Cargill expands specialty tapioca starch offerings in Asia, to invest $25m in US soybean processing plant

US — US agricultural commodities giant Cargill is partnering with Starpro, a key food grade tapioca starch producer in Thailand, to expand its specialty tapioca starch offerings in the Asia-Pacific region. The collaboration with Starpro is the latest move by Cargill to grow its specialty starch portfolio in Asia-Pacific, after announcing the expansion of a cold-water swelling starch line at its sweetener plant in Pandaan, Indonesia, as well as the construction of a modified starch plant in Songyuan, China. According to Cargill, the agreement will cover a full range of…

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Middleby enhances commercial foodservice platform following merger with Welbilt in US$4.3bn deal

USA –The Middleby Corporation, a cooking and industrial process equipment company,  has agreed to acquire foodservice equipment manufacturer Welbilt, for about US$2.9 billion in an all-stock deal to beef up its commercial foodservice platform. Welbilt provides chefs, premier chain operations and independents with food equipment, beverage dispensing and refrigeration solutions under brands such as Cleveland, Frymaster, Kolpak and Multiplex. The companies said in a joint statement that the new combined entity will have about US$3.7 billion in combined sales for 2020, of which 73% come from the commercial foodservice segment.…

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Carrefour Kenya ordered to revise supplier contracts by Competition Tribunal following allegations of abuse

KENYA – Carrefour Kenya, operated by Dubai-based conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim is the second major retailer to be in hot soup for the abuse of Competition Authority of Kenya’s (CAK) Buyer Power. The retailer has been ordered to revise all its agreements with some 700 suppliers within a month after the Competition Tribunal found it has been exploiting traders. This follows the supermarket chain owner losing an appeal at the Competition Tribunal, where the CAK and yoghurt supplier, Orchards Limited were respondents. Orchards filed a complaint against the retailer on…

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PepsiCo, General Mills commit to advance regenerative agricultural practices to cut down GHG emissions

US — PepsiCo and General Mills, two of America’s largest food corporations, have joined a growing list of food companies taking sustainability efforts to the farm in an effort to cut down greenhouse gas emissions in their entire value chains. General Mills, Inc. has on its part, committed to advance regenerative agriculture on 1 million acres by 2030, representing approximately 20% of its sourcing footprint in North America. The maker of Cheerios cereal brand says that its regenerative agriculture efforts will focus on its most greenhouse gas emissions-intensive ingredient categories…

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Listed Kenyan agricultural farm Kakuzi offers free fruit maturity services to avocado farmers

KENYA – Kenyan fresh food producer and exporter, Kakuzi Plc has unveiled free fruit maturity testing service for smallholder avocado farmers for the current harvest period. As part of the firm’s out-grower development programs, Kakuzi, the prime exporter of quality Hass variety avocados, will provide free maturity testing services during the current harvest period that runs to August this year. The services will ensure compliance with quality standards and enhance the value of Kenyan fruit in the global market. It will be provided at its FSSC 22000 Food Safety Management…

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Flour Mills of Nigeria expands sugar project with acquisition of additional land

NIGERIA – Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN), one of Nigeria’s leading foods and agro-allied groups has announced it has acquired an additional 5,200 hectares of land in Sunti Golden Sugar Estates located in Mokwa, Niger state, in line with its expansion plans. The investment is a move to further reaffirm its commitment to the backward integration strategy of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan, as well as the overall growth of the sugar industry in Nigeria. According to reports by Nairametrics, the upland acquisition will bring the total land size of…

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Nestlé posts 7.7% organic growth in Q1 as Heineken remains resilient amid mounting challenges

EUROPE – Nestlé, the world’s biggest company, has recorded 7.7% organic sales growth in the first quarter, driven by a boost in coffee sales and a gradual recovery in out-of-home channels. Heineken, the world’s second largest beer company, has on the other hand, managed to maintain its beer sales at 2020 levels despite of challenges such as alcohol bans and on-trade sale restrictions in a majority of its markets.   According to a statement from Nestlé, the company recorded Q1 net sales rose to CHF 21.09 billion (US$23.02 billion), up…

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Insurtech start-up OKO raises US$1.2m to bring innovative products to smallholder farmers in Africa

MALI – Insurtech start-up OKO, a provider of inclusive agricultural insurance to secure farmers’ income across Africa, has closed a seed investment of US$1.2 million led by Newfund and ResiliAnce. Mercy Corps Venture, Techstars, ImpactAssets and RaSa also participated in the round. The start-up headquartered in Mali and operates in Uganda, uses satellite data and mobile payments to create automated insurance products for farmers whose fields are affected adversely by weather occurrences primarily droughts and floods. With the new funding, OKO aims to strengthen its presence in Mali and Uganda…

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SA retailer Pick n Pay reports 21.4% decline in annual earnings weighed down trade restrictions

SOUTH AFRICA – South African retail chain, Pick n Pay reported an increase in group turnover by 4.3% to R93.1 billion (US$6.5 billion) for the full year ended February 2021, compared to R89.3 billion (US$6.2 billion) attained in the previous corresponding period. The gains were however offset by trading restrictions on non-essential goods and services for parts of the year, which resulted in an estimated R4 billion (US$279.5 million) in lost sales, and R200 million (US$13.9 million) in additional costs related to the group’s operational response to the Covid-19 pandemic.…

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