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News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: winetitles.com.au

Citrus growers and viticulturists across the Mildura region will benefit from three biosecurity projects worth over $250,000 to protect the industry from plant pests and to open up export opportunities. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, today joined Member for Mallee, Andrew Broad, in Mildura to announce the projects, which include work to strengthen biosecurity surveillance and create horticultural export opportunities. “The Coalition Government is funding Plant Health Australia $88,000 to develop a National Citrus Biosecurity Surveillance Strategy, to enable governments and industry to coordinate pest surveillance and detection efforts,” Minister Joyce said. “This strategy will provide ongoing evidence to demonstrate area freedom from pests, to support new market access requests and the maintenance of existing markets, boosting exports. “Many of our trading partners require evidence of our strong biosecurity and freedom from pests and diseases to allow our produce into their country. “This work will give trading partners more evidence to be confident of claims of pest absence and area freedom. This makes things easier for exporters through minimising delays and allowing producers to get a better price for their quality produce overseas. “The government has funded Australian Vignerons $88,000 to develop a National Phylloxera Management Plan to provide consistency in how this pest is managed across the country. “Through strict biosecurity management, large parts of New South Wales and Victoria—including Mildura—and Queensland remain free of this damaging pest and we want to keep it that way. “The national arrangements under the plan will help protect Mildura growers by containing the pest to its current locations, with improved surveillance to help detect and quickly respond to any potential incursions. “The government has also funded Agriculture Victoria $75,000 to streamline contingency plans for exotic plant pests.” The Member for Mallee, Andrew Broad, said strengthening plant biosecurity would deliver benefits across the Mildura region. “The Mildura region is a significant player in the horticulture industry, responsible for 75 per cent of Australia’s table grapes, 98 per cent of Australia’s dried grapes, 20 per cent of Australia’s wine crush and 24 per cent of Australia’s citrus,” Mr Broad said. “We are reliant on Australia’s strong plant biosecurity system, and this work to ensure early detection of pests or diseases, better management and evidence to support pest area freedom is hugely important.” For more information on our biosecurity work, visit www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/australia.


The Indonesia's National Committee on Large Dams (INACOLD) and the Directorate General of Water Resources Ministry of Public Works and Housing held the National Seminar on Large Dams 2017 entitled "Dams as Drought and Flood Control Infrastructure" on 16-18 May 2017. Around 413 dam experts and enthusiasts attended the seminar to formulate 37 papers as recommendations to the government to improve human resources quality, particularly among the certificated dam experts. "The program aims to attract a wide range of people from different universities and communities to actively participate in the dam-building process. Indonesian government, through the Directorate General of Water Resources sets priority to complete 65 new dams by 2019. However, we don't have enough expertise, especially the younger ones. In consequence, an expert may handle more than one dam which is not recommended. Therefore, the government through the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, requires the human resources regeneration to accomplish the target," said Imam Santoso, Director General of Water Resources. Now Indonesia has 230 dams with a capacity of 12,4 billion m3/year. Thus, the number Is only able to irrigate 11% of 7,2 million hectares of agricultural land in Indonesia, or less than 900 thousand hectares. Whether the government completes the 65 dams, the capacity will increase to 16,8 billion m3/year and it will guarantee water supply to 1,4 hectares of agricultural land. "Moreover, irrigation dams can also increase agricultural production, at least twice as much as is currently farmed. For instance, the cropping pattern in rainfed agriculture is usually once a year. With the dam, it can be done at least twice a year," said Basuki Hadimuljono, Indonesian Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, while opening the event. The success of big plans is measured by the quality of human resources, added Basuki Hadimuljono. "Many large dam projects, from implementation, operation, and maintenance, requires more brilliant, intelligent, and qualified human resources." Apart from adding new degree program to specifically learn about reservoir at Gajah Mada University, Brawijaya University, and Diponegoro University, the Directorate General of Water Resources also collaborates with INACOLD in planning, implementing, and maintaining the large dam construction. With more than 45 years of experience, INACOLD has 1,695 dam experts and nearly half of them are certified. The essential function of the dam includes disaster prevention caused by extreme weather, particularly in disaster prone areas, such as West Sumatera. River Basin Batang Kuranji, for example. The river basin connecting two provinces, West Sumatera and Riau, has 3500 – 4000 mm of rain per year, thus it is classified as a high rainfall area. Having a very steep slope that reaches 55%, this area is prone to natural hazards, the worst is the flash flood in 2012 that have killed 10 people. Therefore, the Directorate General of Water Resources through the River Basin Territory of Sumatera V initiates the construction of 5 check dams and 2 groundsills for maintaining stability of the river basin. Commencing in 2015, now the development progress has reached 75%. In addition to artificial one, the government also concentrates on developing the natural reservoirs, such as Rawa Pening Lake in Central Java, Tempe Lake in South Sulawesi, and Lake Limboto in Gorontalo. "Later, the lake will naturally age and die, so we need to do something to extend its life," said Basuki Hadimuljono. About The Directorate General of Water Resources The Directorate General of Water Resources, under the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, has critical roles in formulating and implementing water resources management policies, provided in compliance with relevant legislation. In order to perform their duties in accordance with the Directorate General of Water Resources, their functions are: policy formulation in the field of water resources conservation, utilization of water resources and to control water damage on surface water resources, and utilization of groundwater in accordance with the provisions of legislation; implementation of integrated water resource management in compliance with the provisions of legislation; preparation of the norms, standards, procedures, and criteria in the field of water resources management; provision of technical guidance and supervision related to water resources management; implementation of evaluation and reporting regarding to water resources management; implementation of the administration of the Directorate General of Water Resources; and implementation of other functions provided by the Minister. Source: Ministry of Public Works and Housing of the Republic of Indonesia


