International

Plastic straws to be shelved by Woolworths this year and Coles commits to 90pc diversion from landfill by 2022

 [5 June/ABC News] Coles and Woolworths announced new environmental commitments in response to a shift in consumer attitudes. Coles pledged to halve its food waste across its supermarkets in two years, and divert 90 percent of its waste from landfill by 2022. Senior Communications Manager, Martine Alpins, said Coles wouldn’t be setting these targets if...

Inside Tyson Foods’ effort to adopt the start-up mentality

 [31 May/Food Dive] Tyson foods started an innovation lab and its seven member team oversees everything from creating to marketing products to get them to consumers faster. Senior Vice President of R&D for Insights and Innovation, Jen Bentz, said that they were thinking of innovation and what was happening in the market, They had to...

‘This is going back to where nutrition should come from – from nature’

 [31 May/Dairy Reporter] Glanbia Nutritionals displayed its ‘Truly Grass Fed’ protein range. The range included products coming from cows that received 95 percent of their nutritional feed from grass. Consumers might not be on the lookout for grass fed attributes, however it ties in with the desire for clean label products and a move to...

Bayer Plans Monsanto Close amid $30 Billion Share, Bond Sale

[4 June/Bloomberg] Bayer AG was close to the closure of its purchase of Monsanto Co this week. Bayer will retain its name and drop Monsanto’s. The purchase will be part of a multiyear transformation as Bayer attempts to transform its business. Chief Executive Officer, Werner Baumann, said they were about to close the transaction and...

Breaking: Gates Foundation Invests in Dairy Tech Stellapps $14m Series B, First in India

 [31 May/AgFunder News] Stellapps Technologies raised $14 million in Series B funding in a round led by IndusAge Partners alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and two strategic corporate venture investors Qualcomm Ventures and ABB Technology Ventures. This is the first investment by the Gates Foundation in India. Omnivore Partner, Mark Kahn, said Dairy...

Aussie cattle station larger than Lebanon for sale

 [3 June/Otago Daily Times] Australia’s second largest cattle station was for sale and the owners hoped for a domestic buyer. Clifton Hills Station is in the north-eastern corner of South Australia and covers 1.65 million hectares. It had 18,300 head of cattle and approval for 21,500. Managing Director of Stock and Station Agent Rural Property...

Britain considers NZ Model

[28 May/Farmers Weekly] British politicians were considering giving farmers control of their levy moneys in a system that follows the New Zealand model. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee is set to look closely at the role of the farming industry bodies as part of its probe into the future of Brand Britain....

Ancient wheat variety could ease gluten sensitivity

[24 May/Food Dive] Kamut International claims eating products made from the Khorasan wheat variety instead of modern wheat could reduce symptoms of gluten based on its pilot study. About 1.7 million Americans had celiac disease which is an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten and other factors. A million Americans avoid gluten without celiac diagnosis. Kamut...

EU agri policy “patchwork and incoherent”

[25 May/EuroFruit] Researchers claimed the EU’s policy on food production had failed on several health and environmental indicators. University of Pisa representative, Professor Gianluca Brunori, said they assessed 10 different policies to judge how they contributed to a sustainable food and farming system and evidence showed inconsistencies. They needed to be addressed through an overarching...

Nestle top for tackling nutrition issues – but all global firms need to improve

[23 May/Food Navigator] Nestle has been ranked top for addressing obesity and malnutrition in its food products in a new survey. While many firms stepped up their efforts, a disappointing number still had too many unhealthy products in their portfolios according to the Access and Nutrition Index. The index ranked the top 22 biggest food...

Antifungal resistance could lead to ‘global food shortages’

[21 May/Food Navigator] An international team of scientists from the Imperial College London and the University of Exeter have warned that growing levels of resistance to antifungal treatments could result in disease outbreaks that hit global food security. Crop destroying fungi were thought to account for a loss of 20 percent of global crop yields...

Farm Bill’s Future Hinges on Fight Over Limits on Immigration

[19 May/Bloomberg] The USD867 billion farm bill has been rejected after a fight over immigration policy. Democrats opposed work requirements for beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme. The measure which is relied on by farmers and ranchers as it renews agriculture programs, including subsidies for farmers and government-backed crop insurers. The bill had already...

Can seaweed make waves in Europe’s food sector?

