Inside this Food Report


November 1, 2017

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Hello Everyone,

Happy November! From this point forward the holiday season is officially upon us! With holiday decorations already decking the store shelves, crop season here in the Northwest is pretty much officially over and by all accounts sweet corn will most certainly be in tight supply. If you don’t have your bookings in by now give us a call and we will try to help! Another product in high demand is broccoli. With inventories depleted and the new season just starting up everyone is anxious to receive their shipments (please see our crop section below).

It was a fast-paced October for the team at Noon, while some of us crisscrossed the United States others crossed the Pacific to attend the Anuga exhibition in Cologne, Germany. So many innovative products, including a very large presence of organic foods, not only vegetables and fruits but spices, oils, grains, ice creams, dried fruits, bakery products and beverages of all kinds. A fairly new trend, riced vegetables, was seen in many forms, mixing different vegetables and grains together. Aside from work Jose and Ryan ran into 5 time Tour de France winner, Miquel Indurain of Spain, while dining out in Pamplona.

Miguel and Ryan

In the middle of it all we made time to wish Jose a very happy birthday with his wife Carmen. We celebrated with two beautiful cakes and a delicious lunch from Jose’s favorite restaurant. Can you guess our lunch? It was a great escape if only for a few short hours!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.

All The Best,

Betty Johnson and The Noon International Team

CropVeggies United States

Sweet corn harvest is now fully completed in both the Northwest and Midwest. It was a struggle for both 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 spot market.

Potato yields in the Colombia basin have been reported as improved from last season, however variable. Potatoes now going into storage and the processing crop for the most part is completed. Solids are reported as above average which has helped with recovery rates. Contract negotiations are already 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.

Florida’s orange crop which is already fighting citrus greening disease is now projected by the U.S.D.A to be the smallest crop in more than 70 years due to damage caused by Hurricane Irma in September. The crop is expected to be down by more than 20% compared to the 2017 crop size. Florida supplies 50% of the U.S.A orange supply.

Mexico: The summer season broccoli output in Mexico has been disappointing. Fresh market diversions have hurt the industry for several months. California’s unseasonal hot weather sent suppliers to Mexico for fresh broccoli and as a result there was less product for the freezers. In addition the summer in Mexico has been unusually hot and humid and has resulted in problems with low quality material hindering supply further. Processors in Mexico are offering up higher prices for raw material by approx.. 30% in order to support their programs. Transplantations have ramped up in an effort to be in peak production during the very busy holiday season this month and December. Volumes are now coming into the factories, however Mexico is reporting there is still a long way to go before pipelines are filled.

Guatemala: Heavy rain in September/October has diminished the broccoli harvest and yields have been decreased. Processors are struggling to meet shipments.

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.

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 will begin soon, 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.

New Zealand: Wet winter weather has hurt the potato crop. Currently there is a shortage of potato chips. New Zealand’s corn season will start up in February. Inventory of corn is low and difficult to purchase on the spot market.

Chile: Both strawberry season and asparagus season has been delayed by about 2 weeks due to recent heavy rain in Chile. Processing of both are expected to begin this month.


Autumn is arriving and cooler temperatures and contrasting rainy and sunny days have been good for some crops. Fortunately there have been no major typhoons to hurt crops in Zhejiang and Fujian province.

Shandong Province: Taro season is underway. Reports are for a bumper crop with good yields and quality and stable prices.
Broccoli harvest will begin this month. Good yields and quality are expected. Now is a favorable time to make your broccoli bookings.

Zhejiang Province: To date growth conditions look good for both broccoli and cauliflower in this region.

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.

Very tight inventories of both sugar snap peas and pea pods.

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

Water chestnut season will begin in December. To date conditions are good.

New Delay Halts Updated Nutritional Labeling

The FDA has delayed the deadline for compliance with redesigned nutrition labels, pushing the original deadline of July 2018 back in response to requests for more time from the companies and trade groups affected. A new date for compliance has not yet been announced.

Reactions to the delay are split with some fearing that the open-ended delay will eventually become a repeal of the updated requirements. But others point out that the changes require more time as the broad changes will require companies to reconsider portion sizes, calculate new aspects of nutritional information, and potentially reformulate their products.

