Inside this Food Report


January 1, 2018

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Hello Everyone,

Happy New Year 2018! It seems impossible to think another year has already gone by! We hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and New Year Holiday. This Christmas Seattle had a white one which is very unusual. It snowed Christmas Eve and into Christmas day which really put everyone in the holiday spirit!

We have been reading a lot about food trends hitting in 2018 and in everything we have read, mushrooms, seem to be the new “it” food.
From mushroom infused coffee, to chocolates, teas, nutritional powder and even shower gels, it seems the healing properties of mushrooms are being heard. (see our Eat Healthy article below).

It has been a fast paced, challenging and changing year here at Noon International LLC and we would not want it any other way! At the beginning of this new year we would like to thank our clients and suppliers for your continued support and entrusting us with your business. We wish everyone a New Year filled with prosperity, health and few troubles.

All The Best,

Betty Johnson and The Noon International Team

CropVeggies United States

It was a sweet corn struggle for both the Midwest and Northwest regions this season due to climatic conditions and reports now coming in are that it will be a tight corn market. While some suppliers came in on budget, others did not. Most likely if you do not have your bookings already confirmed, it will be very difficult this year to purchase on the open market.

Potato yields in the Colombia basin have been reported as improved from last season, however variable. Potatoes are going into storage and the processing crop is completed. Solids are reported as above average which has helped with recovery rates. Contract negotiations are underway for Colombia Basin potatoes for season 2018. Based on additional capacity here in the Northwest we are expecting contract volumes may be increased and prices to the grower a bit higher than this past season.

California’s recent wild fires have hurt all agriculture, especially the avocado and lemon crops. The Thomas fire which spread from Ventura County into Santa Barbara county hit the largest avocado and lemon producing region in the U.S.A. Avocado trees were particularly damaged as they line hillsides which were in the direct path of the fires. The high winds also dropped fruit on the ground which then makes the fruit unavailable for human consumptions. Some growers lost 80% of their crops.

Maine’s wild blueberry harvest fell this season to below 100 million pounds for the first time in 4 years. Initial figures show the crop at 65 million pounds.

Mexico: The past summer season broccoli output in Mexico was disappointing. Fresh market diversions continue to hurt the industry. California’s unseasonal hot weather sent suppliers to Mexico for fresh broccoli and as a result there was less product for the freezers. Processors in Mexico are offering up higher prices for raw material by approx.. 30% in order to support their programs. Broccoli and cauliflower transplantations were ramped up in an effort to be in peak production during this very busy holiday season, however recent cold fronts during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend has slowed growth and the harvest down considerably. December weather warmed up a bit which boosted the growth and volumes going into the factories.

Guatemala: Heavy rain in September/October has diminished the broccoli harvest and yields have been decreased. Currently, Broccoli volumes in Guatemala are very low. The current weather has been colder than usual and in fact in some areas processors suffered frost. However fields that will be ready to harvest in January are looking very healthy and we expect the situation to improve commencing middle January with improved broccoli volumes.

Europe: Northern Poland has advised about a 30% to 40% drop in their corn yields this season. Due to cool weather and rain the season has not been a good one. As well Poland’s raspberry crop suffered losses due to the heavy summer rain and cooler weather. Much of Poland’s raspberries have gone to crumbles.

Hot weather and lack of rain have taken a negative toll on Hungary’s potato crop . As well Hungary’s corn crop is projected to be 10% below normal due to extreme heat and bunching during the summer months.

Spain’s broccoli crop has commenced, however their summer crop did not come in on budget due to the high heat and this coupled with increased domestic demand for broccoli will make for a tight market in this region, although the winter broccoli season looks more promising than last year.

Italy’s Kiwi production overall will be 40% down this season due to frost in the spring and drought in the summer.

Chile: Blueberry season is ongoing and should run through January. Quality is being reported as good with prices higher due to U.S. fresh market demand.

Peru: Mango season has begun in Northern Peru. The season began a bit late due to cooler temperatures during spring


Shandong Province: Taro season is underway. Reports are for a bumper crop with good yields and quality and stable prices. Broccoli harvest is underway. Good yields and quality are expected. Now is a favorable time to make your broccoli bookings.
Factories in Shandong are now processing burdock. Quality is reported as favorable with slight increases in raw material prices.

Zhejiang Province: To date growth conditions look good for both broccoli and cauliflower in this region. Raw material has been going to the fresh market due to domestic demand so processing has been delayed until middle of January and prices are expected to go up for both broccoli and cauliflower.
To date the growing conditions look good for both pea pods and sugar snap peas.

Lotus root harvest now underway. Planting areas have increased and due to favorable weather conditions the yields and quality are good and prices are stable.

Shiitake mushroom yields declined sharply due to the decrease in plantings. Yields of this crop are about 1/3 of past yields. Prices are higher than last season. Quality is stable.

