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A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S: Maersk and IBM to Form Joint Venture Applying Blockchain to Improve Global Trade and Digitize Supply Chains

16.1.2018
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COPENHAGEN, DENMARK and ARMONK, NY - 16 January 2018: A.P. Moller - Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced their intent to establish a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology. The aim of the new company will be to offer a jointly developed global trade digitization platform built on open standards and designed for use by the entire global shipping ecosystem. It will address the need to provide more transparency and simplicity in the movement of goods across borders and trading zones.

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Germany: Eco-Test Warns of Pesticides in Bananas

5.1.2018
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Pesticides in bananas? The German magazine "Öko-Test" claims to have detected pesticide residues in numerous banana varieties. In addition to bananas from the supermarket, specimens from health food stores and discounters were also sent to the laboratory. 22 different brands were examined. In addition to the criterion of toxic substances, for example, the production conditions of the fruit and the transparency of production were included in the evaluation of the magazine.

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APAC Tops the Global Reefer Container Leasing Market

5.1.2018
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The latest market research report by Technavio on the global reefer container leasing market predicts a CAGR of close to 16% during the period 2017-2021. Technavio has published a new market research report on the global reefer container leasing market from 2017-2021. The report segments the global reefer container leasing market by end-user (food and beverage and pharmaceutical) and by geography (the Americas, EMEA, and APAC). It provides a detailed illustration of the major factors influencing the market, including drivers, opportunities, trends, and industry-specific challenges.

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Greenyard Drops Plans to Buy Dole

5.1.2018
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Belgian fresh, frozen and canned fruit and vegetable group Greenyard said talks to buy Dole Food Company had ended without a definitive agreement. Greenyard had announced on December 19 that it was in advanced talks to acquire Dole, a transaction that reportedly would have been worth some 2 billion euros including debt had it gone through. Greenyard did not specify the reason talks had fallen through. "While the acquisition of Dole by Greenyard would have marked a significant milestone for both companies, we are confident that Greenyard has the right strategy and priorities in place to continue generating profitable growth and strengthening our global leadership position in fruit and vegetables," said Greenyard executive chairman Hein Deprez.

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CMA CGM Institutes ‘Emergency’ Greek Port Congestion Surcharge

5.1.2018
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Port of Virginia uses grant money for terminal handling and reefer investments. Increased operational costs and service disruptions generated by ongoing traffic congestion at one of Greece’s largest seaports, the Port of Thessaloniki, are forcing CMA CGM to implement an Emergency Port Congestion Surcharge (PCS) for Thessaloniki imports and exports, the French ocean carrier said Dec. 29. Until further notice, the charge is effective with the bill of lading date of Jan. 8 for all trades except the United States, and with the bill of lading date of Feb. 1 for U.S. trades subject to filing, CMA CGM said.

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Harmony Returns to Canary Islands’ Banana Sector

5.1.2018
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The Canary Islands’ Government announced on January 3rd that the peace, at least formally, has returned to the Association of Organizations of Producers of Bananas of the Canary Islands (Asprocan), the entity representing local producers of the fruit that for several weeks had lost two of its members: the Europlátano OPP and Llanos de Sardina. These two had left that organization following a disagreement mainly about the decisions on the pica (withdrawal of banana volumes from the market), activated since last November, in the months that in theory had fewer problems to place the fruit in almost the only destination of the fruit: the Peninsula and the Balearic Islands.

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Peru: El Niño of 2017 Caused Losses in 34,000 Hectares Of Crops

5.1.2018
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The coastal Niño of 2017 caused the loss of 30,154 hectares of crops and affected another 88,676 in the 11 regions declared in emergency due to the climatic phenomenon. Although at the end of the year a GDP growth of 3% and 11% in agro exports is expected, the El Niño left chain effects, tasks in the 2018 agenda and, above all, lessons learned for the next phenomenon, which as it is cyclical will return sooner or later. El Niño particularly affected the banana industry. It caused the loss of 5,774 hectares of banana and 356 hectares of lemon. There were a total of 6,492 hectares of banana and 10,856 hectares of lemon.

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Colombia: The Budget for Agricultural Insurance Decrease More Than 90 Percent

5.1.2018
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Almost simultaneously, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), of the United States, announced the imminent arrival of the La Niña climate phenomenon, the National Agricultural Credit Commission (CNCA) decided to reduce the budget assigned to agricultural insurance to 4,000 million pesos. According to the insurance industry, Fasecolda, and the Colombian Farmers' Association (SAC), with this budget, the insurance sector could only issue policies to cover 16,000 hectares. Under the Government’s proposal in the CNCA, the amount allocated for the year 2018 will be 91.6% less than that assigned this year.

