Friday, November 29, 2013

2013 : An average cranberry harvest

 Site web de l'Association des Producteurs de Canneberges du Québec
November 28, 2013,  Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Quebec . Called together for a special general assembly, the grower members of the Quebec Cranberry Growers Association (ACPQ) voted in favor of volume control regulations for the 2014 crop in the goal of creating a balance between the supply and demand of cranberries in the North American market. Nevertheless, the implementation of this mechanism is conditional to a similar vote in favor of volume controls by American growers for their 2014 crop.

2013 : An average harvest

The Quebec Cranberry Growers Association (APCQ) is pleased to announce that the total cranberry harvest in Quebec for the 2013 season reached 162, 176, 427 pounds of fruit. This represents a decrease of 13% compared to 2012 despite an increase of 588 acres harvested over the previous year.

An average yield of 21,178 pounds per acre has been recorded for 2013, bringing the figures back to normal levels compared to 26,000 pounds per acre harvested in 2012, when record production levels were reached. The average 2013 yields represent a drop of 19% compared to 2012; however the 2013 crop corresponds to the 5-year average.

Conventionally-grown cranberries
The overall harvest for conventionally-grown cranberries reached a total of 143, 918, 168 pounds, thus a drop in production of 12% over 2012. Newly harvested acreage also jumped 8% between 2012 and 2013. Thus, the average yield per acre dropped 19% in a return to average levels of 22,000 pounds per acre.

Organically-grown cranberries

The Quebec harvest of organic cranberries totaled 18, 258, 259 pounds for 2013, representing a drop in production of 18% compared to 2012. The average yield per acre also diminished about 20% from 20,000 pounds per acre in 2012 to 16,000 pounds per acre in 2013.  Organic cranberries represent 15% of all cranberry production in Quebec.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Is healthy food a must ?

McDonalds pledges healthful meal options

09/27/2013 10:58:00 AM
Pamela Riemenschneider

New Happy MealMcDonalds Corp. wants to know if consumers want 
a salad — or fruit — with their meal in lieu of less 
nutritious side options.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company partnered with 
the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and American 
Heart Association to offer more fruit and vegetable 
options with its meals. The options are available in 
20 of the restaurant’s largest markets, representing 
85% of the company’s global sales, according to a 
news release.

The company committed to providing customers “a choice of side salad, fruit or vegetable as a 
substitute for french-fries in value meals” but specified that salad, fruit or vegetable options would 
vary depending on the participating market.

The company also made changes to its Happy Meal policy, removing sodas as options advertised 
in stores and in the marketplace. Patrons can still order soda with a Happy Meal, however.

McDonalds plans to include nutrition and well-being messages on Happy Meal boxes and bag 
panels, and ensure all ads aimed at children will “include a fun nutrition or children’s well-being 
message. ” New packaging will “generate excitement for fruit, vegetable, low/reduced calorie dairy 
or water options for kids,” according to a news release.

Click here to learn more about this article.

Source: Pamela Riemenschneider, The Packer, 27/09/2103.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What's In Season In Quebec?

Quebec Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Quebec Seasonal Fruits and VegetablesBlueberries Photo © Molly Watson

More Canada Seasonal GuidesEveryone agrees that there is excellent food 
- including wonderful seasonal produce made all the more delicious by the 
short growing season - to be found in Quebec. Exact crop availability and 
harvest times varies year-to-year and within this large province, but this 
summary will help you know when to look for when at Quebec markets, 
particularly those around Montreal and Quebec City.You can also look up 
produce by general North American seasons (springsummerfall, or winter).

