Inside this Food Report

 

VOLUME 3
ISSUE 3


March 1, 2012

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Wow, March is here! The Noon food group just returned from a fast paced American Frozen Food Institute convention in beautiful San Diego, California where the weather was sunny and warm. This year 1,400 representatives from all over the globe attended. It is always a pleasure to see so many old friends and meet so many new ones!

Regarding Northwest vegetables the word out there is that grower prices are expected to increase between 5 – 7% on corn, peas, carrots and beans while the grower price on potatoes is expected to increase between 11 – 13 %. We will experience price increases, however not at the previous years level. Remember last season our grower prices went up by 15 – 20% so what we are hearing this season is music to our ears! Of course Mother Nature can change this in a heartbeat so we will have to wait to see what she has in store for us! Some say based on the farmers almanac it should be a good growing season so we will wait and see if Mother Nature cooperates. With that said all commodity vegetables are in tight supply and most suppliers are off the market. We did hear there are available peas ex New Zealand due to a bumper crop. If anyone has interest please let one of our Noon members know.

This month our company owners Edward and Lily Noon will once again, with their daughter Lexy along this time, climb to the base camp of Mt. Everest. With temperatures expected to be around -17 ° C I am certain they will be “California Dreaming” in no time. Their determination, discipline and focus, all attributes they instill in Noon’s team members, will no doubt allow them to succeed in their climb to base camp. We will certainly share photos with everyone when they return.

How companies market their products is such an incredibly important aspect of their business and we think what the carrot growers in California are doing is absolutely brilliant! Please see our article below, “Carrots, The New Junk Food”

With pea sowing underway in the Northwest before you know it we will be standing out in the pea and cornfields but first we are headed to China and Japan. Looking forward to seeing all of our associates in Asia this month!

All the Best,

Betty and the Noon International Team


CropVeggies


United States: Most Northwest vegetables, peas, corn, carrots and potatoes, are in tight supply.

Green pea plantings began at end February.

Potato planting in the Colombia basin has also begun and if weather cooperates harvest could commence as early as July 10. In order for this to occur we will need warm weather in April and May, unlike last season.

Spring plantings begin in United States.

Frozen raspberry market is still depressed due to worldwide inventories.

In the Southwest Florida’s fresh blueberry crop suffered a 20 % crop loss while Georgia suffered a 50 % loss due to winter freezes. Florida is the sole supplier of U.S. fresh blueberries in April/May so prices are expected to be high due to these crop losses.

Europe: A cool wet spring delayed the corn crop in Europe, much as in the United States and corn is in limited supply currently in Europe. European diced carrot prices are high due to limited supply as well. Europe’s winter crop of spinach will begin in April depending on weather. Spain’s strawberry harvest has commenced.

Mexico: Broccoli and Cauliflower harvest are underway and deliveries to processors are normal for this time of year.

Guatemala: Heavy rain in February caused some processors to lose some fields of sugar snap peas and snow peas.

Chile: Harvest of most berries will continue through mid to late March. Weather in central region of Chile has been very dry and hot which has resulted in lower yields, however quality is still being reported as good.

Peru: Mango harvest is underway, however rain in February has produced a poor crop of mango with low brix and yields. Asparagus harvest is completed and inventories are tight. Many farmers are choosing to grow more avocado and grapes, as these crops require less water.

New Zealand: Green Pea crop is completed. It is reported that the crop went well with increased yields due to favorable weather conditions. Green bean harvest is now underway.
Kiwi season will begin in April.

Thailand: Sweet corn crop is commencing and prices seem to be dropping slightly, however supplies of canned corn are in short supply coming off of the flooding of last year and demand is extremely high. There has also been some concern with heavy fog and difficulties harvesting the crop . Fuel is high. This will most probably keep the Thailand canned corn market firm.

