FAO Food Price Index down in September

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» The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 165.4 points in September 2018, down 2.3 points (1.4 Percent) from August and some 13 points (7.4 percent) below its level in the corresponding period last year. Only the sugar price index firmed in September, whereas the values of the other sub-indices, led by cereals, dropped from the previous month.

» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged almost 164 points in September, a drop of 4.7 points (2.8 percent) from August, but still 12 points (8 percent) above its September 2017 level. Among the major cereals, the sharpest month-on-month decline concerned maize export quotations, which fell by at least 4 percent from August, mostly on expectations of a very large crop in the United States and ample supply prospects globally. Wheat price quotations, which rose sharply in August, also fell in September, mainly on continued strong sales and shipments from the Russian Federation. International rice prices eased for the third successive month, even though an appreciation of the Thai Baht and expectations of sales to the Philippines limited the September decline to around 1 percent.

» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 134.9 points in September, down 3.2 points (or 2.3 percent) from August. Falling for the eighth month in succession, the Index has reached a three-year low. Prices weakened across the vegetable oil sector, with palm oil registering the most notable decline. Large inventories held in major exporting countries continued to weigh on palm oil values, which recorded a 25 percent drop compared to the corresponding month of last year. International soy and rapeseed oil quotations also fell, underpinned by subdued global import demand, while the arrival of ample new-crop supplies in the Black Sea region exerted downward pressure on sunflower oil prices.

» The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 191.5 points in September, down 4.7 points (2.4 percent) from the previous month, continuing the downward trend for the fourth consecutive month. In September, international prices of butter, cheese and Whole Milk Powder (WMP) declined while those of Skim Milk Powder (SMP) recovered. The potential for much larger export availabilities weighed on international prices of butter, cheese and WMP. However, SMP prices registered another intermittent recovery in September, resulting in a 16.2 percent gain since the start of the year, largely underpinned by stronger demand for freshly manufactured milk powder.

» The FAO Meat Price Index* averaged 166.2 points in September, down marginally from its revised value for August. International prices of bovine and pig meat remained mostly stable, while those of ovine meat and poultry rose. International prices of ovine meat increased for the fourth consecutive month, reflecting continued supply limitations from Oceania and strong import demand from Asia. Robust demand amid short-term supply constraints, notably in Brazil, also contributed to somewhat firmer poultry prices. However, ample export availabilities in Oceania and the United States kept bovine prices under downward pressure, while new cases of African swine fever and associated import restrictions, weighed on pigmeat values.

» The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 161.4 points in September, up 4 points (2.6 percent) from August, but still almost 43 percent below its level in the corresponding month last year. The increase in September was largely linked to the ongoing sugar harvesting operations in Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer and exporter. Drought conditions in Brazil during the critical growing season are seen to have had negative impacts on sugarcane yields, with harvested cane volumes falling below expectations. Furthermore, rising concerns over crop prospects in the South and South-East Asian region, notably in India and Indonesia, due to monsoon rainfalls falling below normal levels, provided additional upward support to International sugar price quotations.

* Unlike for other commodity groups, most prices utilized in the calculation of the FAO Meat Price Index are not available when the FAO Food Price Index is computed and published; therefore, the value of the Meat Price Index for the most recent months is derived from a mixture of projected and observed prices. This can, at times, require significant revisions in the final value of the FAO Meat Price Index which could in turn influence the value of the FAO Food Price Index.

Download full dataset: Excel, CSV

Download full dataset: Excel


Gulfood Manufacturing 2018 at the forefront of industry

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The fifth edition of Gulfood Manufacturing, the Middle East’s largest food and beverage processing forum which runs at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) this November, promises to be the Gulfood spin-off’s most well-rounded and forward-looking exhibition and conference to date, offering a 360-degree solutions platform for a regional industry buoyed by strong consumer demand in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

While retaining its long-standing reputation as the principal place to conduct multimillion-dollar business transactions with exhibitors from 60 countries showcasing the latest industry development tools, Gulfood Manufacturing 2018, which runs from November 6-8, boasts a range of features that put it firmly in the realm of future forecasting, trend tracking and sector education.

