Ghana Commodity Exchange to launch rice trading on its platform

GHANA – The Ghana Commodity Exchange revealed that it has completed feasibility studies into the local rice market ahead of the listing of the commodity on the exchange later this year. The move, which seeks to increase Ghana’s rice production and export , will bring the number of listed commodities on the exchange to three, including maize and soya bean. Chief Executive of the Ghana Commodity Exchange, Alpha Kadri says that the Exchange will provide necessary infrastructure to support the commodity’s trading at the exchange. According to a GhanaWeb report,…

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South Africa’s retailer Massmart reports half year loss on increased costs

SOUTH AFRICA – South African retailer, Massmart reported a net loss of R832.4m (US$54.43 million) in the six months to end-June on increased costs that weakened growing sales. The Walmart-owned retailer, whose brands include Makro and Game, said that net finance costs grew to R909.6 million (US$59.49m) from R299.7 million (US$19.6m) a year before as borrowings rose sharply. Massmart said tough trading conditions in South Africa and other African markets weighed on sales growth and placed pressure on margins. Despite a higher depreciation and amortisation charge, asset write-downs, foreign exchange…

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Distell to split its international operations as profits shrink 45.5%

SOUTH AFRICA – Distell Group, South Africa-based alcoholic drinks company, has unveil plans of splitting its international operations into three business units in a move that seeks to grow its business in key markets. According to an IOL Business report, the Nederburg wines and Klipdrift brandies owner said the operations would be split into international spirits, exports, and premium wine through Libertas Vineyards and Estates. “We believe this gives us the best opportunity to grow premium spirits and wines in key markets and drive brand premiumisation in line with consumer…

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Nestlé to close Australian facility as expansion in Brazil gains traction

AUSTRALIA – Nestlé has announced that it will be closing its Tongala processing plant in Victoria, Australia and move the facility’s operation overseas. The closure of the facility, which primarily produces tinned milk products, will result into loss of all 106 roles in the factory. However, the closure will be staged progressively throughout a period of up to 18 months. Commenting on the closure, general manager, Andrew McIver said: “People just don’t buy tinned milk like they used to, and cheaper imports have eroded our business further. “At the same…

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Pernod Ricard to acquire spirits maker Castle Brands for US$223m

USA – Pernod Ricard, the French spirit and wine group has entered into an agreement to acquire alcohol manufacturer and marketer Castle Brands for approximately US$223 million. As part of the deal, Pernod Ricard will add brands such as Jefferson’s Bourbon, Brady’s Irish Cream and Clontarf Irish Whiskey to its portfolio. Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pernod Ricard said:“Through this acquisition we welcome this great brand portfolio, in particular, Jefferson’s bourbon whiskey, to the Pernod Ricard family. “Bourbon is a key category in the US which is…

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Chobani appoints McGuinness as president in new restructuring strategy

USA – Chibona, the US-based Greek yogurt business has named its long serving chief marketing officer, Peter McGuinness as the company’s new president. In his new role, McGuinness will add to his current responsibility for overseeing Chobani’s demand function to also include supply chain, manufacturing, sustainability and research & development. The US yogurt maker has also announced the departure of chief financial officer Mick Beekhuizen, who will be replaced on an interim basis by current treasurer Michelle Brooks. Chobani Founder and chief executive officer Hamdi Ulukaya said McGuinness appointment and…

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Cargill invests additional US$75m in Puris to expand production capacity

USA – Global agribusiness company, Cargill has invested an additional US$75 million in North America’s leading producer of pea protein Puris. Cargill formed a joint venture with Puris in January 2018 with an initial investment of US$25 million that was used to add substantial capacity at the Turtle Lake, Wisconsin production facility. The new investment will enable Puris to more than double its pea protein production using an existing 200,000 square-foot facility in Dawson, Minnesota. This investment will also position the firm to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for…

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Pilgrim’s Pride buys meat processor Tulip from Danish Crown for US$353.79m

UK – Pilgrim’s Pride, a meat processing company controlled by Brazil’s largest meat producer, JBS has secured a deal to acquire UK meat processor Tulip from Danish Crown in a transaction valued at £290 million (US$353.79 million) Under the deal, Pilgrim’s Pride will acquire Tulip’s 12 fresh and value-added operations in the UK, which Danish Crown said will enable the company to simplify its UK business “We are pleased to strengthen our European foods platform with the acquisition of Tulip Limited, which positions Pilgrim’s as a leading global prepared foods…

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Bühler expands insect portfolio with new mealworm facility in Netherlands

SWITZERLAND – Bühler is set to commission a new mealworm production facility in Netherlands, as the Swiss company continues to expand its portfolio in the insect industry. The project, which Bühler initiated with a farmer producing yellow mealworm, will see the company design install and commission a complete mealworm production facility in a 2,300 square-meter facility. Andreas Aepli, CEO Bühler Insect Technology Solutions said that once the first plant is completed, it will offer livestock farmers an alternative option for gaining a sustainable business with attractive margins. “With this project…

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Coca-Cola Beverages Africa acquires majority stake in Eswatini bottler

ESWATINI – Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) has acquired 60 percent shareholding in  the soft drinks business of Eswatini Beverages. The non-alcoholic ready-to-drink business in Eswatini, in which the remaining 40 percent is owned by Sovereign wealth fund Tibiyo Taka Ngwane, will be known as Eswatini Coca-Cola Beverages (ECCB) and will operate as a subsidiary of CCBA. ECCB country manager Sanele Khumalo said every effort would be made to minimise disruption to customers. ECCB has appointed Logico Unlimited as the official distributor of all Coca-Cola products in Eswatini. Logico Unlimited will…

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