Hearts and minds remain at the ‘jangmadang’ despite propaganda push

first_img AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] Facebook Twitter News Ordinary Pyongyang residents have not received government rations since mid-April SHARE RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR On May9th, the seventh Workers’ Party Congress in North Korean history came to aclose. Following the event, multiple publications on the topic have shown up inthe state-run Rodong Sinmun. Today, we will take a scrupulous look at thesepublications and try to discern truth from distortion. Joining us is secretary general of the Association for North Korean Defectors, So Jae Pyong. 1. As expected, the May 10th issue of Rodong Sinmun isplastered with headlines and photos of the recent Workers’ Party Congress. Mostof these photos are of Kim Jong Un. There is a lot of chatter that he had adifficult time at the event. What do you think? Well, RodongSinmun only published pictures of Kim Jong Un posing. However, sitting down atthe congress all day long, for multiple days in a row, would certainly be roughfor someone in his physical condition. During his address, which ran for three hours consecutive, his voice washoarse and his bearing shoddy. In the video, we can see that he started theaddress by placing his speech on the podium and reading, but by the halfwaypoint, he was holding it and sort of leaning on the table in front of him.Interestingly,we saw him holding the script close to his face while reading, which is anindicator of poor eyesight for someone his age. Also, his voice is not thesonorous voice of a man in his 30s, but the gravelly voice of a man in his 50s.It’s clear that he is in less than ideal shape and is easily fatigued. 2. The lastpage of the May 10th issue is loaded with various pleas to the military andpopulace. They advocate “continuing to progress the dominance of socialism at ‘MallimaSpeed’.” How do you think North Koreans are reacting to this type of rhetoric?According to everyone in North Korea with whom I’ve spoken regarding the event, thepeople couldn’t care less about these pleas or their leader’s address. Theywere completely drained from the “70-Day Battle” leading up to the congress andwere eagerly awaiting its finish. Furthermore, the people were hoping forpolicy change regarding the markets and agriculture–their means of survival–but nothing substantive was mentioned. Furthermore, there is a lot discontent with the variousslogans emphasizing this new ‘Mallima Speed’. They are saying, “We barely madeit by on ‘Chollima Speed’ [a slogan from previous eras], why would ‘MallimaSpeed’ be any better?” They are calling it Kim Jong Un’s anachronisticpropaganda. North Koreans are upset with a leader that is unabashedly ignorantof his people. Especially notable is the fact that when asked about the congress and related messaging, most people show indifference. Theirbodies were in front of the TV watching the congress, but their minds were atthe jangmadang [market economy]. 3. Let’smove on to the May 13th issue. On the front page, there is a commemorativephoto with every participant at the congress. Both the background and thepicture itself are quite spectacular. I would wager there is a propagandaagenda at play here, but I’m curious how the people think when they see a photolike this.The ageof influencing people through a photo like has long since passed. North Koreans grimaceat this picture and call it “Kim Jong Un and the cadres’ Party” and “a disgracefulsight that has nothing to do with the real people.” There is also talk thatsome even spit on the picture after seeing it, criticizing its irrelevance totheir lives. 4. We saw anarticle emphasizing grain production on page five of the 13th issue of theRodong Sinmun entitled, “This Year’s Uphill Battle for Grain” and then againon the front page on the 16th issue, “Band Together for the Rice-PlantingBattle.” It would appear that North Korea is still dealing with their chronicgrain underproduction. What seems to be the problem?The mainproblem is that even the farmers themselves are suffering from hunger and aretherefore turning their attention away from their official farm duties andworking private secret farms on the side. This is because they till the earthtirelessly all year long on their official farms only to have their producetaken away for the military and State rations. They are only met with povertyand starvation based on this system so it’s easy to see their lack of drive towork hard for more production. Based on this, they have no other choice but tohave an almost forced production system on the collective farms. The governmentneeds to implement some kind of policy to improve the quality of the lives ofthese farmers but that just simply isn’t the case. Farmers have zero interestin the production of their crops because of this system. They’re really onlyfocused on their separate, private crops. I think the only way to alleviate thehunger and poverty that citizens are suffering from is to completely do awaywith this type of quota system.5. After thecongress there was a mass rally, “Rise up for the construction of the greatsocialist state” in Nampo, South Hwanghae Province. Everyone had alreadysuffered working on the “70-Day Battle” for the party congress, but thenwere bothered with more preparations even after it had ended. Do you think thiscreated more dissatisfaction among citizens?From whatI’ve gathered from my sources in North, those that participated in the partycongress all returned to their homes on May 16th. Those thatreturned first from the congress to Nampo, South Hwanghae Province did indeedhold a mass rally, which can really only be considered forced labor considering how exhausted residents are from the protracted mobilizations preceding the Party Congress. I predict that some citizens will probably be relatively vocal about their discontent.  News center_img Hearts and minds remain at the ‘jangmadang’ despite propaganda push By Daily NK – 2016.05.22 8:36pm News Hamhung man arrested for corruption while working at a state-run department store News North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only)last_img read more

