NBL registers 71.7% decline in full-year profits attributed to drop in Heineken SA sales

NAMIBIA – Namibia Breweries Limited’s (NBL), a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group has reported that its revenue for the year ended June 2020 dipped by 14.6% to N$2.6 billion (US$152.7m), down from last year’s N$3 billion (US$176.2m). The company registered an overall decline in volumes sold by 16.6% given the unusually challenging year as a result of COVID-19. “While NBL has seen significant growth over the past years, current economic conditions demand that we need to adjust our ways of working to be able to defend market…

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Singapore researchers develop an easier way for printing 3D milk-based desserts

SINGAPORE – Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have developed a novel method of 3D printing milk-based desserts, that prevents them from being spoilt at room temperature by changing the rheological properties of the printing ink. Given the versatility of their demonstrated method, the scientists believe that it offers potential in formulating nutritionally controlled foods customised for individual requirements. Previously, 3D printing of food has been achieved by methods such as selective laser sintering (SLS) and hot-melt extrusion. However, such methods are not always compatible with…

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Global agri-food trade doubles in last two decades reaching US$1.5 trillion in 2018

GLOBAL – Major global disruptions such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, locust invasion and climate change have proven that global systems which promote global trade are integral part of economic growth, sustainable development and strengthen resilience to shocks. “We need to rely on markets as an integral part of the global food system. This is all the more important in the face of major disruptions, whether they come from COVID-19, locust outbreaks or climate change,” said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu in his introduction to the report.  According to a…

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General Mills posts 29% profit benefiting from home food demand due to Covid-19

USA – General Mills has posted first quarter net sales of US$4.4 billion representing a 9% rise and an operating profit of US$854 million representing a 29% leap as consumers continued to stock up on its baked goods and meal products and as it continues to benefit from at-home food demand amid Covid-19.  In the three months ended 30 August 2020, General Mills continued to see its biggest division bode well. While modest in comparison to its fourth quarter growth of 36%, net sales for the company’s North America retail…

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UK based IT firm Zetogon invests in Nigerian agritech company AirSmat

NIGERIA– Zetogon, a UK based Information Technology company has invested US$100,000 in AirSmat, a Pan-African agricultural technology company to help the organization scale up operations even as it seeks to deliver world-class service in the African continent. AirSmat is a software company founded on the belief that drones will shape the future. The company aims to provide cutting edge software solutions to many industries that are willing to adopting drones into daily operations. According to a report by Disrupt Africa the Nigerian-based firm will use the funds to get its…

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EU injects US$5.9m in Kenya’s cassava value chain, launches US$1.1m agribusiness challenge in Zambia

KENYA – The European Union (EU) through Self Help Africa, an International NGO implementing rural development, sustainable food and livelihoods security is planning to undertake a Ksh. 650 million (US$5.9m) cassava value chain project in Kenya. The programme to be undertaken in a period of 3 years will be rolled out in Busia County and later to be extended to reach other 4,000 small scale farmers in Kisumu, Homabay Migori, Kilifi, and Siaya. The investment is aimed to improve the competitiveness of cassava production in the country, targeting farm mechanization…

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USA Food and Drug Administration finalizes plans to resume trade in shellfish with Spain and Netherlands

USA – U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized a molluscan shellfish equivalence determination for two European Union (EU) Member States, Spain and the Netherlands that will resume trade in shellfish between the U.S. and the EU for the first time since 2010. Technical experts on both sides of the Atlantic have completed separate equivalence assessments and each side recommended a finding of equivalence after reviewing food safety control measures for molluscan shellfish and on-site audits to verify the other’s systems. The FDA will recognize other EU Member States…

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CCBSA ups solar power installation in its factories gearing towards sustainably generating 25% energy by 2025

SOUTH AFRICA – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) aiming to have a quarter of its electricity needs supplied by renewable energy sources by 2025 is planning to install solar power at 12 of its plants by the end of 2020. CCBSA initiated the renewable energy project in 2018 as part of its sustainability commitment and strategic objectives, focusing on solar power at its manufacturing plants. The beverage giant has ramped up its solar power generation capacity, with seven out of its 13 manufacturing facilities, as at the end of August.…

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Biotech company Siolta Therapeutics secures US$30m in Series B funding to diverse in their research

USA – Siolta Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech company, has announced that it has raised US$30 million in Series B funding to support the clinical development of its lead product STMC-103H. The Series B funding round involved participation from top-tier investors and venture firms, including series A investors Khosla Ventures and Marc Benioff as well as new investors Seventure (Health for Life Capital Fund), SymBiosis, and Global Brain (Kirin Health Innovation Fund/GB-VII). Siolta’s live biotherapeutic product (LBP) platform is designed to develop microbiome-based medicines and diagnostics for the prevention and treatment…

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Christo Wiese’s investment company offloads majority stake in South Africa’s liquor company DGB

SOUTH AFRICA – South African investment company Brait, whose largest shareholder is Christo Wiese, has offloaded its stake in DGB, South African producer and distributor of wine and spirits. Brait has sold the majority stake it held in the company to asset management corporation Capitalworks and businessman Tim Hutchinson, long-time head of the liquor company for an undisclosed sum, reports Fin24. Following the transaction, the liquor company has undertaken a major change in its executive, with Hutchinson stepping down after three decades at the company’s helm and handing over the…

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