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Today's important COVID-19 news in the fresh produce sector

Corona-update: Italian NGOs are calling for stay permits for migrant workers

In today’s Update article, we will address the challenges put to West Sussex’s horticultural industry by COVID-19, the fact that Germany is drafting Romanian farm laborers and the dropping of the first quarter volumes in the Port of LA. The Australian Government is working with the supermarkets to…

Bruno Vuerinckx (BelOrta) on the cucumber market:

"With good weather we can make great prices"

It may all be doom and gloom in the cucumber market with rock bottom prices in recent weeks, but it is expected that there will be an improvement. The bright sun and an…

Virus is most destructive in Florida and Georgia

“We’ve developed tasty, high-yielding, TYLCV-resistant tomato varieties”

For years, growing tomatoes in the states of Florida and Georgia has been complicated by the Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV). The virus is transmitted exclusively by the silverleaf whitefly. “During times when whitefly populations are difficult to control, in-field spread occurs at a very rapid…

India: Solar-powered vegetable vending vans help out during lockdown

In this time of solitude and lockdowns, a solar-powered vegetable and fruit vending van designed by the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) has come in handy for them to buy fresh vegetables near their houses in a few districts where such vans are deployed by the Horticulture Department.…

Lower volume on Mexican Roma tomatoes

Supplies of Roma tomatoes out of Mexico are somewhat lower than last year to date. “While supplies have been steady, it’s not a typical year,” says Mark Cassius of Modern Veg Farms LLC in Rio Rico, Az. “There’ve been many weather events that have kept supplies lower. There were also fewer tomatoes…

Science Talks: Corona and the agricultural sector

What are the economic consequences of the corona crisis for farmers and horticulturists? Agricultural economist Roel Jongeneel explains how the agricultural and horticultural sector are affected. Source: Wageningen University & Research

Produce wholesalers Los Angeles see a 90% drop in sales

L.A.’s 7th Street Produce Market is a major hub for wholesale produce distribution across the region. The market’s largely Latino mom-and-pop vendors supply restaurants, food…

Growers across Europe bank on improvised armies of pickers to save harvest

At this time of year John Greene is usually preparing to welcome dozens of Slovakian strawberry pickers for another harvest at his farm in County Wexford in south-east Ireland. The work is arduous and repetitive and he relies on their experience and stamina to get the fruit picked, packed and sold.…

Seasonal workers arrive in Canada

The following updates from OFVGA and FARMS provide clarity around worker isolation, pay, and an update on arrivals. Please be aware that Ontario’s Ministry of Health released…

UAE competing globally with 70 types of fruits and vegetables

The UAE has achieved an important agricultural milestone by producing 70 types of vegetables and fruits locally. According to figures released by the Ministry of Climate…

Webinar helps farm business ramp up online ordering

Penn State Extension is offering a free webinar recorded March 23 2020, titled Ramp up your online ordering for expanded delivery or curb-side pickup. In the 90-minute recording, learn about online ordering and delivery or curb-side pick-up from a panel of farms successfully using these options. Source:…

Pakistan vegetables exports: 71.8% increase in 8 months

Vegetables exports from Pakistan during first eight months of current financial year saw an increase of about 71.8 percent as compared the exports of the corresponding period of last year. During the period from July to February 2019-20, about 649,183 tons of vegetables, valued at $236.76 million, were…

In conversation with Alessio Orlandi of H2Orto

Italian tomato supply is steady and without price changes

When producing tomatoes on 12 hectares in hydroponics, you need to be well organized. "As well as differentiated, - says Alessio Orlandi of H2Orto - since we have been expanding the range of our offer in the past months. In addition to cluster tomatoes, which are about 65% of our total production, we…

Russian: Ministry of Agriculture expects record setting greenhouse crops

The Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation expects record setting greenhouse crops in 2020, at least 1.25 million tons, which is 6.1% more compared to the level of 2019. The news has been reported in the announcement of the Ministry. According to the Ministry, gross crop yield in 2019 by…

CAN (BC): Intake for greenhouse carbon tax relief grants open

Greenhouse operators can now apply for carbon tax relief grants for the 2020 production year, until May 1, 2020. Commercial producers in B.C. who grow vegetables, ornamental…

Today's important COVID-19 news in the fresh produce sector

Corona-update: More than 26,000 Brits to pick fruit and veg in the UK

As we speak, thousands of people have applied to pick crops on farms to plug the labour shortage of overseas workers prevented from coming to the UK. Also, migrant workers are keeping Switzerland’s asparagus supplies moving, despite earlier fears they could be kept out by border restrictions. Airline…

