Danone acquires majority stake in Harmless Harvest to accelerate growth of its plant-based business

USA – French dairy company Danone has through its venture arm Danone Manifesto Ventures (DMV) purchased a majority stake in Harmless Harvest to accelerate the growth of its plant-based business.   Harmless Harvest offers a range of organic coconut-based products, including coconut water, snack drinks, and yogurt alternatives.  The company is Fair for Life Certified and is said to be committed to sustainable agriculture through its Regenerative Coconuts Agriculture Project.  According to a statement from Danone, its new acquisition expects to generate more than US$100 million in sales in 2021, doubling its revenue from…

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IFAD supports Guinea’s agriculture sector recover from COVID-19 pandemic by issuing a grant

GUINEA – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is seeking to provide the Republic of Guinea with a grant worth US$530,840, to improve the resilience of more than 2,123 poor farming households trying to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. The support, channelled from IFAD’s Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF), is aimed to ensure rapid access to inputs, information, markets and cash by the rural producers. The project will provide beneficiaries with basic agricultural equipment for food production and processing, technical assistance and training for increased productivity. The target beneficiaries…

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Zomato eyes 10% stake in e-grocery startup Grofers to counter rising competition from rivals Swiggy and BigBasket

INDIA – India multinational food delivery company Zomato is angling for a 10% stake in Indian e-grocey startup Grofers to stave-off competition from rivals Swiggy and Big Basket. According to a report by ET Retail, the IPO-bound company has already filed a notification with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to acquire a 9.3% stake in Grofers.  According to the document filed with CCI, Zomato has mentioned that the transaction will not lead to any impact on the competitive landscape.  The development follows an investment round where Grofers closed a US$120 million investment from Zomato and Tiger Global…

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Cameroonian animal feed producer expands operation with US$9m investment in new plants

CAMEROON – Cameroonian animal feed producer, SPC (Société des provenderies du Cameroun), is undertaking a XAF5 billion (US$9m) investment plan to expand its footprint in the country. According to the company, it seeks to open two new plants in Yaoundé and Nkolmelen, to produce animal feeds and a set up a hatchery. The investment is aimed to meet the rising local demand and the plants will be an addition to its Bafoussam facility. “We have noticed that the animal farming industry is booming in Cameroon. The boom is so notable…

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Seed Co International posts bumper profits following stellar performance in all its markets

AFRICA – Seed Co International Limited (SCIL), has recorded a 26% spike in revenue to US$88.5 million in the year ended March 2021, compared to US$70.1 million achieved in the prior year. According to the seed producer, the revenue growth is attributed to doubling of income in Malawi to US$18.4m, benefiting from the huge government Inputs program. The same performance was reflected in Nigeria albeit from a low base of US$1.1m last year, due to increased confidence in the Seed Co brand, supported by institutional sales under a program funded…

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Brendan Whitworth takes charge of Anheuser-Busch as strategy beyond beer intensifies

USA – World’s largest brewing company AB InBev has appointed Brendan Whitworth as president of its North America operations and CEO of its Anheuser-Busch division, effective July 1.  Whitworth’s succeeds Michel Doukeris, who has moved to AB InBev headquaters in Belgium to assume his new role as global CEO of the group.  Prior to his appointment, Whitworth was the company’s U.S. chief sales officer and has held various commercial leadership positions in the U.S. for the last 8 years.   Prior to joining AB InBev, Whitworth held a series of leadership roles at…

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Absa Bank Ghana alongside other investors participate in Ghanaian Green Gold Farms’ US$1.6m fundraising

GHANA – Green Gold Farms, a Ghanaian agribusiness start-up, has completed raising US$1.6 million from Absa Bank Ghana, Diaspora Capital, Channel Ventures, EPMT Fund, and a number of early-stage seed investors. Green Gold Farms is a mechanized commercial farm, vertically orientated, and value adding agriculture business in the West African country. The capital raised will allow the farm to invest primarily in capital equipment to scale-up production of organic and non-GMO crops such as maize and soybeans; generate large numbers of well-paying, sustainable jobs; and launch an out-grower program for…

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Hershey partners Land O’Lakes to drive sustainability in dairy, appoints Geetika Mehta as MD for India

US – The Hershey Company, one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world, is taking sustainability efforts to the farm level through a new partnership with one of its main dairy suppliers Land O’Lakes.  According to a statement from Hershey, the partnership will see the two companies work on a new initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at Pennsylvania dairy farms and improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.   At least 119 Land O’Lakes member dairy farms in Central Pennsylvania that ship at least half of their milk to…

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Leading Moroccan agricultural companies CMGP, CAS complete merger creating pan-African entity

MOROCCO – African Development Partners II (ADP II), a fund advised by Development Partners International (DPI), and AfricInvest, have announced the completion of merger between Compagnie Marocaine de Goutte à Goutte et de Pompage’s (CMGP) and Comptoir Agricole du Souss (CAS), creating a new champion in Moroccan and African agriculture, known as CMGP-CAS. The merger brings AfricInvest into the partnership alongside ADP II, through an investment targeting the expansion of efficient irrigation and agricultural water management technologies, to enable greater output and sustainability in agricultural production. CMGP is a leading…

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Flour Mills of Nigeria reports triple digit growth in profit despite economic headwinds

NIGERIA – Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading food and agro-allied companies, has achieved impressive top-line and bottom-line growth in the year ended March 31, 2021, showing resilient performance in the face of the pandemic. The owner of the iconic Golden Penny Food brand, has recorded a 34.5% rise in revenue from N573.77 billion (US$1.3 billion) of the previous corresponding period to N771.6 billion (US$1.8 billion). The growth has been attributed to robust growth across all its segments with an average revenue gain of 34 per…

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