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Australia expects yet another record season for grapes

Australia expects yet another record season for grapes

A record table grape is projected for Australia’s 2020/21 campaign, with output up 7% to 240,000 tons. As FAS Canberra reports, the rising production that the country has recorded in recent years is due to vines reaching maturity. Over the past decade, table grape production has grown by 142%.  Exports in 2020/21 are forecast up 10% to 168,000 tons. Over 50% of production is for export, with a record 152,500 tons shipped overseas in 2019/20, thanks to expanded exports to China and Southeast Asia, despite COVID-19- related shipping disruptions and a lack of pickers. Australia is the third-largest grape supplier to China, after Chile and Peru.

In addition, high returns driven by strong export demand in recent years have encouraged plantings and conversion of wine grape areas to table grape vine plantings.  The table grape industry estimates about a 20% increase in annual plantings in recent years, but they anticipate a decline in the rate of new plantings in coming years, although output should continue to grow for some time still.  

Photo: http://canberragrapes.net.au/

 

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Tatawwar 2020 / 2021 puts the spotlight on high school students as the next social innovators

Tatawwar 2020 / 2021 puts the spotlight on high school students as the next social innovators

Tatawwar, brought to you by HSBC in partnership with Potential.com, brings together students, teachers, and government bodies to create a better future.

HSBC and Potential.com have today launched the third edition of its future skills flagship programme, Tatawwar: Building Tomorrow’s Minds, for students across the UAE, Egypt, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Algeria.

Tatawwar: Building Tomorrow’s Minds is an interactive online and face-to-face programme that brings together students aged 15 to 18, schools, parents and the business community to innovate for a sustainable future by addressing the three United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  1. Climate Action
  2. Human Health and Well-being
  3. Clean Water and Sanitation

Tatawwar, which is translated to “to develop” in English, encourages students to develop core future skills in innovative design thinking, financial literacy, critical thinking, and entrepreneurship. It raises awareness of how business can help address social and environmental problems in their community through innovation. 

The past 2 editions of Tatawwar: Building Tomorrow’s Minds have seen more than 5,000 students from over 1,000 schools across the Middle East and North Africa region, register in the blended learning programme.

The Tatawwar team hosted 20 prototyping workshops for over 500 shortlisted students, in each of the programme’s countries in partnership with local Fablabs and maker spaces.

Commenting on the launch, Daniel Howlett, Regional Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, said: “Education is a priority for governments across our region as they transition towards building sustainable and knowledge-based economies. As the region’s leading international bank, HSBC is uniquely positioned to support the growth of this vital sector.”

Sabrin Rahman, Regional Head of Sustainability, HSBC Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, added: “Ensuring every student has the opportunity to build the core future skills they need to thrive in tomorrow’s global economies, while building awareness of how business can help address social and environmental concerns, is fundamental to our approach. Tatawwar: Building Tomorrow’s Minds embodies just that, and we are very proud to roll-out this great initiative to students, parents and schools again by building on the great success of the programme over the last two years.”

To date, 9 winners and 30 ambassadors have graduated from the programme after undergoing extensive mentorship and further development on social entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and employability skills.

First prize in the last rollout was awarded to Bader Al Sarraf from Bahrain for his ‘Solar Panel CO2 Converter’, a project that produces green energy while also reducing CO2 in the air. One of the winners of the first rollout, Samah Abdulla from Egypt, has already raised capital through crowdfunding, launched her Water Management and Saving (WMS) app and has secured participation in a local incubation programme.

“We are very proud of how the potential.com empowerment platform has enabled Tatawwar to scale and adapt to various disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Together with HSBC and through the engagement of the high-school student stakeholders, we are demonstrating how large scale empowerment and impact can be achieved,” said Shadi Banna, Chief Empowerment Officer, Potential.com.

Students can now register for the programme at www.tatawwar.com. Schools, parents, NGOs and any other partners who would also like to participate in empowering the next generation of social innovators are also invited to get in touch through the website.

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Turkey expects an 8.5% rise in its cherry production in 2020/21

Turkey expects an 8.5% rise in its cherry production in 2020/21

 

Turkey expects an 8.5% rise in its cherry production in 2020/21 compared to the previous year, with the total volume estimated at 918,000 tons, according to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkSTAT). Of this total, 732,000 tons are sweet cherries and 186,000 tons are sour cherries. Turkey has recently established modern high-density orchards, using new cultivars, rootstocks, training systems, and growing techniques. Total cherry planting area is expected to remain at about 106,000 hectares, of which about 84,000 ha is for sweet cherries, similar to last year. The total estimated number of all cherry trees was about 34.3 million in 2019. The total number of bearing trees for sweet cherries increased from 14.7 million to 21.1 million in ten years. However, sour cherry production area has decreased during the same period from seven million in 2010 to six million in 2019. The increase in production of better-quality cherries to meet the specifications of export markets also helps to increase the quality of cherries for the domestic market.

