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Miscellaneous

Banana cocaine bust leads to arrests in Rotterdam
900 kilos of cocaine concealed in a banana shipment from Ecuador, were discovered by a scanner at the Rotterdam city docks recently. The drugs have a street value of €30 million. Police tracked the consignment to a storage facility in Hoogvliet where they arrested three men as they unloaded the cargo. The.....

Spain: Italian sells 80,000 kilos of lemons under false identity
An Italian man who pretending to be the owner of a fruit and vegetable company has been arrested in Molina de Segura after trying to sell 80,000 kilos of lemons for a price below that set by the market, reported the National Police.The man arrested has been subject to almost fifty previous arrests for.....

Recover N5m cashew nuts
Nigerian police arrest cashew thieves
Detectives in Lagos state have arrested a gang of cashew nut thieves, who they say are specialised in breaking and entering into warehouses located at Cele on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway. The detectives recovered cashew nuts worth N5 million (around $25,000) from the thieves.The suspects were arrested after.....


Higher yields and better quality with Big Data
Is it possible to increase the yield with a smarter use of available data? The IBM T J Watson Research Center has developed a platform for the use of Big Data in precision farming. The results speak for themselves: 20 percent more output and 10 percent more efficient use of water.Three years ago, E & J.....


Hannes Hollebecq ,Coopburo:
"Cooperatives are dead, long live cooperatives!"
Globally there are around 2.5 million cooperatives in total. Around half of those are in agriculture and horticulture. 'Cooperatives are failing at their task: the price for growers isn't better', 'Agriculture and horticulture have to innovate and auctions are old and slow'. These negative remarks are.....

Turkey to help African countries fight desertification
Desertification is increasingly threatening agriculture and water resources on the African continent. As a result, the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry and state-run development aid agency Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) plans to help train 77 experts from 30 African countries on.....


Cultivated 176 pound watermelon
Chinese man crowned 'melon king'
Chinese farmer Li Fengchun has won the title of 'melon king' at a Beijing competition for the largest watermelon, with his 176 pound fruit, which is roughly the weight of an adult man.According to the Fengchun, he has spent the past 30 years growing the fruit. The 46-year-old told reporters that he has been.....

Volcano eruption threatens Costa Rican agriculture
Agriculture in Costa Rica is under threat from the active Turrialba Volcano, which erupted in May this year. The volcano could potentially bury fields under a blanket of ash and turn rivers in to muddy torrents of volcanic mud.Recent eruptions by the volcano, located 36 km east of the capital of San Jose,.....

The jackfruit- a surprisingly good meat substitute
Meat substitutes are a controversial subject among vegetarians; some question why someone who doesn't want to eat meat, would want to eat something that attempts to replicate it, in terms of taste or experience.Of course, there are a number of different reasons why people choose not to eat meat at all (or.....


Photo report event ‘On the market together, cooperatively’
"Being half a cooperative is not working"
Are cooperatives dead, or still very much alive? Are they still of this time? These questions were at the forefront during the cooperative-event of 24 May. Speakers reached the conclusion that cooperatives definitely have a future. Rita Demaré, chairperson of the VBT spoke during the opening. The core of her.....

Frozen fruit ice cubes: a new summer trend?
Recently, a post appeared on Twitter in Japan showing frozen fruits being used as ice cubes. A blogger took inspiration from Riko Murai's post in which she used frozen peeled lemons and decided to try some more fruits. Murai's tweet has proved very popular, and been retweeted over 25,000 times.Click here to.....

Chewing on Lego
Is it crazy or is it art? The Japanese Tary builds strikingly ingenious constructions. His Star Wars and robot creations are appreciated on social media, but his food creations in particular can count on international enthusiasm. Bananas, chicken legs and even entire food baskets are created by this.....


Why Polish mushrooms score better in Germany than the Dutch
Did you know that Polish mushrooms generally score better than Dutch mushrooms among German buyers? LTO Vakgroep Paddestoelen intends to work intensively and collectively on a structural approach to the sales opportunities and work on a healthy sector in the long term.A German consumer prefers to eat German.....

China supersedes the US in food and beverage imports
According to a study by the IESE Business School and Deloitte consulting, China has replaced the United States as the country that offers the most opportunities to food and beverages exports.The report, entitled "Vademecum on Food and Beverage Markets 2016", analyzes the markets offering the greatest export.....


