Refresco to expand presence in German beverage market with acquisition of Hansa-Heeman

GERMANY – Refresco, the world’s largest independent bottler of beverages, has entered into an agreement to acquire Hansa-Heemann, a German independent beverage manufacturer that specializes in the production and bottling of mineral water and CSDs.  A majority of the company’s volume (60%) is in mineral water, with the remaining 40% in carbonated soft drinks.  The independent bottler has five production sites across Germany and serves three different market segments: private label, own brands, and contract manufacturing for A-brands.  Hansa-Heeman reportedly has annual revenues of approximately €300 million (about US$355 million) and employs over 800 people.  According…

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IFAD to support Tanzanian farmers increase productivity, gain market access to ensure food security

TANZANIA – The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is seeking to provide funding worth US$882,841 to Tanzania as part of its COVID-19 response in the country. The support which will be channelled through its Rural Poor Stimulus Facility (RPSF), is aimed to assist 6,240 vulnerable small-scale farmers in rural Tanzania. The IFAD grant will help farmers access inputs, provide market linkages and access agricultural and market information to improve their productivity and increase their resilience. Growth in Tanzania’s agricultural sector was projected to decline from 5 per cent in…

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Kenyan based aquaculture entity Victory Farms ropes in new investor, gets multi-million-dollar backing

KENYA – East Africa’s largest commercial fish farm, Victory Farms, has received a multi-million-dollar mezzanine debt investment from social impact investor specializing in the African agriculture sector, AgDevCo. The investment will support the company’s continued growth and impact, including the construction of a feed mill and expansion into new countries in the East Africa region, growing its foot prints beyond Kenya. Founded in 2015, Victory Farms operates a vertically integrated business, with its own hatchery, nursery ponds and deep-water cages in Lake Victoria, plus a processing plant and a distribution…

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Russia allows import of Pakistani rice after a 2-year ban

RUSSIA – Russia has allowed the import of rice from Pakistan, lifting a 2 yearlong ban that had denied Pakistani farmers access to a market that at its peak use to import rice valued at US$40 million  Russia banned the import of rice from the country in May 2019 after Khapra beetle was detected in a Pakistani rice consignment.  The decision to greenlight Pakistani rice was reached after intense negotiations between representatives from both governments.  With the new development, four Pakistani establishments located in Karachi, Lahore, and Chiniot will now be…

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South African wine industry raises alarm over inability to stay afloat with continued domestic sale bans

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s wine body, Vinpro, has raised red flags pertaining to the continued restrictions imposed on domestic wine sales, which is deemed to potentially cripple most businesses within the sector. According to the non-profit organization representing 2 600 businesses, the South African wine industry is at a tipping point as many businesses, particularly small companies and those under black ownership, face potential closure in the next three to 12 months. This is according to the Impact of Covid-19 on the Wine Value-Chain Survey that Vinpro conducted early…

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Jorge Mesquita to steer Blue Triton Brands into future as an independent water business

US – BlueTriton Brands, the former US and Canadian operations of Nestle Waters, has appointed Jorge Mesquita as the new chief executive officer.   Mr. Mesquita, a trained chemical engineer, joins BlueTriton from Johnson & Johnson, where he was executive vice president and worldwide chairman of the company’s consumer division.   Before that he spent nearly 30 years at The Procter & Gamble Co., where he held several leadership roles, including group president of global fabric care and president of global home care.  In his new role, Mr. Mesquita will lead the company’s growth and innovation initiatives…

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Kenyan retail startup MarketForce raises US$2m series A funding round, eyes Nigerian market

KENYA – Kenyan retail-tech startup MarketForce, has undertaken a Series A funding round, raising US$2 million to scale up operations. Existing investors such as P1 Ventures and Y Combinator, as well as new investors such as Launch Africa, V8 Capital, Future Africa, GreenHouse Capital, Rebel Fund, Remapped Ventures, and other undisclosed angel investors, participated in this round. MarketForce, enables consumer brands to optimize how they deliver essential goods and services to retailers and consumers by bridging the information gap in last mile distribution, while maximizing efficiency across the sales and…

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Lavazza to open 100 coffee shops in India under Suprabha brand

INDIA – Italian coffee brand Lavazza will in the next two years open 100 coffee shops in India to expand its presence in one of the fastest growing coffee markets in the world.   According to a report by ET Retail, the coffee shops will be set up by Lavazza’s fully owned subsidiary Fresh and Honest and will operate under the ‘Suprabha’ brand.  The shops to be set up in various formats would be inspired by the South Indian traditional art form – Kolam (rangoli) allowing family members to bond over a cup of coffee in…

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South African waste tech Kudoti wins Nestlé’s recycling championing competition

SOUTH AFRICA – Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, has crowned South Africa based digital recycling platform Kudoti, as one of the five winners of its 2021 Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, for their innovative recycling impact through technology.  The CSV Prize has been running for over 10 years and has identified multiple initiatives for some of today’s most critical environmental and social issues around the world. This year’s competition, conducted in partnership with the non-profit organization, Ashoka, was entitled ‘How do we create a waste-free future?’  It…

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Suntory Group invests US$912m in renewable energy transition as Pilgrim’s UK targets net zero by 2030

JAPAN – Japanese beverage giant, Suntory Group is investing US$912 million in transitioning all its facilities to renewable energy as part of efforts to meet its goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2030.  According to a statement from the global beverage company, the investment will enable it to power its 63 directly-owned manufacturing sites and R&D facilities in Japan, the Americas, and Europe with 100% renewable electricity by next year.  Transitioning to renewable energy will also support Suntory’s goal to achieve net-zero emissions across its entire value chain by 2050.   “As a…

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