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Showing posts from September 24, 2012

SPAIN: The soaring cost of dressing a salad ...

Olive-oil prices
Drizzle and drought

Sep 22nd 2012 | from the print edition

Treasure groves

ANCIENT artefacts unearthed by archaeologists show that olive oil has been an integral part of Mediterranean life for thousands of years. 

Appetite for the stuff has since spread: supermarket shelves in northern Europe and other rich countries bow under the weight of an array of oils. The Mediterranean, with its baking summers and warm, wet winters, usually provides an ideal climate for olive groves. 

But a drought in Spain is having a dramatic impact on the market, according to Thomas Mielke of Oil World, a research firm.

Spain is the Saudi Arabia of olive oil, accounting for nearly half of global production. The absence of rain in Spain might reduce total global output by around 20% compared with a year ago, when the world was awash in over 3m tonnes of olive oil.

High levels of production then had pushed prices to a nine-year low. But over the past three months the price of extra virgin olive oil, t…

Venezuela Oil Production Growth: Chavez Presidency May Have Squandered Oil Riches ...

By IAN JAMES 09/23/12 12:02 AM ET EDT

In this Sept. 5, 2012 photo, people walk past campaign posters for President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

CARACAS, Venezuela -- On the streets of Caracas, vast slums blanket the hillsides while squatters hang laundry in the windows of abandoned buildings. 

Trash-strewn alleys are riddled with potholes and lined with broken streetlamps. The city's main waterway, the polluted Guaire River, is known more for sewage than swimming.

While oil has ushered in spectacular construction projects for glittering Middle Eastern cities, including the world's tallest building in Dubai and plans for branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums in Abu Dhabi, it's brought relatively meager changes to Venezuela, which holds the world's largest proven oil reserves.

Nearly 14 years after President Hugo Chavez took office, and despite the biggest oil bonanza in Venezuela's history, there's little outward sign of the …



Going back through the countless press releases on the DANIELLA RECALL, this story points out how out of touch the USA FOOD SAFETY response has been. (Especially the State of California !!!)

Understaffed or out of touch, California department of Public Health has been out to lunch on this one!

Salmonella Braenderup

Going public: Mexican mangoes, first fingered in Canada, now linked to at least 79 illness in US


How do health agencies decide when to go public with information about an outbreak of foodborne illness that makes a lot of people barf?

There’s at least 73 people in California who would probably like to know after being sickened with Salmonella Braenderup, the same strain that Canadian health types revealed had sickened 22 people on Saturday.

California, you got beat by Canada in going public? 

This isn’t hockey, it’s public health, but adds to the embarrassing and accumulating record of silence on produce–related outbreaks.


Alemania y Francia, principales destinos de las exportaciones agroalimentarias andaluzas en el primer semestre de 2012 ...

4 de septiembre de 2012


Durante el primer semestre de este año, la Unión Europea (UE) ha seguido concentrando la mayor parte del valor de las exportaciones agroalimentarias andaluzas, según fuentes del Instituto de Comercio Exterior (ICEX), consultadas por la Consejería de Agricultura, Pesca y Medio Ambiente.

Concretamente, más de 3.000 millones de euros que suponen un incremento de más 182 millones de euros con respecto al mismo período del año anterior, aunque en porcentaje representan un ligero descenso, bajando del 79,97% al 78,96% del total.

Los cinco principales destinos continúan siendo, por este orden, Alemania, Francia, Italia, Reino Unido y Portugal, siendo la primera la que ha registrado un mayor crecimiento en el valor de sus exportaciones con respecto a enero-junio de 2011, al pasar de cerca de 595 millones de euros (el 16,38%) a más de 684 millones (el 17,51%).

Dentro de esos cinco primeros países y pese a ocupar el cuarto puesto, Reino Unido ha sido el segundo p…


Sally the Scrutinizing Shopper and the Fresh Produce Recall ...

September 7, 2012

Editor’s Note: The following blog post is the third such post written by TRUETRAC Marketing Assistant, Terri Taaffe. To read Terri’s other blog posts in this series, please see Meet Sally, Today’s Scrutinizing Shopper and Consumers Continue to Query Growers About Their Produce.

See Sally shop. Sally buys produce. Since Sally watches the news and reads user-generated content on Facebook and Twitter, she’s among the first to hear about a produce recall. Sally quits buying the recalled produce. Sally talks to her friends and they quit buying the recalled product. See the cycle continue.

This is a scenario with which the fresh produce industry is all too familiar: A particular brand or grower experiences a recall and suddenly an entire commodity is targeted in the powerful aftermath of consumer fear.

In a recent article published in Progressive Grocer, Geoff Koontz of Sterilox comments on this issue:

“When outbreaks occur, you can see consumer confidence take a dip, and it di…

USA MARKET: Southeast Produce Council opens fall conference ...

