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Fruit Attraction, delayed harvests in Chile and Paris attacks

NatureSweet launches new tomato medley pack
Responding to consumers who want variety from their tomatoes, NatureSweet is rolling out its Constellation tomato medley pack. The item has five tomatoes of varying sizes and colors, and the pack will be released nationally next year.

The Greenery fires 64 Import DC employees
The Greenery announced on Friday that due to the planned closure of the import DC in Barendrecht, The Netherlands - set for mid 2016 - 6 jobs will be lost. 32 new ones will be created that the employees can apply for. This is the third round of redundancies in two years. In 2014 The Greenery cut 350 out of 1400 jobs. At the start of this year 60 followed. "We knew the DC was ageing and costing money. This is why we decided to close the DC and combine the streams in a new DC, which made some positions unnecessary," says a spokesperson. This should be the end of the wave of redundancies, he says.

Photo report Fruit Attraction

Fruit Attraction in Madrid was held last week, where many producers, mainly Spanish, presented their company and produce. The visitors were from many European countries, but there were also intercontinental visitors. Exhibitors also came from around the world.

After a remarkably busy Wednesday followed by a traditionally even more busy Thursday and a quiet Friday. The official visitor numbers aren't known, but the exhibition organiser Raúl Calleja estimated a 30% increase. Next year the exhibition will take place in early October: from 5 to 7 October 2016.

Hail in Israel causes severe damage to fruit industry
A severe storm system hit Israel last week, causing extensive damages to a number of fresh produce industries. The storm started early in the week with strong rains and developed to feature intense winds and local hail events. The brunt of the storm was felt in the northern and central regions of the country

"2016 will be a year with low pineapple production"

A low supply of pineapple is resulting in good prices this year. "At the moment the market is waning, but the fruit market is collectively calm. Compared to other years the pineapple prices are still at a high level, around 10 to 12 Euro, depending on the size. Over the next three weeks more pineapple is expected. This is why the product is being offered cheaper here and there," says Mario de Goede of Cool Fresh International.

American apple harvest lower and smaller sizes
The last apples are harvested in Europe. Germany and the Alpine countries are expecting to pick the final apples this week, Spain is also bringing its harvest to a close. The start of the season went well in many countries. The optimism with which the Dutch exporters started the season has diminished a bit, due to a difficult export of apples. Throughout Europe, new markets are being looked at. China and Asia are often mentioned. In the southern hemisphere, exporters are also looking at this market. South Africa focuses on China, just like Chile. This country is facing a lot of competition from the US, where the season has been shifted because of investments. In Argentina, warehouses are full due to disappointing export to Brazil and an adverse exchange rate.

First South African litchis to US
The paperwork is finally done and South African litchis will be heading for the US market. The radiation treatment was agreed this time last year but only now has all the paperwork for the import permit been completed.

South African drought "critical" in the north
According to South African news sources, the Mpumalanga and Limpopo regions will be declared agricultural disaster areas very soon, due to the drought.

The South African Weather Service said last week that an El Nino weather system, which was already forecast to bring drought conditions for much of the summer, now looks like it will extend into autumn next year.

More labour strikes in South African fruit industry

More than 1500 workers, all members of FAWU employed by the Du Toit Agri Pty Ltd Group in Ceres, Prince Alfred Hamlet and Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape went on strike today, Thursday, 12 November from 1300hrs in demand of a wage increase and better working conditions. The company is said to be the leading packing and exporter of fruit and vegetables in the country.

Chilean cherries late to Europe, China pays top price
The Chilean cherry season has started. No volumes have arrived in Europe yet, "The season usually starts around November 15th, but this year it will be more than a week later," says Jacques Mayol from Mayol import company located in Brussels. Due to the El Niño weather conditions, shipments have been delayed and there will be less volume this year. Also, China is playing an increasingly important role in Chilean export."

Syngenta rejects $42 billion takeover offer
The world's largest agrichemicals company, Syngenta AG, has rejected a $42 billion initial takeover offer by state-owned China National Chemical Corp over regulatory concerns, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing unidentified sources.

Namibian grape harvest commences with great quality
The Namibian grape harvest has commenced with good sizes and quality. For the AgriBusDev Company in the Aussenker region of the country, harvesting will start on Monday, according to Symon Akwenye, Farm Manager, the season is running a few days later than last year.

"Safety measures to be taken after attacks"

The attacks in Paris this weekend brought everything very close to home for Europeans. Some traders within the industry gave us their reactions. On Friday, terrorist attacks killed 129 people.

Hail damages South African mango crop
Over the weekend there was a large hail storm in Hoedspruit in the Limpopo area of South Africa.

This is the largest mango production region in the country, "The full extent of the loss to the mango crop in that region has not been established, but initial indications are that it could be around 20%," explains Derek Donkin CEO of Subtrop.

Poor weather delays Chilean cherry shipments to North America

The Chilean cherry export season got off to a slow start as poor weather has bumped back shipments to the United States and Canada.

AU citrus exports hit record level
A strong demand for citrus to Asia has helped Australian produce exports reach a record high of $232 million in the first nine months of 2015, up 10% from last year.

Judith Damiani, the CEO of Citrus Australia, said that Hong Kong and China remained the largest markets, but other Asian markets were growing too.

Dutch top fruit can go to Vietnam with immediate effect
Vietnam has opened their borders to Dutch apples, pears and begonia cuttings with immediate effect. The value of the Dutch export of these products to Vietnam is estimated at around 2 million Euro in the first few years. This could grow to around 7.5 million Euro within five years.

Zespri to start kiwifruit growing trials in China

Zespri is preparing the ground for possibly growing its own kiwifruit in China, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Chinese officials.

Trial sites for growing will be established in Shaanxi Province in April 2016, and a kiwifruit "centre of excellence" set up next year as well.

Russian boycott to Turkey because of war plane downing?
The political tension between Russia and Turkey has been running high after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter on 24 November. According to several reports on the Internet, there is a good chance that Russia may ban the import of Turkish fruits and vegetables. TLN has notified that lorries are being held at the border.

Argentina: Blueberry production down 16% in 2015
Argentina will finish its season with an estimate of 14,000 tons to all destinations (16% less than in 2014/16,232 ton).

This reduction is due to the weather events that resulted from the presence of the El Niño current, which brought a rainy season and a very cold spring.

Rungis to invest €1 billion by 2025

Management of the Rungis international wholesale market in Paris has introduced 'Rungis 2025', a plan to invest €1 billion by 2025. Rungis currently covers 234 hectares and is home to 1,200 companies. La Semmaris, the organisation that runs the management of the market, and the wholesalers both vowed to invest half of the money each. La Semmaris is a mixed organisation, owned for 33.34% by the French state, for 33.34% by Altarea, for 13.9% by the City of Paris, 5.6% by the department Val-de-Marne, 9.93% by wholesalers and for 4.6% by local cash deposits. Objective of Rungis 2025 is to support long-term growth and sustainability of the wholesale market.

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