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Strong customer demand & market potential are key drivers behind new production line

CP Kelco, a global leader of nature-based ingredient solutions, has completed a USD 60 million expansion in production capacity for its citrus fiber product line, based on strong customer demand and market potential. With this significant expansion, the company has ample capacity to support current and future customers’ citrus fiber supply needs.

The production line expansion for NUTRAVA® and KELCOSENS™ Citrus Fiber in the company’s facility in Matão, Brazil, increases the total capacity to approximately 5000 MT, establishing CP Kelco as a leading citrus fiber supplier to food, beverage and consumer product manufacturers worldwide. This expansion provides options to incrementally expand capacity even further in the future based on customer needs.

Launched in 2019, CP Kelco’s citrus fiber products are highly versatile and unique ingredients upcycled from citrus peels, a byproduct of the juicing industry. With the continued growth in consumer demand for clean-label, sustainable products, citrus fiber addresses the need for nature-based and easily recognisable ingredients in a variety of food, beverage and personal care products.

NUTRAVA® Citrus Fiber supports dietary fiber intake and offers unique water-binding, texturising and stabilisation capabilities in a wide range of food and beverage applications, from condiments, dressings and soups to bakery goods, dairy and plant-based products. In personal care products, KELCOSENS Citrus Fiber serves as a gentle emulsifier alternative, providing stabilisation and a light skin feel to help product developers create SENSational textures, from serums to gels and luxe creams.

The orange processing of the 2024/25 season may be intensified in May. Three of the major processors and other two small companies (tool) have been operating at the moment. At least three more units are expected to start activities still in early May.

In the same period of 2023, only three units were operating, and a fourth company started crushing in the second week of the month. This scenario indicates a higher intensity of processing activities this year. Although current volumes are not high yet, players from the industry say that some companies have started operating in order to avoid fruit losses in a year of low supply.

Prices at companies remain firm, reaching BRL 70.00 per box for fruits of the new season. In cases of higher volumes, values can be even higher.

Due to the increase of industrial activities, the downward trend of orange prices in the in natura market, verified in April, is likely to slow down, since producers will have the industry as an option to sell the product. In April, the average for the in natura pear orange, of BRL 91.28 per 40.8-kilo box, in tree, was 3 % lower than in March.

The demand for oranges, in turn, is expected to decrease in May, because of the supply of ponkan tangerine. Moreover, possible milder temperatures in the Brazilian autumn tend to reduce the consumption.

Tahiti lime

The rainfall favoured the development of the tahiti lime in São Paulo state, increasing the supply.

Brazilian orange juice processors finished 2023 with low stocks. A report released by CitrusBR in March indicates that the volume was 463.94 thousand tons (equivalent to concentrate juice) on December 31, 2023, being 6.7 % higher than that on the same day last year, but the second lowest in history (the series has started in 2011).

Considering that the industry is practically in the offseason period, and, therefore, they have been using stocks to supply the international market, the stocked volume is likely to decrease month after month. This scenario brings concerns about the global supply, since Brazil is the biggest world exporter, and, although there are no forecasts for the next crop (2024/25) yet, the orange production may not increase compared to the current season.

CitrusBR has not projected the ending stocks for the orange juice industry this season. However, data from Cepea indicate that stocks may finish the season higher than in the previous, especially because of the decrease in exports.

Taking 2023/24 initial stocks, of 84.75 thousand tons (CitrusBR), processing of 267 million boxes (discounting the 40 million boxes of the in natura market of the total volume projected by Fundecitrus), the same juice yield of the previous crop and the 6 % decrease of exports (from July/23 to February/24), the amount in stocks by the end of the 2023/24 season (on June 30, 2024) would be only 94.5 thousand tons, 11 % more than in the same period last year.

In spite of the projection of an increase compared to the last season, it is worth noting that 2022/23 ending stocks were the lowest in recent history.

Production

The rainfall in orange producing areas in São Paulo state has been favoring the 2024/25 season. Players surveyed by Cepea say that the good humidity has been positive for the fruits, allowing to anticipate the harvest of early varieties, which have started to be offered in the in natura market in February and may be intensified in March.

Ziemann Holvrieka, a leading German provider of tanks and process technology for the beer, the beverage and food industry, has broken ground on a new facility in the Amistad Chuy María Industrial Park, located in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, near the capital city of Saltillo. The ceremonial groundbreaking event, attended by the Governor of Coahuila, Manolo Jiménez Salinas, marks a significant milestone in the company’s expansion efforts and underscores its commitment to the region.

With a projected total investment of 20 million dollars, Ziemann Holvrieka’s new production plant is poised to generate 150 new jobs in the Southeastern region of Coahuila. The facility will specialise in the manufacturing of stainless steel tanks, execution of EPC-Projects and overall customer services tailored to the needs of the liquid food industry and to serve our existing huge installed base, bolstering local employment opportunities and contributing to the economic growth of the area.

Speaking at the event, Governor Manolo Jiménez Salinas expressed his enthusiasm for the project, emphasising the importance of collaboration between government and industry in fostering economic development. “We are delighted to welcome Ziemann Holvrieka to Coahuila,” remarked Governor Jiménez. “Our state is committed to supporting businesses that seek to invest, innovate, and create jobs within our borders.”

Ziemann Holvrieka’s decision to establish a presence in Ramos Arizpe reflects its strategic vision for serving the growing demand for liquid processing solutions in Mexico. Klaus Gehrig, the company’s CEO, highlighted Mexico’s significance as the largest market of the group over the past decade and underlines their dedication to providing exceptional service to the clients from their new facility in Coahuila. Additionally, the company will extend its services and supplies to support the operations of its sister companies, DME and Briggs of Burton, catering to their customers in Mexico.
The new production plant, spanning 48,000 square meters, will feature state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities covering 6,500 square meters and accommodate 1,404 square meters office area across a three-story building. This investment underlines Ziemann Holvrieka’s long-term commitment to delivering high-quality products and services to its customers while leveraging the region’s skilled workforce and favorable logistical advantages.

Ziemann Holvrieka’s expansion represents a testament to Coahuila’s attractiveness to international investors, particularly from Europe. Governor Jiménez reaffirmed the state’s commitment to fostering an environment conducive to investment and job creation, emphasising Coahuila’s status as a prime destination for businesses seeking to thrive and succeed.

The ceremony was attended by distinguished guests, including local government officials, representatives from industry associations, and key stakeholders, underscoring the collaborative effort to drive economic prosperity in the region.

On the occasion of its Annual General Meeting in Fruit Logistica, the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) has released the Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop forecast for the upcoming season. According to the forecast, which consolidates the data from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa, apple production is set to grow by 1,1 % compared to 2023, while the pear crop is expected to decrease by 2,3 %.

On Friday 9 February 2024, the World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) held its Annual General Meeting. During the Meeting, which took place during Fruit Logistica in Berlin, WAPA presented the Southern Hemisphere apple and pear crop forecast for the upcoming season. This report has been compiled with the support of CAFI (Argentina), APAL (Australia), ABPM (Brazil), Fruits from Chile (Chile), New Zealand Apples and Pears (New Zealand), and Hortgro (South Africa), and therefore provides consolidated data from the six leading Southern Hemisphere countries.

Regarding apples, the Southern Hemisphere 2024 crop forecast suggests an increase of 1,1 % to a total of 4.775.530 t compared to last year (4.725.574 t). South Africa is expected to maintain its lead as the largest producer with 1.396.659 t (+ 4,6 from 2023), followed by Brazil (1.100.000 t, in line with 2023), Chile (912.000 t, – 8,4 %), New Zealand (557.871 t, + 14,7 %), Argentina (501.000 t, – 4,8 %), and Australia (308.000 t, + 5,8 %). With 1.578.148 t, Gala is by far the most popular variety, with its volume remaining in line with 2023 although 11,4 % below the average of the previous 3 years. Exports are also expected to increase (+ 8 %) to reach 1.551.696 t. South Africa (+ 5,1 %) and Chile (+ 5,3 %), the two largest exporters, are both expected to increase their export volumes, reaching 572.280 t and 493.000 t respectively. Exports from New Zealand should grow by 22,2 % (381.729 t in total), while lower export quantities are forecasted for Argentina (70.000 t, – 4,1 %) and Brazil (32.000 t, – 10,6 %).

Regarding pears, the Southern Hemisphere growers predict a slight decline in the crop (- 2,3 %), bringing the total to 1.465.800 t. Argentina (614.000 t), Chile (203.000 t), and Australia (72.000 t) are expected to decrease their production by 6 %, 5,4 %, and 2,7 % respectively. South Africa’s production levels are forecasted to increase to 567.334 t (+ 3,4 % from 2023), as well as New Zealand’s (+ 8,4 %, with 9.066 t in total). Packham’s Triumph remains the most produced variety (508.000 t, with a slight 1,3 % decrease compared to 2023), followed by Williams’ bon chrétien pears (300.082 t). Export figures are expected to be in line with 2023 with a total of 654.323 t.

European apple stocks stood at 3.851.098 t as of 1 January 2024, which is 4,6 % lower than in 2023. Similarly, the total of 582.587 t for European pears is 4,4 % below the figures from the previous year. On the other hand, stock figures are higher in the USA, both for apples (2.138.376 t, + 33,6 %) and for pears (169.474 t, + 14,9 %).

During the Annual General Meeting, Jeff Correa (Pear Bureau Northwest – USA) was elected as the President of the association, taking over from Dominik Woźniak (Society for Promotion of Dwarf Fruit Orchards / Rajpol – Poland). Nick Dicey (Hortgro – South Africa) will join him as the Vice-President. Regarding his new role, Mr Correa commented: “I’m honoured that I have been elected as the next Chairman of WAPA. I look forward to working with the WAPA staff and membership to advance the data sharing, market insights, and explore new avenues that will benefit the organization and its members”. Finally, the Annual General Meeting confirmed that the next edition of Prognosfruit will be held in Budapest, Hungary, on 7-9 August 2024.

Family-owned spirits company, Bacardi has successfully completed the world’s first commercial production of a glass spirits bottle fueled by hydrogen in a trial that took place in December 2023.

Bacardi worked with premium glassmaker, Hrastnik1860, to pioneer new technology that powered a glass furnace with hydrogen as its primary energy source and in doing so cut the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions typically produced as a byproduct of glass bottle production.

The bottle, which for the purposes of the trial was the iconic ST-GERMAIN® elderflower liqueur bottle, is identical in appearance to the bottle produced using traditional methods and will reach bars and stores in the coming weeks.

Over the course of the trial, which produced 150,000 of the brand’s 70 cl glass bottles, hydrogen contributed more than 60 % of the fuel for the glass furnace, cutting GHG emissions by more than 30 %.

To achieve its ambition of becoming the most environmentally responsible global spirits company, Bacardi is continuously investing in new innovations and exploring opportunities to use pioneering new technology to help achieve its ultimate goal of Net Zero.

About Hrastnik1860
Hrastnik1860, a member of the Vaider Group, has more than 160 years of expertise in glass and is a global partner in the development and manufacturing of world-class engineered glass products. The company is known for creating technically demanding bottles, primarily for the spirits industry, and is a full-service solution partner—from R&D and consulting to innovative design, prototyping, manufacturing, decoration, and delivery. Hrastnik1860’s products are acclaimed for their perfect crystal shine and are entirely free of heavy metals. They range from traditional designs to innovative solutions that have won many prestigious awards.

Elopak has announced plans to build its first U.S. production plant with the latest state-of-the-art technology for better and more efficient production. The plant will produce Pure-Pak® cartons for liquid dairy, juices, plant-based products and liquid eggs. The new production facility will be located in Little Rock, Arkansas and is expected to start production in H1, 2025.

It represents a significant investment for the region of around USD 70 million including the land, the building and the equipment.

