newsCOVID-19 Update: November 12, 2020Despite the rapid increase of new cases, there are some advances regarding possible vaccines and interventions aimed to fight the disease. For example, a recent review, published in the European Journal of Nutrition (1), indicates that it is known that the virus can affect several tissues and can progress to a respiratory failure in severe cases. To prevent the progression and minimize all the damage, the immune system must be in its integrity. A healthy nutritional status is fundamental to immunological protection and a good response to the virus.  WHO The World Health Organization (WHO) Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom highlighted that while many countries have brought COVID-19 under control, the number of new cases in some European and North American countries continues to spike. In some regions, new cases grow exponentially and hospitals reach full capacity, which is a risk to both patients and health workers. The WHO encourages countries to invest again in the basics, so that restriction measures can be lifted safely and governments can hopefully avoid having to take these measures again.   The Emergency Committee on COVID-19 met on October 29, with the aim to review the situation and progress made. They advised that the pandemic still constitutes a global public health emergency, and urged a focus on response efforts based on the lessons already learned and strong science. The Committee provided targeted advice for WHO and countries to focus on in the coming months. It was emphasized the importance of evidence-informed, risk-based and coherent measures related to international traffic, surveillance and contract tracing efforts, maintaining essential health services and preparing plans for future COVID-19 vaccines. The Committee also urged countries to avoid politicization of the pandemic response, seen as a major detriment to global efforts.   The WHO World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of WHO, takes place virtually from November 9-14, 2020. As a preparation for the meeting, the WHO shared three messages: 1) COVID-19 can be beaten with science, solutions and solidarity, 2) the COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that health is the foundation of social, economic and political stability, and 3) there is an urge to prepare for the next pandemic. IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued the Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, which projects a 3% contraction of economic activity for 2020, but a 3.1% recovery in 2021. This outlook is subject to uncertainty, due to the fact that the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unknown, and it is also subject to the availability of external financial support and the development of an effective vaccine. The outlook also highlights that, despite of the effects of the crisis, the potential of the region and the resourcefulness of its people remain intact. The areas of revenue mobilization, digitalization, trade integration, competition, transparency and governance, and climate-change mitigation require priority reforms.   The IMF also issued the Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, which highlights that the region responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with stringent measures in order to mitigate the spread of the disease. However, its impact continue to face a difficult an uncertain environment. The immediate priorities for the region are: 1) containing the health crisis, 2) cushioning income losses, and 3) expanding social spending. Governments must address recovery and strengthen inclusion. WTO In remarks delivered to the International Grains Trade Coalition on November 3, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Deputy Director-General, Alan Wolff said the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the critical need for governments to work not only with each other but with business and wider civil society to ensure recovery. Many WTO Members joined forces and showed readiness to: 1) promote international co-operation, 2) facilitate information exchange to mitigate supply chain disruptions, and 3) safeguard global food security through open, predictable and transparent trade.   The WTO efforts to improve current market and regulatory environment for agri-food products are the following:   First, WTO Members are in the process of updating current WTO rules as they relate to agriculture to meet current and future challenges. In this regard, the negotiations aim to: 1) substantially reduce trade-distorting support, 2) improve disciplines on export restrictions, 3) enhance market access opportunities, and 4) further improve export competition rules.   Second, WTO bodies and the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) routinely examine relevant trade of grains and oilseeds, such as progress in adopting e-phyto certification; and the digitalization of customs procedures.  OECD The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) issued a report on the employment situation in OECD countries during the second quarter of the year. The employment rate, which is the share of population in the working-age with jobs, fell by 4%, to 64.6%, which represents 34 million less employed people than the first quarter of 2020. In Canada and the US, the employment rates dropped by 8.5 percentage points (to 64.7%) and 8.9 percentage points (to 62.5%) respectively in the second quarter. In the euro area, the employment rate decreased by 1.9 percentage points, to 66.2% in the second quarter of 2020, with decreases of 3.0 percentage points or more in Estonia, Ireland and Spain. Australia On October 31, Australia recorded no new local COVID-19 cases for the first time since June 9. In addition to this, the number of new infections in Victoria, one of the hardest hit states, had been in single digits since October 13. However, on November 3, Australia reported one locally acquired new case in New South Wales. If the number of new infections remains low, it is expected that by mid-November the border between Victoria and South Australia may reopen.   Australia food and beverage sector welcomes government’s plan for post-COVID-19 economic fightback, the Modern Manufacturing Strategy, which also recognizes food manufacturing as one of the country’s priorities. The Strategy plans to invest A$1.5 billion in four years to rebuild the economy, create jobs and recover from the COVID-19 recession. Brazil The OECD issued a report about the digital transformation in Brazil and the fact that it could reinforce economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic. The report finds that despite recent progress, Brazil lags in investment in the level of digital skills in the workforce and in digital innovation. The OECD recommends ways to increase digital uptake among people and firms, strengthen digital security and privacy, and spur innovation. Chile According to a recent USDA GAIN report, the Central Bank of Chile has estimated an economic contraction between 5.5% and 7.5% for the current year. However, total consumption is projected to grow 1.1% in 2020. Due to COVID-19 related sanitary measures in place, from January to August 2020, US exports of agricultural products to Chile decreased by 5.7% over the same period of 2019. In addition to this, the Chilean Federation of Tourism Companies estimated $3.9 billion in losses if the pandemic continues to impact foreign travel and domestic tourism until December 2020. The tourism sector, which is the fourth most important sector in Chile, also projects that 80,000 jobs may be eliminated by the end of 2020.  China From November, Hong Kong residents staying in mainland China can return to their city without having to quarantine. In addition to this, a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore is operative since November.   China suspended the entry for residents from United Kingdom, Belgium, India and Philippines in a temporary reaction to a new surge of COVID-19 cases in these countries. Travelers from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Italy, Nigeria and Ukraine, among others, are also included in the temporary ban.  EU The EU Economic Affairs Commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni highlighted some of the effects of the pandemic in the EU economy. During July, August and September, the EU GDP grew by 12.7%, due to a low rate of infections and loosened lockdowns and travel restrictions. However, due to the rise of new infections during the last weeks and the reimposition of stricter prevention measures, the rebound of the EU economy has been interrupted. It is expected that the economy will go back to its pre-pandemic level by 2023.   On October 28, the EU issued the Coronavirus Resurgence Factsheet, which summarizes some of the EU response measures regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, such as increased testing capacity, effective communication to citizens, and securing essential supplies, among others.   EU-Canada leaders stressed the importance of joint efforts to overcome the pandemic in a virtual meeting held on October 29. They shared the commitment to take effective measures to protect health, ensure a robust economic recovery, and build more innovative, sustainable, inclusive and resilient economies. The leaders highlighted that solidarity, cooperation and effective multilateralism are essential to defeat the virus and accelerate the recovery. They also committed to continuing to work closely together in international fora including the G7, the G20, and the United Nations system. Both sides agreed that the EU and Canada will deepen their cooperation and exchange of information on COVID-19 vaccines including research, access, procurement and distribution.   After a video conference of the Eurogroup held on November 3, Pascal Donohoe, President of the Eurogroup, remarked the three safety nets approved in April, which are currently in place: 1) The Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE instrument) aims to protect jobs –support has already been granted to 17 Member States, 2) The European Investment Bank (EIB) Guarantee Fund supports businesses –in effect since summer, and 3) The Pandemic Crisis Support instrument of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) remains in place and reinforces market confidence in euro area sovereigns.   The European Council approved the conclusions on the role of the EU in strengthening the WHO. Some of the suggestions are: 1) a revision of the alert system for declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern to allow for differentiated levels of alerts, 2) a distinction between travel and trade restrictions under the International Health Regulations (IHR) in order to avoid unnecessary harm to economies, 3) the possibility of an independent epidemiological assessment on-site in high risk zones in close collaboration with the state party, and 4) increased transparency on national compliance with the IHR. Belgium The country imposed lockdown measures in order to prevent the collapse of its health-care system, which is operating beyond limits. A few weeks ago, Belgium imposed a nighttime curfew, and more recently closed all non-essential stores and limited social contact to a minimum. In addition to this, schools remain closed at least until mid-November. France France announced a four-week nationwide lockdown until December 1. Non-essential businesses, restaurants and bars remain closed. Schools and workplaces remain open and care homes visits are allowed. However, people need a certificate to move around.  Germany The German Government announced a partial national lockdown. People are advised to stay at home, avoid travel and keep social contacts to an absolute minimum. However, schools remain open. By the end of November, the restrictions are expected to be reassessed. In order to compensate the losses caused by the lockdown, the Government offered a relief package of €10 billion.   Hospitals are under pressure, as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country. For this reason, hospitals may be required to postpone non-critical operations, as there are not enough resources to treat an expected influx of COVID-19 patients and many of them are working at the limits of their capacity.  Greece On November 7, Greece applied a nationwide lockdown for three weeks in order to curb down COVID-19 resurgence of new cases. All businesses except supermarkets and pharmacies remain closed, primary schools remain open but high schools closed.   Earlier, Thessaloniki and the neighboring region of Serre’s were put in lockdown for 14 days. However, wholesale, industry, hotels and schools remained open. In addition to this, there is a temporary ban on international and domestic passenger flights to and from Thessaloniki Airport “Macedonia” from November 3 at 18:00 until November 17 midnight. The rest of the country is in partial lockdown. Face covering is mandatory as well as at least 50% teleworking in both the public and private sector. Italy Italy imposed full lockdown measures in several cities such as Bologna, Milan, Naples, Rome and Turin. The Government approved a relief package of about €5 billion aimed to help the hardest hit sectors by the COVID-19 lockdown and other restriction measures. Spain In addition to the State of Emergency imposed until May 9, 2021, which includes a nighttime curfew, most Spanish regions banned inter regional travel in order to avoid stronger lockdown measures. In some areas, the perimetral closure has been applied at a municipal level.  United Kingdom The UK Government announced a four week national lockdown, from November 5 until December 2. This is the second national lockdown for England, with pubs, restaurants, gyms, leisure and entertainment venues, as well as non-essential shops, closed.  India India is the second worst COVID-19 hit country. However, it seems that the epidemic is slightly on the decline, due to the fact that recoveries have been outnumbering the detection of new infections. The main drivers for this turnaround are not clear, especially due to the fact that pandemic numbers are declining during the festival season, Bihar elections, and the restart of activities. It is also believed that one reason might be that health experts have been cautioning against lowering the guard. The festival season is not over, and the approaching of winter is likely to be an added complication because it could worsen respiratory conditions amongst infected people.   The port situation in India, according to a recent USDA GAIN report, indicates that the cargo volume in Mumbai Port dropped by 20% from April to October, compared to the same period last year. Overall, the trade volumes for the top 12 state-run ports fell 12% during April-October, compared to the same period of 2019: Tuticorin and Kandla ports cargo volume dropped by 11%; Chennai and Cochin by 22%; Kolkata by 14%, and Mangalore by 5%. In Mundra, it is expected that the container availability will normalize by mid-November, due to a growth in imports. Israel The Israeli Hotel Restaurant Institutional (HRI) sector has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent USDA GAIN report. Israel’s Central Bank projected a GDP decrease of between 4.5% to 7% in 2020, after a 3.3% increase in 2019. Due to the restriction measures aimed to slow down the spread of the pandemic, the HRI sector estimates that about 2,000 businesses have closed during the first semester. Under the current scenario, the sector forecast the permanent closure of 4,500 businesses. United States The number of new infections has been increasing during the last month. In October, at least 31 states set their COVID-19 case records, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. It is likely that, as new cases soar, further restrictions enter into force. For example, New York Government announced that most travelers must get COVID-19 tests before and after arrival in the state. Once in New York, travelers will be required to quarantine for three days before getting another test. If the second test is negative, the traveler will no longer be required to quarantine. The new policy replaces a previous advisory list of states from which travelers were required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in New York.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a series of considerations for the upcoming fall and winter holiday celebrations. The aim of these considerations is to help protect individuals and their families, friends and communities from COVID-19, without replacing any state, local or territorial health and safety rules. There are several factors that contribute to the risk of getting infected or infecting others with COVID-19 such as the location and the duration of the gathering, the number of attendees and where are they coming from, among others. Some of the recommendations are holding outdoor gatherings, limiting the number of attendees, and bringing extra masks and hand sanitizer, among others.   The USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) paid more than $7 billion to agricultural producers in its second round. Since CFAP 2 enrollment began on September 21, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) has approved more than 443,000 applications. Through CFAP 2, the USDA is making available up to $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. FSA accepts CFAP 2 applications until December 11, 2020. The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. (1) Arruda de Souza Monnerat, J., Ribeiro de Souza, P., Monteiro da Fonseca Cardoso, L. et al. Micronutrients and bioactive compounds in the immunological pathways related to SARS-CoV-2 (adults and elderly). Eur J Nutr (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-020-02410-1 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-november-12-2020Summary of COVID-19 UpdatesNovember 12, 2020, COVID-19 Update - Global COVID-19 cases surpassed 50 million, and the worldwide death toll is over 1.25 million people. The worst hit regions are the Americas, with over 21.7 million cases, Europe, with over 13.3 million, and South-East Asia, with over 9.5 million confirmed cases. October 28, 2020, COVID-19 Update - Global COVID-19 cases have recently surpassed 40 million. The worst affected countries are the US, India and Brazil. Several nations in the northern hemisphere, such as the US and most EU countries are reporting further containment measures amid an escalation of new cases. However, Australia, South Korea and Singapore are expected to ease some restrictions. October 14, 2020, COVID-19 Update - The WTO reduced the size of global trade contraction in 2020, as lockdowns are globally easing and economies reopening. However, several countries such as China, France, India, South Korea, Spain or the United States are reporting an increase of new COVID-19 cases, and some countries announced further measures to contain the spread of the pandemic. October 1, 2020, COVID-19 Update - Several countries are opting for local restrictions in the most hit areas, as opposed of strict lockdowns nationwide. The IMF has urged countries to enhance global cooperation and multilateral coordination as the most effective tools to beat the pandemic and its economic impact. September 16, 2020, COVID-19 Update - Several countries are facing spikes of COVID-19 cases, although it looks like the number of new infections has decreased globally. There are still travel restrictions in place and, to ease them, the United Nations has urged G20 countries to agree on a common criteria in their removal and to boost coordination in preventive measures, among other recommendations. September 3, 2020, COVID-19 Update - Curfews, travel limitations and other restrictions are still in place in many countries in order to contain the spread of COVID-19. The top priorities of governments and international institutions are: finding a cure, mitigating the effects of the disease while ensuring people’s livelihoods, and avoiding harder socioeconomic impacts. August 4, 2020, COVID-19 Update - The COVID-19 is still dominating headlines every day, and amidst all the uncertainty it seems that the challenge will not be disappearing soon. The World Health Organization states that the outbreak still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. July 20, 2020, COVID-19 Update - Despite certain improvements to the public health situation in some regions, there is concern as COVID-19 cases spike in certain countries. The economic and social situation is still uncertain. July 9, 2020, COVID-19 Update - The COVID-19 seems to be under control in some countries, despite certain spikes in infections in some regions or states, while other countries are reporting rises in the number of coronavirus cases. June 25, 2020, COVID-19 Update - Lockdown and curfew measures have been globally de-escalating and most international borders are gradually reopening. However, new waves of infections have been detected in some countries. According to OECD, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the most severe economic recession in nearly a century. June 10, 2020, COVID-19 Update - The unprecedented recovery plans announced by several countries are expected to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, a few countries have lifted almost all restrictions due to the improvement of the public health situation. However, the WHO has highlighted the importance of food safety amid the outbreak. May 28, 2020, COVID-19 Update - As the public health situation improves globally, several countries continue to relax lockdown and social distancing rules. Consequently, the economy is slowly recovering from disruptions and losses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. However, FAO warned that famine could be a serious concern in several regions. May 14, 2020, COVID-19 Update - The challenges faced worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic are still visible, as well as the measures in order to adapt or re-adapt in the fast-changing environment of the pandemic. The efforts made by different governments, communities, companies, and people are significant to mitigate the effects of the disease. April 30, 2020, COVID-19 Update - The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still noticeable in the global economy and disrupting agricultural trade due to measures such as border closures and export bans, as well as because of restrictions of movements of people and workers. However, some countries are easing the measures in order to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.  April 17, 2020, COVID-19 Update  - As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, this update highlights governmental actions taken to alleviate the pressure of COVID-19. This update also includes news on subjects ranging from IMF Global Growth projections to the importance of worker safety in the food industry. April 9, 2020, COVID-19 Update - Although restrictions are becoming stricter in many countries, governments have prioritized the food supply chain as part of emergency measures. Fortunately, the agri-food sector is recognized as an essential sector and efforts are focused on ensuring food security. This update contains measures taken by individual countries as well as the European Commission. The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources and international organizations. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/measures-to-mitigate-covid-19-1Latest Trade News and Agreements: NovemberAustralia: Agricultural Export Legislation The Australian Government announced improvements in Australia’s agricultural export legislation (see previous post) to modernize the systems that support the export of agricultural goods. The Export Control Act 2020 (the Act) forms the central pillar of the new legislative framework. The Act will be supported by a suite of legislative instruments, the Export Control Rules 2020, and the new legislation will commence on March 28, 2021. More information   EU-US: Additional Tariffs On October 13, 2020, the World Trade Organization (WTO) allowed the EU to raise tariffs of up to $4 billion US imports as a countermeasure for subsides to the US aircraft maker, Boeing.   The preliminary list of products included several nut and dried fruit products (see previous post) which could be subject to additional tariffs. However, the EU is committed to seek a negotiated settlement of the dispute. In case both parties do not reach a deal, the EU would apply higher duties on some of the products included in the preliminary list published in spring 2019.   In October 2019, the WTO allowed the United States to take countermeasures against European exports worth up to $7.5 billion, which were imposed on October 18, 2019. Nuts and dried fruits were not included among the products. The EU based corporation Airbus took action concerning the other challenged measures earlier, so the WTO decision of October 13, 2020, addresses the last remaining measures condemned by the WTO.   EU and Airbus: Member States take action to ensure full compliance in the WTO aircraft dispute   EU: Tariffs On October 30, 2020, the EU published Regulation (EU) 2020/1577 Amending the Tariff and Statistical Nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff.   The regulation updates, among others, the following tariffs regarding nuts and dried fruits:   HS Code Product MFN Tariff 2020 MFN Tariff 2021 0802 90 50 Pine nuts (Pinus spp.) 2.00% 3.20% 0802 90 85 Other 2.00% 3.20% 0804 20 00 Dried Figs 5.60% 8:00%   This regulation enters into force on January 1, 2021.   Regulation (EU) 2020/1577 of 21 September 2020   EU: Political Agreement on Enforcement Regulation On October 28, 2020, the European Council presidency reached an agreement with the European Parliament on a revised enforcement regulation.   The aim of this revised enforcement regulation is to protect EU&#39;s trade interests and rights in the context of the current blockage of the World Trade Organization&#39;s (WTO) dispute settlement system. The regulation also ensures that the EU can enforce its trade rights if one of its partners blocks the normal dispute settlement mechanism under bilateral treaties.   This regulation will amend the existing one, in force since 2014, and will provide a common legislative framework for the enforcement of EU’s rights under international trade agreements.   Compared with the existing regulation, the agreement between the European Parliament and the European Council extends the scope of possible countermeasures, currently provided for areas such as customs duties, quantitative restrictions on imports and exports of goods, among others. This extension is accompanied by safeguards aimed to ensure that the most efficient and proportionate countermeasures are used and that national authorities and stakeholders are involved in the consultation process.   Before its entry into force, EU Member States have to approve the agreement by qualified majority.   Trade: EU reaches political agreement on updated enforcement regulation   Japan: In-Shell Walnuts from US Since September 16, 2020, Japan allows imports of all varieties of US in-shell walnuts.   According to a USDA GAIN Report, on September 16, 2020, Japan revised the Ordinance for the Enforcement of the Plant Protection Act with immediate effect. This revision allows exports to Japan of all varieties of US origin in-shell walnuts.   USDA GAIN Report: Japan Grants Market Access for All Varieties of US In-Shell Walnuts   UK: Border Operating Model On October 8, 2020, the UK Government updated the UK Border Operating Model, a guide to how the border with the European Union will work after the transition period.   The transition period with the EU will end on January 1, 2021, and the UK will operate a full, external border as a sovereign nation, meaning that controls will be placed on the movement of goods between the UK and the EU.   In order to give industry extra time to make necessary arrangements, the UK Government has taken the decision to introduce the new border controls in three stages up until July 1, 2021.   The Border with the European Union: Importing and Exporting Goods UK-Japan: Trade Agreement On October 23, 2020, the UK and Japan signed the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).   Both countries reached an agreement on September 11, 2020 (see previous post). The deal is tailored to both economies and has secured bilateral benefits for digital and data, financial services, food and drink, and creative industries, among others. The agreement is subject to the domestic internal procedures of both countries before it can be brought into force. UK and Japan sign free trade agreement UK-Ukraine: Trade Agreement On October 8, 2020, the UK and Ukraine signed a Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement.   The aim of this agreement is ensuring ambitious cooperation in political, security and foreign matters, while also securing continued preferential trade for businesses and consumers. This agreement, when brought into force, will allow businesses to continue trading after the end of the Transition Period. It delivers the same level of liberalization in trade, services and public procurement that businesses currently enjoy under the existing EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.   The entry into force of this agreement is expected when the EU-Ukraine agreement ceases to apply to the UK at the end of the Transition Period. The agreement will be subject to the domestic parliamentary procedures in both the UK and Ukraine before it is brought into force.   UK and Ukraine sign Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreementhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/latest-trade-news-and-agreements-novemberOrganic Production: NovemberEU: Organic Agriculture Following the postponement by one year from January 1, 2021, to January, 1, 2022, of the date of entry into application of Regulation (EU) 2018/848 on organic production and labeling of organic products and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, it is necessary to defer also by one year the date of entry into application of Commission Implementing Regulations. Therefore, the European Commission has notified the World Trade Organization of the following drafts:   Draft Commission Delegated Regulation amending Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/427 as regards the date of application of the amendments to certain detailed production rules for organic products in Annex II to Regulation (EU) 2018/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council. In Article 2 of Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/427, the second paragraph is replaced by the following: ‘It shall apply from 1 January 2022.’ This Regulation shall apply from January 1, 2021.   Draft Commission Implementing Regulation amending Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/464 as regards its date of application and certain other dates that are relevant for the application of Regulation (EU) 2018/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council on organic production. The Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/464 shall apply from January 1, 2022. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/organic-production-novemberOfficial Controls Update: NovemberAustralia: Import Certificate Requirements The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment of Australia notified the World Trade Organization of the extension of the temporary changes to import certificate requirements for a range of plant-based, animal, biological and animal-based goods until June 30, 2021.   As previously notified, this measure describes alternative arrangements to the use of original paper phytosanitary certificates and health certificates due the impacts of COVID-19 on airfreight and courier mail.   More information   Brazil: Dried Dates from UAE The Secretariat of Animal and Plant Health and Inspection (SDA), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) of Brazil, notified the World Trade Organization of the Draft phytosanitary requirements for the import of dried date fruits (Phoenix dactylifera), Category 2, Class 10, produced in the United Arab Emirates, in the form of Normative Instruction.   Among others, shipments must include an official phytosanitary certificate issued by the phytosanitary authority of the country of origin, declaring that the shipment has been treated (methyl bromide) against Cadra figulilella, Ephesa elutella, Ephesa calidella, Epuraea luteola, Sitophilus granarius and Trogoderma granarium. The treatment must be specified, including product, dose, exposure time and temperature of treatment.   The final date for comments is December 28, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.   Brazil: Peanuts from USA The Secretariat of Animal and Plant Health and Inspection (SDA), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) of Brazil, notified the World Trade Organization of the Normative Instruction (Instrução Normativa) Nº 47 of 30 June 2020, which updates phytosanitary requirements for the import of peanut (Arachis hypogaea) seeds (Category 4, Class 3) produced in the United States of America.   Among other things, shipments must include an official phytosanitary certificate issued by the phytosanitary authority of the country of origin, declaring that the shipment has been treated against insects (Caryedon serratus, Conoderus vespertinuse, Prostephanus truncates), mites (Acarus sir), nematodes (Ditylenchus destructor, Pratylenchus thorneie, Rotylenchulus parvus), and virus (Peanut stunt virus- PSV). The treatment must be specified, including product, dose, exposure time and temperature of treatment.   The final date for comments is January 1, 2021.   Instrução Normativa Nº 47 of 30 June 2020   Canada: Phytosanitary Certificates The Canadian Food Inspection Agency notified the World Trade Organization of the revised format for Canadian phytosanitary certificates.   As a result of updates to the system used to issue paper phytosanitary certificates, the revised format phytosanitary certificate will have minor layout changes compared to the current certificate. The new format continues to follow the International Plant Protection Convention&#39;s model for phytosanitary certificates.   The new Phytosanitary Certificate will be issued on December 8, 2020, so any phytosanitary certificate re-issued on December 8 onwards will also be under the revised format, even if the certificate that it replaces was presented in the earlier format.   The final date for comments is December 6, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.   Chile: Hazelnuts from Turkey The Agriculture and Livestock Service of Chile notified the World Trade Organization of the phytosanitary requirements for the importation of in-shell and shelled nuts of Corylus avellana from Turkey.   Among others, shipments must include an official phytosanitary certificate issued by the phytosanitary authority of the country of origin, declaring that the shipment has been treated (methyl bromide) against Curculio nucum and Trogoderma granarium. The treatment must be specified, including product, dose, exposure time, temperature and date of treatment.   The deadline for comments is December 15, 2020.   Draft (in Spanish)   EU: Control Systems Due to COVID-19 The European Commission published the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1341 of 28 September 2020 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/466 as regards the period of application of temporary measures.   This regulation extends, for the third time, the use of electronic documentation until February 1, 2021, which prolongs the period of application of the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1087 of 23 July 2020.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1341 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/official-controls-update-novemberFood Safety Update: NovemberEU: 2019 RASFF Annual Report The European Commission has recently published the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) 2019 Annual Report. In 2019, the product category "nuts, nut products and seeds" reached a total of 669 notifications, very similar to 2018. However, the number of notifications for this category has been increasing over the last years –more than double since 2014.   Year 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 Total notifications 669 667 536 443 477 308   The most notified hazard in the ‘nuts, nut products and seeds’ category and countries of origin were:   Salmonella in nuts, nut products and seeds from Sudan: 99 notifications. Aflatoxins in nuts, nut products and seeds from USA: 80 notifications. Aflatoxins in nuts, nut products and seeds from Argentina: 63 notifications. Aflatoxins in nuts, nut products and seeds from Turkey: 55 notifications.   2019 EU RASFF Report A more detailed analysis of the nut and dried fruit notifications can be found here.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/food-safety-update-novemberPesticides Update: NovemberAustralia: MRLS Update Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) issued the proposal to amend Schedule 20 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (October 20, 2020). Among other changes, the table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows: The maximum residue limit (MRL) for carbaryl in hazelnuts at 0.01 ppm is inserted. The MRL for pyraclostrobin in walnut is substituted by T0.01 ppm. ‘T’ indicates that the maximum residue limit is a temporary maximum residue limit.   The deadline for comments is January 4, 2021.   The proposal can be found here. Brazil: MRLs Update The Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency has notified the World Trade Organization of the draft resolutions regarding the active ingredients C38 – Chlorfluazuron, C70 – Chlorantraniliprole, P46 – Pyraclostrobin, and F68 – Fluxapyroxad of the Monograph List of Active Ingredients for Pesticides, Household Cleaning Products and Wood Preservers, published by Resolution RE n° 165 of 29 August 2003, on the Official Gazette (DOU Diário Oficial da União) of 2 September 2003. The MRL for chlorfluazuron in peanut culture is set at 0.01 ppm with a safety security period of 14 days. The MRL for chlorantraniliprole in peanut culture is set at 0.05 ppm with a safety security period of 7 days in the modality of foliar use. In addition, the MRL of the peanut culture is changed from 0.01 to 0.05 mg/kg, in the modality of soil use (application). The MRL for pyraclostrobin in plums is set at 1.5 ppm with a safety security period of 7 days. The MRL for fluxapyroxad in plums is set at 1.5 ppm with a safety security period of 7 days. For chlorfluazuron, chlorantraniliprole, pyraclostrobin and fluxapyroxad the final date for comments is November 21, 2020.   C38 – Chlorfluazuron C70 – Chlorantraniliprole   P46 – Pyraclostrobin   F68 – Fluxapyroxad Canada: MRLs Update Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has adopted the proposed new maximum residue limits (PMRL) for glufosinate-ammonium. The PMRLs for glufosinate-ammonium in tree nuts and in stone fruits was adopted on October 13, 2020. As previously announced, the MRL for glufosinate-ammonium in Tree nuts (crop group 14-11) is increased from 0.1 to 0.5 ppm; and in Stone fruits (crop group 12-09) from 0.2 to 0.3 ppm. Health Canada Database In addition, new maximum residue limits (PMRL) for pyrethrins and trifludimoxazin were proposed.   The PMRL for pyrethrins in low growing berries (crop subgroup 13-07G, except lowbush blueberries) is set at 0.15 ppm. The deadline for comments is January 3, 2021.   The PMRL for trifludimoxazin in tree nuts (crop group 14-11) and peanuts is set at 0.01 ppm. The deadline for comments is January 11, 2021.   Consultation on Pyrethrins, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL 2020-35 Consultation on Trifludimoxazin, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2020-36 China: MRLs Update As previously announced, China&#39;s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs published a public consultation on Maximum Residue Limits of 187 Pesticides in or on food with due date for comments November 16, 2020. An unofficial translation of the draft MRLs has been released by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. EFSA: MRLs Review The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published the Review of the existing maximum residue levels for oxyfluorfen according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. Based on the assessment of the available data, maximum residue level (MRL) proposals were derived and a consumer risk assessment was carried out. Although no apparent risk to consumers was identified, some information required by the regulatory framework was missing. Hence, the consumer risk assessment is considered indicative only and some MRL proposals still require further consideration by risk managers.   Substance Commodity Existing MRL (ppm) Proposed MRL (ppm) Comments Oxyfluorfen almonds, pistachios, walnuts, plums 0.05 0.01* Recommended (MRL is derived from a GAP evaluated at EU level, which is fully supported by data and for which no risk to consumers is identified; no CXL is available) apricots, grapes 0.1 0.01*  * Indicates lower limit of determination. EFSA Review of the existing maximum residue levels for oxyfluorfen according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2020;18(10):6269 EU: MRLs Update The European Commission published the Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/1565 and the Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/1566, amending Annexes to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels of active substances in or on certain products.   As previously reported, Regulation (EU) 2020/1565 of 27 October 2020 amending Annexes II, III and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for 1,4‐diaminobutane, 1-methylcyclopropene, ammonium acetate, bifenazate, chlorantraniliprole, chlormequat, cyprodinil, limestone, mandipropamid, pepper, pyridaben, repellants: blood meal, seaweed extracts and trimethylamine hydrochloride in or on certain products sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation enters into force on November 17. Pyridaben: 0.05 ppm in tree nuts. As previously reported, the Regulation (EU) 2020/1566 of 27 October 2020 amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for bupirimate, carfentrazone-ethyl, ethirimol, and pyriofenone in or on certain products sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation enters into force on November 17. Bupirimate: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, plums, dates, figs and peanuts; and 1.5 ppm in grapes and cranberries. Ethirimol: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, plums, dates, figs and peanuts; 0.04 ppm in apricots; 0.4 ppm in grapes; 2 ppm and in cranberries. Pyriofenone: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, dates, figs and peanuts. Carfentrazone-ethyl: 0.05* ppm in tree nuts and peanuts; and 0.02* ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs.  Regulation (EU) 2020/1565 of 27 October 2020 Regulation (EU) 2020/1566 of 27 October 2020 EU: Pesticides, Standing Committee The Report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed, Section ‘Phytopharmaceuticals – Pesticide Residues’ that took place on September 28-29, 2020, has been published (summary). Some of the discussions were the following:   Chlorothalonil. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the residue trials supporting the MRL for peanuts do not lead to a change of the existing MRL (0.1 ppm).   The following draft regulations had a favorable opinion: Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for aclonifen, boscalid, etofenprox, ferric pyrophosphate, L-cysteine, lambdacyhalothrin, maleic hydrazide, mefentrifluconazole, cow milk, sodium 5- nitroguaiacolate, sodium o-nitrophenolate, sodium p-nitrophenolate and triclopyr in or on certain products (Art. 10) (here). The MRL for mefentrifluconazole in apricots is set at 0.7 ppm, in prunes at 0.5 ppm, and in grapes at 0.9 ppm. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for diclofop, fluopyram, ipconazole and terbuthylazine in or on certain products (Art. 12) (here). The MRL for diclofop in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.02* ppm. The MRL for fluopyram in tree nuts is set at 0.03 ppm, in prunes at 0.6 ppm, in grapes at 2 ppm, in cranberries at 4 ppm, and in peanuts at 0.02. The MRL for terbuthylazine in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for fluxapyroxad, hymexazol, metamitron, penflufen and spirotetramat (Art. 12) (here). The MRL for fluxapyroxad in apricots is set at 0.15 ppm. The MRL for hymexazol in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs is set at 0.02* ppm. The MRL for metamitron in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for penflufen in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for spirotetramat in cranberries is set at 1.5 ppm, and in dates, figs and peanuts at 0.02* ppm. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for benalaxyl, benalaxyl-M, dichlobenil, fluopicolide, proquinazid, and pyrdalyl (Art. 12) (here). The MRL for benalaxyl (including benalaxyl-M) in tree nuts, apricots, plums, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm, and in grapes at 0.7 ppm. The MRL for dichlobenil in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for proquinazid in apricots, plums, cranberries, dates and figs is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for pyrdalyl in peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for carbon tetrachloride, chlorothalonil, chlorpropham, dimethoate, ethoprophos, fenamidone, methiocarb, omethoate, propiconazole and pymetrozine in or on certain products (here). The MRL for chlorothalonil in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for dimethoate in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for ethoprophos in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for fenamidone in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for methiocarb in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.03* ppm. The MRL for omethoate in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for propiconazole in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for pymetrozine in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.02* ppm. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chlordecone in or on certain products (here).   Japan: MRLs Update The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan notified the World Trade Organization of the Revision of the Standards and Specifications for Foods and Food Additives under the Food Sanitation Act (revision of agricultural chemical residue standards).   As for nuts and dried fruits, the following MRLs were proposed: The MRL for pyrifluquinazon in apricot is lowered from 3 ppm to 5 ppm. The MRL for pyrifluquinazon in apricot is lowered from 3 ppm to 5 ppm.   The deadline for comments is December 18, 2020.   In addition, the following proposed MRLs, previously notified, were adopted: The MRL for permethrin was adopted on June 18, 2020. As previously announce, the MRL in cranberry, date and pecan is set at 0.01 ppm, in walnut at 0.05 ppm, and in grape at 8.0 ppm. For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. New Zealand: MRLs Update On October 7, 2020, the Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand published the ‘Food Notice: Maximum Residue Levels for Agricultural Compounds’.   This document specifies maximum residue levels (MRLs) for agricultural compounds in food and specifies agricultural compounds for which no maximum residue level applies in relation to specified food subject to specified conditions. It revokes and replaces the Food Notice: Maximum Residue Levels for Agricultural Compounds, issued on August 25, 2020.   This Notice came into force on October 9, 2020.   Food Notice: Maximum Residue Levels for Agricultural Compounds (October 7, 2020) https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/pesticides-update-novemberEuropean Commission, Farm to Fork 2020 ConferenceFocused on the Farm to Fork Strategy adopted in May 2020, this virtual conference gathered stakeholders across the food value chain, public authorities, international and civil society organizations, as well as citizens and interested public, with the aim of discussing on the challenges and opportunities linked to the transition to sustainable food systems, as well as on possible further areas of intervention.   The conference had high-level speakers, including Mr. Frans Timmermans, European Commission&#39;s Executive Vice President, Ms. Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner responsible for Health and Food Safety, and Mr. Janusz Wojchiecowski, European Commissioner responsible for Agriculture. In addition, actors from the public and private sector shared and discussed different perspectives, challenges and opportunities of the transition to sustainable food systems.   The event was the first opportunity to gather all key players including public authorities, academia and actors in the food value chain –from farmers, food manufacturers, retailers, hospitality and food services to consumers– to discuss the move towards sustainable food systems.   The recordings of the conference can be checked here: https://ec.europa.eu/food/farm2fork/farm-fork-conference_en https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/european-commission-farm-to-fork-2020-conference2020 International Seedless Dried Grape Producing Countries ConferenceAround 70 participants had the opportunity to exchange information on world production and marketing of dried grapes. Guest speaker, Mr. Simon Melik, presented the activities of the Dried Fruit Alliance.   Originally planned to be held in Greece, the onsite conference had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19-restrictions; instead, an online meeting was organized by the Aegean Exporters Association (Turkey). Mr. Osman Oz and Mrs. Ece Tirkaz from the Aegean Exporters Association were the elected Chairman and Secretary, respectively. Mr. Mark King from Dried Fruits Australia was the elected Deputy Chairman.   The expected world supply for 2020 was presented during the meeting, showing and overall availability of Sultanas and Raisins increased by 1% from 2019, mainly due to a 20% increment in the total carryover and in spite the slightly decreased production (1.1% below 2019). Goldens and Currants marketable supply is estimated up by 18% and 45% from 2019, respectively.   Press Release and Production Estimateshttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/2020-international-seedless-dried-grape-producing-countries-conferenceINC Consumer Study Finds Energy Boosting and Digestive Healthy Foods Among the Fastest Growing Trends, with Immune Support Expected to GrowOctober 29, 2020.  Consuming foods that boost energy, and support digestive health are among the largest and fastest growing consumer trends. In a recent consumer trend study, it was found that these two markets are forecasted to be the fastest growers among the health and wellness category. By 2024, the market size for products boosting energy is forecasted to grow 50% and products supporting digestive health are forecasted to grow 32%. The study also showed that weight management was still the largest area of concern for consumers, however, it is not forecasted to grow as quickly as those previously mentioned. Furthermore, one interesting trend to keep on the radar is immune support. With many people concerned over the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer focus on a healthy diet will likely deepen. Already the trend research showed that companies are increasingly expanding into this market and this trend is expected to only grow in a post-COVID-19 normality. In North America, more than one-third of vitamin and mineral products advertise an immune supportive claim and in Asia-Pacific, nearly half of the vitamin and mineral products released within the last year promote an immune supportive claim. The trend research was conducted by the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council as part of the 2020-2021 Dissemination plan in efforts to increase the global consumption of nuts and dried fruits while also circulating the health benefits.   Download the press release. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-consumer-study-finds-energy-boosting-and-digestive-healthy-foods-among-the-fastest-growing-trends-with-immune-support-expected-to-growCOVID-19 Update: October 28, 2020WHO On October 22, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Wikimedia Foundation announced a collaboration to expand the public’s access to the latest and most reliable information regarding COVID-19. This collaboration is aimed at making trusted public health information available under freely-licensed resources when countries face resurgences of COVID-19 and social stability increasingly depends on the public’s shared understanding of the facts. Through the collaboration, people will be able to access and share WHO infographics, videos, and other public health assets on Wikimedia Commons, a digital library of free images and other multimedia. Since the beginning of the pandemic, WHO has taken steps to prevent an “infodemic”, which is defined as “an overabundance of information and the rapid spread of misleading or fabricated news, images, and videos”.   WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom highlighted the fact that new contagions are accelerating, as the northern hemisphere enters winter, especially in Europe and North America. “The number of people needing beds in hospitals and intensive care also increases (…) the virus has shown that when we let our guard down, it can surge back at breakneck speed and threaten hospitals and health systems” Dr. Adhanom stated. He also explained that over 180 countries joined COVAX, which represents the largest portfolio for potential COVID-19 vaccines and an effective way to share vaccines equitably across the world.   More recently, on October 23, Dr. Adhanom warned about the fact that the northern hemisphere is in a critical juncture and alerted that the next few months are expected to be tough. He urged leaders to take immediate action to prevent further unnecessary deaths, essential health services from collapsing and schools shutting again. IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued the new Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere, which projects a GDP contraction of 8.1% in 2020. Unlike in previous recessions, employment contracted more strongly than GDP in the second quarter of 2020, 20% on average for the five largest countries, and up to 40% in Peru. More people working in activities that require close physical proximity, and less teleworking have contributed to Latin America and Caribbean strong slowdown.   The IMF also issued the Regional Economic Outlook: Europe, which emphasizes the severe social and economic impact in Europe. Real GDP fell by about 40% in the second quarter (annualized quarter-over-quarter), with deeper contraction in advanced Europe, where the virus spread first, relative to emerging Europe. However, the report also indicates that the pandemic’s toll on Europe could have been much worse without the strong response to the crisis, which included fiscal packages, job retention programs, as well as monetary easing, among other measures. The October 2020 Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook highlights negative economic growth, at -2.2% in 2020. However, the IMF points out the region’s response to the pandemic with three lessons for the rest of the world: 1) early public health response to flatter the virus curve, 2) relaxing containment measures only after the virus has been suppressed, and with appropriate complementary policies, such as testing and contact tracing capacity, and 3) fiscal support to reduce the economic costs and stimulate recovery. WTO The World Trade Organization (WTO) published a report stating that global trade in services during the second quarter of 2020 dropped by 30% year-on-year, originated by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions. The tourism sector was particularly hard hit, with international travelers’ expenditure down 81% and transport down 31%. These two sectors make up 43% of global services trade.  OECD The report ‘Strengthening Agricultural Resilience in the Face of Multiple Risks’, published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), highlights the new sources of risk producers are increasingly confronting, including climate change, unanticipated changes in policy, or the economy-wide effects of external shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to confront the multiple risks, a disciplined application of a holistic risk management strategy is required –specifically, taking decisions from a more proactive resilience perspective.   The OECD advocates for an agricultural risk management approach based on resilience (the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt and transform in response to adverse events) which emphasizes the importance of planning and prevention, while also ensuring that farming systems are flexible enough to respond to future uncertainty. The OECD approach also stresses the importance of considering systems and not just individuals, which means taking into account the impacts that the risk management strategies of individual farmers have on the resilience of the food system as a whole. Australia By the end of October, it is expected that Melbourne will be emerging from strict lockdown after Victoria state reported no new cases and no new deaths because of the pandemic for the first time in more than four months. The state had suffered a dramatic spike of new COVID-19 cases, peaking in August when hundreds of cases were daily reported. The decline in new cases has allowed the lifting of major social distancing measures that have been in place for weeks. However, some restrictions, including a limit on travel and an internal border between Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne, will remain in place until November 8.  China China imposed lockdown measures in the prefecture of Kashgar in the far western region of Xinjiang, because new infections were reported. In addition to this, the Government is expected to test nearly 5 million people in the region. The testing already performed identified more than 100 additional cases. The country’s approach at containing the spread of the pandemic includes drastic measures, such as strict lockdowns, extensive contact tracing and mass testing. In early October, the eastern port city of Qingdao tested more than 10 million people in just four days.   Hong Kong completed preparatory work on a “health code” that will be necessary for cross-border travel between mainland China and Macau. The next step is the discussion of its timeline and conditions. EU On October 23, the European Council adopted conclusions calling on the European Commission to create a pandemic and other major crisis contingency plan for the European freight transport sector. In addition to this, the European Council encourages the Commission to extend the contingency plan to passenger transport and transport in general, including EU-level coordination measures and clear guidelines.   The contingency plan should cover at least the following aspects: 1) maintaining cross-border freight transport operations along the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) corridors and other essential cross-border connections, as well as related ancillary services supporting the operation of that network, 2) ensuring free movement of transport workers while safeguarding the protection of their health and safety, 3) preparing guidelines and best-practice toolboxes in order to strengthen the sector&#39;s resilience, 4) setting up a coherent regulatory framework as regards exemptions to be applied when pandemics and other major crisis situations arise.   In addition, the European Council reviewed the list of third countries for which restrictions should be lifted. Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from October 22, Member States should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries: Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Uruguay and China –subject to confirmation of reciprocity. Travel restrictions should also be gradually lifted for Hong Kong and Macau. This list will continue to be reviewed regularly and updated, if necessary. In addition to this, Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) also take part in this recommendation.   On October 21, EU Member States’ ambassadors agreed to start negotiations with the European Parliament on the EU4Health program (2021-2027). This program is a strong response to the pandemic, but also maintains a focus on long-term EU actions in the health field. It aims to improve public health in the EU and make the Union better prepared to cope with future health crises.   The EU4Health program aims to complement national policies and to promote coordination between them, in order to improve human health by: 1) protecting people in the Union from serious cross-border threats to health, 2) improving availability of health products and crisis relevant products, 3) strengthening the resilience and sustainability of health systems, 4) increasing the use of digital tools and services in the health area, and 5) strengthening the role of the EU in global health.  Belgium The number of new COVID-19 cases is growing, and the country is expected to tighten restrictive measures aimed to contain the spread of the pandemic. Some of the measures include enforcing working from home for most employees, imposing a nighttime curfew, reduce the opening hours of bars and restaurants, and limiting social interaction to two people outside their homes.  France France imposed a curfew from 9:00 pm until 6:00 am, which affects nearly 46 million people across the country. Initially, the curfew was imposed to Paris and its suburbs, but it has been extended to a total of 54 departments. This measure aims to contain the spread of the virus when France surpassed 1 million COVID-19 cases.  Germany The number of new COVID-19 infections hit a new record high, as the country’s death toll passed 10,000 on October 24. The Government warned of a national lockdown, and advised citizens to reduce social contact to an absolute minimum in order to reduce the scope of the pandemic in the country. Local and regional authorities are allowed to impose their own rules, which may include travel restrictions, curfews for restaurants and bars, as well as tighter limits on social gatherings. Berlin implemented new restrictions such as wearing face masks in markets. Italy Italy imposed new restrictions in order to curb down the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures include wearing face coverings outdoors, a curfew on restaurants and bars from 6 pm, and shutting down gyms, pools and cinemas, among others. However, restaurants and cafes are able to serve takeout and delivery orders until midnight. The government promised financial aid to the food sector by November.  Spain Spain declared a national state of emergency on October 25, and imposed a curfew from 11 pm until 6 am. In addition to this, different Spanish regions are able to add up to an hour of flexibility if they want to modify the duration of the night curfew. Regional governments may also ban movement between districts, depending on public health needs. The state of emergency as well as other restrictions imposed may be extended for up to six months. United Kingdom Several regions across the UK imposed stricter restrictions, such as Nottinghamshire, Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, South Yorkshire and Warrington. The aforementioned regions moved into the top tier of COVID-19 restrictions: gatherings of more than six people are not allowed, no household mixing indoors or outdoors is allowed, pubs and bars without serving meals will be closed, and there is guidance against traveling in and out of the area.   Due to a rise of new COVID-19 infections, UK authorities are likely to tighten restrictions on more regions across the country. Scotland and Northern Ireland established their own public health rules, and Wales introduced a 17-day lockdown for all its inhabitants, until November 9. India Festival celebrations in India such as Diwali, which will be celebrated by mid-November, and other major religious celebrations approaching are feared as a possible cause of a COVID-19 surge.   According to a recent USDA GAIN report, a growing container shortage has been reported in Mumbai, derailing exporters plans to take advantage of a recovery in export demand. Some of the factors involved in this shortage are sailing cancelations, the failure of shippers to return containers in a timely manner, and a steady decline in imports. Shortages have resulted in a 20-40% increase in freight rates. Chennai port introduced new measures aimed to improve port operations, such as the reduction of certain fees and charges, a new food inspection laboratory, direct port delivery, and the construction of a new road. Mundra and Mangalore ports report normal port operations. However, in Tuticorin, truck movement is slow due to a shortage of drivers.   The most recent update of the weekly port situation in India indicates that port operations are running normally in Mundra and Mangalore. There is no sufficient availability of containers in Mumbai. Truck movement is slow in Tuticorin and Kandla, which also experiences a lack of labor availability.   New Delhi is seeing a price hike in multiple vegetable products, due to heavy rains which slowed down the arrival of supplies, according to a recent USDA GAIN report. In addition to this, in Visakhapatnam edible oil prices have increased by 30% due to higher demand.  Malaysia The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the Malaysian hotel, restaurant and institutional (HRI) sector, according to a recent USDA GAIN report. Before the pandemic, Malaysia’s HRI industry was one of the fastest growing sectors in the country’s economy. However, because of the travel restrictions, the sector has experienced a major drop in business with national hotel occupancy rates of 12-20% in July. Malaysian HRI industry is highly dependent on tourism. However, due to social distancing measures imposed across the country, food delivery services have increased dramatically in urban areas.  Peru Peru, as many other countries, have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent USDA GAIN report, the country experienced a quarantine of almost five months, but most sectors have progressively resumed activities. A negative GDP growth is expected for the current year, in addition to increasing unemployment rates, linked with a decrease in household consumption. Singapore Singapore is planning to ease some of the COVID-19 mitigation measures, including the increase of gatherings of people from five to eight, as well as permitting weddings, religious and business events before the end of the year. The Government announced the road map towards Singapore’s final phase of reopening. South Korea The country started easing restrictions as the spread of the COVID-19 declined. As a consequence, the Government relieved certain social distancing-related restrictions, stadiums opened again to the public and sanctuaries resumed in-person services. However, this week, South Korea reported double digit-increase in new cases due to small clusters of infections in Seoul and its surrounding province, as well as imported cases. Since January, the country has tested more than 2.5 million people.  Thailand According to a USDA GAIN report, the food service sector in Thailand accounts for about 13% of the country’s GDP. The pandemic caused a severe contraction in the sector, due to lockdown measures as well as international travel restrictions. Restaurant sales revenue dropped severely during the first half of 2020. According to the Thai Restaurant Business Association, approximately 10 or 15% of restaurant business operators are expected to shut down by the end of the year. However, food delivery services were exempted from the lockdown and continued providing food, experiencing a rapid growth in business. United States On October 23, the US reported the highest number of COVID-19 infections in one day, more than 80,000 since the pandemic started. The number of hospitalized people across the country increased by 33% since the beginning of October. More than 30 states are having upticks of new cases. As the pandemic continues to spread, some states have imposed domestic travel restrictions. For example, the State of New York requires travelers from high-risk areas to self-quarantine for 14 days and to fill out health forms.   The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a fourth round of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. The budget for this round is $500 million, and it is expected to deliver food boxes based on the internal needs of each state, from November 1 until December 31. The third round has delivered more than $2.981 billion worth of food to date. Vietnam The food service sector in Vietnam has suffered a negative impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a USDA GAIN report. For 2020, the World Bank forecasts a 2.8% GDP decrease due to the impact of the pandemic. In addition to this, the Government of Vietnam lowered its 2020 GDP growth target from 6.8% to 2.5%, in the most favorable scenario. However, the country is expected to recover fast from the outbreak, as the World Bank forecasts that the country’s GDP growth for the next year could be of 6.7%.   The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-october-28-2020Real Power for Real People Campaign Launches TodayThe Real Plant-Based Power Real Power for Real People connects nuts & dried fruits to attitudinal immunity. The campaign utilizes the plant-based power and the “Real Power” of nuts and dried fruits to show how they boost your attitudinal immunity. While this concept is not the traditional meaning of “immunity”, it is essential, as it represents an individual’s ability to resist the negativity that surrounds us and gives them the power to overcome any challenges. And we all know that in the world today, there is just too much negativity, from the COVID-19 pandemic, social issues, to individual bad news that brings us down. Luckily by consuming nuts and dried fruits, we can have the power to take back control and beat any negativity that comes our way! Share Your Nutfruit Power With the official launch of the dissemination campaign, the INC has created a short one-minute video to pose as the main tool of the campaign. This video highlights how with nuts and dried fruits, we can be confident, powerful, and fight off any negativity in our lives! Furthermore, joining the campaign is a long list of macro and micro influencers, all with the goal to energize their followers with this message! Be on the lookout for social media hashtags such as #RealPowerforRealPeople and #ShareYourNutfruitPower to see the campaign in action! Additionally, as in previous campaigns, the INC will promote Real Power for Real People through digital advertising to expand the reach of the campaign! Join the INC&#39;s New Campaign Now Making this project special though, and giving it the ability to reach new levels of consumers is the Toolkit designed by the INC. This toolkit can be sent to INC Members who wish to participate in Real Power for Real People and with digital resources and material provided in the Toolkit, members can now spread the message in their own markets! This is an extraordinary part of the plan that provides members to partner up with the INC and take this project global. Any INC members who are interested in receiving a toolkit and participating in this campaign will need to email the INC at inc@nutfruit.org.   Together as a united industry, this campaign can promote the consumption of nuts and dried fruits on an international scale! Join now as Real Power for Real People officially launches today! https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/real-power-for-real-people-campaign-launches-todayINC to Host First Online Conference for the Entire Nut & Dried Fruit IndustryAs COVID-19 continues to affect lives and businesses around the world, we must learn to adapt. The INC Online Conference 2020 is a new digital meeting point created by the INC to allow members and guests to virtually come together during a hectic and difficult time. With three working groups representing all regions of the world, led by industry experts, this conference is the must-not-miss event for the nut and dried fruit industry! Moreover, insightful seminars and knowledge sessions, such as the Nutrition & Research Webinar, Scientific & Regulatory Webinar, and Industry Marketing Programs Update, give you all the more reason to attend! Registration will open on November 2, 2020. Check out the INC Online Conference website for more information! INC Online Conference Keynote Speakers Furthermore, the INC has already confirmed two internationally respected keynote speakers, Alan Oster, Group Chief Economist at the Australian National Bank and Haim Israel, Managing Director and Global Strategist who heads up the Global Thematic  Research team for Bank of America.  Alan Oster&#39;s speech will be titled, "Global Overview & Australia – Impact of COVID-19 in near and medium term" and Haim Israel&#39;s will be "Transforming World! The World after Covid". Alan Oster, Group Chief Economist, Australian National Bank Alan Oster is NAB’s Group Chief Economist. Alan joined the Bank in 1992 from the Federal Treasury where he worked for 15 years - his special field being economic forecasting and monetary policy. He grew up in Newcastle and graduated (with first class honours) in economics from Newcastle University. He also holds a Masters degree in economics from the Australian National University. Immediately before joining the Bank, Alan was the Senior Adviser in Treasury responsible for economic forecasting and modelling. In 1987 he was seconded for nearly four years as Counsellor-Economic and Financial with Australia’s delegation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. As Group Chief Economist, Alan is responsible for NAB’s global economic and financial forecasts. He is also a highly respected and much quoted commentator on Australian and global economic trends and policy issues. Haim Israel,  Global Strategist, Managing Director of Research, Bank of America Haim Israel is a Managing Director and Global Strategist who heads up the Global Thematic  Research team. Prior to this position, Israel was the head of Bank of America’s EEMEA Technology,  Media and Telecommunication Research team, as well as the head of Israeli Research. In 2020, Israel and team were ranked in first place as the best Thematic Research and ESG – Integrated Climate Change teams in the Institutional Investor Extel Global Survey. Israel attained his MBA from The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and also holds a dual major in Finance & Business. For more information about any award cited, visit https://rsch.baml.com/awards. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-to-host-first-online-conference-for-the-entire-nut-dried-fruit-industryCOVID-19 Update: October 14, 2020WHO The World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) issued a joint statement on the impact of COVID-19 on people’s livelihoods, their health and food systems. The statement stressed the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating, due to the fact that tens of millions of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty, and the number of undernourished people could double by the end of the year. Furthermore, nearly half of the global workforce is at risk of losing their livelihoods.    The pandemic affects the entire food system. Border closures, trade restrictions and confinement measures have been preventing farmers from accessing markets, including for buying inputs and selling their produce, and agricultural workers from harvesting crops, thus disrupting domestic and international food supply chains and reducing access to healthy, safe and diverse diets. The pandemic has decimated jobs and placed millions of livelihoods at risk.    In the COVID-19 crisis, several issues such as food security, public health, and employment and labor issues, in particular workers’ health and safety, converge. Immediate and purposeful action to save lives and livelihoods should include extending social protection towards universal health coverage and income support for those most affected.   The statement also advocates for global solidarity and support, especially with the most vulnerable, particularly in the emerging and developing world, and for the need to develop long-term sustainable strategies to address the challenges of health and agri-food sectors. The priority should be also to address food security and malnutrition challenges. IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued the World Economic Outlook, which shows that lockdowns contributed considerably to the recession and had disproportional effects on vulnerable groups. However, the recession has been also largely driven by people who voluntarily refrain from social interactions because they fear contracting the virus. Therefore, lifting lockdowns may not lead to an economic boost if infection rates are high, due to the fact that people may voluntarily adhere to social distancing measures.   The analysis concludes that lockdowns impose short-term costs but may lead to a faster economic recovery as they lower infections and thus the extent of voluntary social distancing. However, the effectiveness of lockdowns in reducing infections is linked to the evolution of the epidemic itself: If lockdown measures are taken early, they may lead to a faster economic recovery by containing the virus and reducing voluntary social distancing. The analysis also finds that the health crisis has disproportionate effects on the most vulnerable groups.   Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director, stressed that the IMF has projected a severe global GDP contraction in 2020, as well as a long, uncertain partial and uneven recovery in 2021. It is estimated that global public debt will reach a record-high of about 100 percent of GDP in 2020. For almost all countries, the pandemic represents a setback to the improvement of living standards in the medium term. In order to confront the crisis and push for transformations, Georgieva listed the IMF immediate priorities: 1) defend people’s health, 2) avoid premature withdrawal of policy support, 3) flexible and forward-leaning fiscal policy, and 4) deal with debt, especially in low-income countries. WTO On October 6, the World Trade Organization revised the Annual Trade Outlook 2020, first published in April and updated in June, which now forecasts a 9.2% decline in the volume of world merchandise trade for the current year. In 2021, it is expected to rise by  7.2%, which is a figure well below the pre-pandemic trend. The new projected decline is lower than the 12.9% drop foreseen previously in April. These forecasts are subject to an unusually high degree of uncertainty; they depend on the evolution of the pandemic as well as the different responses by governments worldwide.   In addition to this, WTO also estimates that global GDP is predicted to fall by 4.8% in 2020, but it is expected to rise by 4.9% in 2021. The trade decline in Asia is expected at 4.5% for exports and 4.4% for imports in the current year, which is smaller than in other regions. However, downside risks will still predominate, especially if there is a resurgence of global COVID-19 cases in the coming months. Australia On October 9, for the first time in three months, Australia recorded a second straight day without a COVID-19 related death. Victoria, the country’s second most populous state, which represents the epicenter of Australia’s COVID-19 outbreak, reported less than 200 active infections.   Because of the reduced risk of COVID-19 transmission in Northern New South Wales, Queensland Government eliminated the Queensland border zone. From October 1, Queensland residents can travel anywhere in the NSW border zone for any purpose. In addition to this, NSW border zone residents can travel anywhere in Queensland for any purpose.   Queensland Government has announced a new $1.1 million funding package to get more seasonal workers onto farms. The package includes a pilot ‘Back to work in Agriculture Incentive Scheme’, a #pickQld Campaign and a Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network support. Growcom, the institution that represents Queensland’s fruit, vegetable and nut growers, published some recommendations on finding seasonal workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak, which impacted negatively the sector. China China has announced massive COVID-19 testing, to nearly 9 million people, in the eastern city of Qingdao, following an outbreak at a city’s hospital. This announcement comes after two months without any community transmission and most cases imported from people traveling into the country.   Some media outlets point out that a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections in Hong Kong may be possible, due to a combination of factors, such as untraceable cases, sick travelers slipping checks, as well as the looming flu season. EU The Eurogroup published its work program until June 2021, with a focus on several priority policy areas to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis: 1) Economic and fiscal policies to support recovery and long-term growth, 2) Strengthening the Banking Union, 3) The euro as a digital currency, 4) Carefully monitoring the potential opportunities and advantages, but also the risks of an enhanced international role of the euro, and 5) Strengthening the connection with European citizens and increasing their sense of ownership of the euro and of the Economic and Monetary Union.   As for the circulation of goods, taking into account that the difficulties to perform official controls and other official activities will persist, the EC has decided to extend, for the third time, the use of electronic documentation until February 1, 2021, through the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1341 of September 28, 2020, which prolongs the period of application of Regulation (EU) 2020/466 of 30 March 2020.   On October 9, Member States&#39; EU ambassadors agreed to the European Council position on the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which is the centerpiece of the Next Generation EU recovery instrument designed to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and the green and digital transitions challenges. This initiative is expected to support with €672.5 billion of public investments and reforms, and to contribute to economic, social and territorial cohesion within the EU.   The European Council has adopted conclusions on strengthening minimum income protection in the EU, inviting the Member States and the Commission to work together to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights, which highlights the principle that everyone lacking sufficient resources has the right to adequate minimum income benefits ensuring dignity at all stages of life. The Council has also adopted conclusions on improving the working and living conditions of seasonal and other mobile workers. Furthermore, the Council approved a recommendation to coordinate measures affecting free movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, intending to avoid fragmentation and disruption, and increasing transparency and predictability for citizens and businesses. Belgium Brussels has closed cafes and bars for a month until November 8. In addition to this, the country is expected to return to a full lockdown, because new infections and hospital admissions are rising again. In order to mitigate the risk of new infections, the Belgian Government has tightened national measures, including the limitation of public or private gatherings to four people, the closure of bars at 11 pm, as well as the strong recommendation of working from home several days a week, among other limitations. France France announced new COVID-19 related restrictions on October 8, as the number of new cases increased significantly. Paris and Marseille, among other territories, have been put at maximum alert in recent weeks, which includes the closure of bars and cafes. France’s health minister urged people to help fight the virus by wearing face masks and keeping social distancing. Germany In Germany, the number of new infections is gradually rising, and the German disease control agency has warned that the country could see up to 10,000 new COVID-19 cases per day if hygienic and social distancing measures are not strictly followed. Health Minister has urged people to follow COVID-19 prevention measures, and played down the possibility of imposing national lockdowns, stating that regional measures are preferred. Health authorities have also urged people not to travel to and from regions with more than 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Italy The Italian Government offers soft loans, export credit support, passive minority stake investment as well as consulting and other assistance to national companies, especially SMEs, in order to help them to internationalize. Simest, a state-controlled company within the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Group, has received requests totaling €3 billion for loans. In addition to this, the Italian Government pumped €100 billion in stimulus to the economy, and part of these funds went to Simest.   Due to a resurgence of cases in Belgium, Italy requires travelers from this country to get tested for COVID-19 before entering to the country. Travelers from the Czech Republic, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK are also required to provide COVID-19 negative testing results. Italy also strengthened certain prevention measures, for instance, it is mandatory to wear face masks outdoors. Spain A recent USDA GAIN Report assessed the impact of the COVID-19 on the Spanish Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional (HRI) sector. Spain received more than 72% fewer tourists during the first seven months of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. The country spent seven weeks of strict confinement and restaurants and other hospitality venues were closed. After that, only the limit capacity is allowed. The hospitality sector estimates that nearly 40,000 businesses have already closed and, under the current scenario, about 65,000 establishments could close by the end of the year. During the strictest confinement period, more than two million new customers used food delivery services.   Due to a rise in the number of new cases, the Government declared the State of Emergency in Madrid. There are movement restrictions and people are only allowed to travel for work, school or an emergency. United Kingdom A recent USDA GAIN Report gives an overview of the UK food service sector. The COVID-19 impacted both the UK economy and the hospitality industry, which in 2019 was estimated to be worth $71 billion USD. Pubs and restaurants were closed for more than three months, but were allowed to open for takeaway or delivery service. The Government issued the “Eat Out to Help Out Scheme” which ran from Monday to Wednesdays in August and allowed customers 50% off their dine in meal up to £10.00 ($13.00) per person. The initiative was a resounding success which raised bookings 216% compared to the same day in 2019.   Further restrictions have been applied. Since September 14, there is a limitation of six people allowed to meet, and since September 24, restaurants, pubs and bars have to close by 10 pm. India The port situation in India, according to a recent USDA GAIN Report, is generally improving. In Mumbai, cargo truck and laborer availability is rising as lockdown restrictions gradually decline. Mundra port is expected to introduce a new train access charge of approx. USD $103 from November 1. In Mangalore, minor disruptions have been reported. Due to adverse weather conditions, over 175 fishing boards anchored suddenly at the port. Kolkata port is accelerating its efforts in order to digitalize port operations. By doing so, port authorities expect to ensure greater accountability and reduce delays and logistical costs.   In Mumbai, in September, the port handled 95% of the cargo carried during the same month last year. Several initiatives such as direct port entry, internal terminal rail handling, and the installation of scanners among others, are expected to make the port much more efficient as cargo volumes recover pre-pandemic levels. Cargo volume drops during the period of April-September, compared to the same period last year, were the following: Kandla cargo volume dropped 13%, Chennai 26% drop, Mangalore 7% drop, Kolkata 19% drop and Cochin cargo volume dropped 24%.   The food service sector in India has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19. According to a new USDA GAIN Report, some of the challenges faced by the sector are: 1) falling occupancy rates, 2) limited restaurant operations, 3) travel cancellations, and 4) decline in social gatherings, among others. However, it is expected that the sector will begin to recover next year.   According to the latest Weekly Food Retail Update, the situation of the food and retail sector in India is the following: in the State of Assam vegetable prices are soaring, due to supply disruptions caused by rains and floods in the major growing areas. The intervention of authorities is expected in order to control the price hikes. Koyambedu Market, the primary produce and grain market in Chennai, has been partially reopened after being closed for five months. The market applies strict social distancing, hygienic and testing measures. In Pune, vegetable and fruit market vendors have to be screened. In addition to screenings, there are strict social distancing and monitoring measures to control the spread of the epidemic.  Singapore The hotel, restaurant and institutional sector in Singapore is traditionally fueled by both consumer spending and tourism. However, the COVID-19 outbreak and the consequent movement restrictions caused a major drop in business, according to a recent USDA GAIN Report.   Singapore announced that is considering more “air travel bubbles” with countries deemed to be safe. To avoid a 14-day quarantine, travelers from Hong Kong, for instance, would be asked to stick to a controlled itinerary. South Korea South Korea reported a rising number of new COVID-19 infections during the first week of October, according to The Associated Press. Nearly all the confirmed cases were in the Seoul metropolitan area, which has been suffering a resurgence of infections since mid-August. United States Half of US states reported rises in the number of new COVID-19 infections. Some states announced further measures to contain the spread of the pandemic. Wisconsin is now limiting public gatherings to 25% of the total occupancy of a room or a building. In Kentucky, wearing face masks is mandatory, as the state is suffering a major escalation of COVID-19 cases. There are clusters of new cases in New York, and schools and essential businesses are obliged to close. These announcements may represent a first sign of tightening restrictions across the US as a challenging season is approaching.   In addition to this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecast that the total death toll related to COVID-19 may rise to 233,000 people by the end of October. COVID-19 has become the third leading cause of death in the US, after heart disease and cancer.     The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-october-14-2020Stay Tuned In for the Real Power for Real People CampaignWhat Is Attitudinal Immunity and Plant-Based Power? When someone talks about immunity, attitudinal immunity is not the initial example that comes to mind, yet it is tremendously important. Attitudinal immunity can be simply described as a person’s ability to fight against external factors that attempt to bring them down. These external factors can range from negative thoughts and all the bad news reported every day to discrimination and pessimism. The idea is that it does not matter how strong our physical body is, if we are not immune to the negative influences, eventually we will fall. One way to improve and better your attitudinal immunity is to feed your body with nutritional real food like nuts and dried fruits. Nuts and dried fruits give your body real power and this helps with facing challenges that we all encounter on a daily basis because after all, we are all real people. We all can be susceptible to negative influences, but with assistance from real food, we can take a step towards building our attitudinal immunity. This notion gives way to the campaign’s official slogan: Real Power for Real People. Real Power for Real People Campaign Coming Soon The INC continues to work on the launch of the Real Power for Real People campaign and you are going to want to be a part of this global campaign! Keep an eye out for the launch, which is poised to promote nuts and dried fruits on a global scale! https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/stay-tuned-in-for-the-real-power-for-real-people-campaignIn Memoriam Richard DoggettLanding in Australia from the UK marked the start of a great adventure for Richard – he worked as an outback jackaroo, the general manager of Richmond Tigers AFL club, a senior executive at Conrad Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast, a fish and chip shop owner and most recently, a macadamia farmer in Numulgi, NSW. And these roles are just the ones we know of; those who knew him longer and better could add many more experiences to this list. Richard was an AMS member for more than two decades and was first elected to the Board in 2010.  He served as the Chair of the audit committee and as Company Secretary, becoming Deputy Chair in 2013 and taking the Chair in 2014. He also served on the industry marketing committee.  This year marked a full decade of service to the Society by Richard. And what effective service it has been. Over the last 6 years as Chair, Richard steered the AMS through some of the most successful and prosperous times the Society has experienced. Under his leadership, the Society has never been more engaged with members and the broader industry or more highly regarded by key institutions and government.  But to measure Richard just by his deeds is to miss the real mark of him. He was kind, compassionate and polite to everyone he encountered. Our staff have fond memories of the casual chats they would have with him in the office. He was articulate, clever and well-respected. He had the ability to bring calm and reason to any discussion. And above all, he was a gentleman. In his time on the board he never raised his voice, despite considerable provocation on occasion. He always looked for the good in everyone and everything, and, like Lord Nelson, would put the telescope to the blind eye when it came to faults and failings. His vast and impressive list of career achievements illustrate the enthusiastic sense of adventure and love of life that flowed through Richard; the world of macadamias seems less bright, the possibilities not quite as boundless now that he is gone.  Richard Doggett made an outstanding contribution to the Society and to the Australian macadamia industry. On behalf of the Board, the staff and the members we say thank you and farewell. This text was provided by the Australian Macadamia Society. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/vale-richard-doggettWebinar on MycotoxinsThe objective of the webinar was to give an overview of the efforts made by the countries of origin, the import controls and the legislative amendments. Mr. Jens Borchert, FRUCOM Vice-President, opened the Session with a presentation about mycotoxins in nuts and dried fruits, focusing on the outcomes of the risk assessments published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Mr. Borchert remarked that the level of consumption of nuts and dried fruits is very low compared to other food categories but they are tested more often.   Representatives from different national associations gave an overview of the different mitigation measures put in place in farms and processing steps. Ms. Julie Adams, Vice President, Global Technical & Regulatory Affairs, Almond Board of California, gave an overview of the almond industry in California, highlighting the Pre-export Check (PEC) program put in place in 2015. The aflatoxins and Ochratoxin A (OTA) mitigation measures in Turkish dried fruits were explained by Prof. Dr. Uygun Aksoy, Aegean Exporters’ Association. There is a monitoring program in place since 2005 and more that 100,000 are analyzed per year. Mr. Hasan Sabir, Board member of the Black Sea Hazelnut Exporters’ Association, highlighted that the quality of the hazelnut crops in Turkey is very good since 2019, as the low number of RASFF notifications indicates. Ms. Courtney Dorsett, American Peanut Council/TNA, acknowledged the issue of AFL as one of the main challenges that the American peanut industry has to face. Regarding the US pistachio industry, Dr. Robert Klein, Administrative Committee for Pistachios, agreed that contamination is linked to insect damage, being the Navel Orangeworm the most important pest.   During the second part of the webinar, speakers from EU and national competent authorities talked about the EU controls. First speaker, Dr. Martien Spanjer, NVWA, Nederlandse Voedsel en Waren Autoriteit (Food Safety Authority of the Netherlands) summarized the RASFF alerts/notifications for OTA in figs and pistachios of the last years. Since 2004, there have been 88 alerts/notifications for OTA in figs (50 from Germany, 22 from the Netherlands and 16 from others). In the case of pistachios, 31 alerts have been recorded since 2005 by the Netherlands, being higher the frequency in the last three years. Mr. Frans Verstraete, Deputy Head of Unit, Food processing technologies and novel foods, DG SANTE, European Commission, gave an update of the policy developments on import controls in the EU and on regulatory levels in EU and Codex. He informed that the draft maximum limits for OTA that are currently under discussion are: 8 ppb for dried grapes and figs; 2 ppb for other dried fruits; and 5 ppb for pistachios. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/webinar-on-mycotoxins-by-frucom-1FRUCOM Working Group on SustainabilityThe objective of the meeting, attended by almost 40 representatives from different private companies and national associations, was to give an update of the different strategies that the European Commission is developing under the roadmap ‘The European Green Deal’.   Ms. Anna Boulova, FRUCOM Secretary General, gave an overview of the expected EU legal proposals planned for the following years within the framework of The Green Deal approved in May 2020. The Green Claims Initiative and the Environmental Footprint (EF) methods were explained by Ms. Emmanuelle Maire, Head of Sustainable Production, Products and Consumption, DG ENVIRONMENT, European Commission. She said that the EC is exploring what EF methodology can be used in developing criteria for product policy measures. The EC will propose that companies substantiate their environmental claims using EF methods. Next speaker, Mr. Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, CEEV (EU Wine association) Secretary General, shared the wine sector experience in the development of the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs) on wine. He concluded that although PEFCR is a great tool to identify companies hotspots and opportunities to improve production, it is too expensive for a mandatory implementation, there are uncertainties (problems with datasets and benchmarking), and there is a risk of oversimplifying the message to the consumers.   Finally, Ms. Astrid Baeten, FRUCOM Responsible for Sustainability, presented the preliminary work on the sustainability risk assessment for FRUCOM products. The preliminary document draws an overall picture of the nut sector in terms of sustainability. The objective of this document is to serve as communication basis for the sector achievements, for discussion on possible gaps, for identifying possibilities for joint initiatives, and for members to start their own due diligence process in the supply chain. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/frucom-working-group-on-sustainability-1Latest Trade News and Agreements: OctoberEU: Call for Participation, Domestic Advisory Groups The Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission (DG Trade) aims to renew the membership of eight EU Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs), under its existing trade agreements and inviting members for two new EU DAGs. Current EU trade agreements provide for the involvement of civil society in advising on the implementation of Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) Chapters through the creation of DAGs.   The list of DAGs that are being renewed or set up is the following: Central America Colombia/Ecuador/Peru Georgia Moldova Ukraine Singapore South Korea Vietnam Canada Cariforum Candidate organizations need to fulfill the following criteria: Be a civil society organization. Be not for profit. Represent or defend EU interests. Be registered in the EU Transparency Register and in DG Trade’s civil society database. The candidate(s) designated must have specific professional expertise or competence in the area of trade policy, and in particular with regard to the areas covered by the trade and sustainable development chapter of the agreement(s) they are proposed to cover. In selecting EU-DAG members, the Commission will seek to achieve a balanced and diverse membership, representing different civil society segments.   The deadline for submitting comments is October 15, 2020.   Call for Expression of Interest in participation in EU Domestic Advisory Groups   UK-Japan: Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement On September 11, 2020, the UK and Japan reached a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.    This agreement is expected to give UK companies exporting to Japan a competitive advantage in a number of areas: tariff-free access for more goods, improved mobility for business people, and digital and data provisions, among others.   UK-Japan: Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/latest-trade-news-and-agreements-octoberOrganic Production: OctoberEU: Organic Production Consultation The EU Commission has opened a public consultation about the action plan for the development of EU organic production.   Through the Farm to Fork and the Biodiversity strategies, published in May 2020, the Commission has committed to reach at least 25% of EU’s agricultural land under organic farming by 2030 and a significant increase in organic aquaculture, both to improve the sustainability of the food system and to revert biodiversity loss. To achieve this, the Commission proposed setting up an action plan to help Member States stimulate both supply and demand of organic products, ensure consumer’s trust through promotion activities and green public procurement, and respond to the challenges in reaching the target.   The objective of this public consultation is to collect and analyze the opinion and ideas of citizens, civil society, Member States authorities and concerned sectoral organizations on actions to be developed.   The deadline for submitting comments is November 27, 2020.   Organic farming - action plan for the development of EU organic production EU: Organic Production On September 18, 2020, the European Union notified the World Trade Organization of three Draft Commission Delegated Regulations amending or supplementing Regulation (EU) 2018/848.   The Draft Commission Delegated Regulation as regards the requirements for groups of operators and the model of certificate attesting compliance with the rules on organic production, lays down the provisions on groups of operators and amends the model of the certificate provided to operators or group of operators. The Draft Commission Delegated Regulation on the specific criteria and conditions for the checks of documentary accounts in the framework of official controls in organic production and the official controls of groups of operators, will supplement the Regulation (EU) 2018/848 by laying down further rules on traceability and mass balance checks, as well as on specific controls on groups of operators.   The Draft Commission Implementing Regulation on controls and other measures ensuring traceability and compliance in organic production and the labeling of organic products lays down the rules for precautionary measures and investigation in case of suspicion of non-compliance due to the presence of non-authorized products and substance, labeling, group of operators, minimum additional controls, national catalogs of measures and exchange of information between different bodies and authorities for organics. The deadline for comments is November 17, 2020. The proposed date of adoption is November 2020. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/organic-production-octoberOfficial Controls Update: OctoberChina, Taiwan: Phytosanitary Certificates The Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu notified the World Trade Organization of the extension of the Implementation Period of the Temporary Alternative Arrangements of the Presentation of Original Veterinary and Phytosanitary Certificates in the Condition of COVID-19 Pandemic.   As previously notified, several alternative arrangements were implemented to the presentation of original veterinary or phytosanitary certificates until August 31, 2020. The implementation period has been extended until December 21, 2020, because of the global COVID-19 situation.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/official-controls-update-octoberFood Safety Update: OctoberEU: Plastic Materials The European Commission published the Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/1245 of 2 September 2020 amending and correcting Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.   This Regulation amends Annexes I, II, IV and V. Plastic materials and articles complying with Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 as applicable before the entry into force of this Regulation, and which were first placed on the market before March 23, 2021, may continue to be placed on the market until September 23, 2022 and remain on the market until the exhaustion of stocks.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/1245 of 2 September 2020 India: Food Safety and Standards The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India notified the World Trade Organization of the Draft Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2011.   Among other products, this draft modifies the walnut kernel standard by inserting a new definition of walnut kernel and the requirements of several parameters together with their definition.   The final date for comments is November 22, 2020.   More information USA: Food Traceability On September 21, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced the proposed rule ““Requirements for Additional Traceability Records for Certain Foods” (Food Traceability Proposed Rule) to establish additional traceability recordkeeping requirements for persons who manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods included on the Food Traceability List.   The Food Traceability Proposed Rule is a key component of the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint and pursues to identify recipients of foods to prevent or mitigate foodborne illness outbreaks in a quick and efficient manner.   The foods identified in the Food Traceability List will require additional traceability records. Nut butter (includes all types of tree nut and peanut butters; does not include soy or seed butters) is listed.   The proposed rule was published on September 23 in the Federal Register. The deadline for submitting comments is January 21, 2021. The final date for submitting comments (including recommendations) on the collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 is November 23, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 185. Friday, September 23, 2020. Pages 59984-60038 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/food-safety-update-octoberPesticides Update: OctoberAustralia and New Zealand: MRLs Update Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) issued the Variations to Schedule 20 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (September 8, 2020).    The table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows: The maximum residue limits (MRLs) for clothianidin in almonds is substituted by 0.05 ppm. Deadline for comments is October 6, 2020. The amendment can be found here. Brazil: MRLs Update The Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency has notified the World Trade Organization of the draft resolution regarding the active ingredient F66 – Flubendiamida of the Monograph List of Active Ingredients for Pesticides, Household Cleaning Products and Wood Preservers, published by Resolution RE n° 165 of 29 August 2003, on the Official Gazette (DOU Diário Oficial da União) of 2 September 2003. The MRL for flubendiamida in groundnut culture is set at 0.1 ppm with a safety security period of 20 days. The final date for comments is October 24, 2020.   F66 – Flubendiamida Canada: MRLs Update Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has adopted the proposed new maximum residue limits (PMRL) for fenpropathrin in tree nuts and inpyrfluxam in peanuts.   As previously announced, the PMRLs for fenpropathrin in tree nuts was adopted on September 6, 2020. The MRL for fenpropathrin in tree nuts (crop group 14-11) is set at 0.15 ppm, replacing the currently established MRL of 0.10 ppm.   The MRL for inpyrfluxam in peanuts is set at 0.01 ppm since September 23, 2020.   Health Canada Database   In addition, the Agency has proposed new maximum residue limits (PMRL) for oxathiapiprolin.   The PMRL for oxathiapiprolin in raisins is set at 1.3 ppm. The final date for comments is December 6, 2020.   Consultation on oxathiapiprolin, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2020-31 China: MRLs Update China&#39;s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs published a public consultation on Maximum Residue Limits of 187 Pesticides in or on food with due date for comments November 16, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. EFSA: MRLs Review The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published the Review of the existing maximum residue levels for chlorantraniliprole according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. Based on the assessment of the available data, maximum residue level (MRL) proposals were derived and a consumer risk assessment was carried out. Although no apparent risk to consumers was identified, some information required by the regulatory framework was missing. Hence, the consumer risk assessment is considered indicative only and some MRL proposals still require further consideration by risk managers.   Substance Commodity Existing MRL (ppm) Proposed MRL (ppm) Comments Chlorantraniliprole Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts 0.05 0.03 MRL is derived from a GAP evaluated at EU level, which is fully supported by data and for which no risk to consumers is identified.  * Indicates lower limit of determination. EFSA Review of the existing maximum residue levels for chlorantraniliprole according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2020;18(9):6235 EU: Pesticide Withdrawals The approval of the active substance benalaxyl has not been renewed (see previous post). On September 15, 2020, the European Commission published the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1280 of 14 September 2020 concerning the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance benalaxyl.   Member States shall withdraw authorizations for plant protection products containing benalaxyl as an active substance by April 5, 2021. However, any grace period granted by Member States shall expire by October 5, 2021, at the latest. This Regulation shall enter into force on October 5, 2020.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1280 of 14 September 2020 EU: Pesticides, Standing Committee The last meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed, Section Phytopharmaceuticals – Residues, took place in September 28-29, 2020 (agenda).   The following drafts were presented for an opinion: Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for aclonifen, boscalid, etofenprox, ferric pyrophosphate, L-cysteine, lambdacyhalothrin, maleic hydrazide, mefentrifluconazole, cow milk, sodium 5- nitroguaiacolate, sodium o-nitrophenolate, sodium p-nitrophenolate and triclopyr in or on certain products (Art. 10) (here). The MRL for mefentrifluconazole in apricots is set at 0.7 ppm, in prunes at 0.5 ppm, and in grapes at 0.9 ppm. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for diclofop, fluopyram, ipconazole and terbuthylazine in or on certain products (Art. 12) (here). The MRL for diclofop in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.02* ppm. The MRL for fluopyram in tree nuts is set at 0.03 ppm, in prunes at 0.6 ppm, in grapes at 2 ppm, in cranberries at 4 ppm, and in peanuts at 0.02. The MRL for terbuthylazine in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for fluxapyroxad, hymexazol, metamitron, penflufen and spirotetramat (Art. 12) (here). The MRL for fluxapyroxad in apricots is set at 0.15 ppm. The MRL for hymexazol in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs is set at 0.02* ppm. The MRL for metamitron in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for penflufen in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for spirotetramat in cranberries is set at 1.5 ppm, and in dates, figs and peanuts at 0.02* ppm. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for benalaxyl, benalaxyl-M, dichlobenil, fluopicolide, proquinazid, and pyrdalyl (Art. 12) (here). The MRL for benalaxyl (including benalaxyl-M) in tree nuts, apricots, plums, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm, and in grapes at 0.7 ppm. The MRL for dichlobenil in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for proquinazid in apricots, plums, cranberries, dates and figs is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for pyrdalyl in peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for carbon tetrachloride, chlorothalonil, chlorpropham, dimethoate, ethoprophos, fenamidone, methiocarb, omethoate, propiconazole and pymetrozine in or on certain products (here). The MRL for chlorothalonil in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for dimethoate in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for ethoprophos in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for fenamidone in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for methiocarb in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.03* ppm. The MRL for omethoate in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for propiconazole in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for pymetrozine in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.02* ppm. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chlordecone in or on certain products (here). The drafts presented for discussion were the following: Exchange of views of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation as regards maximum residue levels for metam, dazomet, hexythiazox, clethodim and sethoxydim (Art. 12) (here). The MRL for clethodim in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.02* ppm. The MRL for metam in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for hexythiazox in tree nuts is set at 0.05 ppm; in apricots and plums at 0.7 ppm; and in cranberries, figs and peanuts at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for sethoxydim in tree nuts and peanuts is set at 0.02* ppm; and in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs at 0.01* ppm. Exchange of views of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation as regards maximum residue levels for ametoctradin, bixafen, fenazaquin, spinetoram, tefluthrin and thiencarbazone-methyl in or on certain products (Art. 12) (here). India: MRLs Update The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India notified the World Trade Organization of the Draft Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Amendment Regulations 2020.   