Agriculture urged to engage with Government on Reef regulations

first_imgAgriculture urged to engage with Government on Reef regulations AgForce is urging everyone who works in or has an interest in protecting Queensland’s agriculture industry, and the Great Barrier Reef, to have their say on draft Reef regulations for new or expanded cropping and horticulture during the Government’s public consultation period.AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said it was important that as many people as possible – people interested in cropping, soil cultivation, and anyone who values the future of food security in Australia – to write to the Queensland Government between now and 17 February to make their voice heard.“This latest Standard up for public consultation follows others that have already been implemented and continues a worrying trend of levelling complete responsibility for maintaining the water quality of the Reef with agriculture,” Mr Guerin said.“The facts are agriculture’s role couldn’t be smaller.“Industry groups and many independent Reef scientists are now challenging general scientific opinion that farm runoff affects Reef health.“Of much greater significance are the effects from rising sea temperatures on the Reef.“Pollution from manufacturing and transport – the kinds of greenhouse gases that remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years and cause real damage, much longer and far worse than anything that can be directed at agriculture.“What is true, however, is that the continued implementation of Reef regulations and standards by the Queensland Government will decimate agriculture, many farming families, entire communities, and the industries reliant on primary production.“It seems to me, and to many others that I have spoken to during this time of COVID, that this is the last thing we should be doing.“Instead, we need to focus on strengthening agriculture and our regions, not binding farmers up in unnecessary actions on land and record-keeping that do not address the major issues of increasing ocean temperatures and coral predation on the Reef.“The Reef and agriculture can co-exist. But it will take genuine consultation from all sides to make any changes.AgForce estimates that producers managing approximately 2.7 million hectares of undeveloped or unused cropping land across six Reef catchments will need to apply for a permit prior to commencing any soil cultivation after 1 June 2021.Mr Guerin said this latest Reef Standard would apply to all crops grown and sold off-farm for a fee or reward.“That’s going to come at a cost, and that, along with the expense from other Reef Standards that have already been implemented, is going to drive people away from the industry and restrict greatly, if not completely halt, any thought of a northern expansion,” Mr Guerin said.“AgForce supports the position of the Federal Government and other industry groups who have been calling for the establishment of an Office of Science Integrity to ensure quality assurance of science used to inform Reef policy.“We will continue to offer constructive feedback on industry’s behalf if the Queensland Government wants to listen.“We believe them when they say they want agriculture to help rebuild Queensland’s economy post-COVID.“Well, the test is here now to see if they will continue down the path of laying the burden of responsibility for the Reef solely at the feet of agriculture, or if they will meet us at the table and find constructive ways forward.”To have your say on the updated draft standard conditions for new or expanded cropping and horticulture activities in the Great Barrier Reef catchments, contact the State Government’s Office of Great Barrier Reef before 17 February 2021 on 07 3330 5154, or visit qld.gov.au/ReefRegulations. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:AgForce, Agriculture, atmosphere, Australia, Federal, federal government, Government, Great Barrier Reef, horticulture, industry, pollution, production, public consultation, QLD, Queensland, Scientists, security, water qualitylast_img read more

