Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s pulls out of Israeli-occupied territories attracting the ire of authorities

ISRAEL –  Ben & Jerry’s, a fully owned subsidiary of Unilever, has decided to stop selling ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).  Ben & Jerry’s is popular in Israel, its ice cream coming in special flavours to mark Jewish festivals or national events.   It is also sold in Israeli settlements – something that has seen activists in the US put pressure on the company, known for its progressive views.  Bowing to pressure, Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement that it had reached the decision to withdraw from OPT as its continued stay…

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Coca-Cola Israel expands into cultured milk production as US unit updates taste of coke zero

ISRAEL – Coca-Cola Israel, formally known as The Central Bottling Company (CBC), is diversifying into cultured milk production with a new strategic partnership with Israeli food-tech company BioMilk.  Under the new partnership, CBC will invest up to US$2 million in the development of BioMilk’s cultured milk products. BioMilk, on the other hand, will transfer its products to Tara Dairy, which is owned by CBC, for a “pilot commercial production”.   Transferring production capabilities to Tara Dairy will enable BioMilk to step up technological developments and accelerate its reach towards the fridges and shelves of consumers.  With the new partnerships,…

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Aleph Farms closes $105M funding round to bring cell-based meat to market in 2022

ISRAEL –  Aleph Farms, an Israeli cultured meat startup, has received US$105 million in a Series B investment round to scale up manufacturing capabilities in readiness for a 2022 product launch.   According to a statement from Crunchbase, part of the funds will also be used to grow Aleph Farms’ international operations and expand its product lines and tech platform.  The company is reported to be planning to set up a manufacturing facility in the middle east to help the region which largely depends on food exports to attain food security.  This is even more likely now that one of…

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ICL launches new hub to support growth of innovative food and beverage startups

ISRAEL –  ICL Group, An Israeli global specialty minerals and chemicals company, has launched a new startup hub is designed to propel innovative food tech and agri-tech start-ups to the market. Dubbed ICL Planet, the new startup hub also aims to provide enterprises with a broad network of support, including investment and mentorship. According to a statement from the company, ICL Planet is designed to benefit both early-stage, pilot-ready start-ups and more mature, market-ready start-ups. The new start-up hub will center activities on two core areas of competency. The first…

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Israeli startup Demetria to use AI-tech to remove the guesswork out of quality coffee production

ISRAEL – Demetria, an Israeli–Colombia-based start-up, is set to drive efficiency, transparency, and sustainability throughout the coffee value chain using its first-of-its-kind AI-powered software. The firm notes that it’s AI technology will significantly help in improving the quality of coffee at the firm level by bringing to farmers “first-of-its-kind insights” on which farming methods produce better crops. According to the startup, Cupping (which determines the quality of coffee)  is inaccessible to the vast majority of the 12.5 million smallholder farmers who produce 60% of the world’s coffee beans. This means…

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Aleph Farms raises bar for cell-based meat with the unveiling world’s first cell-based ribeye steak

ISRAEL – Israeli cell-based meat producer Aleph Farms is yet again raising the bar for cell-based meat with the launch of what it describes as the world’s first slaughter-free ribeye steak. To develop the new cell-based meat, Aleph Farms partnered with biomedical engineering researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Aleph Farms says that together with the Techion researchers, it used its 3D bioprinting technology that combines cell cultivation and 3D printing create the ribeye steak. The technology involves printing living cells into a shape and then incubating then to…

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Israeli biotech startup Ukko secures US$40m to develop food allergy solutions

ISRAEL – Israeli-based Biotech company Ukko has raised US$40 million in Series B funding to help accelerate the development of healthier food and therapies for food allergies. The round was led by Leaps by Bayer – the investment arm of Bayer – and was joined by Continental Grain Company and PeakBridge Ventures. Skyviews Life Science and Fall Line Capital, as well as existing investors Khosla Ventures, Innovation Endeavors and Time Ventures also participated in the round. The Israel-based company aims to eliminate the world’s most prevalent food allergies and sensitivities…

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Future meat technologies succeeds in bringing cost of cell-based lab chicken down to US$7.50

ISRAEL – The once extremely expensive lab grown chicken is finally becoming more affordable thanks to more players joining the game, scientific advancements, new plant-based growth media, and partnerships across different scientific disciplines. Most recently, Israel-based Future Meat Technologies produced a cell-based chicken breast for about US$7.50, the biggest cost reduction recorded to date. Compared to the US$325,000 spent in 2013 to produce the world’s first hamburger made from cell-based meat in 2013, the US$7.50 is a great milestone in cell-based meat industry. It is arguably the biggest step yet…

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Israeli startup Better Juice partners food processing tech giant GEA to scale up sugar reduction technology

ISRAEL – Better Juice, an Israeli Sugar-reduction food-tech start-up, is partnering with global food processing technology gaint GEA to scale up its technology In a statement, Better Juice said the partnership is part of its strategy to transform the global juice industry by advancing its technology to reduce all sugars in orange juices. Through the joint venture, Better Juice will have an opportunity to leverage on GEA extensive expertise in food processing and on its global reach to scale up its technology and expand its global footprint. Better Juice and…

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Nili Capital Partners acquires Israeli based packaging company Stepac

ISRAEL – StePac, an Israeli packaging company packaging company has been acquired by Nili Capital Partners, a private equity company also based in Israel. StePac offers a range of packaging formats for fresh produce, with modified atmosphere properties for extending the shelf life of different items. The company’s portfolio encompasses options to support different stages of the supply chain, including long-haul shipments and retail shelf storage. Under its new ownership, StePac will form the nucleus of Nili’s modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) platform, MAPfresh Holdings. MAP process involves packaging a product…

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