Four key features – a ‘Big Buyers’ programme, where up to 2,000 buyers are hosted; innovation demos, which will provide deep insights into artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and robotics; Gulfood Manufacturing Industry Excellence Awards, designed to inspire and reward process innovations, and a probing FoodTech Summit – have been integrated to strengthen the event’s position as the vanguard of F&B transformation.

“The breadth of food production technology is so wide that the industry requires a multi-offering platform showcasing advanced manufacturing,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC. “Suppliers from around the world have their eyes fixed on the Middle East, where cross-sector demand continues to climb. Regional producers are now scaling up and utilising higher grade technology to meet Industry 4.0 demands. The Gulfood Manufacturing 2018 programme has adopted a multi-audience approach that speaks to both producers and suppliers.”

Agenda-Setting Conference

The Gulfood Manufacturing conference series, under its new identity “FoodTech Summit”, will set the agenda for the industry’s vision, with deep insights into the future – near and far. Sessions will focus on the ‘Factory of the Future’ and a look at how Industry 4.0 – or the fourth Industrial Revolution – is redefining the F&B manufacturing and processing industry. The talks will pose challenging compelling questions and suggest steps to keep the regional industry relevant in the digital era.

On the show floor, visitors will find an exhibition that continues to outperform expectations. By homing in on individual areas of relevance, Gulfood Manufacturing now hosts five dedicated sectors – Ingredients, Processing, Packaging, Automation & Controls, and Supply Chain Solutions – to improve the experience for both buyer and seller, so both can make better use of visit times.

Together the five sectors will span 80,000 square meters of space across 16 halls and showcase solutions from more than 1,600 local, regional and international industry service providers from 60 countries, as well as tens of thousands of visitors.

Real International Reach

Such is the show’s expanding international reputation that one of the global food manufacturing industry’s biggest players, Ishida of Japan – a world leader in helping manufacturers reduce costs, increase efficiencies and maximise profits through its state-of-the-art weighing, packing and inspection solutions – has dubbed the event “by far the best food manufacturing and packaging show in the Middle East”.

Having participated at Gulfood Manufacturing since its inception in 2014, Ishida returns in 2018 with a futuristic product portfolio including X-ray inspection systems and its Sentinel line monitoring software that allows manufacturers to optimise productions lines remotely and prevent faults from occurring. The firm plans to use the wide-reaching appeal of Gulfood Manufacturing to target conversions in Turkey, Egypt, the wider African continent, India, Pakistan and Central Europe.

“We are seeing a rise in regional demand for convenience and ready-to-eat foods. For manufacturers to remain competitive and maximise the opportunities offered by this growth, it is important to automate processes to reduce costs, minimise product waste and increase packing speeds and overall line efficiencies,” explained Torsten Giese, Marketing Manager – PR & Exhibitions, Ishida Europe.

“Data is going to play a starring role in the future of food production. The entire production process will be mapped digitally and analysed in real time while big data and machine learning enables processes to be continually optimised, quality standards to be raised and heightened predictive maintenance for all connected equipment to avoid any loss of output or unscheduled downtime, which can have negative consequences for a food production business.”

“Any manufacturer wanting to stay competitive should be working to build up a smart factory and making use of big data solutions. Ishida specialises in this area and our stand at Gulfood Manufacturing will feature the latest developments in how we help our customers with their food packing automation,” added Giese.

The Innovation demos will be an early alert system for the industry’s future with participants taking in examples of robots working among humans at production lines, and high-speed machines with capacity to churn out bags at 200 units per minute. Participants will include some of the 2,000 pre-qualified, C-Level management attendees from across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia being hosted through the show’s expansive ‘Big Buyer’ programme, which feeds investment appetites.

The Gulfood Manufacturing Industry Excellence Awards will recognise and reward best practices and innovation within the food manufacturing industry value chain. The awards will be judged by an international panel of experts representing food processing and packaging industries, graphics experts, equipment suppliers, academia, trade press, governmental, environmental and trade organisations.

Source:  fmtmagazine.in


Cereals Canada welcomes new NAFTA agreement

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Cereals Canada welcomed the announcement of a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement, which will be known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“Achieving the agreement will ensure ongoing stability in agricultural trade within North America,” stated Cam Dahl, President of Cereals Canada in a press release. “Agriculture in all three countries has benefited from freer trade. Preserving these benefits was a key objective in these negotiations.”