The Draft changes the following maximum residue limits (MRLs) for groundnuts: The MRL for difenoconazole in groundnut is set at 0.01 ppm. The MRL for mancozeb in groundnut is set at 0.01 ppm. The MRL for flubendiamide in groundnut is set at 0.02 ppm. The MRL for imidacloprid in groundnut seed is set at 0.05 ppm. The MRL for indoxacarb in groundnut is set at 0.05* ppm. The MRL for novaluron in groundnut is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for propaquizafop in groundnut seed is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for tebuconazole in groundnut seed is set at 0.05 ppm. The MRL for trifloxystrobin in groundnut is set at 0.02* ppm. The MRL for fluxapyroxad in groundnut is set at 0.05* ppm. The MRL for methoxyfenozide in groundnut is set at 0.02* ppm. * indicates that the maximum residue limit is set at the limit of determination.   The final date for comments is November 8, 2020.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/pesticides-update-octoberCOVID-19 Update: October 1, 2020WHO World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom made some remarks at the United Nations General Assembly side event on infodemic management. Dr. Adhanom highlighted the fact that rumors, untruths and disinformation about COVID-19 can be as dangerous as the pandemic itself –some people might have not taken the precautions they should have, or have been self-medicating with toxic chemicals. However, it is possible to bring the virus under control “if people have accurate, timely information about the basic measures that they can take to protect themselves and others. (…) This is why it is so important we work together to provide the public and policymakers with accurate information and stop the spread of falsehoods that undermine this response. Today, WHO and our partners are calling on all countries to put in place national action plans to promote science-based health information and to combat misinformation. And we call on the media, technology companies, civil society, researchers, and people everywhere to keep the infodemic from spreading.”   On September 25, Dr. Adhanom stated that with the flu season approaching in the Northern Hemisphere, many countries struggle to find the right balance protecting public health, protecting personal liberty as well as protecting their economies. He added that the global economy is expected to contract by trillions of US dollars this year. The WHO urges countries to focus on four essential priorities: 1) prevent amplifying events, 2) protect vulnerable people, 3) educate, empower and enable communities to protect themselves and others, using every tool at their disposal, and 4) get the basics right: find, isolate, test and care for cases, and trace and quarantine their contacts. In addition to this, effective vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics are also vital for ending the pandemic and accelerating the global recovery.   Regarding the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, this tool aims to deliver 2 billion doses of anti-COVID-19 vaccines, 245 million courses of treatment, and 500 million diagnostic tests to low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2021. United Nations The General Debate of the 75th Session of The United Nations General Assembly took place on September 22-29. The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated that the pandemic is rising poverty worldwide, causing the decline of human development indicators, wiping away decades of progress on the most vulnerable, and boosting inequalities. He also recognized that the world is facing “simultaneously an epochal health crisis, the biggest economic calamity and job losses since the Great Depression, and dangerous new threats to human rights.” IMF During the 2020 International Conference on Sustainable Development, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director, Tao Zhang, highlighted that global cooperation and multilateral coordination are the most effective strategies to fight the pandemic and its economic impact. In order to restore the dynamism of multilateralism, Mr. Zhang suggested three points: 1) multilateral organizations have to respond quickly to a fast-changing environment; 2) the need to acknowledge that multilateralism is bigger than the international organizations charged with its stewardship, and it is necessary to forge new partnerships, including private investors and civil society; and 3) increase awareness of the benefits of multilateralism.  OECD The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued its Economic Outlook of September 2020, Coronavirus (COVID-19): Living with uncertainty. This report outlines that economic output collapsed in the first half of the year. However, it recovered swiftly following the de-escalation of COVID-19 containment measures worldwide, and the reopening of businesses. In order to recover economies successfully, restoring confidence will be crucial, and for this, it is necessary to learn to safely live with the virus. This global outlook is less pessimistic, but risks and uncertainty remain high.   On September 18, the OECD participated in the 21st World Knowledge Forum: COVID-19 and the New Economic Normal. OECD Secretary General, Angel Gurría, highlighted that the 6% contraction in global GDP that the OECD projects for the current year is the largest contraction in the 60 years of the OECD’s existence. In the case of a second wave of infections, the decline of global GDP is expected to be more than 7.5%. Mr. Gurría also noted that trillions of dollars have been directed towards supporting individuals, households and companies across the OECD. However, he is concerned about corporate defaults: “corporate defaults can be expected to rise above levels experienced in the Global Financial Crisis. It is therefore imperative that governments put risk capital to use for businesses in need of temporary support to contribute to employment and the wider economic recovery. For example, with appropriate program design, equity investments could reduce the probability of default without undue burden on governments. They can also foster investments that generate long-term value, such as in R&D and intangible assets.” Australia Australia is gradually relaxing internal border restrictions due to a decrease in COVID-19 infections. South Australia and Queensland are easing restrictions with the neighboring state, New South Wales, for the first time in months, representing a relief to its residents. From October 1, a relaxation of border restrictions is expected between some northern districts in New South Wales and Queensland. The new measures would allow residents in border communities to travel freely between the two states. However, Victoria residents are only able to travel to other areas if they are essential workers or live along a state border. The Victorian State Government is hopeful that falling infection rates may allow it to ease a strict lockdown in Melbourne. China Hong Kong temporarily banned flights from Kuala Lumpur and India until October 3, as some passengers were tested positive for COVID-19. Health regulations became stricter on September 15, and consequently, any airline carrying 5 or more passengers infected by COVID-19, or 2 consecutive flights with 3 or more diagnosed passengers, may be banned from flying to Hong Kong.  EU On September 25, the European Council approved €87.4 billion in financial support for Member States under the EU instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE). The support is provided as EU loans to mitigate unemployment risks during the COVID-19 crisis. It is expected to help Member States finance the severe increase in public expenditure incurred from the beginning of the pandemic as a result of the use of national short-time work schemes and similar measures, including for self-employed persons, and some health-related measures in response to the pandemic. SURE is one of the three safety nets, worth up to €540 billion, that were agreed by the Eurogroup on April 9, to protect workers, businesses and sovereigns.  France From September 19, bars and restaurants must close at 10 pm in Paris, Lyon and nine other cities. There is also a limit of 10 people at public gatherings and it is mandatory to wear face masks in public areas in the capital. These measures are expected to avoid full lockdowns across the country, as the country’s economy already shrank 8.9% in 2020. The French Government recently announced €100 billion as part of a recovery plan.  Germany On September 19, Germany recorded the highest daily infection rate since April. As a response, Germany has not brought in any new restrictions, but several cities have imposed their own rules after they crossed the critical infection incidence of more than 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Munich and Kloppenburg banned private gatherings of more than 6 people.   Germany declared Dublin in Ireland, Britany and Normandy in France, the Utrecht province of the Netherlands, the greater Lisbon Area, and almost all the Czech Republic as COVID-19 risk areas, and requires travelers from the aforementioned areas to take COVID-19 tests before entering in the country. Travelers from the US, Russia and most African countries are on the high-risk list since June.  Italy According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy, many restaurants were forced to close to the public, and offered only delivery. As a consequence, the online channel gained ground due to bookings and requesting online delivery services.   The Italian airport Rome’s Fiumicino was awarded the world’s first five-star anti-COVID award from Skytrax –an international airport industry ratings body. The airport was awarded due to “a combination of procedural efficiency checks, visual observation analysis and ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) sampling tests”. On September 1, the airport opened a COVID testing center, which is co-managed with the Italian Red Cross. Three other airports have been awarded three stars for their COVID response: Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport in Spain, Nice Côte d&#39;Azur Airport in France and London&#39;s Heathrow. Spain Madrid region ordered partial lockdown measures in the most COVID-19 hit areas. Therefore, there are movement restrictions in place within six districts. However, citizens are allowed to commute if their workplace is located in another region. In addition to this, the Regional Government of Madrid also restricted access to parks and public areas, banned gatherings of more than six people and ordered the closure of commercial establishments before 10 pm.  United Kingdom On September 22, the UK Government announced further national measures in order to address rising cases of COVID-19. Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centers or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10 pm and 5 am. These measures also include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10 pm, from September 24. Among other requirements, a wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centers, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 secure requirements and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.   Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear face coverings since September 23. In hospitality venues, customers must wear face coverings and the same applies to hospitality and retail staff since September 24. Face coverings and visors must be worn in close contact services since September 24. Netherlands According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) recently adjusted the economic growth outlook for the country. In 2020, the Dutch economy is forecast to contract by 5%. However, it is expected to grow by 3% next year. Regarding the foodservice sector, the turnover is expected to decline at unprecedented levels this year. The industry’s turnover fell by 46% during the second quarter of 2020, compared to the first quarter, when the turnover had already decreased by nearly 14%. Cafés recorded the largest turnover fall, followed by restaurants, caterers and fast food restaurants. Online ordering and home delivery, however, has benefitted and saw sales grow as much as 25% in some cases.  India Regarding the port situation in India, port operations are running normally in Mundra and Mangalore. According to local media reports, in order to respond to container congestion during peak hours, Chennai Port Authorities granted two terminal operators additional carrying time from 5 to 7 days, for one month. This additional time allotment is expected to give exporters more time to move containers and avoid peak hour rushes, which will facilitate more flow of export containers departing the port. In Cochin port, truck movements continue to be slow.   Regarding food retail, in Kolkata, vegetable prices at wholesale and retail markets have almost increased 50% compared to mid-August prices due to heavy rains in West Bengal, according to local media reports. In Goa, most staff have returned to their workplaces and stores are operating again under strict COVID-19 prevention measures. No shortages have been reported during the last two months. Prices started to stabilize by mid-September after a huge price increase of imported goods during the past few months. This increase can be attributed to higher freight and logistics costs, product handling expenses, and losses incurred during the lockdown. In Hyderabad, 80% of stores staff returned to work and most retail stores returned to normal. Online sales have increased by over 50%. South Korea South Korea eliminated COVID-19 risk from foreign travelers. However, there is a spike of new infections due to sporadic clusters of infections and untraceable cases. United States In the United States, 20 states are reporting a steady number of new cases, while 23 are seeing increases. Experts are warning of a coming surge of COVID-19 cases in the US caused by a relaxation of social measures and the increment of indoor life. Over the summer, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that fall and winter could be "one of the most difficult times that we experienced in American public health." On September 18, the US Government announced up to an additional $14 billion for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Producers can apply for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) at USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices from September 21 to December 11. CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities –Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops and Sales Commodities. Some of the commodities included are: almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts.   The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced up to an additional $1 billion in the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. This program has already distributed more than 96 million food boxes in support of American farmers and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-october-1-2020COVID-19 Update: September 16, 2020WHO In a recent media briefing, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom advocated in favour of public health as the foundation of social, economic and political stability. According to Dr. Adhanom, a robust public health system constitutes an excellent tool for preventing, detecting and responding to disease. “When the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready. Part of every country’s commitment to build back better must therefore be to invest in public health, as an investment in a healthier and safer future”, he added. In addition to this, Dr. Adhanom gave the example of several countries, including Italy, that reduced the transmission of COVID-19 thanks to hard decisions, together with the engagement of citizens and the sacrifice of health workers.   On September 8, the International Health Regulation Review Committee held its first meeting on the functioning of the International Health Regulations (IHR) during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the opening remarks, Dr. Adhanom highlighted the need for global cooperation in order to confront a global threat, and the fact that the pandemic has been a test of global capacities for preparedness and response, as well as for the legal instrument that governs them, the IHR. The WHO expects that the Committee review the functioning of the IHR during the COVID-19 response, including IHR provisions related to the following areas: 1) the convening of the Emergency Committee and its working modalities, and in particular, the binary mechanism for declaring a public health emergency of international concern; 2) the international coordination and collaboration for response, including the role and functioning of national IHR focal points; 3) outbreak alert, verification and risk assessment, information sharing and communication; 4) additional health measures in relation to international travel; 5) implementation and reporting of IHR core capacities, including the possibility of establishing peer review processes for capacity assessments; and 6) examining progress made on the implementation of recommendations from previous IHR review committees.    On September 10, the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia held its 73rd session, a Ministerial Roundtable on COVID-19. Dr. Adhanom highlighted that regional solidarity is strong in South-East Asia, as its countries are confronting the pandemic in an organized manner. The WHO remarked the essential priorities that countries must focus in order to control COVID-19 and reopen their societies, economies and borders: 1) prevent amplifying events through a risk-based, local approach; 2) reduce deaths by protecting essential workers and the most vulnerable groups; 3) empower and educate individuals and communities to protect themselves and others by using physical distancing, hand hygiene, and masks –not in isolation but together; and 4) focus on the public health basics: find, isolate, test and care for cases, and trace and quarantine their contacts.   On September 10, Dr. Adhanom and Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, co-hosted the inaugural meeting of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator Facilitation Council. The ACT-Accelerator is the global collaboration accelerating the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. A total of US$35 billion is still needed for the ACT-Accelerator to realize its goals of producing 2 billion vaccine doses, 245 million treatments and 500 million tests. Over 170 countries are engaged in the new COVID-19 Vaccine Facility and ten candidate vaccines are under evaluation, nine of them in clinical trials, representing the largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio in the world. United Nations On September 3, the G20 Extraordinary Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held. The Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres made the following remarks: “The pandemic has forced unprecedented lockdowns, travel suspensions and limited movement across borders. (…) Furthermore, the adoption of ad hoc measures could create a patchwork of unworkable travel requirements, creating significant obstacles to a global economic recovery.” Therefore, the UN urged the G20: 1) to agree on common objective criteria in the removal of travel restrictions, based on scientific evidence; 2) to invest on systems and practices supporting safe travel, in close coordination with the private sector; 3) to boost coordination in preventive measures, specifically in more systematic use of testing and tracing and other actions to avoid the spread of the disease, and control the potential impacts of increased mobility; 4) to ensure full respect for international human rights and refugee law; and 5) to consider future vaccines as a global public good, and made them affordable and available everywhere, supporting global health, mobility and economic recovery. IMF According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as economies look for paths to recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, new evidence reaffirms that policies for more open and trade-integrated economies could significantly benefit domestic competition and ultimately may help lower costs for consumers in emerging and developing economies. The IMF has issued a working paper on the effect of international trade on corporate market power in emerging market economies and developing countries, with a special focus on sub-Saharan Africa. The paper also states that tariff reductions cause a significant decrease in markups (the difference between the selling price of a good or service and its cost) in the manufacturing sector as it typically faces strong competition from abroad, and overall, sectors with more import penetration have a stronger response to tariff reductions. Australia According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, the value of the Australian consumer food service industry is A$59 billion. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the economy recorded 29 years of consecutive economic growth. The Reserve Bank of Australia forecasted a 8% growth fall during the second quarter of 2020. In March, the Australian Government announced the closure of all food and beverage service operators, except for delivery or takeaway services, as well as the prohibition of entering to the country to all non-Australian citizens and residents. As a consequence, these measures affected significantly the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional sector. Despite the fact that the demand for takeaway services has risen, the sector loss revenue because of the closure of restaurants and bars. However, rising unemployment rates may decline household discretionary purchases, such as takeaway food. In addition to this, IBISWorld has estimated a revenue loss of 25% for Australian restaurants this year.   The Government of Queensland applies border restrictions for agribusiness and food manufacturing industries, in order to limit people coming into Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot. People who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days will only be able to enter if they are returning Queensland residents or under an exemption for essential activities. A class exemption started on August 22, for one month for farmers and agribusiness workers who need to move between Queensland and New South Wales to perform essential agribusiness services or farming activities. Chile Chile increased prevention measures due to a spike of new cases, including more health controls in Santiago during national holidays (September 17-19). Physical distancing and the use of face masks are mandatory in areas where social gatherings may occur. China On September 2, the Beijing Leading Group on Epidemic Control of COVID-19 held its 83rd meeting and the 40th meeting of the inter-agency mechanism for strict entry management.   Authorities, companies and individuals are required to continue implementing hygienic measures, report possible infections, and, if necessary, follow quarantine and treatment. China is committed to continue with prevention and control measures in autumn and winter, and to coordinate efforts both in containing COVID-19 and in promoting social and economic development.   During the meeting, the importance of resuming direct international flights to Beijing was highlighted. Consequently, the Civil Aviation Administration of China announced the gradual reopening of Beijing airport to direct international passenger flights from September 3, under strict control measures. Since March 23, all international passenger flights entering Beijing had been diverted to designated first points of entry, and only passengers who passed quarantine inspection could fly to Beijing on the original flight.   On September 2, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region opened all outdoor tourist sites. This area has controlled the spread of the disease and consequently restarted inter-provincial travel. Nonetheless, tourist sites, travel agencies and relevant enterprises are required to strictly follow prevention and control measures in order to re-open in a safe and orderly way.   As of September 15, China applies new COVID-19 testing rules for US travelers. Passengers traveling from the US, and those transiting in any country that the Chinese Government has listed as requiring the screening, must have negative COVID-19 results from a test done within three days of boarding at the last layover destination. EU On September 11, the European Council approved €6.2 billion budget increase for 2020, to address the impact of the pandemic, as well as the funding of the vaccine strategy. The revised budget increases payments for the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI) by €1.09 billion in order to ensure the development and deployment of a vaccine. The European Commission will use this money as a down-payment for pre-ordering vaccine doses. The new budget also increases payments by €5.1 billion for the Corona Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and the Corona Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+).    The European Commission has proposed more clarity and predictability of any measures restricting free movement in the EU. The Commission&#39;s proposal sets out four key areas where Member States should work closer together: 1) Common criteria and thresholds for Member States when deciding whether to introduce travel restrictions; 2) Mapping of common criteria using an agreed color code; 3) A common framework for measures applied to travelers from high-risk areas; 4) Clear and timely information to the public about any restrictions.   On September 8, during the Brussels Economic Forum, European Council president, Charles Michel, highlighted the fact that fiscal rules shall give Member States the capacity to act in hard times: “As we implement our recovery plan, every euro must be used thoughtfully and efficiently. Europe&#39;s recovery plan is not a three- or seven-year strategy. It&#39;s a thirty-year strategy. Our prosperity will be founded on democratic and human values. And for this to work, we need trust.”    The European Council agreed its position on temporary derogations in support of the rail sector, to mitigate the severe effects of the pandemic on the sector. The Council agreed on September 9 on a proposal to give Member States the possibility to help the sector by providing relief from certain infrastructure charges for rail companies, while ensuring a timely refund for infrastructure providers. Germany German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned about the increasing infection risk of the coming months, and called on people to continue adopting prevention measures. In addition to this, Germany promised an investment of €4 billion in public health centers, as well as the creation of new healthcare jobs. Italy In the beginning of September, COVID-19 cases spike in Italy. The country had dramatically reduced the number of cases with strict lockdown measures. However, during the reopening of businesses and tourist activities, there was a resurgence of new cases. The schools reopened on September 14, representing an immediate challenge.   Amid the spike of new cases, Norway added Italy and Slovenia to COVID-19 quarantine list, imposing a 10-day quarantine to all people arriving from these countries as of September 5. Norway quarantines travelers from countries with more than 20 confirmed new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In addition to this, Norwegians are advised against traveling to those destinations. Spain Spain recorded a record-high rise in COVID-19 cases during the second week of September, and registered its highest cumulative incidence since the start of the pandemic (238.94 cases per 100,000 inhabitants).   According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Spain has the highest incidence in Western Europe and almost double that of France, which is second on the list. As for schools reopening, the Director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts said that it was a “challenge for all,” and admitted that some of the 28,000 education centers in the country may have to close due to coronavirus outbreaks. United Kingdom The United Kingdom suffered a spike of COVID-19 cases in early September. For this reason, from September 14, social gatherings for more than six people are banned. However, there are exceptions of this rule, as it is not applicable to workplaces, schools or organized team sports, among others. The rule replaces the ban on participating in gatherings of more than 30 and the previous guidance on allowing two households to meet indoors. India On September 7, India took 2nd place in COVID-19 cases worldwide, surpassing Brazil, which is now the third worst-affected country in the world after the US. India has been reopening public spaces in order to help the economy recovery. The disease entered the vast rural areas of the country, where 70% of its population live, but healthcare infrastructure is under resourced.   Between April and June, when India was under strict lockdown measures, its GDP shrank by 24% compared to the same period last year. South Korea Recent clusters of infections in religious gatherings, offices and medical facilities in the Seoul metropolitan area concern the authorities in South Korea. According to Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, “It would be right to lift the restrictions, considering the sacrifices the people are making, but we’re as much worried if any hasty easing would lead to a re-spread of the virus and cause even greater pain for the public.” Turkey On September 8, the Turkish Interior Ministry issued a notice to the public regarding new COVID-19 restrictions/guidance: 1) Face masks must be worn in public (streets, gardens, workplaces, etc.) at all times in all 81 provinces of Turkey; 2) Standing passengers will not be allowed in urban public transportation vehicles where physical distance rules cannot be applied; and 3) Live music at restaurants and cafes after midnight is forbidden. United States COVID-19 new cases in the United States fell during the second week of September, and the number of deaths decreased for the fourth consecutive week. However, there is a resurgence of cases in certain states such as Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Wisconsin, among others.   Several schools already have temporarily shut down again after COVID-19 outbreaks this school year. Others, including some universities, have managed to keep their cases low after testing every student returning to school.   The US Government is planning to end enhanced screening of international passengers for COVID-19, and lower requirements for travelers coming from pandemic hotspots.     The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-september-16-2020The Impact of COVID-19 on the Global F&B Industry, ENG WebinarThe webinar was moderated by Mr. Jonathan Walsh, EMEA Application Microbiologist, Food Safety EMEA, 3M. The speakers, Ms. Natasa Matyasova, VP, Head of Quality Management, Nestle; Mr. John Carter, Area Europe Quality Director, Ferrero; and Mr. Gideon Ashworth, Head of Food Defense, Bart Ingredients, discussed and shared their personal experiences about different topics, such as contingency plans to ensure a secure supply chain, social distancing in food production, movement restrictions at some borders, supply chain risk mitigation assessment, and communication management during the crisis.   Luckily for the F&B industry, COVID-19 is not a foodborne disease. The speakers highlighted the rapid response by international organizations such as the World Health Organization, as well as the different national authorities and inspection bodies in order to provide the aid and flexibility needed in the context of the pandemic. As the F&B sector is considered an essential industry worldwide, this made it possible to ensure food commodities to the consumers. However, in some cases, it was necessary to contact with local authorities to help local suppliers to get the license to operate. For example, packaging materials are not strictly a food commodity but extremely necessary for the F&B industry.   The panel agreed that it was not possible to have contingency plans prepared for a pandemic like this and the key for success is flexibility. The F&B industry has to react very fast to the changes and adapt to the new circumstances. The sector has had to impose new measures and it is important to invest in communication and educational programs to reach out to employees and create confidence in the workplace environment.   Due to the impossibility of carrying out physical inspections, trust in suppliers, documents, analysis… is more important than ever. However, under no circumstances food safety has to be compromised. The industry should reinforce its internal controls and learn how the use of new technologies (drones, cameras, online tools, apps) can help to guarantee a high standard of safety. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-impact-of-covid-19-on-the-global-f-b-industry-eng-webinarPesticides Update: SeptemberAustralia: MRLS Update The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) published Amendment No. 193, varying Schedule 20 to include MRLs from Proposal M1017 – Maximum Residue Limits (2019).   As previously announced, the Schedule 20 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code is varied as follows: The MRL for Flazasulfuron in almonds at 0.01 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Clofentezine in Stone fruits [except cherries] at 0.1 ppm is omitted. The MRL for Acephate in peanuts at 0.2 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Clofentezine in plums (including prunes) at 0.1 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Fenazaquin in dried grapes (currants, raisins and sultanas) at 0.8 ppm and stone fruits at 2 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Halosulfuron-methyl in almonds at 0.05 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Phosmet in Stone fruits [except cherries] at 5 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Propiconazole in Stone fruits [except plum (including prunes)] at 4 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Sethoxydim in almonds at 0.2 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Chlorothalonil in peanuts is substituted for 0.3 ppm. The MRL for Fluopyram in peanuts is substituted for 0.2 ppm. Amendment No. 193   In addition, FSANZ issued the proposal to amend Schedule 20 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (August 11, 2020).   Among other changes, the table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows: The maximum residue limit (MRL) for clofentezine in almonds is substitute by 0.5 ppm. The deadline for comments is September 8, 2020.   The proposal can be found here.   Brazil: MRLs Update The Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency has notified the World Trade Organization of the draft resolutions regarding the active F36 - Flutriafol, P34 - Pyriproxyfem and B55 - Emamectin Benzoate of the Monograph List of Active Ingredients for Pesticides, Household Cleaning Products and Wood Preservers, published by Resolution RE n° 165 of 29 August 2003, on the Official Gazette (DOU Diário Oficial da União) of 2 September 2003. The MRL for flutriafol in groundnut culture is set at 0.1 ppm with a safety security period of 28 days. The MRL for pyriproxyfem in cashew culture is set at 5 ppm with a safety security period of 14 days. The MRL for emamectin benzoate in peanut cultures is 0.01 ppm with a safety security period of 7 days. For flutriafol, pyriproxyfem and emamectin benzoate the final date for comments is September 26, 2020.   F36 - Flutriafol   P34 - Pyriproxyfem   B55 - Emamectin Benzoate EFSA: MRLs Review The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published the Modification and setting of maximum residue levels for mefentrifluconazole in various crops. The data submitted were found to be sufficient to derive MRL proposals. Adequate analytical methods for enforcement are available to control the residues. A consumer risk assessment was performed, and the short- and long-term resulting from the intended uses is unlikely to present a risk to consumer health.   Substance Commodity Existing MRL (ppm) Proposed MRL (ppm) Comments Mefentrifluconazole Apricots 0.01* 0.7 The submitted data are sufficient to derive an MRL proposal. Risk for consumers unlikely. Plums 0.01* 0.5 Grapes 0.01* 0.9  * Indicates lower limit of determination. EFSA Modification and setting of maximum residue levels for mefentrifluconazole in various crops. EFSA Journal 2020;18(7):6193   New Zealand: MRLs Update On August 6, 2020, the Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand published the ‘Food Notice: Maximum Residue Levels for Agricultural Compounds’.   This document specifies maximum residue levels (MRLs) for agricultural compounds in food and specifies agricultural compounds for which no maximum residue level applies in relation to specified food subject to specified conditions. It revokes and replaces the Food Notice: Maximum Residue Levels for Agricultural Compounds, issued on March 9, 2020 (see previous post).   This Food Notice came into force on August 28, 2020.   Food Notice: Maximum Residue Levels for Agricultural Compounds (August 28, 2020)   USA: Pesticide Petitions The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has received several initial filings of pesticide petitions requesting the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various commodities.   As regards nuts and dried fruits, the Agency received a petition to establish a new tolerance for residues of the fungicide pyriofenone in or on raisins at 2.5 ppm.   The final date for comments is September 4, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 151, Wednesday, August 5, 2020 5, 2020. Pages 47330-47331   USA: Applications for New Active Ingredients The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency received applications to register pesticide products containing active ingredients not included in any currently registered pesticide products.   The new active ingredient pyraziflumid has been proposed as fungicide for stone fruits (crop group 12-12) and tree nuts (crop group 14-12). The deadline for comments is September 28, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 166. Friday, August 28, 2020. Pages 53362-53363https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/pesticides-update-septemberFood Safety Update: SeptemberGermany: Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons The representatives of the food control authorities of the federal states and the food sector association Food Federation Germany have made a recommendation on “benchmark levels” for contents of mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH).   These benchmark levels (non-legislative) for mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH), which were introduced on July 1, 2020, cover only the German market. For nuts and dried fruits, a benchmark level of 4 mg/kg for mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) is established. For mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH), the level is lower than the limit of qualification (LOQ).   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/food-safety-update-septemberOfficial Controls Update: SeptemberPeru: Cranberries from Mexico The National Agrarian Health Service of Peru (SENASA) notified the World Trade Organization of the Directorial Resolution establishing the mandatory phytosanitary requirements governing the importation into Peru of cranberry plants (Vaccinium spp.) originating in and coming from Mexico.   Following the completion of the relevant pest risk analysis, the proposal is being submitted for public consultation. The deadline for comments was September 2, 2020.   SENASA Public Consultation (in Spanish) https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/official-controls-update-augustLatest Trade News and Agreements: SeptemberEU: Consultation on the Trade Policy Review The European Commission (EC) launched a major review of the EU’s trade policy.   This review aims to cover all relevant topics to the EU trade policy and includes a public consultation from the European Parliament, EU Member States, stakeholders and civil society. The objective is to build consensus around a fresh medium-term direction for EU trade policy, responding to a variety of new global challenges and taking into account the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.   The consultation is open until November 15, 2020, and its results are expected to be published by the end of the year.   EU: Consultation on the Trade Policy Review   EU: GSP Stakeholder Survey The European Commission opened a survey period on the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) addressed to stakeholders.   Participants are invited to share their point of view on the EU&#39;s GSP and provide information on which sectors benefit from GSP, which are the developing countries that benefit from GSP, the current engagement of companies, the challenges to meet the requirements to import under GSP, as well as different ways to encourage stakeholders to take full advantage of the GSP&#39;s benefits.   The current EU GSP runs from January 2014 until December 2023 and is subject to periodic review. This survey aims to collect information on the general awareness about the EU GSP among stakeholders, international organizations, economic operators in the EU, beneficiary countries and third countries, industry associations and public officials.   The survey is open until October 15, 2020.   GSP Trade Preferences: Stakeholder Survey https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/latest-trade-news-and-agreements-septemberCOVID-19 Update: September 3, 2020WHO In a recent media briefing, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom highlighted that a spirit of solidarity and partnership is essential to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Tedros also warned that “Much of this resurgence is occurring in clusters of cases related to gatherings of people, including at stadiums, nightclubs, places of worship and crowds. These types of gatherings can be amplifying events that can be the spark that creates a much larger fire”. However, every country and community is responsible to make its own decisions about how to host these kind of events in a safe way, based on their own level of risk.   WHO Member States have been informed about the establishment of an International Health Regulations (IHR) Review Committee in order to advise about possible changes to the IHR, with the aim to ensure the effectiveness of this legal tool. The Committee will be made up of independent experts, who will examine different aspects of the IHR and exchange information and share findings with the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, and with the Independent Oversight Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme. The first progress report of this committee is expected to be published in November. United Nations The United Nations (UN) launched a Policy Brief on COVID-19 and transforming the tourism sector, which has been devastated by the pandemic.   In the first five months of this year, international tourist arrivals decreased by more than half and some $320 billion dollars in exports from tourism were lost, and overall, 120 million direct jobs in tourism are at risk. This policy report has identified five priority areas in order to aid the recovery of the sector: (1) mitigate the socio-economic impacts of the crisis, (2) build resilience across the entire tourism value chain, (3) maximize the use of technology in the tourism sector, (4) promote sustainability and green growth, and (5) foster partnerships to enable tourism to further support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued the 2020 External Sector Report: Global Imbalances and the COVID-19 crisis. The report highlights the fact that the outlook for 2020 is highly uncertain, as the pandemic has caused a sharp decline in global trade, lower commodity prices and tougher external financing conditions. In the near term, policy efforts should continue to focus on providing relief and promoting economic recovery. In order to adjust to external shocks, such as the fall in commodity prices or tourism losses, countries with flexible exchange rates should allow them to adjust as needed.   The report also states that both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade should be avoided, especially on medical equipment and supplies, and recent restrictions on trade need to roll back. Over the medium term, economic and policy distortions that predated the crisis may persist or worsen, implying the need for reforms. Australia Stage 3 restrictions apply in Victoria from August 6. Stage 3 restrictions applicable in the whole State of Victoria include the limitation of movement, as people are only allowed to leave their home for four reasons: shopping for food or essential items, work and study, care and caregiving and daily exercise. Shops, markets and shopping centers are allowed to open with limited capacity, and applying strict social distancing and hygiene measures.   The Metropolitan area of Melbourne entered stage 4 restrictions from August 2. In Melbourne, it is mandatory to wear face masks whenever leaving the house, which is only allowed for the reasons stated in the previous paragraph. There is a curfew from 8 pm and 5 am. Restaurants and cafes are only allowed to trade as takeaway and delivery. No restaurant or bar sitting is allowed. General retail stores are only allowed to operate contactless pick-up, delivery and ‘click and collect’.  Canada A USDA GAIN Report, published on August 27, overviews the impacts of COVID-19 on the Canadian agricultural sector. The report highlights the effects of the pandemic and mitigation measures on the foodservice sector. The national restaurant industry association estimates losses between $15 and $35 billion USD in 2020. Sales fell in March, as the closure of non-essential businesses, movement restrictions and measures to limit public interactions entered into force. Since May, restaurants are allowed to gradually reopen. At this moment, strict social distancing and hygienic measures are still applicable in the whole country. However, foodservice sales continue to recover, as in May, sales increased 47% compared to the previous month.   The report also highlights the impacts on the retail sector, which adapted quickly to the new consumer demand. E-commerce retail sales doubled between February and May.  Chile The retail food sector in Chile changed as a result of strict social distancing measures, as well as strict sanitary and hygiene protocols applied in the country, according to a USDA GAIN Report. As a result, the pandemic accelerated the trend towards online shopping, which increased by 60% in May, compared to the same month in 2019. This trend was followed by the development of e-commerce and online platforms. China The China Association of Science and Technology held its 22nd meeting on August 18. The highlights of the session are the following: (1) the trajectory of the pandemic is still hard to predict, as many features of the disease are not yet fully understood; (2) it is necessary to prevent the overlap of COVID-19 with the seasonal flu, especially during fall and winter, which is likely to make the disease even harder to identify; and (3) living with the COVID-19 is the new normality, which requires both routine containment measures and emergency preparedness, with a view to balancing economic and social life with COVID-19 response.   China’s National Health Commission (NHC) ordered local authorities to perform regular COVID-19 testing at wholesale markets and neighboring areas, in an effort to control the spread of the disease.   In late August, China relaxed some COVID-19 lockdown measures in Urumqi city, in Xinjiang. The city experienced a strict lockdown since mid-July, and has reported no new cases since mid-August.   Hong Kong expects 5 million people to take part in a massive voluntary COVID-19 testing program. The city has already performed mass testing in various high-risk groups, such as care workers, as well as in buildings where confirmed cases were reported. This massive testing plan is aimed to help to contain the third wave of the disease.   The pandemic mitigation measures have a strong impact in the city’s economy, as Hong Kong GDP is expected to drop from 6% to 8% this year. Hong Kong’s GDP has already shrank 9% in the second quarter, compared to the same period of the previous year.   Hong Kong announced the partial easing of social-distancing measures, after considering the desire to gradually resume social and economic activities. However, in case of a possible outbreak, social-distancing measures will be strengthened again. Restaurants are allowed to offer dine-in service until 9 pm, cinemas can open by half capacity, and face masks are not mandatory while exercising outdoors. Germany According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, COVID-19 triggered structural changes in the German restaurant sector. The report identified five different trends: (1) delivery services are expected to gain importance; (2) restaurants, especially chain restaurants, invest in digitalization strategies, such as apps for customers; (3) automation in the kitchen and a reduction of staff; (4) chains are expected to raise prices in order to raise funds addressed to investment; (5) small and independent businesses and restaurants may not endure these new structural changes in the sector. Greece Amid a rise of infections in August, Greece Prime Minister warned about new restrictive measures if the pandemic is not eased in the country. According to experts, the spike of new cases could be due either to an increase in tests or because more visitors have been tested during Greece’s peak tourism season. Tourism is the main driver of Greece’s economy, which is expected to contract by up to 10% this year. Therefore, it is necessary that both the visitors and citizens adhere to the prevention rules.   On August 11, Greece imposed more rigorous measures, amid a rise of new cases. The measures were applicable until August 23, and included the closure of bars and restaurants at midnight. The existing flight restrictions to Greece were extended to September 15. India According to a USDA GAIN Report issued on August 14, storms led to the collapse of three large cranes at the port of Mumbai, which may affect operations during the clearance of the damages, which are expected to last one month. According to local media reports, Cochin Port increased 6% of cargo volume during July, compared to the same month last year. This increase is due to greater demand for produce and medical equipment from the Middle East, as Cochin has a direct shipping line to Dubai. Exporters are increasingly opting for sea transport, as air freight rates have nearly doubled.   Another USDA GAIN Report issued on August 25 indicates that Mumbai port container movement increased by 19% in July, compared to the previous month, which indicates a strong recovery, especially in exports. Kandla port container traffic increased by 9%, compared to the same period in the previous year. In Chennai, container traffic improved in July and August, and it is expected that the port will be able to handle normal levels of traffic within the next four months. However, Cochin port reports slow truck movements. The most recent weekly port situation indicates that truck movement in Kolkata and Cochin continues to be slow. However, port operations are normal in Mundra.   The Weekly Food Retail Update USDA GAIN Report of August 24, indicates that after two and a half months, the agricultural produce market committee (APMC) in Navi Mumbai lifted all restrictions on the entry of vegetable trucks. Traders expect the increase in arrivals will lead to lower vegetable prices. Italy The European Commission (EC) approved €2 billion Italian guarantee scheme to support trade credit insurance market in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. Trade credit insurance protects companies supplying goods and services against the risk of nonpayment by their clients. Given the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the risk of insurers not being willing to issue this insurance has become higher. Executive Vice-President Ms. Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said “This €2 billion Italian scheme will contribute to ensuring that trade credit insurance remains available to all companies so that they can secure their commercial exchanges (…) We continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a coordinated and effective manner, in line with EU rules”.   It is estimated that Italy lost nearly 70% of foreign tourists in August, which equals to almost €2 billion in lost income.   In order to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission, Italy toughened controls on travelers from Spain, from August 13. However, there are no restrictions to enter to Italy if travelers come from all EU countries (excluding Croatia, Greece, Malta, Spain, Romania and Bulgaria), all Schengen countries, the UK and, Andorra, Monaco, Vatican City and San Marino. Travelers from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain are required to take a PCR test. A 14 day quarantine is required for travelers from the following countries: Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. Travelers from countries not listed above, are not allowed to enter to Italy. Netherlands The CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis issued its latest world trade monitor, which highlights that world trade volume rebounded in June with a 7.6% growth compared to May. However, countries such as Japan experienced a 2.6% fall in imports, China and countries in the Easter-Europe suffered a fall in exports, and both imports and exports fell in Africa and the Middle East. New Zealand On August 11, the Government of New Zealand confined the most important metropolis in the country after the detection of new infections. This measure affected more than 1.7 million people. With this confinement, in the beginning of only three days, but extended until August 30, the Government aimed to prevent the appearance of a possible outbreak. Businesses were able to trade without physical contact with customers, for example through phone or online orders, delivery and pick-up, and citizens were asked to work from home, if possible. In addition to this, it is mandatory to wear face masks on public transport in the whole country.   New Zealand was one of the countries which had been less affected by the pandemic, and just the second week of August the country celebrated the milestone of exceeding 100 days without any case of the virus among its population.  Romania A recent USDA GAIN Report highlights the transformation of the Romanian retail and foodservice sectors. Despite restaurants being allowed to open since July 15, the Government extended the state of alert by 30 days. Only outdoor sitting was allowed until mid-August. Although the Government of Romania seeks to support these sectors, many small and medium-sized companies are at risk of going out of business. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in February, Romanian consumers have increased online shopping instead of shopping in traditional markets and modern retail outlets. Singapore Singapore relaxed COVID-19 related travel restrictions for travelers from ‘low risk’ territories such as mainland China, Macau, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Australia (excluding the state of Victoria) are subject to a seven-day-stay home, instead of the 14-days requirement for travelers from all other regions. South Africa On August 18, South Africa applied level 2 lockdown measures. This level continues to apply physical distancing and other mitigation measures. There is a curfew from 10 pm until 4 am daily, and face masks are mandatory in public places. There are also limitations of the number of people in public places such as restaurants, fitness centers or museums, while night clubs are closed. Borders remain closed, except for ports of entry and other exceptions.   During the last weeks the number of new infections has decreased. South Korea The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued a report titled Economic Survey of Korea, which states that South Korea suffered limited economic damage, as the country applied measures to contain the virus and to limit its impact to households and businesses. Thanks to these responses, South Korea is experiencing the shallowest recession among the OECD countries. However, the report recommends continuing economic support measures until a full recovery, while ensuring fiscal plans in order to preserve fiscal sustainability in the long term.   Several COVID-19 new infections in Seoul led to the closure of schools and kindergartens, which resumed online classes. Since May 20, when initial restrictions were eased and South Korea resumed in-person lessons, more than 300 students have been infected. Spain Spain will receive close to €140 billion over the next six years from the recovery fund approved by the European Union, being the second biggest recipient of aid after Italy. The EU fund involves €390 billion in grants and €360 billion in low-interest loans. The reopening of schools is planned in the coming weeks, amid fears of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and growing concerns about the conditions of the reopening. The Spanish Health Minister announced the closure of nightclubs, reduced opening hours for bars and restaurants and banned smoking in public spaces if a two-meter distance cannot be observed, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition to this, Catalonia banned social gatherings of more than 10 people, in order to curb down the spread of new cases. The Regional Government in Murcia also announced that social gatherings would be limited to a maximum of six people if they do not live together. Turkey Turkey registered a surge of new COVID-19 cases, as the Government imposed stronger measures, such as the banning of certain events and celebrations in order to prevent the spread of the disease. In addition to this, public institutions may implement flexible working methods, such as shifts or working out of the office. United Kingdom International travelers entering to the UK are subject to a 14-day quarantine, applying to UK residents and visitors to the UK, traveling by train, ferry, coach, air, or any other mean of transport. However, there is a list of countries and territories that have been assessed as no longer presenting an unacceptably high risk to British people traveling abroad. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice is based on risks to British nationals, including in-country public health assessments. Some of the last added countries are Austria, Croatia, France and Laos, among others.  United States The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) application deadline has been extended from August 28 to September 11. The CFAP is intended to provide direct relief to producers of agricultural commodities who faced a 5% or greater price decline, or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and faced additional significant marketing costs. Almonds, pecans, pistachios and walnuts are included. The program will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers.   On August 25, the US Government announced an additional $1 billion for the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) authorization. The additional funding allows the program to continue critical support to farmers, distributors and American families in need. The Farmers to Families Food Box program has provided over 75 million boxes until late August to families in need across the country. Entities that applied under the previous solicitation, including current vendors, must resubmit a proposal to participate in the third round. There have already been two rounds of purchasing and distribution. The second round began on July 1, and finished on August 31.   The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for schools, as children across the country return to the classroom. The new guidelines address how schools can work with public health officials in case of COVID-19 infection. Rather than shut down the whole school for a long period of time, the guidelines indicate an initial short-term class suspension and cancellation of events and after-school activities.     The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-september-3-2020Latest Trade News and Agreements: AugustEU-Vietnam: Free Trade Agreement The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA) enters into force on August 1, 2020.   This FTA will eliminate nearly all customs duties on goods traded between the two parties in a progressive way. The Agreement also contains specific provisions to remove technical obstacles to trade.   It was signed on June 30, 2019, and on March 30, 2020, the EU adopted a decision on its conclusion (see previous post).   Notice concerning the date of entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam USA-Mexico-Canada: Free Trade Agreement The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) entered into force on July 1, 2020, replacing the decades-old NAFTA.   The USMCA is expected to enable food and agriculture to trade more fairly, and to expand exports of agricultural products. Some of the key achievements are:   Tariffs for most agricultural products will remain at zero. Setting unprecedented standards for agricultural biotechnology. Significant commitments to reduce trade distorting policies, improve transparency and ensure non-discriminatory treatment for agricultural product standards. Enhanced rules for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Press release WCO: Amendments to HS 2022 The World Customs Organization (WCO) published the amendments to the Harmonized System (HS) Nomenclature accepted during the HS Convention.   Among the 351 sets of amendments, the following HS codes have been set for pine nuts:   0802.91 - Pine nuts, in shell 0802.92 - Pine nuts, shelled   These accepted amendments shall enter into force for all Contracting Parties on January 1, 2022.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/latest-trade-news-and-agreementsOfficial Controls Update: AugustAustralia: Import Certificate Requirements   The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment of Australia notified the World Trade Organization of the extension of the temporary changes to import certificate requirements for a range of imported plant-based, animal, biological and animal-based goods until October 1, 2020.   Due to the impact of the COVID-19 on the movement of airfreight and courier mail in multiple countries, some National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) have advised they are unable to meet Australia’s requirements to provide original paper-based phytosanitary certificates (PCs) with imports of a range of plant-based commodities. Therefore, inspection officers will accept the electronic copy of the PC as lodged by brokers through the standard lodgement process.   More information   China, Taiwan: Phytosanitary Certificates   The Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu notified the World Trade Organization of the extension of the Implementation Period of the Temporary Alternative Arrangements of the Presentation of Original Veterinary and Phytosanitary Certificates in the Condition of COVID-19 Pandemic.   As previously notified, the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu implemented alternative arrangements to the presentation of original veterinary or phytosanitary certificates until June 30. In consideration of the global COVID-19 situation, the implementation period for the abovementioned measure was extended until August 31, 2020.   More information   Peru: Walnuts from Argentina, Phytosanitary Requirements   The National Agrarian Health Service of Peru (SENASA) notified the World Trade Organization of the Directorial Resolution establishing the mandatory phytosanitary requirements governing the importation into Peru of in-shell walnut and walnut kernel (Juglans regia) originating in and coming from Argentina.   Following the completion of the relevant pest risk analysis, the mandatory phytosanitary requirements are being submitted for public consultation. The deadline for comments is September 19, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.   Peru: Almonds from Chile   The National Agrarian Health Service of Peru (SENASA) notified the World Trade Organization of the Directorial Resolution establishing the mandatory phytosanitary requirements governing the importation into Peru of almonds grafted on a rootstock (Prunus dulcis, Prunus persica x Prunus davidiana) originating in and coming from Chile.   Following the completion of the relevant pest risk analysis, the mandatory phytosanitary requirements are being submitted for public consultation. The deadline for comments is September 19, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.   South Africa: Electronic Certificates   The National Plant Protection Organisation of South Africa (NPPOZA) has notified the World Trade Organization of the use of normal A4 printing paper while issuing phytosanitary certificates. Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the NPPOZA will be temporarily issuing phytosanitary certificates, generated from the eCertification system, printed on normal A4 paper and with the following features: QR code 2X barcodes Coat of arms in color Therefore, South Africa will have two types of certificate paper in the international trade now: the original paper with security features, and the normal A4 paper with QR and bar codes (until further notice).   This type of certificate entered into force on July 13, 2020.   WTO Notification   Ukraine: Organic Production   The Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine notified the World Trade Organization of the Draft Resolution on Approval of the Procedure for Certification of Organic Production and/or Circulation of Organic Products.   The Draft determines the requirements for certification of organic production and/or circulation of organic products, the grounds and procedure for issuing the certificate, its duplicate and form. The aim is to protect the rights and interests of economic entities and consumers.   The final date for comments is September 1, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/official-controls-updateFood Safety Update: AugustEU: Hygiene of Foodstuffs   The European Commission, Health and Food Safety Directorate General notified the World Trade Organization of the Draft Commission Regulation amending the Annexes to Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs as regards food allergen management, redistribution of food and food safety culture.   The objective of the revision is to adapt the Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs to new trends and priorities related to food safety that emerged at EU and global level.   The Amendment introduces requirements to prevent or limit the presence of substances causing allergies or intolerances in equipment, conveyances and/or containers used for the harvesting, transport or storage of foodstuffs. It also sets certain requirements in order to promote and facilitate redistribution of food, while guaranteeing its safety for consumers. As food donations present several new food challenges at retail level, additional general hygiene requirements are needed. Finally, the document also includes general requirements on ‘food safety culture’, taking into account the Codex’s revision on General Principles of Food Hygiene (CXC 1-1969).   The final date for comments is September 6, 2020.   Draft Document    USA: Smarter Food Safety   On July 13, 2020, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint.   FDA is taking a new approach to food safety, leveraging technology and other tools to create a safer and more digital, traceable food system. The ultimate goal is to bend the curve of foodborne illness in the US by reducing the number of illnesses.   The New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint document represents achievable goals to enhance traceability, improve predictive analytics, respond more rapidly to outbreaks, address new business models, reduce contamination of food, and foster the development of stronger food safety cultures. It outlines a partnership between government, industry and public health advocates. It is centered around four core elements:   Tech-enabled Traceability Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention and Outbreak Response New Business Models and Retail Modernization Food Safety Culture   More Information   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/food-saftey-updatePesticides Update: AugustAustralia and New Zealand: MRLs Update Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) issued the Variations to Schedule 20 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (July 7, 2020).  The table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows:   The maximum residue limits (MRLs) for uniconazole-p in walnuts at T*0.01 ppm is inserted.   * indicates that the maximum residue limit is set at the limit of determination. ‘T’ indicates that the maximum residue limit is a temporary maximum residue limit.   Deadline for comments is August 11, 2020.   The amendment can be found here (pp. 19-23).   Brazil: MRLs Update   The Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency has notified the World Trade Organization of the draft resolutions regarding the active ingredients E32 - Espinetoram (Spinetoram), P34 - Piriproxifem (pyriproxyfen), F36 - Flutriafol, D41 - Diafentiurom (diafenthiuron), D55 - Dinotefuran, C70 - Clorantraniliprole (Chlorantraniliprole) of the Monograph List of Active Ingredients for Pesticides, Household Cleaning Products and Wood Preservers, published by Resolution RE n° 165 of 29 August 2003, on the Official Gazette (DOU Diário Oficial da União) of 2 September 2003.   The MRL for espinetoram in macadamia nut culture is set at 0.07 ppm with a safety security period of 3 days. The MRL for piriproxifem in groundnut culture is set at 0.01 ppm with a safety security period of 14 days. The MRL for flutriafol in groundnut culture is set at 0.1 ppm (modality of foliar use) with a safety security period of 14 days. The MRL for diafentiurom in groundnut culture is set at 0.3 ppm with a safety security period of 14 days. The MRL for dinotefuran in groundnut culture is set at 0.09 ppm with a safety security period of 14 days. The MRL for clorantraniliprole in groundnut culture is set at 0.05 ppm (modality of foliar use) with a safety security period of 7 days. In addition, the MRL is increased from 0.01 to 0.05 ppm in groundnut culture in the modality of soil use.   For espinetoram, piriproxifem, flutriafol, diafentiurom, dinotefuran, and clorantraniliprole the final date for comments is August 29, 2020.   E32 - Espinetoram P34 - Piriproxifem F36 - Flutriafol D41 - Diafentiurom D55 - Dinotefuran C70 - Clorantraniliprole   Canada: MRLs Update   Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has proposed new maximum residue limits (PMRL) for inpyrfluxam, glufosinate-ammonium. The PMRL for inpyrfluxam in peanuts is set at 0.01 ppm. The final date for comments is September 8, 2020.   The PMRL for glufosinate-ammonium in Tree nuts (crop group 14-11) is increased from 0.1 to 0.5 ppm; and in Stone fruits (crop group 12-09) from 0.2 to 0.3 ppm. The final date for comments is September 28, 2020.   Consultation on Inpyrfluxam, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2020-23 Consultation on Glufosinate-Ammonium, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2020-07   China: MRLs Update   The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People&#39;s Republic of China (P.R.C.) notified the World Trade Organization of the National Food Safety Standard of the P.R.C.: Maximum Residue Limits for Pesticides in Foods. This standard establishes 589 maximum residue limits (MRLs) for the residues of 67 pesticides, including chlorpyrifos, in or on foods. The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service has published a GAIN report with an unofficial translation of the draft MRLs. Regarding nuts and dried fruits, the following MRLs were listed:   Chlorantraniliprole: plum at 0.3* ppm. Chlorpyrifos: apricot at 3 ppm. Pyraclostrobin: dried figs at 30 ppm and apricot at 3 ppm. Spirotetramat: plum at 5* ppm.   *The MRL is the temporary limit. The final date for comments is September 13, 2020. There is no proposed date of entry into force. For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.   EFSA: MRLs Review   The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published the Reasoned Opinion on the review of the existing maximum residue levels (MRLs) for amisulbrom and etofenprox. To assess the occurrence of amisulbrom residues, EFSA considered the conclusions derived in the framework of Commission Regulation (EU) No 188/2011, as well as the authorizations reported by Member States (including the supporting residues data). Based on the assessment of the available data, MRL proposals were derived and a consumer risk assessment was carried out.   To modify the existing MRL for the active substance etofenprox in plums, the data submitted were found to be sufficient to derive a proposal. EFSA concluded that the short‐term and long‐term intake of residues resulting from the existing and intended uses of etofenprox, according to the reported agricultural practices, is unlikely to present a risk to the consumer.   Substance Commodity Existing MRL (ppm) Proposed MRL (ppm) Comments Amisulbrom grapes 0.5 0.4 Recommended Etofenprox plums 0.01* 0.2 The submitted data are sufficient. Risk for consumers unlikely.  * Indicates lower limit of determination. EFSA Review of the existing maximum residue levels for amisulbrom according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2020;18(7):6170   EFSA Modification of the existing maximum residue level foretofenprox in plums. EFSA Journal 2020;18(7):6192   EFSA: Import Tolerances   The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published the Reasoned Opinions on setting import tolerances for abamectin.   After the request of setting import tolerances for the active substance abamectin in various commodities imported from the US, EFSA concluded that the short-term and long-term intake of residues resulting from the use of abamectin, according to the reported agricultural practices, is unlikely to present a risk to the consumer.   EFSA proposes to amend the existing MRL in tree nuts as follows:   Commodity Existing EU MRL (ppm) Proposed EU MRL (ppm) Comments Tree nuts 0.01* 0.01* The submitted data are sufficient to derive an import tolerance at the LOQ of 0.01 mg/kg for the whole group of tree nuts. US tolerance: 0.01 mg/kg. Risk for consumers unlikely.   * Indicates lower limit of determination. EFSA Setting of import tolerances for abamectin in various crops. EFSA Journal 2020;18(7):6173   EFSA: Pesticides and Bees   On July 28, 2020, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a Review of the evidence on bee background mortality, as part of its ongoing review of the guidance for assessing risks to bees from pesticides.   The report, which covers the three bee groups (honey, bumble and solitary bees), aims to strengthen existing knowledge by adopting a more systematic approach, and widen the scope of the analysis beyond mortality of forager bees. This document is based on the largest systematic collection of evidence on mortality rates ever carried out.   EFSA Review of the evidence on bee background mortality. EFSA Supporting publication 2020:EN-1880   EU: MRLs Update   On July 23, 2020, the European Commission published the Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/1085 of 23 July 2020 amending Annexes II and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl in or on certain products.   On July 30, the Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/1085 was amended by a Corrigendum, where the annex with the new MRLs was included and the application date was corrected.   The Regulation lowers all the MRL for chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl to 0.01* ppm. It shall apply from November 13, 2020.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/1085 of 23 July 2020  Corrigendum to Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/1085 of 23 July 2020   EU: MRLs Update, Draft Commission Regulations   The European Commission notified the World Trade Organization of several draft regulations amending Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for substances in or on certain products. Draft Commission Regulation (EU) amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for carbon tetrachloride, chlorothalonil, chlorpropham, dimethoate, ethoprophos, fenamidone, methiocarb, omethoate, propiconazole and pymetrozine in or on certain products.    The deadline for comments is September 13, 2020. The proposed date of adoption is January 2021. It is expected to be published in February 2021.   The MRL for chlorothalonil is lowered from 1 to 0.01* ppm in apricots; from 3 to 0.01 ppm in grapes; from 5 to 0.01* in cranberries; and from 0.1 to 0.01* ppm in peanuts. The MRL for ethoprophos is lowered from 0.02* to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts.   Draft Commission Regulation amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for benalaxyl, benalaxyl-M, dichlobenil, fluopicolide, proquinazid and pyridalyl in or on certain products.     The deadline for comments is September 13, 2020. The proposed date of adoption is February 2021. It is expected to be published in April 2021.   The MRL for proquinazid is lowered from 0.02* to 0.01* ppm in apricots, plums, cranberries, dates and figs. The MRL for pyrdalyl in peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for benalaxyl is lowered from 0.05* to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts; and is increased from 0.3 to 0.7 ppm in grapes. The MRL for dichlobenil in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm.   Draft Commission Regulation amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for fluxapyroxad, hymexazol, metamitron, penflufen and spirotetramat in or on certain products.     The deadline for comments is September 13, 2020. The proposed date of adoption is February 2021. It is expected to be published in April 2021.   The MRL for fluxapyroxad is lowered from 1 to 0.15 ppm in apricots. The MRL for hymexazol is lowered from 0.05* to 0.02* ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs. The MRL for metamitron is lowered from 0.1* to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. The MRL for penflufen in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.1* ppm. The MRL for spirotetramat is increased from 0.7 to 1.5 ppm in cranberries; and lowered from 0.1* to 0.02* ppm in dates, figs and peanuts.   Draft Commission Regulation amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for acequinocyl, cycloxydim, diclofop, fluopyram, ipconazole and terbuthylazine in or on certain products.     The deadline for comments is September 7, 2020. The proposed date of adoption is September 2020. It is expected to be published in October 2020.   The MRL for acequinocyl is lowered from 0.02 to 0.01* ppm in almonds; and is increased from 0.02 to 0.03 ppm in plums; and from 0.3 to 0.8 ppm in grapes. The MRL for cycloxydim is increased from 0.05* to 0.09* ppm in tree nuts, cranberries, dates, and figs; and is lowered from 0.2 to 0.09* ppm in apricots and peanuts; and from 0.5 to 0.4 ppm in grapes. The MRL for diclofop is lowered from 0.05* to 0.02* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts.  The MRL for fluopyram is lowered from 0.05 to 0.03 ppm in tree nuts, and from 0.2 to 0.02 ppm in peanuts; and is increased from 0.5 to 0.6 ppm in plums; from 1.5 to 2 ppm in grapes; and from 3 to 4 ppm in cranberries. The MRL for terbuthylazine is lowered from 0.05* to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, cranberries, dates and figs; and from 0.1 to 0.01* ppm in grapes and peanuts.   * Indicates lower limit of determination.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.   EU: Pesticides, Standing Committee   The Report of the Standing Committee of the Section ‘Phytopharmaceuticals’, held on June 15-16, 2020, has been published.   Some of the discussions were the following: Fosetyl-Al. The European Commission presented the mandate to EFSA on the joint review of MRLs for fosetyl and phosphonates, which includes references to both the current Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for phosphonic acid and the new, lower ADI derived in the procedure for the renewal of approval of fosetyl.   The following draft regulations had favorable opinion: Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II, III and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for 1,4-diaminobutane, 1-methylcyclopropene, ammonium acetate, bifenazate, blood meal, chlorantraniliprole, chlormequat, cyprodinil, fluxapyroxad, fosetyl, , limestone, mandipropamid, pepper, pyridaben, seaweed extracts, spirotetramat and trimethylamine hydrochloride in or on certain products (here). The MRL for pyridaben in tree nuts is set at 0.05 ppm. Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for azinphos-methyl, bentazone, dimethomorph, fludioxonil, flufenoxuron, oxadiazon, phosalone, pyraclostrobin, repellants: tall oil and teflubenzuron in or on certain products (SPS) (here). The MRL for azinphos-methyl in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for pyraclostrobin in grapes is set at 0.3 ppm. The MRL for oxadiazon in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/…amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the Committee as regards maximum residue levels for bupirimate, carfentrazone-ethyl, ethirimol and pyriofenone in or on certain products (Art. 12) (here). The MRL for bupirimate in tree nuts, plums, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm; and in grapes and cranberries at 1.5 ppm. The MRL for ethirimol in tree nuts, plums, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm; in apricots at 0.04 ppm; in grapes at 0.4 ppm; and in cranberries at 2 ppm. The MRL for pyriofenone in tree nuts, apricots, plums, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for carfentrazone-ethyl in tree nuts and peanuts is set at 0.05* ppm; and in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs at 0.02* ppm.   The following draft regulations were presented for discussion: Draft Commission Regulation as regards maximum residue levels for metam, dazomet, hexythiazox, clethodim and sethoxydim (Art. 12) (here). The MRL for clethodim in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.02* ppm. The MRL for metam in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for hexythiazox in tree nuts is set at 0.05 ppm; in apricots and plums at 0.7 ppm; and in cranberries, figs and peanuts at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for sethoxydim in tree nuts and peanuts is set at 0.02* ppm; and in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs at 0.01* ppm. Draft Commission Regulation as regards maximum residue levels for acequinocyl, cycloxydim, diclofop, fluopyram, ipconazole and terbuthylazine in or on certain products (here). Draft Commission Regulation as regards maximum residue levels for fluxapyroxad, hymexazol, metamitron, penflufen and spirotetramat (here). The MRL for fluxapyroxad in apricots is set at 0.15 ppm. The MRL for hymexazol in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs is set at 0.02* ppm. The MRL for metamitron in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for penflufen in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for spirotetramat in cranberries is set at 1.5 ppm; and in dates, figs and peanuts at 0.02* ppm. Draft Commission Regulation as regards maximum residue levels for benalaxyl, benalaxyl-M, dichlobenil, fluopicolide, proquinazid, and pyrdalyl (here). The MRL for proquinazid in apricots, plums, cranberries, dates and figs is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for pyrdalyl in peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for benalaxyl in tree nuts, apricots, plums, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts at 0.01* ppm; and in grapes at 0.7 ppm. The MRL for dichlobenil in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. Draft Commission Regulation as regards maximum residue levels for ametoctradin, bixafen, fenazaquin, spinetoram, tefluthrin and thiencarbazone-methyl in or on certain products (here). The MRL for fenazaquin in apricots and plums is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for spinetoram in tree nuts, plums, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.02* ppm; in apricots at 0.2 ppm; and in grapes and cranberries at 0.4 ppm. The MRL for tefluthrin in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for thiencarbazone-methyl in tree nuts, apricots, prunes, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is set at 0.01* ppm. Draft Commission Regulation as regards maximum residue levels for carbon tetrachloride, chlorothalonil, chlorpropham, dimethoate, ethoprophos, fenamidone, methiocarb, omethoate, propiconazole and pymetrozine in or on certain products. Draft Commission Regulation as regards maximum residue levels for chlordecone in or on certain products.   * Indicates lower limit of determination.   Summary report   USA: MRLs Update   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established tolerances for residues of oxathiapiprolin and hexythiazoxin or on multiple commodities.   Among others, the tolerance of oxathiapiprolin in cranberry is set at 0.4 ppm and in Nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.01 ppm. This regulation is effective since July 6, 2020. Objections and requests must be received on or before September 4, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 129. Monday, July 6, 2020. Pages 40118-40122   Among others, the tolerance of hexythiazoxin in Date, dried is set at 3 ppm. This regulation is effective since July 20, 2020. Objections and requests must be received on or before September 18, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 139. Monday, July 20, 2020. Pages 43697-43699 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/pesticides-updateWebinar on Mycotoxins by FRUCOMThe session revolved around the recently published European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Scientific Opinions on ochratoxin A (OTA) and aflatoxins (AF) and the challenges that a representative sampling entails.   Regarding OTA, EFSA Scientific Officer Dr. Hans Steinkellner explained the exposure re-assessment for which a total of 71,769 analytical results (75% left censored) were used coming from 29 EU Member States (more than 50% from Germany and the Netherlands). They found that the occurrence levels are similar to those of 2006 and concluded that the most important contributors were ‘Preserved meat’, ‘Cheese’, and ‘Grains and grain-based products’. Dried and fresh fruit, such as grapes, figs and dates, as well as fruit juices and nectars were also contributing to the exposure. EFSA recommended more studies elucidating the sequence of critical events at the carcinogenic target site in the kidney and more studies on toxicokinetics of OTA. In addition, more data on occurrence and toxicity are needed.    In the case of AF, after 209,802 analyses from 69,199 samples, the highest mean concentrations were found in ‘Legumes, nuts and oilseeds’ (particularly in pistachios, peanuts and other seeds), contributing up to 29% of the dietary exposure to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in adults. The Panel considered that the impact of the uncertainties is moderate and that the assessment is likely to be conservative. EFSA recommended more studies on genotoxic potential and dietary exposure, as well as more data on occurrence.   The presentations were followed by a discussion on the uncertainty of the assessments, the difficulty of extrapolating toxicokinetic data from animals to humans, and the lack of evidence to support either direct or indirect DNA damage in OTA carcinogenesis, among other challenges.   Lastly, Dr. Thomas Whitaker, Professor Emeritus, Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department of North Carolina State University, gave a presentation about how to interpret mycotoxin sample test results and reduce the risk of misclassifying lots. Dr. Whitaker emphasized the high variability associated to replicated samples due to the heterogeneous distribution of aflatoxin concentration. The variability may lead to a misclassification of lots: a ‘good’ lot can be rejected (seller’s risk) or a ‘bad’ lot can be accepted (buyer’s risk). He concluded that there is always a risk present at some level, even when the protocols are used correctly. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/webinar-on-mycotoxins-by-frucomCOVID-19 Update: August 4, 2020Undoubtedly, the risk of infection remains present. Countries that had eased restrictions because got coronavirus under control are tightening the measures as a result of increases in COVID-19 cases. And others less affected during the first months are now seeing escalating numbers.     Medical researchers around the world are working hard to find a vaccine as soon as possible; it looks like the best solution to allow lockdowns to be lifted more safely, and social distancing to be relaxed. WHO According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 150 countries joined the Gavi’s COVAX Facility, a mechanism designed to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. Seventy-five countries, which would finance the vaccines from their own public finance budgets, partner with up to 90 lower-income countries that could be supported through voluntary donations to Gavi’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).   On July 22, the COVID-19 Law Lab initiative was launched with the aim of gathering and sharing legal documents from over 190 countries across the world to help states establish and implement strong legal frameworks to manage the pandemic. This is a joint project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.   As many countries are reopening or have plans to reopen international travel, the WHO has published a document outlining key considerations for national health authorities when considering or implementing the gradual return to international travel operations. The gradual lifting of travel restrictions should be based on a thorough risk assessment, taking into account country context, the local epidemiology and transmission patterns, the national health and social measures to control the outbreak, and the capacities of health systems in both departure and destination countries, including at points of entry.   The Emergency Committee on COVID-19 held its fourth meeting on 31 July. The Committee “highlighted the anticipated lengthy duration of this COVID-19 pandemic, noting the importance of sustained community, national, regional, and global response efforts.” Several recommendations were made to both WHO and State Parties. WHO should continue to communicate lessons learned, coordinate global and regional multilateral organizations, partners and networks, and support State Parties and partners in conducting active and community-based COVID-19 surveillance, among others. To State Parties, some of the recommendations were enhancing capacity for public health surveillance, sharing timely information and data, and maintaining and preparing essential health services to cope with seasonal influenza, other concurrent disease outbreaks, and natural disasters. FAO On July 21, the FAO launched the Hand-in-Hand geospatial platform to help build stronger food and agriculture sectors post COVID-19. The platform has a large and rich set of data on food, agriculture, socioeconomics, and natural resources to help strengthen evidence-based decision-making in the food and agriculture sectors. "The Geospatial Platform serves as a digital public good to create interactive data maps, analyze trends and identify real-time gaps and opportunities," said FAO Director-General, Mr. QU Dongyu. United Nations The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) launched the volume “Recover Better: Economic and Social Challenges and Opportunities”, reflecting and furthering the discussions UN High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs members have had on a wide range of development trends and issues of critical importance to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the recovery from COVID-19. The compilation provides outside-the-box thinking and new solutions to some of this era’s most pressing tests. Improving international tax cooperation, more equitable access to digital technological advances, and sustainable natural resource management are some of the issues included. FMI After the virtual meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors held on July 18, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), stated that “due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy faces a deep recession this year, with partial and uneven recovery expected in 2021.” She emphasized that supportive fiscal and monetary policies are essential until a safe and durable exit from the crisis can be assured. Australia Entering on July 22, the Government of New South Wales (NSW) established a strict new border zone, tightened permit conditions and stronger enforcement powers to further restrict entry to NSW from Victoria, as a result of record COVID-19 cases. All NSW residents are strongly urged not to travel to Victoria. In addition, from July 24, new rules were put in place for NSW business. Pubs, restaurants, bars, cafés and clubs must limit the group bookings to 10 people, have COVID-Safe plans and registration as a COVID-Safe business, and provide digital records of customer visits within 24 hours.   On August 2, Victoria declared ‘state of disaster’, imposing stricter lockdown measures, and Melbourne has moved into a “stage four” lockdown after recording 400-600 cases daily in the city over the past weeks. Nightly curfew has been introduced and virtually all trips outdoors have been banned. Only one person per household will be allowed to leave their homes once a day, outside of curfew hours (between 8 pm and 5 am) to pick up essential goods, and they must stay within a 5 kilometer radius of home. All new restrictions will be in effect for six weeks.   For the Australian almond industry it is important that beekeepers are able to cross borders during the pollination period. Therefore, the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management has recognized that the pollination services provided by bees are vital and the border restrictions should allow essential agricultural cross-border transport, including beehive movement. China China declared “wartime” state for Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, on July 17, after a spike in cases of coronavirus.   With the aim of reducing the risk of imported coronavirus cases amid increased international travel, China’s aviation authority said, on July 21, that passengers of China-bound flights must provide negative COVID-19 test results before boarding. Tests should be conducted at facilities designated or recognized by Chinese embassies in host countries and within five days before traveling. European Union The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission is conducting a survey to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on operators in the EU agri-food supply chains. The objective of the questionnaire is to better understand the resilience, constraints and responses of operators in the agri-food chain in order to contribute with the relevant evidence to EU policy making. The survey targets companies and businesses (including SMEs and farmers) active in the primary production, distribution, processing, wholesale or retail stages of the agri-food supply chain.   The European Institution of Innovation & Technology (EIT) announced the final list of initiatives that will be awarded €6.17 million of funding as part of the COVID-19 Rapid Response Call for Innovation projects. The Call, launched in May, was designed to fast-track product or service solutions that could have a significant and immediate impact to the challenges brought about by COVID-19 on the agri-food sector. This activity directly contributes to the European Union’s response to the pandemic and focuses on supporting three food system specific challenges that EIT Food is currently tackling: improved nutrition, supply chain disruption and food safety risks.   On July 17-18, EU leaders met in Brussels in order to discuss the long-term EU budget (2021-2027) that will help the EU to rebuild after the pandemic and will support investment in the green and digital transitions. EU leaders agreed to a comprehensive package of €1,824.3 billion which combines the multiannual financial framework (MFF) and an extraordinary recovery effort under the Next Generation EU (NGEU) instrument. The MFF (€1,074.3 billion) will be the main instrument for implementing the recovery package to tackle the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19. The NGEU (€750 billion) will provide the EU with the necessary means to address the challenges posed by the pandemic.   Continuing with the response to the pandemic, the European Council adopted, on July 24, a set of conclusions aimed at restoring passengers’ and workers&#39; confidence by minimizing the risk of infection in cross-border collective passenger transport systems. Among the recommended measures are the physical distance (or the use of masks), the digital ticketing and digital ticket inspections, and the high standards of fresh air circulation and cleanliness.   Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, as from 31 July member states should gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries: Australia, Canada Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, and China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.   As for the circulation of goods, taking into account that the difficulties to perform official controls and other official activities will persist, the EC has decided to extend, for the second time, the use of electronic documentation until October 1, 2020, through the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1087 of 23 July 2020, which prolongs the period of application of the Regulation (EU) 2020/466 of 30 March 2020. Belgium Fearing a second COVID wave, Belgium’s National Security Council (CNS) decided to extend the obligations to wear masks and fill in a travel form for returning from vacation, and to postpone phase 5 of deconfinement. Greece Greece will receive around €72 billion as part of the recovery package agreed by the EU. This stimulus would be an opportunity to diversify the country’s economy and develop other sectors, such as green energy and new technologies.   From July 28, passengers from Bulgaria and Romania are obliged to provide proof of a negative PCR result for COVID-19 taken up to 72 hours before their entry to Greece.   According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) “Greece has responded swiftly and effectively to the Covid-19 pandemic and has so far managed to contain the spread of infections, but the economy has been hit hard, adding to long-standing challenges”. The new OECD Economic Survey of Greece proposes a set of reforms to overcome the COVID-19 consequences while promoting a stronger and more inclusive growth. Italy  Italy launched the Immuni contact-tracing app, designed to help manage the coronavirus crisis. As of now, the app has been downloaded about 4.3 million times –about 12% of people between 24 and 75. Mr. Domenico Arcuri, Special commissioner for the emergency, said that the app “did not reach the expected target”, which was fixed at 60% of the total population. Spain On July 18, Catalonia’s regional government asked people from Barcelona and its surrounding to “stay at home” for 15 days after resurgence in COVID-19 cases.   Madrid announced the obligation of wearing mask in all public spaces, even when social distancing measures are respected. The new rule, which was already introduced in all of Spain’s regions with the exception of the Canary Islands, came into effect on July 28. Portugal The European Investment Bank Group and Banco Santander Consumer Portugal are joining forces to support Portuguese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps affected by the crisis. The two agreements will provide €587 million to inject liquidity and finance investments. United Kingdom The UK periodically updates the list of countries and territories from where people can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate (“travel corridors”). Passengers have to self-isolate when they arrive in England, if they are travelling from one of the countries that is not on the exempt list. On July 26, Spain was removed from the list.   Growing evidence suggests that being obese or excessively overweight puts people at greater risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. Public Health England (PHE) launched a new campaign to encourage people to live healthier lives and reduce the risk of serious illness, including COVID-19.  India According to a USDA GAIN Report released on July 17, the increase of cargo movement in Mumbai port continues, reaching a new record in rail volumes. In Chennai, there were no congestions or berthing delays, at the time of writing the report. According to the latest Port Situation Update, Mumbai expects to spur greater trade flows for the port in the medium- and long-term. Mundra, Mangalore and Kolkata ports are running normally, but movements continue to be slow in Kandla and Chennai. South Africa The National Plant Protection Organisation of South Africa (NPPOZA) notified the World Trade Organization of the use of normal A4 printing paper while issuing phytosanitary certificates, which entered into force on July 13. Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, NPPOZA will be temporarily issuing phytosanitary certificates, generated from the eCertification system, printed on normal A4 paper, and with the following features: QR code, 2X barcodes and coat of arms in color. Therefore, South Africa has now two types of certificate paper in international trade: the original paper with security features, and the A4 paper with QR and bar codes (until further notice).   The IMF approved South Africa’s request for emergency financial assistance of US$ 4.3 billion under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to meet the urgent balance of payment (BOP) needs stemming from the outbreak of the pandemic.   On July 31, the OECD published the Economic Survey of South Africa, highlighting that the country responded swiftly to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the sharp drop in activity adds to long-standing challenges and raises the urgency of structural reforms. As measurers to overcome the COVID-19 shock, OECD recommends lowering interest rates; providing temporary financial support to households and businesses; and extending financial relief in sectors hard hit by the crisis.  Turkey  As part of a set of measures against the COVID-19 outbreak, Turkey suspended flights to Iran and Afghanistan. United States The first large study of the safety and effectiveness of a coronavirus vaccine started on Monday 27, in the US. The study, a Phase 3 clinical trial, will enroll 30,000 healthy people at about 89 sites around the US this summer. The vaccine is being developed by Moderna partnered with the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NHI).   The California Governor announced, on July 24, support for workers to isolate and quarantine outside their home, new actions to increase outreach and education to slow the spread and reduce the risk for COVID-19, and new resources for employers to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers. A new program, Housing for the Harvest, will provide safe, temporary isolation spaces for agricultural and farmworkers who test positive or were exposed to the virus. #WearAMask and #StoptheSpread campaigns will expand its reach to reduce risk for COVID-19 at work, at home, and in the community. In addition, a new Employer Playbook will guide California businesses on how to provide a clean environment for workers and customers to reduce risk. Vietnam After a few months without cases, Vietnam has closed Da Nang to tourists after four new coronavirus cases were recorded. No tourists can enter the city for 14 days and extra flights are being laid on to fly out up to 80,000 visitors. Dietary Recommendations during the COVID-19 Pandemic This review summarizes recent scientific studies and existing recommendations from national and international nutrition agencies on an optimal diet, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and good hygiene practices for food preparation during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Nutrients such as zinc and vitamins A, C and D have been mentioned by several nutrition guidelines to play a key role in optimizing the immune system. Adequate intakes of these micronutrients may be obtained by a daily diet that includes lean meat, fish, lentils and beans, dairy foods, nuts, seeds, eggs, citrus fruits and vegetables. Vitamin D can be also obtained through exposure of the skin to the sun.   On the other hand, unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fatty acids are known for their favorable immune-modulatory action. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, present in walnuts, seafood, algal oil, marine fish and flaxseed may support the immune system, while omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive, sunflower, and safflower oils and nuts may have antioxidant, antimicrobial and antiviral effects.   In their discussion of nutritional recommendations during COVID-19 quarantine, the role of tryptophan was highlighted in the regulation of satiety and caloric intake, suggesting protein-rich foods such as dairy, seeds and nuts as good sources.   The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-august-4-2020INC Interviews Leadership Team for Insights into COVID-19 and the Nut and Dried Fruit IndustryJuly 30, 2020. As the world continues to grapple with the implications of the COVID-19, the INC reached out to various members of the leadership, to interview and gain their perspective of how the nut and dried fruit industry has been affected by the pandemic. One of the most repeated answers among the leadership was that the nut and dried fruit industry most certainly has faced numerous challenges with COVID-19, however, there are many reasons to be optimistic for the future. Behrooz Agah, from the Agah Group in Iran and an INC Ambassador to Iran commented, “promotion and increased awareness as to the benefits of consumption of different products in this section on general health and well-being” is likely to be of increased importance in the aftermath of COVID-19. Likewise, in China, Chen Qi, from QiaQia Food and a member of the INC Board of Trustees noted, “because of consumers growing demand for staying healthy, this industry will accelerate in China.” Pratap Nair, from Vijayalaxmi Cashew Company in India and member of the INC Executive Committee stated, “I am certain our strong and resilient industry will have the strength to overcome this challenge.” Similarly, Jan Vincent Rieckmann from August Töpfer in Germany and Roby Danon from Voicevale in the UK, both members of the INC Board of Trustees, expressed their confidence in the industry, especially in the future.   Ashok Krishen, from Olam Singapore and INC Vice Chairman, added “consumer behavior and habits are likely to change and we will need to be agile to meet the changed expectations.” The full article can be found on the INC website.   Download the press release.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-interviews-leadership-team-for-insights-into-covid-19-and-the-nut-and-dried-fruit-industryINC Successfully Launches Negotiation in Times of Crisis WebinarThe current COVID-19 pandemic has put us all in an unprecedented situation and almost all professional negotiations have been affected by the crisis. Negotiation is an essential skill for leaders, entrepreneurs and managers. With over 150 participants from 28 countries, this session explored the main principles of crisis negotiation and took a look at the essential elements of negotiation skills and how they can be used effectively in times of crisis. The webinar was presented by Prof. Dr. Kandarp Mehta, from the prestigious IESE Business School Barcelona, ranked 1st in the world for Executive Education by Financial Times for a record 6th year, and author of the INC Academia Unit 11 “Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills for Successful Negotiations”. INC members can find the full webinar on the INC TV Channel and for those who are interested in becoming a member, check out the membership benefits! Webinar Speaker Prof. Dr. Kandarp Mehta is a senior lecturer in the Entrepreneurship Department and the Negotiation Unit at IESE Business School, Barcelona, ranked 1st in the world for Executive Education by Financial Times for a record 6th year. Prof. Dr. Mehta is a PhD from IESE Business School and a recipient of the Dispute Resolution Research Center advisory fellowship from Kellogg School of Management. Joining the Entrepreneurship Department at IESE in October 2009, his research has focused on creativity in organizations and in negotiations. He has conducted several Negotiation and Creativity Workshops for corporate executives and management students in India and Spain.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/join-the-inc-for-the-negotiation-in-times-of-crisis-webinarCOVID-19 Update: July 20, 2020WHO In a recent media briefing, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom highlighted the fact that the virus shall be a serious concern worldwide: “Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one”, he told from WHO headquarters in Geneva. In addition to this, Dr. Tedros also said that “If the basics aren’t followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go. It’s going to get worse and worse and worse. But it does not have to be this way. Every single leader, every single government and every single person can do their bit to break chains of transmission and end the collective suffering”. Another concern of the WHO is the rising levels of famine in the poorest countries.   Dr. Tedros also indicated that there will not be a return to the ‘old normal’ for the foreseeable future, but there is a roadmap to a scenario where the pandemic is under control and people are able to get on with their lives. In order to face this scenario, there are three issues to consider: (1) reduce mortality and suppress transmission, (2) taking individual behavior measures for the general interest, and (3) strong government leadership and coordination of comprehensive strategies, which need to be clearly communicated.   While it is too soon to assess the full impact of COVID-19, the report titled The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020 estimates that more people may face chronic hunger by the end of this year. A preliminary assessment suggests that COVID-19 may add between 83 and 132 million people to the total number of undernourished in the world in 2020 depending on the economic growth scenario.   On July 9, the WHO announced the initiation of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) in order to evaluate the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. OECD On July 8, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued the Employment Outlook 2020. This report focuses on worker security amid the COVID-19 outbreak. As the effects of the pandemic and its mitigation measures hit OECD economies, millions of people have been unable to go to work, resulting in an exceptional drop, in activity and unprecedented job losses. Some countries reported up to 10 times fewer hours worked, compared with the first months of the 2008 financial crisis. The report also indicates that unemployment rates are expected to remain high in 2021.   On July 16, the OECD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued a joint report on the agricultural outlook from 2020 to 2029. This report found that prices of most commodities are expected to remain at or below their current levels due to the fact that supply growth is going to outpace demand growth. At the same time, a decrease in disposable incomes in the poorest countries and households is expected to depress demand and could also undermine food security. China On July 13, the Beijing Leading Group on COVID-19 Response held its 76th meeting. Beijing’s COVID-19 situation has improved, despite the pandemic is not fully under control and the fact that lowering measures may lead to a resurgence of new cases. The meeting underscored the need to ensure strict compliance with early detection, reporting, quarantine and treatment, and the implementation of all containment measures. In addition to this, the Group also called for efforts to boost the reopening of the economy and achieve normality at a faster pace. European Union On July 7, the European Commission (EC) published the Regulation 2020/977, which provides flexibility regarding official controls of organic products due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extensive movement restrictions both in EU and in third countries constitute an unprecedented challenge for Member States to perform controls. Therefore, authorities should be allowed to postpone physical inspections and rely on documentary checks.   On July 9, Mr. Mário Centeno, President of the Eurogroup, in the remarks following a Eurogroup videoconference, said that the European Fiscal Board (EFB), the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and Eurogroup ministers support timely and targeted policies to combat the pandemic and to protect economies and societies. However, regarding the next year, “uncertainty remains very high. The policy challenges may change in the coming months and our policy responses may have to adapt. As ministers gear up their budget preparations for next year, there is broad consensus on supportive policies for next year as well”.   The EC and the World Bank Group renewed an agreement to strengthen development cooperation, on July 10. This agreement guides the terms under which the Bank Group will use EU funding to implement development projects worldwide. Mr. Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director for Operations, said, “COVID-19 has added a new layer of complexity to the challenges faced by our client countries. Our partnership with the European Commission is now more important than ever as we work together to end extreme poverty, increase shared prosperity, and improve the lives of millions of people around the world”.   On July 14, the European Council adopted measures to facilitate and speed up the development of a vaccine against COVID-19. The act provides temporary derogation from the prior environmental risk assessment required in the EU legislation for clinical trials with vaccines.   On July 16,  following the first review of the gradual lifting of restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of third countries for which Member States should lift restrictions. This list will continue to be updated every two weeks and includes the following countries as of today: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, and China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity.   