Author Archive

Australia to get tough on animal activists

[16 April/Rural News] The Australian government is promising tougher sanctions against animal activists, including a new offence with up to 12 months jail time for those who use a carriage service, such as the internet to disclose personal information and incite others to trespass on farmland and livestock facilities and damage businesses. This is to...

Beyond Meat enters prepared meal delivery with Trifecta partnership

[15 April/Food Dive] Beyond Meat is partnering with California-based Trifecta, an online meal delivery service to deliver consumers in all 50 states its Beyond Burger and other plant-based products as well as its fully cooked meals. Trifecta noted Beyond Meat products do not contain soy, gluten or GMOs and therefore will be good for those...

Water Giants Race to Curb Plastic Waste

[15 April/Bloomberg] Danone and Nestle SA are creating innovative products to help reduce plastic waste especially with discarded plastic water bottles. Danone is planning to start selling an in-home water appliance featuring a container that cuts down on plastic use and collapses once empty, then contracts when filling up. Nestle SA is working on an...

The Changing Face of Farms: Women Step In as U.S. Growers Age

[12 April/Bloomberg] A Federal Census has been released which reveals that the number of female producers in the U.S has increased by 27 percent between 2012 and 2017. More women are now running the operation, and showing up in new markets for niche crops and organic produce. The average age of farmers increased 1.2 years...

Campbell Soup to sell Bolthouse Farms for $510 million

[12 April/CNBC] Campbell Soup announced that it is selling Bolthouse Farms for USD$510 million (approx. NZD$755 million) to an affiliate of private equity firm Butterfly Equity to help reduce debt. The deal is expected to be completed by July 2019, and once completed Campbell will have divested its entire fresh division. In February, it agreed...

Redefine Meat Serves 3D Printed “Beef” made of Plants to Unknowing Diners

[11 April/The Spoon] Diners at a restaurant in Israel were unknowingly served a kebab made not from meat but was a 3D-printed plant-based creation from food technology company Redefine Meat. 85 percent of the diners reported the meat being ‘’meat-like’’. Redefine Meat’s “meat” is made with relatively simple ingredients: three plant protein sources, fat, and...

Co-founders of cricket protein bar company Exo branch out into cereal

[11 April/Food Dive] A new cereal named Magic Spoon has been released by the co-founders of Exo, the cricket protein bar company. The cereal has high protein, less carbohydrates, no artificial ingredients and a sweetener blend containing monk fruit, stevia and allulose. Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz aim to bring back consumers who have turned...

Hormel wins advertising lawsuit over ‘natural’ term on its meats

[11 April/Food Dive] The D.C Superior Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defence Fund (ALDF) that alleged ‘’natural’’ claims on Hormel’s packaging were misleading customers. The court ruled that if the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows the labelling then the manufacturer should be allowed to use the same terminology in advertising. ALDF...

Investors develop a taste for radical thinking on food

[11 April/AMP] California-based Kiverdi is turning carbon dioxide into oils, proteins and other bio-based products. Kiverdi uses microorganisms to transform carbon dioxide and other simple mineral nutrients and gases into raw materials. Daniel Epstein, Chief Executive and Founder of Unreasonable Group, an investment firm supporting growth-stage businesses reports that working through a sustainable lens is...

‘Lack of evidence’: Researchers demand stricter FSANZ governance of food-health relationship claims

 [10 April/Food Navigator] Australian researchers are wanting stricter governance over FSANZ’s food-health relationship claims system after discovering that 40.3% of food claims have not been proven with sufficient evidence. Of the 67 food-health benefits reported, 27 were found to be “concerning” to Cancer Council Australia Nutrition Programme manager Wendy Watson. For a claim to be...

UAE start-up Farmchimp seeks to bring “source traceable” food to Middle East consumers

[10 April/Food Navigator] A Dubai based firm, Farmchip General Trading, is looking to use QR codes to help consumers trace the product back to origin and the farming practices involved in production. The firm works with farmers in the UAE and India to supply over 200 products to about 4,000 consumers. It has proven to...

The Sustainable Food Policy Alliance Releases Climate Policy Principles

[10 April/Food Policy Alliance] The Sustainable Food Policy Alliance has released a set of climate policy principles that they have urged the U.S government to adopt. The principles are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions whilst supporting the food and agriculture industries. Some of the things the alliance calls for is a carbon pricing system,...