Following the investment announcement in June 2023, the company has evaluated different financing opportunities and concluded to own and fully finance the plant on the balance sheet. Hence, the nominal cost of the investment will be recognized in the balance sheet instead of the discounted value of the lease payments, increasing the reported investment by around USD 15 million. This is economically more profitable for Elopak compared to partly leasing, which was assumed in June. Further, around USD 5 million is added to the investment to further optimize the scope of the project and support further long term growth.

Since the announcement in June, we have signed contracts with some of our existing customers in the region, further strengthening the investment case.

The new plant will create more than 100 permanent jobs in the region for engineers, printers, operators, logistics specialists and other support groups.

“This is our first converting plant in the U.S. and a landmark investment for our company. North America is a key building block for our future growth and we are very excited to expand our presence in the region. I would like to thank all parties involved for enabling the next step in our North American growth journey” says Thomas Körmendi, CEO of Elopak.

The yearly WAPA report was published on the occasion of the Prognosfruit held in Trentino (Italy): Italian production levels are stable, France and Spain grow, while Poland and Germany suffer a slump.

The new challenges in the apple industry will headline the Interpoma 2024, the only trade fair in the entire world specialised in apples. The trade fair will run between 21 and 23 November 2024 at the Fiera Bolzano.

During the hiatus between the South Tyrolean trade fair, which takes place every two years – the last edition was held in November 2022 – apple enthusiasts can look forward to Prognosfruit 2023, the yearly, itinerant trade fair during which WAPA, the World Apple and Pear Association, publishes a report containing forecasts on the upcoming European apple harvest. Due to WAPA’s choice of location, this year’s Interpoma supported and promoted Prognosfruit as the event’s Technical Sponsor. This meant that every fairgoer received the second edition of Interpoma’s official magazine, the Ipoma Magazine, printed on 100 % apple paper and bursting with news on the industry. Gerhard Dichgans coordinates the magazine, which goes into detail across numerous topics. The second edition focused on topics such as “Rise and Fall of a Superstar: Why the Red Delicious has gone downhill”, “Precision agriculture and AI predictions in orchards”, “Love and Craft: How Japan raised the apple to the status of cultural asset”, “Juicy Dividends in Normandy: How apples not suited for raw consumption are transformed into cider and Calvados”.

The Prognosfruit 2023 was held in Trentino (Italy) and revealed that forecast European production will reach 11,411,000 tons, a 3.3 % drop compared to last year. The country dragging production down is Poland, the largest European apple producer overall, with a – 11.1 % drop YOY. If we turn to Italy, production levels are strong yet stable, helping it maintain its second position in Europe with an estimated 2,104,000 tons. If we dig deeper, South Tyrolean and Trentino production are on the rise, respectively at + 7 % and + 4 %. Moving to upcoming trends, France and Spain have proved to be quite lively markets: Forecasts for France speak of a harvest equaling 1,501,000 tons, + 7.9 % YOY on growth and + 9.5 % compared to the average of the last three years. Spain performs even better with its 536.000 tons, representing an astounding + 30.1 % YOY growth and + 14.8 % compared to the average of the last three years. However, what goes up, must come down: That fate has befallen Germany, as estimates speak of a harvest yielding 952,000 tons, i.e. – 11.2 % YOY and – 7.9 % compared to the last triennium.

These new trends and much, much more will be in the spotlight between 21 and 23 November 2024 in Bolzano during Interpoma and the satellite Interpoma Congress, where international apple experts gather to exchange ideas and updates about the industry.

Orange Juice

Global orange juice production for 2022/23 is estimated 9 percent lower to 1.5 million tons (65 degrees brix). Production is down due to reduced fruit available for processing in Brazil, the European Union, Mexico, and the United States. Consumption is mostly flat while exports are estimated down with the reduced available supplies

Please download the full global market report: www.nass.usda.gov

The Prognosfruit Conference, Europe’s leading annual event of the apple and pear sector, is right around the corner. On 2-4 August 2023, the Italian region of Trentino (Italy) will welcome an estimated 300 delegates from Europe and beyond. Registration is still open for sector representatives interested in getting the latest updates on the preparations for the upcoming apple and pear season.

Prognosfruit, the leading annual event for the apple and pear sector, will take place in Trentino, Italy, from the 2nd to the 4th of August 2023. Prognosfruit 2023 is organised by WAPA in cooperation this year with APOT (Associazione Produttori Ortofrutticoli Trentini). After more than 20 years, the Italian region of Trentino is ready to welcome back a delegation of 300 leaders from the apple and pear sector from Europe and beyond. Registration is open on the Prognosfruit website until 25 July 2023, along with all the information to book accommodation in Trento.

The complete programme of Prognosfruit 2023 is available on the Prognosfruit website. The three-day event will gather the most important representatives of the sector to learn about the upcoming European apple and pear production and latest market trends, covering as well as the EU neighbourhood and the USA, China, and India. Philippe Binard, Secretary General of WAPA commented: “Prognosfruit is a long-established event for the European apples and pears sector. It has been on the agenda of the sector for 48 years. Besides the session that will reveal the key features for the Northern Hemisphere 2023/2024 apple and pear production forecast and corresponding market analysis, we are pleased this year to complement the programme with insightful new sessions on the demand side with an organic market outlook and a retail panel on adapting to consumer’s expectation. Mr Binard added “Despite on-going challenges of rising costs impacting both the sector and consumers and unpredictable climatic events, the first indicators for both apples and pears look very promising and will lead to interesting exchange during the conference in the middle of one of the most important production places”. To facilitate the debate, simultaneous translation will be available in Italian, English, French, and German.

CCL Industries, a world leader in specialty label, security and packaging solutions, announced it has signed a binding agreement to acquire Pouch Partners s.r.l. Italy (“Pouch Partners”) from Pouch Partners AG Switzerland, a company owned by Swiss headquartered Capri-Sun Group.

Pouch Partners, currently a provider of flexible laminates to the Capri Sun Group to make its iconic Capri Sun pouches, has been operating as a family owned business for the last 50 years and has been part of the Capri Sun Group since October 2017.

Guenther Birkner, President of CCL Label Food & Beverage, commented: “Pouches are a packaging format we’ve looked at for a long time as an adjacency to our label and sleeve decorating technologies with a similar modus operandi. Our common customers see them as an interesting alternative to rigid containers with labels. Pouch Partners has highly focused, deep know-how for these materials, a solid foundation to enter this market. If our investment is successful in Europe, there could be interest to develop the product line globally, alongside our decorative label portfolio”

Since several years there has been a lot of development and innovation in the packaging market with the goal to make packaging more reusable and recyclable to support a circular economy. One major trend has been to provide a refillable solution for the parent packaging. Typically the parent packaging is a more premium bottle or container and the pouches provide the refill option. The new business will then trade as CCL Specialty Pouches and become an integral part of CCL Label’s Food & Beverage division.

“There are opportunities to utilise this technology in the Food & Beverage and the Home & Personal Care spaces and interesting potential to design new, sustainable, barrier films at our sister company Innovia Films who are experts in material science and develop the packaging materials of the future. We see many of our global brand customers turn to alternative packaging solutions to substitute packaging that has a high carbon footprint, pouches provide a lightweight solution.” says Reinhard Streit, Vice President & Managing Director Food & Beverage Europe.

Pouches, made from flexible material, are designed to minimise the use of packaging materials. They are very light and reduce the ecological footprint during transportation and storage. They have an outstanding packaging-to-product ratio compared to rigid packaging types and the shape and the format can be adjusted to exactly fit the product volume resulting in material savings*. CCL is working with its sustainability partners along the whole value chain with organisations like CELAB, Plastic Recycler’s Europe and RecyClass to make sure the pouches can and will be recycled.

“After the development of our recyclable pouch for Capri Sun with the help of Pouch Partners, it was time to focus again on our core business: Beverages. Divesting the business to CCL, a large and successful player in packaging, makes a lot of sense for the future. We are excited to continue to partner with CCL, now as a strategic customer, and will for sure benefit from their deep expertise, R&D resource and worldwide presence”, said Roland Weening, CEO of the Capri Sun Group and Chairman of Pouch Partners AG.

*Source: Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE)

Elopak has announced that it will build a new plant in the USA to better serve its customers in the Americas and accelerate growth in the region. The new plant will allow Elopak to build on an already strong track record of organic and profitable growth driven by high customer demand in the region.

Elopak will invest around USD 50 million (including lease liability) in the new plant over the period 2023 – 2024. The investment will be financed by utilizing Elopak’s existing Revolving Credit Facility. The plant is expected to commence production in the fourth quarter of 2024 and will create more than 100 new jobs.

Lionel Ettedgui, EVP North America says: “Over the last few years, Elopak has delivered very strong profitable growth in Americas. The time has now come to increase capacity to further strengthen our organization and enable us to provide quality service to our customers in Americas faster and more efficiently.”

Thomas Körmendi, CEO says: “I am truly excited about this investment. This is a response to the strong demand that we are seeing for our innovative and sustainable solutions. It is a landmark investment for our company as Americas is one of the key building blocks of our strategy.”

GEA will invest around EUR 50 million in the modernization of its German centrifuge production facilities in Oelde (North Rhine-Westphalia) and Niederahr (Rhineland-Palatinate) by the end of 2024. The engineering group made the announcement at a press conference marking the 130th anniversary of GEA separation technology at its Oelde site. By investing in sustainable production, digitalisation and automation, GEA is targeting further growth in its key markets, which include the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries.

GEA centrifuges are used in more than 3,500 different processes in a wide range of industries. Growth drivers include applications for alternative protein production and global demand for dairy products. The investment package for the centrifuge plants is based on four pillars: sustainability, digitalisation, automation and modern manufacturing technologies.

Climate-friendly production through the use of renewable energy

Already today all GEA production sites are powered by green electricity. In the long term the electricity supply for GEA’s sites will come from local renewable energy sources. At the Oelde facility, several large-scale photovoltaic systems will cover about one-tenth of the site’s electricity requirements, including the provision of electromobility. An in-house combined heat and power plant already generates around 30 percent of the electricity required. Since waste heat is also used, 94 percent of the primary energy utilised is recycled. Process heat generation, which is important for production, will also be converted to alternatives such as electric steam generation, which will enable the Oelde and Niederahr sites to operate without gas in the near future.

The orange output in the citrus belt in southeastern Brazil (São Paulo and the Triângulo Mineiro) in the 2023/24 season is estimated at 309.34 million boxes of 40.8 kg each, according to data from Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund) released on May 10th. This volume is 1.5 % lower than that harvested last season.

According to Fundecitrus, the major reasons for the lower harvest are rains above the historical average (although they have favoured both the vigor of trees and fruits growth, rains raised flower rotten), the negative biennial cycle (except for northern SP, where productivity was lower last season), lower blooming for some late varieties (whose harvesting was delayed and/or production was high in 2022/23) and the higher incidence of greening, which is expected to raise the rate of fruit fall. On the other hand, high moisture may favour fruits weight, which may be the highest since 2017/18.

As for productivity, the average forecast for the citrus belt is at 918 boxes per hectare, a slight 0.6 % up from that in the 2022/23 season.

Although the harvest expected in the citrus belt is within the average of the last 10 years, the needs of juice processors in SP for oranges is very high. Inventories are low, and the number of oranges to be available is not expected to be enough for stocks to recover.

Indeed, according to a report from CitrusBR released this month, the volume of juice stocked by the processors in SP in Dec/22 was 14.5 % lower than that in the same period of 2021. If this percentage continues stable until the end of the 2022/23 season (on June 30, 2023), ending stocks may total 122.3 thousand tons (juice equivalent), very low – maybe even insufficient – to meet the markets’ demand until the new season steps up.