New Zealand vegetable growers are working frantically during lockdown

Just in time, Wilson's Vegie Stall at Wilson's Crossing, near Invercargill, has been deemed an essential business, so it doesn't have to dump its entire winter vegetable crop…

Australian horticulture reaches record high production values

The latest edition of Hort Innovation's Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook has shown that the sector has recorded its highest production value to date, in 2018/19. The Handbook features data on more than 70 horticultural products including fruit and vegetables, but also nuts, nursery, turf and…

"Chinese greenhouses provided steady supply of vegetables during COVID-19 epidemic"

The Chinese vegetable industry has suffered the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic for more than two months now. People are paying close attention to market conditions and…

Vegetables out of California and Mexico face a tough market

Many vegetables are currently growing in California and Central Mexico, such as broccoli, carrots, lettuce, beets, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Fortune Growers is currently growing each of these in Mexico, and is also growing broccoli, celery, lettuce and cauliflower in California. Mark Sato discusses…

Uzbekistan continues fruit and vegetable exports to Tajikistan

The temporary closure of borders between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan did not really affect the transportation of products and goods, including vegetables and fruits. According…

One of the food halls to be transformed into temporary morgue

Rungis wholesale market is closed for customers since Monday

Several sources reported that a survey took place at the start of the coronavirus crisis, asking operators of Europe's biggest wholesale market in Rungis (France) whether or…

US truckers hard-pressed for facilities

Cain Adams at Trinity Logistics/Longboard Logistics in Meridian, ID, addressed the logistics component of the fresh industry.  He reported in on the last day of March, saying: “March was filled with orders and fast trucks. This week the cliff arrived. People are eating different, and it is showing.” Cain continued:…

Multiple issues around temporary foreign workers for B.C. growers

Some British Columbia crops—particularly cherry crops—could be at risk due to COVID-19 related issues bringing in temporary foreign workers. Davis Yung of Fresh Direct Produce, a Vancouver, B.C.-based importer/wholesaler and local distributor of produce, notes that generally he doesn’t hear anything from…

Indian farmers feed strawberries to cattle

As hundreds of millions of Indians remain locked down to stem the spread of coronavirus, some of the cattle are getting treated to strawberries and broccoli that farmers are struggling to transport and sell in cities amid the three-week lockdown. Demand for such premium farm produce typically jumps in…

More than 5,000 foreign workers expected to arrive in Canada

Spring has arrived, and there is work to be done on farms all over Canada. As we know, many fruit and vegetable growers depend on workers from Mexico and the Caribbean. The…

Russian greenhouse industry appeals to the government

The leaders of the greenhouse industry of the Russian Federation with the support of Association of The Greenhouses of Russia, represented by Mr. Aleksey Sitnikov, the president and Ms. Natalia Rogova, the general director, have addressed the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Dmitry Patrushev with the letters…

Today's important COVID-19 news in the fresh produce sector

Corona-update: EU eases some food safety controls because of pandemic

As a new week dawns on the many nations struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is reported that many Dutch farmers are faced with a million tons of potatoes left over from last season. The European Union has eased some food safety controls, while in the north-western states of the US, growers are…

Overview of greenhouse horticulture in Portugal: technology and environment

The total greenhouse production area in Portugal is about 3,000 ha with a tendency for expansion, and tomato is the most important greenhouse crop. Protected cultivation in…

Strawberry cultivation in Baden-Württemberg

Germany: More than a quarter of the 2019 harvest is from protected cultivation

More and more strawberries are growing in the southwest, protected in foil tunnels or greenhouses. All in all, last year the volumes harvested increased to some 27,000 tonnes…

SPC Ardmona claims it’s running out of tomatoes due to panic buying

Australian canned food manufacturer SPC Ardmona says it is running out of tomatoes, as panic buyers has cleared the shelves at supermarkets across the country. SPC has ramped…

Copa and Cogeca ask European Commission:

"Put in place exceptional measures for fruit and vegetables"

Anticipating mounting difficulties for fruit and vegetable growers and their cooperatives linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, Copa and Cogeca sent a letter to the European Commission, listing proposals to adapt the Community aid scheme in this sector. Copa and Cogeca ask for exceptional measures to be put…

