Dairy groups applaud defeat of raw milk amendment

21 May 2018 --- Opposition from a strong coalition of dairy farmers, processors, consumer groups, food safety advocates, federal and state public health regulators, the medical community and other key stakeholders has led to the defeat of an amendment to the 2018 House Farm Bill that would have allowed the interstate sale of unpasteurized milk in the US.

US-China “trade war” on hold after new talks ease tensions, but is the truce fleeting?

21 May 2018 --- The sweeping tariffs that US President Trump threatened to impose on China recently are off the table for now after the two countries are on the path to reaching a new agreement on trade – and tensions seem to be easing. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said over the weekend that the Trump administration was putting “the trade war on hold,” suspending tariffs on Chinese imports so that the two economies could thrash out a new deal that will reduce the merchandise trade deficit.

Biodegradable packaging: Bio-lutions helps tackle India’s crop burning concerns

21 May 2018 --- German start-up company, Bio-lutions, are taking great strides to combat India’s huge air pollution and plastic waste problems through the conversion of agriculture waste into biodegradable packaging. Starting as a pilot-plant in Bangalore, the company has big ambitions to expand operations across India and ultimately the wider world.

Weekly Digest: Kemin launches solution for shelf-life extension, 2 Sisters appoints new CEO

18 May 2018 --- This week in business, Kemin launched a new plant extract solution found to provide a shelf-life extension in salad dressings and sauces and Lurpak announced its plans to bring of Lurpak Softest to the market, a new soft blend butter that is spreadable straight from the fridge. Meanwhile, 2 Sisters has appointed Ronald Kers as its new Chief Executive Officer, officially joining on June 1 and the Chairman of Arla Foods amba, declared that he has agreed on the sale of his dairy farm in Ösarp, Sweden. Also, the Brewers of Europe welcomes the decision by the European Court of Justice clarifying the Degrees Plato calculation, a scale widely used to determine excise duty rates for beer.

Chemical giants “disappointed” after EU court backs neonicotinoids ban

18 May 2018 --- An EU court has backed a partial ban on neonicotinoids saying that the European Commission was correct five years ago when it restricted their use in a bid to protect bee populations. The General Court of the European Union confirmed on Thursday the validity of the restrictions introduced at EU level in 2013 against the insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid because of the risks those substances pose to bees.

Valio China establishes new business units for a growing market

18 May 2018 --- Finnish dairy company, Valio has held an unveiling ceremony for its China head office in Shanghai. The newly established head office will focus on serving the growing Chinese market. Besides the Ingredient business units, Valio China has also established the new business units of Retail and Food Service. By carrying on the century-honored Finnish heritage in innovation and high quality, Valio China will stand side-by-side with Chinese consumers to create a better life together.

Campaigners urge UK government to legislate on salt reduction

17 May 2018 --- Campaign group, Action on Salt, has criticized a new Food and Drink Federation (FDF) report that highlights the food industry’s reformulation work to reduce sugar but claims cutting salt is not being given enough attention and urges the government to step up legislation.

Major milestone: Kalsec receives rating for sustainably sourced US crops

17 May 2018 --- As a first milestone since joining the SAI (Sustainable Agriculture Initiative) Platform in 2017, Kalsec has worked with its US growers to implement SAI Platform’s FSA 2.0 tool (Farm Sustainability Assessment). The FSA 2.0 tool evaluates sustainable farming practices covering environmental, economic and social aspects and is a widely recognized assessment in the food and beverage industry.

Switzerland votes for ban on synthetic pesticides

16 May 2018 --- The popular initiative to ban synthetic pesticides has garnered enough formal support to force a nationwide vote in Switzerland. Entitled “For a Switzerland free of synthetic pesticides,” a formal petition was signed by more than 100,000 citizens in the country. By Swiss law, the federal government will now have the task to organize and conduct an associated ballot referendum to be held within two years.

