Cargill to boost U.S. soy crush capacity, plant efficiency as Bunge Completes Sale of Rotterdam Refinery

US –  U.S. agricultural commodities trader Cargill Inc is expanding soybean processing capacity at two large Midwest crush plants and increasing efficiency at five other U.S. facilities to meet the growing demand for food and fuel. The development is happening at a time when leading producer and supplier of specialty plant-based oils and fats Bunge has completed the sale of its refinery located in Rotterdam to Neste Bunge plans to lease back the facility from Neste in a phased transition through the end of 2024 so that it can continue…

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Mondelēz snack unit takes Parle to court for ‘copying’ design of Oreo cookie

INDIA – Mondelez snack unit, Intercontinental Great Brands LLC, has moved to the Delhi High Court against Parle Products, alleging that the design of the Indian firm’s Fabio biscuits is “deceptively similar” to that of Oreo. Economic Times India reported that the high court has since fixed April 12 as the next date of hearing of the trademark infringement case filed by the maker of world famous Oreo cookie. In its hearing on February 9, the court declined the request of the US firm’s lawyers to advance the hearing to…

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Grupo Bimbo expands presence in India’s baking industry with acquisition of Modern Foods

INDIA – Grupo Bimbo, a leading Mexican bakery, has bought Indian bread brand Modern Foods from EverFoods Asia, a bread and bakery platform of private equity firm Everstone Capital. Established in 1965, Modern Foods is an Indian manufacturer of white, sweet, health and wellness breads, as well as cakes, rusks, creme bites and muffins. The company operates seven manufacturing units across India, with its products sold through a distribution network covering over 80,000 retailers nationwide. The deal marks the third time that Modern Foods has changed ownership. Everfoods acquired Modern…

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Kenyan startup The Bug Picture transforms desert locust into animal feed, organic fertilizer

KENYA – Necessity is the mother of invasion. Kenyan regenerative agriculture startup, The Bug Picture is turning the locust invasion menace that has engulfed Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen, into an opportunity by turning the insects into animal feed or an organic fertiliser. The startup is dedicated at addressing environmental challenges in East Africa via the sustainable use of insects, producing competitively priced sustainable alternative protein source. With support from Danida emergency funding, The Bug Picture has mobilised affected community members around the areas of Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu in…

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Zimbabwe sugar cane farmers get backing from commercial bank CABS, avails US$2m financing facility

ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwean commercial bank, CABS has availed a US$2 million financing facility to support sugar cane farmers in the country increase production. According to reports by The Herald, the war-chest is ample to rehabilitate over 1 000 hectares of cane fields to push up yields. Working capital constraints have been one of the key stumbling blocks to efforts by commercial cane farmers to increase yields resulting in depressed output. Zimbabwe earns more than US$70 million annually from sugar exports and increasing yields and the area under cane will boost…

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Instant noodles maker Dufil unveils Series 3 and 4 Commercial Papers to support short term funding needs

NIGERIA – Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Nigeria’s pioneer, and largest producer of instant noodles has announced the issuance of its N30 billion (US$78.7m) Series 3 & 4 Commercial Paper Notes under its Commercial Paper Issuance Programme. According to reports by Nairametrics, the maker of Indomie brand is seeking to raise N30 billion (US$78.7m) through its Series 3 notes, and an additional N30 billion from its Series 4 notes. The offer for the N30 billion (US$78.7m) Series 3 & 4 Commercial Paper will be officially issued on the 2nd of March…

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Nigeria wheat value chain players undertake initiative to bolster the sector

NIGERIA – Nigeria’s wheat value chain players and the government are rallying up support to boost the sector’s performance. According to reports by Nigeria News Agency, the Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN) has provided support to 800 farmers in Kano, Kebbi and Jigawa States to accelerate wheat cultivation. The farmers were provided with improved seeds variety, fertilisers, chemicals and 50 threshers under a soft loan scheme designed to enhance farmer access to inputs and extension services. Further to that, FMAN, in collaboration with Oxfam and agricultural research institutes, have…

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Kellogg posts 25.7% rise in full year profits even as it projects slowed demand in 2021

US – The Kellogg Company enjoyed a unusually strong, Covid-related growth in 2020, resulting in 25% rise in full year operating profits. The company’s profits for the year amounted to US$1.76 billion, a strong appreciation compared to the 17.8% drop recorded in Kellogg’s last set of full-year results. The American multinational food company has however forecasted a decrease in organic net sales for 2021, as demand declines relative to the “unusually strong, Covid-related growth” of the prior year. The company recorded 6% growth in organic net sales in its 2020…

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Mondelez considers closing bakery plants in the US that are no longer geographically strategic

US – American multinational confectionery and food company Mondelez has said that it it would officially close plants in Atlanta and Fair Lawn, New Jersey as early as mid-2021 in an effort to consolidate it’s US operations and reduce operations costs. Mondelez said the two locations are no longer geographically strategic and the plants are facing operational challenges, including aging infrastructure that would require “significant investment” to be modernized. The closure in Georgia will affect more than 400 people, while the shuttering of the New Jersey plant will impact roughly…

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Scientists in Asia create high yielding rice that sequesters more C02 from air

ASIA – Scientists from Asia have succeeded in created a new paddy-field grown that achieves higher yields while sequestering more CO2 and using less fertilizer than traditional varieties. The new rice variety developed by researchers from Nagoya University in Japan and Nanjing Agricultural University in China is reported to achieve 30% more yield than other varieties grown under the same environment. The researchers achieved this functionality by increasing the expression of the plasma membrane proton pump gene OSA1 in the rice plant, which was previously found to influence stomatal opening.…

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