US Plant-based startups Nobell Foods, Urban Remedy raise funds to accelerate growth

US – Plant-based startups Nobell Foods and Urban Remedy have raised new funds to build internal capacities, accelerate growth, and fund expansion into new markets.  Nobell Foods, a California-based Plant-based cheese startup, raised US$75 million in a Series B funding round that was led by venture capital company Andreessen Horowitz.  Investment groups Breakthrough Energy Ventures and FootPrint Coalition Ventures, as well as several other participants also participated in the round that raised Nobell Food’s total funding secured so far to over US$100 million.   Nobell plans to use the funding to increase its internal team, expand farming partnerships,…

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India’s grain production to hit record 305.4MMT as govt doubles down on food relief program

INDIA – India’s grain production for the market year (MY) 2020/21 is forecast at a record 305.4 million metric tons (MMT) driven by record production of rice, wheat, corn, and pulses.  The recent figure released by India’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare is over 2 MMT higher than the earlier second advance estimate. It is also a  whopping 8 MMT higher than last year’s record harvest.  Rice, one of India’s staple grains is forecasted to reach a near-record high of 121 million metric tons from a growing area of 44 million hectares. Wheat is on the…

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South Africa advocates for environmentally sustainable packaging that ensure longevity, safety of food

SOUTH AFRICA – Majority of consumers in developing and under-developed countries are more concerned about food security, simply having enough food to eat, than food safety issues. This is a contrasting narrative with that in developed countries where according to Tetra Pak’s recent study, 53% of respondents listed food safety as a top issue. One of the ways of achieving food safety is by use of appropriate packaging that maintains the integrity of the product, providing fully transparent health and nutritional data, which simultaneously permits food to last longer. According…

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Food Union invests in renewable energy to cut down carbon footprint of its dairy operations

NORWAY – Food Union, one of the leading ice-cream and dairy producers in the Baltic region, has announced investments in renewable energy to power ice cream and dairy operations in the Baltics and Norway.   Normunds Staņēvičs, CEO of Food Union, Europe said that the investment is in line with the company’s commitment to seeking out alternative renewable energy sources to balance its energy needs even as it continues to grow.   The company has already made substantial investments in renewable and recently transitioned two of its companies Premia and Isbjørn Is to renewable energy.  Premia which is Estonia’s…

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Kenya’s ice cream, chocolate maker Glacier Products enters yoghurt market, launches new products

KENYA – Glacier Products Ltd, one of Eastern Africa’s leading ice cream and chocolate confectionery manufacturers, has expanded its portfolio with launch of a new line of yoghurt products and biscuit snack in Kenya. Expanding its market share in East Africa’s leading economy, the owner of the famous Dairyland brand is enticing consumers with its new yoghurt containing real fruits. The yoghurt is available in strawberry, vanilla, mango, blueberry, and orange flavors and unique blends of kiwi apple, peach mango, pineapple coconuts etc. coming in uniquely shaped 150ml and 550ml…

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Ethiopia receives US$47m grant from AfDB to support establishment of Agro Industrial Parks

ETHIOPIA – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Government of Ethiopia have signed a grant agreement worth US$47 million, to be channelled towards the Productivity Enhancement to Support Agro Industrial Parks and Youth Employment Projects. According to the development organization, the industrial parks and youth project will see the establishment of irrigation and water management infrastructure around the Integrated Agro-Industrial Parks. This is aimed to offer opportunities for graduate “agri-preneurs” to establish agro-related, commercially viable businesses. Valued at US$102 million, the venture is being co-financed with the Arab…

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Medina and Freshways Dairies to merge businesses in pursuit of greater liquid milk market

UK – UK dairy companies Freshways Dairy, based in Acton, and Medina Dairy, based in Windsor, have confirmed they have agreed to merge to create a viable, long-term, fresh liquid milk business.  Combining the two businesses will create a more robust dairy company with over 1,000 employees and a processing capacity of 500m liters of British Red Tractor farm assured milk.    The new company which will reportedly trade as Medina Freshways Limited will also enjoy a turnover of around £400 million (US$549 million).   A new board and management structure will be put in place to oversee the merger, ongoing operations, and…

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Change of guard at South Africa’s iconic winery Spier as alcohol industry faces turmoil

SOUTH AFRICA – One of South Africa’s oldest wine farms, Spier, has promoted its long-serving Cellar Master, Frans Smit, to be its Managing Director after 25 years of winemaking and viticultural leadership. To succeed him is his protégé, Johan Jordaan, the new Cellar Master of the three centuries old winery. The historic Stellenbosch-based farm, established in 1692, is renowned for developing awarded, quality wines in local and international markets.  From the vineyards where Spier sources grapes to the cellar producing terroir-driven wines, there’s a well-recognised commitment to the sustainability of…

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SA meal kit provider Ucook acquires Granadilla Eats to accelerates growth of grocery delivery

SOUTH AFRICA – Ucook, South Africa – based food-tech company, in collaboration with its sister entity Faithful to Nature (FTN), has expanded its grocery delivery capabilities to a much larger, national scale with acquisition of Granadilla Eats. Granadilla Eats is an online food and fresh produce delivery service launched at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, and was born out of the need for a reliable home-delivery service for groceries. Also, its shift from being a swimwear brand, was to offer vital assistance required to keep smaller food-producing…

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FrieslandCampina half-year profits drop 42.6% battered by Thai court ruling and an underperforming infant nutrition business

NETHERLANDS – Dutch dairy cooperative Royal FrieslandCampina N.V. has reported 42.6% drop in half-year profits, attributing the huge decline to a €57m ($67.2m) provision for a court ruling in Thailand and an underperforming infant nutrition market.   Provision for the court ruling was arguably the biggest driver of the profit drop as the company’s underlying operating profit, excluding provision for the court ruling in Thailand and currency translation effects, decreased by 8.6% to €202m ($238.3m).  While the company’s profits recorded a double-digit drop, the company’s revenue only dropped 1.8% to reach €5.5bn ($6.49bn).  Probing results in detail revealed a…

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