Skip to main content


Showing posts from September 25, 2012


UPDATED: Fresh Produce Import Alliance established ...

09/11/2012 10:57:00 AM
Tom Karst

(UPDATED COVERAGE, Sept. 13) A new nonprofit organization aims to represent the interests of importers and distributors of fresh produce.

Called the Fresh Produce Import Alliance, the group was formally established the first week of August, according to a news release. 

The group includes importers, custom brokers, exporters, grower-shippers, ocean carriers, freight haulers and cold storage facilitates, according to the release.

The release said the alliance board of directors is comprised of industry professionals who are volunteering their time a diversified group of industry professionals who will work to help federal agencies in achieving their goals while also reducing import costs and increasing efficiencies so that the perishable cargo can be cleared for import soon.

Risks to importing fresh produce must be contained or there will be a significant reduction in import volumes at major ports, according to the release.

Sandy Marujo, grower liaison with Se…

EURO MARKET:Super-Mario's new dawn ...

by Martin Walker
Zurich, Switzerland (UPI) Sep 24, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

It may be the darkest hour before the dawn but the economic news from Europe could hardly be more depressing for Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank.

He has thrown $1.3 trillion incredit at Europe's stricken banks, launched an "unlimited" program of buying euro government bonds in secondary markets and now has a $650 billion war chest to bail out the euro weaklings. 

That is why he has been dubbed Super-Mario.

But Super Mario has been mugged by reality. Spain has just reported that its deficit for the first half of this year is running at an annual rate of 8.56 percent of  gross domestic product

The original deficit target for this year was 4.4 percent, then revised to 5 percent, then up again to 5.3 percent and then to 6.3 percent.

Small wonder, therefore, that the Financial Times is reporting secret talks between the Spanish finance minister and the ECB. Th…

Discount grocer ALDI opening 3 new stores across Michigan ...

By Shandra Martinez | 

on September 24, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Courtesy photo Crews are finishing up work on ALDI store in Traverse City that will open in December.

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Discount grocer ALDI is looking for 20 workers for its first Traverse City store.

The store, which will open in December, is part of the Batavia, Ill-based retailer's effort to move its expanding footprint into northern Michigan.

“We are seeing some big opportunity in northern Michigan,” said J.T. Branneman, director of operations for the Michigan region. “In the next few years, we are looking (at opening stores) in the Cadillac and Big Rapids area.”

Branneman first spoke to MLive about the retailer’s plans for northern Michiganlast year during the opening of a Holland Township store.

More immediately, ALDI will open locations in Mount Pleasant, at 4512 E. Bluegrass Road on Nov. 1 , Traverse City, at 3123 W. South Airport Road on Dec. 3, and in Brighton, at 8345 W. Grand River Ave. in January.…

STRATFOR: Understanding the China-Japan Island Conflict ...

September 25, 2012 | 0902 GMT


By Rodger Baker
Vice President of East Asia Analysis

Sept. 29 will mark 40 years of normalized diplomatic relations between China and Japan, two countries that spent much of the 20th century in mutual enmity if not at outright war. The anniversary comes at a low point in Sino-Japanese relations amid a dispute over an island chain in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and Diaoyu Islands in China.

These islands, which are little more than uninhabited rocks, are not particularly valuable on their own. 

However, nationalist factions in both countries have used them to enflame old animosities; in China, the government has even helped organize the protests over Japan's plan to purchase and nationalize the islands from their private owner. But China's increased assertiveness is not limited only to this issue. 

Beijing has undertaken a high-profile expansion and improvement of its navy as a way to help safeguard its maritime intere…

Costa Rica: ‘Narco-families’ are emerging as major traffickers ...

Of the 619 drug-distribution cells dismantled nationwide since 2006, 27.5% are family clans, with children, parents and grandparents distributing narcotics.

By Clayton R. Norman for – 21/09/2012

Costa Rican Drug Control Police dismantled a family-based drug distribution network in the Pacific port city of Puntarenas on Sept 13. (Courtesy of the Ministry of Public Security)

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica – Costa Rican authorities are noticing a disturbing trend in the country’s fight against narco-traffickers.