USDA restricts PACA violators from operating in produce industry

As part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the Department of…

Slight improvement for strawberries

"Things are looking up for us strawberry growers in April 2020. After a few tough weeks, demand from the big retail chains and mostly from markets has finally increased slightly," reported Rosa Padula, sales manager for P&G Fruit in Policoro (Matera) and a strawberry producer.  "The recent temperature drop reduced…

East-West Seed helps rebuild livelihood and ensure food security for Marawi IDPs

East-West Seed Philippines, through its Knowledge Transfer program, and in collaboration with Plan International, United States Agency for International Development Marawi Response Project, and the Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur, recently launched a 6-month capacity-building project in vegetable…

Israeli farmers donate vegetables for Passover

The Arava is a desert plain running south from the Dead Sea all the way down to Eilat and the mouth of the Red Sea. It is the peak harvest season there and farmers are gearing…

Many unknowns while there is not much time to lose

How does the produce industry respond to the $2t stimulus package?

This past Friday, March 27, President Trump signed a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at alleviating the impact of the coronacrisis on the American public and US economy. It is the largest stimulus package in the country’s history. What do members of the produce industry think of the $2 trillion…

AVA-ASAJA asks the Government of Spain to mediate in the recovery of the Russian market

"It is time to turn over a new leaf"

In the face of the crisis generated by COVID-19, the Valencian Association of Agricultural Producers (AVA-ASAJA) is asking the Government of Spain to lead a common front within the European Union (EU) to try to normalize the diplomatic relations with Russia, and thus recover a crucial market which has…

More cultivation areas created for year-round tomato cultivation

Citronex expands tomato cultivation

In Ryczywol in eastern Poland, in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, the Citronex Group is in the process of creating additional cultivation areas for the year-round cultivation of greenhouse…

Greenhouse suppliers fear effects COVID outbreak are yet to come

In the beginning, horticultural suppliers replied in a quite down-to-earth manner to the corona problems, but now horticultural problems start to slow down, and continuing to work gets harder. The real hard months are yet to come, though, fears Annie van de Riet with AVAG and Eric Egberts with Dutch…

The measures implemented are outlined in six languages

Almeria's greenhouses implement health protocols against the coronavirus

The Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producer Organizations of Almería (Coexphal), which brings together 83 firms that account for 65% of this sector's volume in the province, has announced that Almería's fruit and vegetable companies have started to implement sanitary prevention and action protocols…

29.7% increase versus same week last year

Fresh produce sales in US retail continue to surge in week of March 22nd

Produce sales rose along with consumer anxiety levels. IRI found that 58% of consumers were extremely concerned about COVID-19 the week of March 22, up from 38% the prior week. 210 Analytics, IRI and PMA partnered up to understand the effect for produce. Produce continuing to move at unprecedented…

Norwegian borders to open for entry by some EEA nationals

Norway is opening its borders for seasonal workers from EEA countries in the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors and the food industry. The Ministry of Justice and Public Security…

The berry market takes a hit during the coronavirus pandemic

Mexico produces raspberries year-round. Most producers are located in the central region of the country, and a few growers also have farms in Baja. FreshKampo produces steady raspberry volumes out of Mexico 52 weeks out of the year. Eli Nunez says: “The volumes may vary month to month by around 10-15%,…

Today's important COVID-19 news in the fresh produce sector

Corona-update: Fuel shortages in Venezuela hinder food deliveries

In the current situation of national lockdowns and irresponsible panic buying, nations are trying to adapt as best they can. In Germany, vegetable prices may rise as the coronavirus has disrupted the agri labor market. The US citrus prices seem to be improving in wake of COVID-19, but the British…

Waiter in the greenhouse? "Unfortunately it's not that simple"

At the one company, or the one greenhouse, working hands are becoming available, while at the other company there's too few, and extra people are more than welcome. The…

North Queensland's unemployed urged to consider farm work to address the labour shortage

"Two or three months of picking work won’t hurt anyone"

A North Queensland Federal Member of Parliament is concerned that a critical proportion of Australia’s fresh produce supply is at risk unless due to a shortage of fruit picking jobs in his region. Independent Kennedy MP, Bob Katter says his office has been contacted by concerned farmers and…

Ray Wowryk with Nature Fresh Farms

“It is too early to determine how shopping patterns will unfold”

When the situation around the coronavirus escalated about 2.5 weeks ago, consumers started panic buying and retail demand exploded as a result. “All areas within the fresh produce supply chain felt the surge in demand during the first week to ten days,” says Ray Wowryk with Nature Fresh Farms. “This has…

