12 december 2018

Swiss equipment maker Bühler creates Consumer Food segment

Swiss food equipment manufacturer Bühler has announced the creation of Consumer Food segment, which will become effective from 1 January 2019. The firm says it will combine the current chocolate, nuts, bakery and coffee business with its recently acquired Haas wafer products business.

Bühler will use the new entity to improve customer support in global markets through simplified interfaces, integrated solutions, innovation, and services. Haas CEO Germar Wacker will lead the Consumer Food segment as part of Bühler’s executive board.

Bühler CEO Stefan Scheiber said: “With this move, we can create significant value for our customers and position ourselves as clear leader in the growing consumer foods market.”

Haas has operated as a separate business since its acquisition in January 2018. Bühler and Haas currently serve several important customers together, work jointly on customer projects, and are also in talks with several interested partners.

The new organisation combines all consumer foods related technologies and solutions into one segment. It will serve as the logical next move to serve customers from one single point of origin.

Haas CEO Germar Wacker said: “With this new, strong business pillar in the field of processing technologies in consumer foods, we can offer specialised knowledge as well as research and development to the needs of our customers in that sector.”

The creation of a new business segment is considered to be a milestone for 50-year old Bühler Group. Consumer Foods will join the two other segments of Advanced Materials and Grains & Food.


11 december 2018

CTI Foods recalls RTE pork and poultry sausage products in the US

US-based CTI Foods is recalling approximately 29,028lbs of frozen, ready-to-eat (RTE) pork and poultry sausage products, as they may have been contaminated with pieces of metal. The frozen RTE sausage products that are being recalled include 23.4oz pouches of Jimmy Dean HEAT n SERVE Original SAUSAGE LINKS Made with Pork & Turkey, which bear the establishment number EST 19085.

Produced and packaged on 4 August 2018, the RTE sausage links were shipped to an establishment in Tennessee, where they were distributed to retail stores. The problem was discovered on 10 December 2018, when the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) was notified by the company that it received five complaints from consumers that the RTE sausage links contained metal pieces.

Until now, there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. FSIS is concerned that some products may be in peoples’ freezers and has urged them to throw it away or return it to the place of purchase. Any person concerned about an injury or illness has been urged to contact a healthcare provider.

The recall has been classified as Class 1, which represents a health hazard situation where there are chances of serious, adverse health consequences or even death as a result of the consumption of the products. In September, Wayne Farms recalled approximately 438,960lb of frozen fully cooked chicken products due to the potential presence of metal pieces.


10 december 2018

BRF signs agreement to sell Quickfood for $60m

BRF has signed an agreement to sell 91.89% of QuickFood capital stock to Marfrig for $60m. The two firms also signed a five-year partnership agreement to produce and distribute beef patties, meatballs, kibbeh and other products at the facility in Várzea Grande of Mato Grosso state, Brazil.

The total value of the deal is around $87m, of which $60m is associated with the assets sale in Argentina, while the remaining amount is related to the sale of assets in Mato Grosso. This amount is subject to adjustments following the completion of the deal, given that the portion associated with the net debt of QuickFood posted at year-end will be deducted from the agreement. Marfrig Global Foods has notified the Securities and Exchange Commission of Brazil about the acquisition.

The firms will focus on innovation and development of new beef patty lines. Marfrig will assume operations at Várzea Grande plant to produce beef patties and other beef products, which will continue to be distributed and sold under BRF’s brands.

Marfrig global CEO Eduardo Miron said: “With this acquisition, we are reinforcing one of our strategic pillars: focus on growth in value-added products and brands. And we are doing this by acquiring a company renowned for operational excellence. We believe that this operation will create value for our stakeholders.”

A producer of beef products, cold cuts and frozen vegetables in Argentina, QuickFood owns the brands Vieníssima! and Paty. It has three facilities, which together have a daily processing capacity of 620 head of cattle. In a month, these facilities process over 6,000t of products. Quickfood and Várzea Grande will be managed by Marfrig South American operation CEO Miguel Gularte. Marfrig will finance the deals with part of its cash.

Buenos Aires Stock Exchange-listed QuickFood’s net sales touched $352m in the fiscal year 2017. BRF announced its Operational and Financial Restructuring Plan in June. So far its divestment programme has resulted in the sale of assets worth $210m.

BRF COO Lorival Luz said: “With this deal, we take an important step forward in BRF’s deleveraging process, in line with our previously announced divestment plan. The partnership with Marfrig will yield benefits for the operations and profitability of both companies and ensure the production of high-quality products for our consumers.”


7 december 2018

British sheep meat to enter Indian market

The UK’s sheep meat is set to enter the Indian market after an agreement was announced that will enable British farmers and food producers to export to India. The deal was announced following a detailed process of inspections and negotiations by the UK Government, working with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP). Last year, the UK’s sheep meat exports added £386m to the country’s economy, with lamb alone reaching 69 export markets.

UK International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: “The opening of the Indian market to British lamb is further good news for our farmers, and is another vote of confidence in our world-leading food and drink at a time when exports from the sector are at a record high.

“This latest agreement is a welcome progression in the already fruitful UK-India relationship, and I look forward to seeing British lamb on Indian tables in the near future.”

Recently, China lifted a ban on UK beef exports, while Taiwan also opened its market to British pork for the first time. These agreements are estimated to represent over £300m in the first five years alone.

UK Food Minister George Eustice said: “The latest market access opening in India represents a significant win for the UK’s sheep meat producers. The announcement builds on the UK’s food and drink exporting success story, our well-established reputation for taste, quality and high animal welfare standards has seen our food and drink industry export at record levels in recent years.”


