June 2012: Much vaunted G3 kiwi finally arrives

PSA was again in the news back in June, especially with the release of the much awaited Zespri Gold3 for grafting. After considering bids Zespri initially released 2,000 ha worth of the new variety to "begin the recovery" from PSA. The first commercial samples made their way into the European ports in June also.

At the same time New Zealand's Ministry of Primary industries was announcing the destruction of kiwi vines illegally treated with antibiotics by growers desperately attempting to keep the disease at bay. After an agonising wait to see what charges would be brought against them the growers received the news that, in the circumstances, no further action would be taken. They could have faced up to 2 years in prison.

June saw the publication of a report in the British press that said that Fairtrade was not going far enough to protect banana workers in the Dominican Republic. The Fairtrade Commission quickly pointed out all the positive changes that it had been involved in and the progress that had been made. At same time a consumer petition was handed to the EU, with signatories concerned by what they saw as a failure of large retail chains to aid the banana worker situation in Latin American countries.

June is Wimbledon time in England and that means mass strawberry consumption in the UK! The strawberry season got off to a good start, which is just as well as typically, during the tennis tournament, 28,000kgs are consumed nationally.

Italy was still taking steps to get over the earthquake that caused extensive damage to crops and fruit packing facilities back in May. It was estimated that 7,000 farms had been hit, around 2,000 of which were seriously damaged.

Ecuador seemed to be gaining ground in banana sales to China, capitalising on the Philippines loss of market share, due to the recent issues it was having in getting bananas through Chinese customs.

US growers were making their first attempts towards governmental assistance after disastrous weather destroyed a range of crops earlier in the season.

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