In order to provide information for international travelers desiring to visit EU countries, the web platform Re-open EU was issued on July 16. The interactive map brings up real-time information on the situation concerning the free movement and available means of transport. It also covers public health and safety measures, such as physical distancing or the use of facemasks, as well as other practical information for travelers. Italy On July 10, Italy banned the entry of people from 13 countries, including, among others, Bangladesh, Brazil and Chile. Travelers who stayed or transited through any of these countries in the previous 14 days, will not be allowed to enter into the country. Italian residents returning from these countries are asked to self-isolate for two weeks. Spain  The prime ministers of Spain and Italy, on July 9, called for the adoption of the European Commission’s €750 billion COVID-19 recovery plan, presenting a united front among two of the EU countries hardest hit by the pandemic and its social and economic consequences. United Kingdom According to CNBC, in May, the UK economy rebounded 1.8% due to the easing of lockdown measures. However, the UK economy grew less than expected, as economists had expected a monthly rebound of 5.5%. India According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, Mumbai port handled 5% more containers in June, compared to the previous month, demonstrating a slow recovery in trade. However, from April to June, Mumbai port saw a drop in cargo volume of 31%, Tuticorin -14%, Kandla -20%, and Chennai nearly -40%, compared to the same period last year.   Regarding food and retail in India, according to a USDA GAIN Report, Pune markets reported low demand due to the closure of hotels and restaurants, despite a steady increase in the demand, which is still significantly below pre-pandemic levels. In Surat, traders and wholesale associations have agreed to restrict their working hours from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm until July 27, to prevent large crowds from gathering at grocery shops. In Cochin, the delivery of essential commodities is being delayed by COVID-19 restrictions, which are forcing drivers to take longer routes to avoid containment zones. According to a local media report, in Kolkata, a strict seven-day lockdown has been imposed in containment zones across the state of West Bengal. Just before the lockdown, residents resorted to panic-buying. Panama  According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, the shutdown of economic activities to mitigate the effects of the pandemic has forced the retail food sector to adapt and innovate with e-commerce and delivery platforms. In the short and medium-term, consumers are expected to stay at home more and consequently eat more meals there. Singapore  Singapore entered into a technical recession after the economy contracted more than 40% in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter. The economic performance worsened due to the implementation of partial lockdown measures aimed at reducing the spread of the virus. Compared to the previous year, the Singapore economy contracted by 12.6% in the second quarter, while the forecast was 10.5% drop. Sri Lanka Sri Lanka revised the temporary import controls on June 30, according to a USDA GAIN Report. The new regulation applies mainly on commodities loaded on or after June 30, at the loading port. The regulation is flexible for import of raw materials for local value addition, and export processing, while others are allowed on a restricted basis. Sri Lanka also revised import control regulations at several stages since the start of the pandemic. Turkey Turkey maintained dried fruit export volume amid the pandemic. During the first semester of 2020, exports reached $606.5 million, according to the Turkish Exporters&#39; Assembly. The dried fruits sector maintained its export volume to a great extent compared to the same period last year. In April and May, when the COVID-19 measures were stepped up, exports fell gradually, declining to $104.1 million and $74.4 million, respectively. By June, when many countries accelerated the normalization process, the sector increased its exports by 40.7% year-on-year to $89.5 million. United States On July 9, a list of additional commodities, including pistachios, have been added to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). From July 13, producers will be able to submit applications. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting applications until August 28. The USDA is expected to announce additional eligible commodities in the coming weeks.   The CFAP is intended to provide direct relief to producers of agricultural commodities who faced a 5 percent or greater price decline, or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant marketing costs. The program will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers.   The US officially notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the WHO on July 7. The withdrawal is expected to take effect on July 6, 2021. Vietnam According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, the COVID-19 outbreak hit the retail food sector in the short term. However, the pandemic has offered opportunities for the e-commerce sector. This sector was already experiencing significant annual growth of 30% over the past two years and the estimations are that the market could reach $13 billion by the end of the year. The GDP growth for 2020 is forecasted down to 2.8% due to the negative impacts of the pandemic.     The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-july-20-2020COVID-19 Update: July 9, 2020WHO In a recent media briefing on COVID-19, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom highlighted the fact that a comprehensive approach is the fastest way out of the pandemic: “The fastest way out of this pandemic is to follow the science and do what we know works: the comprehensive approach”. In addition to this, Dr. Tedros remarked the fact that Italy and Spain, a few months ago, were the epicenter of the pandemic, but both countries eventually controlled the spread of COVID-19: “with a combination of leadership, humility, active participation by every member of society, and implementing a comprehensive approach. Both countries faced a daunting situation, but turned it around”. FFA The Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) held the Regional Online Live meeting titled Food system resilience, sustainability and the COVID-19 crisis: looking ahead to the German Presidency of the EU. The discussion assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the EU food system and explored the necessary response. The discussion focused on how the EU can best use its new policy initiatives like the Farm to Fork Strategy to not just help the food system recover, but to do so in a sustainable way. Australia Most Australian states dramatically slowed or eradicated the virus as well as the measures to mitigate its consequences. However, in Melbourne, 12 suburbs have been putting “stage three”  restrictions, and therefore, people will only be able to leave their house for work or education, exercise, medical care or care-giving, and shopping for supplies. In addition to this, nine tower blocks in the city are facing a more rigorous lockdown. Chile According to Chilenut the volume of walnut exports accumulated, as of May 31, have decreased 37%, compared to the same period of the previous year. However, the drop in exports can be mainly explained because certain varieties had lower production, instead of the effects of the COVID-19 on international trade. It is expected that the level of shipments will normalize in the coming months and reach similar volumes to previous seasons. China In Beijing, new coronavirus cases have remained low. On July 7, Beijing reported zero new cases. Health authorities have declared that the pandemic situation is under control and continues to improve in Beijing. However, in order to prevent future outbreaks, strict control measures must remain in place. According to a USDA GAIN Report issued on June 22, the COVID-19 pandemic generated new approaches to serving China’s 1 billion adult consumers. Both the government and the industry enacted measures to open commerce when public health authorities required lockdowns throughout most of the provinces and cities in China. While traditional supermarkets saw some growth in their business as consumers were unable to dine out, the eCommerce industry attracted more users and generated double and even triple sales value for fresh produce and other food items. European Union On June 30, the EU agreed to start lifting travel restrictions for residents of some third countries, based on public health requirements and other criteria. From July 1, EU Member States started lifting travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity. Residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican should be considered as EU residents for the purpose of this recommendation. The list of countries shall be reviewed and updated every two weeks. On June 24, the EU Council adopted a regulation that allows Member States, as an exceptional measure, to pay up to €7,000 to farmers and up to €50,000 to small and medium enterprises (SME&#39;s) active in processing, marketing or development of agricultural products. The aim of this regulation is to use the existing funds for rural development programs in order to support farmers and SME&#39;s worst-hit by the COVID-19, and to address liquidity problems. Member States are allowed to identify beneficiaries and to adapt the amount of payments. In the case of farmers, the eligibility criteria must include production sectors and type of farming, among others. In the case of SME&#39;s, the criteria may include sectors, types of activity and types of regions. The EU also extended the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) rules until the end of 2022. The Council reached a common understanding with the European Parliament on June 30, on continuing to support EU farmers under the current legal framework until the end of 2022 when the new CAP will enter into force. On June 30, the Republic of Korea and EU Leaders held a videoconference meeting. They expressed their strong commitment to overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic by working together with partners globally and in solidarity, including in the G20 and the United Nations system. The EU commended the Republic of Korea’s proactive and innovative steps to prevent and tackle COVID-19 in a transparent, open and democratic way. The leaders stressed the importance of strengthened response capacities and enhanced information sharing. The EU and the Republic of Korea will seek to strengthen cooperation in this regard, involving the respective health authorities and centers for disease control. Greece The Greek Government announced the steps that tourists need to take in order to travel to Greece. According to Euractiv, an online form shall be filled at least 48 hours before traveling. Then, the data will be evaluated by experts based on risk criteria, such as the country of origin, health records, as well as the countries to which the tourist has previously traveled. Upon arrival to Greece, the traveler will show a special barcode to the authorities. A 14 day quarantine will apply if someone is found positive of COVID-19. Italy The EU Commission approved four Italian aid schemes to support companies and self-employed workers affected by the COVID-19. Italy notified these four aid schemes to the Commission under the Temporary Framework, with an overall estimated budget of €7.6 billion. The schemes waive certain taxes and provide tax credits to companies and self-employed workers affected by the outbreak. These measures are included in a wider package to support the Italian economy in the context of the pandemic, the so-called Decreto Rilancio. According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, online food shopping experienced a significant surge in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic, growing by 145% from February 17 to May 3, compared to the same period last year. Convenience stores and discount stores also increased sales. However, the closure of restaurants, bars, catering services and shopping centers significantly lowered the sales in these businesses. Spain According to a USDA GAIN Report issued on June 24, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spanish food retail and distribution sector had the fewest stock shortages compared to neighboring countries. Regional retailers and eCommerce were the preferred ways to shop for groceries. In addition to this, consumers preferred domestic foods, which is a trend expected to continue past the pandemic. Another recent report highlighted that the scale and impact of COVID-19 in Spain remain uncertain and fast evolving. The initial predictions on the economic effects of the pandemic are not optimistic for trade and consumption. In their latest report, the Bank of Spain projected that, in the second quarter of 2020, the Spanish GDP is expected to contract between 16 and 22%, officially indicating the start of an economic recession. This follows a record-setting GDP drop of 5.2% during the first quarter of this year. The challenge now is adjusting to the so-called “new normal” and to the short and long-term changes and challenges brought on by the pandemic.  India A recent USDA GAIN Report looks at three ordinances that will introduce major agricultural market reforms in India. These rules are expected to liberate certain existing market restrictions, eliminate trade barriers in agricultural production, and empower farmers to engage directly with potential buyers in advance of harvest. These amendments are part of the Special Economic Package to stimulate India’s agricultural sector in the post-COVID-19 economy. In the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNP), Mumbai, operations have improved with more new drivers available, according to a USDA GAIN Report. During the lockdown, the number of drivers required fell to 2,220 from 4,000. Exports out of JNP have increased in June. However, imports have declined by 40%. Mundra, Kandla and Mangalore are still facing delays due to lack of availability of workers, trucks or containers. According to another GAIN Report, the food retail situation in India is diverse. As some markets and grocery stores in Pune, Bhopal and Goa reopened due to the relaxation of lockdown measures, other markets in Hyderabad and Chennai closed. The first one because the death of a vendor, who tested positive for COVID-19, and the second, due to a full lockdown imposed from June 19 to 30. In Chennai, grocery retailers in certain areas shut down operations for ten days due to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases. Japan In Japan, following requests for people to stay home during the pandemic, retail sales at supermarkets major chains have surged, up 20 to 30% in March and April, according to a GAIN Report. However, restaurant and hotel food service sales fell dramatically as schools closed, tourism halted, and public outings were greatly reduced. Senegal The Government of Senegal enacted several measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19, such as curfews, border closures and movement restrictions, according to a recent GAIN Report. In April 2020, Senegal launched the Economic and Social Resilience Program to support many parts of the economy, including tourism and agriculture. In addition to this, on June 29, the Government announced that is working on a post-COVID economic program to relaunch the economy, which will prioritize several key sectors including agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, among others. United States On June 24, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a joint statement on food export restrictions related to COVID-19. According to this statement, the US understands consumers’ concerns about the precautions to prioritize food safety, especially during these challenging times. However, certain measures taken by some countries, which restrict global food exports related to COVID-19 transmission, are not consistent with scientific approach. As stated in the joint declaration: “There is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from food or from food packaging. The U.S. food safety system, overseen by our agencies, is the global leader in ensuring the safety of our food products, including product for export”. The US announced work visa suspensions in late June. However, according to Fresh Fruit Portal, seasonal farmworkers who use the H-2A visa are exempt from the new measures, amid an ongoing labor shortage in the agricultural industry and increasing reliance on the guest worker program.   The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-july-9-2020Nutfruit Power Campaign Reaches Millions Choose Your Challenge and Go Nuts! At the center of the dissemination plan was a video showcasing how including nuts and dried fruits in your breakfast can give you the power to face challenges during the day. This video, by the end of the campaign, gained over 1 million views via YouTube. Impressively, the results showed that 95% of viewers watched the clip for 33 out of the 35 seconds of the video. In total, the total potential audience impacts of the main video came in at over 25 million.   Nutfruit Power Social Media and Influencers Besides the main video, the INC capitalized on social media as a way to expand the reach of the project. The hashtag #NutfruitPowerChallenge quickly gained momentum and in total, INC posts using this hashtag received over 233,000 interactions across Instagram and Facebook. Moreover, the INC saw the use of influencers as an even greater way to connect with the social media community. In total, 17 established influencers from 12 different countries around the world joined the challenge. Their posts saw over 1 million interactions and with over 6 million total followers on social media, the message continued to spread! Healthy Breakfast Recipes As the impact of the influencers grew, the social media community got behind the challenge. Individual people joined the campaign and began sharing healthy breakfast recipes using the hashtag, #NutfruitPowerChallenge. Although the campaign wrapped up in March, posts using the hashtag continue to be published, indicating a strong impression on the community. Furthermore, aligning with the “morning energy” message from the dissemination plan, the INC used the Communication and Marketing recipe campaign to share even more healthy breakfast recipes. These showed people just how easy it is to incorporate nuts and dried fruit into their morning routine. On YouTube, these recipes gained over 3 million views!   Looking Forward to 2020/2021 & “Real Power for Real People” In conclusion, the 2019/2020 dissemination campaign was a success, reaching millions of consumers and showing just how easy and impactful it can be to add nuts and dried fruits into your daily routine! For the 2020/2021 campaign, the INC will focus on how nuts and dried fruits can help boost your attitudinal immunity. In the unprecedented times that we live in, with a global pandemic and constant bad news in the media, nuts and dried fruits can give consumers the power to be immune to this negativity and face each day. The campaign’s slogan, “Real Power for Real People” establishes the connection that as real people who have to consistently face negativity, it is time to use real power, from nuts and dried fruits, to boost our attitudinal immunity! https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nutfruit-power-campaign-reaches-millionsUSA: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the Agency received a petition to establish a new tolerance for residues of the fungicide mefenoxam metal N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)-N-(methoxyacetyl)-DL-alaninate, in or on Tree Nut Group 14-12, at 0.3 ppm.   The final date for comments is July 24, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 122, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Pages 37806-37808 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-pesticide-petitions-24USA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of fenpyroximate in peanuts is set at 0.04 ppm. This Regulation is effective since June 18, 2020. Objections and requests must be received on or before August 17, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 118. Thursday, June 18, 2020. Pages 36755-36758   Among others, the tolerance of cyflumetofen in plum subgroup 12-12C is set at 0.3 ppm. This Regulation is effective since July 1, 2020. Objections and requests must be received on or before August 31, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 127. Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Pages 39491-39494 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-41Thailand: Contaminants and Toxins in FoodAs previously notified, the document sets the limits of contaminants and mycotoxins in foods. As for total aflatoxin in nuts and dried fruits, the following maximum limits are stablished:   Product Description Aflatoxin, total (mg/kg) Brazil nuts Whole commodity (ready to eat) 10 Shelled Brazil nuts intended for further processing 15 Pistachios Whole commodity (ready to eat) 10 Pistachios intended for further processing 15 Dried figs Whole commodity (ready to eat) 10 Peanuts Unless specified, seed or kernels, after removal of shell or husk and intended for further processing 20 Almonds Whole commodity after remove shell (ready to eat) 10 Whole commodity after remove shell (intended for further processing) 15 Hazelnuts Whole commodity after removal of shell (ready to eat) 10 Whole commodity after remove shell (intended for further processing) 15 Other nuts and dried fruits Other than the above lists 20   Royal Gazette (May 20, 2020) https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/thailand-contaminants-and-toxins-in-food-1Peru: Pistachios from ChileFollowing the completion of the relevant pest risk analysis, the proposal is being submitted for public consultation. The deadline for comments is August 8, 2020.   SENASA Public Consultation (in Spanish) https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/peru-pistachios-from-chileEU-Vietnam: Free Trade AgreementThe Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will eliminate nearly all customs duties on goods traded between the two parties in a progressive way. The agreement also contains specific provisions to remove technical obstacles to trade.   The FTA was signed on June 30, 2019. The EU approved it on March 30, 2020 (see previous post), and its entry into force is expected by August 2020.   EU-Vietnam: National Assembly passes VN-EU trade deal https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-vietnam-free-trade-agreement-2EU: Sustainable Use of PesticidesThe evaluation will assess the extent to which the intended objectives of the Sustainable Use of pesticides Directive (SUD) are relevant today, and the extent to which the SUD delivered against them. It will look into the reasons for the observed weaknesses in implementation, application and enforcement of the legislation.   Citizens and stakeholders are invited, until August 7, 2020, to provide views on the Commission&#39;s understanding of the current situation, problem and possible solutions, and to make available any relevant information that they may have, including on possible impacts of the different options. Feedback will be summarized and taken into account for further development and fine tuning of the initiative.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-sustainable-use-of-pesticidesEU: Pesticides, Extension of Approval PeriodsThe approval periods of these active substances is extended until June 30, 2021, or July 31, 2021, depending on the substances.   This regulation entered into force on June 26, 2020.   Commission Implementing Regulation 2020/869 of 24 June 2020 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-extension-of-approval-periods-4EU: Pesticide WithdrawalsOn June 29, 2020, the European Commission published the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/892 of 29 June 2020 concerning the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance beta-cyfluthrin.   Member States shall withdraw authorizations for plant protection products containing beta-cyfluthrin as an active substance by January 20, 2021. However, any grace period granted by Member States shall expire by July 20, 2021, at the latest. This Regulation shall enter into force on July 20, 2020.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/892 of 29 June 2020 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticide-withdrawals-9EU: MRLs UpdateAs previously reported, Regulation (EU) 2020/770 of 8 June 2020 as regards maximum residue levels for myclobutanil, napropamide and sintofen in or on certain products sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation entered into force on July 2, 2020, and shall apply from January 2, 2021.   Myclobutanil: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts; 3 ppm in apricots; 1.5 ppm in grapes. Napropamide: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, dates, figs and peanuts; 0.02* ppm in cranberries. Sintofen: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, figs, dates and peanuts.   As previously reported, the Regulation (EU) 2020/785 of 9 June 2020 as regards maximum residue levels for chromafenozide, fluometuron, pencycuron, sedaxane, tau-fluvalinate and triazoxide in or on certain products sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation will entered into force on July 6, 2020, and shall apply from January 6, 2021.   Chromafenozide: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. Pencycuron: 0.02* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. Sedaxane: 0.01* ppm in in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. Tau-fluvalinate: 0.01* ppm in plums, cranberries and peanuts. Triazoxide: 0.005* ppm in tree nuts and peanuts; 0.001* ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs.   As previously announced, Regulation (EU) 2020/856 of 9 June 2020 as regards maximum residue levels for cyantraniliprole, cyazofamid, cyprodinil, fenpyroximate, fludioxonil, fluxapyroxad, imazalil, isofetamid, kresoxim-methyl, lufenuron, mandipropamid, propamocarb, pyraclostrobin, pyriofenone, pyriproxyfen and spinetoram in or on certain products sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation will enter into force on July 9, 2020.   Cyantraniliprole: 0.08 ppm in cranberries. Isofetamid: 3 ppm in apricots; and 0.8 ppm in plums. Kresoxim-methyl: 0.05 ppm in pecans; 1.5 ppm in grapes. Pyriofenone: 0.5 ppm in cranberries.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/770 of 8 June 2020 amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for myclobutanil, napropamide and sintofen in or on certain products   Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/785 of 9 June 2020 amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chromafenozide, fluometuron, pencycuron, sedaxane, tau-fluvalinate and triazoxide in or on certain products   Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/856 of 9 June 2020 amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for cyantraniliprole, cyazofamid, cyprodinil, fenpyroximate, fludioxonil, fluxapyroxad, imazalil, isofetamid, kresoxim-methyl, lufenuron, mandipropamid, propamocarb, pyraclostrobin, pyriofenone, pyriproxyfen and spinetoram in or on certain product https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-33EFSA: Import TolerancesAfter the request of setting import tolerances for the active substance flonicamid on the basis of the authorized use in the USA, EFSA concluded that the authorized USA uses of fonicamid will not result in acute or chronic consumer exposure exceeding the toxicological reference values and, therefore, is unlikely to pose a risk to consumers’ health.   EFSA was requested to set import tolerances and to modify existing EU maximum residue levels (MRLs) for the active substance flupyradifurone and its metabolite difluoroacetic acid (DFA) in various crops. For some commodities, EFSA concludes that the intended EU uses and authorized US and Canadian uses of flupyradifurone and resulting residues of DFA will not result in chronic or acute consumer exposure exceeding the toxicological reference values and, therefore, is unlikely to pose a risk to consumers’ health.   Among others, EFSA proposes to amend the existing MRLs as follows:   Substance Commodity Existing MRL (ppm) Proposed MRL (ppm) Comments Flonicamid tree nuts (except coconuts and pistachios) 0.06* 0.07 The submitted data are sufficient to derive an import tolerance based on the authorized US GAP. Risk for consumers unlikely pistachios 0.06* 0.3 Flupyradifurone tree nuts 0.01* 0.02 The submitted data are sufficient to derive an import tolerance (US/Canadian GAP). Risk for consumers unlikely grapes 0.8 3 peanuts 0.01* 0.04 *Indicates lower limit of determination.   EFSA Reasoned Opinion on Setting of import tolerances for fonicamid in various crops and products of animal origin. EFSA Journal 2020;18(6):6136   EFSA Reasoned Opinion on Setting of import tolerances, modification of existing maximum residue levels and evaluation of confirmatory data following the Article 12 MRL review for flupyradifurone and DFA. EFSA Journal 2020;18(6):6133 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-flonicamid-import-tolerancesEFSA: MRLs ReviewTo assess the occurrence of fubendiamide residues, EFSA considered the conclusions derived in the framework of Commission Regulation (EU) No 188/2011, the MRLs established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission as well as the import tolerances. Based on the assessment of the available data, MRL proposals were derived and a consumer risk assessment was carried out.   To assess the occurrence of meptyldinocap residues in plants, EFSA considered the conclusions derived in the framework of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, Commission Regulation (EU) No 188/2011 and the MRLs established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission as well as the European authorizations reported by Member States (including the supporting residues data). Although no apparent risk to consumers was identified, some information required by the regulatory framework was missing.   Substance Commodity Existing MRL (ppm) Proposed MRL (ppm) Comments Fubendiamide tree nuts 0.1 0.1 Recommended apricots 1.5 2 Recommended plums 0.7 2 Recommended grapes 2 2 Recommended Meptyldinocap grapes 1 0.2 Further consideration needed   EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Review of the existing maximum residue levels for fubendiamide according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2020;18(6):6150   EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Review of the existing maximum residue levels for meptyldinocap (DE-126) according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2020;18(6):6157 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-mrls-review-3China: MRLs UpdateAs previously notified, the draft amended several pesticide MRLs for different food commodities. Regarding nuts and dried fruits, the following MRLs were listed:   Fluopyram: peanut at 0.02 ppm. Flutriafol: almond at 0.6 ppm and pecan at 0.02 ppm. Isofetamid: grape at 5.0 ppm. Pyrifluquinazon: plum at 0.1 ppm and grape at 1.0 ppm. Pyriofenone: grape at 2.0 ppm. Quinclorac: cranberry at 1.5 ppm. Spiroxamine: grape at 0.5 ppm. Sulfentrazone: hazelnut at 0.1 ppm.   The deadline for comments is March 20, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-mrls-update-14Canada: MRLs UpdateThe PMRL for fenpropathrin in tree nuts (crop group 14-11) is set at 0.15 ppm, replacing the currently established MRL of 0.10 ppm.   The final date for comments is August 22, 2020.   Consultation on Fenpropathrin, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2020-22   In addition, as previously announced, the PMRLs for mefentrifluconazole was adopted on June 7, 2020. The MRL for mefentrifluconazole in tree nuts (crop group 14-11) is set at 0.06 ppm; in dried prune plums and raisins at 4.0 ppm; in peanuts at 0.01 ppm.   Health Canada Database https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-42UN Agricultural Quality Standards, Online Meeting Member States reviewed the existing Standard for Prunes; the new standards for inshell pecans, pecan kernels, dried persimmons, apricot kernels, inshell peanuts and peanuts kernels; the Standard Layout and the Sampling Plan for tree nuts and dried produce. The following explanatory materials were also reviewed: explanatory guide for dried apricots and explanatory posters for dried figs, dried grapes, walnut kernels, cashew kernels and prunes.   Among other future works, the Specialized Section decided to review the existing Standard for Cashew Kernels.   Session and Post-session Documents https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/un-agricultural-quality-standardsCOVID-19 Update: June 25, 2020WHO                                                                             The World Health Organization (WHO) was reported 150 thousand new cases of COVID-19 on June 18, which represented the most reports in a single day so far. Almost half of the cases were reported from the Americas, but also from South Asia and the Middle East. Therefore, the risks of the pandemic are still visible, despite several countries opening their societies and economies. WHO Director-General’s Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus opening remarks at the media briefing of June 19, also stated that: COVID-19 has demonstrated that no one is safe until we’re all safe. Only by putting politics aside and working in true collaboration can we make a difference.   WTO At the June 8 meeting of the Committee on Market Access of the World Trade Organization (WTO), members discussed ways to ensure that the emergency measures introduced to restrict exports are lifted once they are no longer necessary. Several members stressed that any emergency measures designed to tackle COVID-19 must be targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary. These measures must not create unnecessary disruptions to supply chains that could have a detrimental impact on business, in particular micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). In addition to this, some members called on governments to honor commitments to roll back the temporary trade-related measures implemented to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure they do not become permanent.   On June 10, WTO issued a report on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the participation of least-developed countries (LDCs) in global trade. The note stresses that LDCs have seen a significant decline in export earnings due to decreasing demand in key markets, falling commodity prices and a decline in remittances, and are likely to be the hardest hit by the crisis due to their limited resources to stimulate growth. The report also summarizes the measures that LDCs have taken to combat the pandemic, ranging from strengthening health care systems to providing stimulus packages to export-oriented sectors and liquidity support for small and medium-sized enterprises. OECD The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued the 2020 Projected Change in GDP, which focuses on two equally probable scenarios –one in which a second wave of infections, with renewed lock-downs, hits before the end of 2020, and one in which another major outbreak is avoided. The declines in GDP vary from 1.2% (Korea) to 11.1% (Spain) in the single-hit scenario, compared to the previous period. According to OECD, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the most severe economic recession in nearly a century and is causing enormous damage to people’s health, jobs and well-being. Australia Australia is currently de-escalating COVID-19 lockdown measures since the announcement in May of a three-stage plan to ease restrictions. According to The Guardian, in New South Wales up to 50 people can dine-in at cafes and restaurants, if there are four square meters of space per person. In other states such as Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania, the restrictions are stricter and restaurants can seat up to 20 patrons at once. Outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed in Western Australia and Queensland and there are no limits on outside gatherings in the Northern Territory, as long as physical distancing is maintained. In other states, the maximum number of people allowed in an outdoor gathering is lower. Brazil Despite the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazilian society and economy, the agricultural sector in Brazil has thrived, according to a USDA GAIN Report, issued on June 16. This report also states that the rapid devaluation of the Brazilian real boosted the country’s agricultural exports. In addition to this, weak real also discouraged dollar-denominated imports and fueled internal demand for domestically produced agricultural goods. Brazilian agriculture, with the aid of the government, overcame early transportation hurdles to boost exports, while also maintaining internal supply. The country has not experienced food shortage or supply chain disruptions. However, some segments of the Brazilian population have faced increased food insecurity. China From June 11, a surge of new cases in Beijing has been detected, linked to the Xinfadi Wholesale Market. The containment measures adopted in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 include massive testing, medical observation, and disinfestation of public space, among others. All the communities and villages in Beijing have put in place level-3 emergency response, level-2 control measures and entered level-1 work mode, which includes the closure of cultural, sports, entertainment and other indoor facilities. In order to prevent further spread of the virus, three categories of people are banned from leaving Beijing. Control on inbound travel from low, medium and high-risk regions is also tightened. European Union The Eurogroup held a videoconference on June 11. The Commission has put forward a proposal for an unprecedented recovery package, integrated in the multi-annual financial framework. The key element of this package is the recovery and resilience facility to support Member States’ reforms and investments. However, EU Member States are in deep recession and additional policy actions are needed to mitigate its effects, according to the Eurogroup President Mário Centeno.  On June 15, the EU Commission backed an international initiative to facilitate trade in healthcare products. Following a first discussion among EU ministers, the EU Commission’s ideas for an international initiative to facilitate trade in healthcare products were shared with the &#39;Ottawa Group&#39; (a group of 13 like-minded WTO partners). A future agreement could facilitate trade in healthcare products and contribute to stronger global preparedness for future health shocks by: (1) abolishing tariffs on pharmaceutical and medical goods; (2) establishing a scheme of global cooperation in times of health crisis, covering issues such as import and export restrictions, customs and transit, public procurement and transparency; and (3) improving the current WTO rules applicable to trade in essential goods. France As of June 15, France opened its borders to EU and Schengen area citizens. Cafés, bars, restaurants and cinemas, among other businesses, also reopened. It is expected that travelers from third countries will be allowed to enter to France from July 1. Chambres d’Agriculture (APCA) has presented a post-COVID-19 plan for the recovery of the agricultural sector. The different measures include the further development of deficit sectors to gain competitiveness, the promotion of local food supplies and agritourism, the easing of regulatory barriers, and the promotion of self-sufficiency, among others. The plan stresses the need to reclaim food sovereignty and to enhance self-sufficiency (agricultural production within a radius of up to 100 km), due to the fact that several studies have shown that its rate in the 100 largest urban areas was only 2.1% on average. Germany According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, the rules which ease the entry process of seasonal agricultural workers entered into force on June 16. These rules facilitate arrivals and departures of workers, set strict infection protection measures on the workplace, and require immediate notification in case of infection, to ease the traceability of the illness. Italy Lockdown measures are being released. However, social distancing and hygiene measures remain. Italy reopened its borders to EU citizens on June 3. There are no limitations for visitors who travel to Italy from EU countries, but quarantine is still a requirement for people arriving from third countries. According to RFI, as the downward trend for both fatalities and new cases continues, nearly all businesses have gone back to work, operating in a new manner and with restrictions. On June 13, a statement from the EU Council, during the ‘Stati Generali dell’economia’ recognized the efforts made for the economic and social recovery of Italy. The European Council President Charles Michel also highlighted the fact that other governments replicated some of the measures taken by Italian authorities in order to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Spain On June 21, the state of alarm ended in Spain, allowing residents to travel freely throughout the territory, and Spanish borders were opened to EU and Schengen-area citizens, except from Portugal. Travelers from Portugal and countries outside the Schengen area will be permitted to enter from July 1, only if there is a reciprocal agreement on travel, and taking into consideration the epidemiological situation in the country of origin. Strict hygiene and social distancing measures are applicable and face masks in public spaces are mandatory. The Netherlands The Dutch foodservice-HRI industry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a USDA GAIN Report issued on June 17. Despite foodservice outlets were permitted to operate from June 1, all bars, cafés and restaurants closed their doors for an extended period of time. Just one week after opening, four out of ten entrepreneurs indicated that they were not sure if they could afford to keep their businesses functioning. While many Dutch restaurants made investments in order to comply with the government’s social distancing requirements, guests still appear reluctant to a massive return. India The situation of the ports is still uncertain. According to a USDA GAIN Report of June 16, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai is still dealing with the effects of an exodus of migrant workers who returned to their home states in May. This labor shortage has had an impact on both imports and exports, which declined since May, after 70% of the contracted labor force returned home. Despite the labor shortages, port authorities have reduced container congestion over the past month. Reports indicate that 95,000 containers previously held at container freight stations have been moved to inland container depots, which has reduced the backlog. Exporters hope that new investments in loading mechanization will help them overcome labor shortage issues in the medium to long term. The report also states that in Mundra, truck freight rates have increased significantly. However, media reports that truck availability is increasing nationwide. According to another USDA GAIN Report, the food retail situation in India is slowly improving since the beginning of the lockdown. In Hyderabad, all store staff are now able to work, compared to only 30% at the beginning of the lockdown. The retail chains report that 90% of products are available, including fruits and vegetables, whose prices are expected to stabilize due to lockdown relaxation measures. In Pune, two-thirds of the city’s farmers markets are reopening. As part of the relaxation of the lockdown, Mumbai area shops can remain open throughout the day, as long as the night curfew is not violated. Russia A recent USDA GAIN Report states that the Russian food processing industry is growing, driven by an ambitious national goal of increasing food exports by 70% by 2024, and strong government support for domestic agricultural production. However, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the incomes are expected to decline, as many experts predict an economy contraction by around 1% in 2020, instead of the previously projected growth of 2%. Falling investment and a decline in real income may affect business and consumer confidence during the COVID-19 crisis. South Africa South Africa is expected to enter into alert 2 level by July. This level will allow several leisure and social activities, applying physical distancing, hygienic and other measures to prevent the resurgence of the virus. United States According to The Guardian, 29 states reported a raise of new cases, amid the fear of a second outbreak of COVID-19 infections. Most of the new infections are in states such as Georgia, Florida and Texas, which were among the first to launch reopening measures. In order to prevent new cases during the easing of lockdown measures, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued warnings on the need for social distancing and face masks. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on June 16, that it has purchased more than $2.2 billion of meat, fruits, vegetables, specialty crops and dairy products in fiscal years 2019 and 2020, in the context of the USDA Trade Mitigation Programs.   The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-june-25-2020INC Releases 2019/2020 Annual ReportThe 2019/2020 Annual Report is broken down into five groups, giving a comprehensive overview of the past year. Organization The first section features a world map displaying the locations of INC members and INC Ambassadors. It also introduces the leadership of the INC by listing the names of the members of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee, Senators, and the Ambassadors Committee.    INC Activities This section highlights the various activities that the INC plans and participates in. For example, data on the 2019 Boca Raton Congress participants and awards can be found. Moreover, information on INC Pavillions at Anuga Cologne and Gulfood Dubai, the INC Academia, and the publications such as the Nutfruit magazine, newsletter, the statistical yearbook, the import border rejection report and the technical kits are provided. Health & Nutrition In Health and Nutrition, the members of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination are listed and their goals to disseminate health information are explained. The dissemination efforts are detailed through information on research grants given by the INC, open calls, and nutrition symposia. The section also mentions the scientific studies funded by the INC.   Marketing & Communication This section is separated into two sections. The first part discusses the communication and marketing plan of the INC, including press releases, social media, created content, the INC website, and online advertising. The second part focuses on the results of the Nutfruit Power Campaign, specifically detailing the video campaign, the campaign website, social media, and influencers.   Sustainability, Scientific & Government Affairs The final segment of the annual report highlights the topics concerning the Sustainability, Scientific, and Government Affairs Committee such as pesticides, contaminants, additives, import border rejections, and calls for scientific proposals. Additionally, global statistics, ad hoc working groups, and information regarding the Business Integrity Committee and tariffs are featured. 2019/2020 Annual Report   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-releases-2019-2020-annual-reportFRUCOM Working Group on Sustainability This kick-off meeting was attended by about 25 representatives from different private companies and national associations such as Almendrave (Spain), BFIDA (UK), Fruitimprese (Italy), Istanbul Exporters’ Associations (Turkey), National Dried Fruit Trade Association NDFTA (UK), NZV (Netherlands), Olam, The Nut Association TNA (UK), US Walnut Commission (USA), Waren-Verein der Hamburger Börse e.V. (Germany), Whitworths (UK), Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds (USA) and the INC, among others. The INC was represented by Dr. Ana Bermejo, INC Food Safety and Law Specialist.   Mr. Gijs Schilthujs, European Commissioner, presented the new Farm to Fork Strategy published by the European Commission (EC) on May 20, 2020. The Strategy addresses the challenges of the EU food system: healthy diets, better animal welfare, social rights of workers, food affordability, climate change, biodiversity preservation, food waste reduction, circular economy, fairer incomes for farmers and fishers, just transition, and new business and job opportunities. The EC has set a series of targets (e.g. reduction of pesticides by 50% and at least 25% of land under organic farming) which are to be achieved by 2030. He stressed that sustainable food systems present plenty of benefits and opportunities –better health and life quality, more sustainable business, and protection for future generations. “Food security and food safety are the cornerstone of our food system and will never be compromised”, he claimed. He added that the EC is working on a “sustainability labeling” but it is complex and it will take some years.   During the meeting, participants had the opportunity to share their priorities and expectations for sustainability and for the future work of this new working group. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/frucom-working-group-on-sustainabilityEC: Meeting of the Market Access Working Group on SPS IssuesAt the SPS MAWG, information from stakeholders (Member States, EU businesses, technical experts) is gathered, shared and discussed, in order to seek solutions and ensure a coordinated approach to improve market access conditions for EU exporters.   Representatives of the European Commission (DG TRADE, DG SANTE) gave a report on some of the measures adopted by the European Union, including guidance from international organizations such as the Food Safety Authority (FSA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Plant Protection Convention, among others. Furthermore, several multilateral statements regarding COVID-19 situation, including G20 Ministerial, World Trade Organization (WTO), World Health Organization (WHO), and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stressed the importance to ensure that trade-related measures do not disrupt the food supply chain.   During the Session, different issues regarding the impact of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures on imports to third countries, especially regarding non-contact measures in border controls and the acceptance of digital certificates, among others, were discussed. Representatives of European associations addressed specific problems and concerns related to COVID-19 impact in trade to the Commissioners. The Committee of Professional Agricultural Organizations-General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives (COPA-COGECA) talked about transportation issues caused by COVID-19; FoodDrinkEurope explained the impact of the pandemic on the EU food and drink industry; Wine and Spirits gave an overview of the measures that have an impact on the sector; and the European Fresh Produce Association (Freshfel) explained the outputs of the impact assessment in the EU fresh fruit and vegetable sector. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/ec-meeting-of-the-market-access-working-group-on-sps-issues-1WTO: Multi-party Interim Appeal Arbitration ArrangementThe MPIA ensures that participant WTO countries will continue to benefit from a functioning 2-step dispute settlement system in the WTO, including an independent and impartial appeal stage. Participant members are currently Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the EU, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Singapore, Switzerland, Ukraine and Uruguay. Additional WTO members may join MPIA at any time.   The application of MPIA to disputes arising between the participating countries started on April 30, 2020.   Multi-party interim appeal arbitration arrangement https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/wto-multi-party-interim-appeal-arbitration-arrangementVietnam: TariffsAccording to a USDA GAIN Report, on May 25, 2020, the Government of Vietnam issued the Decree 57/2020/ND-CP, which reviewed MFN tariffs on some agricultural goods.   Among other products, the tariff reductions include the following tree nuts and dried fruits:   HS Code Article description MFN Tariff until July 10, 2020 MFN Tariff from July 10, 2020 0802 1100 Almonds, in-shell 15.00% 10.00% 0802 3100 Walnuts, in shell 10.00% 8.00% 0806 2000 Grapes, dried (raisins) 13.00% 12.00%   These tariff rates will enter into force on July 10, 2020.   USDA GAIN Report: Vietnam Reduces MFN Tariff Rates on Select Agricultural Products https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/vietnam-tariffsUSA: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the Agency received a petition to establish a tolerance for residues of the fungicide, ipflufenoquin [2-[2-(7,8-difluoro-2-methylquinolin-3-yloxy)-6- fluorophenyl]propan-2-ol], in or on almonds at 0.10 ppm.   The final date for comments is June 29, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 104, Friday, May 29, 2020. Pages 32338-32340 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-pesticide-petitions-23USA: Export Credit Guarantee ProgramThese credit guarantees correspond to fiscal year 2020. Further details can be found at the following link: USDA CCC GSM-102https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-export-credit-guarantee-programUSA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of fluridone in pistachio and the fruit, stone, group 12-12 is established at 0.1 ppm. The Regulation is effective since May 18, 2020; objections and requests must be received on or before July 17, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 96. Monday, May 18, 2020. Pages 29633-2963 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-40USA: Coronavirus Food Assistance ProgramThe CFAP will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. The payments will be based on losses. For producers of specialty crops (including, but not limited to, almonds, pecans and walnuts):   For reductions of 5% or more in sales price between January 15 and April 15, 2020, payments will be based on the producer&#39;s sales (volume) during that timeframe multiplied by a pre-specified payment rate calculated as 80% of the given crop&#39;s mid-January to mid-April price change. For shipments that left the farm by April 15, 2020, and spoiled due to loss of marketing channels, payments will be based on the volume of shipped, spoiled crops multiplied by a pre-specified payment rate expected to represent 30% of the crop&#39;s sales value. For shipments that have not left the farm or mature crops that were unharvested between January 15 and April 15, 2020, and which have not been and will not be sold, payments will be based on the volume of unharvested and/or unshipped crops multiplied by a pre-specified payment rate expected to represent 5.875% of the crop&#39;s value.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 99. Thursday, May 21, 2020. Pages 30825-30835   If there are commodities that are not already identified with payment rates in the CFAP regulation for inclusion in CFAP, the USDA is requesting input. Comments on additional commodities can be submitted by June 22, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 100. Friday, May 22, 2020. Pages 31062-31065 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-coronavirus-food-assistance-programUkraine: Health ClaimsThis draft determines the requirements for nutrition and health claims made on food products, used in marking, presentation or advertising, intended for the final consumer of food products, produced, put into circulation, or imported (shipped) to the customs territory of Ukraine.   The deadline for comments is July 19, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/ukraine-health-claimsUkraine: Food ContaminantsThis draft establishes the maximum levels for certain contaminants in food products. However, those products that comply with the requirements that were in force before the entry into force of this Order, but do not comply with the new requirements, are allowed to be in circulation on the market until their sell-by date.   The deadline for comments is July 19, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/ukraine-food-contaminantsUK: Global TariffsThe UK will impose Global Tariffs to all imports from January 1, 2021, if the transition period is not extended. These tariffs will replace EU’s Common External Tariffs, which apply until the end of the transition period, December 31, 2020.   Among other commodities, UK Global Tariffs will be applicable to the following nuts and dried fruits:   HS Code Article description EU Common External Tariff UK Global Tariff 0801 2100 Brazil nuts, in-shell 0.00% 0.00% 0801 2200 Brazil nuts, shelled 0.00% 0.00% 0801 3100 Cashew nuts, in-shell 0.00% 0.00% 0801 3200 Cashew nuts, shelled 0.00% 0.00% 0802 1100 Almonds, in-shell 5.60% 4.00% 0802 1200 Almonds, shelled 3.50% 2.00% 0802 2100 Hazelnuts, in-shell 3.20% 2.00% 0802 2200 Hazelnuts, shelled 3.20% 2.00% 0802 3100 Walnuts, in-shell 4.00% 4.00% 0802 3200 Walnuts, shelled 5.10% 4.00% 0802 5100 Pistachios, in-shell 1.60% 0.00% 0802 5200 Pistachios, shelled 1.60% 0.00% 0802 6190 Macadamia nuts, in-shell 2.00% 2.00% 0802 6200 Macadamia nuts, shelled 2.00% 2.00% 0802 9010 Pecans 0.00% 0.00% 0802 9050 Pine nuts, shelled 2.00% 2.00% 0804 1000 Dates, fresh or dried 7.70% 6.00% 0804 2000 Figs, fresh or dried 8.00% 8.00% 0806 2010 Currants 2.40% 2.00% 0806 2030 Sultanas 2.40% 2.00% 0806 2090 Grapes, dried (excl. currants and sultanas) 2.40% 2.00% 0813 1000 Apricots, dried 5.60% 4.00% 0813 2000 Prunes 9.60% 8.00% 1202 4100 Peanuts, in-shell 0.00% 0.00% 1202 4200 Peanuts, shelled 0.00% 0.00% 2008 1110 Peanut butter 12.80% 12.00% 2008 1191 Groundnuts, prepared or preserved, in immediate packings of a net content of > 1 kg 11.20% 10.00% 2008 1196 Groundnuts, roasted, in immediate packings of a net content <= 1 kg 12.00% 12.00% 2008 1198 Groundnuts, prepared or preserved, in immediate packings of a content of <= 1 kg 12.80% 12.00% 2008 1993 Roasted almonds and pistachios, in immediate packings of a net content <= 1 kg 10.20% 10.00% 2008 9391 Cranberries, containing added sugar 17.60% 16.00%   UK Global Tariffs will not be applicable to countries with a trade agreement with the United Kingdom.   UK tariffs from 1 January 2021 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/uk-global-tariffsThailand: MRLs UpdateFollowing the prohibition of the use of chlorpyrifos and paraquat that took effect on June 1, 2020, the Ministry of Public Health proposed to revise Annex 1, List of hazardous substance type 4 (banned pesticide), and Annex 2, Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs), of Notification of the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), No. 387 (B.E. 2560) (2017). The Draft is amended as follows:   Chlorpyrifos, Chlorpyrifos-methyl, Paraquat, Paraquat dichloride, Paraquat [bis (methyl sulphate)] or paraquat methosulfate are classified as hazardous substance type 4 under the Hazardous Substance Act B.E. 2535 (1992) in the Annex 1 of the Notification of MOPH, No. 387. The Maximum Residue Limit (MRLs) for the aforementioned pesticides are deleted in food from Annex 2 of the MOPH Notification No. 387 (lower than the detection limit or not detected). Manufacturers and importers who produce or import food products prior to June 1, 2020, can refer to the MRLs for such pesticides in Annex 2 of the MOPH Notification, No. 387 or Codex MRLs but shall comply with the new requirement within 30 days as from the date on which this Notification comes into force.   The deadline for comments is June 19, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/thailand-mrls-update-1South Africa: Electronic CertificatesStarting in April 2020, NPPOZA introduced the use of eCertification for the issuance of phytosanitary certificates for plant and plant products in general. The phytosanitary certificate and the attachments (where applicable) will be printed on normal white A4 paper with the South Africa emblem, QR code, phytosanitary certificate number, barcode and will be signed as per ISPM1 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures) guidelines. The features for the new phytosanitary certificate template include:   The paper format has additional security features embedded in the document that can be viewed under ultraviolet light. The certificate has two numbers; there is a barcode on the top right-hand corner, which is the document number. There is a second barcode and QR code as an added security feature. The phytosanitary certificate number appears between the QR and the bar code, this is the number to be used on any communication in relation to the phytosanitary certificate. The new phytosanitary number starts with NPPO-ZA/yyyy/mm/number. The e-phyto will only contain the new phytosanitary certificate number.   WTO Notification https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/south-africa-electronic-certificatesEU: Pesticide WithdrawalsThe Drafts provide that the approval of the active substances benfluralin and benalaxyl are not renewed and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing these substances will be withdrawn from the market. These decisions do not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of these pesticides. However, following the non-approval, separate actions may be taken on the MRLs.   The deadline for comments on benfluralin is July 5, 2020; on benalaxyl it is July 13, 2020.   Currently, the MRL for benfluralin in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is 0.02* ppm. The MRL for benalaxyl in tree nuts, apricots, plums, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is 0.05* ppm; and in grapes is 0.3 ppm.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticide-withdrawals-8EU: Chlorate MRLsAs previously posted, the MRL of chlorate in tree nuts is set at 0.1 ppm; in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries and peanuts at 0.05 ppm; and in dates and figs at 0.3 ppm. These MRLs are temporary and shall be reviewed not later than June 8, 2025.   This regulation shall enter into force on June 28, 2020. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-chlorate-mrlsEU: Perchlorate MLAs previously posted, the ML for perchlorate in fruits and vegetables is set at 0.05 mg/kg, except in cucurbitaceae and kale at 0.10 mg/kg, and leaf vegetables and herbs at 0.50 mg/kg. Nuts are excluded.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/685 of 20 May 2020 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-perchlorate-mlEU: Organic RegulationThe application of the Regulation (EU) 2018/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018, on organic production and labeling of organic products and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, will be postponed by one year and it shall apply from January 1, 2022, instead of January 1, 2021. To do so, the Commission will have to present a legal proposal introducing such change.   Regulation (EU) 2018/848  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-organic-regulationEU: Sustainability Farm to Fork Strategy: Ways to make food systems more sustainable. Biodiversity Strategy: Measures to protect the fragile natural resources on our planet.   The Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the Green Deal. It addresses comprehensively the challenges of sustainable food systems and recognizes the inextricable links between healthy people, healthy societies and a healthy planet. A shift to a sustainable food system can bring environmental, health and social benefits, offer economic gains and ensure that the recovery from the crisis puts us onto a sustainable path. Objectives:   Reduce by 50% the use and risk of chemical pesticides by 2030. Reduce by 50% the use of more hazardous pesticides by 2030. Reduce nutrient losses by at least 50%, while ensuring no deterioration on soil fertility. Reduce fertilizer use by at least 20% by 2030. Reduce by 50% the sales of antimicrobials for farmed animals and in aquaculture by 2030. Achieve 25% of total farmland under organic farming by 2030. Propose mandatory harmonized front-of-pack nutrition labeling. Develop a sustainable food labeling framework that covers the nutritional, climate, environmental and social aspects of food products. Reduce food waste across the EU by 2023.   The Biodiversity Strategy pursues the goal of protecting the fragile natural resources on our planet and restoring biodiversity and well-functioning ecosystems. It will:   Establish protected areas for at least 30% of land and 30% of sea in Europe. Restore degraded ecosystems at land and sea across the whole of Europe by: Increasing organic farming and biodiversity-rich landscape features on agricultural land. Halting and reversing the decline of pollinators. Restoring at least 25,000 km of EU rivers to a free-flowing state. Reducing the use and risk of pesticides by 50% by 2030. Planting 3 billion trees by 2030.   Background:   The European Green Deal is the roadmap for making the EU&#39;s economy sustainable. The objective is making Europe climate neutral by 2050, boosting the economy through green technology, creating sustainable industry and transport, cutting pollution. Policy Areas:   Clean energy: Opportunities for alternative, cleaner sources of energy. Sustainable industry: Ways to ensure more sustainable, more environmentally-respectful production cycles. Building and renovating: The need for a cleaner construction sector. Sustainable mobility: Promoting more sustainable means of transport. Biodiversity: Measures to protect our fragile ecosystem. From Farm to Fork: Ways to ensure more sustainable food systems. Eliminating pollution: Measures to cut pollution rapidly and efficiently. Climate action: Making the EU climate neutral by 2050. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-sustainabilityEU: Changes to ControlsAs previously announced, among others, the new Regulation sets the following changes: The control frequency of Ochratoxin A in dried grapes from Turkey increased from 5% to 10% in the Annex I. Dried apricots from Turkey (10% of control frequency for aflatoxins) was removed from Annex I. All entries in Annexes I and II concerning groundnuts were amended to include “groundnut flours and meals” and “oilcake and other solid residues, whether or not ground or in the form of pellets, resulting from the extraction of groundnut oil”.   This regulation entered into force on May 27, 2020.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/625 of 6 May 2020 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-changes-to-controlsEU: Control Systems Due to COVID-19As the difficulties to perform official controls and other official activities will persist beyond 1 June 2020, the EC has decided to extend the use of electronic documentation for the performance of official controls and other official activities.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/714 of 28 May 2020 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-control-systems-due-to-covid-19-1EFSA: Ochratoxin A, Risk AssessmentIn December 2019, EFSA launched a public consultation on the Draft Scientific Opinion on the risks to public health related to the presence of ochratoxin A (OTA) in food (see previous post). The outcomes of the public consultation, can be consulted here.   The dietary OTA exposure was assessed using a total of 71,769 measurements of concentrations of OTA in foods submitted within the last 10 years (about 55% of the data came from Germany and the Netherlands). The proportion of left‐censored data (results below the limit of detection (LOD) or limit of quantification (LOQ)) was 75%.   The highest mean concentrations of OTA were recorded in the categories ‘Plant extract formula’, ‘Flavourings or essences’ (both containing liquorice extracts) and ‘Chili pepper’. The most important contributors to the chronic dietary exposure to OTA were ‘Preserved meat’, ‘Cheese’ and ‘Grains and grain‐based products’. Dried and fresh fruits such as grapes, figs and dates, as well as fruit juices and nectars, were also contributing to the exposure in some of the ‘Toddlers’ and ‘Other children’ groups, albeit, to a lesser extent than the three major categories.    The panel concluded that the uncertainty in this assessment is high and risk may be overestimated.   EFSA Scientific Opinion. Risk assessment of ochratoxin A in food. EFSA Journal 2020;18(3):6040. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-ochratoxin-a-risk-assessmentChina, Macao: MRLs UpdateThis regulation establishes the maximum residue limits (MRLs) of pesticides present in foodstuffs, as well as the list of pesticides exempted from MRLs, as stipulated in the annexes to the regulation. It entered into force on April 28, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-macao-mrls-updateChina: Labeling RequirementsThis standard, which stipulates food labeling requirements for pre‑packaged foods, will replace the GB 7718-2011 General Standard for Food Labeling of the National Food Safety Standards.   The final date for comments is July 10, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-labeling-requirementsChina: Microbiological LimitsThe National Food Safety Standard Limits of pathogenic bacteria in prepackaged food will replace the GB 29921-2013 National Food Safety Standards Limits of Pathogenic Bacteria in Food. It specifies the index, limit requirements and test methods of pathogenic microorganisms in pre-packaged food.   The National Food Safety Standard Limits of pathogenic bacteria ready-to-eat food in bulk stipulates the pathogenic microorganism index, limit requirement, sampling rule and inspection method in ready-to-eat food in bulk. This standard is applicable to all kinds of ready-to-eat food in bulk. It is not applicable to catering services and primary agricultural products that have not been processed.   The final date for comments is July 10, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-microbiological-limitsChina: Contaminants in FoodThis new standard will replace the GB 2762-2017 National Standard for Food Safety Limits of Contaminants in Food. It establishes changes in the maximum limits for cadmium, lead and arsenic, among others.   The final date for comments is July 10, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-contaminants-in-foodChina: US Tariff Exclusion ProcessThe new version includes instructions on how to manage tariff exclusion applications. An unofficial translation of the revised guide has been issued by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.   As previously posted, China-based companies are eligible to apply for this tariff exclusion process, which enumerates 150 agricultural and agricultural-related goods.   The nuts and dried fruits listed in this exclusion process are the following: HS Code Product Description 0802 5100 Pistachios, in-shell   In addition, a second exclusion list was issued on May 12, 2020, without including agricultural products. However, importers are allowed to apply for a tariff exclusion for any tariff line.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-us-tariff-exclusion-process-2Chile: Dried GrapesAmong others, the import phytosanitary requirements establish that the fruit must be free of leaves, soil and plant remains. Shipments must be sent in new (unused) packaging, labelled in accordance with current regulations and must include an official phytosanitary certificate issued by the phytosanitary authority of the country of origin, declaring that the shipment is free from Corcyra cephalonica and it has been treated against Trogoderma granarium (for countries in which the pest is present) using a methyl bromide fumigant.   Requisitos de Importación Para Frutos Desecados (Pasas) de Vitis Vinifera, Sin Escobajo Ni Pedicelo, Procedentes de Todo Origen https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/chile-dried-grapesAustralia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateThe Proposal M1017 (previously announced) modifies, among others, the following MRLs in Schedule 20 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code:   The MRL for Flazasulfuron in almonds at 0.01 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Imidacloprid in dates at T1 ppm is omitted. The MRL for Acephate in peanuts at 0.2 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Clofentezine in plums (including prunes) at 0.1 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Fenazaquin in dried grapes (currants, raisins and sultanas) at 0.8 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Halosulfuron-methyl in almonds at 0.05 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Sethoxydim in almonds at 0.2 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Chlorothalonil in peanuts is substituted for 0.3 ppm. The MRL for Fluopyram in peanuts is substituted for 0.2 ppm.   Approval report – Proposal M1017 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-25INC Webinar Series Connects Over 1500 Professionals from 75 Countries in the Nut and Dried Fruit IndustryJune 16, 2020. The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) launched a series of webinars bringing together over 1500 professionals from 75 countries within the nut and dried fruit industry. The expert-led webinars discussed new trends like plant-based protein, consumer demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, crop forecasts, and product development.   As consumers become more health conscientious and include more plant-based protein, nuts and dried fruit are apt to benefit. Furthermore, despite COVID-19, many products saw increases in retail demand and the experts believe it is necessary to find new channels of consumption via product innovation.   During the webinars, experts from the most relevant producing and consuming origins around the world also discussed preliminary crop forecasts –still subject to the end of the crop year conditions– and supply expectations for the 2020/21 season.   Regarding tree nuts, with yet another annual increase of 16% compared to the previous season, the global crop is forecasted to reach around 5.4 million metric tons (kernel basis, except pistachios in-shell) in 2020/2021; representing an increment of over 730,000 MT from 2019/20. Pine nut, pistachio, almond and pecan crops are expected to be significantly higher than last year, while walnuts, cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts are forecasted at similar levels to the prior season.   Similarly, and anticipating an increment of 4.5 million MT from 2019/20, peanut production is forecasted at 46.1 million MT (in-shell basis) for this season. As for dried fruit, total production in 2020/21 is expected to reach over 3 million MT, remaining within the same levels reached in 2019/20. Download the press release.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-webinar-series-connects-over-1500-professionals-from-75-countries-in-the-nut-and-dried-fruit-industry-1INC Webinar Series Connects Over 1500 Professionals from 75 Countries in the Nut and Dried Fruit IndustryOver the course of two weeks, the webinars series successfully gathered over 1500 industry professionals from 75 different countries. The webinars, which were led by industry experts highlighted how the nut and dried fruit industry was affected by COVID-19 and provided participants with an industry outlook for the short-term and long-term as the world begins to deescalate confinement measures and return to a state of normalcy. Aside from the effects of COVID-19, one theme that was highlighted in almost every webinar was the consumer shift towards plant-based protein and in general a healthier diet. This continuing change in consumer behavior will provide the nut and dried fruit industry the opportunity to strengthen their position in the minds of health-conscious buyers and ultimately lead to the increased consumption of nuts and dried fruits. Moreover, dialogue between industry experts showed that as the industry moves forward past COVID-19, one key factor for nuts and dried fruits will be the ability to find new consumption channels via innovation and product development. However, innovation and product development were not only discussed in regards to new products altogether; the growing global interest in organic products also prompted interesting debates, and organic is viewed as another trending preference among consumers. All-in-all, the webinars demonstrated that there are ample opportunities for the entire industry to grow and increase demand.  Regarding the supply side of the industry, the webinar discussions revealed that the global tree nut crop is forecasted to experience another annual increase with a 16% rise compared to the previous season. This growth is mainly concentrated in pine nuts, pistachios, almonds, and pecans, while walnuts, cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts are projected to be at a similar level to the prior season. The forecast for peanuts also saw an increase and the crop size for dried fruits is estimated to be roughly the same as in 2019/20. If you were unable to watch the webinars live, a recording and downloadable presentation of each webinar can be found on the INC TV Channel. In conclusion, the INC would like to thank the chairs, panelists, and participants, who all made the INC Webinar Series possible and continue to support the nut and dried fruit industry. Take the Post-Webinar Survey https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-webinar-series-connects-over-1500-professionals-from-75-countries-in-the-nut-and-dried-fruit-industryJoin Us for the INC Webinar Series on Nuts and Dried Fruits June 1 - 5, 2020   Monday 1  Tuesday 2 Wednesday 3 Thursday 4 Friday 5 Almonds Walnuts Pistachios Dried Cranberries, Raisins & Prunes   Macadamias June 8 - 12, 2020   Monday 8 Tuesday 9 Wednesday 10 Thursday 11 Friday 12 Peanuts Cashews Hazelnuts  Pine Nuts   Pecans Dried Apricots, Figs & Dates     Brazil Nuts     Almonds Webinar - June 1, 2020 9am EST | 3pm CET | 6:30pm IST | 9pm HKT | 11pm AEST Chaired by Brian Ezell, Vice President, Almond Division of Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds, USA.   Warren Choen, Blue Diamond Growers, USA Craig Duerr, Campos Brothers, USA Paul Thompson, Select Harvests, Australia Antonio Pont Jr., Crisol de Frutos Secos, Spain Duration: 1 hour. [Watch Now] [Take the Survey]   Walnuts Webinar - June 2, 2020 9am EST | 3pm CET | 6:30pm IST | 9pm HKT | 11pm AEST Chaired by Bill Carriere, President, Carriere Family Farms, USA.   John Aguiar, Mariani Nut Company, USA David Valenzuela, La Invernada, Chile Serkan Görgülü, Tiryaki Agro, Turkey Duration: 1 hour. [Watch Now] [Take the Survey]     Pistachios Webinar - June 3, 2020 9am EST | 3pm CET | 6:30pm IST | 9pm HKT | 11pm AEST Chaired by Behrooz Agah, Member of the Board of Trustees, Iran Pistachio Association, Iran.   Mike Hohmann, The Wonderful Company, USA Serkan Görgülü, Tiryaki Agro, Turkey Pino Calcagni, Besana Group, Italy Cheng Hung Kay, CHK Trading Co., Ltd., Hong Kong Duration: 1 hour. [Watch Now] [Take the Survey]   Dried Cranberries, Raisins, & Prunes Webinar - June 4, 2020 9am EST | 3pm CET | 6:30pm IST | 9pm HKT | 11pm AEST Chaired by Pedro Monti, Sales Manager, Prunesco, Chile.   Donn Zea, California Prune Board, USA Osman Oz, Anatolia AS and Turkish Dried Fruit Exporters Union, Turkey Simon Melik, Dried Fruit Alliance & UK National Dried Fruit Trade Association Ferdie Botha, Raisins South Africa, South Africa Duration: 1 hour. [Watch Now] [Take the Survey]   Macadamias Webinar - June 5, 2020 9am EST | 3pm CET | 6:30pm IST | 9pm HKT | 11pm AEST Chaired by Jolyon Burnett, CEO, Australian Macadamia Society, Australia.   Pieter van der Westhuizen, Macadamias South Africa Chen Yuxiu, Yunnan Macadamia Society, China José Eduardo Camargo, QueenNut Macadamia, Brazil Cheng Hung Kay, CHK Trading Co., Ltd., China-Hong Kong Duration: 45 minutes. [Watch Now] [Take the Survey]   Peanuts Webinar - June 8, 2020 9am EST | 3pm CET | 6:30pm IST | 9pm HKT | 11pm AEST Chaired by Louise McKerchar, Vice President, European Marketing Director,  American Peanut Council, USA.   Dr. Samara Sterling, The Peanut Institute, USA Mike Davis, Olam Peanut Shelling Company, USA Alessandro Annibali, New Factor, Italy Duration: 45 minutes. [Watch Now] [Take the Survey]   Dried Apricots, Figs, & Dates Webinar - June 8, 2020 11am EST | 5pm CET | 8:30pm IST | 11pm HKT | 1am AEST +1 Chaired by Guillaume Pagy, General Manager, Pagysa, Turkey.   Ahmed Boujbel, Boudjebel, Tunisia Ogan Ceryan, Anatolia AS, Turkey Michele Murano, Murano S.p.A., Italy Verne Powell, Great Lakes International Trading, USA Duration: 1 hour. [Watch Now] [Take the Survey]   Cashews Webinar - June 9, 2020 9am EST | 3pm CET | 6:30pm IST | 9pm HKT | 11pm AEST Chaired by Hari Nair, President, Western India Cashew Company, India.   Rahul Kamath, Bola Surendra Kamath and Sons, India Vu Thai Son, Long Son Joint Stock Company, Vietnam Marc Rosenblatt, The Richard Franco Agency, USA Jan Vincent Rieckmann, August Töpfer & Co., Germany Duration: 1 hour. [Watch Now] [Take the Survey]   Hazelnuts Webinar - June 10, 2020 9am EST | 3pm CET | 6:30pm IST | 9pm HKT | 11pm AEST Chaired by Ufuk Özongun, Board Member, Istanbul Exporters&#39; Association, Turkey.   Ilyas Edip Sevinç, Black Sea Exporters Association, Turkey Riccardo Calcagni, Besana Group, Italy Tommaso de Gregorio, Ferrero Hazelnut Company Larry George, Northwest Hazelnut Company & George Packing Company, USA Duration: 1 hour. [Watch Now] [Take the Survey]   Pine Nuts Webinar - June 11, 2020 9am EST | 3pm CET | 6:30pm IST | 9pm HKT | 11pm AEST Chaired by Wim Leeuwenburgh, Managing Director, Rhumveld Winter and Konijn BV, Netherlands.   Chen Ying, China Chamber of Commerce, China Dan Phipps, President and CEO, Red River Foods, USA Andrei Mikhailenko, Siberian Pine Nuts, Russia Riccardo Calcagni, Besana Group, Italy Duration: 45 minutes. [Watch Now] [Take the Survey]   Brazil Nuts Webinar - June 11, 2020 11am EST | 5pm CET | 8:30pm IST | 11pm HKT | 1am AEST +1 Chaired by David Rosenblatt, President, The Richard Franco Agency, USA.   Tony Nguyen, The Kraft Heinz Company, USA Edward Danon, Voicevale, UK Enrique Nelkenbaum, Tahuamanu, Bolivia José Belicha, Caiba Ind. e Com. S/A, Brazil Duration: 45 minutes. [Watch Now] [Take the Survey]    Pecans Webinar - June 12, 2020  9am EST | 3pm CET | 6:30pm IST | 9pm HKT | 11pm AEST Chaired by Jeffrey Sanfilippo, CEO, John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc, USA.   Andreas Snyman, GWK Limited, South Africa Ricardo Martínez Cobian, Pecaninis, Mexico Duration: 45 minutes. [Watch Now] [Take the Survey]  The webinars will be recorded and the INC is able to use these recordings without temporal or territorial limitations, for the promotion of the INC’s activities in internal and external media. Your data will be treated in accordance with EU GDPR. Find additional information here. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-webinar-seriesCOVID-19 Update: June 10, 2020WHO The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, highlighted the importance of food safety, especially in times of crisis, during the opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 of June 8. Dr. Tedros also stated that “the WHO works together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in ensuring all people have access to safe, nutritious food for healthy living”. OECD The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued, on June 5, the Policy Response titled Building Back Better: A Sustainable, Resilient Recovery after COVID-19. This document states that environmentally destructive investment patterns and activities must be avoided to ensure a durable and resilient economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Mitigation policies also need to trigger investment and behavioral changes that will reduce the likelihood of future shocks and increase society’s resilience when they occur. The key dimensions for ‘Building Back Better’ are the need for a people-centered recovery that focuses on well-being, improves inclusiveness, and reduces inequality, as the central dimension. The remaining dimensions are (1) aligning recovery measures with long-term objectives for reducing GHG emissions, (2) strengthening resilience to the impacts of climate change, (3) integrating more ambitious policies to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and restore ecosystem services, including nature-based solutions, (4) fostering innovation that builds on enduring behavior changes, and (5) improving resilience of supply chains, through increased adherence to circular economy principles. IMF In the International Monetary Fund (IMF) press briefing of June 4, Mr. Gerry Rice, Director of Communications, stated that the IMF recently doubled access to emergency facilities, providing about $100 billion in financing. Among the measures implemented by the IMF, the Debt Suspension Initiative provided debt suspensions for the 35 countries, which have made formal requests, out of 73 eligible low-income countries. Mr. Rice also said: “We have provided immediate debt relief to 27 of our poorest member countries. In addition, we&#39;ve established a new Short-Term Liquidity Line to further strengthen the global financial safety net, and of course, we&#39;ve been leveraging our lending toolkit as I mentioned”. According to a post on the IMF Blog, most of the vulnerable countries are located in sub-Saharan Africa. Food security in these countries is under threat, as the ability of many Africans to access sufficient, safe, and nutritious food has been disrupted by natural disasters and epidemics. In addition to this, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in some Eastern African countries, over 70% of the population has problems accessing food. In order to reduce risks to food security, countries need to prioritize policies as part of fiscal stimulus packages to counter the pandemic, such as increasing agricultural output and strengthening the ability of households to withstand shock. These measures would have the added benefit of reducing inequalities while boosting economic growth and jobs. China On May 28, China issued a 4 trillion yuan ($559 billion) rescue package to save jobs and livelihoods, the largest economic rescue plan in its history, according to South China Morning Post. This rescue plan consists of combined cuts in business costs, tax exemptions, lower bank interest rates, waived contributions to social welfare funds, as well as reduced prices for utilities, among other measures. European Union On May 27, the European Commission (EC) presented a major recovery plan to face the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, called Next Generation EU. This plan consists of extraordinary funding of €750 billion to be invested across three pillars: a new recovery and resilience facility of €560 billion which will be allocated to Member States with a mix of loans and grants (45/55%); a new Solvency Support Instrument with a budget to support private companies; and a third pillar, called ‘Addressing the lessons of the crisis’, that includes a new health program, EU4Health, to strengthen health security and prepare for future health crises. In addition to this, on June 8, the EU Council approved the ‘Team Europe’ global response to COVID-19, which mobilized almost €36 billion to address the devastating effects of the pandemic to the EU partner countries which are most in need. Some of these countries are located in North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Regarding official controls, the EC published the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/714 of 28 May 2020, which extends the use of electronic documentation for the performance of official controls and other official activities, among other measures. The current measures, which were expected to expire on June 1, have been extended until August 1. The European Council President and the Japanese Prime Minister held a bilateral meeting on May 26. They recognized that global solidarity, cooperation, and effective multilateralism are required to defeat the virus as well as to ensure economic recovery. They also confirmed that both parties are applying measures to mitigate the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. The commitment to continue tackling global challenges together based upon the close and strong Japan-EU relations was reaffirmed.   Czech Republic According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, the tourism and hospitality industries have been significantly impacted as a result of COVID-19 restriction measures in both the near and the long term. Despite the policies for the recovery of these sectors implemented by the government, many small and medium-size companies may go out of business. First estimations are more than $3.4 billion loss in the tourism and food service sectors due to the pandemic restrictions. The state of emergency was declared on March 12 and ended on May 24. The impact of the state of emergency restrictions on tourism and food service is the closure of 75% of restaurants for 72 days (from March 14 to May 24), 95% of hotels closed, and all congresses, commercial, sport, cultural and social events canceled, among others. France The Association Nationale des Industries Alimentaires (ANIA) recently reported a 22% drop in turnover in the French food industry. In addition to this, more than 70% of companies reported a significant decrease in turnover during the COVID-19 confinement period compared to the usual activity. Italy Italy reopened its borders on June 3, and cancelled the 14-day mandatory quarantine to EU citizens. In addition to this, movement across Italian regions is also allowed. Bars, restaurants, stores and most of the monuments have reopened, followed from June 15 by movie theaters and show venues. Spain Spain is progressively de-escalating COVID-19 mitigation measures, which are expected to end, in most regions, by June 21 –the same day that the state of alarm is expected to stop. However, according to a draft decree, face masks will still be mandatory after the de-escalation process and until the government declares the coronavirus crisis to be completely over. Amid the de-escalation process, the Spanish Prime Minister announced an unprecedented effort to supply the country’s regions with a €16 billion fund to be spent on health and education in the recovery of the COVID-19 crisis. Another extraordinary measure recently announced is the guaranteed minimum income scheme, which will reach 255,000 people who lost incomes during the pandemic. India The Government of India announced a COVID-19 economic relief package of INR 20 trillion ($263 billion) for self-reliant India food and agriculture items, according to a recent USDA GAIN Report. This package is equivalent to almost 10% of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GPD) and includes long-term measures to address some critical infrastructure gaps and strengthen credit supplies, among other policy reforms to help Indian farmers. According to the latest Indian Port Situation Update Report, truck movement and dry cargo operations are slow at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). Tuticorin, Chennai, Mangalore and Cochin ports report slow truck movement because of lack of drivers or shortage of labor. Some customs officials in Mumbai and Kolkata ports have been reported positive for COVID-19, and therefore, port capacity may be lower. Regarding food and retail, the USDA GAIN Report issued on June 1 states that, in Mumbai, a growing number of shop owners are shutting down operations and staying home or returning to their native states. These shops are finding it increasingly difficult to operate due to the exodus of laborers and rising financial losses. For many of these shop owners, continued lockdown extensions are making their businesses unviable and they feel that returning to their native homes is a safer option. Japan According to a USDA GAIN Report published on June 1, hotel, restaurant, and institutional sales fell to unprecedented lows in April. The main reasons for this decrease in sales are that consumers stayed at home and tourism halted during the state of emergency, which ended on May 25. However, supermarket sales were superior compared to a regular month. South Africa South Africa entered into level 3 lockdown on June 1, allowing most people to return to work, the opening of restaurants for delivery of food, and the allowance of inter-provincial travel for workers, among other de-escalation measures. Despite the relaxing of lockdown measures, delays at Cape Town’s harbor have been recently reported, as workers are being sent home. A recent surge in COVID-19 cases caused delays as well as a decrease in container terminal operation, which on May 4, ran at 40% of capacity. According to a USDA GAIN Report, the South African Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development will provide funding for small and communal farmers. The total funding is R1.2 billion ($ 64 million) and a part of it will go towards vouchers for inputs in priority sectors, such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Taiwan The overall agricultural imports to Taiwan in 2020 may dampen because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects, stated a recent USDA GAIN Report. However, “Taiwan will remain one of the most reliable export destinations for U.S. food processing ingredients”. According to the USDA, products with significant sales potential include tree nuts and dried fruits. United States The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued detailed Guidelines for the phased reopening of catering establishments. This document briefly summarizes CDC’s initiatives, activities, and tools in support of the Whole-of-Government response to COVID-19. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revised downwards its export and import forecast for the 2020 financial year. According to a report released by the Economic Research Service and Foreign Agricultural Service, the projected agricultural exports decreased $3.0 billion and imports are projected $2.3 billion below the February forecast. The USDA issued the first Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Payments on June 4. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved more than $545 million in payments to producers who have applied for this program. FSA began taking applications May 26, and the agency has received over 86,000 applications. In the first six days of the application period, FSA already made payments to more than 35,000 producers.  The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service postponed its scheduled 2020 trade missions to North Africa, Philippines, Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom due to continued health concerns and travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mission to Spain and Portugal was originally scheduled for June 8-11 and the UK mission for September 14-17.     The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-june-10-2020COVID-19 Update: May 28, 2020WHO The World Health Organization (WHO) adopted a landmark resolution for a global commitment to a COVID-19 response, co-sponsored by more than 130 countries, and adopted by consensus during the 73rd World Health Assembly of May 19. This resolution calls for the intensification of efforts to control the pandemic, and for equitable access to and fair distribution of all essential health technologies and products to combat the pandemic. In his closing remarks, the WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, said “COVID-19 has robbed us of people we love. It’s robbed us of lives and livelihoods; it’s shaken the foundations of our world; it threatens to tear at the fabric of international cooperation. But it’s also reminded us that for all our differences, we are one human race, and we are stronger together.” FAO The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) issued the May update of the report “Addressing the impacts of COVID-19 in food crises”, stating that $360 million are needed to avert rising hunger. Because of the pandemic, food access and food availability could emerge as a serious concern, in both rural and urban areas. As the situation evolves, the risk of famine in some countries becomes a real concern. Therefore, in order to safeguard livelihood and increase access to food, anticipatory actions are urgently needed to prevent new or worsening food crises.   FAO will focus on four activities at the global, regional and country level, in order to ensure critical assistance to address the non-health impacts of COVID-19, (1) including a global data facility to support data collection and analysis, (2) stabilizing incomes and access to food as well as preserving ongoing livelihood and food production assistance, (3) ensuring continuity of the food supply chain, as well as (4) ensuring people along the food supply chain are not at risk of COVID-19 transmission. WTO On May 14, the Word Trade Organization (WTO) published a statement highlighting the importance of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMES) in economies at all levels of development. To address the global crisis, a coordinated global response is required in order to stabilize economies and help MSMEs affected during the COVID-19 outbreak. Several WTO members addressed the challenges faced by workers and businesses, and the WTO will continue to monitor MSME-related developments and take further action if necessary, to help international trade and promote the stability of supply chains. European Union  The EU adopted temporary support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency (SURE) to help workers keep their positions during the pandemic. The SURE scheme can provide loans of up to €100 billion under favorable terms to Member States in order to help the sudden and severe increases of national public expenditure.   On May 14, the second G20 Extraordinary Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting on COVID-19 took place. The necessity for a coordinated action among countries and regions for a coherent and lasting exit from the COVID-19 pandemic was noted by the Commissioner Phil Hogan. As a guide for a collective response, there are three issues to have in consideration: (1) the importance of affordable and reliable access to healthcare products, including tariff relief for COVID-19 related products, (2) enhance supply chains in different sectors, and (3) the urgent need for international rules on e-commerce at WTO level.   In the Eurogroup videoconference, held on May 15, Mr. Mário Centeno, president of the Eurogroup, summarized the EU three safety nets: (1) the support by the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to EU Member States; (2) the SURE program for workers (described above); and (3) the European Investment Bank (EIB) Pan-European Guarantee. The Eurogroup also agreed on some key features of the Recovery Fund, as it must be temporary, targeted, commensurate with the extraordinary costs of the COVID-19 outbreak, and must ensure solidarity with the most affected Member States.   On May 15, the EU issued a guidance for the progressive resumption of tourism services and for health protocols in hospitality establishments to be followed when the restrictions on travel-related activities will be progressively lifted. The principles for the safe and gradual restoration of tourism activities that EU Member States need to follow include the need of low COVID-19 incidence, sufficient health system capacity, robust surveillance, testing capacity, contact tracing, coordination, and effective communication mechanisms.   In addition, the EU also published a guidelines on the progressive restoration of transport services and connectivity, due to the fact that the measures to contain the outbreak resulted in a dramatic reduction in transport activity. However, freight flows have been less affected than passenger transport. Furthermore, the EU commission issued a communication towards a phased and coordinated approach for restoring freedom of movement and lifting internal border controls, as eliminating the restrictions is essential for economic recovery.   The EU Parliament and the Council adopted, on May 18, the proposal of a €3 billion assistance package to support the neighboring countries Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Jordan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, Tunisia and Ukraine to cover their immediate financing needs which have increased as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.  Together with the support from the International Monetary Fund, the funds will help enhance stability and to allow resources to be allocated towards protecting citizens and to mitigating the negative socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.   On May 20, the EU adopted COVID-19 transport measures, including temporary flexibility for licenses and port services, to help companies and authorities cope with the extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.   On May 25, the EU Council adopted temporary relief measures for aviation and railways, in order to support airlines and airports amid the sharp drop in air traffic due to the pandemic. An extension to the transposition deadline for rail safety and interoperability directives of the fourth railway passage was adopted, with the aim of giving rail industry and authorities flexibility and legal certainty under the current circumstances. Austria  All restaurants in Austria have been closed since March 17 due to the COVID-19. This closure has severely impacted businesses despite the stay-at-home measures gradually being lifted. The government issued a €500 million aid package to gastronomy businesses to boost consumption, according to the USDA GAIN Report issued on May 15.   The Government of Austria also offered aid to the agriculture sector, in order to mitigate its financial losses, including a hardship fund, Corona aid fund and guarantees for agriculture and forestry, among other measures highlighted in the USDA GAIN Report issued on May 13. Germany Businesses are facing difficulties in order to adapt to different measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. Many German restaurants closed during the lockdown, and some others adopted new strategies which are summarized in a recent USDA GAIN Report. It is expected that VAT on food items will decrease from 19% to 7%, as well as other tax cuts for restaurants until June 2021.   Germany adopted some measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the agri-food industry. Emergency aid for small enterprises and self-employed, suspension to file for insolvency until September 30, and a credit guarantee program, are some of the measures applied. Italy  Italy announced that borders will reopen for EU tourists in early June, according to Euroactiv. The government seeks to restart economic activity, as well as tourism and hospitality, while applying necessary containment measures to avoid a second outbreak of the disease. Spain Despite lockdown measures are being relaxed in several Spanish provinces, there is a 14 day quarantine for international travelers entering into Spain until July 1. However, the Spanish government proposed the opening of travel routes before July 1 between the EU regions that have controlled the spread of the COVID-19, consequently, EU tourists might be able to travel to certain areas in Spain.   The state of alarm in Spain to combat the spread of the COVID-19 was implemented on March 14, and it has been extended 5 times since then, until June 7. A sixth 15-day extension may be agreed in the coming days, although it would not be applicable to all of the country, as certain regions might lift the alarm state and most of the restrictions.   From May 21, the use of face masks in closed and open public spaces is mandatory in Spain, in cases where it is not possible to maintain an interpersonal distance of two meters. The use of face masks has been compulsory in public transportation since May 4. The Netherlands  The Government has issued several measures, such as grants, credits or guarantees, in order to help companies. Regarding financial aid, employers with more than 20% turnover loss can apply for the Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment to receive up to 90% compensation of employees’ wages. Affected entrepreneurs that closed their company, or that face restrictions of meetings or traveling, are able to request a reimbursement of €4,000.   According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, the overall food retail sales have increased by 9% since the COVID-19 outbreak –consumers are increasingly buying more food in the supermarkets, or ordering food online instead of eating out. Australia  The Queensland Government published its staged approach to the restart of freedom to travel, participate in activities and gatherings. The Economic Recovery Strategy includes the guiding principles to create and maintain jobs, such as building a more resilient and stronger economy, investing in productive infrastructure, and creating a confidence environment for business and investment.   The Roadmap to easing restrictions is gradual and provides sensible steps to a COVID-19 recovery with the aim to reconnect communities and keep the economy moving, by supporting business, industries and jobs.   The New South Wales Government is granting a pesticide training exemption since, in general, training and refresher courses are unavailable due to COVID-19 social distancing rules. Canada  Canada provided pandemic support to the agri-food sector, including an emergency processing fund for food processors implementing health controls to protect plans workers, a disaster relief, and a surplus food purchase program to redistribute food surplus to food banks. China  On May 20, during a meeting of the central leading group on responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, China called for stronger international cooperation on the pandemic response, and emphasized the importance of epidemic control and containment practices on business reopening, to accelerate consumption and production.   The President Xi Jinping statement, at the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly of the WHO, stressed that economic and social development must be restored, following the WHO recommendations to contain the spread of the virus during the reopening of businesses and schools. The president also stressed the importance of strengthening international cooperation and solidarity, as well as ensuring global public health. Israel  Israel is gradually lifting restrictions and reopening businesses, despite profit losses for restaurants due to the inability to utilize full seating options, and the customer’s desire to limit social contact. As a consequence, the trend of home cooking is likely to increase. The COVID-19 effect on the food and agriculture sector, such as the impacts on supply, demand, and stocks, among others, are highlighted in the USDA GAIN Report issued on May 18. Hong Kong  The supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 affected food imports in Hong Kong as well as the availability and prices of food products. Although Hong Kong is dependent on imports, it has been able to receive supplies from China mainland, despite global logistics disruption and reduction of international flights. These effects of the pandemic among others, are summarized in a recent USDA GAIN Report. India  The nationwide lockdown to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in India is extended until May 31.   According to the last Port Situation Update in India (see USDA GAIN Report), truck freight rates have increased by 15-20% due to the severe shortage of drivers in the port of Mumbai. According to local reports, workers at Mundra and Kandla ports are increasingly desperate to return to their native homes. As a result, employers are finding it increasingly more difficult to maintain operations. In anticipation of the landfall of Cyclone Amphan, Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) suspended its operations on May 19 until May 22, to avoid any potential damage.   The previous Weekly Port Situation Update stated that container freight stations in Mumbai were considering to reduce up to 50% the rent to importers who have to collect cargo during the first half of April, due to the delays caused by the lockdown. According to local reports, cargo volumes processed in India’s 12 state-owned major ports fell 21% in April 2020. Some ports such as Tuticorin, Kandra, Chennai and Kolkata reported greater losses in cargo volumes, representing 26%, 23%, 38% and 26% respectively. The lack of truck drivers and movement restrictions led to a significant rise in  rail transport, especially in the port of Mundra.   Regarding food and retail, according to the USDA GAIN Report published on May 22, a major wholesale market in Mumbai will begin delivering directly to customers via online orders. In Ahmedabad, after an eight-day ban on the sale of groceries that ended on May 15, residents rushed to local produce markets and grocery shops.   The previous Weekly Food Retail Update stated that COVID-19 detections have led to multiple market closures and consequent supply disruptions in Mumbai and Chennai. In Kolkata, according to local reports, grocery prices increased for the third time in the last six weeks. Kazakhstan  Food products are subject to a reduced VAT (8% from 12%) and certain customs duties are eliminated until October 2020, according to the USDA GAIN Report issued on May 15. Travel and quarantine restrictions are not applicable to food suppliers. However, logistical delays have been reported at the main border crossings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, without a significant impact on food availability. South Africa  The South African economy is slowly emerging from a strict lockdown as the country moves to alert level 3 on June 1, allowing the reopening of schools. In order to help the tourism sector, which is the largest source of employment in the country, President Cyril Ramaphosa held a virtual engagement with stakeholders in the tourism sector, on May 22, and instituted a Tourism Relief Fund to assist small, micro and medium-sized companies affected by lockdowns and restrictions of movement. These measures are being adopted amid a raise of COVID-19 cases as well as different regional peaks of the disease. Thailand A recent USDA GAIN Report assessed the impact of COVID-19 on the Thai economy. The report stated that despite the outbreak is under control, the economy is moving towards a recession as businesses lost revenue and households lost income, particularly in tourism and export sectors. The Thai government expects that the economic impact may be worse in the second quarter of 2020, as lockdown enforcement was extended until the end of May. In order to mitigate these impacts, the government adopted relief measures, such as financial assistance to support vulnerable households and businesses, as well as a $15.5 billion soft load to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). United States On May 19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced details of direct assistance to farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to farmers and ranchers impacted by the COVID-19, with a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined.   The Food Assistance Program provides financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who suffered a 5% or greater price decline due to COVID-19, and face additional marketing costs due to disruptions to shipping partners, lower demand, surplus production, among other issues.   For specialty crop producers, the total payment will be based on the total volume sold between January 15 and April 15, the volume of production shipped but unpaid, and the number of acres for which harvested production was not sold, because it did not leave the farm, was destroyed, or was not harvested during the same period. Specialty crops include almonds, pecans and walnuts, among others. Additional crops may be deemed eligible at a later date. The rule was implemented on May 21.   Producers can apply for assistance from May 26, through the Farm Service Agency (FSA).  Further details and application forms can be found here. In addition to these direct payments, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program delivers meal boxes to US farmers in need.   The USDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strengthen the US food supply chain protections during the COVID-19, through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two institutions to help to prevent interruptions at FDA regulated food facilities, including fruit and vegetable processing industries.   Besides, the FDA extended the application period for its Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP) to July 31, due to the public health emergency and travel restrictions and advisories. This program is voluntary, fee-based, and provides participating importers of expedited review and import entry for humans and animal foods into the US. Vietnam  The effects of the COVID-19 are visible in agricultural trade, consumer demand and prices, as reported in the USDA GAIN Report issued on May 15. The economy started its recovery after eliminating the maximum social distancing measures on April 23 in certain areas, and schools and non-essential businesses began to reopen. The Government approved a $3 billion package in order to stimulate the economy, including cash payments, and interest-free loans to businesses.     The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-may-28-2020Meet the INC Webinar ChairsAlmonds Webinar Brian Ezell Vice President, Almond Division of Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds, USA   Brian Ezell is the Vice President of the Almond Division of Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds, LLC. since 2001, and has been employed by the Wonderful Agribusiness Group for over 30 years.   Brian is responsible for the development and execution of the sales and marketing activities of the Almond Division in addition to the over-sight of Almond Processing Strategic Operations. He is also the main interface between Wonderful Orchards (Farming Division) and Plant Operations to ensure that the activities of these areas align with the sales objectives in terms of supply, product quality, and market conditions. Brian currently serves as Chairman of the Global Marketing Committee of the Almond Board of California, is the Vice Chairman of the California Almond Export Association, and also represents Wonderful on the Board of the Peanut & Tree Nut Processors Association.  Walnuts Webinar Bill Carriere President & CEO, Carriere Family Farms Bill Carriere is a fourth-generation farmer who grew up on the family farm in Glenn, CA. After attending the University of California, Davis, and earning a B.S. in Agricultural Economics, Bill returned to work on the family farm.  He started work as a farm laborer, ranch manager, controller, and now to President and CEO, Bill has been working to continue to grow and diversify the family-owned and run farming operation. Carriere Family Farms grows walnuts, almonds, rice, and oil olives as well as operating two walnut hulling and drying facilities, a custom farming operation, and a walnut processing plant which processes and markets walnuts for 85 local growers as well as their own. Bill is a graduate of the California Ag Leadership Program, a Glenn County Planning Commissioner, a member of the California Walnut Board and Commission, and Secretary of the Enloe Hospital Board of Trustees.    