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: winetitles.com.au

Australia’s number one unwanted plant pest – Xylella fastidiosa – is the focus of international scrutiny in Australia this week. The Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is hosting a two-day International Symposium on the bacterium from 17–18 May in Brisbane, aimed at improving knowledge of prevention and management. Delegates, including Suzanne McLoughlin, Vinehealth Australia Technical Manager, Dr Sharon Harvey, Wine Australia and James Hook, representing McLaren Vale Grape Wine Tourism Association, will hear from international experts, who will share their knowledge in managing Xylella in the field. “This symposium has been designed to fast-track the practical knowledge of Australian biosecurity personnel so that we are effectively prepared for an incursion of this exotic pest which impacts over 350 plant species – if that time comes,” said Vinehealth Australia CEO Inca Pearce, a member of the symposium organising committee. “Preparedness to respond quickly and implement effective management processes is critical to minimising the impact of this bacterium, should it be detected in Australia.” Xylella fastidiosa was named the number one unwanted plant pest for Australia in 2016 and is a High Priority Pest for the wine industry. It is currently found in Europe, Asia, Middle East, North America, Central America and South America. There are no treatments currently available to cure diseased plants in the field. The distribution and impact of Xylella fastidiosa is closely related to the presence of sap-sucking insect vectors that can carry and transmit the disease. In Viticulture, Xylella fastidiosa causes Pierce’s Disease, which is spread by the most efficient vector, the Glassy-winged sharpshooter. “This bacterium blocks the movement of water in the vine, causing dehydration and death within a couple of years,” Suzanne McLoughlin said. “Early detection of the pathogen is critical, but it’s complicated due to disease symptoms which are easily confused with water stress or other pathogens.” As part of their involvement in symposium, Vinehealth Australia plans to translate information from the symposium into knowledge and tools for vineyard owners, which will be shared in wine industry publications and in Vinehealth’s monthly e-newsletter. “For us, it’s about understanding the gap of where we are at in terms of preparedness and where we need to be for the wine industry to minimise the impact of an incursion and how we as an organisation can influence and play a role in the closing of this gap,” Inca said. For more on Xylella and Pierce’s Disease refer to Vinehealth Australia’s website: www.vinehealth.com.au/pests-and-diseases/exotics-viticulture/xylella-fastidiosa


