Today’s quick hits, March 11, 2020

Perdue sees brighter days ahead (FERN’s Ag Insider): Strong domestic demand and recent agreements with trading partners such as China mean “brighter days ahead once we get past this outbreak of coronavirus,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Capitol Hill. USDA later released a list actions that Perdue said were proof that China “is taking steps to achieve their purchase commitments.”

Cho to lead anti-hunger group (Bread): Eugene Cho, founder of a grassroots movement to alleviate extreme global poverty, will succeed David Beckman on July 1 as president of Bread for the World, an anti-hunger and anti-poverty group based in Washington.

Call to reform EU farm program (New York Times): More than 3,600 scientists and researchers support a paper that calls for a major overhaul of the European Union’s farm program. Some of the proposed reforms include paying farmers for environmentally friendly practices and ending a subsidy that encourages livestock production.

Olive glut in Tunisia (Washington Post): Olive oil production doubled this year in Tunisia, one of the world’s largest producers, resulting in low prices for its olive farmers and adding to a worldwide slump in olive oil prices.

North Africa trade mission is postponed (Politico): The USDA postponed a trade mission to North Africa, scheduled March 16-19, following detection of the coronavirus in Morocco, the central site for meeting prospective buyers from Algeria, Libya and Tunisia as well as Morocco.

More refined sugar from Mexico (USDA): The Commerce Department raised the import quota for refined sugar from Mexico by 200,000 short tons raw value for this fiscal year, the second increase of the year.