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U.S. GMO food labeling bill passes Senate

July 16th, 2016
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The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved legislation that would for the first time require food to carry labels listing genetically-modified ingredients, which labeling supporters say could create loopholes for some U.S. crops.

The Senate voted 63-30 for the bill that would display GMO contents with words, pictures or a bar code that can be scanned with smartphones. The U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) would decide which ingredients would be considered genetically modified.

The measure now goes to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass.

Drawing praise from farmers, the bill sponsored by Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas and Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is the latest attempt to introduce a national standard that would override state laws, including Vermont’s that some say is more stringent, and comes amid growing calls from consumers for greater transparency.

“This bipartisan bill ensures that consumers and families throughout the United States will have access, for the first time ever, to information about their food through a mandatory, nationwide label for food products with GMOs,” Stabenow said in a statement.

A nationwide standard is favored by the food industry, which says state-by-state differences could inflate costs for labeling and distribution. But mandatory GMO labeling of any kind would still be seen as a loss for Big Food, which has spent millions lobbying against it.

Farmers lobbied against the Vermont law, worrying that labeling stigmatizes GMO crops and could hurt demand for food containing those ingredients, but have applauded this law.

Critics like Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, say the bill’s vague language and allowance for electronic labels for scanning could limit its scope and create confusion.

“When parents go to the store and purchase food, they have the right to know what is in the food their kids are going to be eating,” Sanders said on the floor of the Senate ahead of the vote.

He said at a news conference this week that major food manufacturers have already begun labeling products with GMO ingredients to meet the new law in his home state.

Another opponent of the bill, Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, said it would institute weak federal requirements making it virtually impossible for consumers to access information about GMOs.

Loopholes

Food ingredients like beet sugar and soybean oil, which can be derived from genetically-engineered crops but contain next to no genetic material by the time they are processed, may not fall under the law’s definition of a bioengineered food, critics say.

GMO corn may also be excluded thanks to ambiguous language, some said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raised concerns about the involvement of the USDA in a list of worries sent in a June 27 memo to the Senate Agriculture Committee.

In a letter to Stabenow last week, the USDA’s general counsel tried to quell those worries, saying it would include commercially-grown GMO corn, soybeans, sugar and canola crops.

The vast majority of corn, soybeans and sugar crops in the United States are produced from genetically-engineered seeds. The domestic sugar market has been strained by rising demand for non-GMO ingredients like cane sugar.

The United States is the world’s largest market for foods made with genetically altered ingredients. Many popular processed foods are made with soybeans, corn and other biotech crops whose genetic traits have been manipulated, often to make them resistant to insects and pesticides.

“It’s fair to say that it’s not the ideal bill, but it is certainly the bill that can pass, which is the most important right now,” said American Soybean Association’s (ASA) director of policy communications Patrick Delaney.

The association was part of the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, which lobbied for what labeling supporters termed the Deny Americans the Right to Know, or DARK Act, that would have made labeling voluntary. It was blocked by the Senate in March.

(Reporting by Chris Prentice in New York; Additional reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago, Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Kouichi Shirayanagi and Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Ed Davies)

Source: Reuters

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Tate & Lyle plans changes to global supply chain

November 15th, 2014
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tate-and-lyleTate & Lyle, PLC has expanded its role as a global supplier of specialty ingredients. Now, the company is seeking better ways to keep its global customers supplied.

Costs related to operational and supply chain disruption in the six-month period ended Sept. 30 were £31 million ($49 million), the company said Nov. 6. Tate & Lyle anticipates further supply chain-related costs of about £10 million in the second half of the fiscal year.

Operating profit fell 31% to £117 million ($185 million) in the first half of the fiscal year, said Javed Ahmed, chief executive officer, in a Nov. 6 earnings conference call.

In the six months ended Sept. 30, Tate & Lyle recorded profit of £68 million ($108 million), down from £130 million in the same time period of the previous year, and sales of £1,200 million ($1,901 million), down from £1,516 million.

“As stated in our trading update on Sept. 23, the group’s results were significantly held back by operational and supply chain disruption and an increasingly competitive market for Splenda sucralose,” he said.

The proportion of specialty food ingredients’ sales in emerging markets has nearly doubled in the past four financial years, Ahmed said.

