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Showing posts from November 12, 2012

JUST-FOOD Commentary for Monday November 12, 2012 ...

Issue 647

November 12, 2012


After reporting a 23% drop in annual grocery profits, it would not have been a surprise if Associated British Foods finance chief John Bason was in a glum mood but, speaking to just-food last week, he was upbeat about the company's prospects in food.

In the last year, ABF has enjoyed bumper profits from discount clothing arm Primark and its sugar refining operations and one could have forgiven Bason for being more downbeat about a grocery business that has seen profits come under pressure.

The cost of restructuring ABF's grocery businesses in the UK and Australia hit earnings from the unit in the last 12 months. And ABF also pointed to "difficult" trading conditions in Australia for the lower profits.

However, Bason said the restructuring would "set us in good stead" in both markets.

ABF expects its grocery profits to bounce back in the year ahead, although some in the City wonder if rising cereal costs could slow any recover…

13 killed in strong Myanmar quake: NGO

by Staff Writers

Shwebo, Myanmar (AFP) Nov 11, 2012

A powerful earthquake which hit Myanmar Sunday killed at least 13 people, injured dozens and sparked panic in the major central city of Mandalay, residents and aid workers said.

The shallow 6.8-magnitude quake struck in a rural area 116 kilometres (72 miles) north of Mandalay followed by a series of aftershocks, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

Another strong quake with a magnitude of 5.8 shook the same region late Sunday, it added. The tremor was felt by an AFP team near the town of Shwebo, which is north of Mandalay and close to the epicentre of the earlier quake.

There was no immediate information on whether the latest quake caused further deaths or major damage.

In the early hours of Monday USGS said that another quake, with a magnitude of 5.6, had struck. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Four labourers flung into the Irrawaddy river when a partly-built bridge collapsed in the region were among those believed to have …

AUSTRALIANS WONDER : Why do mangoes change flavour throughout the season? ....

~ From  D. Wilkie :

Chris Nathanael, who grows more than 200 different varieties of tropical fruit in his orchard at Bees Creek, near Darwin, says there are a number of reasons.

 Early in the season, mangoes are harvested before they are tree-ripe, or completely sweet, to be shipped south. If you want the mangoes to sweeten, keep them somewhere warm for a few days, he advises.

 If mangoes are stored near bananas, the bananas' naturally occurring ethylene will deepen their colour.

 As soon as the tropical wet season hits the Northern Territory in the next few weeks, their mango season finishes and the production moves to Queensland, where the cycle starts again. 

Over the Australian mango season, which lasts until March or April, about 10 different varieties come and go, each with different characteristics. 

Nathanael says ''it has been a bastard of year'' in the NT but he has still managed to produce a decent crop of outstanding mangoes. 

You can buy a box of 16 to 20 man…

Solar Eclipse Tuesday: Extremely Remote, But Visible Online Everywhere ...

Thousands watch a solar eclipse along the Ganges River in Varanasi, India (file picture).

Photograph by Pedro Ugarte, AFP/Getty Images

Andrew Fazekas

for National Geographic News

Published November 12, 2012

A fleeting black orb will greet early-bird sky-watchers lucky enough to be in the path this week of one of the century's most remote total solar eclipses.

As the moon moves between Earth and the sun, a lunar shadow will be cast along a hundred-mile-wide (160-kilometer-wide) path, traveling virtually the entire length of the southern Pacific Ocean over several hours and making landfall early Wednesday in Australia (Tuesday afternoon in the United States). (See "ring of fire" eclipse pictures.)

"The best places on land to see totality"—when the sun appears to be completely blotted out by the moon—"is along 62 miles [100 kilometers] of coastline on northeast Australia, overlooking the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea," said eclipse expert and National Ge…

AUSTRALIA: Taskforce established to promote Kensington Pride mangoes ...

Kensington Pride Marketing Taskforce formed in September 2012, working as a unified group, to promote the mango variety Kensington Pride.