APPLES, July through October (cold storage until spring)
ARUGULA, May through September
ASPARAGUS, May and June
BASIL, July through September
BEETS, June through December
BLUEBERRIES, July and August
BROCCOLI, June through November
BROCCOLI RAAB, August through November
BRUSSELS SPROUTS, September through November
CABBAGE, June through October
CANTALOUPES, August and September
CARROTS, June through September (local harvest available from storage through March)
CAULIFLOWER, August through November
CELERIAC/CELERY ROOT, September through November
CELERY, August through October
CHARD, May through November
CHICORIES, September and October
CORN, June through August
CRANBERRIES, October through December
CUCUMBERS, July through October
EGGPLANT, July through October
ESCAROLE, September and October
FENNEL, September and October
FIDDLEHEADS, April and May
GARLIC, July through October (stored year-round)
GRAPES, September and October
GREEN BEANS, July through September
GREEN ONIONS, May through September
HERBS, April through September
KALE, June through November
KOHLRABI, June and July, September and October
LEEKS, August through December
LETTUCE, May through October
MELONS, July through October
MINT, spring and summer
MORELS, spring
MUSHROOMS (wild), spring through fall
NETTLES, spring
ONIONS, July through October (stored in winter)
OREGANO, June through October
PARSLEY, May through November
PARSNIPS, April and May and again October through December
PEARS, August through December
PEA GREENS, April through June
PEAS and pea pods, July through October
PEPPERS (sweet), July through October
PLUMS, August and September
POTATOES, July through December (available from storage year-round)
PUMPKINS, September through November
RADICCHIO, September and October
RADISHES, May through September
RASPBERRIES, July though September
RHUBARD, May through July
RUTABAGAS, August through November
SCALLIONS, May through September
SHELLING BEANS, September through November
SPINACH, May through September
SQUASH - SUMMER, July through September
SQUASH - WINTER, August through December
THYME, May through September
TOMATOES, July through September
TURNIPS, August through November (local harvest available from storage through the winter)
WATERMELONS, August through October
WINTER SQUASH, August through December
ZUCCHINI, July through September

Source : Molly Watson, Local Foods Guide

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cold pushes Southeast blueberry deals back


Cold pushes Southeast blueberry deals back

The Packer

PLANT CITY, Fla. — Cold weather in Florida and Georgia could slow the start of promotable volume for the region’s blueberries.
Though grower-shippers in late February predicted an earlier-than-normal start, Florida growers began harvesting only light volumes in late March.
Jeremy Burris, vice president of sales and sourcing for the Florida division of Salinas, Calif.-based Colorful Harvest LLC inspects some blueberries near Plant City, Fla., in late March. Grower-shippeDoug OhlemeierJeremy Burris, vice president of sales and sourcing for the Florida division of Colorful Harvest LLC inspects blueberries near Plant City, Fla., in late March. Grower-shippers were expecting to begin harvest about two weeks earlier than normal but cold weather pushed harvesting back to more normal times in early April.Grower-shippers say they don’t expect promotable volume to hit until mid-late April, as usual.
“Nothing’s really happening,” Bill Braswell, president of the Bartow-based Florida Blueberry Growers Association and owner of the Auburndale-based Polkdale Farms and Juliana Plantation, said March 26. “It’s been one cold front after another. The berries just aren’t ripening. Everyone’s picking in little dribs and drabs.”
Braswell, farm manager of Bartow-based Clear Springs Packing LLC, said a warm January helped pollination and fruit set but said cold weather since late February slowed fruit maturity.
He said growers should begin larger volume harvesting in early April.
Brian Bocock, the Grand Junction, Mich.-based vice president of product management for Naturipe Farms LLC, Naples, said April 15 should bring retailers limited opportunities for promotions but said larger volume won’t come until about a week after that.
“We had been thinking we were a solid 10-14 days earlier than normal,” Bocock said March 27. “But now it’s getting to be more and more like a normal harvest as far as timing.”
Hail that struck Georgia’s southern highbush crop March 30-31 caused isolated damage but shouldn’t hurt the state’s overall crop volume, Bocock said.
The cold weather, however, should push Georgia’s start from early April to after April 8, he said.
Georgia should increase production in late April before volume declines a little in mid- to late May, ahead of the start of its rabbit eye crop, Bocock said.
Wish Farms plans to harvest small volumes around March 29.
J.C. Clinard, senior vice president, said the grower-shipper plans to supply volume to some of its retail customers who are scheduling late April promotions.
In late March, Clinard said opening season prices were similar to last year’s.
On March 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported flats of 12 6-ounce cups with lids large selling for $30-36.00, mostly $32-34.50 with prior commitments at $26.
Noting light supply and strong demand for central and north Florida berries, the USDA reported flats of 12 4.4-ounce cups with lids medium-large fetching $24-28 with prior commitments at $22.
“The recent weather we’ve had has been like no other,” Clinard said. “The big quote around here this season is that Mother Nature substituted March for January this year and January for March. It’s really like no other crop we’ve seen in the past but we think the crop size should be good. The cool weather isn’t hurting anything and we expect a normal harvest through April.”
In late March, Colorful Harvest LLC, Salinas, Calif., also began harvesting small volumes from its Florida acreage.
Doug Ranno, chief operating officer and managing partner, said quality looks high.
“The cold weather will mean blueberry promotions will come a little later,” Ranno said March 26. “It will be a fight for volume at the beginning of the deal. Retailers need to be ready to promote during the first sign of warmer weather.”
Florida growers plan to harvest a record 25 million pounds from 5,000 acres, up from the 18.5 million pounds growers harvested from 4,500 acres last season, Braswell said.
Florida normally harvests through mid- to late May.

