Posts Tagged “feature”

Chilean Fruit Imports Look Favorable; California Sumo Citrus Variety to Have Big Increase

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DSCN1432Imports of Chilean fruit are seen as looking good in the new season.  Meanwhile, a California shipper plans a big increase in it Sumo citrus loadings.

Among Chilean fruit imports expected to have strong volume destined for the U.S. are blueberries, lemons and citrus.

The Chilean fruit 2017-18 shipping season hit record levels for exports because of near perfect growing conditions. While the 2018-19 shipping season is also expected to be strong, volume is predicted to be down about 5 percent from 2017-18’s 110,000 metric tons.  Organic exports are forecast to make up about 10 percent of the total volume.

Chilean blueberries are seen as having strong imports by the U.S.  Increases in U.S. imports are being forecast for citrus and lemons.  The Chilean navel crop had a small increase, with volume up to 99,000 metric tons over last season’s 84,000 metric tons.  Of note is the U.S. imports about 90 percent of that volume.

The easy-peeler category was launched by clementines last May and W. Murcotts in July. Clementine volume was up about 40 percent, to 61,000 metric tons, and the W. Murcott crop saw an increase of around 30 percent to 110,000 metric tons.

Since the U.S. and Chile have opposite seasons, the later has the ability of exporting produce items when the U.S. is either out of season, or at low production.

We’ll soon be having an update on Chile’s biggest volume produce export item, table grapes.

Sumo Citrus Shipments

Suntreat of Lindsay, CA will have larger volume from the west coast this season with its Sumo citrus.  Suntreat, which is a division of AC Foods, handles Sumo from Australia between mid-September and mid-October.  This is followed by California’s Sumo season which ships product from January into April.

The Sumo, is a large mandarin developed in Japan, and is related to the orange family.  The Sumo is an exclusive citrus varietal for the company.  AC Foods expects to experience significant growth this year, shipping about 5 million, 5-pound cases.




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It is Through Learning, Civility and Reason, We Improve our Society

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LarryCondleyBy Larry Oscar

With the midterm elections just days ahead we have once again been bombarded with political ads and special interest groups touting their pleas for special favoritism.

Within the cloud of all this rhetoric you can count on some gems of stupidity surfacing.  I guess it will never end.  After all politicians are not very intelligent. Especially those that promise how big government can make our lives better.

Most politicians are not very good at simple math. This is a much bigger problem than most of us realize.  The entire universe runs on mathematics, not emotion.  For this reason most of the solutions to society’s problems cannot be solved by government handouts or “special programs.”

Although tempting government programs end up being a band aid to a problem that either has no solution or is a symptom of a problem and not the problem itself.  Take poverty for example.  In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty.” His new big government program was going to eliminate poverty in the United States.  It would lift the bottom 15-17 percent of wage earners out of poverty.  It was dubbed “The Great Society.”

The big problem is that we have a little math problem here.  If you lift the bottom 15-17 percent of wage earners up they are now replaced by the former 18-34 percent who now are the new 15-17 percent in poverty.  The GDP bell curve has just shifted to the right and the poverty level gets raised.  You will always have a bottom 15-17 percent in poverty.  It’s just simple math.

Johnson was not very good at simple math.  And what’s amazing is how some of us never learn math.  Today we have Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), that figures, proposing a new government $6,000 per year give away to those in poverty.

“It will lift those in poverty into the middle class” she says. Once again we seem to have not learned a simple math lesson. How easy it is to think socialism is the answer to poverty and all of societies problems. These same clowns like Bernie Sanders just don’t get it. You don’t have to be a genius to understand that there are no quick solutions to most of society’s problems.  Take over population for example.

Global over population is a real problem today.  It is worse than “climate change’.  And it is a simple fact that the greater the global human population the greater will be the stress on the global environment.  It’s a simple math deduction.  However, there is not a single politician that wants to even talk about over population.  Why, because this problem does not have a good solution  for the politicians can garnish votes.  For that reason we avoid many real problems and instead treat the symptoms.

Over the past few weeks we have all seen the human tragedy of the people from Honduras trying to enter the United States.  Honduras is a country with a constitution and elected government officials.  However, it is a corrupt country with drug cartels and no real dedication to following their constitution.  They take their constitution as a sort of suggestion on how things should run rather than the supreme law of the land.  This is something the left in our country would like for us to do.  In effect, they want us to be more like Honduras.  Never mind the fact the people in Honduras consider living in poverty in the United States a real move upward from where they are now.