“With an SFI supply chain, as you globalize the business — more SKUs, more customers, more countries, more warehouses — it gets very complex,” he said.

Nick Hampton, chief financial officer, is leading a review of Tate & Lyle’s planning and supply chain processes.

“There’s no doubt we’ve got to reassess the manufacturing and supply chain capability we’ve got in the network given what we experienced,” he said in the Nov. 6 call. “I think that’s really a combination of two things: what’s the manufacturing flexibility and head room we need? And frankly, where do we put inventory in a global business model?”

The company has committed to £100 million in incremental capital spending, which will support specialty food ingredients growth, he said.

“The shame of it is, unfortunately, it doesn’t come on stream until next year,” Hampton said. “In hindsight, it would have been very easy to say it would have been nice to have today. So in 12 months’ time, as that capacity comes on stream, we’re in a better place based on the £100 million we’ve already committed to.

“It may be that the supply chain study concludes that we need to put inventory in different places around the world as well, but the facts will come out, and we’ll make those judgments as we go.”

Tate & Lyle will seek to develop a more integrated demand, supply and financial forecasting capability, he said. The company will reassess manufacturing and supply chain network flexibility and wants to ensure the company has appropriate manufacturing capacity headroom and inventory capabilities across the world. An upgraded information technology platform in Europe, North America and Singapore already is assisting the global supply chain.

Supply chain problems in the first half were the result of bad winter weather in the U.S. and an industrial accident at a Splenda sucralose facility in Singapore that led to an unplanned extended shutdown.

Within the company’s specialty food ingredients’ segment in the six-month period, adjusted operating profit was £66 million, down from £112 million, and adjusted sales were £446 million, down from £519 million. Lower Splenda sucralose pricing had a negative impact of £18 million on profit. For the full financial year, Tate & Lyle expects the average level of pricing for Splenda sucralose to be about 25% lower than the previous year.

“While Splenda sucralose remains a valuable part of our sweetener platform, it now represents approximately 10% of specialty food ingredients’ profit and is no longer the key driver of this division’s profitability.” Mr. Ahmed said.

Source: World Grain

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Ingredients producer acquires US brand

October 31st, 2014
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Chaucer, a global producer of specialist food ingredients and products, is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement to acquire 65 per cent of Crunchies Food Company (Crunchies), a leading US freeze dried brand.

The investment is reflective of Chaucer’s increasing momentum in the rapidly growing US freeze dried market, and the expansion of its freeze dried offering direct to consumers. In addition, Crunchies will provide Chaucer with a strong platform from which to expand in the rapidly growing US and global freeze dried market, and will diversify Chaucer’s operations to the effect it will control the product’s route to the consumer market and supply chain in the US markets.

The award winning Crunchies brand has experienced strong, double digit growth within the past year and successfully taps into the growing market of health conscious consumers seeking a healthy, nutritious snack option. Crunchies is now the leading brand in freeze dried snacking in the US by sales, as confirmed by Nielson in May 2014.

Since its inception in 2005, Crunchies has established strong supplier relationships, distributor relationships and is sold across the North American market through high profile grocers including Walmart, Costco and Whole Foods. The investment provides Crunchies with access to Chaucer’s significant global reach and marketing/sales leverage to continue its growth trajectory.

Andy Ducker, CEO of Chaucer comments: “We are delighted to announce our strategic investment in Crunchies, which illustrates Chaucer’s wider corporate strategy to become a truly global, market leading specialist food ingredient and consumer products producer.

“We are confident that with our operational expertise and investment, the already successful Crunchies brand will develop to its full potential in the US and maximise its opportunities in the growing freeze dried markets. In addition, the combination of Crunchies and Chaucer companies will provide Chaucer with increased visability and exposure to customers and suppliers in the North American markets.”

Source: Confectionery Production

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Bakers association approves of G.M.O. labeling bill

April 12th, 2014
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fda-logoThe American Bakers Association on April 10 commended the members of the House of Representatives responsible for introducing the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which seeks to establish a federal labeling standard for food and beverage products made with bioengineered ingredients, or genetically modified ingredients (G.M.O.s).

“This is an important first step to foster the necessary dialogue regarding the food supply and appropriate communication to consumers,” said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the Washington-based A.B.A. “H.R. 4432 would reaffirm the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) as our nation’s leading authority over food safety and labeling.