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Ecuador Prepares Ambitious National Plan for Logistics Optimization

5.1.2018
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Making changes and improvements in the logistics network of a country is to bet on a future of greater competitiveness and increasing the possibilities of exporting more. That idea motivates the Ecuadorian government, which will launch a plan for almost 10,000 kilometres of roads, ports and airports as part of the national optimization plan. The Ministry of Transport and Public Works, confirmed that the so-called State Road Network will be expanded and will seek to make APP expand the possibilities of existing road connections.

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Main Producing Region of Colombia Paralized

5.1.2018
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The Superintendence of Ports and Transport opened a preliminary investigation to determine the cessation of activities by six intermunicipal public transport companies of road passengers operating in the Apartadó Transport Terminal, which would have contributed to affect the public service provision of transportation in the Urabá Antioquia, in the middle of the civic strike that affected the region until January 4. The companies investigated are Coointur, Sotraurabá, Sotragolfo, Sotracor, Transportes Gómez Hernández and Cootransuroccidente.

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Digitalization & Disruption theme to take centre-stage at TOC Asia on 24 & 25 April during Singapore Maritime Week

12.1.2018
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London, 10 January 2018: TOC Asia returns to Singapore - one of the world’s most important transhipment hubs - in conjunction with Singapore Maritime Week. The two-track conference and exhibition has at its heart the core theme of Digitalization & Disruption. Attendees will converge at the event to discuss new trade dynamics and to be updated on the latest technology.

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Philippines: GCTVC 218 Banana Plant Seems Resistant to TR4

22.12.2017
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The search for a Philippines banana variety that is resistant to the TR4 Fusarium Wilt disease has been continuing since 2005, and the most promising result so far has been the GCTCV 218, a tissue culture variant from Taiwan. The variety which was brought to the Philippines through the initiative of Dr. Agustin Molina Jr., then the Regional Coordinator for Asia Pacific of Bioversity International, has become the darling of smallhold as well as big time growers in Mindanao. In 2005, Dr. Molina saw an urgent need for a solution to the virulent Fusarium Wilt disease that was threatening the banana industry in Mindanao which has been bringing into the country about $1 billion a year.

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Algeria Eliminates Licenses on Banana Imports

22.12.2017
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Algerian Trade Minister Mohamed Benmeradi announced on December 19, the abolition of the import licensing system starting next year. "There will be practically no more import licenses in 2018. We have decided to give up this practice altogether, because it has shown its limits that only adds bureaucratic procedures and lacks transparency, besides causing sometimes supply problems," said Benmeradi, during a press conference held on the sidelines of a trade sector activity assessment meeting, which brought together all the actors in the industry, from the ministry, to the regional directors of commerce, as well as of the managers of the external services of the sector.

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Return of Exotic Fruits to The Port of Sète

22.12.2017
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After an interruption of nearly five years, the exotic fruit trade resumed at the Southern France port of Sète with a first call on December 10th. After 14 days of sailing directly from Madagascar, specialized reefer vessel Baltic Klipper, from Seatrade, discharged more than 8000 tonnes of litchis destined for European customers. These fruits were carried in 128 reefer containers inside the holds. This new traffic comes after the port of Sète choose the company Conhexa of Dunquerque to manage, operate and develop the reefer terminal. The terminal has a sub-temperature controlled warehouse (+ 1 ° C to -25 ° C) capable of processing 500,000 tonnes of perishable producs per year with a floor area of more than 23,000m². Having represented an investment of 20 million euros, it was inaugurated in 2011 but stopped two years later following the bankruptcy of Agrexco. It is therefore back in service after its resumption last May by Conhexa.

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Greenyard in ‘Advanced’ Talks to Acquire Dole Foods

22.12.2017
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Belgian vegetable processor Greenyard Foods has confirmed it is in talks over a potential acquisition of Dole Food Company. In a statement, Greenyard revealed it is in “advanced” discussions over a possible deal. While Greenyard noted that a deal has not yet been finalised, the group did add that it has finance in place. “At this stage, a definitive agreement has not been reached, and there can be no assurance that these negotiations will culminate in a transaction between the two companies. Greenyard has secured appropriate financing, and is confident in its ability to complete the transaction with a balanced financing approach should a definitive agreement be reached.”

