Ecobank raises alarm over Flour Mills of Nigeria’s planned acquisition of Honeywell Flour Mills

NIGERIA – The planned acquisition of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (HFMP) by Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) Plc has hit a brick wall as pan-African banking conglomerate, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, has challenged the move by placing a caveat on the deal. Earlier last week, in a joint communique the two-wheat processing outfits, announced the signing of a proposed combination of FMN through its affiliates and HFMP. Under the proposed agreement, HFMP’s parent company Honeywell Group Limited will dispose 71.69% stake in the manufacturer of diverse and differentiated range of wheat…

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Ethiopia seeks to privatize agricultural extension program to improve service delivery

ETHIOPIA – The government of Ethiopia through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) is finalizing legal frameworks that enable private companies provide agricultural extension programs. The move, according to reports by Ethiopian Reporter would effectively end government monopoly of the service. The draft laws currently being discussed with stakeholders and expected to be ratified this fiscal year include directives and manuals that will guide how private extension program operators are licensed, supported and regulated. “Private companies willing to engage in extension program business are being created in Ethiopia. We will introduce…

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BigBasket eyes growth in brick and mortar, to open 200 Fresho stores by 2023

INDIA – Indian online grocery delivery service is eyeing growth in brick and mortar stores and plans to open 200 physical outlets across India by fiscal year 2023.   The Bengaluru-based online grocer which recently opened its first Fresho store aims to increase that number to 800 stores by 2026, its cofounder and CEO Hari Menon said.   “The stores will offer high quality products at extremely competitive prices. With Fresho stores, customers can now handpick fresh fruits and vegetables as well as daily essentials like bread and eggs which are stocked at the store,” Bigbasket said.  Indian farmers…

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Guinness Nigeria beefs up spirits production with launch of new US$2.2m line

NIGERIA – Guinness Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc, has commissioned a new Spirits production line at its Ogba brewery in Lagos. The new line, part of the brewer’s Mainstream Spirit Capacity expansion programme with a cost of £2.0m (US$2.2m), avails an additional cube packaging line to meet increased demand for the company’s mainstream spirits portfolio. According to reports by Vanguard, the facility is expected to produce about 600,000 EUs of the company’s iconic spirits brands including Orijin Bitters per year, in different sizes and formats desired by consumers.…

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Herbs and spices value chains most sustainable to fraud, European Commission report finds

EUROPE – Herbs and spices are some of the most vulnerable to fraud value chains in Europe, a new report by the European Commission has revealed.   The report is the child of an EU-wide survey into herbs and spices authenticity, focusing on pepper, cumin, turmeric, saffron, and paprika.   In the survey, the commission detected food fraud in herbs and spices across the bloc and is calling for immediate action to correct the anomaly.   Of the six herbs and spices analysed, 17% of pepper was deemed at risk of adulteration, 14% for cumin, 11% for turmeric,…

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Nestle launches affordable, creamy 3in1 coffee mix in Kenya under its famous Nescafe brand

KENYA – Consumption of premium instant coffee products is proliferating at a rapid pace in emerging markets due to inflating disposable incomes, growing urbanization and altering food patterns of the consumers in these regions. In pursuit to expand its consumer-base of the product category, Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) has launched NESCAFÉ 3in1 Creamy White in Kenya. The move follows consumer research in which the product emerged as the preferred coffee mix recipe based on its creamy smoothness. The coffee mix, which is packaged in Kenya, will retail…

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Fresh twist to ownership of Uchumi Supermarket’s prime plot as defense forces eyes it

KENYA – Cash-strapped Kenyan retailer, Uchumi Supermarket, is set to receive a huge cash injection if a planned land sale to the Kenya Defence Forces materializes. According to reports by Business Daily, the National Land Commission (NLC), operating on behalf of KDF, is working on the papers that will convert the 3.7 acres of land and buildings, on which Uchmi Supermarket’s branch sits on, estimated to be worth more than Ksh500 million (US$4.4m), for military use. The reports haven’t indicated why the KDF is angling for the land that is…

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T. Hasegawa USA plans new facility to drive growth in US flavour market

USA – Japanese flavour and fragrance company T. Hasegawa USA has unveiled plans to open a new production facility in Rancho Cucamonga, California to take advantage of the growing demand for flavours.  The new 60,000-square-foot plant will double T. Hasegawa’s production capabilities in the US market and will primarily produce sweet food and beverage flavours.  It will also contain equipment for liquid blending, spray dry technology for powdered flavours and flavour extraction equipment.   Hasegawa plans to continue to operate from its US headquarters in Cerritos, California, but will shift current…

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Helaina to disrupt infant nutrition market with new proteins that closely resemble those found in breastmilk

USA – US natural protein company Helaina is set to disrupt the infant nutrition market with its natural, immuno-identical proteins that are 99% identical to those found in breastmilk.  According to the company, its proteins which are a first in the infant formula category are created through the use of precision fermentation.  “We’ve seen a lot of innovation and advancement in the alternative meat and dairy space, however, the infant formula category has been stagnant for decades,” Laura Katz, founder of Helaina, said.  “I’m proud to be part of the team bringing a new solution to…

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Sykes Seafood creates US$500m pan-European business with the acquisition of Ruskim Seafoods

UK –  Sykes Seafood has agreed to acquire Telford-based Ruskim Seafoods, creating a US$500m pan-European shrimp-focused seafood business.   Founded in 1862, privately-owned Sykes focuses on supplying retail and foodservice customers while Ruskim is a food importer and distributor serving the UK & Ireland and also supplies prawns to Asian foodservice customers.   Since its founding in 1982, Ruskim has grown to become one of the leading importers and distributors of seafood, meat, and poultry in Europe, with seven depots across the UK and Ireland.   “Over the past 40 years, we have established Ruskim as a major importer…

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