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.enr.com

With the western United States still recovering from a historic drought, lower basin states of the Colorado River are considering a plan designed to protect Lake Mead from dropping to critical levels that would trigger delivery reductions as Arizona formulates its own separate agreement on how to distribute its allocation. The proposed interstate agreement, known as the Drought Contingency Plan, will define when insufficient supplies in the Colorado River will trigger restrictions to Arizona, California and Nevada. Arizona’s potential intrastate agreement is known as DCP-Plus. The agreements will likely result in very little direct construction impacts, but it will further enhance certainty for current lower-basin inhabitants and allow for future business expansion and relocations, as well as population growth. “We will be able to demonstrate to people and businesses that want to move here that we have the measures to combat (drought),” says Thomas Buschatzke, director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources. “The DCP between the states is essentially done. We have some lawyerly word sniffing to do but we are 99 percent done.” He says thanks to 1980s legislation mandating guaranteed, 100-year water supply certifications for all new development and decades of “water banking” Colorado River water in aquifers, Arizona has not over-allocated. “Our viewpoint is we are going to be more resilient compared to other places that have not done those things,” Buschatzke says. Lake Mead is the depository of Colorado River water that is distributed to California, Nevada and Arizona, also known as the lower-basin states of the Colorado River. Current agreements among the lower-basin states were established in 2007. According to the 2007 agreement, when levels at Lake Mead dip below 1,075 ft above sea level based on a 24-month project and determined on Jan. 1, automatic triggers result for Nevada and Arizona. If Lake Mead is declared below 1,075 ft above sea level, Nevada would experience a 4 percent cut of 13,000 acre-ft if Lake Mead reaches 1,075 ft. However, under the 2007 agreement, if Lake Mead drops below the restriction trigger level under the current agreement, impacts would be most felt in Arizona, which would have 370,000 acre-ft of water stripped from its annual allotment of 2.8 million acre ft. At the AZ Water Association Annual Conference in early May, several key stakeholders participated in a panel discussion about the Drought Contingency Plan and why it is necessary to replace or augment the 2007 agreement. According to all members of the panel, the goal for all Arizona stakeholders is to make sure Lake Mead does not drop below 1,075 feet, something that many think is unavoidable under the current agreement. “It is paramount that we keep Lake Mead over 1,075 for as long as possible” says Paul Orme, an attorney who represents many agriculture-based clients and their water interests. Many expected the basin states to agree to the Drought Contingency Plan framework at the annual conference of Colorado River Water Users Association in December. That framework would have set a goal of insuring Lake Mead does not get below 1,025 ft above sea level and finding stabilization at levels above 1,045 ft. The DCP framework also established a first-ever acquiescence from the state of California to phased reductions of up to 350,000 acre-ft that, as the senior water-rights holder, the state does not have to make. The DCP framework also says “shortage” would be declared at 1,090 ft—above the current elevation—and Arizona would begin with a reduction of 192,000 acre-ft at the new shortage level. If Lake Mead water levels continued to drop, Arizona would eventually lose 720,000 acre-ft in a series of incremental steps. At shortage levels in Lake Mead, Nevada would take an immediate cut of 8,000 acre-ft, eventually increasing to 30,000 acre-ft. But as the framework did not find complete consensus, major Arizona stakeholder Central Arizona Project has floated additional changes, followed by dueling op-eds from CAP board members and Buschatzke in the local newspaper, the Arizona Republic. “There have been major differences in opinion that have come out into the public sphere,” says Ted Cooke, general manager, Central Arizona Project. Last week, however, all stakeholders regretted that so much of the process had made it into the public sphere. “I think we will all get past that and find an agreement,” says Jason Hauter, attorney at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and who represents tribal interests in certain matters. In addition to the DCP, Arizona stakeholders are also working on an internal Arizona agreement, known as DCP-Plus. That agreement would further refine how Arizona’s water-rights holders fulfill commitments made to the lower-basin states, specifically compensation for leaving water in Lake Mead and agreements on water banking. “At the end of the day, (Central Arizona Project) and (Arizona Department of Water Resources) must find a way to benefit all of their stakeholders,” Cooke says. In March, the city of Phoenix entered into an agreement with the state’s largest holder of water rights, the Gila River Indian Community. The city is sending 3,800 acre-ft to the community’s updated Oldberg Dam Underground Storage Facility, east of Sacaton, Ariz. The facility’s aquifer has the capacity to hold 40,000 acre-ft. If any construction projects come from DCP or DCP-Plus, Buschatzke says they will be similar pipeline and water banking projects. “There are no specific construction project related to DCP or DCP-Plus but indirectly there are some things that will be built because of the DCP because of the commitments we made to the people of Arizona,” he says. Most stakeholders, including Cooke and Buschatzke, agree that a finalized form of DCP and DCP-Plus will be presented for approval at the Arizona Legislature at the next session, beginning in January 2018. “We are not as far away from an agreement as it may seem,” Cooke says. “We feel we have been confident to take action from an infrastructure standpoint,” Mack says.


