COFFEE PRODUCTION ROSE 15% IN JANUARY 2014.

nina | February 10th, 2014 - 9:00 am

coffee beans and brewedColombian Coffee Production Rose 15% in January, Federation Says

Coffee production in Colombia, the second-biggest grower of the arabica variety, climbed 15 percent in January from a year earlier to the highest level since 2007.

Farmers in the Andean nation gathered 1.01 million bags of 60 kilograms (132 pounds) last month, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation said in a statement e-mailed today. Production from the start of the 2013-14 season in October through to January was 34 percent higher, at 4.3 million bags, than the same period in the previous marketing year.

Output gains followed a program to renovate plantations started in 2008. Younger and disease-resistant trees were crucial in raising productivity per hectare (2.47 acres).

Arabica coffee futures traded in New York fell 23 percent last year partly on speculation that rising production in Colombia would compensate for a crop reduction in Central American nations, which are battling leaf rust disease. Prices fell for three consecutive years, the longest slump since 1993.

Colombian exports rose 30 percent in January to 967,000 bags, while shipments from October through January advanced 37 percent to 3.9 million bags.

Brazil is the biggest producer of arabica beans.

Source:  Bloomberg.com, 2-5-2014

FAST CASUAL RESTAURANTS STILL ON THE RISE.

nina | February 7th, 2014 - 9:00 am

fast casual restaurantFast casual segment still soars

Fast casual restaurants remain the winners as the rest of the dining-out market still struggles to climb out of the recession.

Foodservice market research shows visits to fast casual restaurants were up 8 percent in 2013 over the prior year. Meanwhile, the industry overall — and the quick-service segment — were flat year-over-year.

In dollar terms, spending at fast casual restaurants increased by 10 percent last year compared with 2 percent growth at restaurants overall.

Guest check sizes at fast casual restaurants on average were $7.40 last year, higher than the average QSR check of $5.30, but still much lower than the average full-service restaurant visit check of $13.66, according to . As well, the number of fast casual units grew 6 percent last year, to 16,215 locations nationwide, the research firm said.

Source:  meatingplace.com, 2-5-2014

CORN FARMERS FINDING NEW OPPORTUNITIES IN PRODUCE.

nina | February 6th, 2014 - 9:00 am

apple farmThe Seeds of a New Generation

Farmers that live in the heart of the Corn Belt (Southern Illinois area), where most of the corn has nothing to do with sweet kernels on the cob. These farms typically grow field corn, the high-starch variety that is turned into ethanol and cattle feed. 

Some farmers broke away from the culture of corn last fall by planting something people can sink their teeth into. Apple trees!  This year one farmer plans to add more apple trees, blackberry bushes and possibly some vegetables.

These farmers area part of a small but eager cadre of corn farmers who are starting to switch sides, as it were, lured by a little-appreciated fact of farm economics: There is vastly more money to be made in growing other vegetables and fruits. While an acre of corn is projected to net average farmers $284 this year after expenses, and just $34 if they rent the land, as is common, an apple orchard on that same acre will make $2,000 or more, according to crop analysts. A sophisticated vegetable operation using the popular plastic covers called high tunnels, which increase yields and extend the growing season, can push that figure as high as $100,000

Source:  nytimes.com, 2-4-2014

February Steak of the Month

admin | February 3rd, 2014 - 1:38 pm

February Sandwich of the Month

admin | February 3rd, 2014 - 1:28 pm

Saval Foodservice’s FebruarySandwich of the Month.  Steak & Potato Cheesesteak  [your-recipe-will-show-here “Steak & Potato Cheesesteak” 4] Download a Sandwich of the Month Flyer

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