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Sept 2013

Milestones, international partnership in Hong Kong and groundbreaking innovations in transport

September was a very exciting month for FreshPlaza. We were pleased to announce that we had reached 30,000 subscribers!

The month also brought other exciting events for our subscribers, such as Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong. Along with our regular photo report covering the event, it was also a great opportunity for companies to showcase their products, such as special products and packaging. Australia Fruits took the opportunity to showcase the company's new grape varieties.

Following the conference, it was announced that a new distribution center was being build in Shanghai to facilitate the growing cherry demand in China. We also learned that Stemilt was teaming up with Lantao to import Starkrimson pears from the US. The alliance between Prim'land and Fruits-Union was announced at the trade show, with the aim to double production area within 15 years. Unfortunately, we did receive some sad news after the event when it was learned that Richard Harvey, from one of Tasmania's largest producing cherry and apple orchards, died suddenly after attending.

September was also an event month for Logistics, with Cool Logistics 2013 being held aboard the SS Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Many topics were covered, such as the idea that long term partnerships were the way forward for shippers along with the idea that current practices in the perishable airfreight supply chain will have to change, as many in the industry continue to opt for cheaper sea transport. Speaking of which, the big buzz at the conference was the unveiling of an innovative new reefer ship design which was presented by Per Westling, Managing Director at Stena Ro Ro and Birger Lindberg Skov, Managing Director at Reefer Intel. What made this such an innovative design is that it cut the time that a vessel needs to be at port in half.

The UAE lifted its ban on the import of Japanese fresh produce at the beginning of the month, following the 2011 earthquake. This action was taken following the collection and analysis of 50,000 samples from districts surrounding the plant by Japanese authorities. Following a decision by US authorities to amend regulations, allowing the import of Australian mangoes into the States, PMA Australia New Zealand, announced that they welcomed the decision and felt it would benefit local mango growers and bolster Australia’s world class mango reputation.

The Israeli Medjool date harvest was in full swing and all signs pointed to another year of good volumes. According to Jos de Bast from Van Dijk Foods in Belgium, the almost empty apple market in Europe, led to a good season for overseas apples. Italian producer, Aureli Mario, was pleased to announce that the new harvest of black carrots was available from the middle of September. The harvest of Italian Melinda apples was also in full swing and the company reported that they were positive about the future of export to other countries, along with testing new varieties to expand their range. On the other side of hemisphere, Refin S.A. was looking to tap into a wider market with a mango variety called the Ataulfo. The mango and citrus season was also underway in Australia and Favco announced that a few new citrus varieties were on the horizon.

And finally, it was good news for Village Farms in September as it was announced that they had settled the insurance claim for losses resulting from the major hail storm in Marfa, Texas on May 31, 2012. They had never experienced such a catastophic weather event in the company's 25 years, and with the completion of this claim, were feeling positive and motivated about continued growth in the future.

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