The newly designed labels will prioritize key information including calories and serving size to make it easier for consumers to read labels at a glance. They will also reflect updates to nutritional guidelines. The Institute of Medicine and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have changed the recommended sodium limit as well as daily values for vitamin D and fiber.

For the first time, nutritional labels will be required to differentiate between grams of naturally occurring and added sugars. The daily value of vitamin D and potassium will also join nutritional labels under new guidelines.

The proposed update will also more accurately reflect the way most Americans eat. For example, serving sizes have not been updated for 24 years, and average portion sizes have grown over time. New nutritional labels will provide more complete information about serving size by offering both “per package” and “per serving” information about calories and nutrition.

In practical terms, this means that packages that contain multiple servings will now be easier to understand. Although a pint of ice cream or a large soda might technically contain multiple servings, the new labels acknowledge the reality that people tend to consume a whole package at one time.

Overall, the proposed changes are designed to provide consumers with more information about their food. Food producers must now ensure that nutritional labels offer information that is more accurate, more complete, and easier to understand.

Raspberries Add Variety and Nutrients to Diet

Raspberries can often be found decorating desserts or blitzed in mixed berry smoothies. Their petite size and delicate flesh might make them seem like a nutritional lightweight, but don’t be fooled: Raspberries are rich in nutrients and can add a healthy boost to your diet.

In a promising new study, scientists discovered that raspberries helped participants in a short-term human trial experience greater satiety and glucose control. Similarly, animal trials suggest that raspberries may have a positive impact on gut microbiota. Future studies plan to explore the impact raspberries have on reducing obesity, inflammation, and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Raspberries have disease-fighting properties in the form of polyphenols, which help protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals. This helps the body ward off cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.

If you’re not a fan of carrots, raspberries serve as an alternate source of beta-carotene. They also offer a range of other vitamins and minerals including potassium, thiamin, calcium, niacin, and more. Swapping familiar sources of these nutrients for raspberries can help add variety to your diet.

In the United States, most raspberries are harvested on the West Coast, with California, Oregon, and Washington leading the way as top producers. Nearly 130,000 tons of raspberries were grown in 2015 alone, with a collective value of $581 million. Though this valuation ranks raspberries slightly lower than other more popular fruits, new insights into raspberries’ health benefits could drive prices to rise.

In addition to their typical use in smoothies, raspberries make a sweet and tart addition to salads and pair perfectly with creamy, tangy cheeses. Raspberries can also be muddled into seltzer or kombucha with herbs such as mint or basil for a refreshing beverage.

Understanding the 2017 Global Hunger Index

In 2017, the Global Hunger Index (GHI) scores showed that the level of worldwide hunger decreased by 27 percent compared to the score in 2000. But with a vast range of countries incorporated into the global score, what does the overall decrease in world hunger really look like?

The GHI score is calculated by examining four key indicators of hunger, particularly in children. As you would expect, undernourishment is an important measure. In addition, the GHI score looks at child wasting, child mortality, and child stunting to capture the complexity of hunger’s effects. The 27 percent decrease reflects fewer people suffering across these four areas. Overall, countries with lower GHI scores have fewer citizens going to bed hungry each night.

However, the GHI score does not mean that each country experienced an equal decrease in hunger. The 2017 report evaluated 119 countries, and although 43 countries scored low, 75 countries had scores that reflected moderate, serious, or alarming levels of hunger. There were also 13 countries that were not able to collect adequate information, including countries known to suffer from hunger such as South Sudan, Somalia, and Syria.

Climate change and conflict serve as two difficult root causes of hunger, explaining why global progress has been so uneven. For example, persistent political and economic troubles in Venezuela drove the country’s hunger score to a higher level in 2017 compared to its score in 2008, even as Latin America’s overall score might have obscured this difficult reality.

Although the 2017 GHI scores reveal a profound need for international efforts to improve resiliency and reduce food shortages worldwide, some countries did demonstrate encouraging progress. Senegal, China, and Brazil were among countries whose scores improved by at least 50 percent, while several war-torn countries including Rwanda and Ethiopia eased from an alarming score to a serious score.

Overall, the worldwide GHI score is one of many indicators that must be considered when discussing global hunger. Until people in every country around the world have reliable access to nutritious food, there will be urgent work to be done.

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