The taskforce is made up of growers, wholesalers and vertically integrated businesses which currently includes Perfection Fresh Australia; N&A Group; We Pack; Seven Fields and Manbulloo.

The taskforce long term objective is to raise consumer awareness of the superior flavour of the Kensington Pride mango via marketing and to drive sales for retailers, wholesalers and growers.

"In future years we hope to build websites, run competitions, expand sampling and marketing activities, start promoting earlier in season, improve sales and returns and work collaboratively with industry," the taskfroce said in a release.

The Kensington Pride Marketing Taskforce represents a collective and substantial volume of mango production and sales, with an estimated volume of approximately 1.5 million trays per annum. This volume represents over 20% of industr…

FDA Food Facility Registration Webinar: What You Need to Know ...

November 12, 2012

Food Safety Experts Explain Regulatory Procedures Enacted by FSMA
November 19 – 2:00pm EST
Sign Up Today!

United Fresh will host a webinar to answer key questions about the FDA’s Food Facility Registration Process. Beginning in 2012 under the Food Safety Modernization Act, FDA requires food facilities to renew their registration every two years. Registration renewals with FDA must be done before December 31, 2012.

Join us Monday, November 19 for a one-hour webinar that will outline important information about who needs to register, how to register or renew your registration, and upcoming deadlines not to miss.
Amy Barringer, Director, Division of Field Programs and Guidance, FDA Office of Compliance, and David Gombas, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Food Safety & Technology, United Fresh Produce Association, will address the following questions:Who is required to register or renew their registration?What changes have been made to the registration process?Which companies …



Nov 9th 2012, 18:18 by

A 20-year long dispute over banana imports has come to an end. 

On Thursday November 8th the European Union and 11 Latin American countries signed an agreement which ended legal disputes and committed to reducing the maximum tariffs on bananas. 

The dispute (the longest running in the history of multilateral trade) dates back to the formation of the European single market, when a common system of quotas and tariffs was implemented, restricting banana imports from outside Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific. 

Over the last two decades, several Latin American countries (and America) have complained to the World Trade Organisation, which adjudicates between its members, over this preferential treatment. And with good reason; the humble banana is one of the world’s most popular fruits, worth some $8 billion in world exports. 

The European Union imports around a third of the bananas traded. 

Ecuador, one of the countries in the agreement and one of the w…

4 Big Takeaways From Hu Jintao's Speech To China's Communist Party Congress ....

Patrick Chovanec, An American Perspective From China | 31 minutes ago

Patrick Chovanec


Patrick Chovanec s a professor at Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management in Beijing, China

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On Friday, I was on Bloomberg TV talking about China’s latest economic data for October (at the time of my interview, only the inflation figures had been announced), and some of the key challenges facing China’s ruling party as it begins its once-in-a-decade leadership transition.

 I took a distinctly contrarian view on the latest inflation numbers, arguing they do not create room for monetary loosening to give the economy a quick and easy boost, because the issue isn’t just how much money is sl…

PAKISTAN: 'Mango clinics to be set up at tehsil level' ...

November 12, 2012


Provincial Minister for Agriculture, Malik Ahmed Ali has said that mango clinics will be set up at tehsil level so that the mango growers could be provided facility of diagnosing the diseases of mango trees from mango research centres.

He disclosed this while addressing the annual meeting of Mango Growers Co-operative Society Limited Multan. President Mango Growers, Syed Zahid Hussain Gardezi and renowned mango farmers of South Punjab were also present on the occasion.

Provincial Minister said that he has always raised the voice for the rights of farmers at the floor of assembly but a number of problems related to federal government and due to its wrong policies, farmers were being exploited.

He said that farmers are facing problems such as fertiliser at high prices, agri medicines, electricity, diesel and shortage of water.

He said that federal government has no mechanism of fixing the prices of fertiliser and prices of fertilisers are increased throu…