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Showing posts from February 1, 2013

NEWSFLASH: ILA-USMX contract unresolved, talks may continue into weekend ...

Roller coaster negotiations between the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX) are continuing today, with some sources saying Friday afternoon that the chances of a settlement look much better than they did less than 24 hours ago.

Talks continued to 10:30 p.m., Thursday, and resumed late Friday morning. 

Meetings were expected to continue this afternoon and possibly into Saturday and Sunday.

 (Updates available on American Shipper's twitter feed


From the President: What’s in Store for 2013?

January 29, 2013

This piece by Rainforest Alliance president Tensie Whelan has been reprinted with permission from The Guardian.

[Well,] the Mayans got it wrong, and we are still here in 2013, [but] the move to a more sustainable world will be slowed by continued economic and political turmoil (the former in Europe, China and America and the latter in Africa and the Middle East). 

Our political leaders, for the most part, are playing a defensive game on sustainability so innovation will continue to come from business and civil society. 

Pressure will mount on government to provide incentives for sustainable consumption and production, though getting rid of bad incentives such as subsidies for unsustainable agriculture will continue to feel like Don Quixote tilting at windmills.

The private sector and civil society will partner around water conservation and quality, aim to reduce industrial use and contamination, increase agricultural efficiency …


Big Change Up North, No More Pennies

By George Anderson

FEBRUARY 1, 2013

Canada isn't going to mint pennies any longer. It costs the Canadian government 1.6 cents for every penny made. Beginning next week (Feb. 4), the country will begin phasing out the currency.

According to a survey conducted by the Retail Council of Canada, roughly 53 percent of Canadian merchants will be ready next week when the change starts to take place. Twenty-four percent are not ready and the rest are unsure as to whether they are prepared for the phase out or not.

"In the short term, there is going to be a bit of confusion," Karen Proud, a vice president at the Retail Council of Canada, told the Ottawa Citizen.

As to what retailers will do when they run out of pennies to make change, 56.4 percent plan to follow the Canadian federal government's guidelines for cash transactions. Nineteen percent will round down transactions to the nearest five or 10 cents.

The vast majority of stores (66.8 percent…


Post Harvest Study from 2002:

Use of Ozone to Improve the Safety of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

In recent years, increasing attention has been focused on the safety of fruits and vegetables, and in particular on the intervention methods to reduce and eliminate human pathogens from fresh produce.

Traditional technology utilizes water with or without a sanitizing agent to wash fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Chlorine is the most widely used sanitizing agent available for fresh produce, but it has a limited effect in killing bacteria on fruit and vegetable surfaces. 

The most that can be expected at permitted concentrations is a 1 – to 2-log population reduction (Sapers, 1998). 

Furthermore, the environmental and health communities have expressed concerns about the residual by-products of chlorine.

An alternative treatment is being sought to improve food safety. Research and commercial applications have verified that ozone can replace traditiona…


By sea from Brazil at :

Guatemala Seizes First Narco-Farm Under New Law ...

Written by Hannah Stone

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A farm handed over to the Guatemalan state

A Guatemalan court ruled that a farm seized from an alleged drug trafficker should go to the state, the first such decision under a 2010 law that allows the government to use criminals' assets to fight crime.

The Asset Seizure Court ruled on January 25 to confiscate a farm from Raymundo Fernando Rodriguez Pacay, who is accused of drug trafficking, according to a statement from the Public Ministry.

A large quantity of cocaine was found during an April 2011 raid on the 53,000 square meter property, located in Guanagazapa, Escuintla province, southern Guatemala.

Judge Marco Antonio Villeda found that the property had been purchased with the profits of criminal activity related to the drug trade, and granted the Public Ministry’s request for it to be handed over to the state.

This is the first time that the court has ordered property confiscated from a suspected criminal in favor of the state -- previ…