National Editor Tom Karst
National Editor Tom Karst

Skimming through a report on Japan's food trends by the USDA FAS, I had to chuckle at the headline "“Japanese wine: not as bad as you think.”

That is setting the bar low, isn't it? Maybe we should try that for promoting vegetable consumption to kids: "Asparagus: not as bad as you think!"

Checking in with a few sources yesterday on reaction to the IFT report on food traceability projects, and I will unpack some of those interviews this week

Here are a couple of quotes from a news release from PTI:

“The produce industry has been looking forward to these traceability recommendations to make sure that we can move confidently with the traceability best practices that we have collectively developed in the PTI,” said Mike Agostini, Senior Director, Produce, Wal-Mart Stores, co-chair of the PTI Leadership Council. “Our industry community is excited to have the opportunity to delve into the details of the report and provide feedback to FDA.”

The pilot projects were designed to explore and demonstrate methods for rapid and effective tracking and tracing of food, including types of data that are useful for tracing and ways to connect the various points in the supply chain.

“Many of us in the grower/packer/shipper community are pleased to see that the IFT recommends a uniform set of recordkeeping requirements, encourages current industry-led initiatives, and suggests the development of standardized electronic mechanisms for the reporting of traceability data,” said Sabrina Pokomandy, Marketing and Public Relations Manager at JemD Farms, who also co-chairs the PTI Communications Working Group. “These recommendations are in alignment with the goals and vision of PTI and help us move forward with industry-wide traceability implementations.”

Also big news on the tomato suspension agreement; looks like the status quo compared with the draft agreement released in early February. So far, a placid response from Mexico and no rancor from Florida, either, upon news of the finalized agreement.

Looks like the Environmental Working Group still isn't worried about its relationship with farmers. An official with the EWG said on Bloomberg TV that growers were "praying for drought, not praying for rain." Here is a a well-done video rebuttal from the National Crop Insurance Services.

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