EA Grain Council seeks Tanzania agricultural stakeholder’s partnership

TANZANIA – The East African Grain Council (EAGC) has called for partnership with the ministry of Agriculture in Tanzania in a bid to address challenges facing the sector. Fredrick Costa, Communications Officer, Fredrick Costa said that the council is engaging the ministry of agriculture in the country as it seeks to rump up support in handling the challenges. “The desk will be dealing with the main challenges facing the private sector in terms of availability of hybrid seeds, agricultural inputs, access to funding and markets, among others,” he added According…

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Ethiopian agricultural agency to invest US$5.89m in capacity building

ETHIOPIA – The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) is set to invest a whooping US$5.98 million in building mechanisation centres across the country as it seeks to boost agricultural production. According to Gebre G. Tsadik, the mechanisation centre pilot project head at the Agency, the mechanisation centres will provide farmers with machinery and equipment to aid in crop planting and harvesting. ATA plans to set up ten mechanisation centres in four regions: Oromia, Amhara, Tigray and the SNNPR, reports Addis Fortune. However, land fragmentation has been a major challenge towards…

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South Africa’s Shoprite eyes share buyback from chairperson Christo Wiese

SOUTH AFRICA – Shoprite Holdings, a leading South African retailer, has unveiled plans of repurchasing its shares form the group’s chairperson, Christo Wiese, as it seeks to enhance transparency among its shareholders. Shoprite said that it has entered into an exclusive in-principle discussions with its chairperson Christo Wiese to purchase his deferred shares, reports Business Report. According to Pieter Engelbrecht, Shoprite’s chief executive, the negotiations were spearheaded by shareholders who also wanted to dilute Wiese’s influence in the retailer. “We have started the discussions, but it is the shareholders’ decision…

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Marks & Spencer buys Ocado’s UK retail business for US$996m, creates grocery JV

UK – British retailer, Marks and Spencer (M&S) has acquired 50% stake in a newly formed online grocery joint venture with online supermarket chain, Ocado for a consideration of US$996.67 million (£750 million). Under the terms of the agreement, the London based firm is acquiring a 50% share of Ocado’s UK retail business, which will be supported by Ocado Smart Platform. According to M&S, the 50/50 Joint Venture is set to ‘transform online grocery shopping for UK consumers.’ Trading as Ocado.com, the new venture combines the strength of M&S’s brand…

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French Spirit Group Pernod Ricard to increase stake in African market

AFRICA – French spirits Group Pernod Ricard said that it is set to increase its market share in the African alcoholic beverage market as it seeks to capitalise on the opportunities in the continent. According to a report by just-drinks, Alexander Ricard, chief executive officer at Pernod Ricard said that Africa is poised to record significant economic and demographic growth and hence remains a significant market to the firm. “We have a clear vision – Africa is Asia in 15 to 20 years from today. That’s because of demographics, urbanization…

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Campbell half-year sales rise 25% boosted by Snyder-Lance and Pacific buy

USA – Campbell Soup has reported 25% increase in net sales to US$5.4 billion in the first half, boosted by acquisitions of Snyder’s-Lance and Pacific Foods. Mark Clouse, Campbell’s President and CEO stated that the second consecutive quarter delivered sales and earnings in line with expectations, reaffirming the company full-year guidance for fiscal 2019. EBIT decreased 44% to US$369 million while net interest expense was US$185 million compared to US$62 million in the prior year, reflecting higher levels of debt associated with the recent acquisitions. The company completed the acquisition…

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Nigeria’s regulator mulls ban on sachets, PET bottles as alcoholic packages

NIGERIA – The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Nigeria has unveiled plans of banning the use of sachets and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles in packaging alcoholic beverages. According to a report Beverage Industry News, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, Director General at NAFDAC, said that the regulator will no longer approve new registration for alcohol packaged in sachets. Speaking during a meeting with stakeholders in food and drugs manufacturing, Adeyeye added that NAFDAC has identified alcohol packaged in sachets as a major contributor to increasing drug…

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FoodDrinkEurope publishes EU policy priorities, calls for least disruptive outcome in Brexit

EUROPE – The EU food industry confederation, FoodDrinkEurope has published its policy priorities for the years ahead and called for the “least disruptive outcome” to the final Brexit negotiations. In an interview with FoodIngredientsFirst, FoodDrinkEurope Director General, Mella Frewen said it expects the EU and UK negotiators to reach an agreement that will least affect the food and beverage sector. Even as UK plans to leave the EU from March 29, 2019, Mella said she hopes that the move would enable them to continue supporting jobs across Europe and achieve…

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Kenya’s Kibos Sugar seeks electric power generation licence

KENYA – Kibos Sugar and Allied Industries Ltd, a sugar processing and agro-allied company in Kenya, said it seeking for an electric power generation licence from the energy regulator in the country. The company said in a statement that it is set to apply to the Energy Regulatory Commission for the licence in the generation of 3 megawatts and 15 megawatts (MW) of electricity to support its diversified operations. “The purpose of the licence is required to generate 3 megawatts and 15 megawatts of electricity to be used in the…

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Coca-Cola Amatil switches to 100% sustainably accredited sugar in Australia

AUSTRALIA – Coca-Cola Amatil has announced that 100% of sugar used in its non-alcoholic beverages in Australia is sourced from independently accredited growers who follow sustainable production frameworks. The sugar contracts running to 2021 will be purchased from growers who hold Bonsucro and Smartcane Best Management Practice (BMP) sugar certifications which aim to increase on-farm productivity while reducing environmental and social risks. The company said all the sugar used in the whole range of its soft drinks will be sourced from farms with decreased herbicides and pesticide use per hectare,…

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