Belgian investor Alterfin secures US$7.1m funding to bolster investment in small holder farming

BELGIUM – Alterfin, a Belgian social investor has secured funds from AgriFi and BIO amounting to US$7.1 million to enhance investment in smallholder farming in developing countries. AgriFI, the Agriculture Financing Initiative funded by the EU, and BIO, are reported to have each invested about US$3.55 million in the Belgian social investor. “AgriFI’s senior unsecured loan of €3m should enable Alterfin to grow its portfolio mainly in Africa and Asia,” explained Guillaume Simões, AgriFI Investment Officer at EDFI Management Company. Simoes further explained that the investment will allow the organisation to…

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AB InBev’s second quarter sales pick up encouraged by June recovery in Mexico, South Africa

BELGIUM – The world leading brewer, Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev) has reported a 17.7% decline in revenue to US$10.2 billion in the second quarter impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the half year period 2020, revenue declined by 12.0% to US$21.2 billion, though revenue per hl did actually increase by 1.6%. According to the brewer, in April, its volumes declined by 32.4%, as it faced a shutdown of its beer operations in key markets such as Mexico, South Africa and Peru, and the closure of the on-premise channel in…

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Beneo invests US$56m in rice starch facility to increase production capacity

BELGIUM – Beneo, a functional ingredients company, has announced a US$56 million investment into its Wijgmaal rice starch facility, which it claims will see production capacity increase by 50%. Located in Belgium, the Wijgmaal plant will see the addition of a new production line which Beneo says will cater to the rising customer demand for its rice starches. The company claims that its trials have shown that clean label rice starch can play an important role in applications such as baked goods, confectionery, sauces and dressings. Beneo will install a third dryer and dewatering line…

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Cargill adds new gourmet chocolate production line at Belgian site

BELGIUM – Cargill has invested €3.5 million (US$3.92m) in its site in Kalmthout, Belgium to increase its capabilities for producing gourmet chocolate by further improving the facility’s flexibility and time to market. The investment adds a fifth gourmet production line and new chocolate tanks within the existing facility, providing greater flexibility in production as well as adding 12 new jobs locally. “This investment strengthens the extended gourmet chocolate offerings that we acquired with Cargill’s purchase of Smet in 2019,” says Inge Demeyere, Managing Director of Cargill’s chocolate activities in Europe.…

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Food protection company Biotalys secures funding to advance research

BELGIUM – Biotalys, a Belgian food and crop protection company, has received a €1.6 million research grant from Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) to accelerate development of the company’s proprietary platform of protein-based biocontrols. The grant will run over three years and will support Biotalys research for the development of cost-efficient microbial cell factories for the industrial production of Biotalys’ unique new generation protein-based biocontrol solutions. Hilde Revets, CSO of Biotalys, explained that the funding will allow the company to build a proprietary, state-of-the art toolbox of microbial production systems,…

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The Covid-19 pandemic dents AB InBev’s performance as revenue declines 5.8%

BELGIUM – AB InBev has reported a 5.8% slide in revenue and a 13.7% decline in EBITDA to US$3.949 billion during its first quarter 2020, largely due to lower sales volume resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. The world’s leading brewer saw its total volumes decline by9.3%, with own beer volumes down 10.5% and non-beer volumes down 0.2%. Excluding China, AB InBev’s volumes declined by 3.6% in 1Q20 despite initial growth of 1.9% in January and February. The brewer’s April 2020 global volumes further declined by approximately 32%, primarily driven by…

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Belgian food tech start-up Deliverect raises US$17.63m to expand internationally

BELGIUM – Deliverect, the Belgian start-up streamlining the restaurant industry with its online food delivery management software, has raised €16.25 million (US$17.63m) in its Series B funding round to support its global expansion ambitions. The funding round was led by OMERS Ventures with existing investors Newion, Smartfin, and the company’s founders also participating. Deliverect is a subscription-based service that integrates third-party online ordering platforms like Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Glovo, and Doordash into restaurants’ point-of-sale systems, automating the inbound online order flow through a single point. Deliverect eliminates the requirement for…

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AB InBev reports full year results as Corona virus outbreak cuts revenue by US$285m

BELGIUM – The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has released its full year 2019 financial results which show a 4.3% increase in revenue benefiting from growth in volume. AB InBev reported a 3.1% growth in revenue per hl enhanced by global premiumization and revenue management initiatives, although the advancement in the brewer’s smart affordability strategy slightly impacted the growth. The brewer’s total volumes grew by 1.1% during the year, with own beer volumes up 0.8% and non-beer volumes up 4.8%. AB InBev reported a 5.2% increase in combined…

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Thailand’s CP Foods unveils plans of expanding in 17 overseas markets

THAILAND – CP Foods,an agro-industrial and food conglomerate headquartered in Thailand plans to expand in 17 overseas markets where the company is operating especially China, Vietnam, India, the Philippines, Russia, the United States. The direction is in line with the policy from Mr. Dhanin Chearavanont, Senior Chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) to create continuously business growth. According to a statement issued by the firm, the company was still able to grow continuously in 2019 despite slow economic growth in Thailand. CPF projects 8-10% growth in 2020. Sustainability ambitions The…

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SpaceBakery project secures US$6.93m in funding to support research

BELGUIM – The SpaceBakery project, a unique consortium composed of seven Belgian organisations has secured a total of €6.3m (US$6.93m) in funding to support the project’s research on finding sustainable food production technologies. Led Puratos, a global bakery, pastry and chocolate expert, the consortium will begin research in 2020 working on an enclosed ecological system to explore possibilities of producing food in Mars with an aim of sustainably feeding the growing population in the future. However, before the project uses the research to help feed the first people on the…

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