Quality of irrigation water matters. In the case of E. coli-contaminated romaine lettuce grown in Arizona last spring, regulators speculate that irrigation canal water used to dilute crop protection products might have contributed to the disaster.
Walmart U.S. will require suppliers to use block chain technology within a year to help traceability efforts in case of outbreaks of E. coliand other diseases in lettuce. Currently, there is no similar requirement from Walmart Canada.
The United Fresh Washington Conference, Sept 24-26, will be the epi-centre of U.S. discussions on fresh produce trade, markets and related public policy issues. Ontario industry representatives will be there to ensure members remain current and competitive in this climate of uncertainty.
Awards at the Asia Fruit Logistica trade show, September 5-7, spotlight the growth of fresh produce companies. One example is India’s IG International, the second-largest, cold-chain company by capacity in the subcontinent. It’s doing a big business in apples.
A Chinese-based company, Eagle Brother Co Ltd., is specializing in drones that spray crop protection products. In a demonstration, one model drone sprayed 40 acres of rice paddies in two hours with only one quadcopter and 12 batteries.
A trade agreement between the U.S. and Mexico has been confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Canadian Produce Marketing Association is encouraged with the pending movement towards a trilateral deal.