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Wilmington, NC, Able to Complete Refrigeration On-dock

15.12.2017
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The Port of Wilmington, North Carolina, joins fellow US East Coast ports in taking aim at South American perishables by becoming the first southeast port to complete the refrigeration process on the dock. Although other southeastern ports the in US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA's) In-Transit Cold Treatment Pilot program can accept goods that have completed the two-week refrigeration process, Wilmington is the first to be able to accept goods that are still midway through the process and then complete the refrigeration in the terminal, North Carolina Ports said.

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Dole Pineapple Workers Open Community Center

15.12.2017
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Dole Food Company and Fair Trade USA jointly announced today the inauguration of two new community centers near Dole's Muelle and Bosque Farms in Costa Rica, made possible by Fair Trade purchases made at Whole Foods Market stores, which drive additional money to pineapple farmworkers to invest in projects of their choosing. The commencement events at the two locations took place on December 5th and 6th, 2017. To earn Fair Trade certification, farms must adhere to rigorous social, environmental and economic standards. Once certified, farmworkers directly earn additional Community Development Funds with every purchase. They then vote on how to use the money to address their needs.

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APL Celebrates 150 Years of Shipping in Japan

15.12.2017
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The Yokohama Port and Habour Bureau, Yokohama-Kawasaki International Port Corporation and Yokohama Port Corporation have paid tribute to APL for its contributions as one of Japan’s longest-serving shipping lines. APL currently connects Japan with her key trade partners such as Australia, China, Korea, North America, Taiwan and Thailand amongst others through 13 services. Amongst these services, APL’s Japan Express service (JPX) directly connects Japan with the United States West Coast while its Japan Straits Express service (JSX) is a choice option for shippers who seek global market access via Singapore.

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Asprocan Says Retail Price of Plátano de Canarias is not in Proportion to The Price at Origin

15.12.2017
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The Association of Organizations of Producers of Bananas of the Canary Islands (Asprocan) has indicated that the price at which the Plátano de Canarias is sold bears no relation to the prices at origin and urges retailers to adapt the marketing margins to the price levels at which the product is purchased from producers. Specifically, this entity explains that the producers of Plátano de Canarias "are facing a few especially complicated weeks for the sector, being forced to withdraw product and selling the fruit well below its value, while watching with impotence as consumers pay much higher prices for the fruit".’

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Port of Antwerp to Invest $1.64m in Mobility Solutions

15.12.2017
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The Port of Antwerp is aiming towards reducing truck traffic and increasing intermodal and barge mobility solutions. The Port of Antwerp will invest 1.4 million euros (U.S. $1.64 million) in seven port enhancement projects over the next three years. The projects aim to create more sustainable mobility solutions, specifically to reduce road traffic, with the port predicting that the number of truck trips will be reduced by up to 250,000 annually once the projects are completed.

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Costa Rica Approaches Turkey During WTO Meeting

15.12.2017
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Costa Rica and Turkey have signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the exchange of products between the two countries. The signing of the agreement took place in a bilateral meeting in the framework of the appointment of ministers of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and ended on December 13th. Alexánder Mora, Minister of Foreign Trade (Comex), explained on Monday, December 11th, from Buenos Aires that the objective of this memorandum with Turkey is to facilitate the exchange of information among countries about the entry requirements of the products in each country.

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Costa Rica: Acón Group Consolidates in Fruit Exports

15.12.2017
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Pineapple and bananas are the two most exported agricultural products in Costa Rica. International markets are increasingly demanding better quality from the export products. Limón is one of the main areas of cultivation for both products in Costa Rica and it is from there that the product is exported. One of the companies dedicated to the production and export of these products is Grupo Acón, a family company specialising in the agricultural business, with more than 25 years of experience. Adverse weather conditions or natural disasters have been obstacles, but not impediments to being recognized as one of the companies with the longest track record in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica for the commercialization of both pineapple and banana.

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Ecuador: Guayaquil Port Reports Exports of 11.40mn Tonnes of Cargo

8.12.2017
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According to Contecon Guayaquil, the operator of multi-purpose and container terminals at Libertador Simon Bolivar port, in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil, the maritime port handles 85% of annual national exports, equivalent to 11.40mn tonnes. Contecon revealed that a total of 1,170,917 containers were transported between January and October 2017. Moreover, the terminal received 490 vessels in the analysed period, which carried 825,799 tonnes of cargo. The operator informed that 38% of this cargo corresponded to banana shipments, with fish products also among the most exported through Guayaquil port.