“By empowering F.D.A. to conduct safety reviews and determine labeling mandates of new food ingredients, this bill offers a consistent national labeling standard to help companies inform consumers without the costly and confusing patchwork of labeling requirements derived from ballot initiatives and state and local legislatures.”

Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas and representative G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina co-sponsored the bill that was introduced into the House of Representatives on April. 9.

Source: Baking Business

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The nutrient tax issue has not gone away

November 1st, 2012
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The hotly-contested issue of taxes on food products raised its head on both sides of the Atlantic last week. The news comes as a sign that, despite scepticism in some circles that such levies do not work, they remain seen as a potential solution to the problem of obesity.

Doctors in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, called for taxes on “junk food” to be increased, for the marketing of “fatty and sugary foods” to children to be restricted and for warning labels to be placed on high-calorie products.

“The time for gentle admonitions has come and gone. We need to fight this problem with proven tools like tax incentives and graphic warnings. There is an enormous body of evidence that these measures work,” Dr. Doug Weir, president of the Ontario Medical Association, insisted.

Canada’s food industry, unsurprisingly, begged to differ. “Let’s be very clear – food is not tobacco. Tobacco has no place in a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A tax on food and beverages is nothing but a tax grab,” the Food and Consumer Products of Canada industry association said.

In Ireland, it was reported last week the country’s government is considering whether to introduce a tax on unhealthy food. The Irish food sector reacted swiftly but taking a slightly different tack to their Canadian counterparts.

Paul Kelly, director of Food and Drink Industry Ireland, argued higher levies on certain foods would have “no health benefits” but also claimed increased taxes would “damage” the “competitiveness” of the country’s food manufacturers. “Ireland already imposes high taxes on many foods. An additional tax on sugar or soft drinks, for example, would amount to a double taxation and cause unwelcome uncertainty throughout the food chain,” he said.

Many in the food industry have argued that levies don’t work. Health campaigners had also criticised the Danish tax – but only because, they argued, it was not high enough.

However, the news from Canada and Ireland follows recent noises from the Israeli government that it was looking into imposing a tax on certain food. The issue is still being seen as possible way to tackle obesity and to try and battle against what many see as a severe public health issue on the horizon.

The industry may argue obesity is a complex issue that needs all stakeholders to co-operate. It may argue it is working hard to reformulate its products (although it concedes more needs to be done). But words are not enough: the food sector needs to stay on the front foot and demonstrate its work on new recipes and product development. It also, perhaps, needs to be more vocal on how it is trying to improve public health, not just to stave off the threat of taxation or regulation but also to win over consumers.

There has, at a number of industry events just-food has attended in recent weeks, been much talk of the industry losing consumer trust on issues including health. “My fear is we’ve got one of the best industries but, if you listen to the dialogue that goes out into the public domain, it doesn’t seem that way. We seem to be the devil incarnate, trying to poison people, make them obese or whatever else,” former Kellogg executive Timothy Mobsby told FoodDrinkEurope’s industry conference in Brussels two weeks ago.

Later this week, just-food’s latest management briefing will focus on the issue of nutrient taxes, examining the advantages and disadvantages of this area of policy, including analysis of the current debates in Ireland, Canada, Denmark and the UK, while also looking at the influence of the World Health Organization, with perspectives from notable academics in the field and industry. Plenty, then, to chew over.

Source: Just-Food

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Food Ingredients: comes 2013 to Istanbul

April 6th, 2012
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According to the OECD, Turkey ranks number seven in the world for agricultural production after USA, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Japan. These countries coincide with the world´s leading food ingredients markets as well as the locations of UBM Live´s most successful Food ingredients geo-adaptations to date.

To date no dedicated food ingredients event has been established in this region. Turkey´s growing economy and Istanbul´s strategic geographical positioning as the only city in the world that bridges two continents, Europe and Asia, together with its deep economic and cultural ties to the Middle East and Northern Africa provides the strategic drive for UBM Live  to successfully launch Fi Istanbul  in May 2013.

Natasha Berrow, Brand Director, Food Portfolio, UBM Live, provides her viewpoint: «Our strategy is to establish events where our customers most need them. It was clear from an early stage that the opportunity offered by Turkey and the surrounding regions hit all our criteria. Fi Istanbul will provide our customers with a unique opportunity to further explore and develop into this truly exciting market».