How UK food supply networks are coping with COVID-19

Although continuing pictures of empty shelves at UK supermarkets have sparked ongoing worries about food shortages, the supermarkets are confident that they can cope, not least because there is a limit to how much people can sensibly stockpile. So they believe that shopping patterns should return to…

Greater urgency to produce 30% of Singapore's needs locally by 2030

Singapore wants to grow local

The recent cases of panic buying and the lockdown put greater urgency on Singapore's '30 by 30' goal to produce 30 per cent of its nutritional needs locally by 2030 Singapore, which saw several bouts…

Russia plans to increase production of all vegetable products in 2020

First Deputy Minister of Agriculture Dzhambulat Khatuov held a conference call on the development of vegetable growing in the regions of Russia, the participants of which…

US (GA): Vegetable growers should plan ahead to prepare for harvest in light of COVID-19 pandemic

Most vegetable crops in Georgia — such as bell pepper, specialty peppers, tomato, eggplant, cucumber, yellow squash, and zucchini — are currently being planted into early April. These crops should be harvested in May and June; however, in light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Georgia…

Road haulage rates stable

"People don’t have to accept that high rate anymore"

The last couple of weeks has seen a very busy period for the logistics sector. Road haulage companies have had to deal with a spike in demand as well as border restrictions in Europe and no more double manned cabs due to social distancing rules. “Fresh produce haulage companies with supermarket programs…

EU school scheme:

€250 million for fruit, vegetables and milk for the school year 2020/2021

On 31 March, the EU Commission published the budget for the EU school scheme for the 2020/2021 school year. €145 million is allocated to the distribution of fruit and vegetables -and €105 million for the distribution of milk and dairy products- to schoolchildren. Agriculture Commissioner Janusz…

“Some growers in Mexico are laying people off"

Drop in foodservice demand is affecting US produce suppliers

The effect COVID-19 has had on the foodservice industry is well known by now. With institutions such as schools and arenas closed and restaurants shrinking their operations,…

Today's important COVID-19 news in the fresh produce sector

Corona-update: Sharp increases and shortages of fruit and vegetables in US

In the latest news, Dutch potato growers are facing huge losses now restaurants and snack bars have closed their doors, and the closure of chip shops in Britain is bad news as well. However, in France, about a quarter of food markets is to reopen, having been granted an exemption from the coronavirus…

Australian horticulture sector recorded its highest production value to date

The latest edition of the Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook is now live and boasts a new interactive dashboard with improved search functionality and user preferences.The Handbook features data on more than 70 horticultural products including fruit, nuts, vegetables, nursery, turf and cut…

Mexican agriculture is starting to be affected by the coronavirus

The worldwide expansion of the coronavirus is causing economic uncertainty in Mexico and threatening to significantly increase the unemployment rate in the country, as it has…

The suspension of work visas in the US puts the watermelon harvest at risk

On March 18, the US State Department temporarily suspended applications for routine visas at embassies and consulates worldwide to prevent further spread of the coronavirus in…

Spanish strawberry sales fall by 50%

The consumption of strawberries has fallen due to changes in consumer behavior and to the restrictions on mobility in place since the declaration of the state of alarm. As…

Today's important COVID-19 news in the fresh produce sector

Corona-update: French supermarkets only want French vegetables

Several weeks into this unfortunate COVID-19 situation, New developments still arise. There are the French supermarkets, heeding the call for what Le Maire termed "economic patriotism". In Germany, in places, the vegetable crops are under threat as there are no workers. Meanwhile, fruit and vegetable…

EU: New guidelines to ensure free movement of seasonal workers

The European Commission published new practical advice to ensure that mobile workers within the EU that qualify as critical workers in the fight against the coronavirus…

Marco Bergman, Harvest House:

"The Dutch bell pepper market has gone from stop-start to a stable jog"

Dutch bell pepper supplies started very calmly. It also seems they will not reach their peak very quickly either. This is according to Marco Bergman of Harvest House. "The demand, of course, varied greatly. That is, after all the regulations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus were put in place. It went…

US (CA): COVID-19 travel restrictions complicate farm shipments

Border closings by some countries and travel restrictions meant to curb spread of the novel coronavirus have created less belly capacity on passenger airplanes to carry highly…

