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Italy fines Unilever over €60 million over ice cream market abuse

December 16th, 2017

In the conclusion of an investigation from back in 2013, Italy’s antitrust agency AGCM has fined Unilever over €60mn for ice cream market abuse.

Italy’s antitrust agency AGCM has imposed a fine of over €60mn on the Italian arm of the world’s biggest ice cream maker, Unilever, for ‘abuse of its dominant position in Italy’s ice cream market’.

Amongst the statements made by the agency included that of Unilever having abused its position in single-wrapped, ‘impulse’ ice creams for immediate consumption, markets under the company’s Algida brand.

The original investigation dates back to 2013 when La Bomba, a small producer of organic fruit lollies, came forth with allegations that Unilever was forcing local businesses to not sell its products by striking deals with businesses in the seaside town of Rimini (also La Bomba’s home base) to exclusively sell Unilever’s ice creams.

The investigation revealed that in accordance with these allegations, Unilever’s clients had indeed been ‘obliged’ to sell its brand of ice cream, causing ‘substantial prejudice to the final decision of consumers’.

AGCM also stated that the ice cream market in 2015 was worth €5.15bn, and the individually-wrapped market was worth €780mn.

Unilever markets its products in Italy under the Magnum, Carte d‘Or and Cornetto ice cream brands, and also produces other food, home and personal care goods, making its yearly profits around €1.4bn a year in the local market.

In response, the company has ‘firmly rejected’ the outcome of the investigation, and has announced its decision to lodge an appeal. This appeal can be made at a regional court.

“The market for ice cream (to be consumed) outside the home is a highly competitive one in which artisan and industrial, bulk and packaged products compete for the consumer’s attention in a fragmented landscape that is like no other in Europe,” Unilever added.

Source: Asia Food Journal

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Forever Chocolate shortlisted for Responsible Business Awards 2017

October 28th, 2017
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Forever Chocolate has been shortlisted in the category Sustainable Business Communication of the Year of the Responsible Business Awards, which, in turn, is great recognition for Barry Callebaut’s Forever Chocolate strategy.

Barry Callebaut’s sustainability strategy “Forever Chocolate” holds the ambition to move sustainable chocolate from niche to norm in less than a decade and by 2025 address the biggest sustainability challenges in the chocolate supply chain:

• Eradicate child labor from its supply chain

• Lift more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty

• Become carbon and forest positive

• Have 100 percent sustainable ingredients in all its products

The Responsible Business Awards are awarded annually by a judging panel featuring executives from some of the world’s leading companies, NGO, media and academic institutions, brought together by the business intelligence company Ethical Corporation.

Barry Callebaut was competing with some of the leading consumer companies and congratulates Heineken for winning the award for best Sustainable Communications of the Year.

“Everyone at Barry Callebaut can be very proud of this shortlisting/award. It shows our messaging is robust and impactful, and successfully inspires industry and beyond. This is essential for our efforts to create a movement to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025,” says the company.

Source:  foodingredientsfirst.com

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Barry Callebaut continues to expand in North America

October 7th, 2017
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Barry Callebaut completes investments in two manufacturing facilities and introduces new warehouse

The Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, today announced it has completed two expansion projects in the US. Factories located in American Canyon, California and Chicago, Illinois recently received significant investment totaling nearly $25 million, which is within the annual CAPEX budget. Commencement of the American Canyon facility investment was announced in November of 2016. In addition, Barry Callebaut has opened a new warehouse in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This new warehouse consolidates previous distribution operations and integrates many technological advancements.

“These investments in manufacturing and warehousing demonstrate Barry Callebaut’s continued focus on service and product availability to meet our customers’ needs. As our customer base grows, we continue to invest in infrastructure to support that progress”, says Peter Boone, President, Americas Region.

Recent expansion in the American Canyon, CA factory includes an additional molding line, an additional liquid line, and several other equipment improvements. These investments allow Barry Callebaut to continue its growth among clientele on the West Coast. In its Chicago, IL facility, Barry Callebaut has added a molding line and related infrastructure. This investment in Chicago provides Barry Callebaut the capacity to enhance service levels for Midwest region customers.

Barry Callebaut has also opened a new warehouse in Bethlehem, PA, completely managed in-house. The Bethlehem warehouse includes over 500,000 square feet of temperature-controlled space and will function as the company’s main distribution hub for its business on the East Coast.

 

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Confectionery Giant Mars Announces $1 Billion Sustainability Plan To Fight Climate Change

September 11th, 2017
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When President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, many were worried that it could spell the end of the accord. The concern was that if as big a player as the US was to leave, other countries would see little point in remaining. But in a strange twist of fate, the reverse has happened.

