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Year overview - September

Earthquakes, trade fairs and protests


2015 early season apple opportunity “Best in History”
Washington State’s unprecedented early harvest is already driving strong supermarket sales according to industry experts. An early bloom and consistently high temperatures through the growing season pushed harvest dates forward in the state’s orchards by as much as three weeks.

Early season sales reports from the Washington State Tree Fruit Association show that shipments to date are 12% higher than the early crop in 2014, and over 300% higher than the same time period in 2013.

Tight blueberry market because of transition
North America is nearing the end of its blueberry season which results in very tight supplies. “British Columbia, Washington and Oregon are still harvesting, but these are later varieties that yield about half the tonnage compared to the middle-season varieties,” says Paul Smit with California Fruit Company. “We are in a supply gap period right now and everybody is waiting for Peru to start shipping larger volumes,” Smit added.


French farmers invading Paris with army of tractors
For months now, French farmers have been protesting declining food prices and cheap imports while demanding assistance from the government. Now, they are bringing their grievances to the French capital. They have even adopted a Twitter hashtag: #1000tracteursetmoi.

Hundreds of tractors were on the move Wednesday, streaming toward Paris from every direction.

Chinese market open door to Turkish cherries
Fresh fruit and vegetable exporters are preparing to enter the Chinese market with cherries. In this regard the bilateral protocols between the two countries have been completed and Turkish exporters are taking the necessary measures to gradually begin exporting other products.

Chairman of the Uludag Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Export Association (UYMSIB), Arif Guney draws attention to the fact that new markets are very important for exports and together with the cooperation of the government, they are working towards important target markets.

US(CA): Currency and weather affect table grape exports
Rains in California this summer affected the table grape crop, and some growers have held back on exports so as to not run the risk of quality issues. More prominent, however, have been economic factors that have caused shippers to scale back exports this season.


Asia Fruit Logistica sees rapid growth
Asia Fruit Logistica 2015 saw a big growth both in stand holders and visitors, exhibition space grew 32% compared to last year and there were 574 exhibitors from 40 different countries, an increase of 20%. The number of visitors also increased by 14% to 9,200 visitors from 70 different countries, 66 per cent of those visitors came from Asia, up from 58 per cent in 2014.

China was by far the biggest country represented in terms of attendance, accounting for more than a third of total visitor numbers. Australia and the US ranked second and third respectively, and they were joined by India, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore as the strongest of the 70 visiting nations.

Click here to see the photo report


Almeria's greenhouse ravaged by heavy storms
Between 800 and 1,000 hectares of greenhouses were damaged in Almeria’s Poniente after heavy storms hit the growing region yesterday. Many greenhouses were destroyed and flooded, the worst affected areas were Adra and El Ejido, but the damaged area was also extended to some farms in other municipalities such as Berja.

British cherry harvest hits 30-year high
British cherry farmers are poised to celebrate their biggest annual harvest for more than 30 years after improved growing methods boosted quality and extended the season.

Figures from British Summer Fruits, a trade body, indicate that since the start of the season in May growers have produced 2,682 tonnes of cherries – 80% up on the 1,488 tonnes produced by the same time last year.


Goods returns for South African citrus
The South African citrus season is pretty close to the finish now, and the Valencias are now being packed. As of last week there have been around 34 million cartons packed out of 50, so there is still some left to go. Currently, they are going at about 4 million per week, so not long to go now, says Justin Chadwick CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association.

T&G unify international business behind new brand
T&G (formerly Turners & Growers), the global grower, distributor and exporter of fresh produce, has announced the rebrand of international subsidiary business Delica Limited to T&G Global.

Speaking at the Asiafruit Conference in Hong Kong, T&G Executive General Manager International Sarah McCormack noted that the rebrand of the Delica business is part of a wider strategic alignment of T&G subsidiary businesses.

