April’s top stories: Yayla Agro gets loan from EBRD, Evonik and Rajburi Sugar form JV

Turkish pulse manufacturer Yayla Agro has received a €20m loan from EBRD to boost agribusiness, and Evonik and Rajburi Sugar have formed a joint venture (JV) to produce isomalt in Asia. Foodprocessing-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from April 2017.


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EBRD to support Turkish agribusiness firm Yayla Agro

Turkish pulse manufacturer Yayla Agro received a €20m loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to boost agribusiness in the country.

Headquartered in Ankara, Yayla Agro has production facilities in Mersin and Kazan, which collectively produce 820,000t of pulses and rice a year. 

The company exports its products to more than 45 countries and is reported to have tripled its sales over the last three years, as well as plans to increase its share of sales in value-added products.


Evonik and Rajburi Sugar to produce isomalt in Asia

German speciality chemical company Evonik and Thailand-based Rajburi Sugar formed a joint venture (JV) to produce isomalt in Asia.

Both companies officially opened their demonstration plant in Ratchaburi, Thailand.

Isomalt is a versatile, low-calorie sugar substitute used in candies, chewing gum and other products.


Israel's Frutarom acquires French flavours company René Laurent

Israel-based Frutarom agreed to purchase of French flavour and ingredients producer René Laurent for €20m.

Financed through bank debt, the transaction was completed after both parties signed the agreement.

Established in 1885, René Laurent was engaged in development and production of flavours and natural extracts.


Belgium Government approves Arjuna’s poly-herbal blend

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Indian botanical extract manufacturer and exporter Arjuna Natural Extracts received an official approval from the Belgian Government to market its Herbagut blend for overall wellness in the country.

The company claims that Herbagut is a combination of 14 herbal extracts, which have been approved by the European Commission (EC) as non-Novel Food.

The EC also approved the use of these herbal extracts in food supplements.


Swander Pace Capital takes over Passport Food in US

Private equity firm Swander Pace Capital (SPC) acquired Passport Food (Passport), a US-based manufacturer and distributor of internationally flavoured foods to foodservice and retail channels in North America.

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed by either company. Passport supplies a wide range of flavoured products to restaurants and retailers across the country.

The company retails foodservice products under the Wing Hing and House of Bee brands, and its client-base includes Applebee’s, P.F. Chang’s, Panda Express, Cheesecake Factory, and Houlihan’s.


Cargill opens new $100m oilseeds processing plant in China

Cargill opened a new $100m oilseeds processing plant in Huanghua, Cangzhou in Hebei Province, China.

The new Hebei Jiahao Grain & Oil plant was built in partnership with Chinese firms New Hope Group and Hebei Bohai Investment Group.

Covering 21,000m² in the Bohai New Development Area, the plant will have an annual processing capacity of 1.32 million metric tonnes of oil seeds.


Irish Government launches new beef and sheep meat research programme

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The Irish Government launched the €8.1m Meat Technology Ireland (MTI) programme, which offers a strategic research and innovation platform for the sheep and beef meat processing activities in the country.

The five-year research and innovation programme was designed and developed by industry experts, and is part of IBEC’s Meat Industry Ireland industry group visionary that was presented to Enterprise Ireland.

It was developed with the aim of creating a 'one-stop shop’ for meat processing research and technology.


Unilever to acquire US condiment maker Sir Kensington’s

Consumer goods company Unilever agreed to purchase US-based condiment maker Sir Kensington’s.

Established in 2010, Sir Kensington’s produces mustard, ketchup and vegan mayonnaise made from aquafaba called Fabanaise.

Unilever North America president Kees Kruythoff said: “Sir Kensington’s is an innovative business with outstanding products and a leader in the organic and natural marketplace. We look forward to leveraging our joint understanding of food trends and consumer preferences to significantly grow the business.”


Umpqua Dairy selects ReposiTrak food safety solution

US-based Umpqua Dairy adopted ReposiTrak’s food safety compliance management system to manage records from upstream suppliers.

Park City Group’s ReposiTrak provides compliance management and track-and-trace solutions for food, pharma and dietary supplement safety.

Umpqua Dairy purchasing supervisor Greg Admire said: “We were looking for an automated system to help us manage our growing list of required business and food safety records."


KeHE opens new distribution centre in Atlanta, US

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US-based organic product supplier KeHE Distributors (KeHE) opened a new distribution centre in Douglasville in Atlanta, Georgia.

The new 450,000ft² facility will be added to the KeHE's existing network of 17 distribution centres, which are engaged in the distribution of natural and organic, speciality and fresh products to natural food stores, grocery stores and other speciality retailers across North America.

The Douglasville site will be a new replacement for KeHE's former facility in Kennesaw, Georgia.