November 25, 2022 — This week in industry news, Nestlé and L Catterton have formed a partnership focused on the fresh prepared food sector. Danish Crown unveiled its latest investment in a new bacon factory in the UK and Lesaffre has strengthened its presence in Australia. Meanwhile, Ecotone has become the world’s highest-rated global food company in B Corp recertification and a new report has looked at the cost of pig production in 17 countries.
In Brief: Commercial Movers
UK supermarkets limit the number of eggs consumers can buy. Big chains like Aldi, Asda, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and Tesco only allow customers to return home with a few boxes of eggs, as bird flu has hit producers hard. Farmers are asking for prices to rise to make ends meet as other headwinds, such as high chicken feed prices and soaring energy costs, bite.
Nestle and L. CattertonThe new partnership brings together Freshly and Kettle Cuisine, a maker of artisan fresh foods for retail and foodservice customers. The combined company will focus on offering a wide assortment of fresh food products to customers in all geographies and various channels. L Catterton will be the majority owner, with Nestlé holding a minority stake.
Nestle focuses on developing affordable foods and beverages that incorporate nutritious plant-based proteins to help people eat adequate and balanced diets. With this in mind, Nestlé has developed a shelf-stable vegetable protein powder blend to cost-effectively complement egg dishes in Latin America. When cooking their favorite egg dishes, people can replace some eggs with nutritious soy.egg-based alternative, resulting in an equal amount of protein and reduced saturated fat and cholesterol at a lower cost compared to using more eggs instead. The product is fortified with iron to fill one of the main micronutrient deficiencies. It is versatile for many dishes, such as scrambled eggs, omelettes or baking.
Danish Crown revealed a significant investment in a new processing plant in Rochdale, UK, offering high quality, traceable pork products produced in a more sustainable way and to provide a critical supply of bacon for the UK market. Danish Crown will invest over £100 million ($121 million) in the processing plant which will use processing technology to slice and package bacon and ham produced to UK welfare and food safety standards . Production is expected to begin in the second half of 2023, and once fully operational, the plant will produce over 900 metric tons of bacon and gammon per week.
ICL food specialties has partnered with Protera Biosciences, an AI-driven food tech startup and designer of new proteins used to develop sustainable and highly functional protein ingredients for food manufacturers. The partnership follows ICL’s 2021 investment in Protera through ICL Planet Startup Hub, which is the vehicle ICL uses to invest and collaborate with innovative companies in food and agri-tech globally. . ICL and Protera will develop and commercialize sustainable protein-based ingredients using precision fermentation.
AAK acquired 100% of the shares of Arani Agro Oil Industries. The acquisition aligns with AAK’s strategy of geographic expansion and increasing its market share in the Indian market for high value-added specialty oils and greases. Arani operates from the port of Kakinada on the southeast coast of India. Over the next few years, AAK will increase the capacity and improve the efficiency of the production facility. In addition, the investment will support the wider development of the region, and AAK will extend its community impact and support program in India to the newly acquired AAK site.
Lesaffre Australia Pacific inaugurated a molasses extraction plant at its production site near Melbourne and unveiled improvements to its bakery center in Mortlake Sydney, the showroom that trains customers, partners and employees in the art of bread-making. For Lesaffre, the strengthening of its presence in the region illustrates the group’s desire to extend its geographical footprint on a global scale and to promote the by-products resulting from its activity in a circular economy.
Hydrosol focuses on cost reduction in an environment of high inflation and exploding energy prices. According to the German specialist for stabilization and texturing systems, the volatile availability and price fluctuations on the raw material markets pose a huge challenge for the food industry. The company strives to find ways to reduce raw material costs in stabilization systems, as well as to develop new systems based on this. An example is ice cream. Locust bean gum is a familiar ingredient here thanks to its many functional properties. For example, it gives a slow and gentle melting and prevents the formation of ice crystals. It also gives ice cream a fuller mouthfeel and makes it creamier and “warmer”. Prices have fallen slightly after a huge jump in the spring, but locust bean gum still costs four times what it cost a year or two ago.
In Brief: Sustainability Efforts
Ecotone, which works in the field of organic, plant-based and fair-trade food, has published its latest sustainability report and Food for Biodiversity action plan. The report coincides with Ecotone’s B Corp recertification, becoming the world’s highest-rated global food company with 116.5 points – surpassing its previous score of 91.7 achieved in 2019. The average score for B Corp ratings is 50.9, with a minimum certification of 80.
The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group submitted to the European Commission the first draft of standards for mandatory sustainability reporting by large EU companies. This is important for consumers because it means companies must publish comprehensive and comparable information about their sustainability, from environmental impact to workers’ rights. This will help investors and consumers to invest and buy more sustainably and help achieve EU sustainability goals.
In Brief: Other Highlights
The board of directors of the African Development Fund approved a $27.9 million grant to Ghana for the development of agricultural value chains in the Savannah region. The grant will increase the climate-resilient maize, rice and soybean production, support the poultry value chain and create jobs for women and youth. It will increase farmers’ incomes and support household nutrition, especially in the most vulnerable female-headed households.
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Council published an annual report examining the cost of pork production in 17 countries. The cost of producing pigs in some countries has been updated with full year data from 2021, showing UK costs for indoor pigs have risen by 20% to £1.79 ($2.17) per kg. All EU countries saw an increase in production costs compared to 2020, with the average cost reaching £1.50 (US$1.82) per kg deadweight, up 6% in sterling terms. The UK benchmark price of £1.50 (USD 1.82) per kg was 7% lower in 2021 than a year earlier, resulting in negative margins for the full year.
By Elizabeth Green
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