Nestlé’s cold cuts business could attract interest from Smithfield, Tyson Foods

[10 April/Food Dive] Nestle is looking at selling Herta Charcuterie lunch-meat business in Europe, for anywhere from USD$800 million to USD$1 billion (approx. NZD$1.1 billion to $1.5 billion). The sale could possibly draw interest from companies such as Smithfield Foods, Tyson Foods and Cargill. The sale by Nestle comes as part of a renovation to...

‘Fastest growing markets’: Nestle 2018 growth in SEA headed by Vietnam and Indonesia

[10 April/Food Navigator] Nestle’s 2018 annual review has revealed that Vietnam and Indonesia were leading its rapid growth in South-East Asia last year. Milo and Bear Brand in particular are sought after by these markets. USD$21.4 billion (approx. NZD$31.6 billion) was made in total sales from what it classifies as Zone Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan...

Food industry M&A deals dropped by 11% last year, study finds

[05 April/Food Dive] Mergers and acquisitions for 2018 stood at a total of 527 which is 11 percent less than those that occurred during 2017. Of the 527, 29.7 percent of these deals took place in the manufacturing segment among food processors. The drop has been put down to consolidation becoming more difficult to achieve,...

Kraft Heinz’s VC fund makes first investment in GrubMarket

[05 April/Food Dive] Evolv Ventures, Kraft Heinz’ USD$100 million (approx. NZD $148 million) venture capital fund, is investing in GrubMarket. GrubMarket delivers organic and local food and produce from farm to table, serving both businesses and consumers. GrubMarket’s funding round has been estimated at about USD$25 million (approx. NZD$37 million), led by WI Harper Group...

Nationwide egg shortage could hit shell-shocked Kiwis in the back pocket

[14 April/Stuff NZ] A nationwide egg shortage has left free range egg suppliers scrambling to keep up with soaring demand as some supermarket stores’ shelves are left bare, which could result in an increase in prices. Countdown’s head of perishables for deli and bakery Nikhil Sawant stated there had been a surge in demand for...

Rewards for top quality milk

[16 April/Rural News] Farmers who supply high quality and safe milk to Fonterra Co-operative will now be recognised. Its new programme The Cooperative Difference will award farmers plaques, certificates and publicity in the co-op’s publications. Fonterra is also signalling a tougher stance on farmers who persistently fail to meet minimum standards of sustainability as it...

Farmer forums kick-off

[16 April/Rural News] DairyNZ Farmers’ Forums start on 17 April in Timaru with the agenda focusing on dairy’s future and opportunities. Speakers will explain developments in New Zealand and overseas, how they may impact local farmers and how farmers can prepare with confidence. Six forums will be held NZ-wide for the next six weeks. Agriculture...

Genetics demand on new tack

[10 April/Farmers Weekly] Dairy farmers are faced with many new but proven sires and breeding options and semen packages from LIC and CRV Ambreed this year. The release of their 2019 genetics catalogues highlighted trends in dairy cattle breeding, including more emphasis on milk fat, A2 protein milk, facial eczema tolerance, low nitrogen, short-gestation, calf-rearing...

Hawke’s Bay vintage one for the history books

[16 April/The Country] Wine growers have reaped the benefits of a long hot summer with optimal ripening conditions leading to a vintage to remember for Hawke’s Bay’s three signature varieties, chardonnay, syrah and cabernet sauvignon/merlot blends. Yields have been down, but quality has been up with smaller fruit having good skins which protect the fruit...

Comvita buys Chinese partner

[11 April/Farmers Weekly] Comvita expects to raise its total revenue to over $200 million and increase profit margins after it moved to full ownership of its Chinese joint-venture business. The acquisition will result in Comvita’s largest shareholder, Li Wang, increasing her stake from 11.18 percent to 18.41 percent. Mrs Wang and her husband own 49...

Gut health at heart of biotech success

[11 April/Farmers Weekly] Hamilton biotech firm Quantec has launched a nutrition drink which took out this year’s supreme award from the natural health products industry for the second year in a row. This is a reflection of the success the flax seed oil and milk protein drink has had on the Chinese market. Raewyn McPhillips,...

Mentoring takes farmers further

[16 April/Farmers Weekly] Extension 350 (E350), a five year farmer extension project in Northland is nearly halfway complete with benefits starting to show. Private farm consultants act as group facilitators and counsellors as well as delivering their one-on-one advice and skills. The project is designed to develop and improve such businesses in performance, well-being and...