6 december 2018

Amyris to commercialise new zero calorie sweetener

US-based bioscience company Amyris has announced the commercialisation of its zero calorie, sugarcane-derived sweetener ‘No Compromise’ next year, in partnership with several food and beverage companies. The sweetener is produced from sugarcane using a proprietary process of fermentation, yielding a sweetener with 95% purity.

Amyris president and CEO John Melo said: “Through our strong partnership base, Amyris is reinforcing its commitment to accelerate the production of our groundbreaking new sweetener in response to high consumer demand.

“We’ve chosen our partners carefully in order to get our sweetener into the hands of consumers as quickly as possible and at the lowest possible cost. This product was built on our no-compromise ethos, and we certainly made no compromises in choosing to partner with only the best to introduce the world’s best sweetener.”

Recently, Amyris partnered with Brazilian food producer Camil Alimentos. Camil Alimentos agreed to introduce Amyris’s sweetener to the Brazilian retail market, with the intention to extend its União Zero Calorie product brand. The company also partnered with Brazilian cane sugar producer Raízen. Together the companies will build several manufacturing plants in the country, with the first facility advancing immediately.

For the launch of its sweetener product, Amyris also entered into a long-term collaboration with Swiss flavours and fragrances manufacturer Givaudan. In North America, Amyris signed a supply and distribution agreement with ASR Group, a refiner of cane sugar. Under the terms of the agreement, ASR will purchase up to 80% of Amyris’s sweetener production for the next three years.


30 november 2018

Cargill to invest $235m in the Philippines

US-based Cargill has announced its plans to invest PHP12.5bn ($235m) in the Philippines to expand its business further over the next two years. The investment will help the company to meet the growing domestic demand for chicken and pork, as well as offer solutions in important areas of the agricultural supply chain. The investment will also support the growth of C-Joy, a joint venture between Cargill and Jollibee Foods (JFC), to meet the increasing consumer demand for chicken.

Cargill chairman and CEO Dave MacLennan said: “We are proud to have been in the Philippines since we started our business here 70 years ago. Working closely with the government, our customers, partners and the community, we are helping farmers thrive and are bringing safe and nutritious food to Filipino tables.”

Additionally, the food company plans to provide PHP7m ($130,000) to support the Inclusive Business Capacity Building Fund in order to help Filipino farmers.
MacLennan further added: “Supporting the Inclusive Business Capacity Building Fund is another way we can help the world build food security.

“Smallholder farmers are an essential piece of feeding nearly 10 billion people by 2050 and they need all the help they can get to become more productive and profitable. I am also particularly pleased to see that this program also focuses on advancing women in agriculture.”

The investment also coincides with Cargill’s 70th anniversary in the country. Cargill has 2,200 employees across 27 locations in the region. The Philippines office is the company’s first in the Asia Pacific region.


30 november 2018

Kraft Heinz agrees to acquire Primal Kitchen

for $200m

Kraft Heinz has signed a definitive agreement to acquire US-based condiments and sauce producer Primal Nutrition for approximately $200m. Established by Mark Sisson and Morgan Buehler, Primal Nutrition offers mayonnaise, salad dressings and avocado oil under the Primal Kitchen brand.

Kraft Heinz US zone president Paulo Basilio said: “The proposed partnership with Primal Kitchen is consistent with Kraft Heinz’s vision to be the best food company, growing a better world. The Primal Kitchen team has built an amazing portfolio of the world’s best-tasting, health-enhancing, real-food pantry staples.

“Primal Kitchen is an authentic, premium and growing brand that fits perfectly with our core condiments and sauces categories, and we are excited to partner with the company’s strong existing team to drive growth across multiple categories going forward.”

As per the terms of the agreement, Primal Kitchen will be part of Springboard, which is Kraft Heinz’s platform created to partner with disrupting food brands. Primal Kitchen will continue to operate as an independent business entity but will leverage Kraft Heinz’s assets and infrastructure. Its headquarters will remain in Oxnard, California, and will be led by the existing leadership team. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, which is expected to take place early next year.

Primal Kitchen co-founder Mark Sisson said: “My mission has always been to change the way the world eats. With that goal in mind, Primal Kitchen launched in 2015 to offer health-conscious consumers the best possible choices in condiments, sauces, dressings and healthy snacks.

“While our growth to date has exceeded all industry standards and expectations, our partnership with an industry leader like Kraft Heinz now offers an unrivalled opportunity to reach millions more of the consumers who have been seeking products like ours for years.”

Earlier this month, Kraft Heinz also signed a definitive agreement to divest its Canadian natural cheese business to Parmalat for C$1.62bn (approximately $1.23bn).


30 november 2018

Food policy experts suggest resilience teams for Brexit preparation

A briefing from specialists at the University of London, University of Sussex and Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has called for the creation of ‘food resilience teams’. The notice written by food policy experts has been sent to all councils in the UK to advise local authorities to establish such teams in preparation for Brexit.

Various scenarios that could arise due to Brexit may affect food supply, leading to social disorder, according to the notice. Among the number of food risks highlighted are price changes, reduced food availability, lower standards and safety, supply disruption, border delays, freight logistics and public disorder.

University of Sussex Science Policy professor Erik Millstone said: “The impact of Brexit on food supplies will depend on where people live. Those furthest from Channel ports will be at greatest risk of shortages, which is important for local authorities because their locations will make big differences.”

CIEH Northern Ireland director Gary McFarlane added: “Whatever the outcomes of political negotiations, significant change is on the horizon. Local authorities will be key facilitators for both business and local communities, and this document seeks to provide practical ideas that assist in that role.”

The advice notice has outlined various suggestions for the food resilience teams that include mapping of existing food systems in their regions, conduct assessments on where risks and potential disruptions lie, clarify the limits to stockpiling and bring together relevant professionals and expertise. The briefing is reported to be the new addition to Food Research Collaboration’s Food Brexit Briefing series.