Marc Soumillin, Res-sense:
"Small portion of consumers want to pay more for sustainability"
Research shows that a third of Belgian consumers are tired of sustainability. A quarter of Belgians are annoyed by the word. "This is became the term is very vague, it has to be more concrete. Yet 71% of Belgium believe companies need to invest more in sustainability.ConsumerPlanMarc Soumillin wrote the book.....

Prickly pear supports local economy in N.Argentina
The prickly pear cactus is bringing local subsistence farmers in the northern Argentine province of Chaco a new source of income. “The women who took the course are now making a living from this,” Marta Maldonado, the secretary of the “Siempre Unidos Minifundios de Corzuela” (smallholders of Corzuela united).....

Cundinamarca
Colombia: One dead, nineteen poisoned by fumigation of potato field
The fire department of Cundinamarca stated that the irresponsible use of a fungicide on a potato crop, in the village of San Rafael, in the municipality of La Calera, near Bogotá, had left a tragic toll of one dead and 19 people intoxicated on Wednesday night.Captain Alvaro Farfan said five people had been.....

Turmeric and ethnic flavors top Google Food Trends
Turmeric and authentic ethnic dishes are on top of the trending searches in the U.S., according to the recent “Think with Google: Food Trends 2016” report. Other produce items on the list of trending items are jackfruit, bitter melon, daikon radish, and cauliflower.The report pulled top search information.....

Seven MEPs visit the Guadex Company
Palma del Rio asks the EU to promote cooperation between producers
The seven MEPs from the Committee on Agriculture of the European Parliament visited the Guadex company located in Palma del Rio, an association of fruit and vegetable producers, to get to know a representative of the citrus sector. The City Council of Palma del Rio is immersed in an analysis of this economic.....

New Zealand seeks to distribute Mexican food in Asia
New Zealand aims to become the distribution center for Mexican food products in the Asian market in view of the possible entry into force of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, said the ambassador of the country in Mexico, Claire Kelly.New Zealand has free trade agreements with both China and the.....

US (FL): Watermelon-stealing alligator caught in the act
Alligators eat all sorts of things, but typically melons aren't among their preferred food choices, notes Orlando Sentinel.Nonetheless, one in South Florida developed a taste for watermelon and soon after turned to a life of crime.The large reptile was caught clenching a melon tightly in its sizable jaw.....

UK: Veganism up 360% in a decade
According to a survey conducted by Ipsos MORI for the Vegan Society and Vegan Life magazine, the number of vegans in Britain has risen by more than 360 per cent over the past decade. Some 542,000 people aged 15 or over – more than one per cent of the population – have adopted a plant-based diet, up from.....

Costa Rica
Turrialba volcano has remained active
Last Thursday there was a strong eruption of the Turrialba volcano, in Costa Rica. This entails the expulsion of gases, hot rocks and ash, which is covering many areas of the Central Valley. Ashfall was reported in areas of San Jose, Coronado, Ipís, San Pedro de Montes de Oca, San Isidro Heredia, San Pablo.....

Fascinating fruit sticker facts
Fruit stickers are a common sight in the produce aisle, but most people pay little attention to them. AOL.com has composed a list of 10 little known facts about the ubiquitous labels.Number 10. They're edible. If you've finished baking a whole apple pie only to realize you forgot to take the stickers off of.....

Pledged to promote British
Defra HQ criticised for buying food from abroad
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) leads a campaign to promote British food, but it has recently emerged that their headquarters sources 44% of its food from overseas producers.Shadow environment, food and rural affairs minister Nick Smith described the findings as "disappointing.....


Why do tomatoes smell 'grassy'?
A Japanese research group has identified the enzymes that change the grassy odor of plants into a sweeter “green” fragrance. This discovery can potentially be used to grow sweet tomatoes with less of a grassy odor. These findings were published on April 29 in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. This.....

UNECE reviewed commercial quality standards for fruit and veg
At its last meeting, which was held between April 18 to 21, the UNECE reviewed, among other things, the commercial classification standard of different types of tomatoes, as well as the definition of certain tomato varieties, such as the cherry tomato. Regarding the standard for pepper, they analyzed the.....

