Inside this Food Report


July 1, 2017

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Hello Everyone,

Happy belated 4th of July to all in the U.S.A. Hope you were able to take some rest and relaxation and do something you enjoy!

With the 4th here and gone, summer feels as though it has officially arrived. Temperatures are beginning to sizzle in Eastern Washington and Oregon where the 10-day forecast is calling for temperatures as high as 100 -105 in some areas. Whether it reaches those temperatures or not, it is hot, hot, hot; and we now expect the pea crop to finish up earlier as the heat will for sure move the season along faster. Europe is also having difficulties due to lack of moisture and reports coming from that area call for lower pea yields this season. (please see more in our crop section)

We found an interesting story regarding fraud in organic labeling concerning commodity grain crops from other countries. It was a timely article as I only just attended a training class regarding the Foreign Supplier Verification Program. Noon International will be set up with their FSVP soon as our compliance date is March of 2018.

Last but not least I would like to introduce two new additions to our Noon Team. Mr. Ryan Abbot and Ms. Lia Thompson. Ryan was born and raised in Oregon and graduated from the University of Oregon. He now lives in the Queen Anne area of Seattle. Ryan joins our business development team. Lia was born in Japan but has been here in the U.S. much of her life. She graduated from Washington State University and also lives in the Queen Anne area of Seattle. Lia joins Noon as our new customer service/sales assistant. We welcome both Ryan and Lia! You will probably also see a face in the photo below that you won’t recognize. That is Michael Yasutake our fantastic programmer and tech guru and Michael will be uprooting from California to become a Seattleite and Seahawk fan in August.

Chiaki, Yoko, Ryan, Betty, Jose, Lia, and Michael

Last but not least, Mr. Jose Castillo will be joining us in beautiful Seattle, Washington. As our new President, Jose has been traveling back and forth from California to Seattle for a while, but his permanent move is this month. Along with his wife Carmen and two adorable daughters, they will settle in the Bellevue area. Jose, Carmen, Daniella and Elisa will be arriving any day now after a short road trip up the west coast. We welcome them and hope they have brought their rain gear come November!

Best Regards,

Betty Johnson And The Noon International Team

CropVeggies United States

Pea havest in the Northwest is underway. Due to the cool and wet spring some processers experienced delayed plantings. Early yields under performed, however later yields are doing well. Weather has turned hot which may result in a bunching situation. Pea crop in the Northwest should be completed by end July. However, based on the 10 day forecast temperatures are expected to be in high 90 degrees Farenheit to over 100 degrees Farenheit in some areas of Eastern Oregon and Washington which may bring a sooner close to the pea season.

Midwest peas are also underway. To date about 50% of crop is harvested. Yields have been reported as inconsistent due to the rain and cool weather. Recent higher heat in some areas has excellerated maturity, however cooler weather is in the forcast which may slow maturity down. The Midwest pea harvest is also expected to be completed by end July.

Sweet corn for the most part is planted in the Northwest. There are 1 or 2 processors who may have to forego planting their entire budgeted corn acres due to double cropping. Peas are coming in later than expected so it may be too late to plant corn on these fields as usually the last planting date for corn is July 10th.

Midwest sweet corn planting is almost completed, although a 10% lag behind last season due to the very cool and wet spring. The crop is expected to commence late July and early field tassels are now showing.

Potato plants in the Columbia Basin are emerging. The recent and forecasted higher heat in the Columbia Basin may affect yields and quality but still a bit too early to tell. First harvest is expected around July 20th which is approximately 2 weeks later than last season’s potato crop.

The Northwest berry season is trending more normal to late as far as harvest. Rasperries will commence this week. Raspberries in the Northwest are expected to be down about 20% compared to last season due to a cold and wet winter. Blueberries harvest is schedule to start approximately early August and yields are expected to be just slightly up compared to last season.

Cherry harvest will begin this month in Washington, Oregon, and Michigan. Harvest conditions in all three regions are expected to be good.

California apricot season is now completed, with peach production beginning this week and pears starting up late July.

Mexico: The Northern Highlands area has commenced cauliflower and broccoli harvest, including organics. To date conditions look favorable with high quality and good yields.

Guatemala: Broccoli production has begun and quality and yields are very good this season due to favorable weather conditions.

Europe: It seems Europe will have another difficult vegetable season. Overall Europe’s main vegetable producing regions are concerned regarding a very warm and dry spring and start to summer. Lack of rain and the heat has affected the growth of all crops there, including green peas. Belguim has reported a projected pea crop loss of possibly 25% suffering the driest spring in more than 50 years. And as reported previously, nights of frost conditions in April will affect fruit crops in many regions including Serbia, Hungry, and Italy.


Temperatures are rising in most areas of China as Zhejiang and Fujian provinces enter into their rainy season. Temperatures in Shandong provice are rising this month will less rainfall.