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Ecuador: Banana Producers Request Amendments to the Law

8.12.2017
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Richard Salazar, representative of the Association of Marketing and Export of Bananas asked on behalf of his members for changes to the regulations in order to increase the export of bananas. Salazar indicated that the problem lies in the legal norm, which has been in place for 20 years when production, marketing and export were handled by eight groups, but indicated that these activities have now been diversified including in the international market so legislation must adapt to the current reality. "We have met with different guilds of producers that have been working on the text of a new banana law. The current regulations were created 20 years ago and we have to adjust it to the present," he said.

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ASBAMA Banana Forum, an Opportunity to Analyse the Challenges and Opportunities of the Colombian Banana Sector

8.12.2017
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With the participation of more than 500 people, among them leading national and international academics and researchers, producers, international marketers, technical assistants and entities related to the sector, the Association of Banana of Magdalena and La Guajira, ASBAMA, successfully held the Banana Forum "Sustainable Production: Challenges and Opportunities of the Colombian Banana Sector". The event held in the Colombian city of Santa Marta, discussed key issues on the agenda of the sector such as: prevention and / or control of diseases, management of water resources, management and conservation of soils with a tendency to salinity, organic production, risks associated with climatic or market variables among other aspects of the productive context of the crop, generating spaces for analysis, reflection and significant contributions in some relevant issues of this transcendental line of production.

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Iran’s Largest Private Shipping Firm Eyes Expansion in Qatar

1.12.2017
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Torang Darya Shipping (TDS) Line, the biggest private shipping company in Iran, is looking to expand its business in Qatar. The company expects the trade between Qatar and Iran is bound to increase in coming days which will lead to increase in its frequency from Qatar. Before siege (imposed on Qatar) we did not have any desire (to expand), because Qatar was importing most of its requirement from some of its neighbouring countries. But right now, we have desire and plan for import and export from Qatar. We want to extend our business in Qatar,” Amir Khani (pictured) from TDS Line, who was in Qatar to participate in an industry exhibition. The company started its service from Qatar around four months ago and currently has once in a week service from Qatar.

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Banana Producers Ask Comptroller to Examine Puerto Bolívar Contract with Yilport Company

1.12.2017
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On November 27, 2017 representatives of the province of El Oro, requested the General Comptroller of the State in Guayaquil, to review the contract under the modality of public-private partnership between the government of former President Rafael Correa, the Port Authority of Puerto Bolívar and the Turkish company Yilport. The Social Christian Assembly representative and former mayor of Machala, Carlos Falquez Batallas said that the complaint comes from the banana sector as they are concerned about the current administration of the port.

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Experts Expose Strategies and Actions to Fight Plague In Plantains

1.12.2017
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In the framework of the IV Latin American and Caribbean Congress of Plantains and Bananas and the XVIII Mexican National Congress of Banana Producers at the Educational Technology Center of the University of Colima, Tecomán Campus speeches were given on topics related to surveillance epidemiological and the main diseases in plantains and banana production. On the second day of the Congress, the panel entitled "Quarantine and epidemiological surveillance" was developed, where national and international experts explained the integral strategies and agricultural food risk management actions for the benefit of farmers in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Canary Islands Banana Consolidates in Morocco and is Introduced in Switzerland

1.12.2017
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The producers of Plátano de Canarias began to make the first collective exports to Morocco through the Association of Organizations of Producers of Bananas of the Canary Islands (Asprocan) and, since then, they have already shipped 228 tons to the neighbouring country. Producers also have their eyes set on the Swiss market where tests of ripening at destination are being carried out by national operators in the distribution segment. To avoid a sharp fall in prices as a result of overproduction or low demand, the sector is trying to open new markets. To promote the development of new markets, Asprocan is working on the constitution of a collective export company.

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Ivory Coast Eyes Banana Boost To EU Trade

1.12.2017
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More than 80 percent of bananas harvested on plantations in Ghana, Cameroon or Ivory Coast go to the EU. The EU wants to promote the growing countries with four billion euros, so that they can make important investments in energy and infrastructure. Because bananas should continue to be the future. Africa has to create around 380 million new jobs by 2030, 200 million of them in agriculture outside metropolitan areas,” says our correspondent. “The challenge is to modernize the agricultural economy so that it is interesting for young people.” Without this modernization, the expected increase in demand in Europe cannot be satisfied.