There are more than one hundred varieties of sweet cherries produced in Turkey. The 0900 Ziraat variety, also known as a Turkish Napoleon, was developed in Turkey and is the most popular variety in the country because its higher quality can serve export markets. However, producers have started to try new cherry varieties such as Sweet Heart, Celeste, Early Lory, Kordia, Regina, Sam, and Sunburst for higher quality products, later harvest (to capture higher prices later in the season) and higher yields.

Turkey aims to improve its exports of fresh sweet cherries to China

 

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Australian peach and nectarine exports hit by higher freight costs

Australian peach and nectarine exports hit by higher freight costs

Australia’s 2020/21 stone fruit crop is projected to recover from a challenging 2019/20 season. Cherry production is predicted to increase by 14%, and peaches and nectarines by 4%, according to FAS USDA data. However, disruptions to international air freight caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to have a significant impact on MY 2020/21 exports of stone fruits. To support the sector, the Australian government has created an International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) programme to help exporters secure air freight and sustain increased shipping costs.  However, even with government support, freight costs for exporters are still more than double the levels pre-COVID. As a result, exports of higher-valued fruit such as cherries are expected to be less impacted than lower-valued fruit such as peaches and nectarines. Exports of peaches and nectarines are forecast to decline by 17% in 2020/21, with peach exports the most hit as they tend to be shipped more frequently by than nectarines due to their softer flesh. By contrast, cherry exports are forecast to increase by 12% due to the larger expected crop and the high value of the product.  The combination of larger expected crops and logistical obstacles to export are anticipated to cause domestic consumption of stone fruit to rise.

 

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AILIMPO: first estimate for Spain’s 2020/2021 lemon

AILIMPO: first estimate for Spain’s 2020/2021 lemon

AILIMPO´s first estimate for Spain’s 2020/2021 lemon harvest is of 1,250,000 tons, representing an overall increase of 10% compared to 2019/2020. Whether this first crop estimate is realised will depend on the availability of water in summer and autumn rains. The estimated global lemon production figure will allow Spain to remain the leading exporter of fresh lemon, and the second largest processor of lemon juice, essential oil and dehydrated peel in the world.

In the case of the Fino lemon variety, an increase of 10% is estimated. AILIMPO has considered the effect of the progressive entry into production of new plantations made in recent years and the situation of the size of lemons at the present time, which is considered optimal thanks to the good availability of water, to estimate a production of 845,000 tons.

As far as the Verna lemon harvest is concerned, the first forecast points to a harvest of 300,000 tons, which would mean a reduction of 2% compared to the last season.

AILIMPO expects a good and fair balance of prices and distribution of economic value throughout the chain, which will allow the Spanish lemon sector to give a profitable commercial outlet to the harvest, while maintaining commercial competitiveness against the aggressive supply of lemon from competing third countries such as Turkey (which will continue to be subject to official pesticide controls at the European border) or Egypt.

Furthermore, from the producer’s point of view, the GlobalG.A.P. and GRASP certifications are key elements for the next season, within the interprofessional strategy to differentiate the Spanish Lemon and promoting sustainable production under the triple focus: economic, environmental and social.

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Spanish lemon crop set to grow 10%

Spanish lemon crop set to grow 10%

 

Alimpo has projected a 10% larger Spanish lemon crop for the 2021/21 campaign. The total estimated volume of 1.25 million tons is subject to sufficient summer and autumn rainfall. Production of the Fino variety is predicted to climb 14% to 845,000 tons, with optimal sizes thanks to the good availability of water. The Verna lemon crop is expected to be down 2% to 300,000 tons. Alimpo expects the campaign to be profitable with a good and fair balance of prices and distribution of economic value throughout the chain to allow Spain to remain competitive against the supply of lemon from competing third countries such as Turkey and Egypt. A statement read: “Furthermore, GLOBALG.A.P. and GRASP certifications are key elements for the next season, within our strategy to differentiate Spanish lemons and promote sustainable economic, environmental and social production.”

Spain is the world’s leading exporter of fresh lemons and second biggest exporter of processed lemons. Revenues total about €700m each year.