Pistachios Webinar  Behrooz Agah Member of the Board of Trustees, Iran Pistachio Association, Iran    Behrooz Agah is the grandson of the originator of the modern international pistachio industry. His family’s involvement with pistachios started about a century ago, when his late grandfather, Gholam Reza Agah, started the first mechanized pistachio farm in the early 1920s in Iran. Behrooz is a third generation pistachio farmer/trader. He currently leads the Agah Group, which operates 4,000 hectares of family farms, as well as Arian Milan, an export company, Negin Sayareh Sabz, a pistachio processing company plus a GPPK (Green Peeled Pistachio Kernel) production operation. The Agah Group produces and exports low Aflatoxin risk and low pesticide residue risk pistachios to customers worldwide. Behrooz is a founding member of the Iran Pistachio Association (IPA). He has been a member of IPA’s Board of Trustees for 13 years. He is the permanent representative/speaker of IPA at the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC).  Established in 2007, IPA is a non-profit private organization representing various sectors of the Iranian pistachio industry (growers, exporters, processors, and service providers). IPA has provided regular monthly information, data and statistics regarding Iran’s pistachio industry and has been a voice for this industry in many international venues since 2010. Dried Cranberries, Raisins, & Prunes Webinar Pedro Monti Sales Manager, Prunesco, Chile Pedro Monti has been part of Prunesco as Commercial Manager for 12 years. He oversees the sales to all the world and directly manages the markets of Northern & Central Europe. Prunesco was founded in 1941 by a group of prune growers seeking better conditions to export their fruits. Today, the company exports to over 50 countries around the world and includes 15 retail chains and some of the world&#39;s most important repackers and industries. Among the product portfolio, there are pitted & unpitted prunes, concentrated prune juice, unsorbated prunes for retail and wholesale, prune puree, and starting this season organic tenderized prunes.   Before joining Prunesco, Pedro worked in other industries such as Gaming & Lottery and Telecommunications applied to the traffic and parking control. He has an MBA Graduate from Universidad Catolica de Chile and a Commercial Engineer degree from Universidad de Los Andes in Santiago. Macadamia Webinar Jolyon Burnett CEO, Australian Macadamia Society, Australia Jolyon is the CEO of the Australian Macadamia Society, a role he has held since August 2008, and director of the Australian Nut Industry Council, which represents 7 tree nut crops grown in Australia.   The AMS provides leadership and advocacy for an industry worth $300 million at farm gate and $270 million in annual export earnings. The AMS manages the Australian macadamia industry global marketing program and supports industry development and growth.   Jolyon has worked in Australian horticulture for the last 40 years during which time he has been the CEO of Irrigation Australia Limited, the CEO of Nursery & Garden Industry Australia, a Director of the Horticulture Australia Council, a member of the Australian Government National Water Commission Advisory Council, a member of the National Working Party on Pesticide Application and a participant in the Tropical Horticulture working group. Peanuts Webinar Louise McKerchar Vice-President & European Marketing Director, American Peanut Council, USA Louise joined the American Peanut Council (APC) in 1986 and has been in the peanut industry for over 30 years. She has the responsibility of running the Council’s European office based in the UK and oversees the Council’s activities in Europe. During her time at APC, Louise has worked on public relations campaigns and marketing promotions as well as running exhibition booths at leading trade shows across Europe. Her attention is now mainly focused on technical issues and monitoring European regulatory changes. Louise also organises the biennial International Peanut Forum, an event for peanut suppliers, buyers, traders, manufacturers, and service providers from around the globe.   Louise currently sits on the Board of Directors of The Nut Association in the UK and participates in ESA working groups. Dried Apricots, Figs, & Dates Webinar Guillaume Pagy General Manager, Pagysa, Turkey Born in İzmir, Guillaume studied and worked in France, where he became a Business Graduate from ESC La Rochelle in 1991. He continued his studies and career in tandem in other European countries until 1994.   He returned to Turkey in 1995 after backpacking through South America for a year, joined the family company, and began his path to becoming Managing Director of Pagysa and Nova Fruits Int’l by working in the processing plant.   The experience he accumulated while overseas continues to be a key point in the companies’ success in their fields. Under his guidance as MD, both companies are leading processors, packers and exporters of dried fruits, supplying both the food industry and retailers, tactfully bridging the gap between producer and consumer. Cashews Webinar  Hari Nair President, Western India Cashew Company (WIC), India Hari Nair chaired the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (2011-2013) and contributed to the creation of the Global Cashew Council, of which he has recently become the Chairman. He organized the CEPCI-funded study on the effect of cashews on diabetics by the Madras Diabetic Research Foundation, India along with scientists from Spain and Harvard, USA (Journal of Nutrition, 2018), and helped develop the UNECE Standard for Cashew Kernels as rapporteur. Under his stewardship, WIC implemented the first validated microbiological pasteurization program for nuts in Asia in 2009, to supply safe nut-ingredients for chocolate, ice-cream, etc. WIC has won awards from the Ministry of Commerce for being India’s biggest exporter of cashews in consumer packs. WIC also developed the flexi-pouch bulk-pack in 1999, which is now the cashew industry standard. Hari has also contributed to the African Cashew Alliance and USAID initiatives for the cashew sector in Africa. Hazelnuts Webinar Ufuk Özongun Board Member, Istanbul Exporters&#39; Association, Turkey Ufuk Özongun is member of the Board of the Istanbul Hazelnut Exporters Association. He studied Business Administration at the Göttingen University in Germany and has been in the hazelnut business since 1986. In 1998 he was the co-founder of the Progida hazelnut processing company. In 2011 Progida was acquired from Olam International Ltd. He was Country Head for Turkey and with Olam the company has increased its hazelnut ingredients business significantly.   Pine Nuts Webinar Wim Leeuwenburgh Managing Director, Rhumveld Winter and Konijn BV, Netherlands Wim Leeuwenburgh is Managing Director of Rhumveld Winter and Konijn BV. He studied business economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and worked for most of his career within the nuts and dried fruit industry.   He was employed by Rhumveld Winter and Konijn BV as a trader and now is responsible for all their commercial activities.   During his time in the industry, he has served for six years as a Board Member of the Dutch Dried Fruit Association and is currently the Chairman of the FRUCOM Pinenut Expert working group.   Brazil Nuts Webinar  David Rosenblatt President, The Richard Franco Agency, USA   David Rosenblatt has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University, where he was inducted into Civil Engineering honor society Chi Epsilon in 1971.   While working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, he studied at the Georgia Tech graduate school of Industrial Management and earned his MBA from Georgia State University in 1974. Upon graduation, he worked in the financial and business side of Law Engineering Testing Company before starting a property management company on his own in 1977.   After the untimely death of his father-in-law, Richard Franco, he moved to the New York area and began his now 40-year tenure at the Richard Franco Agency.   Pecans Webinar Jeffrey Sanfilippo Chairman & CEO, John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., USA Jeffrey Sanfilippo is Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., an Elgin, IL USA based public company.   Mr. Sanfilippo has an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School and he completed his undergraduate work at the University of Southern California where he earned a BA in Economics & International Relations.     John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. is a public company trading on NASDAQ with revenues of $880 million; employing 1,600 people across 5 manufacturing facilities in California, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and Headquarters in Elgin, Illinois. Major snack and recipe nut brands include Fisher, Orchard Valley Harvest and Squirrel. Mr. Sanfilippo has been employed by JBSS since 1991 and in November 2006 was named Chief Executive Officer.    Don&#39;t forget to Join Us for the INC Webinar Series on Nuts and Dried Fruits and register for the webinars!   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/meet-the-inc-webinar-chairsCOVID-19 Update: May 14, 2020However, although governments are lifting or easing some measures, the risk of infection is still present. “The risk of returning to lockdown remains very real if countries do not manage the transition extremely carefully, and in a phased approach”, stated Mr. Tedros Adhanom, WHO Director-General. Consequently, the World Health Organization outlined the three criteria that countries need to consider before lifting stay at home orders and other restrictions: (1) Is the epidemic under control? (2) Is the healthcare system able to cope with a resurgence of cases? (3) Is the public health surveillance system able to detect and manage the cases and their contacts? FAO The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has recently published a Policy Brief which analyzes pandemic-driven recession’s thread to global hunger levels. It recommends to stimulate the economy in all countries in order to keep the food supply chains functioning, while also protecting access to locally-, regionally- and globally-produced food. Stimulus measures that tackle the current menace to food access should emphasize efforts to build resilience into food systems to safeguard them against future economic slowdowns and downturns. OECD On April 29, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued a report on the issues and policy responses in the food and agriculture sector. This report identifies the impacts on the world economy and the global food and agriculture sector caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, both directly and through the measures that contain the spread of the disease. Some of these impacts may be damaged food security, nutrition and livelihoods of farmers and other workers along the supply chain. The OECD stresses the need of governmental measures to manage multiple demands, such as responding to the health crisis, its economic consequences, and ensuring the smooth functioning of the food system. However, these challenges may be seen as an opportunity to accelerate necessary transformation in the food and agriculture sector, enhancing its resilience, sustainability and productivity.   Another OECD report highlights COVID-19 regional socio-economic implications and policy priorities in emerging Asia. It states that economic growth is facing significant pressure and the impact on firms, workers and households is profound.  The importance of digitalization in order to improve countries’ ability to absorb shocks linked to crises is emphasized. WTO & IMF The World Tarde Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called for lifting trade restrictions on food and medical supplies. Both organizations discourage the application of counterproductive export restrictions, which taken collectively, could lead to disrupted supply chains or depressed production with the most serious effects on the most vulnerable countries.   IMF is promoting transparent and accountable use of COVID-19 financial assistance, working closely with its members sustaining the fight against corruption to ensure the correct use of resources to protect lives and livelihoods. European Union  The EU informed the WTO on a new set of COVID-19 measures, following the notification of a first round of measures on April 7. This second set includes policies to address the economic consequences of the pandemic, such as legislation changes regarding export subject to authorization or the temporary framework for state aid measures, among others. In addition to this, the EU is committed to continue to make sure that any pandemic-related trade measures are targeted, proportionate, temporary, transparent and consistent with the commitments made by the G20 group.   Due to the new pandemic scenario, some questions have emerged regarding the application of provisions related to the customs decision-making process, procedures and formalities. For these reasons, the EU Council issued the Guide on Customs Issues related to the COVID-19 emergency. The objective of this document is to offer guidance to stakeholders on practical solutions given by the current legal framework in this time of health emergency. As the situation can evolve rapidly, this guide will be updated as needed.   The EU not only applied measures to national citizens, but also issued a €3 billion assistance package to support the neighboring countries Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Jordan, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, Tunisia and Ukraine. This assistance will help to cover their immediate financing needs which have increased as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The funds will be available for twelve months and will be disbursed in two installments. The loans will have a maximum average maturity of 15 years and will be subject to a memorandum of understanding, to be agreed between each partner and the EC. The European Parliament and the Council need to adopt this proposal before its entry into force.   On May 8, the Eurogroup held a videoconference which was followed by a statement on the Pandemic Crisis Support, which is available to all EU Member States for amounts of 2% of the Member’s GPD to help the domestic financing of direct and indirect healthcare, cure and prevention related costs due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Finland The measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in Finland had a positive effect on the infection rates, although these measures had an economic impact. According to a USDA GAIN Report, Finland is offering aid to companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including funding programs for medium-sized businesses, state guarantees for loans, subsidized public loans and public short-term export credit insurance, among others. Italy  The Italian Ministry of Agriculture issued an emergency fund of €100 million in order to aid agricultural companies with three different measures: passive interest coverage, mortgage interest coverage, and temporary suspension coverage of fishing and aquaculture activities.   A recent article published by HVS described some of the restrictions to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, stating that many activities are still forbidden, despite of the phased reopening started on May 3. It is expected that certain businesses such as retail shops, bars and restaurants will reopen between May 18 and June 1, but still subject to restrictions. The article focuses on the possible economic impact on the tourism industry, which represents approximately 13% of the country’s GDP, the challenges that may face the progressive reopening of businesses, and the possible profit losses due to national and international traveling restrictions. Spain Spain is easing lockdown measures in certain regions, allowing small stores and other businesses to operate, while some other regions still remain under stricter stay-at-home measures, according to public health criteria. However, it is expected that most of the restrictions will be lifted by the end of June. Argentina  Argentina stopped its participation in MERCOSUR negotiations due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, according to Buenos Aires Times. Consequently, Argentina will no longer be involved in the ongoing trade talks with third countries such as South Korea or India, among others. Australia  The Government of Australia launched a website which provides useful information to ensure a safe return to work. Furthermore, the Government of Queensland issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for employers of seasonal workers during COVID-19 outbreak, including mandatory health plans and general health obligations. Canada  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) offers a period of leniency for new Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) for manufactured foods, according to a recent USDA GAIN Report. The CFIA will continue to enforce food safety requirements and businesses are encouraged to be fully compliant with the SFCR requirements. However, in order to support food availability and to prevent possible business disruptions, manufactured food producers may continue to operate without an SFCR license past July 15. China  As of May 7, all the counties in China are classified as low-risk regions as announced at a press briefing by the Chinese State Council inter-agency task force, with the exception of Shulan City. However, routine control measures must remain in place to prevent a domestic resurgence of the virus, including the closure of six categories of services such as cinemas, theaters and karaoke bars, among others, as well as crowd control measures in places such as parks, guest houses or libraries. Previously, China announced tighter control at ports of entry to minimize the disease’s importation risks. India  The lockdown in India is due to end on May 17, but some restrictions may continue in certain areas. The port situation in India, according to a USDA GAIN Report published on May 8, indicates that, despite previous truck movement restrictions, drivers are gradually returning to work. However, the lack of workers and trucks together with the continued difficulties faced by drivers in crossing state borders, may slow down some operations. According to USDA-Global Agricultural Trade Atlas, cited as a source in the same report, in 2019, tree nuts represented the largest volume of imports of agricultural and related products from the US to India.   As for food retail, some cities such as Ahmedabad will be under complete lockdown for a week, beginning on May 7, and Surat, which was under complete lockdown from May 9 to May 14, among others, according to a USDA GAIN Report published on May 8. Chennai reports that food retail revenues have fallen by 30-40% due to supply chain issues, lack of labor and a fall in consumer demand. However, certain cities such as Goa report a better situation compared with the past weeks, as the Panaji municipal market complex reopened on May 7 after a six week closure. Japan  The State of Emergency in Japan was extended until May 31. On May 1, a USDA GAIN Report informed on COVID-19 Related Tax Relief for Japanese farmers, in case their incomes from sales decreased over 30% for any month between February and October 2020. The government also postponed certain national tax payments for one year together with the reduction or elimination of local tax payments. In addition, a COVID-19 Cash Allowance is also available in order to sustain businesses affected by losses related to the COVID-19 outbreak. South Africa  As of May 1, the country entered in level 4 of measures to mitigate COVID-19. This level allows certain organizations to operate as well as long distance inter-provincial transportation.   Starting in April, the National Plant Protection Organization of South Africa introduced the use of eCertification for the issuance of phytosanitary certificates for plant and plant products in general. Electronic stamps and signatures need to be used during the e-Certification process. The phytosanitary certificate contains security features such as QR code, phytosanitary certificate number and barcode. This measure was notified to the WTO on May 6, 2020. Sri Lanka  Sri Lanka temporarily suspended imports of several products, including peanuts, from April 16 to July 15, according to a USDA GAIN Report. Turkey The effects of COVID-19 on food and agriculture in Turkey were covered in a USDA GAIN Report published on May 4, including Government support and programs. The Treasury and Finance Minister announced that the payments of Treasury-backed loans to farmers due in May and June will be postponed for six months. In addition to this, an online marketplace for farmers and agri-business producers to connect with buyers was announced on April 29.   Turkey recently applied a 72-hour rule to truck drivers entering the country in order to ensure safe trade amid COVID-19 outbreak, according to Daily Sabah. This rule allows drivers to be able to deliver cargo and exit the country within 72 hours without being subject to a 14-day quarantine. The United Kingdom  On April 29, the UK and China held a meeting on cooperation in the fight against the pandemic and on the development of bilateral relations, with the aim to reach high-level bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, scientific innovation and tackling the climate change.   The agriculture and foodservice sectors in the UK are facing a challenging economic situation during the lockdown. According to a USDA GAIN Report issued on May 2, the foodservice situation in the country is difficult due to the closure of pubs, restaurants and hotels, among other hospitality businesses. However, there is a rising demand on online shopping. United States  The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments during the COVID-19 Pandemic, including a checklist and an infographic designed to address key food safety practices for retail food establishments in their preparation to reopen.   In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Small Business Administration has resumed processing the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance of up to $10,000 for those small businesses, including agricultural companies and other farming and agricultural related industries, that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.    The US and the UK started the first round of negotiations for a US-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on May 5. Further rounds shall take place approximately every six weeks, and will be carried out remotely due to public health and social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both countries have already laid the groundwork for an ambitious agreement and discussed about the topics which are typically included in the FTAs.   The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a new Guidance on Detention and Demurrage about how it will assess the reasonableness of detention and demurrage charges. Under the new interpretive rule, the movement of cargo and freight fluidity will be prioritized. In addition to this, the FMC may also consider in assessing the reasons of detention and demurrage practices factors related to content and clarity of carrier and Multimodal Transport Operation (MTO) insurance policy, and clarity of carrier and MTO detention and demurrage terminology.   According to the latest Position Report of the Almond Board of California (ABC) the salable handler shipments in April were 103.5 million pounds (46,946 MT), slightly below the previous crop year 2018/19 (same month) which were 109.3 million pounds (49,598 MT). However, despite the difficult market conditions, all regions except for Asia-Pacific are reporting year to date gains.   The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-may-14-2020Switzerland: Labeling RequirementsAs a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the labeling requirements for food products are relaxed for a time limited period of six months with the aim of providing food manufacturers more flexibility. This will allow food producers to source alternative ingredients or packaging materials to substitute ingredients or materials in short supply without having to amend the packaging information.   The following conditions have to be met:   The manufacturer has to demonstrate that the supply shortage is a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The alternative ingredients used have no bearing on the relevant health information provided on the packaging (e.g. ingredients that are allergens or may cause undesired reactions). Foodstuffs produced according to this derogation have to be labeled with a red round sticker followed by an internet address where consumers can obtain information about the ingredients and packaging materials used, and how these may differ from the information contained on the packaging.   The revision entered into force on April 16, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/switzerland-labeling-requirementsKorea, Republic of: Food ProductsAmong others, the proposed amendments seek to revise and establish the maximum residue limits of pesticides in agricultural products (117 pesticides, including Iminoctadine) and to revise the General Test Methods.   The deadline for comments is June 20, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/korea-republic-of-food-products-3Japan: MRLs UpdateAs for nuts and dried fruits, the following MRLs were proposed: The MRL for dieldrin in peanuts, pecan, almond, walnut and other nuts is lowered from 0.06 ppm to 0.05 ppm; in apricot, cranberry and date from 0.05 ppm to 0.01 ppm. In addition, in grape is newly set at 0.01 ppm. The MRL for benfuracarb in peanuts is lowered from 0.3 ppm to 0.02 ppm; in apricot, cranberry, grape, date, pecan, almond, walnut and other nuts from 0.5 ppm to 0.01 ppm. The MRL for carbofuran in peanuts is lowered from 0.2 ppm to 0.1 ppm; in apricot, cranberry, grape, date, pecan, almond, walnut and other nuts from 0.3 ppm to 0.01 ppm. The MRL for carbosulfan in peanuts is lowered from 0.05 ppm to 0.01 ppm; in apricots, cranberry, grape, date, pecan, almond, walnut and other nuts from 0.2 ppm to 0.01 ppm. The MRL for carbaryl in peanuts is lowered from 5 ppm to 0.05 ppm; in apricot from 10 ppm to 0.01 ppm; in cranberry form 7 ppm to 5 ppm; in grape from 1.0 ppm to 0.01 ppm; and in date from 2 ppm to 0.01 ppm. The MRL for ipflufenoquin in apricot is set at 5 ppm; in grape at 6 ppm. The MRL for isofetamid in apricot is set at 3 ppm; in almonds at 0.01 ppm. In addition, in cranberry is increased from 4 to 5 ppm.   The deadline for comments is May 31, 2020 (except for ipflufenoquin and isofetamid where the final date for comments is not applicable).   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-mrls-update-24Japan: Export CertificatesIn order to facilitate trade during the COVID-19 outbreak, scanned or hard copies of export certificates for animals, plants and their products to be exported to Japan are accepted.   As for plant health, the National Plant Protection Organization of the exporting country should send an email to ippc_contact@maff.go.jp with an official letter stating that the country would like to apply for the temporary measures in this document (Annex 1).   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-export-certificatesEU: Pesticides, Standing CommitteeSome of the discussions were the following:   The following draft regulations had favorable opinion: Draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the renewal of approval of the active substance metalaxyl-M, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the renewal of approval of the active substance foramsulfuron, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the approval the active substance Lavandulyl senecioate as a low-risk substance in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the non-approval of Saponaria officinalis L. roots as a basic substance in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the approval of L‑cysteine as a basic substance, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the non-approval of propolis extract as a basic substance, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation correcting Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2019/706 renewing the approval of the active substance carvone, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here).   The vote on the following draft regulations was postponed: Draft Commission Regulation (EU) modifying Annex III of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation approving the active substance sodium hydrogen carbonate as a low-risk substance in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the approval the active substances Phlebiopsis gigantea VRA 1835, VRA 1984 and FOC PG 410.3 as low-risk substances in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the approval of Milk as a basic substance, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here).   Summary report https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-standing-committee-4EU: Pesticide WithdrawalsThe Drafts provide that the approvals of the active substances bromoxynil and mancozeb are not renewed and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing these substances will be withdrawn from the market. These decisions do not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of these pesticides. However, following the non-approval, separate actions may be taken on the MRLs.   The deadline for comments is June 16, 2020.   Currently, the MRLs for bromoxynil in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is 0.01* ppm. The MRL for mancozeb in tree nuts, dates and figs is 0.05* ppm (except walnuts at 0.1 ppm); in apricots and plums is 0.2 ppm; in grapes and cranberries is 5 ppm, and in peanuts is 0.1* ppm.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticide-withdrawals-7EFSA: Fluopyram, MRLs ReviewTo assess the occurrence of fluopyram residues, EFSA considered the conclusions derived in the framework of Commission Regulation (EU) No 188/2011, the MRLs established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission as well as the import tolerances and European authorizations reported by Member States.   EFSA recommends setting a lower MRL for almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts from 0.05 ppm to 0.04 ppm, taking into account the option 1 (assuming that adequate risk mitigation measures are in place to avoid significant residues in crops grown in rotation with crops treated with fluopyram).   On the contrary, the agency proposes to raise the MRL for plums from 0.5 ppm to 0.6 ppm; for table grapes from 1.5 ppm to 2 ppm, and for cranberries from 3 ppm to 4 ppm, taking into account the option 1 and also option 2 (assuming that no risk mitigation is implemented).   Review of the existing maximum residue levels for fluopyram according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No396/2005. EFSA Journal 2020;18(4):6059 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-fluopyram-mrls-reviewEFSA: Cumulative Risk ReportAfter analyzing pesticide residues and consumption data of three years (2014, 2015 and 2016), the overall conclusion for both assessments is that consumer risk from dietary cumulative exposure is, with varying degrees of certainty, below the threshold that triggers regulatory action defined by risk managers at the European Commission and in EU Member States.   Currently, the risks to consumers from the presence of pesticide residues in food are estimated substance by substance. However, the impact of pesticides on human health could be greater in combination than individually. Therefore, synergistic effects of pesticides should be considered for dietary risk assessment when the appropriate methodologies are available.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-cumulative-risk-reportEcuador-EFTA: Trade AgreementThe negotiations began in 2012 and, on June 25, 2018, both partners signed the Inclusive Economic Association Agreement which complements the EU-Ecuador trade agreement in force since 2017.   Practically all Ecuador exports will be free of tariffs and EFTA products will be granted relief periods depending on Ecuador’s needs.   Ecuador approved the Trade Agreement with EFTA https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/ecuador-efta-trade-agreementChina, Taiwan: Phytosanitary CertificatesUntil June 30, 2020, the alternative arrangements to the presentation of original veterinary or phytosanitary certificates are as follows:   Imports of goods subject to veterinary or phytosanitary inspection are allowed with a copy of original veterinary or phytosanitary certificate with import consignments in line with the following alternatives: A scanned copy of the veterinary or phytosanitary certificate shall be emailed/faxed to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) branch office in advance from the exporting country&#39;s central competent authority or representative office in the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, or our representative offices in the exporting country. If the exporting country&#39;s certificate features a QR Code or an official website which provides complete details of the cargo or electronic copy of certificate, it can be exempted from the scanned certificate, as mentioned above. Importers shall pledge to submit the original veterinary or phytosanitary certificate in a timely manner to temporarily fulfill the quarantine requirements. Once the original certificate is submitted to BAPHIQ, the import case is closed.   It was adopted on March 31, 2020.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-taiwan-phytosanitary-certificatesChina: Export Tax Rebate RatesAmong others, the affected tree nuts are the following: HS Code Description Tax Rebate Rate 0801 21 00 Brazil nuts, in-shell 9% 0801 22 00 Brazil nuts, shelled 9% 0802 21 00 Almonds, shelled 9% 0802 61 90 Macadamia nuts, in-shell 9%   These measures are implemented since March 20, 2020.   Announcement on Raising the Export Tax Rebate Rate of Some Products https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-export-tax-rebate-ratesCanada: MRLs UpdateAs previously notified, the PMRL for tetraniliprole in Tree nuts (crop group 14-11) is set at 0.03 ppm.   The MRL was adopted on April 19, 2020.   Health Canada Database https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-41Brazil: MRLs Update The MRL for abamectina (abamectin) in grape culture is changed from 0.03 to 0.6 ppm in the modality of foliar use (application). The MRL for deltametrina (deltamethrin) in grape is included at 0.08 ppm, safety security period of 1 day.   For abacectina, the final date for comments is May 30, 2020. For deltametrina, the final date for comments is June 6, 2020.   A18 – Abamectina   D06 – Deltametrina https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-mrls-update-27Australia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateThe table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows:   The maximum residue limits (MRLs) for tetraniliprole in almonds at 0.05 ppm; in apricots, dried, and prunes at 3 ppm; in macadamia nuts at *0.01 ppm are inserted. The MRLs for chlorantraniliprole in almonds at 0.1 ppm; in pistachio nut and walnuts at T0.05 ppm are omitted. The MRL for chlorantraniliprole in tree nuts at 0.1 is inserted.   * indicates that the maximum residue limit is set at the limit of determination. ‘T’ indicates that the maximum residue limit is a temporary maximum residue limit.   Deadline for comments was May 5, 2020.   The amendment can be found here (pp. 20-25). https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-24INC Academia: Special 33% Discount and Schedule ChangesSave 33% on the Executive Program on Nuts and Dried Fruits Online Course As the world grapples with COVID-19, the INC would like to offer its support and acknowledge the struggles that come with the virus. In response, from now until June 30, the INC is offering a limited time special price of €950 to enroll in the online course for INC members. Don’t miss this chance to take part in the online course for only €950!   The online course offers an insight into the nut and dried fruit industry that is unparalleled. The course consists of 11 units (50 hours) and will give students an idea of the main aspects involved in the sector. Topics include soil and climate, varieties, nutrition facts, processing, food safety, and quality standards, industry statistics and essential strategies for successful negotiations, among other subjects.   Stay Up to Date with the New INC Academia Schedule In addition to the discount price, the INC has changed various deadlines and schedules regarding the Academia. As the INC monitors the developments of COVID-19, member safety is at the forefront of decision making.   In response, the on-site course, originally to take place in May 2020, has been moved to May 2021 and will take place in Italy. As more details are confirmed, the information will be made available. Regarding the online course, the INC has decided to extend the deadline for enrolling in the course. Initially set for April 15, 2020, the deadline to enroll is now October 31, 2020. The date to complete the online course has also been adjusted as students will now have until November 30, 2020, to finish the online material. The INC would like to remind all, that in order to attend the on-site course, the online course must be completed first. To find more information visit the INC Academia page.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-academia-special-33-discount-and-schedule-changesCOVID-19 Update: April 30, 2020This report highlights some of the latest measures taken around the world. The INC will continue to monitor and provide updates. WTO The COVID-19 pandemic is a global issue that requires a coordinated global response. In order to address the pandemic, the EU and 21 other WTO members signed a joint statement, dated April 22, pledged to ensure well-functioning of global agriculture and agri-food supply chains, and to avoid measures with potential negative impact on food security, nutrition and health. The statement also calls for any emergency measures related to agriculture and agri-food products to be proportionate, transparent, temporary and consistent with WTO rules. These actions should not distort international trade or result in unjustified trade barriers. OECD On April 21, 2020, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) declared that the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach to human health. As a consequence, the vulnerability of communities to pandemics or other emergencies could be reduced by enhancing environmental health through better air quality, water and sanitation, waste management, along with efforts to safeguard biodiversity. This declaration also states that the economic impact of the pandemic is likely to affect average household incomes, increasing affordability issues. Reduced cash flows combined with pressures on municipal budgets may result in pressure on utilities’ finances. According to OECD, one of the challenges of this health crisis is “to secure revenues for utilities and to maintain capital investment and timely spending on maintenance, while guaranteeing access to households who cannot pay.” IMF On April 15, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) added a liquidity line to strengthen COVID-19 response. According to Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF, “The facility is a revolving and renewable backstop for member countries with very strong policies and fundamentals in need of short-term moderate balance of payments support. In these cases, the Short-term Liquidity Line will provide revolving access of up to 145 percent of quota. (…) The facility will fill a critical gap in the Fund’s toolkit and help to facilitate a more efficient allocation of resources.”   Another action taken by IMF and the World Bank Group is the mobilization of partners in the fight against COVID-19 in Africa to spur faster response in African countries. H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Director General of the WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Africa Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, and officials of individual countries outlined their policy plans for effective use of resources, multilateral organizations including the United Nations pledged their continued support, and bilateral partners reemphasized their commitment to a debt standstill beginning May 1, 2020.   Official creditors have mobilized up to $57 billion for Africa in 2020 to provide front-line health services, support the poor and vulnerable, and keep economies afloat. Private creditor support this year could amount to an estimated $13 billion. According to IMF, the continent needs an estimated $114 billion in 2020 in its fight against the disease. United States According to BBC, the US president announced on April 16 a plan to reopen States in phases, giving guidance on reopening State economies in the coming months.   In order to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on April 17 that the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will spend up to $19 billion in immediate relief program to provide support to farmers and ranchers. Also, the US Government issued an Executive Order to temporarily extend certain deadlines for estimated duties, taxes and fee payments for importers suffering financial hardship as a result of the declaration of national emergency and shutdowns.   In addition to the federal measures, some States have also implemented regulations to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. For example, according to CBS News, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the signature of an executive order to help essential workers in the food supply chain, including workers in the delivery and fast-food industries, amid the coronavirus pandemic.   On the other hand, one week before the re-opening of the States as planned by the US Government, Georgia opened sit-down restaurants and other close-contact services on April 27, 2020, according to Time. China Despite the lockdown measures have relaxed during the last weeks, Beijing&#39;s Chaoyang District has been designated a high-risk area due to a recent cluster of infections.   According to the 57th Meeting of April 23 of the Beijing Leading Group on COVID-19, “Regular containment measures should be implemented in a more targeted and effective way to forestall any resurgence of infections, while advancing all-round resumption of economic activities and restoring the normal order of life and work.” The Government also announced regular controls in arrivals in Beijing and solid and rigorous control measures throughout the May 1 holiday.   In order to bolster COVID-19 preparedness, response and support of the health systems of developing countries, China decided to contribute $30 million in cash to the World Health Organization (WHO), in addition to the $20 million cash donation already made. European Union European Union leaders are negotiating an agreement on how to rebuild the economy when the pandemic subsides. The European Commission’s Directorate General for Trade (DG TRADE) issued a report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global and EU trade. DG TRADE estimates a 9.7% decrease in global trade for 2020, a reduction of 9.2% in extra-EU27 exports of goods and services, and an 8.8% decrease in extra-EU27 imports in 2020, compared to the latest available statistics.   On April 21, the EU published a Roadmap for recovery, with a strong investment component, which sets out some important principles and defines four key areas for action, with the aim to provide a coherent and useful framework for joint action towards overcoming the crisis. The recovery plans shall be flexible, agile, inclusive and maintaining the EU set of values and rights. The document also states key areas of action to re-establish trade flows and supply routes, including a fully functioning and revitalized Single Market, an unprecedented investment in Green and Digital transitions, and a global response through multilateralism and rules-based international order.   Furthermore, the European Council adopted a second legislative act amending the rules on the use of EU structural funds. These changes allow Member States to refocus resources on crisis-related operations, giving them exceptional flexibility to transfer money between funds and between regions to meet their particular needs in mitigating the social and economic damage of the pandemic. These unprecedented measures will help alleviate the burden on national budgets by providing targeted investment in healthcare, struggling SMEs, and temporary employment schemes.   Farmers can also benefit in the form of favorable loans and guarantees of up to €200,000 to help them with liquidity or compensation for losses. The act entered into force on April 24, 2020.   In addition to this, the European Parliament and the European Council published the Regulation (EU) 2020/559 of April 23 amending Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 as regards the introduction of specific measures for addressing the outbreak of COVID-19. The objective is to make it easier for Member States, partner organizations and other parties to access the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), in order to help deliver food aid and basic material assistance to EU citizens, as well as personal protective materials. EU-UK Negotiation Rounds The EU and the UK resumed the bilateral negotiations on the future relationship, after a six week suspension because of the COVID-19. In June 2020, the UK will have to decide on a possible extension of the transition period, which now ends on December 31, 2020. India According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, India permits paperless customs clearances through electronic documents or communications, while the national lockdown is still in force, now extended until May 3. However, a provisional rollback of the lockdown will be considered in areas where the spread of the disease has either been contained or prevented.   Guidelines on the second phase of the lockdown were published and exempted several additional activities from lockdown restrictions from April 20. The Food Safety and Standards Authority published Food Hygiene and Safety Guidelines during COVID-19 pandemic for all type of food businesses, including food service, transport and retail.   The port situation in India, according to a USDA GAIN Report published on April 24, indicates that some port operations are constrained by limited truck movement and insufficiency of road transport. However, in Mumbai, most port inspectors and customs agents have returned to work, and consequently, clearances will be accelerated. Australia Australia closed its borders, imposed strict “social distancing”, banned public gatherings and closed restaurants, bars and other non-essential businesses. These measures are expected to last until mid-May, according to Reuters.   In order to help primary producers navigate the challenges and impacts of the pandemic in their business and industry, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries has established a COVID-19 Primary Industries Liaison Team. The Queensland Government offers advice and assistance for agriculture businesses during the pandemic. Chile Amid the difficulties generated by COVID-19 in Chile, which impacted companies in the country and affected the normal development of businesses and their sales, liquidity, human resources and supplies, the Government announced that the payment of sales and services taxes to be declared or paid by SMEs in April, May or June 2020, are postponed. Japan Among the measures adopted by Japan to facilitate trade amid the COVID-19 outbreak, there is the procedure for the temporary acceptance of scanned or hard copies of export certificates for animals, plants and their products to be exported to Japan. Prior to this measure, and according to a USDA GAIN Report, Japan provided food labeling flexibility, by the temporary suspension of the monitoring of non-critical food labeling information. Japanese importers bear the sole responsibility for Japan’s Food Labeling Act compliance.   The situation in Japan amid the pandemic indicates downward trends in food service sales, while retail sales at supermarkets remain strong. Due to government mitigation measures, non-essential businesses closed voluntarily until May 6, schools closed, and tourism came to a halt. The impact on transportation and supplies is strong, according to a recent USDA GAIN Report, shipments of goods on commercial flights have fallen between 20 and 30%, and a change in consumption patterns is also noticeable. South Africa South Africa applies lockdown measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 since March 15. These measures are having a significant impact on the economy, as many households and businesses have suffered a significant loss of income. In order to help them stay afloat during this period, the Minister of Finance announced a second set of measures, on April 23. The interventions announced are fast-tracking of VAT refunds and three-month deferral for first payment of carbon tax liabilities, among others.   Macadamias South Africa has published a series of documents regarding the COVID-19 lockdown. The South African Revenue Service has clarified that imported cargo may be transported from ports of entry to warehousing sites, and essential goods may be transported from warehouses to essential service providers. Export cargo may be transported in order to decongest ports. Essential cargo will be prioritized for inspection in order to avoid any undue disruption in respect of the supply of critical goods. These inspections will be mainly documentary and, where possible, non-intrusive examination methods will be used. Turkey According to a recent USDA GAIN Report, the effects of the pandemic on the food sector in Turkey are not yet visible. The food processing industry appears to be meeting the challenges well.     The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources, international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-april-30-2020INC Publishes the 2019 Import Border Rejections ReportIn 2019, the total number of notifications in the European Union, Japan, and Australia decreased from 2018 by 8.8%, 22.6%, and 35.5%, respectively. On the contrary, the number of notifications in the US increased by 54.8%, breaking the downward trend of the 2015-2018 period. The presence of aflatoxins was, in general, the main reason for notifying, especially in the case of nuts.   EU-RASFF. In 2019, the European Union’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) issued a total of 570 notifications including edible nuts (410 not.), dried fruits (133 not.) and peanuts for feed (27 not.). This result means a decrease of 8.8% compared with 2018 when a total of 625 notifications were registered. The most notified edible nuts were peanuts, followed by pistachios and almonds. As in previous years, the main reason for notifying edible nuts was the presence of aflatoxins. As for dried fruits, dried figs and dried grapes were the most notified. Aflatoxin was the main reason for notifying, followed by Ochratoxin A.   USA. In the United States, notifications for edible nuts increased by 67%. As in 2018, the nut with the highest number of notifications was peanut followed by macadamias and almonds. Misbranding continued to be the main reason for notifying edible nuts, followed by Salmonella and aflatoxins. As in the case of edible nuts, the number of notifications for dried fruits increased by almost 50%, reaching 118 notifications. Like in 2018, raisin was the most notified dried fruit followed by dates and prunes. Filthy products, misbranding and the presence of pesticides continued to be the main reasons for notifying dried fruits.   Japan. In Japan, notifications for edible nuts and dried fruit decreased by 22.6% for the second year in a row (from 128 to 99 not.). Peanut was the most notified product. Almonds ranked second, followed by dried figs and peanut products. The main reason for notifying edible nuts and dried fruits was still the presence of aflatoxins (92% of the total).   Australia. Australia issued 29 notifications for nuts and dried fruits in 2019, almost half the number in 2018. Peanuts were the most notified, with 14 notifications, followed by peanut products, with 7 notifications. The main reason for notifying edible nuts and dried fruits was the presence of aflatoxins (72% of the total).   2019 Import Border Rejectionshttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-publishes-the-2019-import-border-rejections-reportCOVID-19 Update: April 17, 2020The IMF projects global growth in 2020 to fall to minus 3% The International Monetary Fund, in its 2020 World Economic Outlook, predicts global growth in 2020 to fall to minus 3%. In a press briefing on Tuesday, IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said “This makes the great lockdown the worst recession since the Great Depression, and far worse than the Global Financial Crisis”.   Assuming the pandemic fades in the second half of 2020, and that policy actions taken around the world are effective in preventing widespread firm bankruptcies, extended job losses and system-wide financial strains, the IMF projects global growth in 2021 to rebound to 5.8 percent.   For the first time since the Great Depression, both advanced economies and emerging and developing economies are in recession. Countries reliant on tourism, travel, and entertainment for their growth are experiencing major disruptions while developing economies face additional challenges: unprecedented reversals in capital flows, major currency pressures, weaker health systems, and much lower fiscal space to support their economies.   Gopinath warned that travel restrictions and breakdowns in supply chains threaten to reverse efficiency gains from globalization. Governments&#39; support to businesses and consumers will determine the speed of recovery. Keeping all workers in the food production and supply chains healthy and safe is critical The world is facing an unprecedented threat from the COVID-19 pandemic and many countries are introducing physical distancing measures as one of the ways in which transmission of the disease can be reduced. The application of these measures has resulted in the closure of many businesses, schools and restrictions on travel and social gatherings. Food industry personnel, however, are required to continue to work in their usual workplaces and “keeping all workers in the food production and supply chains healthy and safe is critical to surviving the current pandemic”, according to the World Health Organization.   On April 7, the WHO published an interim guidance about coronavirus and food safety: COVID-19 and Food Safety: Guidance for Food Businesses. The document presents measures to protect workers and the integrity of the food chain. “It is imperative for the food industry to reinforce personal hygiene measures and provide refresher training on food hygiene principles to eliminate or reduce the risk of food surfaces and food packaging materials becoming contaminated with the virus from food workers”, the organization says.   Likewise, on April 8, the European Commission published a Q+A on COVID-19 and food safety covering food production, food in shops and food at home. Even where the lockdown may affect the modalities of official controls[1], it does not affect the safety of food produced. The existing legislation minimizes the risk of virus particles coming into contact with foodstuffs since every person working in a food-handling area must maintain a high degree of personal hygiene including wearing suitable, clean and, where necessary, protective clothing and constantly apply good hygiene practices (regular handwashing, no unhygienic behaviors allowed such as sneezing or coughing when producing or handling food, etc.). FAO rolls out toolkit for smart policymaking during the COVID-19 crisis The FAO has launched a platform for countries to share what they are doing to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and rapidly search for ideas from their peers. The Food and Agriculture Policy Decision Analysis (FAPDA) is presented as an easy-to-use free platform for countries to share what they are doing and rapidly search for ideas –a global library with detailed information on how different countries are trying to keep their supply chains moving amid the disruptions caused by travel and other health restrictions. "There are a lot of trade-offs to consider, but this tool can help countries make them wisely and contribute to expediting the establishment of holistic and inclusive policy frameworks," says Lorenzo Bellù, FAO Senior Economist.  European Union According to a recent GAIN Report, due to the fear of potential food shortages, consumers raced to stock up. Nielsen reported that compared to the same period a year ago, grocery and convenience store sales in Belgium and France increased 37 and 30%, respectively, during March 16-23. Despite logistical challenges along the food supply chain, farmers, transporters, and grocery retailers have been largely successful in keeping the shelves stocked and stores open. While it is difficult to generalize consumer behavior and market developments across all 27 EU Member States, looking ahead, price volatility remains a concern.   According to the report dated April 3, most European borders were free of major slowdowns, but outside of the Schengen Area, in Bulgaria and Romania, slow-downs persisted. The European Fresh Produce Association, FRESHFEL, alerted officials to the need to secure seasonal workers and their ability to move to places where there is a need. On April 8, FRESHFEL reported that the availability of seasonal workers was still insufficient in many places and the logistics costs in the chain had increased by 20-30% due to empty returns of trucks and longer journey times.   The EU exemptions for seasonal agricultural labor published in the Guidelines of March 30 may help, but another challenge awaits growers and suppliers: the collapse in demand from the hospitality and restaurant sectors.   The proposal for a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative was approved by the European Parliament and the Council and is in force as of April 1. This will allow the use of €37 billion under cohesion policy to address the emerging needs in the most exposed sectors, such as healthcare, SMEs and labor markets. In addition, the EU Solidarity Fund will provide additional assistance of up to €800 million to the hardest hit Member States in order to alleviate the financial burden of the immediate response measures.   The European Council, in its statement of March 26, entrusted the Eurogroup with developing proposals for the economic response to the severe social and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19. On April 10, the president of the Eurogroup, Mario Centeno submitted a comprehensive economic policy strategy response to the COVID-19 pandemic to the European Council. The proposal, adopted by the Council on April 14, consists of three safety nets –one for workers, one for businesses, SMEs in particular, and another one for countries– and a Recovery Fund. The three new EU safety nets add up to around half a trillion euros.   The Eurogroup welcomed the European Commission proposal of April 2 to set up a €100 billion solidarity instrument, in the form of loans, to help workers keep their incomes and help businesses stay afloat, called SURE. They also allow the European Investment Bank to create a pan-European guarantee fund, which could support €200 billion of financing for companies with a focus on SMEs. They also agreed to establish Pandemic Crisis Support for the amount of 2% of Member States’ GDP. Italy In Italy, as a result of the Decree of The Council of Ministers, DPCM of April 10, all measures to counteract the COVID-19 emergency have been extended until May 3, 2020, including those forbidding people from moving or travelling. The list of businesses open include hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores and retail sale of food in specialized stores, among others. All citizens are required to leave home only for work, absolute emergencies or health reasons. Spain  Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez extended the state of emergency decreed on 14 March by a further two weeks until April 26. However, from April 10, non-essential workers such as factory and construction personnel are allowed to resume their jobs after a two-week ban. The agri-food sector, which is considered an essential activity, was allowed to continue working during the ban.   In addition, on April 7, the Spanish government approved urgent measures to foster temporary employment in the agricultural sector. The aim of the Royal Decree-Law 13/2020 is to ensure that enough workers are available to carry out seasonal work in the countryside, guarantee the supply of fresh products and avoid price hikes. The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food estimates that between 75,000 and 80,000 workers are needed. Belgium  The Federation of the Food and Drink Industry of Belgium, FEVIA, reported from a survey of its 200 members that 60% of food companies were experiencing increased absenteeism and reduced staffing was having an impact on production at 39% of FEVIA members’ operations. According to a more recent survey, many companies confirmed that they were badly affected. About three-quarters of food companies reported that their turnover had decreased. For 48% of companies, this was a drop in turnover of more than 50%; for 28% of them, a drop of more than 75%. Half of the food businesses were facing liquidity problems, often due to late payments. Only 6 out of 10 food companies could ensure the continuity of their activities in the short term. United States Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is providing food suppliers, manufacturers and restaurants with more flexibility. The Agency has released new temporary guidelines providing flexibility regarding menu labeling requirements, nutrition labeling requirements of certain packaged food, and preventive controls and Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals (FSVP).   Temporary Policy Regarding Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Chain Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (link). Temporary Policy Regarding Nutrition Labeling of Certain Packaged Food During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (link). Temporary Policy Regarding Preventive Controls and FSVP Food Supplier Verification Onsite Audit Requirements During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (link).   In addition, the FDA will begin requesting that importers send records required under the FSVP rule electronically (or through other prompt means) to the Agency as it shifts to conducting these inspections remotely during the COVID-19 public health emergency.   FDA To Temporarily Conduct Remote Importer Inspections Under FSVP Due to COVID-19 (link). China According to China Daily, China will establish 46 pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce to promote stable development of foreign trade. In addition, the country has launched a series of measures, including optimizing export tax rebate (exemption) services, increasing credit support, issuing force majeure factual certificates, and implementing more favorable import taxation policies, in order to stabilize foreign trade and investment. China&#39;s imports and exports totaled 4.12 trillion yuan ($590 billion) in the first two months of this year, down by 9.6% year-on-year, according to statistics from the General Administration of Customs.   Bloomberg has reported that exports and imports are not as bad as expected and the domestic economy looks to be improving in April. Shipments to South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan rose, while those to Japan only fell 1.4%. But much of that trade is of electronic components for goods which are exported elsewhere, so the shutdowns, job losses and social distancing in other parts of the world will likely affect that in the future. Trade with Europe and the US was hit much harder, with exports to the European Union down more than 24%, and those to the US falling almost 21% from a year ago. India According to a GAIN Report of April 9, ports in India are operating with minimal workforce. The Kandla International Container Terminal declared force majeure as of March 22 where it will not be responsible for any claims, damages, and charges including vessel demurrages or issues arising from lower load/discharge rates. The Kandla region has declared a complete halt of all road traffic from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. As a result, port employees have had to shift their work schedules. Customs agents are experiencing difficulties in reaching the port and urging the state government to lift movement restrictions to anyone connected with port operations.   The port of Mumbai continues to experience massive backlog due to the lack of administrative personnel, truck drivers, and crane operators. Global container shipping lines have started to skip Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Mundra Port because import/export clearances are not occurring fast enough.   According to local reports, the lack of truck drivers has resulted in +50,000 uncleared sea containers at the ports of Chennai, Kamajarar and Kattupalli.   Chile Chile has announced new measures related to phytosanitary certificates in order to facilitate trade. Through this URL, national plant protection organizations will be able to verify and obtain directly from the SAG certification system an image of all original data in the phytosanitary certificate, so as to guarantee the authenticity of any copies that processing entities submit from their respective countries (a scanned image, a photo or any other copy of the original phytosanitary certificate), with only the corresponding phytosanitary certificate number being required. Australia On April 14, the Australian Macadamia Society, AMS, published a number of updates about the Land Restoration Fund, government support for air freight, border crossings, travel restrictions, PPE (personal protective equipment) supply and work visas.   The Australian Government is providing support to the agriculture and seafood sector to deal with current air freight constraints. This includes $110 million to ensure air freight capacity remains open for critical markets, including horticulture.   Safe Food Production Queensland has developed a guideline for agricultural, horticultural, and meat and livestock processing businesses to help them reduce the impact of COVID-19 to the workforce. Qatar According to a recent GAIN Report, the Crisis Management Committee of the Ministry of Public Health of Qatar has exempted all food and medical products from customs duties for six months. Nutrition advice during COVID-19 quarantine Good nutrition is crucial for health, particularly in times when the immune system might need to fight back.   The World Health Organization (WHO) has published some nutrition advice for adults during the COVID-19 outbreak. Among others, these recommendations include: eating more unsaturated fats, such as nuts, versus saturated or trans fats; and eating more fresh and unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains and foods from animal sources (e.g. milk, eggs, fish and meat). As for dried fruits, the WHO emphasizes the importance of choosing products without added salt or sugar.   In the same vein, a recent study[2] published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, establishes some nutritional recommendations for the quarantine. The study observed that foods supplying micronutrients may help boost the immune function. This happens because some of these micronutrients, such as vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene, are antioxidants. Antioxidants may help prevent or slow the damage of the cells. Another essential trace element that is crucial for the maintenance of immune function is zinc. And nuts are one of the major dietary sources of vitamin E and zinc.   The researchers conclude that keeping foods that are good sources of immuno-supportive nutrients, planning times to eat, meals, portions and having a cutoff time for eating but mostly having in mind positive attitudes could be helpful to tackle the negative health effects of quarantine.   The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources,  and international organizations and press media. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. [1] Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/466 on temporary measures to contain risks to human, animal and plant health and animal welfare during certain serious disruptions of Member States’ control systems due to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), OJ L 98, 31.3.2020, p. 30. [2] Muscogiuri, G., Barrea, L., Savastano, S., & Colao, A. (2020). Nutritional recommendations for CoVID-19 quarantine. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1-2. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/covid-19-update-april-17-2020INC Launches the 10th Edition of the Statistical YearbookThe study includes a general overview of world production, consumption and supply value trends over the last decade followed by a data analysis for each nut and dried fruit reporting on:   Production trends and share by country: 10-year series, 5-year average and current season. Export/import leading players and market share. 5-year consumption trends.   Data revealed that tree nut, peanut and dried fruit supply was significantly increased over the last decade. Reaching 4.6 million metric tons in 2019/2020 (kernel basis, except pistachios in-shell), world tree nut production grew at a sustained pace during the last 10-year period. In terms of crop volume, almond and walnut crops headed global production, with 31% and 21% of the world share respectively, followed by cashews (17%), pistachios (14%) and hazelnuts (12%). The remaining 5% accounted for pecans, macadamias, Brazil nuts and pine nuts production.   World peanut production amounted to over 41 million metric tons in 2019/20, which represents an increment of 7% above the prior 10-year average and reflects the positive trend observed over the prior 10 years. The leading players in world production were China (38% of the world share), India (15%), Nigeria (8%), the US (6%), Senegal (3%) and Argentina (3%).   With a total amount of 3.2 million MT in 2019/20, dried fruit production trended up over the last decade as well. Dried grape (Raisins, Sultanas and Currants) and table date production accounted for 41% and 35 of the world share, respectively. Prunes (7%), dried cranberries (6%), dried apricots (6%) and figs (5%) added up to the following 23%.   Consequently, the global gain in supply led to increased worldwide traded volumes. Between 2008 and 2018, tree nut international (shelled, except pistachios in-shell) shipments grew at an average rate of 69,500 MT/year, adding up to 2.3 million MT in 2018. Total exports of shelled peanuts reached over 2.3 million MT. Amounting to about 2.7 million MT, dried fruit exports were also raised at a steady pace at an average rate of around 110,800 MT/year.   As for demand, dried fruit global consumption increased at around 85,500 MT/year, on average; and tree nut, estimated at over 4.6 MT in 2019, was raised by 200,000 MT/year over the prior 10 years. However, considering the also growing world population, consumption is still significantly far apart from the recommended intake of 30 g (a handful) of nuts a day, which is a good indicator of the need to reinforce the industry marketing and promotional efforts in the years to come.   Statistical Yearbook 2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-launches-the-10th-edition-of-the-statistical-yearbookINC World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress PostponementWith the evolving situation of COVID-19, the INC has made the difficult decision to change the dates of the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress. The Congress will now take place on May 27-29, 2021 at Madinat Jumeirah Resort. This postponement is due to the ambiguous ramifications of COVID-19 throughout the world and an uncertainty on when we can expect a return to “normalcy”. Fortunately, despite the date change, the INC has been able to retain the Madinat Jumeirah Resort as the location for the Congress. Although the dates have changed, the INC remains confident that the 2021 Congress will deliver an incredible and unforgettable experience. The INC Congress is the sector’s not-to-be-missed event and once again will be the best venue for companies to network and gain insights into the latest industry developments. In the meantime, the INC is organizing an online webinar series to give members valuable insights and information that is usually presented at the Congress. More information will be made available soon. The INC looks forward to gathering the entire industry once again in May of 2021. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-world-nut-and-dried-fruit-congress-postponementCOVID-19 Update: April 9, 2020 Although restrictions are becoming stricter in many countries, governments have prioritized food supply chain as part of emergency measures. Fortunately, the agri-food sector is recognized as an essential sector and efforts are focused on ensuring food security.   In a Joint Statement by QU Dongyu, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Roberto Azevêdo, Directors-General of FAO, WHO and WTO, published on March 30, 2020, it was highlighted that “As countries move to enact measures aiming to halt the accelerating COVID-19 pandemic, care must be taken to minimize potential impacts on the food supply or unintended consequences on global trade and food security”. “When acting to protect the health and well-being of their citizens, countries should ensure that any trade-related measures do not disrupt the food supply chain. Such disruptions including hampering the movement of agricultural and food industry workers and extending border delays for food containers, result in the spoilage of perishables and increasing food waste”.   The G20 group has committed to ensuring international flows of agricultural goods as part of their response to the coronavirus crisis. On March 30, during a virtual meeting of G20 trade ministers, the WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo welcomed the ministers’ joint declaration, in which they committed to “actively working to ensure the continued flow of vital medical supplies and equipment, critical agricultural products, and other essential goods and services across borders, for supporting the health of our citizens”. Azevêdo stressed the importance of open trade flows for countries to be able to import essential medical equipment, food and energy. The European Commission The European Commission (EC) is coordinating a common European response to the outbreak of COVID-19. The EC has expressed its commitment to mitigate the socio-economic consequences of the outbreak, setting out a coordinated response and its priority in ensuring the flow of essential goods such as food supplies including livestock, vital medical and protective equipment and supplies and essential services (Guidelines).   In order to keep freight moving across the European Union, the EC has implemented the so-called “Green Lane” border crossing, streamlining and minimizing procedures to those that are strictly necessary. Vehicles carrying any type of goods should be able to use “green lane” border crossings (Guidelines). The EC also adopted the new Implementing Regulation 2020/466 of March 30, 2020, on temporary measures to contain risks to human, animal and plant health and animal welfare during certain serious disruptions of Member States’ control systems due to coronavirus disease. This Regulation should be applicable for two months, in order to facilitate the planning and the performance of official controls and other official activities during this crisis. In addition, the EC has issued new practical advice to ensure that mobile workers within the EU, in particular those in critical occupations to fight the coronavirus pandemic, can reach their workplace.   On April 7, the EU finance ministers met to agree on a coronavirus economic rescue plan for the Eurozone worth up to €500bn. After 16 hours of talks without a deal, discussions will continue on April 9. Italy  Within the European Union, Spain and Italy have the highest number of COVID-19 cases. In Italy, the authorities locked down the region of Lombardy along with 14 other provinces on March 7. The lockdown was subsequently extended nationwide on March 10. On March 25, under the State aid Temporary Framework to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, the EC approved the Italian State guarantee scheme supporting a debt moratorium from banks to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the coronavirus outbreak. According to recent declarations by Italian PM Giuseppe Conte to BBC, Italy might begin to relax some measures by the end of April. "We need to pick sectors that can restart their activity. If scientists confirm it, we might begin to relax some measures already by the end of this month." Spain The nationwide lockdown in Spain was imposed on March 14, closing all restaurants, bars, hotels, schools and universities nationwide, and other non-essential retail outlets. The nationwide lockdown has been extended consecutively until April 26, but a new extension is not excluded. Following the approval by the EC of two Spanish guarantee schemes on 24 March under the State aid Temporary Framework, on April 2, the EC approved a Spanish aid scheme to support the Spanish economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. United States In the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are closely monitoring the food supply chain for any shortages in collaboration with industry and their federal and state partners. What counts as an “essential business” could be slightly different among states, but most of them agree that grocery stores, banks, gas stations, laundromats, and trade services such as plumbing and electrical work should make the list, as The Washington Post reported in an article posted on March 25.   The State of California published, on March 19, the Executive Order N-33-20 requiring all individuals living in the State of California to stay at home or their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, the Food and Agriculture Sector being one of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors. That means that the Food and Agricultural Sector has a special responsibility to maintain the normal work schedule.   The University of California, Davis, has helpful information and resources on COVID-19 for consumers, community gardens, farms, foodservice, growers, industry, retail, supply: COVID19 Food Safety Resources. India India is currently in lockdown for 21 days, since March 25 (Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A)). The Consolidated Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that “Shops, including ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder, fertilizers, seeds and pesticides” and “Delivery of all essential goods including food…” are exempted to be closed down. In addition, manufacturing units of essential goods and manufacturing units of packaging material for food items and manufacturing and packaging units of fertilizers, pesticides and seeds will remain open and the transportation for essential goods is not suspended. It is specified that the restrictions are fundamentally related to the movement of people, but not of essential goods.   In a separate notification, on March 28, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a Trade Notice (No. 59/2019-2020) stating that exporters will be allowed to ship their goods without the mandatory Certificate of Origin (COO) under India’s Trade Agreements since Indian agencies are temporarily closed. "The certificates would be issued retrospectively by the concerned Indian agencies after they open their offices". South Africa The MP Minister of Agriculture of South Africa, Thoko Didiza, stated that the agriculture and food supply sector is one of the essential systems for livelihood and therefore will remain operational despite of the lockdown announced on March 23. Agricultural production in all its forms will remain uncompromised and exports and imports of critical agriculture commodities and the logistical measures will continue to ensure global and national food security during the lockdown. In addition, to avoid inflated prices in the sector, food price monitoring will be conducted on critical food basket commodities and reports will be given to the nation on regular bases. Chile Since March 18, all Chile’s land, maritime and air borders are closed for the transit of foreign nationals, however, this does not impact the entry and exit of cargo or carriers in order to ensure normal supply. The Chilean Government stated that the supply chain is functioning normally in regard to both the production and distribution of the various goods, and therefore, there is no need for citizens to stock up in excess. Australia The Australian Government Department of Health is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. Some limitations including the closure of venues of non-essential activities have been implemented. However, Australians will still be able to access the goods and services needed to safely and sustainably live their lives (here). According to Tridge, Australia has announced a 14-day quarantine on any vessels outbound from China. China As more countries are issuing new restrictions to contain the pandemic, China, the initial focus of the coronavirus outbreak, has begun to loosen its lockdown. China was shut down for about four weeks from January 23. Wuhan area shutdown is expected to last about two months, until April 8, 2020. During this time strict measures in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were imposed[1]. Normal life is starting to return in China step by step. According to Reuters, “industry experts say many farmers resumed production as China’s virus lockdowns eased but demand has been slower to recover, particularly from commercial buyers such as restaurants, cafes and canteens”.   According to Tridge, in China, except for the Hubei province, most trucking services have been reinstated. Although there is still a lack of capacity, which has increased trucking costs. All Chinese airports except for Wuhan’s are operating as usual. With passenger flights to and from China mostly suspended, freight capacity is reduced by approximately 90%, resulting in price hikes for air freights. In terms of ocean freight, all Chinese ports except for Wuhan’s are operating as usual, but with blank sailings and limited capacity.   Despite the governmental measures addressed to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is inevitable that, in some cases, the food supply chain will be affected by this unprecedented situation. Port congestion, lack of containers, rising shipping costs, increasing border inspections, mismatch of offer and demand, and price fluctuations are some issues that are affecting trade, according to Tridge. In addition, activities which require the physical presence of official staff, such as official controls, could be delayed. The information above is a review of actions the INC has compiled from government sources and international organizations. This news article is not intended to be exhaustive and it does not reflect the opinions of the INC. While the publishers believe that all information contained in this publication was correct at the time of publishing, they can accept no liability for any inaccuracies that may appear or loss suffered directly or indirectly by any reader as a result of any advertisement, editorial, photographs or other materials published in this news article. [1] Measures such as: GACC and National Health Commission Announcement No.15 of 2020 (on Prevention and Control of the Novel Coronavirus-Related Pneumonia) (here) China Customs toughen measures to prevent imported COVID-19 cases (here) China suspends entry by foreign nationals holding Chinese visas, residence permits (here) https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/measures-to-mitigate-covid-19EU: Control Systems Due to COVID-19Official controls and other official activities on official certificates and official attestations may exceptionally be performed by way of an official control performed on an electronic copy of the original of such certificates or attestations, or on an electronic format of the certificate or attestation produced and submitted in TRACES, provided the person responsible for presenting the official certificate or official attestation presents to the competent authority a statement affirming that the original of the official certificate or official attestation will be submitted as soon as technically feasible.   In addition, analyses, testing or diagnoses to be performed by official laboratories may exceptionally be performed by any laboratory designated for this purpose by the competent authority on a temporary basis. In the case of physical meetings in the context of official control methods and techniques may exceptionally be performed via available means of distance communication.   This Regulation entered into force on April 1, 2020, and shall apply until June 1, 2020.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/466 of 30 March 2020 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-control-systems-due-to-covid-19EFSA: Reporting Data on Pesticide ResiduesThe report gives a snapshot of the presence of pesticide residues in food in the EU, providing risk managers an important information on which to base decisions regarding future control measures.   A total of 91,015 samples were analyzed in 2018, 95.5% of which fell within legally permitted levels. For the subset of 11,679 samples analyzed as part of the EU-coordinated control program (random collection), 98.6% of samples were within legal limits.   The findings suggest that the assessed levels for the food commodities analyzed are unlikely to pose concern for consumer health. However, a number of recommendations are proposed to increase the efficiency of European control systems (e.g. optimizing traceability), thereby continuing to ensure a high level of consumer protection.   The 2018 European Union report on pesticide residues in food https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-reporting-data-on-pesticide-residues-1Chile: Phytosanitary Certificates Due to COVID-19Through this URL, national plant protection organizations (NPPOs) will be able to verify and obtain directly from the Agriculture and Livestock Service of Chile (SAG) certification system an image of all original data in the phytosanitary certificate, so as to guarantee the authenticity of any copies that processing entities submit from their respective countries (a scanned image, a photo or any other copy of the original phytosanitary certificate) with only the corresponding phytosanitary certificate number being required.   In the case of imports, the SAG will accept the submission of a scanned image of the phytosanitary certificate.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/chile-phytosanitary-certificates-due-to-covid-19Turkey: Exporters registrationAccording to this regulation, importers of tree nuts, including almonds, walnuts, cashews and peanuts, among other goods, are required to register each import shipment at a monitoring center. Turkish importers shall provide certifications of authenticity of exporters with whom they conduct business. Regarding these certifications, exporters shall initially submit a form with business and tax identification information to a local chamber of commerce and to the nearest Turkish Consulate for certification. After receiving this certification, exporters can use an online system to add or update the names of their Turkish partners. These certifications are valid for one year.   The entry into force of this regulation is May 8, 2020.   USDA GAIN Report TU2020-0007, issued on April 3, 2020 Guide for Exporters   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/turkey-exporters-registrationUSA: Applications for New Uses for Pesticides The active ingredient Aspergillus flavus strain NRRL 21882 has been proposed as fungicide for almond and pistachio.   The deadline for comments was April 1, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 41. Monday, March 2, 2020. Pages 12285-1228 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-applications-for-new-uses-for-pesticides-14New Zealand: MRLs UpdateThis document is a consolidated MRL standard that includes amendments proposed in December 2019 (see previous post) and revokes and replaces the former document ‘Food Notice: Maximum Residue Levels for Agricultural Compounds’ issued on August 30, 2019.   This Food Notice came into force on March 9, 2020.   Food Notice: Maximum Residue Levels for Agricultural Compounds (March 9, 2020) https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-zealand-mrls-update-4Italy: Hazelnut Working GroupCoordinated by the MIPAAF, the objective of this initiative is to make common policy to boosting quality, aggregation and innovation in the hazelnut industry, as well as to support the companies of the sector.    More information here (in Italian) https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/italy-hazelnut-working-groupEU-Vietnam: Free Trade AgreementThe Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will eliminate nearly all customs duties on goods traded between the two parties in a progressive way. The agreement also contains specific provisions to remove technical obstacles to trade.   This agreement was signed on June 30, 2019, and its entry into force is expected by summer 2020, when the Vietnamese National Assembly ratifies the FTA.   EU-Vietnam: Council gives final green light to free trade agreemen https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-vietnam-free-trade-agreement-1EU: Audit Report, AFLA in US PeanutsThe objectives of the audit were to assess if the systems in place to control aflatoxin contamination in peanuts intended for export to EU comply with or are at least equivalent to EU legislation, to ensure that the specified limits for contaminants laid down in EU legislation are respected. This audit was planned against the background of continuing and regular Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) notifications recorded in recent years.   The report concluded that, overall, there are very limited official controls or legal requirements applicable to control aflatoxin contamination specifically in peanuts intended for export to the EU. Official sampling for aflatoxins of peanuts intended for export to the EU is not always performed in a manner equivalent to the requirements of Regulation (EC) No. 401/2006. There is scope to further develop and improve the application of good practices across the industry, which could help to reduce the levels of any aflatoxin contamination in peanuts exported to the EU.   Based on the conclusions, the European Commission recommends the following:   Consider putting in place a mandatory and enforceable legal framework for an official export control procedure concerning aflatoxins in peanuts. Ensure that the recommendations of the Codex Alimentarius Code of Practice for the prevention and reduction of aflatoxin contamination in peanuts are implemented by food business operators whose peanuts are eligible to be exported to the EU. Ensure that sampling and sampling preparation is at least equivalent to the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 401/2006. Ensure that the validation data of laboratories which analyze peanuts intended for export to the EU for aflatoxins meet the requirements of method performance criteria in Regulation (EC) 401/2006.   Final Report of an audit carried out in the United States from 07 to 15 October 2019 in order to assess the control system in place to control aflatoxin contamination in peanuts intended for export to the European Union https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-audit-report-afla-in-us-peanutsEU: Pesticide WithdrawalsThe Draft provides that the approval of the active substance fenamiphos is not renewed and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing this substance will be withdrawn from the market. This decision does not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the concerned pesticide. However, following the non-approval, separate actions may be taken on the MRLs.   The deadline for comments is May 5, 2020.   Currently, the MRLs for fenamiphos in tree nuts, apricots, plums, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is 0.02* ppm and in grapes is 0.03 ppm.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticide-withdrawals-6EU: Pesticides, Standing CommitteeSome of the discussions were the following:   The Commission intends to ask the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to carry out an exposure assessment of the existing MRLs of Spinosad in the light of the new toxicological reference value published by EFSA.   The current residue definition of Fosetyl-Aluminium (“sum of fosetyl, phosphonic acid and their salts, expressed as fosetyl”) was discussed due to a request of clarification made by EFSA. The Committee confirmed that the residue definition should be “phospohic acid and its salts” as agreed in 2014.   The following Draft Commission Regulations had favorable opinion: Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for myclobutanil, napropamide and sintofen in or on certain products (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for cyantraniliprole, cyazofamid, cyprodinil, fenpyroximate, fludioxonil, fluxapyroxad, imazalil, isofetamid, kresoxim-methyl, lufenuron, mandipropamid, propamocarb, pyraclostrobin, pyriofenone, pyriproxyfen and spinetoram in or on certain products (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chromafenozide, fluometuron, pencycuron, sedaxane, tau-fluvalinate and triazoxide in or on certain products (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chlorpyrifos (here) and chlorpyrifos-methyl (here) in or on certain products. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for dimethoate and omethoate in or on cherries (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chlorate (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II, III and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for cycloxydim, flonicamid, haloxyfop, mandestrobin, mepiquat, Metschnikowia fructicola strain NRRL Y-27328 and prohexadione in or on certain products (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II, III and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for acequinocyl, acibenzolar-S-methyl, Bacillus subtilis strain IAB/BS03, emamectin, flonicamid, flutolanil, fosetyl, imazamox and oxathiapiprolin in or on certain products (here).   Summary report   The next meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed Section Phytopharmaceuticals had been scheduled for March 23-24, 2020 (Agenda) however it did not take place due to COVID-19, according to FRUCOM. The following drafts had to be presented for an opinion: Draft Commission Regulation (EU) modifying Annex III of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market. Draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the renewal of approval of the active substance metalaxyl-M, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the renewal of approval of the active substance foramsulfuron, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the non-renewal of approval of the active substance thiophanate-methyl, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation approving the active substance sodium hydrogen carbonate as a low-risk substance in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the approval the active substance Lavandulyl senecioate as a low-risk substance in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the approval the active substances Phlebiopsis gigantea VRA 1835, VRA 1984 and FOC PG 410.3 as low-risk substances in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the non-approval of Saponaria officinalis L. roots as a basic substance in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the approval of Milk as a basic substance, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the approval of L‑cysteine as a basic substance, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the non-approval of propolis extract as a basic substance, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation correcting Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 2019/706 renewing the approval of the active substance carvone, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here). https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-standing-committee-3EU: MRLs Update, Draft Commission RegulationsAs for nuts and dried fruits, the Draft Regulation sets the following MRLs:   The MRL for bupirimate is lowered from 0.05* to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, plums, dates, figs and peanuts; and is increased from 0.05* to 1.5 ppm in cranberries. The MRL for carfentrazone-ethyl is increased from 0.01* to 0.05* ppm in tree nuts; from 0.01* to 0.02* ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs; and from 0.02* to 0.05* ppm in peanuts. The MRL for emamectin is lowered from 0.01* to 0.005* ppm in tree nuts and peanuts; from 0.02 to 0.006 ppm in apricots; from 0.02 to 0.015 ppm in plums; from 0.05 to 0.04 ppm in grapes; and from 0.01* to 0.002* ppm in cranberries, dates and figs. The MRL for ethirimol is lowered from 0.05* to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, plums, dates, figs and peanuts; from 0.05 to 0.04 ppm in apricots; from 0.5 to 0.4 ppm in grapes; and increased from 0.05* to 2 ppm in cranberries. The MRL for pyriofenone is newly set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, dates, figs and peanuts.    * Indicates lower limit of determination.   The final date for comments is May 22, 2020. The proposed date of adoption is June 2020. It is expected to be published in August 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-draft-commission-regulations-15EU: Food Contact MaterialsThe Draft modifies Annexes I, II, IV and V, inserting new entries (montmorillonite clay modified with hexadecyltrimethyl ammonium bromide, phosphorous acid, triphenyl ester, polymer with alpha-hydro-omegahydroxypoly[oxy(methyl-1,2-ethanediyl)], C10-16 alkyl ester, and titanium dioxide surface-treated with fluoridemodified alumina); updating and adding limits to the general list of migration limits; lowering detection limits for primary aromatic amines; strengthening the information requirements under point 6 of Annex IV; adding testing rules for food processing equipment and appliances; requiring that specific migration does not increase between subsequent tests for repeated use materials and articles; adding a new standard testing condition for overall migration; and, correcting some of the wording related to overall migration testing.   The deadline for comments is May 4, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-food-contact-materials-3EU: Preferential Tariff Scheme ConsultationThe objective of this public consultation is to hear the view, experiences and evidence of a wide variety of stakeholders which can provide insights to the ongoing reflection on the possible legal review.   The business sector in the EU and in non-EU countries, including companies, SMEs, business associations, national and European chambers of commerce, and NGOs, among others, are able to participate in the public consultation on a possible review of the legal framework governing EU’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP).   The deadline for submitting comments is June 3, 2020.   EU Commission: Preferential tariff scheme between the EU and developing countries https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-preferential-tariff-scheme-consultationEFSA: Aflatoxins, Risk AssessmentIn October 2019, EFSA launched a public consultation on the draft scientific opinion on the risks to public health related to the presence of aflatoxins in food (see previous post). The outcomes of the public consultation, can be consulted here.   There were not changes in the conclusions compared to the draft version. Regarding chronic dietary exposure, the highest AFB1 and total aflatoxins (AFT) mean concentrations were obtained for the food category ‘legumes, nuts and oilseeds’, in particular for pistachios, peanuts and ‘other seeds’. EFSA highlights the necessity of more technical and scientific data, and recommends continuous monitoring of aflatoxin occurrence in the light of potential increases due to climate change.   EFSA Scientific Opinion. Risk assessment of aflatoxins in food. EFSA Journal 2020;18(3):6040. 112 pp. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-aflatoxins-risk-assessmentCanada: MRLs UpdateThe PMRL for mefentrifluconazole in tree nuts (crop group 14-11) is set at 0.06 ppm, in dried prune plums and raisins at 4.0 ppm, and in peanuts at 0.01 ppm.   The final date for comments is May 23, 2020.   Consultation on Mefentrifluconazole, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2020-04 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-40Brazil: MRLs Update The MRL for folpete (folpet) in grape culture is changed from 15.0 to 5.0 ppm in the modality of foliar use (application). The MRL for proexadiona cálcica (prohexadione-calcium) in cashew and fig cultures is included at 0.01 ppm with a safety security period of 15 days. The MRL in plums is included at 0.08 ppm with a safety security period of 30 days in the modality of foliar use (application). The MRL for ciantraniliprole (cyantraniliprole) in grape culture is included at 1.5 ppm with a safety security period of 14 days in the modality of foliar use (application). The safety security period for difenoconazol (difenoconazole) of ground-nut culture is changed from 22 to 14 days in the modality of foliar use (application).   The final date for comments on folpete and proexadiona cálcica is April 25, 2020; for ciantraniliprole is May 9, 2020; for ciantraniliprole is May 19, 2020.   F14 - Folpete   P54 – Proexadiona cálcica   C74 – Ciantraniliprole   D36 – Difenoconazol https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-mrls-update-26Australia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateThe table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows:   The maximum residue limit (MRL) for 2,4-D in walnuts at *0.05 ppm is inserted.   * indicates that the maximum residue limit is set at the limit of determination.   The amendment can be found here (pp. 41-46). https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-23Argentina: Export Tax RatesThe export tax on peanuts decreases from 12% to 7%, according to the USDA GAIN Report “New Export Tax Rates in Argentina”.   Decreto 230/2020 (in Spanish) USDA GAIN Report: New Export Tax Rates in Argentinahttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/argentina-export-tax-ratesGulfood 2020: The Epicenter of the Nut and Dried Fruit IndustryAfter the largest and most successful Gulfood in 2019 with over 100,000 visitors from more than 200 countries, the INC was present once again at the Dubai World Trade Center for Gulfood 2020 from February 16-20. This represented the 4th edition of the INC Pavilion in the Middle East.  Success and growth over the last few years at Gulfood has turned this event into a must attend for the INC.   This year, the INC had a 180 m2 pavilion, located at Hall 2 –Pulses/Grain & Cereals, booth 47. This location saw a heavy flow of traffic, giving the 17 INC members from 8 countries the opportunity to explore new markets and socialize with other industry professionals. The positioning of the Pavilion ensured that the INC members could make the most of the event and expose their company to a wide variety of business professionals.   Of course, an INC Pavilion would not be complete without a cocktail event and on Monday, February 17, the INC held the INC Cocktail which was sponsored by Voicevale. The cocktail was seen as the not-to-be-missed event of the nut and dried fruit industry, providing attendees with the chance to broaden their business and brand in a relaxed business setting.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/gulfood-2020-the-epicenter-of-the-nut-and-dried-fruit-industryUSA: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the Agency received the following petitions:   Amended tolerances for non-inerts: Remove tolerances for residues of spinetoram in or on cranberry at 0.04 ppm. Remove tolerances for residues of spinosad in or on cranberry at 0.01 ppm. New tolerances for non-inerts: Establish a tolerance for residues of kasugamycin in or on almond at 0.04 ppm. Establish tolerances for residues of fenpyroximate plus its Z-isomer in or on peanut at 0.04 ppm. Establish tolerances for residues of the insecticide spinetoram in or on berry, low growing, except strawberry, subgroup 13-07H at 0.04 ppm. Establish tolerances for residues of the insecticide spinosad in or on berry, low growing, except strawberry, subgroup 13-07H at 0.01 ppm. Establish a tolerance for residues of hexythiazox and its metabolites in or on date, dried fruit at 3 ppm. Establish a tolerance for residues of the insecticide indoxacarb in or on Nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.07 ppm.   The final date for comments is March 12, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 28, Tuesday, February 11, 2020. Pages 7708-7712   In addition, the Agency also received the following petitions:   New tolerances for non-inerts: Establish a tolerance for residues of the herbicide orthosulfamuronin in or on tree nuts (crop group 14-12) at 0.01 ppm.   The final date for comments is April 2, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 42, Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Pages 12454-12456 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-pesticide-petitions-22USA-Morocco: Free Trade AgreementThe Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force in 2006, progressively eliminated some bilateral tariffs and quotas.   In 2019, the Morocco Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) for US almonds was 83.3 metric tons (MT), which could be exported tariff free within this quota, and out of TRQ, the tariff was 3.3%. In 2018, the TRQ was 80.1 MT and the tariff out of the TRQ was 6.7% (see previous post). Circular N.º 6002/222   USDA GAIN Report. Morocco Announces 2020 FTA Tariff Schedulehttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-morocco-free-trade-agreement-1South Africa: MRLs UpdateThese regulations establish numerous MRL changes for pesticides on various commodities.   Regulations Governing the Maximum Limits for Pesticide Residues That May Be Present in Foodstuffs: Amendment https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/south-africa-mrls-update-1India: TariffsThe renewed Basic Custom Duty (BCD) increased from 30% to 100% for shelled walnuts, and entered into force with immediate effect.   HS Code Product Previous BCD Current BCD 0802 3200 Walnuts, shelled 30.00% 100.00%   However, both walnuts in-shell and shelled under HS Codes 0802 3100 and 0802 3200, respectively, are exempted from Social Welfare Surcharge (SWS) of 10% of BCD, and shelled almonds under HS Code 0802 1200 are also exempted from SWS levy by notification No. 09/2020, issued on February 2, 2020. Notice on the Finance Bill, 2020 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-tariffs-1EU: Pesticide WithdrawalsThe Draft provides that the approval of the active substance beta-cyfluthrin is not renewed and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing this substance will be withdrawn from the market. This decision does not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the concerned pesticide. However, following the non-approval, separate actions may be taken on the MRLs.   The deadline for comments is April 20, 2020.   Currently, the MRLs for beta-cyfluthrin in tree nuts, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is 0.02* ppm, in apricots and grapes is 0.3 ppm, and in plums is 0.2 ppm.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticide-withdrawals-5EU: MRLs Update, Draft Commission RegulationsAs for nuts and dried fruits, the Draft Regulation sets the following MRLs:   The MRL for azinphos-methyl is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. The MRL for pyraclostrobin is set at 0.3 ppm in grapes. The MRL for flufenoxuron is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. The MRL for phosalone is set at 0.02* ppm in tree nuts and at 0.01* ppm in apricots and plums. The MRL for oxadiazon is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. The MRL for repellants: tall oil is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts.   * Indicates lower limit of determination.   The final date for comments is May 1, 2020. The proposed date of adoption is September, 2020. It is expected to enter into force in April 2021.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-draft-commission-regulations-14EU: MRLs UpdateRegulation (EU) 2020/192 of 12 February 2020 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation entered into force on March 4, 2020, and shall apply from September 4, 2020.   Prochloraz: 0.03* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/192 of 12 February 2020 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-32EFSA: MRLs ReviewIn addition, EFSA has published the Reasoned Opinion on the Modification of the existing maximum residue level for pyridaben in sweet pepper/bell pepper and setting of an import tolerance in tree nuts. EFSA concluded that the short-term and long-term intake of residues resulting from the use of pyridaben on imported tree nuts from the US, according to the reported agricultural practices, is unlikely to present a risk to consumer health.   EFSA has proposed the following MRLs recommendations:   Substance Commodity Existing EU MRL (ppm) Proposed MRL (ppm) Comment Spinetoram Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts 0.05* 0.02* Further consideration needed plums 0.05* 0.02* Recommended table grapes 0.5 0.4 Further consideration needed Pyridaben tree nuts 0.01* 0.05* The submitted data are sufficient to derive an import tolerance MRL (USA GAP). Risk for consumers unlikely * Indicates that the MRL is set at the limit of analytical quantification.   EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Review of the existing maximum residue levels for spinetoram according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2020;18(1):5997 EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Modification of the existing maximum residue level for pyridaben in sweet pepper/bell pepper and setting of an import tolerance in tree nuts. EFSA Journal 2020;18(2):6035 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-mrls-review-2China: US Tariff Exclusion ProcessAccording to a USDA GAIN Report published on February 18, 2020, China-based companies are eligible to apply for this tariff exclusion process, which enumerates 150 agricultural and agricultural-related goods.   The nuts and dried fruits listed in this exclusion process are the following: HS Code Product Description 0802 5100 Pistachios, in-shell       Applicants shall submit evidence of an intent to purchase US goods, such as a signed contract.   In addition to the listed products, importers are allowed to apply for a tariff exclusion for any tariff line. However, tariff lines that have already received an exclusion do not need to apply again. For the non-enumerated commodities, the applicants must provide additional information regarding the impact of additional tariffs. The approved tariff exclusion application will only benefit the individual applicant, and will be tied to a certain product amount.   Applications are open from March 2, 2020.   USDA GAIN Report: China Announces a New Round of Tariff Exclusions USDA GAIN Report: China Publishes FAQs on Tariff Exclusion Process   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-us-tariff-exclusion-process-1INC Executive Committee Meeting in New York CityThe Committee discussed about the composition of the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees; the organization of the First INC LATAM Convention; the INC Short Form Contract for the sale and purchase of nuts and dried fruits; new Ambassadors requests; and a new grant for a clinical research project co-funded along with the US Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (NREF).   Besides, the members of the Executive Committee reviewed the status of ongoing projects, including the ad-hoc working groups Global Cashew Council, Macadamia Council, and Global Hazelnut Project; the annual grants for nutrition and health research, promotion and dissemination projects, Open Access studies and scientific proposals on sustainability and food safety research; INC participation in nutrition symposia; the INC Academia, 2020 Executive Program on Nuts and Dried Fruits; the INC Pavilion in international food shows; the Annual Communication and Dissemination Plans and the year results in social media and website; and activities regarding sustainability, scientific and government affairs. Finally, the Committee reviewed the preparations for Dubai and candidate cities for future congresses.   After the meeting in May, the Committee will meet at the INC headquarters in Reus for a strategic planning meeting in the frame of the symposium Nuts 2020, which will be held on June 18-19. Sponsored by the INC, Nuts 2020 will consist of a series of presentations and a final discussion on future lines of research by prominent researchers from around the world.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-executive-committee-meeting-february-2020China: Tariff ReductionsChina reduced tariffs from 10% to 5% and from 5% to 2.5% on certain US origin products imposed on September 1, 2019 (see previous post). However, other tariff measures on US origin goods will continue to be implemented in accordance with regulations. Among other commodities, the following US products are listed:   HS Code Article description Additional duty 0801 2100 Brazil nuts, in-shell 5% 0801 2200 Brazil nuts, shelled 5% 0801 3100 Cashew nuts, in-shell 5% 0801 3200 Cashew nuts, shelled 5% 0802 1100 Almonds, in-shell 5% 0802 1200 Almonds, shelled 5% 0802 2200 Hazelnuts, shelled 5% 0802 3100 Walnuts, in-shell 5% 0802 3200 Walnuts, shelled 5% 0802 5100 Pistachios, in-shell 5% 0802 5200 Pistachios, shelled 5% 0802 6190 Macadamia nuts, in-shell 5% 0802 6200 Macadamia nuts, shelled 5% 0802 9030 Pine nuts, shelled 5% 0804 1000 Dates, fresh or dried 5% 0804 2000 Figs, fresh or dried 5% 0806 2000 Grapes, dried 5% 0813 1000 Apricots, dried 5% 0813 2000 Prunes 5% 1202 4200 Peanuts, shelled 5% 2008 1110 Groundnuts, in airtight containers 2.5% 2008 1120 Peanuts, roasted 5% 2008 1130 Peanut butter 5% 2008 9300 Cranberries, prepared or preserved not from vinegar 5%   China announces tariff reductions of certain US origin productshttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-tariff-reductionsBrexit: UK Tariff ConsultationThese tariffs will be applicable to all imports to the UK, if there are no exceptions such as trade agreements, tariff suspensions or unilateral preferences for developing countries. On January 31, 2020, the UK ceased to be an EU Member State, and since then, the UK does not take part in the EU decision making process.  