Inside this Food Report



VOLUME 6
ISSUE 7


July 1, 2015

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Hello Everyone,

Happy 4th of July! It has been heating up here in the Pacific Northwest.  The last week has shown temperatures as high as 106°F in some parts of Eastern Oregon and Washington.  The pea crop is winding down and will be a reduced harvest this season for sure. Due to extreme heat all processors had to by pass pea acreage.  To date we do not have numbers but will advise when we know.

Sweet corn will commence this month a few weeks earlier than usual as well as our Northwest berry crops.  So while the spring weather was very favorable for a good start to the crops here, the recent heat wave will definitely affect things in one way or another so we will keep you posted.  According to the extended forcast the heat wave will continue through this week.

Last month found some of us in Mexico where we toured the broccoli fields.  The fields were pristine and the broccoli quality fabulous! Lots of new things to see such as new automation in food factories and many new industries coming to Mexico. One industry for sure that has made its mark in Mexico is the car industry. Just to name one we noticed the huge Honda complex off the freeway on our way to the fields. 

This month we will be heading over to Eastern Oregon and Washington and look forward to seeing many of our suppliers.  We say this every year but once again “thank you” to all of our processors during this busy crop season for your efforts and dedication to supply Noon International the finest frozen and canned vegetables and fruits in the industry!

All The Best,
Betty and The Noon International Team



CropVeggies

United States: Green pea harvest in Oregon and Washington will finish this month.  Extreme heat as high as 106°F has resulted in all processors by passing acreage.   This should be another tight year on peas with prices to remain firm for the higher grade product.   We may see more AAC grade due to the heat.   The warm weather will bring on the corn season a few weeks earlier than usual.  Corn plantings are 100% completed in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.  Oregon and Washington corn harvest will begin this month, with Idaho following in August.   
 
Green bean plantings are completed.   

Colombia Basin processing potatoes have been ahead of schedule this season.  The warmer temperatures back in April and favorable weather in May has resulted in an early start to the crop, which will commence for some processors as early as this week.  This is one of the earliest starts in recent memory.   The extreme heat wave over the past week in Eastern Oregon and Washington may affect potato yields and quality later in the harvest. 

Berry fruit was coming along nicely all up and down the West Coast.
The mild winter and warmer weather has resulted in a two-week to one-month earlier start to the berry crops depending on the region.   However the recent heat spell in Oregon and Washington may result in lower yields and lower quality than anticipated.   Berry fruit in Oregon has commenced harvest and in Washington state raspberry harvest is beginning this week and blueberry harvest will commence middle to end July.   Blueberry sizing may be smaller than usual due to the heat.

Cherry season in Washington State has commenced.   Demand both domestically and internationally is outpacing supply.   An early November frost resulted in some lost trees in Washington and Oregon and the recent warmer than usual weather has brought on the crop earlier than usual.   Fruit quality has been reported as good but size has varied.   Michigan State, another large region for cherries, suffered a freeze in May, which has affected cherry yields there.   Along with California’s dismal crop and some losses in Utah as well, we expect a tight and firm market on cherries this season.

California as well as the entire West Coast of U.S is still under drought conditions.
However recent rains across our Nation’s midsection has resulted in reduced and/or eliminated drought conditions.  

Midwest corn plantings are almost complete.    Generally it has been quite wet in this area for the last month, which resulted in some processors having trouble getting into the field

Mexico:   Peak season for organic Broccoli is now underway.   Seems as though the rainy season in Mexico has begun early.   The rain has helped bring on the broccoli crops ahead of schedule.  The May temperatures were lower than usual with cool nights, which has resulted in good yields and quality.  There have also been fewer incidences of pests due to the rains in June.

Guatemala:   New crop broccoli season has begun in Guatemala.  Peak season will continue through November with low season commencing in December through March.

Peru:   Avocado harvest completed.   Available volumes of frozen avocado will be down significantly, however there are still limited volumes of dice and pulp available.   Peru has become the South American leader in avocado production.

Chile:   Kiwi season in Chile has now been completed.    Limited volumes are available on the spot market.

China:  

Zhejiang Province:  Edamame crop has commenced.  Some quality defects (blemishes) due to rain.  Initially acres were increased but due to flooding some fields were lost.   Prices remain stable.   Green Bean production has finished and it is reported that yields declined by 15%- 20%.  Lower quality reported due to rain.  Prices have increased by 8% - 10%. 

