France accelerates transition to circular economy with new ban on plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables

FRANCE – The ministry of environment in France has announced a ban on plastic packaging for an extensive list of fruits and vegetables from January 2022 in a bid to cut packaging consumption, particularly the use of single-use plastic.  The ban will affect around 30 fruits and vegetables which include courgettes, aubergines and cucumbers, as well as apples, oranges and pears.   The French ministry of environment estimates that 37% of fruits and vegetables are sold in packaging, mostly single-use plastics which end up in landfills.  With the new ban, the ministry expects to…

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Kakuzi taps into expertise of PR guru Gina Din-Kariuki to be member of its Human Rights Committee

KENYA – Kenyan integrated agri-business firm, Kakuzi Plc, has named Mrs Gina Din-Kariuki, a respected and leading businesswoman, philanthropist and champion of Women’s rights, as a member of its newly formed Independent Human Rights Advisory Committee (IHRAC). The appointment of Mrs Din-Kariuki to the IHRAC marks the finalizing of the constitution of the IHRAC committee chaired by former Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai. “The Board of Kakuzi Plc is pleased to announce the entry of Mrs Din-Kariuki to the Independent Human Rights Advisory Committee. “Her entry, following an in-depth selection…

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Drink maker Pura Beverages debuts new low sugar kids’ range, ZZ2 Afrikado launches 12 avocado varietals in SA

SOUTH AFRICA – South African company Pura Beverages, known for its ‘better-for-you’ soft drinks, has launched a new range of beverage with lower in sugar, designed specifically for kids. Pura Kids is natural flavour-infused kids drink created with health-conscious parents in mind. It’s preservative and colourant-free, contains just 34 calories and comes in four natural flavours – mixed berry, pink lady apple, peach and lemonade, reports BizCommunity. “Pura Kids comes without the sugar rush that drives parents crazy by sending kids bouncing off the walls,” says Greig Jansen, CEO of…

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USAID funded Trade Hub supports Senegalese Agro Boye, Guinea’s La Petite Damba to increase capacity

WEST AFRICA – Senegal-based agribusiness firm Agro Boye, has received a US$1.1 million co-investment grant from the USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub), to increase its production capacity of horticultural products, helping to reduce food insecurity and import-dependency in the country. The investment comes three years after its partnership with the Trade Hub on building a successful pilot project that the agribusiness implemented in 2019 to boost its potato cultivation using 30 hectares of land. At that time, Agro Boye first invested around US$260,000 and produced 900…

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Jason Buechel to succeed John Mackey as CEO of Whole Foods

USA  —  Amazon-owned grocer Whole Foods has named Jason Buechel, currently, the company’s chief operating officer, as its incoming CEO, taking over from John Mackey who is set to retire on  Sept. 1, 2022.   John Mackey, who co-founded Whole Foods Market in 1980, has been at the helm of the American-based natural foods grocer for four decades.   “Honestly, it’s very hard to retire from a company that I have helped to create, nourish and grow for 44 years when I leave,” Mr. Mackey said.   “As a co-founder of Whole Foods, I’ve often…

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Premium dried fruit snacks company ReelFruit secures US$3m funding to expand production

NIGERIA – Nigeria’s leading dried fruit snack brand, ReelFruit, has raised a Series A investment of US$3 million to expand its production fivefold, increase its product offerings and double down on exports to the US and other international markets. The funding round was led by Alitheia IDF which invested 67 per cent or US$2 million, while other investors including Samata Capital and Flying Doctor Healthcare Investment Company also took part in the round. Founded in 2012, ReelFruit pioneered the dried fruit snack industry in Nigeria and remains its market leader.…

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Cold chain solutions provider InspiraFarms opens SADC regional hub in Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE – InspiraFarms, a provider of on- and off-grid cold storage solutions is continuing with its expansion strategy across Africa, establishing a regional office representation for Southern Africa, based in Harare, Zimbabwe. InspiraFarms’ team designs first-mile, on-farm pre-cooling cold chain and food handling solutions, which are made up of the best European technologies. Zimbabwe has become a key market for InspiraFarms, with the Zimbabwean horticultural sector growing rapidly in response to the increasing demand for fresh fruit and vegetables in the European Union (EU), UK, Middle East, Far East and…

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Ghana adds value to yams, cassava with launch of US$1.65m processing factory

GHANA – The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has commissioned CH Global Limited, a cassava and yam processing factory operating under the government’s 1-District-1-Factory initiative, located in Krachi East District of Oti Region. Construction of the facility which began in 2019, received financial support from Ghana EXIM Bank to the tune of GH¢10 million (US$1.65m). According to reports by The Presidency of Ghana, the facility will process yam into frozen chips and yam balls, under the brand name CH Foods. The first phase of the…

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Uganda’s pioneering organic farm AMFRI clinches US$1.5m investment from Pearl Capital managed fund

UGANDA – Yield Uganda Investment Fund, an agribusiness impact vehicle managed by Pearl Capital Partners has partnered with FCA Investments to issues €1.3 million (US$1.54 million) backing to Uganda’s AMFRI Farms Ltd. The AMFRI Farms is a pioneering organic farming, processing and exporting company of certified fruits and vegetables, herbs, spices, cereals, food additives and colourants. The company works closely with diverse communities all over Uganda, in training and production of certified organic produce. According to reports by Daily Monitor, the financing is partially structured as convertible preference shares, 60…

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Zambian potato producing giant Buya Bamba invests US$7m in new frozen chips processing factory

ZAMBIA – Zambia’s leading potato producer, Buya Bamba has vertically expanded its operations with an investment of US$7 million in a new processing factory for production of frozen chips. The company specializes in supply of superior seeds, growing, harvesting, cleaning, sizing and packaging, as well as, the storage of fresh potatoes to provide the Zambian customers with a dependable source of local produce on a year-round basis. The new facility located in Lusaka has been under construction for the past three years and is set for commissioning, reports Zambia Business…

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