Living in poverty in the United States is very attractive to people who live in poverty in other countries.  Maybe this is something to consider when these politicians want to make our country more like Europe.

If you really want to learn what other people in different parts of the world live like all you have to do is watch some of the house hunting shows on TV about those from the U.S. moving to other countries. It’s an eye opener.

There is no doubt that we can all improve in what we do and how we act toward others.  Our government is paid for by those of us working in the private sector.  Without a healthy private sector the public sector cannot survive.  For this reason alone big government will never produce a higher quality of life that those on the left imagine.  Just look at what is happening in Venezuela today.

It is my hope that we never stop questioning our government or holding politicians accountable for their actions, but it is also my hope we insist our politicians practice civility.  It is through learning, civility, and reason we improve our society, and not through the left’s raw emotions.

(Larry Oscar is a graduate from the University of Tulsa and holds a degree in electrical engineering. He is retired and lives with his wife on a lake in Oklahoma where he brews his own beer, sails, and is a member of numerous clubs and organizations.)

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Big Jump in Florida Citrus Shipments are Forecast; U.S. Also is Up

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A20Florida citrus shipments for the 2018-19 season is forecast at 86.9 million boxes, a 75 percent increase from last year’s Hurricane Irma damaged crop, according to the USDA.

Citrus shipments are still far below Florida’s peak volume of 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season.

“This citrus production forecast offers a glimmer of hope to Florida’s iconic citrus industry,” said Adam Putnam, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, in a statement. “For more than a decade, we’ve battled citrus greening and the industry most recently was dealt a devastating blow last year from Hurricane Irma. This estimated increase in production is the much-anticipated good news that Florida’s growers have hoped for. Much work remains, but the citrus industry is strong and here to stay.”

Florida’s forecast for all oranges is set at 79 million boxes for 2018-19, up an impressive 76 percent from 44.95 million boxes in 2017-18, notes the USDA.

For grapefruit, the USDA forecast Florida shipments at 6.7 million boxes in 2018-19, up 72 percent from 3.88 million boxes from 2017-18.  Florida red grapefruit shipments was 5.5 million boxes, up from 3.18 million boxes last season.

Florida tangerine/mandarin shipments for the 2018-19 season is 1.2 million boxes, up from 60 percent from last season.

California and Texas

California growers and shippers also are expecting to ship more volume.

The California navel orange shipments for 2018-19 is 49 million boxes is up 8 percent from last season’s final shipments. The California valencia orange forecast is 9 million boxes, down 5 percent from last season’s final utilization. The Texas all-orange shipping forecast is at 2.4 million boxes, is up 28 percent from last season’s final utilization, the USDA said.

The U.S. 2018-2019 grapefruit shipments are is forecast 33 percent higher than last season’s final utilization. In Texas, expected production of 6.2 million boxes is up 29 percent from a year ago.

The forecast for the 2018-2019 U.S. lemon crop is down 4 percent from last season’s final shipments. California volume forecast is at 20 million boxes is off 6 percent from the 2017-2018 season.

The USDA said the U.S. tangerine and mandarin crop is forecast up 22 percent from last season’s final loadings. California tangerine and mandarin forecast, at 23 million boxes, is up 20 percent from the previous year.

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Wonderful Halos Kicks Off Its Biggest Shipping Season Ever

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A13By Wonderful Halos

LOS ANGELES – Wonderful Halos, America’s fastest-selling mandarin brand, prepares to kick off its biggest season ever this November with a $30 million integrated marketing campaign designed to accelerate category growth and keep the brand in its No. 1 leadership position.

The multifaceted campaign features the brand’s popular “Good Choice Kid” television commercials, along with Halos’s biggest digital investment yet, which will substantially increase visibility across all digital platforms. Facebook and Instagram “blasts” will further remind nearly 30 million consumers that sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel Halos are back in stores. The campaign will be amplified by national FSIs, a New York City Times Square digital billboard, PR, and an expanded influencer campaign.

“Each season gets sweeter and sweeter for Wonderful Halos,” said Adam Cooper, vice president, marketing, The Wonderful Company. “Last year was our best selling season ever, with Halos contributing 27 percent of total produce dollar growth. In addition to being recognized as the No. 1 healthy snack brand among both parents and kids, Halos’s multimillion-dollar campaign is designed to drive sales by promoting new everyday snacking occasions to keep the brand top of mind, top of the category and top of the shopping list.”