«In addition, a number of positive factors create the ideal environment to launch a new geo-adaptation of the Food ingredients brand in Turkey. Turkey and the surrounding Southern Europe, North Africa, Middle East and CIS countries have relatively under developed food markets. Economic growth, new government health policy, expansion of multiple, mass market retailers, influx of international ingredients companies and food manufacturers create a valuable and timely opportunity for our latest geo-adaptation».

«We have also secured the exclusive support of The Association of Food Additives and Ingredients Manufacturers (GIDAKAT). GIDAKAT are working with the Turkish Health Ministry, Academic Institutions and Food Manufacturers to meet the challenges identified in the Government´s nutrition strategy. Dr Mehmet Duruk, Chairman of GIDAKAT, commented: «We are delighted to be in partnership with UBM to create a successful Fi Istanbul. This new event will create the perfect platform to shape the future of our industry».

This launch is aligned with the strategy to extend the Fi brand into new regions where we have the opportunity to engage with new customers and also present new business opportunities to our existing client base. To date, multiple blue-chip food ingredient manufacturers and solution providers have already signed on or have indicated a strong desire to participate. Following the success of the Food ingredients geo-adaptations, Food ingredients Istanbul promises to deliver:

  • A high level, dedicated ingredients event focused on innovation
  • A regional event targeting the CIS, Middle East, Southern Europe and North Africa
  • Bespoke features to emphasise innovation will include free-to-attend innovation theatres on the show floor and tasting sessions
  • Co-located with a high-level technical conference featuring opinion leaders from Government, Academia and Industry with workshops, round tables and plenary sessions
  • Exclusive association support from The Association of Food Additives and Ingredients Manufacturers (GIDAKAT)

Taking place on 07 to 09 May 2013, Fi Istanbul will create a meeting point for food innovation, business and trade. The event is targeted to attract over 3’000 visitors with 50 percent from Turkey and 50 percent from the surrounding regions. The audience will include food technologists, R+D, marketing and business development executives with a common interest in new product development.

Source: Bakenet:eu

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US Ambassador emphasises importance of food ingredients industry at Fi Europe

December 8th, 2011
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On his visit to Fi Europe 2011 in Paris last week Charles Rivkin, the US Ambassador to France and Monaco, chose to emphasise the importance of the food industry to the global economy in this time of austerity.

“In today’s economy there’s nothing more important than having shows like this to promote trade,” he said.

He reaffirmed his country’s belief that there is an enormous opportunity for trade between the EU and America when it comes to agricultural products.

“It’s agricultural exports that America excels in and they are central to our National Export Initiative,” said Rivkin. “We have some of the best growers and producers on the planet, and focusing on the things that we do well is central to our national economic strategy.”

Source: Ingredients Network

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Food Ingredients Asia 2011: Exceed All Expectations

October 22nd, 2011
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For its 7th edition in Bangkok, Food ingredients Asia 2011   attracted over 9’000 visitors and generated approximately one billion THB in business for exhibitors. The event was held on 21 to 23 September at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in the heart of the Thai capital.

M. Gandhi, Managing Director UBM Asia (Thailand), the event organiser, noted that the exhibition hosted more than 489 companies from over 34 countries. «This was the biggest event since the show began and we are delighted with the results. On behalf of everyone who has helped bring Fi Asia the success it enjoys today, we extend our grateful thanks», Gandhi said.

Fi Asia 2011 showcased ingredients innovation from regional and international food ingredients manufacturers. By bringing the value chain together, the show has provided important networking opportunities and facilitated exchange of knowledge within the industry. «Fi Asia is a must-do event and an important part of our growth strategy in the regional food business line under the NutriLife brand», said Jorgen Lundgaard, Regional Sales Director, Jebsen + Jessen. «We have already booked a booth at the Fi Asia 2012 in Jakarta, where JJ Indonesia will be exhibiting on behalf of our regional food business line, and a booth at Fi Asia 2013, when the show will return to Bangkok», he added.

The 2011 event was supported by the Food Science + Technology Association of Thailand, the National Food Institute, the Food Industry Club, the Federation of Thai Industries and the Food Processing + Packaging Association, which had its own special pavilion at the show.