Nick Walkley steps down as Homes England CEO

first_imgNick Walkley steps down as Homes England CEO Nick joined the Homes and Communities Agency as Chief Executive in March 2017 and has led a far-reaching overhaul of the organisation, built around the move to Homes England with a bold mission and strategic plan to increase housing supply and change the housing market.In a statement, Nick said:I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved and I’d like to thank my colleagues and our many industry partners for their dedication and support. My successor will find an organisation brimming with talent, purpose and heart. Homes England is well-positioned to support the country’s economic recovery and I wish my colleagues the very best.Peter Freeman, Chair of the Homes England Board, said in a statement:On behalf of the Board and colleagues, I would like to thank Nick for his outstanding leadership in building a dynamic, commercial delivery agency. The country faces some crucial choices about how we emerge from the pandemic and Homes England stands ready to support the Government in stimulating economic recovery and increasing housing supply.Nick Walkley will step down on 28 February. Gordon More, the agency’s Chief Investment Officer, will act as Interim CEO, supported by Lynda McMullan, Chief Financial Officer, and an executive team drawn from the public and private sectors.NotesNick Walkley joined the Homes and Communities Agency in March 2017. In February 2018, the HCA was relaunched as Homes England with a new mandate to intervene in the housing market in support of the Government’s ambitions to build 300,000 homes per annum by the mid-2020s.During Nick Walkley’s tenure, the agency has frequently met or exceeded its performance targets, while delivering several market-shaping deals. This includes agreeing a total of £1.7bn of strategic partnerships with multiple housing associations, significant land acquisitions and developments such as Burgess Hill, York Central and Northstowe, a ground-breaking partnership with Japan’s Sekisui to revolutionise modular construction in this country that was voted ‘deal of the decade’In the Government’s 2020 Spending Review, the agency secured £7.4bn to invest in affordable homes across the country and is preparing to open the new Help to Buy programme to support more first-time buyers into home ownership. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:building, Central, deal, gordon, Government, heart, industry, Investment, Japan, leadership, market, pandemic, spending, UK, UK Government, Yorklast_img read more

Let’s talk about Rx use: What is an opioid?

first_img Published: Nov. 28, 2018 • By Health and Wellness Services There are many reasons someone may take a prescription medication. We know these prescriptions are only safe when taken as directed by a medical professional for a specific health purpose, but for those who still choose to use outside of these conditions,* there are some things to be aware of.Whether you’ve heard about the opioid crisis, are concerned about a friend or just want to know more about prescription use and safety, here are the basics.*It is illegal to take a prescription medication that was not prescribed to you directly.What is an opioid?There’s a lot of media coverage on opioid use in our country. It’s important to know what opioids actually are, where they come from and what the risks of use include.Opioids are drugs derived from opium, also called opiates. Opioids include semi-synthetic and synthetic opiates, which include illicit drugs such as heroin, fentanyl and carfentanyl. Opioids also include prescription pain medications, such as morphine, hydrocodone and oxycodone (Oxycontin).Opioid overdoses can be fatal and difficult to predict. The best prevention is to avoid opioid use unless explicitly prescribed to you with specific instructions by a medical professional. However, if someone still chooses to use, noting the factors that can contribute to an overdose may help save a life.Types of other prescription medicationsSafety and risks with prescription medications depends on the type of medication in use. It’s good to be aware of the associated effects with each.Depressants are medications such as Xanax and Oxycontin, which can create feelings of sedation in users. They can also slow down or stop breathing.Stimulants are medications such as Adderall, which activate the body’s systems and increase heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. They can also create feelings of alertness.Mixing any of these with other substances, including alcohol, can seriously increase the risk of negative effects and can be fatal in some cases. It is illegal to use prescription medications that were prescribed to someone else; doing so also may increase the risk of negative effects, as the actual contents of the medication are unknown to the user.To keep yourself, others and the environment safe, safely dispose of any unused prescription medication in the safe disposal box at the CU Boulder Police Department.Risk factors for overdoseQuality. Substance potency varies substantially and may be cut with dangerous, high-potency opioids.Mixing. Mixing opioids, in particular, with alcohol or other medications such as benzodiazepines can slow the respiratory system and stop breathing.Tolerance. Tolerance decreases after periods without use including detoxification, hospitalization or if a person resumes use after recovery.Environment. Using in isolated environments decreases the likelihood of someone being able to help in an overdose situation.Health problems. Underlying health problems, especially chronic lung diseases such as emphysema or sleep apnea, can slow the respiratory system—even when the user is not aware they may have these underlying health problems.How to help a friendFor those interested in recovery and treating addiction, Counseling and Psychiatric Services (located in Wardenburg Health Center and C4C S440) provides individual therapy, referrals to community resources and ongoing suboxone treatment, which provides medically assisted support to those with an opioid addiction.The CU Collegiate Recovery Center, located in UMC 102, provides meetings and support groups, recovery-focused housing, events and activities, peer support and more for students in recovery or interested in pursuing recovering.Health Promotion, located in UMC 411, also provides trainings throughout the semester on recognizing and responding to an overdose; stay tuned to CU Boulder Today for more information.Get more information about alcohol and other drugs policies and resources at CU Boulder.Categories:SafetyCampus Community Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more

