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Bright summer in store for Californian grapes

Bright summer in store for Californian grapes © Eurofresh Distribution
© Eurofresh Distribution

 

California’s organic table grape harvest is expected to be decent this year, with steady volumes predicted throughout the season. With Mexico’s volume winding down quickly, organic production from the San Joaquin Valley is expected to begin by mid-July, resulting in promotable supplies of organic table grapes throughout the summer. Although it is not expected to a bumper year for Coachella grapes due to delays caused by weather issues, things are expected to pick up by July.  The unseasonably cool temperatures in March and April will lead to a longer and lighter season.  

Last year was very different, with huge volumes of both organic and conventional table grapes arriving from Mexico, especially in June, which caused very low prices for all table grapes. This has not been the case this year, with a strong end to the season expected.

On June 23, the National Specialty Crops Organic Summary noted that all three colours of organic table grapes from Coachella were in the $35 range for an 18-pound box.

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US and Taiwan seal organic equivalence agreement

US and Taiwan seal organic equivalence agreement

 

The American Institute in Taiwan and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States signed and exchanged letters on behalf of the United States and Taiwan inaugurating a new organic equivalence arrangement. The agreement, which comes into effect as of May 30, 2020, allows organic products certified in the United States or Taiwan to be sold as organic in either market. It covers products certified to the U.S. Department of Agriculture organic regulations or Taiwan organic regulations that are grown or produced in the United States or Taiwan; or have their final processing or packaging in the United States or Taiwan.

U.S. Under Secretary Greg Ibach said, “This equivalence arrangement streamlines trade in certified organic goods with Taiwan, a key international partner in the organic market sector. This arrangement protects and increases access for American organic farmers, ranchers, and businesses to the fifth largest U.S. export market for USDA certified organic products.”

It eliminates the need for organic operators to have separate organic certification to the U.S. and Taiwan standards, which avoids a double set of fees, inspections, and paperwork. Equivalence paves the way for the expansion of existing fresh fruit, vegetable, and processed food trade and provides new market access opportunities for organic livestock and other products. The arrangement also allows U.S.-based organic food processors to source Taiwan certified organic ingredients, increasing the range of organic products available to consumers.

Taiwan is the fifth largest export market for U.S. organic products, with sales approaching $92 million in 2019 and is forecast to grow by almost 50 percent over the next five years, based on Organic Trade Association and USDA analyses. Expanding the AIT/TECRO trade arrangement provides U.S. organic farmers and processors continued access to this significant market. The U.S. currently maintains organic equivalence arrangements with Canada, the European Union, Japan, South Korea and Switzerland.

TAGS: organic, arrangement, equivalence, US, Taiwan 

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Berry Global Announces Innovative Advanced Recycling Technology Project with Mondelēz International

Berry Global Announces Innovative Advanced Recycling Technology Project with Mondelēz International
PRESS RELEASE

 

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – June 3, 2020 – Berry Global Group, Inc. (NYSE: BERY) announced its collaboration with longtime customer, Mondelēz International to supply packaging containing recycled plastic for Philadelphia, the world’s most popular cream cheese. The package contains plastic material recovered using advanced recycling technology from Berry’s partnership with SABIC, announced earlier this year.

Berry prides itself on its ability to provide sustainable, value-added packaging for leading brands around the world and is proud to collaborate with Mondelēz International to improve the sustainability of their packaging.

“We are pleased to partner with Mondelēz International in providing packaging made from this advanced recycling technology. By recovering and diverting plastic that would have otherwise been sent to landfill or incineration, we are working towards our common goal of promoting a circular economy,” said Jean-Marc Galvez, President of Berry’s Consumer Packaging International Division.

The announcement adds to Berry’s list of initiatives to advance towards a more sustainable future. These initiatives include investment in both mechanical and chemical recycling, the innovative use of recycled material in products, and global commitments to address plastic waste in the environment. Last year, Berry committed that 100 percent of its fast-moving consumer goods packaging would be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by the year 2025.

“This is an exciting project which demonstrates our ability to supply a leading worldwide brand with a solution to not only aid in their sustainability commitments, but which also aligns with Berry’s,” said Galvez.

 

About Berry

Berry Global Group, Inc., headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, is committed to its mission of ‘Always Advancing to Protect What’s Important,’ and proudly partners with its customers to provide them with value-added protective solutions that are increasingly light-weighted and easier to recycle or reuse. The Company is a leading global supplier of a broad range of innovative rigid, flexible, and nonwoven products used every day within consumer and industrial end markets. Berry, a Fortune 500 company, has over 48,000 employees and generated $12.6 billion of pro forma net sales in fiscal year 2019, from operations that span over 290 locations on six continents. For additional information, visit Berry’s website at berryglobal.com.

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Ahold Delhaize announces U.S. brand Food Lion has agreed to acquire 62 stores from Southeastern Grocers

PRESS RELEASE

 

Zaandam, the Netherlands, June 3, 2020 – Ahold Delhaize announces today that Food Lion, its second largest brand in the United States, by sales, has agreed to purchase 62 BI-LO and Harveys Supermarkets from Southeastern Grocers. The stores are located in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and will be converted to Food Lion stores, as part of the brand’s continued expansion in the southeast of the U.S.

Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., operates more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 77,000 associates. As part of the asset deal Food Lion expects to hire more than 4,650 associates to serve customers at the 62 acquired stores.