The 2022/23 orange season in the citrus belt (São Paulo State and the Triângulo Mineiro) is ending, while the oranges from next season are still green. Thus, the volume of oranges being processed at the plants in SP has been low. Considering large-sized plants, only three of them were processing oranges in March. In the same period last year, the scenario was the same, while in 2021, only one plant was in operation, which confirms that industrial activity is still high for this time of the year.

However, one of these plants is forecast to end activities in April, since orange availability is low. So far, the prices paid by the industry in the spot market have been around BRL 38.00 per 40.8-kg box (harvested and delivered). Considering the oranges from the new season (2023/24), bids have been higher, at BRL 40/box, however, the farmers consulted by Cepea reported some deals at BRL 42/box.

Most of the oranges from the 23/24 season has been sold. Thus, the number of fruits available in the spot market in 2023/24 will be low. However, processors’ needs are high, since their juice inventories are low.

As for the oranges not purchased yet, agents from processors reported that farmers are not rushing to sell them, since quotations have been firm in the table market, which may lead them to send the ripen fruits to this segment. These fruits may also be sent to small-sized plants that produce whole juice, which continue to process fruits and are paying up to BRL 45/box. However, for the production of whole juice, quality requirements are usually higher.

Orange processing in the 2023/24 season is forecast to begin in mid-May at large-sized processors. However, only from June onwards the volume is expected to increase.

Updated orange production1 forecast totals 316.23 million boxes

The third 2022-2023 orange crop forecast for the São Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt, published on February 10, 2023 by Fundecitrus in cooperation with Markestrat, FEA-RP/USP and FCAV/Unesp2 amounted to 316.23 million boxes of 40.8 kg each, a volume 0.7 % higher than the projected scenario in December 2022. This increase is mainly due to the production of the Pera Rio variety, whose harvest is close to the end with higher-than-expected yield. The heavy rains that occurred in the last two months could have further expanded the crop yield, since they contributed to the growth and weight increase of oranges. However, the highly frequent and intense rainfall (many in the form of storms), also significantly intensified the premature fruit drop, offsetting the positive effect of weight gain. This was especially true for the late varieties, as most of these cultivars had not been harvested when the heavy rains started …

Please download the complete forecast under: www.fundecitrus.com.br/pdf

1Hamlin, Westin, Rubi, Valencia Americana, Seleta, Pineapple, Alvorada, Pera Rio, Valencia, Valencia Folha Murcha and Natal.
2Department of math and science, FCAV/Unesp Jaboticabal Campus.

Data presented during the Prognosfruit conference speak to Poland’s and Italy’s good recovery. Forecasts for organic harvests are very promising. This year’s Interpoma Award will focus on sustainability.

Apple production figures showing overall stability are emerging from Prognosfruit, the annual conference organized by WAPA, the World Apple and Pear Association. During its 2022 edition, held in attendance in Belgrade after two years of pandemic-related online editions, the data presented on the upcoming European apple harvest estimate a yield of 12,168,000 tons which represent a slight growth of 1 % compared to 2021.

Poland spearheads the effort, boasting 4,495,000 tons (+ 5 %), followed by Italy at 2,150,000 tons, which equals a 5 % year-on-year growth. If we look at Italy, South Tyrol – the best-performing apple-growing region – registers a slight decrease in production (- 3 %) at 912,803 tons. A similar drop is evident in the Trentino region (- 1 %) with a forecast of 507,360 tons. France ranks third at 1,468,000 tons (+ 6 %), with Germany slightly behind at 1,067,000 tons (+ 6 %). One of the growing trends is Italy’s organic harvest, which is expected to reach a new record at just under 200,000 tons (+ 4 % YOY growth), representing more than 9 % of the total apple yield.

These facts and figures will dominate the Interpoma Congress scheduled for November 17 and 18 at Fiera Bolzano during the Interpoma trade fair (November 17-19, 2022). The international apple fair will focus on the industry’s innovations and cutting-edge automated fruit-picking technology, with experts from all over the world contributing to the debate. The program will, as usual, include many new items of interest, including the Congress’ coordinator himself, Walter Guerra. He has been the Vice-Director of the Laimburg Research Center since 2021, and the Head of the Pomology Working Group from 2005 onwards. Tickets to Interpoma Congress can be purchased online, with the Early Bird ticket costing €54 until August 31; after that, tickets will cost €69.

The most important world fair on apples would not be what it is without the Interpoma Award. The 2022 edition will focus on cutting-edge water-saving technologies in apple-growing. Two prizes will be awarded this year: one will go to companies or individuals, the other to start-ups. An expert jury will analyze the products or services submitted, such as machines, systems, components or devices. Applications for the award can be submitted by filling out an application form in English and sending it to interpoma@fieramesse.com. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2022.

Turkey’s citrus production for MY 2021/22 is forecasted up year-over-year in large part due to improved weather conditions compared to the previous year’s hot weather. While production is up, growers are seeing profit margins shrink as input costs, such as fuel and fertiliser, increase at a faster clip than farm gate prices. To cut losses, some grapefruit, orange and mandarin growers opted to leave their crops unharvested. With the exception of oranges, more than 50 percent of Turkey’s citrus production is expected to be exported in MY 2021/22. Looking ahead to MY 2022/23, citrus production will likely decline because of freezing weather that damaged blossoms in March of this year …

Please download the full report: https://apps.fas.usda.gov

On 1 June 2022 World Citrus Organisation (WCO) members gathered for the organisation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). During the AGM the WCO Secretariat presented the consolidation of the production and export forecasts for the forthcoming Southern Hemisphere citrus season 2022. This preliminary forecast is collected from member industry associations in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Africa, and Uruguay. Along with citrus market development updates, the meeting also saw the re-election of WCO’s current co-chairs for a second mandate. Both South Africa and Spain, represented by the Citrus Growers’ Association and Ailimpo, were re-elected to head the organisation for another two years.

During WCO’s AGM, the preliminary forecast for the upcoming Southern Hemisphere citrus season was presented to the representatives from the citrus sector. According to the forecast, which is based on information provided by industry associations in Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Africa, and Uruguay, citrus production is expected to increase by 4.85% compared 2021 to reach 24,832,270 tonnes. Exports are also projected to increase to 4,140,547 tonnes, 4.91 % up from the previous season. Philippe Binard, WCO Secretary General, explained, “Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a positive trend of consumers’ demand for fruit and vegetables was noted, in particular for citrus fruit, widely recognised for its high nutritional value, notably in terms of vitamin C content. The large volume available is positive news as it will meet this increased demand”. On the processing side, a total of 13,210,832 tonnes of citrus are expected to be destined to the juice market – an 8.32 % increase compared to 2021.

Orange production is forecasted to increase by 5.01 % compared to 2021, reaching 16,596,973 tonnes. Soft citrus production is expected to remain stable (-0.11 %, 3,044,652 tonnes in total). An 8.28 % growth is projected for lemon production (4,754,260 tonnes in total), while grapefruit production should decrease slightly (-0.58 % compared to 2021, down to 436,386 tonnes). Eric Imbert, CIRAD – Technical Secretariat of WCO, indicated, “The Southern Hemisphere citrus export continues to grow, especially lemons and easy peelers. The Southern Hemisphere today represents 27 % of the global citrus market”. Forecast information was followed by a review of the past season’s results and analysis of the estimations for the current season with a focus on ongoing market challenges, including rising costs and logistics disruptions.

WCO is led by a co-chairmanship of two country full members. Both South Africa and Spain, who have co- chaired the organisation since its inception, were re-elected to head the organisation for a second mandate of two years. South Africa is represented by the Citrus Growers’ Association under the guidance of Justin Chadwick and Spain is represented by Ailimpo under the helm of José Antonio Garcia Fernandez. WCO additionally welcomed new members, with the organisation’s membership now totalling 34 associations and companies.

As observed for other agricultural products, the production costs of citrus farming have increased sharply in Brazil, due to higher inputs prices, majorly fertilisers. This scenario is concerning farmers in Brazil, considering that citrus production was low in the two previous seasons, which resulted in higher costs per unit.

Even if productivity and production increase in the 2022/23 season – compared to that in 2020/21 and 2021/22, because of the slightly more favourable weather –, higher inputs prices are expected to limit a possible reduction in the production cost per unit. Thus, profit margins may be lower than the expected, despite orange valuations in 2022/23 – so far, the ceiling orange price is at BRL 32.00 per 40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered to processing plant (considering only large-sized processors).

Tight profitability may continue to constrain investments in both crops’ renewal and replating, mainly because shorter-cycle crops, such as soybean crops, are currently more attractive and bring better opportunities to farmers.

Last year, after five consecutive years of stability, the area allocated to citrus farming shrank in São Paulo and the Triângulo Mineiro (citrus belt), according to data from Fundecitrus, which may happen again in 2022.

Lower profit margins may also hamper adequate crop management in the citrus belt. Lower investments in crops’ renewal and replanting added to difficulties related to crop management may reduce orange production even more in the mid-term. Low supply may underpin prices, since the stocks of orange juice at the processing plants in SP are not high, and production needs to be higher for inventories to be replenished.

Citrus market

The domestic demand for oranges has not been high enough to raise prices. According to Cepea collaborators, many purchasers are trying to pay lower prices, putting farmers off selling oranges in the domestic market.

Brazilian citrus farmers claim that, if prices drop lower than the current levels, sales in the in natura market will become unviable. Currently, juice processors are bidding prices up to BRL 32/box (harvested and delivered). Although the values paid by processors include the harvesting and freight, the quality standard required by this segment and the risks of default are lower, making sales to the industry more attractive.

In this scenario, if the demand from processors continues high and prices, attractive, sales to the in natura market are expected to decrease, at least during the Winter and the beginning of Spring, when supply increases, while demand decreases. Also, most oranges have not reached the ideal maturation stage yet, allowing farmers to wait and sell the oranges when the processing activities in the 2022/23 season begin, forecast to late May/early June.

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners France (CCEP France) has announced an investment of EUR 30 million in its Dunkirk site, to fund a new production line that will increase the site’s capacity. The site already employs 400 people and bottles 10 different beverage brands. The investment will create at least 10 new jobs.

The Dunkirk site is the newest and largest CCEP site in France with lines producing all types of packs and sizes, and aseptic production which is used to manufacture still drinks – such as juices, teas and sports drinks. The site produces more than 600 million litres of beverages each year.

Since 2018, CCEP France has invested more than EUR 100 million to transform the Dunkirk site.

The Dunkirk site is committed to responsible growth and is taking measures to improve its carbon footprint, in line with CCEP’s net zero 2040 ambition and GHG emissions reduction target. For example,  the site  has set up an innovative device to replace plastic packaging on batches of cans with cardboard packaging, and 100 % of the waste created at the site is recycled or recovered.

The site also runs the Coca-Cola ‘Passport to Employment’ programme which benefits 400 young people from the Hauts-de-France region each year, and over 25,000 in France since its inception in 2003.

CCEP has been operating in France for more than 100 years, producing 90 % of the beverages in its portfolio locally and has invested EUR 350 million from 2009 to 2019 to strengthen its manufacturing capacity in the country.

The company will build new storage tanks for not-from-concentrate orange juice, supporting increased commercialization to European markets

Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), a leading global merchant and processor of agricultural goods, announced the construction of new orange juice storage tanks in the city of Matão, located in Brazil’s largest citrus producing region, in the state of São Paulo. The project aims to increase the company’s production and storage capacity for not-from-concentrate (NFC) orange juice, a product with high added value for the consumer market.

The new investment in Matão, where LDC operates since 1988, will bring NFC storage capacity at the site to 30 million liters, and annual juice production capacity to 300 million liters.

“Increasing production and storage capacity for NFC will allow us to meet growing consumer demand for this high value-added product, especially in Europe, while reinforcing our position among the top three global processors and merchandizers of orange juice,” said Juan José Blanchard, Head of the LDC’s Juice Platform.