McCain Foods (GB) fined $1m for safety failings
In August 2014, a McCain Foods (GB) employee in Whittlesey, near Peterborough, nearly lost his arm after it became entangled in machinery. As a result, the company has now been fined £800,000 (1.15 million USD) for safety failings.Peterborough Crown Court heard how a 34-year-old employee was attempting to.....

Criticism over Mugabe's banana handouts
On Friday 13 May, President Robert Mugabe visited Masvingo Provice, one of the areas hardest hit by drought, where he distributed bananas, cassava, 90 tonnes of maize and clothes to the villagers. The number of Zimbabweans requiring food assistance following poor harvests caused by the El Niño-induced.....

Colombia Banana Growers' Association refutes banana cocaine bust claims
It is widely being reported that Colombian authorities have seized eight tons of cocaine in a recent raid at a banana plantation. The drugs were apparently bound for the United States by way of the Caribbean and are said to be worth $240 million, making it possibly one the largest hauls in the country in.....


Aired fake story about veg growers
Vietnamese television apologies to farmers
A TV report accusing farmers in a northern province of using dishonest tricks to grow pesticide-free vegetables, has led to Vietnam's state broadcaster issuing a public apology and suspending one of its reporters.Vietnam Television (VTV) said in a press release Wednesday 12 May that Pham Thi Phuong, an.....

Wisconsin's potato farmers give to the hungry
Wisconsin potato growers are collaborating with the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) and Feeding America to provide food for people in the Badger State and the Midwest, by donating potatoes to various food banks.What began as seed potatoes produced for a USDA-funded research grant.....

NZ teen already an onion growing pro
Sixteen-year-old Canterbury high school student Lincoln Roper recently competed in the Young Vegetable Grower of the Year contest, coming runner-up out of four.Although Lincoln was competing against much older contestants his years of experience on his family's horticultural property meant he was more than.....

Julie Krivanek to be honored at 2016 reception honoring women in produce
Julie Krivanek, President of Krivanek Consulting Inc., a top strategic thinking and planning firm in the fresh produce industry, will be the honoree and featured speaker at the Reception Honoring Women in Produce, Tuesday, June 21, at United Fresh 2016 in Chicago. Krivanek began her contribution to the.....

Bananas in buckets
Queensland fresh produce duo providing competitive service
Bill Avgoustakis and Eddie Habchi are constantly working to improve the service that they provide at Yamanto Country Market, which is close to notching up nine years of service. According to Mr Avgoustakis, the Yamanto business remained very competitive in the market."Our customers want the personal.....

US study: Increasing fruit, veg intake with video games
US researchers have used a serious video game to evaluate how creating specific plans within the goal-setting component of the game could help fourth and fifth grade students improve fruit and vegetable intake at specific meals.For the study, 400 children played 10 episodes of Squires Quest! II, an online.....

The major suppliers are Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia
Banana most imported fresh fruit in the EU
According to the latest data of the European Statistics Office, Eurostat, in 2015, Community imports of fresh fruit from third countries increased by 11% in value and 3% in volume over the previous year, as they amounted to 11,824 million Euro and 11,845,466 tons. The banana was the most imported fruit, and.....

Solar provider empowers grower
CalCom Solar, a leader in design-build solar projects for agribusinesses and water districts, has installed a new 2.2 MW solar power system at D’Arrigo Bros. Co., of California, a premier grower, packer, and shipper of quality fruits and vegetables, in Salinas. The project received its permission to operate.....

Dominican Republic: Rains did not cause serious damage to the fields
The Ministry of Agriculture stated yesterday that the rains in recent weeks had not caused serious damage to the country's agricultural production.In a press release, the Ministry stated that technicians had visited its eight regional headquarters and found no significant damage to agriculture and.....

Produce site teams up with dietitians for healthier eating
The Produce Mom Family of Partners has teamed up with two celebrated Registered Dietitians for a Twitter Chat focused on eating more fresh produce.The host lineup for tonight's #EatForLife Twitter Party includes:Allison Kuhn MS, RD @FoodieKuhnChelan Fresh @ChelanFreshLeah McGrath, RDN @LeahMcGrathRDMann.....


Banana, avocado slicing life hack
Youtuber DaveHax has shared a video showing how to quickly slice up a banana or avocado with two items you probably already have in your kitchen: a large bowl and a metal cooling rack.To cut your banana or avocado, place a metal cooling rack over the top of a large bowl. Then peel open one side of the banana.....