UK logistics industry calls for delay to Brexit

At this particular point in time, the UK logistics industry has urged the government to delay its departure from the European Union because it cannot prepare for Brexit while battling to get food and medical supplies into the country during the coronavirus pandemic.  The FTA, which represents members from the road, rail,…

Norwegian wholesaler wants priority for Norwegian produce on shelves in times of crisis

Many Norwegian growers fear that the lack of seasonal workers will cause problems with crop work and harvesting. Solutions are now being worked on including, by making use of (temporarily) fired Norwegians. However, Norgesgruppen now wants to assure growers that products grown in Norway are given…

Jordanian Trade Ministry sets wholesale price ceiling for in-demand vegetables

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply has set wholesale price ceilings for the vegetables most in-demand in the market due to “exploitation and deception by certain…

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to house 2,910 hospital beds

Home of the New York Produce Show turned into field-hospital

Every December, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is home to the New York Produce Show. Now, the center has been transformed into a temporary field hospital to house overflow patients during the coronavirus outbreak. New York City has been hit hard by the pandemic, having over 30,000 confirmed cases…

Australian growers ready to meet rise in fresh produce demand

There could be cautiously good news to the current COVID-19 situation, with many growers hoping Australian consumers will up their intakes of vegetables, nuts, fruit and herbs. Bushfires, drought conditions and the coronavirus pandemic have met to create in increase in immediate demand, according to NSW…

Radish also hoping for uptick in retail sales

Radish supplies are coming back strong following a challenging winter. “We hit a bit of a rough period in the winter months due to some freezing temperatures in the Santa Maria Valley,” says Matt Hiltner of Babé Farms, Inc. in Santa Maria, Ca. “But now, heading into spring, just about all of our radish…

Spain

More than 30,000 hectares of greenhouses operate at full capacity in Almeria

The current health crisis in Spain has tested the strength and importance of the agricultural sector in Almeria, which is operating at full capacity. Work in the more than 30,000 hectares of greenhouses and in the trading companies continues, attending to all the measures required to maintain the health…

Scott Ryall - Rimor Equity Research

"A supermarket retailer’s fresh offering must be strong to retain short, medium and long-term competitiveness"

Australian supermarket retailing, on the face of it, has a strong market structure. But, as in North America and Europe, the sector has experienced structural pressures over 10 years or more, with discounters acting as the main agents of change, added to emerging online pressures. "A supermarket…

Today's important COVID-19 news in the fresh produce sector

Corona-update: Backpackers are staying in Tasmania to ride out pandemic

The European Union has decided it will ease up on the rules when it comes to import from and export to India. The country has been hit by heavy price increases, due to transport not functioning during the lockdown. Meanwhile the question has been asked whether the United Kingdom will see a food shortage…

Spanish tomato exports continued to decrease in 2019

Spanish tomato exports have been falling almost steadily since 2013. In fact, when compared to that campaign, exports in 2019 decreased by 25.26%. According to data from the…

Irish Minister Creed calls for EU support for agri-food and fisheries sectors

The Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., urged the European Commission to deploy the full range of supports available in order to ensure that the agri-food and fisheries sectors can best serve the needs of society during the COVID-19 crisis with the minimum possible…

State of the nation; overview of the UK’s strawberry industry

Soft fruit production in the UK is dominated by strawberries, blackcurrants and raspberries, which account for over 90% of cropping area. The rest includes blueberries and blackberries both of which continue to gain in popularity. In total around 9,400 hectares of lands is used for growing soft fruit. An…

Virtual Town Hall brings together industry members

Working together to address the 'new normal'

The Produce Marketing Association convened its members from across the global produce and floral communities to discuss the pandemic’s impact on their businesses during the…

"Lack of specifics in US relief package presents challenge"

As farmers and communities all across the country continue to deal with the impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Congress has been working around the clock to pass another round of emergency aid – this time targeted at small businesses and those who have lost income as a result of the crisis…

Fresh produce in Europe to get more scarce

Suppliers warn that fresh fruit and vegetables will become increasingly scarce as the coronavirus pandemic hampers the global movement of produce and of the people needed to gather crops. Governments are looking at ways to ease any shortage, including “green lanes” to allow fresh produce to move quickly…

Andrea Montagna commented on the change in spending habits

The fresh-cut market is slowing down

From 15 February to 15 March 2020 the fresh-cut market slowed down by 3% and the drop was even greater last week, from 15 to 22 March. "This is due to new spending habits - explained Andrea Montagna, president of Unione Italiana Food IV Gamma - generated by the emergency. Sales are currently declining,…