This project is the second phase in LDC’s plans to expand commercialization of NFC in Europe, North America and Asia. In 2020, the company announced a new, dedicated fleet for juice transportation that reduces fuel consumption by 40 % and sulfur emission levels by 85 % per ton of product. LDC also increased storage capacity by more than 50 %, and blending capacity by more than 20 %, at its port terminal and processing facility in Ghent, Belgium.

Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of orange juice, a business in which LDC has been active for over 30 years. The company’s operations in the country are fully integrated, comprising more than 25,000 hectares of sustainably grown citrus groves – strategically located in Brazil’s citrus belt – as well as three citrus juice processing plants and an export terminal in the Port of Santos (São Paulo state).

“This project also reinforces the company’s commitment to long-term investment in Brazil, a key origination market for over 80 years,” added Jorge Costa, Global Operations Director for LDC’s Juice Platform.

The new storage tanks are expected to be operational by the end of 2023.

About Louis Dreyfus Company
Louis Dreyfus Company is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods, founded in 1851. We leverage our global reach and extensive asset network to serve our customers and consumers around the world, delivering the right products to the right location, at the right time – safely, reliably and responsibly. Our activities span the entire value chain, from farm to fork, across a broad range of business lines (platforms) including Grains & Oilseeds, Coffee, Cotton, Juice, Rice, Sugar, Freight, Carbon Solutions and Global Markets. We help feed and clothe some 500 million people every year by originating, processing and transporting approximately 80 million tons of products. Structured as a matrix organization of six geographical regions and nine platforms, Louis Dreyfus Company is active in over 100 countries and employs approximately 17,000 people globally.

The acquisition strengthens ADM’s flavour capabilities and reach, expanding ADM’s footprint in the high growth African market

Global nutrition leader, ADM, announced that it has completed its acquisition of Comhan, a leading South African flavour distributor. ADM has worked together with the local business for a number of years, with the formal acquisition now giving new and current customers more direct access to ADM’s extensive portfolio and network of experts.

“This acquisition marks a very exciting moment for ADM, as we continue to develop our Nutrition business in key growth markets including Africa. I am confident that this acquisition will open up opportunities for our customers in the region and build on the capabilities of our existing offices in Nigeria and Kenya.” said Calvin McEvoy, President Global Beverages ADM.

“At ADM we believe it is critical to invest in flavour creation assets globally to extend production and supply chains, making it easier to get unique and consumer-preferred flavours to local customers. The acquisition of Comhan means we can bring together our 80 years’ experience in the flavour industry and Comhan’s unique market insight to generate innovative products which cater to local tastes and interests. Comhan’s business is currently focused on beverages but through this new partnership we plan to grow the distribution capabilities to include food and savoury products.” added McEvoy.

Welcoming Comhan into ADM’s portfolio comes together with other recent investments in alternative flavour production, including the company’s recent state-of-the-art facilities in Pinghu, China and Berlin, Germany.

The acquisition strengthens ADM’s flavour capabilities and reach, expanding ADM’s footprint in the high growth African market

Global nutrition leader, ADM, announced that it has completed its acquisition of Comhan, a leading South African flavour distributor. ADM has worked together with the local business for a number of years, with the formal acquisition now giving new and current customers more direct access to ADM’s extensive portfolio and network of experts.

“This acquisition marks a very exciting moment for ADM, as we continue to develop our Nutrition business in key growth markets including Africa. I am confident that this acquisition will open up opportunities for our customers in the region and build on the capabilities of our existing offices in Nigeria and Kenya.” said Calvin McEvoy, President Global Beverages ADM.

“At ADM we believe it is critical to invest in flavour creation assets globally to extend production and supply chains, making it easier to get unique and consumer-preferred flavours to local customers. The acquisition of Comhan means we can bring together our 80 years’ experience in the flavour industry and Comhan’s unique market insight to generate innovative products which cater to local tastes and interests. Comhan’s business is currently focused on beverages but through this new partnership we plan to grow the distribution capabilities to include food and savoury products.” added McEvoy.

Welcoming Comhan into ADM’s portfolio comes together with other recent investments in alternative flavour production, including the company’s recent state-of-the-art facilities in Pinghu, China and Berlin, Germany.

The acquisition strengthens ADM’s flavour capabilities and reach, expanding ADM’s footprint in the high growth African market

Global nutrition leader, ADM, announced that it has completed its acquisition of Comhan, a leading South African flavour distributor. ADM has worked together with the local business for a number of years, with the formal acquisition now giving new and current customers more direct access to ADM’s extensive portfolio and network of experts.

“This acquisition marks a very exciting moment for ADM, as we continue to develop our Nutrition business in key growth markets including Africa. I am confident that this acquisition will open up opportunities for our customers in the region and build on the capabilities of our existing offices in Nigeria and Kenya.” said Calvin McEvoy, President Global Beverages ADM.

“At ADM we believe it is critical to invest in flavour creation assets globally to extend production and supply chains, making it easier to get unique and consumer-preferred flavours to local customers. The acquisition of Comhan means we can bring together our 80 years’ experience in the flavour industry and Comhan’s unique market insight to generate innovative products which cater to local tastes and interests. Comhan’s business is currently focused on beverages but through this new partnership we plan to grow the distribution capabilities to include food and savoury products.” added McEvoy.

Welcoming Comhan into ADM’s portfolio comes together with other recent investments in alternative flavour production, including the company’s recent state-of-the-art facilities in Pinghu, China and Berlin, Germany.

Mexico orange production continues to recover from 2019/20 drought

Mexico orange production is forecast at 4.3 million tons, up 3 percent from the previous year due to a return to normal weather conditions in Veracruz. The 2019/20 drought affected orange production more than other citrus, as many orange trees are old and require more energy to produce fruit. Mexico produces three main orange varieties: Valencia, which is favorable for juice production; Lane Late, which is mainly consumed fresh; and Navelina, which is consumed fresh and is also used for juice production. Oranges are harvested mainly from November to May.

Please download the full report under https://apps.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/circulars/citrus.pdf

By Pablo Gómez, International Quality Assurance Manager for table grapes at IFG

Global fruit production has not only persevered in the face of a worldwide health crisis, but it has also continued to adapt in response to the evolving landscape. A fast-paced industry already familiar with navigating unpredictable conditions and forecasting market demand, the agricultural sector never slowed down, even in the worst times of the pandemic.

However, that’s not to say the journey was without any roadblocks: COVID-19 brought a wave of challenges with everything from labour to logistics. Yet, as consumer interest in fresh produce increased by more than 10 percent in 2020, fruit suppliers, scientists, horticulturists, and growers are overcoming these setbacks to usher in a new period of efficiency and innovation.

Weathering the storm of staffing and safety

Like countless other business sectors, fruit-focused agriculture struggled with staffing at the outset of the pandemic. But while many companies turned to remote work options, the nature of agricultural operations needs employees to remain primarily in the fields.

The produce industry requires a significant amount of hand labour, particularly for table grapes and cherries. Managing thousands of employees who work simultaneous in-person shifts became an immediate area of focus. The main issue was the prevention of outbreaks in both the packhouse facilities and in the fields. Growers had to react quickly, forming small and segregated groups of workers adhering to organized schedules. In addition, the implementation of regular PCR tests enhanced other standard safety protocols that helped protect workers. While the actions were a costly investment, growers kept operations safe and healthy while maintaining productivity.

Nearly two years into the pandemic, though, staffing challenges persist. Due to new procedures and safety limitations, a scarcity of workers and higher costs still impact day-to-day operations worldwide. But while the problems are exacerbated given current conditions, this is nothing new for produce growers, especially in the United States where employment of agricultural workers is essentially at a standstill — it’s expected to increase only 2 percent from 2020 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations.

Navigating logistical burdens

The economic downturn has increased costs across the entire fruit supply chain, from growing and harvesting to delivering the product to market. As the pandemic continued into and throughout 2021, it became apparent that one of its most pronounced effects on the global fruit industry was on logistical operations.

The early days of lockdown restrictions and a slowdown in the production of goods created a ripple effect, sending refrigerated containers into a backlog of storage at cargo ports and inland depots. By mid-2021, wait times to procure a container stretched anywhere from weeks to months depending on departure port and arrival destination.

The supply chain has faced a global shortage of containers projected to last into 2022, resulting in severe inflation in materials and transport costs. McKinsey & Company reported it now costs up to six times more to ship a container from China to Europe than it did at the start of 2019.

A fresh take on the future of fruit production

Despite these challenges, the pandemic has shown how well prepared the agriculture industry is to adapt its systems in response to both adversity and increased demand.

The trend of healthy living and a desire for nutritious food that emerged over the last two years is a worldwide movement with evident staying power. The United Nations even designated 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. Manifested through behaviors such as at-home cooking and greater consciousness about food brought into the homes, the health and wellness trends have directly impacted the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Fruit scientists, horticulturalists, and growers alike are looking to long-term solutions for meeting this need. For worldwide fruit-breeding company IFG, the answer could lie in a recent focus on breeding as much year-round fruit as possible as part of an overall quality and support strategy. IFG is known for inventing flavour-forward table grapes, including the Cotton Candy™ variety, which hold numerous health benefits in line with current consumer interests. By creating a 52-week table grape supply in partnership with growers worldwide, IFG aims to transform the fruit industry and contribute to a more sustainable production of premium table grapes and cherries.

In a sector where food and safety standards are already incredibly high, another key area that can influence growth and opportunity is leveraging technology to increase the simplicity and efficiency of production. The agritech tools that a reported 56 percent of U.S. farms have now adopted can help strengthen global fruit production with automation that eases the burden of labour shortages, conserves resources and mitigates crop losses.

As technology and scientific strategy rapidly advance, the industry is poised to thrive in a post-pandemic world. These professional improvements will affect every part of the supply chain, from the fields where the fruit is grown and harvested to the carts where consumers add their nature’s bounty. Looking into 2022 and beyond, industry leaders will keep one eye on innovation while maintaining a stable production to ensure the world remains healthy and fed.

About the Author
Pablo Gómez joined IFG in 2018 and currently serves as the company’s International Quality Assurance Manager for Table Grapes. In this role, he works to develop IFG’s international table grape and cherry quality assurance program. Prior to working at IFG, Pablo served as a grape source technologist at Munoz Group, where he became experienced in the particularities of the table grape industry across different countries while also focusing on quality assurance for the U.K. market. Pablo started his career as an agricultural engineer intern at Investigación y Tecnología de Uva de Mesa (ITUM) while finishing his degree in agricultural engineering at Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena.

By Dr. Chris Owens, Lead Plant Breeder at IFG

Climate change has been affecting many different regions around the globe for decades, and the shift in weather is impacting fruit production. Areas that are being impacted most severely have historically seen significant effects from climate change. However, there are other areas also being affected, such as the northwestern United States and Western Canada with this year’s unprecedented heat. There have also been severe wildfires in many regions, threatening entire fields of crops.

How changing climates are affecting global fruit production
Grapes (Photo: IFG)

The regions facing the most issues right now are those that are already battling heat and drought. Some areas in Europe have begun moving wine grape vineyards further north or to a higher elevation, adjusting to the planet’s changing climate. Table grapes themselves are more heat tolerant, and IFG’s breeding program has used the most recent heatwave to screen our varieties for heat tolerance. However, there is still a maximum amount of heat that fruit can tolerate, and as climate change continues to alter the environment, it will affect global agriculture and food production.

Climate change and its impact on the agricultural industry and global food production

Climate change is the shift of average weather conditions over time and has been chiefly caused by human activity. The increase of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere allows for more of the sun’s rays to pass through the atmosphere, increasing the temperature on the planet. The result of these shifts can be severe or extreme weather events, such as more frequent and intense storms, flooding, scorching heat waves, freezing cold snaps, wildfires, and water shortages. Growers are witnessing their entire fields of crops damaged in one swoop.