The Costa Rican Drug Control Police (PCD) has dismantled 619 drug-distribution cells nationwide since 2006. 

Alarmingly, 170 (27.5%) of those organizations were so-called “narco-families,” entire family units, including children, parents and grandparents, who distributed narcotics.

In 2011, the PCD broke up 129 narco-trafficking groups, including 105 solely domestic operations and 24 that had international connections. Thirty were family clans.

This year, the PCD has busted 71 narc…

Unlikely Joint Effort by U.S. and Venezuela Leads to a Drug Lord’s Arrest ...

Venezuela's Ministry of Justice, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Daniel Barrera, known as El Loco, was arrested in Venezuela on Tuesday.

Published: September 22, 2012

CARACAS, Venezuela — To President Hugo Chávez, the United States has long been The Enemy, the imperialist power that seeks to undermine his Socialist-inspired revolution, that plots to oust him from office — and that he loves to taunt.

Colombian Police, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In recent weeks Mr. Barrera burned his fingertips in an attempt to make it impossible to identify him.

That is what made it so surprising when Venezuela’s national drug police took part in an unlikely international operation this week to capture one of South America’s most wanted drug lords, on Venezuelan soil. 

Not only did it involve American drug agents and the Central Intelligence Agency, but it was directed from Washington.

The arrest of the drug lord, Daniel Barrera, known as El…

Brazil now consumes 18% of the world’s cocaine ...

By Theresa Bradley and Ritchie King — Sept 23, 2012

Brazil’s growing middle class has poured money into the trappings of wealth and recreation: flat-screen TVs, get-away vacations, and, now, lots of cocaine. The country today consumes 18% of the world’s yearly supply of the drug, with 2.8 million Brazilians, or 1.4% of the population, snorting or smoking a combined 92,000 kilograms in 2010, according to estimates provided to us by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Brazil’s coke explosion has been called “the most worrying side-effect of the country’s recent consumer boom,” with use spreading not only across slums, dubbed “Cracolândias,” but also among the swelling middle class, who now comprise more than half of the population. Tax breaks and steep interest rate cuts have kept consumer confidence high and fueled continued retail spending, despite warnings of a broader economic slowdown. “Drugs follow money,” Ronaldo Laranjeira, coordinator of the Brazilian institute…

Esta foto tiene más de 2 millones de visitas y 22 mil comentarios en Facebook ...

agosto 9, 2012 1:51 pm

Dicen que el perro es el mejor amigo del hombre, pero para el estadounidense John Unger su mascota Schoep lo es todo.

En el estado de Wisconsin, al norte de Estados Unidos, la historia de Unger es conocida por la increíble atención a su perro de 19 años con quien pasó difíciles momentos, como la depresión por la ruptura con su novia y tentativas de suicidio.

Como informó Huffington Post, el animal sufre de artritis y no puede dormir plácidamente por el dolor, así que diariamente Unger lo lleva al Lago Superior para que el agua relaje el cuerpo de su mascota.

La fotografía cuenta con más de dos millones de vistas y 22 mil comentarios en Facebook. / Publimetro

FDA Vows to Work Together With Food Industry on PTI Integration ....


Such a shame that the Mango Industry did not make this a priority...I hope you weren't waiting for the National Mango Board (NMB) to "Lead" you!!!

May 17, 2011

The Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) Leadership Council met earlier this month to present an update on how well the fresh produce industry is doing when it comes to having our ducks in a row prior to implementation of the initiative in 2012. 

The May 2 meeting also featured an update on pilot projects that are currently underway and being conducted by PTI working groups.

But the highlight of the one-day session came in the form of some positive feedback from the Food & Drug Administration, which lauded the industry for moving full steam ahead in its understanding of traceability, and in its efforts to make progress toward PTI implementation by working earnestly and open-mindedly with the federal agency.

In that regard, Michael Taylor, who is the FDA administrative deputy commissioner for foods, told t…