London to ban junk food advertising on TfL network

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan confirmed that beginning 25 February, junk food advertising will be banned on the entire Transport for London (TfL) network.

The move is said to be part of the measures taken by the government to tackle child obesity, as well as promote a healthy lifestyle among Londoners.

In May, a public consultation was launched to ban advertisements featuring food and non-alcoholic drinks high in fat, salt and/or sugar and considered less healthy under Public Health England guidelines.


FrieslandCampina plans to close mozzarella facility in Belgium

Dutch dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina is exploring possibilities to close its mozzarella production facility in Bree, Belgium.

The company’s decision comes after the facility failed to meet profitability expectations, leading management to consider that it is not viable to continue its operations.

FrieslandCampina Dairy Essentials president Hans Meeuwis said: “We understand that this is hard for the employees and the management involved and we will offer them appropriate support.


Smithfield joins FoodLogiQ’s Blockchain Consortium

Global food company Smithfield Foods, together with Tyson Foods, AgBiome Innovations, Subway/Independent Purchasing Cooperative and Testo, joined FoodLogiQ’s Blockchain Consortium.

FoodLogiQ is US-based software as a service (SaaS) provider of traceability, food safety and supply chain transparency solutions.

Together the companies will explore blockchain technology and the way it can be beneficial to their businesses.


FDA initiates investigation on E coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce

The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiated an investigation on the multistate outbreak of E coli O157: H7, likely linked to romaine lettuce.

Federal health officials are gathering information to determine the source of contamination.

The US agencies are coordinating with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), which is engaged in the investigation of a similar outbreak in Canada.


Food Revolution signs MoU with Sinopec for canola oil distribution

Australian juice company Food Revolution (FRG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Sinopec for the distribution of canola oil products in China.

Sinopec (China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation) is considered to be the world’s leading oil refining, gas and petrochemical conglomerate with over 35,000 petrol and convenience stores in China, as well as has a large online presence.

The oil products will be sold under Food Revolution’s Australia’s Garden brand.


CMA clears Barry Callebaut and Burton’s Foods deal

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) of the UK cleared Barry Callebaut’s acquisition of selected Burton’s foods manufacturing assets.

In September, the CMA stated that it would like to consider if the deal would lead to a “substantial lessening of competition”. It also sought comments on the deal from any interested party.

Barry Callebaut will purchase the chocolate manufacturing assets at Burton’s Foods chocolate factory in Moreton, Wirral.


Joyvio to acquire Australis Seafoods for $880m

Legend Holdings wholly-owned subsidiary Joyvio Group signed an agreement to acquire 94.47% stake in Chilean salmon farmer Australis Seafoods for $880m.

Joyvio, which has successfully established a domestic and overseas seafood industry presence, will significantly facilitate the comprehensive implementation of its full seafood strategies through the acquisition.

In a statement, Joyvio said: “Salmon is the most recognised seafood category for consumers worldwide with high nutritional value, high adaptability in taste and easy to cook. Salmon can be supplied throughout a year, which represents an unparalleled advantage in terms of industry standard, technology leadership and sustainability.


General Mills and McCormick & Company deploy Eversight’s AI platform

Eversight Offer Innovation Suite is being deployed by major CPG firms General Mills and McCormick & Company to develop promotions.

General Mills is implementing Eversight’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform for improving effectiveness of promotions within its snack business.

Eversight has developed a suite of tools that serve as promotion guidance to manufacturers, and customised for shoppers and retailers.


Food policy experts suggest resilience teams for Brexit preparation

A briefing from specialists at the University of London, University of Sussex and Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) called for the creation of ‘food resilience teams’.

The notice written by food policy experts has been sent to all councils in the UK to advise local authorities to establish such teams in preparation for Brexit.

Various scenarios that could arise due to Brexit may affect food supply, leading to social disorder, according to the notice.


Unilever CEO Paul Polman to retire

Unilever announced the retirement of its CEO Paul Polman by the end of this year after a decade of heading the company. He will be replaced by the beauty and personal care division’s existing president Alan Jope.

Polman will retire as CEO and board member on 31 December 2018. He will, however, provide support during the transition process until the first half of 2019 and will leave the company in early July.

Jope will assume the role from 1 January 2019. Polman has been associated with the company for almost four decades.