Primary healthcare can play key role in combating outbreaks like coronavirus: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

first_img Add Comment Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app Read Article News Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha Related Posts By Press Trust of India on February 20, 2020 MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)Arvind KejriwalBioconcoronavirusIndian healthcareKiran Mazumdar-Shawmohalla clinicprimary healthcare The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Biocon Chairperson and MD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has stressed the need for having an effective primary healthcare system saying it could play a vital role in combating outbreaks like coronavirus.Impressed after visiting a mohalla clinic, the leading industrialist said the model needs to be replicated across the country.In a video message put out by the AAP on Twitter, Mazumdar-Shaw said, “Just think of it, today we have the coronavirus crisis, which is really alarming the whole world and if you had very effective primary health centre that could first diagnose any patients that is showing signs of any viral fever and then later on if a vaccine is available, hopefully in due course, that you immunise these patient population would be great.”Reiterating on the importance of primary healthcare, she said, “It is the starting point for looking at how to basically diagnose early, how to basically create awareness, how to basically immunise people in a community.”Heaping praise on the primary healthcare system set up in the national capital by Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government, Mazumdar-Shaw said she was impressed with the way how it was conceived and served people in that community.She also lauded the mohalla clinic for its planning in terms of making sure that people are able to come there, get their vitals checked, consult with doctors, get their blood samples taken and reports come within 24 hours.“What really impressed me was how neat, tidy and systematic everything was. I think this is a huge boon for primary healthcare… I understand the polyclinics are also a part of this ecosystem and from what little I saw I think this is an excellent programme which other states must emulate,” she said adding that “we must actually replicate this across the country.”Healthcare is something that this country needs to really focus on, Mazumdar-Shaw said.She had also met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and newly elected MLA Raghav Chadha and discussed various developmental projects that the Delhi government planned to execute in healthcare, education, air pollution, water conservation, mobility and traffic.In a tweet, Mazumdar-Shaw congratulated Kejriwal and said, “…Delhi will greatly benefit from these initiatives.” Primary healthcare can play key role in combating outbreaks like coronavirus: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Heaping praise on the primary healthcare system set up in the national capital by Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government, Mazumdar-Shaw said she was impressed with the way how it was conceived and served people in that community WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals Comments (0) Sharelast_img read more

