Category: Food Processing

Unilever opens first African ice-cream factory

Unilever South Africa has opened the doors of its first state-of-the-art ice cream factory in Africa, in Lords View Industrial Park, Midrand, Johannesburg. The factory is one of 40 Unilever ice cream factories internationally, and sets new standards in green and low-cost manufacturing.
Speaking at the opening of the Lords View ice cream factory, Bruno Witvoet, Unilever’s Executive Vice President for Africa, said the multinational is very positive about the rising demand in the ice cream category: “ Unilever is optimistic about growth in demand in the ice cream category, and has invested approximately R600 million in this new factory. With this investment we are well positioned to meet future demand. It will offer sufficient capacity for the current sales volume to double while also servicing increased demand for brands like Magnum, Cornetto, GinoGinelli, Paddelpop, Frutarre and Rich ‘n
Creamy. The factory will furthermore help Unilever to continue on its journey of decoupling its growth from environmental impact while increasing positive social impact. Furthermore it will contribute towards reaching the ambitious targets set in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.”
Witvoet said Unilever has proven its confidence in South Africa’s and Africa’s growth potential by investing a total of R4 billion in new and refurbished manufacturing facilities in South Africa.
The factory
The factory is fitted with green technology from TetraPak for the processing machinery which handles the ice-cream mix preparation, extrusion tunnel lines (which run at an estimated 200 units per minute), moulding, filling and (specific to the Magnum brand) a Tetra Pak® Chocolate Enrober.
Cape Town-based packaging systems company AcePak supplied and installed the automatic case packer; H.G Molenaar, a large machinery producer provided the weighers.
Illovo sugar, Eurosticks and Raveninn packaging are Unilever’s choice of suppliers for raw sugar, sticks and packaging boxes respectively.
The ice cream factory utilises smart green technology to harvest rain water. The water is recovered and reused in the production processes.
The factory will also apply a zerowaste-to-landfill policy and features energy efficient technology. “The
refrigeration from local manufacturer Ecolab (Pty) Ltd, along with other utilities services, are specifically designed to reduce energy consumed through efficient motors, drive mixers and air compressors,” said Sandeep Desai, Unilever South Africa’s Vice President of Manufacturing. “This, combined with decreased water usage and responsible waste disposal, has an exponentially positive effect on the factory’s environmental impact.”Lords View Industrial Park was specifically chosen as the preferred site due to its Environmental Impact Statement which resonates with Unilever’s Environmental Management Plan and its focus on sustainability.
Unilever partnered with Harambe Human Resource Consulting to recruit employees for the factory from communities that surround Lord’s View Industrial Park.
Explains Desai: “So far 150 new jobs have been created since the start of the factory, and another 200 indirect jobs.
Unilever aims to create a further 2,500 jobs by the end of 2015 through its Ola Vendor Programme. The programme empowers micro-entrepreneurs from previously disadvantaged backgrounds by giving them the equipment needed to start an ice-cream vending business.
It offers continuous development and support opportunities, helping these entrepreneurs to be successful
business people.”
Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, acknowledged Unilever’s continued investment in the country. He said the company actively collaborated with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to ensure that its investments were preserved within an enabling environment. The DTI has given incentives of nearly R1.981 billion related to Unilever’s investments since 2011, he said. Additionally, the DTI has supported
the new factory through its 12i Tax Allowance Incentive scheme. The scheme supports greenfield Investments (new industrial projects that have only new and unused manufacturing assets) and projects that are environmentally system sustainable.
Said Davies: “South Africa needs growth and development to sustain its population. Our natural resources,
on the other hand, need to be handled carefully to sustain the planet. If these two requirements can be balanced, as they have been at this ice cream factory, a brighter future certainly is within our reach.”
AcePak: Tel +27 11 393 1110;
Ecolab: Tel +27 11 578 5000;;
H.G Molenaar: Tel +27 21 868 2210;;
TetraPak: Tel +27 11 570 3000;
The Department of Trade and Industry: Tel +27 12 394 9500;
Unilever South Africa: Tel + 27 860 330 006;;