Climate change has a direct impact on our global food supply. Changes in the weather affect the locations where products can be grown, thereby impacting the capacity for farmers to produce the food necessary to feed the world’s population. Fruits and vegetables are living organisms that respond to warm and cold temperature changes. Anything that will make significant changes to the environment will have considerable impacts on agriculture.

What fruit scientists, horticulturists, and growers are doing differently

From breeding to growing to packing, each area has different courses to cope with climate change. On the breeding side, efforts are being made to develop varieties that can tolerate rain and heat to varying stages of the production cycle. IFG is working on this for our table grape and cherry crops, and other fruit breeders are working on the same for crops such as apples and pears.

Growers are also implementing new irrigation system technology to be more efficient while protecting their crops from the rapidly changing environment. They are utilizing soil humidity sensors, reflective covers to reduce water evaporation, shade nets to protect the crops from excessive sun exposure, and even rain covers to protect the fruit from rainstorms. These efforts may be enough to protect against hot or cold temperatures or drought; however, they will not save crops from being destroyed by extreme weather events such as wildfires, storms, or floods.

Predicting the future of fruit production

Due to climate change and recent developments in fruit-breeding programs, farmers are avoiding planting in higher-risk areas. The industry is seeing increasing growth of planting in regions where certain fruit varieties were not grown in the past. Jalisco in Mexico or Piura in Peru are examples of developing table grape regions. This change in geography is also evident in other crops, such as blueberries and cherries, with the recent introduction of low-chill varieties. Growers will undertake the enormous task of moving their fruit to new areas if the heat or drought is too difficult for production. Conversely, suppose the land cannot provide the necessary chill requirements or secure water supply. In that case, we can expect growers to move to untraditional growing areas, as evident in the regions where IFG’s cherry varieties are currently being grown.

Climate change is at the forefront of many conversations in agriculture, which is why IFG does the work we do: breeding new varieties of fruit that will grow in warmer climates with less water requirements. As the planet changes, there is the possibility that we will see less fruit production. IFG is focused on breeding varieties that ensure consistent cropping in a changing climate.

About Dr. Chris Owens
Dr. Chris Owens has been with IFG since 2016 and is now the Lead Plant Breeder, directing the development of improved varieties of table grapes and sweet cherries. He also directs IFG’s research and development efforts supporting the breeding program, including post-harvest evaluations, plant pathology and genetics. Chris interacts closely with the international technical and commercial teams with the goals to accelerate the adoption and maximize the success of IFG’s new varieties.
Chris holds a BS in horticulture from the University of Maryland, an MS in pomology from Cornell University, and a PhD in plant breeding and genetics from Michigan State University. Prior to IFG, Chris spent more than 20 years in germplasm development, breeding and genetics of both grapevines and cherries. The author of numerous book chapters and scientific articles, he has presented research results at national and international conferences and served on professional societies’ advisory committees.

During Fruit Attraction, SHAFFE organized the seminar “How the sustainable produce sector could look like in 2030”, which was held on October 6, 2021 in a hybrid conference format, where SHAFFE representatives had the opportunity to share some of the learnings and insights from the last 8 months of work, and visions of what the Southern Hemisphere’s sustainability strategy should look like.

“Sustainability is not a foreign issue for Southern Hemisphere fruit exporters. In fact, it is a matter in which each member of SHAFFE is making great and diverse efforts at both production and export levels. Therefore, SHAFFE’s objective is to generate a strategy that not only reflects where the fresh fruit industry of the South is heading, but also the aspects that are important for markets and consumers in these matters”, says Charif Christian Carvajal, SHAFFE President.

Nelly Hajdu, Secretary General SHAFFE stressed the importance of developing a sustainability strategy for the Southern Hemisphere. “Our purpose with task force is to invite all our members to build a White Paper on Sustainability. We are all united by common challenges about it, therefore, the way forward is to face them together, collaboratively and with a common strategy”.

During the task force process the following 10 common Southern Hemisphere Sustainability Challenges have been identified:

  1. Water
  2. Public-Private Partnerships
  3. Biosafety, biodiversity and waste reduction
  4. Communication and education
  5. Complexity and duplication of external sustainability requirement
  6. Carbon emissions and trade
  7. Financing, investment and economic viability
  8. People
  9. Measuring and reporting
  10. Preserving the ecosystem

“We hope to have the White Paper ready within the next few weeks, with practical, real and possible actions to be taken by 2030“, says Carvajal.

The SHAFFE sustainability committee is made up of Marta Bentancur from Uruguay, Paul Hardman from South Africa, Ricardo Adonis from Chile, Jorge Souza from Brazil, Gary Jones from New Zealand and Gabriel Wasserman from Argentina, who will also lead the group.

The conference at Fruit Attraction brought together live and virtual SHAFFE members from Argentina (Alejandro Pannunzio and Gabriel Wasserman) Brazil (Jorge de Souza), Perú (Sergio del Castillo), Uruguay (Marta Bentancur), South Africa (Paul Hardman), Chile (Ricardo Adonis and Charif Christian Carvajal), and New Zeland (Alan Pollard).

Orange1 production forecast update totals 267.87 million boxes

The first 2021-2022 orange crop forecast update for the Sao Paulo and West-Southwest Minas Gerais citrus belt by Fundecitrus – performed in cooperation with Markestrat, FEA-RP/USP and FCAV/Unesp2 – is 267.87 million boxes of 40.8 kg each, differently from the 294.17 million estimated in May this year. The reduction of 26.30 million in relation to the initial expectation corresponds to – 8.9 %. The main reason for this crop loss is the poorer rainfall regime constituting the most severe water crisis ever to hit Brazil for the last 91 years3. The combination of this drought never before experienced by citriculture and successive frosts in July culminated in a gradual crop decline that has been seen as harvests progress and disclose totally atypical figures. Field surveys also show results other than expected for this time of the year for orange planted areas yet to be harvested. In general, oranges are excessively small, and early fruit drop reaches one of its highest rates. These factors make production go back to the same levels of last crop season that totaled 268.63 million boxes, despite fruit load being 12.50 % larger since this is an “on” year. In view of this data and the perspective of climate conditions remaining adverse until harvests end, fruit should present the most critical size and drop rate in historical data. If this scenario is confirmed, there will no longer be an increase in this crop in relation to the previous season, estimated at 9.51 % in May, but rather a smaller volume than the production in the last season (- 0,28 %).

1Hamlin, Westin, Rubi, Valencia Americana, Seleta, Pineapple, Pera Rio, Valencia, Valencia Folha Murcha and Natal.
2Department of math and science, FCAV/Unesp Jaboticabal Campus.
3National operator of the energy system – ONS. Data for the Parana River basin, encompassing the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás and Distrito Federal.

Please download the complete forecast under: www.fundecitrus.com.br/pdf

Prognosfruit’s 2021 European apple and pear crop forecast revealed that while apple production is set to increase by 10 %, the upcoming pear crop is expected to decrease by 28 %. On 5 August 2021, more than 150 international representatives from the apple and pear sector joined the Prognosfruit 2021 Online Conference, the second virtual edition of the event in its 46 years, to discuss the 2021 production forecast for apples and pears.

Prognosfruit 2021 releases its annual apple and pear crop forecast
Philippe Binard (Photo: freshfel)

The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) released the 2021/2022 European apple and pear crop estimate on the occasion of the 46th edition of the Prognosfruit. WAPA Secretary General Philippe Binard stated: “The apple production in the EU for the 21 top producing countries contributing to this report is estimated for the 2021/2022 season to be 11.735,000 T. Overall, this year’s crop is estimated to be 10 % higher than last year, but 1 % only up from the 3-year average. It is therefore perceived to be a season with a balanced outlook”.

Philippe Binard added ”While the EU apple crop is larger, the EU pear crop for 2021/2022 is estimated to decrease by 28 % compared to last year to 1.604.000 T and by 27 % compared to the three-year average. This is the smallest decade crop for pears” On the varieties, this translates into a decrease of Conference pear by 18% to 805.000 T. Abate is also impacted with a crop reduced to 66.000 T, down by 73 %”.

WAPA will continue to monitor the developments of the Northern Hemisphere crop and will issue updates when available.

SIG announced that it will construct a new plant in Queretaro, Mexico to serve North American markets. The plant will further expand SIG’s global production network and will enable the company to build on its strong track record of growth in North America.

Through its existing sales and service presence, SIG has been able to forge strong relationships with major dairies in Mexico, a large and growing milk market. In the USA, SIG has a well established co-manufacturing customer base and is ideally placed to serve innovative and expanding new categories.

SIG will invest around €40 million in the new plant over the period 2021-2023. The investment will cover state-of-the art production capacity for the printing, cutting and finishing of carton packs. The plant is expected to open in the first quarter of 2023 and will create around 200 jobs. It will have a highly flexible layout with a focus on ergonomics and the environment. Land and buildings will be financed through a long-term lease with an NPV of approximately €20 million.

The global pectin market is estimated to reach USD 1.87 billion by 2026 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.4 % from 2018 to 2026. Pectin market is projected to witness significant growth over the forecast period. Increasing health consciousness among consumers and various health benefits of pectin products is expected to drive the global market over the forecast period.

Pectin are plant-derived compounds, a structural heteropoly saccharide that is contained in primary cell walls of the terrestrial plants. It is mainly extracted from citrus fruits, apples, apricots, cherries, oranges, and carrots. Commercially, it is available in the form of white to light brown powder. The industry is characterized by companies characterized by medium level of integration in the value chain. Packaging and shipping play an important role in integrating the value chain. This helps the companies to incorporate their businesses in a cost-effective way.

Suppliers include companies which are involved in the production & distribution of processes raw materials such as apple, citrus, and others. The rising shortage of raw materials and increased import for Brazil and European countries is resulting in high bargaining power to the suppliers. In addition, low threat of backward integration from manufacturers, except some of the major and giant market players is also resulting in high bargaining power of suppliers.

The pectin market witnesses an external threat of substitution from natural gum and Citri-fi. Citri-fi is natural functional fibers, which are derived from citrus fruits. They offer hydrocolloidal properties, which is significant for high water holding capabilities. There are also some synthetic alternatives such as polyurethane, but these are usually not considered suitable for skin contact applications. However, the various advantages of pectin over these products are expected to lower the threat.

Pectin extracted from this raw material are used for high cholesterol high blood pressure, & blood sugar, joint pain, weight loss, prevent colon & prostate cancer, high triglycerides, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and diabetes. In addition, some people also use pectin to prevent poisoning caused by strontium, and other heavy metals.

Despite the shortage in the supply of raw material, some of the major players are also trying to increase their production capacity to meet the demand. For instance, Cargill acquired FMC’s plant to boost their pectin production capacity. The market is highly fragmented and competitive. In addition, it also experiences the presence of small-scale as well as giant players. The key and major companies are investing in R&D activities and frequently involved in merger and acquisition to increase their market share and product portfolio. Some of the companies that have a significant influence in the industry include DuPont Nutrition & Health, FMC Corporation, CPKelco, Herbstreith & Fox, Devson Impex Private Limited, Cargill Incorporated, B&V srl. and Yantai Andre Pectin Co. Ltd.

Growth in food & beverage industries, in emerging economies, is expected to drive the Asia Pacific market. The market is projected to grow rapidly in the Asia Pacific region, owing to the changing lifestyle of consumers in emerging economies including, China and India. The rising health consciousness among consumers and the presence of major players in North America is projected to positively drive the growth of the market over the forecast period.

Oranges

Global orange production for 2020/21 is forecast to rise 3.6 million metric tons (tons) from the previous year to 49.4 million as favorable weather leads to larger crops in Brazil and Mexico, offsetting declines in Turkey and the United States. Consequently, consumption, fruit for processing, and fresh exports are also forecast higher.

