Growers protest
Greek peach canners’ production schedules have been seriously disrupted by price disputes with growers.
Growers have blockaded some canners’ premises and reports of civil unrest in the Pella region are causing concern among UK importers. “The early and middle crops are down by 10% so any loss of production will further aggravate the situation,” said one Greek canner. Packers have withdrawn offers, causing more business to be placed in Spain. Government aid to the growers was announced in the hope the dispute would end and full packing could recommence.
Substantial contracts have already been placed by retail and foodservice customers. But whether the quantities will be delivered in full remains to be seen.
Fraser River doldrums
Commercial salmon fishing of the Fraser River this year is unlikely, said the Canadian Fisheries Minister. “We expected an 11 million run this year but the latest forecasts are as low as 2 million,” said an official.
One reason suggested for the run failure is sea temperature changes.
UK importers who depend on Canadian production for supplies of the skinless and boneless product in the single-portion 105g can are resigning themselves to shortages and higher prices as a result.
Seattle sources say new season prices will be announced in a couple of weeks. They warn that retail prices will rise later in the year.
However, one own-label supplier said: “Fortunately, 90% of our requirements come from Alaska, so the consumer will hardly be affected.”
Fewer US raisins
Raisin producers in Turkey and Iran are expected to fill any gap left by the Californian vine crop, currently subject to concern as a result of hot weather.
An industry source said: “Smaller US supplies may encourage a much bigger attempt in Turkey to dry vine fruit. With lower labour and shipment costs, the fruit will be priced very competitively.”