Kelloggs acquires Mass Food Group

Kellogg Company (Kellogg) has acquired Egypt’s largest cereal producing company, Mass Food Group, for about US$50mn. The acquisition is a part of Kellogg’s growth strategy for emerging markets. Calling Mass Food Group an excellent strategic fit for Kellogg, Chris Hood, president of Kellogg Europe, said, “The combination of Mass Food Group’s manufacturing capabilities, established local brands, and sales and distribution infrastructure, coupled with Kellogg’s product innovation, international sales knowledge, iconic brands and marketing expertise, will help unlock the growth potential of the cereal category in the key markets of Egypt and North Africa.”
Other than the payment of US$50mn, the American food giant will also repay the debts that are on the books of Mass Food Group. The Egyptian company’s chairman, Alaa al-Bahey said that the future management of the company, which was a family business till now, will involve the Bahey family.
Speaking about how the company will benefit from its association with Kellogg, Tamer El Bahay, V-P of Mass Food Group, said, “With their know-how and expertise, we can emerge stronger together with a combined portfolio of brands to excite our consumers.”
Mass Food Group began as a family business in 1996 and has grown into an US$18mn business, in terms of sales. The company has more than 600 employees and exports its products to more than 30 markets in Europe, East Asia and Africa. Earlier in 2015, Kellogg had acquired another Egyptian company, Bisco Misr, which manufactures packaged biscuits. Kellogg had recently entered a joint venture with Tolaram Africa to develop snacks and breakfast foods for the West African market, as well as noodles across Africa. “Today’s announcement builds upon significant progress against our emerging market growth strategy announced earlier this year,” said John Bryant, CEO of Kellogg Company. –

Burera livestock farmers upbeat over new milk plant – Rwanda

Livestock keepers in Burera district, Rwanda, are upbeat as a new milk factorynears completion. According to officials in the region the factory is owned by Burera Dairy Ltd and is being constructed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry through Business Development Fund at a cost of Rwf 700m (US$ 961 828).
The factory is expected to produce cheese, yoghurt and butter, among other products. The project is one of the small and medium industry promotions being undertaken by the Trade Ministry to promote value addition across the country. Locals welcomed the factory, saying it offers timely answers to farmers who have previously complained about lack of market for their milk.
Gedeon Cyambaza, president of Burera Diary Company board, added that the factory will add more value to milk production and that farmers will now be able to sell their milk at collection centres from where it will be picked for processing.
Said Gedeon; “Once the factory is operational it will provide a ready market to farmers and area residents will be able to get other milk products close to them.”

Anchor joins Ethiopian dairy market – Ethiopia

Anchor, New Zealand’s leading milk brand, has begun producing fortified milk drink in Ethiopia. The company launched its first nationwide Anchor fortified milk drink earlier this month.
According to State industry Minister Dr Mebratu Meles, enabling Anchor fortified milk drink to begin production as the first-ever milk powder dry blending plant in Ethiopia would play a significant role in the national goal of ending child malnutrition by 2030. He said: “The beginning of Anchor milk production in Ethiopia will add great impetus to the nation’s vision of transforming the agriculture led economy to an industry led one in the shortest time possible. The government of Ethiopia has been formulating and adopting various policies and strategies aimed at attracting local and foreign investors who wish to get involved in such agroprocessing industries. Moreover, the government has established Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Industry Development Institute in a bid to exploit the country’s potentials in this regard.”
New Zealand Milk Products General Manager for Ethiopia, Zeco Kassim, said that one glass of Anchor’s Fortified Milk Drink contains more than 30 nutrients essential for a child’s growth and development, including protein, calcium, vitamins A and D, iron and zinc.
New Zealand Milk Products Ethiopia is a joint venture between local partner Faffa Foods and New Zealand Dairy Cooperative Fonterra, which is the world’s largest dairy exporter.– The Herald Ethiopi