Please download the full citrus crop production forecast: https://apps.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/circulars/citrus.pdf

After the low production in the 2020/21 season, agents expect a limited orange crop in 2021/22 in São Paulo State and the Triângulo Mineiro, due to unfavorable weather conditions. This scenario tends to underpin orange prices in 2021.

The first estimates for the 2021/22 crop, released by the USDA in December/2020, indicate that the harvest in SP and the Triângulo Mineiro should total 315 million boxes of 40.8-kilos each, 17 % up from that in the previous season. Despite this recovery, this volume does not mean the productive potential of crops will be recovered because of the bad weather conditions in these regions.

Thus, a harvest of 315 million boxes is not high, and therefore may not be enough to totally offset orange juice inventories. On the other hand, it should favor farmers’ revenue for one more year, due to the firm industrial demand. It is worth to mention that these estimates may change, since it is still early to assess production, majorly this year. Fundecitrus should release estimates only in May 2021.

INVENTORIES – Data from CitrusBR indicate that initial inventories in the 2021/22 season may be from 240 to 280 thousand tons in July/21. Although this volume is not lower than the strategic level established, the small harvest in the 2021/22 season may limit the volume by the end of the season, in June 2022.

CONTRACTS WITH THE INDUSTRY – Deals for the new season have not been closed. As the volume produced is still uncertain, reasonable prices cannot be fixed either. Besides, in the 2020/21 season, many processors closed deals for the following crop. Thus, a higher volume of fruits from the coming season has already been sold. Still, prices are expected to be positive in this segment, since the demand from the industry should be high.

IN NATURA MARKET – Higher industrial demand should keep orange prices on the rise in the in natura market in 2021/22. As the 2021/22 crop is expected to be late again, the prices of early oranges should be favored, and quotes should be underpinned, since the pear orange crop may be late.

The WCO Secretariat has released its first crop production forecast for the forthcoming Northern Hemisphere citrus season 2020-21. The preliminary forecast is collected from industry associations in Egypt, Greece, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States (California and Florida).

The preliminary forecast shows that the 2020-21 citrus Northern Hemisphere crop is expected to reach 28.737.570 T, which represents a decrease of slight decrease of 1 % compared to the 2019 crop. This decreased volume is the result of alternance in some countries compared to last year, as well as the impact of the droughts recorded in several production regions in the Northern Hemisphere.

By citrus categories, most categories showed decreases in production. Orange is expected to decrease by 2 %, lemon by 7 % and grapefruit by 9 %. The only category increasing production volumes compared to the previous year is soft citrus (+5 %). Looking at production by region, European production is expected to experience an increase in volume, with 12 % increases recorded for both Italy and Spain, respectively, and a 1 % decrease for Greece. In the Southern rim of the Mediterranean, crop forecasts for Egypt (-8 %), Israel (- 4 %) and Turkey (-15 %) have been lowered compared to 2019 volumes. On the other hand, Morocco and Tunisia forecast increases in their citrus crops this year, by 13 % and 20 % respectively compared to 2019 figures. On its side, the United States production is expected to decrease by 9 % compared to the precedent year, with California lowering its forecast by 5 % and Florida by 14 %.

WCO will present this forecast during the first edition of the Global Citrus Congress, which the World Citrus Organisation is co-organising with Fruitnet. The Congress with an expected attendance of more than 1.000 delegates will be the perfect opportunity to presents these latest global production figures and trade trends, as well as the importance of sustainability in citrus production and of nutrition and promotion to increase global citrus consumption.

WCO Members are ABCM- Associação Brasileira de Citrus de Mesa (Brazil), Ailimpo – Asociación Interprofesional de Limón y Pomelo (Spain), AKIB – Mediterranean Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Exporters Association (Turkey), Citrus Australia (Australia), Citrus Growers’ Association (South Africa), Chilean Citrus Committee (Chile), Fruitimpresse (Italy), Moroccan Interprofessional Citrus Federation – Maroc Citrus (Morocco), Plant Production Marketing Board (Israel), Procitrus – Asociacion de Productores de Citricos del Peru (Peru), Upefruy – Unión de Productores y Exportadores de Fruta del Uruguay (Uruguay).
WCO Associated Members are AgroFresh (Spain), AM FRESH Group (Spain), Citrusvil (Argentina), Easyfresh Logistics (Spain), FruitOne (South Africa), G.F. Marketing (South Africa), Janssen Preservation and Material Protection (Belgium), MAFA-Magrabi Agriculture (Egypt), Morocco Foodex (Morocco), Oranfrizer (Italy), PCN (USA), River Front Packing (USA), San Miguel Global (South Africa) and Zalar Agri-Agricole Centre (Morocco).

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Innovation at VOG Products: new purée production lines in operationThe careful handling of raw goods and top quality standards are priorities at VOG Products. To continue upholding these standards in future, the company has made significant investments in the modernisation of its production lines.

Each year, VOG Products processes and refines around 300,000 tonnes of raw goods. On the one hand, the fruit processing company established in 1967 builds upon the long fruit-growing tradition in the heart of the Dolomite Alps. That tradition is embraced and maintained by a total of 13,000 members who belong to 18 cooperatives in South Tyrol and Trentino and 4 producer organisations. On the other hand, VOG Products also consciously relies on innovation and advanced development – particularly when it comes to technical equipment.

Innovation at VOG Products: new purée production lines in operation
Innovation at VOG Products

In March 2020, two new production lines for fruit purée were commissioned on the 8-hectare company premises in Laives. They represent a significant portion of VOG Products’ concrete modernisation and development plan.

A fully automated plant for aseptic filling marked the beginning in May 2019. That was a key step in the effort to satisfy rising demand and at the same time, to bring the infrastructure up to date with the latest technology.

In September 2019, a new optical sorting system was installed in the low-temperature area. It guarantees maximum precision and quality to customers and ultimately, consumers.

Innovation at VOG Products: new purée production lines in operation
Johannes Runggaldier (l), Chairman of VOG Products & Christoph Tappeiner (r), General Manager

The purée production modernisation completed in 2020 is the centrepiece of the extensive investment strategy, but not its final measure: by the beginning of 2021, the production line for fruit juice will also have been renewed. “That will mark our achievement of the fourth and last step of our current infrastructure modernisation strategy. Innovation and advanced development are and will remain major themes at VOG Products, however, because they are essential to our effort to continue satisfying the market’s increasingly rigorous requirements in future while meeting top quality standards,” said Christoph Tappeiner, CEO of VOG Products.

The commissioning of the two production lines for fruit purée was a key step in that direction. It increased the company’s capacity and VOG Products now has two separate lines, which happens to be a decisive characteristic for product safety in the processing of organic goods. And now the raw goods are inspected by the optical sorting system to guarantee the highest quality standards in the purée segment as well.

Further, raw goods are not handled in bulk at VOG Products. Instead, large boxes with a maximum mass of 300 kg are used exclusively. “After all: you need excellent raw goods to produce an excellent end product. Our 13,000 members – most of which are small family-run enterprises – ensure our excellent quality. They cultivate fruit with lots of passion, and we continue its processing in the same spirit: as much care as possible when handling the product and top quality standards are our main priorities. Our new, functional plants equipped with state-of-the-art technology fit perfectly into this philosophy,” confirmed Tappeiner.

GEA Group AG decided on strategic guidelines and significant investments to further optimize its production network. In this context, production at the Bodenheim site near Mainz (GER) will be discontinued by the end of 2024. The plant in Koszalin, Poland, will be expanded into a Center of Competence for pump production and comprehensive machining. GEA will invest around EUR 30 million in this expansion. Investments and a further consolidation of production and process activities are planned at other locations, too. The aim is to further strengthen GEA’s global production network in order to increase productivity and reduce its cost base.

The agreed investments, as well as the guidelines of the underlying production strategy, are key pillars of GEA’s overall strategy. They are part of a series of measures the Group has decided on and implemented over the past 18 months: a new organizational structure, restructuring measures, and the new composition of the Executive Board. As part of the production strategy, production is supposed to become more international to increase customer proximity and leverage cost advantages. Additionally, it is planned to concentrate products and processes with synergy potential at certain locations and to increase capacity utilization. The aim is also to expand standardized production based on modular systems and to optimize the depth of value creation, partly through the reintegration of tasks that had previously been outsourced. The expansion of the Polish site in Koszalin is the first major investment within this production strategy. Since the adoption of the targets at the Capital Market Day 2019, GEA has already relocated around 40,000 production hours from Chateau-Thierry in France to Tianjin in China. The transfer of a further 120,000 production hours within China by consolidating the Shanghai plant with Suzhou will be completed by the end of this year. The current productivity initiative and associated investments in digitalization and automation are expected to increase productivity and reduce overall costs.

GEA advances the optimization of its production network and invests in site expansion in Poland
Stefan Klebert (Photo: GEA)

Stefan Klebert, CEO of GEA Group AG, commented, “Optimizing our global production footprint is an important step to increase our profitability in the long term. We are building on previously implemented improvement measures that already had a positive effect on our financials in previous quarters. Going forward, we will concentrate certain standardized products and processes at individual sites. At the same time, we stay true to our basic principle of producing “local for local” to best meet customer-specific requirements. This partial centralization allows us to better balance our production concept between customer proximity, efficiency, and proven site-specific expertise.”

In addition to the strategic guidelines, the site consolidation measures are initially aimed at reducing costs and leveraging economies of scale in production. As part of the new production strategy, around 150,000 production hours are to be transferred from Germany to GEA’s Polish site in Koszalin between 2022 and 2024. In this context, the Koszalin site will be significantly expanded. Among other things, around 90,000 production hours, which are currently performed by external providers, will gradually be implemented in Koszalin from 2021. The relocation of production hours to Poland is expected to lead to a reduction of around 160 jobs in Germany by the end of 2024. Around 60 of these are planned to be reduced through natural fluctuation and partial retirement solutions. As part of this site consolidation, it is intended to close down pump production at the Bodenheim site near Mainz with its around 90 production employees by the end of 2024. The remaining functions located there, such as R&D, are not affected. GEA aims to reduce its workforce without any compulsory redundancies.

In line with the production strategy, Koszalin will be expanded into a Center of Competence for pump production and comprehensive machining. The latter is an important step in the production process of numerous GEA end products. For this purpose, GEA plans to invest around EUR 30 million in the expansion of this site over the coming years. In addition to Koszalin, the new production strategy defines eight further Centers of Competence. Of GEA’s 26 German sites, four – Berlin, Bönen, Büchen, and Oelde – will also be extended to Centers of Competence, along with the Italian factories in Parma, Colognola and Manfredonia as well as the plant in Tianjin, China. Investments for expanding these sites as part of the production strategy are planned, too. GEA intends to add additional Centers of Competence in the future. All investments will take place within the scope of the existing financial planning framework and will neither impact the outlook for 2020 nor GEA’s medium-term targets.

GEA advances the optimization of its production network and invests in site expansion in Poland
Johannes Giloth (Photo: GEA)

Johannes Giloth, Chief Operating Officer of GEA Group AG and also responsible for production, commented: “This production strategy contains crucial measures to further optimize our production network. By expanding our site in Koszalin, we will more than quadruple the number of employees there, from currently around 60 to approximately 250. The production area will increase fivefold. However, we are not exclusively relying on relocation. We continue to invest Group-wide and will look at each individual plant to see how we can improve productivity. Further digitalization and automation of our production – two important drivers for more efficiency – will play a key role in this process.”

Orange Juice

Global orange juice production for 2019/20 is estimated to slip 23 percent to 1.6 million tons (65 degrees brix) as production in Brazil and Mexico tumbles as a result of fewer oranges expected to be available for processing. Consumption is projected to be flat (though not down) and global trade is estimated lower with the expected drop in exports from Brazil and Mexico.

Please download the full report: https://apps.fas.usda.gov

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VOG Products: Where sustainability is embraced at the highest levelVOG Products, the modern, innovative fruit processing company in Trentino-South Tyrol, has set new standards for sustainability. The company fully satisfies the GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Sustainability Assessment and has earned the Gold Standard.