To learn more about this article, click HERE

Monday, March 18, 2013

Discover the Potato Board retail program

Potato board stresses health, convenience, nutrition messages

click image to zoomBree Liscinsky, Nielsen Perishables Group account manager, and Don Ladhoff, U.S. Potato Board retail program consultant present the USPB's retail outreach efforts during a domestic marketing session aTara SchupnerBree Liscinsky, Nielsen Perishables Group account manager, and Don Ladhoff, U.S. Potato Board retail program consultant present the USPB's retail outreach efforts during a domestic marketing session at the board's annual meeting March 14 in Colorado Springs.COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Even as it faces a medley of challenges, including the loss of longtime president Tim O’Connor and declining domestic consumption, the U.S. Potato Board is charging full steam ahead with its international outreach and domestic marketing efforts.
President and chief executive officer Tim O’Connor, who is departing the USPB for a new marketing group, Avocados from Mexico, set the tone early at the board’s 40th annual meeting March 14-15 by balancing cautious optimism with bluntness.
“I’m not going to filter this. I’m going to say it as I see it,” he said. “Fries and chips … those are on the hot list for causes of obesity. Every day, there are people who are blaming your products.”
After O’Connor’s presentation, board staff and consultants used breakout sessions — a new format this year — to brief attendees on the board’s efforts in public relations, retail programs, foodservice outreach, consumer advertising and marketing research.
Flavor, freshness, convenience
In each session, presenters stressed the importance of an integrated approach centering around the board’s hypothetical target consumer “Linda,” the wife and mother who makes the decisions about what to buy and cook for her family. Those decisions have changed over the years. Consequently, in order to get “Linda” to cook potatoes more often, the board’s campaign has to not only promote the nutritional qualities of potatoes, but also market quick and easy ways to cook them — a message emphasized across most of the breakout sessions.
“There is an opportunity to be more overt with our healthful messaging, especially among Lindas,” said Kate Thomson, senior research manager with the Sterling-Rice Group. “But health is not the only driver — we need to continue featuring flavor, freshness and convenience as well.”
“Awareness about the nutritional benefits of potatoes is still a struggle, and we’re keeping it at the foremost of our communications,” said Meredith Myers, USPB public relations manager.
The board’s investments in marketing and public relations efforts are well worth the money, Timothy Richards, a researcher at Arizona State University, said during a Friday presentation on the results of a five-year evaluation of the USPB, required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“With the development of other types of food, potatoes are always competing for ‘stomach share,’” Richards said, but the USPB programs are highly successful, with a more than 500% return on investment.
click image to zoomTara SchupnerBetween meetings and presentations, attendees at the U.S. Potato Board's annual meeting spent time networking, including Pete Ewing (from left), of Ewing Farms Inc., Big Lake, Minn.; Tom Wingard, of Wingard Farms, Elk River, Minn.; Mike Carter, USPB co-chairman of the domestic marketing committee, Rosholt, Wis.; and Duane Maatz, of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association.In particular, the board’s retail and foodservice campaigns are garnering big bangs for their bucks, with retail programs producing a return of nearly $5 for each dollar the board spends and foodservice programs nearly $12.50 per dollar, Richards said.
Exports of U.S. potatoes also continue to be a bright spot in the industry, with the volume of potatoes leaving the country doubling from 2000 to 2012.
Fresh potatoes recently gained access to Thailand and Vietnam, and more than 30 retail promotion programs in other countries have increased sales of U.S. fresh potatoes by more than 200%, international marketing co-chairmen Rob Davis and Ritchey Toevs told attendees.
Sacrifice advice
However, Jerry Wright, president and CEO of United Potato Growers of America, brought things full circle on March 15 with a warning to members about the need for growers in all sectors (including frozen and dehydrated) to work together instead of encroaching on other sectors.
“Domestic consumption of fresh potatoes is declining … but production is increasing. Growers need to act responsibly in each sector to grow only what they’ve contracted to grow, he said. “Growers often say, ‘I’m not the problem.’ But you are. You’re the problem.”
Growers overproducing and then selling their excess into other sectors is hurting the industry as a whole, Wright said.
“Don’t produce extra potatoes and plan to sell them into other sectors. This is our industry’s problem, and we need to work together to fix it,” he said. “We need to unify behind common strategies and sacrifice together — everyone has to sacrifice our profits, sacrifice our autonomy, sacrifice our pride, and sacrifice our independence and freedom.”
Outgoing chairman Sid Staunton wrapped up his tenure on a positive note before turning over leadership to new chairman Rob Davis.
“We’re on the right path,” Staunton said. “We have many challenges, but with the right people, we can really change things.”
Staunton said he anticipates the search for a new CEO will take about 12 to 16 weeks.
O’Connor was also optimistic, saying he believes he leaves the USPB in good shape.
“We still have three years left on our Long Range Plan,” he said. “It’s already delivering meaningful results, and the new CEO will be able to come in and continue with those goals.”
Davis made it clear he plans to pick up where O’Connor and Staunton are leaving off.
The board’s administrative committee plans to meet Aug. 6 in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, The next annual meeting is set for March 12-13, 2014, again in Colorado Springs.