However, the UK is bound by EU rules including the EU customs Union and the EU Single Market during the transition period. The aforementioned tariffs will be applicable after the end of the transition period, on January 1, 2021, unless an extension is agreed before July 1, 2020. The consultation on tariffs is open until March 5, 2020. Consultation on the UK Global Tariff https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brexit-uk-tariff-consultationUSA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of fenhexamid in fruit, stone, group 12-12, except plum, prune is set at 10 ppm. The Regulation is effective since January 16, 2020; objections and requests must be received on or before March 16, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 11. Thursday, January 16, 2020. Pages 2654-2659https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-39USA: Market Facilitation ProgramPayments shall be made by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) under the authority Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to producers of peanuts, almonds, cranberries, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts, among other products.   MFP assistance for non-specialty crops such as peanuts, is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings of MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019. Those per-acre payments are not dependent on which of these crops are planted in 2019. County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation in that county.   MFP payments shall also be made to producers of almonds, cranberries, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts, among others. Each specialty crop will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of fruit or nut bearing plants.   USDA Issues Third Tranche of 2019 MFP Payments https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-market-facilitation-program-2USA-Mexico-Canada: Free Trade AgreementThe Agreement was signed on December 10, 2019, and it needs to be ratified by the three countries before its entry into force. Mexico has ratified the deal, and Canada is expected to formally approve it soon.   The USMCA is expected to enable food and agriculture to trade more fairly, and to expand exports of agricultural products. Some of the key achievements are:   Tariffs for most agricultural products will remain at zero. Setting unprecedented standards for agricultural biotechnology. Significant commitments to reduce trade distorting policies, improve transparency and ensure non-discriminatory treatment for agricultural product standards. Enhanced rules for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Remarks by President Trump at Signing Ceremony for the USMCAhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mexico-canada-free-trade-agreementUS-Japan: Trade AgreementThis agreement eliminated or reduced tariffs on certain US agricultural and industrial goods to enhance bilateral trade. Regarding tree nuts and dried fruits, the Trade Agreement eliminated or reduced tariffs on the following US origin products:   HS Code Description MFN Tariff Tariff US products 0802 1100 Almonds in-shell 2.40% 0.00% 0802 1200 Almonds shelled 2.40% 0.00% 0802 2200 Hazelnuts shelled 6.00% 0.00% 0802 3200 Walnuts shelled 10.00% 0.00% 0802 6200 Macadamias shelled 5.00% 0.00% 0802 9030 Pecans 4.50% 0.00% 0804 2000 Dried Figs 6.00% 4.00% 0813 2000 Prunes 2.40% 0.00% 1202 4200 Ground-nuts shelled 10.00% 0.00% 2008 1111 Peanut butter 10.00% 6.66% 2008 9312 Cranberries 11.00% 0.00% 1 tariff reduction of one third on January 1, 2020, and the customs duties shall be eliminated from the level calculated, without rounding, in four annual stages beginning of April 2021 and these goods shall be duty-free in April 2025. US-Japan Trade Agreement Annex 1: Tariffs and Tariff-Related Provisions of Japanhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/us-japan-trade-agreement-2US-China: Phase One Trade AgreementThis trade agreement suspended the future application of US tariff increases on Chinese products and the reduction of additional tariffs from 15% to 7.5% imposed on September 1, 2019, including Brazil nuts, in-shell hazelnuts, pignolias and peanuts exported to the US (effective from February 14, 2020). In exchange, China agreed to purchase US origin goods, including agricultural and manufactured products, among others. However, China has no immediate plans to lift retaliatory tariffs on US origin products.   The trade agreement includes provisions on intellectual property, technological transfer, agriculture, expanded trade and dispute settlement provisions that create regular bilateral consultations and allow each country to take proportionate countervailing actions.   A Phase Two Trade Agreement would remove bilateral tariffs and its negotiations are expected to start soon after the implementation of the first phase of the deal.   Remarks by President Trump at Signing of the U.S.-China Phase One Trade Agreement USTR Notice of Modification of Section 301 Action Economic and Trade Agreement between China and the US https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/us-china-phase-one-trade-agreementPeru: Macadamias from AustraliaFollowing the completion of the relevant pest risk analysis, the proposal of mandatory phytosanitary requirements governing the importation into Peru is being submitted for public consultation. The deadline for comments is March 15, 2020.   SENASA Public Consultation (in Spanish)  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/peru-macadamias-from-australiaMoldova: Food Safety LawThe purpose of this Law is to ensure the protection of human and animal health and consumer interests in relation to food safety, taking into account the diversity of food supply and ensuring the efficient functioning of the market.   The final date for comments is March 15, 2020. The proposed date of entry into force is February 22, 2020.   Law Nr. 306 (in Romanian/Russian)https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/moldova-food-safety-lawJapan: MRLs UpdateAs for nuts and dried fruits, the following MRLs were proposed: The MRL for permethrin in cranberry, date and pecan is lowered from 5.0 ppm to 0.01 ppm and in walnut from 5.0 ppm to 0.05 ppm. In addition, in grape is increased from 5.0 ppm to 8.0 ppm. The MRL for iminoctadine in apricot is increased from 0.5 ppm to 0.6 ppm, in grapes from 0.5 ppm to 0.9 ppm. However in dates is decreased from 0.5 ppm to 0.01 ppm and in pecan, almond and other nuts from 0.1 ppm to 0.01 ppm. The deadline for comments is March 20, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-mrls-update-23EU: Pesticides, Standing Committee Agenda Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for myclobutanil, napropamide and sintofen in or on certain products (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for cyantraniliprole, cyazofamid, cyprodinil, fenpyroximate, fludioxonil, fluxapyroxad, imazalil, isofetamid, kresoxim-methyl, lufenuron, mandipropamid, propamocarb, pyraclostrobin, pyriofenone, pyriproxyfen and spinetoram in or on certain products (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chromafenozide, fluometuron, pencycuron, sedaxane, tau-fluvalinate and triazoxide in or on certain products (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chlorpyrifos (here) and chlorpyrifos-methyl (here) in or on certain products. Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning a coordinated multi annual control program of the Union for 2021, 2022 and 2023 to ensure compliance with maximum residue levels of pesticides and to assess the consumer exposure to pesticide residues in and on food of plant and animal origin (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for dimethoate and omethoate in or on cherries (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chlorate (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II, III and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for cycloxydim, flonicamid, haloxyfop, mandestrobin, mepiquat, Metschnikowia fructicola strain NRRL Y-27328 and prohexadione in or on certain products (here). Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II, III and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for acequinocyl, acibenzolar-S-methyl, Bacillus subtilis strain IAB/BS03, emamectin, flonicamid, flutolanil, fosetyl, imazamox and oxathiapiprolin in or on certain products (here). Agenda of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed, Section Phytopharmaceuticals, Residues, February 18-19, 2020. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-standing-committee-agenda-2EU: Pesticide WithdrawalsOn January 10, 2020, the European Commission published the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/18 of 10 January 2020 concerning the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance chlorpyrifos and the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/17 of 10 January 2020 concerning the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance chlorpyrifos-methyl.   Member States shall withdraw authorizations for plant protection products containing chlorpyrifos or chlorpyrifos-methyl as an active substance by 16 February 2020. However, any grace period granted by Member States shall expire by April 16, 2020, at the latest. These Regulations entered into force on January 16, 2020.   In addition, on January 14, 2020, the European Commission published the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/23 of 13 January 2020 concerning the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance thiacloprid.   Member States shall withdraw authorizations for plant protection products containing thiacloprid as active substance by August 3, 2020. Any grace period granted by Member States shall expire by February 3, 2021. The Regulation entered into force on February 3, 2020. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/18 of 10 January 2020 Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/17 of 10 January 2020 Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/23 of 13 January 2020https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticide-withdrawals-4EFSA: MRLs ReviewEFSA has proposed the following MRLs recommendations:   Substance Commodity Existing EU MRL (ppm) Proposed MRL (ppm) Comment  Spirotetramat  hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts 0.5 0.5 Recommended  apricots, plums 3 3 Recommended  table grapes 2 2 Recommended  cranberries 0.7 0.5 Recommended  Cycloxydim  apricots 0.2 0.09* Recommended  plums   0.09 0.09* Recommended  table grapes 0.5 0.4 Recommended  peanuts 0.2 0.2 Further consideration needed  Acequinocyl  hazelnuts 0.01* 0.01* Further consideration needed  plums 0.02 0.03 Recommended  table grapes 0.3 0.8 Further consideration needed  cranberries 0.01* 0.01* Recommended  Fluxapyroxad  almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts,  hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts 0.04 0.04 Recommended  plums 1.5 1.5 Recommended  table grapes 3 3 Recommended  peanuts 0.01* 0.01* Further consideration needed  apricots 1 0.15 Further consideration needed  Abamectin  almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts 0.02 0.01* or 0.006* (a) * Indicates that the MRL is set at the limit of analytical quantification. (a) The data gap identified in the MRL review related to the analytical method validation has been addressed. However, the data gaps on residue trials have not been addressed. The lowering of the MRL of 0.02 mg/kg to the LOQ of 0.01 mg/kg should be considered. Since new validation data demonstrated that a lower LOQ is achievable, a risk management discussion is recommended whether it is appropriate to set the MRL at lower LOQ of 0.006 mg/kg.   EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Review of the existing maximum residue levels for spirotetramat according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2020;18(1):5960 EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Review of the existing maximum residue levels for cycloxydim according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2020;18(1):5962   EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Review of the existing maximum residue levels for acequinocyl according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2020;18(1):5983 EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Review of the existing maximum residue levels for fluxapyroxad according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2020;18(1):5984 EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Evaluation of confirmatory data following the Article 12 MRL review and modification of the existing maximum residue levels for abamectin in various commodities. EFSA Journal 2020;18(1):5989https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-mrls-review-1EFSA: Fosetyl/Phosphonic Acid, MRLs ReviewEFSA has concluded that the proposed use of potassium phosphonates on the crops under evaluation will not result in a consumer exposure exceeding the toxicological reference values and, therefore, is unlikely to pose a risk to consumers’ health.   EFSA has proposed to amend the MRLs as follows: To increase the MRLs for almonds, hazelnuts pistachios and walnuts from 500 ppm to 1,500 ppm (sum of fosetyl, phosphonic acid and their salts, expressed as fosetyl) or to 1,000 ppm (phosphonic acid and their salts expressed as phosphonic acid). Modification of the existing maximum residue levels for fosetyl/phosphonic acid in various crops. EFSA Journal 2020;18(1):5964 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-fosetyl-phosphonic-acid-mrls-reviewChina: MRLs UpdateThis draft amends several pesticide MRLs for different food commodities. Regarding nuts and dried fruits, the following MRLs were listed:   Fluopyram: peanut at 0.02 ppm. Flutriafol: almond at 0.6 ppm and pecan at 0.02 ppm. Isofetamid: grape at 5.0 ppm. Pyrifluquinazon: plum at 0.1 ppm and grape at 1.0 ppm. Pyriofenone: grape at 2.0 ppm. Quinclorac: cranberry at 1.5 ppm. Spiroxamine: grape at 0.5 ppm. Sulfentrazone: hazelnut at 0.1 ppm.   The deadline for comments is March 20, 2020.   In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People&#39;s Republic of China notified the World Trade Organization of the National Food Safety Standard of the P.R.C.: Maximum Residue Limits for Pesticides in Foods. This standard specifies 642 maximum residue limits (MRLs) of 68 pesticides, including abamectin, etc. in or on foods.   The deadline for comments is March 21, 2020. For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-mrls-update-13Canada: MRLs UpdateThe PMRL for tetraniliprole in Tree nuts (crop group 14-11) is set at 0.03 ppm.   The final date for comments is April 4, 2020.   Consultation on Tetraniliprole, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2020-01https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-39Brexit: UK’s Departure from the EUOn January 29, 2020, the EU Parliament gave its final approval to UK’s departure from the EU, followed by the ratification of the Council of the EU on January 30, 2020. The UK Parliament completed the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement on January 22, 2020. The Agreement was reached on October 17, 2019 (see previous post).   From February 1, 2020, until December 31, 2020, a transition period applies, and until the end of the transition the UK will be bound by EU’s rules, including the EU Customs Union and the Single Market. Therefore, goods lawfully placed on the market in the EU or in the UK before the end of the transition period may continue to freely circulate in and between these markets without having to comply with additional requirements. However, the UK will not take part in the EU decision making process. The transition period can be extended for one or two more years, if this extension is agreed before July 1, 2020.   The Negotiations for the future bilateral relationship will start in March 2020. On January 1, 2021, a new agreement on UK-EU relations could enter into force if a deal has been reached and ratified by December, 2020. However, if negotiations fail and the transition period is not extended, there is a possibility of a UK’s sharp rupture from the EU on January 1, 2021. Regarding trade between the EU and the UK, the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules would be applicable. Entry into Force of the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU Brexit Deal Approved by the EU Parliament  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brexit-uk-s-departure-from-the-euBrazil: MRLs Update The MRL for indoxacarb in peanuts is included at 0.08 ppm and safety security period of 1 day. The MRL for ethephon in grape culture is included at 2.0 ppm and safety security period of 2 days. The MRL for acetamiprid in peanuts is included at 0.15 ppm and safety security period of 7 days in the modality of foliar use (application). In addition, the MRL in peanuts is changed from 0.01 to 0.15 ppm in the modality of seed use (application). The final date for comments is March 7, 2020. I21 - Indoxacarb E05 - Ethephon A29 - Acetamiprid  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-mrls-update-25Samurai Wasp vs. Brown Marmorated Stink BugThe event focused on the latest developments and research into stink bugs, especially Halyomorpha halys (Stål), also known as Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), and the importance of orchards protection: measures of control and defense. An international group of leading experts, whose work focuses on monitoring and finding a solution to the stink bugs, gave an update about the situation in the hazelnut and fresh fruit sectors, in Turkey and Italy in particular. The event was attended by about 150 participants from France, Georgia, Italy, Luxemburg, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey, from different sectors, from Government authorities and universities to associations of exporters and private companies.   The opening of the seminar was officiated by Mr. Pino Calcagni, Chairman of the Sustainability, Scientific and Government Affairs Committee of the INC, with the participation of Mr. Suat Kaymak, Head of the Plant Health Research Department, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock of Turkey, Mr. Bamsi Akin, General Manager of Ferrero Fındık, and Mr. Edip Sevinç, Chairman of the Black Sea Hazelnut and Products Exporters Association and the Hazelnut Sector Council.   Prof. Dr. Celal Tuncer from Ondokuz Mayıs University, Turkey, urged to take prompt action against BMSB infestation and recommended the import of the Trissolcus japonicus, a.k.a. Samurai wasp (native to China, Japan and Korea) for the control of this invasive species.   Prof. Dr. Luciana Tavella from the University of Torino, Italy, talked about stink bugs management in the North West of Italy. Compared with native bugs, BMSB injury has similar symptoms but in significantly higher amounts. The most effective insecticides are bifenthrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, chlorpyrifos-methyl, etofenprox and acetamiprid. But only few of them are authorized on hazelnut in Italy. Insecticides have a knock-down action but short persistence and can have negative consequences on the ecosystem, as well as undesired side effects on natural predators and secondary pests.   Dr. Nikoloz Meskhi, Head of the Plant Protection Department of the National Food Agency of Georgia, spoke about the damage caused to various agricultural crops (hazelnut, corn, vegetables, etc.) in Georgia. The estimated loss in hazelnut production alone is about $50 million.   Prof. Lara Maistrello from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, talked about climate suitability, current distribution worldwide, overwintering sites, spatio-temporal patterns of the invasion in the North of Italy, genetic analyses, types of damage, behavior, surveys on native natural antagonists, and challenges in the monitoring and control of this pest.   Mr. Federico Passarelli from the Italian Fresh Produce Service Center (CSO) reported on the economic impact of BMSB on fruit production, namely pear, peach, apple and kiwi fruit, in the North of Italy, estimated at €588.4 million only in 2019.   Dr. Tim Haye from CABI, Switzerland, presented the outcomes of several surveys for BMSB eggs parasitoids. The Trissolcus japonicus, native to China, Japan and Korea, seems to be the most effective egg parasitoid of BMSB. Regardless of its common name, Samurai wasp, it does not attack natural predators (like ladybirds or lacewings) and does not pose a risk for human health or honey bees. The Samurai wasp was found in the US in 2014 and in Switzerland in 2017. In New Zealand, it has been approved for biocontrol even before BMSB has been found in the country. In the North of Italy, T. japonicus arrived in 2018, and the Italian government is currently evaluating the release of artificially reared insects in 2020. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/samurai-wasp-vs-brown-marmorated-stink-bugINC Cocktail Sponsorship Available at SIAL Paris 2020The opportunity to sponsor the INC Cocktail event during SIAL Paris is still available.  The INC Cocktail event is a high-profile event that allows companys to come together to network, explore different markets, and find new business opportunitites. Book your sponsorship here. SIAL Paris is the world’s largest food innovation observatory dedicated to the agri-food industry, food retail and commercial catering. It takes place every two years (on even-numbered years) in Paris and represents an outstanding opportunity for the nut and dried fruit industry to showcase its products and services.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-cocktail-sponsorship-available-at-sial-paris-20202019 EU RASFF Notifications for Nuts and Dried FruitsThe most notified edible nuts were peanuts, with 219 notifications, followed by pistachios (66 not.) and almonds (40 not.). As in previous years, the main reason for notifying edible nuts was the presence of aflatoxins (80%). By country of origin, the most frequently notified edible nuts were peanuts from Argentina (17%), peanuts from USA (12%) and peanuts from China and Egypt (8% each). Compared with last year, notifications for peanuts from USA increased significantly (13 vs 48 not.), whereas the notifications for pistachios from USA and pistachios from Iran decreased by more than half (18 vs 43 not. & 14 vs 32 not., respectively).   As for dried fruits, dried figs (60 not.), dried grapes (50 not.) and dried apricots (13 not.) were the most notified. Aflatoxin contamination was the main reason for notifying (53 not.), followed by Ochratoxin A (47 not.) and sulphites (17 not.). Dried figs, dried apricots and dried grapes from Turkey were the most notified, representing 43%, 21% and 6%, respectively, of the total dried fruit notifications. The number of notifications for dried figs from Turkey increased by 54% compared with 2018 (37 vs 57), whereas in the case of dried apricots from Turkey, the number of notifications is more than three time less (34 vs 8).   The data presented here have been extracted from the RASFF Portal.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/2019-eu-rasff-notifications-for-nuts-and-dried-fruitsINC Academia Online Course Is Open. Enroll Now!What the Nut and Dried Fruit Program Involves Fast becoming the essential training program for nut and dried fruit industry professionals, the INC Academia combines online lessons, created and designed by top experts from the world&#39;s most prestigious institutions, with an intensive 3-day on-site experience this year taking place in stunning Southern Italy near Naples. The course is presented as a full package however, it is possible to undertake the online part only. To attend the on-site course, participants must do the online course first The online program, which allows students to learn at their own pace, consists of 11 units (50 hours) and covers the main aspects involved in the nut and dried fruit sector. Topics include lessons on soil and climate, varieties and uses, nutrition facts, food safety and quality standards, production, consumption trends among other key subjects. Aiming to give students a globalized view of the entire nut and dried fruit industry, the on- site part will enable students to learn about the different production systems in Italy, all while taking in its spectacular views. Visits to the country&#39;s top orchards, processing plants and also a distribution center will aid in the learning process. Students will also learn through brand-new case studies on Strategy and Leadership and Negotiation. A 3-Day On-site Experience in Italy Starting off in Naples, the program will combine visits to hazelnut and walnut orchards with trips to processing plants of internationally known companies Besana Group and Strega Alberti Benevento. Not only providing invaluable networking opportunities, the on-site course will also allow students to enjoy the culinary delights of Italian cuisine during the welcome cocktail and dinner, organized by INC. One not to be missed. Once the course has been completed, the INC will provide an official certificate of completion to those who complete and pass the online course and a certificate of attendance to those who participate in the on-site course. Don&#39;t miss out on this unique learning experience and ENROLL NOW in the INC Academia. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/enroll-now-in-the-inc-academia-online-course-starts-in-februaryThe INC Pavilion at SIAL Paris 2020SIAL Paris is the world’s largest food innovation observatory dedicated to the agri-food industry, food retail and commercial catering. It takes place every two years (on even-numbered years) in Paris and represents an outstanding opportunity for the nut and dried fruit industry to showcase its products and services. The exhibition will once again give INC co-exhibitors the opportunity to explore new markets, exchange views with the world’s agri-food players and be updated about the latest trends within the food industry. Exhibiting with a brand-new design, the INC Pavilion aims to offer co-exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their own brand identity while being embraced by the INC umbrella. The Pavilion will enjoy a premium location in Hall 6A which promises even higher footfall from previous years. INC members participating in the Pavilion are offered a full-service package including networking opportunities with the finest trade buyers, graphic design and printing, refreshments and daily lunch, free Wi-Fi connection, pre-show planning, company listing in the official catalogue, assistance with shipping, travel and accommodation and multilingual personnel, among other things. Besides, co-exhibitors joining the INC Pavilion in SIAL-Paris 2020 will get a 30% discount for advertising in the Nutfruit magazine. This special offer is not cumulative with other Nutfruit magazine offers and promotions.  Read more here. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-pavilion-in-sial-paris-2020-get-your-brand-in-front-of-the-marketUSA: Applications for New Uses for Pesticides The active ingredient Indoxacarb has been proposed as insecticide for Nut, tree, group 14-12 and nut, almond, hulls. The active ingredient Cyflumetofen has been proposed as insecticide for fruit, stone, group 12-12 and plum, prune, dried. The active ingredient Hexythiazox has been proposed as insecticide for Date, dried fruit. The deadline for comments was January 10, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 238. Wednesday, December 11, 2019. Pages 67740-67742 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-applications-for-new-uses-for-pesticides-13USA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of fenpyroximate in Nut, tree, group 14-12 is set at 0.1 ppm. In addition, existing tolerances on Nut, tree, group 14 and Pistachio are removed. The Regulation is effective since December 5, 2019. Objections and requests must be received on or before February 3, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 234. Thursday, December 5, 2019. Pages 66620-66626 Among others, the tolerance of flutianil in or on berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G is established at 0.5 ppm. The Regulation is effective since December 20, 2019; objections and requests must be received on or before February 18, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 245. Friday, December 20, 2019. Pages 70023-70026 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-38USA: Food Labeling, Guidance for IndustryThis guidelines, prepared by the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA, will provide questions and answers on topics related primarily to two final rules: 1) “Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed At One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments”; and 2) “Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels.” This guidance also discusses formatting issues for dual-column labeling products that have limited space for nutrition labeling, and additional issues dealing with compliance.   Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed At One Eating Occasion, Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed, Serving Size-Related Issues, Dual-Column Labeling, and Miscellaneous Topics: Guidance for Industry https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-food-labeling-guidance-for-industryUSA-Mexico-Canada: Free Trade Agreement (USMCA)The three countries added a series of conditions to the original text, reached on September 30, 2018. (see previous post) The USMCA will enable food and agriculture to trade more fairly, and to expand exports of agricultural products. Some of the key achievements are:   Tariffs for most agricultural products will remain at zero. Setting unprecedented standards for agricultural biotechnology. Significant commitments to reduce trade distorting policies, improve transparency and ensure non-discriminatory treatment for agricultural product standards. Enhanced rules for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures.   US-Mexico-Canada Trade Fact Sheet https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mexico-canada-free-trade-agreement-usmcaJapan: MRLs UpdateAs for nuts and dried fruits, the following MRL was proposed:   The MRL for Prothiofos in peanuts, dry, is lowered from 0.05 ppm to 0.02 ppm.   The deadline for comments is February 4, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-mrls-update-22EU-Ghana: Market AccessThe EPA provides duty-free and quota-free access to all Ghana’s exports, agricultural or manufactured, to the EU market. Ghana will gradually and partially liberalize imports from the EU, from the first quarter of 2020, and the liberalization schedule would be concluded by 2029.   EU-Ghana endorse market access offer and schedule under Economic Partnership Agreement https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-ghana-market-accessEU: ML for CadmiumAccording to the European Federation of the Trade in Dried Fruit & Edible Nuts, Processed Fruit & Vegetables, Processed Fishery products, Spices, Honey (FRUCOM), the European Commission launched a stakeholder consultation on proposed changes to the cadmium maximum levels. The proposed maximum limit (ML) for cadmium in tree nuts and peanuts is 0.20 mg/kg. Currently, peanuts and tree nuts are exempted from cadmium ML (Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006). For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-ml-for-cadmium-1EU: Measures against PestsThis Regulation implements Regulation (EU) 2016/2031, as regards the listing of Union quarantine pests, protected zone quarantine pests and Union regulated non-quarantine pests, and the measures on plants, plant products and other objects to reduce the risks of those pests to an acceptable level.   The Regulation lists the plant, plant products and other objects, as well as the respective third countries of origin or dispatch, for which phytosanitary certificates are required. The list includes the following:   Almonds, for sowing (Annex XI, Part A): ex 0802 11 10 ex 0802 11 90 ex 0802 12 10 ex 0802 12 90   Brazil nuts and cashew nuts, fresh, whole, not shelled, not peeled, also for sowing (Annex XI, Part B): ex 0801 21 00 ex 0801 31 00   Other nuts, fresh, whole not shelled, not peeled, also for sowing (Annex XI, Part B): ex 0802 11 10 ex 0802 11 90 ex 0802 21 00 ex 0802 31 00 ex 0802 41 00 ex 0802 51 00 ex 0802 61 00 ex 0802 70 00 ex 0802 80 00 ex 0802 90 10 ex 0802 90 50 ex 0802 90 85   This Regulation applied since December 14, 2019.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-measures-against-pestsEU: Pesticides, Standing Committee Agenda Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance chlorpyrifos, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here).   Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance chlorpyrifos-methyl, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here).   Exchange of views and possible opinion of the Committee on a draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the renewal of approval of the active substance metalaxyl-M, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (here).   Agenda of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed, Section Phytopharmaceuticals, Residues, December 5-6, 2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-standing-committee-agenda-1EU: MRLs Update, Draft Commission RegulationsAs for nuts and dried fruits, the Draft Regulation sets the following MRLs:   The MRL for chlorpyrifos is lowered from 0.05 ppm to 0.01* ppm in almonds, pecans and walnuts; from 0.3 ppm to 0.01* ppm in plums; and from 1 ppm to 0.01* ppm in cranberries. The MRL for chlorpyrifos-methyl is lowered from 0.5 ppm to 0.01* ppm in apricots and plums; from 1 ppm to 0.01* ppm in grapes; and from 0.05 ppm to 0.01* ppm in peanuts.   * Indicates lower limit of determination.   The final date for comments is February 10, 2020. The proposed date of adoption is June, 2020. It is expected that enter into force in October 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-draft-commission-regulations-13EU: Pesticides, Extension of Approval PeriodsThe approval periods of these active substances is extended until January 31, 2021, or February 28, 2021, depending on the substances.   This regulation entered into force on December 29, 2019.   Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/2094 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-extension-of-approval-periods-3EU: Official ControlsWhat follows are the Directive and some of the regulations:   Directive (EU) 2019/2121 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 amending Directive (EU) 2017/1132 as regards cross-border conversions, mergers and divisions. Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2122 of 10 October 2019 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards certain categories of animals and goods exempted from official controls at border control posts, specific controls on passengers’ personal luggage and on small consignments of goods sent to natural persons which are not intended to be placed on the market and amending Commission Regulation (EU) No 142/2011 Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2123 of 10 October 2019 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards rules for the cases where and the conditions under which identity checks and physical checks on certain goods may be performed at control points and documentary checks may be performed at distance from border control posts. Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2124 of 10 October 2019 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards rules for official controls of consignments of animals and goods in transit, transhipment and onward transportation through the Union, and amending Commission Regulations (EC) No 798/2008, (EC) No 1251/2008, (EC) No 119/2009, (EU) No 206/2010, (EU) No 605/2010, (EU) No 142/2011, (EU) No 28/2012, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/759 and Commission Decision 2007/777/EC.  Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2125 of 10 October 2019 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards rules concerning the performance of specific official controls of wood packaging material, notification of certain consignments and measures to be taken in cases of non-compliance. Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2126 of 10 October 2019 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards rules for specific official controls for certain categories of animals and goods, measures to be taken following the performance of such controls and certain categories of animals and goods exempted from official controls at border control posts. Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2127 of 10 October 2019 amending Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the date of application of certain provisions of Council Directives 91/496/EEC, 97/78/EC and 2000/29/EC. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2130 of 25 November 2019 establishing detailed rules on the operations to be carried out during and after documentary checks, identity checks and physical checks on animals and goods subject to official controls at border control posts.  Official Journal of the European Union. Vol 62. 12 December 2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-official-controls-1EU: Customs DutiesThis Regulation does not modify the suspension already stablished on sweetened dried cranberries (ex 2008 93 91) and dates (ex 0804 10 00). The suspension of duties on dried cranberries shall be effective until December 31, 2022, and the tariff suspension on dates shall be effective until December 31, 2023.   Council Regulation (EU) 2019/2197 of 19 December 2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-customs-dutiesEU-ACP: Partnership AgreementThe Partnership Agreement between the two parties entered into force in April 2003, and would be applied until February 29, 2020. The negotiations for a new Partnership Agreement started in September 2018. However, as there would not be an agreement by February 2020, both parties adopted measures to extend the current EU-ACP Partnership Agreement.   Decision No 3/2019 of the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-acp-partnership-agreementEFSA: Spirotetramat, MRLs ReviewAfter assessing the application and the evaluation report, EFSA has concluded that the short- and long-term intake of residues resulting from the use of spirotetramat according to the reported agricultural practices is unlikely to present a risk to consumer health.   EFSA proposes to increase the existing MRL for cranberries from 0.7 ppm (Spi + 4) to 2 ppm (Spi + 4) and to 1.5 ppm (Spi + enol).   EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Modification of the existing maximum residue levels for spirotetramat in small fruits and berries. EFSA Journal 2019;17(11):5904, 24 pp https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-spirotetramat-mrls-review-1EFSA: Consultation on Ochratoxin A in FoodThe Draft is available for comments. The previous risk assessment was published in 2006. A series of studies on biomarkers of exposure of humans to OTA published since then have been evaluated. The new information suggested that OTA may be genotoxic and carcinogenic. In such cases, EFSA experts calculate a margin of exposure (MOE) for consumers. In general, the higher the MOE, the lower the level of concern for consumers. The estimated MOE for OTA is below 10,000 across most consumer groups, suggesting a possible health concern.   The dietary OTA exposure assessment included a total of 72,350 data. About 44% of the data came from Germany and the Netherlands. The proportion of left-censored data (results below the limit of detection/quantification (LOD/LOQ)) was 75.5%. The highest mean concentrations of OTA were recorded in the categories ‘Plant extract formula’, ‘Flavorings or essences’ (both containing liquorice extracts) and ‘Chili pepper’. The most important contributors to the chronic dietary exposure to OTA were ‘Preserved meat’, ‘Cheese’ and ‘Grains and grain-based products’. Dried and fresh fruit such as grapes, figs, and dates were particularly important contributors in some of the ‘Toddlers’ and ‘Other children’ groups.   EFSA recognizes that the overall uncertainty associated is high and the assessment is more likely to overestimate than to underestimate the risk. In addition, EFSA highlights the necessity of more scientific data on toxicity as well as more data on occurrence.   The deadline for comments is January 24, 2019.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-consultation-on-aflatoxins-in-food-1China: Annual Tariff ReductionsThis announcement does not affect the retaliatory tariffs on US exports to China. Reductions are effective since January 1, 2020.   Regarding tree nuts and dried fruit, the import tariffs are the following:   EX* HS Code Commodity MFN Tariff Rate (%) 2020 Tentative Applied Rate (%)   08012100 In-shell Brazil nuts, fresh or dried 10 7   08012200 Shelled Brazil nuts, fresh or dried 10 7   08013100 In-shell cashews, fresh or dried 20 7   08013200 Shelled cashews, fresh or dried 10 7   08021100 In-shell almonds, fresh or dried 24 10   08025100 In-shell pistachios, fresh or dried 10 5   08025200 Shelled pistachios, fresh or dried 10 5   08026200 Shelled macadamia nuts 24 12   08026200 Shelled macadamia nuts, fresh or dried 24 12 ex 08029090 Pecan (whether or not shelled or peeled) 24 7 ex 08134090 Dried cranberries 25 15 * provisional tax rate should be within the scope of the harmonized schedule tariff code and should be determined by the specific product description.   Notice of the Customs Tariff Commission https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-annual-tariff-reductions-1China: Additional Tariffs Temporary SuspendedThe temporary suspension covers the 10% and 5% additional tariffs on US imported goods. The decision was made to implement the results of recent trade talks between the two countries. However, it is possible that China imposes the aforementioned tariffs in the future, depending on the outcomes of trade negotiations between the US and China.   The additional tariffs would have affected, among others, the following products:   HS Code Article description Additional duty 1202 4100 Peanuts, in-shell 5% 2008 1190 Peanuts, other 10% 2008 1920 Other canned nuts 5% 2008 1999 Other nuts 10%   China suspends additional tariffs on US origin products https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-additional-tariffs-temporary-suspendedChina-USA: Phase one Trade DealBoth countries agreed to promote bilateral economic and trade relations, and China agreed to make substantial purchases of US agricultural products among other US origin goods. This agreement temporary stopped the bilateral imposition of additional tariffs which were expected to enter into force on December 15, 2019 (see previous post). Before the signature of the agreement, both countries have to complete internal procedures including its legal review and translation.   China and US agree on text of phase one trade deal The US has Secured a Historic Phase One Trade Agreement with China https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-usa-phase-one-trade-dealCanada: MRLs UpdateAs previously notified, the PMRL for cyclaniliprole in grapes is lowered from 0.8 ppm to 0.6 ppm, in tree nuts (crop group 14-11) from 0.03 pp to 0.02 ppm, and in in low growing berries, except lowbush blueberries (crop subgroup 13-07G), is set at 0.4 ppm. The MRL was adopted on November 27, 2019. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-38Brazil: MRLs Update The MRL for fenpropathrin in peanuts is included at 0.01 ppm and a safety security period of 14 days. The application for copper hydroxide in Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts is changed as “safety security period without restrictions". The MRL for acetamiprid in peanuts is increased from 0.01 ppm to 0.1 ppm in the modality of seed use (application). The application for sulfur in Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts is changed as “safety security period without restrictions".   The final date for comments was January 11, 2020.   F28 - Fenpropathrin C55 - Copper Hydroxide A29 - Acetamiprid E04 - Sulfur https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-mrls-update-24Australia and New Zealand: Allergen LabellingFSANZ is working on a proposal to make allergen labeling requirements clearer and more consistent, to help food allergen-sensitive consumers and food businesses. The Food Standards Code already requires the mandatory declaration of 11 foods or substances which can cause severe allergic and other. However, it does not include requirements for how and where the declarations must be made on food labels.   In summary, these changes would require: the use of mandatory specified terms for allergen declarations. the separate declaration of mollusks; individual tree nuts: almond, Brazil nut, cashew, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pine nut, pistachio and walnut; and wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt or their hybrids for packaged foods: declaration of allergens in the statement of ingredients using bold font and in a separate emboldened allergen summary statement; and use of the terms ‘gluten’ or &#39;tree nut&#39; in the allergen summary statement when these are present.   The deadline for comments is February 27, 2020.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-allergen-labellingAustralia and New Zealand: MRLs Update, DraftThe purpose of this proposal is to consider varying certain maximum residue limits (MRLs) for residues of specified agricultural and veterinary chemicals that may occur in food commodities.​   Regarding nuts and dried fruits, the variations proposed are the following: The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Flazasulfuron in Almonds at 0.01 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Imidacloprid in Date at T1 ppm is omitted. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Acephate in Peanuts at 0.2 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Clofentezine in Plums (including prunes) at 0.1 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Fenazaquin in Dried grapes (currants, raisins and sultanas) at 0.8 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Halosulfuron-methyl in Almonds at 0.05 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Sethoxydim in Almonds at 0.2 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Chlorothalonil in Peanuts is substituted for 0.3 ppm. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Fluopyram in Peanuts is substituted for 0.2 ppm.   The deadline for submission is January 24, 2020.   Call for submissions https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-draftAustralia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateThe table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows:   The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Azoxystrobin in Tree nuts [except almonds] at 2 ppm is omitted. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Azoxystrobin in Macadamia nuts at *0.01 ppm and in Tree nuts [except almonds and macadamia nuts] at 2 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Metalaxyl in Hazelnuts at T*0.05 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Pyriproxyfen in Macadamia nuts at *0.01 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Imidacloprid in Hazelnuts is substituted for T0.05 ppm.   * indicates that the maximum residue limit is set at the limit of determination. ‘T’ indicates that the maximum residue limit is a temporary maximum residue limit.   The amendment can be found here (pp. 28-34). https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-22Australia: Brown Marmorated Stink BugThe final report, published on December 13, 2019, does not recommend a change to the measures already in place for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug as such, imports can continue. It proposes a range of risk management measures, combined with operational systems, to reduce the biosecurity risks posed by the stink bug on imported goods and achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-brown-marmorated-stink-bug-1USA: Market Facilitation ProgramThe aim of MFP is to assist farmers suffering from damage due to trade retaliation by foreign nations. Producers will be eligible to receive 25% of the total payment expected, in addition to the 50% they received from the 2019 MFP (see previous post). Payments began on November 18, 2019, through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) under the authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act to producers of several agricultural products, including peanuts. MFP assistance for these non-specialty crops is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings of MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019. County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the impact of unjustified trade retaliation in that county.   MFP payments will also be made to producers of almonds, cranberries, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts, among others. Each specialty crop will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of fruit or nut bearing plants.   The third tranche of MFP payments will be made in January 2020.   USDA Issues Second Tranche of Market Facilitation Program https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-market-facilitation-program-1USA: Food Waste Reduction AllianceThe FWRA pursues three goals: reducing the amount of food waste generated; increasing the amount of safe, nutritious food donated to those in need; and diverting food waste from landfills. In this Alliance, the three major sectors of the supply chain -food manufacturing, retail, and restaurant and food service- are represented.   Through this collaborative effort, USDA, EPA and FDA contribute, individually and collectively, to the initiative, encourage long-term reductions, and work toward the goal of reducing food loss and waste in the United States. These actions include research, community investments, education and outreach, voluntary programs, public-private partnerships, tool development, technical assistance, event participation and policy discussion.   See press release https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-food-waste-reduction-allianceUSA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of tebuconazole in Fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F is set at 6 ppm and in Nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.05 ppm. In addition, existing tolerances on Nut, tree, group 14 at 0.05 ppm and Pistachio at 0.05 ppm are removed.   The Regulation is effective since November 12, 2019. Objections and requests must be received on or before January 13, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 218. Tuesday, November 12, 2019. Pages 60932-60937 In cranberries, the tolerance of propyzamide is set at 1 ppm.   The Regulation is effective since November 12, 2019. Objections and requests must be received on or before January 13, 2020.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 218. Tuesday, November 12, 2019. Pages 60937-60943   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-37US-China: Latest Tariff Information The United States:   On September 1, 2019 the US increased to 25% the tariffs on Chinese products imposed on September 24, 2018 (List 3). From October 1, 2019, the additional tariffs were expected to increase a 5% to reach 30%. However, on September 11, 2019, the US postponed the imposition of the 5% extra tariffs by two weeks, meaning that tariffs would have entered into force on October 15, 2019. Finally, the additional 5% tariffs were not imposed, because on October 11, 2019, the US and China reached an agreement for a trade deal which would be signed by the end of November or December, 2019. No announcements were made regarding the additional tariffs to be imposed from December 15, 2019. Additional Tariffs on Chinese Products, effective from September 1, 2019 (List 3):   Among other commodities, the following products are listed:   HS Code Product Description Additional Tariff 0801 3100 Cashew nuts, in-shell 25% 0802 3200 Cashew nuts, shelled 25% 0802 1100 Almonds, in-shell 25% 0802 1200 Almonds, shelled 25% 0802 2200 Hazelnuts, shelled 25% 0802 3100 Walnuts, in-shell 25% 0802 3200 Walnuts, shelled 25% 0802 5100 Pistachios, in-shell 25% 0802 5200 Pistachios, shelled 25% 0802 6200 Macadamias, shelled 25% 0802 9010 Pecans, in-shell 25% 0802 9015 Pecans, shelled 25% 0804 1060 Dates 25% 0804 2040 Figs 25% 0806 2010 Raisins, seedless 25% 0806 2020 Raisins 25% 0813 1000 Apricots 25% 0813 2010 Prunes 25% 1202 3040 Peanuts (seeds) 25% 2008 1102 Peanut butter 25% 2008 1122 Blanched peanuts 25% 2008 1142 Peanuts, others 25% 2008 1940 Preserved almonds 25% 2008 9300 Cranberries 25% Additional Tariffs on Chinese Products, effective from September 1, 2019 (List 4A):   In addition to the aforementioned tariffs, on September 1, 2019, the US imposed 15% additional tariffs on Chinese products (List 4A), including, among others, the following goods:   HS Code Product Description Additional Tariff 0801 2100 Brazil nuts, in-shell 15% 0802 2200 Brazil nuts, shelled 15% 0802 2100 Hazelnuts, in-shell 15% 0802 6100 Macadamia nuts, in-shell 15% 0802 9020 Pignolias, in-shell 15% 1202 4105 Peanuts, in-shell 15% 1202 4205 Peanuts, shelled 15% 2008 1135 Blanched peanuts 15% 2008 1160 Peanuts, other 15% From October 31, 2019 until January 31, 2020, requests for exclusions may be submitted. Any exclusions granted will be effective for one year, starting from September 1, 2019. Additional Tariffs on Chinese Products, effective from December 15, 2019 (List 4B):   On December 15, 2019, the US would impose 15% additional duties (List 4B) on the following Chinese product, among others:   HS Code Product Description Additional Tariff 0802 9025 Pignolias, shelled 15%   China:   On September 1, 2019, China imposed additional tariffs on certain US origin products. A second batch of tariffs will be imposed on December 15, 2019 (see previous post). On September 11, 2019, China announced a range of US origin goods which would be exempted from additional tariffs, from September 17, 2019, until September 16, 2020. However, this exemption list does not include tree nuts or dried fruits. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/us-china-latest-tariff-informationUK-Georgia: Trade Continuity and Strategic Cooperation AgreementThe deal is meant to ensure that businesses and consumers benefit from continued preferential trade when the UK ceases to be bound by EU deals. The agreement is subject to the domestic internal procedures of both countries before it can be brought into force. UK and Georgia sign trade continuity and strategic cooperation agreement https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/uk-georgia-trade-continuity-and-strategic-cooperation-agreementKenya: Macadamia Nuts, Standards “DEAS 1004:2019 Raw Macadamia Kernel — Specification” specifies requirements and methods of sampling and test for raw macadamia kernels of varieties grown from Macadamia integrifolia, Macadamia tetraphylla, Macadamia ternifolia and their hybrids, intended for human consumption. “DEAS 1005:2019 Roasted Macadamia Kernel — Specification” specifies the requirements, methods of sampling and testing for roasted macadamia of varieties (cultivars) grown from Macadamia integrifolia, Macadamia tetraphylla and Macadamia ternifolia, and their hybrids intended for human consumption.   The deadline for comments is January 18, 2020. The proposed date of adoption is March 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/kenya-macadamia-nuts-standardsKenya: Cashew Butter, Standards“DEAS 1003:2019 Cashew Butter — Specification“ specifies requirements and methods of sampling and test for cashew butter derived from kernels of cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale L.) intended for human consumption.   The deadline for comments is January 18, 2020. The proposed date of adoption is March 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/kenya-cashew-butter-standardsKenya: Cashew Nuts, Standards “DEAS 1000:2019 Raw cashew nuts — Specification” specifies requirements, methods of sampling and test for in-shell raw cashew nuts obtained from the cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale L.) for further processing. “DEAS 1001:2019 Raw cashew Kernels — Specification” specifies requirements and methods of sampling and test for raw cashew kernels derived from raw cashew nuts of the cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale L.) intended for human consumption. “DEAS 1002:2019 Roasted cashew Kernels — Specification” specifies requirements, methods of sampling and test for roasted cashew kernels obtained from nuts of cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale L.) intended for human consumption.   The deadline for comments is January 18, 2020. The proposed date of adoption is March 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/kenya-cashew-nuts-standardsEU: Metalaxyl-M, RenewalThe approval of the active substance metalaxyl-M is renewed until March 31, 2035, subject to certain restrictions including to the use of seeds treated with product containing metalaxyl-M. Use as seed treatment is permitted, however, treated seeds shall only be sown in greenhouses.   This Regulation shall apply from April 1, 2020. However, the restriction to sowing treated seeds in greenhouses will apply from 1 November 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-metalaxyl-m-renewalEU: Monitoring of AcrylamideThe Recommendation establishes that Member States should monitor regularly the presence of acrylamide and its levels in food, in particular in the food listed in the Annex (roasted nuts, roasted oilseed and dried fruits are included). The data collected through the monitoring activities should be transmitted to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) by October 1 of each year.   It is appropriate that competent authorities and food business operators monitor the presence of acrylamide in food in view of the adoption of possible risk management measures.   Commission Recommendation (EU) 2019/1888 of 7 November 2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-monitoring-of-acrylamideEU-Singapore: Free Trade AgreementThis agreement will remove nearly all remaining tariffs on certain products, simplify customs procedures and set high standards and rules. The Trade Agreement was signed on October 19, 2018, together with two more agreements (see previous post): the Investment Protection Agreement and the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation, which have not yet entered into force. The three agreements signify an important step towards increasing the EU’s presence in the fast-growing region of South-East Asia. EU-Singapore Trade Agreement Enters into Force https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-singapore-free-trade-agreement-1EFSA: Glyphosate, MRLs ReviewEFSA concluded that although no apparent risk to consumers was identified, some information required by the regulatory framework was missing. The consumer risk assessment is considered indicative only and some MRL proposals derived by EFSA still require further consideration by risk managers.   Based on the assessment of the available data, EFSA has proposed the following MRLs: To decrease the MRL for tree nuts, apricots, plums, cranberries, figs and peanuts from 0.1* ppm to 0.05* ppm and for grapes from 0.5 ppm to 0.05* ppm.   * Indicates that the MRL is set at the limit of analytical quantification.   EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Review of the existing maximum residue levels for glyphosate according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 – revised version to take into account omitted data. EFSA Journal 2019;17(10):5862 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-glyphosate-mrls-reviewChina: MRLs UpdateThe proposed amendments can be consulted here (in Chinese). https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-mrls-update-12Canada: MRLs UpdateThe MRL was adopted on November 13, 2019.   Health Canada Databasehttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-37Australia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateAmong other changes, the table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows: The maximum residue limit (MRL) for 2,4-D in walnuts at *0.05 ppm is inserted.   * Indicates that the MRL is set at the limit of determination.   The deadline for comments is December 12, 2019.   The amendment can be found here (pp. 36-38). https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-21Hazelnut Technical Information KitThe brochure includes an overview of characteristics, applications, food safety and quality standards.   The Kit is divided into six sections: General information Products Forms Recommendations for processing, storage, packaging and transport Quality requirements and food safety parameters Standards and grades Hazelnut Technical Information Kit https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/hazelnut-technical-information-kitInternational Seedless Dried Grape Producing Countries ConferenceLast held in Australia in 2008, the conference supported the exchange of information on world production and marketing of dried grapes. Mr. Mark King and Ms. Anne Mansell, both of Dried Fruits Australia, were elected chairman and secretary for the event, respectively. The conference took a major step forward in agreeing to the launch of an international campaign to promote dried grapes as a healthy alternative food option. The campaign is due to be launched in February 2020 by the Dried Fruit Alliance.   As for production estimates, the statistical analysis undertaken at the conference showed a slightly larger crop, mainly due to production increases in Turkey, South Africa and Chile. Carryover stocks are still relatively low, if compared to the early 2000s, but it will be possible to supply normal market demands.   Regarding the supply situation for currants, it was noted that the recent trend of smaller Greek crops had not turned around and a crop of 20,000 tons of currants is expected. Press Release and Production Estimates https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/international-seedless-dried-grape-producing-countries-conference-3European Trade MeetingThe meeting brought together more than 100 representatives of different nut and dried fruit organizations and companies such as the Aegean Exporters Associations (Turkey), Almendrave (Spain), Blacksea Exporters Associations (Turkey), California Walnut Commission (USA), California Prune Board (USA), Eurofins (Germany), FRUCOM (Belgium), Fruitimprese (Italy), Frutos Secos Fuster (Spain), Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey (Germany), Istanbul Exporters’ Associations (Turkey), NZV (Netherlands), Olam (Netherlands), Safe Food Alliance (USA), The Nut Association, TNA (UK) and Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds (USA), among others.   FRUCOM reported about What to Expect from the EU in the Next Years. Mr. John Kaiser (Waren-Verein) presented the case study Our Steps Towards (Digital) Future, Successful Transformation in a Traditional Company. Mr. Guido Lange (Block Builders GmbH) informed about the advantages and disadvantages of blockchain, including an example of almonds exported by vessel from Australia to Hamburg. The second part of the Meeting revolved around trade disputes (US-China, US-EU Boeing-Airbus and Brexit) and trade policies. In the first presentation, Prof. Rolf J. Langhammer, former Vice-President of Kiel Institute for the World Economy, gave an overview of the current trade disputes. Then, Dr. Nils Krause (German-Chinese Business Association) gave a presentation on Chinese Trade Policy. Finally Dr. Laura von Daniels (German Institute for International and Security Affairs) introduced the most recent US trade policies.   After the lunch break, the issue of sustainability was introduced by Dr. Leif Balz, Lidl Dienstleistung GmbH & Co. He emphasized that the green movement of Fridays for Future is winning power and consumers are increasing their environmental awareness. Issues regarding sustainability and social responsible measures were discussed by a specialized panel composed by Ms. Julia Piechotta (Spoontainable UG), Mr. Varun Trivedi (Olam Europe BV), Mr. Alfred Jansen (iglo GmbH) and Dr. Ulrike Eberle (Center for Sustainable Leadership, ZNU, Witten/Herdecke University) The discussion was moderated by Ms. Julia Sen, NDR. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/european-trade-meeting-1FRUCOM Open Discussion RoundThe meeting was attended by representatives of the Aegean Exporters Associations (Turkey), Almendrave (Spain), Blacksea Exporters Associations (Turkey), California Walnut Commission (USA), Eurofins (Germany), Fruitimprese (Italy), Frutos Secos Fuster (Spain/Portugal), Istanbul Exporters’ Associations (Turkey), Midsummer Marketing (UK), The Nut Association (TNA) (UK), NZV (Netherlands), American Peanut Council (USA), California Prune Board (USA), Safe Food Alliance (USA), Waren-Verein der Hamburger Börse e.V. (Germany), Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds (USA) and the INC.   After the welcome speech by Ms. Anna Boulova, Secretary General, she gave an update on FRUCOM main activities, the actions planned until March 2020, the issues related to the Working Group of Dried Fruits and Nuts, such as pesticides and aflatoxins, and the program and objectives for the 2020 General Assembly. This update was followed by a discussion among the members. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/frucom-open-discussion-round-1New Call for Scientific Proposals. Up To €150,000 AvailableThe objective of this grant is to fund projects aimed at promoting research that may contribute to improve how nuts and dried fruits are grown and processed in a safe and sustainable way. Objectives: To analyze and report on the sustainability of the nut and dried fruit industry; to highlight issues for consideration and suggest a number of actions that may contribute to the overall sustainability of the industry, with specific references to environmental, social and economic sustainability. To provide a scientific basis for best practices across one of the two priority areas: sustainability and/or food safety.  Priorities: Sustainability: Production practices that are environmentally friendly, economically profitable and socially equitable. Food safety: Innovations to improve food safety practices at any stage of the supply chain. €150,000 are available for the 2020 Grant. All projects must be submitted using the Application Form. Applications are due by January 31, 2020. The Guidelines and Application Form are available online.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-call-for-scientific-proposalsUNECE Agricultural Quality StandardsThe Chairperson of the Specialized Section on Standardization of Dry and Dried Produce, Mr. Dorian LaFond, reported the work of the Specialized Section and presented the revised standards and new recommendations submitted for adoption. He also noted that next meeting of the Specialized Section will be hosted in Izmir, Tukey, in June 2020 (dates TBA) with the aim of having some practical sessions. The Working Party decided to adopt the new standards for dehydrated coconut kernel pieces, dried ripe papayas and dried melons, the revised standard for walnut kernels, and the explanatory poster for inshell pistachio nuts and inshell walnuts. The explanatory poster for walnut kernels, dried figs and dried grapes was decided to be adopted in an intersessional procedure. In addition, it was decided to extend the trial period of the revised standard for prunes, and the Sampling Plan for tree nuts and dried produce and Guidelines for Inspections were postponed. The Working Party agreed to consider the following items for future work: revised standard for prunes, explanatory guide for dried apricots, new standards for inshell pecans and pecan kernels, revision of the standard layout, finalization of the sampling plan, sampling plan video, organization the practical session in Izmir, Turkey, and development of a poster on prunes.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/unece-agricultural-quality-standards-5The INC Present at the U.S. Nuts & Dried Fruits ConferenceThis event, organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the Nut Association (TNA) and the National Dried Fruit Trade Association (NDFTA), was attended by over 100 participants from the US government, nut and dried fruit associations, as well as private companies.   The following trade associations presented an overview of the US nut and dried fruit industry, including brief crop updates: Almond Board of California; American Peanut Council; American Pecan Council; American Pistachio Growers; California Prune Board; California Raisin Administrative Committee; and the California Walnut Commission. The event also gave the opportunity to network, engage and learn from others in the nut and dried fruit industry. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-inc-present-at-the-u-s-nuts-dried-fruits-conferenceEnroll Now in the INC Academia: 3rd EditionStarting in February 2020, the updated program provides an educative course about the basics of the nut and dried fruit industry, its main characteristics, applications and information resources.   The course combines online lessons (around 50 hours), including PDF summaries and more than 40 video tutorials, readings, videos and self-assessment tests, plus a three-day on-site course to learn through case studies, network with other industry professionals and visit orchards and factories. The course is presented as a full package, however it is possible to only undertake the online part. To attend the on-site course, participants must do the online course first. The contents of the online course have been developed by professors from prestigious business schools. The program consists of 11 units (50 hours), covering the main aspects involved in the nut and dried fruit sector. Topics include lessons on soil and climate, varieties and uses, nutrition facts, food safety and quality standards, production, consumption trends among other key subjects. See the program.   Giving students a face-to-face experience, the three-day on-site course will take place May 24-26, 2020 in Italy, just before the INC World Congress. With more than 10 hours of preparatory tasks available, the on-site course gives students the opportunity to gain a first-hand look into different aspects of the industry as well as meeting with fellow peers. In addition to this all case studies are developed by professors from prestigious business schools and are entirely focused on the nut and dried fruit industry.   The INC Academia&#39;s Executive Program on Nuts and Dried Fruits allows students to learn the basics of the nut and dried fruit industry at their own pace, as well as providing them with great networking opportunities. The INC will provide a certificate of completion to those who complete and pass the online course (score of 60% or more after one single attempt) and a certificate of attendance to those who participate in the on-site course.   The INC Academia is the educational project of the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council. Enroll now. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-inc-academia-launches-the-3rd-edition-of-the-executive-program-on-nuts-and-dried-fruitsApply Now for the 2020 INC Innovation Award!This contest will select the Top Best new product/service at the XXXIX World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, in Dubai, UAE, May 27-29, 2021. Open only to INC members attending the Congress, this is a unique opportunity to:  Reach 1000+ participants from 60+ countries. Highlight your new products/services. Enhance your company’s reputation for innovation. Why participate? Participants will be displayed in the Exhibition Area of the XXXIX World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, in Dubai, UAE, May 27-29, 2021. The winner will be announced at the XXXIX World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, in Dubai. The winner will be featured in the Nutfruit magazine and Congress video.   Requirements: Entries must submit the product/service description (300 words max.), high-quality product shots (jpeg or tiff, 300 dpi or greater) and company logo. Entrants shall e-mail the information before April 10, 2021, to inc@nutfruit.org. Once accepted, entrants will be asked to send product samples and/or supporting material to the Congress venue for the Exhibition Area. Shipment details will be provided.   Deadline to submit the information is April 10, 2021 (only one product or service per applicant).   INC will set up displays in the Exhibition Area in the form of posters and glass cabinets. The posters will present the description of the product/service, pictures, and company logo.   Eligible products must be newly launched. This includes: A new product or service that has been introduced in the market in 2019, 2020 or early 2021. A completely new product, product line, service, packaging or technology launched by the participating company in 2019 or early 2020. A product with significant modification to the original offering introduced in the market in 2019, 2020 or early 2021. For example, the addition/deletion of an ingredient, or a significant modification to equipment functionality, or innovation in packaging.   For more information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org or (+34) 977 331 416. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/apply-now-for-the-2020-inc-innovation-awardsTree Nut and Dried Fruit Productions to Add Up to 4.5 Million and 3.3 Million Metric Tons, RespectivelyNorthern hemisphere tree nut harvests progressed at a normal pace in most growing regions, yielding crops in line with overall expectations, both in terms of volume and quality. World tree nut production for the 2019/2020 season has been forecasted at about 4,538,000 metric tons (kernel basis, except pistachios in-shell), slightly up from 2018/19.   The biggest increments this season are expected for hazelnut and walnut crops. Hazelnut production is foreseen to be risen by 15% compared to the previous season to over 530,000 MT on account of increased crops from Turkey, the leading producing country, and some other origins such as France and Spain. World walnut crop has been forecasted at around 969,000 MT, 10% above the previous year due to significant rises in most producing origins.   World peanut production has been anticipated to remain within the previous season range, amounting to 40.9 million with the largest crop increments from the prior season forecasted for China, India, Brazil and USA.   The world production of dried fruit in 2019/20 has been forecasted at circa 3,283,000 MT, a growth of 5% compared to 2018/19. The greatest increments are expected for table dates (up 9% to 1,226,000 MT), prunes (up 9% to 215,800 MT) and dried figs (up 17% to 158,500 MT). Download the press release.        https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/tree-nut-and-dried-fruit-productions-to-add-up-to-4-5-million-and-3-3-million-metric-tons-respectivelyUK- Morocco: Trade Continuity AgreementThis agreement would take effect when the EU-Morocco Association Agreement ceases to apply to the UK, and provides, among other trade benefits, tariff-free trade of industrial products together with liberalization of trade in agricultural, agri-food and fisheries products. The agreement is subject to the domestic internal procedures of both countries before it can be brought into force.   UK and Morocco sign continuity agreement https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/uk-morocco-trade-continuity-agreementFAO: Food Loss ReportThis report acknowledges the need to reduce food loss and waste, presents new insights on what is known and what is not, and provides guidance on how to target interventions and policies depending on policymakers’ objectives and the information available.   FAO estimates that around 14% of the world’s food is lost from post-harvest up to (but not including) the retail level. “Central Asia and Southern Asia” is the region with higher percentage of food loss, followed by “Northern America and Europe”. In terms of food categories, the category of “roots, tuber and Oil-bearing Crops” have the higher losses, followed by “Fruits and Vegetables”.   Full report   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/fao-food-loss-reportEU: Changes to Border Controls, DraftAt the meeting, the proposed changes discussed were to increase the frequency of checks of Ochratoxin A (OTA) in Turkish dried grapes from 5% to 10%, and to remove the increased controls of sulphites in Turkish dried apricots, among others.   These proposed changes will be voted in mid-December 2019 and applied from mid-January 2020, provided that they are accepted.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-changes-to-border-controls-draft-1EU: Increased Official ControlsAs previously announced, this Regulation consolidates in one single act the measures on increased official controls laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 and the emergency measures for food and feed laid down in Commission Regulations (EU) No 884/2014, (EU) No 2015/175, (EU) No 2017/186 and (EU) 2018/1660.   The draft Regulation lays down the list (Annex I) of food and feed of non-animal origin from certain third countries subject to a temporary increase of official controls at their entry into the Union (Regulation 669/2009).   Annex II lays down special import conditions (emergency measures) for the entry of food and feed of non-animal origin from certain third countries (Regulations 2015/175, 2017/186, 2018/1660, and 884/2014). Each consignment of food and feed listed in Annex II must be accompanied by the results of sampling and analyses, and by an official certificate issued by the competent authority of the third country of origin or of the third country where the consignment is consigned from if that country is different from the country of origin. A new single model official certificate is established.   The Commission must review the lists set out in Annexes I and II on a regular basis not exceeding a period of six months.   It shall enter into force on October 18, 2019, and shall apply from December 14, 2019.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1793 of 22 October 2019   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-increased-official-controls-1EU: Official ControlsRegulation (EU) 2017/625 on Official Controls (OCR) establishes a harmonized legislative framework for the organization and performance of official controls and other official activities to verify compliance with Union agri-food chain legislation. Official controls take place at border control posts, designated by the Member States, when entering the Union from third countries. In certain cases identity checks and physical checks of these consignments may be performed at designated control points other than border control posts. This Delegated Regulation lays down specific rules for identity checks and physical checks performed at designated control points on consignments. It also stipulates requirements for documentary checks performed at distance from the border control post on consignments.   The final date for comments is November 24, 2019. The Regulation is expected to be published in December 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-official-controlsEU: Contaminants, Standing CommitteeThe Draft Commission Regulation amending Regulation (EC) 1881/2006 as regards maximum levels of perchlorate in certain foods had favorable opinion, according to the European Federation of the Trade in Dried Fruit & Edible Nuts, Processed Fruit & Vegetables, Processed Fishery products, Spices, Honey (FRUCOM). The summary of the meeting is not yet available.   The Draft sets an ML for perchlorate in fruits and vegetables at 0.05 mg/kg, excepting cucurbitaceae and kale at 0.10 mg/kg and leaf vegetables and herbs at 0.50 mg/kg. Nuts are excluded.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-contaminants-standing-committeeEU: ML for CadmiumThe latest discussion at the Working Group meeting on Environmental and Industrial Contaminants took place on September 12, 2019. The proposed maximum limit (ML) for cadmium in tree nuts and peanuts is 0.20 mg/kg. Currently, peanuts and tree nuts are exempted from cadmium ML (Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006).   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-ml-for-cadmiumEU: Pesticides, Standing CommitteeSome of the discussions were the following:  The vote on the non-renewal of the approval of the active substances chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl is expected to take place at the meeting of the Standing Committee on December 6, 2019. The draft Regulation foresees a maximum grace period of 3 months (instead of 6 months as usual). In addition, the Commission proposed to lower the MRLs for chlorpyriphos and chlorpyriphos-methyl to the relevant LOQs following the adoption of the decisions not to renew the approval of the substances and the expiry of grace periods given by Member States. It proposed a shortened deferred application of 3 months in line with the shortened grace period of 3 months proposed.    The Commission suggested to finalize the discussion document on transitional periods in the version presented at the meeting. It stressed that it is not a guidance document but only served to structure the discussions within the Committee. The Committee agreed to the revised discussion document and to closing the discussions on that basis.   The vote of the following Draft Commission Regulations were postponed:  Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II, III and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for acequinocyl, acibenzolar-S-methyl, Bacillus subtilis strain IAB/BS03, emamectin, flonicamid, flutolanil, fosetyl, imazamox and oxathiapiprolin in or on certain products (Art. 10) (here). The MRL for acibenzolar-S-methyl in hazelnuts is increased from 0.1 ppm to 0.2 ppm. The MRL for flutolanil in tree nuts, apricots, plums grapes, cranberries, dates and figs is changed from 0.01* ppm to 0.01 ppm. The MRL for imazamox in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs is changed from 0.05* ppm to 0.05 ppm. Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for prochloraz in or on certain products (here). The MRL for prochloraz in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts is newly set at 0.03* ppm. Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II, III and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for cycloxydim, epoxiconazole, flonicamid, haloxyfop, mandestrobin, mepiquat, Metschnikowia fructicola strain NRRL Y-27328 and prohexadione in or on certain products (here). The MRL for flonicamid in cranberries is increased from 0.03* ppm to 0.7 ppm. The MRL for mandestrobin in grapes is increased from 0.01* ppm to 5 ppm. Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chlorate (here). The draft sets the MRL of chlorate in tree nuts at 0.1 ppm; apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries and peanuts at 0.05 ppm; and dates and figs at 0.3 ppm.   The following drafts were presented for discussion:  Exchange of views of the Committee as regards maximum residue levels for sintofen, myclobutanil and napropamide (Art. 12) (here). The MRL for myclobutanil in tree nuts is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm; in apricots is increased from 0.3 ppm to 3.0 ppm; in grapes is increased from 1.0 ppm to 1.5 ppm; and in cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm. The MRL for napropamide in tree nuts, dates, figs and peanuts is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm; in apricots, plums and grapes is lowered from 0.1 ppm to 0.01* ppm; and in cranberries is lowered from 0.1 ppm to 0.02 ppm. Exchange of views of the Committee as regards maximum residue levels for cyantraniliprole, cyazofamid, cyprodinil, fenpyroximate, fludioxonil, fluxapyroxad, imazalil, isofetamid, kresoxim-methyl, lufenuron, mandipropamid, propamocarb, pyraclostrobin, pyriofenone, pyriproxyfen and spinetoram in or on certain products (CXLs) (here). The MRL for cyantraniliprole in cranberries is increased from 0.01* ppm to 0.08 ppm. The MRL for isofetamid in apricots is increased from 0.01* ppm to 9 ppm and in plums from 0.01* ppm to 0.8 ppm. The MRL from kresoxim-methyl in tree nuts is modified from 0.05* ppm to 0.05 ppm and in grapes is increased from 1 ppm to 1.5 ppm. The MRL from pyriofenone is set in cranberries at 0.05 ppm. Exchange of views of the Committee as regards maximum residue levels for chromafenozide, fluometuron, pencycuron, sedaxane, tau-fluvalinate and triazoxide in or on certain products (Art. 12) (here). The MRL for chromafenozide in grapes is lowered from1.5 ppm to 0.01* ppm. The MRL for pencycuron in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.02* ppm. The MRL for sedaxane in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts is newly set at 0.01* ppm. The MRL for tau-fluvalinate in plums is lowered from 0.3 ppm to 0.01* ppm and in peanuts from 0.02* ppm to 0.01* ppm. The MRL for triazoxide in tree nuts and peanuts is newly set at 0.005* ppm and in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs at 0.001* ppm.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   The next meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed Section Phytopharmaceuticals will be on October 21-22, 2019 (Agenda).   Summary Reporthttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-standing-committee-2EU: Pesticides, Extension of Approval PeriodsThe approval of the active substance alpha-cypermethrin, as a candidate for substitution, is renewed until October 31, 2026.   This Regulation entered into force on October 30, 2019. It applies since November 1, 2019.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1690 of 9 October 2019   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-extension-of-approval-periods-2EU: MRLs UpdateRegulation (EU) 2019/1791 of 17 October 2019 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation will enter into force on November 18, 2019.   Florpyrauxifen-benzyl: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts.   Regulation (EU) 2019/1792 of 17 October 2019 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation will enter into force on November 18, 2019, and shall apply from May 18, 2020.   Amitrole: 0.01* ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries and 0.02* ppm in peanuts. Triasulfuron: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/1791 of 17 October 2019 amending Annexes II, III and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for 1-decanol, 2,4-D, ABE-IT 56, cyprodinil, dimethenamid, fatty alcohols, florpyrauxifen-benzyl, fludioxonil, fluopyram, mepiquat, pendimethalin, picolinafen, pyraflufen-ethyl, pyridaben, S-abscisic acid and trifloxystrobin in or on certain products   Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/1792 of 17 October 2019 amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for amitrole, fipronil, flupyrsulfuron-methyl, imazosulfuron, isoproturon, orthosulfamuron and triasulfuron in or on certain products   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-31Brexit: Withdrawal Agreement and Extension The revised Protocol avoids a hard border on the island of Ireland, protects the economy in the whole island and the Good Friday Agreement, and safeguards the integrity of the EU Single Market. Northern Ireland would remain aligned to a limited set of EU Single Market rules to avoid a hard border, such as legislation on goods, sanitary controls, rules on agricultural production/marketing, VAT and excise in respect of goods, and state aid rules. The Protocol would avoid customs border on the island of Ireland, and also, Northern Ireland would remain in the UK’s customs territory.   The main change in the Political Declaration is that the UK and the EU would have a future economic relationship based on a free trade agreement with zero tariffs and quotas between the two parties.   Both agreements need to be approved by the EU and the UK Parliament before their entry into force.   In addition, on October 28, 2019, the EU agreed to a Brexit extension until January 31, 2020, in order to avoid a hard Brexit.   This extension is flexible, which means that if UK Parliament approves the renewed Withdrawal Agreement earlier, the UK is able to leave the EU before January 31, 2020. However, the necessary legislation to implement the renewed Withdrawal Agreement is paralyzed in the UK Parliament due to the disagreement with the UK Government on the timetable to discuss and vote the bills. There will be an early general election in the UK on December 12, 2019. The outcome of the election is uncertain and its consequences in the Brexit process are undetermined.   European Commission, Questions and answers What did the EU and the UK Agreed?   Revised Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland   Revised Political Declaration   EC-UK decision extending the period under Article 50 (3)TEU   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brexit-withdrawal-agreement-and-extensionEU: Phytosanitary CertificatesFrom December 14, 2019, all plants (including living parts of plants) will need to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate to enter into the EU, unless they are listed in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/2019 as exempted from this general requirement (not requiring to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate). Currently, the list of plants exempted from the obligation to carry a phytosanitary certificate are the following fruits: pineapples, coconuts, durians, bananas and dates.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-phytosanitary-certificatesChina-Mauritius: Free Trade AgreementThis FTA is the first one signed by China with an African country. The negotiations started in December 2017 and both parties will eventually eliminate tariffs on the great majority of mutual imports. The tariffs on the remaining items will also be substantially reduced. Both countries will shortly start the procedures for its internal approval before the entry into force of the FTA.   China and Mauritius Sign Free Trade Agreement https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-mauritius-free-trade-agreementPine Nut Technical Information Kit The Kit is divided into the following chapters:   General information Products Varieties Recommendations for processing, storage, packaging and transport Quality requirements and food safety parameters Standards and grades   Pine Nut Technical Information Kit   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/pine-nut-technical-information-kitINC Doubles the Annual Grant for Promotion and Dissemination ProjectsThe objective of this grant is to fund projects aimed at increasing the use and consumption of nuts and dried fruits, whenever such projects are beyond the scope of the INC, i.e. projects that the INC cannot fit within its regular activity, for instance due to language or geographic challenges.   €100,000 is available for the 2020 Grant. INC will only accept one project per institution, and will fund a maximum of €50,000 per project/institution.   Applications are due by December 31, 2019.   For further information, please click here.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-doubles-the-annual-grant-for-promotion-and-dissemination-projectsHighlights from Anuga: the Epicenter of the Nut and Dried Fruit Industry21 co-exhibitors shared the Pavilion, which was spread across 320 m2 in Hall 10.2 Fine Foods, a premium location for those who wish to enhance their brand’s reputation.  Throughout the event, all co-exhibitors benefited from countless networking opportunities, graphic design and printing, refreshments and daily lunch, free Wi-Fi connection, storage rooms, pre-show planning, company listing in the official catalogue, assistance with shipping, travel and accommodation and multilingual personnel, among other things. Once again, the hospitality area inside the Pavilion was a core element, acting as a common space with a more relaxed and casual atmosphere. If you want to relive the best moments of the INC Pavilion at Anuga 2019, visit the official gallery! [Watch the video] [See the official album] https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/highlights-from-anuga-the-epicenter-of-the-nut-and-dried-fruit-industryINC Symposium at the European Nutrition ConferenceThis conference, organized by the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS), brings together over 2,500 delegates, not only from the 26 affiliated European countries, but also from over 50 other countries represented, as well as related partner groups and societies at European and international level.   The symposium, moderated by Prof. Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Chairman of the INC World Forum for Nutrition Research and Dissemination, included leading researchers in the field of nutrition Dr. Richard Mattes from Purdue University (USA), Dr. Joan Sabaté from Loma Linda University (USA) and Dr. Crystal Haskell-Ramsay from Northumbria University (UK).   Prof. Salas-Salvadó presented an overview of the latest research on nut consumption, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes; Dr. Mattes shared new insights into nut intake and appetite; Dr. Sabaté focused on the latest epidemiologic studies and clinical trials in the field of nut consumption and obesity; and Dr. Haskell-Ramsay talked about the effects of nut consumption on gut microbiota. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-symposium-at-the-european-nutrition-conferenceEU: Chlorpyrifos-methyl WithdrawalThe Draft provides that the approval of the active substances chlorpyrifos-methyl is not renewed (it will expire on January 31, 2020) and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing this substance will be withdrawn from the market. The non-renewal of the approval is based on a scientific assessment conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (see previous post).   This decision does not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the concerned pesticide. However, following non-approval, separate actions may be taken on MRLs. Currently, the MRLs for chlorpyrifos-methyl in tree nuts, cranberries, dates and figs is already 0.01* ppm; in apricots and plums is 0.5 ppm; in grapes is 1.0 ppm; and in peanuts is 0.05 ppm.   The deadline for comments is December 2, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-chlorpyrifos-methyl-withdrawalUS-Japan: Trade AgreementThe US Japan Trade Agreement will provide enhanced market access for both countries by eliminating tariffs, enacting meaningful tariff and non-tariff barriers reductions, and allowing specific quantities of imports at lower duties. The Agreement includes agricultural products, industrial tariffs and digital trade between two of the largest economies in the world.   Tariffs will be eliminated immediately on US agricultural products such as almonds, walnuts, prunes and cranberries, among others, according to the US Department of Agriculture Secretary.   Both countries need to ratify the Trade Agreement according to their own internal procedures, before its entry into force.   Remarks by US President and Japan Prime Minister https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/us-japan-trade-agreement-1EU: 2018 RASFF Annual ReportIn 2018, the product category "nuts, nut products and seeds" reached a total of 667 notifications, meaning an increase of 24.5% compared with 2017. The number of notifications for this category has been increasing over the last years –more than double since 2014.   Year 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 Total notifications 667 536 443 477 308   The most notified hazard in the nuts category and countries of origin were:   Aflatoxins in nuts, nut products and seeds from USA: 85 notifications. Aflatoxins in nuts, nut products and seeds from Turkey: 77 notifications. Aflatoxins in nuts, nut products and seeds from Argentina: 60 notifications.   2018 EU RASFF Report   A more detailed analysis of the nut and dried fruit notifications can be found here.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-2018-rasff-annual-reportEU: Chlorpyrifos WithdrawalThe Draft provides that the approval of the active substances chlorpyrifos is not renewed (it will expire on January 31, 2020) and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing this substance will be withdrawn from the market. The non-renewal of the approval is based on a scientific assessment conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (see previous post).   This decision does not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the concerned pesticide. However, following non-approval, separate actions may be taken on MRLs. Currently, the MRLs for chlorpyrifos in Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pine nuts, pistachios, apricots, grapes, dates, figs and peanuts is already 0.01* ppm; in almonds, pecans and walnuts is 0.05 ppm; in plums is 0.3 ppm; and in cranberries is 1.0 ppm.   The deadline for comments is December 2, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-chlorpyrifos-withdrawalEU: MRLs UpdateRegulation 2019/1176 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation entered into force on October 7, 2019, and shall apply from April 7, 2020.   Cyflufenamid: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts; 0.07 ppm in plums; and 0.2 ppm in grapes. Fenbuconazole: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, dates, and figs; 0.6 ppm in apricots and plums; 1.5 ppm in grapes; 1 ppm in cranberries; and 0.1 ppm in peanuts. Fluquinconazole: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts.   Regulation (EU) 2019/1582 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation entered into force on October 16, 2019, and shall apply from April 16, 2020.   Imazalil: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/1559 of 16 September 2019   Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/1582 of 25 September 2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-30EU-USA: Decision in Airbus Subsidy DisputeWTO has authorized the United States to impose additional duties against EU products at a level of $7.5 billion annually. The tariffs will be applied to a range of imports from EU Member States, with the bulk of the tariffs being applied to imports from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.   The US has published the list of products that will be subject to the additional tariffs (here). The tariff increases will be limited 25% on agricultural and other products. However, the US has the authority to increase the tariffs at any time, or change the products affected.   Nuts and dried fruits are not included on the final list of products.   The effective date of the additional duties is October 18, 2019.   United States press release   European Commission press release  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-usa-decision-in-airbus-subsidy-disputeEFSA: Consultation on Aflatoxins in FoodThe EFSA’s draft Scientific Opinion on the risks to public health related to the presence of aflatoxins in food is available for comments. This document presents estimations of human dietary exposure to aflatoxins and an assessment of human health risks related to dietary exposure to aflatoxins.   EFSA states that aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is the most genotoxic compound compared with the other aflatoxins (B2, G1, G2 and M1), however fewer studies are available regarding the genotoxicity of the other aflatoxins. EFSA considers that liver carcinogenicity of aflatoxins remains the pivotal effect for the risk assessment. In view of the genotoxic properties of aflatoxins, EFSA considered that it was not appropriate to establish a tolerable daily intake.   Regarding chronic dietary exposure, the highest AFB1 and total aflatoxins (AFT) mean concentrations were obtained for the food category ‘legumes, nuts and oilseeds’, in particular for pistachios, peanuts and ‘other seeds’.   EFSA highlights the necessity of more technical and scientific data and recommends continuous monitoring the aflatoxin occurrence in the light of potential increases due to climate change.   The deadline for comments is November 15, 2019.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-consultation-on-aflatoxins-in-foodCanada: MRLs UpdateThe PMRL for malathion in low growing berries (crop subgroup 13-07G, except lowbush blueberries and strawberries) is set at 8.0 ppm.   The final date for comments is December 14, 2019.   Consultation on Malathion, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2019-30  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-36Brazil: MRLs Update The MRL for fluxapyroxad in macadamia nuts and pine nuts is increased from 0.1 to 0.3 ppm, and in peanuts is increased from 0.01 ppm to 0.03 ppm. The MRL for pyraclostrobin in macadamia nuts and pine nuts is increased from 0.2 to 0.5 ppm in the modality of foliar use (application);   The final date for comments is November 18, 2019.   F68 – Fluxapyroxad   P46 – Pyraclostrobin  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-mrls-update-23Brazil: Nutrition LabelingThe main objective of this regulation is to improve the visibility and readability of nutritional information and the accuracy of the declared nutritional values; to reduce situations that can mislead consumers; to facilitate nutritional comparison; and to broaden the scope of nutritional information.   The main changes proposed are: modifications related with the nutrition facts table; the adoption of a front-of-pack nutrition labeling model; and the adjustment of the criteria for declaring nutrition claims.   The final date for comments is November 5, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-nutrition-labelingAustralia: Macadamia Industry, 100% Compliance in National Residue SurveyAustralian macadamia industry has achieved 100% compliance in the 2018-19 National Residue Survey (NRS), having an unbroken record of 100% compliance since program commencement in 1996.   The macadamia residue monitoring program is a cooperative arrangement between the National Residue Survey, the Australian Macadamia Society and macadamia processing plants. The program involves the testing of Australian macadamia for a range of chemical residues and environmental contaminants, which ensures the macadamia industry can meet quality assurance and market access requirements for domestic and international markets.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-macadamia-industry-100-compliance-in-national-residue-surveyArgentina: Hazelnut Tree Imports from ChileThe document sets the phytosanitary requirements for the importation of hazelnut trees (Corylus avellana) from Chile as a result of the Pest Risk Analysis (PRA).   It entered into force on September 19. Comments are not applicable.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/argentina-hazelnut-tree-imports-from-chileThe INC Executive Committee in BrusselsThe meetings served the double purpose of presenting INC core activities and updating the European Commission on nut and dried fruit production and trade issues. The focus of the meetings was to present an overview of industry statistics, with key facts and figures about the nut and dried fruit industry in the European Union. These meetings provided valuable opportunities to discuss areas of particular concern to the industry, specifically in a context of trade tensions among the world’s largest economies. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-inc-in-brusselsINC Executive Committee MeetingIn addition, the Committee reviewed the grant requests for the Open-Access publication of scientific studies, proposals for the 2020 Award for Excellence in Research,  and INC participation in international congresses of nutrition and health professionals. Besides, the Committee discussed the preparations for Dubai, May 28-30, 2020, and candidate cities for future Congresses. Copyright image: Wikipedia https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-executive-committee-meeting-3Go Nuts and Join the Nutfruit Power Challenge! This September, the INC has launched Nutfruit Power, the new dissemination campaign that promotes the consumption of nuts and dried fruits in the morning to start your day with power. Nowadays, energy is turning into a key element within a contemporary health and wellness lifestyle. As consumers, we are starting to get tired of the concept of weight management and miraculous diets and we want to achieve a more holistic approach to a healthy diet. We all want to remain energetic for as long as we can. How can you do that? Join #NutfruitPowerChallenge, eat nuts and dried fruits in the morning and remain energetic for as long as you can! Get Involved! Be an ambassador of the Nutfruit Power and share some of your daily challenges. Jump out of bed, walk the dog, go for your morning run or add nuts and dried fruits to your breakfast. Post a photo of it or record yourself on your morning challenge and upload it onto your social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.). Remember to use the hashtag #NutfruitPowerChallenge. Want more ideas? Watch and share the Nutfruit Power video campaign. So, ready for today? Now it’s the time to choose your challenge and go nuts! To see more information about the campaign please visit the campaign&#39;s webpage.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/needing-a-boost-of-power-to-face-your-day-ahead-join-the-nutfruitpowerchallengeUSA: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the Agency received the following petitions (amended tolerances for non-inerts): Establish tolerances for residues of the insecticide metaflumizone in or on grape, raisin at 10 ppm. Establish a tolerance for residues of the herbicide tiafenacil, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on grape, raisin at 0.01 ppm.   The final date for comments is September 30, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 169, Friday, August 30, 2019. Pages 45702-45703  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-pesticide-petitions-21USA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of buprofezin is set at 2 ppm in Fruit, stone, group 12-12 (except nectarine and peach); at 2 ppm in grape, raisin; and at 0.05 ppm in Nut, tree, group 14-12.   The Regulation is effective since August 29, 2019. Objections and requests must be received on or before October 28, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 168. Thursday, August 29, 2019. Pages 45426-45434   Among others, the tolerance of pyraflufen-ethyl, ethyl 2-[2-chloro-5-(4-chloro-5-difluoromethoxy)-1-methyl-1H-pyrazol-3-yl]-4-fluorophenoxy] acetate, including its metabolites and degradates is established at 0.01 in Fruit, stone, group 12-12 and in Nut, tree, group 14-12. In addition, existing tolerances on Fruit, stone, group 12; Nut, tree, group 14; and Pistachio are removed.   The Regulation is effective since September 12, 2019. Objections and requests must be received on or before November 12, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 177. Thursday, September 12, 2019. Pages 48071-48077 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-36New Zealand: MRLs UpdateThis document is a consolidated MRL standard that includes amendments proposed in June 2019 (see previous post) and revokes and replaces the former document ‘Food Notice: Maximum Residue Levels for Agricultural Compounds, issued 5 December 2018’.   This Food Notice comes into force on August 30, 2019.   Food Notice: Maximum Residue Levels for Agricultural Compounds (August 30, 2019) https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-zealand-mrls-update-3EU: Transportation and Border ControlThe purpose of this Delegated Regulation is to lay down: the cases and conditions under which onward transportation of consignments of goods to the place of final destination pending the availability of the results of physical checks may be authorized by the border control posts, specific time limits and control arrangements at the border control posts on consignments of animals and goods entering the Union by sea or by air transport from a third country, when those animals or goods moved from a vessel or aircraft and are transported under customs supervision to another vessel or aircraft in the same port or airport in preparation for onward travel, the cases and conditions under which identity checks and physical checks of animals arriving by air or sea and staying on the same means of transport for onward travel may be performed at a border control post other than the one of first arrival into the Union. the cases and conditions under which transit of consignments of animals and goods may be authorized by the border control posts and certain official controls to be performed at border control posts on such consignments, including during the storage of goods in specially approved customs warehouses or in free zones.   The deadline for comments is September 23, 2019. Feedback will be taken into account for finalizing this initiative.   More information   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-transportation-and-border-controlEU: Pesticides, Standing Committee Agenda Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II, III and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for acequinocyl, acibenzolar-S-methyl, Bacillus subtilis strain IAB/BS03, emamectin, flonicamid, flutolanil, fosetyl, imazamox and oxathiapiprolin in or on certain products (Art. 10) (here). Among others, the draft proposes the following MRLs: The MRL for acibenzolar-S-methyl in hazelnuts is increased from 0.1 ppm to 0.2 ppm The MRL for flutolanil in tree nuts, apricots, plums grapes, cranberries, dates and figs is changed from 0.01* ppm to 0.01 ppm. The MRL for imazamox in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs is changed from 0.05* ppm to 0.05 ppm.   Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II, III and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for cycloxydim, epoxiconazole, flonicamid, haloxyfop, mandestrobin, mepiquat, Metschnikowia fructicola strain NRRL Y-27328 and prohexadione in or on certain products (here). The MRL for flonicamid in cranberries is increased from 0.03* ppm to 0.7 ppm. The MRL for mandestrobin in grapes is increased from 0.01* ppm to 5 ppm.   Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for prochloraz in or on certain products (here). The MRL for prochloraz in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts is newly set at 0.03* ppm.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   Agenda of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed, Section Phytopharmaceuticals,  Residues, September 26-27, 2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-standing-committee-agendaEU: MRLs Update, Draft Commission RegulationsAs for nuts and dried fruits, the Draft Regulation sets the following MRLs:   The MRL for myclobutanil is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts and peanuts; and from 0.02* ppm to 0.01* ppm in cranberries, dates and figs. The MRL is increased from 0.3 ppm to 3 ppm in apricots; and from 1 ppm to 1.5 ppm in grapes. The MRL for napropamide is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, dates, figs and peanuts; from 0.1 ppm to 0.01* ppm in apricots, plums and grapes; and from 0.1 ppm to 0.02 ppm in cranberries. The MRL for sintofen is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, figs, dates and peanuts.   The final date for comments is November 16, 2019. The proposed date of adoption is April, 2020.   In addition, the Draft Commission Regulation amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chromafenozide, fluometuron, pencycuron, sedaxane, tau-fluvalinate and triazoxide in or on certain products sets the following MRLs for nuts and dried fruits:   The MRL for chromafenozide is lowered from 1.5 ppm to 0.01* ppm in grapes. The MRL for pencycuron is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.02* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, figs, dates and peanuts. The MRL for sedaxane is set at 0.01* ppm in in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, figs, dates and peanuts. The MRL for tau-fluvalinate is lowered from 0.3 ppm to 0.01* ppm in plums; from 0.5 ppm to 0.01* ppm in cranberries; and from 0.02* ppm to 0.01* ppm in peanuts.   * Indicates lower limit of determination.   The final date for comments is November 16, 2019. The proposed date of adoption is May, 2020.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-draft-commission-regulations-12EFSA: Emamectin, MRLs ReviewBased on the assessment of the available data, EFSA has proposed the following recommendations: To decrease the MRL for tree nuts from 0.01* ppm to 0.001* ppm; for apricots from 0.02 ppm to 0.006 ppm; for plums from 0.02 ppm to 0.015 ppm; and for grapes from 0.05 ppm to 0.04 ppm. However further consideration is needed.   * Indicates that the MRL is set at the limit of analytical quantification.   EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Review of the existing maximum residue levels for emamectin according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2019;17(8):5803 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-emamectin-mrls-reviewChina: Additional TariffsThese additional tariffs were announced on August 23, 2019 (see previous post). Among other commodities, the following products are listed:   HS Code Article description Additional duty 0801 2100 Brazil nuts, in-shell 10% 0801 2200 Brazil nuts, shelled 10% 0801 3100 Cashew nuts, in-shell 10% 0801 3200 Cashew nuts, shelled 10% 0802 1100 Almonds, in-shell 10% 0802 1200 Almonds, shelled 10% 0802 2200 Hazelnuts, shelled 10% 0802 3100 Walnuts, in-shell 10% 0802 3200 Walnuts, shelled 10% 0802 5100 Pistachios, in-shell 10% 0802 5200 Pistachios, shelled 10% 0802 6190 Macadamia nuts, in-shell 10% 0802 6200 Macadamia nuts, shelled 10% 0802 9030 Pine nuts, shelled 10% 0804 1000 Dates, fresh or dried 10% 0804 2000 Figs, fresh or dried 10% 0806 2000 Grapes, dried 10% 0813 1000 Apricots, dried 10% 0813 2000 Prunes 10% 1202 4200 Peanuts, shelled 10% 2008 1110 Groundnuts, in airtight containers 5% 2008 1120 Peanuts, roasted 10% 2008 1130 Peanut butter 10% 2008 9300 Cranberries, prepared or preserved not from vinegar 10%   A second batch of tariffs on US origin products will be imposed on December 15, 2019. Among other goods, the following commodities are listed:   HS Code Article description Additional duty 1202 4100 Peanuts, in-shell 5% 2008 1190 Peanuts, other 10% 2008 1920 Other canned nuts 5% 2008 1999 Other nuts 10%   China announced additional tariffs on certain US products https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-additional-tariffs-4China: US Tariff Exclusion ApplicationsAccording to a USDA GAIN Report published on September 10, 2019, both enterprises and industry associations that import, produce or use the goods included in the list are eligible to apply for tariff exclusions.   Applicants shall submit documents and commercial data describing how additional tariffs on US products affect them, such as challenges faced seeking alternative sources of goods, economic damage to the applicant and major negative structural impacts on the relevant industries.   The nuts included in the exclusion process are the following:   HS Code Product Description 1202 4100 Groundnuts in-shell, not for cultivation 1202 4200 Groundnuts, shelled, whether or not broken 2008 1110 Groundnut kernels, in airtight containers 2008 1120 Roasted groundnuts 2008 1130 Groundnut butter 2008 1190 Other prepared/preserved groundnuts, Nes 2008 1920 Other prepared/preserved nuts/seeds, in airtight containers 2008 1999 Other prepared/preserved nuts or seeds, Nes   Applications are open until October 18, 2019.   USDA GAIN Report: China Solicits Second Round of Tariff Exclusion Applicationshttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-us-tariff-exclusion-applicationsCanada: MRLs UpdateThe PMRL for cyclaniliprole in grapes is lowered from 0.8 ppm to 0.6 ppm, in tree nuts (crop group 14-11) from 0.03 pp to 0.02 ppm, and in in low growing berries, except lowbush blueberries (crop subgroup 13-07G), is set at 0.4 ppm.    The final date for comments is November 12, 2019.   Consultation on Cyclaniliprole, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2019-23   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-35Brazil: MRLs Update  The MRL for glufosinate in Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pecan nuts and pine nuts is set at 0.05 ppm with a safety security period of 40 days. The MRL for glyphosate in figs is set at 0.2 ppm with a safety security period of 17 days, and in peanuts is set at 0.01 ppm with a safety security period not determined due to the modality of use (application).  