Stevia sweetened soda brand Zevia secures US$200m funding from Canadian investment firm

US – Zevia, a Stevia sweetened soda brand, has closed a US$200 million minority investment from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), an investor that manages pension funds in Canada. Zevia said it will use the funding to pursue its global expansion strategy and enable it better take advantage of the increasing demand for better-for-you, natural beverages to replace sugary drinks In its announcement, Zevia noted that it selected CDPQ as its investment partner for its ability to accelerate the company’s growth through expertise in asset management, international…

Read More

US Food and Drug Administration approves use of “Potassium Salt” on ingredient labels

US – The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of the term “Potassium Salt” by manufacturers using potassium chloride as a substitute for salt. The decision is the result of a 2016 petition from NuTek Food Science, a clean-label ingredients company which was advocating for more consumer-friendly terminology. Potassium chloride is a naturally occurring salt that is used in food because it has the benefits of boosting potassium intake and reducing the use of conventional salt.  It previously had to be referred to on ingredient…

Read More

Indian foodtech unicorn Zomato raises US$660m in a primary financing round even as it prepares for 2021 IPO

INDIA – Zomato, one of India’s most promising unicorns, has raised US$600 million in a primary financing round, giving the company a valuation of US$3.9 billion. The financing and valuation comes at a time when the company is preparing for its IPO which is slated for early next year. According to a report by Deal Street Asa, the fundraiser saw 10 investors join Zomato including Tiger Global, Kora, Luxor, Fidelity (FMR), D1 Capital, Baillie Gifford, Mirae, and Steadview. According to a statement from Deepinder Goyal, Zomato’s Founder and Chief Executive,…

Read More

Kenya lifts ban on Ugandan sugar, limits imports to 90,000 tonnes annually

UGANDA – Ugandan sugar millers can finally breathe a sigh of relief following the lifting of the ban on Ugandan Sugar imports by Kenyan authorities. According to a statement by Uganda’s deputy secretary to the Treasury, Patrick Ocailap, the decision to lift the ban was reached following intense deliberation between authorities from the Kenya and Uganda. Following the ban lift , Ugandan Sugar millers can now annually export up to 90,000 tonnes of refined sugar to Kenya duty-free on condition of submission of proof that the sugar originated from the…

Read More

Nestlé launches plastic waste recycling program in Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA – In an effort to achieve Carbon neutrality by 2021, Nestlé Ethiopia has launched a 12-month program to manage the plastic waste that it generates in the country. As part of this initiative, the subsidiary of the Swiss food giant Nestlé will work with local sustainability consultant TS Environment Technology in disposing all plastic waste that it produces. “Using TS Environment’s technology and expertise, we will start with a pilot plastic waste recovery system targeting specific locations in Addis Ababa, with the intention of expanding it in the near…

Read More

Troubled times ahead for South African Brewers as state reintroduces ban on Alcohol

SOUTH AFRICA – The escalating Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa has pushed the government to renew its ban on alcohol sales and to further extend its curfew in an effort to contain the worsening situation. While announcing the new Covid-19 restrictions, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “We are at an extremely dangerous point in our fight against the pandemic. We have no choice but to observe the highest degree of vigilance.” The pandemic and restrictions imposed to contain it have devastated Africa’s most industrialized economy with the central bank…

Read More

Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest rice mill to be complete in Q1 2021- Lagos State Government

NIGERIA – The Imota Rice Mill, touted by the Lagos State Government, as one of the largest mills of its kind in the world, is now expected to be ready before the end of the first quarter of next year. While delivering news on progress of the mill’s construction, Lagos State’s Commissioner of Agriculture Ms Abisola Olusanya said that the rice mill was currently at 85% completion level. On completion, in line with the estimated installed infrastructure of the facility will have capacity of processing more than 2.5 million, 50…

Read More

Kenya enacts new tea regulation bill as agency declares US$6.73m dividend for tea farmers

KENYA – The push for reforms in Kenya’s tea sector culminated in the signing into law of a new bill by President Uhuru Kenyatta, bringing hope for thousands of farmers who have for a long time complained mismanagement of their beloved crop. One of the major highlights of the new law is the creation of the Tea Board of Kenya and the revival of the Tea Research Institute. This could mean that proper funding can be sourced for the sector to assist farmers and also to boost research on new…

Read More

Russia mulls banning Moroccan tomatoes over safety concerns

MOROCCO – The Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance has announced that it was considering a ban on tomatoes and other vegetables imported from Morocco over food safety concerns. Sergey Dankvert, the head of Rosselkhoznadzor, in an interview with Russian news agency TASS said that the move by the Russian authorities was in an effort to prevent infected tomatoes and vegetables from morocco from entering the Russian market. According to the Russian surveillance institution, some Moroccan vegetables, most-notably tomatoes, are infected with the Pepino mosaic virus whose symptoms…

Read More

Brewing giant AB InBev to sell stake in U.S. metal container plants for US$3B

 US – Belgium based multinational drink and brewing company AB InBev has announced plans to sell a 49.9% stake in its U.S.-based metal container plants for about $3 billion to private-equity firm Apollo Global Management and other investors. The global beer giant said the transaction will generate proceeds to repay debt while allowing it to retain operational control of its U.S.-based metal container plants. Under the deal, AB InBev will have the right, but not the obligation, to reacquire the minority stake beginning on the fifth anniversary of the close…

Read More