Inside this Food Report


August 1, 2017

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Hello Everyone,

It’s August, wow, time is flying by! The expression “these lazy days of summer” is not meant for people in the agricultural business! As we look back to July and anticipate August the days of summer will certainly be anything but lazy.

Pea season is now a thing of the past and most suppliers came in under budget. Many had to by-pass acreage due to hot weather which accelerated the pea crop. (see our crop section below). Some Midwest processing plants also came in under budget. This coupled with reports coming out of Belgium of a reduction in pea yields of about 25% due to warm and dry weather will most likely make for a tight pea market.

This week’s upcoming weather forecast for the Pacific Northwest (Eastern Oregon and Washington, our potato and corn growing region) is calling for temperatures as high as 107 °F. Too early to tell how this will affect the corn and potato crops but we will certainly keep you posted!

Processors have announced prices and they have increased this year due to various factors, including labor, energy, packaging materials, costs being incurred to put new FSMA regulations in place, and limited capacity in some circumstances. With a short pea market and weather conditions that could affect the corn and potato crops my advice is to get your confirmed bookings in sooner than later to assure your volumes and price points!

With corn season quickly approaching peak production, the Noon team is headed over to Eastern Washington and Oregon as well as the Midwest region to visit our suppliers. Buyers have already begun to arrive to watch production and it will be a hectic August for sure!

We look forward to visiting with our suppliers and customers over the next few months!

Best Regards,

Betty Johnson And The Noon International Team

CropVeggies United States

Pea havest in the Northwest has ended earlier than usual this season. The cool and wet spring delayed plantings and then sudden extreme heat accelerated harvest resulting in bunching. Most processors had to bypass acreage and some had difficulty getting A grade peas throughout the harvest. It has been an unusal pea season and most packers are coming in under budget this year.

Midwest peas are also completed. Midwest is also reporting yields to be under budget due to unfavorable weather conditions throughout the season.

Sweet corn harvest is underway in the Pacific Northwest and also in the Midwest region. To date conditions look good for a budget pack in both areas but depending on future weather conditions this could change.

Potato harvest in the Columbia Basin is in peak production. Early variety Shepody is completed and reports indicate yields down by about 30% compared to last season on this variety. Other varieties such as Rangers should produce better yields and harvest has begun. Temperatures are forcasted to be hitting over the 100 °F mark which could affect yields moving forward.

Raspberry season is almost completed in Washington State. Significant winter damage from the cold and a wet spring could reduce yields. The season began later than last seaon (around July 10th) and will end most likely within the next week or two. The high temperatures this week may end the season sooner than later. Reports indicate that raspberry yields will be down in the Northwest by about 20% compared with last season.

Blueberry season will commence in Western, WA in the next few weeks. A cold and windy winter combined with a wet spring will result in smaller fruit size. Most recent reports are for lower yields this season. While in Eastern Washington poor pollination and extreme heat has affected blueberry yields in that region.

British Colombia: Harvest is moving quickly for raspberries. Lack of rain and the warmer weather has reduced yields. Blueberries will commence this month.

Mexico: The Northern Highlands area has commenced cauliflower and broccoli harvest, including organics. To date conditions look favorable with high quality and good yields.

Guatemala: Broccoli in peak production. Quality and yields are very good this season due to favorable weather conditions.

Europe: It seems Europe will have another difficult vegetable season. Overall Europe’s main vegetable producing regions are concerned regarding a very warm and dry spring and start to summer. Lack of rain and the heat has affected the growth of all crops there, including green peas. Belguim has reported a projected pea crop loss of possibly 25% suffering the driest spring in more than 50 years. Potato harvest will also see reduced yields due to weather factors.

Japan: Japan’s potato shortage caused by the typhoons in Hokkaido area last year is slowly recovering. Hokkaido area supplies about 80% of Japan’s potatoes. Good harvest conditions in spring from the areas of Shizuoka and Nagasaki helped to fill the void. To add to this, potatoes from Chiba and Ibaraki began shipping in July and it is expected that Hokkaido area will commence their harvest in August.


Temperatures are rising in most areas of China as Zhejiang and Fujian provinces enter into their rainy season. Temperatures in Shandong provice are rising this month but minimal rainfall.

Shandong Province: Edamame harvest is ongoing and will last through mid September. To date the quality is good as there has been no heavy rainfall. However if temperatures rise further, future yields may be affected. Finished product price remains uncertain at this moment.

Zhejiang Province: Edamame harvest is completed. Yields and quality are good with stable prices. Eggplant production underway, however high temperatures have led to lower yields. White gourd season to begin soon and to date the heat has not affected the crop . Raw material price is slightly higher than last season.

Fujian Province: Lychee production has finished. It has been a bumper crop for lychee and quality very good. Okra season is currently underway and will go through September. Prices are stable and usually the best quality is harvested in August.

Japan Helps Seniors Enjoy Their Food

Every January, Japan rings in the new year with a delicious traditional stew made with mochi. Unfortunately, the beloved dish poses a serious risk to Japan’s rapidly aging population. In 2017, Japanese seniors are more likely to die from a choking accident than from a traffic accident.

