Direct Pack expands US food packaging facility as Pregis invests US$80m in new film extrusion plant

US – Direct Pack, a US manufacturer of thermoformed plastic packaging for food applications, has expanded its facility in Rockingham, North Carolina in line with its strategy for continued growth.  The Rockingham site produces a variety of food packaging containers including salad bowls and custom packaging for hot and cold fresh food applications.  The new expansion project is reported to have added 56,000 square feet of space, allowing Direct Pack to install additional flexible manufacturing lines that support a “24/7 operation”.  According to Direct Pack, the expanded Rockingham facility has…

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Alternative protein company Nature’s Fynd raises US$350m to accelerate go-to-market strategy

US – Alternative protein company Nature’s Fynd has raised US$350 million in a Series C round funding led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, more than tripling the funding it’s raised to date, according to a report by Crunchbase.   Nature’s Fynd said it will use the money to accelerate growth by expanding production capacity, developing partnerships, laying the foundation for global expansion, and adding new products to its portfolio.  The company, specializing in the production of fermented protein, is yet to have products in the market but plans a limited rollout later this year and a nationwide launch and international expansion in 2022.  Nature’s Fynd, previously known…

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South African retailers turn to online sales, launch of convenience stores to drive sales

SOUTH AFRICA – The COVID-19 pandemic hugely impacted the food supply value chains across the globe, following the restrictions put in place by the various authorities and governments to reduce the spread of the virus. To quantify the impact, South African retail food sales amounted to US$39.8 billion in 2020, a 6 percent decline compared to US$6.4 billion registered in 2019. This was a retrogression from the gains registered in the previous year of 3 percent. According to a GAIN report by USDA, this was due to the government-imposed restrictions…

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Cashew Watch Ghana launched to advocate for growth of sector

GHANA – The Cashew Watch Ghana (CWG), a new civil society organisation has been inaugurated in Ghana to champion the growth and development of the cashew industry in the country. CWG has been formed to promote revolution in the commodity space through advocacies for the formulation and implementation of national policies, that would transform the industry as a vehicle to push rapid socio-economic growth and development. Among other objectives, the network seeks to advocate competitive price for the commodity for the betterment of all the value chain actors, reports Ghana…

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Lucrative citrus industry in South Africa calls for increased efficiency on back of expected rising exports

SOUTH AFRICA – The South African citrus industry expects to break all export season records, with an estimated 158.7 million cartons this year. If this estimate was reached, it would represent a third consecutive season of record export volumes, with 130 million cartons exported in 2019 and 146 million cartons last year. This is according to projections by the Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa (CGA), indicating a 22 percent growth in exports in just two years. Medium-term crop estimates indicate that the citrus industry is expected to continue increasing…

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Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s pulls out of Israeli-occupied territories attracting the ire of authorities

ISRAEL –  Ben & Jerry’s, a fully owned subsidiary of Unilever, has decided to stop selling ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).  Ben & Jerry’s is popular in Israel, its ice cream coming in special flavours to mark Jewish festivals or national events.   It is also sold in Israeli settlements – something that has seen activists in the US put pressure on the company, known for its progressive views.  Bowing to pressure, Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement that it had reached the decision to withdraw from OPT as its continued stay…

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Sensient Technologies strengthens technical solution capabilities with acquisition of Flavor Solutions

US – Sensient Technologies has acquired Flavor Solutions, a New Jersey-based provider of flavours and flavour technologies to the food, beverage and nutraceutical markets, in an effort to expand its traditional flavour offering.    Based in Piscataway, Flavor Solutions is a custom product and flavour development company with a rich flavour portfolio that includes SweetTech, MicroFresh, Tenderseal, and Tenderbake.   As part of the deal, Sensient will gain access to Flavour Solution’s savoury reaction flavours, natural shelf-life extender technologies, and sweetness enhancing and salt reduction taste-modulation technology platforms.  Gaining access to these key technologies will be a boost to Sensient as consumer preference for healthier products is driving demand and resulting in healthy growth forecasts.  For instance, MarketsandMarkets projects that the global natural…

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UAC Restaurants expands its retail unit with launch of modern Mr Bigg’s bread bakery

NIGERIA – UAC Restaurants Limited, subsidiary of UAC of Nigeria Plc, a leading diversified company operating in the food & beverage, animal feed and Quick Service Restaurant sector, has opened a state-of-the-art bread bakery in Amuwo Odofin, local government area of Lagos State. The launch of the new outlet was done in collaboration with CEESAM International Limited, a UAC Restaurants’ franchisee. It is aimed to expand the company’s retail segment and readily avail its Mr Bigg’s Family bread nearer to consumers. The outlet will leverage on the traffic from its…

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Canada spearheads development of innovative solutions to plastic mismanagement in sub-Saharan Africa

AFRICA – The government of Canada has partnered with Nesta Challenges to undertake the Afri-Plastics Challenge, aimed to improve plastic waste management in sub-Saharan Africa with a cash price of CA$14.5m (US$11.4m) to be distributed to the winners. Nesta Challenges, based in the United Kingdom, was launched in 2012 to increase understanding and practical evidence about challenge prizes as an innovation method to encourage more governments, charities and businesses to use competitions to make a tangible, positive impact on society. The Afri-Plastics Challenge seeks to find innovators with scalable and…

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DSM unveils new phage-robust culture rotations to help manufacturers overcome spoilage issues in cheese

NETHERLANDS – Dutch multinational health and nutrition company DSM has expanded its Dairy Safe cheese biopreservation portfolio with a new range of phage-robust culture rotations.  The company notes that the new range comprised of four new culture rotations offers a more robust system that effectively manages bacteriophages (phages) and overcomes spoilage issues in cheese.  Insufficient management of phages can lead to fermentation delays and production slow-down, which can contribute to increased food loss and have a detrimental impact on cheese flavour, yield, and texture.  At the same time, demand for great-tasting, sustainable and natural…

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