The final date for comments for these two pesticides is October 26, 2019.   G05 – Glufosinate G01 – Glyphosate   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-mrls-update-22Australia: Agricultural Export LegislationThe new legislative framework will include the Export Control Bill 2019 and the Export Control Rules 2020. It will replace the existing Export Control Act 1982, the export-related provisions in the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997, and legislative instruments, such as orders and regulations. Key areas of improvement include 1) streamlining and consolidating, 2) compliance and enforcement, 3) incorporating related reforms, 4) certifying goods, and 5) Authorized Officers.   The deadline for comments is October 4, 2019.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-agricultural-export-legislation-1UK-South Korea: Trade Continuity AgreementThe agreement will allow businesses to trade without any additional barriers or tariffs and ensure certainty for businesses, consumers and investors when the UK ceases to be bound by EU deals. This agreement is subject to the domestic internal procedures of both countries before it can be brought into force.   UK and Korea sign a Trade Continuity Agreement  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/uk-south-korea-trade-continuity-agreementUSA-Japan: Trade AgreementThe Trade Agreement would be signed by the end of September, 2019, after both countries finalize the text and the legal revision of the agreement. This agreement includes agricultural products, industrial tariffs and digital trade, and will lead to substantial reductions in tariffs and non-tariff barriers between two of the largest economies in the world.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-japan-trade-agreementEU: Protective Measures against PestsThe Draft Regulation lays down phytosanitary import conditions for plants, plant products and other objects that may pose a phytosanitary risk to the European Union (EU). The Draft contains Annexes that establish the list of plants, plant products and other objects (regulated articles) that shall be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate when introduced into the EU, the EU lists of quarantine pests and regulated non-quarantine pests, the list of protected zones in the EU and the list of quarantine pests relevant thereto, the list of regulated articles the import of which into the EU is prohibited and the lists of phytosanitary requirements that imported regulated articles shall comply with when introduced into the EU or into specific protected zones.   The final date for comments is October 11, 2019. The proposed date of entry into force is December 14, 2019.   See draft here. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-protective-measures-against-pestsEU: Thiacloprid WithdrawalThe Draft provides that the approval of the active substances thiacloprid is not renewed and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing this substance will be withdrawn from the market. This decision does not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the concerned pesticide. However, following non-approval, separate action may be taken on MRLs.   The deadline for comments is June 22, 2019. It is expected to be adopted during the 3rd quarter of 2019.   Currently, the MRLs for thiacloprid in tree nuts and peanuts is 0.02* ppm; in apricots and plums is 0.5 ppm; in grapes and dates is 0.01* ppm; in cranberries is 1.0 ppm; and in figs is 0.5 ppm (*indicates lower limit of determination).   The deadline for comments is September 29, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-thiacloprid-withdrawalChina: Additional TariffsThese measures are in response to the US announcement, on August 15, 2019, of the imposition of additional 10% tariffs on Chinese goods from September 1, 2019, and from December 15, 2019.   Among other commodities, the following US products are listed:   HS Code Article description Additional duty 0801 2100 Brazil nuts, in-shell 10% 0801 2200 Brazil nuts, shelled 10% 0801 3100 Cashew nuts, in-shell 10% 0801 3200 Cashew nuts, shelled 10% 0802 1100 Almonds, in-shell 10% 0802 1200 Almonds, shelled 10% 0802 2200 Hazelnuts, shelled 10% 0802 3100 Walnuts, in-shell 10% 0802 3200 Walnuts, shelled 10% 0802 5100 Pistachios, in-shell 10% 0802 5200 Pistachios, shelled 10% 0802 6190 Macadamia nuts, in-shell 10% 0802 6200 Macadamia nuts, shelled 10% 0802 9030 Pine nuts, shelled 10% 0804 1000 Dates, fresh or dried 10% 0804 2000 Figs, fresh or dried 10% 0806 2000 Grapes, dried 10% 0813 1000 Apricots, dried 10% 0813 2000 Prunes 10% 1202 4200 Peanuts, shelled 10% 2008 1110 Groundnuts, in airtight containers 5% 2008 1120 Peanuts, roasted 10% 2008 1130 Peanut butter 10% 2008 9300 Cranberries, prepared or preserved not from vinegar 10%   The entry into force of these tariffs is September 1, 2019.   A second batch of tariffs on US origin products will be imposed on December 15, 2019. Among other goods, the following commodities are listed:   HS Code Article description Additional duty 1202 4100 Peanuts, in-shell 5% 2008 1190 Peanuts, other 10% 2008 1920 Other canned nuts 5% 2008 1999 Other nuts 10%   China announced additional tariffs on certain US products  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-additional-tariffs-3Canada: MRLs RevocationsIt will take effect to allow sufficient time for legally treated commodities to clear the channels of trade.   Health Canada Database   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-revocations-1Canada: MRLs UpdateThe PMRL for flutolanil in peanuts is set at 0.5 ppm. The final date for comments is October 29, 2019.   Consultation on Flutolanil, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2019-10 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-34Brazil: MRLs Update The MRL for proexadiona calcica in grape culture is set at 0.01 ppm with a safety security period of 15 days. The MRL for imazetapir in peanut culture is set at 0.1 ppm with a safety security period not determined because of the modality of application. The MRL for flumioxazina in peanut culture is set at 0.1 ppm with a safety security period not determined because of the modality of application.   For proexadiona calcica, the final date for comments was August 18, 2019. For imazetapir and flumioxazina, the final date for comments is September 30, 2019.   P54 – Proexadiona Calcica   I10 – Imazetapir   F46 – Flumioxazina https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-mrls-update-21Australia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateAmong other changes, the table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows: The maximum residue limit (MRL) for Mefentrifluconazole in dried grapes (currants, raisins and sultanas) at 3 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Acetamiprid in macadamia nuts at *0.01 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Fluxapyroxad in tree nuts at 0.07 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Pyripoxyfenin macadamia nuts at *0.01 ppm is inserted. The MRL for Pyraclostrobin in tree nuts [except pistachio nut and walnut] at 0.07 ppm is omitted.   * Indicates that the MRL is set at the limit of determination.   The amendment can be found here. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-20Brazil Nut Technical Information KitThe Kit is divided into the following chapters:   General information Products Varieties and forms Recommendations for processing, storage, packaging and transportation Quality requirements and food safety parameters Standards and grades   Brazil Nut Technical Information Kit  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-nut-technical-information-kitThe INC Launches Global Cashew Council’s WebsiteTo distinguish the different parts, the site has been divided into two color schemes: coral pink for content that is considered interesting for all users and golden brown to represent the health and industry professionals. The website includes recipes, nutritional information and curious information about cashews. The health professionals section includes scientific studies related to cashews, while the industry content contains four distinct sections: Cashew Information, Processing, Standards, Grades & Forms and Scientific Studies. Cashews.org also contains news, events and other general resources. Visit the website here. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-inc-launches-global-cashew-council-s-websiteThe INC Present at the China International Tree Nuts ConferenceThe International Convention and Exhibition Center of Zhengzhou hosted seminars and panels on production, trade and consumption of almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, walnuts and dried fruits –namely cranberries and raisins. Delegates from over 25 countries networked, learnt and shared their views on the global market and the tariff situation.   INC Chairman, Mr. Michael Waring took part in the opening ceremony and presented an overview of the core activities of the INC, followed by Mr. Pino Calcagni, who presented a global statistical review of the tree nut industry, highlighting production, trade and consumption, with special focus on China, and the state of affairs regarding tariffs. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-international-tree-nuts-conference-5Open Call for Health Research ProjectsThe research priorities are:   Fertility Diabetes prevention Diabetes and hyperlipidemia treatments Microbiota Cardioprotective mechanisms and/or inflammatory diseases Calorie control and satiety Cancer Human health and environmental sustainability   All project proposals must be submitted using the corresponding Letter of Intent Form. The deadline for submission is September 30, 2019.   Click here for more information.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/open-call-for-health-research-projectsNuts and Dried Fruits Highlighted at the 13th Asian Congress of NutritionThe INC co-sponsored, along with the California Prune Board, the symposium “Nut and Dried Fruit Consumption and the Prevention of Prevalent Diseases/Conditions”, which featured leading nutrition experts Dr. Emilio Ros from University of Barcelona (Spain), Prof. Anoop Misra, Director of the Diabetes Foundation, Fortis Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases & Endocrinology (India), Prof. Linda Tapsell from the University of Wollongong (Australia), and Dr. Shirin Hooshmand from San Diego State University (USA).   Chaired by Dr. Emilio Ros, the symposium covered an array of topics, including the latest findings in nut consumption and diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and brain function, and also prune consumption and bone health. Guest speaker Dr. Emilio Ros spoke on the relation between nut consumption and brain function; Prof. Anoop Misra gave an overview of the efficacy of nuts for the prevention and management of diabetes; Prof. Linda Tapsell gave an update on the effects of nut consumption on cardiovascular disease; and Dr. Shirin Hooshmand talked about the effect of prunes on bone status and bone biomarkers. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-and-dried-fruits-highlighted-at-the-13th-asian-congress-of-nutritionUSA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of sulfoxaflor is set at 3 ppm in Fruit, stone, group 12-12 and at 0.015 ppm in Nut, tree, group 14-12   The Regulation is effective since July 24, 2019. Objections and requests must be received on or before September 23, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 142. Wednesday, July 24, 2019. Pages 35546-35555   Among others, the tolerance of pydiflumetofen is set at 0.07 ppm in nut, tree, group 14-12 and at 1 ppm in plum, prune, dried.   The Regulation is effective since August 12, 2019. Objections and requests must be received on or before October 11, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 155. Monday, August 12, 2019. Pages 39761-39768   Among others, the tolerance of emamectin is set at 0.02 ppm in nut, tree, group 14-12. Additionally, the existing tolerances of nut, tree, group 14 at 0.02 ppm and pistachio at 0.02 ppm are removed.   The Regulation is effective since August 27, 2019. Objections and requests must be received on or before October 28, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 166. Tuesday, August 27, 2019. Pages 44718-44725   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-35Spain: Spanish Almonds Certified with Environmental Product DeclarationThe results of the study "Analysis of the Life Cycle of Almond Kernels", a joint collaboration between the Spanish association of nut and carob producers (AEOFRUSE), and Fundación Centro Tecnológico de Miranda de Ebro (CTME), were presented in Madrid, on July 23, 2019, within the framework of AENOR&#39;s GlobalEPD Program. The study measured the environmental impact of all the stages of the Spanish almond tree, from its origin until the end of its life, excluding the impact of the usage stage in the food industry.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/spain-spanish-almonds-certified-with-environmental-product-declarationSaudi Arabia: Contaminants and ToxinsThe Gulf Draft Technical Regulation for contaminants and toxins in food and feed, already notified (see previous post), was reviewed considering the comments received.   With respect to the former maximum levels (ML) of mycotoxins proposed, the ML for the category “Nuts with exception mentioned (whole commodity)” has been removed. In addition, the ML for the category “Foods, with the exception of foodstuffs listed in table (whole commodity)” has been added to the list (shown in bold).   Commodity/Product Name Maximum level of aflatoxins (μg/kg) (B1+B2+G1+G2) RTE FP Almonds (whole commodity after removal of shell) 10 15 Brazil nuts (whole commodity) 10 15 Hazelnuts (whole commodity after removal of shell) 10 15 Peanuts (unless specified, seed or kernels, after removal of shell or husk) - 15 Pistachios (whole commodity after removal of shell) 10 15 Dried figs (whole commodity) 10 - Nuts with exception mentioned (whole commodity) 4 10 Foods, with the exception of foodstuffs listed in table (whole commodity) 20 Dried fruit, other than dried figs (whole commodity) 4 10   Ochratoxin A (μg/kg) Dried vine fruit 10   Lead (mg/kg) Cranberry (Whole commodity after removal of caps and stems) 0.2 RTE: Ready-to-eat means not intended to undergo an additional processing/treatment that has proven to reduce levels of aflatoxins before being used as ingredient in foodstuffs, otherwise processed or offered for human consumption. FP: Destined for further processing means intended to undergo an additional processing/treatment that has proven to reduce levels of aflatoxins before being used as an ingredient in foodstuffs, otherwise processed or offered for human consumption. Processes that have proven to reduce levels of aflatoxins are shelling, blanching followed by color sorting, and sorting by specific gravity and color (damage). There is some evidence that roasting reduces aflatoxins in pistachios but for other nuts the evidence is still to be supplied.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/saudi-arabia-contaminants-and-toxins-2EU: Pesticide Residues in Food ReportThis report provides an overview of the 2017 official control activities on pesticide residues carried out in the European Union (EU) Member States, Iceland and Norway. It summarizes the results of both the 2017 EU-coordinated control program (EUCP) and the national control programs (NP). The report includes the outcome of a dietary risk assessment based on the results of the overall 2017 control programs.   The comprehensive analysis of the results of all reporting countries provides risk managers with a sound-based evidence for designing future monitoring programs, in particular for taking decisions on which pesticides and food products should be targeted in risk-based national programs.     The 2017 European Union Report on Pesticide Residues in Food. EFSA Journal 2019;17(6):574. 152 pp. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticide-residues-in-food-reportEU: Aflatoxins in Dried Figs, Audit in TurkeyThe report concludes that: Turkey has the necessary legal and organizational framework for the implementation of the control of aflatoxin contamination in dried figs for export to the EU. Public authorities as well as many actors in the production and marketing sector continue to promote the research and implementation of good agricultural practices for the prevention and reduction of aflatoxin contamination of dried figs at the farm level. However, there is currently no such approach to promoting good manufacturing practices in the processing and distribution sector. Shortcomings were noted in the implementation of control measures by the relevant local authorities, both in terms of sampling and issuing health certificates. The investigations performed by local competent authorities, of non-compliant consignments found in the EU during import controls, are also not always adequate. The effectiveness of the HACCP plans (and related own-checks) implemented by the processors involved are also not called into question in view of the recurrence and high number of notifications. These shortcomings call into question the ability of Turkey&#39;s current control system to verify that exported dried fig consignments meet the limits set by Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 and to reduce the number of registered notifications.   The full report can be consulted here. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-aflatoxins-in-dried-figs-audit-in-turkeyEU: MRLs UpdateRegulation 2019/1176 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation entered into force on July 31, 2019. It shall apply from January 31, 2020.   Profoxydim: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts. 2,5-dichlorobenzoic acid methylester: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/1176 of 10 July 2019  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-29EU: Changes to Border ControlsAmong others, the new Regulation sets the following changes: Apricot kernels from Turkey (50% of control frequency for cyanide) is added to the list. Peanuts and peanut butter from the United States (10% of control frequency for aflatoxins) is added to the list. The control frequency of sulphites in dried apricots from Turkey will decrease from 20% to 10%.   The Regulation entered into force on July 26, 2019.   Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/1249 of 22 July 2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-changes-to-border-controls-1EFSA: Fonicamid, MRLs ReviewAfter assessing the application and the evaluation report, EFSA has concluded that the short- and long-term intake of residues resulting from the use of flonicamid according to the reported agricultural practices is unlikely to present a risk to consumer health.   EFSA proposes to increase the MRL for cranberries from 0.03* ppm to 0.8 ppm. (*: Indicates that the MRL is set at the limit of analytical quantification).   EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Modification of the existing maximum residue levels for flonicamid in strawberries and other berries. EFSA Journal 2019;17(8):5745, 24 pp https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-fonicamid-mrls-reviewEFSA: Chlorpyrifos-methyl; Approval CriteriaThe statement contains a summary of the main findings of the assessment related to human health. The available genotoxicity dataset submitted for chlorpyrifos-methyl did not show any concern. However, the experts considered that it lacked the additional relevant information retrieved e.g. from the literature for chlorpyrifos. Therefore, the experts concluded that the genotoxicity potential of chlorpyrifos-methyl remains as unclear as that of chlorpyrifos. Moreover, the experts agreed that no reference values could be set, a fact that made it impossible to perform a risk assessment for consumers, operators, workers, bystanders and residents.   Based on results, it is considered that the approval criteria which are applicable to human health as laid down in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 are not met.   If the chlorpyrifos-methyl approval is not renewed, it will expire on January 31, 2020. Consequently, all the maximum residue limits (MRLs) will be lowered to the limit of analytical quantification.   Currently, the MRLs for chlorpyrifos-methyl in tree nuts, cranberries, dates and figs is already 0.01* ppm; in apricots and plums is 0.5 ppm; in grapes is 1.0 ppm; and in peanuts is 0.05 ppm.   EFSA Statement on the available outcomes of the human health assessment in the context of the pesticides peer review of the active substance chlorpyrifos methyl https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-chlorpyrifos-methyl-approval-criteriaEFSA: Chlorpyrifos; Approval CriteriaThe statement contains a summary of the main findings of the assessment related to human health. Due to the fact that the genotoxic potential of chlorpyrifos remains unclear, toxicological reference values could not be established. Moreover, significant uncertainties were linked to the neurodevelopmental toxicity study. A risk assessment for consumers, operators, workers, bystanders and residents cannot be conducted due to the absence of toxicological reference values, representing a critical area of concern for chlorpyrifos.   Based on the results, it is considered that the approval criteria which are applicable to human health as laid down in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 are not met.   If the chlorpyrifos approval is not renewed, it will expire on January 31, 2020. Consequently, all the maximum residue limits (MRLs) will be lowered to the limit of analytical quantification.   Currently, the MRLs for chlorpyrifos in Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pine nuts, pistachios, apricots, grapes, dates, figs and peanuts is already 0.01* ppm; in almonds, pecans and walnuts is 0.05 ppm; in plums is 0.3 ppm; and in cranberries is 1.0 ppm.   EFSA Statement on the available outcomes of the human health assessment in the context of the pesticides peer review of the active substance chlorpyrifos. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-chlorpyrifos-approval-criteriaCanada: Cyanide in Apricot KernelsIt will be effective since January 25, 2020.   Background: In December 2018, Health Canada published a Proposal to add cyanide in apricot kernels to the List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances in Foods, which outlined three different options (see previous post). The proposal was open for public comment and the selected option was to add a new ML of 20 parts per million (ppm) total extractable cyanide in apricot kernels sold for human consumption, which is also applicable to apricot kernels used as an ingredient in other foods, to the List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances in Foods.   Notice of Modification to the List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances in Foods to Add a Maximum Level for Cyanide in Apricot Kernels https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-cyanide-in-apricot-kernels-1Nut Molecules May Help Improve Inflammatory and Metabolic Profile of Fat CellsObesity is an enlargement of adipose tissue to store excess energy intake. Excessive calorie intake may lead to the formation of fat cells, promoting their deterioration (aging) by increasing the production of proinflammatory molecules. Low grade inflammation is a key factor in the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in obesity.   This study characterized miRNAs (small nucleic acids involved in the regulation of gene expression) vehicled by nanovesicles (emerging players in cell-to-cell communication) isolated from walnuts and hazelnuts, and tested their effectiveness on inflammatory and metabolic profile in fat cells. Researchers found that two conserved plant miRs (miR156c and miR159a) were able to limit inflammatory response and recover insulin sensitivity in obese mice (fed with a high fat diet). Results suggest that nut miRs improve metabolic profile of fat cells and reveal a novel anti-inflammatory function of plant foods (including nuts) as promising therapeutics to treat low-grade inflammation.   “Our research has identified nut nucleic acids that, thanks to their high bioavailability and anti-inflammatory action, are able to limit the development of metabolic diseases linked to obesity” states Dr. Lettieri Barbato, researcher at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” and principal investigator of this study.   This study was supported by the INC.  Download the press release.  [1] Aquilano K., Ceci V., Gismondi A., De Stefano S., Iacovelli F., Faraonio R., …& Lettieri-Barbato D. (2019). Adipocyte metabolism is improved by TNF receptor-targeting small RNAs identified from dried nuts. Communications Biology, 2:317. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nut-molecules-may-help-improve-inflammatory-and-metabolic-profile-of-fat-cellsThe INC Pavilion to Be Present Again at the 100th Edition of AnugaThe INC Nut and Dried Fruit Pavilion will again be at Anuga, the world’s largest trade fair for food and beverages, which will take place this year from October 5 to 9 in Cologne, Germany. The Pavilion will be a 320-m2 area hosting 21 INC members and will be in Hall 10.2 D016 - Fine Foods. The Pavilion will enjoy a premium location, prestige and high visitor traffic in the Fine Foods Hall. INC members participating in the Pavilion are offered a full-service package including networking opportunities with the finest trade buyers, graphic design and printing, refreshments and daily lunch, free Wi-Fi connection, storage rooms, pre-show planning, company listing in the official catalogue, assistance with shipping, travel and accommodation and multilingual personnel, among other things. Once again, the hospitality area emerges as a core element within the Pavilion. Past experiences have shown the increasing importance that this common space has gained. Besides this, it’s widely used for co-exhibitors and INC members to relax, receive customers or simply to have an informal chat with colleagues. The 15 markets that will have representation at 2019’s edition are the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Tunisia, Australia, Moldova, Italy, France, Chile, China, Japan, Turkey, Switzerland and Mauritius.   Double Chance to Enjoy Yourself and Network at the INC’ Cocktail Event The INC’s traditional Cocktails are not-to-be-missed events at the INC Pavilions. As a novelty of this year’s edition, Anuga will hold two social events. The first Cocktail will take place on Sunday, October 6 and it will be sponsored by both Monnier & Partners and August Töpfer and Co. (ATCO Group). On the following evening, Valley Macadamia Sales will sponsor the second Cocktail Event. Both cocktails will take place from 4.00pm to 6.00pm.  The informal gathering gives an excellent platform for businesses in the nuts and dried fruits sector and in the agri-food industry to network, share experiences, find new business opportunities and boost their brands and products in a relaxed atmosphere. Celebrating 100 Years of Anuga Anuga Cologne is held every two years and considered the world’s largest and most important trade fair for food and beverages, attracting around 165,000 visitors. The event started in Stuttgart in 1919 and a 100 years later it features more than 7,000 exhibitors who take the opportunity to showcase their most innovative products and services, and make their brands visible to the food industry’s global leaders.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-inc-pavilion-to-be-present-again-at-the-100th-edition-of-anugaGulfood 2020: A Chance to Boost Your Brand Bookings made by October 1 benefit from Early Bird discounts. Co-exhibitors at the INC Pavilion receive on top a 30% discount on advertising in the Nutfruit Magazine. [Book your space] Launched as a biennial trade fair in 1987, Gulfood has grown dramatically to reach more than 190 countries (now annually) embracing 5,000 local, regional and international exhibitors to showcase those food trends and innovations shaping the future worldwide. Around 95,000 visitors are estimated to visit every year its eight food sectors including, among others, pulses, grains and cereals, beverages, dairy and world food. Next edition of Gulfood will take place in February 2020 and the INC Pavilion will be there again, as it was in 2019. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/gulfood-2020-a-chance-to-boost-your-brandChina: MRLs UpdateThis standard establishes 390 maximum residue limits (MRLs) for 125 pesticides, including 2, 4-DB and MCPB, etc. in foods.   The final date for comments is August 18, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-mrls-update-11USA: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the petitions received were the following:   Amended Tolerances for Non-Inerts: Remove the established tolerances for residues of flutianil, (2Z)-2-[2-fluoro-5-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]sulfanyl-2-[3-(2-methoxyphenyl)thiazolidin-2-ylidene]acetonitrile, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on grape at 0.70 ppm.   New Tolerances Exemptions for Non-Inerts: Establish an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of the insecticide Autographa californica MNPV strain R3 in or on all food commodities. Establish an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of the fungicide Trichoderma atroviride strain SC1 in or on all food commodities.   New Tolerances for Non-Inerts: Establish a tolerance for residues of the fungicide oxathiapiprolin (1-[4-[4-[5-(2,6-difluorophenyl)-4,5-dihydro-3-isoxazolyl]-2-thiazolyl]-1-piperidinyl]-2-[5-methyl-3-(trifluoromethyl)-1H-pyrazol-1-yl]-ethanone), in or on tree nuts, crop group 14-12 at 0.01 ppm.    The final date for comments was July 8, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 110, Friday, June 7, 2019. Pages 26630-26632https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-pesticide-petitions-20USA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of penthiopyrad is set at 4.0 ppm in Fruit, stone, group 12-12, and at 0.05 ppm in Nut, tree, group 14-12. In addition, the following tolerances are removed: fruit, stone, group 12 at 4.0 ppm. Finally, it establishes a six-month expiration date for pistachio and tree nut group tolerances. The Regulation is effective since June 6, 2019; objections and requests must be received on or before August 5, 2019. Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 109. Thursday, June 6, 2019. Pages 26352-26359 Among others, the tolerance of mefentrifluconazole is set at 4 ppm in Grape, raisin; at 0.06 ppm in Nut, tree, group 14-12; at 0.01 ppm in peanut; and at 4 ppm in Plum prune, dried. The Regulation is effective since June 28, 2019; objections and requests must be received on or before August 27, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 125. Friday, June 28, 2019. Pages 30939-30946 Among others, the tolerance of fluopyram, in or on cranberry is set at 2 ppm. The Regulation is effective since July 1, 2019; objections and requests must be received on or before August 30, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 126. Monday, July 1, 2019. Pages 31208-31214https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-34Russia: Import Ban ExtendedOn August 6, 2014, Putin announced a one-year ban on imports on many agricultural products from the United States, Canada, European Union, Australia and Norway. It was the response of the implementation of economic sanctions against Russia due to the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and intervention in Ukraine. The list of affected products includes fruits and nuts, vegetables, milk and dairy products, among others.   This ban has been extended every year since 2015. Its last extension was signed on July 12, 2018, until the end of 2019.    Russia Extended Food Import Ban through End 2020 (in Russian) USDA GAIN Report: Russia Extended Food Import Ban through End 2020 (in English)  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/russia-import-ban-extended-1New Zealand: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the document titled “Proposals to Amend the Maximum Residue Levels for Agricultural Compounds Food Notice December 2018” proposes the following changes:   New and Amended MRLs: Clethodim: 0.02(*) mg/kg in grapes. Coumatetralyl: 0.001(*) mg/kg in any food. Difenoconazole: 0.05 mg/kg in grapes. Difethialone: 0.001(*) mg/kg in any food. Diphacinone: 0.001(*) mg/kg in any food. Flumioxazin: 0.02(*) mg/kg in grapes; and 0.02(*) mg/kg in stone fruits. Flusilazole: 0.01(*) mg/kg in grapes. Metrafenone: 0.15 mg/kg in grapes.   (*) indicates that the maximum residue level has been set at or about the limit of analytical quantification.   The deadline for comments is August 6, 2019.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-zealand-mrls-update-2Japan: MRLs UpdateAs for nuts and dried fruits, the following MRL were proposed:   The MRL for Cyanophos in peanuts, dry, is lowered from 0.1 ppm to 0.01 ppm; in apricot, cranberry, date, pecan, almond, walnut and other nuts is lowered from 0.2 ppm to 0.01 ppm; and in grape from 0.2 ppm to 0.1 ppm. The deadline for comments is August 16, 2019. The MRL for Tetradifon in apricot, cranberry, grape, date, pecan, almond, walnut and other nuts is lowered from 1 ppm to 0.01 ppm. The deadline for comments is August 16, 2019. The MRL for Isopyrazam is newly set in peanuts at 0.01 ppm. No comments are applicable.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-mrls-update-21ITC: Market Access MapMarket Access Map responds to users’ specific needs, according to their profile, and provides free and user-friendly access to market information. This tool is especially useful for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries with limited access to reliable information, providing data to make the right exporting decisions.   This portal allows exporters, importers, policymakers, trade and investment support institutions, researchers and trade negotiators to better understand and analyze market-access conditions, explore new markets, develop better trade policies, or negotiate better outcomes in trade agreements.   The toll allows users to extract data on tariffs, non-tariff measures and trade flows, tariff rate quotas, trade agreements and trade remedies in a single search.   New version of Market Access Map provides boost to transparency in tradehttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/itc-market-access-mapFAO/WHO: Pesticide ResiduesThe JMPR evaluated 19 pesticides, estimated maximum residue levels (MRLs) in foods and estimated supervised trials median residue (STMR) and highest residue (HR) levels as a basis for estimation of the dietary exposure to residues of the pesticides reviewed.   The table below summarizes the MRLs recommended for nuts and dried fruits.   Pesticide Commodity Recommended  MRL (mg/kg) New Previous Boscalid (221) Prunes, dried 5 10 Chlorothalonil (081) Cranberry 5 W Fenazaquin (297) Tree nuts, Group of (except coconut) 0.02 - Mesotrione (277) Tree nuts Group of (includes all commodities in this group) 0.01*   Metaflumizone (236) Raisins 13   W means that the previous recommendation is withdrawn, or withdrawal of the recommended Maximum residue level or existing Codex or draft MRL is recommended. * means that the MRL is at or about the limit of quantification.   Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues Reporthttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/fao-who-pesticide-residuesEU-Vietnam: Free Trade AgreementThe trade agreement will eliminate nearly all customs duties on goods traded between the two parties in a progressive way. The agreement also contains specific provisions to remove technical obstacles to trade. The entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement and the Investment Protection Agreement will take place when both parties ratify them according to their own internal procedures.   Joint Statement EU-Vietnamhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-vietnam-free-trade-agreementEU-Mercosur: Free Trade Agreement NegotiationsThe EU is the first major partner to negotiate trade issues with Mercosur, a bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. This agreement would consolidate a strategic political and economic partnership and create significant opportunities for sustainable growth.   Both parties will perform a legal revision of the text to come up with the final version of the Agreement before its signature.   EU and Mercosur reach an agreement on tradehttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mercosur-free-trade-agreement-negotiationsEU: Prior Notification of ConsignmentsThis Regulation establishes that the operator responsible for a consignment falling within the categories of animals and goods referred to in Article 47(1) of Regulation (EU) 2017/625 shall give prior notification, to the competent authority of the border control post of first arrival into the Union, at least one working day before the expected arrival of the consignment. In addition, by way of derogation from paragraph 1, where logistical constraints prevent compliance with the time limit set out in that paragraph, the competent authorities of the border control posts may apply a period of prior notification of at least four hours before the expected arrival of the consignment.   The Regulation shall apply from December 14, 2019.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019 /1013 of 16 April 2019  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-prior-notification-of-consignmentsEU: Pesticides, Standing CommitteeSome of the discussions were the following:   News from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA): The updated Reasoned Opinion for glyphosate is expected to be published in October. The results of the pilot project of the cumulative risk assessment for the chronic and acute effects of pesticide residues on the thyroid and the nervous system are expected to be published mid-September 2019. The 2017 European Union report on pesticide residues in food was presented.   The Commission presented a revised draft document on Transitional Periods. As a Member State suggested alternative wording, the Commission will examine whether the proposed alternative wording will improve the document.   The Staff Working Document and the Report to Council and Parliament on the evaluation of Regulation 396/2005 and Regulation No 1107/2009 are still under internal consultation. The submissions of those documents to the European Parliament and Council is tentatively scheduled for July 2019.   The approach for import tolerances (IT) for substances falling under the cut-off criteria was discussed. It was stressed by some Member States that IT should be setting on the basis of a risk assessment. The need for timely communication to industry and non-EU countries was also highlighted. It was suggested considering longer timelines between initiation of work on MRLs for substances meeting the cut-off criteria and the date of application of the revised MRLs, to allow interested parties more time to either submit the necessary import tolerance requests or change their agricultural practice. Member States noted the importance of keeping track of those MRLs which are set to address an import tolerance request and believe a database would be useful for the purpose. The following Draft Commission Regulations had a favorable opinion: Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II, III and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for 1-decanol, 2,4-D, ABE-IT 56, cyprodinil, dimethenamid, fatty alcohols, florpyrauxifen-benzyl, fludioxonil, fluopyram, mepiquat, pendimethalin, picolinafen, pyraflufen-ethyl, pyridaben, S-abscisic acid and trifloxystrobin in or on certain products (Art. 10). Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for imazalil in or on certain products. Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for cyflufenamid, fenbuconazole, fluquinconazole, and tembotrione in or on certain products (Art. 12). Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II, III and V to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for amitrole, fipronil,  flupyrsulfuron-methyl, imazosulfuron, isoproturon, orthosulfamuron and triasulfuron in or on certain products.   The Commission informed that following the Working Group meeting of Experts on chlorate held in Brussels on 13 May 2019, it had prepared a revised draft Regulation addressing the experts’ concerns regarding the setting of chlorate MRLs on processed food products by means of a specific footnote, the wording of which was however not accepted later by the Commission’s Legal service in an informal consultation on the grounds that it would not ensure a sufficiently high level of consumer protection for processed products in line with Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. Member States were invited to submit comments by 21 June 2019. Summary Reporthttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-standing-committee-1China: MRLs UpdateThis standard establishes 390 maximum residue limits (MRLs) for 125 pesticides, including 2, 4-DB and MCPB, etc. in foods.   The final date for comments is August 18, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-mrls-update-10EU: MRLs UpdateThe Regulation 2019/973 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation entered into force on July 4, 2019. It shall apply from January 4, 2020.   Bispyribac: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts. Denatonium benzoate: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts. Fenoxycarb: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts (except pecans at 0.05 ppm), apricots, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts; 0.6 ppm in plums; and 0.5 ppm in grapes. Flurochloridone: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts. Quizalofop-P-ethyl: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, dates, figs, and peanuts; and 0.02* ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, and cranberries. Quizalofop-P-tefuryl: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, dates, figs, and peanuts; and 0.02* ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, and cranberries. Propaquizafop: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, dates, figs, and peanuts; and 0.02* ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, and cranberries. Tebufenozide: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts (except almonds and walnuts at 0.05 ppm), apricots, plums, dates, figs, and peanuts; 4 ppm in grapes; and 0.5 in cranberries. Regulation 2019/977 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. The Regulation entered into force on July 4, 2019. It shall apply from August 13, 2019, for the MRLs for penconazole.   Aclonifen: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts. Fenpyrazamine: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts; 5 ppm in apricots; 3 ppm in plums; and 3 ppm in grapes. Penconazole: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts; 0.08 ppm in apricots; 0.09 ppm in plums, and 0.5 ppm in grapes. Mefentrifluconazole: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts. Regulation 2019/1015 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits. This Regulation entered into force on July 10, 2019.   Captan: 6 ppm in apricots, 10 ppm in plums, and 30 ppm in cranberries. Pyraclostrobin: 1 ppm in grapes. Flutianil: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts, and 0.15 ppm in grapes. *Indicates lower limit of determination. Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/973 of 13 June 2019 Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/977 of 13 June 2019 Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/ 1015 of 20 June 2019  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-28EU: Increased Official ControlsThis draft Regulation consolidates in one single act the measures on increased official controls laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 and the emergency measures for food and feed laid down in Commission Regulations (EU) No 884/2014, (EU) No 2015/175, (EU) No 2017/186 and (EU) 2018/1660.   The draft Regulation lays down the list (Annex I) of food and feed of non-animal origin from certain third countries subject to a temporary increase of official controls at their entry into the Union (Regulation 669/2009).   Annex II lays down special import conditions (emergency measures) for the entry of food and feed of non-animal origin from certain third countries (Regulations 2015/175, 2017/186, 2018/1660, and 884/2014). Each consignment of food and feed listed in Annex II must be accompanied by the results of sampling and analyses, and by an official certificate issued by the competent authority of the third country of origin or of the third country where the consignment is consigned from if that country is different from the country of origin. A new single model official certificate is established.   The Commission must review the lists set out in Annexes I and II on a regular basis not exceeding a period of six months.   The final date for comments is August 31, 2019. It will apply from 14 December 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-increased-official-controlsEFSA: Acibenzolar‐S‐methyl, MRLs ReviewAfter assessing the application and the evaluation report, EFSA has concluded that the short‐term and long‐term intake of residues resulting from the use of acibenzolar‐S‐methyl, according to the reported agricultural practice, is unlikely to present a risk to consumer health.   EFSA proposes to increase the MRL for hazelnuts from 0.1 ppm to 0.2 ppm. EFSA Reasoned Opinion on the Modification of the existing maximum residue level for acibenzolar‐S‐methyl in hazelnuts. EFSA Journal 2019;17(6):5705, 22 pp  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-acibenzolar-s-methyl-mrls-reviewCanada: MRLs UpdateThe MRL for dithianon in raisins is set at 12 ppm. Health Canada Database  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-33Scientists Sequence the Complete Almond GenomeResearchers have identified 46-kilobase gene cluster encoding five basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, bHLH1 to bHLH5. One of these transcription factors, specifically the bHLH2, is involved in the amygdalin biosynthetic pathway. Thanks to the findings, it could be possible to prevent the formation of the cyanogenic diglucoside amygdalin, resulting in the sweet kernel trait.   Sánchez-Pérez, R., Pavan, S., Mazzeo, R., Moldovan, C., Cigliano, R. A., Del Cueto, J., ... & López-Marqués, R. L. (2019). Mutation of a bHLH transcription factor allowed almond domestication. Science, 364(6445), 1095-1098.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/scientists-sequence-the-complete-almond-genomeEU: Pesticide WithdrawalsOn June 18, 2019, the European Commission published the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/989 of 17 June 2019 concerning the non-renewal of approval of the active substance chlorpropham, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011.   Member States shall withdraw authorizations for plant protection products containing chlorpropham as active substance by January 8, 2020. However, any grace period granted by Member States shall be as short as possible and shall expire by October 8, 2020, at the latest. This Regulation entered into force on July 8, 2019.   Currently, the MRLs for chlorpropham in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, figs, dates and peanuts is already 0.01* ppm. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/989 of 17 June 2019 On June 27, 2019, the European Commission published the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1090 of 26 June 2019 concerning the non-renewal of approval of the active substance dimethoate, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011.   Member States shall withdraw authorizations for plant protection products containing dimethoate as active substance by January 17, 2020, at the latest. However, any grace period granted by Member States shall be as short as possible and shall expire by October 17, 2019, for plant protection products used on cherries and by July 17, 2020, for plant protection products used on other crops, at the latest. This Regulation entered into force on June 30, 2019.   Currently, the MRLs for dimethoate in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, figs, dates and peanuts is already 0.01* ppm. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1090 of 26 June 2019 On June 28, 2019, the European Commission published the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1100 of 27 June 2019 concerning the non-renewal of approval of the active substance desmedipham, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011.   Member States shall withdraw authorizations for plant protection products containing desmedipham as active substance by January 1, 2020, at the latest. However, any grace period granted by Member States shall be as short as possible and shall expire by January 1, 2020, at the latest. This Regulation entered into force on July 1, 2019.   Currently, the MRLs for desmedipham in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, figs, dates and peanuts is already 0.01* ppm. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU2019/1100 of 27 June 2019 *Indicates lower limit of determination.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticide-withdrawals-3EFSA: Call for DataNational food authorities, research institutions, academia, food business operators and other stakeholders are invited to submit data on occurrence of contaminants with a focus on the substances and related substances listed in the document “Call for continuous collection of chemical contaminants occurrence data in food and feed”. The data collected will be used in EFSA’s scientific opinions and reports on contaminants in food and feed. Among others, the call for data includes mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH), mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH), perchlorate, aflatoxins, Ochratoxin A, and acrylamide.   The deadline for sending data is October 1, 2019.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-call-for-dataCanada Food Labeling ModernizationThe objective of the initiative is to develop a more modern food labeling system that addresses and responds to current and future challenges by: (1) Enhancing the food label to better protect and inform consumers and to provide clear and accurate information to guide their purchasing decisions, (2) Streamlining the regulatory framework by harmonizing regulations related to food commodity labeling to create consistency across foods, by removing duplication and inconsistencies, and by repealing certain commodity-specific labeling requirements. This is consistent with the approach that was taken with the SFCR; and (3) Introducing a more adaptable and responsive framework through the use of incorporation by reference where appropriate (e.g. container sizes, class names). This would support innovation.   The final date for comments is September 4, 2019.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-food-labeling-modernization-1UN Agricultural Quality Standards and Wild/Forest Nuts Contribution to Sustainable DevelopmentMember States reviewed the existing Standard for Prunes and new standards for dried coconut pieces, dried papayas and dried melons; the explanatory posters for inshell pistachios, walnut kernels, inshell walnuts, dried figs and dried grapes; and the explanatory guide for dried apricots. The Specialized Section also reported on the outcomes of the practical Sampling Plan workshops held in May and September 2018, and decided to hold an educational workshop in Turkey in summer 2020. They also decided to develop a standard for inshell pecan and pecan kernels, and posters for cashews. Session and Post-session Documents In addition, on June 25, 2019, the INC participated in the conference “Sustainable Natural Resources and their Value Chains”, organized by the UNECE and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The event brought together experts from the public and private sectors, international organizations and NGOs, with the aim of highlighting the contribution of wild/forest nuts to sustainable development including biodiversity, local communities, employment generation, natural resources management and supply chain integration.    After the opening remarks by Ms. Nichola Koch, Chef de Cabinet, UNECE, and Ms. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birket, Director, FAO Liaison Office in Geneva, Mr. Ekrem Yazici and Mr. Roman Michalak, UNECE-FAO Forestry, gave an overview of forest and sustainable forest management in the Caucasus and Central Asia region. Next, Mr. Umed Aslanov, Hilfswerk Austria, Tajikistan, explained the value chains of nuts in Central Asia. The impact of macadamia forest and plantations on the local population and environment in Kenya was presented by Mr. Josiah Syanda, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service. To conclude, Mr. Pino Calcagni, INC Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Statistics and Scientific & Government Affairs committees, gave a global review of the nut industry with a special focus on Brazil nuts, cashews and pine nuts. Presentations   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/un-agricultural-quality-standards-and-wild-forest-nuts-contribution-to-sustainable-developmentIndia: Additional Tariffs On May 14, 2019, the Government of India announced that the entry into force of the additional tariffs was postponed until June 16, 2019. On June 15, 2019, India announced the imposition of higher duties. These tariffs, initially dated August 4, 2018, were repeatedly postponed while both countries held a series of trade talks.   Among other US origin products, tariffs on almonds in-shell and shelled, and walnuts in-shell increased about 20% under new rules.   HS Code Description Current duty on other origins Tariff on US origin products 0802 11 00 Almonds, in-shell Rs. 35/kg Rs. 41/kg 0802 12 00 Almonds, shelled Rs. 100/kg Rs. 120/kg 0802 31 00 Walnuts, in-shell 100% 120% Notification N. 17/2019-Customs https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-additional-tariffsVietnam: Raw Cashew Nut StandardTCVN 12380:2018 has been developed by the Department for Processing and Market Development of Agricultural Products, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and published by the Ministry of Science and Technology in accordance with the Decision No. 4146/QD-BKHCN dated December 28, 2018.   The Standard specifies the technical requirements for raw cashew nut Anacardium occidentale Linnaeus with further processing for human consumption. According to VINACAS, it is intended to set the basis for quality inspection, grading, testing and dispute settlement of imported raw cashew nut cargoes.   TCVN 12380:2018: Raw cashew nut - Technical requirement https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/vietnam-raw-cashew-nut-standardGreat Success for the INC Academia Executive Program for the Second Consecutive YearThis year the Program combined online lessons, with readings, videos and self-assessment tests, with an intensive on-site course, where students had the opportunity to learn through case studies and visit orchards and factories.   The online course (10 units, approx. 50 hours) provided students with a basic understanding of the key aspects of the nut and dried fruit sector, including origin and description; soil and climate; varieties and uses; nutrition facts; processing; food safety and quality standards; production, trade and consumption trends; arbitration rules, and essential strategies and skills for successful negotiations. The contents have been designed and created by top experts from the world’s most prestigious institutions and companies. This year’s program included more than 40 video tutorials and a dossier, summary of the course.   The on-site course (4 days, +10 hours of preparatory tasks and readings) took place in California, from May 18 to 21, 2019, just before the 38th World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress in Boca Raton. During these 4-day intensive on-site course, students were able to visit orchards and factories of top companies, learn through case studies, and build a strong network of relationships.   Students visited the pistachio orchards of Strain Ranches, the almonds orchards of Chamisal Creek Ranch and Vann Family Orchards, and the walnuts orchards of Carriere Family Farms. They also had the opportunity of visiting several processing plants: Carriere Family Farms (walnuts), Vann Family Orchards (almonds), Yolo Hulling & Shelling (almonds), and Mariani Packing (dried fruits).   The last day was dedicated to discuss different case studies at the UC Davis -one of the top colleges of agricultural and environmental sciences in the world. Prof. Rachael Goodhue presented two case studies about strategic management: the case “Borges Agricultural and Industrial Nuts: A Paradigm Shift” (a case study about a real nut-industry company) and the case “Taylor Farms: A Resource Allocation Challenge”. In the afternoon session, Prof. Dr. Kandarp Mehta, from IESE Business School, Spain, conducted two Negotiation simulations, where students learnt and had fun at the same time. Turkey will be the country to host the on-site course in 2020.   More information Photos https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/great-success-of-the-inc-academia-executive-program-for-the-second-consecutive-yearMr. Michael Waring Appointed New Chairman of the INCThe INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council has elected Australian Mr. Michael Waring, Chairman for the next four years. Waring succeeds Mr. Mark Mariani, Executive Chairman of Mariani Packing Company, who has recently completed his four years of service as Chair of INC Board of Trustees. As is customary, the appointment was made official when the silver-plated chairman’s chain was passed from the outgoing Chairman to Mr. Waring by Ms. Goretti Guasch, Executive Director of the INC, in a ceremony held within the frame of the XXXVIII INC World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, celebrated last May 23-25 in Boca Raton, South Florida, USA. Member of the INC Board of Trustees since 2009, Mr. Waring has served as Vice Chairman  since 2015 and on the INC Executive Committee since 2013. In 2000, he became an INC Ambassador to Australia and served as Chairman of the Ambassadors Committee from 2009 to 2015. He  is founding Chairman of the INC Business Integrity Committee since  2016. Michael Waring was the Chairman of the INC World Congress Melbourne 2015 where his late father, Mr. John Waring, was awarded with the Individual Golden Nut Award for his successful trajectory in the nut industry. Waring is Chairman and Managing Director of MWT Foods and MWT Agri Services (Australia)  and also Chairman of MWT Foods USA LLC and of Laurel Nut Company USA. Besides, he is Chairman and Managing Director of the Waring Group, the holding entity of management of MWT Foods, Vietnam and China, macadamia plantations and the groups Agri and import and export businesses. He works with his brothers and business partners Andrew and Christopher Waring. He is a founding Management Committee member of Nuts for Life Australia, a nutrition and health education industry initiative aiming to provide information about the health benefits of tree nuts, and also serves  as Deputy Chair of the Australian Macadamia Society, that industry’s peak body.   Michael lives in Melbourne with his wife Caroline, and three children George, Meg and Ruby. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/mr-michael-waring-chairman-of-mwt-foods-australia-appointed-new-chairman-of-the-incDr. Vicki McWilliam Presented an Update of Current Evidence and Management on Nut Allergies during the Scientific Seminar in Boca RatonUnder the title “Nut allergies: update on current evidence and management”, Dr. McWilliam explained what is defined as a nut from an allergy perspective, how common are nut allergies around the world, the features of nut allergies, recent changes in nut allergy management and their implications, as well as the labeling of products containing allergens. She highlighted that “there are a lot of things to change around the way we approach nut allergies”.   Although much of the literature to date has focused on peanut allergy and research on tree nut allergy has been limited, it has been reported that the prevalence of tree nut allergy across the world is about 2%, Dr. McWilliam explained. One of the key messages of her presentation was that the way nut allergies are managed has changed significantly. Whereas in the past nut allergy management was based on removing all nuts (peanuts and tree nuts) from the diet, thanks to new research findings, avoidance is no longer recommended as a preventative strategy for food allergy. Nowadays, nut allergy prevention is based on the introduction of nuts and nut pastes before the child is 12 months old. On the other hand, those with a single nut allergy are advised to include non-allergic nuts in their diet. Unfortunately, food labels do not usually specify the type of nuts that a product contain or “may contain”.   The presentation is available at https://nutfruitcongress.org/bocaraton2019/program. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/dr-vicki-mcwilliam-presented-an-update-of-current-evidence-and-management-on-nut-allergies-during-the-scientific-seminar-in-boca-ratonProf. Linda Tapsell Presented the Latest Findings on Nuts and Health at the Nutrition Seminar in Boca RatonProf. Tapsell highlighted that nutrition is essentially a matter of balance. It is important to get a balanced intake of bioactive compounds (enough nutrients from food) and a balanced intake of energy (sufficient amount and types of foods in the diet) in order to maintain a healthy body weight. Following with the body weight topic, she asked the next question to the audience: Does eating nuts make you fat? The answer is no, as long as you consume the recommended amounts. Nuts are generally known as a high fat food but they deliver good fats and they are also a good plant protein source. Scientific studies have observed that people who eat nuts regularly tend to eat diets that do not increase body weight. Nuts are high in fiber, good fats and they also contain plant-based protein, vitamins and minerals. Due to their nutritional composition, nuts may help to increase satiety levels and therefore they may help prevent weight gain.   Prof. Tapsell also presented some scientific studies which concluded that nuts may help reduce the risk factors of cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, high LDL “bad” cholesterol, inflammation, etc.) which have been also associated with increased body fat. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/prof-linda-tapsell-presented-the-latest-findings-on-nuts-and-health-at-the-nutrition-seminar-in-boca-ratonUSA: Applications for New Active IngredientsThe new active ingredient fluindapyr at 98% and at 42.4% has been proposed as fungicide for Tree Nuts Crop Group 14-12. Fluindapyr at 20.9% has been proposed as fungicide for grapes (fresh, juice, table, wine, and raisin), almond, walnut, pecan and hazelnut. The deadline for comments is June 20, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 98. Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Pages 23049-23050 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-applications-for-new-active-ingredientsUSA: Applications for New Uses for PesticidesThe active ingredient pydiflumetofen has been proposed as fungicide for Tree Nuts Crop Group 14-12. The active ingredient fluridone has been proposed as herbicide for pistachio. The deadline for comments is June 10, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 90. Thursday, May 9, 2019. Pages 20356-20357   The active ingredient oxathiapiprolin been proposed as fungicide for Tree Nuts Crop Group 14-12. The active ingredient pyraflufen-ethyl has been proposed as defoliant for Fruit, Stone, Crop Group 12-12 and Tree Nuts Crop Group 14-12. The deadline for comments is June 19, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 97. Monday, May 20, 2019. Pages 22839-22840 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-applications-for-new-uses-for-pesticides-12USA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of glufosinate ammonium is set at 0.30 ppm in fruit, stone, (crop group 12-12) and at 0.50 ppm in nut, trees (crop group 14-12).   The Regulation is effective since May 15, 2019; objections and requests must be received on or before July 15, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 94. Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Pages 21706-21708 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-33UK-Andean Countries: Trade Continuity AgreementThe agreement will help to protect the trade flow between the UK and the three Andean countries. This trade continuity agreement has been agreed in preparation for the UK’s departure from the EU. The agreement will allow businesses to trade without any additional barriers or tariffs, ensure certainty for businesses, consumers and investors when the UK ceases to be bound by EU deals.   UK signs trade continuity agreement with Colombia, Ecuador and Peru https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/uk-andean-countries-trade-continuity-agreementUganda: Peanut FlourThis Draft specifies requirements, methods of sampling and testing for full fat groundnut flour suitable for human consumption.   The deadline for comments is July 13, 2019. The proposed date of adoption is September 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/uganda-peanut-flourTurkey: Tariff Reduction on US ProductsThis decision is in response of the reduction of US tariffs on Turkish steel on May 17, 2019.   To recall, in August 2018, Turkey introduced two rounds of countermeasures on US origin products, implementing 10% additional tariffs on US tree nuts on August 5, 2018, and 10% extra duties on August 15, 2019.   USDA GAIN Report. Turkey Reduces the Additional Levies on US Products  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/turkey-tariff-reduction-on-us-productsIndia: Additional Tariffs DelayedOn May 14, 2019, the Government of India announced that the entry into force of the 20% additional tariffs is postponed until June 16, 2019. These tariffs, initially dated August 4, 2018, were first postponed until September 18, 2018 (see previous post), second postponed until November 2, 2018 (see previous post), third postponed until December 17, 2018 (see previous post), fourth postponed until January 31, 2019 (see previous post), fifth postponed until March 2, 2019, sixth postponed until April 1, 2019 (see previous post), seventh postponed until May 2, 2019 (see previous post), and again postponed until May 16, 2019 (see previous post).    Notification N. 15/2019-Customs https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-additional-tariffs-delayed-7EU: GSP ConsultationThe aim of this consultation is to initiate the preparatory work to assist the European Commission to decide on the future of the scheme, which expires on December 31, 2023.   The consultation is open until June 10, 2019.   GSP Surveyhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-gsp-consultationEU-Central America Trade EvaluationThe evaluation focuses on economic, social, environmental and human rights impacts, aiming to improve the future implementation of the agreement.   The evaluation is open until June 10, 2019.   EU-Central America trade evaluation https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-central-america-trade-evaluationEU: Increased Import ControlsAs previously announced: Peanuts from Gambia and Sudan (frequency of physical and identity checks of 50% of aflatoxin) have been moved from Regulation No 669/2009 to Regulation No 884/2014, which poses stricter import controls. The frequency of identity and physical checks of aflatoxin has been set at 50%. Under the Regulation 884/2014, all consignments of groundnuts from Gambia and Sudan should be accompanied by a health certificate stating that the products have been sampled and analyzed for the presence of aflatoxins and have been found to be compliant with EU legislation. The frequency of identity and physical checks of aflatoxin in dried figs from Turkey is increased from 10 to 20%. The CN codes to “hazelnut paste” and “figs, prepared or preserved, including mixtures” are added.   The Regulation shall enter into force on June 19, 2019.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/890 of 27 May 2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-increased-import-controls-2EU: Chlorate MRLs, DraftThe MRLs on the new draft differs from those established in the draft launched for public consultation at the beginning of 2019 (see previous post).   As for nuts and dried fruits, the new draft Regulation sets the MRL of chlorate in tree nuts at 0.1 ppm; apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries and peanuts at 0.05 ppm; and dates and figs at 0.3 ppm. These MRLs shall be reviewed no later than five years after their publication.   Agenda of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed Section Phytopharmaceuticals - Residues (June 13-14, 2019)   Draft COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No …/... amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for chlorate in or on certain products https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-chlorate-mrls-draft-1EU: Pesticides, Extension of Approval PeriodsThe approval periods of these active substances is extended until July 31, 2020.   This regulation entered into force on May 28, 2019.   Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/707 of 7 May 2019https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-extension-of-approval-periods-1China: MycotoxinsThe draft modifies the maximum levels of some mycotoxins in foods. As for nuts and dried fruits, the maximum levels (ML) of mycotoxins are proposed as follows:   Aflatoxin B1 Foodstuff ML (µ/kg) Peanuts 20 Ready-to-eat raw nuts and seeds (except peanuts) 5.0 Cooked nuts and seeds (except peanuts) 5.0 Cooked peanuts 20 Nuts and Seed Products Containing Peanut Raw Materials 20 (the table contains an unofficial translation of the draft)   The deadline for comments is August 2, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-mycotoxinsChina: Additional TariffsThese measures are in response to the US imposition of higher tariffs on selected Chinese goods from May 10, 2019.   Among other commodities, the following products are listed:   HS Code Article description Additional duty 12024100 Groundnuts, in-shell 10% 12024200 Groundnuts, shelled 20% 20081110 Groundnut kernels, in airtight containers 20% 20081120 Roasted groundnuts 10% 20081130 Groundnut butter 10% 20081190 Other groundnuts, prepared otherwise than by vinegar or acetic acid 25% 20081920 Other nuts, in airtight containers 10% 20081999 Other 25% The entry into force of these tariffs is June 1, 2019.   China announced additional tariffs on certain US products https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-additional-tariffs-2Canada: MRLs UpdateThe MRL for difenoconazole in cranberries is set at 0.6 ppm.   Health Canada Database https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-32Canada: MRLs RevocationsThe MRL for ferbam is currently set at 7 ppm in plums, peanuts, grapes, dates and cranberries. The MRL for ziram is currently set at 7 ppm in cranberries, peanuts, grapes and apricots.   The final date for comments is July 17, 2019.   Consultation on Ferbam, Thiram and Ziram, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2019-08 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-revocationsAustralia and New Zealand: New MRLs On December 11, 2018, FSANZ sought submissions on a draft (see previous post), and approved the Proposal M1016 on May 1, 2019. The Proposal considered and assessed the variation of Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for a number of agricultural and veterinary chemicals in Schedule 20 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.   As for nuts and dried fruits, the MRL changes on the Schedule 20 are the following: Omitting from each of the following chemicals, the foods and associated MRLs: The residue of clofentezine in stone fruits at 1 ppm. The residue of diafenthiuron in peanut at T0.1 ppm. The residue of fenvalerate in peanut at T0.1 ppm. The residue of phosmet in stone fruits at 1 ppm. The residue of pyridate in peanut at *0.1 ppm. The residue of sulfoxaflor in dried grapes (currants, raisins and sultanas) at T10 ppm.   Inserting for each of the following chemicals the foods and associated MRLs: The residue of abamectin in cranberry at 0.05 ppm. The residue of boscalid in Stone fruits [except cherries] at 3.5 ppm. The residue of clofentezine in Stone fruits [except cherries] at 0.1 ppm. The residue of cyhalothrin in pecan at 0.05 ppm. The residue of cypermethrin in Stone fruits [except cherries] at 1 ppm. The residue of difenoconazole in cranberry at 0.6 ppm and pecan at 0.03 ppm. The residue of diuron in date at T0.5 ppm. The residue of emamectin in pecan at 0.02 ppm. The residue of fluazifop-p-butyl in pecan at 0.05 ppm. The residue of flupyradifurone in stone fruits at 1.5 ppm. The residue of mandestrobin in dried grapes (raisins) at 7 ppm. The residue of mesotrione in pecan and plums (including prunes) at 0.01 ppm.   * indicates that the maximum residue limit is set at the limit of determination. ‘T’ indicates that the maximum residue limit is a temporary maximum residue limit.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-new-mrlsAustralia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateAmong other changes, the table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows: The maximum residue limit for Phosphorous acid in tree nuts is substituted for 3000 ppm.   The amendment can be found here.   In addition, FSANZ issued a Proposal to Amend Schedule 20 of the Code (May 21, 2019).   Among other changes, the table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is proposed to be amended as follows: The residue of Mefentrifluconazole in dried grapes (currants, raisins and sultanas) at 3 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit for Fluxapyroxad in tree nuts at 0.07 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit for Pyraclostrobin in tree nuts [except pistachio nut and walnut] is substituted for 0.07 ppm.   The proposed amendment can be found here. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-19China: US Tariff Exclusion ProcessAccording to a USDA GAIN Report published on June 6, 2019, both enterprises and industry associations that import, produce or use the goods included in the list are eligible to apply for tariff exclusions.   Applicants shall submit documents and commercial data describing how additional tariffs on US products affect them, such as challenges faced seeking alternative sources of goods, economic damage to the applicant and major negative structural impacts on the relevant industries.   The nuts and dried fruits included in the exclusion process are the following:   HS Code Product Description 0801 2100 Brazil nuts, in-shell 0801 2200 Brazil nuts, shelled 0801 3100 Cashew nuts, in-shell 0801 3200 Cashew nuts, shelled 0802 1100 Almonds, in-shell 0802 1200 Almonds, shelled 0802 2100 Hazelnuts, in-shell 0802 2200 Hazelnuts, shelled 0802 3100 Walnuts, in-shell 0802 3200 Walnuts, shelled 0802 5100 Pistachios, in-shell 0802 5200 Pistachios, shelled 0802 6190 Macadamia nuts, in-shell 0802 6200 Macadamia nuts, shelled 0802 9030 Pine nuts, shelled 0804 1000 Dates, fresh or dried 0804 2000 Figs, fresh or dried 0806 2000 Grapes, dried 0813 1000 Apricots, dried 0813 2000 Prunes 2008 9300 Cranberries, prepared or preserved not from vinegar   Applications are open from June 3, 2019, to July 5, 2019.   China will publish an additional list of products eligible for tariff exclusion at a later date. The application window for this additional list is expected to be from September 2, 2019, until October 18, 2019.   USDA GAIN Report: China&#39;s Tariff Exclusion Process Explained https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-us-tariff-exclusion-processHighlights from the INC World Nut and Dried Fruit CongressNut and Dried Fruit Production Prospects As discussed by industry leaders during the Congress round tables, world tree nut production has been forecasted at 7.5 million metric tons (kernel basis, except pistachios in-shell), up by 5% from the previous season. Although it is still very early in the season to anticipate the crops final outcomes, the most significant increments are expected for hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds, which have risen from 2018/19 by 14%, 13% and 11%, respectively. According to early estimations, world peanut production in 2019/20 is foreseen to amount to 40.5 million MT (in-shell basis), 1.2 million MT up from 2018/19.  Global dried fruit production has been forecasted at 3.2 million MT, up 3% from 2018/19, as production is expected to increase for prunes (14%), dates (8%)  and apricots (7%). Directing efforts towards sustainability has been one of the hot topics throughout the round tables, as well as the plant base diet and healthy snacking as opportunities to boost consumption of nuts and dried fruits. A Stimulating Three-Day Program Dr. Oz, talk show guest and TV personality, provided insights into the "Issues Communicating the Message of Health”, while Mr. Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Chobani, discussed how innovation and humanizing companies can change communities in a “Chat with CEO’s” session. The third keynote speaker, Mr. Brad Rose, Executive VP of Rose Research, gave an overview on how new technology is shaping marketing and consumer insights. The Scientific Seminar featured Dr. Vicki McWilliam, Allergy Dietitian and Researcher of The Royal Children&#39;s Hospital in Melbourne, who talked about advancements in nut-allergy research. Prof. Linda Tapsell, a leading Australian researcher at the School of Medicine, University of Wollongong, spoke about nuts as part of a healthy diet in the Nutrition Seminar. Moreover, the INC’s Executive Director, Goretti Guasch, presented the INC Annual Report and unveiled the INC’s new marketing campaign to promote the healthy consumption of nuts and dried fruits at breakfast time to provide the energy we need to face our daily challenges. Mr. Mark Mariani, Executive Chairman of Mariani Packing Company, announced the end of his chairmanship at the INC, passing on his legacy to Mr. Michael Waring, Chairman of MWT Foods. Finally, it was announced that the 2020 Congress is to be held in Dubai, UAE, from 28 to 30 May, 2020.   INC Awards The INC Awards, handed out annually as part of the INC Congress, are aimed at recognizing outstanding leaders and visionaries who contribute to the excellence of the nut and dried fruit industry. In Boca Raton, Mr. Bert Steir, Vice President of The Wonderful Company, received the Individual Golden Nut Award while the Corporate Golden Nut Award was presented to Costco Wholesale Corporation. Also, the Award for Excellence in Research was given to Prof. Linda Tapsell and the Excellence in Gastronomy Award went to Andrew Roenbeck, head chef at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. And, finally, the INC Innovation Award winner was Besana Group for its Besana&#39;s Planet Friendly Pot. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/1-300-food-professionals-from-63-countries-met-in-boca-raton-south-florida-for-the-38th-world-nut-and-dried-fruit-congressIndia: Additional Tariffs DelayedOn May 1, 2019, the Government of India announced that the entry into force of the 20% additional tariffs is postponed until May 16, 2019.   These tariffs, initially dated August 4, 2018, were first postponed until September 18, 2018 (see previous post), second postponed until November 2, 2018 (see previous post), third postponed until December 17, 2018 (see previous post), fourth postponed until January 31, 2019 (see previous post), fifth postponed until March 2, 2019, sixth postponed until April 1, 2019 (see previous post) and again postponed until May 2, 2019 (see previous post).    Notification N. 14/2019-Customs  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-additional-tariffs-delayed-6India: Plum from SpainThe Draft seeks to further liberalize provisions governing the import of Prunus domestica (Plum), Prunus persica (Peach) and Prunus persica var nucipersica (Nectarine) from Spain. This notification will further allow import of plants and plant materials into India.   The deadline for comments is May 31, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-plum-from-spain Japan: MRLs UpdateAs for nuts and dried fruits, the following MRL were proposed:   The MRL for fenpyroximate in grape is lowered from 2 ppm to 1 ppm. The deadline for comments is June 24, 2019. The MRL for Isopyrazam is newly set in peanuts at 0.01 ppm. No comments are applicable.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-mrls-update-20Korea, Republic of: Food ProductsAmong others, the proposed amendment seeks to revise the maximum residue limits of pesticides in agricultural products (establish and revise MRLs of 76 pesticides including Iminoctadine); and to establish General Test Methods for four pesticides including Quinoxyfen in agricultural products.   The deadline for comments is June 4, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/korea-republic-of-food-products-2 New Zealand: Plums and Grapes from ChileThe Import Health Standard 152.02 Schedules for grape and plum from Chile have been amended. Changes include the additions of Drosophila suzukii to the pest lists for plum and grape, as well as disinfestation measures.   The amendment entered into force on April 4, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-zealand-plums-and-grapes-from-chileSaudi Arabia: MRLs UpdateThe Draft applies to maximum limits of pesticide residues in agricultural and food products, such as fruits and dates, among others.   The deadline for comments is May 31, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/saudi-arabia-mrls-updateSaudi Arabia: Contaminants and ToxinsThe Draft includes maximum levels of contaminants and natural toxicants in feed in cases where the contaminant in feed can be transferred to food of animal origin and can be relevant for public health.   As for nuts and dried fruits, the maximum levels (ML) of mycotoxins are proposed as follows:   Commodity/Product Name Maximum level of aflatoxins (μg/kg) (B1+B2+G1+G2) RTE FP Almonds (whole commodity after removal of shell) 10 15 Brazil nuts (whole commodity) 10 15 Hazelnuts (whole commodity after removal of shell) 10 15 Peanuts (unless specified, seed or kernels, after removal of shell or husk) - 15 Pistachios (whole commodity after removal of shell) 10 15 Dried figs (whole commodity) 10 - Nuts with exception mentioned (whole commodity) 4 10 Dried fruit, other than dried figs (whole commodity) 4 10   Ochratoxin A (μg/kg) Dried vine fruit 10   Lead (mg/kg) Cranberry (Whole commodity after removal of caps and stems) 0.2 RTE: Ready-to-eat means not intended to undergo an additional processing/treatment that has proven to reduce levels of aflatoxins before being used as ingredient in foodstuffs, otherwise processed or offered for human consumption. PF: Intended for further processing means intended to undergo an additional processing/treatment that has proven to reduce levels of aflatoxins before being used as an ingredient in foodstuffs, otherwise processed or offered for human consumption. Processes that have proven to reduce levels of aflatoxins are shelling, blanching followed by color sorting, and sorting by specific gravity and color (damage). There is some evidence that roasting reduces aflatoxins in pistachios but for other nuts the evidence is still to be supplied.   The deadline for comments is June 9, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/saudi-arabia-contaminants-and-toxins-1USA: Food WasteThe interagency strategy, Winning on Reducing Food Waste FY 2019-2020 Federal Interagency Strategy, includes six key priority areas the agencies will work together on over the next year:   Enhance Interagency Coordination Increase Consumer Education and Outreach Efforts Improve Coordination and Guidance on Food Loss and Waste Measurement Clarify and Communicate Information on Food Safety, Food Date Labels, and Food Donations Collaborate with Private Industry to Reduce Food Loss and Waste Across the Supply Chain Encourage Food Waste Reduction by Federal Agencies in their Respective Facilities   Press release  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-food-wasteUSA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of fenazaquin in fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F is set at 0.7 ppm; in fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 2 ppm; and in grape, raisin at 0.8 ppm.   The Regulation is effective since April 11, 2019; objections and requests must be received on or before June 10, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 70. Thursday, April 11, 2019. Pages 14617-14622  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-32USA: Applications for New Uses for PesticidesThe active ingredient Trifludimoxazin has been proposed as herbicide for almonds, tree nut group 14-12, and peanuts. The deadline for comments is May 15, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 72. Monday, April 15, 2019. Pages 15217-15218  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-applications-for-new-uses-for-pesticides-11USA: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the petitions received were the following:   Amended Tolerances for Non-Inerts: Remove the established tolerances of acetamiprid, (1 E)-N-[(6-chloro-3-pyridinyl)methyl]-N′-cyano-N-methylethanimidamide, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on Fruit, stone, group 12, except plum, prune at 1.20 ppm; Plum, prune, fresh at 0.20 ppm; Nut, tree, group 14 at 0.10 ppm; and Pistachio at 0.10 ppm.   New Tolerances for Non-Inerts: Establish tolerances for residues of acetamiprid, (1 E)-N-[(6-chloro-3-pyridinyl)methyl]-N′-cyano-N-methylethanimidamide, including its metabolites and degradates in or on Fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 1.5 ppm and Nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.10 ppm. Establish tolerances for residues of the insecticide cyflumetofen, 2-methoxyethyl α-cyano-α-[4-(1,1-dimethylethyl)phenyl]-β-oxo-2-(trifluoromethyl)benzenepropanoate, including its metabolites and degradates, to be determined by measuring only cyflumetofen, in or on Fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 2.0 ppm nd Plume, prune, dried at 0.41 ppm. Establish tolerances for residues of the fungicide, pydiflumetofen, in or on Plum, Prune at 1.5 ppm and Tree Nuts Crop Group 14-12 at 0.05 ppm. Establish tolerances for residues of the herbicide, Trifludimoxazin 1,5-dimethyl-6-thioxo-3-[2,2,7-trifluoro-3-oxo-4-(prop-2-yn-1-yl)-3,4-dihydro-2-1,4-benzoazin-6-yl]-1,3,5-triazinane-2,4-dione, in or on Nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.01 ppm and Peanut at 0.01 ppm.   The final date for comments is May 20, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 76, Friday, April 19, 2019. Pages 16430-16432  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-pesticide-petitions-19Vietnam: Ban on GlyphosatePress release  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/vietnam-ban-on-glyphosate2019 World Nut and Dried Fruit Trade Flows MapsThis edition features two separate maps for tree nuts and dried fruits respectively. Peanut, in-shell tree nut as well as intra-European top trade flows are also detailed in satellite maps. Additionally, it includes historical series on production, supply value, imports and exports through satellite graphs.   INC members will receive printed posters of the maps and they can also be visualized online here. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/world-nut-and-dried-fruit-trade-flows-mapsTariff Rates of Nuts and Dried Fruits Now Avaliable OnlineTariff information gives an overview to exporters of the applicable tariffs in the main importing countries of tree nuts and dried fruits. The information is displayed by export country in a PDF file, easy to view and download.   See Tariffs   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/tariffs-information-avaliableChina: Food Safety StandardsThe draft contains nine chapters and sixty articles, including general principles; programming, planning and annual project of national food safety standards; drafting of national food safety standards; solicitation of public comments and review of national food safety standards; approval, numbering and publication of national food safety standards; follow-up evaluation and revision of national food safety standards; provincial food safety standards; imported food with no national food safety standards and supplementary provisions.   The deadline for comments is June 1, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-food-safety-standardsChina, Taiwan: MRLs UpdateAs for nuts and dried fruits, the following MRL was notified: Thiamethoxam: hazelnut at 0.01 ppm.   The final date for comments is June 24, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-taiwan-mrls-update-12EFSA: Reporting Data on Pesticide ResiduesThe Report is a consolidated version of the past four years’ guidance defining the appropriate SSD codes (Standard Sample Description, version 1) to describe the samples and the analytical results, and it gives directions for the reporting of pesticide residues monitoring data starting with the data generated in 2018 onwards. These provisions take into account the experience of both the previous reporting seasons and the new legislation applicable in 2018.   This EFSA Guidance will not be applicable for the 2019 data collection provided to EFSA in 2020. In 2020, all data on annual monitoring will be transmitted in SSD2 format only.   Guidance on the reporting data on pesticide residues in food and feed according to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 (2018 data collection). EFSA Journal 2019;17(4):5655. 72 pp.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-reporting-data-on-pesticide-residuesEFSA: Cyanogenic GlycosidesFollowing a request from the European Commission, the EFSA evaluated the risks to human health related to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides (CNGs) in foods other than raw apricot kernels. It has been concluded that there are no data indicating that the acute reference dose (ARfD) for cyanide of 20 μg/kg bw, established in 2016, should be revised and that it is applicable for acute effects of cyanide regardless of the dietary source. For exposure to cyanide from foods other than raw apricot kernels, bitter almonds and cassava roots, this ARfD is likely to be over‐conservative because of the lower bioavailability of cyanide from these foods, but establishment of different ARfDs for different types of food is not appropriate.   The EFSA made the following recommendations:   Validated methods for the quantification of CNGs and total cyanide and investigations on the variation of hydrolytic enzymes are needed in different foods. The variation of hydrolytic enzymes in food crops and the potential to identify cultivars of crops with relatively low content of CNG or of hydrolytic enzymes need to be investigated. More occurrence data for cyanide in raw and processed foods and consumption data for CNG containing foods are also needed. Human toxicokinetics of CNGs and released cyanide after ingestion of food items containing CNGs need to be studied further. More information is needed on the presence of hydrolytic activity in processed foods. More data are needed to evaluate the potential of cyanide and food items that contain CNGs to cause chronic effects.   Evaluation of the health risks related to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides in foods other than raw apricot kernels. EFSA Journal 2019;17(4):5655. 72 pp.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-cyanogenic-glycosides-1EU-UK: Brexit ExtensionThe conditions on this extension are that during this period the course of action will be entirely in the UK’s hands, consequently, they have the possibility to cancel Brexit or in case they ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, the extension will be terminated.   Background: On March 29, 2017, the UK notified the EU of its intention to withdraw from the EU, being the first agreed withdrawal date on March 29, 2019. Since then, both parties negotiated an agreement setting out the arrangements for UK’s withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the EU. In November 2018, both parties reached a Withdrawal Agreement and a Political Declaration. However, the Agreement was only approved by the EU.   On March 21, 2019, the EU agreed a short extension of the UK withdrawal from the EU until April 12, 2019. However, in order to avoid a no-deal Brexit, on April 10, 2019, the EU Council granted UK a flexible extension period until October 31, 2019.   Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the special meeting of the European Council on April 10, 2019.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-uk-brexit-extensionEU: MRLs UpdateThe Regulation 2019/552 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits:   Azoxystrobin: 0.04 ppm in tree nuts (except almonds and pistachios at 0.02* ppm). Chlormequat: 0.05 ppm in grapes. Fenpyroximate: 0.05 ppm in tree nuts. Fluopyram: 0.2 ppm in peanuts. Fosetyl-Al: 500 ppm in tree nuts.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   The Regulation entered into force on April 24, 2019.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/552 of 4 April 2019  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-27EU: MRLs Update, Draft Commission RegulationsAs for nuts and dried fruits, the draft sets the following MRLs for imazalil:   The MRL for imazalil is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts.   The final date for comments is June 4, 2019. The proposed date of adoption is September 2019.   In addition, another draft sets the following MRLs for cyflufenamid, fenbuconazole, fluquinconazole and tembotrione:   The MRL for cyflufenamid is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, cranberries, figs and dates; 0.07 in plums; 0.2 ppm in grapes; and 0.1 ppm in peanuts. The MRL for fenbuconazole is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, dates and figs; 0.6 ppm in apricots and plums; 1.5 ppm in grapes; 1 ppm in cranberries; and 0.1 ppm in peanuts. The MRL for fluquinconazole is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts.   The final date for comments is June 9, 2019. The proposed date of adoption is November 2019.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-draft-commission-regulations-11EU: Chlorothalonil WithdrawalOn April 30, 2019, the European Commission published the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/677 of 29 April 2019 concerning the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance chlorothalonil, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011.   Member States shall withdraw authorizations for plant protection products containing chlorothalonil as active substances by November 20, 2019, at the latest. However, any grace period granted by Member States shall expire by May 20, 2020, at the latest.   This Regulation shall enter into force on May 20, 2019.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/677  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-chlorothalonil-withdrawal-1EU: Methiocarb Withdrawal The Draft provides that the approval of the active substances methiocarb is not renewed and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing this substance will be withdrawn from the market. This decision does not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the concerned pesticide. However, following non-approval, separate action may be taken on MRLs.   The deadline for comments is June 22, 2019. It is expected to be adopted during the 3rd quarter of 2019.   Currently, the MRLs for methiocarb in tree nuts, apricots, plums, cranberries, dates, and figs is 0.2 ppm; in grapes is 0.3 ppm; and in peanuts is 0.1* ppm.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-methiocarb-withdrawalEU: Standing Committee - PesticidesThe extension of the approval periods of the following active substances had a favorable opinion: alpha-cypermethrin, beflubutamid, benalaxyl, benthiavalicarb, bifenazate, boscalid, bromoxynil, captan, cyazofamid, desmedipham, dimethoate, dimethomorph, diuron, ethephon, etoxazole, famoxadone, fenamiphos, flumioxazine, fluoxastrobin, folpet, foramsulfuron, formetanate, metalaxyl-m, methiocarb, metribuzin, milbemectin, Paecilomyces lilacinus strain 251, phenmedipham, phosmet, pirimiphos-methyl, propamocarb, prothioconazole, s-metolachlor and tebuconazole.   Voting sheet  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-standing-committee-pesticides-1EU: Changes to Border Controls, DraftAs a result of the Standing Committee of the Section ‘Novel Food and Toxicological Safety’ held on February 8, 2019, (summarized here) the EC has issued a draft moving peanuts from Gambia and Sudan (frequency of physical and identity checks of 50% of aflatoxin) from Regulation No 669/2009 to Regulation No 884/2014, which poses stricter import controls. Therefore these entries are deleted from Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 and added to Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 884/2014.   In addition, in the Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 884/2014: The frequency of identity and physical checks of aflatoxin in dried figs from Turkey is increased from 10 to 20%. The CN codes to “hazelnut paste” and “figs, prepared or preserved, including mixtures” are added.   The new Regulation will enter into force on the 20th day following that of its publication.   Draft imposing special conditions governing the import of groundnuts from Gambia and Sudan and amending Regulations (EC) No 669/2009 and (EU) No 884/2014  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-changes-to-border-controls-draftEU-US: Trade Agreements NegotiationsThe directives for the negotiations cover two potential agreements with the US: one on conformity assessment to make it easier for companies to prove their products meet technical requirements, and the other on eliminating tariffs on industrial goods, excluding agricultural products.   On July 25, 2018, EU and the US issued a joint statement for a Trade Agreement which would be beneficial for both parties to further strengthen trade relations between them. Since then, the EU and the US have been working to implement the actions agreed in the Joint Statement.   EU-U.S. Trade: Commission welcomes Council&#39;s green light to start negotiations with the United States  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-us-trade-agreements-negotiationsEU-US: Consultation on Additional Tariffs on US ProductsThe EC has published a draft list of US products which could be subject to additional tariffs in the context of the dispute. Thus, the EC is seeking for feedback from stakeholders regarding the EU’s economic interests in order to assist it in assessing the parameters of planned commercial policy measures. Some products already included in the list are:   (08022200) fresh or dried hazelnuts or filberts "corylus spp.", shelled (08025200) fresh or dried pistachios, shelled (08029085) nuts, fresh or dried, whether or not shelled or peeled (excl. coconuts, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts "castania spp.", pistachios, pecans, areca "betel" nuts, cola nuts, pine nuts and macadamia nuts) (08041000) fresh or dried dates (08062010) currants (08062030) sultanas (08062090) dried grapes (excl. currants and sultanas) (08119019) frozen fruit and nuts, edible, uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water, containing added sugar or other sweetening matter, with a sugar content of > 13% by weight (excl. strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, loganberries, black, white or red currants, gooseberries, guavas, mangoes, mangosteens, papaws "papayas", tamarinds, cashew apples, lychees, jackfruit, sapodillo plums, passion fruit, carambola, pitahaya, coconuts, cashew nuts, brazil nuts, areca "betel" nuts, colanuts and macadamia nuts) (08132000) dried prunes (12024100) groundnuts, in shell (excl. seed for sowing, roasted or otherwise cooked) (12024200) groundnuts, shelled, whether or not broken (excl. seed for sowing, roasted or otherwise cooked) (20081919) nuts and other seeds, incl. mixtures, prepared or preserved, in immediate packings of a content of > 1 kg (excl. prepared or preserved with vinegar, preserved with sugar but not laid in syrup, jams, fruit jellies, marmalades, fruit puree and pastes, obtained by cooking, groundnuts, roasted almonds and pistachios and coconuts, cashew nuts, brazil nuts, areca "betel" nuts, colanuts and macadamia nuts and mixtures containing >= 50% by weight of tropical nuts) (20081993) roasted almonds and pistachios, in immediate packings of a net content <= 1 kg 20081995 roasted nuts, in immediate packings of a net content <= 1 kg (excl. groundnuts, almonds, pistachios, coconuts, cashew nuts, brazil nuts, areca "betel" nuts, cola nuts and macadamia nuts) (20081999) nuts and other seeds, incl. mixtures, prepared or preserved, in immediate packings of a content of <= 1 kg (excl. prepared or preserved with vinegar, preserved with sugar but not laid in syrup, jams, fruit jellies, marmalades, fruit puree and pastes, obtained by cooking, groundnuts, roasted nuts, and coconuts, cashew nuts, brazil nuts, areca "betel" nuts, colanuts and macadamia nuts and mixtures containing >= 50% by weight of tropical nuts)   The consultation would be open until May 31, 2019.   WTO Boeing dispute: EU issues preliminary list of US products considered for countermeasures   Consultation regarding EU policy measures  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-us-consultation-on-additional-tariffs-on-us-productsEU: Unfair Trading Practices The main aim of this Directive is to establish a minimum list of prohibited trading practices deviating from good commercial conduct, which are usually imposed by one trading partner to another.   This Directive applies to sales where either the supplier of the buyer, or both, are established in the EU. Some of the prohibited practices include:   Certain delays in payments and delivery of products. Cancellation of purchasing orders in a short notice. Unilateral changes by the buyer of certain terms of a supply agreement. The request of payments from the supplier which are not related to the sale of the agricultural and food products. The buyer’s refusal to confirm in writing the terms of an agreement.   By May 1, 2019, the EU Member States shall publish and apply the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive.   Directive 2019/633 on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-unfair-trading-practicesEU-Australia: Online SurveyNegotiations between EU and Australia, which started in June 2018, are currently ongoing. These negotiations seek to reduce trade barriers as well as encompass trade-related topics, including trade and sustainable development.   The consultation is open until June 23, 2019.   Online consultation  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-australia-online-surveyHonduras: Sanitary RegulationThe notified Regulations set provisions on sanitary regulation, control and promotion to be met by natural and legal persons, which grant sanitary authorizations for foods and beverages, the raw materials used for such foods and beverages, and establishments engaged in the production, processing, handling, retailing, packaging, conservation, importation, exportation, storage, transportation, distribution, marketing of and other activities of sanitary interest involving foods and beverages and the raw materials used for such foods and beverages, including hotel services, and the advertising of such foods and beverages and raw materials, with the aim of protecting public health.   The final date for comments is May 31, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/honduras-sanitary-regulationReus 1976: The First International Almond and Hazelnut CongressThe 38th World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress, to be held this May in Boca Raton, Florida, is just around the corner. The event will host over 1,300 attendees, more than 60 global industry speakers and 12 nut and dried fruit round tables. But where did it all begin? We asked Mr. Antonio Pont, Honorary President of the INC, to take us back to 1976 to find out what the first International Almond and Hazelnut Congress was like. “Of course there were nerves, but there was also a lot of excitement”, Mr. Pont recalls. “The Congress was born out of a combination of several factors: having spent a few years in the sector, I realized that the industry needed a meeting point”. At that time, relationships between companies were not as close as they are today: “you must take into account that at that time we communicated by post or telegram, the fax machine came along a little later and of course, there wasn’t much personal contact among us”. Mr. Pont says that for that reason, the industry was anxious to meet and establish personal and professional connections. This need, and the fact that Mr. Pont had been named President of the Tarragona Exposition Official Fair in Reus by the Mayor of Reus (Spain), provided the impetus to organize the first international meeting on almonds and hazelnuts.  “We created an Honorary Committee, made up of 23 members and presided over by H.M. Juan Carlos I of Spain, and in only 5 months we managed to get everything in place”, he recalls. And so, for three days in 1976 the city of Reus became the world capital of almonds and hazelnuts, bringing together more than 100 visitors from 6 countries, hosting 7 talks with more than 10 speakers and around 10 visits to the area’s factories and farms. The Satisfaction of a Job Well Done   The Honorary President of the INC remembers the expressions of gratitude and kindness from his associates in the industry at the end of the congress: “Having the attendees come up to me to show their appreciation for my organizing the event, was what drove us to carry on”. Also, for the organization, it was an enormous pleasure to have Dr. Dale Kester from the University of California, Davis, as a guest speaker. In the words of Mr. Jesus Murga, congress president, the event not only attracted growers, because we discussed growing methods, and exporters because we looked at world trade and its possible future, but it also drew farmers and sellers for whom it provided a perspective around which they could plan their activity in order to achieve greater profit and economic utility. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/reus-1976-the-first-international-almond-and-hazelnut-congressBoca Raton 2019: Online Meeting Point Already AvailableThat is why attending the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress provides participants with additional opportunities to interact with other industry members such as manufacturers, importers, exporters, processors and suppliers. All confirmed delegates will receive their username and password to access the online tool and then, they can start taking advantage of the Meeting Point. Also, attendees can create a personalized schedule including conference sessions and meetings. And as a novelty of this year’s edition, users are able to edit their own profile data information and change their profile picture. The Meeting Point is therefore a unique platform enabling INC members to take full advantage of their time while at the Congress. Both the congress website and the Meeting Point are available for all mobile devices. The Online Meeting Point is sponsored by Crain Walnut Shelling, Inc., and Crisol de Frutos Secos. Access the Meeting Point here. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/boca-raton-2019-online-meeting-point-already-availableAustralia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateAmong other changes, the table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows:   The residue of spinetoram in figs at T0. 1 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit for clothianidin in almonds is substituted for T0.05 ppm.   ‘T’ indicates that the maximum residue limit is a temporary maximum residue limit.   The amendment can be found here.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-18Brazil: MRLs Update The MRL for espinetoram in grape, cashew and fig is set at 0.3 ppm with a safety security period of 3 days. The MRL for metominostrobina in peanut is set at 0.01 ppm with a safety security period of 30 days. The MRL for chlorfenapyr in peanut is set at 0.1 ppm with a safety security period of 14 days. The MRL for cyprodinil in grape culture is set at 2.0 ppm with a safety security period of 3 days. The MRL for fludioxonil in grape culture is set at 3.0 ppm with a safety security period of 3 days. For glyphosate, the following changes for rural workers are proposed: prohibition of EW formulation (oil-in-water emulsion); rotation between workers for application activities with tractors; personal protective equipment and period for reentry of the worker into the treated area; drift reduction technology; safe zone of 10 m when there is population 550 m way from farming fields; definition of exposure and tolerance limits for rural workers.   For espinetoram, the final date for comments is March 19, 2019. For metominostrobina, chlorfenapyr, cyprodinil, and fludioxonil the final date for comments is May 16, 2019. For glyphosate, the final date for comments is June 6, 2019.   E32 - Espinetoram   M49 - Metominostrobina   C40 - Chlorfenapyr   C47 - Cyprodinil   F49 - Fludioxonil   G01 - Glyphosate  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-mrls-update-20Canada: Dithianon, MRL UpdateThe PMRL for dithianon in raisins is set at 12 ppm. The final date for comments is May 22, 2019.   Consultation on Dithianon, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2019-07  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-dithianon-mrl-updateChile: Import RequirementsThe phytosanitary requirements governing the importation into Chile of walnuts (Juglans regia), inshell and shelled, coming from Argentina entered into force on March 7, 2019 (see previous post).   The phytosanitary requirements governing the importation into Chile of in-shell and shelled almonds (Prunus dulcis) from Australia entered into force on March 7, 2019 (see previous post).   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/chile-import-requirementsChile-Argentina: Agreement of Economic ComplementationThe aim of this agreement is to promote the exchange of goods, services, investments and bilateral participation in public contracts. It updates the Agreement of Economic Complementation signed in 1991 which was expanded and deepened several times since its entry into force.   Chile and Argentina celebrate approval of Trade Agreement (in Spanish) https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/chile-argentina-agreement-of-economic-complementationEU: Plastic MaterialsThis Regulation adds three new substances to the positive lists of substances approved for use in food contact plastics and changes the use restrictions for some substances. In addition, it introduces a group migration limit for crotonic acid and clarifies the types of migrants to be used in foods with a certain pH, among other amendments.   Plastic materials and articles complying with Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 as applicable before the entry into force of this Regulation may be placed on the market until 31 January 2020, and may remain on the market until exhaustion of stocks.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/37 of 10 January 2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-plastic-materials-2EU: Pesticides, Standing CommitteeSome of the discussions were the following:   Member States agreed to reduce the maximum residue levels (MRL) for pyraclostrobin in table grapes from 1 ppm to 0.3 ppm. The draft Regulation will be notified thought the World Trade Organization’ Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards system (SPS-WTO).   Although it was proposed the setting of an acute reference dose (ARfD) for fosetyl (in the context of the peer review for the renewal of approval of fosetyl), it was found that no ARfD should be set. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will soon publish an amended conclusion on fosetyl.   The Commission considered the EFSA Report on Processing Factors (PFs) a very useful source of information, but considered that its use in enforcement practice should not be legally binding or imposed on Member States. The use of default PFs should be left to the discretion of Member States. Most of the Members States do no use PFs or only use PFs to a limited extent to make decisions on non-compliances.   The following Draft Commission Regulations had a favorable opinion: Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for aminopyralid, captan, cyazofamid, flutianil, kresoxim-methyl, lambda-cyhalothrin, mandipropamid, pyraclostrobin, spiromesifen, spirotetramat, teflubenzuron and tetraconazole in or on certain products (Art. 10). Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II and IV to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for ABE-IT 56, aclonifen, Beauveria bassiana strain PPRI 5339, Clonostachys rosea strain J1446, fenpyrazamine, mefentrifluconazole and penconazole in or on certain products (Art. 10). Draft Commission Regulation (EU) No …/… amending Annexes II and III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for bispyribac, denathonium benzoate, fenoxycarb, flurochloridone, quizalofop-P-ethyl, quizalofop-P-tefuryl, propaquizafop and tebufenozide (Art. 12).   The Commission informed of the tentative planning for a vote on chlorate MRLs scheduled in Q2 or Q3 2019.   As regards MRLs for imazalil, the Commission invited Member States to reflect on the possibility to set or maintain MRLs for commodities where no acute consumer risk was identified at or near the existing levels by March 31, 2019.   There was an exchange of views as regards the MRLs for the following substances: Cyflufenamid, fenbuconazole, fluquinconazole, tembotrione, amitrole, fipronil, flufenoxuron, flupyrsulfuron-methyl, imazosulfuron, isoproturon, orthosulfamuron and triasulfuron in or on certain products.   The following Draft Commission Implementing Regulation had a favorable opinion: Draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the approval of the active substance Flutianil in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 (Draft Review Report SANTE/11948/2017 Rev 7).   Summary Report https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-standing-committeeEU: MRLs Update, Draft Commission RegulationAs for nuts and dried fruits, the draft sets the following MRLs: The MRL for amitrole is lowered from 0.05 ppm to 0.01* ppm in grapes. The MRL for flufenoxuron is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts; from 0.5 to 0.01* in apricots and plums; and from 1 ppm to 0.01* ppm in table grapes. The MRL for triasulfuron is lowered form 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   The final date for comments was April 9, 2019. The proposed date of adoption is October 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-draft-commission-regulation-2EU: Pesticide WithdrawalsThe drafts provide that the approval of the active substances thiophanate-methyl and dimethoate are not renewed and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing these substances will be withdrawn from the market. These decisions do not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the concerned pesticide. However, following non-approval, separate action may be taken on MRLs.   