Inside this Food Report


April 1, 2016

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Hello Everyone,

Today feels as though spring is truly here. Beautiful sun and warmth has arrived in the Pacific Northwest. Acreage has been contracted and crops are going into the ground. Two thirds of the pea crop have been planted and before we know it the crop will be ready to harvest.

It has been a hectic month for us here at Noon International with some of us travelling abroad and others attending the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. This exhibition is the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event and there were over 77,000 attendees! It was one of the best shows I have ever attended with so many new and interesting products to see and taste.

From kid’s cereal made with beans (great protein and your children would never know the difference) to barbecue sliders made from jackfruit this show had it all. I could not even count the number of different milk products from the two we all know (soy and almond milk) to camel milk, vegetable milk and macadamia nut milk. I drank some “stress relief” water and wheat grass juice which was grown outdoors (as nature intended) and frozen to preserve the nutrients and live chlorophyll. Organic fruits and vegetables, ancient grains and herbs from Peru are only a very small sample of what this expo included. I highly recommend this exhibition for anyone, especially those interested in the natural food segment.

This month we are off to Japan and I am looking forward to visiting with all of our customers there. I hope for good weather and if I am extremely lucky I will catch the tail end of cherry blossom season!

All The Best ,

Betty And The Noon International Team


United States: Green Pea harvest is expected to begin in June in Oregon and Washington. To date about two thirds of the pea harvest has been planted. Weather in the Northwest has been cool and rainy, however a warming trend is now occurring.

Seeding of green peas is expected to begin in the Midwest regions this month. However, snow and freezing weather in Wisconsin and Minnesota during the last weeks of March could delay plantings.

Oregon and Washington Columbian Basin growers are in process of planting their 2016 potato harvest. Current freezer stocks of French frys are about 12% lower than last year at this same time.

Cool and wet weather in March has moved blueberry and raspberry development in the Pacific Northwest from fast to normal. At this moment the crop is expected to be about a week behind last seasons record breaking early start.

Mexico: Broccoli and Cauliflower are in high season and quality and volumes coming into the factories are excellent. Weather continues to be warm during the day and cooler in the evening and crops are doing well.

Guatemala: Broccoli season in Guatemala is now completed and will start up once again in July. Melon season is winding down and it was a disappointing season due to the cooler weather and rain.

Peru: Mango season is finishing and processors are now preparing for their avocado season which will commence late April. Peru will be coming into their second asparagus season in and around the Inca area in South Peru with processing commencing this month.

Chile: Hot and dry weather is expected to reduce Chile’s corn harvest. It has been reported that Chile’s frozen raspberry prices are trading downward due to current low demand from Europe.

Brazil: Excessive rains in Brazil will reduce the country’s grape and apple harvest.

India: Heavy rain and hail has hurt the mango crop in the Bijnor district. 15% of the Bohar flower, which bears the mango fruit, has been damaged.

Europe: Rains in Serbia and Italy will affect crops there. Serbian raspberries have been affected by possibly 60% in one region while heavy rains in Southern Italy will result in reduced yields of citrus.

Zhejiang Province: Broccoli and Cauliflower season is completed. Yields were down and most factories were not able to complete their production plan. Both Pea Pods and Sugar Snap peas should commence harvest at the end of this month. Cool weather and frost could reduce yields on both crops by as much as 20%. Prices are expected to be up.

Fujian Province: Water Chestnuts are still being processed however quality has declined and crop is expected to be completed this month.

Shandong Province: Onion prices have jumped up due to reduced yields of about 20%. Most factories have stopped running onions. Both Spinach and Asparagus harvest will begin April/May.

GMO Voluntary Labeling Bill Fails in Senate

Last month, the Senate blocked a bill that would have nullified all state and local laws mandating manufacturers disclose genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs. It’s the latest in an on-going national debate over whether or not consumers have a right to know when GMOs are going into their food. Last month’s decision highlights the many issues surrounding this contentious topic, from consumer rights to the cost of food.

GMOs have become a buzz term in a more food conscious US, with polls showing that most Americans feel they have a right to know whether a product contains genetically modified ingredients. Vermont is set to become the first state to mandate GMO labeling, with required labeling going into force this July. Other states are currently debating similar mandates.

But in the bill recently stalled in the Senate and sponsored by Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts, labeling across the country would be voluntary, overriding any state or local legislation making it mandatory. The bill was supported by those in the agriculture industry who are concerned mandatory labeling could drive up costs, as some manufacturers may reformulate their products to avoid having to label.

Opponents of mandatory labeling are also concerned that it sends a signal to consumers that GMOs are unsafe. A growing body of research has found that GMOs pose no health risks compared to other, non-GMO ingredients. Labeling without proper public awareness could lead many to stop buying GMO products due to assumptions made because of labeling, and that’s something manufacturers and advocates hope to avoid.

With the current bill stalled, legislators will begin work on a compromise bill. One, proposed by Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, calls for four possible labeling options, but it has already been opposed by Sen. Roberts. Whether Senate leaders are able to find a balanced middle ground in the debate on GMOs remains unclear.

Pack Your Protiens

When it comes to nutrients, few come close to the powerhouse value of proteins. These chains of amino acids are called the building blocks of life, and with good reason. As part of a balanced diet, proteins help with everything from supporting the immune system to making sure your hair and nails are healthy. Ensuring your diet is rich in healthy proteins is key to keeping your body and health strong.

Proteins come in many forms, and can be found in foods ranging from beans to lean meat. Seafood, nuts, soy products, and eggs are all sources of protein, as are meats and legumes, making it easy to get plenty of protein regardless of dietary restrictions.

The amount of protein you need per day depends on a few things, including your weight and the amount of time you spend exercising. Generally, it’s recommended that adults get about .5 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, with the exact amount fluctuating with size, age, and other factors.

So why is it important to make sure you’re getting the right amount of protein? Protein has a key role in helping our body function as efficiently and effectively as possible, making it one of the most important nutrients we consume on a daily basis. Protein helps our cells regenerate, which assists in healing and tissue repair. It also helps bolster enzymes, antibodies, and hormones. They help our nervous system, immune system, and muscles. To put it simply, proteins are at the heart of what makes our body run well. Black beans and lentils are good sources of protein and now easier than ever to prepare with frozen and canned preparations readily available in food stores.

Japan Initiates TPP Ratification Process

Although the Trans-Pacific Partnership is still being debated in many member countries, including the United States and Canada, Japan has begun efforts to ratify the agreement and implement the required legislation. The country announced last month that TPP would be taken up in the Diet session ahead of an expected general election expected to be called in July.

The Japanese government will be submitting eleven bills, all of which will move Japan closer to ratification and implementation of the TPP, for deliberation and passing ahead of June 1, when the Parliments current session ends. It is part of an effort to take a lead role in moving TPP forward and building momentum for ratification that could move other countries towards acceptance of the agreement.

But TPP is far from a done deal. In the United States, the presidential candidates in both parties have questioned the agreement, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not outlined a clear timeline to ratification for Canada. Opponents are concerned that the agreement doesn’t do enough to ensure environmental safety and human rights in member states, among other issues.

The TPP does not need all member states to ratify the agreement before entering into force, making Japan’s decision to move forward all the more important. If in the next two years all 12 member states do not ratify the agreement, just six countries accounting for 85% of the GDP of all countries in the agreement must ratify in order for the agreement to take effect. This means that both Japan and the United States must ratify the agreement. If Japan is able to pass this current set of bills, it would bring TPP that much closer to eventual implementation. However, the United States is not considering TPP until after the November elections.

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