Inside this Food Report



VOLUME 7
ISSUE 1


January 1, 2016

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Hello Everyone,

Gee, it cannot be January 2016 already! Time keeps speeding by. I hope everyone enjoyed his or her New Year’s holiday. I sure did….normally I like to spend the New Year quietly with family or a few close friends but this year, and I am not sure why, I decided to have a party! It was a lot of work but so much fun it was worth it. I saw many people I had not seen in awhile and we ate, drank and played some really fun games….I am not very good at board games (Cranium for example) or charades, but boy did we have some good laughs! Alright back to business…

Still struggling to secure vegetables out of Europe due to the heat across most European countries this past summer, however we do have some Brussels sprouts available. If you do not have your French fry bookings in by now, most likely you will not be able to secure any additional volumes ex Europe or the Northwest. Mexico is now in peak production of broccoli and our volumes and quality are excellent so if anyone requires broccoli please let us know. And don't forget that now is the time to book water chestnuts ex China when the quality is best!

We did an article last month on Food Fraud and while researching for that topic we came across a company who specializes in finding food fraud so we thought you might be interested to read about the company Inscatech. Please see our article below titled “One Companies Mission To Fight Food Fraud”

As the New Year begins it is usually a time for reflection and anticipation of what is to come. We think about our future goals and how to achieve them. At Noon International we want to sincerely thank our customers and suppliers for the opportunity to serve you. Our continued goal in the coming year is to make your experience working with Noon International a positive and satisfying one and we promise to do our best to improve each and every day.

Wishing you all a year full of joy, prosperity, health and peace.

All The Best

Betty Johnson And The Noon International Team



CropVeggies

United States: Vegetable and fruit crops are now fully completed in the U.S.A. The sweet corn harvest was reported as average, while a few processors reported some lower yields at the start of the harvest. Most have now confirmed that the final outcome this season was satisfactory with excellent quality.

Potato harvest for processing is completed. It is being reported that depending on the area potato yields fluctuated. In Washington state Shepody and Ranger enjoyed average yields while Russet Burbank experienced below average yields due to extreme heat. It is estimated that on average yields are down by 15%. Damage from heat was minimal in Oregon State, which resulted in average yields. Freezer supplies are currently at low levels and it is reported that fry quality potatoes in Washington and Idaho are down from last season.

Washington’s apple harvest is down this season by approximately 14% compared to last season. Due to extreme heat this season fruit size was smaller and lack of cool nights caused some color issues. The season began about 10 days earlier than usual and is now fully completed.

Florida still struggles with a reduced citrus crop due to citrus greening. Orange yields continue to be lower than previous seasons.

Winter has arrived. The last week of December was a tough one for the Midwest, Southern Plains and the Northeast. Snow, rain, flooding, wind, and tornados caused havoc. 2,800 flights across the United States were cancelled and 4,800 flights were delayed. The USDA is now reporting that wheat prices are rising due to flooding in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois.

Mexico: Broccoli and Cauliflower harvest now in peak production. Both yields and quality are reported as good.

Guatemala: Sugar snap and snow pea season underway in Guatemala. Broccoli harvest will continue through March.

Chile: Berry season is underway. Product expected to be short and prices high due to El Nino. Cold and rainy weather has delayed pollination. Chile’s raspberry, blueberry, strawberry and blackberry crops account for approximately 75% of its total exports and showed the largest value growth during the 2015 season. Chile’s cherry crop is now underway. Due to cold temperatures and rain the crop struggled with pollination during the early varieties. Available volumes for export could drop but growers still holding out hope that later varieties will fair better.

Sweet Corn and Pea season will commence this month.

Peru: Due to El Nino it was another disappointing asparagus season in Peru. Yields and size were down and most product is sold. The mango season will commence this month. Peru is now a shipper of fresh blueberries into the United States and it’s expected to triple its volume in 2016.

Brazil: Citrus harvest in Brazil has been a disappointment due to lower yields caused by wet weather.

Europe: All vegetables in Europe continue to be in tight supply due to extreme summer heat. Hungary’s sweet corn harvest was down approximately 100,000 tons this past season due to the adverse weather conditions.

Spain’s artichoke season, which runs November through May is reported as good, with volumes expected to be up compared to last season. Alicante and Murcia are the main growing regions and most of the harvest goes to the fresh and canned markets.

New Zealand: Cooler than normal weather in New Zealand has adversely affected some of the areas berry crops, especially strawberries.

China:

Zhejiang Province: Most factories are now processing broccoli. However due to heavy rains the quality is poor and yields are down. Yellow florets are one problem that Chinese processors are seeing. There is large demand domestically, which has brought prices for broccoli up. Cauliflower is also experiencing problems with quality and yields.

Lotus root harvest underway. Due to higher labor cost the prices have risen. Processers are experiencing trouble with color due to the cooler weather.

Pea pods and sugar snap pea harvest should commence in the next two months.
To date the growing conditions look average.

Due to recent heavy rains the mandarin orange crop in China is now being reported as dismal. Most recently it is being reported that over 30% of the fruit had to be dumped. The quality is poor and raw material price is said to be approximately 30% higher than last season. Zhejiang Province is still running product, however the Hubei and Hunan areas are done.

Shandong Province: Burdock currently being processed in Shandong. Quality is reported as good with prices lower than last season.