Earth-friendly Georgia Nonprofit Partnered with Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources to Host Highly Successful Education and Engagement Event in April -- Last month, as part of its ongoing mission to educate and engage citizens to play an active role in the stewardship of the local environment, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful (GCB) teamed up with Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources (GWR) to host the Third Annual Great Gwinnett Wetlands. Held on April 29, the earth-friendly event focused on Bromolow Creek and Wetland – a key wetland in Gwinnett County. In attendance at the event were community leaders from the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources who share GCB's passion for preserving and protecting the county's waterways and wetlands. Throughout the day, 230 volunteers learned why wetlands are so important, and were inspired to maintain their well-being by picking up litter, evaluating the water and surrounding ecosystem, and removing invasive plants that could potentially threaten the health of the wetland."Over the course of four hours, we monitored the wetland's water quality, picked up 3,320 pounds of trash, removed close to 2,400 pounds of privet, and installed four coconut fiber logs to protect the wetland from erosion and allow it to absorb water for better flood control," said GCB Program Manager, Sumner Gann. "Not only are those results incredibly impactful, but the sight of hundreds of volunteers working together to clean and beautify this community we all share was more than moving. Based on the fact that the amount of trash we removed this year had increased by about 420 pounds over last year's results, it's clear that we need to continue to educate the public on the many reasons why it's important to put litter in its place. Not just during events like this, but year-round we all need to work together to protect and maintain these wetlands and precious water sources like the Chattahoochee River, Yellow River and Lake Lanier. Great programs like Adopt-A-Road and Adopt-A-Stream can help do just that. Fortunately, we are having a positive impact where invasive plants are concerned on this particular wetland. We only had to remove half of what we'd removed the year before.  All in all, Great Gwinnett Wetlands was an awesome success and we are so incredibly grateful to our awesome partners at Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources and our incredible volunteers for making that possible."Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful also extends its gratitude to The Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Gwinnett Parks and Recreation, and Gwinnett County Communications for their part in ensuring the event's success, as well as to a number of local businesses and organizations that provided team leaders for the event. Included among them were Gwinnett Water Resources, Jacobs Engineering, CH2M Hill, Gresham Smith and Partners, City of Griffin, The Master Gardeners and Precision Planning – just to name a few.To learn about future Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful cleanup and educational events, as well as the many ways to be a good steward of the environment year-round, interested individuals and groups are encouraged to visit www.gwinnettcb.org Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Services, Inc. (GCB) is a Keep America Beautiful affiliate and award-winning 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It boasts an expansive community-based network dedicated to finding long-term solutions to environmental and quality of life issues through individual action. The organization is guided by a Citizens Advisory Board that represents all sectors of the Gwinnett County community. A nationally recognized leader in creating cleaner, greener and more livable communities throughout Gwinnett, GCB involves more than 100,000 volunteers annually to clean and restore public places, recycle more, protect watersheds and develop the next generation of environmental stewards. To learn more about Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, please visit www.GwinnettCB.org.The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources is a publicly-owned utility committed to providing superior water, wastewater, and stormwater services at an excellent value to residents and businesses. DWR is widely recognized for innovation and service excellence as well as stewardship of the environmental resources in Gwinnett County. For more information, visit https://www.gwinnettcounty.com/ portal/gwinnett/ Department...


