International

Recall of French baby milk products extended after salmonella scare

[15 January/NZ Farmer] Lactalis, the French milk company, has confirmed that a recall of infant milk formula products from its factory in Craon in northwest France now covers some 12 million boxes of products which have been sent to 83 countries. The product has been recalled following the discovery of salmonella bacteria at the factory...

Cut short: Shear numbers can’t keep up

[13 January/The Australian] It is often said that it was the blood, sweat and shears that built Australia but the industry is now struggling to find shearers precisely when they are needed. The industry has been celebrating a record wool price yet the number of shearers has fallen to 2,842 the lowest level in a...

FDA to ‘modernize certain standards of identity’ as part of strategic policy roadmap

[13 Janaury/Food Navigator USA] The US Food and Drug Administration has indicated that it will be modernising certain standards of identity in its 2018 strategic roadmap, which is likely to see it taking a more active role in issues such as descriptions and terminology applied to dairy and meat alternatives, with a particular goal of...

Avocado squeeze end in sight

[16 January/Australian Financial Review] Relief is in sight from the great avocado shortage gripping Australia as supplies are expected to be sourced from New Zealand and Western Australia. Prices have risen from around AUD6 per tray before Christmas to AUD80 a tray currently as supplies have fallen significantly below expectations in early January. Avocados Australia...

Chicken king Wiesenhof invests in cultured meat

[14 January/Handelsblatt Global] While there is little doubt that German consumers love meat, Wiesenhof, the country’s largest poultry supplier, has made an investment into Isreali start-up, SuperMeat. SuperMeat is focusing on using stem cells to grow meat with a goal of making a product that is cheaper than conventional meat using significantly less resources. Wiesenhof’s...

Nutella owner close to buying Nestle’s US candy business for USD2.8 billion

[11 January/Food Dive] Italian confectionary company, Ferrero, is rumoured to be the preferred purchaser for Nestle’s US confectionary portfolio according to Bloomberg. The deal which includes many well-known brands in the US (Kit Kat, Crunch and Butterfinger) is part of Nestle strategy to focus on a range of growth opportunities available in other segments it...

Trump promises US farmers rural development improvements during annual meeting

[10 January /Dairy Reporter] President Donald Trump addressed the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Nashville and signed two executive orders at the meeting that would extend broadband access. The orders were implementing two of the more than 100 recommendations made by the Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Taskforce that had been led by Agriculture...

Avocado sales could more than double this year, helped by demand from China’s middle class

[10 January/CNBC] China’s expanding middle class population is rapidly growing demand for avocado’s which is expected to see imports of the fruit more than double in 2018 again according to Steve Barnard, the President of Mission Produce, the world’s largest distributor of avocados. The pace of growth in sales of the fruit in China, which...

Danish retailer helps herd shoppers into organic farmland fund

[10 January/Agri Investor] In September last year the Danish Organic Association and Nature Conservation Association launched the Danish Organic Agriculture Fund with the goal of raising DKR35 million to invest in projects designed to increase the availability of organic food in Denmark. After a slow start to the fund raising seeking investors prepared to commit...

Restaurants snap up fake donkey meat

[9 January/China Daily] Hundreds of workshops making and selling fake donkey meat have been discovered in Heijan resulting in a city wide inspection being launched. Heijen is famous for its ‘donkey burger’ (a product called lyurou huoshao, snack of ground donkey meat in a baked wheat bun) and authentic meat commands a premium given the...

ADM buys Aussie almond orchard in third ag deal

[9 January/Agri Investor] Cibus Fund, the initial agribusiness fund from ADM Capital, has completed its third deal being the purchase of a mature almond orchard in Lake Powell, Victoria, Australia. Cibus had its first close in May 2017 having raised USD101 million and is targeting a final close in mid-2018, with a reported target of...

Once-hungry investors pass on meal-kit start-ups

[6 January/The Wall Street Journal] Only a few years ago the idea of delivering packages with all the ingredients for a meal measured out was novel and saw venture capitalists invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the companies developing these businesses. However, many are now questioning the validity of meal kit delivery businesses given...

