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Chilean Fruit Imports Up More than 50% from Last Season

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Chile has exported 708,741 tons of fresh fruit, showing an increase of 7.85 percent when compared to the same period last year, according to
the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (ASOEX) in the current shipping season of 2021-2022 (September 1, 2021 – January 11, 2022).

The Far East is the main destination to date, with 301,181 tons received, but it represents a decrease of 4.75 percent compared to the previous season, as reported by Simfruit.

The Far East is the main destination to date, with 301,181 tons received, but it represents a decrease of 4.75 percent compared to the previous season, as reported by Simfruit.

The U.S. has received 177,642 tons, reflecting a significant increase of 54.6 percent.

Following the U.S. is Latin America with 114,936 tons (+10.45 percent), Europe with 106,849 tons (+21.35 percent), Canada with 6,354 tons (-19 percent), and the Middle East with 1,142 tons (+92 percent).

In terms of participation, the Middle East received 43 percent of all Chilean fruit exported to date, followed by the U.S. with 25 percent, Latin America with 16 percent, and Europe with 15 percent.

The main fruits exported to date are cherries (291,503 tons), avocados (97,188 tons), mandarins (87,869 tons), apples (97,188 tons), blueberries (55,371 tons), oranges (25,696 tons), and table grapes (17,373 tons).

However, increased rates for freight has led to lower margins for exporters and increased prices for consumers.

Honeybear Brands of Elgin, MN, a leading grower and marketer of premium apples, pears and cherries continues to grow its direct winter cherry program for retailers. The companies’ dual-hemisphere cherry program provides quality fruit available during winter, direct from Chile, and summer months, domestically from Washington and California.

Chilean Cherries are available late December through February and domestic cherries are available May through August.

Honeybear Brands has more than 25 years of experience growing and importing premium apples and pears in Chile through is growing partner Frusan. This partnership has created a seamless opportunity to provide a premier cherry supply to our retailers as Frusan continues to expand their cherry production.     

“Imported cherries require detailed attention to successfully get into the customers shopping basket, and we’re proud of the supply chain we have built ensuring our customers get the freshest, most flavorful fruit from Chile driving repeat sales,” says Don Roper, vice president sales and marketing, Honeybear Brands.

“Grower partnerships in the Southern Hemisphere allow us to provide some of the highest-quality fruit in the world. We are dedicated to take that privilege and help retailers avoid shrink, drive high sales and gain repeat customers,” continues Roper.

About Honeybear Brands

Honeybear is a leading grower and developer of premium apple varieties.  Family owned and operated for more than 45 years, the company is a leading vertically integrated, dual hemisphere grower, packer, and shipper. Honeybear offers supply of premium apples, pears and cherries on a year-round basis. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wescott Agri Products. For more information about Honeybear, visit www.honeybearbrands.com.

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Chile Expects Massive Avocado Supply Boost

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Chile is expected to ship 220,000 tons of avocados during the 2021-22 season, reflecting a whopping 57 percent increase over 140,000 tons during the 2020-21 year.

Chilean avocado exports are primarily to the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The 2020-21 season’s production was plagued by an early frost and drought conditions.

In 2020, the avocado plating area reached over 74,132 acres with 89 percent consisting of the Hass variety. Valparaiso is the main production region with 49,421 acres, representing 67 percent of the total planted area, followed by the Metropolitan and Coquimbo regions.

The strong domestic and international demand for avocados has raised prices the past two years. In the 2021-22 marketing year, domestic consumption will reach 100,000 tons representing almost 46 percent of production.

From January to May 2021, the average price for avocado increased significantly due to the seasonality of Chilean production and lower domestic supply as a result from reduced production in the 2020-21 marketing year.

Chilean avocado exports decreased by 58 percent in volume year-on-year totaling 16,400 tons and by 50 percent in value totaling $442.8 million.

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Mangos the Size of Soccer Balls are Harvested in Colombia

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Photographs of mangos as big as soccer balls that were harvested in the department of Santander, Colombia went viral last week.

A local news source said that Liliana Garnica Ruíz has the giant mango crops on her farm and that the fruit was from organic crops that use a process based on soil improvement.

