May's top stories: Givaudan's Pakistan plant, US Foods to acquire Freshway

Givaudan has opened laboratory and office facilities in Pakistan, and US Foods agreed to buy fresh fruit processor Freshway Foods. Foodprocessing-technology.com wraps up key headlines from May 2016.


Cheese

FDA overhauls nutrition facts panel on packaging

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) undertook a major overhaul of the nutrition facts panel on packaging, which is the first such update in 20 years.

This update has been done to encourage companies from manufacturing less sugary and fattening products and prepare healthy options for consumers.

Calorie count will become more obvious on the new label, which will also now features a section for added sugar such as fructose, corn syrup or other sweeteners.

Such specifications is aimed at helping consumers opt for healthier choices.

Added sugar will be indicated in both grams and daily value.

While the labels indicate maximum level for fats, sodium, and carbohydrates, there was none for sugar.

Gay Lea Foods acquires Black River Cheese Company

Gay Lea Foods signed an agreement to acquire Black River Cheese, which will boost its presence in Canada's cheese market.

The agreement became effective from 1 June.

Financial details of the transaction have not been divulged.

An artisan cheese maker, Gay Lea Foods offers two brands, Salerno and Ivanhoe, for the retail and foodservice sectors.

The acquisition of Black River Cheese, which has presence in eastern Ontario, will build on Gay Lea Foods' current cheese operations in Hamilton and Madoc, Ontario.

Givaudan opens laboratory and office facilities in Pakistan

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Flavouring company Givaudan opened laboratory and office facilities in Pakistan, as part of its 2020 strategy to invest in high-growth markets.

The 800m² new facility in Karachi will increase Givaudan's regional capabilities in beverages, snacks and sweet goods industries. The company will also be able to offer flavour application services for all sectors.

Givaudan chief executive officer Gilles Andrier said: "This investment reflects Pakistan's importance to Givaudan and our commitment to further expand our existing market-leading position.

"With a population of 200 million and strong growth potential, Pakistan fits with our overall 2020 strategy of investment in high growth markets."

Swiss firm Emmi acquires cheese companies Cowgirl Creamery and Tomales Bay Foods

Switzerland-based Emmi bought US-based artisan cheese companies Cowgirl Creamery and Tomales Bay Foods for an undisclosed amount.

A part of Emmi's strategic international growth plan, the acquisition will enhance its position in the US organic cow cheese produce market.

Overseas market revenue represent 44% of Emmi's profits, with a third generated through exports from Switzerland. The remainder comes from markets where Emmi's subsidiaries operate.

Emmi Group CEO Urs Riedener said: "Tomales Bay Foods and Cowgirl Creamery are an excellent addition to our portfolio of sustainably produced premium speciality cheeses in the US.

"Together with Cypress Grove Chevre and Redwood Hill, the two companies will form a powerful network for extraordinary dairy products in California."

Brazilian beef producer JBS to spin off international businesses

Brazil-based beef producer JBS unveiled plans to restructure its overseas businesses into a new entity that will be based in Ireland and listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

JBS SA's new entity will be named as JBS Foods International, while JBS SA will be known as JBS Brasil.

Media reports stated that the company has not decided where in Ireland the office would be located.

Shareholders will initially receive one share in the new company for every share they hold in the parent company. In addition, shareholders of the parent entity will also be able to exchange their JBS SA shares for additional shares of JBS Food International.

In case more than 50% of JBS SA shares have been traded in, JBS Food International will then become the controlling company of JBS SA.

Study says Grana Padano PDO can help to fight chronic blood pressure

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A study revealed that Italian cheese Grana Padano PDO can help in fighting against chronic blood pressure conditions such as hypertension.

The study was conducted by researchers from the hypertension unit of Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital and Catholic University in Piacenza, Italy.

The cheese was first created by Cistercian monks around 1,000 years ago to help dairy farmers in northern part of Italy to preserve milk when there is surplus supply.

A pale yellow cheese, Grana Padano is prepared with partially skimmed milk from Italian Holstein-Friesian cows and one of the most consumed PDO cheeses in the world with almost 1,600 million wheels being exported from the country.

US Foods agrees to acquire Freshway Foods

US Foods agreed to purchase Freshway Foods, a fresh fruit processor serving customers across the eastern part of the US.

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Founded by Phil and Frank Gilardi in 1988, Freshway Foods is based in Sidney, Ohio, and provides value-added fresh cut fruit, which includes the preparation and packaging of raw produce.

Freshway Foods will continue to operate from the existing facility following the acquisition.

In a statement, the Gilardis said: "Since we started this business, our success has been built upon our commitment to our associates and our customers and we are looking forward to the next chapter for Freshway Foods as part of a well established and reputable company like US Foods."

Diana Food acquires Nutra Canada

Diana Food acquired Nutra Canada, a specialist manufacturer of fruit and vegetable extracts.

The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

Established in 2008 and located in the province of Quebec, Nutra Canada specialises in extraction of organic molecules beneficial to human health.

Diana Food made this purchase as part of its growth and development strategy in the consumer health category.

ABF plans to sell sugar business in China for $1bn

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UK-based Associated British Foods (ABF) is reportedly considering to sell its China-based sugar business for $1bn, as it intends to focus on operations in Africa and Europe.

ABF started inviting bids for its five cane sugar mills and two sugar beet facilities operating under AB Sugar unit in China, reported Financial Times.

AB Sugar was established in 1995 through a joint venture.

The Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the situation that the bids are due by the end of the month, and the sale is likely to attract more number of domestic buyers.

Cargill and Jollibee Foods to build poultry processing plant in Philippines

Cargill Philippines signed an agreement with Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) to form a joint venture to build and operate a poultry processing plant in Santo Tomas, Batangas, the Philippines.

Cargill Philippines is a fully owned unit of Cargill, while JFC is a food service company,

Cargill will have a 70% stake in the Cargill Joy Poultry Meats Production joint venture (JV), while JFC will hold a 30% interest.

The development, management and operations of this facility will be overseen by Cargill.

The JV is expected to create around 1,000 full-time jobs.

TreeHouse Foods to close two plants in US

TreeHouse Foods announced plans to close two manufacturing plants in Azusa, California, and Ripon, Wisconsin, in the US.

This decision was made after a detailed analysis of the company's plant network to eliminate excess production capacity.

Employing 660 people, the Azusa facility and manufactures bars and snack products for retail customers.

TreeHouse plans to close this facility in the second quarter of next year. Products made at the facility will be shifted to other facilities within the company's existing network.