"The projects we're investing in now through the Water Resources Fund ensure that future generations will enjoy the benefits of our waterways," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "This in one of the many ways we are working to build a better future for our communities." "We are so excited to receive a grant from Duke Energy's Water Resources Fund for the RADTIP Riparian Restoration Plan," said Stephanie Monson Dahl, director of the strategic development office for the city of Asheville. "These funds will help create a community partnership to further our City Council's 2036 vision, which includes a focus on clean water and quality urban forests." "These projects benefit our waterways and contribute to the economic vitality of our local communities," said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy's South Carolina president. "Maintaining the vitality of our communities is one of our most important responsibilities at Duke Energy." "Duke Energy's Water Resources Fund is an incredible resource for organizations like ours," said Natalie Britt, executive director of Palmetto Conservation Foundation. "We are thrilled to receive funding to conserve an awesome watershed and give the public access via the Palmetto Trail," she said. PCF is building a new passage of the trail along the lower Eastatoe Creek through the internationally acclaimed Jocassee Gorges Wilderness Area in Pickens County, S.C. The mountains-to-sea Palmetto Trail is one of 16 cross-state hiking trails in the nation. Duke Energy has awarded more than $6 million in grants to 73 projects in the Carolinas and Virginia since establishing the fund in 2015. Recipients are selected by an independent body that includes five environmental experts and two Duke Energy employees. Organizations receiving the new grants are: The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. The foundation provides more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. The foundation's education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture. Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit http://www.duke-energy.com/foundation. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company's Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States. Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/duke-energy-awards-11-million-in-water-resources-fund-grants-to-improve-local-water-quality-300458648.html


