Weekly Roundup: Volatile food prices in UK, Plant Based Treaty gets more backing
20 Jan 2023 --- This week in industry news, the cost of living and food price hikes are prevalent, with the war in Ukraine adding further pressure to household bills. Edinburgh became the first capital city in Europe to endorse the call for a Plant Based Treaty in response to the climate emergency. Meanwhile, the second International Summit on Food Production in Africa is set to open in Dakar, Senegal.
In brief: Business moves
In the UK December CPI updates, the general rate of inflation eased to 10.5% (-0.2% in a month). However, more volatile food prices continued to soar for the 17th month and reached 16.9% (up from 16.5% in November). According to the Office for National Statistics of the UK, this is the highest food inflation rate since 1977. Responding to the latest CPI inflation figures, which shows headline inflation at 10.5%, and food inflation at 16.8% Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, says: “With food price inflation rising and the December cold snap forcing people to spend more on their energy bills, the festive season was a challenging time for families. As the war in Ukraine continues, so does the pressure on energy and food prices, which drove up the price of many household staples.”
In brief: Plant-based highlights
The City of Edinburgh Council has endorsed the Plant Based Treaty, becoming the first European capital Europe to join the initiative to tackle food-related emissions from animal agriculture and attributed deforestation, a key driver of the climate emergency. The proposed treaty is backed by 20 municipal governments worldwide.
In brief: Recognition & awards
Ingredion has been recognized as a Top Employer in in the UK, Germany, Thailand, China, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore. Being certified as a Top Employer showcases an organization’s dedication to a better world of work and exhibits this through excellent HR policies and people practices. The Top Employers Institute program certifies organizations based on the participation and results of their HR Best Practices Survey.
Olam has been named a top employer for the third consecutive year by Top Employer Institute for its operations in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and the Africa region. This certification recognizes companies leading the way in creating exceptional workplaces and cultures for their employees.
GoodWheat pasta is helping consumers make healthier food choices by receiving the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark on all five varieties of its single ingredient noodles. There is8 g of fiber and 9 g of protein per serving.
The 2022 to 2023 Danone North America Gut Microbiome, Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant began accepting applications. Danone North America will award US$25,000 to two graduate students interested in exploring the gut microbiome, probiotics and yogurt to better understand how they help support and maintain human health and wellness.
In brief: Appointments
Danone is driving the delivery of its Renew Danone strategy. Véronique Penchienati-Bosetta, currently CEO International, is appointed to group deputy CEO, CEO International and EVP Specialized Nutrition, Waters, Global Marketing & Digital. Shane Grant is appointed group deputy CEO, CEO Americas and EVP Dairy, Plant-Based and Global Sales. As CEO Americas, he will oversee North America and Latin America. Juergen Esser is being appointed group deputy CEO in charge of Finance, Technology & Data.
Danone also revealed that Nigyar Makhmudova, EVP chief growth officer, and Floris Wesseling, Europe Zone president, members of the Executive Committee, are leaving Danone to pursue their professional interests outside of the company. Danone has also appointed Pablo Perversi as Europe Zone president and executive committee member.
In brief: Ingredient launches
Natural sports nutrition company, Protein Rebel, has launched Maple Ignite – the UK’s first pure maple syrup energy gel following a successful crowdfunding campaign. Made from a light maple syrup harvested from Canadian maple trees and blended with sea salt, Maple Ignite delivers a sustained energy boost to support endurance exercise such as running and cycling.
Fiberstar has launched a line of new organic citrus fibers – Citri-Fi400 series. The citrus fibers respond to the increasing demand for natural, sustainable and organic food ingredients. Market drivers fueling the uptick in demand include growth in consumer health and wellness initiatives, limited availability of hydrocolloids due to supply chain challenges and increased visibility of sustainable business practices. Citri-Fi 400 is USDA-certified organic and certified as an organic source by the EU. This upcycled organic citrus fiber series is non-GMO, non-allergenic, gluten-free and has no E-numbers.
Prodalim has unveiled a new line of natural fruit aromas. This line is pegged to add such an impactful flavor to products and sometimes without the need to label depending on the application. Through the acquisition of flavour technology firm Flavologic back in June 2022, this partnership has opened a whole new yet complimentary sector for the juice business.
In brief: Food Research
Aged meat does not pose any additional risks compared to fresh meat if it is aged under controlled conditions, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) experts concluded in a scientific opinion. Meat aging is when microbes and enzymes act upon the meat to break down the connective tissue, tenderizing the meat and giving it a richer flavor. There are no additional risks involved provided that the specific combination of time and temperature identified in the scientific opinion are observed during the aging process, EFSA’s experts concluded.
A study published in Science Advances has identified hotspots of potential unauthorized fishing and activity of foreign-owned vessels. Using big data processing, researchers from Global Fishing Watch, the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab from Duke University and Stockholm Resilience Centre were able to track and analyze 35,000 commercial fishing and support vessels to reveal their changing identities and enable the reconstruction of vessel histories to demonstrate reflagging patterns. The study “Tracking Elusive and Shifting Identities of the Global Fishing Fleet” found that nearly 20% of high-seas fishing is carried out by either internationally unregulated or not publicly authorized vessels, with large concentrations operating in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean and the western Indian Ocean.
In brief: Miscellaneous
African heads of state and government, together with development partners, will gather in Senegal to strategically map plans to unlock Africa’s food-producing potential and position the continent as a breadbasket to the world. The agenda of the Summit, whose theme is: Feed Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience, is the improvement of Africa’s food nutrition and security; leveraging the continent’s substantial agricultural resources; boosting international trade, expanding market share, and production and processing value addition.
By Elizabeth Green
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