Cargill makes first investment in Saudi Arabia, targets Middle Eastern growth

23 Jan 2018 --- Through a joint venture between Cargill and Arasco, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has a new corn milling facility to meet the growing demand of the region’s food and beverage industry. The Middle East Food Solutions Company (MEFSCO Corn Milling Facility), inaugurated in Al-Kharj, is Cargill’s first investment in KSA. The investment marks the company’s commitment to the Middle Eastern economy and support for the region’s food and beverage manufacturers.

ADM pursues agro merger with Bunge

22 Jan 2018 --- US agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has approached Bunge about a potential takeover, which could set up a bidding war with Swiss-based rival Glencore Plc. The takeover could combine two of the world's four largest grain trading houses. ADM's approach comes just months after commodities trader Glencore proposed a partnership with Bunge, setting the scene for a bidding war.

Could there be relaxed rules for gene-editing?

22 Jan 2018 --- The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has given the first indication of how it will classify foods and crops derived from new genetic engineering techniques which should largely be exempt from EU laws. However, individual countries can step in to regulate them if they wish.

Import of sustainable fruit and veg increases to 70 percent, says SIFAV

19 Jan 2018 --- The volumes of tropical fruit and vegetables, such as bananas, pineapples, green beans and avocados, that are sourced on the basis of meeting social and environmental conditions has risen significantly from 50 percent to 70 percent in one year. This is what has emerged from the 2017 annual monitoring of the Sustainability Initiative Fruit and Vegetables (SIFAV), which aims to make imports of fruits and vegetables from Africa, Asia and South America 100 percent sustainable in 2020.

Mondelēz invests in program to protect forests in Ghana

18 Jan 2018 --- Mondelēz International has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Forestry Commission of Ghana, Ghana Cocoa Board and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), reinforcing its commitment to reduce emissions in its cocoa supply chain across Ghana.

New naked barley “Buck”: the modern version of an ancient grain

18 Jan 2018 --- A new “naked” variety of barley has been bred by a US research team who are breathing new life into an ancient grain creating a hybrid that produces higher yields and needs less water and fertilizer to flourish.

Pea protein surge: Cargill invests in Puris, the largest North American producer

18 Jan 2018 --- With the rapid rise in consumer demand for plant-based protein, PURIS, the largest North American producer of pea protein, and Cargill have signed a joint venture agreement to accelerate a new wave of “great tasting, sustainable and label-friendly plant-based foods.” The joint venture is closed as of Tuesday (January 16, 2018). Cargill is a minority investor in PURIS’s pea protein business, with Cargill financially backing PURIS for growth into the future.

Organic movement calls for regulation of new genetic engineering techniques

17 Jan 2018 --- During its General Assembly in New Delhi, India late last year, IFOAM – Organics International adopted a global position which reaffirms that GMOs created through new genetic engineering techniques have no place in organic food and farming systems.

EU war against plastic waste: 2030 full recyclability targets set

17 Jan 2018 --- The first-ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics, was adopted, as of yesterday, and is a part of the transition towards a more circular economy. The EU is instigating war against plastic waste as part of an urgent plan to clean up Europe’s activities and ensure that every piece of packaging on the continent is reusable or recyclable by 2030.

Malaysian palm oil industry fights back against EU challenges

15 Jan 2018 --- The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) is strengthening its fight against European Union recommendations and policy measures concerning palm oil with a strongly-worded position paper which criticizes and challenges the EU’s stance.

VTT explores Big Data to develop sustainable solutions for agriculture

15 Jan 2018 --- VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is developing new solutions for the responsible and sustainable use of the resources of agriculture, forestry and fishery, as part of an international consortium. The main goal is to use Big Data particularly in the raw material production for the bioeconomy industry to produce food, energy and biomaterials. In forestry, MHG Systems is leading pilots that develop services enabled by forest data.

UK Government considering “latte levy”

12 Jan 2018 --- A proposal to introduce a 25 pence so-called “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups will be considered by the UK Government as Britain sharpens its focus on environmental policy and ways to cut down on plastics.

Four new flavors of Diet Coke as iconic soda enters “new era”

11 Jan 2018 --- On-trend bold botanical, fruit and spice flavors like mango, lime, ginger and blood orange, are the key components of new-look Diet Coke as the iconic brand goes through a transformation which also includes sleek new packaging.

Irish food & drink exports hit €12.6 billion record, sector remains cautious on Brexit

11 Jan 2018 --- Irish food and drink exports have reached a record high of €12.6 billion (US$15 billion) bolstered by butter as dairy remains the country’s most valuable agri-food sector, according to new figures from Bord Bia. And buoyant beef sales are also helping to strengthen exports as the key category continues to play a pivotal role in Irish exports, as do prepared foods and beverages.

CHS Q1 earnings decline, Food impacted by Ventura Foods

11 Jan 2018 --- CHS Inc., farmer-owned cooperative and grains and foods company, has reported net income of USUS$180.1 million for the first quarter of its 2018 fiscal year, compared to net income of USUS$209.2 million for the same period a year ago.

Sustain slams pub chairman's beermat claims about cheap food post-Brexit

10 Jan 2018 --- UK food and agricultural advocate, Sustain, has questioned the chairman of UK pub operator JD Wetherspoon over claims that food prices will fall after Brexit and argues that cheap food would come at a cost, to food quality, British jobs and UK farmers. Wetherspoons' chairman Tim Martin has published an open letter in response to a customer who didn't like his new Brexit beermats highlighting support for the British fishing industry and also accusing business leaders of misleading the public on Brexit. The 500,000 beer mats are being used in 893 pubs across the UK after being introduced earlier this week.

Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees: study

10 Jan 2018 --- When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports. The puzzling finding comes on the heels of other studies linking fungicides to declines in honey bee and wild bee populations. One recent study, for example, found parallels between the use of chlorothalonil and the presence of Nosema bombi, a fungal parasite, in bumble bees. Greater chlorothalonil use also was linked to range contractions in four declining bumblebee species.

Australian sugar tax: AMA calls for sugary drinks move to target obesity

08 Jan 2018 --- The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has called for a tax on sugary drinks to be put in place to tackle obesity and for water to be the default beverage option with meals. In a position paper, which was released yesterday (January 7), the AMA backed a number of measures to decrease obesity including banning junk food ads which target children.

Food recalls: US FDA creates new framework in sweeping overhaul

08 Jan 2018 --- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued guidance to the food industry detailing how it plans to enforce the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act and describing the “sweeping changes” as “the biggest overhaul of the nation’s food safety laws in more than 70 years.”

Cargill Q2 profits dip despite strong ingredients results, suspends operations with Guatemalan palm oil supplier

05 Jan 2018 --- The world’s largest food commodities supplier, Cargill has reported lower profits in its Q2 results as overflowing crops continued to weigh on its grain trading business. The company’s adjusted operating profit declined 8 percent year-on-year to USUS$948m in the quarter ended November 30, while net profit fell 6 percent to US$924m. Compared to results from last year, the company has experienced a drop in profit.

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