“These mangoes have been a blessing, they are not only healthy, but they are also large,” she said. Her farm also produces lemons, tangerines and oranges.

Garnica entered the agricultural world only five years ago when she bought land and completed a three year apprenticeship. The other two years she has been collecting the fruits of her efforts that have good quality and are based on clean production.

Last year, Colombia reached a new record by registering the world’s heaviest mango in the ‘Guinness World Records’, which was grown in Boyacá and weighed 4.25 kilograms, or about 9.4 pounds.

“I know my mango surpasses that record which surprised me and I wanted to register it, but I stopped myself. I first want to see how these fruits reach maturity and what their flavor is like,” she said.

“These mangos still need time to ripen because they were cut early, so now I’ll wait to see and let them ripen without the tree’s nutrition.”

“Organic fruit is much better than conventional agriculture and my trees are fortified with minerals and many nutrients.”

Garnica said that if she continues her production techniques and the results are the same, next year she can decide to apply and achieve that worldwide recognition. “I would be proud as a Colombian.”

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Fresh Del Monte is Shipping Melons to U.S. Ports for Nationwide Distribution

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Miami, FL – Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., one of the world’s leading vertically integrated producers, distributors and marketers of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, is currently harvesting a variety of melons including cantaloupe, honeydew, specialty Harper and Tara melons and watermelon just in time for prime melon season. Once harvested, the produce giant ships the melons using its six recently purchased energy-efficient container vessels, which will help streamline delivery amid the global supply chain issues.

“At Fresh Del Monte, we will not let global supply chain issues stand in the way of delivering the freshest produce on the planet and this is especially true from our North American ports,” said Ana Cristina Fonseca, Vice President – Product Management (North America), Fresh Del Monte. “With melon season underway and supply chain shortages intensifying, Fresh Del Monte believes the use of our six additional container vessels has been invaluable in offering transportation solutions during these unprecedented times. We want to ensure customers receive the freshest products despite global shipping backlogs. As many produce authorities and retailers struggle to secure shipping container vessels to reduce product shortages, Fresh Del Monte’s container vessels have offered a helping hand to not only Fresh Del Monte, but to their competitors seeking help amidst the crisis.”

Fresh Del Monte continues to invest significant resources in research and development to expand the melon category and continuously offer products that meet consumer’s evolving needs. Since melons are grown in temperate locations and have a relatively short growing cycle, the brand can provide North American customers with not only in-season melons supplies, but year-round.

Fresh Del Monte has purchased six energy-efficient container vessels, which have offered a solution amidst supply chain issues. Used to help transport melons amongst other produce, the container vessels depart from ports in Costa Rica, Ecuador and Guatemala to help secure consistent service to customers and provide delivery to retailers at four ports in Manatee, Gloucester, Galveston and Hueneme across the United States. Given the perishable nature of fresh fruits and vegetables, each container vessel is air-cooled to maintain the cargo at specified temperatures, traveling in reefer mode with multiple temperature variants from -25C to 40C.

Fresh Del Monte melon varieties are shipped to select retailers nationwide.

Fresh Del Monte has been a market leader in growing and shipping premium quality fresh produce for several decades and a recognized authority in the fruit industry.

ABOUT FRESH DEL MONTE

Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. is one of the world’s leading vertically integrated producers, marketers and distributors of high-quality fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, as well as a leading producer and distributor of prepared food in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Fresh Del Monte markets its products worldwide under the DEL MONTE® brand (under license from Del Monte Foods, Inc.), a symbol of product innovation, quality, freshness and reliability for over 135 years. The Company also markets its products under the MANN™ brand and other related trademarks. Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. is not affiliated with certain other Del Monte companies around the world, including Del Monte Foods, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Del Monte Pacific Limited, Del Monte Canada, or Del Monte Asia Pte. Ltd. Fresh Del Monte is the first global marketer of fruits and vegetables to commit to the “Science Based Targets” initiative. Fresh Del Monte Produce is traded on the NYSE under the symbol FDP.