Fujian Province: Water chestnut processing has begun. To date quality is average, however the best raw material will come into the market during January. Prices have declined based on increased acreage and lower domestic demand. The season will run through March, however later in the season is when starch begins to form which creates brown spots.



One Company’s Mission To Fight Food Fraud

Fighting food fraud is crucial to ensuring food safety, but with food exported and imported between countries around the world, finding ways to collaborate and cooperate isn’t always easy. Ensuring that best practices are taking place beyond our own borders is an extremely difficult task, but doing so is critical to establishing whether or not foods are safe. That’s where INSCATECH comes in.

INSCATECH is a privately owned “global food fraud detection and protection” company, dedicated to gathering intelligence and assisting countries in combating food fraud. To do that, they have on-the-ground informants who observe and report on conditions in countries around the world, allowing them access to the inner workings of food manufacturers. They also provide plans to combat food fraud, vulnerability assessments, and compliance assurance services.

“We are fundamentally spies,” CEO Mitchell Weinberg said in an interview with Food Safety News. “I have a network of intelligence-gathering operatives around the world in food-producing countries who are nationals of the countries where they work, and they work undercover to spy on anybody who handles food ingredients anywhere along the supply chain in those countries. We’ll go right back to the source and follow the food all the way up the supply chain.”

INSCATECH’s intelligence gathering has made a big difference already, helping craft the updated requirements put forth by the Global Food Safety Initiative. The company has also provided information that underlines the need for updates to food safety legislation here in the United States, including the recently updated Food Safety Modernization Act. As Weinberg says, the occurrences of food fraud are more common than many consumers may expect:

“It’s probably a lot bigger than what we could conceivably imagine. In approximately 50 to 60 percent of the investigations we do, we’re finding food fraud. That’s across the spectrum of all food, period, in virtually every country in the world.”

Although there’s a long way to go before food fraud is contained, information and transparency is the first step. Fighting global food fraud takes global solutions, and INSCATECH is at the forefront of that conversation.

Make Room For Maca!

According to health experts and food scientists, if there is a food to incorporate into your diet in 2016, it is maca root. This ancient substance has been used by Andean tribes for centuries, and has been gaining steam around the world as a superfood. This year looks poised to be a big one for maca root, which is already finding its way into the mainstream. But what are the powdered root’s attributes and how exactly do you use it? Making maca part of your daily routine is actually much easier than you’d think, and the results can be incredible!

The benefits of maca root are linked primarily to its ability to help balance hormones, which can help with mood changes, digestion, energy, and even acne. It also reportedly helps the body resist disease by strengthening the adrenal and pituitary glands, similarly to fellow adaptogen ginseng. With phytonutrients, amino acids, and fatty acids, plus a bevy of vitamins and minerals, maca root is a healthy powerhouse that has been considered a miracle food for centuries.

Maca root is typically sold as a powder, although Peruvian cuisine often calls for the intact root to be boiled and mashed. The easiest ways to incorporate maca root in your daily diet is through smoothies, to which the powder can be added for a boost of nutrients, or in pill form. The powder can also be added to existing recipes, including soup and snack bars, without compromising the taste. It doesn’t take much to provide the many benefits the root has, and just 1-3 teaspoons of the powder is usually plenty.

Maca root powder can be found at health food stores and vitamin stores. If you have a thyroid condition, talk to your doctor before regularly using maca root.

Dining Trends for 2016!

Last year saw some trends that are changing the way we think about the restaurant industry and it’s shifting menus but what can diners expect to see in 2016? Here’s what the experts are anticipating for the coming year.

Healthy Fast Food. The past few years have seen a major increase in demand for healthier fast-food and casual dining options. According to consultants Baum & Whiteman, a recent survey found that 40% of people are concerned about the sources of their food. Panera, McDonald’s, and others are overhauling their ingredients and menus for more nutritional offerings. Panera Bread is giving the boot to over 150 artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners and McDonalds is giving the heave ho to antibiotics in its chickens. Expect more vegetable offerings in both fast food and fine dining establishments as well as more organic. The organic meat industry is already struggling to keep up with demand from high-yield chains, driving up prices across the board.

Changing Staples. Gone are the days of the simple hamburger and fries for a meal out. Today, chefs are experimenting with heritage cuisines, like traditional Peruvian and Jewish dishes, as well as street foods and previously unpopular cuts of meat. Expect to see poke in your ceviche, lamb and duck in your meatballs, acai bowls instead of smoothies, new takes on traditional flavors and vegetables as the main dish, good news for our industry!

High Tech Delivery Boom. With the rise of the convenience-economy, delivery is high on the list of things being redefined. More and more outside companies are getting into the delivery game, even if they aren’t producing the food. Google, Amazon, Uber, and other mega-companies are serving as middlemen for restaurants without delivery services of their own. Expect to see this space grow, with more local operations willing to pick up dinner from your favorite fine dining restaurant.

Also keep a watch out for “Delivery Meal Kits”. Dinner in a box, completely portioned out and ready for you to cook at home. These are popping up all over…Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Plated, just to name a few.

Complex Flavors. Whether it’s savory snacks or flavorful spice blends, complexity is finding its way into the mainstream. More foods are being burned or charred, bubbles are finding their way into dishes, and flavors outside of salt and sugar are becoming staples on menus. Expect more new-to-your palate combinations finding their way onto your plate.




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