VOG Products was established in South Tyrol – Südtirol in 1967 – in the heart of the Dolomites, a region with a long tradition of orcharding. Using the land and its resources respectfully and sustainably has always been part of our corporate culture. There are good reasons why the Trentino-South Tyrol region regularly ranks at the top in nationwide comparisons when it comes to quality of life.

Today, VOG Products comprise 18 South Tyrolean and Trentino cooperatives and four producers’ organisations with more than 13,000 members. Most of them are small family-run enterprises that passionately and sustainably manage a total of 28,000 hectares of cultivated land.

Their commitment to sustainability has also been certified in accordance with the highest possible standard since June 2020. In May, VOG Products successfully completed the GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Sustainability Assessment (GGFSA) with an audit by the CSQA certifying institution. At the first go, VOG Products earned the highest sustainability category: Gold.

With this achievement, VOG Products has set new standards in the fruit processing sector. More than 300,000 tonnes of raw goods from 13,000 enterprises are processed and refined on the eight-hectare premises in Laives year after year, and the fact that they all fully satisfy the highest standards is simply unique.

With the GGFSA, the global SAI platform (Sustainable Agriculture Initiative) has joined up with GLOBALG.A.P to offer an innovative solution based on the GLOBALG.A.P. standards for crops. It unites all the FSA sustainability requirements in one compact, verifiable standard, making it easier for distributors and producers to procure safe, sustainable products transparently and more efficiently. The certificate is awarded in three performance categories: Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

VOG Products: Where sustainability is embraced at the highest level
Johannes Runggaldier (l), Chairman of VOG Products & Christoph Tappeiner (r), General Manager

“We are quite pleased that our many years of commitment have now been recognised with the FSA Gold label,” explained Johannes Runggaldier, the Chairman of VOG Products. “Sustainability is not a superficial label. Instead, it reaches right down to the roots of our production chain. One of the factors that safeguards it is traceability from the end product to the farmer.”

“That is our guarantee to our customer and ultimately, consumers,” added General Manager Christoph Tappeiner. “We actively embrace sustainability as part of our corporate culture and as such, further develop it with a view toward the future challenges and requirements in the market.”

Social criteria play as much of a role when it comes to sustainability as respect for nature and the products, as do the use of state-of-the-art safety systems and technology.

For example, VOG Products has a photovoltaic system with a power output of 998 kWp. It is used to generate electricity, hot water, and steam in conjunction with a cogeneration plant. Annually, around 8,230,000 kWh electricity and 3,070,000 kWh heat are generated. Further, its waste water is used in the nearest water treatment plant to generate gas and electricity, and production waste is delivered to various biogas plants to be used a source of energy.

VOG Products is an innovative company specialising in the processing of apples and other fruit. It is owned by 18 cooperatives in South Tyrol and Trentino and four producers’ organisations comprising over 13,000 family-run enterprises. Every year, VOG Products process more than 300,000 tonnes of raw goods to create healthy, safe products for the international market.

Symrise experienced a premiere in a number of ways. The company opened its biggest individual investment and invested € 50 million in the construction of the new production site for flavorings and fragrances in Nantong. In addition, the Executive Board, senior staff, plant workers and guests opened the facility virtually – in a video conference – for the first time. Chief Executive Officer Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram and Chief Financial Officer Olaf Klinger conveyed their greetings via live video from Holzminden.

The decision to build at this location, in the industrial park on the green field, was made back in 2016. The site convinced the company with its versatile potential. Modern infrastructure, an attractive business environment and a number of sustainability aspects were the deciding factors in the plans for the site near Shanghai. Symrise celebrated its topping out ceremony two years ago. Already then, you could tell by its dimensions that the Group was building a state-of-the-art production facility geared toward the future and growth.

The expansion of the production of fragrances and flavorings in the rapidly expanding Chinese market makes sense, because the world’s second-largest economy has great potential to soon become number one. This development correlates with the history of Symrise in the country. In the past ten years, the company has grown around eight percent per year on average. With a six-percent share of total sales, China follows the USA and Germany as the third-strongest revenue-generating market for Symrise.

In this environment, Symrise is sending a clear signal for future growth in the region with its modern plant in Nantong – especially in light of the current situation. The company wants to build on its success with its proven strategy and dedicated team. The subsidiary Tesium, specialist in technology, safety and the environment, assisted the local Symrise experts in planning and implementation.

“The celebratory and partially virtual opening of our plant in Nantong demonstrates our trust in the Chinese market, and we are consciously committing ourselves to the world’s strongest growth region. Of course, we are also keeping a close eye on how the COVID-19 situation is progressing here,” comments CEO Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram on the strategic approach. “From these observations, we enacted measures and were successful in keeping our entire business running and opening our plant as planned. Ultimately, we want to reliably serve our customers in China and grow with them. A big thank you therefore goes to the flexibility and extreme dedication of our employees.”

20 % higher global volume due to capacity increase of production facility in Chile by 2022

BENEO, one of the leading manufacturers of functional ingredients, has announced a significant expansion for its chicory root fibre production facility in Chile by 2022, funded by an investment of more than 50 million Euro. The news comes following rising demand for BENEO’s chicory root fibres, inulin and oligofructose, as consumer interest in digestive health continues to grow.

Worldwide consumers are paying more attention to their digestive health and are gaining further understanding of the intrinsic link between the gut microbiome and its beneficial effect on the overall well-being. This, in turn, is leading to a rising interest in chicory root fibres from food and drink manufacturers around the globe, creating a high market demand for BENEO’s inulin and oligofructose ingredients.

Eric Neven, Commercial Managing Director at BENEO-Orafti comments: “The market demand for chicory root fibre continues to increase. In order to keep up with this rising interest, we are investing significantly into expanding our production facilities in Pemuco, Chile. With 20 % more volume, BENEO can continue to ensure reliable and consistent delivery to our customers.”

As well as expanding production capacity at the Chilean plant, the raw material sourcing will be supported by additional surface (hectares) dedicated to chicory farming in the region. The existing plant already operates using 75% renewable energy. The recent investment will enable BENEO to make yet further strides against its aim to increase the use of renewable energy over the coming years.

Inulin and oligofructose, such as those produced by BENEO, are the only plant-based proven prebiotics according to ISAPP (International Scientific Association for Pro- and Prebiotics). They have been scientifically shown to support a range of functional health benefits, including a balanced gut microbiota and a person’s overall well-being. There is a wealth of scientific evidence available (in excess of 150 high quality studies) and Orafti® Inulin even has an exclusive 13.5 EU health claim for its promotion of digestive health, which is proving successful in various countries. In fact, only recently, industry expert Julian Mellentin highlighted the potential for inulin, naming it a top ingredient for 2020 in the new New Nutrition Business report, “10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition and Health 2020”.

Not only are BENEO’s prebiotic chicory root fibres helping to bridge the fibre gap, they are also being widely used in both food and beverages as they help to reduce fat, sugar and calories. Unlike other fibres, BENEO’s fibres are naturally derived from chicory roots via a gentle hot water extraction method and are natural, clean label and non-GMO. They are highly soluble and have a mild natural taste, allowing manufacturers to reformulate their products while keeping the same taste, body and mouthfeel as the original options.

As digestive wellness continues to trend across the globe and more consumers come to realise the impact it has on their health, this significant production expansion will ensure BENEO is well-placed to maintain efficient delivery of its high quality ingredients throughout the years to come.

The World Apple and Pear Association (WAPA) held its Annual General Meeting on the last day of the Fruit Logistica fair in Berlin (Germany), 7 February 2020. Representatives of the key global apple and pear producing and exporting countries met to discuss the Southern Hemisphere production forecast, the final update of the Northern Hemisphere production forecast that was released in August 2019, and the season developments.

WAPA discussed and released the consolidated crop forecasts for the forthcoming southern hemisphere apple and pear seasons (see SH Statistics aggregate in email). Collected from industry associations in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa, the forecast showed that the 2020 apple and pear Southern Hemisphere crops are expected to reach 5.003.000 T and 1.276.000 T, respectively. For apples, this represents a small decrease of 1 % compared to the 2019 crop. Export is expected to remain stable at 1.725 million T. The pear crop is expected to decrease by 3 % compared to 2019. Export is expected to decrease by 2 % to 691.660 T. The Northern Hemisphere crop and stocks data were also updated. Overall, the forecasts continue to demonstrate the huge variation in crop sizes due to the consequences of climatic havocs impacting the production. Furthermore, the Eurasian apple growing developments and global reporting initiatives were discussed.

Other topics on the agenda were marketing, promotion and consumption trends, and research and innovation activities among the members. The discussion underlines the efforts of the sector to cope with the new market requirements and expectations to reduce pesticide dependency. It also focussed on the development of new sustainable strategies regarding water usage, biodiversity, carbon emissions, adapting packaging to the plastic debate and continuing to promote the health benefits of apples and pears to consumers around the world.

Fresh lemon production for MY 2019/2020 is forecast at 1.6 MMT, down 11 % from 2018/19, as trees cyclically lower production in response to a heavy blossom the prior marketing year. Orange and tangerine production is projected at 720,000 MT and 390,000 MT, down 10 % and 13 % respectively, due to unfavorable weather conditions which affected fruit blossom.

MY 2019/2020 lemon exports are forecast at 300,000 MT, up 25% from 2018/19 primarily due to lower global supplies, reduced domestic demand for processing and expanded export market opportunities. Sweet citrus exports are expected to decrease slightly to 70,000 MT for oranges and 35,000 MT for tangerines. Smaller production and relatively high production costs have reduced Argentina’s ability to compete in international markets for sweet citrus against other Southern Hemisphere exporters, mainly South Africa.

Domestic consumption of lemons for MY 2019/2020 is forecast to remain stable at 150,000 MT, and fresh orange and tangerine consumption is projected to fall to 300,000 MT and 220,000 MT, respectively, due to smaller production.

Please download the full citrus crop production forecast: https://bit.ly/39q64da

Brazilian agents expect orange production in São Paulo and the Triângulo Mineiro region to be low in the 2020/21 season. Although lower productivity constrains growers’ revenue, a smaller harvest tends to underpin the prices paid by the industry, despite higher ending stocks in June 2020.

In general, the biggest flowerings (observed in August) were considered positive by most of the growers consulted by Cepea. However, the dry and hot weather between September and October damaged plants and delayed their development during the fruit-fixing period. Besides, new flowerings (although occasional and smaller than that from August) were spotted in early December, favored by November rains.

Thus, trees development has been heterogeneous in the Brazilian citrus belt, even within a single region. However, it is worth to mention that the flower settlement period lasts until mid-January, which makes it difficult to measure the results for the coming season. Besides, the scenario is still uncertain and depends on the flowers that are now opening, the percentage of fixed fruitlet and fruits development in January.

INVENTORIES – Higher orange production in the current season (2019/20) has allowed crushing to be high at the processors from São Paulo State. In this scenario, perspectives for June 2020 indicate higher inventories of Frozen Concentrate Orange Juice (FCOJ) Equivalent, possibly surpassing 400 thousand tons, according to Cepea estimates – higher than the strategic level. Isolated, this scenario may press down quotes at processors in the coming season, but, with the low production estimates for 2020/21 in São Paulo and the Triângulo Mineiro, quotes may continue firm.

Thus, in 2020/21, prices should be largely influenced by production – the agents consulted by Cepea believe the harvest will be smaller than 300 million boxes. If that is confirmed, this scenario may stabilize quotes in 2020, since it would keep the demand from processors high, and there would not be pressure on quotes in the in natura market.