Farmers to be paid for improving public access

[4 January/The Daily Telegraph] UK Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, is to announce to the Oxford Farming Conference that farmers will be rewarded for opening up the countryside to the public and enhancing the environment after Brexit, as the UK Government plans to replace EU subsidies with a system that rewards farmers for how they use...

Omega-3 enriched milk by microalgae-fed cows could boost food nutrition

[4 January/Food Dive] Alltech has funded research work conducted at Harper Adams University in the UK which has seen scientists increase the level of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in milk by feeding microalgae to cows. The researchers found that the enhanced liquid milk then improves the level of nutrients in cheese produced from...

New China infant formula rules finally introduced, global firms seeking much needed stability

[3 January /Dairy Reporter] The Chinese Food and Drug Administration has finally brought into effect rules announced in June 2016 to regulate infant formula markets. The rules limited every firm to a maximum of three brands and nine formulations and since the rules were announced companies have been seeking to secure registrations. To date, 400...

Cold turkey on meat and dairy in ‘Veganuary’

[1 January/The Daily Telegraph] The latest trend in new year detox’s is Veganuary, a commitment to eat a meat and dairy free diet for the month of January. In the UK the number of people making the commitment has increased from 1,500 in 2014 to 52,000 in 2018 making the UK the largest market for...

‘Fat-burning’ Silicon Valley wonder drink heading to UK

[31 December/The Sunday Telegraph] HVMN (pronounced Human) is planning to market its product which has taken Silicon Valley by storm in the UK in 2018. HVMN Ketone Ester is a chemically engineered drink that is claimed to deliver the fat-burning benefits of fasting without having to cut back on the food you consume. The product...

Growing discord in Malaysia’s paddy industry

[30 December /The Straits Times] Despite a wide variety of choices available in supermarkets the majority of rice in Malaysia is supplied by companies connected to Padiberas Nasional, or Bernas, the national rice agency. The monopoly control over the nation’s rice supply has been a key issue for farmers in upcoming election after complaints of...

Cargill to double cooked poultry output on mainland

[29 December /South China Morning Post] Agricultural trader, Cargill, will invest USD50 million to double its cooked poultry foods capacity in China in response to changing consumer tastes and growing demand from key customers like McDonalds and KFC. The company’s plant which is a fully integrated facility covering breeding, raising and processing, was opened in...

Farmer support for Brexit as strong as ever, FW poll reveals

[22 December /UK Farmers Weekly] A recent survey of readers of Farmers Weekly in UK indicates that support for Brexit remains as strong as ever in the rural sector with few who voted leave in the EU referendum saying that they would vote any differently should another referendum be conducted. The survey indicated that 53%...

Cultured fish company Finless Foods aims to achieve price parity with Bluefin tuna by the end of 2019

[21 December /Food Navigator USA] Finless Foods, a Bay Area start-up is looking to bring a high quality cultured Bluefin tuna product to the market in 2019 with an ultimate goal of matching the market prices of cheaper conventional tuna alternatives. The company has cut costs of production by 50% since September and believes price...

Greenyard in ‘advanced’ talks to acquire Dole Foods

[19 December/Food Navigator] Belgian vegetable processor, Greenyard Foods, has confirmed that it is in talks over a potential acquisition of the Dole Food Company and while no deal has been finalised the company noted it has secured appropriate financing and is confident in its ability to finalise the transaction. If the deal completes it will...

USDA withdraws rule establishing organic livestock standards

[19 December/Food Dive] The US Agriculture Department plans to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule which establishes animal welfare standards for organic agriculture according to official documents. The USDA believes establishing the rule would exceed its statutory authority. Organic bodies immediately amended lawsuits they had already served against the USDA for delaying the...

Orkla and McDonald’s launch McVegan burger

[15 December/Food Navigator] Nordic food group, Orkla, is working with McDonalds to launch a new McVegan burger in Scandinavian markets. The burger has been designed to tap into the strong trend for plant-based foods and is based on soybean protein. The burger which was created for Nordic tastes and has been designed to be neutral...