South African retailer Shoprite opens new branch in coastal Kenya

KENYA – Shoprite Holdings, Africa’s largest supermarket retailer headquartered in South Africa, has opened its third branch in Nyali, Coastal Kenya as it continues to consolidate its presence in the East African country. Located in City Mall, the new store is expected to create over 115 new job opportunities, with 65 per cent to be occupied by women. The branch will be Shoprite’s first outlet in the country with a seating area inside where customers will enjoy foods prepared in the store. Shoprite Kenya General Manager, Andrew Mweemba said the…

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India’s Luxmi Tea to invest US$30m in Rwandan unit to expand processing capacity

RWANDA – Luxmi Tea, an India based tea processing company, will be investing between US$28 million and US$30 million in its Rwandan subsidiary, Rugabano Tea Factory to ramp up processing capacity. Luxmi unveiled the investment plan during the inauguration of the plant on Thursday in Karongi District, Western Rwanda, making it the first Indian firm to set up a greenfield project in tea processing in the country. Rugabano Tea currently has an installed capacity to produce 1,000 metric tonnes of premium black tea, every year, meant for the export market.…

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South Africa’s Zeder Investments acquires stake in East African Seeds Company

SOUTH AFRICA – Zeder Investments, a South African agribusiness group, has secured an agreement to acquire 40 percent shareholding in East African Seeds (EAS) Company. The investment in EAS, a seed company with operations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia is expected to support Zeder’s expansion in East and Central Africa, reports Business Day. The PSG-controlled agribusiness giant said that its subsidiary, a Zaad it had identified East and Central Africa as an important growth area for both seeds and agrochemicals. Zaad operates as the company’s agri-input firm. It…

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Rwanda unveils plans of testing genetically modifies potato variety

RWANDA – Rwanda has unveiled plans of testing a newly developed Genetically Modified (GM) potato variety that is expected to significantly increase yields, reports New Times Rwanda. Developed by the International Potato Centre (CIP), the Victoria variety is expected to cushion farmers against losses associated with the late blight disease. The fungal potato disease is estimated to cost developing countries an estimated US$10 billion in lost revenues through reduced yields. According to Dr. Patrick Karangwa, the Director General of Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), the potato variety has proven to be…

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Arla Foods reports growth in revenues amid volatile global dairy market

DENMARK – Arla Foods has reported growth in revenues during the six months period ending June 2019 to €5.2 billion (US$5.74bn) despite a period of “rare stability” in the volatile global dairy market. The Danish dairy giant recorded a 2% growth in revenue driven by higher strategic branded sales volumes and an increase in sales prices. During the period under review, Arla delivered a net profit share of 2.3%, up from last half year’s profit share of 2.2%. The company expects its full year net profit share to be within…

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International Grain Council raises global grain production forecast by 11m tonnes

USA – The International Grains Council (IGC) has revised its forecast for total world grain production in 2019-20 upwards by 11 million tonnes. In its most recent monthly Grain Market Review (GMR) the IGC said it now forecasts global grain production for 2019-20 at 2.159 billion tonnes due to a rise in projected US corm production, reports World Grain. This represents a 0.5% increase from 2.148 billion tonnes in its July forecast and 17 million tonnes higher than the Council’s 2017-18 estimated total. According to the Grain Market Review, the…

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Chr. Hansen plans new innovation campus in Denmark to bolster research

DENMARK – Chr. Hansen has entered into a cooperation agreement with PensionDanmark on a significant expansion of its main office campus and research & development facilities in Hoersholm north of Copenhagen. PensionDanmark is one of the 50 largest pension funds in Europe with currently €31.5 billion (US$ 34.76bn) under management and serving 734,000 members. With the agreement, seeks to expand and strengthen its research & development facilities to meet the increasing demand for natural and sustainable products. The project includes the establishment of a modern innovation campus with laboratories for…

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Pernod Ricard breaks ground on new US$150m whisky distillery in China

CHINA – French spirits and wine group, Pernod Ricard has initiated construction of a malt whisky distillery in Emeishan, Sichuan in China that will see the company invest US$150 million over the next ten years. The distillery will be developed on a 13-hectare and will also house an immersive visitor centre, which the international spirits company hopes will attract more than 2 million tourists within the first decade of its opening. “The ground-breaking of the distillery signifies the beginning of a journey of innovation, expertise and dedication to craft a…

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Premier Foods appoints new CEO as finance head steps down

UK – Premier Foods, the Mr Kipling cakes and Bisto gravy owner has appointed Alex Whitehouse, its UK managing director as the company’s new chief executive officer. Whitehouse will take over from Alastair Murray who has been serving as the acting chief executive for the last seven months. According to a Reuters report, the company also announced that its finance head Alastair Murray would step down and has appointed Group Director of financial control and corporate development Duncan Leggett as acting chief financial officer. Premier Foods has also welcomed ex-Reckitt…

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Ghana’s Western Deedew invests in new rice processing plant

GHANA – Western Deedew Group Company Limited, a Ghanaian rice processing company has initiated construction of a rice processing plant in Agona, Ashanti Region, southern Ghana. Once complete, the factory is expected to have a warehouse, an ultra-modern rice miller which comes with a destoner, combine harvesters, a trans planter among other equipment which will enhance the factory’s operations. The company said that suitability of the region for rice cultivation and the favourable rainfall pattern which is expected to boost rice yields informed its decision to invest in the facility.…

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