The 2016 census found that over 65,000 Japanese seniors were over 100 years old. Many suffer from dysphagia, or swallowing disorders that can lead to choking, malnutrition and dehydration. Together, these complications undermine quality of life as well as longevity.

Although the elderly may be losing their ability to safely chew and swallow, Japan’s seniors haven’t lost their love for good food. Until now, hospitals and nursing homes have provided foods in paste or cut up forms that, though safer to consume, are unappealing in appearance and texture.

To solve this problem, Japan has developed a new cuisine: Engay-Foods (easy to swallow). In contrast to the unappealing meals served in nursing homes and hospitals, Engay-Foods replicate the appearance of foods that seniors have enjoyed throughout their lives. Instead of sitting down to a near-liquid meal, seniors can enjoy the Engay-foods versions of fish, vegetables, and even red meat that is both flavorful and easy to swallow.

The key ingredient in Engay-Foods is a special gelling agent. Once food has been prepared, it is blended and mixed with the gelling agent before being shaped back into an approximation of its original form.

Now, a flavorful meal of salmon and white wine that once posed a deadly risk is easy to swallow and visually appealing. Even better, Engay-Foods require minimal chewing; even if seniors develop dental problems, Engay-Foods remain safe to eat.

Although Engay-Foods are not an exact replication of the foods Japan’s seniors have always enjoyed, they represent a major step in keeping seniors healthy--and well fed.

Please see the video link below on Engay Foods.

The Food Of The Future | Elise Tries | NPR - YouTube

How Sweet It Is!

Whether it’s fresh grilled, canned or frozen, people all over the world enjoy corn. But what many may not realize is that in addition to its sweet taste and ability to adapt to many textures, corn is also packed with health benefits.

Corn is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins. In particular, corn supports immune health and vision by providing a substantial dose of Vitamin A. Corn also contains Vitamin B, which supports cell health and keeps energy high, plus Vitamin E, which helps the body balance cholesterol and hormone levels as well healthy skin and hair.

Studies have also found that corn is packed with antioxidants that keep free radicals--which can spark cancer--at bay. In particular, corn provides ferulic acid, which helps the body fight breast and liver cancer. Surprisingly, cooking corn only increases the presence of antioxidants; unlike most foods, it doesn’t have to be eaten raw to provide maximum health benefits.

There are digestive health benefits too. A single cup of corn packs a whopping 18.4% of the daily amount of fiber recommended for a healthy diet. Corn can encourage regular digestion and combined with its hefty dose of antioxidants, the fiber in corn can help discourage colorectal cancer.

Corn is healthy for the wallet, too. Available in many forms, it’s an affordable and long-lasting household staple. Though fresh corn is a summer treat, canned and frozen corn last for months.
Best of all, frozen and canned corn provide the same taste and health benefits as fresh corn.
Add frozen corn to a chopped salad with romaine, roasted sweet potato, black beans, and heirloom tomatoes to add a sweet flavor and pop of texture. Canned corn, cheddar cheese, and scallions can transform simple cornbread into a side dish that will wow your family and friends.

No matter how you eat it, corn is a cost-effective way to add key nutrients, fiber, and delicious flavor to your diet.

Japan and Europe's New Trade Deal

On July 5, the European Union and Japan released a major announcement: They had finally reached consensus on a trade agreement that promised to transform the flow of goods across their borders. Discussions began in 2013, however seeing an opportunity, talks accelerated once the United States pulled out of the Transpacfic Partnership Agreement.

In essence, the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA) promised to lower tariffs on Japanese cars sold in Europe, while also doing away with 85% of the tariffs placed on European agricultural goods flowing into Japan.

Although it remains to be officially ratified in the EU and Japan, JEEPA represents roughly a quarter of the global economy. Current predictions expect that European exports to Japan would increase by 34%, with Japanese exports to the EU growing by 29%. If enacted, it will be the largest bilateral trade agreement the EU has struck, rivaling NAFTA in scale and signaling a major shift toward an increasingly global economy.

For agricultural producers in Europe, JEEPA would open doors to exporting beef, pork, cheese, chocolate, wine, and other goods. Additionally, JEEPA outlines 205 protected geographical indications. For example, feta sold in Japan must come from authentic Greek origins.

Cheese producers in particular should watch JEEPA’s development closely. Tariffs on some cheeses, including cheddar and gouda, would be phased out entirely under JEEPA. Additionally, under the new geographic protections, region-specific cheeses such as Camembert would fall under the compromise of a duty-free quota. Though Japan’s strict regulations on dairy products would remain in place, it would open new possibilities for European cheese producers to sell to an expanded market with fewer barriers.

Now that the EU and Japan have agreed on JEEPA’s core features, the agreement will still need to be officially approved before going into effect. In Japan, this means ratification in both houses of Japanese parliament. For the EU, the process is trickier: In addition to approval from the EU national government, JEEPA may also require approval from regional and local European parliaments, potentially posing complications. Also, Japan and the EU have agreed to discuss cybersecurity and climate change in agreements framed as partners to JEEPA.

Nonetheless, the EU and Japan remain publicly optimistic that talks will be completed within the next few months. They stand to gain a lot, after all; Japan is currently the United States’ fourth largest export market, and JEEPA would give Europe an edge over American exporters.

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