Feeding the 5000 event
US: Festivals to glorify ugly produce and tackle food waste
Comprising 113 acres and 1 million square feet of interior space, Hunts Point Market in the Bronx, New York is one of the largest wholesale produce markets in the world. Journalist Jessica Leigh Hester visited the market with Dominika Jarosz, the global campaigns manager for the food waste organization.....

US (FL): Blueberry farmers desperate for pick-your-own visitors
As we previously reported here, Florida's blueberry farmers have been troubled by unseasonably warm weather this winter. This has caused a late season for farmers there, meaning that they missed the opportunity to sell their produce to grocery stores, which instead purchased the fruit from Georgia or.....

New York fresh produce supplier helps local community
Bloom Fresh, the consumer brand from domestic and international produce sourcing specialist, S. Katzman Produce and Katzman Berry Corp. has been making a difference in New York City by teaming up with both Easter Seals of New York and #HashtagLunchbag to provide fresh produce and monetary support benefiting.....

Taiwan Maogu Citrus first intercepted in Damaiyu Port
During the May Day holiday season, Taizhou Inspection and Quarantine Bureau in Zhengjiang province inspected the belongings that landed directly at Damaiyu Port from Taiwan, during which some items were intercepted, including Taiwan Maogu citrus, apples, oranges, wax apples, bacon and eggs etc. Currently the.....

Understanding generational traits can boost sales
Produce and floral professionals received a first-hand account of how to market to millennials at the Fresh Produce and Floral Council (FPFC) April luncheon in Cerritos, California, from an actual Millennial, Alex Jackson, Senior Account Manager of Frieda’s Specialty Produce.“Different generations shop.....

Washington Apple Education Foundation awards $1m in scholarships
A milestone has been reached by the Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF): over $1 million in scholarships has been awarded in a single year to college bound students raised in the fruit growing districts of Washington.“Five years ago we awarded just over $400,000 in scholarships. Each year since.....


Brisbane Produce Market
AU Prime Minister launches 2016 election campaign from the trading floor
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launched his election campaign at the Brisbane Produce Market on the morning of May 9th, choosing to take a walk through the busy Rocklea Central Market with Brisbane Markets Limited’s (BML) CEO and Directors less than 24 hours after calling the Federal election.From left,.....

US: Ag groups seek exemption from public scrutiny
Congress ispushing the Agriculture Department to exempt several agricultural groups behind promotional campaigns like “Incredible, Edible Egg” and others, from public scrutiny of their internal operations despite recent controversy.The push comes after organizations representing eggs, pork, potatoes and even.....


US: Little boy's broccoli farm dream comes true
4-year-old Max's story went viral after his parents uploaded a youtube video, telling him they were going to a broccoli farm but instead surprising him with a trip to the circus. Unfortunately their plan backfired an it turned out that Max really did want to go to a broccoli farm.After seeing his video on.....

Fresh produce supplier given award for labor standards
Whole Foods Market awarded Sunripe Certified Brands the Excellence in Standards Award at its annual Supplier Awards Ceremony. Of the thousands of suppliers that work with Whole Foods Market, Sunripe Certified Brands is one of less than seventy to have received a Supplier Award – the company’s highest honor.....

US (CA): Tech CEO sort of apologizes for fruit vendor threats
Mark Woodward, a Silicon Valley tech CEO, sparked outrage when he wrote a Facebook post, now deleted, threatening to aggressively harass low-income fruit vendors and “make their life miserable”. UK newspaper The Guardian reports that he now says he is “terribly sorry” – but with an apology that continues to.....

Avocado tree-destroying pathogen now in 61 of 67 Florida counties
A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences tropical fruit expert is doing his best to help commercial and residential avocado tree owners battle the dangerous laurel wilt pathogen.With 12,000 commercial avocado trees already destroyed by laurel wilt, growers need a solution, but so.....

Junk status for South Africa?
South Africa is in danger of losing its status on the international capital markets, the South African Central Bank warned. Credit rater Moody’s already downgraded South Africa’s rating in March. S&P will probably follow that example in June. This will give South Africa a junk status making it.....

