Camelia diversifies product, geographic portfolio with acquisition of UK’s second largest Apple grower Bardsley England

UK – Global agriculture group Camellia has acquired Bardsley England, UK’s second largest apple grower, in an effort to diversify its product and geographic portfolio.  Under the terms of the deal, Camellia has purchased an 80% stake in Bardsley England for £15.7m (US$21.83m) and will also loan £9.3m (US$12.93m) to Bardsley, largely to cover existing debts.    Bardsley’s farming operation covers 850 hectares (ha) in Kent and includes 27 orchards growing apples, pears, cherries, plums, and grapes as well as a large grading, packing, and storage facility.   The business grows nearly 18,000 tonnes (t) of fruit…

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Constellation Brands invests Hop Wtr as Primo Water expands presence in Northwestern US

US – American producer and marketer of beer, wine, and spirits Constellation Brands has invested in California’s Hop Wtr, a non-alcoholic, calorie-free sparkling water.   Founded in 2020, the sparkling water is reportedly infused with a blend of Columbus and Centennial dry hops and notes of citrus as a nod to an IPA.  Hop Wtr is also spiked with a proprietary blend of adaptogens and nootropics, including L-theanine and ashwagandha.   Its unique positioning as a calorie-free beer alternative with a functional benefit makes it an attractive investment opportunity for Constellation Brands which seeks to tap the potential existing…

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Bridge Cheese doubles capacity at UK base as First Milk strives to improve dairy supply chain efficiency

UK – Leading supplier of cheese products to UK food manufacturing and foodservice sectors, Bridge Cheese is expanding its Telford production facility to meet the needs of its new and existing customer base.   According to Dairy Reporter, the expansion works will see the company’s factory square footage increase by 35% as well as the installation of a new production line.   As part of the expansion works Bridge Cheese will also be rolling out a new business system to improve stock control and reporting.    Managing director Michael Harte said the decision to expand in Telford was the…

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Rockshield to merge Belle Pulses, Sapientia to create a globally competitive plant-based business

CANADA – Rockshield Capital is set to merge green and yellow split beans processor Belle Pulses with plant-based foods maker Sapientia to create a global plant-based company.  Bloomberg initially reported that Rockshield had entered into a letter of intent with Novel Agri-Technologies back in April to acquire 100% of Sapientia Technology Inc., 100% of a pulse processor, and 75% of Boku International Inc.  FoodBev now reports that the company had succeeded in acquiring the first two but chose to terminate its previously announced purchase of Boku International.  The merger will bring together Belle Pulses’ expertise in processing plant-based ingredients with Sapientia’s knowledge in developing a range of plant-based products including meat…

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Refresco to expand manufacturing footprint in North America with purchase of Coca-Cola production sites

US – World’s largest independent bottler of beverages Refresco has entered into an agreement to acquire three production facilities belonging to the Coca-Cola company in the US to expand its North American manufacturing footprint.  According to a report by FoodBev, the transaction includes three hot-fill production plants – in Truesdale, Missouri, Waco, Texas, and Paw Paw, Michigan.   As part of the deal, the Netherlands-based bottler will become one of The Coca-Cola Company’s third-party contract manufacturers in the US.  Outsourcing bottling operations to independent companies has been the historic strength of the tiered US bottling system: sharing responsibility (and risk) across the supply chain. …

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Paul Cruickshank slated to take reins of South Africa based RCL Foods as Miles Dally retires

SOUTH AFRICA – South African consumer goods and milling company, RCL Foods, has promoted its Chief Operating Officer of the Food Division, Paul Cruickshank as the company CEO. Paul will be taking over the helm of the company from Miles Dally who will be retiring from the company effective November 30. According to the JSE listed company, Miles Dally has been the head of the organization since 2003. “The board would like to extend its sincere thanks and appreciation to Miles for his invaluable leadership and contribution throughout his 18…

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Solidaridad promotes development of sustainable cocoa, oil palm value chains in Ghana

GHANA – Solidaridad, an international civil society organization, has launched a project in Ghana christened “Reclaim Sustainability! Programme” to promote inclusive and sustainable supply chains in the country. The five-year programme, seeks to contribute to sustainable and inclusive cocoa and oil palm supply chains, in which producers receive a fair value for their produce and work under safe conditions, without the use of child labour, and land rights and ensure the protection of the forest. It also seeks to improve the capacity of cocoa and oil palm farmers to bargain…

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IFC partners with Microsoft to digitize agribusiness sector in Africa

AFRICA – Africa’s agribusiness sector is set to benefit from a World Bank-funded program designed to make digital tools and training resources more accessible to small-scale farmers, and agriculture-linked small businesses in the region. The program is a partnership between Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative and IFC, aiming to support digital transformation in Africa’s agribusiness sector, modernize supply chains and boost farmers’ productivity and incomes. The partnership will leverage Microsoft 4Afrika’s unique digital platforms and IFC’s Agribusiness Leadership Program to help small-scale farmers, their cooperatives, and “last mile retailers” access information and…

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South Africa’s Agritech startup Khula! expands offering with launch of new app after closing US$1.3m funding

SOUTH AFRICA -After closing an R20-million ($1.3m) seed funding round led by AECI and ESquared Investments, award-winning agritech startup Khula! has announced the launch of their new app. The investment was made in June of last year, but Khula chose to keep the round quiet in order to coincide with the launch of their Khula! Inputs App. Founded in 2016 by Karidas Tshintsholo (CEO), Matthew Piper (CPO), and Jackson Dyora, Khula provides small-scale and commercial size farmers with software and a marketplace to grow their business. According to reports by…

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Unga Group partners with Dutch Nutreco to establish JVs in Kenya, Uganda

KENYA – Unga Group, a Kenyan-based holding company with investments in flour milling and manufacturing of human nutrition products and animal feeds, has forged an investment agreement with Nutreco International B.V. to establish joint venture companies in Kenya and Uganda through its subsidiaries Unga Farm Care and Unga Millers. Under the agreement, Unga Farm Care, the region’s leading manufacturer and marketer of a broad portfolio of quality animal nutrition and health products, will invest in the establishment of a 50:50 joint venture company in Kenya with the Dutch animal nutrition…

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