Kroger introduces ‘Customer Fulfilment Centre accelerate eCommerce capability

US – American grocery retailer, Kroger has launched what it claims to be America’s first Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) in an effort to accelerate its eCommerce capability. According to a report by FoodBev, the CFC was developed using technology developed by UK-based delivery service Ocado. The launch is the result of Kroger and Ocado’s exclusive partnership formed in 2018 which gave the US retailer access to Ocado’s Smart Platform technology to enhance its fulfilment, picking and delivery capacity. Apart from enhancing its ecommerce capabilities, Kroger says that its CFC would…

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EIB approves US$35.7m loan for clean water supply in Malawi

MALAWI – The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved $35.7 million loan to extend the drinking water network in southern Malawi. The project is to be implemented by the state-owned Southern Region Water Board (SRWB). The soft loan is to be repaid over 20 years with a grace period of 5 years. The EIB funding is for the extension of the drinking water network in the southern region of Malawi, particularly in Balaka and Liwonde. According to the SRWB, part of the funding will be used for the development of…

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CCEP takeover of Coca-Cola Amatil inches closer to completion following shareholder approval

AUSTRALIA – Coca-Cola Amatil, one of the world’s five major Coca-Cola bottlers, has announced that its independent shareholders voted in favour of Coca-Cola European Partners acquiring the Australian firm for A$9.93 billion ($7.68 billion). Approval of the takeover is a major step forward in the takeover deal that was first announced in 2020 with an initial offer deal of US$6. 18 billion tabled by CCEP for a 69.2% stake in Australian counterpart. CCEP later sweetened its takeover offer in February to US$7.68 billion or A$13.5 per share from A$12.75 after…

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Ghana, cocoa & chocolate companies collaborate to protect, restore forests

GHANA – Ghana has forged a new partnership with major cocoa and chocolate companies to accelerate collaboration to protect and restore forests in cocoa-growing areas. The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and the Forestry Commission of Ghana (GFC), commits the parties to working together in six regions where the government of Ghana has made action to protect and restore forests a priority. Work in these Hotspot Intervention Areas has already started, with active engagements in the Asunafo-Asutifi, Bia-Juaboso, Kakum and Sefwi-Bibiani landscapes. WCF will be responsible…

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Thailand’s soybean imports jump as French farmers reduce acreage for summer crops

GLOBAL – In Thailand,  the economy is rebounding from COVID-19, stimulating a spike in feed demand and a need for soybean imports, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). According to the report, Thailand’s soybean imports in the 2021-22 marketing year are expected to jump 5% to 4.1 million tonnes compared to the previous marketing year based on increased demand from the food and feed industries. Soybean meal imports are recovering and are projected to rise to 2.8 million tonnes for…

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Paraguay, Indonesia to record uptick in grain production in latest USDA projections

GLOBAL – Cereal production in Paraguay and Indonesia is expected to rise in the 2021-2022 market due to higher acreage and yield, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). In Paraguay, the USDA projects that a reduction in soybean and zafrinha corn production will free up more idle acres for wheat sowing resulting in an estimated 1.2 million tonnes being produced. The US agency further projects wheat exports for the 2021-2022 market year to increase to 500,000 tonnes, the highest in…

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German GIZ inks partnership agreements in Ghana, Malawi aimed to promote agribusiness

GHANA – The government of Ghana has signed a 20-million Euro (US$23.9m) grant-agreement with the government of Germany through GIZ, to provide technical cooperation in the areas of Agribusiness and Renewable Energy. According to reports by Ghana Web, the Agribusiness programme will support Ghana’s efforts to boost the dynamic agro-processing sector with a high potential for growth. The programme aims at offering micro-, small and medium enterprises opportunities to expand their businesses and create jobs, especially for the youth, and thus mitigating the negative economic impact of the Covid-19 crises.…

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Zimbabwe Tea producer Tanganda to relist on ZSE after 14-year hiatus

ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwean dominant conglomerate Meikles Limited, is seeking to unbundle its agro-business operation, Tanganda Tea Company Limited and separately re-list it on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE). The relisting of the country’s largest producer, packer and distributor of tea comes 14 years after it voluntarily delisted from the ZSE in 2007, following the merger of its parent company and Kingdom Bank to form Kindom Meikles. The merger only lasted for barely 3 years as both businesses went separate ways in 2010. The blue-chip company has indicated that Tanganda’s listing…

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Milk production in Zimbabwe plummets on back of poor producer prices

ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe has been hit by a serious milk shortage, with dairy farmers citing viability challenges emanating from poor producer prices. Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers (ZADF) chairperson Kudzai Chirima told Standard Business that prices offered by milk processors to farmers were not viable, making some of them divest from the venture and engage in other farming activities. “We have a milk shortage in the country. Farmers realized that it’s not viable to produce milk at the moment because of the prices that are being paid by processors. The…

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PepsiCo reports strong Q1 performance as Deliveroo’s orders more than double

US – US beverage and snack company PepsiCo has reported strong Q1 results with organic net revenues jumping 2.4% and first-quarter net revenues jumping 6.8% to US$14.82 billion. Pepsico’s impressive Q1 performance mainly benefited from accelerated return of the foodservice channel and the acquisitions of Chinese snack company Be & Cheery and South Africa’s Pioneer Foods. This acquisition’s impact could also be reflected in the company’s operating profit stood which jumped 20% to US$2.31 billion, up from US$1.92 billion last year. Division wise, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America unit delivered 3%…

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