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Ag exporters told to expect few port productivity gains out of labor contract; collaboration needed on several fronts to reduce congestion AgTC attendees learn (06/29/2015)

SAN FRANCISCO-- U.S. container agriculture exporters shouldn’t expect dramatic improvements in cargo-handling productivity to come out of the new West Coast longshoremen’s labor contract, said Ed DeNike, chief operating officer at SSA Marine, told attendees at last week’s Agriculture Transportation Coaltion (AgTC) meeting in San Francisco. The contract itself will not deliver productivity, what’s needed is a closer working relationship between the employers and the ILWU long shore workers union. Follow links to view news coverage from last week’s intense ag shippers meeting.

Second U.S. Senate Bill introduced to prevent port worker slowdowns; Portland’s terminal operator ICTSI brings bill to Congress (06/29/2015)

A second bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate that seeks to strengthen policy tools to prevent port labor slowdowns of the type that has harmed West Coast shipping in recent month. It was introduced with input from the terminal operator at the Port of Portland, ICTSI. Container shipping at Portland has nearly come to a halt when Hanjin Shipping and Hapag-Lloyd steamship lines pulled out of the port due to slowdowns making service unworkable.

German farming group plants more non-GMO soybeans in Europe, sees growing demand (06/29/2015)

German farming company KTG Agrar AG has expanded its soybean planting in Europe for the 2015 harvest, experiencing large demand being experience for crops free of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), Reuters reported June 19, citing the company's chief executive.

China DDGS imports drop, more cancellations likely (06/29/2015)

Chinese imports of distillers dried grains (DDGS) fell nearly a quarter to 485,668 tonnes in May from a year ago, with traders saying buyers had cancelled some orders and were pushing back shipments to avoid losses, according to a Reuters news report out last week from Beijing

U.S. Senate passes Trade Promotion “fast track” Authority (06/29/2015)

WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. – The U.S. Senate, with a 60-38 vote, on June 25 adopted the law giving President Obama the power to “fast-track” talks on free-trade pacts such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after months of fierce debate in both houses of the Congress.

SunOpta expands research & development with new Innovation Center in Minnesota (06/29/2015)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN U.S.A. -- SunOpta Inc., a global company focused on organic, non-genetically modified and healthy foods, announced June 24 that is has enhanced its research and development platform with the opening of its new SunOpta Innovation Center at the company's offices in Edina, Minn.

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