Inside this Food Report
We are in the peak of our harvest time here in the States and what a summer it has been! Wild weather conditions all across America with rain, flooding, and tornadoes from the Midwest to East to extreme hot and dry weather on the West Coast. Just last week several people were hurt and one killed when a freak lightning storm hit Venice Beach in Southern California. This along with fires up and down the West coast has made for a difficult summer weather wise.
The extreme dry weather in the Pacific Northwest has caused massive fires in our beautiful state of Washington. Actually this most recent fire is the worst in Washington State history. Central Washington’s Methow Valley in Okanogan County lost more than 250,000 acres and 300 homes. This is a pristine area where many come to hike and fish and was a favorite vacation spot for my family. It is now very sad to see this land completely destroyed.
Peas will be in short supply and buyers are scrambling to source their requirements. Midwest peas are down considerably due to wet weather and both freezers and canners will be very short. This coupled with lower than expected yields in the Pacific Northwest along with Bonduelle’s Ontario, Canada frozen plant damaged in a fire will make for a tight and exciting pea market this year. It should get interesting around springtime!
The Noon team looks forward to seeing all of our suppliers and customers as we continue to venture over to Eastern Washington and Oregon to visit the factories and fields. Happy August!
All The Best
Betty and The Noon International Team
P.S. We also want to wish all our Japanese friends a wonderful and restful Obon Holiday!
Oregon/Washington : Pea harvest is now fully complete. More pea acres were planted this year in the Pacific Northwest due to low inventories, however some processors experienced lower yields this season as well as having to bypass acreage due to heat. All in all demand for Northwest peas are high and there are suppliers looking to purchase to fill their contracts as well as cover additional demand from buyers due to the poor harvest conditions in the Midwest. Market price on peas has continued to rise during the past several weeks.
Corn harvest is now underway and should be in full swing within the next week or two. Weather in Oregon and Washington continues to be dry and hot, hot, hot. This has resulted in bringing on the corn crop rather quickly and processors are doing best to keep ahead of the crop. To date it is reported that yields are slightly below average with exceptional taste and color on the early varieties. We will keep you posted on ongoing conditions as the crop progresses.
Green Bean harvest is also underway and conditions to date are good.
Ranger Russet variety potato harvest is underway. Hot and dry weather may hinder potato yields.
Raspberry season in the Pacific Northwest is just about finished. For the most part quality was excellent. Blueberries are just beginning with Duke variety. Hardy Blue and Reka will commence next week. To date the weather has been favorable and the crop looks good.
Idaho: Corn planting in Idaho is completed . Weather conditions have been favorable and water levels good. The weather has been hot and this will bring on the corn crop much earlier than usual. Some reports of conventional corn to begin next week.
Midwest : Despite the earlier excessively wet field conditions , most of the growing areas in Minnesota could use some moisture to keep the remaining corn crops healthy and growing. Super sweet corn planting in the Central Sands of Wisconsin is complete and conditions at this point are average.
Pea harvest in the Midwest is complete. Due to the excessive rain and flooding it is being reported that the pack came in approximately 25% under budget.
Michigan’s tart cherry crop is expected to come in short due to cooler weather.
Mexico: Rainy season in Mexico is currently underway. Broccoli and Cauliflower harvesting has been difficult. Yields and quality are both low.
Guatemala: Peak broccoli season now underway. Yields and quality good.
Edamame processing continues and should wrap up this month.
Costa Rica: Rainy Season continues with low volumes of pineapple being harvested. Special cuts require longer lead times. Some processors are indicating it will be difficult to take on new business for 2014 as demand is strong. Many buyers will be waiting in anticipation for the rainy season to end in October when volumes should pick up.
Chile: It is off season /winter in Chile. The first major crop coming on will be asparagus in late September. Prices are expected to be announced by middle September after raw material prices are set. South America will continue to feel the pressure to compete against China since prices ex South America have gone up.
Peru: El Nino is having less affect on fruit and vegetable crops than first anticipated. Experts have officially called off the possibility for a “Super” El Nino season. Early indications were for more severe weather patterns likely having major affects on crops. Asparagus growers have reported above normal temperatures, which may have some negative affect on this coming Fall’s harvest.
Europe: Pea crop completed and conditions/quality and yields are normal. The U.S may be looking to Europe for peas this season. Corn harvest is now underway with no adverse conditions reported to date.
Zhejiang Province: High temperatures are now hindering plant growth in this region. Edamame planted acres are same as last season, but the heavy rains at the beginning of the season which delayed harvest and now the warm weather has hurt the edamame crop. There are reports of blemish and yellow pods with reduced yields. Prices have increased by 30% compared to last season.
Fujian Province: Okra is now being harvested and will continue through September. Quality is reported as good.
Shandong Province: Warm and dry weather in this region is hurting the summer asparagus crop. It is expected that asparagus yields will be down and product short.
Edamame harvest is underway and to date conditions are average. .
Food Safety Linked to Farm Workers’ Living Conditions
When buying fresh produce at the grocery store, most consumers don’t consider the many people responsible for getting those strawberries or tomatoes onto our tables. The majority of us, especially those not in the food industry, may never think about the farmworkers who harvested the crops, and even fewer may be aware of the low standard of living suffered by so many of those tasked with picking fruits and vegetables.
Another Fantastic Reason To Eat Broccoli!
China as well as other parts of the world has been plagued by serious air pollution for quite some time and authorities are trying hard to find solutions. A group of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland have now come up with a simple but effective way to remove impurities from the body. A newly formulated drink, made from broccoli sprouts has been found to increase the body’s ability to excrete certain air pollutants such as benzene and acrolein.
Food Waste, What Can We Do?
Recent studies have shown that an estimated 30-50% of the world’s total food produced is wasted or lost due to various reasons – from improper storage to irresponsible consumer behavior. In developing countries, about 40 % of the total food waste is due to lack of adequate infrastructure for harvesting, storage and distribution. In industrialized countries, most waste occurs at the consumer level, meaning people in the U.S. and other countries are throwing away tons of food each year. With 860 million people struggling with malnutrition, it’s critical that governments and private sector organizations find ways to solve this crisis.
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