel from rotting fruit, leaves
Researchers at the north Richland campus have discovered a way to develop a component of jet fuel from a common black fungus commonly found in decaying leaves, soil and rotting fruit. The discovery could pave the way for an economical method to biologically produce aviation fuels in coming years.There's.....

Tomato extract powers solar cell
The humble tomatoes could do much more that just spicing up your curry! They can potentially light up your house using solar power.Researchers of Saurashtra University (SU) have invented a low-cost solar cell using a mixture of tomato extract, carbon and titanium dioxide, a thin film of which can generate.....


Kenya: Fighting food insecurity with urban farms, sack gardens
In the midst of one of Africa’s largest slums, vegetables are growing. It began as a French initiative to support jobless youth after a spasm of post-election violence in 2008—and feed them at the same time.The “garden-in-a-sack” concept, introduced by the NGO Solidarites International, makes it possible to.....

Reduced tariffs - facilitates trade
German produce processors welcome TTIP
The German fruit, vegetable and potato processing industry exports goods worth approximately 26 million Euro to the United States. In roughly equal proportions of jams, frozen potato products and pickled vegetables (cucumbers, gherkins and sauerkraut).The import duties applied on these products in the.....

US (CA): drought spawns award-winning idea
BC imports more than 67% of its fruits and vegetables from the United States and more than half of that percentage comes from California.As B.C.’s U.S. neighbours struggle through one of the worst droughts on record, reduced crop yields have put enormous pressure on B.C. food prices, driving up costs for.....

Bolivia: Prosecutor sentenced to harvest potatoes as punishment
A community justice sanction was applied against a prosecutor of the Public Ministry.Prosecutor Leopoldo Chui accepted to harvest potatoes in the community of Queascapa of the Bolivian province of Camacho, as punishment for not attending a meeting of indigenous authorities.The indigenous authorities.....

Arno van den Oord (Champoord):
"Lower supply causes healthy mushroom market"
Normally this period can be slightly tame in the mushroom business, but at the moment the demand is reasonably good. "The demand is quite constant this season. The supply is a bit lower than we're used to and this is causing a healthy market situation," says Arno van den Oord of mushroom and bean sprout.....


Peru is getting ready to face El Niño
The Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation (Minagri), Juan Manuel Benites, stated they were going to perform 163 different prevention activities due to the presence of El Niño in the regions of the North of the country and in San Martín.The regions of the North of the country where these actions will take.....

Industry develops education and marketing programs
Consumers urged not to squeeze avocados
The Australian avocado industry is attempting to educate consumers on the correct handling and ripening techniques for the fruit.More than 60 growers met this week at Waikerie, in South Australia, to discuss issues facing the sector which included inclement weather and brand marketing.Avocados Australia.....


PETA's "Lettuce Ladies" Visit Hollywood
Tinseltown is not known for going the low-key route on any matter, and of-the-moment road-close pop-ups, those brief promotions and events that happen along Hollywood's main thoroughfares, are part of that splashy tradition.Consider the many movie-themed happenings along Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, the.....


Photo report
PMA A-NZ Epping market and retail tour
On the last day of the PMA Fresh Connections A-NZ a series of tours were organised for delegates. I went along on the New Epping Market and Retail tour.First stop on the tour was independent retailer La Manna, who have the largest single independent retail store in Australia. The store is in Essendon Fields,.....


The Peruvian government says El Niño 2015 won't be greater than in 2014
After several media stated that, this year, the Peruvian economy would only grow between 0% and 1.5% and would be unable to grow as much as the official estimates, the government answered such claims.According to the general director of the Monitoring and Policy Evaluation from the Ministry of Agriculture,.....


Decisive months for the Grand Canal of Nicaragua
May 2015 will be a key month for the Inter-oceanic Canal of Nicaragua project, as the Chinese HKND Group is expected to present by then the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the mega-project. Meanwhile, the initiative continues to divide Nicaraguans.The principal representative of.....


Edible flowers: are they really worth eating?
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 19-23 May. So now seems an apt time to discuss the merits (or otherwise) of adding flower cuttings to our food.‘Edible flowers’ (presumably as opposed to toxic ones such as atropa belladonna or ‘deadly nightshade’) appear with increasing frequency on restaurant dishes......


Berlin-based start-up
"HelloFresh" sets new standards in food e-commerce
The Berlin start-up HelloFresh is setting new standards in foodstuff e-commerce: within a year, the shipper of cooking boxes succeeded in quintupling its revenue and consolidating its worldwide market dominance. The young enterprise already ships four million meals per month. This makes HelloFresh one of the.....

New biodegradable plastic from avocado pit
A student from the Technological and Superior Studies Institute of Mexico (ITESM), Scott Mungía, developed a new way of producing plastic from the avocado pit, as per latintimes.com. The feedstock requirement will not impact demand-supply balance of potential food sources like corn and potatoes. The Mexican.....

UK: Farming no longer just a man's world,
In a nationwide poll, involving 2,000 people involved in agriculture, 91% of females said they were upbeat about the future role of women in the sector, highlighting farming as a great career choice, bringing many benefits along the way.The survey revealed that, compared to their male counterparts, women.....

Increased consumer prices in Germany
The consumer prices in Germany were about 0.5 percent higher in April 2015 than in April 2014. The rate of inflation – measured by the consumer-price index – has raised for the third month as a consequence. However, it moves furthermore at a low level.Compared to March 2015, the consumer price remains.....

Cor Molenaar: "Are we prepared for changing customer behaviour?"
Future: fruit and vegetables from grower to customer by drone?
Cor Molenaar of the Erasmus University Rotterdam presented a confronting analysis on the current and soon to change purchasing behaviour of customers during the European Vegetable Strategies congress. He emphasised and repeated during his speech that companies have to be prepared or they won't have a future......


Fyffes counters Cadbury over on Twitter
In brand shade-throwing news of the day, Fyffes Bananas has lined up Cadbury’s for a bit of harmless fun on Twitter.As some might be aware, Cadbury has launched its new Oat Crunch bar – designed specifically for elevenses.Fyffes saw this and thought they would have their say on this important meal, “It’s.....