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Weekly Roundup: EU-wide strategy for food security developed amid COVID-19


This week in industry news, the European Commission (EC) developed its Farm to Fork strategy to ensure the EU’s food supply and food security in the event of future crises. Fonterra, Nestlé and DairyNZ joined forces to tackle nitrogen leaching, while Post Holdings acquired Almark Foods. Also, AHDB launched a UK-wide campaign to encourage consumers to “eat balanced and enjoy the food you eat.”
In brief: Sustainability strides
Building on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and other events, the EC plans to develop a set of procedures to be followed in times of crisis. This consultation is targeting operators in the food supply chain and their associations; other stakeholders in food supply chain operations; consumers and consumer groups; Member States’ representatives and competent authorities; international organizations and third countries; and the scientific community and policy support bodies.
Fonterra, Nestlé and DairyNZ joined forces to tackle nitrogen leaching in cows.Fonterra and Nestlé have teamed up with DairyNZ to expand a plantain trial to improve waterways and reduce on-farm greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Incorporating certain plantain varieties into a cow’s diet has been shown to reduce the nitrogen concentration in their urine, which can leach through soil into groundwater. To test the benefits in local pastures, DairyNZ has led the Tararua Plantain Project in the lower North Island, where farmers have been growing the leafy herb for their cows.
In brief: Business moves
Post Holdings is acquiring Almark Foods, a provider of hard-cooked and deviled egg products that offers conventional, organic and cage-free products. Almark’s products are distributed broadly across retail outlets, including in the perimeter-of-the-store, deli counters and foodservice distributors. Almark operates a hard-cooked egg facility in Yuma, Arizona, US. Upon completion of the acquisition, Almark will be combined with Post’s existing Michael Foods egg business. The financial results of Almark are expected to be split between Post’s Foodservice and Refrigerated Retail segments. The final terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be completed in Q2 of 2021.
TreeHouse Foods acquired the majority of Ebro’s Riviana Foods US branded pasta business for US$242.5 million in cash, subject to customary adjustments based on inventory at closing. TreeHouse expects the acquisition to be accretive by US$0.20 to US$0.30 per share in the first full year. The purchase included the following regional pasta brands: Skinner, No Yolks, American Beauty, Creamette, San Giorgio, Prince and Light ‘n Fluffy, Mrs. Weiss’, New Mill, P&R Procino-Rossi and Wacky Mac, as well as the St. Louis manufacturing facility.
In brief: Appointments
Laura Stein will become EVP, general counsel, corporate & legal affairs, at Mondelēz, effective January 11, 2021. Stein will be responsible for overseeing the company’s global legal, compliance, corporate reputation and ESG agendas, including public and government affairs, internal and external corporate communications, sustainability, community and foundation efforts. Stein will replace Gerd Pleuhs, who will retire at the end of April following a transition period, and after more than 35 years with the company.
In brief: Other highlights
The United Kingdom Embassy, in collaboration with Partnerships for Forests and Amarumayu, has launched “Superfruits that preserve forests,” a project managed by the NGO Earth Innovation Institute. It works in conjunction with the State, native communities, conservation organizations, international cooperation and private enterprise. It seeks to enhance the value of the Amazon forests for the benefit of the people of Loreto. For its part, Amarumayu, a Peruvian Amazonian Superfruit Juice company, has recently launched in the US, where their sale will have an impact on achieving better living conditions for the Amazon residents.AHDB is launching a £1.5 million (US$2.04 million) TV led campaign, to encourage more UK households to eat meat.
This January, AHDB is launching a £1.5 million (US$2.04 million) “Eat Balanced” TV led advertising campaign, to encourage more UK households to continue eating meat and dairy as part of a balanced diet. Working with stakeholders and industry partners from across the pork, beef, lamb and dairy sectors, the AHDB campaign represents a first for the meat and dairy industry, delivering a collaborative and concerted message. The campaign will appear on TV, social media, digital and supermarket packaging, and highlight the nutritional benefits of enjoying red meat and dairy while showcasing Britain’s standards in food production and sustainability.
Research at Campden BRI suggests that food should be delivered within 24 hours to ensure it remains chilled during non-chilled delivery. The study investigated the impact of external temperature on ready meals prepared for a courier to understand how the temperature would change during transit. The results will help food businesses keep their products chilled when out for delivery to be safe for the consumer. For products sold in the UK, 8°C is the maximum temperature that chilled products can be legally stored. The research showed that the rate at which a product reaches 8°C could depend heavily on the type of product and, sometimes, its placement within a box. For example, two salt and pepper chicken ready meals at the bottom of a box exceeded 8°C within 40 hours, whereas the adjacent egg fried rice only peaked at around 5°C. This variation was also seen for products at different levels within the same box.
Tate & Lyle has found that almost three quarters (73 percent) of European bakery manufacturers say reduced sugar and calorie products are the biggest drivers of business growth. According to the company survey, this is followed by “free-from” products (54 percent) and improving the product-consumption experience (48 percent), which both highlight the ongoing importance of health and wellness in the industry. Four-hundred senior bakery industry professionals across Germany, France, Spain and the UK took part in the study which found that calorie reduction is the aspect of health and wellness most businesses are prioritizing. Three quarters (74 percent) cited this as most relevant to them, followed by sugar reduction (71 percent) and fat reduction (54 percent).
Ten of Britain’s largest processed egg suppliers are now signed up to the Lion scheme, after Stonegate Farmers, a free-range and organic egg specialist, became the latest to gain Lion accreditation. British Lion egg processors now account for around 90 percent of all eggs processed in the UK.

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