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: www.PR.com

Receive press releases from SGS North America Inc.: By Email Every day, in most countries of the world, food products are refused entry - often because of paperwork, food safety and adulteration issues. These refusals generate costs and time delays for food producers and others in the value chain - but they can be avoided, with expert help. Rutherford, NJ, May 24, 2017 --( Codex Alimentarius The Codex Alimentarius, or "Food Code,” is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice - including maximum residue limits (MRLs) for additives, veterinary drugs and pesticides. Designed to ensure that food is safe and can be traded, the Code still hasn’t solved the fundamental problem of harmonization, with country-specific regulations and industry issues continuing to create ongoing problems. Reporting on Import Refusals Some countries publish details of all refusals and issues. For example, the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) publishes a database with its import refusal reports.(1) From May 2017, importers will be encouraged to refer to this information and assess the risk of a product being imported into the US from a given location, as required by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). However, due to the complexity of the global market, this database does not necessarily list a food product’s country of origin, but includes the country of the US FDA registered company that shipped the item. For example, most of the refusals into the US from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 2014 have been because rice (basmati and plain white) had pesticide residues that were not in compliance with US MRLs. Since the UAE is not considered the world’s leading producer of rice, and many of the UAE listings are for trading companies, it’s safe to assume that this rice is coming from other locations. Data Interpretation US FDA refusals for Vibrio since the beginning of 2014 show that only one item, shelled coconut, has been refused. This issue was first noted for products arriving from or through India, but there have been subsequent refusals of goods from the Philippines and Vietnam. This process establishes the principle that those importing shelled coconut into the US should test it for Vibrio before shipping. For the contaminant nitrofurans, the US FDA refusal information indicates that shrimp, prawns and crabs are the primary products refused because of contamination, or suspected contamination. Occasionally, some farm raised fish or frog legs are also found to be contaminated. Most nitrofurans contamination occurs in Asia, the base for the majority of the top ten suppliers of farm raised shrimp and prawns to the US. On April 18, 2016 the US FDA issued Import Alert 16-136 (2) placing all shrimp and prawns on automatic detention. This was due to the incidence of shrimp and prawn contamination with nitrofurans and chloramphenicol in Malaysia becoming so common. The US FDA tested 138 shrimp shipments, 32% of which was contaminated with one of these veterinary drugs. Australia and elsewhere In January, 2017, Australia announced that food product labeling amounts to 75% of refusals.(3) The government identified issues relating to nutrition information, importer details, ingredients and country of origin. Under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS), the government performed 17,464 labeling assessments during the first half of 2016 - and found 366 non-compliance issues, including date marking. All of these issues can be simply resolved by the appointment of a trusted third-party that understands the company’s labels and the rules of the destination market. The third-party can ensure compliance even before the label is printed and attached to the product. This prevents rejection by the receiving country and saves the exporter time and money. As in many other countries, Australia publishes these import notices(4) in an effort to resolve issues before shipments take place. The European Union (EU) has repeatedly rejected Nigerian snacks and foodstuffs because of (5) contamination. The reason appears to be that the countries and companies involved do not have a clear knowledge or understanding of the EU requirements. In addition, the governments of the exporting nations do not have the resources or infrastructure needed to prevent the shipment of contaminated products. This shows that as countries and companies expand globally, they need additional support and expertise to ensure regulatory compliance as well as easy access to new markets. Private Sector Support While support may come from governments, the private sector is also there to help. Companies such as SGS specialize in helping customers export from one country to another. The services can range from completing the right paperwork through to testing, verification and compliance. For food products, a global trade standard such as the Codex Alimentarius is the best way to determine testing parameters. Any location-specific requirements that exceed or differ from this standard can then be added, with compliance usually verified by an audit. Many countries’ programs require Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) compliance for a food facility. Additional requirements such as preventive control, as noted in the FSMA and in the Safe Food for Canadians Act, require more intensive procedures. These include monitoring systems in food production and handling facilities, and may also encompass raw and finished goods material traceability. For the complete range of SGS food safety services, visit www.foodsafety.sgs.com. For further information contact: Jim Cook Global Food Inspection Technical Manager SGS North America Email: james.cook@sgs.com About SGS SGS is a leading independent third-party service provider offering efficient solutions to help safeguard quality, safety and sustainability throughout all stages of the global food supply chain. SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company and recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world. References: (1) FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Import Refusal Report) (2) FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration Protecting and Promoting Your Health (Import Alert 16-136) (3) Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (IFN 01-17 - Date Marking and Other Labelling Requirements for Imported Food) (4) Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (Important Food Notices) (5) Bakery and Snacks (Contaminated Illegal Nigerian Snacks and Foodstuffs Repeatedly Rejected by EU) Rutherford, NJ, May 24, 2017 --( PR.com )-- SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. Its global network of locally-based food experts can provide the assistance required, overcoming language barriers and the complexity of the inbound government’s systems.Codex AlimentariusThe Codex Alimentarius, or "Food Code,” is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice - including maximum residue limits (MRLs) for additives, veterinary drugs and pesticides. Designed to ensure that food is safe and can be traded, the Code still hasn’t solved the fundamental problem of harmonization, with country-specific regulations and industry issues continuing to create ongoing problems.Reporting on Import RefusalsSome countries publish details of all refusals and issues. For example, the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) publishes a database with its import refusal reports.(1) From May 2017, importers will be encouraged to refer to this information and assess the risk of a product being imported into the US from a given location, as required by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).However, due to the complexity of the global market, this database does not necessarily list a food product’s country of origin, but includes the country of the US FDA registered company that shipped the item. For example, most of the refusals into the US from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 2014 have been because rice (basmati and plain white) had pesticide residues that were not in compliance with US MRLs. Since the UAE is not considered the world’s leading producer of rice, and many of the UAE listings are for trading companies, it’s safe to assume that this rice is coming from other locations.Data InterpretationUS FDA refusals for Vibrio since the beginning of 2014 show that only one item, shelled coconut, has been refused. This issue was first noted for products arriving from or through India, but there have been subsequent refusals of goods from the Philippines and Vietnam. This process establishes the principle that those importing shelled coconut into the US should test it for Vibrio before shipping.For the contaminant nitrofurans, the US FDA refusal information indicates that shrimp, prawns and crabs are the primary products refused because of contamination, or suspected contamination. Occasionally, some farm raised fish or frog legs are also found to be contaminated. Most nitrofurans contamination occurs in Asia, the base for the majority of the top ten suppliers of farm raised shrimp and prawns to the US.On April 18, 2016 the US FDA issued Import Alert 16-136 (2) placing all shrimp and prawns on automatic detention. This was due to the incidence of shrimp and prawn contamination with nitrofurans and chloramphenicol in Malaysia becoming so common. The US FDA tested 138 shrimp shipments, 32% of which was contaminated with one of these veterinary drugs.Australia and elsewhereIn January, 2017, Australia announced that food product labeling amounts to 75% of refusals.(3) The government identified issues relating to nutrition information, importer details, ingredients and country of origin.Under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS), the government performed 17,464 labeling assessments during the first half of 2016 - and found 366 non-compliance issues, including date marking.All of these issues can be simply resolved by the appointment of a trusted third-party that understands the company’s labels and the rules of the destination market. The third-party can ensure compliance even before the label is printed and attached to the product. This prevents rejection by the receiving country and saves the exporter time and money.As in many other countries, Australia publishes these import notices(4) in an effort to resolve issues before shipments take place. The European Union (EU) has repeatedly rejected Nigerian snacks and foodstuffs because of (5) contamination. The reason appears to be that the countries and companies involved do not have a clear knowledge or understanding of the EU requirements. In addition, the governments of the exporting nations do not have the resources or infrastructure needed to prevent the shipment of contaminated products. This shows that as countries and companies expand globally, they need additional support and expertise to ensure regulatory compliance as well as easy access to new markets.Private Sector SupportWhile support may come from governments, the private sector is also there to help. Companies such as SGS specialize in helping customers export from one country to another. The services can range from completing the right paperwork through to testing, verification and compliance.For food products, a global trade standard such as the Codex Alimentarius is the best way to determine testing parameters. Any location-specific requirements that exceed or differ from this standard can then be added, with compliance usually verified by an audit.Many countries’ programs require Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) compliance for a food facility. Additional requirements such as preventive control, as noted in the FSMA and in the Safe Food for Canadians Act, require more intensive procedures. These include monitoring systems in food production and handling facilities, and may also encompass raw and finished goods material traceability.For the complete range of SGS food safety services, visit www.foodsafety.sgs.com.For further information contact:Jim CookGlobal Food Inspection Technical ManagerSGS North AmericaEmail: james.cook@sgs.comAbout SGSSGS is a leading independent third-party service provider offering efficient solutions to help safeguard quality, safety and sustainability throughout all stages of the global food supply chain. SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company and recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.References:(1) FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Import Refusal Report)(2) FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration Protecting and Promoting Your Health (Import Alert 16-136)(3) Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (IFN 01-17 - Date Marking and Other Labelling Requirements for Imported Food)(4) Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (Important Food Notices)(5) Bakery and Snacks (Contaminated Illegal Nigerian Snacks and Foodstuffs Repeatedly Rejected by EU) Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from SGS North America Inc.