The deadline for comments on thiophanate-methyl is April 29, 2019 and on dimethoate is May 19, 2019. Both are expected to be adopted during the 2nd quarter of 2019.   Currently, the MRLs for thiophanate-methyl in tree nuts, grapes, cranberries, figs, dates and peanuts is 0.1* ppm, in apricots is 2 ppm, and in plums is 0.3 ppm. The MRL for dimethoate in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, figs, dates and peanuts is already 0.01* ppm.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticide-withdrawals-2EU: Flutianil, Pesticide ApprovalThis Regulation approves the active substance flutianil, subject to the conditions laid down in the Annex. It will enter into force on April 14, 2019.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/481 of 22 March 2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-flutianil-pesticide-approvalEU: Reflection Paper on SustainabilityThe Paper seeks to steer the discussion on how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be best achieved and how the European Union can best contribute by 2030. Building on what has been achieved in recent years, these scenarios highlight that further action is needed if the EU and the world are to secure a sustainable future in the interest of citizens&#39; well-being.   The Reflection Paper focuses on the key policy foundations for the sustainability transition, which include moving from linear to circular economy, correcting the imbalances in our food system, future-proofing our energy, buildings and mobility, and making sure that this transition is fair, leaving no one and no place behind. The Paper also concentrates on the horizontal enablers, which need to underpin the sustainability transition, including education, science, technology, research, innovation and digitization; finance, pricing, taxation and competition; responsible business conduct, corporate social responsibility and new business models; open and rules-based trade; governance and policy coherence at all levels.   The Paper puts forward three scenarios to stimulate the discussion on how to follow up on the SDGs within the EU:   An overarching EU SDGs strategy guiding the actions of the EU and its Member States. A continued mainstreaming of the SDGs in all relevant EU policies by the Commission, but not enforcing Member States&#39; action. An enhanced focus on external action while consolidating current sustainability ambition at EU level.   Press release   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-reflection-paper-on-sustainabilityEU: Combined NomenclatureThe Explanatory Notes to the CN are considered to be an important aid for interpreting the scope of the various tariff headings but do not have legally binding force. The latest version includes and, where appropriate, replaces those published in the EU Official Journal, C series, up to 4 January 2019.   EU Official Journal C 119  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-combined-nomenclature-1India: Additional Tariffs DelayedOn March 29, 2019, the Government of India announced that the entry into force of the 20% additional tariffs is postponed until May 2, 2019. These tariffs, initially dated August 4, 2018, were first postponed until September 18, 2018 (see previous post), second postponed until November 2, 2018 (see previous post),  third postponed until December 17, 2018 (see previous post), fourth postponed until January 31, 2019 (see previous post), fifth postponed until March 2, 2019, and again postponed until April 1, 2019 (see previous post).     Notification N. 11/2019-Customs https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-additional-tariffs-delayed-5Japan: Pesticide Registration SystemTo enhance the safe use of pesticides, evaluation on pesticide operators and honeybees is to be introduced, and target species of animals and plants are added for environmental evaluation.   If risk assessment shows that the level of daily exposure for pesticide operator throughout a spraying season or incurred a single day is higher than the relevant toxicological reference value, provided that the pesticide is properly used according to the proposed label, the pesticide shall not be registered.   For the environmental evaluation, the evaluation on aquatic vascular plants and birds, in addition to current test species (fish, algae and crustaceans), will be conducted.   If risk assessment shows that a colony of honeybees is likely to be seriously damaged due to the exposure to the pesticide, provided that the pesticide is properly used according to the proposed label, the pesticide shall not be registered.   The final date for comments is May 19, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-pesticide-registration-system-2USA: Almonds, FDA Enforcement DiscretionThe final guidance, Produce Safety Rule: Enforcement Policy for Entities Growing, Harvesting, Packing, or Holding Hops, Wine Grapes, Pulse Crops and Almonds, explains that after reviewing data presented on the production of wine grapes, hops, pulses and almonds, the FDA recognized that these commodities have unique production circumstances and intended uses that reduce the presence of foodborne pathogens and may qualify them for an exemption. Thus, the guidance explains that the FDA does not expect entities growing, harvesting, packing or holding these commodities to meet any of the rule’s requirements while the agency considers pursuing rulemaking to address the unique circumstances of these commodities.   Press release https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-almonds-fda-enforcement-discretionUSA: Peanut Standards BoardThe Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a Peanut Standards Board for the purpose of advising the Secretary on quality and handling standards for domestically produced and imported peanuts. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking nominations for individuals to be considered for selection as Board members for a term of office ending June 30, 2022.   Written nominations must be received on or before May 3, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 53. Tuesday, March 19, 2019. Page 10020 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-peanut-standards-boardUSA: Applications for New Uses for PesticidesThe active ingredient Acetamiprid has been proposed as insecticide for stone fruit group 12-12 and tree nut group 14-12. The deadline for comments is April 17, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 52. Monday, March 18, 2019. Pages 9781-9782   In addition, Hydrogen cyanamide has been proposed as fungicide in almond and pistachio. The deadline for comments is April 17, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 52. Monday, March 18, 2019. Pages 9792-9793   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-applications-for-new-uses-for-pesticides-10US: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the petitions received were the following:   New Tolerances for Non-Inerts: Establish tolerance for residues of the fungicide mefentrifluconazole (BAS 750 F); 2-[4-(4-chlorophenoxy)-2-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-1-(1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-yl)propan-2-ol] in or on grape, raisin at 4 ppm; peanut at 0.01 ppm; and tree nut crop group 14-12 at 0.06 ppm. Establish a tolerance for residues of the fungicide inpyrfluxam, S-2399, in or on peanut at 0.01 ppm.   Amended Tolerances for Non-Inerts:  Amend the tolerances for residues of the nematicide, fluensulfone and its metabolite BSA expressed as fluensulfone equivalents, on the raw agricultural commodities as follows: Fruit, small vine climbing subgroup 13-07D at 0.8 ppm; Fruit, stone, group 12 at 0.1 ppm; and Nut, tree, group 14 at 0.04 ppm.   The final date for comments is April 17, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 52. Monday, March 18, 2019. Pages 9735-9737   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 52. Monday, March 18, 2019. Pages 9737-9739  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/us-pesticide-petitions-2The INC Launches the Statistical Yearbook 2018/2019The yearbook gathers global estimates and trends of nut and dried fruit production, consumption and supply value, followed by ad hoc chapters covering 16 products: almonds, Amazonia (Brazil) nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, dates, dried apricots, dried cranberries, dried figs, dried grapes and prunes. Each chapter presents producing, exporting, importing and consuming statistics, world total and by top countries.   As observed over the last seasons, nut and dried fruit world production and consumption keep trending positively. World tree nut production has reached a record level of circa 4.5 million metric tons in 2018/2019. Likewise, global dried fruit production hit an all-time record of more than 3.1 million metric tons, up by 30% from 2017/18. World peanut production was estimated at ca. 37.5 million metric tons in 2018/19. Consumption was risen by 26% in tree nuts; 23% in peanuts and 14% in dried fruits compared to 5 years ago. Statistical Yearbook 2018/2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/statistical-yearbookThe INC's 2018 Import Border Rejections Report EU-RASFF. The European Union’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) notifications for nuts and peanuts for feed increased by 5% and 127%, respectively, from 2017. On the contrary, notifications for dried fruits decreased by 12%. The presence of aflatoxins remained as the main reason for notifying nuts and peanuts for feed. Ochratoxin A became the main reason for notifying dried fruits. The most notified edible nuts were peanuts, followed by pistachios and hazelnuts. Dried figs, dried grapes and dried apricots were the most notified dried fruits.   USA. Notifications for edible nuts remained stable with respect to 2017. The edible nut with the higher number of notifications was the peanut (10 not.). Misbranding (33% of total) was the main reason for notifying edible nuts, followed by aflatoxins (24%) and filthy (13%). On the other hand, the number of notifications for dried fruits increased by 24%, reaching 79 notifications. Raisins were the most notified dried fruits (36 not.) followed by dates (18 not.) and prunes (13 not). As in 2017, filthy (42%), pesticide (20%) and misbranding (15%) were the main reasons for notifying dried fruits.   Japan. Notifications for edible nuts and dried fruits slightly decreased by 6% with respect to 2017 (from 136 to 128 not.). Almond was the most notified nut (46 not.), instead of peanuts as in the previous years. Peanuts ranked the second most notified nuts (33 not.), followed by pistachios (16 not.) and dried figs (14 not.). The main reason for notifying edible nuts and dried fruits was still the presence of aflatoxins (93% of total).   Australia. Australia published 45 notifications for nuts and dried fruits in 2018 -double than last year, and the highest number of the last eight years. The most notified nuts were peanut products, with 20 notifications, followed by peanuts, with 11 notifications. The main reason for notifying edible nuts and dried fruits was the presence aflatoxins (82% of the total).   2018 Import Border Rejections https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/2018-import-border-rejectionsThe INC Attends the CELCAA ConferenceThe number of agreements signed until now was highlighted, as well as the success of the Free Trade Agreements in terms of trade growth, and the need of giving support and technical assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in other to facilitate their access to the international market. The second part of the conference revolved around the opportunities to boost sustainable agri-food markets & growth. The importance of trade in promoting sustainability, especially through trade arrangements with developing countries was underlined. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/celcaa-conferenceFRUCOM Open Discussion and Working Group Meeting The aim of the Discussion Round was to share experiences on sustainability and make recommendations to FRUCOM. Some examples of sustainability in tree nuts were explained by the Almond Board of California (ABC) and the American Pistachio Growers (APG). Ms. Julie Adams, Vice President, Global Technical & Regulatory Affairs, ABC, presented the California almond sustainability program and the 2025 Almond Orchard Goals. The importance of benchmarking as a way to compare sustainability programs was highlighted. Ms. Judy Hirigoyen, Vice President, Global Marketing, APG, showed some real experiences of different pistachio growers in California. Mr. David Black, Program Officer Fresh and Ingredients, explained The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IHD) and the Sustainable Nut Initiative (SNI), a pre-competitive platform with members from the cashew value chain and civil society. Finally, Mr. Varun Trivedi, Vice-president, Olam Europe B.V., drew the attention to the need to reimagine global agriculture and food systems.   FRUCOM’s Working Group Dried Fruits & Nuts brought representatives of the European Commission DG SANTE, who gave an update on contaminants (aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, mineral oils, perchlorate, furan and alternaria toxins, cyanogenic glycosides, acrylamide) and informed about the latest changes to the control frequency at EU borders and the modernized system for border controls. A representative of EC DG-AGRI gave an overview of the organic sector as well as imports of organic nuts and dried fruits in the EU. She also explained the reform of the organic regulation (Regulation (EU) 2018/848) adopted in May 2018. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/frucom-open-discussion-and-working-group-meetingNuts for a Healthier World’s Campaign from INC Raises €47,800 to Fight Against Child MalnutritionLast year, the INC created a video campaign to raise awareness of the Project, and at the beginning of 2019, Save the Children joined forces and  turned all video shares into physical aid. The INC also asked members to join the project by donating, and further empowering the campaign. The main video has been shared over 43,000 times, with other content totalling over 1.1 million views. While the campaign visibility through all media and platforms has reached more than 43 million people. Since the partnership with Save the Children boosted the fundraiser, companies such as Starline Global Trade Inc., Bösch Boden Spies GMBH and Co. KG, Noberasco SPA, Tomra Sorting Solutions, Campos Brothers Farms, John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc., MWT Foods, QiaQia Food Co. Ltd., Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc., ShoEi Foods Corporation, Samsons Traders and CWS Ingredients, have become the cause’s most prominent flag-bearers. Goretti Guasch, INC Executive Director, has expressed: “I am delighted to see the nut and dried fruit industry come together again to support such an important cause.” As for Save the Children’s Director of International Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, David del Campo, “Nuts have much to offer in most situations of malnutrition and this campaign has helped us to ensure that pregnant women and young children have access to an accurate treatment.” The INC thanks the INC members, the INC community and above all, Save the Children for joining the campaign. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-for-a-healthier-world-campaign-reaches-its-final-goal-and-closes-having-raised-47-800Australia: Imported Food ControlFood imported to Australia for commercial purposes is regulated by the Imported Food Control Act 1992, the Imported Food Control Regulations 1993, and the Imported Food Control Order 2001. However, the Imported Food Control Order 2001 will ‘sunset’ on October 1, 2019. This means it will be automatically repealed and cease to be law. To remain law, it is necessary to remake the Order.   The Order has been reviewed, and it is still required to support the operation of the Imported Food Inspection Scheme and enable the Imported Food Inspection Scheme to verify risk foods imported into Australia comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.     Comments on the draft can be provided until March 17, 2019.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-imported-food-control-1Australia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateAmong other changes, the table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows: the residue of phosphorous acid in tree nuts is substituted by 3000 ppm.   The deadline for comments was February 26, 2019.   The amendment can be found here.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-17Australia-Indonesia: Comprehensive Economic Partnership AgreementThe Agreement will improve administrative procedures for exporters and importers to facilitate goods trade. The CEPA needs ratification by both countries before its entry into force.   Australia-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-indonesia-comprehensive-economic-partnership-agreementCanada: MRLs UpdateThe MRL for tetrachlorvinphos in grapes is lowered from 10 ppm to 0.013 ppm. The MRL for amisulbrom in raisins is established at 1.0 ppm.   Health Canada Database   Furthermore, the following proposed maximum residue limits (PMRL) for difenoconazole have been announced.   The PMRL for difenoconazole in cranberries is set at 0.6 ppm. The final date for comments is April 23, 2019.   Consultation on Difenoconazole, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2019-03  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-31EFSA: Sorbic Acid and Potassium SorbateThe EFSA was requested by the European Commission to carry out a scientific evaluation to determine whether it would allow reconsideration of the temporary group acceptable daily intake (ADI) for sorbic acid (E 200) and potassium sorbate (E 202). Based on the findings, the Panel changed the temporary group ADI of 3 mg sorbic acid/kg bw per day for sorbic acid (E 200) and its potassium salt (E 202) to a new group ADI of 11 mg sorbic acid/kg bw per day.   In addition, European Commission asked EFSA to review a report on the ‘Stability of sorbic acid (E 200) and its potassium salt (E 202) during food processing and storage’ provided by industry. As no new information was provided in this report, there was no re‐assessment of the EFSA ANS opinion conclusions from 2015 regarding the stability of sorbates in food.   Opinion on the follow‐up of the re‐evaluation of sorbic acid (E200) and potassium sorbate (E202) as food additives  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-sorbic-acid-and-potassium-sorbateEU: Tariff Rate Quotas after BrexitThe existing quantities of the EU’s WTO bound Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) for agricultural, fish and industrial goods were established on the basis of the UK being an EU member state. The EU’s WTO schedule will no longer apply to the UK after its withdrawal.   The current quota of 90,000 Tons of almonds would be apportioned as follows: 95.5% to the EU and 4.5% to the UK. The EU approved the TRQs applicable after Brexit on December 7, 2018, and published the corresponding Regulation on February 8, 2019.   Almond quota EU 95.5% 85,950 Tons UK 4.5% 4,050 Tons     Regulation (EU) 2019/216 of 30 January 2019  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-tariff-rate-quotas-after-brexit-1EU: Safeguard Measures in Trade AgreementsThe main aim of this Regulation is to establish procedures and conditions to the bilateral safeguard clauses and other mechanisms for the temporary withdrawal of tariff preferences or other preferential treatment in Free Trade Agreements between the EU and certain third countries. The Annex of this Regulation implements specific provisions in the EU Agreements signed with Singapore, Vietnam and Japan.   On November 28, 2018, the EU Presidency reached a provisional agreement with European Parliament representatives to streamline the inclusion of safeguard measures in trade agreements (see previous post).   Regulation (EU) 2019/287 of 13 February 2019  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-safeguard-measures-in-trade-agreements-1EU: Ethoprophos WithdrawalThe European Commission published the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/344 of 28 February 2019 concerning the non-renewal of approval of the active substance ethoprophos, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011.   Member States shall withdraw authorizations for plant protection products containing ethoprophos as active substances by September 21, 2019, at the latest. However, any grace period granted by Member States shall expire by March 21, 2020, at the latest.   This Regulation shall enter into force on March 20, 2019.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/344 of 28 February 2019https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-ethoprophos-withdrawal-2EU: Pesticide WithdrawalsThese drafts provide that the approval of the active substances thiophanate-methyl and desmedipham are not renewed and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing thiophanate-methyl and desmedipham will be withdrawn from the market. This decision does not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the concerned pesticides. However, following non-approval, separate actions may be taken on MRLs.   The final dates for comments are April 27, 2019, for desmedipham and April 29, 2019, for thiophanate-methyl.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticide-withdrawals-1EU: Standing Committee - ContaminantsHere is a brief summary of the feedback on the discussions held on some contaminants:   Feedback on topics discussed in recent meetings of the Working Groups on contaminants (A.08). The Committee was informed on the ongoing work on several issues such as: Alternaria toxins: a monitoring recommendation for alternariol, alternariol monomethyl ether and tenuazonic acid (tentoxin) is in preparation in combination with guideline levels for specified foods. Perchlorate: the draft provisions following the consideration of comments from stakeholders were presented.   Amendments to the Regulations (EC) No 669/2009 and (EU) No 884/2014 (B.10). The results of the official controls show a continuous high frequency of non-compliance with maximum levels of aflatoxins. Although the vote was postponed, the following was discussed: The Committee was informed that the imposing of special conditions following further examination of the control data shall be limited to groundnuts from Gambia and Sudan and not to groundnuts from Bolivia, Madagascar and Senegal. Given the high level of non-compliance, it is foreseen to increase the frequency of identity and physical checks of aflatoxin in dried figs from Turkey from 10 to 20 %. It is foreseen to exclude from the scope trade samples or display items for exhibitions, which are not intended to be placed on the market or are sent to be used for scientific purposes.   Summary Report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed. Section Novel Food and Toxicological Safety of the Food Chain. February 8, 2019 (Item A.08 & B.10)  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-standing-committee-contaminantsEU: Standing Committee - PesticidesThe following drafts had a favorable opinion:   Draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the non-approval of the active substance propanil, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market. Draft Commission Implementing Regulation renewing the approval of the active substance methoxyfenozide, as a candidate for substitution, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011. Draft Commission Implementing Regulation amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances abamectin, Bacillus subtilis (Cohn 1872) Strain QST 713, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. Aizawai, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israeliensis, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki, Beauveria bassiana, benfluralin, clodinafop, clopyralid, Cydia pomonella Granulovirus (CpGV), cyprodinil, dichlorprop-P, epoxiconazole, fenpyroximate, fluazinam, flutolanil, fosetyl, Lecanicillium muscarium, mepanipyrim, mepiquat, Metarhizium anisopliae var. Anisopliae, metconazole, metrafenone, Phlebiopsis gigantea, pirimicarb, Pseudomonas chlororaphis strain: MA 342, pyrimethanil, Pythium oligandrum, rimsulfuron, spinosad, Streptomyces K61, thiacloprid, tolclofos-methyl, Trichoderma asperellum, Trichoderma atroviride, Trichoderma gamsii, Trichoderma harzianum, triclopyr, trinexapac, triticonazole, Verticillium albo-atrum and ziram. Draft Commission Implementing Regulation amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 686/2012 allocating to Member States, for the purposes of the renewal procedure, the evaluation of deltamethrin, diflufenican, epoxiconazole, fluoxastrobin, prothioconazole and tebuconazole.   The full report can be consulted here.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-standing-committee-pesticidesIndia: Additional Tariffs DelayedOn February 26, 2019, the Government of India announced that the entry into force of the 20% additional tariffs is postponed until April 1, 2019. These tariffs, initially dated August 4, 2018, were first postponed until September 18, 2018 (see previous post), second postponed until November 2, 2018 (see previous post), third postponed until December 17, 2018 (see previous post), fourth postponed until January 31, 2019 (see previous post) and again postponed until March 2, 2019.   Notification N. 6/2019-Customs  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-additional-tariffs-delayed-4Saudi Arabia: Contaminants and ToxinsThis Draft contains maximum levels of contaminants and toxicants in food and feed. As for nuts and dried fruits, the maximum levels (ML) of mycotoxins are proposed as follows:   Commodity/Product Name Maximum level of aflatoxins (μg/kg) (B1+B2+G1+G2) RTE FP Almonds (whole commodity after removal of shell) 10 15 Brazil nuts (whole commodity) 10 15 Hazelnuts (whole commodity after removal of shell) 10 15 Peanuts (unless specified, seed or kernels, after removal of shell or husk) - 15 Pistachios (whole commodity after removal of shell) 10 15 Dried figs (whole commodity) 10 - Nuts with exception mentioned (whole commodity) 4 10 Dried fruit, other than dried figs (whole commodity) 4 10   Ochratoxin A (μg/kg) Dried vine fruit 10   Lead (mg/kg) Cranberry (Whole commodity after removal of caps and stems) 0.2 RTE: ready-to-eat means not intended to undergo an additional processing/treatment that has proven to reduce levels of aflatoxins before being used as ingredient in foodstuffs, otherwise processed or offered for human consumption. PF: intended for further processing means intended to undergo an additional processing/treatment that has proven to reduce levels of aflatoxins before being used as an ingredient in foodstuffs, otherwise processed or offered for human consumption. Processes that have proven to reduce levels of aflatoxins are shelling, blanching followed by color sorting, and sorting by specific gravity and color (damage). There is some evidence that roasting reduces aflatoxins in pistachios but for other nuts the evidence is still to be supplied.   The deadline for comments is April 9, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/saudi-arabia-contaminants-and-toxinsThailand: Contaminants and Toxins in FoodThe Draft details the limits of contaminants and mycotoxins in foods. As for total aflatoxin in nuts and dried fruits, the Draft sets the following maximum limits:   Product Description Aflatoxin, total (mg/kg) Brazil nuts Whole commodity (ready to eat) 10 shelled Brazil nuts intended for further processing 15 Pistachios Whole commodity (ready to eat) 10 pistachios intended for further processing 15 Dried figs Whole commodity (ready to eat) 10 Peanuts Unless specified, seed or kernels, after removal of shell or husk and intended for further processing 20 Almonds Whole commodity after remove shell (ready to eat) 10 Whole commodity after remove shell (intended for further processing) 15 Hazelnuts Whole commodity after removal of shell (ready to eat) 10 Whole commodity after remove shell (intended for further processing) 15 Other nuts and dried fruits Other than the above lists 20   The final date for comments is April 15, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/thailand-contaminants-and-toxins-in-foodUK-Eastern and Southern Africa: Trade Continuity AgreementIt replicates the effects of the existing EU Economic Partnership Agreement with Eastern and Southern Africa allowing tariff-free imports and removing the majority of tariffs over the coming years. In signing this Agreement, both countries ensure certainty for businesses, consumers and investors when the UK ceases to be bound by EU deals.   UK signs Eastern and Southern Africa trade continuity agreement  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/uk-eastern-and-southern-africa-trade-continuity-agreementUK-Switzerland: Trade Continuity AgreementThis agreement simplifies trade and allows businesses to continue trading freely, without any additional tariffs. It continues the elimination of duties on the vast majority of goods traded between the UK and Switzerland. In signing this Agreement, both countries ensure certainty for businesses, consumers and investors when the UK ceases to be bound by EU deals.   UK and Switzerland sign trade continuity agreement  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/uk-switzerland-trade-continuity-agreementUSA-Morocco: Free Trade AgreementOut of this TRQ, the tariff is 3.3%.   In 2018, the TRQ was 80.1 MT and the tariff out of the TRQ was 6.7% (see Circular N.º 5742/222).   Circular N.º 5888/222   USDA GAIN Report. US-Morocco FTA - Market Access Changes in 2019  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-morocco-free-trade-agreementUSA: Safety of Imported FoodFDA’s imported food safety goals fall into three categories: 1) preventing food safety problems in the foreign supply chain prior to entry into the US, 2) effectively detecting and refusing entry of unsafe foods at the border, and 3) rapidly responding when FDA learns of unsafe imported foods. An overarching fourth goal is to create an effective and efficient food import program.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-safety-of-imported-foodEU: Food Contact MaterialsRegulation (EC) No 1935/2004 provides a harmonized legal EU framework for FCM and sets out the general principles of safety of FCMs, as well as rules on labeling, compliance documentation and on traceability. This consultation aims at gathering the views and evidence from a wide range of stakeholders on the functioning of the FCM legislation, on the requirements that the legislation sets for businesses and public authorities.   The feedback received until May 6, 2019, will be taken into account in the evaluation.   More informationhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-food-contact-materials-2INC Executive Committee MeetingBesides, an update of the activities regarding marketing and communication, scientific and legal aspects, statistics and technical projects, was presented.   Preparations for Boca Raton, Florida 2019, were reviewed and candidate cities for future congresses were evaluated. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-executive-committee-meeting-2Peanut Technical Information KitThe Kit is presented as a series of 6 sheets, covering: 1) General information, 2) Products, 3) Varieties and Forms, 4) Recommendations for processing, storage, packaging and transportation, 5) Quality requirements and food safety parameters, and 6) Standards and grades.   Peanut Technical Information Kit  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/peanut-technical-information-kitINC Pavilion Gulfood 2019: The International Nut And Dried Fruit’s Industry SpotlightOver five days, the Pavilion saw a continuous flow of visitors. Once again it was a business platform for the nut and dried fruit industry on which INC’s co-exhibitors created the ideal atmosphere to showcase their products, network and do business. Besides, the companies benefited from a full-service package including marketing material, daily lunch, networking areas, assistance with travel and accommodation and pre-show planning services.   A Magical Premium Cocktail The INC Cocktail Event was again, as expected, one not-to-be-missed at Gulfood. Held on Tuesday, February 19, it was an informal gathering that provided an excellent chance to relax, meet friends and business partners. Industry professionals had the opportunity to share experiences, explore new markets and boost their brands and products in a relaxed atmosphere with a selection of top-quality drinks in hand, accompanied by an assortment of nuts and dried fruits.   Gulfood: A Real Battle of Flavors The 24th edition of Gulfood exceeded all expectations, attracting around 100,000 visitors and 5,000 exhibitors. Launched as a biennial trade fair in 1987, Gulfood has grown dramatically to reach more than 120 countries and embracing 5,000 local, regional and international exhibitors. With eight different food sectors, the event has showcased a wave of new services, consumer trends, innovation, unveiling opportunities and a real battle of flavors. Visit the photo gallery herehttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-pavilion-gulfood-2019-the-international-nut-and-dried-fruit-s-industry-spotlightUpdate: Nuts For A Healthier WorldThe INC and the global NGO Save The Children’s project kicked off this January and now, nearing its close, the campaign has reached €43,800, beating the original goal of €40,000. Bösch Boden Spies, Noberasco, Starline Global Trade, Tomra, Campos Brothers Farms, John B. Sanfilippo and Son, Inc., MWT Foods, QiaQia, Setton Farms, ShoEi, CWS Ingredients and Samsons Traders all took part in the campaign to help the INC reach its target.   Members who made a donation of €6,000 received the “Nuts for a Healthier World Authentication" stamp to build into their communications materials and packaging, and their logo displayed at the INC booth in Gulfood and in all INC publications. Members who donated €3,000 also received the latter. If you would like more information about the campaign, please don´t hesitate to contact us at hello@nutsforgifts.org or visit the campaign&#39;s website. Thank you for your support. Joining forces we can make a real difference.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/update-nuts-for-a-healthier-worldWe are Ready For Gulfood Dubai 2019!Following the previous experiences, the INC will take part again in Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food and beverages trade show, held at the Dubai World Trade Center. From February 17-21, covering 180 sqm, the INC Pavilion will be home to booths and meeting spaces, hosting a total of 15 co-exhibitors. As already took place last year, the Pavilion will be celebrating a Cocktail Event on Tuesday February 19. Starting at 7 PM, the event intends to become an amazing opportunity to network, do business with other professionals from the industry and explore new markets with a glass in hand of premium beverage brands in a more informal atmosphere. Confirm your attendance to the INC Cocktail Event HERE.  Nearly 100,000 Visitors The 24th edition of Gulfood estimates to attract around 100,000 visitors and to host 5,000 exhibitors. Launched as a biennial trade fair in 1987, Gulfood has grown dramatically to reach more than 120 countries and embracing 5,000 local, regional and international exhibitors. With eight different food sectors, the event will showcase a wave of new services, consumer trends, innovation, unveiling opportunities and a real battle of flavors. The INC Pavilion will be located: ZA&#39;A BEEL Hall 2, Booth E51https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/we-are-ready-for-gulfood-dubai-2019EU: MRLs UpdateRegulation 2019/50 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits: Fenpicoxamid: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts.   The Regulation applies from January 1, 2019.   Regulation 2019/89 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits: Etofenprox: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, plums, cranberries and figs, 0.6 ppm in apricots, and 4 ppm in grapes. Paclobutrazol: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts, and 0.15 ppm in apricots. Penconazole: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts, 0.08 ppm in apricots, 0.09 ppm in plums, and 0.5 ppm in grapes. Bromadiolone: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts.   The Regulation shall apply from August 13, 2019.   Regulation 2019/90 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits: Bromuconazole: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. Carboxin: 0.03 ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs, and 0.05* ppm in peanuts. Pyridaben: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts, and 0.3 ppm in apricots. Fenbutatin oxide: 0.02* ppm in tree nuts and peanuts, and 0.01* ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs.   The Regulation shall apply from August 13, 2019.   The Regulation 2019/91 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits: Buprofezin: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. Diflubenzuron: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. Ioxynil: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. Picoxystrobin: 0.01* ppm in peanuts. Tepraloxydim: 0.1* ppm in peanuts.   The Regulation shall apply from August 13, 2019.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-26EU: Chlorate MRLs, DraftAs for nuts and dried fruits, the Draft sets the MRL of chlorate in tree nuts, apricots and plums at 0.02 ppm, and in grapes, dates, figs and peanuts at 0.03 ppm. These MRLs shall be reviewed five years after their publication.   The feedback period started on January 21, 2019, and will end on February 18, 2019.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-chlorate-mrls-draftEU: Changes to Border ControlsAs previously announced, the control frequency of aflatoxins in hazelnuts from Georgia will increase from 20% to 50%.   The Regulation entered into force on January 14, 2019.   Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/35 of 8 January 2019    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-changes-to-border-controlsEU: Notification of Consignments, DraftThe Draft sets that the operator responsible for a consignment (falling within the categories of animals and goods referred to in Article 47(1) of Regulation 2017/625) shall give prior notification, to the competent authority of the border control post of first arrival into the Union, at least one working day before the expected arrival of the consignment. However, if logistical constraints prevent compliance with the time limit of one working day, the competent authorities of the border control posts may apply a period of prior notification of at least four hours before the expected arrival of the consignment.   The expected application date is December 14, 2019.   The deadline for comments is February 12, 2019.   More informationhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-notification-of-consignments-draftEU: Designation of Control PointsRegulation (EU) 2017/625 on Official Controls (OCR) establishes a harmonized legislative framework for the organization and performance of official controls and other official activities to verify compliance with Union agri-food chain legislation. Official controls take place at border control posts when entering the Union from third countries. These border control posts are designated by the Member States.   This Commission Delegated Regulation is based on the empowerments set out in Articles 62(3), 64(2) and 64(5) of the OCR, which give powers to the Commission to adopt delegated acts to specify the cases where and the conditions under which certain derogations and exemptions from border control posts requirements can be granted for their designation.   The final date for comments is March 24, 2019. The Regulation is expected to be published during the second quarter of 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-designation-of-control-pointsIndia: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the following MRLs are set:   Alachlor: peanuts at 0.05 ppm. Alpha naphthyl Acetic Acid: grape at 0.05 ppm. Ametroctradin: grapes at 6 ppm. Azoxystrobin: grapes at 2 ppm. Sum of benomyl and carbendazim expressed as carbendazim: peanuts and dry fruits at 0.1 ppm. Bitertanol: peanuts at 0.05 ppm. Buprofezin: grapes at 1 ppm. Carbendazim: peanuts and dry fruits at 0.1 ppm, and grapes at 3 ppm. Chlorantraniliprole: peanuts at 0.03* ppm. Chlormequat Chloride (CCC): grapes at 0.05* ppm. Chlorothalonil: peanuts at 0.1 ppm. Cyantranilipole: grapes at 0.01 ppm. Cyazofamid: grapes at 1 ppm. Cymoxanil: grapes at 0.1 ppm. Deltamethrin (Decamethrin): peanuts at 0.01* ppm. Dichlorvos (DDVP) (content of dichloroacetaldehyde (D.C.A.) be reported where possible): peanuts at 0.05 ppm. Dimethomorph: grapes at 2 ppm. Mancozeb: peanuts at 0.1 ppm and grapes at 5 ppm. Metiram as CS2: peanuts at 0.1 ppm and grapes at 5 ppm. Diuron: grapes at 1 ppm. Ethion(Residues to be determined as ethion and its oxygen analogue and expressed as ethion): dry fruits at 0.1 ppm (shell free basis). Famoxadone: grapes at 2 ppm. Fenamidone: grapes at 0.6 ppm. Fenoxaprop-p-ethyl: peanuts at 0.01* ppm. Fipronil: grapes at 0.01* ppm. Fluazifop-p-butyl: peanuts at 0.01* ppm. Flusilazole: peanuts at 0.05* ppm. Forchlorfenuron: grapes at 0.01 ppm. Fosetyl-Al: grapes at 10 ppm. Hexaconazole: peanuts at 0.02 ppm and grapes at 0.1 ppm. Hydrogen Cyanamide: grapes at 0.01 ppm. Imidacloprid: peanuts and grapes at 1 ppm. Iprodione: grapes at 10 ppm. Lambda cyhalothrin: peanuts at 0.01 ppm and grapes at 0.05 ppm. Malathion (Malathion to be determined and expressed as combined residues of malathion and malaoxon): dried fruits at 8 ppm. Mandipropamid: grapes at 2 ppm. Metalaxyl-M: grapes at 1 ppm. Methomyl: peanuts at 0.05 ppm and grapes at 0.3 ppm. Myclobutanil: peanuts at 0.1 ppm and grapes at 1 ppm. Penconazole: grapes at 0.4 ppm. Picoxystrobin: grapes at 0.05* ppm. Propiconazole: peanuts at 0.1 ppm. Propineb: grapes at 0.5 ppm. Pyraclostrobin: grapes at 2 ppm. Quizalofop ethyl: peanuts at 0.1 ppm. Tebuconazole: peanuts at 0.15 ppm and grapes at 6 ppm. Thiamethoxam: peanuts at 0.05* ppm. Thiophanate-Methyl: grapes at 3 ppm. Triadimefon: grapes at 2 ppm. Trifloxystrobin: grapes at 3 ppm. Tridemorph: grapes at 0.5 ppm. Fluopicolide: grapes at 2.0 ppm. Fluopyram and its metabolites: grapes at 2.0 ppm. Fomesafen: peanuts at 0.02* ppm. Imazamox: peanuts at 0.01* ppm. Boscalid: grapes at 5.0 ppm. Metrafenone: grapes at 5.0 ppm. Fluxapyroxad: grapes at 3.0 ppm. Abamectin: grapes at 0.05* ppm.   * Maximum Residue Limit fixed at Limit of Quantification (LOQ).   Notification  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-mrls-update-1Korea, Republic of: Food ProductsAmong others, the proposed amendment seeks to: revise the definitions and processing and manufacturing standards of certain foods; revise the storage and distribution standards; revise the lists of food ingredients (Annexes 1 and 2); establish the maximum residual limits of pesticides for agricultural products; and revise the general test methods.   The deadline for comments is March 5, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/korea-republic-of-food-products-1Korea, Republic of: Imported Food Safety ControlThe amendment sets that, in terms of import sanitation assessment of the food for special sanitation management, detailed provisions have to be prepared. Decision regarding the occasions when import sanitation are necessary and the detailed procedures and methods of import sanitation assessment are to be made.   The deadline for comments is March 25, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/korea-republic-of-imported-food-safety-controlSaudi Arabia: Food AdditivesThe Draft applies to additives permitted for use in foodstuffs.   The deadline for comments is March 8, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/saudi-arabia-food-additivesTurkey: Food LabelingThis Regulation sets out general principles, needs and responsibilities governing food information to consumers and in particular food labeling.   The deadline for comments is March 15, 2019. It is expected to enter into force on December 31, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/turkey-food-labelingUkraine: Information for ConsumersThe Law establishes the legal and organizational principles for providing consumers with information on food products in order to ensure a high level of protection of public health and meet their social and economic interests. In addition, it also sets the general principles and requirements on food information, in particular regarding food labeling, and the obligations of market operators to inform other market operators and consumers.   The Law was adopted on December 6, 2018. However, the date of publication is yet to be determined.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/ukraine-information-for-consumersUSA: Removal of Grade StandardsThis action is aimed at removing regulations that are outdated, unnecessary, ineffective, or impose costs that exceed benefits. None of the eight voluntary standards slated for removal from the CFR are related to a current, active marketing order, import regulation, or export act. These voluntary standards and all subsequent revisions or new standards for these products will be available in a separate publication.   The rule effective from February 1, 2019. Comments must be received April 2, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 22. Friday, February 1, 2019. Pages 959-961  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-removal-of-grade-standards2018 EU RASFF Notifications for Nuts and Dried FruitsThis means a slight increase of 4% compared with 2017, when a total of 601 notifications were registered. By category, the number of RASFF notifications for edible nuts slightly increased by 5% compared with 2017; for peanuts for feed it rose by 127%. By contrast, notifications for dried fruits decreased by 12%. The presence of aflatoxins was the main reason for notifying nuts (88%) and peanuts for feed (100%), whereas Ochratoxin A was the main reason for notifying dried fruits (35%).   The most notified edible nuts were peanuts, with 191 notifications, followed by pistachios (104 not.) and hazelnuts (60 not.). By country of origin, the most frequently notified edible nuts were peanuts from Argentina (20%), pistachios from USA (10%) and peanuts from China (8%). Peanuts from Argentina were the most notified product/country (89 not.), tripling the notifications reached in 2017. On the other hand, the notifications for peanuts from China decreased by 58%. Almonds and pistachios from USA experienced an increase of approximately 325% and 39%, respectively.   As for dried fruits, dried figs (46 not.), dried grapes (42 not.) and dried apricots (35 not.) were the most notified. Dried figs, dried apricots and dried grapes from Turkey were the most notified, representing 29%, 27% and 26%, respectively, of the total dried fruit notifications. The number of notifications for dried grapes from Turkey increased from 12 in 2017 to 33 in 2018, whereas in the case of dried figs from Turkey, the number of notifications decreased from 68 to 37.   The data presented here have been extracted from the RASFF Portal.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/2018-eu-rasff-notifications-for-nuts-and-dried-fruitsAustralia: Imported Food ControlThe Imported Food Control Amendment Act 2018 has amended the Imported Food Control Act 1992. Under the amended law, Australia can better manage imported food safety risks and meet international trading obligations. The changes will increase importers accountability for food safety, increase importers sourcing safe food, improve monitoring and management of new and emerging food safety risks, and improve incident response.   The amendments have become effective, except for the following:   Food importers will have 12 months to adjust business practices before the new documentary evidence and traceability requirements become enforceable. The authority to require food safety management certificates for certain types of food will only come into effect after 12 months.   Comments can be sent until February 28, 2019.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-imported-food-controlBrazil: MRLs Update The MRL for fluxapiroxade in macadamia is increased from 0.1 to 0.3 ppm and the MRL in peanuts is increased from 0.01 to 0.03 ppm The MRL for piraclostrobina in macadamia is increased from 0.2 to 0.5 ppm. For abamectin, peanut culture is included with an MRL of 0.005 ppm and safety security period of 7 days.   For fluxapiroxade and piraclostrobina, the final date for comments is February 20, 2019. For abamectin, the final date for comments is February 21, 2019.   F68 - Fluxapiroxade   P46 - Piraclostrobina A18 - Abamectin  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-mrls-update-19Canada: Cyanide in Apricot KernelsHealth Canada is proposing further actions to protect Canadians from the potential risk of cyanide due to the consumption of apricot kernels. The purpose of this notice is to seek feedback on three risk management options:   Option A: Prohibit the sale of apricot kernels for human consumption, including if intended for further processing, if they contain extractable cyanide. The prohibition would also apply to apricot kernels used as an ingredient in other foods. Option B: Establish an ML of 20 ppm for total extractable cyanide in apricot kernels sold for human consumption, including if intended for further processing. The ML would also apply to apricot kernels used as an ingredient in other foods. Option C: Prohibit the sale of apricot kernels for human consumption if they contain extractable cyanide, with the exception of processed apricot kernels with total extractable cyanide concentrations of 20 ppm or lower.   The deadline for comments is March 4, 2019.   Health Canada’s Proposal to Add Cyanide in Apricot Kernels to the List of Contaminants and Other Adulterating Substances in Foods  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-cyanide-in-apricot-kernelsChile-UK: Trade Continuity Agreement This agreement replicates the effects of the existing EU-Chile Association Agreement to ensure continuity in the trading relationship between Chile and the UK. In signing this Agreement, both countries ensure certainty for businesses, consumers and investors when the UK ceases to be bound by EU deals.   Press release  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/chile-uk-trade-continuity-agreementChile: Pistachios from USAThe document sets the following phytosanitary requirements: the consignment should include an Official Phytosanitary Certificate from the origin country stating that the product has undergone appropriate quarantine treatment to control Amyelois transitella and Megastigmus pistaceae (Methyl Bromide and Phospine are accepted treatments); the consignment should be free from plant debris; the packaging must be new and suitable for quarantine treatments; the wood of the pallets shall comply with the Regulations; and the consignments should be inspected by qualified personnel at the point of entry.   The deadline for comments is March 5, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/chile-pistachios-from-usaChina: MRLs UpdateThe Standard amends the MRLs for 43 pesticides in foods.   GB 2763.1-2018 (in Chinese)  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-mrls-update-9China, Taiwan: MRLs UpdateAs for nuts and dried fruits, the following MRLs were notified:   Abamectin: apricot at 0.06 ppm. Acequinocyl: grape at 0.3 ppm. Cyhalothrin: hazelnut and walnut at 0.02 ppm. Emamectin benzoate: hazelnut and walnut at 0.02 ppm. Fenazaquin: almond at 0.02 ppm. Flupyradifurone: plum at 0.3 ppm. Imidacloprid: apricot and plum at 1.0 ppm. Prothioconazole: cranberry at 0.2 ppm. Sulfoxaflor: pecan at 0.02 ppm.   The final date for comments is March 19, 2019. For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.   In addition, on January 28, Taiwan&#39;s Food and Drug Administration published updated versions of its Standards for Pesticide Residue Limits in Foods.   Standards for Pesticide Residue Limits in Foods   More information    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-taiwan-mrls-update-11EFSA: Metam, MRLs ReviewBased on the assessment of the available data, MRL proposals were derived and a consumer risk assessment was carried out. Although no apparent risk to consumers was identified, some information required by the regulatory framework was missing. Hence, the consumer risk assessment is considered indicative only and some MRL proposals derived by EFSA still require further consideration by risk managers.   Among others, the following recommendations were derived: replace the existing MRL in almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries and figs at 0.02* ppm by 0.01* ppm.   *: Indicates that the MRL is set at the limit of quantification.   Review of the existing maximum residue levels for metam according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2019;17(1):5561. 76 pp.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-metam-mrls-reviewEFSA: Spirotetramat, MRLs ReviewBased on the risk assessment results, EFSA concluded that the short-term and long-term intake of residues resulting from the use of spirotetramat according to the intended agricultural practices is unlikely to present a risk to consumer health.   Among others, EFSA proposes to amend the existing MRL in cranberries at 0.2 ppm (Spi + 4)  by 0.7 ppm (Spi + 4) and 0.5 ppm (Spi + enol). (Spi + 4) means spirotetramat and its 4 metabolites: BYI08330-enol, BYI08330-ketohydroxy, BYI08330-monohydroxy, and BYI08330 enol-glucoside. (Spi + enol) means the sum of spirotetramat and spirotetramat-enol, expressed as spirotetramat.   Modification of the existing maximum residue levels for spirotetramat in various crops. EFSA Journal 2019;17(1):5389. 27 pp.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-spirotetramat-mrls-reviewEgypt: Fat and Blended SpreadsThe Draft applies to animal and vegetable fats and oils, containing not less than 10% and not more than 90% fat, intended primarily for use as spreads. However, the Standard does not apply to fat spreads derived exclusively from milk and/or milk products.   The final date for comments is March 31, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/egypt-fat-and-blended-spreadsEU-Japan: Trade AgreementThis deal is aimed at eliminating most of the tariffs, simplifying customs procedures and removing a number of long-standing non-tariff barriers. On December 21, 2018, the EU and Japan notified each other the completion of their respective ratification procedures (see previous post).   EC Press release: EU-Japan trade agreement enters into force  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-japan-trade-agreement-2EU: IprodioneAs for nuts and dried fruits, the Regulation sets the following MRLs:   The MRL in almonds is lowered from 0.2 ppm to 0.01* ppm. The MRL in apricots is lowered from 6 ppm to 0.01* ppm. The MRL in plums is lowered from 3 ppm to 0.01* ppm. The MRL in grapes and cranberries is lowered from 20 ppm to 0.01* ppm.   The Regulation shall apply from July 31, 2019.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/38 of 10 January 2019  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-iprodione-4The Four-Day On-Site Course Will Take Place May 18-22, 2019 in California, Just Before The INC World CongressThe INC Congress offers a special registration fee for students of the full course (online + on-site) with a 50% discount for those students who also want to attend the world’s largest nut and dried fruit industry event. The on-site course of the Executive Program on Nuts and Dried Fruits -the second edition of the INC Academia’s program- will take place in California, USA. From May 18 to 21, just a few days before the celebration of the 38th INC Congress in Boca Raton. Students will complement the contents of the online units and will have a face-to-face experience by visiting the orchards and factories of top companies: Mariani Packing, Blue Diamond Growers, Carriere Family Farms, Vann Brothers, Vann Family Orchards and Yolo Hulling & Shelling and Strain Ranches. With more than 10 hours of preparatory tasks available, the on-site course will give students the opportunity to gain a first-hand look into different aspects of the industry as well as meeting with fellow peers. In addition to this, all case studies provided on the on-site course are developed by professors from prestigious business schools and are entirely focused on the nut and dried fruit industry. To see more information visit: www.nutfruitacademia.org https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-four-day-on-site-course-will-take-place-may-18-22-2019-in-california-just-before-the-inc-world-congressThe INC Launches the Allergens ToolkitRecent data show that the number of people that suffers food allergy or food intolerance to some products is increasing. Approximately 15 million people in the United States have food allergies. The Food Allergy Research & Resource Program currently estimates the prevalence of IgE-mediated food allergies in the USA at 3.5 - 4.0% of the overall population. In children, it increased by 50% between 1997 and 2011. As for nuts, it is estimated that the prevalence of peanut and tree nut allergy in US children more than tripled between 1997 and 2008. In Europe, the prevalence of food allergy/intolerance in adults is approximately 5%.   With this in mind, the INC has created an Allergens Toolkit with practical information and tips on: What is food allergy?, How common are allergies?, Diagnosis, Labeling, Key aspects of allergen management, New findings and Resources.   You may download and print the Toolkit from the website www.nutfruit.org/industry/allergens-toolkit.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/allergens-toolkit-1Australia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateAmong other changes, the table to section S20-3 in Schedule 20 is amended as follows:   The residue of spinetoram in figs at T0. 1 ppm is inserted. The maximum residue limit for clothianidin in almonds is substituted by T0.05 ppm.   ‘T’ indicates that the maximum residue limit is a temporary maximum residue limit.   The deadline for comments is January 9, 2018.   The amendment can be found here.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-16Australia and New Zealand: MRLs Call for SubmissionsAs for nuts and dried fruits, the proposed MRL changes on the Schedule 20 are the following:   Omitting from each of the following chemicals, the foods and associated MRLs: The residue of diafenthiuron in peanut at T0.1 ppm. The residue of fenvalerate in peanut at T0.1 ppm. The residue of phosmet in stone fruits at 1 ppm. The residue of pyridate in peanut at *0.1 ppm. The residue of sulfoxaflor in dried grapes (currants, raisins and sultanas) at T10 ppm.   Inserting for each of the following chemicals the foods and associated MRLs: The residue of abamectin in cranberry at 0.05 ppm. The residue of cyhalothrin in pecan at 0.05 ppm. The residue of difenoconazole in cranberry at 0.6 ppm and pecan at 0.03 ppm. The residue of diuron in date at T0.5 ppm. The residue of emamectin in pecan at 0.02 ppm. The residue of fluazifop-p-butyl in pecan at 0.05 ppm. The residue of flupyradifurone in stone fruits at 1.5 ppm. The residue of mandestrobin in dried grapes (raisins) at 7 ppm. The residue of mesotrione in pecan and plums (including prunes) at 0.01 ppm.   * indicates that the maximum residue limit is set at the limit of determination. ‘T’ indicates that the maximum residue limit is a temporary maximum residue limit.   The deadline for submissions is January 20, 2019.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-call-for-submissionsChile: Almonds from AustraliaThe document sets the following phytosanitary requirements: the consignment should include an Official Phytosanitary Certificate from the origin country; the consignment should be free from soil and plant debris; the packaging must be new and suitable for quarantine treatments; the wood of the pallets shall comply with the Regulations; and the consignments should be inspected by qualified personnel at the point of entry.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/chile-almonds-from-australiaChile: Walnuts from ArgentinaThe document sets the following phytosanitary requirements: the consignment should include an Official Phytosanitary Certificate from the origin country; Methyl Bromide and Phosphine will be accepted as quarantine treatments to control Amyelois transitella; treatments with Methyl Bromide should be carried out in approved facilities; the consignment should be free from soil and plant debris; the packaging must be new and suitable for quarantine treatments; the wood of the pallets shall comply with the Regulations; and the consignments should be inspected by qualified personnel at the point of entry.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/chile-walnuts-from-argentinaEFSA: Captan in Cranberries, MRLs ReviewBased on the exposure calculation, EFSA concluded that the short-term and long-term intake of residues resulting from the use of captan according to the reported agricultural practice will not result in a consumer exposure exceeding the existing toxicological reference values.   EFSA proposes to amend the existing MRL set at 0.03* ppm in cranberries. The proposed MRL is 30 ppm.   *: Indicates that the MRL is set at the limit of quantification.   Reasoned Opinion. Modification of the existing maximum residue level for captan in cranberries. EFSA Journal 2018;16(12):5499. 22 pp.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-captan-in-cranberries-mrls-reviewEFSA: Processing FactorsThis report is the outcome of Objective 3 of the project “Database of processing techniques and processing factors compatible with the EFSA food classification and description system FoodEx 2” whose objective is to develop a database of validated processing factors, which is compatible with the EFSA food classification and description system FoodEx21. In the first part of the project, a compendium of representative processing techniques was elaborated, which  serves  as  a  standard  description  of  all  relevant  processes  and  as  a  basis  for  validation  of processing  studies. In the second part, all relevant processes and raw and processed commodities were coded according to FoodEx2. In the third and last part of the project, all processing studies  used  by  EFSA  in  their  Conclusions  and  Reasoned  Opinions  issued  until  30/06/2016  were  re-evaluated according to uniform quality criteria and reported in a database.   Currently  no  harmonized  list  of  processing  factors  is  available  within  Europe  and worldwide.   1FoodEx2 is a standardized food classification and description system for exposure assessment developed by EFSA. More information. Database of processing techniques and processing factors compatible with the EFSA food classification and description system FoodEx 2 Objective 3: European database of processing factors for pesticides in food. EFSA Supporting publication 2018:EN-1510.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-processing-factorsEU-Japan: Trade Agreement On February 1, 2019, the Trade Agreement between the EU and Japan will enter into force. Previously, on December 21, 2018, EU and Japan notified each other of the completion of their respective ratification procedures.   On July 17, 2018, after five years of negotiations, the EU and Japan signed the deal that will remove nearly 85% of tariffs of EU agri-food products. This is a highly ambitious and comprehensive agreement which aims to create new opportunities for agricultural exports, removing the existing tariffs on many agricultural products (see previous post).   EU Council Decision on the Conclusion of the EU-Japan Trade Agreement  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-japan-trade-agreement-1EU: Chlorothalonil WithdrawalThis draft provides that the approval of the active substance chlorothalonil is not renewed and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing chlorothalonil will be withdrawn from the market. This decision does not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the concerned pesticide. However, following non-approval, separate action may be taken on MRLs.   The deadline for comments is January 31, 2018   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-chlorothalonil-withdrawalEU: Pesticide WithdrawalsThe European Commission published the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1917 of 6 December 2018 and the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1914 of 6 December 2018 concerning the non-renewal of approval of the active substance flurtamone and quinoxyfen, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011.   Member States shall withdraw authorizations for plant protection products containing flurtamone and quinoxyfen as active substances by June 27, 2019, at the latest. However, any grace period granted by Member States shall expire by March 27, 2020, at the latest.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1917 of 6 December 2018 Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1914 of 6 December 2018https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticide-withdrawalsEU: MRLs Update, Draft Commission RegulationsAs for nuts and dried fruits, the draft sets the following MRLs for 2,5-dichlorobenzoic acid methylester, mandipropamid, prochloraz and profoxydim: The MRL for 2,5-dichlorobenzoic acid methylester is newly set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts. The MRL for prochloraz is lowered from 0.1* ppm to 0.03* ppm in tree nuts and peanuts; and from 0.05* ppm to 0.03* ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, and figs. The MRL for profoxydim is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm in in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts.     The final date for comments is February 9, 2019. The proposed date of adoption is June 2019.   In addition, other draft sets the following MRLs for bispyribac, denatonium benzoate, fenoxycarb, flurochloridone, quizalofop-P-ethyl, quizalofop-P-tefuryl, propaquizafop, and tebufenozide: The MRL for bispyribac is newly set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts. The MRL for denatonium benzoate is newly set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts. The MRL for fenoxycarb is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm in in tree nuts, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts; and from 1 ppm to 0.01* ppm in apricots, plums, and grapes. The MRL for flurochloridone is lowered from 0.1* ppm to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts. The MRL for quizalofop is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, and figs; and from 0.1* ppm to 0.01* ppm in peanuts. The MRL for tebufenozide is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts (except almonds and walnuts which is set at 0.05 ppm), dates, figs, and peanuts; and from 1 ppm to 0.01* ppm in apricots and plums. It is increased from 3 ppm to 4 ppm in grapes.   The final date for comments is February 9, 2019. The proposed date of adoption is July 2019   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-draft-commission-regulations-10EU: Common Customs Tariff DutiesAmong others, the date foreseen for mandatory review of dates, fresh or dried, for use in the manufacture (excluding packing) of products of drink or food industries (CN 0804 10 00) is extended until December 31, 2023.   This regulation entered into force on December 29, 2018, and is applicable since January 1, 2019.   Council Regulation (EU) 2018/2069 of 20 December 2018  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-common-customs-tariff-dutiesIndia: Additional Tariffs DelayedOn December 15, 2018, the Government of India announced that the entry into force of the additional tariffs is postponed until January 31, 2019. These tariffs, initially dated August 4, 2018, were first postponed until September 18, 2018 (see previous post), second postponed until November 2, 2018 (see previous post), and again postponed until December 17, 2018 (see previous post).   Notification N. 80/2018-Customs  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-additional-tariffs-delayed-3India: Cashew Kernels, Draft StandardsThe Food Safety and Standards Authority of India notified the World Trade Organization of the Draft Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2018.   This notice calls for suggestions/views/comments on the draft related to different products, including cashew kernels. The draft standard defines the quality of the cashew kernels as well as the requirements they shall conform in terms of moisture content, acid-insoluble ash, defect tolerances, free fatty acid and peroxide value.   The deadline for comments is February 12, 2019.   File No. 1-116/Scientific Committee/Notif./2010-FSSAI  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-cashew-kernels-draft-standardsJapan: MRLs UpdateAs for nuts and dried fruits, the following MRL were proposed:   The MRL for fluensulfone in cranberry is increased from 0.3 ppm to 0.5 ppm. The MRL for tebufenpyrad in peanuts is lowered from 0.2 ppm to 0.01 ppm, and in apricot, cranberry and date from 2 ppm to 0.4 ppm.   The deadline for comments is February 17, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-mrls-update-19Malaysia: Food Regulation UpdateThe Draft Amendment of the Sixteenth Schedule of the Food Regulations 1985 includes the addition of maximum residue limits (MRLs) of new pesticides, the addition of new MRLs of new commodities to existing pesticides, the deletion of certain commodities of existing pesticides, and the deletion of existing pesticides.   The deadline for comments is February 15, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/malaysia-food-regulation-updateUSA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of tolfenpyrad in Fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F is set at 2.0 ppm. In addition, the existing tolerances for Grape at 2.0 ppm is removed.   The Regulation is effective since December 21, 2018; objections and requests must be received on or before February 19, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 245. Friday, December 21, 2018. Pages 65546-65551  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-31US: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the petitions received were the following:   New tolerances: Establish tolerances for the fungicide fluopyram in cranberry at 2.0 ppm. Establish tolerances for the fungicide inpyrfluxam in peanut at 0.01 ppm.   The final date for comments is January 22, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 245. Friday, December 21, 2018. Pages 65660-65662  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/us-pesticide-petitions-1Amygdalin and Benzaldehyde Levels in California Almond (Prunus dulcis) Varietals The responsible for the bitter taste in almonds is amygdalin, a cyanogenic diglucoside, which can hydrolyze to release benzaldehyde, an aromatic aldehyde with a pleasant almond-like aroma. As key aroma compounds, amygdalin and benzaldehyde levels were measured in the top 14 commercially available almond cultivars grown in California.   According to the results, ‘Aldrich’ has significantly higher concentrations of benzaldehyde in the headspace, the key contributor of the almond aroma.   Luo, K. K., Kim, D. A., Mitchell-Silbaugh, K. C., Huang, G., & Mitchell, A. E. (2017, November). Comparison of amygdalin and benzaldehyde levels in California almond (Prunus dulcis) varietals. In VII International Symposium on Almonds and Pistachios 1219 (pp. 1-8). https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/amygdalin-and-benzaldehyde-levels-in-california-almond-prunus-dulcis-varietalsThe INC and Save The Children Join Forces to Empower the Nuts For A Healthier World ProjectOver the last few months, the INC has been asking people all over the world to share the #NutsForAHealthierWorld video to raise awareness of the cause. So far, the publication has reached over 40,000 shares and now, Save The Children will turn those shares into physical aid. Both partners established that every share of the video would be equal to one euro, which is the cost of a nutritional treatment of one child for one day. In this regard, the aim of the cooperation is to raise the same amount of money as shares and so, having now reached 40,000 shares, that would mean €40,000 of nutritional treatment that the NGO could send 40,000 days&#39; worth of treatment to children in Mauritania, South Sudan and Bangladesh. Besides the cooperation with the global NGO, Nuts For a Healthier World is embracing its members to sum up and help spread the word. If you would like to learn more and get involved, visit the campaign&#39;s site.    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-inc-and-save-the-children-join-forces-empower-the-nuts-for-a-healthier-world-projectEC Meeting of the Market Access Working Group on SPS IssuesAt the SPS MAWG, information from stakeholders (Member States, EU businesses, technical experts) is gathered and shared to prevent problems, seek solutions and ensure a coordinated approach to improve market access conditions for EU exporters.   Representatives of the European Commission (DG TRADE, DG AGRI, DG SANTE) gave a report on the last WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Committee held on November 1-2, 2018, in Geneva, the recent high level visit to Taiwan, the working group and seminar with Korea, the state of works on harmonized certificates, and the implementation of Free Trade Agreements. In addition, different issues related to priority markets, such as the state of play of USA and Mexico, the implementation of CETA, the preparation of the EU-Vietnam FTA implementation, the EU-Indonesia FTA negotiations, and the low risk food products and e-certification in China, among others, were discussed.   During the meeting, representatives of European associations addressed specific problems and concerns to the Commissioners. The European Livestock and Meat Trading Union (UECBV) explained the impact of African swine fever on meat exports. The EU Fish Processors and Traders Association (AIPCE-CEP) gave an overview on EU trade interests and challenges. Finally, the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organizations-General Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives (COPA-COGECA) presented the priority markets and trade issues for olive oils.    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/ec-meeting-of-the-market-access-working-group-on-sps-issuesThe Besana Group, Finalist of the CERIF Study 2018 on Family CompaniesFor many years, CERIF has studied merits, trade-financial trends, turnover development and characteristics of family-owned companies, with particular attention to the challenges to be faced and the various phases of the generational transition. With this award, the Besana Group is counted among one of the most profiled family-managed in Italy.  Both the President of the Besana Group, Pino Calcagni, and his son Riccardo, respectively the third and fourth generation of the centenary history of Besana, were present in the event. In addition to Riccardo, his sister Vittoria Calcagni is also part of the actual Group Management.  Just 10 days before the ceremony, on Thursday 22 November, the President of the Besana Group took part in a round table as part of the 6th Food & Made in Italy Forum, organized in Milan by ‘Il Sole 24 Ore&#39;, one of the major Italian financial newspapers. In the discussion, mainly focused on innovation, internationalization, price policies and new technologies, Mr. Calcagni also gave strong contributions on agro-industrial aspects, basing on the experience that Besana attained in an ambitious and increasingly expanding project in favor of new nut cultivation areas in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Guiseppe Pino Calcagni is Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Scientific and Government Affairs Committee and Statistics Committee of the INC.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-besana-group-finalist-of-the-cerif-study-2018-on-family-companiesUSA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of bixafen in or on peanut is established at 0.01 ppm.   The Regulation is effective since December 4, 2018. Objections and requests must be received on or before February 4, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 233. Tuesday, December 04, 2018. Pages 62479-62485  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-30USA: Applications for New Uses for PesticidesThe active ingredient Florpyrauxifen-benzyl has been proposed for using as herbicide on stone fruit and tree nuts. And, the active ingredient Fenhexamid has been proposed for using as fungicide on fruit, stone, group 12-12, except plum, prune, fresh, postharvest.   The deadline for comments is December 17, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 221. Thursday, November 15, 2018. Pages 57475-57476  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-applications-for-new-uses-for-pesticides-9Funding Opportunities for Research and DisseminationThe objective of the Annual Call for Research Projects is to fund clinical, epidemiological, basic and/or strategic research that may contribute to enhance the understanding of the health effects of nuts and dried fruits. Running simultaneously, the Annual Call for Promotion and Dissemination Projects is to fund projects aimed at increasing the use and consumption of nuts and dried fruits, especially in developing countries. Both calls are open to public and private institutions, as well as not-for-profit organizations, with due date for submission by January 31, 2019. More information may be found on our website.             Besides the grants program, INC carries out “Nuts for a Healthier World” Global Dissemination Project, a solidarity campaign that aims to promote the health benefits of each nut and dried fruit. This project includes one main video and 16 videos with interviews featuring people from different parts of the world showcasing the health benefits of each nut and dried fruit. All videos can be seen over on nutsforgifts.org.   2018 Grant Awardees   In the previous call, 3 projects were selected for funding, totalling 363,700 euros. The INC awarded funding to a clinical study on the relationship between dried fruit consumption and gut health as well as 2 promotion and dissemination projects. The projects were:   Research Grant Recipient:   Project: “Optimising gut health: physiological, microbiological and metabolomic effects of dried fruit”. Principal Investigator: Prof. Kevin Whelan, King’s College London, UK. Dissemination Grant Recipients:   Nucis Italia. Project: “Nuts and the new dietary styles”. Australian Nut Industry Council. Project: “Dissemination of results from the secondary analysis of nut consumption in the 2011-13 Australian Health Survey”.   By year end, the INC will have provided nearly 2.8 million euros of funding for research and dissemination projects over the last six years. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/funding-opportunities-for-research-and-dissemination-2UNECE Agricultural Quality StandardsThe Chairperson of the Specialized Section on Standardization of Dry and Dried Produce, Mr. Dorian LaFond, reported the work of the Specialized Section and presented the revised standards and new recommendations submitted for adoption. As for the draft Sampling Plan for Tree Nuts and Dried Products and Guidelines for Inspection for Dry and Dried Produce, he highlighted the need for an inspection guideline and some provisions of the standards (e.g. mold filaments vs duvet in walnuts kernels) that require clarification by the Specialized Section.   The Working Party decided to adopt the new Standard for Dried Bananas and to adopt the revised Standard for Prunes, the new Standard for Dried Ripe Papayas and the new Standard for Dried Melons as a Recommendation for a 1-year trial period. In addition, explanatory posters for Inshell Walnuts, Walnut Kernels, Dried Figs and Dried Grapes are being developed. Meeting documentshttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/unece-agricultural-quality-standards-4UNECE-FAO Food Loss ConferenceThe purpose of the event was to present the progress made in ameliorating food loss and waste as well as to identify good practices that provide practical solution to food loss. The conference brought together experts from the public and private sectors, international organizations and NGOs, with the aim of exchanging knowledge and encouraging new initiatives to reduce food loss and waste.    The session, moderated by Ms. Kristina Mattsson, Swedish Board of Agriculture, and Mr. Salehin Khan, UNECE Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, started with the opening words of Ms. Nicola Koch, Chef de Cabinet of the UNECE, and Ms. Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett, Director of FAO Geneva Office. They stressed the importance of quantifying food losses and identifying the origin to fight food waste through initiatives throughout the total supply chain.   The first speaker, Ms. Björg Askelsdottir, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), presented the results of the report “Tackling the 1.6-billion-ton food loss and waste crisis”. According the BCG, the problem of food loss is growing and, in 2030, annual food loss and waste will hit 2.1 billion tons worth $1.5 trillion. Ms. Askelsdottir commented that food waste occurs at all steps in the value chain, being bigger at the production step (in terms of volume) and at the consumption step (in terms of value). By food category, fruits & vegetables and meat are the main contributors. Dividing countries by GDP per capita, developed regions need to act at the “fork” whereas in developing regions, actions should be taken at the “farm”. She identified five drivers of the problem: lack of awareness of the issue and of possible solutions, inadequate supply chain infrastructure, supply chain efficiency efforts that do not focus sufficiently on food loss and waste, weak collaboration across the value chain and insufficient regulations.   The next speaker, Mr. Ahmad Mukhtar, Economist Trade and Food Security at FAO, gave the presentation “Agro-trade, economic productivity and value additions: the case of food loss”. He claimed that there is enough food production for all, but the challenge is the physical and socio-economic access. Food waste raises a barrier to achieving food security and nutrition for present and future generations through environmental, economic and social impacts within the global food system, he stated. He remarked the importance of harmonizing terminology, methodology, reporting and monitoring in order to build evidence for decisions at local and national level.   Ms. Lucie Rein, Country Manager in Switzerland for To Good To Go, explained how to fight food loss through a mobile app. The Too Good To Go app connects restaurants, bakeries and supermarkets with consumers. The users search for a store, the meal is prepaid via the app, the users go to the store to collect their meal just before closing time, and they receive a bag of unsold food after showing their receipt. She noted that 600,000 new consumers and 1,000 new partners are joining the movement every month.   And last but not least, Ms. Dalma Somogyi, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), explained different initiatives to fight food loss. The WBCSD is actively participating in different projects addressing food loss waste, such as the Global Agri-Business Alliance (GAA) and the Climate Smart Agriculture, as well as supporting external initiatives, such as Champions 12.3 and the Indonesia FLW Action Partnership. She explained that the strategy to achieve food loss and waste reduction should be divided in three key stages: Target, Measure and Act. She commented that companies consider GHG emissions, deforestation, smallholder livelihood and water management as priority issues for their sustainability strategy. Food loss and waste reduction significantly contributes to reaching a broad range of key sustainability objectives for companies in the food and agriculture sector.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/unece-fao-food-loss-conferenceEuropean Trade MeetingThe meeting brought together more than 70 representatives of different nut and dried fruit organizations and companies such as the Aegean Exporters Associations (Turkey), Almendrave (Spain), Blacksea Exporters Associations (TK), California Walnut Commission (USA), Eurofins, FRUCOM (Belgium), Fruitimprese (Italy), Frutos Secos Fuster (Spain/Portugal), German Embassy in Turkey, Ireco Trading & Production (Luxemburg), Istanbul Exporters’ Associations (TK), Midsummer Marketing (UK), National Dried Fruit Trade Association (NDFTA) (UK), NZV (Netherlands), OLAM (Netherlands), PALM Nuts & More GmbH & Co. KG (Germany), Safe Food Alliance (USA), Schlüter & Maack Handelsges mbH (Germany), Syndicat National des Fruits Secs (SNFS) (France), The Nut Association (TNA) (UK), US Mission, Waren-Verein der Hamburger Börse e.V. (Germany), and Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds (USA).   This year, the Meeting focused on Digitalization of Trade. In addition, the agenda included topics such as FRUCOM activities, the EU-Turkey trade relations, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between EU and Canada, and the modernization of the Chile-EU Association Agreement.   FRUCOM reported about topical issues for the dried fruit and nut industry at European level such as safety import controls, OTA, aflatoxins, pesticides, additives and Brexit. The Waren-Verein talked about the digitalization of trade and how new technologies are opening new opportunities. The Aegean Exporters’ Association informed about how Turkey is implementing digitalization in the production system and trade. The second part of the Meeting revolved around food, trade and politics. Dr. Peter Bolen, Embassy of Germany in Turkey, gave an overview of the fruit and nut markets in Turkey. New opportunities generated by the CETA between EU and Canada were explained by Mr. Christopher MacLean, Embassy of Canada in Berlin. Here after, Mr. Diego Torres, Embassy of Chile in Berlin, gave a presentation about the modernization of the EU-Chile Association Agreement.   After the lunch break, the topic of digital trade was introduced by keynote speaker Mr. Jean-Jacques Vandenheede, former Head of Research in the Retail Sector at Nielsen Europe. After the speech, the issue of digital trade was discussed by a specialized panel composed of Dr. Hansjoerg Rodi, Managing Director Germany & President Central and Eastern Europe Region of Duehne + Nagel (AG & Co.) KG, Mr. Christian Sega, Managing Director of Agiles Informationssysteme, and Mr. Jean-Jacques Vandenheede. The panel discussion was moderated by Ms. Julia Sen, NDR Fernsehen.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/european-trade-meetingAustralia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the residue of indoxacarb in macadamia nuts at T*0.01 ppm is inserted. The final date for comments was December 4, 2018.   * indicates that the maximum residue limit is set at the limit of determination. ‘T’ indicates that the maximum residue limit is a temporary maximum residue limit.   The amendment can be found here.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-15Brazil: MRLs UpdatePeanut culture is included with MRL of 0.005 ppm and safety security period of 7 days.   The final date for comments is December 23, 2018.   A18-Abamectin  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-mrls-update-18Brexit: Draft Withdrawal AgreementThe Draft Withdrawal Agreement covers all elements of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU: citizens’ rights, financial settlement, governance, protocols on Ireland, and ship inspections, among others. A transition period is established until December 31, 2020. Goods lawfully placed on the market in the EU or in the UK before the end of the transition period may continue to freely circulate in and between these markets without having to comply with additional requirements.   In order to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, a single EU-UK customs territory would be established, applicable from the end of the transition period until a subsequent agreement becomes applicable. The single customs territory covers all goods with the exception of fishery and aquaculture products.   In addition, on November 22, 2018, a Political Declaration was issued by the UK and the EU setting out the framework for the future relationship between both parties after the withdrawal. Some of the main issues of this declaration are that there would be an Economic Partnership Agreement eliminating tariffs, fees, charges or quantitative restrictions across all sectors, aiming EU-UK customs and regulatory cooperation and alignment of rules.   The UK and the EC reached a deal on the terms of the Article 50 Withdrawal Agreement   Draft Political Declaration setting out the Framework for the Future Relationship between the EU and the UK  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brexit-draft-withdrawal-agreementCanada: MRLs UpdateThe objectives of the document are to consult on the maximum residue limits (MRLs) proposed for tetrachlorvinphos and to consult on the proposed MRLs revocations for carbofuran, diazinon, dicofol, dinocap, diphenamid, disulfoton, nicotine, phosalone, pirimicarb, sodium trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and vinclozolin.   Regarding nuts and dried fruits, the MRL for tetrachlorvinphos in grapes is lowered from 10 ppm to 0.013 ppm. In addition, the following revocations have been proposed (current MRLs are indicated in brackets):   Diazinon in apricots (0.75 ppm), cranberries (0.25 ppm), grapes (0.75 ppm), and plums (0.75 ppm). Dicofol in almond nuts (3 ppm), apricots (3 ppm), black and English walnuts (3 ppm), figs (3 ppm), grapes (3 ppm), hazelnuts (3 ppm), pecan nuts (3 ppm), and plums (3 ppm). Dinocap in grapes (0.1 ppm). Nicotine in plums (2 ppm). Phosalone in apricots (4 ppm), grapes (5 ppm), and plums (5 ppm). Vinclozolin in apricots (5 ppm), grapes (5 ppm), and plums (1 ppm).   The final date for comments is January 22, 2018.   More information   Besides, the Agency has announced proposed maximum residue limit (PMRL) for amisulbrom and the adoption of the MRL for afidopyropen and picoxystrobin (see previous post).   The PMRL for amisulbrom in raisins is 1.0 ppm. The final date for comments is January 28, 2019.   Consultation on Amisulbrom, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2018-46.   The MRL for afidopyropen in stone fruits (crop group 12-09) is established at 0.03 ppm; for picoxystrobin in peanuts at 0.06 ppm and in almonds at 0.03 ppm.   Health Canada Database  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-30Chile-Brazil: Free Trade AgreementNegotiations began on April 27, 2018, during a meeting between the presidents of both countries. The Economic Complementation Agreement between Chile and MERCOSUR already allowed the elimination of import tariffs for bilateral trade.   Chile-Brazil Free Trade Agreement  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/chile-brazil-free-trade-agreementChina-Australia: Free Trade Agreement, Tariff EliminationThe ChAFTA entered into force on December 20, 2015. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, this agreement unlocks significant opportunities.   To give an example, the base rate for shelled macadamias exported from Australia to China before the agreement was 24%. Under the ChAFTA, the tariff was reduced to 19.2% on December 20, 2015. On January 1, 2016, there was a second reduction to 14.4%. The following reductions were on January 1, 2017 (to 9.6%) and on January 1, 2018 (4.8%). All tariffs on tree nuts and dried fruit will be eliminated on January 1, 2019 (see previous post).   Australian Government: China-Australia Free Trade Agreement    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-australia-free-trade-agreement-tariff-eliminationChina: General Administration of Customs ReorganizationGACC main functions are to ensure the public security and border protection, agricultural inspections at the entry ports, managing food and agricultural import/export policies and collection of tariffs, among others.   General Administration of Customs Reorganization  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-general-administration-of-customs-reorganizationEFSA: Cyanogenic GlycosidesThe draft presents an evaluation of the applicability of the Acute Reference Dose (ARfD) established for cyanide (CN) in raw apricot kernels for other foods (including almond kernels and bitter almonds) containing cyanogenic glycosides, as well as an evaluation of the relevance of chronic effects related to human dietary exposure, estimations of acute and chronic dietary exposure and an assessment of human health risks related to acute dietary exposure to cyanogenic glycosides.   Some of the conclusions are that the foods with the highest CNGs values were bitter almonds (Prunus amygdalus var. amara,) and in linseed (Linum usitatissimum); the cyanogenic glycosides in apricot and bitter almond kernels are reduced to acceptable levels during the process of manufacturing persipan; and the ARfD of 20 μg CN/kg bw should be protective for acute effects of CN from CNGs, regardless of the dietary source, meaning that dietary exposure did not exceed the ARfD of 20 μg CN/kg bw for any age group.   The deadline for submitting comments is January 25, 2019.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-cyanogenic-glycosidesEFSA: GlyphosateThe conclusion will be used by the European Commission in deciding whether or not to keep glyphosate on the EU list of approved active substances, and by EU Member States to re-assess the safety of pesticide products containing glyphosate that are used in their territories.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-glyphosateEU: Action Levels for ResiduesAs these residues do not cause a risk to consumers, the majority of Member States was not in favor of discussing legal levels. Therefore, the Committee agreed on the following reference values for intra EU trade, meaning that when concentration of the residues are present below these levels, the food business operator can be sure of the compliance of the product.   DEET-CAS134-62-3(N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) Pine nut kernels 0.5 mg/kg Berries and small fruits except grapes 0.1 mg/kg Wild fungi 1.0 mg/kg Herbal infusions from flowers and leaves 0.3 mg/kg Spices 0.5 mg/kg   Icaridin-CAS119515-38-71(1-(1-methylpropoxycarbonyl)-2-(2-hydroxyethyl)piperidine)) Wild fungi 0.05 mg/kg Herbal infusions from flowers and leaves 0.5 mg/kg   Summary Report of the Standing Committee. September 17, 2018 (Item A. 02)    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-action-levels-for-residuesEU: Bisphenol AAt the last Standing Committee of the Section ‘Novel Food and Toxicological Safety’ held on September 17, 2018, the Committee welcomed and endorsed unanimously the draft opinion on the implementation of Commission Regulation (EU) No 2018/213. The Commission decided that the opinion will be published on the Commission’s website as soon as possible.   Summary Report of the Standing Committee. September 17, 2018 (Item A. 10)  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-bisphenol-a-4EU: Working Groups on ContaminantsHere is a summary of the feedback on the discussions held on some contaminants: Perchlorate. Possible maximum levels for perchlorate in fruits and vegetables, tea, herbal and fruit infusions, infant formula, follow-on formula, processed cereal based food for infants and young children and babyfood were presented. A targeted stakeholder consultation on these possible maximum levels is foreseen.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 884/2014 of 13 August 2014. The foreseen amendments to Regulation (EU) 884/2014 of 13 August 2014 imposing special conditions governing the import of certain feed and food from certain third countries due to contamination risk by aflatoxins were presented. The draft Regulation probably will be submitted to the Committee for opinion at the next meeting of the Committee. The foreseen amendments relate to: modification of competent authorities entitled to sign the health certificates (India, Ethiopia, Argentina, Brazil and Azerbaijan), modification of Article 1(3) as regards the exemption of 20 kg lots, changes of control frequencies (for dried figs from Turkey), transfer of certain entries currently in Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 (groundnuts from Bolivia, Gambia, Madagascar, Senegal and Sudan and watermelon seeds from Sierra Leone), update of CN codes.   Ochratoxin A (OTA). The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has been requested to provide an updated exposure assessment taking into account recent occurrence data and the comprehensive food consumption database. The discussions as regards possible maximum levels of ochratoxin A in food not yet covered by EU legislation are for the time being suspended until the outcome of the EFSA’s assessment.   Alternaria toxins. The possibility to set a guidance level for alternariol (AOH), alternariol monomethyl ether (AME) and tenuazonic acid (TeA) in certain foods, combined with a monitoring recommendation (including also tentoxin) is being discussed. Foods considered for guidance levels are: processed tomato products, paprika powder, sunflower seeds, cereal based foods for infants and young children. Also for tenuazonic acid, it might be appropriate to consider a guidance level for millet grains, dried figs and (certain) tree nuts. Summary Report of the Standing Committee. September 17, 2018 (Item A. 12)  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-working-groups-on-contaminantsEU: Safeguard Measures in Trade AgreementsBilateral safeguard measures are intended to protect particular domestic industries from an increase in imports of any product which causes injury to that sector. This measures often allow the temporary withdrawal of tariff preferences. Up to now, most of the trade agreements concluded by EU include bilateral safeguard clauses, or other mechanisms, in a separate document.   The agreement would be submitted for endorsement by EU ambassadors.   Political deal reached on systematic inclusion of safeguard measures  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-safeguard-measures-in-trade-agreementsEU: Ethoprophos WithdrawalThis draft provides that the approval of the active substance ethoprophos is not renewed and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing ethoprophos will be withdrawn from the market. This decision does not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the concerned pesticide. However, following non-approval, separate action may be taken on MRLs.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-ethoprophos-withdrawal-1EU: Risk Indicators for Pesticide UseAs Harmonized Risk Indicators are necessary to measure progress in the reduction of risks from pesticide use for human health and the environment, the Commission has developed the draft Directive to establish the first EU-wide indicators in this area.   Feedback received until December 26, 2018, will be taken into account for finalizing this initiative.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-risk-indicators-for-pesticide-useIndia: Walnuts from AustraliaThe Draft Plant Quarantine seeks to further liberalize provisions governing import of walnuts from Australia under Schedule VI of the Plant Quarantine (Regulation of Import into India) Order, 2003. This notification will further allow import of plants and plant materials into India.   The deadline for comments is January 31, 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-walnuts-from-australiaJapan: MRLs UpdateAs for nuts and dried fruits, the following MRL were proposed:   The MRL for probenazole in peanuts, cranberry, date, pecan, almond, walnut, and other nuts is lowered from 0.03 ppm to 0.01 ppm.   The deadline for comments is December 22, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-mrls-update-18Japan: Pesticide Registration SystemThe revision of the Agricultural Chemicals Control Act (Act No 53 of 2018) and the related laws and regulations entered into force on December 1, 2018 (see previous post).   The schedule for the revisions is as follows: Periodic re-evaluation: 2021 (the first announcement for active ingredients to be re-evaluated will be conducted in 2019). Annual report for information on the safe use of registered pesticides: October 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-pesticide-registration-system-1Morocco: MRLsThe aim of this measure, notified on July 15, 2011, was to harmonize with the corresponding European Directive.   USDA GAIN Report: Morocco Pesticide MRLs  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/morocco-mrlsSaudi Arabia: Nutritional LabelingThe purpose of this Regulation is to control the nutritional labelling data which shall apply to packaged food products (with some exceptions such as spices, seasonings, fresh vegetables and fruits, rice, tea, coffee and sugar, among others). The following nutrient information shall be provided: amount of energy, protein, carbohydrate (dietary carbohydrate and dietary fibers), fats, saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, total sugars and added sugar, as well as the amount of any other nutrient of a claimed nutritional or health effect. The vitamins and minerals identified by the relevant authorities shall be declared on the requirement unless they represent less than 5% of the Nutrient Reference Value (NRV).   The deadline for comments is January 15, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/saudi-arabia-nutritional-labelingUS-Japan: Trade AgreementOn October 16, 2018, USTR notified the Congress of the Administration’s intention to enter into negotiations with Japan for a Trade Agreement. In order to seek comments before the public hearing held on December 10, 2018, the USTR launched a request for comments on trade barriers, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, as well as customs and trade facilitation among other issues.   Also, in preparation for negotiations, on October 26, 2018, USTR asked the International Trade Commission (ITC) to analyze the potential economic effects of removing tariffs on agricultural goods and granting duty-free treatment for competitive imports from Japan. The letter lists sensitive agricultural products to be considered, including pistachios, dates, raisins, and peanuts, among others.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 208. Friday, October 26, 2018. Pages 54164-54165  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/us-japan-trade-agreementUSA: Restrictions on ChlorpyrifosThe new measures will provide increased protections from potential exposure to the pesticide while DPR completes a formal regulatory process to list chlorpyrifos as a “toxic air contaminant” and develops permanent restrictions on its use. The Department is recommending that county agricultural commissioners (CAC’s) begin implementing the interim measures on January 1, 2019.   Following designation of chlorpyrifos as a toxic air contaminant, DPR is required to consult with other state and local agencies –including the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, the California Air Resources Board, CAC’s and local air districts– to determine what permanent mitigation measures are needed. This regulatory process could take up to two years to complete.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-restrictions-on-chlorpyrifos2018 International Seedless Dried Grape Producing Countries ConferenceThe Conference considered the world supply and demand position and recorded production estimates for Sultanas, Natural Seedless Raisins, Goldens and Currants: Sultana and Raisin crops have increased over the 2017 short crop and Goldens have returned to the 2016 levels, while Currant supply has remained low due to adverse weather conditions.   Press Release and Production Estimateshttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/2018-international-seedless-dried-grape-producing-countries-conferenceINC Pavilion at SIAL Paris 2018Five intense days revolving around the world’s largest food innovation exhibition that, for another year, emerged as a hub for the entire industry. INC participated in a prime location with a revamped version of the 375 sq Nuts and Dried Fruits Pavilion.   Featured by its premium position at hall 5A – L200, the INC Pavilion became an attraction pole for visitors. The hospitality area witnessed a succession of meetings, delegates coming and goings and industry representatives dealing with prospective customers. Dozens of meetings took place at the 3 rooms reserved. Such a frantic pace of work shed light about the positive results achieved by the INC members joining the Pavilion. The Relevance of the INC Pavilion A total of 23 countries have been represented in this year&#39;s edition, emphasizing the global scope performed by the INC within the nuts and dried fruits industry. Cohabitation was excellent, strengthening links between companies, countries and common interests. SIAL-Paris works as an accurate lighthouse the food industry. Figures of attendance show its strong influence in the market. More than 310,000 visitors from 119 countries passed through the trade show. In addition, there were 7,200 exhibitors with over 87% being from outside of France. Nuts and Dried Fruit Industry Festive Spirit The INC Pavilion expressed its most celebratory side at the Welcome Cocktail on Wednesday October 24th. Sponsored by Valley Macadamia Sales, this event was attended by top business leaders resulting in a meeting point for the entire nuts and dried fruits industry.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-pavilion-at-sial-paris-2018US: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the petitions received were the following:   Amended tolerances: Remove existing tolerances for the herbicide pyraflufen-ethyl, ethyl 2-[2-chloro-5-(4-chloro-5-difluoromethoxy)-1-methyl-1H-pyrazol-3-yl]-4-fluorophenoxy] acetate in fruit, stone, group 12 at 0.01 ppm; grape at 0.01 ppm; nut, tree, group 14 at 0.01 ppm; and pistachio at 0.01 ppm. Remove existing tolerances for the fungicide fenhexamid (N-2,3-dichloro-4-hydroxyphenyl)-1-methyl cyclohexanecarboxamide in fruit, stone, group 12, except plum, prune, fresh, postharvest at 10.0 ppm; and grape at 4.0 ppm.  New tolerances: Establish tolerances for the herbicide pyraflufen-ethyl in fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 0.01 ppm; and nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.01 ppm. Establish tolerances for the fungicide fenhexamid (N-2,3-dichloro-4-hydroxyphenyl)-1-methyl cyclohexanecarboxamide in berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G at 3.0 ppm; and fruit, stone, group 12-12, except plum, prune, fresh, postharvest at 10.0 ppm.   The final date for comments is November 19, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 202. Thursday, October 18, 2018. Pages 52787-52789https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/us-pesticide-petitionsUSA: Applications for New Uses for PesticidesThe active ingredient fenpyroximate has been proposed for using on nut, tree group 14-12   The deadline for comments is November 13, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 198. Friday, October 12, 2018. Pages 51678-51679https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-applications-for-new-uses-for-pesticides-8USA: Handling of RaisinsAmong others, this amendment authorizes the Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC) to conduct production research without having to rely on the California Raisin Marketing Board (CRMB) for funding; authorizes separate nominations for independent producer members and independent producer alternate member seats; adds authority to regulate quality under the Order; and adds authority to establish different regulations for different markets. In addition, the amendment will require the USDA to conduct a continuance referendum between year five and year six after implementation for the first referendum, and every six years thereafter.   This Rule will be effective on November 26, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 208. Friday, October 26, 2018, 2018. Pages 53965-53974https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-handling-of-raisinsUSA: Handling of HazelnutsThe amendments add the authority to regulate quality for the purpose of pathogen reduction and to establish different regulations for different markets. In addition, this final rule makes administrative revisions to subpart headings to bring the language into conformance with the Office of Federal Register requirements.   The Regulation is effective since November 19, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 203. Friday, October 19, 2018, 2018. Pages 52946-52950https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-handling-of-hazelnutsUSA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of etoxazole in or on Nut, tree group 14-12 is established at 0.01 ppm. In addition, the existing tolerances in Fruit, stone, group 12, except plum at 1.0 ppm; Nut, tree, group 14 at 0.01 ppm; Pistachio at 0.01 ppm; and Plum at 0.15 ppm are removed.   The Regulation is effective since October 15, 2018. Objections and requests must be received on or before December 14, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 199. Monday, October 15, 2018, 2018. Pages 51863-51867https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-29USA: Names of Dairy FoodsThe FDA is interested in learning how consumers are using these products, how they understand terms such as “milk” or “yogurt” when included in the names of plant-based products, and if they understand differences between the plant-based products and their dairy counterparts. They are taking this action to inform their development of an approach to the labeling of plant-based products that consumers may substitute for dairy foods.   The deadline for comments is November 27, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 189. Friday, September 28, 2018. Pages 49103-49107https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-names-of-dairy-foodsUSA: Standards for Grades of PecansThe term “midget” is replaced with “extra small” in the Standards for Grades of Shelled Pecans. In addition, the references to plastic models of pecan kernels and information on where the color standards may be examined from both standards are removed.   This direct final rule is effective December 10, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 195. Tuesday, October 9, 2018. Pages 50475-50477https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-standards-for-grades-of-pecansUS-Mexico-Canada: Free Trade AgreementThe new Free Trade Agreement will enable food and agriculture to trade more fairly, and to expand exports of American agricultural products. Some of the key achievements are:   Tariffs for most agricultural products will remain at zero. Setting unprecedented standards for agricultural biotechnology. Significant commitments to reduce trade distorting policies, improve transparency and ensure non-discriminatory treatment for agricultural product standards. Enhanced rules for science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures.   US-Mexico-Canada Trade Fact Sheethttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/us-mexico-canada-free-trade-agreementSouth Korea: Standards and Specifications for FoodsThe amendment establishes and revises MRLs of 251 pesticides (including iminoctadine) and establishes General Test Methods for acetochlor and pyraziflumid. The deadline for comments is December 14, 2018.   In addition, a second amendment establishes and revises the MRLs of 236 pesticides and establishes the General Test Methods for florpyrauxyfen-benzyl, sedaxane and tridemorph. The deadline for comments is December 21, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/south-korea-standards-and-specifications-for-foods-7India: Additional Tariffs DelayedOn November 1, 2018, the Government of India announced that the entry into force of the additional tariffs is postponed until December 17, 2018. These tariffs, initially dated August 4, 2018, were first postponed until September 18, 2018 (see previous post), and again postponed until November 2, 2018 (see previous post). Notification N. 77/2018-Customshttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-additional-tariffs-delayed-2EU: Tariff Rate Quotas after BrexitThe existing quantities of the EU’s WTO bound TRQs for agricultural, fish and industrial goods have been established on the basis of the UK being an EU member state. The EU’s WTO schedule will no longer apply to the UK after its withdrawal. EU needs to adjust the TRQs dividing up the existing quantities between the UK and the EU, based on previous trade patterns.   The current quota of 90,000 tones of almonds would be apportioned as follows: 95.5% to the EU and 4.5% to the UK. The schedule needs to be agreed with the European Parliament before it becomes EU law. Negotiations at the WTO to split the quotas are ongoing.   Almond quota EU 95.5% 85,950 tonnes UK 4.5% 4,050 tonnes Tariff rate quotas for EU27: EU ambassadors agree on the Council&#39;s positionhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-tariff-rate-quotas-after-brexitEU: Changes on Border ControlsRegarding nuts and dried fruits, the control frequency of aflatoxins in hazelnuts from Georgia will increase from 20% to 50%. This amendment is pending of approval during the next Standing Committee meeting.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-changes-on-border-controls-5EU: MRLs UpdateThe Regulation 2018/1514 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits: Abamectin: 0.02 ppm in apricots and 0.01* ppm in plums and grapes. Fenhexamid: 20 ppm in cranberries.  The Regulation shall apply from November 1, 2018.   The Regulation 2018/1515 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits: Diphenylamine: 0.05* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, and figs.  The Regulation shall apply from May 1, 2019.   The Regulation 2018/1516 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits: Triflumizole: 0.02* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts. Triflumuron: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs, and peanuts; 1 ppm in apricots; and 0.1 ppm in plums. The Regulation shall apply from May 1, 2019.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-25EU: IprodioneThe European Commission presented the same draft notified the World Trade Organization (here) and reported that some comments from stakeholders and non-EU countries were received during the consultation. The Committee agreed to maintain the draft Regulation without transition measures.   After the Regulation&#39;s expected publication in February 2019, the new MRLs will be applied in August/September 2019.   Summary Report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (Issue B.06)https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-iprodione-3EU: 2017 RASFF Annual ReportIn 2017, the number of notifications for the product category "nuts, nut products and seeds" totaled 536 notifications (424 of which were border rejections), +21% as compared to 2016 (443 notifications).   The most notified hazard in the nuts category and countries of origin were:  Aflatoxins in nuts, nut products and seeds from China: 81 notifications. Aflatoxins in nuts, nut products and seeds from Turkey: 65 notifications. Aflatoxins in nuts, nut products and seeds from Iran: 50 notifications.  2017 EU RASFF Reporthttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-2017-rasff-annual-reportEU-Mauritania: Economic Partnership AgreementThe aim of this Agreement is the promotion of trade between the EU and 16 West African states, to contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction. Once signed by all parties, the Agreement will be submitted for ratification. The long-term perspective is to create a comprehensive continent-to-continent free trade agreement between the EU and Africa.   