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Showing posts from October 20, 2015

Tiny Asian pest puts squeeze on Florida fruit growers

AFP – 20 hours ago

Victoria Barnes was about to harvest her early season avocados when the Oriental fruit fly reared its tiny head and all but shut down south Florida's $1.6 billion agriculture industry.

Barnes owns two avocado groves in Redland, just south of Miami, where authorities have quarantined 97 square miles (25,122 hectares) of farmland -- an area twice the size of Paris -- over the fly invasion.

"Everything came to a standstill,"she said.

None of the 165 fruit flies trapped since August have been found on her property, yet the farmer estimates she has already lost 12,000 pounds (5,440 kilograms) of fruit.

"We have over a thousand trees and since the last days of August, nothing has been picked. Nothing has gone out of this farm."

In Florida, a land where invasive creatures are a constant threat to the natural balance -- from giant African snails to Burmese pythons to Argentine tegu lizards -- the Oriental fruit fly is considered among the most dangerous.


Wal-Mart puts the squeeze on suppliers to share its pain as earnings sag

By: Reuters | Oct 19 2015 at 05:00 PM | 

International Trade

Suppliers of everything from groceries to sports equipment are already being squeezed for price cuts and cost sharing by Wal-Mart Stores. 

Now they are bracing for the pressure to ratchet up even more after a shock earnings warning from the retailer last week.

The discount store behemoth has always had a reputation for demanding lower prices from vendors but Reuters has learned from interviews with suppliers and consultants, as well as reviewing some contracts, that even by its standards Wal-Mart has been turning up the heat on them this year.

“The ground is shaking here,”said Cameron Smith, head of Cameron Smith & Associates, a major recruiting firm for suppliers located close to Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.

“Suppliers are going to have to help Wal-Mart get back on track.”

For the vendors, dealing with Wal-Mart has always been tough because of its size – despite recent troubles it still generates more than…

TTIP backlash: Europe wants its food to be craft, natural and home­grown

 By Niamh Michail

Related topics: Products & Marketing 

From fibre­filled juice to bird­friendly coffee, cauliflower flour to pea bread, European demands for natural are being fuelled by a massive distrust of TTIP – and this will grow whether the treaty is ratified or not, says Mintel. 

Although the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is still at the negotiating stage and not due to be ratified in 2016, a consumer backlash has already begun. 

European fears over pesticides, growth hormones in beef and chemical food additives that are restricted in Europe but not the US are on the rise. 

And while TTIP itself is not responsible for this distrust, Mintel predicts it is set to become worse as a result of it. And as negotiations continue, consumer confidence seems to be eroding even further. 

A German survey conducted for food watchdog group FoodWatch found that consumer confidence is at its lowest level since they began polling the public in February last year. 46% o…