Halos will build upon the success of last season’s biggest in-store point-of-sale (POS) display program ever, adding a new Halos fruit stand display to its “Grove of Goodness” collection. The high-graphic, vibrant fruit stand is completely merchandisable and brings to life the process of delivering mandarins from tree to table. Halos is also bringing back its popular Grove Tree display. The displays give retailers flexibility to showcase product beyond produce and in less traditional areas of their stores, including the frozen food aisle, deli, pharmacy, and at checkout. Last year’s POS program featured 20,000 displays at retailers who experienced double the sales growth versus retailers without Halos POS displays.

Wonderful Halos are sold in 3-lb and 5-lb bags and 5-lb boxes, and will be back in stores by early November.

About Wonderful® Halos®

Wonderful® Halos® are sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel mandarins filled with “Pure Goodness®.” The kid-sized fruit is available in produce aisles nationwide at grocery, mass and club retailers during California mandarin season (November–May). To discover more about the fun, delicious world of Halos®, visit

About Wonderful Citrus

Wonderful Citrus is America’s largest integrated grower, shipper and packer of fresh citrus, including clementine/mandarin, navel and Valencia oranges; lemons; limes; grapefruits; and other citrus varieties. Wonderful Citrus owns, cultivates and harvests nearly 60,000 acres of fresh citrus, and ships around the world each year to ensure a year-round supply.

Wonderful Citrus is part of The Wonderful Company, a fast-growing privately held $4 billion company with 9,000 employees worldwide. We’ve made Wonderful® Pistachios America’s fastest-growing snack brand. We’ve turned pomegranates and POM Wonderful® into a worldwide phenomenon. Wonderful® Halos® is the No. 1 mandarin orange in America. FIJI® Water is the No. 1 premium imported bottled water in America. JUSTIN® Vineyards & Winery produces California’s top-selling, high-end Cabernet Sauvignon. And Teleflora® is the world’s leading floral delivery service.

The Wonderful Company has a long-standing commitment to corporate social responsibility, including more than $200 million invested in environmental technologies and sustainability research, $50 million in charitable giving and education initiatives every year, $100 million toward the construction of two charter school campuses in California’s Central Valley, and innovative health and wellness programs, including two new, free primary care clinics for employees and their dependents.

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Banana Boat Arrival Delays Have been Occurring Due to Several Factors

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A12Timely arrivals for banana imports from Central and South America has been an ongoing issue this year due to factors ranging from disruptions by labor to weather factors.

Particularly over the last several weeks there have been late arrivals as a result of steamship line delays and issues.  Major delays by shipping companies continue along the most commonly used routes from South America to the U.S.  This has resulted in inconsistencies with steamship line arrival times to the U.S. and disruptions in banana supply across the board.

Labor strikes in Costa Rica have furthered the inconsistencies on steamship arrivals as any routes that include Costa Rica have experienced major slowdowns at Cost Rica ports.  Contributing to the problems was a hurricane that hit the southeastern coast of Costa Rica in September.

Organics Unlimited of San Diego, CA has reported price pressure on organic bananas.  The company contends there is a lack of understanding on what is figured into the higher prices needed for organic product versus conventional.

Chiquita Brands has referenced the rising costs of items ranging from paper, bunker fuel and inland transportation.  There also are stricter regulations, fuel prices going up and lack of adequate labor, all which are having a  negative impact on costs.

Bananas imported by North American companies are sourced mainly from Central America, where challenges the industry faced this year were mostly weather related.

The year started with colder weather than usual, and in Costa Rica and Panama above average rainfall, creating port service problems.  The unstable political situation in the region continues to pose a challenge for a consistent and problem-free supply.

Del Monte Fresh Produce of Coral Gables, FL reports in recent months growing conditions have been good and banana availability should remain steady through the rest of the year, despite some transportation issues last September.

Oke USA of  West Bridgewater, MA is the importing arm of Equal Exchange.  The company reports weather has been ideal in Peru and Ecuador this year.  However, 2017 was a difficult year for quality due to El Niño and excessive rains that led to wide-scale flooding, especially in Peru.  In 2018, there has been less rain in general, rains coming at the right time and more optimal growing conditions in general.  This has resulted Equal Exchange experiencing a decrease of over 50 percent in quality issues.

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California Table Grapes Remaining to be Shipped are at 10-Year High; Plus Other News

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DSCN0867California table grapes remaining to be shipped this season at the close of September were the highest in at least a decade.