 

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Avocados From Mexico Returns to Super Bowl with New Television Spot

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Former New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees will star in Avocados From Mexico in the National Football League’s biggest game of the year on February 13th at SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles. The group’s 30-second television spot and play the feature role in consumer retail promotions.

After its absence from Super Bowl ads for 2021, Avocados From Mexico has announced it again will be a part of the select group of advertisers for the Super Bowl in February 2022.

The brand, which has previously had six “Big Game” television advertising campaigns, will produce a 30-second spot on advertising’s biggest night and execute a 360-degree integrated campaign to support the No. 1 consumption period for avocados, according to a news release.

With nearly 2.5 billion avocados imported from Mexico every year, the Super Bowl remains the No. 1 occasion for avocados and guacamole, according to the release. During the Feb. 12-13 Super Bowl weekend, AFM is responsible for 95% of avocado sales in the U.S., according to the group.

“The Big Game has always been an effective way for us to connect with avocado-obsessed consumers,” AFM president and CEO Alvaro Luque said in the release. 

“Not only did we first introduce our brand seven years ago at the Big Game, but we’ve innovated year after year to continue to engage and excite avocado fans.”

For this year’s Super Bowl, Luque said AFM will launch what is expected to be the most sales-effective campaign ever from the group. The campaign will integrate shoppers, digital and the brand, he said.

“I’m proud of the brand we’ve built from the ground up – a highly visible brand in a brandless category,” Luque said in the release. 

“This next ‘Always Good’ evolution will allow us to take the brand even farther – driving even more innovation, more digital focus and more ways to truly connect with consumers’ hearts and minds, because AFM really does spark good times all the time.” 

Along with a highly visible TV ad and breakthrough digital execution, AFM said the integrated campaign will include a national shopper program featuring Brees to get fans ready for the ultimate “Guac Zone.”

With the promotion, consumers can connect directly with Brees when they scan the QR code on the Avocados From Mexico Big Game displays, according to the release.

Beginning in January, the QR code will lead consumers to the “Get in the Guac Zone” digital landing page where they have the chance to win a $100,000 Smart Home Makeover and get a digital selfie with Brees.

Brees said Nov. 3 that his family loves avocados.

“We use (them) for a lot of different things as we cook and prepare meals around the house, and we always trusted avocados from Mexico,” he said. 
Brees said he has always been a big fan of the Avocados From Mexico brand.

“When the opportunity came to work with them, I was really excited about that,” he said, promising great consumer promotions and incentives for retailers with the Super Bowl campaign.

In just seven years, AFM has doubled the volume of Mexican avocados imported to the U.S., more than doubled the brand preference during the same time period, and the brand is on track to continue this impact, according to the release.

This year’s decision to return to the Super Bowl comes as AFM announces some big, bold brand updates, alongside a digital overhaul of the brand look and feel with a refreshed brand logo and even a new avocado color.

With recognizable brand assets such as the memorable jingle, “Avocados From Mexico” – AFM has now added “Always Good” to its logo and revamped its look, according to the release.

The brand has created its very own color – “avocado glow” — a unique yellow-green gradient color consumers see when they open a perfectly ripe avocado. 

AFM will now showcase how the fruit is “Always Good.” Avocados boast great taste, nutrition (good fats and nearly 20 vitamins and minerals) and fun times, the release said.

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Red River Valley Potato Shipments are Down this Season

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Potato shipments from the Red River Valley of North Dakota and western Minnesota are down 15 to 20 percent this season, with loadings expected to continue until June.

The Northern Plains Potato Association of East Grand Forks, MN reports the major varieties for the fresh market are Red and Dark Red Norland, and for the frozen processing market the Russet Burbank and Umatilla are popular. The favored chipping varieties are Cascade and Dakota Pearl, while seed potatoes are very diversified.

The NPPA notes yellow potatoes have been increasing for a decade, without any signs of a slow down. While yellow acreage has increased an estimated 8 percent, red acreage is off 1-2 percent. However, red potatoes are still the dominant variety for the region.

The Red River Valley is one of the nation’s top-10 potato growing areas — and it is the largest producer of red potatoes in the United States and one of the top-five yellow potato production areas.

