Diageo maintains organic sales forecast despite uncertainties in global trade policies

UK – Multinational spirits maker, Diageo said that it expects to meet its full-year organic sales targets, adding that it had a good start to 2020 financial year. In a trading commentary ahead of the company’s annual general meeting, Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes said that the company is on track to achieve net sales growth. However, he warned the company was not immune from “significant changes to global trade policy”. The company said it continues to expect organic net sales growth to be towards the mid-point of a 4%…

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Italy’s Illycaffè acquires its UK distributor amid Brexit uncertainty

ITALY – Illycaffè, Italian coffee company has acquired the UK’s Illy division distribution business from Euro Food Brands, and will now directly manage its UK distribution operations. The acquisition includes the complete transfer of business, assets and Euro Food Brands staff responsible for the distribution of Illy coffee products in the UK. Illycaffè claims that the move signals the company’s intention “to keep on investing in the United Kingdom, despite Brexit uncertainties.” Euro Food Brands has been illycaffè’s UK distributor for over 25 years, and Illycaffè says that the company…

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FoodDrinkEurope publishes EU policy priorities, calls for least disruptive outcome in Brexit

EUROPE – The EU food industry confederation, FoodDrinkEurope has published its policy priorities for the years ahead and called for the “least disruptive outcome” to the final Brexit negotiations. In an interview with FoodIngredientsFirst, FoodDrinkEurope Director General, Mella Frewen said it expects the EU and UK negotiators to reach an agreement that will least affect the food and beverage sector. Even as UK plans to leave the EU from March 29, 2019, Mella said she hopes that the move would enable them to continue supporting jobs across Europe and achieve…

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‘Hard Brexit’ to impact UK food industry negatively, raise consumer prices – Rabobank

UK – The UK economy stands to be hit negatively in case the European Union (EU) and the UK fail to agree on a Brexit deal, while the transition to this situation will be ‘sudden and far-reaching’, says Rabobank. In a research note titled ‘Consequences of hard Brexit on the Food and Agribusiness’, Rabobank says that there is a significant likelihood of disruption of regular trade between the EU and the UK, impacting the food and agriculture industry significantly, with likely effect on labour availability, grain exports and the fishing…

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Councils advised to set up ‘food resilience teams’ to prepare for Brexit

UK – Food policy experts have written to local authorities to set up ‘food resilience teams’ to ensure safe, adequate and sustainable food supply in preparation for Brexit. The document, written by specialists from City, University of London,University of Sussex and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has been sent to every council in the United Kingdom. It is seeking the guidance of local authorities pending the outcome of the Parliamentary vote on the Draft Withdrawal Agreement, something that is likely to affect not only the economy but also…

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Unilever withdraws proposal to move headquarters to the Netherlands

UK – Unilever, a British-Dutch transnational consumer goods company, has said its board has withdrawn its proposal to move to the Netherlands, after a growing tide of opposition by U.K. shareholders. The company said that in developing the proposal, the Board was guided by the opportunity to unlock value for shareholders by creating a stronger, simpler and more competitive Unilever that is better positioned for long-term success. “We have had an extensive period of engagement with shareholders and have received widespread support for the principle behind simplification. However, we recognise…

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Mondelez adopts contingency plans as businesses prepare in case of a hard Brexit

EUROPE – Mondelēz International, owners of the iconic British chocolate brand Cadbury’s, has begun stockpiling ingredients and finished products like chocolates and confectionery to avoid the potential pitfalls of a no-deal Brexit scenario. According to FoodingredientsFirst, many businesses are adopting contingency plans in case of a hard Brexit as the clock continues to count down to the UK leaving the EU. Guarding against the potential adverse effects of a no-deal Brexit is the preoccupation of many manufacturers and suppliers in the food supply chain, as firms continue to be kept…

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UK Food and Drink Federation says manufacturers input prices to rise after Brexit

UK – The UK Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has published the second of its new quarterly business confidence surveys revealing that more than three-quarters of manufacturers expect input prices to rise in the remainder of 2018. According to FoodingredientsFirst, more than half of those polled had seen increased ingredient costs (62%), increased packaging costs (61%) and increased energy costs (51%) having the most significant impact on their businesses in the second quarter of the year. Positively, 54% of businesses had also seen an increase in sales in the UK,…

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UK MPs call for ban in cartoons and fictional characters use on food products

UK – A group of UK MPs has called for a ban on cartoon and fictional characters being used to promote unhealthy, high-sugar foods as part of a raft of proposed measures to cut down on childhood obesity. According to FoodingredientsFirst, stripping out familiar characters like Kellogg’s breakfast cereal’s Tony the Tiger and Coco Monkey and the long-established “Milky Bar Kid” from Nestlé’s white chocolate bar and other superhero-type characters could be on the cards. They also called on the UK government to regulate and restrict the discounting and price…

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Agri-food industries highlight risks of hard Brexit, demand clarity

EU – The EU’s food and drink industry has joined forces with farmers and agri-food traders to call for a smooth Brexit transition and highlight the damage a cliff-edge EU exit would do to the bloc’s food chain. Operators in the food chain face “unprecedented challenges” after Brexit, according to Food Drink Europe, the organisation representing food producers at EU level, COPA-COGECA, the union of European farmers and agri-cooperatives, and CELCAA, the group representing traders in agricultural commodities. The food and drink industry is the EU’s biggest manufacturing sector and…

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