Thai VIPs praise the event

Prapat Vanapitaksa, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of Thailand´s Ministry of Industry, who opened the exhibition, noted that the food industry has played a very important role in building the Thai economy. «We have implemented a 20-year plan which will include upgrading industry clusters, expanding manufacturing network opportunities abroad and enhancing support for integrated management in Thailand», he said. «The plan will also enhance co-operation within the ASEAN community for a sustainable manufacturing system by 2050».

Dr. Petch Chinabutr, President of the National Food Institute, who, together with UBM, organised the seminar: «The Impact of AEC 2015 on the ASEAN Food Industry», said that the seminar would help to increase recognition for Thailand´s growing food industry. The seminar featured speakers from Thailand and the region, and was part of a special conference programme that included presentations by the Food Science + Technology Association (FoSTAT) and the Federation of Institutes of Food Science + Technology, (FIFSTA).

The organiser and official partners have expressed their warm appreciation to all visitors and exhibitors for making the 2011 show a great success. Fi Asia 2012 will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 03 to 05 October. Fi Asia will return to Bangkok on 11 to 13 September 2013. For more information please visit http://www.ingredientsnetwork.com/Asia-Indonesia   and http://www.ingredientsnetwork.com/Asia-Thailand

Source: Bakenet

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FSA seeks views on impact of flavouring regulation

July 27th, 2010
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The perspective of food manufacturers and other stakeholders on the costs and benefits of enforcement provisions for the new EU Regulation on food flavourings is being sought from the UK Food Standards Agency during a three month consultation phase.

The EU flavouring regulation 1334/2008 was adopted at the end of 2008 and is due to fully replace directive 88/388/EEC from 20 January 2011.

Inconsistencies in the regulation of flavourings and food ingredients with flavouring properties in the bloc along with differences regarding the application of maximum levels of certain biologically active principles (BAPs) which may be present in flavourings and food ingredients have created the need for uniform EU controls.

The controls aim to “ensure the free movement of safe and wholesome food, and to take into account the new scientific and technological developments for flavourings,” reports the FSA.

Natural compliance

One major change is the new and more detailed labelling requirements for natural flavours, and the reclassification of nature identical and artificial flavours as ‘flavouring substances’.

These new requirements need to be on labels and in documentation by the January 2011 enforcement date. However flavour firms’ regulatory and IT teams have been working on making sure the raw materials are classified for compliance for some time.

Labelling costs

The UK watchdog said it is now seeking an industry response on the familiarisation, enforcement and relabeling costs associated with the new regulation. “Information on the frequency at which businesses re-label products in this category is limited,” said the FSA.

However, it reports that discussions between it and stakeholders have indicated that a relabelling cycle of three years would be a reasonable assumption, and relabelling costs would tend to fall in the range of £1,500 to £3,000 per product.

There are new controls establishing maximum levels of BAPs in certain foods and the UK food agency comments that “in practice, the food manufacturing industry may well choose to move to the use of liquid flavouring extracts made from herbs and spices because the levels of BAPs will be more easily controlled.”

The FSA said that the deadline for receipt of industry comments on the proposals is 14 October 2010.

EFSA assessment

New flavouring substances proposed for foods, under the regulation, will have to go through a risk assessment procedure, and petitioners will have to supply data to allow the European Food Safety Authority to form an opinion.

EFSA is currently reassessing flavouring substances that are already in use in the EU, numbering around 2,800 in all. A definite list, as part of the new law, needs to be adopted by the end of 2010.

The FSA draft consultation document can be read here .

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Could snake and spider enzymes be used as food ingredients?

March 19th, 2010
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Enzymes derived from snakes, spiders and carnivorous plants may soon be used as food ingredients.

The Danish Council for Strategic Research is looking into their potential to be used in everyday products such as food and laundry detergents.

Among the companies taking part in the research is Danisco, a world leader in food ingredients enzymes and bio-based solutions.

Charlotte Poulsen, an enzyme development specialist at the firm Danisco said the research would centre around the “highly effective” digestive qualities of enzymes such as the kind a spider injects into its prey to liquefy it.

The commercial possibilities are endless, Ms Poulsen noted.

She explained: “The highly potent enzymes may be used in for instance food ingredients, detergents, animal nutrition and a long list of other applications in which enzymes can perform their function as process catalysts.”

The research project has already begun and will run for a period of four years.

Source:  Ingredients Network

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