Irish bakers latest casualty of Brexit trade deal as new tarrifs cause rise in product costs

UK – The UK’s new Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU is resulting in additional tariffs being applied to Irish flour imports. The new deal stipulates that if the wheat used to make flour is more than 15% of third country origin, the full tariff of €172 (US$209) per metric ton becomes payable. According to projections from the The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), the full tariff per metric ton on imported flour would equate to a 9 percent consumer price increase in bread. Ireland currently imports…

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Seed Co International acquires controlling stake in Zimbabwean unit

ZIMBABWE – Regional seed producer, Seed Co International (SCIL), has acquired a 35% stake in its Zimbabwean unit, Seed Co Limited in line with its plans to buy back all shares listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE). The acquisition of the controlling block was in pursuant to a primary offer based on a share-swap of 1 SCIL share for every 0.98 shares held in SCL. The remaining stake is being acquired through a secondary offer on the same terms as those by which the controlling block was secured, which…

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Diageo records US$3B in half-year profits boosted by strong growth in US spirit sales

UK – British multinational alcoholic beverage company,Diageo has reported an operating profit of £2.24 billion (about US$3.07 billion) in half year profits. The unprecedented results were largely attributed to a strong performance in US spirit sales, which grew by 15% helping offset declines in coronavirus-impacted markets. The owner of Gordon’s gin and Smirnoff vodka also witnessed improvement in all regions compared to the second half of fiscal 2020, partially reflecting improved performance in the off-trade and the reopening of the on-trade in certain markets. Overall, Diageo was able to record…

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AfDB, ICRAF come to the aid of Ivorian cocoa farmers battling climate change

IVORY COAST – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has partnered with World Agroforestry – ICRAF, to undertake a climate resilient cocoa farming project in two Ivorian smallholder farmers’ communities located in Soubre and Vavoua, currently grappling with declining yields caused by climate change and worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. ICRAF is a centre of science and development excellence that harnesses the benefits of trees for people and the environment. Under the initiative the two smallholder farmer communities will receive climate-resilient and sustainable agroforestry assistance which will generate nature-based solutions that…

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COVID-19 disruptions, tax provisions nearly halved EABL’s profit in six months ended December 2020

KENYA – The East African Breweries Limited (EABL) has reported a 47.3 per cent dip in profit for the half year ended December 2020 to Ksh.3.8 billion (US$34.5m) from Ksh.7.2 billion (US$65.3m) registered in the same period in 2019. The alcohol manufacturer attributes the sharp decline to one-off tax provision, excise duty increases, general price inflation and additional costs related to digital tax stamp implementation in Uganda which impacted profitability. Also, trade restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic continued to hamper the company’s performance especially in Kenya. During the period…

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Private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners acquires Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods

US – Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, one of the pioneers in the plant-based and better-for-you food space, has been acquired by Vestar Capital Partners – an American private equity firm focusing on leveraged buyout transactions in middle-market companies in the United States. Under the terms of the deal, second-generation family members who owned Dr. Praeger’s — CEO Larry Praeger and President Adam Somberg — will retain their positions and still have a significant stake in the company. Jeffrey Ansell, a consumer industry veteran and senior advisor to Vestar, will become…

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Global tropical fruit processor Frutco partners Fooditive to develop sweetener from banana peels

SWITZERLAND– Global tropical fruit processor Frutco and plant-based ingredient supplier Fooditive have teamed up to develop a new sweetener line from banana peels in an effort to fight food waste in Europe. The product will be positioned as a sustainable sweetener that can improve health while removing carbon emissions from the supply chain. As part of the collaboration, Fooditive and Frutco are constructing a multi waste- and residues-based biodiesel plant to process banana and tropical fruit side-streams into fruit extracts and sweeteners. The plant will use Fooditive’s continuous fermentation technology…

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Ugandan beverage maker Harris International launches new sugar free Oner Apple Juice

Company name: Hariss International Product type: Fruit Juice Innovation: New variant Hariss International Limited, one of Uganda’s leading food and beverages manufacturer has launched a sugar free variant of its Oner Apple Juice traded under the brand name Riham. The new ‘Oner Apple No added Sugar’ is aimed to meet the changing and sophisticated consumers taste and preference, an addition to the already existing Oner Apple Juice. “With the fruit Juice market becoming overcrowded and consumers being spoilt for choice, we believe that ‘Oner Apple No added sugar’ is uniquely…

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Cargill, Heifer International partner to enhance poultry value chain in Kenya

KENYA – Leading global food company Cargill in partnership with Heifer International have announced the expansion of their joint poultry project in Kenya dubbed Hatching Hope, to reach 10 million people by 2022 through a combination of direct support to farmers and consumer-awareness campaigns. The initiative is also undertaken in collaboration with the national and county governments of Kenya i.e., Kisumu, Siaya, Homabay, Migori, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu counties and Nairobi Metropolitan. Hatching Hope is a ground-breaking project that aims to increase farmer’s knowledge and resources needed to expand sustainable poultry…

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SA wine industry lobby organization Vinpro heads to court to fight booze ban

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s Wine body, Vinpro has launched a court action to lift liquor ban in the country’s wine-making hub, Western Cape, citing that the region’s Covid-19 numbers are currently “dropping fast”. “Vinpro is relieved that the numbers of new infections, active cases and hospital admissions are now dropping fast across the country, but particularly in the Western Cape. In these circumstances, the liquor ban is simply no longer justified in the Western Cape,” the organisation said in its latest statement. The non-profit body representing South African wine…

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