Weekly Roundup: Nestlé highlighted in Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, Louis Dreyfus to exit dairy business by mid-year

Weekly Roundup: Nestlé highlighted in Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, Louis Dreyfus to exit dairy business by mid-year

18 Jan 2019 --- This week, Nestlé became part of the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), which distinguishes companies committed to transparency in gender reporting and advancing women’s equality in the workplace. Science and technology company Merck received a 2018 Life Science Industry Award for its “best use of social media.” Meanwhile, Louis Dreyfus is set to exit the dairy business by mid-2019 as part of strategic refocus on its core businesses, while Lindt & Sprüngli achieved solid sales growth and substantial market shares in 2018.

In brief: Recognition & awards

Nestlé has become part of the 2019 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). The company has pinpointed diversity and inclusion as an integral part of its culture and the company reports it is committed to working towards ensuring equal pay and closing the gender pay gap. To support this, Nestlé has launched several programs in recent years such as flexible working options, childcare support, unconscious bias and gender training as well as mentoring and coaching for women. Additionally, in June 2015, the company launched a new Nestlé Global Maternity Protection Policy granting all women and primary caregivers working in the company a minimum of 14 weeks’ paid maternity leave.

BioInformatics LLC has recognized science and technology company Merck with a 2018 Life Science Industry Award for best use of social media. “This recognition reflects the opinions of our scientific customers and industry peers,” says Renee Connolly, Head of Communications & Corporate Responsibility, Life Science, at Merck. The company was selected for the award through a survey of over 2,000 scientists from around the world who are engaged in all major life science facets of basic, pre-clinical research and pharmaceutical R&D.

In brief: Appointments & retirements

Dean Foods has appointed Chris Finck as Senior Vice President, Chief Sales Officer, effective immediately. In this role, Finck will lead Dean Foods’ national sales team to drive the company’s brands and optimize its go-to-market strategies. Finck will be a key member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team and will report to Ralph Scozzafava, the CEO. “Finck brings important experience and depth of knowledge in sales and marketing, making him a tremendous asset for our organization. As a company, we are focused on key strategic pillars including winning in private label along with building and buying strong brands. Finck will play a pivotal role as we drive these initiatives into the marketplace,” comments Scozzafava. 

Vivian Glueck, President of the Citromax Group of companies, announced that Dr. John Cavallo has joined the company as Senior Vice President, Technology and Commercial Development. From October 2016 to May 2018, Glueck served as President of the Flavor and Extracts Manufacturers Association (FEMA), the national association of the US flavor industry. At Citromax, Glueck will interact with both the R&D and Flavor Departments, as well as senior management, to grow the scope of tClick to Enlargehe company’s business and identify new opportunities in the global food and beverage ingredient marketplace.

In brief: Other highlights

Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) is to exit the dairy business by mid-2019 as part of strategic refocus. The move is in line with the company’s strategy over the past three years to exit non-core areas and refocus on its core businesses, including investments in origination markets and expansion along the value chain in its key product lines. “LDC’s Dairy Platform was identified as non-core in 2017 due to its lack of critical mass within the company’s portfolio,” notes Federico Cerisoli, Chief Financial Officer at LDC. “The business accounted for roughly 1 percent of our revenues in 2018 and demanded substantial working capital resources. LDC has been evaluating the best way to exit the business, either through an orderly wind down or a sale to potential buyers – these efforts are continuing and by the middle of this year will implement an exit. The exit will have practically no impact on our global sales, which continue to grow overall, and is expected to have a slightly positive effect on our working capital from 2019 onwards,” Cerisoli explains.

Kemin recently added BactoCEASE NV OR Liquid, an organic buffered vinegar solution, to its food safety product line. As an alternative to traditionally used synthetic preservatives, the BactoCEASE line of buffered-vinegar-based products helps meat, poultry, fish and deli-salad manufacturers offer safe, clean-label products, says the company. “The addition of a Certisys 1 certified organic version of BactoCEASE NV OR Liquid in our product selection is a response to the growing European organic food market,” notes Kelly De Vadder, Marketing Manager, Kemin Food Technologies – EMEA. “The market is set to reach US$39 billion by 2020 with a compound annual growth rate of close to seven percent. Denmark, Switzerland, the UK and France account for the biggest growth rate and market share,” she adds.

Finally, in the financial year 2018, Lindt & Sprüngli achieved solid sales growth, gained substantial market shares and grew faster than the overall chocolate market. Other highlights included the consistently dynamic expansion of the group’s retail network, with around 50 additional shops and cafés worldwide, and double-digit growth reported for the top-selling Lindor brand. Chocolate markets have been saturated in Europe and the US, while mounting price pressure is transforming the retail landscape, says the company. Lindt & Sprüngli’s group sales amounted to CHF4.313 billion (US$4.347 billion), equivalent to a 5.5 percent increase in Swiss Francs. The currency environment in 2018 was again volatile, thus, consolidated results in Swiss Francs show a slightly positive currency effect, mainly due to a stronger Euro. The organic sales growth of the Lindt & Sprüngli group was 5.1 percent and therefore, within the target range set for the financial year.

By Elizabeth Green

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