Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityNew produce labels linking products to farms
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» February 24, 2009 «
Nursery operators are hoping consumers will find the time, money and good weekend weather needed for spring gardening. There was a small spike for garden center business over the Valentine's Day weekend, but cool, wet weather since has slowed consumer demand. Although optimistic, nursery operators know they need a good crystal ball to figure how the economy, exotic pests and water availability will impact potential sales.
Labels on fresh produce containers will soon allow consumers to obtain information about the farm, farmer and growing region where the produce was grown. Driscoll's of Watsonville plans to have the labels on most of its berries by next year and is starting implementation now. The labels will have a code to link to a Web site where consumers can find a profile of the grower along with the location of the farm that grew the berries. Where food is grown is becoming increasingly relevant to consumers.
Huanglongbing, or citrus greening, threatens California's $1.1 billion citrus sector. The Asian citrus psyllid, which transports the disease, has been found in Southern California. But, researchers have sequenced more than 95 percent of the bacterium's genome and expect to complete sequencing soon. That should allow scientists to determine how the disease spreads and how to control it. It was found in Florida in 2005. Plants can be infected for two years before displaying the fatal disease symptoms.
UC Davis has announced construction of a new building to house the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory. The facility was named in recognition of the $5 million contribution toward the project. The state-of-the-art complex will be used for teaching and research. Included will be a food processing pilot plant, a dairy processing facility, a pilot brewery and a winery. Completion is expected this fall.Top