Cheese in Africa

Euromonitor International’s global cheese research in Africa focuses on four key markets: South Africa,
Nigeria, Kenya and Cameroon.Food Processing Africa reviews the data and trends in these four countries.
South Africa
The latest trend report for South Africa says there is a growing prevalence of fixed weight packaging of hard cheeses in that country.
“Consumers can purchase cheese at a fixed price, making it easier and more convenient to budget for the
product, which is considered a luxury item by many.”
The retail value and volume growth of cheese in the country was higher in 2014 than other previous years.
According to the report, the overall category experienced price increases. To an extent, promotional pricing offers were used to counteract these increases. These promotions boosted the volume of sales.
Due to high maize prices and a weakening rand, the costs of animal feeds increased during 2014. Lacklustre market conditions also had a negative effect on farm productivity.
According to Euromonitor, inflationary costs will work through to raise consumer food inflation this year.
Parmalat SA launched Parmalat’s cheese strings on the South African market – unspreadable processed cheese which previously sold in slices. Other manufacturers are expected to copy this product.
“It is a convenient format, and children may enjoy the different format compared to the Melrose Wedge brand of processed cheese,” says the report.
Cream cheese accounted for a 68% value share of spreadable processed cheese sales last year. In the review period, retailers gave this type of cheese more shelf space, which resulted in a rise of this format. Leading brands include Simonsberg and Melrose (both Parmalat SA), Cream Cheese (Lancewood Holdings) and Philadelphia (Kraft Foods South Africa).
With the growth of cream cheese, Euromonitor notes that there has been a substantial increase in flavour variants, making it one of the most sophisticated categories in the broader cheese category.
Cheese headlines of 2014 – Nigeria
• Cheese current value growth of 7% was to reach NGN 0.6bn (US$3011298.0000).
• Increased usage of cheese in snacks and growth in sales was beneficial to the category.
• Only unspreadable processed cheese had been present in significant quantities.
• The average unit price of cheese increased moderately in 2014.
• The cheese market was fragmented, with no player taking the lead in sales.
• Over the forecast period cheese was expected to see a negligible positive value Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) at constant 2014 prices.According to the report, even private label brands such as Pick n Pay offer varieties such as sweet chilli or smoked salmon in addition to the more traditional cream cheese (for instance, with spring onion).
The most popular type of unprocessed cheese in SA is cheddar, followed by mozzarella and gouda. Consumers
apparently prefer the taste of cheddar – a traditional flavour. “It is also considered an entry point into cheese. Consumers tend to try cheddar before trying other types of cheese. Gouda is popular for the same reason, although it carries a slightly higher unit price than cheddar.
Mozzarella is popular as a melted cheese topping due to both its format, and ‘lighter’ taste profile.”
Cheese is a niche category in Nigeria. Euromonitor’s report says although Nigerians consume lots of unpackaged local cheese such as “wara” in the southwest Nigeria, packaged cheese is not popular.
“The main consumer base (for packaged cheeses) is expatriates,” the report says.
The main growth driver of cheese in the country is its presence in retail outlets such as supermarkets, hypermarkets and independent small grocers, which increasingly stock Western-style products.
Growth is thus in line with urbanisation. A key trend likely to benefit the sales of Western-style cheeses is the sudden strong increase in the usage of cheese within sweet and savoury snacks in Nigeria and the strong growth of pizza takeaway chains in the country.
The vast majority of cheeses were sold in supermarkets and hypermarkets which last accounted for an estimated 88% share of retail sales value; the remainder came from sales through independent small grocers.
The Kenya report says consumption of cheese is growing there, particularly among the rising number of middle income consumers.This is attributed to changing cultures in many households “… as they adopt more western ways of life”.
The report also relates the rising numbers to a rising number of Western expatriates who settle in the country. “In addition, the increasing prevalence of international travel among the Kenyan population also means more exposure to Western foodstuffs and dishes.”
An important factor of growth in the cheese sector is an increasing availability of more varieties. This is combined with the growth in consumer knowledge of the uses and consumption occasions for different cheeses. These factors all contribute to the positive growth of cheese sales.
The average unit price of cheese was expected to continue increasing last year as a result of the rising cost of numerous inputs and ingredients for cheese, notably milk.
The most popular retail distribution channels remain the country’s supermarkets and hypermarkets. Combined, these accounted for 45% of total cheese retail sales by value in the country during the year.
“In order to generate a greater awareness of cheese, leading manufacturers such as Browns Cheese Factory hosts regular lunchtime cheese tasting events at its factory. It also collaborates with local hotels to conduct wine and cheese tasting events, all in a bid to foster the appreciation of cheese and obtain feedback on their products from local consumers.”
Euromonitor says that cheese is not particularly popular in this African country. Most cheese purchases there are by expatriates in Cameroon from European countries, it says.
“Some brands, however, such as La Vache Qui Rit, have succeeded in immersing themselves into local
consumption habits. However, most people still prefer butter, margarine, chocolate and honey as spread products.”
The value growth during 2014 was expected to be 5% – mostly attributed to the growing popularity of one specific brand – La Vache Qui Rit. The fastest value growth of 6% in the country was expected from unspreadable processed cheese.
The report says that the growing expatriate community finds cheese products in certain supermarkets which
cater for their tastes. No cheeses are manufactured locally; all are imported from other countries,
mainly France.
Consumers buy mostly packaged cheese in Cameroon. It is recognisable because of the packaging which
consumers are familiar with, according to Euromonitor.
Spreadable cheese is gaining popularity. Spreadable cheese is considered to be a substitute for butter,
and considered a treat because of its slightly higher price tag and its silver packaging. Mostly bought from supermarkets, cheese had been expected to account for a 51% value share of spreadable cheese last year.
Euromonitor International:
Tel +27 21 524 3000;

Do you have time to be let down?

Of course you don’t. Time is one commodity the working world is always short on.
According to a survey done on working professionals in five countries, South Africans spend the
most time at the office, with an average of 9.5 hour work days. That’s a 47.5 hour work week. With statistics like that it’s not surprising that as many as 88% of employees have a hard time juggling work and play. As a result, it’s not uncommon to experience chronic fatigue and exhaustion in today’s working culture.
With this in mind, Wayne understands that their customers need a company they can trust and rely on.
A quality product alone is no longer good enough, it’s the entire customer experience, from start to finish that really matters.
Wayne are dedicated to establishing strong relationships with their customers through an understanding of their individual needs, adopting a flexible approach and degree of personal contact. They’ve improved the areas of their business that are important to you, even the aspects you don’t think about. It’s these aspects that are often unnoticed,until something goes wrong.
Furthermore, Wayne have made selecting gumboots simpler than ever with a new user-friendly catalogue and
website. With Wayne you get so much more than just a good pair of gumboots.
Rest assured, they’ve taken care of almost everything, allowing you to concentrate on what you do best.
Wayne, your symbol of confidence.