Nations have doubled down on their commitments, and the current White House administration is even receiving a backlash from major business and industry players who want the regulations and targets because they know they are necessary. The latest corporation to hit back at the withdrawal is the confectionery giant Mars, who has announced that it is launching a $1 billion ‘Sustainability in a Generation’ plan. The aim is to tackle its carbon emissions while at the same time promote sustainable farming for its products.

Industries are now waking up to the fact that cutting emissions is not just about doing good or preventing climate change, but is actually just good business sense. By switching from fossil fuels to renewables the cost of energy drops once you recoup the initial investment as the energy is cheap. It’s as simple as that.

“This plan is about not just doing better, but doing what’s necessary. We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s good business,” explained Grant F Reid, the chief executive of Mars. “We expect to have a competitive advantage from a more resource-efficient supply chain, and from ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is doing well.”

Mars has set out a plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by 67 percent by 2050. In addition to this, they will also set up projects aimed at reducing poverty for their suppliers and farmers in low-income countries, as well as improving the sustainability of the farming practices that they run.

The massive investment by the $35-billion company, which makes all sorts of confectionary from Skittles to Juicy Fruit, has been announced in the run up to the UN General Assembly and Climate Week that is taking place in New York later this month. Mars hopes that as such a big hitter in the business world, it will encourage other companies to make similar environmental commitments.

And it seems that this mentality is working. To date, 14 states that account for a third of the US population and just under 40 percent of the US’s GDP, have formed the United States Climate Alliance in which they will maintain their commitments to the Paris agreement, bypassing the White House and the President entirely.

Source:  iflscience.com

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Bimbo to invest $ 129 million in distribution center in Mexico

September 11th, 2017
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The Bimbo baking company announced today that it will invest 2.3 billion pesos (about 129 million dollars) in the construction of the “largest and most modern” distribution center in the country. Industry in America.

The baking company Bimbo announced today that it will invest 2.3 billion pesos (about 129 million dollars) in the construction of the distribution center “more Large and modern “industry in America.

In laying the foundation stone of the center, which will be located in the Azcapotzalco demarcation of Mexico City, the firm emphasized Which aims to “increase the logistics capacity of the company and improve productivity and distribution efficiency.”

With an investment of $ 129 million, Infrastructure will have the “latest technology in automation and inventory control, to supply sales centers and routes that serve more than 200,000 customers”.

“This is where Bimbo was born more than 70 years ago and grew into a leading company in the world,” said the president and CEO of The company, Daniel Servitje, at a ceremony in which the head of the government of the capital, Miguel Angel Mancera.

The new Metropolitan Distribution Center will cover a surface of 89,000 square meters and its construction will last 18 months, during which it will generate more than 500 sources of employment.

Once in operation, it will generate 350 direct jobs and 1,700 Indirectly.

Bimbo is the largest baking company in the world, with 176 production plants, about 1,800 sales centers in 24 countries and employs about 133,000 people.

The company, which sold $ 13.5 billion in 2016, has more than 13,000 products under more than 100 brands in categories such as box bread, rolls and toast.

Source:  invertalia.net

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Nestle to reduce sugar and salt content in its products by 2020

August 26th, 2017
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Nestle R&D Centre Singapore is committed to cutting down the sugar and salt content in its products by 2020.

The food and beverage company is looking at reducing the sugar content by five per cent and salt by 10 per cent within the next three years.

Nestle R&D Centre Singapore managing director Dr Tan Sze said Nestle made the commitment in line with its objective of “enhancing the quality of life and contributing to a healthier future”.

Nestle R&D Singapore is among the 40 research and development (R&D) centres established by Nestle all over the world to improve the taste, safety and quality of all its products.

Nestle R&D Singapore is responsible for the global and regional product development of the company’s Milo, Nescafe, Maggi and Nestle Professional brands.

Tan said the need to reduce the sugar content in its products has become more relevant now than ever as Asia’s elderly population is projected to reach almost a billion by 2050.

“This region is going to have the most number of elderly people in the world in the next few decades,” she told reporters during a recent media tour of the centre.

Reduce salt content

Tan said besides sugar, Nestle was also looking at reducing its products’ salt content because, according to the Singapore Health Promotion Board, the average Singaporean consumed around 9g of salt per day, which was 4g higher than the amount recommended by health experts.

Nestle Singapore’s Marketing and Communications director Phee Chat Chow said the company planned to collaborate with the Singapore Health Promotion Board to create more awareness among the people on the need to reduce their intake of sugar and salt on a daily basis.

Phee said the task required collaborative effort as it would not be easy for Nestle alone to educate the nation.

Diabetes, a rising concern

In Singapore, diabetes is the second leading cause of morbidity and mortality. The republic has more than 400,000 diabetic patients, with another 430,000 in the pre-diabetes stage and at risk of developing the disease.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day message on Tuesday touched on the prevalence of diabetes, among other issues.

