Taiwan levels 'second strike' on Northwest apples for codling moth detection
November 29, 2005
by Kathleen Thomas
For the second time in six weeks, Taiwan's Bureau of Animal & Plant Health Inspection & Quarantine has detected a codling moth larva in apples shipped from Washington state.
While all U.S. growers and shippers other than those involved with the detection remain eligible for export to Taiwan, the so-called "second strike" moves the industry closer to a possible closure of the Asian market, which could occur should a third detection be made.
The latest detection was made Nov. 18; the first of the season came Oct. 7. Both shipments originated in Washington, according to Washington Apple Commission President Dave Carlson.
Mr. Carlson told The Produce News that as of Nov. 13 of this year, Washington had shipped just under 1.3 million boxes -- predominantly Fujis -- to Taiwan. "Hopefully we won't see any more strikes," he said Nov. 21.
Mr. Carlson went on to say that Washington has "shipped billions of apples [to Taiwan], and we have never introduced codling moth [to that country].
"They still don't have [codling moth] there," he continued. "But it's their rule and their country, and if we do have a third strike, they've indicated they will close the market."
He added, "We certainly hope it doesn't close because Chinese New Year [is a major shipping period]. We missed it last year."
The 15-day celebration begins Jan. 29.
In 2004, Northwest apple shippers were faced with a similar situation, and the Taiwan bureau closed the market on Dec. 31 after codling moth was found in shipments from Washington, Oregon and California. The ban remained in effect until spring.
Prior to the 2004 ban, some 1.6 million boxes of Washington apples had been shipped -- slightly more than one-third the average volume Taiwan receives annually.
The market was reopened April 27, allowing shippers to see accelerated movement in the record-busting 105 million-box crop of 2004.
Though the second strike report was not welcome news, Mr. Carlson said that there has been good news to bring to light.
Going into winter 2005-06, Washington exports "are up considerably," and he said that the industry had just experienced "a banner week."
He said that 927 carloads had been shipped the week of Nov. 7, and for each of the two weeks prior, more than 800 cars had been shipped.
"As of Nov. 13, we are 12.3 percent ahead of last year in exports," Mr. Carlson said, adding that 83 of the Nov. 7 week's cars went to Canada and 106 went to Mexico. "The rest were to various offshore receivers," Mr. Carlson said.
He noted that Mexican restrictions continue to be "a challenge," and he said that Washington has four shippers with no tariffs, two with low duties and "the rest are at 44 percent."
The high duties were put into place Sept. 29, a reinstatement of anti-dumping tariffs that were put on Red Delicious and Golden Delicious in 2002, suspended in May of this year and brought back this fall by publication in the Mexican federal register.
In 2004, approximately 8.3 million boxes of apples were shipped to Mexico, with Red Delicious the top variety with 3.7 million boxes and Goldens coming in at 2.8 million.
Beachside and Main Street ink pact
November 28, 2005
by Brian Gaylord
Guadalupe, CA-based grower-shipper Beachside Produce LLC and Santa Maria, CA-based Main Street Produce Inc. have struck an agreement whereby Beachside began marketing Main Street's vegetable products Nov. 9.
Main Street Produce, a longtime grower-shipper of broccoli, bell peppers and strawberries in the Santa Maria Valley, will continue to market its own strawberry crops.
Paul Allen, chief executive officer of Main Street Produce Inc., said, "The union will allow Main Street Produce and Beachside Produce to target their marketing efforts, allowing both to better serve our customer base and fuel the growth each is experiencing."
John Jackson, CEO of Beachside Produce, said, "It is a complementary union for both companies and our customers since the arrangement also includes expanding shipping operations through Main Street Cooling in Santa Maria."
Main Street Produce owns the Main Street Cooling facility. Mr. Jackson said that Beachside has sales experience with broccoli, which gives Main Street Produce the ability to focus on strawberries.
"We'll handle their broccoli year round," Mr. Jackson said, adding that Beachside moves a lot of broccoli and that Main Street should benefit from that.
Beachside Produce will market both the "Main Street" label and its own "Beachside" label through the end of the year. After that, all vegetable products will be shipped under the "Beachside" label.
Beachside Produce -- formerly known as Apio Fresh LLC -- specializes in broccoli, artichokes, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, green onions, mixed lettuce and Iceberg lettuce.