Red seedless varieties account for most of the increase from last season.  Origin Fruit Services South America compiled the report showing California table grapes remaining to be shipped as of September 30th were 12.9 million boxes – 19 percent above the 10.8 million boxes at the same time last year.

The report has recorded stocks, or remaining shipments, for the past 10 years.  The second-highest level over this period was in 2008 when stocks of 11.2 million boxes were registered.  Since 2009, stocks as of September 30th have ranged from 7.5 million boxes in 2012 to 11.1 million boxes in 2010.

Remaining shipments of red seedless grapes recently amounted to 7.4 million boxes – up 39 percent from a year ago. White seedless volumes are the same as last year at 4.5 million, while black seedless are up 16 percent at 656,000 boxes.

Red Globes, meanwhile, are down 25 percent from last year at 365,000 boxes.

San Joaquin Valley table grapes – grossing about $7500 to Miami.

Record shipping volume

The California table grape industry set a new five-week shipping record, moving over 23 million boxes into the worldwide marketplace September 8th through October 12th.

About 60 to 65 percent of California table grapes are normally shipped from September 1st through January.

L&M Pepper Shipments

L&M Farms of Raleigh, NC has expanded pepper field acreage this year with proprietary-seed colored bell peppers under the Simply Sun brand, which is now grown and shipped year-round.  Loadings are now originating from Georgia and then will shift to Florida before returning back up north on the East Coast to North Carolina and then over to Michigan. The Simply Sun colored bells come in red and yellow now, with orange peppers coming into the program as well.

Strawberry Imports

Dave’s Specialty Imports, Miami, Fla., is importing a jumbo blueberry pack and has significantly expanded its imports of organic strawberries from Mexico.

Imported Mexican organic strawberries are crossing the border and will overlap slightly with the start of Florida strawberry shipments in January.

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CarbAmericas will Import Mexican Organic Asparagus; Mountain King is Shipping Butter Reds

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A2By CarbAmericas

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – CarbAmericas will start shipping Cypress Creek Organic green asparagus from Caborca, Mexico in January 2019.  CarbAmericas is the premier importer of fresh fruits and vegetables celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018.

The season will start in January and run through April 15 and pick up again from October to March. CarbAmericas will offer long term and contract pricing for its organic asparagus program. This new organic program will complement the company’s longstanding conventional asparagus offerings.

CarbAmericas will supply organic asparagus in 11/1lb and 28/1lb boxes, consisting of standard and large size asparagus.

“We will also pack our organic asparagus in a 12 oz bag that will be more convenient for the consumer, introduce “new customers” to the organic category through purchase triggers, and will provide a better price point,” said Jeff Friedman, president of CarbAmericas.

The Caborca-grown product will load in Yuma Arizona.

The company takes a holistic approach, working with category management processes and our retail partners to bring new customers to the Organic category.


About CarbAmericas

CarbAmericas was established in 1993 and is a vertically integrated, year-round supplier and importer of fruits and vegetables. Specializing in asparagus, broccoli, mangos, berries, snow and sugar snap peas, CarbAmericas ships to both retail and foodservice in the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America.  With team members working alongside their growers across the Americas, CarbAmericas truly stands behind its commitment to take a holistic approach, working with category management processes and retail partners to bring new customers to the organic category.

Mountain King Potatoes

by MountainKing Potatoes

HOUSTON, TX – MountainKing Potatoes has announced the completion of a bumper crop-like harvest of its Butter Reds, one of the company’s most popular gourmet varieties.

Originally from the Netherlands, the 100-percent all-natural variety from Colorado’s San Luis Valley relies on Beta-Carotene for its intense yellow flesh.   Fresh packed in 3#, 5# and 10# poly bags, the newly harvested Butter Reds are available October to April.

Known for their waxy texture which holds up better to boiling, roasting and grilling, MountainKing’s Butter Reds have become a preferred choice for stews, potato salads and when roasted with fresh herbs and grilled.

MountainKing Potatoes is one of the world’s largest growers of high-flavor potato varieties.  Currently, about one million U.S. households enjoy MountainKing products every week.



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Peruvian Onion Imports Increasing after Slow Start to Season

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A30U.S. imports of Peruvian onions got off to a slow start this season, but quality is good and total production is expected to exceed those of a year ago.

