UK consumers to face higher food prices as government regulations on junk food come into force

UK – The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has warned that consumers will inevitably face higher food and drink prices if manufacturers are forced to absorb the cost of proposed Government policies during the next few years.  In the report, entitled ‘Eating into household budgets: the Government’s recipe for food price inflation’, the FDF estimates that proposed government policies around public health and sustainability will cost the national industry at least £8 billion (US$9.3 billion).    The association notes that if these were passed on directly to consumers, it would increase the price of…

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Heineken unveils new sustainable bar concept in effort to make the world “a little greener every day”

UK – Dutch multinational brewing giant Heineken has launched Greener Bar, a completely new entertainment experience designed to reduce waste, water, emissions and energy usage in the company’s event bars.  Heineken said that every element of the Heineken Greener Bar- from the uniforms of the staff to the soil and plant ballasts weighing the bar down – has had a life before or will have a life long after the bar is gone.  “From the coasters made from the spent grain of the barley used during the brewing process, through to the use of reusable and recyclable cups, everything is designed…

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Dole Foods expands into functional foods, targets US$2.1B valuation in IPO

US – Dole Packaged Foods has expanded into the increasingly popular functional food products category  with the launch of Dole Fruitify juices and Dole Essentials fruit bowls. Fruitify with 65% juice and less than 100 calories per can has three varieties that combine pineapple juice with ingredients such as turmeric, green tea extract and coconut water.   Dole Essentials fruit bowls are, on the other hand, available in three varieties that mix chunks of pineapple, mandarin oranges, or mixed fruit in 100% fruit juice with ingredients such as cucumber and mint, turmeric, and green tea extract.   Both Dole Fruitify juices and Essentials fruit bowls have no added sugar, helping…

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Philippines to fight hidden hunger with recently approved “Golden Rice” variety

PHILIPPINES – Filipino authorities have greenlighted the planting of “Golden Rice”; a new, nutrient enriched rice variety developed by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).  Golden Rice was first conceived by Professors Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer in the late 1980s. IRRI became the first licensee of the scientists’ work in 2001.  The rice variety adds an important nutrient to a staple food that is already consumed in volumes of almost 120kg per capita per year.  Following the approval, Filipino farmers will become the first in…

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Federal regulations critical in ensuring safety of CBD products – Consumer Brands

USA – The Consumer Brands Association has renewed its call for urgent government action on cannabidiol (CBD) regulation, asserting that federal engagement is critical to ensuring consumer safety.   The call comes after a new report from Consumer Brands showed that the lack of a clear federal law on CBD use in foods was putting the safety of consumers using the product at risk.   The report noted that absent of a regulatory framework, consumers cannot have confidence their products are being manufactured in compliance with existing and applicable manufacturing, processing, distributing, and claim requirements.  Additionally, the…

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Lamb Weston invests US$415m in expanding US facility to meet rising demand

US – Lamb Weston, one of the world’s largest producers and processors of frozen french fries, is investing US$415 million into the expansion of its facility in American Falls, Idaho.   Expansion works include the construction of a new processing line with capacity to produce more than 350 million pounds of frozen french fries and other potato products each year.  Work will also be undertaken to modernise the facility, which was built in 1961, enabling it to accommodate the new line which is expected to be ready by mid-2023, and more than 130 additional staff. The announcement follows news that Lamb Weston…

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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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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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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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