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Consulting that helps increase global food production using clean technology.

October 8th, 2017 by Dan Block

We are proud to announce we are working with TraceGrow, offering them our market intelligence services to help identify agriculture markets in the United States. Based in Finland, Tracegrow is the only company in the world that has developed an innovative technology to extract and reuse the vital trace elements zinc and manganese from alkaline … + read more

Olive Imports from Spain Have Big Impact on California Growers

September 21st, 2017 by Dan Block

In July, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, announced the initiations of new antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigations to determine if imports of ripe olives from Spain are being dumped in the United States, and whether producers in Spain (the world’s biggest olive producer) are receiving alleged unfair subsidies.  U.S. Olive Farmers See Spanish Practices As A Threat to the Industry and Livelihood In early 2017, the California … + read more

Shanghai Floral Expo – The Growing China Market

May 25th, 2017 by Dan Block

                    One never ceases to be impressed with the growth and changes going on in Shanghai, China.  I first visited Shanghai roughly 25 years ago when the Pu Dong area was still mostly farms. Today Pu Dong seems like endless towers and unique buildings with high speed trains weaving in and out of urban … + read more

American Pistachio Growers Look to the Future

April 24th, 2017 by Dan Block

One off the most interesting high value crops grown in the Western US is pistachios.  The highly nutritious nuts are grown in California, Arizona and New Mexico and are exported all over the world. I recently had the opportunity of facilitating the strategic planning workshop for the American Pistachio Growers (APG) association headquartered in Fresno, California. The two-day session brought together grower and processor leaders of the American pistachio industry. The group wrestled with key … + read more

U.S. Apple Export Council’s Strategic Planning Workshop in DC

January 27th, 2017 by Dan Block

US Apple Export Council (USAEC) board members and representatives met in Washington, DC this week to develop a strategic plan for the council’s international market development programs. Two days following the presidential inauguration, DC seemed back to normal and business as usual as apple industry leaders planned for enhancing US agricultural exports overseas. As principal consultant, I was retained to facilitate this planning process and work with the Council’s executive director to prepare … + read more

California Olive Committee takes fresh look at Ripe Olive Production Costs

January 4th, 2017 by Dan Block

D.W. Block Associates, LLC (DWB) recently completed study of current production costs for ripe/table olives in California. Table olives have been a traditional crop in California going back to the Spanish ranchos long before California was a state. However, acreages have been declining due, in part, to government subsidized imports from Europe and high hand labor harvesting costs. This study looked at actual costs by interviewing several growers throughout the state both in … + read more

Some significant new facts about global trade

October 31st, 2016 by Dan Block

A recent article in the New York Times about global trade is enlightening. For food and agriculture exporters this is significant and may require re-thinking long term strategies.   http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/31/upshot/a-little-noticed-fact-about-trade-its-no-longer-rising.html

Many Agricultures – All part of the Whole System

December 17th, 2013 by Dan Block

Last week I had the opportunity to experience the diversity in what people call “agriculture” and “farmers.” I spent some time in Nogales, Arizona, a small but industrious town on the US – Mexico border. Nogales is one of the main crossing points for winter produce moving north into the US from farms in Mexico. … + read more

Sustainable Food Production – Big Farms or Small Farms

December 2nd, 2013 by dwblock

A recent article in the New York Times by Stephen Porder of Brown University presented a thoughtful view about big farms being sustainable, in fact perhaps more sustainable than organic, small farms. He posed two options for the future of global food production: “Either we need to get more food out of the land we … + read more

Keep an Eye on China’s New Rural Reforms

November 15th, 2013 by dwblock

China recently released a communiqué announcing the formation of a National Security Council. What stood out for me in this announcement is what it said about the country’s farm sector. There was an apparent promise of more rights for farmers, specifically for land rights. As reported in the Christian Science Monitor, Ye Tan, an economist … + read more