Sweet Onion Trading of Melbourne, FL reports the onion crop is a little late due to colder than normal weather during the growing season.  Still, good quality onions are being reported from all production regions.”

As of August 30th, imports of Peruvian sweet onions were down 215 containers from the previous season at the same time.  It is the lowest shipments since 2014.

Keystone Fruit Marketing of Greencastle, PA notes U.S. imported Peruvian sweet onions are down 28 percent, but are expected to catch up with last season’s imports in time for Thanksgiving.  Keystone Fruit Marketing’s initial imported onions from Peru arrived  the first week of September.  The company experience light volume in September and early October because of cooler temperatures during the growing season.

Volume for Keystone is just now becoming more normal.

G&R Farms of Glennville, GA has reports its Peruvian sweet onion harvest starts in July, with retailers receiving their first product in mid-August. As with Sweet Onion Trading and Keystone Fruit Marketing, G&R Farms believes the slow start will see a rebound as the season progresses.  The harvest lasts into late March or early April.

At Shuman Produce of Reidsville, GA, the operation imported more than 1,000 containers of Peruvian onions last season, marketed under the RealSweet brand.

With rising demand in the U.S. for sweet onions, the company plans to increase volumes this season.

Shuman Produce, which is one of the largest Vidalia sweet onion shippers, reported that season went very well.  It has experienced a very smooth transition from its Vidalia sweet onion season to Peruvian sweet onions.

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Amount of NC Sweet Potato Shipments this Season Still a Big Question

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DSCN2698This big question is still what will be the precise amount of damage caused to the North Carolina sweet potato crop by Hurricane Florence and the remnants of tropical storm Michael.  It will take at the least weeks, if not months, and perhaps even until next spring.

Many growers saw double-digit rainfall amounts dumped on their fields from Hurricane Florence September 10-11.   If that wasn’t bad enough, Michael dumped another three to four inches of rain on fields a month later.

It is simply too soon to tell how the excess water will affect the sweet potatoes when packing begins.  On the positive side, there is optimism regarding the quality of the crop that had been harvested prior Michael hitting.

Michael hit North Carolina on October 12 and most growers are believed to have harvested 80 percent of the crop.  The sweet potato fields have since dried and harvest should be completed in November, or when the first hard frost occurs.

A primary concern now is related to disease.  Although it hasn’t shown up thus far, it could be a problem after the sweet potatoes are put in storage for at least a couple of months. In fact, watching for disease in storage will continue until next spring.

Nash Produce LLC of Nashville, NC knows their will be crop damage, but just how much is the question.  At this point Nash Produce is reporting no problem with sweet potatoes.

As of October 13th, season-to-date North Carolina sweet potato shipments totaled 14.9 million pounds, down from 43.2 million pounds the same time a year ago.

North Carolina sweet potato farms did not plant as many sweet potatoes this year due to low prices last season.

The USDA reports U.S. sweet potato acreage planted in 2018 is 157,200 acres, compared to 159,300 acres a year ago.  However, no estimate from the USDA has been released yet.

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Fewer Pomegranate Shipments are Predicted this Season

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A16California pomegranate shipments are expected to be off about 15 percent this season.

A freeze in California’s San Joaquin Valley earlier this year is attributed to most of the decline.  In a normal year, about 6 million, 25-pound boxes are shipped.  This year the estimated loadings will be around 5 million to 5.5 million boxes.

The Wonderful Co. of Los Angeles reports it will have adequate volume for customers this season despite tighter supplies and higher costs for labor, transportation and water.

Crown Jewels Produce Co. LLC of Fresno, CA began harvesting pomegranates the second week of September on the early foothills variety, followed by the wonderful variety in early October.

Trinity Fruit Sales Co. Inc. of Fresno is experiencing much heavier volume this season with its early variety of pomegranates, with lighter than usual volume with its later variety.

At DJ Forry C. of Pismo Beach, CA, the company notes fewer shipments have occurred the past three years due to an oversupply, with some growers even bulldozing trees. Declining profits have been reported whether for juice, arils (a specialized outgrowth from a seed that partly or completely covers the seed) or fresh market.

Simonian Fruit Co. of Fowler, CA began harvest the third week of September and expects to be shipping pomegranates into December, or perhaps January.  The company is reporting good sizing, color and overall quality.

Although the U.S. ranks third in pomegranate production, the top two producers — China and India — sell most of their fruit domestically, leaving much of the export market to the U.S..

The U.S. exports 30 to 40 percent of its crop to Canada, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.


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