To learn more about this article, click HERE.

Fresno Food Expo, a successful Exhibition !

Packer Daily

Food expo highlights San Joaquin Valley ag products

FRESNO, Calif. — Since the inaugural show in 2011, the number of buyers and exhibitors at the Fresno Food Expo has more than doubled.

But show organizers and exhibitors said they believe that moving it next year from mid-March to July 24, which coincides with peak production of many San Joaquin Valley fresh commodities, can only enhance the event’s draw.
“The July date would allow another side of the industry to participate more,” said Stephen Paul, sales category manager for Porterville, Calif.-based Homegrown Organic Farms and a founding member of the expo board. “It will expand the availability of items, and I think it will play well.”
Moving the date also will reduce conflicts with similar national and regional shows, he said.
The March 14 expo featured more than 100 exhibitors that showed off a blend of processed products, such as jams, cheeses and meats; minimally processed products, such as peeled baby carrots; fresh produce, such as citrus and grapes; and dried fruit and nuts.
All of the participating companies were from the eight-county San Joaquin Valley.
fresno food expoVicky BoydBruce Pack (left), a buyer for Sylmar, Calif.-based Vallarta Supermarkets, talks with James Metcalf, senior marketing director for Tres Amigos De Pasa raisin snacks, Kerman, Calif., about package sizes, retail displays and pallet load sizes.The expo was open to more than 600 wholesale and retail buyers and other business representatives during five hours mid-day to allow exhibitors time to conduct business. Then the doors were opened to the public in the evening for more of a food tasting event.
Paul said he envisioned the show helping to create a regional identity tied to agriculture, much like the Napa Valley has done with wine.
“We need to put a brand on what we do here, and it’s more difficult because we grow so many different things,” he said.
To help support one of the expo’s underlying goals — to enhance the local agricultural economy — event organizers had a one-day export seminar Jan. 15.
Representatives from China, Canada and Mexico discussed procedures for shipping produce into their countries.
Denver Schutz and Justin Nunes from Gerawan Farming Inc. attended the session, and both said they found it helpful, but for different reasons.
Schutz, technical services manager, said it was a good refresher of the export process.
Nunes, who recently joined Gerawan in sales, said the session was a great introduction.
“It gave me an opportunity to get a feel for what exporting produce is all about when it comes to rules, and regulations,” he said. “It was excellent learning how to deal with outside customers, how they are reshaping their programs and quality control. And also their distribution is getting up there with cold storage and reefers, so we can more efficiently transport commodities.”
This year also was the first time that buyers from China, Canada and Mexico attended the expo as well as toured some of the nearby packing facilities, said Candy Hansen-Gage, director of the Center for International Trade Development, Clovis.
Fowler-based National Raisin Co., which packs under the Champion label, hosted a tour stop through its processing facility, said David Miller, global accounts manager.
“They were surprised how sophisticated we were and the degree and attention we have for quality,” he said. “And all of the labs — the USDA, our own R&D and quality control — they didn’t realize there was so much sophistication to providing such a safe product.”
Hank Shen, fresh food general merchandising manager for Ole’ Supermarket who was one of 15 buyers from China, said he’s always looking for unusual or unique varieties of fresh, frozen or dried fruit.
What caught his eye were finger limes from Phillips Farms, Visalia, Calif., and dried fruit from BellaViva Orchards, Denair, Calif.
“Chinese shoppers prefer something high in moisture levels and also very sweet,” Shen said through translator Yan Zhang.
To learn more about this article click HERE.
Source: Packer Daily