[18 May/Food Navigator] There is nutritional and environmental reasons for increasing consumption of aquatic plants, but generating consumer understanding is a significant hurdle. Edible seaweed manufacturers wanted to make seaweed an everyday food in Europe. Consumer demand for alternative and plant-based sources of protein was on the rise in Europe. The utilisation of seaweed as...

Bunge files for IPO of Brazilian sugar and ethanol mills

[17 May/Food Dive] Global agribusiness and food and ingredients company, Bunge Limited, has filed for a potential initial public offering of its eight Brazilian sugar and ethanol mills. According to Reuters, they had been trying to shed the facilities since 2013 without success. Its sugar and bioenergy unit in Brazil owns and operates the eight...

Herb-infused coconut milk Rebbl raises USD20 million from Cavu Venture Partners

[18 May/CNBC] Rebbl has announced that it raising USD20 million in funding led by Cavu Venture Partners. It expected its sales to grow at a rate of 70 percent by the end of the year. The drink uses super-herbs and adaptagens which have benefits including a decrease in stress hormones. It puts them in a...

‘True disruptor’ in vegan and paleo foods: Sonoma brands invests in Hu Chocolate

[16 May/Food Navigator] Sonama Brands, a private equity firm, invested an undisclosed amount into vegan and paleo chocolate maker Hu Products for its U.S. national expansion. It will be its second confectionary brand in its portfolio. According to Hu’s CEO, Rita Hudetz, it was created by Jason Karp in 2012 out of a veggie forward...

True blue botanicals: Why the appeal of spirulina and butterfly pea flowers is more than just colour

[16 May/Food Navigator] Blue Mermaid lattes and unicorn smoothie bowls were not only visually appealing, but also healthy. The spirulina and butterfly pea flower ingredients are seen as healthy. A tea made with dried flowers of the butterfly pea plant was a popular herbal drink in south-east Asia with a bright blue colour. Spirulina occurs...

Kraft Heinz adds egg-white chips, fermented foods to its growth menu

[15 May/Food Dive] Kraft Heinz recently announced the first five food startups that its new incubator arm, Springboard, would partner with. It said the program was created to help nurture the next generation of food and beverage products, with a focus on disruptive brands. The five firms selected were Ayoba-Yo meat snacks, Cleveland Kraut fermented...

Roast-Beef King Arby’s Is Betting Big on Lamb

[15 May/Bloomberg] Lamb is making a comeback in America, and Arby’s would soon start selling lamb year round. Fast growing Mediterranean-style eateries such as Zoe’s Kitchen were featuring lamb meatballs and chargrilled lamb on their menus. According to food researcher Datassential, younger diners were starting to show more adventurous tastes. Lamb is now on 20...

Good Eggs Raises USD50m as Benchmark Leads Round Impressed by ‘Operational Discipline’

[15 May/AgFunder News] Food distributor, Good Eggs, raised USD50 million in Series C funding in a round led by venture capital firm, Benchmark Capital. The successful round and company re-boot was largely attributed to the appointment of the new CEO, Bentley Hall. Mr Hall said positive changes over the last two years were a team...

Trump’s Iran threat ‘pretty concerning’ for NZ exporters

[9 May/Radio NZ] New Zealand exports who send goods to Iran might be affected by President Trump’s threat to sanction countries who trade with the Middle Eastern nation. New Zealand exported $120 million of goods to Iran last year, with dairy products making up three quarters of this. Export NZ Executive Director, Catherine Beard, said...

Tesco to launch plant-based steak

[14 May/EuroFruit] A plant based steak will be launched at Tesco to capitalise on growing demand for healthy, sustainable food. The product is produced by Dutch plant-based food specialist, Vivera, and is made with ingredients including wheat and soy. It will be stocked at 400 Tesco stores in the UK from May 21. With more...

Growing pains: Vertical agriculture stunted by rising real estate, energy and labor costs

[11 May/Food Dive] A growing number of start-ups in the U.S. and around the world were raising produce inside buildings to reduce water use and transportation costs. These growers were finding real estate, energy and labour costs to be high, according to an Associated Press story in Food Manufacturing. Once all inputs are in place,...

WHO calls for trans-fat to be eliminated within 5 years

[15 May/CNBC] The World Health Organisation has said the world could eliminate industrially-produced trans fats by 2023 while unveiling a plan to prevent 500,000 deaths a year from cardiovascular disease. Trans-fats are popular in fried, baked and snack foods as they have a long shelf life. WHO data indicates they increase heart disease risk by...