South Africa’s Tongaat Hulett appoints Rob Aitken as new CFO

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s agri-business company, Tongaat Hulett, has announced the appointment of Rob Aitken as new permeant Chief Executive Officer (CFO) and executive director, effective March 2019, reports Business Report. Rob Aitken has been the acting CFO for the past six months since the departure of Murray Munro who resigned in August 2018. Tongaat said that Aitkens experience in the accounting and sugar industry will help the company meet its ambitions of revitalising the sector. “Aitken is a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA) in South Africa (SA) with 14…

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Rwanda hosts African coffee expo as it seeks to boost sector

RWANDA – Rwanda will be hosting the African Fine Coffees Conference and Exhibition, an annual event hosted in rotation in Africa’s coffee producing countries, from 12-15 February 2019. The conference is aimed at deliberating on intervention to the challenges facing the continents coffee sector as well as explore the opportunities presented by the commodity. According to Dr Celestin Gatarayiha, the Head of Coffee Production and Processing Division at National Agricultural Export Development Board in Rwanda, the conference presents an opportunity to stakeholders in the coffee sector will to promote the…

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Global plant-based beverages market reaches US$247.8b driven by health and wellness trends

WORLD – The global plant-based beverages market is estimated at US$247.84 billion in 2018 and this is expected to grow at annual growth rate of 6.7% to reach US$474.66 billion by 2028, according to latest report by Future Market Insights. The increase is attributed to rising demand for health and wellness products in the global population as well as the growing vegan/vegetarian/flexitarian trend. Another factor greatly contributing to the expansion of this market is the health-related guidelines and restrictions regarding including lactose intolerance and food-related allergies. Plant-based beverages market is…

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Rwanda’s fish production grows by 27.8% as demand increases

RWANDA – Rwanda has recorded significant growth in fish production by 27.8% to 43,632 tonnes in 2018 compared to 31,465 tonnes produced in 2017, reports New Times. According to Rwanda’s Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), increased investments in modern and commercially oriented aquaculture practices were the major drivers of the growth. However, despite a rise in production, Rwanda doesn’t meet the local demand which has pushed the country to import an estimated 15,000 tonnes of fish every year in order to cater for the rising demand. The sector has been recording…

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Nigeria’s quick service restaurant Mr. Bigg’s launches new outlet

NIGERIA- Nigeria’s quick service restaurant Mr Bigg’s and subsidiary of United Africa Company (UAC) of Nigeria, has opened an outlet in Ogun States as part of its expansion strategy, reports This Day. Speaking during the launch of the outlet, Mrs. Joan Ihekwaba, UAC Restaurants’ managing executive said the restaurant features spacious design with its menu aimed at ensuring consumer satisfaction. “The use of comfy seats and flush tables to depict different seating arrangements that accommodate various consumers’ profile, family and individual seating add to the splendour of the new outlet,”…

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Packaging group Huhtamaki launches a new line of paper straws

FINLAND – The Finnish food packaging company, Huhtamaki has launched a new line of paper straws to increase availability of sustainable choices and alternatives to plastic straws. The development comes after the company invested in new, purpose-built machinery to expand its capabilities in providing sustainable materials for food packaging products. Huhtamaki said the new paper straws are made of fiber coming from sustainably managed forests and that 100% of the paper used in the straws and in their wrapping is PEFC certified. They are said to be made with strong, functional…

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Grain processing company Viresol opens US$117m wheat starch plant in Hungary

EUROPE – Hungarian grain processing company Viresol has opened a new wheat starch processing plant worth US$117.66 million (33 billion forints) in Visonta, in northeast Hungary. World Grain report reveals that the plant will process 250,000 tonnes of Hungarian wheat, which equates to about 10% of all Hungarian wheat intended for export. Viresol, which was given the mandate to operate the grain facility, received a 6.2 billion-forint (US$22 million) government grant for the project. According to Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán who attended the inaugural event, the new plant was…

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JM Smucker invests US$9.1m in Canadian dairy processing facility

CANADA – Smucker Foods of Canada Corp, a subsidiary of the American food company JM Smucker has announced that it will invest US$9.1 million (CAD 12 million) to upgrade its Sherbrooke, Quebec based manufacturing facility. The investment, partly funded by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food, will be used to increase output in condensed milk as well as other products. According to the company, the upgrading involves manufacturing equipment to increase its flexibility and the variety of products produced. Part of the proceeds will go into broadening of its…

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Carlsberg unveils new Danish Pilsner beer in the UK to strengthen brand

UK – Global brewer, Carlsberg has unveiled a ‘better’ brand of its flagship Carlsberg beer in the UK called Carlsberg Danish Pilsner backed by ‘multi-million-pound’ investment. Available in the UK starting March 1, Carlsberg said the new beer brand with improved quality perceptions, enhances the consumer drinking experience and minimise its environmental impact. The trade launch will be supported by the brand’s consumer marketing campaign involving TV, digital and out-of-home throughout 2019. Carlsberg said it has ‘enhanced every aspect of its beer – including the choice of ingredients through to…

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Danone unveils smart cap for its Font Vella mineral water to enhance hydration

SPAIN – Danone has announced that it is set to launch a special smart cap to its Spanish mineral water brand Font Vella that will allow consumers track their water intake as well as hydration levels. Called Coach2O, the device covers the existing bottle cap, ensuring no contact between the water and the device and records the volume of water taken in by its user. The device can coach people toward adequate hydration, encouraging them to keep sufficiently hydrated. The Coach2O has been developed in partnership with water.io, an innovative…

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