Shandong Province: Harvest of edamame will commence this month.   To date yields and quality are expected to be good.   Spring Asparagus harvest is completed and summer crop will commence this month.   Raw material prices are still high.   Based on an active domestic market asparagus prices have gone up.

Fujian Province:  Some edamame fields in this area were seriously affected by heavy rain.   Quality and yields declined sharply.


China’s “Zombie” Meat

Less than a few years after the meat scandal that rocked China for expired meat being sold to restaurant chains in China including McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chinese consumers now have another food safety matter to be concerned about.

During last month’s nationwide crackdown, Chinese custom officials have seized over 100,000 tons of expired meat worth over 500 million dollars.   Some of this meat was over 40 years old with packed and stamped dates as far back as the 1970’s!  One third of meat being sold in Hunan Province at the largest wholesale market is smuggled in meat reported the Changsha Administration of Customs.  Smuggled in meat by Chinese gangs is sold in 13 other Chinese provinces to wholesalers, restaurants and supermarket retailers.

A custom official reported that importers were smuggling in food infested with bacteria and soaked in hydrogen peroxide to make it appear fresh and edible.   The meat is purchased by the smugglers at low prices from other countries and then smuggled into China through Hong Kong or Vietnam.    To save money smugglers often drive vehicles that are not refrigerated or frozen and the meat is often defrosted and then frozen again many times over.

The confiscated meat included beef, pork and chicken wings.  It is still unclear as to what countries the meat originated from or how it had been stored for nearly 40 years.  What can we say except another reason to become a vegetarian while traveling in China.

Eat These 8 Foods Every Day!

Eating healthy every day isn’t easy. But although a cheat day every now and then doesn’t make a huge difference -- it’s about moderation, after all -- it is important to make sure the bulk of your diet is built on a strong nutritional foundation. One way to do that is to make certain you’re eating plenty of these eight key foods, which provide a range of health benefits. Mix them into your regular routine for a boost of vitamins and minerals your body needs!

Spinach

  • Packed with omega-3s, lutein, and folate
  • Can reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis

Yogurt

  • Probiotic to help promote digestive health
  • Helps the immune system

Tomatoes

  • Great source of lycopene
  • Can reduce risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as coronary artery disease

Carrots

  • Low in calories
  • Loaded with carotenoids
  • Can reduce risk of cancer and inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis

Blueberries

  • Greatest antioxidant content of any North American fruit
  • Can reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes
  • Rich in fiber and Vitamins A & C
  • Great for cardiovascular health

Black Beans

  • Contains brain-boosting antioxidant compound anthocyanin
  • Low in calories and contains zero saturated fat
  • High in fiber and protein

Walnuts

  • Rich in omega-3s, polyphenols, and protein

Oats

  • High in soluble fibers, healthy carbs, and protein
  • Can reduce risk of heart disease


Robotic Broccoli Harvesting!

Researchers in the United Kingdom are currently at work developing what could be the first step in a huge harvesting revolution. Broccoli, which is one of the largest vegetable crops in the world, is the focus of efforts to find ways 3D cameras will help identify the ideal time to harvest broccoli.   The goal is for a robotic harvester, using 3D cameras, to register and select only the broccoli of pre determined exact size and leave the remainder in the field until another optimal harvesting moment is reached. This is being seen as an exciting example of the intersection between agriculture and technology.

At the University of Lincoln, a team lead by Professor Tom Duckett is exploring the use of 3D cameras in the harvesting process of broccoli, which still remains a hand laborious crop and is costly.  “This technology is seen as being an important move towards developing fully automatic robot harvesting systems, which could then be used for a variety of different crops,” he shared on Science Daily.

Duckett continued,  “In all our agri-related research work, our mission is to develop new technological solutions for the business of producing food through agriculture. The long-term impact of our research includes safer food, less waste, more efficient food production and better use of natural resources, as well as promoting human health and happiness.”

Although the majority of broccoli harvesting is still done manually, there are broccoli harvesting machines in use today, but none that can use 3D imaging to only harvest broccoli, which is of the right size and color.  By using technology to find the peak ripeness point for the crop, human error will be taken out of the equation. Once efforts to make robotic harvesting become a reality, the high cost of manual labor will also be removed, making broccoli farming more cost effective. With over 21 million tons of the vegetable being harvested each year around the globe, changing the way broccoli comes to the market could have a huge impact on harvesting other crops as well as reducing costs.



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