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Colima, Jalisco and Michoacán Export Organic Bananas to Europe

1.12.2017
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Banana producers in Colima, Jalisco and Michoacán are exporting organic bananas to Europe, informed the president of the Union of Producers of the Pacific Region, Francisco Hueso Alcaraz. "They are sending 100 containers per week to these markets, they did not disclose at what price, but said it was three times higher than the conventional price in the national market, in the national market it sells for around 1.50 he added".

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Maersk Line Named ‘Container Operator of the Year’

27.10.2017
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Danish shipping company Maersk Line has been named ‘Container Operator of the Year’ at the annual Lloyd’s List Asia awards in Singapore. Maersk Line received the award for continuous network advancements, market leading digital solutions and trade finance, which allows customers to expand their business and reach new markets. “I am very honoured to accept this award on behalf of the Maersk Line. It is the recognition of the continued support we have seen from our customers and peers during a challenging time for Maersk Line, it is also great to take this back to our employees who really deserve this award,” Rupesh Jain, Maersk Line’s South-East Asia Managing Director, said.

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Peru: Banana Irrigation with Contaminated Water Ruled Out

27.10.2017
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In an opportune clarification, the regional director of Agriculture of Piura, Mario Laberry, denied that the organic banana in Sullana is watered with contaminated water, as was asserted a few days ago, by the mayor of that province of the Piura region, Carlos Távara Polo. "From the reservoir of Poechos the water goes to the Miguel Checa canal, where most of the organic banana plantations area is. It does not pass through the river nor the Sullana dam, which is where the source of contamination has been located," explained the Agriculture official of Piura.

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Asprocan Wins “Espiga De Oro” Award

27.10.2017
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The Spanish Federation of Food Banks (Fesbal) has held its gala of the Espiga de Oro Awards, whose maximum recognition has been granted this year to the Association of Canarian Producers of Canarian (Asprocan), said the entity in a statement. La Espiga de Oro is an award that, since 2003, has been given to companies, individuals, foundations or institutions that, throughout the year, stand out for their support to the solidarity work carried out by the Food Banks that make up the Fesbal.

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Colombia: Around 10% of Foreign Trade to go out Through Urabá

27.10.2017
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Antioquia, Bogotá, and the coffee-producing area would be the great beneficiaries if Urabá's ports were to operate. A step to achieve this purpose was recently discussed, after Turbo municipality from this region pending the presidential nomination to be recognized as a port, logistics, industrial and tourist district that will grant the municipality the authority to execute infrastructure projects in an autonomous way, without going through the Government of Antioquia.

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Guatemala: Rainfall Causes Crop Losses

20.10.2017
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A total of 8,888 hectares of crops were damaged during this year's rainy season in Guatemala, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (Maga) reported. The affected crops include coffee, bananas and lemons among others. The departments most affected were:

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Mexico: Tabasco’s Banana Sector Receives Loans

20.10.2017
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The development bank in the agricultural sector this year has more than four billion pesos to support projects in Tabasco, of which it has granted about 3, 100 million pesos, operators agencies reported. The state resident of Trust Institutions in Relation to Agriculture (FIRA), Raciel Salavarría Arias, pointed out that the sectors that request most credits are banana producers and the cocoa farmers for the productive recovery part and the forest sector. In an interview, he said that the FIRA is a second-floor institution with automatic funding and banks can use the collateral if the projects fail, which has benefited more than 4,000 producers.

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Panama's Exports Rise 13.6%

20.10.2017
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From January to August 2017 Panama's exports showed positive numbers compared to previous years the latest report from the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC), the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic reveals. Until the eighth month of this year, the weight of the country's exports increased 13.6%. According to figures from the official entity this is the highest percentage recorded in recent years for the same period.

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Devastated by Maria, the Banana Industry of the FWI Wants to Start From scratch

20.10.2017
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The producers, who were just beginning to be compensated for Hurricane Matthew in 2016, are discouraged. Planters know that bananas have replaced coffee among the most grown products in the West Indies due to weather conditions. Banana plantations were robust and after the Hurricane, it took only seven to twelve months to re-start a banana farm. Over the years and bad weather, bananas became the main agricultural product exported to the French West Indies departments (83% of Guadeloupe's agricultural exports).

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