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: winetitles.com.au

The Australian Government has continued its Free Trade Agreement agenda by announcing it had begun negotiations with Peru. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce made the announcement, stating that there were a number of industries expected to benefit from the negotiations, including wine.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

Energy Storage, Oroville Emergency Response in Focus May 9-12 at ACWA Event MONTEREY, CA--(Marketwired - May 03, 2017) - California's shared vision -- and shared challenges -- in the statewide and local water arenas will be the focus of the Association of California Water Agencies' (ACWA) 2017 Spring Conference & Exhibition in Monterey May 9 - 12. More than 1,600 local water leaders will gather at the four-day event -- titled "One Water, One Future" -- to attend an array of panel discussions, forums, presentations and keynote addresses. California's current water challenges as well as leaders' long-term vision for the state's water future will be explored. A broad spectrum of water policy experts will address attendees, including: Susan Kennedy, chief executive officer & founder of Advanced Microgrid Solutions, Inc.; William Croyle, acting director of the California Department of Water Resources; and Scott Cameron, special assistant for water and science at the U.S Department of the Interior. The conference takes place following the state's release of its long-term water conservation policy, and as decisions loom on the California WaterFix. The conference program is available here. WHAT: ACWA's 2017 Spring Conference & Exhibition WHEN: Tuesday, May 9 - Friday, May 12 WHERE: Monterey Marriott and Portola Hotel, Monterey ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose more than 430 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit www.acwa.com.


