National Editor Tom Karst
National Editor Tom Karst

9:20 a.m. What inspires you every day? The sports page and Apple Jacks, you say? Check out the 365 days of Seth Godin blog post by Dan'l Mackey Almy for a delightful window into her world, not to mention sage marketing advice.

9:29 a.m. Fresh Del Monte's fourth quarter results were released today. Pretty positive results, it seems, in terms of profitability.

While net sales for the year decreased, gross profit was up because of higher selling prices for the fresh produce business segment. Some highlights of the report:

Bananas: Net sales for the year decreased 7%. Worldwide pricing decreased 1% Volume was 6% lower.

Other Fresh Produce: Net sales for the year decreased 2%, primarily because of lower sales in the company's tomato, pineapple and melon product lines.

Gold pineapple - Net sales decreased 3%, with volume down 7% and pricing up 4%.

Fresh-cut: Net sales increased 11%, with volume up 1% and pricing 9% higher.

Melon - Net sales decreased 8%, with volume down 23% and pricing up 21%.

Tomato - Net sales decreased 31%, with volume down 16% and pricing off 16%.

9:39 a.m. Check out USDA's Feb. 7 purchase award description for fresh potato buy

9:51 a.m Just add sugar to boost vegetable consumption? Check out the latest research that says just a spoonful of sugar may just help boost veggie consumption.

9:59 a.m. Check out the interesting Food Genius blog post on Understanding trend predictions: vegetables"

10:03 a.m. Wouldn't you love to see a real tomato food fight between Mexican growers and Florida growers? Check out this video of a town in Chile that officially sanctions an honest to goodness tomato war.

10:15 a.m. Exempt apples, cherries and pears from the produce safety rule's water requirements? That's what this comment to FDA said:

 Please take into consideration the lack of risk associated with apples, cherries, and pears as it relates to water contamination. Obviously all these fruits are grown in trees and present an extremely low risk to contamination. Additionally, once harvested, these particular crops are processed through a highly regulated chlorine bath to mitigate possible contamination.

Most Northwest growers are voluntarily participating in the USDA GAP and/or Global GAP programs that require the annual testing of water sources and often times multiple tests per season. Steps are currently in place to correct an out of tolerance situation, thus aiding in the prevention of food borne pathogens. Necessary tools such as overhead cooling prior to harvest ensure that the grower can protect the crop from intensive sunburn and thus provide a high quality and profitable crop. Risk associated with contamination is minimal due to the aforementioned drenching at the packing facility. Incidents of tree fruit contamination are either insignificant or nonexistent, and these regulations are unwarranted. The overarching proposals in the current draft of this Act represent unnecessary and burdensome regulations based on industry data and research. Special consideration should be considered to grant an exemption to apples, cherries, and pears.


Follow me on Twitter at @tckarst

Selected tweets in last week:

#freshproduce Fresh Del Monte results: SEC press release Gas prices rise 32 days straight! ugh

#freshproduce Ride with the tide and local smocal: 1:43 p.m. Checking the fresh produce headlines today, Chiquit...

#freshproduce Fresh Talk post: Chiquita's new approach: Headline roundup: sustainability

Fresh Talk post: local smocal and Chiquita's new approach:

#freshproduce Former Marsh CEO ordered to pay: Wal Mart sweats Feb. sales CNN coverage of nanoparticles in food High glycemic foods a diabetes risk Health care reform: issues for ag employers

#freshproduce Stallman on Senate plan: Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Re... CBO testimony on the budget and economic outlook

#freshproduce Crossing the Rubicon By Fred A. Kingery: <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false...

#freshproduce New Bill Repealing HIT Good for Farmers, Ranchers: WASHINGTON, D.C., February 15, 2013 – Legislati...

 It’s a drag: what’s holding the industry back?:

 If automatic budget cuts do occur because of sequestration, what kind of negative effect will it have on the...:

#freshproduce Australian regulators step up inquiry: Bullying tactics of supermarkets explored

#freshproduce Bach, broccoli for mom and baby and the sequestration PR hit: 11:21 a.m. Checking out the web thi... Supermarket bullying tactics explored down under S Study finds that kids are more likely to eat vegetables if their moms do -- while expecting

#freshproduce Moms with varied diet give birth to less fussy babies: New research says moms play role in baby's tastes

Interesting - Most illiterate city, Washington DC RT @GuyKawasaki: 23% of America is illiterate [infographic]

#freshproduce Politicians are actually stopping the car, to our horror: “Don’t make me stop the car.”

RT @marionnestle: Barclays agrees to stop speculating on food. Is Fred Kaufman responsible?

#freshproduce Organic potential in Europe and other headlines: 5:51 a.m. Restarting the blog this morning after ...

#freshproduce Canadian consumer insights: USDA FAS

#freshproduce Marsh supermarket case against former CEO:

#freshproduce The 12 Worst Supermarkets in America: FT coverage

#freshproduce whole foods results: SEC press release

#freshproduce What to eat for a healthy heart: IFT release

 #freshproduce Watermelon board: importer requiremenets: USDA Federal Register notice

#freshproduce Buying in to the local food movement: AT Kearney study

#freshproduce State of the Union: Let's get immigration reform done: The Feb.12 State of the Union address from...

#freshproduce 2012 Crop Insurance Indemnities Set New Record, But Are Far Lower Than Critics Warned: 2012 Crop ...

Fresh produce buyers and sellers: What's the number one USDA market news report you look at each day?:

#freshproduce Exporting organics to Europe: USDA FAS report

#freshproduce Exporting to Mexico: USDA FAS