USCMA will also modernize the agreement in critical areas, including chapters on biotechnology and new plant breeding techniques and addressing issues of low level presence. These updates will help bring the agreement up-to-date with modern technology.

Dahl added, “This is a modernization that addresses issues that did not exist when the original NAFTA was drafted. The Canadian value chain supports these changes.” Dahl further noted that “there was some concern that the adjustments to the grading system would undermine Canada’s classification system for wheat. This is not the case as the agreement continues to allow both countries the ability to develop national policy.”

Cereals Canada thanks all the Canadian negotiating team who have carried out this work in order to accomplish the agreement. This includes Minister Freeland and Minister MacAulay who have been engaged throughout the negotiations.

Source:  bakersjournal.com


Perfect dough mixing in any climate

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New technology that makes high-speed mixing possible in hot climates is being introduced on Tweedy™ mixing systems by Baker Perkins at IBA in Munich (15-20th September; Hall A6, Stand 321). 

The Tweedy™ SuperCool mixer combines radically enhanced bowl cooling with advanced control technology to provide precise management of dough temperature in any climate.

The technique features a re-designed cooling system that can significantly increase heat transfer from the dough to the cooling jacket during mixing.

The Tweedy™ SuperCool is suitable for high-output plant bakeries making tin and pan bread, burger buns, rolls and pizza bases, including the sour dough, liquid sponge and sponge and dough processes. The Tweedy™ SuperCool system can also be retrofitted to existing installed mixers.

Cost effective technique

Baker Perkins’ SuperCool technology enables the cost-effective and proven Tweedy™ high-speed mixing process to be used in hot climates including the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, where effective dough temperature control is a potential problem. Mixer bowl cooling is very cost effective compared to the capital and energy costs of flour cooling equipment and air conditioning.

The ability to closely control final dough temperature regardless of variations in ingredient temperatures and energy levels is a major benefit of the standard Tweedy™ process. Although bowl cooling has always been an option, it has not been sufficient to avoid measures such as adding ice to the mixing bowl when the ambient temperatures are high.

Specialist software for complete control

Baker Perkins’ specialist software measures flour and ambient temperatures and relates them to energy requirement for the mixing process, then regulates incoming water temperature and applies jacket cooling to achieve the exact dough temperature required. This creates complete control over final dough temperature, which is fundamental to efficient downstream handling.

Unlocking the benefits of the Tweedy™ process

By adopting Baker Perkins’ SuperCool technology, bakers in any environment can now benefit from the high-speed Tweedy™ process. All the key features that contribute to precise control of the dough structure and rapid mixing times maximising consistency and quality are retained.

Short mixing times, small batches and dynamic scheduling minimise downstream waste, giveaway and downtime caused by dough gassing. Product costs are kept low by water absorption rates up to 75% and efficient development of the available protein which produces strong dough from lower protein flour.

Automated ingredient feeds and short mixing cycles minimise dead-time, while the design of the bowl and mixing tool – plus the speed of rotation – combine to produce a 3D mixing action that stretches and shears more of the dough for more of the time. The result is rapid structural development, allowing up to 12 batches every hour.

Pressure/vacuum mixing controls the dough texture: applying pressure at the start of mixing helps development by trapping more air in the dough, while applying vacuum towards the end of the cycle controls the size of the bubbles and refines the crumb structure. The proportion of pressure and vacuum applied determines whether the dough texture is fine – for bagels, for example; or open – such as baguettes.

As these proportions are simply altered, it’s easy to switch to a different product. Rapid product changeover is a benefit to every baker, particularly where a variety of products are needed each day. Fast cleaning times, simple maintenance, fully automatic operation and high efficiency through recipe management give the Tweedy™ a competitive edge compared to other methods of dough production.

The Tweedy™ high speed mixer has been delivering quality and efficiency benefits to plant bakers of a wide range of products in many parts of the world. The introduction of Baker Perkins’ SuperCool technology will makes these benefits available to many more.

Source: Baker Perkins


Forever Chocolate outperforming on sustainability

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Barry Callebaut leading among peer companies in Sustainalytics assessment

Forever Chocolate, our plan to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025, has been ranked this year as an “outperforming” sustainability strategy in the food industry. This result is the conclusion of an in-depth independent sustainability assessment conducted by the company Sustainalytics. We are leading among our assessed peers.