The crisis in Spain takes its toll on fruit and vegetable prices

The prices at origin of Spanish fruit and vegetable products, published in the latest weekly register of national prices at origin of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries…

Chinese cucumber price showed downward trend after Spring Festival

Recent data from the Beijing Xinfadi Wholesale Agricultural Market shows that the wholesale price of Chinese cucumbers declined in comparison with the same period last year.…

Bulgaria redirects funds to stimulate the most vulnerable producers

Bulgaria has requested the European Commission to come up with a decision for the opening of an extraordinary horizontal measure COVID-19. This was stated by Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Dessislava Taneva during a meeting of Аdvisory Board On Fruit and Vegetable Production, held via video…

UK Government preparing to launch Land Army-style 'pick for Britain' campaign

The UK Government is preparing to launch a Land Army-style “Pick for Britain” campaign to prevent crops rotting in fields, The Telegraph understands, after ministers were urged by farmers to consider deploying Army reservists.  A nationwide initiative is expected to be launched within weeks to encourage anyone…

Russia: Measures to avoid shortage of fresh vegetables during epidemic

The Greenhouses of Russia Association has developed recommendations for retail chains and greenhouse enterprises in order to avoid a shortage of fresh vegetables during the…

Spain: Almeria buckles under virus pressure

No less than 150,000 people have to go to work every day in the Spanish greenhouse vegetable region of Almeria - but since March 14th, cars can be only occupied by two people and vans and buses can only be half-filled. All to contain the COVID-19 virus, of which Spain is enduring a severe outbreak. For…

Feedback provided by some operators in Southern Italy

Strawberry is early in production but slow in sales

The 2020 campaign for Italian strawberries began early, both in terms of production and quantity, given the favorable weather conditions. "Unfortunately, while household purchases of other fruit and vegetables in the pandemic period are increasing, and some of them in particular are selling well, there has…

Britain-based workers needed to support UK growers

HOPS is looking for a UK workforce to help farms harvest crops that will feed the nation following the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on seasonal labour travelling from abroad. Travel restrictions and tighter border controls around the world are having a major impact on the number of people willing…

California rains impact cauliflower volumes

Cauliflower is grown in California year-round, and the market has been good recently. Mark Clogston of EpicVeg Inc. says: “There isn’t much demand for the cauliflower, but the prices are good. People are putting down a lot of money on cauliflower, and if the demand was normal then the pricing would be…

Why vegetables are so expensive in Australia at the moment

$11.50 for a kilogram of broccoli. $8 a bunch for fresh celery. The price of some vegetables in Australia has gone up considerably recently. These price increases have led many people to take to social media, accusing major supermarkets and independent retailers of profiteering and price gouging at a…

US: Western Growers expect minimal disruption to the flow of guest workers

In response to the steps taken by the State Department to increase processing of H-2A visa holders through consulates around the world – in particular, the expansion of interview waiver eligibility to ensure that the majority of H-2A processing can continue, Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia…

Website and social media to redirect Western Australian students to horticulture

"Our aim is to ensure there is enough labour in the right location at the right time"

VegetablesWA has teamed up with DPIRD and several other industry bodies to tackle the ongoing issues of labour in state caused by the current travel restrictions. The main…

Ontario enabling financial relief for businesses

The Ontario Government is enabling $1.9 billion in relief for employers to reduce the financial strain on business brought on by COVID-19. The measure, which will run through…

Russia: Greenhouse production in Volgograd region has doubled

18,560 tons of vegetables have been collected in the Volgograd region since the beginning of 2020, which is almost twice as much as in the same period of 2019. According to information provided by the Committee on the Agriculture of Volgograd region, the main share of the produced vegetables is taken by…

Category Managers Ed van Venrooij (Hoogvliet) and Wim van den Burg (Coop)

"Stocks quickly levelled thanks to collaboration with our suppliers"

Last week, hoarding took on a new dimension with the Coronavirus situation. We asked Category Managers Wim van den Burg and Ed van Venrooij, of Coop and Hoogvliet respectively, about the current state of affairs in the fruit and vegetable department. "What is happening is unprecedented. As Coop, we are…

"Agriculture and food 'absolutely critical' in fighting pandemic"

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson welcomed the designation of agriculture, including food production, distribution, and retail, as critical infrastructure by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in an announcement made by the DHS on Thursday. The announcement allows those along the…

