Monday, December 22, 2008

Dec. 22 top headlines

Be sure to check out The Packer's coverage (Don Schrack) of the Rabobank 2009 North American Food and Agribusiness Outlook. Among the nuggets:

“With this economic downturn, we may see a shift towards whole commodities or even frozen produce rather than fresh-cut,” Rijke said. “Fresh-cut is more expensive, and I think price will become more of a limiting factor in 2009.”

Other top headlines snatched from the Web this morning:

Fruits and vegetables a tasty ticket to a better life
Well written piece published in Alaska

Crispy Green joins forces with PBH
Freeze it wrong of me to think that "fresh is best?"

Editorial: childhood obesity Fort Worth Star-Telegram offer fruit and vegetable friendly editorial, reference to Aramark's Cool Caf program....

IFCO settlement announced
From a press release, IFCO has agreed to pay $20.7 million in civil forfietures and penalties over four years, making this the largest corporate settlement in a work site enforcement case to date. This case related to a government investigation of IFCO in in February 2005 that illegal alien laborers at the Albany IFCO plant were observed ripping up their W-2 forms. ICE agents eventually conducted a work site enforcement actin at 40 plnats in 26 states that netted 1,182 illegal aliens at those plants.

Bending the organic rules in the UK Coverage from UK Times online that says organic farmers have asked the UK government for an easing of orgranic standards "in an attempt to survive the recession." As with consumers bracing for a recession and retreating from organic food, the instinct for self preservation among organic growers kicks in. From the story:

The drastic move by organisations including the Soil Association follows a dip in sales of organic produce and fears for the future of Britain's 5,000 organic farmers.

Sales of organic food slumped 10 per cent in the 12 weeks up to the end of November, according to the latest figures from the consumer researchers TNS. Overall food sales over the same period were up 6 per cent.

Organic certification bodies, including the Soil Association, the country's biggest campaigner for organic food and farming, asked Hilary Benn, the Rural Affairs Secretary, last week for approval to relax the rules for an indefinite period. They want their members to be able to use conventional animal feed instead of organic food concentrate, which costs double.

Limiting unhealthy snacks boosts fruit, vegetable consumption South Carolina study says...

Farm bank thrives amid crisis

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seek USDA assessment of local food sourcing in Africa for school feeding programs

Homeland Security: Employers can't use expired documents

Target's customers revisiting Wal-Mart

Spain moves to restrict immigration as economy slows

Japan's export industries suffer

Recession shock shakes oil market

Chile's farming families

Chile retailer stock jumps on Wal-Mart offer

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