While some potato shed have rail sidings, arrivals of rails cars are often a week or more late in arriving.

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Giant Berry Farms Expecting Strong Winter Shipments from Florida, Mexico

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Strong winter strawberry shipments, led by its Florida and Mexico growing regions, is predicted by California Giant Berry Farms, headquartered in Watsonville, CA.

The company reports its 2021-2022 Florida strawberry season started strong, with the long term weather outlook appearing to be better than a year ago. Florida strawberry shipments got underway in time for Christmas and peak shipments are expected in mid-February – around Valentine’s Day.

The strong forecast comes at a critical time for California Giant, as strawberry volumes are tight, following heavy rains in October that ended much of the Watsonville/Salinas growing season. Concurrently, the Santa Maria fall crop finished, as colder temperatures and wet weather becomes more frequent.

In addition to the strong Florida crop forecast, California Giant’s strawberry production shipments from Central Mexico are expected to continually increase in the coming months, with the growing regions season in its early stages. The region, known for its traditionally strong winter harvest is on track to produce as expected.

Florida strawberries and vegetables – grossing $4000 and more to New York City.

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Keeping It Fresh: Strawberries, on Ice!

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It’s getting colder out, but you knew that already. So, as you don your parka, when you might once have used a windbreaker, we venture out to do one of the most human things we’ve come to know: get all our groceries in one swoop from the store!

Now, you may have a specific diet, you may be a super-foodie, or a junk-food-junkie(may Larry Groce have mercy on you)! Either way, we’re going to set out to get a balanced list of beverages, meats, grains, vegetables, nuts, and fruits. Maybe, you’ve noticed something a bit different this year? Fruits(among many other commodities) have gone up in price, year over year for decades. In this particular day and age, we’re also mixing in supply chain disruption, tougher seasons on our farmers, and an ever-increasing demand for healthier foods. According to the USDA, the top six fruits per price by weight are blackberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, apricots, and strawberries. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to focus on strawberries, as they meet the lowest price point and among the others aforementioned on this list, are the most commonly consumed by consumers and businesses. 

But, what does it look like when you get to the store? In my personal experience, I couldn’t find strawberries anywhere at my local grocer for weeks. But, I found a quick fix that has become a staple for my household: frozen strawberries(and pretty much anything else I wanted to grab that I couldn’t find fresh). In fact, they had access to fruits that are almost never available fresh such as papaya, dragon fruit, passionfruit, acai berries, and much more!

Frozen fruit always comes in at a much more affordable price than its fresh counterparts. After taking my bag of frozen berries home, I discovered a second surprise: beautiful, vibrant, deep red, and delicious strawberries! It took some time to get used to thawing them out, but nine times out of ten, I have a superb batch of strawberries.

Frozen foods get a bad reputation for being processed; possibly having ingredients along the lines of “unnatural”. Throw this bias right out of the window! “Scientists from Leatherhead Food Research and the University of Chester, carried out 40 tests to measure nutrient levels in produce that had been sitting in a fridge for three days, compared to frozen equivalents. They found more beneficial nutrients overall in the frozen samples”. You may find this hard to believe, based on everything we’ve been taught growing up.

There’s a pretty big factor that comes into play for frozen fruit, that fresh fruit just can’t match! Here at the Allen Lund Company, we haul fresh produce daily, on tight schedules. Produce growers and farmers often pick fruit just before it’s ripe, to time it to ripen perfectly for delivery and consumption. The harvest comes in, then the clock starts counting down. If the produce doesn’t get from A to B in a certain amount of time, it’s likely going to be unfit to sell. So, eventually, a way around this schedule crunch was found: blast/instant quick-freezing fruits and vegetables. What’s the benefit you ask? Well, the freezing has a bit of a better schedule. Frozen fruits are picked at optimal ripeness and frozen immediately to preserve peak nutrition, flavor, and shelf life.

Having the ability to keep products at the perfect quality for double, triple, or greater shelf life allows growers to open a market for year-round sales, both in season and out of season. Consumers see huge savings on purchasing these goods, but where it really comes into play is supply chain management. Plus, keeping a bag or two of frozen goodies in the freezer comes into play for when you take a nasty spill on the way to the office!

