International

Cargill reports a 20% earnings loss in Q2

[4 January/Dairy Reporter] At the close of its second fiscal quarter, Cargill reported its net earnings at USD741 million, a 20% decline on the prior year. Adjusted operating earnings were USD853 million, down 10% from last year. Increased protein consumption in North America and Europe strengthened demand for soybean meal for livestock feeds. Oilseed processing,...

UK Farm Minister Urges British Producers to Lead the World in Technology

[4 January/AgFunder News] The British Government’s Food, Farming and Environment Minister, Michael Gove, is promising delivery of an ambitious new UK food strategy in 2019. He also noted a properly funded 25-year environment plan to commit to rising investments in agritech.  Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference, Mr Gove urged delegates to prepare for a...

Carl’s Jr. gives plant-based Beyond Burger the star treatment

[3 January/FoodDive] Carl’s Jr. restaurants are planning to start serving its signature Famous Star burger with a quarter-pound Beyond Meat patty on a seeded bun for USD6.29. The burger can be found at more than 1,000 locations for a limited time. At the USD6.29 price point, the plant-based Famous Star is nearly $4 more than...

Impossible Burger faces another big hurdle

[27 December/The Country] The appearance of bloodiness presents regulatory hurdles for Impossible Foods as it looks to push its products through supermarket channels. The Silicon Valley producer uses a genetically modified yeast to mass produce its key ingredient, soy leghemoglobin, or “heme”, giving the Impossible Burger its meat-like flavour. An FDA spokesperson explained that heme...

Coke leads $15M investment round in Dirty Lemon maker

[21 December/FoodDive] Iris Nova, the company known for consumer goods that can be purchased via text message, announced a USD15 million round of seed funding in a news release, led by The Coca-Cola Company’s Venturing & Emerging Brands unit and including a handful of venture capital firms. The company’s wellness drink Dirty Lemonade has steadily...

Merck Acquires Digital Livestock Tech Antelliq for $2.4bn in Biggest Agtech Acquisition on Record

[19 December/AgFunder News] US pharmaceutical company Merck has acquired digital livestock and animal health tech company Antelliq Group for EUR2.1 billion. Antelliq manufactures sensors for animals, including ear tags for dairy cows that have the ability to monitor cows’ activity and provide traceability. Antelliq’s products bought in EUR360 million in sales in the year to...

Fish fraud ‘rampant’ in New York, AG report finds

[18 December/ Food Dive] A recent study released by the New York Attorney General’s office reported two-thirds of the State of New York’s supermarket chains investigated had at least one instance of fish mislabeling for substitutes that were typically cheaper and lower quality species. The U.S. imported more than 6 billion pounds of seafood last...

US feels pain of China tariffs but still heads for record export year

[14 December/NZ Herald] Dairy exports to China from the United States were down 47% in October due to retaliatory trade tariffs, which China imposed from July. But US dairy exports to other countries were up 14% in October, with large gains in sales to southeast Asia and Mexico, according to the US Dairy Export Council....

Arla acquires Middle East and Africa Kraft branded cheese business from Mondelez International

[13 December/Dairy Reporter] Arla Foods has announced that it will be acquiring Mondelez International’s processed cheese business currently licensed under the Kraft Brand in the Middle East and North Africa.  The region is a key growth focus for Arla and the deal will provide it ownership of a cheese production facility in Bahrain, providing opportunities...

Organic trade group applauds crop’s success in Farm Bill

[12 December/Food Dive] The USD867 billion Farm Bill proposal reported from committee and passed by the Senate is being welcomed by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) as it establishes permanent funding for organic research and makes progress in improving the oversight and integrity of organic trade.  The permanent funding comes in the form of a...

The science that will make Wagyu beef affordable for everyone

[12 December/QZ] In a first of its kind contract has been signed by JUST and Toriyama Ranch, which will see the high-end Japanese beef ranch working with a cell-cultured meat producer. JUST will source its beef cells from actual cuts of Wagyu beef or the live cows themselves which will then be transported from Japan...

New school lunch rules: Trump administration makes it easier to serve white bread

[11 December/CNBC] The US Department of Agriculture has finalised rules that will loosen nutrition guidelines around the composition of school lunches in the United States.  The rules rollback certain provisions of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act and will allow lunchrooms to serve low-fat flavoured milk as opposed to only non-fat flavoured milks.  The changes will...