More financial relief for Canadians

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday that the House of Commons has passed an emergency bill, which is now before the Senate, for the government’s COVID-19…

The lettuce industry has certainly seen better days

For about three weeks now, lettuce prices have been on a downward trend. They have certainly seen better days. "With regard to the assortment of lettuces, the situation has been particularly difficult for some weeks now. The fairly mild climate, which marked the second half of the winter, has caused an…

DG Agri Dashboard tomatoes - update 23-03-2020

Weighted price for tomatoes in the EU is at €102 per 100 kg

In the current month, the weighted price for tomatoes in the EU is at €102 per 100 kg, just one euro above the five year average. The usual April-May price dip is underway. However, the current COVID-19 situation may influence these price movements. Spanish tomatoes go for €76 per 100 kg, still under the monthly…

The US confirmed it will inspect 100% of Mexican tomato exports

The manager of the IACHR, Mario Haroldo Robles Escalante, stated that despite the exceptional restrictions that the US government has imposed to stop the expansion of the coronavirus, the measure to review 100% of the trucks loaded with Mexican tomatoes that enter the United States, which is part of the…

Coronavirus having a huge impact on Huelva's berry sector

Spanish berry producers have started abandoning their crops

The lack of laborers in the province of Huelva and the restrictions on the mobility of people, both European and from third countries, caused by the health crisis of COVID-19, have made it almost inevitable for berry producers to be forced to abandon part of the crops; in fact, some are already doing it.…

Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay

States to approve procedures for transit of cargo trucks at borders

Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Jorge Montenegro Chavesta participated in a videoconference with his counterparts from Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina and…

The kitchens are still open: Eateries reinvented

Recently, the hospitality sector has been deeply shaken by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Since the first cases of coronavirus were confirmed, restaurants across the UK…

Nashik grape farmers troubled as well

India: Punjab farmers start dumping vegetables

Punjab vegetable growers are worried that they may not be able to take their perishable produce to the market for sale and would have to incur heavy losses. A vegetable farmer…

Supermarkets ahead of Amazon

Online service of Spanish supermarkets collapses in the face of an avalanche of orders

Those trying to do their groceries online these days are facing some challenges: inaccessible websites, out-of-stock products, lack of available timeslots for deliveries, arrival delays and even virtual waiting lines. In recent days, the unusual increase in the number of orders received by supermarkets…

Today's important COVID-19 news in the fresh produce sector

UN warns that measures against virus could cause global food shortages

As the world keeps on dealing with the COVID-19 situation, the UN has come out with a warning that the measures taken against the virus could cause global food shortage. More locally, in the US, apple retail sales get a boost and British officials ask their  citizens to help pick fruit and vegetables. In Africa,…

Rain, labor challenges, and loss of foodservice demand affect California growers

For many California vegetable growers, the end of March through the beginning of April marks the time during which they transition from the desert to the more northern coastal areas of California. These transitions usually require additional labor, says Victor Wilcox of 1st Quality Produce. With the…

MPS' policy regarding the coronavirus

Various horticultural sectors are hit unprecedented by the coronacrisis. MPS empathizes and does everything it can to continue to support growers together with all links in…

A novel typology reflecting market integration and self-sufficiency levels of Small Farms

SALSA - Small Farms, Small Food Businesses and Sustainable Food Security, is an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project running from April 2016 to March 2020, with the aim to provide a better understanding of the role of small farms and small food businesses in meeting the sustainable food and nutrition security…

UK: Sussex strawberries will soon be on sale at Tesco

A new variety of strawberry will be available across the country thanks to an innovative Sussex grower. The Summer Berry Company has secured a deal with Tesco to sell the Malling Centenary strawberry, which is larger and sweeter than its predecessors. This is a big coup for the Summer Berry Company,…

Hoarding effect on tomato prices over, extra early fall for Moroccan tomato imports

Greenhouse vegetable cultivation is gradually feeling the impact of the coronavirus too. Until last week, it seems that tomato growers were still reasonably safe. However, the hoarding effect that resulted in higher prices is now over. The market will come under pressure in the next few weeks, and not…

Today's important COVID-19 news in the fresh produce sector

Corona-update: 'US & Europe already in recession'

In the US, potatoes are a hot item across the nation. Unfortunately, in other news, the US & Europe already seem to be in recession. On a lighter note, UK farming leaders have stated that surplus food supplies caused by the closure of major restaurant chains like McDonald’s will now be redirected the…

How will the Chinese pepper market develop now that people have resumed their jobs?