09/21/2012 4:37:00 PM

Doug Ohlemeier

The Southeast Produce Council opened its fall conference with record attendance and elected new leaders.

Sponsors say 343 people are attending the Sept. 19-22 conference at the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Asheville, N.C.

That’s higher than last year’s and exceeded the 330 that registered earlier, said Terry Vorhees, the East Ellijay, Ga.-based council’s executive director.

Outgoing council president John Shuman, president of Shuman Produce Inc., Reidsville, Ga., gave the group’s traditional state of the council address during a Sept. 21 general session and luncheon, the meeting’s official opening day.


Shuman discussed the various educational and charitable programs and activities the council is involved with throughout the year and allowed individual committee chairmen and chairwomen to provide updates on the council’s work.

He noted the group’s biggest event, the spring Southern Exposure retail and foodservice conference and exposition, alwa…

El mango ecuatoriano busca conquistar el paladar de los japoneses ...

Las duras restricciones fitosanitarias que tiene el mercado asiático es el reto al que se enfrentan ahora los agricultores ecuatorianos, quienes quieren entrar con la fruta y aumentar su producción.

Las revisiones son constantes en las 500 hectáreas de cultivo. Los jornaleros inspeccionan cada árbol. No debe haber maleza, ni conatos de brotes de hierbas.

Los trabajadores de la hacienda cuentan los días para iniciar la cosecha de 2012. La contratación de personal, adquisición de insumos, compra de palets, calibración de maquinarias... nada debe quedar suelto. Aquí espera exportarse un millón de cajas de mangos. Ecuador vendió en el año 2011 alrededor de 10 millones de cajas.

La semana 40 del año (1 de octubre) es la fecha escogida por los agrónomos de la hacienda para iniciar el corte programado de la fruta, su tratamiento y embalaje. El proceso tarda hasta la tercera semana de enero, aproximadamente.

Pero, desde mañana, la empacadora Agriproduc iniciará el corte de la fruta y su embalaje…


Wendy Farrow and Cassandra Birch with music industry icon Angry Anderson, congratulating Shaun McInerney, Fresh Fella’s and Gus Barbara, Cox’s Road Fruit Market, who are part of Your Local Greengrocer.

First mangoes fetch $50,000 BY ASHLEY WALMSLEY 24 Sep, 2012 11:23 AM

THE mango season has been heralded forth in record-breaking fashion with the Sydney Markets Mango Auction fetching $50,000 for the symbolic first tray of mangoes.

An entity called Your Local Greengrocer put forward the top bid to secure the tray of tropical delights.
The journey to $50,000 was spurred on by several major bidders, including some regular faces from within the Sydney Markets crowd.

Your Local Greengrocer is made up of both independent produce sellers and wholesalers, and is an initiative of Freshmark and the NSW Chamber of Fruit and Vegetable Industries.

A total of $70,000 was raised with combined funds from the charity auction.

Making the winning bid, Gus Barbara of Your Local Greengrocer said the group …


As the NMB struggles to justify it's existence, here is a quote that sums up the National Mango Board (NMB) mission statement and what the Mango Industry expects of the organization. 

(You can replace "Russia" with "National Mango Board") ....

"Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. "

Winston Churchill


AUSTRALIA: Katherine growers warned to watch for mango leaf hopper ...

By Steven Schubert

Monday, 24/09/2012

An insect which can severely damage mango crops if left untreated has moved into one of the country's biggest production areas.

Mango leaf hopper was found for the first time in seven years last season in the Katherine region, which produced more than two million trays of fruit last year.

Katherine Research Station entomologist Austin McLennan says the pest is manageable as long as growers monitor and spray for it.

"It's not to paint a picture of a crisis, it's just to say that this is a pest that's one extra to your list," he said.

"Growers can manage it. At this stage there's not challenges with that, but the thing is if you're not monitoring for it, you can't manage it."

Mangoes growing on a tree at Ballongilly Farms, 40 kilometres out of Katherine. (Steven Schubert)




The International Mango Organization (IMO) and the Indoor Air and Surface Quality (IASQ™) Certification team up for SaferSurfaces™

The IASQ™ Certification and Training programs are important to managing Safer Surfaces in all industries. Indoor Air and Surface Quality (IASQ™) controls, training and certifications are developed uniquely to the needs of each facility, process or system, to assist for healthier surface controls and to reduce cross contamination.

 Arne Rotne, President of the IASQ™ states, "these risk management precautions are vital to reduced liability and create healthier production, products and protocols. The IASQ™ team is pleased to work with the IMO to review the many opportunities we can assist for certifications and training in the World Wide Mango Industry."

"The IMO has proven its dedication to the Mango Industry from grower…