The newly founded World Citrus Organisation (WCO) was officially launched at Fruit Attraction, Madrid. With this official presentation, citrus fruits are finally placed at the same level of coordination worldwide as other fruit categories, such as pears & apples, kiwis, avocado or red fruits, which already have their own global platforms. The WCO will act as the global platform for dialogue and action between the citrus producing countries worldwide. The core aim of the WCO is to facilitate member countries to better face common challenges and seize opportunities for the collective benefit of the citrus sector, in a spirit of cooperation and transparency.

Led by AILIMPO, the Spanish Lemon and Grapefruit Interbranch Association, and the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa (CGA), sector representatives from Argentina, Chile, Italy, Morocco, Peru, Spain, and South Africa decided to join forces to create a global citrus platform where together they may address the many multifaceted changes experienced by the citrus market over recent years. Other countries that were unable to attend the meeting have also committed to the project, and the remaining global producers are invited to join the organization.

The primary objective of the WCO is to facilitate collective action in the citrus sector, for both fresh and processed categories. Most recently the sector has been faced with an extensive array of significant issues of global concern including growth in production, overlapping of seasons, changing climate conditions resulting in varied quality and biosecurity challenges, increased competition within the citrus category and between other fruit categories and food products as well as stagnating fruit consumption. The WCO will facilitate member countries to better face these common challenges and identify opportunities for the collective benefit of the citrus sector.

Specifically, the WCO’s mission is to:

  • Discuss common issues affecting citrus producing countries.
  • Exchange information on production and market trends to prepare for the next decade to come.
  • Foster dialogue on policy issues of common concern.
  • Identify and promote Research and Innovation projects specific to the citrus sector.
  • Liaise with public and private stakeholders on citrus-related matters to highlight the importance of citrus producers and the need for a fair return.
  • Promote the global consumption of citrus.

During the official presentation in Madrid, the Director General of Agricultural Production and Markets of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Esperanza Orellana, congratulated the citrus sector for the initiative, emphasizing the importance for Spain, leader in the production and export of citrus fruits, to be at the forefront of this project. The Counsellor of the Region of Murcia, Antonio Luengo, also greeted the participants and expressed his support for the new organisation. “It is important that the world citrus community works together to face common challenges and learn from each other,” he said, adding that, leaving aside the competitive factor, it is essential to share information and experiences for the collective benefit of the sector, which is of key strategic importance for Murcia and for Spain.

Freshfel Europe, the European Fresh Produce Association, whose Secretariat is based in Brussels, Belgium, will coordinate and administer the WCO. The next meeting, where the formalities for the foundation and future structure of the organisation will be formalized, will take place at FruitLogistica 2020 in Berlin.

Major processing companies in São Paulo say that, in July, they are likely to increase the receiving of mid-season fruits from contracts of the 2019/20 season. According to players surveyed by Cepea, pear orange has been received in June, but in small volumes, because the quality was not good for juice production.

Besides, the volume of early varieties continued high in late June, which increased acquisitions of the industry – some companies reported that processing activities increased at the end of the month. As a result, the supply of these fruits may continue high, even with the availability of mid-season fruits increasing gradually.

As for trades in the spot market, only two of major processors were purchasing in late June, with values between 16.00 and 18.00 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered – the value may change during the season. For small processing companies, in turn, quotes reach up to 20.00 BRL per box, depending on the company and the quality.

CONTRACTS – As for mid and long term trades (two or more crops), players surveyed by Cepea say that the demand is high until December/18, when contracts were established between 20.00 and 22.00 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered.

BRAZILIAN MARKET – Players expect that, in July, as processing companies are receiving oranges, the volume in the in natura market may reduce, preventing prices to decrease sharply. Agents say that the demand for pear orange increased in late June because the supply of early varieties reduced in the in natura market.

Concerning ponkan tangerine, the crop from São Paulo, which started in February in some areas of the state, is about to end. According to agents consulted by Cepea, only a few orchards still had fruits to be harvested at the end of the month.

Döhler Group and Zumos Catalano Aragoneses S.A. (ZUCASA) have reached an agreement on the acquisition of the majority of shares in ZUCASA by the Döhler Group. With immediate effect, Döhler will manage ZUCASA’s juice production facility located in the Huesca region through its subsidiary Döhler Fraga S.L.

For Döhler, this transaction marks another great step forward in one of Europe’s largest fruit production areas. Customers will benefit from a more diverse offering in the stone fruits segment as well as in apples and pears; furthermore, the combined businesses will offer greater efficiency in a global market with regard to customised all-in-one solutions.

ZUCASA’s extensive expertise and ability to provide fruit and vegetable juices, purees and concentrates for food and beverages, combined with the broad product portfolio and the comprehensive industry knowledge of the Döhler Group, will create unique synergy effects. In the coming years, Döhler Group aims to set a benchmark within the sector and develop a plan of expansion and sustainable growth within its business model.

About ZUCASA:

Zumos Catalano Aragoneses S.A. is a producer of juices, purees and sweet fruit concentrates, vegetables and plants located in the region of Fraga (Huesca), with operations at the heart of Spain’s largest production area of sweet fruit between Huesca and Lleida. It has facilities spanning more than 24,000 m2 over an area of 168,000 m2, with capacity to store 32,000 m3 of natural fruit juices, purees and concentrates. ZUCASA began production in 2010 with three lines for processing fruits and vegetables: two of which for purees and a third for juices. Currently, it employs an average of 50 workers on permanent contracts, reaching 150 workers during high season. The company’s commitment to quality in production has been confirmed by the international certifications BRC, IFS, SGF, Kosher, FDA and others, which in turn have enabled it to expand internationally, with more than 60 % of revenues coming from exports.

The production decrease in the citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) in 2018/19 was confirmed by Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund) in a report released on December 10. Despite the increase compared to that estimated in September, data indicate that the current crop should be 30.8 % smaller than the previous, totaling only 275.7 million 40.8-boxes of oranges.

In this scenario, orange juice inventories at processors are predicted to decrease to critical levels again by June 2019, which may ensure a balanced supply for the following year, even if orange production increases in 2019/20 – as expected by agents. According to CitrusBR (Brazilian Association of Citrus Exporters), juice inventories are forecast at 146.7 thousand tons, only enough for two months exports, at the most.

According to Fundecitrus, estimates increased because of the higher moisture in the citrus belt, which allowed the fruits to grow, mainly pear and late oranges.

However, in the first semester of 2018, the lack of rains hampered oranges growth and weakened plants vigor, and the fruits were vulnerable to drops and diseases. Thus, the drop rate this year (until November) is already higher than Fundecitrus expected.

In the field, pear orange harvesting has already reached 83% of the total volume expected, while the harvesting of valência and natal oranges has reached 66 %. Considering all varieties, 78 % of the total production has been harvested, similar to that from the same period last year (75 %). In light of that, agents expect the 2018/19 harvesting to end earlier, which may push up orange quotes in early 2019, when supply is usually low.

Despite the smaller volume forecast for the coming months, agents from processors believe crushing should not be interrupted between the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 (when at least one plant of each processor should be operating). With the slower fruits growth in the first semester, crushing increased in mid-August, due to the ratio out of the standard desired for pear oranges.

BRAZILIAN MARKET – Orange consumption increased in early December, boosted by the payment of workers’ wages and the warmer weather in São Paulo State. However, rains accelerated fruits growth, which led farmers to fasten the harvesting pace in order to avoid losses. In that scenario, supply increased and pressed down quotes.

Besides, the higher availability of stone fruits, which is common for this time of the year, hampered the demand for oranges in the Brazilian market in the first fortnight of December, helping to lower prices.

Lightweight Containers, the Dutch company that produces the revolutionary kegs for beverages, is currently investigating the possibilities for their sixth production facility that will be located in Italy.

Anita Veenendaal, Chief Executive Officer of Lightweight Containers, says: “In our philosophy, offering customers the best possible service and support means that we have to be present in the local market. At this moment we are already present in Italy with warehouses and a sales team and soon with a brand new production plant. This plant will be our sixth; as we already produce in The Netherlands, United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Spain (2019).”

The company focusses on the environment in addition to the production of a quality product, a new production line in Italy will contribute to lowering environmental footprints even further. Together with One Circle, an initiative of Lightweight Containers, aimed at the collection and recycling of one-way kegs in general, the company is really making a big difference in leaving the world a better place.

Stern-Wywiol Gruppe from Hamburg is adding to its production and sales network in south-east Asia by establishing a new production facility for its subsidiary, SternMaid Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd, in the Iskandar economic zone, Malaysia. After the plants in Suzhou (China) and Mumbai, this is the third food industry facility that the family enterprise has opened in Asia and its sixth outside Germany. Clients in the ASEAN region will in future benefit from more rapid deliveries, secure supply chains and applications advice from a consultant nearby.

The state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to the development and production of food ingredient systems to improve the functional qualities of food. The facility has three completely separate production lines; initially work will focus on enzyme-based ingredients systems for bakers and millers plus micronutrient mixes to fortify a wide variety of foods and beverages.

Despite the firm sales prices, lower orange production in the 2018/19 crop from the citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) should constrain the revenue of farmers who trade with processors, since the lower number of boxes produced per hectare tends to push up the unit price. Only in southwestern SP, where production has not changed much, revenue may remain at high levels.

According to data released by Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund) on September 10, this crop should be 31.4 % smaller than the previous (2017/18), totaling only 273.3 million boxes (40.8 kilos) of oranges. This volume is 5.2 % lower than that first forecast by Fundecitrus in May.

Lower production estimates confirm the initial expectations of the agents consulted by Cepea, who believe that the performance of the current crop may have been compromised by both the high rate of flower loss from the first blossoming (between August and October/17) and the lack of rains in the first semester of 2018. Fundecitrus has reported that the average weight of all varieties is lower than that forecast in May, because of the severe drought (May – July).

Lower domestic supply, in turn, has boosted orange prices to processors this year. Besides, inventories from the 2018/19 crop should again decrease to critical levels by June 2019, according to forecasts from CitrusBR (Brazilian Association of Citrus Exporters), totaling only 146.7 thousand tons of juice, the second lowest in the CitrusBR series, which started in 1988/89, and only enough for two months of exportations.

After the new estimates were released, prices have been stable in the spot market, at 24 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered at the processor. However, quotes had already increased last month, when CitrusBR anticipated that estimates from Fundecitrus could be revised down. Despite the smaller amount available for crushing, the average yield is forecast to be higher than in the previous crop, due to the dry period in the citrus belt from May to July (CitrusBR).

Most farmers have already closed deals with the industry – since November/17, processors’ bidding prices have been up to 22 BRL per box. Thus, if quotes increase at processors from now onward, the few farmers with fruits available will still be favored.

SHORTER HARVEST – The new report from Fundecitrus has highlighted that the 2018/19 crop harvesting may end earlier, which, in turn, may push up orange quotes in early 2019, when supply is usually low. So far, 36 % of the oranges from that crop have been harvested, 2 percentage points above the same period last season.

IN NATURA MARKET – The low supply of fruits with the quality demanded by the in natura segment underpinned orange prices in the first fortnight of September. Thus, from September 3 to 14, pear orange quotes averaged 30.81 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, on tree, 10.6 % up compared to that in the first fortnight of August.

In the market of tahiti lime, supply is low, which increased quotes in the first fortnight of September – in the first week of the month, prices surpassed 90 BRL per 27-kilo box. Between September 3 and 14, tahiti lime quotes averaged 67.42 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, a staggering 83 % up compared to that in the same period last month.

On the other hand, higher quotes have constrained exportations, due to the competition with the fruits from Mexico. According to Fresh Plaza website, tahiti lime shipments to Europe usually step up starting June, both from Brazil and Mexico.

In general, the exportation season for tahiti lime was positive in the first semester, but shipments decreased in both July and August, according to Secex, by 21.5 % and 8.2 %, respectively, compared to the same months of 2017. From January to August this year, exports totaled 76 thousand tons, a slight 0.4 % down compared to the same period last year.