Fujian Province: Autumn edamame season is underway and based on high demand prices have gone up.

Water chestnut season is underway. Due to the enormous demand from domestic and foreign markets the raw material prices rose sharply this season by over 15%. Along with freight, labor and packaging increases expect to pay more for your water chestnuts this season.

Refusal of Inspection May Affect Imported Food

Before foreign foods arrive in the United States, in most cases the FDA inspects the facilities where the food is produced to ensure that they are compliant with US food safety guidelines. The agency has released a draft of new guidelines for this process that will be available for public comment for 75 days.

Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the FDA can deny imported foods whose production facilities have not been formally inspected. The new guidelines clarify how inspectors should handle situations in which foreign facilities deny them entry or delay the process unnecessarily.

For example, inspectors may encounter a foreign food facility that attempts to avoid inspection by delaying meetings or obfuscating inspectors’ attempts to inspect facilities. Once the guidelines have been adopted, the FDA will officially define refusals as “passive or deceptive tactics employed by foreign entities to delay or avoid inspections or to mislead FDA investigators.”

By illustrating scenarios inspectors might encounter, the FDA will provide additional support in cases that might lead to a denial of entry into the US. With clearly defined guidelines, inspectors will be empowered to provide additional justification if a foreign food facility attempts to avoid inspection.

Before the guidelines are finalized, government officials will review and incorporate feedback from the public comment period. To offer feedback, submit a comment to Comments should be identified with the docket number published in the Federal Register.

Mushrooms Predicted to Gain New Popularity in 2018

As consumers become increasingly invested in healthy eating, mushrooms are predicted to be one of the hottest foods of 2018.

Lion’s mane, reishi, cordyceps, and chaga may all soon be household names. Instead of stir frying or roasting, we’ll see powdered mushrooms in beverages, soups, and desserts, as well as certain cosmetic products. Popular mushrooms such as portobellos and shiitakes will continue to take center stage as consumers reduce meat in their diets.

Mushrooms are especially good for individuals with diabetes or cholesterol problems. They are low in fat and carbohydrates and high in protein, helping the body to process cholesterol and reduce LDL levels. This, plush mushrooms’ ability to help the body clear plaque, helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. Naturally occurring insulin can help diabetics process sugar and starch more effectively.

In addition to these benefits, mushrooms deliver numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Mushrooms are abundant in vitamins D, A, B, and C, as well as iron in a form that is more easily absorbed by the body than pills or supplements. Selenium may help fight the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Mushrooms’ high potassium content can also lower the risk of anemia by reducing blood vessel tension.

All of these benefits contribute to mushrooms’ ability to boost immune health. In addition to helping the body fight infections more effectively, mushrooms can help the body heal from ulcers more quickly. Compounds called beta-glucans and linoleic acid that occur naturally in mushrooms have also been shown to proactively reduce the risk of tumors and certain types of cancer.

As consumers become increasingly health conscious, mushrooms promise to gain new popularity.

6 Food Trends to Watch in 2018

As 2017 came to an end, experts published their predictions for the food trends we can expect to see in the new year. These six trends are likely to make waves in the food world in the coming year:

Root to Stem Cooking: Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about food waste, there is renewed interest in using all parts of ingredients. Leaves, stems, and roots will appear on menus in innovative and delicious ways, such as raw broccoli stem slaws, pestos made from carrot tops and other greens, and pickled watermelon rinds.

Fermented Foods: For centuries, humans have turned to fermented foods to support gut health. Grocery store shelves will be stocked with food and beverage options that deliver pre- and probiotics including yogurts, kefir, miso, kimchi, and kombucha.

Edible Flowers: Floral flavors will appear in new and creative ways in 2018. Rose petals and syrups will make appearances on cocktail menus alongside elderberry tonics, and tea bags will include lavender and hibiscus petals.

Hyperlocal and Seasonal Foods: In 2018, more consumers than ever before will want to know where their food comes from. Concerns about climate change will also drive interest in selecting foods with a minimal impact on the environment. Retailers should prepare to offer transparency about seasonality, sourcing, and the effects of meats and plants on the environment.

Global Flavors: Foods from around the world will become increasingly accessible in 2018. Latin American foods such as arepas and pupusas will offer chefs opportunities for creative interpretations of fillings. Hawaiian poke bowls will continue to bring a laid back spin on sushi to foodies. Finally, Middle Eastern flavors including cardamom, za’atar, harissa, mint, and more will introduce diners to the nuances of Israel, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, and more.

Carbonated Beverages: Carbonated coffee is just one creative beverage consumers can expect to see in 2018. As sugary sodas lose their appeal, savory and botanical sodas featuring birch, elderberry, and maple will appear on menus in cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks alike.

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