State Minister Robinson Highlights Importance of ICT

first_imgRelatedState Minister Robinson Highlights Importance of ICT RelatedState Minister Robinson Highlights Importance of ICT By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter RelatedState Minister Robinson Highlights Importance of ICT Advertisements State Minister Robinson Highlights Importance of ICT TechnologyJanuary 29, 2012 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Hon. Julian Robinson, has underscored the Government’s commitment to the information communication technology (ICT) sector, noting that several initiatives would be implemented to  improve training, access and the country’s global ranking in the industry. Addressing the opening of a Cisco Network Regional Academy Conference, at the Cardiff Hall Hotel and Spa, in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, on January 26, Mr. Robinson said that in today’s ultra-connected world, there is no better way for the country to prepare its people than by educating and training them in ICT. “The Government recognises that ICT is the great equaliser in today’s world, and that even with access to the most sophisticated technology, we cannot capitalise on technology unless our people are not just aware of the opportunities, but have the skills needed to compete globally,” he added. Citing statistics which state that Internet access within the country is now at 55 per cent;  mobile penetration at 110 per cent, and the island is ranked 15th among countries in the world with top broadband speeds, the State Minister said the Government is committed to improving those standings. He argued that the ICT sector presents the greatest opportunities for job creation through investment in the sector, adding that the skills and talent are readily available in the country. Mr. Robinson also noted that expansion in the industry would contribute greatly to growth in the economy. The State Minister, who has responsibility for ICT, emphasised that the Government is committed to improving the country’s standing in the sector worldwide,  and  to take it back to number one in the Caribbean.                                                                                                                                         Cisco is an American multinational corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics, networking, voice and communications technology and services.  Cisco Networking Academy is part of the Cisco Systems education initiative, which sponsors a line of IT professional certification for Cisco products, and provides training for these certifications via a portal, which is managed locally by the Heart College of Innovation and Technology (HCIT).last_img read more

Crime Watch

first_imgHomeNewsCrimeCrime Watch Oct. 24, 2018 at 5:00 amCrimeCrime Watchnews3 years agoCrime Watch On October 10, 2018 at about 5:16 a.m.Officers responded to the Starbucks at 1447 Lincoln Blvd regarding a disturbance. A male subject was reportedly breaking merchandise in the coffee shop. Officers learned the subject walked into the store and asked for a cup of water. The subject began to yell profanities at the employees and proceeded to throw several mugs and bags of coffee to the ground. The subject broke seven mugs valued at over $139.00. Officers located the subject outside of the store. The subject was taken into custody. Bruce Andrew Hoff, 49, homeless was arrested for vandalism and violation of a court order. Bail was set at Bail $5,000.Tags :Crime Watchshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentI Had A NightmareSmall plane crash-lands on California freeway, no injuriesYou Might Also LikeCrimeCRIME WATCHNewsCrime WatchGuest Author3 days agoCrimeFeaturedKnife-wielding woman arrested during L.A. Councilman’s speechGuest Author4 days agoCrimeCRIME WATCHNewsCrime WatchGuest Author7 days agoCrimeFeaturedHomeless man loses an eye to BB gun assaultGuest Author1 week agoCrimeCRIME WATCHNewsCrime WatchGuest Author1 week agoCrimeFeaturedNewsDUI & Possession of a Rifle ArrestsGuest Author1 week agolast_img read more

Bharti Airtel looks to free up capacity with Wi-Fi offload

first_imgHomeAsiaNews Bharti Airtel looks to free up capacity with Wi-Fi offload Richard Handford Author Tata in frame for TTSL debt Asia Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including… Read more Previous ArticleSony stakes flagship claim with Xperia Z5Next ArticleBlog: A day in the life of Turkey’s fight for 4G Relatedcenter_img Airtel makes $3B funding move as AGR deadline looms Tags Singtel cites headwinds in first half results AirtelWi-Fi AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 03 SEP 2015 India’s largest operator, Bharti Airtel, followed rival Vodafone by launching a Wi-Fi app, with the aim of reducing the data load on its mobile network.According to Economic Times, Airtel’s Hangouts app currently works at Wi-Fi hotspots at about 100 locations within the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).One month ago, Vodafone announced the similar-sounding Wi-Fi Connect, which is available in about 100 locations in Delhi and Mumbai.Both apps require a one-time sign-in that can be used in Wi-Fi zones offering connectivity though unlicensed spectrum.Airtel’s app is currently accessible at all Cafe Coffee Day outlets in Delhi-NCR, as well as some hotels and hospitals.There is a seamless handover from cellular to Wi-Fi network with the app, a key to making such a service work smoothly.Separately, Airtel and Vodafone are working together to deploy Wi-Fi hotspots in India’s largest cities through FireFly Networks, a joint venture between the two operators.The Airtel app is available in both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.last_img read more