So what is Sustainalytics?  Sustainalytics is a company which assesses the sustainability approaches of listed companies. It looks at all the efforts we are currently doing on reaching our Forever Chocolate targets, in addition to other social and governance (i.e. corporate code of conduct, anti-corruption policy etc) indicators, and ranks it against the efforts of other participating food companies. These types of assessments respond to a growing interest from investors and societal stakeholders to understand whether sustainability strategies are actually managing supply chain risks and delivering impact.

We participate annually in the Sustainalytics assessment as it provides us with a solid and well respected third-party assessment of our investments in sustainability. The rating also has for Barry Callebaut an additional importance, as our Sustainalytics score also defines partly the interest rate we pay over our banking credit facility.

Source:  Barry Callebaut


Lallemand Announces Yeast Price Increases

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Lallemand has announced price will increase for yeast, effective October 1, 2018, or as current contracts expire across all price zones.

In Canada, pricing will increase 10.2 cents (CDN) per kilogram of cream yeast (17 cents per kilogram compressed equivalent) and 17 cents (CDN) per kilogram of bag and block yeast.

Dry yeast prices will also increase by 57 cents CDN per kilogram on an ex works basis, according to foodincanada.com.

An increase in transport costs has been cited among reasons, as well as growing substrate costs due to the drought in Europe, which has negatively affected the sugar beet crop. In addition, vitamins, packaging, labor costs and other ingredients factored into implementing this price change, according to the ingredient specialist.

The pricing will be in effect until further notice as there are emerging inflationary cost increases in many areas.

Source: World Bakers


Guittard Chocolate Company secures major European distribution

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The US-based Guittard Chocolate Company has agreed a major deal with HB Ingredients for distribution of its confectionery range throughout Europe.

Founded in San Francisco in 1868 and celebrating their 150-year anniversary, Guittard is the oldest continuously family-owned and operated chocolate making business within America.

After launching into the UK last year, it now supplies some of the country’s top bakers, chocolatiers and restaurants including Paul.a.young fine chocolates, Crosstown Doughnuts and Frog by Adam Handling.

The company said that HB ingredients is well placed to help scale its distribution – with 20 years of experience, the firm has built a reputation for stocking a vast range of chocolate products from all over the world and providing excellence to their customers from its base on the South Coast of England.

Guittard’s couverture range offers single origin, blends, fair trade and organic chocolate. The business explained that its philosophy has been to seek to create quality chocolate by blending tradition and innovation in a way that nurtures the environment and cultivates constructive relationships with their extended family of customers, co-workers, farmers and suppliers.

The company has also paid significant attention to promote the sustainability of the cocoa growing regions, and the wellbeing of cocoa workers.

Steve Calver, HB Ingredients sales manager, said: “We’re delighted to be wholesaling Guittard Chocolate Company to the UK market. We have a wealth of experience built up over many years and a very successful track record in supplying the chocolatier sector with a wide range of core, high quality ingredients.

“We have a reputation for introducing new, exciting and innovative products to the UK market. We also have a strong sales and technical team to support our customers with new ideas, recipes and problem solving”

Managing director of Guittard Chocolate Company Europe, Erik Bruun Bindslev. also welcomed the move.

He added: “We couldn’t have hoped for a better UK distributor than HB Ingredients. Their expertise and contacts within the bakery, patisserie and chocolatier world perfectly align with our goals for growing Guittard in the UK market. We’ve had a phenomenally successful launch here and can’t wait to build on this with the team at HB”

Appointing HB Ingredients as their UK distributor will allow Guittard to continue to grow with the same innovative spirit and commitment to sustainability that has made it one of the world’s most respected makers of premium chocolate.

Source:  confectioneryproduction.com


Mars and Snickers makeover: Reduced sugar, added protein for UK chocolate icons

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New protein-packed versions of Mars and Snickers with up to 40 percent less sugar will hit UK shelves early next year as the demand for healthier alternatives picks up the pace in the confectionery space. More new product developments are also in the pipeline, as Mars Wrigley Confectionery plans to extend its reformulated range to include smaller portion sizes and low-calorie versions of classic candies and chocolates.

