August's top stories: Food park in Dubai, Reckitt Benckiser's food business to be sold for $4.2bn
The blueprint for Dubai Food Park (DFP) has been revealed, and Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB) has agreed to sell its food business unit to McCormick & Company (McCormick) for $4.2bn. Foodprocessing-technology.com wraps up key headlines from August 2017.
UAE Prime Minister and vice-president Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum revealed the blueprint for Dubai Food Park (DFP), which will be the first location in the Middle East focused on the food sector.
Marking the latest addition to Dubai Wholesale City (DWSC), the DFP project will be developed with a $1.5bn investment.
Upon completion of the DFP, Dubai is expected to become a major regional hub for food wholesale, import, export and re-export.
UK multinational consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB) agreed to sell its food business unit to McCormick & Company (McCormick) for $4.2bn on a cash-free, debt-free basis.
The decision to sell RB Food or French’s Food, including the French’s, Frank’s RedHot and Cattlemen’s brands, was taken by the company following a comprehensive strategic review.
RB intends to use the cash amount to reduce its debt.
Global technology company IBM collaborated with a consortium of major food companies to explore the use of blockchain technology to address food safety in the global supply chain.
The consortium includes producers and retailers such as Dole, Driscoll's, Nestlé, Tyson Foods, Unilever and Walmart.
According to IBM, blockchain is suitable for addressing challenges such as cross-contamination, the spread of food-borne illness, unnecessary waste and the economic impact of recalls.
US-based sustainable production system provider Greenbelt developed a new solution to address the global food waste problem.
According to US Department of Agriculture (USDA), between 30% and 40% of food goes waste, costing the country $220bn in economic losses. Consumers and businesses discard an additional 53Mt of food.
Saudi Arabia is reported to be one the largest food-wasting nations in the world, which is closely followed by Indonesia, where more food is wasted each year than is produced in the country.
Finnish dairy company Valio opened its new €170m snack manufacturing plant in Riihimäki, southern Finland.
Covering a 53ha area, the company’s new plant is equipped with modern and environmentally friendly technology to produce novel snack products.
Valio began construction of the five-storey plant in 2014. The facility can annually produce 120 million kilos of snack products.
Mondelez International announced plans to invest A$75m ($59.4m) in its Cadbury Claremont plant in Tasmania, Australia.
The company will invest in new technologies, equipment and automation, as well as focus on improving skills and capabilities of its personnel.
As part of its cost-controlling measures, it plans to axe 50 jobs at the plant by the end of this year.
German company Müller introduced a new initiative to support UK dairy farmers build businesses for the future.
As part of its new initiative, the company has increased its farm gate milk price by £1.31ppl, which became effective from 1 September, raising its standard litre price to £29.00ppl.
The company also confirmed plans to introduce the Müller Direct Futures Contract option for farmers, which will provide them with an opportunity to agree on a monthly price for up to 25% of their milk volume, for 12 months in advance.
Unilever entered a definitive agreement to acquire Australian ice cream maker Weis for an undisclosed sum.
The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
Established in 1957, Weis produces a wide range of frozen desserts in various formats, including single and multi-pack bars, as well as dairy-free sorbet.
Mars Food entered a definitive agreement to acquire US-based Indian and Asian food products manufacturer Preferred Brands International (PBI) for an undisclosed sum.
PBI products are majorly sold under the Tasty Bite brand and include Indian/Asian entrees, spice and simmers meal kits, as well as organic rice and lentils.
The acquisition of PBI is subject to regulatory approvals and expected to close by the fourth quarter of this year.
The UK Government made CCTV camera installation mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England, in order to further improve animal welfare standards.
The measure is expected to further strengthen the nation’s position as a global leader in animal welfare while reassuring consumers that high-welfare standards are being effectively enforced across the country.
According to the new governmental directives, CCTV footage will be accessible to the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) Official Veterinarians (OVs), who monitor and enforce animal welfare standards in slaughterhouses.