Ministerial sign-off needed to progress Strule Campus, Omagh

first_img News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Pinterest WhatsApp By News Highland – August 29, 2018 Google+ WhatsApp Pinterest Facebook Facebook DL Debate – 24/05/21 Previous articleQuigley feels he’s well placed to build for title shotNext articleMc Monagle wants new commissioner to meet with Donegal JPC News Highland Ministerial sign-off needed to progress Strule Campus, Omaghcenter_img Google+ Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR There are fears another major project in Northern Ireland will be shelved due to the ongoing impasse at Stormont.West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan says he has met with the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Education who confirmed the Strule Campus in Omagh needs Ministerial sign-off, without which may mean the £140 million project will not proceed.Mr McCrossan says the political deadlock at Stormont cannot be allowed to continue impacting the lives of people in the North:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/strule1pm.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty Harps come back to win in Waterford Twitter AudioHomepage BannerNews Derry draw with Pats: Higgins & Thomson Reaction FT Report: Derry City 2 St Pats 2 last_img read more

US perishables go off as exports are hit by a strong dollar and the bad weather

first_imgBy Ian Putzger in Toronto 29/06/2015 US fresh produce exports have suffered as a result of the strengthening dollar, which has undermined their appeal to overseas consumers – and the problem has been exacerbated by the impact of adverse weather conditions on crops.“The perishables market is off a bit this year,” reported Tim Strauss, vice-president of cargo at Hawaiian Air.“We see some softness in the market. Strawberries, cherries and other fruits have become more expensive to the consumer overseas,” added Chris Connell, president of Los Angeles-based perishables specialist Commodity Forwarders Inc.“This is a very disturbing time, because trends are very much linked to the exchange rate,” he said.The US Department of Agriculture projects a decline in agricultural exports this year, following several years of continuous growth fuelled by rising global demand and a more competitive dollar.“People are not going to double their outlay for an apple because exchange rate and transportation costs are up. They will take another type of fruit instead,” Mr Connell said.Apple growers in Washington State lost tens of millions of dollars in revenue due to the slowdown at west coast ports, which resulted in apples being left to rot on the fields or on the docks. According to the Washington Apple Commission, apple exporters in the state effectively lost at least three weeks of their season because of the problems. Along with a record supply of apples, the situation created surpluses that could neither be shipped profitably to markets nor to processors to be turned into juice.And now the ongoing drought in California has affected crop production itself, resulting either in slightly lower-quality or smaller fruit.“The California crops aren’t as strong as in the past few years – the dry weather has pushed the crop down a bit in quality, which is what’s necessary for the export market to run full out,” noted Mr Strauss.Mr Connell stressed that, on its own, the drought would probably not have had a huge impact, but combined with the exchange rate it had led to lower volumes being shipped, particularly to Asia  and Europe.Even cherry exports from the Pacific north-west have shown a decline. To some extent this was not unexpected, however, coming after a record crop in 2014, but weather also played a role.“Washington cherries are a little sideways because they got the rain at the wrong time,” explained Mr Connell. “The window was tighter this year because of the weather,” he added. “Usually you have a three-month window from late April to August.”Growers have also been adapting to a change in demand on the other side of the Pacific.“The big change in the market is cherries are more focused toward Korea versus Japan, which always used to be the driver. Costco evidently has more sales per square foot in their Korean stores than anywhere else in their system,” said Mr Strauss.According to Mr Connell, this shift has been underway for a few years. The Japanese market has become more sensitive to price and is now less of a volume taker, while demand in Korea has gone up. “I think this will continue,” he said.last_img read more