“The range will span Mars, Snickers, Twix, Milky Way Crispy Rolls, and Ripples, to “give consumers the opportunity to experience the great taste of their favorite brands in a smaller portion size,” a Mars spokesperson tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

Hitting the UK market early next year, the Snickers option will have 10 grams of protein and 30 percent less sugar per bar taking the total to 14.1 grams. Mars More Protein will contain 40 percent less sugar which will reduce the chocolate bar’s sugar content to 17.5 grams per bar.

Once these new products have been rolled out across the country, Mars Wrigley Confectionery – which came about in 2016 when Mars merged its chocolate and Wrigley segments to form the new subsidiary – will follow up with more innovation, including smaller portion sizes and a low-calorie range of single-serve bars.

Regular versions of two of the UK’s most beloved iconic chocolate bars will still be available.

Breaking away from the traditional core market by reformulating new products with less sugar and more protein is what this Mars and Snickers makeover is all about. It comes at a time when big businesses are looking to appeal to, not only loyal customers looking for iconic classics but a new generation of consumers driven by the desire to experiment with different products and try exciting new versions of old classics.

UK General Manager David Manzine was appointed last August and since coming onboard has led a new charge of innovation which has also seen recent launches of Skittles Chewies (Skittles Fruits without the shell) and Starburst Minis (a smaller version of Starburst Original) to its portfolio. These products offer consumers alternative textures and formats.

The Mars and Snickers (formerly known as Marathon in the UK), are decades old brands considered to be a favorite in the UK, so consumer reaction to these new versions is vital. However, Mars Wrigley Confectionery assures that they will satisfy on taste, quality as well as being higher in proteins and much reduced in sugar.

Source: foodingredientsfirst.com


Barry Callebaut finalizes capabilities and capacity expansions in US and Canada factories

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USD 30 million investments in Canada and United States (US) will support Barry Callebaut customers across North America.
Expansions include increased footprint and enhanced capabilities for specialty products

Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, today announced the completion of several expansion investments in three of its North American facilities located in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec; Chatham, Ontario; and St. Albans, Vermont. The investments amount to close to USD 30 million and are in line with previously announced plans.

Recent investments in the St. Hyacinthe facility include both an additional liquid chocolate line as well as enhanced capabilities for the production of dairy-free chocolates. In the Chatham factory, Barry Callebaut has introduced additional liquid storage capacity to expand the variety of products available to customers. At the St. Albans location, the company has expanded the building footprint and enhanced its capabilities for making colored and flavored compounds, among other investments.

“We continue to invest in our product portfolio and manufacturing capabilities. The completion of these investments demonstrates our commitment to a high level of service and product availability for our expanding customer base”, says Peter Boone, CEO & President, Americas Region.

Source: Barry Callebaut


Barry Callebaut enters long-term supply agreement with Burton’s Biscuit Company

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The Barry Callebaut Group has signed an agreement with Burton’s Biscuit Company, the UK’s second biggest biscuit manufacturer, for the long-term supply of over 12,000 metric tons of chocolate and compound per year. The transaction is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approval by the competent authorities.

Completion of the deal is expected by the end of this year, after finalizing all legal and social processes. The two parties have not disclosed any financial details.

At the same time, the chocolate manufacturer would acquire the chocolate manufacturing assets at Burton’s Biscuit Company’s chocolate factory in Moreton, Wirral, near Liverpool, UK. Barry Callebaut would continue producing chocolate at the Moreton site, according to the company and all employees currently engaged in the manufacture of chocolate at the Moreton facility would transfer to Barry Callebaut upon completion of the transaction.

As a result, Barry Callebaut would be able to expand its manufacturing capacity in the UK, one of Europe’s most significant chocolate confectionery markets and a significant growth area for the company.

Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group, says: “We are delighted to strengthen the collaboration with our longstanding customer Burton’s and to support a great British brand further. This transaction is an excellent example of the power of long-term partnerships and outsourcing. It is also a clear sign of our commitment to support the growth of our business in the UK market.”

Nick Field, CEO of Burton’s Food Ltd., adds: “I am pleased to announce the signing of a long-term supply agreement with Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading chocolate manufacturer. Barry Callebaut shares our passion and motivation for baking the best quality products for our customers and consumers. This new partnership, with their larger network and enhanced capabilities, directly supports our intent and commitment to maintain and enhance our industry-leading chocolate biscuit offering.”

Source: foodingredientsfirst.com