Canadian production of red salmon has doubled compared with the past two years, during which time commercial red salmon fishing in the South Fraser River system was banned.
Provincial governments were officially against restarting commercial fishing in the area on the grounds of conservation. However, the case made by the Canadian processors has been persuasive and production has, therefore, re-commenced. The majority of the 30 million fish caught were in the northern river system but overall the result for the Canadians has been good. Skinless and boneless products, exclusive to Canada, are gaining market share with younger consumers who were turned off by the traditional skin and bone pack.
Meanwhile, pink salmon production will be below 100,000 cases of 48s against 370,000 last year, adding to the overall shortage, which has resulted in limited quantities offered for export at prices 60% higher.
Morocco, which accounts for the majority of sardine supplies to the UK, has seen the start of the fishing season delayed by four weeks. First catch reports indicate that the fish are larger than normal and will therefore give problems to canners.
As peach packing comes to an end in Greece and Spain, packers have had problems obtaining enough fresh fruit from growers to fulfil contracts. So far, there have been no reports of contracts being amended but UK importers are cautious about offering forward prices. Prices are up 15% on last year but the rise has not affected sales.
A noticeable increase in demand for the juice pack continues, whereas on the Continent the preference is
A change in the method of subsidy payments to Italian tomato growers that enables them to maintain their fields without necessarily growing crops could create raw material shortages in the future.
The money will be distributed from next year and, though details remain sketchy, sources in Naples say growers will be encouraged to 'rest' fields on a rotational basis - a system that has been used in the UK for centuries. The theory is that the quality of the soil improves over a period of time.
Soil experts have been critical of some tomato growers for not changing crops leading to poor yields in Puglia. The growers strongly refute this analysis. They say the weather is the problem, not the soil.