According to Chinese pepper website e658.cn, a relatively small number of pepper producers in north China have returned to the market as trade resumes, most of them continue…

Concerns of the Polish horti sector caused by Coronavirus

Many events organized in Poland are canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus. The greatest concern is visible in the flower sector, but fruit and vegetable producers are…

EU puts challenges to Vietnamese agricultural producers

Ever since the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVTFA) was approved, experts have been analysing the opportunities for Vietnam to penetrate deeper into the…

The Spanish cooperative aims to reach 1,000 million kilos in three years

Unica Group increased its turnover by 134% since 2012

The Almeria-based second degree cooperative Unica Group has closed its latest agricultural season with sales totaling 395 million kilos worth 398 million Euro. These figures represent 134% growth compared to those obtained in the 2012-2013 season, when 120 million kilos worth 170 million Euro were sold,…

Panic buying at Aussie nurseries selling fruit and vegetable plants and seeds

After the panic buying of toilet rolls, rice, pasta and meat, it seems to have spread to the nursery industry. Demand for edible plants and seeds heats up due to coronavirus. Andrew Clarke runs a nursery south of Hobart and said he had never seen anything like the past few days in 30 years of selling,…

US study reveals critical role of food & ag sectors in the economy

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has served as a reminder of the critical role that the United States food and agriculture industries play in fueling our nation and ensuring that Americans are supplied with an abundance of safe food during this time of need. America’s food and agricultural industry is…

Jack Hanson - Fountain Fresh

"Since pubs and restaurants were advised to close last week, the supply chain has experienced a massive shift"

It has been a bizarre couple of weeks in the fresh produce industry, there have been big changes in the supply chain as people have been forced to change their entire way of life. "Since pubs and restaurants were advised to close last week, the supply chain has experienced a massive shift, it seems like…

Australian retailers relax fruit, veg specifications as COVID-19 and drought tightens stock

Major supermarkets in Australia have relaxed specifications for fruit and vegetables in an effort to get more fresh produce onto shelves during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Coles said it was working with farmers every day to ensure it could get as much of its produce to customers as possible. "We have relaxed specifications…

AgSafe BC adds COVID-19 workplace safety resources to website

AgSafe BC has updated their website with COVID-19 related workplace safety resources. New resources can be found under the Emergency Planning Resources section and include: Agricultural…

The impact of COVID-19 on the seed sector in Italy

European Seed have published an interview with Alberto Lipparini, Secretary-General of the Italian Seed Association Assosementi, on the impact of COVID-19 on the seed supply chain in Italy. European Seed (ES): Alberto, the news we are receiving from Italy about the impact of COVID-19 in Italy is…

Dealing with disaster may be the last thing on your mind, but are you prepared?

The COVID-19 posts asking if your business could survive if you, as owner/operator/key manager, got sick, reminded me that we never ‘plan to fail, but to often fail to plan’!…

Australian bushfires cause broccoli shortage at supermarkets

Australian supermarkets are reportedly grappling with a shortage of broccoli and different produce because the nation’s huge bushfires have ravaged farms. Coles, one of Australia’s largest grocery retailer chains, mentioned broccoli providers are struggling due to the fires, which have slammed at least…

Russia to lift all restrictions for import of basic goods for one month

Russia will lift all restrictions for imports of essential goods for one month starting Friday, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said opening a government meeting on Thursday,…

Not coronavirus

Drought and bushfires blamed for rising food prices in Australia

Major Australian food retailers blame drought and bushfires for the rising food costs. However, the coronavirus pandemic may prompt price increases, if supply chains are disrupted. IBISWorld analyst Tom Youl said consumer price index data revealed fruit prices rose by 6.8 per cent in the three months to…

US: Fresh produce sales up 33.9% amid growing number of covid-19 cases

As coronavirus social distancing measures are tightening and the number of confirmed cases are growing, retail sales are surging. Shoppers are stocking up on staples and fresh foods, and produce is no exception. Over the week ending March 15, total produce sales increased by more than one-third over the…

COAG recalls that the Government has the power to intervene to prevent indiscriminate increases

Spanish vegetables in a price bubble

The lockdown and restriction of movement decreed in Spain by the central government triggered the hoarding of basic products among Spanish consumers. The demand for fresh food has resulted in a price bubble for vegetables, as pointed out by the agricultural organization COAG, which estimates that the…


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