Pointing out that one of the key reasons for ill health in old age is diabetes, he said nearly a third of those over the age of 60 have diabetes.

“We have good doctors and hospitals. But actually, it is much better for us to stay healthy and not have to go to the hospital at all!

“Singaporeans are living longer today. But our elderly experience an average of eight years of poor health at the end of their lives. Eight years is a long time and can also be a burden for the families,” he said.

Opt for plain water

“At first, diabetes is an invisible disease. But over time, its consequences are severe (and it can lead to) blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and amputated limbs. This is why we must go all out to fight diabetes,” he said in his message.

“It is not just about more hospital facilities and better treatment. It also depends crucially on personal choices and lifestyles, to prevent diabetes in the first place.”

Urging Singaporeans to take responsibility for their own health, the prime minister said they must make an effort to watch their diet, exercise regularly and drink plain water instead of soft drinks.

Such a lifestyle should start from young and it will help reduce the risk of diabetes and enable one to stay healthy and live well, he said. — Bernama

Source:  themalaymailonline.com

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CSM Bakery Solutions and 3D Systems Announce Agreement to Bring 3D Print Designs to the Food Industry

August 26th, 2017
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CSM Bakery Solutions, a global leader in bakery ingredients, products and services, and 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE: DDD), the originator of 3D printing and solutions, today announced they reached an agreement to collaborate in the development, sale, and distribution of 3D printers, products and materials for the food industry.

The global agreement allows the two industry leaders to join forces to bring innovative and creative 3D printed culinary products to the market. CSM will support the development of and have exclusive rights to utilize 3D Systems’ ChefJet Pro 3D printer for high-resolution, colorful food products for the professional culinary environment.

“We are very excited about what this opportunity can mean for the food industry,” said CSM’s President and CEO, Marianne Kirkegaard.

“Our agreement with 3D Systems has the potential to re-shape the food industry,” she said. “Across a number of industries, 3D printing has helped transform industries and there’s every reason to think the same can be true for the food industry. We are excited to partner and continue to expand capabilities and culinary opportunities with their platform.”

Vyomesh Joshi, 3D Systems President and CEO, expressed similar optimism about the agreement.

“Our extensive and versatile portfolio of materials addresses the widest range of applications and performance in 3D printing – from culinary to industrial,” he said. “As we continue to drive innovation and explore strategic partnerships with industry leaders, our partnership with CSM is a perfect fit to leverage our technology and capabilities to expand applications and materials.”

The partnership enables collaborative R&D, engineering, design, and printer development focused on specific sourcing, food product development and go-to-market plans. After careful analysis and extensive discussions, planning, and market research, CSM and 3D Systems have formalized this agreement and are beginning the work to bring prototypes to the market.

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements included in this press release that are not historical in nature are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Forward-looking statements include, among others, expectations regarding the impact and success of the strategic partnership between 3D Systems and CSM Bakery Solutions and the ability to bring culinary 3D products and designs to the market, through this collaboration or otherwise.  These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as those described in 3D Systems’ and CSM Bakery Solutions periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as other factors, that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not, and should not be relied upon as a guarantee of future performance or results, nor will they necessarily prove to be accurate indications of the times at which such performance or results will be achieved. This information is provided as of the date of this release, and 3D Systems and CSM Bakery Solutions undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements made by management or on its behalf, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason.

About CSM Bakery Solutions
CSM Bakery Solutions is a global leader in bakery ingredients, products and services for retail and food service markets as well as artisan and industrial bakeries. CSM serves more than 45,000 customers in 100-plus countries and offers a broad portfolio of well-recognized brands providing specialized ingredients (dry mixes, fillings, icings, glazes, mélange, toppings, batter, frozen dough and more) and finished products (cakes, donuts, muffins, brownies, cookies, specialty bread, viennoiserie and more). CSM’s mosaic of heritage bakery brands includes some of the industry’s most trusted names: Brill, Henry & Henry, MeisterMarken, Multifoods, and Waldkorn, to name but a few.

About 3D Systems
3D Systems provides comprehensive 3D products and services, including 3D printers, print materials, on-demand manufacturing services and digital design tools. Its ecosystem supports advanced applications from the product design shop to the factory floor to the operating room. 3D Systems’ precision healthcare capabilities include simulation, Virtual Surgical Planning, and printing of medical and dental devices as well as patient-specific surgical instruments. As the originator of 3D printing and a shaper of future 3D solutions, 3D Systems has spent its 30-year history enabling professionals and companies to optimize their designs, transform their workflows, bring innovative products to market and drive new business models.

Source:  businessinsider.com

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Mondelez switches Triscuit to Non-GMO Verified

August 12th, 2017
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Confectionery, food, and beverage firm Mondelez International is switching its Triscuit cracker brand to the Non-GMO Verified certification in the US.

