Nestlé meal delivery service unit Freshly to open new distribution center in US to meet rising demand

US – Freshly, a meal delivery service owned by Swiss food giant Nestle is opening a second distribution center in suburban Atlanta, Georgia to meet rising consumer demand.  According to a statement from the company, the new distribution center will be built at a cost of US$52 million and will create employment opportunities for another 665 workers.  Freshly announced the Atlanta project four months after it announced a US$3.2 million center in Austell projected to employ 250 people.  The subscription service delivers precooked meals that customers can quickly reheat and eat.   Freshly…

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Wholestone Farms to establish US$500m pork facility in South Dakota as Hill’s Pet Nutrition invests in a new plant in Kansas

US – Wholestone Farms, a farmer-owned pork producer, has announced plans to build a new pork harvest and processing facility in South Dakota, United States. According to Wholestone Farms, the project will cost about US$500 million and will initially see the employment of more than 1,100 people. “Wholestone Farms and its farmer-owners have a strong culture of corporate citizenship and with many of our members currently living and doing business in the area, we look forward to being a preferred employer and impactful participant in the Sioux Falls community,” said…

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Starbucks makes 3 executive appointments to support purpose-driven growth

US – American multinational chain Starbucks has announced three new changes to its top leadership in an effort to fill vacant positions and to help the company achieve what it describes as “Purpose-driven growth”. In the new appointments, John Culver who previously served as Starbucks’ group president of international, channel development and global coffee, tea, and cocoa, has been promoted to the chief operating officer at Starbucks Corp. Culver succeeds Roz Brewer, who exited Starbucks in February to become chief executive of Walgreens Boots Alliance. In addition to being named…

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Constellation Brands eyes a share of rapidly growing mezcal drinks market with investment in ‘Dos Hombres’

US – Leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine, and spirits Constellation Brands has invested in Dos Hombres’, an artisanal and hand-crafted mezcal brand owned by created by Breaking Bad co-stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston. The investment was made through Constellation’s venture capital group gives the US beer company a minority share in the company and a footing in the fast-growing mezcal beverage market. Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave. The Mexican alcoholic drink can reach an alcohol content of 55% and…

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Danone offloads US plant-based nutritional products brand Vega as part of portfolio review

FRANCE -French dairy giant, Danone is selling Vega, Canada, and U.S. plant-based nutritional products brand, as part of a strategic portfolio review announced in October last year. According to a statement from Danone, Vega will be sold to funds managed by WM Partners, a US-based private equity investment firm focused on the health and wellness industry. WM Partners said the acquisition was made through the HPH II Investments Master Fund. Over the last two years, the HPH II fund has acquired hydration brand Ultima Replenisher, collagen business Great Lakes and…

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AppHarvest secures US$75m investment from Rabobank as AAK signs US$476m sustainability linked credit facility

US – AppHarvest, a leading AgTech specializing in the development of high-tech indoor farms, has secured US$75 million from Rabo AgriFinance, a subsidiary of Rabobank.  According to a statement from the Kentucky based company, the funds will be used to fuel expansion of its rapidly growing network of high-tech controlled environment agriculture (CEA) facilities in Central Appalachia.   AppHarvest  builds some of the world’s largest high-tech indoor farms that grow non-GMO, chemical pesticide-free produce.  The company says its farms use up to 90% less water than open-field agriculture and only recycled rainwater while producing yields up to 30 times that…

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Kroger upbeat about 2021 fiscal year following an exceptional first quarter

US – American retail company Kroger has raised its annual forecast for 2021 after an exceptional first quarter that saw the company surpass its own guidance and Wall Street’s expectations.  Revenue for the Cincinnati based company came in above pre-pandemic levels at US$41.3 billion, surpassing the US$39.78 billion estimate that had been predicted by financial analysts.  To inject fresh energy to a struggling business, Kroger executives propped up the company’s online grocery business, expanding its grocery pick up service to 2,233 stores and increasing its delivery ability to 2,488 stores reaching 98% of its customers.  A partnership with Uk-based…

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Plant-based foods startup Motif FoodWorks raises US$226m in Series B funding round

US – Motif FoodWorks, a fast-growing food startup spun out of Ginkgo Bioworks in 2019, has raised US$226 million in a series B funding round led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board participated in the seed funding round through its Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP). Other participators in the round included AiiM Partners, Wittington Ventures, Rethink Food, Rage Capital and Rellevant Partners. Existing investors including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, CPT Capital, General Atlantic, Louis Dreyfus Company and Viking Global…

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5-year truce on aircraft dispute hands temporary relief to European dairy industry

EUROPE – A recently announced five-year truce in a long-running trade dispute over subsidies for Boeing and Airbus has brought relief to Europe’s dairy industry which found itself in the crossfire between the US and the European Union. Beginning in October 2019, many EU dairy lines have been subject to an additional tariff of 25 percent on arrival in the US. The additional tariffs imposed on EU dairy exports reached hundreds of millions of dollars and severely impacted EU and US-based businesses alike. Dairy producers in the EU lost business…

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E&J Gallo invests US$423m in new US plant to support future business growth

US – E. & J. Gallo Winery (Gallo), a global wine and spirits company, has announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art production facility and distribution center in Chester County, United States to support future business growth and its long-term innovation plans. According to a statement from family-owned company, the new facility to be constructed at a cost of US$423 million will create 496 new jobs over the next eight years. The facility will provide bottling and canning capacity as well as warehousing and distribution for the company’s growing portfolio…

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