Shandong Province: Green beans seaon is completed and yield and quality good with lower prices than last season. Edamame and Mukimame will begin this month and to date conditions look similar to last season which is good. Onion production has commenced with increased yields and slow demand which has brought onion prices ex China down.

Zhejiang Province: Sugar snap peas and snow peas harvest is completed. Midway through season the yields decreased and quality suffered. The season was not as expected and prices were increased. Edamame and Mukimame is underway. Harvest is doing well and no concerns noted to date. Eggplant harvest underway with promising yields and good quality.

Is That Piece Of Chicken Really Organic?

Are you sure the food you eat is really organic? A recent scandal might give shoppers reason to pause before buying an organic product from another country or even one produced in the U.S.A. as you will see below.

Late last year millions of pounds of feed soybeans and feed corn labeled as organic at some point during shipment from Ukraine to California by way of Turkey were found to be grown conventionally, using pesticides banned under United States organic guidelines.

The soybeans in question were part of a shipment that originated in Ukraine, but came to the United States through Turkey, one of the largest exporters of organic grains to the U.S. It was one of three shipments that were found to be falsely labeled as organic coming out of the country, according to an investigation by the Washington Post. The shipments were to become feed for animals who then supply the U.S. organic food industry with organic milk, eggs, chicken and beef. If our animals are not eating organic feed then when you purchase your organic chicken or eggs are they really organic?

The Ukraine company where the soybean and corn oringinated does not produce or trade organics and the product was sold at a conventional price. Additionally health certificates showed that the product was fumigated with aluminum phosphide which is not allowed by the United States. But by the time these shipments arrived to the U.S. port they had been labeled as organic. For the falsely labeled soybeans alone, the value of the shipment was increased by approximately $4 million, showing the potential financial benefits for those willing to risk faking their organic credentials.

It is also puzzeling that organic corn grains from Turkey rose between 2014 to 2016 from 15,000 tons to 399,000 tons and organic soybeans rose from 14,000 tons to 165,000 tons, given the fact that it takes 3 years to transition fields to organic.

On the U.S. side the feed is imported by an importer, then is sold to various brokers and those entities will sell to the end customers who are large organic producers of meat and dairy.

While most of the organic food we purchase in the U.S. is produced in the U.S. is safe and certified correctly, over half of the “commodity” crops such as organic gains are imported from overseas. Before this particular incident was caught, 21 million pounds of the 36 million pounds of the fake organic soybeans were already disturbed within the U.S. It is a very complicated food chain and puts into question if what we eat is really organic in the end.

The MIND Diet

We think a lot about how to take care of our bodies through diet and exercise. But what about our brains? Although it may not cross your “mind” very often, what we eat can have a huge impact on the performance of our brains.

That’s where the MIND diet comes in. The MIND diet is a new set of guidelines developed by a Rush University Medical Center nutritional epidemiologist to aid in brain health. It was created by combining the DASH and Mediterranean diets, taking the most brain friendly foods from each to create a diet that could help your brain stay healthy longer. Although it’s still new and more research needs to be done, there are early indications that what you eat can impact whether or not you develop late – on set Alzheimer disease.

MIND puts a focus on foods that studies have found are good for the brain. Leafy greens, nuts, berries, beans, grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, and wine (in moderation). At the same time, MIND discourages eating red meat, most dairy, sweet treats like pastries, and anything deep-friend or what could be called “fast food”. The diet’s guidelines include snacking and meal suggestions (such as limiting meat-based meals) that pack a punch with healthy fats and proteins with a focus on vegetables and fruits (mostly berries such as raspberries and blueberries).

According to initial studies, including those done by the diet’s creator Martha Clare Morris, a diet rich in the foods we mention above can cut the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by thirty-five percent even when followed well rather than strictly. The diet isn’t as harsh as others; you can eat foods that are discouraged in small amounts and there is not a limit on daily caloric intake. This is a diet that allows for customization; identify other health benefits you’re hoping to get and build a diet for yourself using MIND as your base point. Your brain will thank you!

FDA Extends Compliance for New Nutritional Label

On June 13th of last month the FDA announced it’s intention to extend compliance dates for the nutritional facts label final rules. The FDA will provide details of the extension at a later date.

Originally set for July 2018 for large companies with revenues over 10 million dollars and smaller companies one year later, the FDA will now extend the compliance date. After feedback from the food industry the extension is designed to give extra time for training and putting into effect the new rules for serving sizes and nutritional labeling.

The new label requirements is the first significant overhaul of how food is labeled since labels were mandated in 1994, and are intended to better reflect the way people eat rather than allowing manufacturers to set unrealistic or obscured standards.

Part of that is ensuring that serving sizes reflect the reality of consumption, rather than making foods appear more nutritious than they are. Nutritional labels will feature a more prominent calorie count, and a secondary column will highlight the nutritional information for the entire package, rather than just per serving. Added sugars will be counted on the label, as will vitamin D and potassium content.

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