News Article | June 27, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New York, June 27, 2017 - Access to water is worse now than it was in 1990. The world needs a consolidated voice to protect water as a human right, and this will require stronger leadership from governments, suggests research published in Water Resources and Rural Development. The lack of cooperation between NGOs, private companies and other organizations trying to improve access to water has exacerbated the situation, say the authors of the study, from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, the University of Malawi in Malawi and the University of Lusaka in Zambia. Their work has been selected by an international scientific committee to be given Elsevier's Atlas award, which recognizes research that could significantly impact people's lives around the world or has already done so. The committee selected the paper for its strong analysis that can convince governments and investors to implement long term intervention for universal water access. The United Nations' sixth Sustainable Development Goal is 'clean water and sanitation'. Although this has increased attention given to the problem, access to water in Sub-Saharan Africa is worse than ever: there are more people without access to water now than there were in 1990. "Women will be on their hands and knees digging scoop holes in the ground to try and find water; it's just inhumane," said Professor Tahseen Jafry, corresponding author of the study from Glasgow Caledonian University. "When we were looking at this, we were convinced that something is not right, something is not working. Projects have been coming and going but have not been able to address the problem. We wanted to try and understand why." Caption: A family fetches water from a well in a rural community. © istock.com/brunoat Because government efforts to improve access to water have failed, a number of social actors - NGOs, community and faith-based organizations, private companies and others - have stepped in. The result is a complex web of activity, which Prof. Jafry and her colleagues wanted to untangle. Through interviews, focus group discussions and workshops, they analyzed the different approaches of these social actors, and looked at how they are working together to provide access to water in Malawi and Zambia. They uncovered a lack of strategic coordination and cooperation: every organization has its own agenda and approach, and while some overlap, they don't all align strategically. "Why is it that their approaches and their mechanisms and their ideas are not getting to the poorest and most vulnerable people, to those women that are having to dig with their bare hands in the ground," Prof. Jafry said. "What we found was that in this complex mix, there is a need to come together and focus more clearly on providing water for those that need it. What we need is strong leadership from the government." As well as bringing the various voices together to improve access to water, Prof. Jafry believes we will only solve the broader problems of climate change by putting people at the heart of the solutions - through climate justice, equity and rights: "There's a lot of rhetoric around climate change adaptation and mitigation, but I think what needs to be embedded in that conversation is issues around climate justice, or injustice, to highlight the human and social dimensions to the climate change challenges ahead. That should influence how we address these challenges, of which water is a key element." The article is "The role of social actors in water access in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Malawi and Zambia," by Ted Scanlon, Obinna Paul Uguru, Tahseen Jafry, Blessings Chinsinga, Peter Mvula, Joseph Chunga, Lilian Mukuka Zimba, Mwansa Mwape, Lucy Nyundo, Brian Mwiinga and Kevin Chungu (https:/ ). It appears in Water Resources and Rural Development, Volume 8, November 2016, published by Elsevier. Copies of this paper are available to credentialed journalists upon request; please contact Elsevier's newsroom at newsroom@elsevier.com or +31 20 485 2492. Water plays a critical role in providing livelihood opportunities and sustaining the health and welfare of rural families around the world. Water Resources and Rural Development publishes papers describing the role of water resources in supporting livelihood activities in rural areas, with a focus on the impacts of water resources policy and management on rural livelihoods and household welfare. Elsevier is a global information analytics company that helps institutions and professionals progress science, advance healthcare and improve performance for the benefit of humanity. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, more than 35,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professionals and business customers across industries. http://www.

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