China: After a very difficult year the Fall/Winter broccoli and cauliflower harvest went well in China and we are seeing lower prices for those two items.
Currently Northern China is experiencing very cold weather with much snow while in Southwest China (Yunan province) they are suffering from drought conditions.
It is reported that the price of sugar snap peas will be high due to the current shortage.
Green beans are expected to be seeded in early March while soy beans will be sowed in middle March.



Genetically Engineered Sweet Corn

Quietly over the Christmas break the USDA gave Monsanto Seed Company approval to sell their newly developed fresh GE sweet corn seed. Up until now Syngenta was the sole producer of the genetically engineered fresh sweet corn seed. Monsanto is the world’s largest fruit and vegetable seed company, with seed sales reaching growers in more than 150 countries. Monsanto plans to grow 250,000 acres of the new GE corn this year which is roughly 40% of the “Fresh” sweet corn crop in the U.S. It is important to note that no corn which goes to frozen or canned corn processing will be affected and no frozen or canned corn processor uses GMO seeds.

However this news has stirred quite a controversy here in the U.S. with organizations that value a safe and pure food supply. It is reported that Walmart plans to sell Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered fresh sweet corn this summer in it’s stores and a coalition , including the Center for Environmental Health, is circulating a petition to stop Walmart and others from selling the GE fresh corn. Walmart who is the leading retail grocer in the U.S. sells upwards of $129 Billion annually just in food products. Food & Water Watch, a national consumer organization has targeted Walmart launching a national campaign to stop the sale of GE sweet corn through the grocer. They have given Walmart the opportunity to join other big names who have agreed not to sell the GE fresh sweet corn including, General Mills, Trader Joes and Whole Foods.

If our retailers are serious about supporting local farming, healthier eating and protecting the environment then we would suspect that they will listen to the vast majority of consumers who do not want to purchase genetically engineered food products.




The Powerful Purple Potato!

The powerful purple potato

Can a Purple Potatoes really be heart healthy? According to a study done by the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania it most certainly is! The study showed that people who ate these abnormally colored potatoes twice daily for one month lowered their blood pressure by 3%-4% without any weight gain. These beneficial results are likely due to a rather high occurrence of antioxidants that are naturally occurring in the purple potato similar to eating oatmeal on a daily basis.

The potato is the most consumed vegetable in the United States however it is typically associated as being fatty and high in carbohydrates and empty calories. In reality potatoes contain a variety of potentially beneficial phytochemicals, have approximately 110 calories per 5 ounce and are naturally low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Potatoes contain 45 % of the daily value for vitamin C and 620 mg of potassium.

Unfortunately potatoes have a poor reputation of being an unhealthily food because they are usually served with butter and sour cream which is by no means heart healthy.

This recent study will hopefully redeem the potatoes’ nutritional reputation and stop the blame of the potato being the cause for the fattening up of America. The next time you reach for a potato why not make it a purple potato and prepare it simply without all the added fat. It is said that eating a rainbow of colors is essential for optimal health so why not begin with the powerful purple potato!


Carrots, The New Junk Food.


Delicious and healthy
fresh baby carrots

Have you ever considered baby carrots junk food? Well, growers in California facing declining sales have come up with a new marketing campaign: Baby Carrots Eat’EM Like Junk Food. Modeled after all of our favorite snack foods such as potato chips and cheese doodles the carrot industry is marketing its fresh baby carrots in junk food type packaging along with innovative and energetic commercials mimicking junk food advertising aimed at kids.

Grabbing a bag to eat in your car and placing in vending machines in schools are some of the ways the carrot industry is banking on that American’s, especially its children, will adopt their vision of eating baby carrots like they are junk food. So far it seems to be working as we have read in test markets there has been double- digit growth in fresh baby carrot sales.

In our opinion this is a brilliant way to get consumers to eat more healthy vegetables!

To watch the commercials please click below link:

www.babycarrots.com

Also to learn more about the history behind this marketing campaign please go to below link:

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/154/the-new-junk-food.html




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