US (ND): Court upholds potato farmer's crop insurance fraud conviction
On Wednesday 4 May, the federal court of appeals upheld Aaron Johnson's conviction and sentence for damaging his potato crops to commit insurance fraud.Brothers Aaron A. Johnson, 52, and Derek M. Johnson, 49, both originally from Northwood, were found guilty in December 2014 of intentionally destroying some.....


USDA helps food hubs improve financial performance
Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Sam Rikkers has announced a new resource to help food hubs improve their financial performance. Food hubs, which are businesses or organizations that manage the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of locally-produced food, play a key role in creating.....


US: Farmers Market Metrics update
Through their Farmers Market Metrics initiative, FMC has been working to make data collection and communication easy and intuitive by developing training materials and web tools that are tailored to your specific mission and capacity.FMC’s Farmers Market Metrics work is taking place through various projects.....

California grower adds to sales, marketing and biz dev
D’Arrigo Bros. Co., of CA hired two outstanding individuals that bring an array of assets to the sales, marketing and business development departments.Cody Hontalas began working for D’Arrigo Bros. in the spring of 2016 as a business assistant. “In this role, Cody will assist with developing customer.....

Marketer of California nuts grows sales team
Meridian Growers announced the addition of Amy Hochderffer to the Meridian Growers team.Amy brings over 25 years of experience in the dried fruit and nut industry specializing in domestic sales and private label business.“Adding Amy to our sales and marketing team shows our continuing commitment to.....


US: 8 people found in cabbage shipment
On the morning of Sunday 1 May, two people were arrested by Border Patrol agents at the Falfurrias checkpoint on Sunday morning, when eight migrants were found hiding in their refrigerated trailer.A K-9 smelled something suspicious about the tractor-trailer, prompting the search, according to a news release.....

Modernizing Ethiopia's ag sector with biotechnology
Crop production in Ethiopia still relies on traditional knowledge and practices and 85 percent of the population earn their living from traditional farming.Crops in the country are vulnerable to drought and pest and fungal invasions, which subsequently lead to losses and higher food prices.Modernizing the.....

Fruit processor expands sales team
Palmetto Processing Solutions, the newest processor of fruits in the sector, is expanding its sales team with the hiring of Hunter Graves as its sales account manager. Palmetto Processing Solutions, a division of Titan Farms, a leading grower, packer and shipper of peaches and vegetables in the Eastern.....

Argentina: Increasingly more imported fruit in supermarkets
It's been a few weeks since consumers can find fruits from other countries on the shelves devoted to regional fruits. This trend is even more pronounced in the supermarkets in Santa Fe, the federal capital, and in the north of the province of Buenos Aires. Among other fruits, consumers can find oranges from.....


Consumers underestimate severity of global food challenge
Research findings released April 28 show significant levels of misunderstanding about the realities of food production, namely that only 4% of adults surveyed in Europe correctly estimate that world food production must increase by 60% by 2050.Results of the survey conducted by YouGov Plc suggest that.....

Charleston port progress in container weighing services
In July of this year the new International Maritime Organization container weight rule will come into effect. The final stages of tests are being carried out at the Port of Charleston to see if it can provide in-terminal container weighing services for shippers to comply with this new rule.“I think by the.....

Chilean grapes distributed to “Race For the Cure” participants
During the "Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure" held recently next to Los Angeles Dodger Stadium, the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association teamed up with Northgate Gonzalez Markets to distribute Chilean grapes among runners, in an event that brought together more than 12,000 people.Among the various actions taken.....

Possible drop in fruit production
Argentina: Fruit and vegetable exports decrease
Fruit and vegetable exports in the first two months of the year amounted to 169.4 million dollars, a value that is 1.5% lower over the year but a volume that is 6% higher than in the same period of 2015. Fruit production for this cycle is expected to decrease by more than 7%.Meanwhile, imports amounted to.....

Uruguay: Last storms had low impact on fruit and veg
This month's storms won't have a big impact on the prices of fruit and vegetables, said Pablo Pacheco, the manager of the Information Unit of the Mercado Modelo (Model Market).According to Pacheco, the storms had no significant consequences on the quality and supply of transcendent items, such as potatoes,.....


Photos of the adventure
Midland sponsored polar team back in UK
The Midland sponsored British expedition team is on its way back to the UK and has already begun to unveil extraordinary images of its treacherous 13 days on ice.And, since reaching the North Pole on Monday, following its dangerous 120 nautical mile trek, the three man Race Against Time team, headed up by.....