Mauritania Signs the Regional Economic Partnership Agreement between West Africa and EUhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mauritania-economic-partnership-agreementEU-Singapore: Free Trade AgreementTwo more agreements were signed on the same day: Investment Protection Agreement and the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation. The three agreements signify an important step towards increasing the EU’s presence in the fast-growing region of South-East Asia.   The Trade and Investment Agreements will be sent to the European Parliament for consent. The Trade Agreement could enter into force before the end of the current mandate of the European Commission, in 2019. The Investment Agreement will also follow ratification procedures at Member States level. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement will need to be ratified by EU Member States and submitted to the European Parliament.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-singapore-free-trade-agreementEU-Norway: Free Trade AgreementThis new Free Trade Agreement in the form of an exchange of letters between the EU and Norway is expected to further liberalize trade in agricultural products, and stablishes zero tariffs for some agricultural products including dried cranberries.   EU-Norway Agreementhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-norway-free-trade-agreementFAO/WHO: Pesticide Residues ReportThe JMPR evaluated 29 pesticides, established acceptable daily intakes (ADIs) and acute reference doses (ARfDs), and estimated maximum residue levels (MRLs) in foods. The estimated MRLs will be used by the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR).   The table below summarizes the MRLs recommended for nuts and dried fruits.   Pesticide Commodity Recommended MRL (mg/kg) New Previous Abamectin (177) Dried grapes (= currants, raisins and sultanas) 0.1 0.03 Cyantraniliprole (263) Cranberries 0.08 - Isofetamid (290) Prunes, dried 3 - Kresoxim-methyl (199) Dried grapes (= currants, raisins and sultanas) 3 2 Pecan nuts 0.05* - Pydiflumetofen (309) Dried grapes (= currants, raisins and sultanas) 4 - Pyriofenone (310) Dried grapes (= currants, raisins and sultanas) 2.5 - Sulfoxaflor (252) Tree nuts 0.03 - * At or about the limit of quantification.    JMPR Report, 18-27 September 2018  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/fao-who-pesticide-residues-report-1Canada: MRLs UpdateThe proposed maximum residue limits for flubendiamide in peanuts is set at 0.02 ppm, for trifloxystrobin in stone fruits (crop group 12-09) at 2.0 ppm, and for rimsulfuron in stone fruits (crop group 12-09) at 0.01 ppm.   Health Canada Databasehttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-29Brazil: MRLs UpdateThe MRL of etofenprox for grape cultures is changed from 1.5 to 2.0 ppm and for cashew cultures from 0.4 ppm to 0.5 ppm.   The final date for comments was October 31, 2018.   E19 - Etofenprox  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-mrls-update-17Vinacas Golden Cashew RendezvousMr. Michael Waring, INC Vice Chairman, participated at the “Key Panel by Cashew Industry Leaders” on October 6, along with cashew industry representatives from Africa, India and the US. Mr. Waring presented global industry trends and an overview of the work of the INC and the Global Cashew Council.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/vinacas-golden-cashew-rendezvousSecond Meeting of the Global Macadamia CouncilChaired by Mr. Larry McHugh, GMC members from the main macadamia producing countries reviewed the aims and structure of the Council, discussed global supply and demand, and future projections, demand stimulation and new market development, and the harmonization of standards. May 2018 saw the constitution of the GMC by industry leaders from Australia, South Africa, Brazil and China. Later on, Kenya and Colombia also joined the Council. GMC priorities are to support research into health, harmonizing quality standards and defining a key message for the macadamia sector.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/second-meeting-of-the-global-macadamia-councilInternational Macadamia SymposiumAbout 500 participants from 30 countries came together under the theme “Green, Hope, Health and Share” to learn about the latest developments and to discuss the future of the international macadamia industry. The program included round tables and presentations on the history of Yunnan’s macadamia history, driving forces in the Chinese macadamia industry, high altitude production, orchard management, nursery production, pest management, post-harvest processing, breeding, health and nutrition, market opportunities and new technologies.   Mr. Michael Waring, INC Vice Chairman, gave a keynote presentation with global nut industry statistics, and chaired the round table “International Industry Overview”, which featured experts from the macadamia sector from China, Australia, South Africa, Kenya, USA, Brazil, Vietnam, Malawi, Mexico and Guatemala.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/international-macadamia-symposiumINC Executive Committee MeetingIn addition, the Committee reviewed the grant requests for the open-access publication of scientific studies and INC participation in congresses of nutrition in Asia, Europe and USA. Besides, the Committee discussed the preparations for Boca Raton, Florida 2019, and candidate cities for future Congresses.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-executive-committee-meeting-1Ecuador: Importation of Cranberries from the USThe deadline for comments is December 5, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/ecuador-importation-of-cranberries-from-the-usTree Nut Production to Increase by 6% in 2018/2019 Season; Dried Fruit by 5%In the 2017/18 season, world tree nut production was estimated at 4.2 million metric tons, and it is forecasted to amount to ca. 4.5 million MT in 2018/19, representing a 6% annual growth in overall production (crop figures expressed on a kernel basis, except for pistachios, which are in-shell basis). After overcoming last season shortage, Brazil nut crop is anticipated to experience the biggest increment this season, returning to a normal production of 29,000 MT. The forecasts point to a 21% increment in pistachio and 19% in macadamia total crops, adding up to ca.709,200 and 60,200 MT, respectively. The expected rise in pistachio production is mainly explained by the US is experiencing a strong “on-year” and Turkey bouncing back from a poor harvest the prior season. Pecan and almond crops are forecasted to reach ca. 158,500 MT and over 1.3 million MT; respectively, 10% and 9% higher than those of 2017/18.   World peanut production in 2018/19 is forecasted at over 37.1 million MT (in-shell basis), slightly down from the previous season as the top producing countries are expecting lower crops. However, average yield is foreseen to be higher in China owing to increased planting of high-yielding varieties. Harvest outputs in the US are indicating high yields and quality as well.   The estimated world production of dried fruit in 2017/18 reached more than 3 million MT and it is forecasted to be risen by 5% in 2018/19, amounting to over 3.1 million MT. In relative terms, table dates, dried grapes and sweetened dried cranberries are expected to register the greatest growth (8%, 7% and 6% respectively).   World Nut and Dried Fruit Production 2018/19 Forecast (Metric Tons) Almonds 1,345,609 Walnuts 889,820 Cashews 823,750 Pistachios 709,188 Hazelnuts 458,616 Pecans 158,481 Macadamias 60,219 Brazil Nuts 29,000 Pine Nuts 21,680 Tree Nuts1 4,496,363 Peanuts2 37,145,000 Raisins, Sultanas & Currants 1,303,600 Table Dates 1,110,000 Prunes 240,049 Dried Cranberries (sweetened) 201,666 Dried Apricots 186,800 Dried Figs 145,900 Dried Fruits 3,188,015 1Kernel basis, except pistachios which are in-shell basis. 2In-shell basis. Source: INC International Nut and Dried Fruit Council.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/tree-nut-production-to-increase-by-6-in-2018-2019-season-dried-fruit-by-5The INC Academia Launches the 2nd Edition of the Executive Program on Nuts and Dried FruitsStarting in February 2019, the updated program provides an educative course about the basics of the nut and dried fruit industry, its main characteristics, applications and information resources.   The course combines online lessons (around 50 hours), including brand new PDF summaries and more than 40 video tutorials, readings, videos and self-assessment tests, plus a four-day on-site course to learn through case studies, network with other industry professionals and visit orchards and factories. The course is presented as a full package, however it is possible to only undertake the online part. To attend the on-site course, participants must do the online course first. The contents of the online course have been designed and created by top experts from the world’s most prestigious institutions and companies. The program consists of 10 units (50 hours), covering the main aspects involved in the nut and dried fruit sector. Topics include lessons on soil and climate, varieties and uses, nutrition facts, food safety and quality standards, production, consumption trends among other key subjects. See the entire program here.   Giving students a face-to-face experience, the four-day on-site course will take place May 18-22, 2019 in California, just before the INC World Congress. With more than 10 hours of preparatory tasks available, the on-site course gives students the opportunity to gain a first-hand look into different aspects of the industry as well as meeting with fellow peers. In addition to this all case studies are developed by professors from prestigious business schools and are entirely focused on the nut and dried fruit industry.   The INC Academia&#39;s Executive Program on Nuts and Dried Fruits allows students to learn the basics of the nut and dried fruit industry at their own pace, as well as providing them with great networking opportunities. The INC will provide a certificate of completion to those who complete and pass the online course (score of 60% or more after one single attempt) and a certificate of attendance to those who participate in the on-site course.   The INC Academia is the educational project of the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council.    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-inc-academia-launches-the-2nd-edition-of-the-executive-program-on-nuts-and-dried-fruitsNew Macadamia Technical Information Kit There are 6 sheets total, covering: 1) General information, 2) Tree products, 3) Forms, 4) Recommendations for processing, storage, packaging and transportation, 5) Quality requirements and food safety parameters, and 6) Standards and grades.  Download the Kit  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-macadamia-technical-information-kitUNECE Workshop, Agri-Food Supply Chains in Cross-Border Trade of Nuts and Dried FruitsThe program included different sessions and gave participants an overview of the quality and sustainability in international agriculture trade from the regulatory and the private sector perspectives, and prospects for Central Asia in terms of markets and developments of the commercial side. In addition, participants received intensive training in quality control and inspection.   Mr Pino Calcagni, INC Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Scientific and Government Affairs Committee, participated in two sessions. The first day, he gave a presentation about quality requirements and controls and the importance to meet retail specifications and standards for accessing the leading trade chains and niche markets. The second day, he spoke about markets and latest developments in nut and dried fruit industry. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/unece-workshop-agri-food-supply-chains-in-cross-border-trade-of-nuts-and-dried-fruitsAustralia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the residue of aminocyclopyrachlor in almonds at *0.05 ppm is inserted.   * indicates that the maximum residue limit is set at the limit of determination.   The variations entered into force on August 28, 2018.   Variations to Schedule 20 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-14Brazil: Microbiological Criteria on FoodsThe proposed revision provides for the technical regulation on microbiological standards for food.   The final date for comments was September 17, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-microbiological-criteria-on-foodsCanada: MRLs UpdateThe PMRL for afidopyropen in stone fruits (crop group 12-09) is set at 0.03 ppm. The final date for comments is November 13, 2018.   Consultation on Afidopyropen, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2018-41   The PMRL for picoxystrobin in peanuts is set at 0.06 ppm and in almonds at 0.03 ppm. The final date for comments is November 14, 2018.   Consultation on Picoxystrobin, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2018-42 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-28China: Additional TariffsOn September 24, 2018, China enforced additional 5% and 10% import tariffs on US products which have not been already impacted by China’s other impositions of additional duties. The lists of affected goods were previously published on August 3, 2018.   Among other commodities, peanuts (in-shell and shelled), roasted peanuts and peanut butter are included:   HS Code Article description MFN* Rate Additional duty New duty 12024100 Ground nuts in-shell, not for cultivation 15% 5% 20% 12024200 Ground nuts, shelled, whether or not broken 15% 10% 25% 20081110 Ground nut kernels, in airtight containers 5% 10% 15% 20081120 Roasted ground nuts 5% 5% 10% 20081130 Ground nut butter 5% 5% 10% *Most favored nations.   USDA GAIN Report. China Implements Supplemental Import Tariffs on US products https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-additional-tariffs-1China, Taiwan: MRLs UpdateAs previously announced, the maximum residue limits (MRL) for boscalid and chromafenozide in peanut at 0.1 ppm and 0.5 ppm, respectively, were adopted on September 12, 2018.   The following MRLs were also notified:   Benzovindiflupyr: peanut at 0.01 ppm and grape at 1.0 ppm. Chlorfenapyr: peanut at 0.1 ppm. Cyprodinil: grape at 3.0 ppm. Dinotefuran: grape at 1.5 ppm. Fluxapyroxad: grape and fig at 2.0 ppm. Methoxyfenozide: prune at 2.0 ppm. Sulfoxaflor: fig at 2.0 ppm.   The final date for comments is November 24, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-taiwan-mrls-update-10China: Customs and Quarantine DeclarationIn line with Chinese Government arrangement for organizational reform, this integration changes the original procedures and operation mode of companies. This new method integrates into a single form the two different declarations. It also reduces to one set the attached certificates and documents and integrates the two original declaration systems into one.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-customs-and-quarantine-declarationEFSA: Fenbuconazole, MRLs ReviewBased on the assessment of the available data, no apparent risk to consumers was identified, however some information required by the regulatory framework was missing. Hence, the consumer risk assessment is considered indicative only and some MRL proposals derived by EFSA still require further consideration by risk managers.   Among others, the following recommendations were derived: replace the existing MRL in almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts at 0.05* ppm by 0.01* ppm; in apricots at 1 ppm by 0.6 ppm; in plums at 0.5 ppm by 0.6 ppm; and in grapes at 1 ppm by 1.5 ppm.   *: Indicates that the MRL is set at the limit of quantification.   EFSA. Review of the existing maximum residue levels for fenbuconazole according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2018;16(8):5399. 51 pp.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-fenbuconazole-mrls-reviewEU: Plastic MaterialsThe proposed Regulation authorizes new substances, modifies the conditions of use of dimethyl carbonate, introduces a group migration limit for crotonic acid, and clarifies the types of migrants to be used in foods with a certain pH, among other amendments.   The deadline for comments is November 24, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-plastic-materials-1Germany: Mineral Oil HydrocarbonsThis toolbox offers a summary of background information and practical support in decision-making. It provides an overview on the currently known and potential routes of entry of mineral oil hydrocarbons with the aim of reducing preventable contamination as much as possible and identifying approaches to reduce the amount of mineral oil contaminants in food.   Toolbox for Preventing the Transfer of Undesired Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons into Food    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/germany-mineral-oil-hydrocarbonsIndia: Additional Tariffs DelayedOn September 17, 2018, the Government of India announced that the entry into force of the additional tariffs is postponed until November 2, 2018. These tariffs, initially dated August 4, 2018, were first postponed until September 18, 2018 (see previous post).   Notification No. 62/2018-Customs   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-additional-tariffs-delayed-1Japan: MRLs UpdateAs for nuts and dried fruits, the following MRL were proposed:   The MRL for tebufenpyrad in apricots is lowered from 2 ppm to 0.4 ppm and in cranberries and dates from 2 ppm to 0.01 ppm. The MRL for fluensulfone in cranberries is increased from 0.3 ppm to 0.5 ppm.   The deadline for comments was September 27, 2018.                                  USDA GAIN Report. Japan 216th Food Safety Group https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-mrls-update-17Korea, Republic of: Food ProductsThe document pursues the revision of the maximum residue limits for pesticides in agricultural products, as well as the establishment of limits for lead and cadmium and standards for Methomyl, Cyhalothrin, Cartap and Novaluron.   The deadline for comments is November 9, 2018.   In addition, Korea also notified the WTO of the amendment of the maximum residue limits of pesticides in agricultural products, as well as the establishment and revision of the MRLs of 118 pesticides including Deltamethrin.   The deadline for comments is November 11, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/korea-republic-of-food-productsKorea, Republic of: Food AdditivesThe provision about the application of pesticides Maximum Residue Limits for food additives is newly established. In addition, the specifications of Magnesium Silicate, Caffeine, Baking Powder and Mixed preparations are revised, and the standards for the use of Sodium Metabisulfite, Potassium Metabisulfite, Sulfur Dioxide, Sodium Bisulfite, Sodium Hydroxide Solution, L-Ascorbyl Palmitate, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Hydrosulfite and Propylene Glycol are also revised.   The final date for comments is November 2, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/korea-republic-of-food-additivesUSA-Korea: Free Trade AgreementAccording to the USDA, the amended KORUS represents a better deal for the agricultural sector and an important improvement in trade relations between the two nations.   On September 3, 2018, both countries released the text of agreed KORUS amendments including modifications to the US tariff schedule, renovated customs guidelines and customs verification procedures. KORUS entered into force in March 2012, and negotiations for its update started in July 2017.   USDA Secretary Statement on Signing of New Korus Trade Agreement https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-korea-free-trade-agreementUSA: Market Facilitation ProgramThe payment that MFP participants will receive is calculated based on the eligible production multiplied by the participant&#39;s share multiplied by the MFP payment rate. For shelled almonds, the rate that will be in effect beginning at the start of the application period is $0.03 per pound.   The initial payment rate will apply to the first 50% of the producer&#39;s total production. On or about December 3, 2018, the Commodity Credit Corporation may announce a second payment rate, if applicable, that will apply to the remaining 50% of the producer&#39;s production for the selected commodity. The 2018 production is used to calculate the MFP payment.   The application period is from September 24, 2018, to January 15, 2019.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 186. Tuesday, September 25, 2018, 2018. Pages 48410-48411 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-market-facilitation-programUSA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of afidopyropen in or on Fruit, stone, group 12-12 is established at 0.03 ppm and in nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.01 ppm.   The Regulation is effective since September 13, 2018. Objections and requests must be received on or before November 13, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 178. Thursday, September 13, 2018, 2018. Pages 46394-46401  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-28USA: Applications for New Uses for PesticidesThe active ingredients thymol and eugenol have been proposed for manufacturing or formulating of products to be used on grapes (table, wine, and raisin) and the active ingredients thymol, eugenol and geraniol have been proposed in grapes (table, wine, and raisin).   The deadline for comments is October 12, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 177. Wednesday, September 12, 2018. Pages 46159-46160    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-applications-for-new-uses-for-pesticides-7USA: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the petitions received were the following:   Amended tolerances: • Remove existing tolerances for fenpyroximate in nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.10 ppm and pistachio at 0.10 ppm. • Remove existing tolerances for the herbicide glufosinate-ammonium in tree nuts (Crop Group 14-12) at 0.50 ppm.   New tolerances: • Establish tolerances for fenpyroximate in nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.10 ppm.   The final date for comments is September 13, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 157. Tuesday, August 14, 2018. Pages 40272-40273.     https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-pesticide-petitions-18Australia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateThis proposal aims to align certain maximum residue limits for various agricultural and veterinary chemicals, so that they are consistent with other national regulations relating to the safe and effective use of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.   Among others, the amendment inserts the residue of Cypermethrin in peanuts at T*0.05 ppm. In addition, it substitutes the residue of Chlorantraniliprole in almonds at 0.1 ppm.   * indicates that the maximum residue limit is set at the limit of determination. ‘T’ indicates that the maximum residue limit is a temporary maximum residue limit.   The final date for comments is September 10, 2018.   The amendment can be found here.   In addition, on August 23, 2018, the Food Standards (Proposal M1015 – Maximum Residue Limits (2017)) Variation entered into force.   As for nuts and dried fruits, the following MRL are established: acetochlor in peanuts at 0.2 ppm; isofetamidin in almonds at 0.01 ppm and in grape at 3 ppm; 2,4-DB in peanut at 0.2 ppm; acetamiprid in almonds at 0.1 ppm; aldicarb in peanut at 0.05 ppm; benzovindiflupyr in peanut at 0.01 ppm; buprofezin in almonds at 0.05 ppm; clothianidin in almonds at 0.01 ppm; cyhalothrin in almonds and peanut at 0.05 ppm; difenoconazole in almonds at 0.03 ppm and in stone fruits at 2.5 ppm; diflubenzuron in almonds at 0.2 ppm and in peanut at 0.1 ppm; dimethenamid-P in peanut at 0.01 ppm; dodine in almonds at 0.3 ppm and in peanut at 0.013 ppm; emamectin in almonds at 0.02 ppm; fenbuconazole in almonds at 0.05 ppm; fenpropathrin in peanut at 0.01 ppm; fenpyroximate in almonds at 0.1 ppm; fluazinam in peanut at 0.02 ppm; flumioxazin in cranberry at 0.07 ppm; ipconazole in peanut at 0.01 ppm; mesotrione in almonds at 0.01 ppm; metalaxyl in almonds at 0.5 ppm and in peanut at 0.2 ppm; metconazole in almonds at 0.04 ppm; permethrin in almonds at 0.05 ppm; phosphorous acid in grapes at 200 ppm; prothiofos in table grapes at 2 ppm; pyraflufen-ethyl in almonds at 0.1 ppm; pyriproxyfen in almonds at 0.02 ppm; spinetoram in peanut at 0.04 ppm; spirodiclofen in almonds at 0.1 ppm; spirotetramat in tree nuts [except almonds] at 0.5 ppm; tetraconazole in peanut at 0.03 ppm; thiophanate-methyl in almonds at 0.1 ppm; trichlorfon in macadamia nuts at 0.1 ppm; and trifluralin in almonds at 0.05 ppm.   The following MRL are deleted: amitraz in stone fruits; dithiocarbamates in macadamia nuts; fenarimol in grapes; fenbuconazole in stone fruits [except nectarine]; fenbutatin oxide in figs; fipronil in peanut and pecan; maldison in peanut; methidathion in date; methomyl in figs; prothiofos in grapes; and trichlorfon in tree nuts.   And the following MRL are substituted: cyprodinil in almonds by 0.02 ppm; fenitrothion in grapes by 1 ppm; metrafenone in grapes by 7 ppm; and pyriofenone in grapes by 1.5 ppm.   Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No. FSC 121 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-13Brazil: Pecan ImportsThe Normative Instruction approves the phytosanitary import requirements of pecans (Carya illinoinensis) (Category 2, Class 10), produced in Argentina.   There is no possibility of making comments.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-pecan-importsCanada: Electronic CertificationThe CFIA is launching electronic export certificates for food, animal and plant commodities. Through the transition period (beginning in 2018 and until 2020), certificates can be signed with either ink or electronic signature and can be viewed securely online. Current and revised versions of the certificates (and shipping marks) will remain in circulation during the transition period. This will allow industry time to adjust to the new way of doing business and to minimize any disruption to trade.   In addition, all bilaterally negotiated certificates remain unchanged. All negotiated export requirements for public or plant/animal health requirements and associated attestations for bilaterally negotiated certificates remain in place.   The deadline for comments is September 25, 2018.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-electronic-certificationCanada: MRLs UpdateThe PMRL for rimsulfuron in stone fruits (crop group 12-09) is set at 0.01 ppm.   The final date for comments is October 1, 2018.   Consultation on Rimsulfuron, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2018-25.   In addition, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has announced the adoption of the proposed maximum residue limits (PMRL) for pydiflumetofen.   The proposed maximum residue limits for pydiflumetofen in raisins is set at 2.0 ppm.   Health Canada Database https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-27Chile: Peanut ImportsThe phytosanitary requirements governing the importation of in-shell peanuts of any origin notified previously entered into force upon publication in the Official Journal on July 27, 2018.   The document sets the following phytosanitary requirements: the consignment should include an Official Phytosanitary Certificate from the origin country; the control treatment should be approved and indicated in the Official Phytosanitary Certificate (product, doses, exposure time, temperature and treatment date); the consignment should be free from soil and plant debris; the packaging must be suitable for quarantine treatments; the wood of the pallets shall comply with the Regulations; and the consignments should be inspected by qualified personnel.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/chile-peanut-importsEU: 2016 Pesticide Residues in Food ReportThis report provides an overview of the official control activities carried out in the European Union (EU) Member States, Iceland and Norway in 2016. It summarizes the results of the analysis of 84,657 samples for 791 pesticides. It concludes that the probability of European citizens being exposed to pesticide residue levels that could lead to negative health outcomes was low.   The 2016 European Union Report on Pesticide Residues in Food. EFSA Journal 2018;16(7):5348. 139 pp. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-2016-pesticide-residues-in-food-reportEFSA: Myclobutanil, MRLs ReviewBased on the assessment of the available data, no apparent risk to consumers was identified, however some information required by the regulatory framework was missing. Hence, the consumer risk assessment is considered indicative only and some MRL proposals derived by EFSA still require further consideration by risk managers.   Among others, the following recommendations were derived: replace the existing MRL in apricots at 0.3 ppm by 3 ppm; and in grapes at 1 ppm by 1.5 ppm.   EFSA. Review of the existing maximum residue levels for myclobutanil according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2018;16(8):5392. 71 pp. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-myclobutanil-mrls-reviewEFSA: Napropamide, MRLs ReviewBased on the assessment of the available data, no apparent risk to consumers was identified, however some information required by the regulatory framework was missing. Hence, the consumer risk assessment is considered indicative only and some MRL proposals derived by EFSA still require further consideration by risk managers.   Among others, the following recommendations were derived: replace the existing MRL in almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nut kernels, pistachios and walnuts at 0.05* ppm by 0.01* ppm; in apricots and plums at 0.1 ppm by 0.01* ppm; in cranberries at 0.1 ppm by 0.02 ppm; and in figs at 0.05* ppm by 0.05 ppm.   *: Indicates that the MRL is set at the limit of quantification.   EFSA. Review of the existing maximum residue levels for napropamide according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005. EFSA Journal 2018;16(8):5394. 16 pp.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-napropamide-mrls-reviewEFSA: Mandestrobin, Import TolerancesThe data submitted in support of the request were found to be sufficient to derive maximum residue level (MRL) proposals concluding that the long-term intake of residues resulting from the use of mandestrobin according to the reported agricultural practices is unlikely to present a risk to consumer health.   For grapes, the following recommendation was derived: replace the existing MRL at 0.01* ppm by 5.0 ppm. *: Indicates that the MRL is set at the limit of analytical quantification (LOQ).   EFSA. Setting of import tolerances for mandestrobin in strawberries and table and wine grapes. EFSA Journal 2018;16(8):5395. 22 pp.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/efsa-mandestrobin-import-tolerancesEU: Updated Blocking StatuteThe process of updating the Blocking Statute was launched by the Commission on June 6, 2018, when it added to its scope the extraterritorial sanctions the US is re-imposing on Iran. A two-month scrutiny period for the European Parliament and the Council followed. Since neither objected, the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/1100 of 6 June 2018 was published in the Official Journal and entered into force on August 7, 2018.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-updated-blocking-statuteIndia: MLs for Aflatoxins, DraftThe draft details the limits of metal contaminants, aflatoxins and mycotoxins in foods. As for nuts and dried fruits, the draft sets the following maximum limits: The ML for total aflatoxins in nuts for further processing and ready to eat is 15 ppb. The ML for total aflatoxins in dried figs is 10 ppb. The ML for aflatoxin B1 in nuts for further processing and ready to eat is 10 ppb. The ML for aflatoxin B1 in dried figs is 10 ppb.   The final date for comments is October 2, 2018.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-mls-for-aflatoxins-draftIndia: Additional Tariffs DelayedOn June 20, 2018, the Government of India announced an increase of tariffs on 29 goods, including almonds and walnuts, to be effective on August 4, 2018. However, as published in the Notification No. 56/2018-Customs, it was postponed until September 18, 2018.   The duty hike was announced in response to US President Donald Trump decision on March 9, 2018, to impose extra tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.   Notification No. 56/2018-Customs https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-additional-tariffs-delayedJapan: Pesticide Registration SystemThe following changes are to be introduced in 2018 (scope of notification): All pesticides registered have to be periodically re-evaluated (every 15 years, being announced about 2 years before the deadline for application). The data requirements for re-evaluation and new registration are the same. The GAP may be changed or the registration is revoked based on the re-evaluation. Specifications for technical grade active ingredients shall be established at the time of first registration and re-evaluation.   The following changes are to be introduced in 2020 (under consideration and to be notified): Introduction of the risk evaluation on pesticide operators. Addition of terrestrial animals and plants as target species.   The deadline for comments is September 30, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-pesticide-registration-systemJapan: MRLs UpdateAs for nuts and dried fruits, the document proposes changes to the following maximum residue levels (MRL):   The MRL for gibberellin in apricot, cranberry, date, pecan, almond, walnut and other nuts is lowered from 0.2 ppm to 0.01 ppm. The MRL for heptachlor in almond is lowered from 10 ppm to 0.01 ppm. The MRL for fluvalinate in apricot is lowered from 0.1 ppm to 0.01 ppm. The MRL for teflubenzuron in apricot is lowered from 0.3 ppm to 0.01 ppm. The MRL for 2,4-D in peanuts and date is lowered from 0.05 ppm to 0.01 ppm and in apricot from 5 ppm to 0.05 ppm. The MRL for chlorfluazuron in peanuts is lowered from 1.0 ppm to 0.01 ppm and in apricot, cranberry, date, pecan, almond, walnut and other nuts is lowered from 2.0 ppm to 0.01 ppm. The MRL for chlormequat in peanuts is lowered from 1.0 ppm to 0.01 ppm, in apricot and cranberry is lowered from 0.05 ppm to 0.01 ppm, in date is lowered from 2 ppm to 0.01 ppm, and in pecan, almond, walnut and other nuts is lowered from 0.1 ppm to 0.01 ppm..   The deadline for comments is September 28, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-mrls-update-16Japan: Packaging MaterialsFollowing a survey of domestic Japanese industry members, a provisional list of substances for inclusion in the new positive list has been compiled. To ensure that the new positive list contains substances in current use, MHLW will survey foreign industry. If a material is not included, the industry will have the opportunity to submit a survey response including the name of the substance and references to support its approval.   USDA GAIN Report. Japan to Create Food Packaging Materials Positive List https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/japan-packaging-materialsNew Zealand: Brown Marmorated Stink BugThe Emergency Measures manage the biosecurity risk of containerized cargo and containers arriving to New Zealand from Italy during the BMSB aggregating season (September 1 until April 30) until 30 April 2020. These require all sea containers from Italy, excluding those containing vehicles, machinery and equipment, to be treated for BMSB, either offshore or at the port in New Zealand. Vehicles, machinery and equipment are excluded because these commodities must already be treated offshore.   These Emergency Measures entered into force on September 1, 2018.    For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-zealand-brown-marmorated-stink-bug-2Peru: Almond Tree Cuttings from SpainThe public consultation is open until September 23, 2018.   More information (in Spanish)      https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/peru-almond-tree-cuttings-from-spainRussia: Import Ban Extended On August 6, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a one-year ban on imports on many agricultural products from United States, Canada, European Union, Australia and Norway. It is the response of the implementation of economic sanctions against Russia due to the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and intervention in Ukraine. The list of affected products includes fruits and nuts, vegetables, milk and dairy products among others.   This one-year ban has been extended every year since 2015. Its last extension was signed on July 12, 2018, until the end of 2019.    USDA GAIN Report. Russia Extended Food Import Ban through End 2019 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/russia-import-ban-extendedUSA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of picoxystrobin in or on nut, tree, group 14-12 is established at 0.08 ppm and peanut at 0.05 ppm.   The Regulation is effective since August 10, 2018. Objections and requests must be received on or before October 9, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 155. Friday, August 10, 2018. Pages 39605-39610 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-27China International Tree Nuts ConferenceIn his speech at the opening ceremony, Mr. Pino Calcagni, INC Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Scientific and Government Affairs Committee and the Statistics Committee, presented a global statistical review of the tree nut industry, highlighting production, trade and consumption, and the state of affairs of international trade following the announcement of steel and aluminium tariffs by the US.    More information http://en.meeting.chinatreenuts.org/ https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-international-tree-nuts-conference-4China, Subjective Walnut Crop EstimateShort crops were reported from Hebei, Henan, Gansu, Shaanxi and Shanxi due to widespread frost/snow, down 30% in Hebei, 50% in Henan, Gansu and Shaanxi, and 70% in Shanxi. The good news came from two top origins, Xinjiang and Yunnan, which expect above average crops, and accounting for over 60% of the total crop.   A larger than normal carry over and inactive demand worldwide have resulted in market declining at the end of the season. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-subjective-walnut-crop-estimateWorld-First Scientific Research Project Commences for Global Macadamia IndustryKey macadamia-producing countries Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Brazil and Malawi have made a substantial financial investment into the research, and the project has been supported by the International Nut & Dried Fruit Council (INC) and INC World Forum. The global macadamia health research project will be a large scale, randomized cross-over intervention study directed by acclaimed researcher Professor Joan Sabaté from Loma Linda University Medical Centre (USA). It is the first of its kind in the macadamia industry, and the first time that multiple origins have contributed to such a project. It is considered critical to the industry’s ability to continue to market macadamias as a premium product. The Australian macadamia industry’s market development manager Lynne Ziehlke said there is considerable research that shows eating tree nuts regularly can protect against coronary heart disease, decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes and help with weight management, as well as more than 200 research papers on the nutritional benefits of almonds and walnuts. “Macadamias, like other tree nuts, have a potential cardio-protective role to play in a healthy, balanced diet and are a significant source of nutrients,” said Ms. Ziehlke. “To date, the macadamia industry has not undertaken any clinical research of this magnitude, so today’s announcement represents a significant milestone. “As well as providing strong evidence to support the role of macadamias in a healthy diet, the research is expected to provide many new opportunities for the product and drive further new investment in research,” said Ms. Ziehlke. The Southern African Macadamia Growers’ Association’s Barry Christie said that consumers are increasingly aware of the healthiness of nuts, which has helped to drive tree nut consumption by more than 75 per cent over the last ten years. “We anticipate the outcomes of this research will help the global macadamia industry to capitalise even further on this trend, by guiding the development of more powerful messaging about the health benefits of macadamias to consumers, health professionals and regulators,” said Mr. Christie. “It’s a very exciting development for our global industry, and we are delighted to be working together on a project that will benefit all macadamia producing regions.” The study will compare the effect of a diet enriched in macadamias versus a control diet on insulin resistance and insulin secretion in individuals with insulin resistance. It will assess the effect of macadamia nut consumption on lipid profile (total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides) and other emergent risk factors of cardiovascular disease as well as on central obesity and body composition. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/world-first-scientific-research-project-commences-for-global-macadamia-industryCanada: MRLs UpdateThe PMRL for flubendiamide in peanuts is set at 0.02 ppm. The final date for comments is September 25, 2018.   The PMRL for trifloxystrobin in stone fruits (crop group 12-09) is set at 2.0 ppm. The final date for comments is September 30, 2018.   The PMRL for quinclorac in Low growing berries, except strawberries (crop subgroup 13-07H) is set at 1.5 ppm. The final date for comments is September 30, 2018.   Consultation on Flubendiamide, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2018-22.   Consultation on Trifloxystrobin, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2018-23.   Consultation on Quinclorac, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2018-24. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-26China: Additional Tariffs The Government of China imposed an additional tariff on tree nuts and dried fruits of 25%.   HS Code Description MFN* Rate Additional duties, effective from April 2, 2018 Additional duties, effective from July 6, 2018 New duty     0801 21 00 Brazil nuts, in shell 7% 15% 25% 47%   0801 22 00 Brazil nuts, shelled 7% 15% 25% 47%   0801 31 00 Cashew nuts, in shell 7% 15% 25% 47%   0801 32 00 Cashew nuts, shelled 7% 15% 25% 47%   0802 11 00 Almonds, in shell 10% 15% 25% 50%   0802 12 00 Almonds, shelled 10% 15% 25% 50%   0802 21 00 Hazelnuts, in shell 25% 15% 25% 65%   0802 22 00 Hazelnuts, shelled 10% 15% 25% 50%   0802 31 00 Walnuts, in shell 25% 15% 25% 65%   0802 32 00 Walnuts, shelled 20% 15% 25% 60%   0802 51 00 Pistachios, in shell 5% 15% 25% 45%   0802 52 00 Pistachios, shelled 5% 15% 25% 45%   0802 61 00 Macadamias, in shell 12% 15% 25% 52%   0802 62 00 Macadamias, shelled 12% 15% 25% 52%   0802 90 30 Pine nuts, shelled 25% 15% 25% 65%   0802 90 85 Other nuts, fresh or dried 7% 15% 25% 47%   0804 10 00 Dates 15% 15% 25% 55%   0804 20 00 Figs, fresh or dried 30% 15% 25% 70%   0806 20 00 Grapes, dried 10% 15% 25% 50%   0813 10 00 Apricots, dried 25% 15% 25% 65%   0813 20 00 Prunes 25% 15% 25% 65%   *Most favored nations.   USDA GAIN Report. China Enacts Tariffs in Response to U.S. 301 Tariffs   USDA GAIN Report. China Responds to U.S. 301 Announcement with Revised Product Listhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-additional-tariffsEU-Japan: Trade AgreementThe agreement is a highly ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement, which will create new opportunities for EU agricultural exports, removing the existing Japanese tariffs on many agricultural products. It is estimated that around 85% of EU agri-food products will be allowed to enter Japan entirely duty-free.   Once approved by the Council, the agreement will be sent to the European Parliament, aiming for the entry into force before the end of the current mandate of the European Commission in 2019.   Since March 2013, trade negotiations between Japan and the EU had been conducted. At the EU-Japan Summit of July 6, 2017, both parties reached agreement on the main elements of a free trade deal, known as economic partnership agreement (EPA).   Both parties also signed a strategic partnership agreement (SPA), which is the first-ever framework agreement between the EU and Japan. Its main purpose is to constitute the basis for a deep and long-lasting cooperation between EU and Japan as strategic partners.   More information https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-japan-trade-agreementEU: MRLs UpdateThe Regulation 2018/960 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits:   Lambda-cyhalothrin: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, dates, figs; 0.15 ppm in apricots, 0.2 ppm in plums, cranberries and peanuts; and 0.08 ppm in table grapes.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   The Regulation shall apply from January 26, 2019.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/960 of 5 July 2018https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-24EU: IprodioneAs for nuts and dried fruits, the drafts set the following MRLs: The MRL in almonds is lowered from 0.2 ppm to 0.01* ppm. The MRL in apricots is lowered from 6 ppm to 0.01* ppm. The MRL in plums is lowered from 3 ppm to 0.01* ppm. The MRL in grapes and cranberries is lowered from 20 ppm to 0.01* ppm.  *Indicates lower limit of determination.   The Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication and it shall apply 6 months after entry into force. Therefore, there is no transition period included in the draft Regulation and all products will have to comply with the new MRLs after the application date.   The deadline for comments is September 15, 2018. It is expected that the regulation will be published in February 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-iprodione-2EU: MRLs Update, Draft Commission RegulationsAs for nuts and dried fruits, the draft sets the following MRLs: The MRL for linuron is lowered from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs; and from 0.1* ppm to 0.01* ppm in peanuts. The final date for comments is September 11, 2018. The proposed date of adoption is February 2019.   In addition, other draft sets the following MRLs: The MRL for buprofezin is lowered from 0.7 ppm to 0.01* ppm in almonds; from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts (except almonds), cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts; from 0.2 ppm to 0.01* ppm in apricots; from 2 ppm to 0.01* ppm in plums; and from 1 ppm to 0.01* ppm in grapes. The MRL for diflubenzuron is lowered from 0.1 ppm to 0.01* ppm in almonds; from 1 ppm to 0.01* in pine nut kernels, apricots, plums and grapes; from 0.05* ppm to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts (except almonds and pine nut kernels), dates, figs and peanuts; and from 2 ppm to 0.01* ppm in cranberries. The MRL for ioxynil is lowered from 0.02* ppm to 0.01* ppm in tree nuts and peanuts. The final date for comments is September 17, 2018. The proposed date of adoption is September 2018.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-draft-commission-regulations-9EU: Withdrawal of PesticidesThese draft Commission Implementing Regulations provide that the approval of the active substance quinoxyfen and etoxazole are not renewed and, therefore, existing authorized plant protection products containing quinoxyfen and etoxazole will be withdrawn from the market.   These decisions do not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the concerned pesticides. However, following non-approval, separate action may be taken on MRLs.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-withdrawal-of-pesticidesEU: AcrylamideAs there are insufficient data available on the presence of acrylamide in certain foods within and outside the scope of the Regulation (EU) 2017/2158, the draft Recommendation recommends that competent authorities and food business operators monitor the presence of acrylamide in foods.   Summary Report of the Standing Committee https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-acrylamide-2EU: Mineral Oil HydrocarbonsMember States agreed on the extension of the submission deadline until October 1, 2019, instead of February 28, 2019, as it was foreseen in the Commission Recommendation (EU) 2017/84. Although several Member States were in favor of an extension of the deadline until 2020, the Commission proposed to collect data by October 1, 2019, and to assess at that stage whether a further data collection is needed.   Summary Report of the Standing Committee https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mineral-oil-hydrocarbons-1Korea: Standards and Specifications for FoodsThe proposed amendments seek to establish and revise the MRLs of 54 pesticides (including Tetraniliprole and Glufosinate), to revise MRLs of 11 veterinary drugs (including Aminopyrine) and to establish General Test Methods for newly established pesticide (Tetraniliprole).   The final date for comments is September 18, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/korea-standards-and-specifications-for-foodsSaudi Arabia: DatesThis draft technical regulation concerns fresh dates, washed, rehydrated, dried, covered or pasteurized dates of different types of date palm that are suitable for human consumption. It does not apply to dates for industrial processing.   The final date for comments is September 7, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/saudi-arabia-datesUSA: Applications for New Uses for PesticidesThe active ingredient sulfoxaflor has been proposed in Fruit, stone, group 12-12 and Nut, tree, group 14-12; the active ingredient cyclaniliprole has been proposed in berry & small fruit (crop subgroups 13-07A, 13-07B, 13-07E, except grape, 13-07G); and the active ingredient cyclaniliprole has been proposed in non-bearing fruit and nut trees.   The deadline for comments is August 20, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 139. Thursday, July 19, 2018. Pages 34131-3132 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-applications-for-new-uses-for-pesticides-6 USA: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the petitions received were the following:   Establish new tolerances for the fungicide penthiopyrad in Fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 4.0 ppm and Nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.06 ppm. Establish new tolerances for emamectin in nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.02 ppm. Establish new tolerances for the fungicide tebuconazole in Fruit, stone, group 12-12, except cherry at 1.0 ppm and Nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.05 ppm. Establish new tolerances for the insecticide cylaniliprole berry & small fruit (crop subgroup 13-07A, 13-07B, 13-07E except grape, and 13-07G) at 1.5 ppm. Establish new tolerances for the herbicide pronamide in Fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 0.1 ppm. Establish new tolerances for buprofezin in Fig at 0.70 ppm; Fruit, stone, group 12-12, except apricot and peach at 2.0 ppm; and Nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.05 ppm. Establish new tolerances for sulfoxaflor in Fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 3.0 ppm and Nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.015 ppm.   The final date for comments is August 23, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 142. Friday, July 24, 2018. Pages 34968-34974 https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-pesticide-petitions-1730th International Horticultural CongressIHC2018 is intended to provide a platform for scientists, technicians, students, consultants, engineers, extension agents, growers, industry, trade and consumer organizations, policy makers and other professionals having an interest in horticulture.   The program includes symposia and colloquia about innovation, best practices, future technologies in horticulture, plant genetic resources, micropropagation and in vitro techniques, applied functional molecular biology, plant breeding, quality and safety of horticultural products, organic horticulture, horticultural economics and management, among many others topics. Additionally, there will be workshops, ad hoc training sessions and technical tours.   There is a symposium on “Nuts and Mediterranean Climate Fruits: Advances in Breeding and New Strategies of Horticultural Management for Sustainable Production” with Prof. Tiziano Caruso (University of Palermo, Italy), Prof. Dr. Moshe Flaishman (ARO, The Volcani Center, Israel), Dr. Louise Ferguson (University of Davis, California, USA), and PhD student Deniz Sanal (Alata Horticultural Research Institute, Mersin, Turkey).   More information https://ihc2018.org/en/default.asp https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/as-part-of-the-wider-campaign-nuts-for-giftsUN Symposium, Nuts and Dried Fruit for a Sustainable FutureAfter the opening words by Ms. Ivonne Higuero, Director of Economic Cooperation and Trade Division of the UNECE, Mr. Pino Calcagni, INC Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Scientific and Government Affairs Committee, gave a general overview of the trade and sustainable production of nuts and dried fruits. Next, the sustainable development of the dried fruit sector in Central Asia and the Fergana Valley was explained by Mr. Umed Aslanow, Hilfswerk Austria, Tajikistan. The next speaker, Mr. Neville Mchina, GreenerZim Ltd, Uganda, presented the case of a new dried mango initiative in Uganda as an example of sustainable production in developing countries. Last, Mr. Jeremiah Szabo, Safe Food Alliance, USA, commented different food safety approaches and sustainability.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/un-symposium-nuts-and-dried-fruit-for-a-sustainable-future65th Session of the UNECE Specialized Section on Standardization of Dry and Dried ProduceMember States reviewed the existing Standard for Prunes and the new standards for Dried Coconut Pieces, Dried Bananas, Dried Papaya and Dried Melons, and the Explanatory Poster for Inshell Pistachios. The Specialized Section also reported on the outcomes of the Sampling Plan Workshop held in May 2018, and discussed the possible development of a standard for dried berries. They also decided to develop posters for inshell walnuts and walnut kernels.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/65th-session-of-the-unece-specialized-section-on-standardization-of-dry-and-dried-produceCanada: Safe Food for Canadians RegulationsThe Safe Food for Canadians Regulations focus on prevention, faster removal of unsafe food, reducing unnecessary administrative burden, and help maintain and grow market access for Canada&#39;s agri-food and agricultural sector. The new regulatory framework incorporates existing commodity-based regulations into a single, more outcome-based regulation.   It shall enter into force on January 15, 2019.   Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: SOR/2018-108https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-safe-food-for-canadians-regulations-1EU: PropiconazoleThe draft provides that the approval of the active substance propiconazole is not renewed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009. This decision only concerns the placing on the market of this substance and does not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the pesticide. However separate actions may be taken on the MRLs.   The MRL of propiconazole is currently set at 0.15 ppm in apricots and 0.3 ppm in grapes and cranberries.   The final date for comments is August 12, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-propiconazoleEU: MRLs UpdateAs for nuts and dried fruits, the drafts set the following MRLs: The MRL for bromuconazole is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. The MRL for carboxin is set at 0.03* ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, and figs; and at 0.05* ppm in peanuts. The MRL for fenbutatin oxide is set at 0.02* ppm in tree nuts and peanuts; and at 0.01* ppm in apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs. The MRL for pyridaben is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanut; and 0.3 ppm in apricots.    *Indicates lower limit of determination.   The final date for comments is August 19, 2018. The proposed date of adoption is January 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-23EU: Testing of Food ProductsThe EU harmonized testing methodology builds on general principles to ensure transparency, comparability, inclusiveness, and fairness vis-à-vis all food chain stakeholders, including consumers. The methodology tackles the issue of perceived quality differences of products offered under the same brand and packaging in several EU Member States.   The correct implementation of this harmonized framework will provide the required evidence for consumer protection authorities to decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether the provisions of the Unfair Commercial Practice Directive (Directive 2005/29/EC) or relevant food laws are or have been infringed.   More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-testing-of-food-productsEU: Changes on Border ControlsAs previously announced, dried vine fruit from Iran (currently with a control frequency of 5% for Ochratoxin A) was delisted from Regulation 669/2009.   In addition, the following is added in Article 3, last sentence of point (b) of the Regulation 669/2009: "in the case of consignments entering the Union by sea or by air transport from a third country, which are unloaded for the purposes of being loaded on respectively another vessel or aircraft in the same port or airport for onward travel to another port or airport in one of the territories referred to in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 882/2004, the designated point of entry shall be the latter port or airport."   The Regulation entered into force on July 6, 2018.   Commission Implementing Regulation 2018/941 of 2 July 2018https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-changes-on-border-controls-4EU: IprodioneDuring the meeting, a Member State mentioned that dried products such as raisins with a long shelf-life would need to be looked at in more detail as their consumption would be very low. The Commission stated that this specific issue would be examined, but it was not ready to set an unwanted precedent for any possible processed product. Member States were invited to submit comments before July 13, 2018.   It should be recalled that in a Technical Report published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), acute health risks were identified for the MRLs of certain commodities (grapes, apricots and plums, among others), and these MRLs were withdrawn from the scope of the transition measure.   Summary Report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-iprodione-1Kenya: Cashew StandardsThese Northern Corridor Standards specify requirements and methods of sampling and test for kernels obtained from cashew nuts (Anacardium occidentale) and the requirements for roasted cashew kernels.   The final date for comment is July 28, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/kenya-cashew-standardsKenya: Dried Fruit StandardThis Kenya Standard specifies requirements and methods of test and sampling for dried fruits.   The final date for comment is July 28, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/kenya-dried-fruit-standardPeru: Cranberry in Vitro Plants from MexicoThe Resolution entered into force on June 18, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/peru-cranberry-in-vitro-plants-from-mexicoUAE: Export Health CertificatesThe new system is intended to enable owners of food companies and investors to print the export health certificates electronically from the Dubai Municipality website. In addition, the validation of the health certificate can be checked by QR code or by entering the document number through the website https://login.dm.gov.ae/wps/portal/home_ar.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/uae-export-health-certificatesUganda: Nut Spread SpecificationThe Draft Standard specifies requirements and methods of sampling and testing of vegetable and nut spread for human consumption.   The deadline for comments is August 12, 2018. The proposed date of adoption is December 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/uganda-nut-spread-specificationUSA: Almond Kernel WeightThis final rule implements a recommendation from the Almond Board of California (ABC) to revise the adjusted kernel weight computation. Furthermore, the calculated percentages for foreign material, excess moisture or inedible kernels are also adjusted.   The rule requires calculation of the percentages for specified measurements to round the decimal to the nearest thousandth rather than the current hundredth. In addition, this action allows adjustments to the calculated percentages for foreign material, excess moisture, or inedible kernels so that the sum of the percentages for the specified measurements equals 100 percent. Adjustments shall be made as follows: First adjust the foreign material percentage; if there is no foreign material in the sample, then adjust the excess moisture percentage; or if there is no foreign material or excess moisture in the sample, adjust the inedible kernels percentage.   The rule is effective from July 20, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 119. Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Pages 28523-28526https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-almond-kernel-weightINC at New York's Summer Fancy Food Show The participation of the INC at Summer Fancy Food Show was a great opportunity to provide valuable information about nuts and dried fruits, promote the INC and meet with members, sponsors, and advertisers, while expanding business contacts and potential new members and sponsors. A total of nine companies have already applied for membership during the event.    INC’s booth was equipped with a welcome desk to promote its main projects and activities by displaying a variety of materials. In addition, INC added a corner promoting Nuts for a Healthier World project, which included a touch screen TV showing the main “Nuts for a Healthier World” video and also two of the 16 individual videos promoting the following products: macadamia and dried cranberry. The screen also showed a map for each product where nutritional information and the main producing countries for each nut and dried fruit were specified.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-at-new-york-s-summer-fancy-food-showThe INC Pavilion to be at Gulfood 2019Information on how to book space at Gulfood’s INC Pavilion can be checked on the following link: https://www.nutfruit.org/industry/inc-pavilion/detail/gulfood-dubai. A total of 20 firms showcased their products in a 108-square-meter pavilion in the past edition. The Pavilion will be again at Hall 2 - Pulses/Grain & Cereals, which guarantees high visitor-traffic.   Gulfood was first launched as a biennal trade fair more than three decades ago and has significantly grown to reach over 120 countries embracing 5,000 local, regional and international exhibitors to showcase food trends and innovations. Around 95,000 visitors visit the trade show’s eight food sectors every year.   A sponsored ‘Happy Cocktail’ will also be organized again at the INC Pavilion. The social event is a unique opportunity for attendees to do business and network in a more informal atmosphere at the end of the working day.   Sponsorship Opportunities for Gulfood 2019 INC offers its members an exclusive platform to enhance their brand and promote their products/services in front of specific and well-targeted audiences. Two levels of sponsorship opportunities are available for INC members: €4,000 - Cocktail Sponsor: The cocktail is the meeting point for the entire industry. Sponsoring companies gain an excellent opportunity to promote their brands among business leaders. This sponsorship opportunity includes: Sign at the Pavilion’s entrance while the cocktail is being held. Corporate handouts to be placed at the INC welcome desk. Company logo published on INC publications (mention in the Nutfruit magazine, listing on INC website, newsletter and post Pavilion video), Pavilion’s main-front banner and TV screens placed at the hospitality area. €2,000 - Special Sponsor: The INC Nuts and Dried Fruits Pavilion receives heavy traffic of visitors due to its excellent location within GulFood’s floor plan. This sponsorship opportunity includes: Corporate handouts to be placed at the INC welcome desk and meeting rooms. Company logo published on INC publications (mention in the Nutfruit magazine, listing on INC website, newsletter and post Pavilion video), Pavilion’s main-front banner and TV screens placed at the hospitality area. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-inc-pavilion-to-be-at-gulfood-2019Overwhelming Support for Dried Fruit Workshop InitiativeTitled ‘Dried Fruit and Public Health: What does the evidence tell us?’ the workshop reviewed and challenged the existing research evidence regarding dried fruit and helped to inform attendees further of the nutritional and health claims associated with the consumption of dried fruits. Delegates who included independent dietitians and nutritionists and those working for leading brands in the food industry sector, listened to presentations from seven eminent guest speakers who each presented their respective area of research:   Sigrid Gibson, MA, MSc, RNutr, Director of Sig-Nurture: Composition and classification of dried fruit and contribution to intakes of fibres and sugars. Professor Kevin Whelan, Professor of Dietetics and Head of Department of Nutritional Sciences, King’s College, London: Dried fruit and digestive health. Professor Graham Finlayson, Chair in Psychobiology, School of Psychology, University of Leeds: Dried fruit and appetite -the psychology of snacking in relation to obesity. Professor Gary Williamson, Professor and Chair at the School of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Leeds: Antioxidants and phytonutrients in dried fruit and their potential to contribute to public health. Dr Michele Sadler, Director, Rank Nutrition: Dried fruit and dental health -what is the evidence? Dr Nigel Carter OBE, BDS, LDS (RCS), CEO Oral Health Foundation and Chair of the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe: What should dental health advice be for snacking? Dr Marie Ann Ha, Senior lecturer, Faculty of Medical Science, Anglia Ruskin University and Director of East Anglia Food Link: Consistency of public health advice for fruit and dried fruit.   A round table discussion followed the presentations, chaired by Professor Julie Lovegrove, Director of the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition, Deputy Director of the Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, University of Reading and this elicited a number of challenging questions for current public health advice. The workshop identified clear consumer and health care professional confusion regarding the types of dried fruit and the need to differentiate between them, representing a critical issue to address as part of the drive to reduce sugar intakes. Traditional dried fruits, by definition have no free or added sugars. They are typically dried and sold with little or no processing, whereas processed fruit snacks generally have added sugars. The workshop made a clear distinction between the two and addressed the key differences.   The workshop also acknowledged the valuable role that traditional dried fruit can play as an additional contribution towards the advocated 5-a-day recommendations, offering a convenient form of fruit that is high in fibre and nutrient-dense. Processed dried fruit snacks, with added sugars were concluded to be better considered as an alternative to confectionery. Another takeaway from the workshop was the surprising lack of high quality research evidence to support the negative perception of dried fruits in relation to dental health and that the undue emphasis placed on public health messaging in this area needs urgent attention.    Summing up the initiative, Simon Melik, Chairman of the NDFTA, who also spoke at the workshop, said, “We are delighted with the enthusiastic response from delegates who attended the workshop and the positive feedback that we have received regarding the event’s ability to provide a plethora of unbiased and highly credible information. We will also be working to identify important research requirements that will improve our understanding of how traditional dried fruits can make a positive contribution to public health.”   Note to editors: Traditional dried fruits include raisins, prunes, apricots, dates, figs, currants, sultanas, apples, pears and peaches.   FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Allen/Carla Wessel Blueberry Communications Tel 01227 700 175 / M 07970252566 E lisa.allen@blueberrycommunications.co.uk E carlaw@blueberrycommunications.co.ukhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/overwhelming-support-for-dried-fruit-workshop-initiativeUSA: CranberriesThis rule establishes the proportion of cranberries from the 2017-18 crop that may be handled at 85 percent free and 15 percent restricted. This action also allows for the disposal of 2017-18 processed cranberry products to meet up to 50 percent of a handler&#39;s restriction. It also establishes a minimum quantity exemption, exempts handlers with no carryout inventory, exempts organically grown cranberries, and defines outlets for restricted fruit.   The rule is effective since May 4, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 65. Wednesday, April 4, 2018. Pages 14350-14357https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-cranberriesUSA: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the petition received was the following:   Establishing new tolerances for the fungicide mefentrifluconazole in raisins at 4 ppm; peanut at 0.01 ppm; and the tree nut crop group 14-12 at 0.06 ppm.   The final date for comments is June 20, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 97. Friday, May 18, 2018. Pages 23247-23250https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-pesticide-petitions-16USA: Applications for New Uses for PesticidesThe active ingredients mefentrifluconazole, pyraclostrobin, and fluxapyroxad (fungicides) have been proposed in peanut, stone fruits and tree nuts.   The deadline for comments was June 18, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 96. Thursday, May 17, 2018. Pages 22972-22974   In addition, the insecticide emamectin benzoate has been proposed in the tree nut group 14-12; the herbicide pronamide (propyzamide) in Cranberry and Low Growing Berries in Crop Subgroup 13-07H; and the insecticide buprofezin in Fig, Fruit, stone, group 12-12 and the tree nut group 14-12.   The deadline for comments is July 5, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 107. Monday, June 4, 2018. Pages 25664-25665  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-applications-for-new-uses-for-pesticides-5USA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of clopyralid in or on berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G is established at 4.0 ppm and in or on fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 0.50 ppm. The Regulation is effective since May 23, 2018; objections and requests must be received on or before July 23, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 100. Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Pages 23819-23825   Among others, the tolerance of pydiflumetofen in or on raisins is established at 2.0 ppm and in or on peanut at 0.02 ppm. The Regulation is effective since May 24, 2018; objections and requests must be received on or before July 23, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 101. Thursday, May 24, 2018. Pages 24036-24044https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-26Ukraine: Import ProceduresThis document explains the mechanism for the implementation of state control in countries that are planning to import products, food of non-animal origin or feed of non-animal origin to the customs territory of Ukraine, in order to verify conformity (equivalence) the system of state control of the exporting country to the legislation of Ukraine.   The final date for comments is July 29, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/ukraine-import-proceduresNigeria: LabelingThese Regulations shall apply to the labeling of pre-packaged foods to be offered as such to consumers. It covers the name of the food, pre-packaged food to bear certain information, list of ingredients, education and training, processing aids and carry-over of food additives, ionizing radiation.   The deadline for comments is July 13, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nigeria-labelingNigeria: Good Manufacturing PracticesThese regulations prescribe the minimum current good manufacturing practice requirements for manufacturing, processing, packaging or holding of a food or food product for human and animal use, to ensure products meet the requirements of safety, quality, wholesomeness and suitability for consumption.   The deadline for comments is July 13, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nigeria-good-manufacturing-practicesNigeria: Nutrition and Health ClaimsThese regulations prescribe the criteria to be used in relation to the use of nutrition, health and other claims on food labels in order to ensure a high level of consumer protection.   The deadline for comments is July 13, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nigeria-nutrition-and-health-claimsNigeria: Food Safety and HygieneThe Act seeks to protect the health of consumers from hazards; to establish the general principles of official controls and the requirements business operators; and to define the functions and powers of institutions of Federal and State Governments. The objective is to ensure that food and feed safety risks are effectively managed.   The Ministry also notified WTO of the Draft Food Hygiene Regulation 2017. This regulation shall apply to all establishments dealing with the preparation, processing, packaging, transportation, distribution, manufacturing, handling, storage or sale of food.   The deadline for comments is July 13, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nigeria-food-safety-and-hygieneSouth Korea: Standards and Specifications for FoodsAmong others, the amendment establishes and revises MRLs of 75 pesticides (including Deltamethrin) for import tolerance and revises the Addendum of Standards and Specifications for Foods (MFDS Notice) No. 2017-102.   The deadline for comments is August 10, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/south-korea-standards-and-specifications-for-foods-6India: TariffsAmong other products, the list covers almonds and walnuts:   HS Code Article description Additional duty 080211 Almonds fresh or dried in shell 10 080212 Shelled almonds fresh or dried 20 080231 Walnuts fresh or dried in shell 100 080232 Shelled Walnuts fresh or dried 100   The INC is sending positon letters to the Governments of India and the USA expressing concern about the possible market disruptions.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-tariffsEU: Plastic Materials  This Regulation authorizes two new substances, extends the authorized use of a previously authorized substance, and decreases the specific migration limits for a previously authorized substance on the basis of new evidence, for materials intended to be in contact with foods.   The regulation shall enter into force on June 26, 2018. However, plastic materials and articles complying with Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 as applicable before the entry into force of this Regulation, may be placed on the market until 26 June 2019 and may remain on the market until exhaustion of stocks.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/831 of 5 June 2018https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-plastic-materialsEU: Country of Origin LabelingThe regulation establishes how to give the country of origin or the place of provenance of a primary ingredient which is not the same as the given country of origin or the given place of provenance of the food   The Regulation entered into force on June 2, 2018, and shall apply from April 1, 2020.   Foods placed on the market or labeled prior to the date of application of this Regulation may be marketed until the stocks are exhausted.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/775 of 28 May 2018https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-country-of-origin-labelingEU: Changes on Border ControlsRegarding nuts and dried fruits, dried vine fruit from Iran (currently with a control frequency of 5% for Ochratoxin A) will be delisted from Regulation 669/2009 and will no longer be subject to increased controls.   In addition, "in the case of consignments entering the Union by sea or by air transport from a third country, which are unloaded for the purposes of being loaded on respectively another vessel or aircraft in the same port or airport for onward travel to another port or airport in one of the territories referred to in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 882/2004, the designated point of entry shall be the latter port or airport."   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-changes-on-border-controls-3EU: New Organic RegulationThe Regulation proposal will amend the current rules covering organic production and labeling. This Regulation shall enter into force on the third day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply from 1 January 2021.   Draft Regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-new-organic-regulationEU: Commercial Policy MeasuresThe Regulation listed the products that shall be subjected to additional customs duties. At the first stage, additional ad valorem duty of a maximum rate of 25% may be applied on imports of products listed in Annex I from June 22, 2018. Peanut butter is included in this group. At the second stage, further additional ad valorem duty of a maximum rate of 10%, 25%, 35% or 50% may be applied on imports of products listed in Annex II. Dried cranberries are included in Annex II.   The suspension of import duty concessions may be exercised as long as, and to the extent that, the United States applies or re-applies its safeguard measures in a manner that would affect products from the European Union.   The Regulation entered into force on May 17, 2018.   Commission Implementing Regulation 2018/724 of 16 May 2018https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-commercial-policy-measuresEU: MRLs Update, Draft Commission RegulationsAs for nuts and dried fruits, the drafts set the following MRLs: The MRL for bromadiolone is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. The MRL for etofenprox is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, plums, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts; at 0.6 ppm in apricots; and at 4 ppm in grapes. The MRL for paclobutrazol is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts; and at 0.15 ppm in apricots. The MRL for penconazole is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts; at 0.08 ppm in apricots; at 0.09 ppm in plums; and at 0.5 ppm in grapes.  *Indicates lower limit of determination.   The final date for comments is July 15, 2018. The proposed date of adoption is February 2019.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-draft-commission-regulations-8EU: MRLs UpdateThe Regulation 2018/685 of 3 May 2018 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits:   Maleic hydrazide: 0.2* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts.  The Regulation shall apply from June 5, 2018.   The Regulation 2018/686 of 4 May 2018 as regards maximum residue levels for chlorpyrifos, chlorpyrifos-methyl and triclopyr in or on certain products sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits:   Chlorpyrifos: 0.05 ppm in almonds, pecans and walnuts; 0.01* ppm in Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pine nuts, pistachios, apricots, grapes, dates, figs and peanuts; 0.3 ppm in plums; and 1 ppm in cranberries. Chlorpyrifos-methyl: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts; 0.5 ppm in apricots and plums; 1 ppm in grapes; 0.01* ppm in cranberries, dates, and figs; and 0.05 ppm in peanuts. Triclopyr: 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts; and 0.05 ppm in apricots.  The Regulation shall apply from June 5, 2018.   The Regulation 2018/687 of 4 May 2018 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits:   Acibenzolar-S-methyl: 0.15 ppm in cranberries. Benzovindiflupyr: 0.04 ppm in peanuts. Isofetamid: 4 ppm in cranberries. Metrafenone: 0.7 ppm in apricots. Chlorantraniliprole: 0.06 ppm in peanuts.  The Regulation shall apply from June 5, 2018.   The Regulation 2018/832 of 5 June 2018 sets the following MRLs in nuts and dried fruits:   Mandestrobin: 2 ppm in apricots and 0.5 ppm in plums. Flubendiamide: 1.5 ppm in apricots and 0.7 ppm in plums. Fosetyl: 500 ppm in almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nut kernels, pistachios and walnuts.  The Regulation shall apply from June 26, 2018.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-22EU: FosetylThe MRL for Fosetyl-Al of 500 ppm for the tree nut group (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nut kernels, pistachios and walnuts) shall enter into force on June 26, 2018.   Regulation 2018/832 of 5 June 2018  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-fosetyl-1China: Food Contacting Composite MaterialsThis Standard establishes the requirements for raw materials, organoleptic properties, chemical restrictions, microorganism restrictions, additives, migration experiment and labeling for food contacting composite materials and related products.   The final date for comments is July 29, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-food-contacting-composite-materialsChina, Taiwan: Contaminants and ToxinsAs previously announced, the document establishes some standards for the tolerance of heavy metals, mycotoxins, contaminants and toxins in foods. The final version of the Standard entered into force on May 8, 2018.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-taiwan-contaminants-and-toxins-1China: TariffsRegarding nuts and dried fruits, the following agricultural commodities are listed:   Serial No. HS Code English description Current MFN Rate Revised MFN Rate 317 20060090 Vegetables & Fruit & Nuts & Other P. Of Plants, Preserved by sugar 30 5 320 20081110 Ground-Nut Kernels, In Airtight Containers 30 5 321 20081120 Roasted Ground-Nuts 30 5 322 20081130 Ground-Nut Butter 30 5 323 20081190 Other Prepared/Preserved Ground-Nuts, Nes 30 5 324 20081910 Walnut Meats, In Airtight Containers 20 5 325 20081920 Other Prepared/Preserved Nuts/Seeds, In Airtight Containers 13 5 328 20081999 Other Prepared/Preserved Nuts Or Seeds, Nes 10 5   USDA GAIN Report. China to Cut Tariffs on Agricultural Productshttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-tariffsCanada: MRLs UpdateThe PMRL for pydiflumetofen in raisins is set at 2.0 ppm. The final date for comments is August 7, 2018.   Consultation on Pydiflumetofen, Proposed Maximum Residue Limit PMRL2018-15.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/canada-mrls-update-25Brazil: MRLs UpdateThe MRL of difenoconazole for cashew cultures is changed from 0.2 ppm to 0.5 ppm.   For difenoconazole, the final date for comments is June 20, 2018.   D-36 Difenoconazolehttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/brazil-mrls-update-16Australia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateThis proposal aims to align certain maximum residue limits for various agricultural and veterinary chemicals, so that they are consistent with other national regulations relating to the safe and effective use of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.   Among others, the amendment inserts the permitted residue of Avermectin B1a in dried grapes (currants, raisins and sultanas) at 0.03 ppm. The final date for comments was June 5, 2018.   The amendment can be found here.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-12Australia and New Zealand: Allergen LabelingAlthough the Food Standards Code already contains a mandatory requirement to label 10 allergens, it does not include requirements for the terminology that should be used. Therefore, the proposal aims to make allergen labeling clearer so that food allergen-sensitive consumers have the information they need to make informed and safe food choices.   The first consultation paper for the proposal was released in February 2018 and finished on May 10, 2018.   More informationhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-allergen-labelingFirst INC Academia Executive Program a Huge SuccessThe objective of this educational program was to learn the basics of the nut and dried fruit industry, main characteristics, applications and information resources. It combined a 10-unit online course of approximately 50 hours, and a final three-day on-site experience (10+ hours of preparatory tasks & reading material) to learn through case studies, network and visits to orchards and factories. The course was presented as a full package, although it was possible to undertake only the online part.   The contents of the online course were created by top experts from the world’s most prestigious institutions and companies. The program consisted of 10 units covering the key aspects of the nut and dried fruit sector, including soil and climate, varieties and uses, nutrition facts, processing, food safety and quality standards, production, trade and consumption trends, arbitration and negotiation.   The on-site course took place on May 17-19, 2018, in Sevilla, Spain, just before the INC Congress. The course allowed students to network, visit orchards and factories and learn through case studies, which were presented by Prof. Dr. Kandarp Mehta and Prof. Dr. Miguel Mediavilla, from the prestigious IESE Business School -the IESE Executive Education and Custom Programmes have been ranked best in the world three years running (2016 and 2017) by The Financial Times.   The first day, La Fortaleza factory kindly opened its doors to show students how its confectionary products are manufactured. La Fortaleza, a family business originated in 1928, makes confectionary almond-based products like mantecados and polvorones (typical soft and crumbly Spanish shortbread) and a wide range of Christmas sweets.   During the second day, students visited walnut, pistachio and almond plantations in El Carquí, a 297.8 ha estate owned by Borges in the province of Granada. They also visited the factory Almendras de Almería, a company specialized in the shelling and processing of almonds. In addition, students had the opportunity to learn about almond processing and machinery thanks to experts from Maseto Technologies.   The last day was dedicated to discuss different case studies presented by Prof. Dr. Kandarp Mehta and Prof. Dr. Miguel Mediavilla. During the morning, the students actively discussed two “Operations” case studies: Porsche and PACECO guided by the Prof. Dr. Miguel Mediavilla. In the afternoon session, Prof. Dr. Kandarp Mehta conducted two “Negotiation” simulations, where students learnt and had fun at the same time.   “One of the best aspects about the INC Academia is the diversity of themes its program offers. It also gives an in-depth overview of the nuts and dried fruits sector.” Mr. Kristoffer Dahlinger, ATCO - August Töpfer, Germany.   “The on-site course was a fantastic three days, both the factory visits and the indoor lessons. Besides this, I also enjoyed was friendly and cooperative feeling I got from the INC team and with all the other attendees. I will definitely recommend the INC Academia to other companies that are interested.” Mr. Guido Contrada, New Factor, Italy.   More information Photos    https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/first-inc-academia-executive-program-a-huge-successThe Final Countdown to Sevilla Is OnDelegates will have a unique opportunity to network, share knowledge and do business at INC’s high-profile Congress located at Sevilla’s remarkable FIBES Conference & Exhibition Center. Registrations to the Congress will only be accepted from INC members.  INC Congress will consist of a series of round tables, seminars, keynote presentations and Congress sessions which will provide the best insight into the current state of the sector. Dr. Andreu Veà, The Internet Biographer, and A. Garrigues Walker, Chairman of the Garrigues foundation and Honorary Chairman of the law firm Garrigues, are this year&#39;s keynote speakers. The evening social events program includes a Welcome Cocktail at the historic Alfonso XIII hotel, a magnificent neo-mudejar building next to the most romantic quartiere in Sevilla. The Buffet Casual Dinner will take place at the elegant and exclusive Hacienda Montelirio, a unique venue to immerse into the region&#39;s culture with its authentic &#39;Feria de Abril&#39;. Sevilla&#39;s Plaza de España is the best scenario for the traditional Gala Dinner and Awards Evening, where delegates and accompanying persons will be able to enjoy a top-notch dinner in a captivating atmospherhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/the-final-countdown-to-sevilla-is-onNuts for a Healthier World to Be Presented in SevillaThe Nuts for a Healthier World campaign is to be presented at the World Nut and Dried Fruit Congress in Sevilla and includes the launch of a main video and 16 videos in connection with each of the nuts and dried fruits. The videos are also linked to a solidarity project and aim at promoting the industry while contributing to a healthier and fairer world.   The 16 videos are represented by 22 characters from different nationalities who will present their country’s Nut & Dried Fruit mix and highlight the product’s health benefits. Beforehand, they will introduce themselves and offer information about their daily life too. A  bag of Nut & Dried Fruit mix will be donated whenever a video is shared on social media. The campaign’s goal is therefore to easily become viral while engaging with users and boosting participation on social networks.   The Nut & Dried Fruit mix is meant to be a symbolic contribution of 28 grams which will be donated to people in need. The amount is in fact the recommended daily serving of nuts per day. The items’ delivery is to be channelled through an NGO and thus the donation will be disseminated through a joint strategy including both the NGO’s and INC’s communication tools with the objective to raise the campaign’s profile, increase awareness and engagement while attracting traffic to the website. The videos are the campaign’s core element and will be adapted to the singularities of each social media network in terms of format and content.   The INC’s starting goal is to reach at least 5,000 kg in donations. Members are welcome to join the initiative by making a donation of a certain amount (over 1,000 kg) of nuts and dried fruits. In return, donor companies will be offered the “Nuts for a Healthier World Stamp”, which they can include on their packaging and in communication tools and their company logo on INC publications: Magazine, website and newsletters. #NutsForAHealthierWorld Along with the videos, the campaign will also be supported by the hashtag #NutsForAHealthierWorld to be present on social media conversations and used as a monitoring tool. Global Influencers –celebrities, healthy and lifestyle, foodies, DIY–, bloggers and mass media will also help boost the campaign and promote its dissemination.   Finally, INC members will be able to share content at a bespoke interactive stand to be displayed in Sevilla, SIAL-Paris and Gulfood Dubai, and at two other health professional events this year.      https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/nuts-for-a-healthier-world-to-be-presented-in-sevillaUNECE Sampling Plan WorkshopThe workshop was attended by six experts from the public and private sector from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and USA, as well as Ms. Liliana Annovazzi-Jakab, Head of Agricultural Quality Standards of the UNECE.   During the workshop, attendees had the opportunity to implement the UNECE Sampling Plan for Tree Nuts and Dried Produce, taking samples of different products (tree nuts and dried fruits) with different packages (in bulk and pre-packages). After that, they verified the characteristics of the products to check for conformity with the minimum requirements according to the provisions of the UNECE Standards. The results of the workshop will be discussed during the next Session of the Specialized Section on Standardization of Dry and Dried Produce in Geneva, June 25-27, 2018.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/unece-sampling-plan-workshopAustralia and New Zealand: MRLs UpdateThis proposal aims to align certain maximum residue limits for various agricultural and veterinary chemicals, so that they are consistent with other national regulations relating to the safe and effective use of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.   Among others, the amendment inserts the permitted residue of acetamiprid in plums (including prunes) at 0.5 ppm and at stone fruits [except cherries; plums] at 0.5 ppm and the permitted residue of novaluron in stone fruits [except cherries] at 0.5 ppm. The final date for comments was May 8, 2018.   The amendment can be found here.   In addition, the variation to Schedule 20 (April 24, 2018) inserts the permitted residue of pydiflumetofen in dried grapes (currants, raisins and sultanas) at T5 ppm, peanut at T0.03 ppm; the permitted residue of avermectin B1a in figs at T0.05 ppm; and the permitted residue of cyhalothrin in hazelnuts at T*0.01 ppm. It entered into force in April 2018.   * indicates that the maximum residue limit is set at the limit of determination. ‘T’ indicates that the maximum residue limit is a temporary maximum residue limit.   The Variation to the Schedule can be found here. For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/australia-and-new-zealand-mrls-update-11Chile: Importation of Walnut Trees from ArgentinaThe document sets the regulations for the importation of walnut trees (Junglans regia) from Argentina in order to avoid the Xylella fastidiosa. It will enter into force on September 1, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/chile-importation-of-walnut-trees-from-argentinaEU: IprodioneFollowing the iprodione withdrawal, the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) will be reduced to de LOD (limit of determination level). At the Standing Committee held on February 26-27, 2018, Member States could not come to an agreement with regards to the scope of the transition period. The discussion on whether to grant a transitional period or not will continue at the next Standing Committee in June 2018.   According to the European Federation of the Trade in Dried Fruit & Edible Nuts, Processed Fruit & Vegetables, Processed Fishery Products, Spices and Honey (FRUCOM), after receiving some comments from Member States expressing their reservation about providing for a transitional period, the EC has clarified that a grace period of 6 months will be granted to all food commodities. However, dried fruits (dried grapes and prunes) will be potentially exempted from the transitional period because both table grapes and plums are included in the list of foods which exceed the acute reference dose (ARfD) published by EFSA. The EC also explained that it will be difficult to make an exception for dried fruits and to provide for a transitional period, even though their consumption is much lower compared to fresh fruits.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.   https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-iprodioneEU: Fosetyl EU decided to set a fosetyl-Al MRLs in tree nuts at 500 ppm. The MRLs are subject to EU Council and Parliamentary procedures, but, if approved, should come into force around mid-June of 2018. The MRLs apply to all tree nuts except for coconuts.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-fosetylEU-Mexico: Trade AgreementThanks to the agreement, practically all trade in goods between EU and Mexico would be duty-free, including in the agricultural sector. Although some technical issues still need to be tied up, the full legal text will be ready by the end of the year.   More informationhttps://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mexico-trade-agreementEU: Novel FoodsThis Regulation lays down the procedural steps of the consultation process to determine whether or not a food falls within the scope of the EU&#39;s Novel Food regulation 2015/2283.   The Novel Food regulation 2015/2283, in force since January 1, 2018, defines novel food as food that has not been consumed to a significant degree in the EU before May 15, 1997. It required the European Commission to establish a procedure to determine whether or not a food or food ingredient is “novel.” Implementing Regulation 2018/456 specifies the different procedural steps of this verification process.   Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/456 of 19 March 2018  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-novel-foodsEU: Endocrine Disrupting PesticidesThis Regulation amends Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 by setting out scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties. In addition, by October 20, 2025, the Commission shall present to the Committee an assessment of the experience gained from the application of the scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine disrupting properties introduced by this Regulation.   This Regulation shall apply from October 20, 2018.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/605 of 19 April 2018  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-endocrine-disrupting-pesticidesIndia: Labeling The draft regulation prescribes the labeling requirements of pre-packaged foods and display of essential information on premises where food is manufactured, processed, served and stored.   The deadline for comments is June 10, 2018.   Proposed Draft Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2018https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/india-labelingPeru: Peanut Kernel Imports from IndiaFollowing the completion of the relevant pest risk analysis, the proposal of mandatory phytosanitary requirements governing the importation into Peru is being submitted for public consultation. The deadline for comments is June 16, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org. https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/peru-peanut-kernel-imports-from-indiaSouth Korea: Standards and Specifications for FoodsAmong others, the amendment revises the specifications for hygiene indicator bacteria and foodborne pathogens, the specifications for mycotoxins, as well as, the maximum residual limits for some pesticides and veterinary drugs.   The deadline for comments is June 11, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/south-korea-standards-and-specifications-for-foods-5USA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of clethodim in or on Nut, tree, group 14-12 is established at 0.20 ppm. The Regulation is effective since April 12, 2018; objections and requests must be received on or before June 11, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 71. Thursday, April 12, 2018. Pages 15748-15753   Among others, the tolerance of fluensulfone in or on fruit, stone group 12-12 is set at 0.07 ppm; grape, raisin at 0.90 ppm; and nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.01 ppm. The Regulation is effective since April 13, 2018; objections and requests must be received on or before June 12, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 72. Friday, April 13, 2018. Pages 15971-15977   Among others, the tolerance of sulfentrazone in or on nut, tree, group 14-12 is set at 0.15 ppm. In addition, the existing tolerances on nut, tree, group 14 and pistachio are removed. The Regulation is effective since April 13, 2018; objections and requests must be received on or before June 12, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 72. Friday, April 13, 2018. Pages 15977-15982https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-25USA: Organic FoodThe document establishes the renewal of 17 substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances within USDA organic regulations. This document compiles the outcome of the 2018 sunset review process and addresses the recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture.   There is no final date for comments and the proposed date of entry into force is May 29, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-organic-food6th Global Inter-Board Cooperation SummitThis is an open conference for all Congress delegates to learn about the projects the national organizations and boards have launched for the promotion of nut and dried fruit consumption around the world.   The Almond Board of California, American Pecan Council, Australian Macadamia Society, California Dried Plum Board, Chile Prunes Association, China Chamber of Commerce, INC NREF and Nucis Italia will share their knowledge and experience in marketing campaigns, along with examples of successfull programs directed towards the promotion of nuts and dried fruits.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/6th-global-inter-board-cooperation-summitINC 2017/2018 Statistical Yearbook The yearbook includes overall estimations and trends on world production, consumption and value of nuts and dried fruits, as well as a thorough ad hoc chapter for each nut and dried fruit featuring the main producing, exporting, importing and consuming volumes, globally and by country of 15 products: almonds, Brazil (Amazonia) nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, dates, dried apricots, dried figs, dried grapes and prunes.   As observed throughout the last decade, world production and consumption of tree nuts, peanuts and dried fruits keep trending positively. World tree nut production amounted to ca. 1.2 million metric tons in 2017/18, up by 42% compared to 10 year ago levels. Similarly, peanut production was increased by 43% from 2007/2008, totaling over 45.3 million MT. In turn, global dried fruit production added up to over 2.8 million MT, raised by 30% from the 2007/08 amount. Likewise, consumption has raised by 54% in tree nuts; 26% in peanuts and 16% in dried fruits, respectively.   The book is available online and printed copies will be distributed to the INC members.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/inc-2017-2018-statistical-yearbook4th Meeting of the Spanish Almond IndustryThe event offered three round tables -innovation, final consumer and almond markets- with experts from the almond sector (growers, traders, processors, manufacturers, organizations and machinery companies). Mr. Pino Calcagni, INC Vice Chairman and Chairman of the INC Scientific and Government Affairs Committee, gave a presentation about the Hazelnut Global Situation.    During the first round table, moderated by Mr. Joan Fortuny (Vice-chairman of the Spanish Almond Board), some innovations in the almond sector were presented. Ms. Ana Boulova (FRUCOM) presented the FRUCOM’s project in phytosanitary products research. Mr. Charles Boddy (Borrell) explained the cutting-edge technology in almonds and hazelnuts. The project for the detection of bitter almonds was summarized by Mr. Aurelio Gracia (IRTA). Mr. Enrique García (Grupo Gas Natural Fenosa) presented the innovation and energy efficiency in greenhouses. Mr. Ramón Gil (Cajamar) explained the innovation in the organizational structure in tree nut orchards.   The second round table, moderated by Mr. Josep Moragas (Spanish Almond Board), revolved around the final consumer. Snacks, nougats and almond drinks were the topics presented by Mr. Xema Albert (Importaco), Mr. Angel Velasco (Torrons Vicenç) and Ms. Mar Doñate (Calidad Pascual), respectively. During the last round table, the almond market was discussed. Due to the absence of Ms. Rachel Bickford (USDA), Mr. Jorge de Saja commented the development of US almond production. The structure of the almond sector worldwide was explained by Mr. Antonio Pont Jr. (AEOFRUSE). Mr. José Luis Balanzá (Descalmendra) talked about the future of the national and international almond market. Finally, Mr. Nuno Ferreira (PABI S.A.) and Mr. Parick Marchandou (GLM) gave a presentation about the almond sector in the Iberian Peninsula and in Australia, respectively.   In the Closing Ceremony, Mr. Antonio Pont (INC Honorary President) received a Medal of Honor in recognition for his professional career.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/4th-meeting-of-the-spanish-almond-industryCodex Committee on Contaminants in FoodsIndia, as Chair of the Electronic Working Group on the “Proposed draft maximum level for total aflatoxins in ready-to-eat peanuts and associated sampling plan”, presented a proposal for a maximum limit (ML) of 10 µg/kg for consideration by the Committee. The proposed ML is based on the outcomes of the JECFA83 Report and the results of two rounds of consultations between the participants of the EWG. In view of the lack of consensus on the recommendations of an ML of 10 or 12 µg/kg, the Committee agreed to:   Adopt an ML of 10 µg/kg for total aflatoxins in ready-to-eat peanuts (at step 4). Launch a new call of data for aflatoxins in ready-to-eat peanuts so that JECFA can make another risk assessment in three years. Reopen the discussion in three years. More information  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/codex-committee-on-contaminants-in-foods-1China: Aflatoxins, Code of PracticeThis standard applies to peanuts, corn, cottonseeds, tree nuts and cow feed. The final date for comments is May 15, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-aflatoxins-code-of-practiceChina: MRLs UpdateThe U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service issued a GAIN Report with an unofficial translation of the draft. Regarding nuts and dried fruits, the following MRLs were listed:   Azoxystrobin: peanut kernel at 0.5 ppm. Cyflumetofen: raisin at 1.5 ppm and nuts at 0.01 ppm. Difenoconazole: raisin at 6 ppm. Dichlobenil: raisin at 0.15* ppm. Diquat: cashew nut at 0.02 ppm. Dithianon: raisin at 3.5 ppm. Epoxiconazole: peanut kernel at 0.05 ppm. Fenpropathrin: dried prune at 3 ppm and nuts at 0.15 ppm. Fenpyroximate: dried prune at 0.7 ppm. Fluopyram: peanut kernel at 0.03* ppm, raisin at 5* ppm and nuts at 0.04* ppm. Imazamox: peanut kernel at 0.01* ppm. Mesotrione: cranberry at 0.01 ppm. Metrafenone: raisin at 20* ppm. Myclobutanil: raisin at 6 ppm. Phosmet: cranberry at 3 ppm. Propiconazole: dried prune at 0.6 ppm. Prothioconazole: cranberry at 0.15* ppm. Spirotetramat: cranberry at 0.2* ppm. Sulfoxaflor: raisin at 6* ppm. Thiamethoxam: peanut kernel at 0.05 ppm.   *The MRL is the temporary limit.   The deadline for comments is April 20, 2018.   USDA GAIN Report: China Notifies New Draft Maximum Residue Limits for Pesticides in Food (as SPS 1065).https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/china-mrls-update-8EU: AcrylamideThe Regulation describes practical measures to mitigate the acrylamide formation in foods and establishes benchmark levels as performance indicators to be used to verify the effectiveness of the mitigation measures.   The products included in the scope of the regulation are the following:   French fries, other cut (deep fried) products and sliced potato crisps from fresh potatoes; potato crisps, snacks, crackers and other potato products from potato dough; bread; breakfast cereals (excluding porridge); fine bakery wares: cookies, biscuits, rusks, cereal bars, scones, cornets, wafers, crumpets and gingerbread, as well as crackers, crisp breads and bread substitutes. In this category a cracker is a dry biscuit (a baked product based on cereal flour); coffee: roast coffee; instant (soluble) coffee; coffee substitutes; baby food and, processed cereal-based food intended for infants and young children as defined in Regulation (EU) No 609/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council.   As nuts and dried fruits are ingredients used in the manufacture of bakery products, food business operators shall take into account the acrylamide contribution of these products in their risk assessment.   Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/2158 of 20 November 2017  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-acrylamide-1EU: Border ControlsAt the expert committee meeting of March 19, Member States agreed to put forward the proposal of de-listing dried vine fruit from Iran (5% of control frequency for Ochratoxin A) for final adoption. The formal draft Regulation will be voted at the Standing Committee in April or June. After that, the final Regulation would enter into force on July 1, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-border-controls-1EU: Pesticides Fenamidone and ChlorprophamThe drafts provide that the approval of the active substances fenamidone and chlorpropham are not renewed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009. These decisions only concern the placing on the market of these substances and do not affect the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for residues of the pesticides. However separate actions may be taken on MRLs.   The final date for comments is May 19, 2018, for fenamidone and May 28, 2018, for chlorpropham.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-pesticides-fenamidone-and-chlorprophamEU: MRLs Update, Draft Commission RegulationsAs for nuts and dried fruits, the drafts set the following MRLs:   The MRL for diphenylamine is set at 0.05* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates and figs. The MRL for penoxsulam The MRL for triflumizole is set at 0.02* ppm in tree nuts, apricots, plums, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts. The MRL for triflumuron is set at 0.01* ppm in tree nuts, grapes, cranberries, dates, figs and peanuts, and at 1 ppm in apricots and plums.   *Indicates lower limit of determination.   The final date for comments is May 27, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/eu-mrls-update-draft-commission-regulations-7New Zealand: Brown Marmorated Stink BugNew Zealand is extending the period of application of the emergency requirements issued in December 2017 in the Import Health Standard for Sea Containers, to manage the risk of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) for consignments exported from Italy until April 30, 2018.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/new-zealand-brown-marmorated-stink-bug-1USA: MRLs UpdateAmong others, the tolerance of kasugamycin in or on walnut is established at 0.04 ppm. The Regulation is effective since March 6, 2018; objections and requests must be received on or before May 7, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 44. Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Pages 9442-9446https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-mrls-update-24USA: Methyl BromideAmong others, this regulation establishes a maximum permissible level for residues of methyl bromide in or on fig at 10 ppm and Fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 5 ppm.   The Regulation is effective since March 1, 2018; objections and requests must be received on or before April 30, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 41. Thursday, March 1, 2018. Pages 8758-8764  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-methyl-bromideUSA: Pesticide PetitionsAs regards nuts and dried fruits, the petition received was the following:   Establishing new tolerances for the insecticide fenazaquin in Fruit, stone group 12-12 at 1.5 ppm and Grape, raisins at 0.8 ppm.   The final date for comments was April 5, 2018.   Federal Register Vol. 83, No. 44. Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Pages 9471-9473https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/usa-pesticide-petitions-15US-China Trade Relationship The products subject to this proposed increase in tariffs include the tree nuts and dried fruits below. The proposed additional tariff is 15 percent. Interested domestic parties had until March 31, 2018, to comment or submit additional information to the Ministry of Commerce’s Trade Relief and Investigation Bureau regarding these countermeasures.   CN code Description 08012100 Brazil nuts (in shell) 08012200 Brazil nuts (shelled) 08013100 Cashew nuts (in shell) 08013200 Cashew nuts (shelled) 08021100 Almonds (in shell) 08021200 Almonds (shelled) 08022100 Hazelnuts (in shell) 08022200 Hazelnuts (shelled) 08023100 Walnuts (in shell) 08023200 Walnuts (shelled) 08025100 Pistachios (in shell) 08025200 Pistachios (shelled) 08026100 Macadamia nuts (in shell) 08026200 Macadamia nuts (shelled) 08029050 Pine nuts (Pinus spp.) 08041000 Dates (fresh or dried) 08042000 Figs (fresh or dried) 08062000 Grapes, dried 08062000 Cranberries, bilberries and other fruit or the genus Vaccinium 08131000 Apricots, dried 08132000 Prunes, dried   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/us-china-trade-relationshipWCO: Classification of Blanched PeanutsHowever, according to the European Federation of the Trade in Dried Fruit & Edible Nuts, Processed Fruit & Vegetables, Processed Fishery Products, Spices and Honey (FRUCOM), China presented an objection against this decision on December 15, 2017. The discussion continued during the 61st meeting held on March 6-16, 2018, but no decision was taken.   The discussion will continue at the next September 2018 meeting.   For further information, please contact us at inc@nutfruit.org.  https://www.nutfruit.org/consumers/news/detail/wco-classification-of-blanched-peanuts-1Sevilla Congress App and Online Meeting Point Are Already AvailableThe Sevilla Congress app has already been launched and is available both on Play Store (for Android devices) and App Store (for Apple iOS devices). Including a complete set of information and useful details, it results in an essential tool for those attending the event. As already featured in previous editions, the INC Congress app offers users full access to the event’s program, along with extra information on speakers and round table panelists. The utility also provides information about available tours and programmed activities and includes a detailed explanation of the several social events as well. By using the app, delegates will also have access to the exhibition floor plan and to an Exhibitors Catalogue where to find out who the exhibitors are and what they are offering. Moreover, the app includes a download section where the materials of every Congress presentation will be available. Additionally, it will feature video-recordings of all the sessions once they have taken place so that they can be retrieved and reviewed by those interested. Thank to live notifications, the Congress app also guarantees users to stay updated on significant announcements during the event. The Congress app provides full access to the Online Meeting Point, where INC members are enabled to find other attendees and contact them. The system includes filters by country, activity, product, in order to increase the search’s exhaustivity. This unique platform enables INC members to take maximum advantage of their time while in Congress. Essentially, it allows them to connect with other attendees and INC members prior to the event in order to plan and arrange meetings. During the search for other attendees and exhibitors, filters regarding country, commercial activity or product can be applied. Once found, the user can contact them and set appointments in advance. Those INC members willing to benefit from the advantages of the Meeting Point only need to ac