The company said consumer demand had prompted the move, citing data from market researchers The Hartman Group from this year, which demonstrated that more than half of Americans are looking for non-GMO food and beverages.

Mondelez has co-operated with US non-profit the Non-GMO Project, which provides the certification for companies looking to make the switch.

The company worked to source oil and seasonings that meet the certification.

Triscuit North America brand manager Kailey Clark said: “The Triscuit brand has evolved throughout its 100-plus-year history by delivering what consumers want, whether that’s new flavors; quick, everyday recipe solutions; or now, Non-GMO Project Verified snacking options.”

Clark further added: “The Non-GMO Project Verified seal is the gold standard. It is the most trusted label among consumers, and we are proud to offer that level of product transparency to Triscuit customers.”

Triscuit Cracker boxes bearing the seal started rolling out to retailers nationwide in late July, with the full product line expected to follow by the end of next month.

Non-GMO Project associate director Courtney Pineau said: “We are thrilled Triscuit Crackers has converted its entire portfolio to be made with Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients.

“As an organization, we believe that consumers have a right to know what is in their food and have access to non-GMO choices.”

Source: food-business-review.com

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Australian ice cream company Weis to be acquired by Unilever

August 12th, 2017
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Unilever has agreed to acquire Australian ice cream business Weis – the maker of the iconic Fruito Bar – for an undisclosed sum.

The deal sees Unilever continue to develop its ice cream range around the world, with Weis joining other Unilever brands such as Grom, Ben & Jerry’s and Talenti, which Unilever acquired in December 2014.

Unilever Australia & New Zealand chief executive officer Clive Stiff said: “We are delighted to bring Weis’ exciting and delicious range into our portfolio, adding another Australian favourite to our leading ice cream range. This acquisition will bring Weis the benefits of scale, strong market access and ice cream category expertise to help take the business to the next level in its growth.

“We are committed to providing Weis consumers and customers with the same exceptional products [made from] the same high-quality natural ingredients. We look forward to welcoming Weis’ strong, dedicated and passionate team to Unilever.”

Weis is a second-generation ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturer, founded in 1957 by Les Weis with the original Fruito Bar. Its product range features a variety of ice cream formats including single bar, multi-pack bars, dairy-free sorbet tubs and frozen yogurt tubs.

The firm’s ice creams will continue to be made in its factory based in Toowoomba, Queensland. Unilever has today also announced a buyback programme for the majority of its outstanding 6% and 7% preference shares – part of the reforms set out in the wake of Kraft Heinz’s failed bid.

Weis managing director Julie Weis said: “Our family made this decision because Unilever demonstrated their understanding of our brand, our products and how important our people and the Toowoomba manufacturing site are in ensuring Weis’ success into the future.

“In addition, Unilever’s scale will enable greater market access and growth that will provide opportunities for our extended Weis family of staff, suppliers, customers and – of course – our wonderful consumers.”

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Source:  foodbev.com

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‘Golden Bean’ Amedei acquired by Ferrarelle

August 12th, 2017
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Italian mineral water company adds super-premium, bean-to-bar chocolatier to its portfolio.

What does it take to make Italy’s fourth largest mineral water company effervescent? Acquiring Tuscany-based chocolate maker Amedei, known for its gourmet chocolate bars, truffles and chocolate products, would certainly make anyone bubbly.
According to Reuters, Milan-based Ferrarelle SpA purchased Amedei from Singapore’s Octopus Europe Limited fund and Amedei’s shareholders on Monday. Cecilia Tessieri, the company’s founder and “maitre chocolatier” will continue to work at Amedei.
She started the company in 1990, initially producing truffles in a 45-sq.-meter shop with one employee. Since then Tessieri has tirelessly worked to expand her knowledge and expertise. In 1998, the company started producing the first Amedei bars, which were named for Tessieri’s maternal grandmother’s maiden name.
In keeping with her motto, “Quality is founded on discipline, knowledge and respect,” the chocolatier helped promote the cru (single-origin) concept, using fine-flavored cocoa beans from plantations in Jamaica, Venezuela, Ecuador and Madagascar.
The company has garnered several prestigious awards for chocolates, including six Golden Bean awards from the London-based Academy of Chocolate. The Academy of Chocolate was founded in 2005 by five of Britain’s leading chocolate professionals and today has become one of the most prestigious awards for elite chocolate producers.
Ferrarelle became a 100-percent Italian-owned company in 2005 when LGR Holding S.p.A. acquired Italaquae SpA from the Danone Group. It subsequently changed its name to Ferrarelle SpA, reflecting the famous naturally effervescent mineral water brand dating back to 1893.
The company, which is controlled by the Pontecorvo family, is on the lookout for further possible deals.
“We do not rule out possible (acquisition) opportunities in the future linked to traditional “Made in Italy” delicacies,” Michele Pontecorvo Ricciardi told Reuters.
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