Boehringer Ingelheim chops 295 jobs in France but vows USD380 million in animal health investments

[11 December/FiercePharma] Jean Scheftsik de Szolnok, Boehringer Ingelheim’s (BI) president in France, said BI is making a big strategic commitment to animal health by investing EUR335 million in its French animal health R&D and production facilities. Following BI’s USD12.5 billion asset swap with France’s Sanofi in 2016, where it traded its’ consumer health business for...

British restaurants called to ban avocados amid link to Mexican drug cartel

[10 December/NZ Herald] British restaurants are being encouraged to take avocados off their menus, amid fears profits are being used to fund Mexican drug cartels. Drug bosses have taken control of farms growing avocados in Michoacan in west Mexico, reports the Daily Mail. One of the area’s most prominent drug cartels is said to earn...

USDA grants $600K to develop seaweed bread

[6 December/Food Dive] The U.S Department of Agriculture awarded Maine-based VitaminSea a USD600,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop a seaweed-based bread called SeaKelp+, according to BakeryandSnacks. Last year, the USDA provided the company $100,000 to begin developing the prototype. The second round of funding will allow the company to begin recipe collaborations with...

Nestlé to create Institute of Packaging Sciences to tackle global waste problem

[6 December/FoodNavigator] Nestlé says it will research recyclable, biodegradable and compostable polymers, functional paper, new packaging concepts and technologies to increase the recyclability of plastic packaging. This is part of a programme of work which will be tested in different product categories before rolling it out across the group’s global portfolio. A spokesperson for Nestle...

Farmlogics ag-tech brings sourcing closer to SDGs by ‘digitising the field’

[6 December/FoodNavigator] Farmlogics software tool gives suppliers more control over their operations by “digitising the field”, according to Froid Mendez, co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) of Cochin-headquartered Farmlogics. The technology offers several products at various prices. Cocoa, palm oil and rubber producers are already using it in West Africa. It could also be used...

Vegan Startup ‘Real Fake Meats’ Opens Plant-Based Butcher Shop

[9 December/Plant Based News] A Canadian vegan meat startup is set to open its first plant-based butcher shop in Canada just before Christmas. Real Fake Meats, whose store called Plant-Based Butcher, will open in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will include vegan turkey, bacon, chicken, pepperoni, and cheese. Holiday Boxes are available to order online now and...

Fruit fly outbreak declared in South Australia’s Riverland

[7 December/ABC] Internationally recognised as a pest-free region, the town of Riverland, in South Australia has had a fruit fly outbreak. Seven male Queensland fruit flies have been found in the Loxton area. Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development for South Australia, Tim Whetstone, said a team of 50 Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA)...

Beef-eating ‘must fall drastically’ as world population grows

[5 December/The Guardian] According to a new report by the World Resources Institute (WRI), people in rich nations will have to make significant cuts to the amount of beef and lamb they eat if the world is to be able to feed 10 billion people.  According to the report, more than 50% more food will...

Food scraps could be turned into environmentally friendly plastic packaging

[5 December/GOV UK] Innovators are being challenged to make the UK a world-leader in creating sustainable packaging and reduce the impact of harmful plastics on the environment. The UK Government is seeking ways to extract the economic benefits from the global shift to greener, cleaner economies. This is key part of the government’s modern Industrial...

Farm work for welfare trial labelled a failure, demands for agriculture visa stepped up

[4 December/ABC] Influential lobby groups have declared a program to encourage welfare recipients to work on farms a failure, putting new pressure on the Morrison Government to create a dedicated agriculture visa to fix labour shortages in the rural sector. The $27.5m Seasonal Work Incentives Trial has only found placements for 333 people with six...

Soybeans Lead Gains in Agriculture on U.S.-China Trade Truce

[3 December/Bloomberg] The meeting between President Trump and President Xi of China saw an immediate reaction in commodity markets as traders expected to see a re-entry into markets from Chinese purchases as the two leaders deescalated the trade war that has broken out between the two countries.  Soybeans prices led advances among U.S. crop futures...

France tops Food Sustainability Index

[3 December/Food Navigator] The Food Sustainability Index (FSI) ranks countries on food system sustainability. It assesses the sustainability of food systems according to three categories – food loss and waste; sustainable agriculture and nutritional challenges through an environmental, societal and economic prism. For the third year running, France was praised for its regulatory environment that...