This asset deal with Southeastern Grocers also includes the acquisition of an additional distribution center in Mauldin, S.C. Both acquisitions are currently expected to close in the first half of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and Group financial guidance remains unchanged.

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Supplies in US citrus market fall

Supplies in US citrus market fall

 

The US 2019/20 citrus crop is projected to be down 4% to 7.63 million tons from the previous season. Declines in overall production can mostly be attributed to smaller lemon, tangerine, and mandarin crops in California, according to the USDA. Orange production in California has remained stable since last season. Citrus production in Florida has also remained stable, with just a 1% decline in orange production, and significant increases in grapefruit, tangerine, mandarin, and tangelo production over last year. Overall decreases in production of lemons, tangerines, mandarins, and tangelos are expected to result in increased imports, and higher prices compared with last year. 

 

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China gives green light to US blueberry imports

China gives green light to US blueberry imports

 

Despite the escalating tensions between the two countries, China has announced it will allow imports of blueberries from the United States as of Thursday 14th May, according to notices on the country’s customs website. The move is part of an agreement signed in January to increase imports of US agricultural products by an additional $32 billion over two years as part of a Phase 1 deal to ease the trade war between the economic superpowers. The fruit must meet the relevant requirements.

In addition to blueberries, China is also to allow imports of US barley. The decision comes shortly after China accused its top supplier Australia of the practice of dumping. Australian grain producers have been informed that China might impose tariffs of over 80% on its barley. US barley exports total around 100,000 tons a year, while Australia’s are several million tons.

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APHIS Authorizes Importation of Fresh Citrus Fruit from China

APHIS Authorizes Importation of Fresh Citrus Fruit from China
PRESS RELEASE

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is authorizing the importation of five types of commercially produced fresh citrus fruit from China into the continental United States. After thorough analysis, APHIS scientists determined that pummelo, Nanfeng honey mandarin, ponkan, sweet orange, and Satsuma mandarin fruit from China can be safely imported into the United States under a systems approach to protect against the introduction of plant pests. 

A systems approach is a series of measures taken by growers, packers, and shippers that, in combination, minimize pest risks prior to importation into the United States. In this case, the systems approach includes importation in commercial consignments only, registration of places of production and packinghouses, certification that the fruit is free of quarantine pests, trapping program for fruit flies, periodic inspections of places of production, grove sanitation, and postharvest disinfection and treatment. This completes agreements on another Chinese commodity listed in Annex 11: Plant Health of the Economic and Trade Agreement between the United States of America and The People’s Republic of China, Phase One.

This notice of authorization will go into effect on the date of publication in the Federal Register, April15, 2020.

 

Source from: APHIS
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The 2020 California Organic Produce Summit cancelled due to pandemic

Organic Produce Summit to feature new consumer data and analysis

Scheduled for July 8-9 in Monterey, California, the much-awaited 2020 California Organic Produce Summit has been cancelled in light of the impact of COVID-19. In a press release, Susan Canales, conference president, said: “Based on the ongoing monitoring of health advisories and recent statements by the governor of California related to large gatherings, we have determined in order to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of all Organic Produce Summit attendees, that we cancel this year’s event.” The next conference will take place on July 14-15, 2021, in Monterey.

The fifth annual summit was scheduled to feature 152 organic produce growers, shippers and processors exhibiting products to more than 250 retailers and buyers. Exhibitors, sponsors and attendees have the option of rolling over their participation in the show to the new 2021 date or requesting a refund.

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Coronavirus takes toll on air freight sector

Coronavirus takes toll on air freight sector

 

The global airline trade body Iata estimates that the Coronavirus crisis could cost the airfreight industry up to US$113m in lost revenue. This estimate might need to be revised following the recent ban imposed by the US on flights to and from Europe which is likely to significantly cut capacity send rates soaring for the transportation of perishables. When a similar ban was imposed on flights from China in February, there was a 27% rise in airfreight rates between February 24 and March 9, according to the TAC Index. Flight capacity was reduced by over a third.

While cargo-only flights are not subject to the restrictions, most of the airfreight trade between Europe and the US is with passenger aircrafts. In fact, over 60% of the airfreight between Europe and the US is on passenger flights, according to cargo data provider WorldACD,.

The drop in capacity is likely to have a knock-on effect across the globe. Speaking to Fruitnet, Ole Schack Petersen, senior vice-president and chief strategy officer at LCL and Broom Group said, “With fewer planes in the air, it will also affect China-Europe routes. Some fresh produce will have to move ocean freight where possible.” This might lead to more perishables being sent via the UK, which is not subject to the restrictions.

 

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Agreement opens opportunities for US fruit in Japan

The US-Japan Trade Agreement (USJTA) came into force on January 1, 2020. Once USJTA is fully implemented, up to 90% of all US food and agricultural products imported into Japan will be duty free or receive preferential tariff access. Japan is a key trading partner for the US. In 2018, the US exported $318 million of fresh fruit to Japan, making Japan the 4th largest overseas market for US fresh fruit. The US was the source of one third of Japan’s fresh fruit imports and the leading supplier of fresh oranges, lemons, grapes and cherries. Japan will apply a seasonal US-specific safeguard for oranges starting at 26,435 tons. The safeguard only applies to products imported between December 1 and March 31. If the safeguard volume is exceeded, tariffs on US orange exports will increase for the remainder of that period. The safeguard tariff is 28% in Years 1-3 and 20% in Years 4-6.  The safeguard will be eliminated in Year 7 (2025).