EDC invests in Canadian food technology company P&P Optica

Export Development Canada (EDC) announced its investment in P&P Optica (PPO), an Ontario-based firm that uses imaging and machine-learning to assess food composition, quality and detect contamination.

An investment of C$1m ($762,930) from EDC is expected to improve the Canadian food supply and reduce waste in the country’s landfills.

EDC senior vice-president for financing and international growth capital Carl Burlock said: “As an EDC ‘Ones to Watch’ award recipient, P&P Optica is the kind of cleantech company that we are proud to partner with. We recognise how their unique technology reduces food waste and the environmental impacts that come with it.

General Mills to close yoghurt manufacturing facility in California

US-based global food company General Mills announced that it will close its yoghurt manufacturing facility in Carson, California.

The move is said to be part of the company’s restructuring programme, which was approved this month.

General Mills intends to focus on driving efficiencies in targeted areas of its global supply chain by consolidating production and optimising labour, logistics and manufacturing platforms.

Food ingredients firm Motif raises $90m in funding

US-based biotech company Ginkgo Bioworks launched an alternative proteins company called Motif Ingredients, following a $90m in Series A financing round.

Motif Ingredients, which is powered by Ginkgo Bioworks’ platform for biological engineering, will use biotechnology to develop alternative proteins and food ingredients for global food developers.

Motif CEO Jonathan McIntyre said: “Sustainability and accessible nutrition are among the biggest challenges facing the food industry today.

JBS USA to invest $20m for Ottumwa pork facility expansion in Iowa

Animal protein processor JBS USA unveiled plans to expand its Plumrose USA prepared foods business in Ottumwa, Iowa, to enhance bacon and slicing capacities.

The move will allow the company to meet the increasing demand from foodservice and retail customers for its bacon products.

As part of the expansion, the company will invest $20m for additional bacon processing and slicing capacities, bacon equipment upgrades and slicing equipment.

AAK to acquire Dutch vegetable oil refinery

AAK acquired Dutch firm MaasRefinery, which specialises in toll refining of vegetable oil and fat for the food industry.

Financial details of the deal have not been divulged.

With this acquisition, AAK intends to increase its production capacity, support manufacturing facilities and enable continued growth.

AAK president and CEO Johan Westman said: “We have seen strong growth within our European business over the past years, and this investment will give us the additional capacity and secure support for continued growth.”

PepsiCo intends to invest $1bn in Pakistan’s food sector

American multinational food, snack and beverage company PepsiCo is reportedly planning to invest $1bn in Pakistan.

Pakistan Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry welcomed the company’s decision to invest.

PepsiCo senior vice-president Krista Pilot explained the companies plan during her meeting with Chaudhry in Dubai. According to local media reports, Pilot told the minister that the company intends to establish a potato unit in the city of Multan.

Additionally, Pilot also expressed the desire for the unit to be inaugurated by the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The Chefs’ Warehouse buys specialty protein manufacturer Bassian Farms

Speciality food products distributor The Chefs’ Warehouse has acquired all of California-based Bassian Farms’ assets.

Financial details of the deal have not been divulged by both companies.

Established in 1995, Bassian Farms is a protein manufacturer and distributor in the metro San Francisco area.

The Chefs’ Warehouse chairman and CEO Christopher Pappas said: “I would like to welcome the entire Bassian Farms organisation, including founders Dan and Lee Bassian, into our growing family of companies.

Glanbia Nutritionals acquires Watson for $89m

Glanbia Nutritionals acquired Watson, a US-based non-dairy ingredient solution business, for $89m.

Headquartered in Connecticut, Watson is engaged in the production of bakery ingredients, edible film and material conditioning solutions for the nutrition, food and beverage, personal care and supplement industries.

Glanbia Nutritionals CEO Brian Phelan said: “We are excited to welcome the 300 employees of Watson with their established reputation of expertise, technical capability and commitment to excellence.

General Mills increases investment in cottage cheese maker Good Culture

General Mills increased its investment in US organic cottage cheese maker Good Culture via its 301 Inc venturing unit.

Good Culture has secured $8m as part of a fresh funding round led by Cavu Venture Partners with investments from Almanac Insights and 301 Inc.

The funding will be used by Good Culture to further expand its distribution network and product development in order to grow in the overall dairy category.

Saputo agrees to acquire British firm Dairy Crest

Canadian dairy firm Saputo reached an agreement to acquire UK-based Dairy Crest for approximately £975m ($1.2bn).

According to the agreement, Saputo agreed to acquire the entire issued ordinary capital of Dairy Crest for £6.20 a share.

Headquartered in Esher, UK, Dairy Crest manufactures and markets cheese, butter, spreads and oils under various British brands, including Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Fryligh.