Danone finalizes sale of stake in Chinese dairy company Mengniu

FRANCE – French dairy company, Danone has finalized the strategic sale of its approximately 9.8% stake in China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited. According to a statement from the French dairy company, the transaction resulted in total gross proceeds of HKD 15.4 billion (US$1.93 billion) The settlement of the transaction will take place on May 17, 2021. The company further noted that in line with its disciplined capital allocation, the majority of the proceeds will be returned to shareholders through a share buyback program that will be announced soon. Mengniu is…

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Jumia yet to turn to profitability, reports 6.4% decline in Q1 revenue

AFRICA – The New York Stock Exchange listed Africa-focused eCommerce company, Jumia has posted first-quarter revenues of €27.4 million (US$33m), a 6.4% drop from the €29.3 million (US$35.3m) that it reported in Q1 2020. Interestingly, Jumia seems to have generated more revenue during the period under review from third party sales at US$24m compared to US$23m in Q1 2020. But the gains were wiped out by first-party revenue declining by 35% from US$12m in Q1 2020 to US$8m in Q1 2021. According to reports by Tech Cruch, the eCommerce giant…

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Kakuzi to resume avocado export to Europe after a short hiatus

KENYA – Kenyan fresh food producer and exporter, Kakuzi Plc, has won back the trust and business partnership of European based supermarkets, with its parent company Camellia revealing that they will soon resume avocado exports to the lucrative market. Supermarket chains Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Lidl suspended Kakuzi dealership in October following claims of human rights abuse to its workers, which were citied on Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper. “The serious human rights claims the group faced relating to its operations in Kenya led to a number of European supermarket chains suspending…

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Study shows many consumers don’t know what ‘Best If Used By’ and ‘Use By’ dates mean

US – A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior has revealed that consumers are confused by what “Use By” and “Best If Used By” labels mean on their food. Results of the study involving 2,607 U.S. adults revealed that only 64% could correctly explain what the “Best If Used By” label meant while only 44.8% of the respondents were able to describe what the “Use By” label meant. Of consumers who said they understood what the “Use By” label meant, nearly 55% could not correctly…

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Alternative protein companies Oatly, Benson Hill initiate plans to go public

US – Oatly and Benson Hill, two prominent alternative protein companies, have kickstarted the processes of going public in a bid to raise more equity to fund future growth prospects. Vegan milk firm Oatly said in a statement that it has commenced an initial public offering of 84,376,000 American Depositary Shares (ADSs), each representing one ordinary share offered by Oatly and certain selling shareholders. According to a report by Food Ingredients First, the company which is backed by high-profile investors including Oprah Winfrey, Jay Z, and Starbucks head Howard Schultz…

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East Africa’s rice sector slated for growth following collaboration among industry players

EAST AFRICA – Rice demand in East Africa has been on the rise in the recent years, triggered by changing consumer preferences, urbanization, diminishing productivity of regional staples such as maize, and population growth. All the East Africa nations have the capability of producing rice but its local out-put is far below local demand, making the countries turn to imports from India, Pakistan, Thailand, United States and China in a bid to meet the balance. According to reports by USDA, Kenya’s rice production is estimated at 159,000 Metric Tonnes (MT)…

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Kenyan firm Sasini bounces back to profitability despite decline in half year revenue

KENYA – Sasini, a Kenyan agricultural firm that produces and exports tea, coffee, macadamia and avocado has bounced back to profitability, posting a net profit of Ksh.122million (US$1.13m) in half-year period ended March 31 2021, a recovery from a Ksh13 million (US$121,000) loss attained in the same period last year. The firm, according to reports by Citizen Kenya, attributes the improved performance to gains from non-sales income, with the group ‘s operating activities yielding in gains of Ksh.177.9 million (US$1.66m) from a loss of Ksh.7.3 million (US$68,000) previously. The growth…

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IFF agrees to sell fruit preparation business in pursuit of portfolio optimization

NEW YORK —American ingredients supplier, International Flavors & Fragrances has agreed to divest its fruit preparation business to Portuguese based food ingredients supplier Frulact,  for an undisclosed sum. IFF’s fruit preparation business produces fruit, vegetable, herb, meat and fish preparation systems for the food, beverage and pet food markets. A statement from IFF revealed that the business, whose divestment is expected to close in the third quarter, contributed about US$70 million to sales in 2020. The division will now become part of Frulact which globally serves a range of dairy,…

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Fordmax commences rehabilitation of solar powered drinking water supply

NIGERIA – Fordmax, a water company, has begun the rehabilitation of a drinking water supply system in Enugu State in south-eastern Nigeria which will be able to supply 28,000 m3 of water per day, and powered by solar photovoltaic energy. The systems 12 boreholes were built a few years ago to improve the supply of drinking water in Enugu State in the south-east of the country. But since then, the pumping station has remained out of order. Charles Egwu, the Director of the National Urban Water Sector Reform Project in…

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Global oilseed production to grow 5 percent in 2021/22 buoyed by rise in soybean output in the Americas

GLOBAL – The global oilseed production is forecast to grow 5 percent in 2021/22, primarily on growth in soybean output in the United States and South America, according to a recently released report by USDA. The USDA projects that about 632 million tons of oil seeds will be produced during the year under review due to record plantings. Soybean production is forecast to rise 23 million tons to 386 million, a 6-percent increase while production of all oilseeds is forecast to increase, with all but cottonseed and rapeseed reaching at…

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