Peruvian berries gain access to Canada
After four years, technical efforts are undertaken by the National Service for Agricultural Sanitation (Senasa) saw concrete results: The phytosanitary requirements for exporting Peruvian berries to Canada have been published, the Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry announced.

Migo®: New pear for the European market
GKE N.V. proudly presents its new pear, Migo®, which is positioned as ‘The Friendly Pear’, the ideal snack any time, anywhere.

Migo®, exclusively cultivated by partners licensed by GKE, distinguishes itself through its great storage and shelf life, smooth peel, beautiful shape and size, and good firmness level.

NZ: Company takeover "A real game changer"
Following Seeka's recent takeover of Australian company, Bunbartha Fruit Packers (BFP), FreshPlaza met up with Jamie Craig a previous owner from BFP and Annmarie Lee of SeekaFresh at Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong to talk about what this major change will mean for New Zealand and Australian fruit growers.

First apple shipments to China a success

The apple export to China went very well for South Africa this year, according to Jacques Du Preez of HortGro. He explains there were no problems in terms of restrictions, shipping or sticking to the protocol.

“The volume was still small but we knew from the first year that it wouldn’t be an explosion. We started shipping in March/April this year and we have sent 15,000 cartons (12.5kg) of Royal Galas and Fuji. The spec that the Chinese require is a difficult one. They prefer larger and highly coloured red fruit, and there aren’t many of these around. This is one of the reasons more wasn’t sent, but I’m positive that it will grow next year.”

Important platform to establish future trade relations with China
On 9, 10 and 11 September the China Fruit and Vegetable Fair (China FVF) took place at the National Convention Centre in Beijing. China FVF is jointly organised by the China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA) and China Great Wall International Exhibition Co., Ltd. The fair is endorsed by the Chinese government and supported by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ).
Click here for the photo report

Capespan Managing Director steps down
Capespan has announced that Gerald Müller will step down from his position as MD of Capespan Continent to pursue personal interests.

Capespan Fruit CEO, Leon van Biljon, thanked Gerald for his dedication and contribution to the Capespan Fruit business over the past number of years and wishes him well with his future endeavours. Gerald will continue his involvement with Capespan in an advisory and consultancy capacity. Handover arrangements will be dealt with shortly from within the wider skills base of the Group in order to have a seamless and uninterrupted continuation of the business.

South Africa stops citrus exports to EU early
Tomorrow DAFF (Dept of Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries) will inspect the last South African citrus headed for the European market. The decision does not apply to citrus from the Citrus Black Spot (CBS) -free regions of West and North Cape. Traditionally South Africa stops exports to the EU from October 15 as from that date they are subject to the import duties. With this decision, the export comes a month earlier.


Chile hit by second powerful earthquake
As the Chilean fresh fruit industry is still assessing the impact of yesterday’s earthquake on production areas in northern and central regions of the country a second quake has hit the country.

The second powerful earthquake has struck off northern Chile, just a day after the region was hit by a deadly 8.2 magnitude tremor.

The 7.6 magnitude quake rattled buildings and triggered a new round of evacuations, although a tsunami alert issued for coastal communities was soon lifted.


South African grapefruit prices at historic high
It is still too early for Florida grapefruit, but South African grapefruit is still on the market. There is not much on the import market in Brussels, "This is mainly due to the fact that Belgians have a preference for Florida grapefruit," says Cédric Geens from Jonckheere import company.



BNFW handles 130,000 tonnes of Zespri kiwi each season
Cool Logistics Global took place in Bruges, Belgium this week. The day before the conference delegates were invited along on a tour of Zeebrugge Port and a visit to BNFW to the Zespri packhouse.

SEA-invest puts its infrastructure at the disposal of Zespri for the storage, quality control and packaging of kiwifruit that arrives from New Zealand in Europe via the port of Zeebrugge. Around 130,000 tonnes of Zespri kiwifruit is imported through Zeebrugge every year. From Zeebrugge, it is then distributed to 25 markets across Europe.
Click here for the photo report

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