Plant-based breakthrough: Vivera brings vegan steaks to European market

15 May 2018 --- Dutch manufacturer Vivera has announced that it, as the first company in the world, will bring 100 percent plant-based steak to the European market. Vivera has already started production and expects to produce several million pieces in 2018 alone. The company currently has an output of more than 1 million meat replacements a week, making it one of the three largest producers in Europe. Vivera sees a strong growing international demand for plant-based products and has been one of the founders of meat alternatives in Western Europe since its foundation in 1990. 

Kraft Heinz reports lackluster Q1 sales

15 May 2018 --- Kraft Heinz has reported its first-quarter 2018 results which show net sales dropped 0.3 percent to US$6.3bn in the three months to the end of March, while organic net sales fell 1.5 percent overall.

Prolupin’s new financing to boost plant-based growth

14 May 2018 --- Plant-based protein company Prolupin has announced the first closing of a double-digit growth financing round which will enable the German-based company to reach profitability.

Olam reports Q1 profit growth but confectionery & beverage revenue drops 10.5 percent

14 May 2018 --- Commodities trader Olam International says its first-quarter results 2018 were strong with PATMI (Profit After Tax and Minority Interest) increasing 9.8 percent year-on-year to S$157.9 million (Q1 2017: S$143.9 million) on reduced net finance costs and lower taxation.

House of Lords Brexit report: Poorer households forced into below-par imports as food prices skyrocket

11 May 2018 --- A new House of Lords report warns that food prices will rise in the event of a hard Brexit and if the UK doesn’t secure a free trade deal with the European Union, poorer people will be forced to eat lower quality imported food. The upper chamber of British Parliament has painted a rather grim picture of what post-Brexit Britain could look like in terms of affordability of food.

British think tank warns Sainsbury’s-Asda merger puts up to 2,500 supply chain jobs at risk

10 May 2018 --- Analysis from the British think-tank New Economics Foundation (NEF) claims that up to 2,500 jobs in core supermarkets supply chains could be at risk following the planned merger of Sainsbury’s and Asda. Direct store closures and job losses have been ruled out by Sainsbury’s with the retailer claiming that the merger could, in fact, lead to lower prices of up to 10 percent.

Nestlé and Starbucks form “global coffee alliance” in US$7.15bn distribution deal

08 May 2018 --- Nestlé has agreed to pay Starbucks US$7.15 billion in a distribution deal that sees two of the most iconic coffee brands join forces to form a “global coffee alliance.” The world’s largest food and beverage company has entered into an agreement for the global license of Starbucks consumer and foodservice products allowing it to market them outside of the company’s coffee shops.

Symrise reports strong organic growth of 7.5 percent in Q1

08 May 2018 --- Symrise AG remains on track for strong growth in the fiscal year 2018 and achieved a healthy 7.5 percent organic increase in sales in Q1. Taking into account portfolio and exchange rate effects, sales in the first quarter were up 1.5 percent to €776.9 million (US$925.4 million) (Q1 2017: €765.2 million (US$911 million)). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to €155.8 million (US$185.5 million). Due to negative currency effects and higher raw material costs, the EBITDA came in lower than in the prior-year period (Q1 2017: €165.5 million (US$197 million)). The EBITDA margin reached 20.1 percent and was within the medium-term target corridor of 19–22 percent.

Survey shows Dutch companies processing more certified sustainable cocoa

07 May 2018 --- An increasingly large proportion of cocoa purchased by Dutch cocoa processing companies is certified sustainable, according to the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. However, the share only inched up from 21 percent in 2014 to 30 percent two years later in 2016. 

FAO: World food prices edged up in April, sharp falls for sugar

04 May 2018 --- The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations reports that world food prices slightly increased in April but sugar prices fell further while the price of most cereals and dairy products edged up.

Arla reinvents soft drinks with launch of new Milk & Oats range

04 May 2018 --- Arla Foods is tapping into the breakfast food-to-go market with the introduction of its new Milk & Oats range of healthy and ready-to-drink (RTD)  beverages. Bringing the benefits of dairy into the soft drinks category, Milk & Oats is a simple blend of skimmed milk, hearty wholegrain oats and natural flavor that will launch in two breakfast-inspired variants – Maple and Vanilla.

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