More and more investments have been made in efforts to perfect packaging, create/lease cold storage centers, and erase supply gaps during off seasons for businesses. The proof is in the pudding, or should I say, the sorbet. Studies show that the Global Frozen Fruit market is a $4.65-billion-dollar industry, expected to grow at 1-2% annually CAGR to reach a peak of $5 billion dollars in 2026.

Consumers are steadily following this trend as their purchases shift. Many trade shows now include frozen goods being marketed, displayed, and packaged. Every year as the category expands, growers are getting better, and better at retaining color, nutrients, taste, and lower prices.

The next time you’re hankering for some produce and feeling adventurous, check out the frozen section. You’ll find that no matter what time of the year, you’ll always be able to afford juicy, nutritious, and gorgeous strawberries.

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Mexico produces 1 out of Every 50 Tons of Onions Consumed in the World

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Onion is the third most cultivated vegetable in the country. Onions account for 9.3% of all the vegetables produced in the country and, in 2020, the country produced 1,499,740 tons of onions, i.e. 1 out of every 50 tons of onions consumed in the world, stated the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader).

Mexican sweet onions begin crossing the border in South Texas in March.

The federal agency highlighted that, in 2020, Chihuahua produced 21.6% of all the country’s onions, and that state’s onion sales amounted to nearly 2,881 million pesos.

It was followed by Guanajuato with a production of 210,255 tons, Zacatecas with 182,212 tons, Tamaulipas with 134,962 tons, Baja California with 103,603 tons, and Puebla with 94,157 tons of onions.

The country will produce nearly 1,432,922 tons of onions in 2021, according to estimates from the Agrifood and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP).

Exports increase
Between January and August of this year, Mexican fresh or chilled onion and garlic exports grew by 6.8% over the same period of the previous year, totaling 347 million dollars.

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Washington Apple Shipments are Similar to a Year Ago

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In November the Washington organic apple crop was projected to exceed 15 million cartons, while the Washington state overall crop was projected at 118 million cartons.

Domestic truck shipments of Washington conventional apples through December 25 equaled 24.4 million cartons, compared with 25 million cartons the same time a year ago, according to the USDA.

Through December 25, season-to-date domestic truck volume of Washington organic apples totaled about 5.5 million cartons, almost exactly the same volume as the same time a year ago.

Organic apple supplies are tight and getting tighter in the 2021-22 marketing season.

The December 25 average organic apple price was $56.26 per carton at U.S. wholesale markets tracked by the USDA, 41% higher than the $39.83 per carton average for conventional apples the same day.
The USDA reported size 72 Washington organic gala apples were trading at $34 to $36 per carton on December 29, up slightly from a year ago.

The USDA reported the national average shipping point price for organic apples on Dec. 25 was $29.65 per carton, just 3% higher than the average shipping point price for conventional apples at $28.96 per carton.

The U.S. average retail promoted price for organic apples was $1.81 per pound in early December, up from $1.61 per pound in early December 2020. 

Sage Fruit Co. of Yakima, WA notes both conventional and organic apple volume is down this season. About 15% of the company’s total crop is in organics, but that number is growing yearly.

At Stemilt Growers of Wenatchee, WA, organics account for about 30% of its overall apple shipments.

Honeybear Marketing of Brewster, WA reports about 12% of the company’s shipments are with organic apples. Honeybear Marketing has more domestic organic trees coming into production in the 2021 season, boosting this year’s volume of organic apples. The company has supplies of organic galas, Honeycrisp, granny smith, fujis, Pink Lady and Cosmic Crisp.

Honeybear ships organic and conventional apples year-round because of its dual hemisphere program. During the winter and spring, it is loading its domestic supply, but in late summer, the company gradually shifts to its Southern Hemisphere apple program.

At CMI Orchards of Wenatchee, WA, organics account for about 15% to 20% of apple volume, and also as a dual hemisphere program for winter and spring.

Washington apples and pears – grossing $13,500 and more to New York City.

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