Weekly Roundup: Nestlé to increase female senior positions by 2022, Barry Callebaut continues China market expansion

Weekly Roundup: Nestlé to increase female senior positions by 2022, Barry Callebaut continues China market expansion

08 Mar 2019 --- In industry news this week, Nestlé is accelerating its efforts to increase the number of women who have senior executive positions at the company by 2022, in light of International Women’s Day, which takes place today. Also this week, Barry Callebaut opened a new office and Chocolate Academy center in Beijing. Cosucra selected FXM Ingredients as its exclusive national distribution partner for plant-based proteins in Mexico and The Ethical Butcher exceeded its target funding raise of £350,000 (US$458,292), securing the backing of 242 investors in a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube.

In brief: Corporate strategy
Today (March 8) is International Women's Day, with the discussion around the percentage of women in key executive positions forming a key topic of discussion, including within the food & beverage industry. This week, Nestlé has laid out an action plan to increase the number of women in senior executive positions globally. This underscores Nestlé’s commitment to providing equal opportunities for everyone at the company. The company has made progress in recent years in increasing the number of women in managerial positions, with 43 percent of these roles held now by women. With its Gender Balance Acceleration Plan, Nestlé will put further emphasis on increasing the proportion of women in the group’s top 200 senior executive positions from around 20 percent currently to 30 percent by 2022. This is another step in Nestlé’s journey towards gender parity. Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, says: “It is simply the right thing to do. We believe that a more diverse workforce with more women at the top will reinforce our inclusive culture and make Nestlé an even better company. We are setting measurable goals to hold ourselves accountable. We know that improving gender balance will lead to better decisions, stronger innovation and higher employee satisfaction.” Nestlé has embedded gender balance in all its Human Resources practices. The company was recently included in the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). Nestlé is now building on this momentum and setting new goals to drive further action, says the company.  

In brief: Business
Barry Callebaut
has opened its new office and its new Chocolate Academy center in Beijing with customers – global and local food manufacturers, as well as professional chocolatiers – and distribution partners. The new office and the new Chocolate Academy center are to provide better assistance to Barry Callebaut’s local customers with onsite training and application support. This latest investment reemphasizes the company’s continuous efforts in growing its presence in the region as well as an appreciation of the strategic importance of the Chinese market. “Domestic chocolate production is increasing, and we have experienced double-digit growth in China over the last four years. Our confidence in the future development of the chocolate market in China, together with the desire to better serve our Chinese customers, have prompted the expansion of our footprint and distribution network across China over the next few years,” explains Ben De Schryver, President for Barry Callebaut in Asia Pacific.

In brief: Acquisitions & partnerships
Click to EnlargeThe MOU between Cosucra and FXM was signed in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium and delegation of senior level Belgium Trade Ministers.Cosucra and Mexican distributor of specialty ingredients FXM have announced a strategic alliance with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on February 19, 2019, in Mexico City, as part of the Belgium Economic Mission to Mexico. “We sought a highly respected specialty ingredients distribution partner to support the growth of our plant-based nutrition portfolio across Mexico,” says Frank Truong, General Manager for Cosucra. “Cosucra’s portfolio of pea protein isolate, functional pea fiber, functional pea starches, pea hull fiber, chicory root inulin fiber and liquid chicory root inulin fiber ingredient solutions, is well aligned with FXM Ingredients’ depth of expertise and service capabilities in the Mexican market. The synergies between our companies and this strategic partnership will provide mutual growth opportunities and penetration in the Mexican markets we serve.” Eric Bosly, Global Commercial Director, Cosucra Groupe Warcoing, noted that FXM Ingredients has a solid reputation across Mexico for providing R&D and innovation solutions to its customer base with a talented team of food scientists and R&D center in Monterrey, Mexico.

In brief: Appointments & retirements
Diamond of California has appointed Craig Hope as CEO. The company says that Hope’s focus with the team will be to expand the product offering of Diamond of California to drive accelerated, sustainable topline growth as consumers’ diets demand more plant-based options throughout the world and in its retail stores. “I’ve [always] been a fan of Diamond of California, a staple brand in the homes of countless Americans for generations. As the growing interest for plant-based diets continues to rise, we are interested in exploring what it means to be ‘Made For Homemade’ in this day and age and move our product into new categories that drive growth every day for our retail and international partners.” says Hope. “This year, we plan on continuing to push the envelope by introducing groundbreaking products, as well as celebrating our core line in new ways so that we can accelerate the brand’s growth for years to come.”

Maroon Group has named Terry Hill to succeed Mark Reichard as CEO, effective May 1, 2019. Reichard will continue to serve as Executive Vice Chairman of Maroon Group. Concurrent with Terry Hill’s appointment, Mike McKenna will add the role of President to his existing responsibilities as COO of Maroon. “The last 37 years with Maroon Group have been an amazing ride,” comments Reichard. Terry Hill has served on Maroon’s Board of Directors since March 2017. Hill previously spent 30 years with Univar, where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, President of Univar US, and also managed ChemPoint, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America during his tenure. Mike McKenna, Maroon Group’s current COO, will add the title of President. His key responsibilities over his 15-year tenure with the Company have included executive responsibility for Maroon’s service delivery, supplier management, operations, acquisition integration efforts and marketing. 

In brief: Other highlights
The Ethical Butcher has exceeded their target raise of £350,000 (US$458,292), securing the backing of 242 investors in a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. The company will use the capital raised through Crowdcube to carry out plans to create an innovative, ethical meat brand, which aims to change how consumers think about buying meat in the UK. The venture, dubbed an online “craft beef” service, will work with farmers to eventually produce carbon negative meat. One of the biggest investments of £36,000 (US$47,155) came from Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood. “I feel passionate that consumers must understand the value of ethical meat – not only due to its taste and quality but also its health benefits and significantly reduced impact on the environment.” The Ethical Butcher wants to positively disrupt the meat industry by giving households access to the most ethically produced meats possible, via a cut-to-order next day delivery service. All products will be fully traceable and the company will seek to be completely transparent about products’ provenance. 

By Elizabeth Green

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