Government buys 30% in Meatco

Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, chairperson of Meatco has confirmed that the Namibian government would take up the long awaited 30% stake in the form of equity in Meatco.
Namundjebo-Tilahun delivered the good news for all stakeholders at the AGM of Meatco, which brings to an
end speculation about government’s intentions regarding the controlling shareholding. The announcement also made clear that the original cabinet decision has not changed, namely that Meatco should be a producer-owned and controlled entity under a cooperative type structure. The cooperative will consist
of producers and a trading company in which the producers will have the majority shareholding and government the minority share. Cabinet emphasised that any form of ownership of both the cooperative and the holding company should accommodate communal and commercial livestock producers and shall have to take cognizance of the strategic nature of the meat industry, the public investment made in the control of animal disease and the marketing of meat and meat products.
According to the government, the acquisition is a calculated move as the meat industry has been declared a strategic sector that is dependent on weather and climate change.
Namundjebo-Tilahun explains: “In the case of drought, the government will be able to intervene and rescue producers from bankruptcy, while animal disease control, maintenance of the veterinary cordon fence and testing standards will also be the state’s responsibility. It is clear to all of us that our industry is in a crisis and it will be to our detriment if we do not apply our minds as well as interrogate everything that is presented to us.”
At the AGM the CEO of Meatco, Vekuii Rukoro, highlighted the company’s performance for 2013/14, saying Meatco recorded increased revenue of 14.61%, mainly due to the additional Norway quota and weakening Namibian dollar against foreign currencies.
He stressed the importance of focussing on production to ensure efficiencies and ongoing focus on
improving stakeholders’ relations, and building mutual confidence with government, producers, employees
and customers.
In total Meatco slaughtered 116 771 cattle in 2013/14, only 141 animals less than the previous financial year, representing less that a one percent decrease. – New Era news

Long distance transportation

With South Africa being the business hub of southern Africa, most food and beverage companies transport their goods through borders to franchises in neighbouring countries. Food Processing Africa takes an in-depth look into the logistics, refrigeration technologies as well as shelf life developments that are part and parcel of cross border transportation of food and beverages.
From 2010 to 2013, intra-African exports grew by 50% from USD$40.9 billion to USD $61.4 billion (IMF Direction of Trade Statistics). In 2013, the same exports grew by 11.5% from USD $55 billion in 2012 to USD$61.4 billion. Challenges that accompany such developments include cross-border transportation particularly for fresh produce, perishables and meats.
Transporting perishables successfully and profitably requires considerable investment in equipment and specialised knowledge – not to mention a variety of consistent disciplines. “Today’s consumer does not only demand a fair price for fresh and frozen goods, but also expects high quality goods with a reasonable shelf life,” says Clinton Holcroft, MD of Serco Industries, manufacturers of refrigerated truck bodies and trailers.
“Retailers want to avoid being saddled with the loss from returns, as well as the negativity of having a product that is not to the customer’s satisfaction. The resultant trend is that stores and supermarkets are getting more involved in checking the temperature of a product when it arrives,” Holcroft states. Retailers now have the right to reject the load, an option which may not have been as stringently enforced five or 10 years ago. “This means more pressure on the transporter to maintain the cold chain correctly.”
According to Holcroft there are numerous procedures and accessories that can help in reducing problems,
particularly for transporters with multiple drop offs, or with products which should be transported at different temperatures within the same vehicle, “It is imperative that the product is pre-cooled to the
required temperature prior to loading. The refrigerated truck or trailer should also be pre-cooled before loading. If the required temperature is -20°C, it’s foolish to load the vehicle at ambient temperature and then rely on the refrigeration motor to do the rest. The cooler unit is designed to maintain the correct temperature and not to cool the product to the required temperature during transit.”
Windhoek based refrigerated distribution leader, Sirkel Transport, has a multi facet company which delivers a variety of goods including fish, meat, poultry and perishables between Windhoek and Walvis Bay. Sirkel’s fleet includes 28 pallet refrigerated semitrailers and 22 refrigerated rigid trucks of different sizes which have payloads of 3, 7 and 17 tonnes. According to Llewellyn Anthony of Sirkel, the fleet of refrigerated semi-trailers travels as far north as Katima Mulilo on the border of Angola and/or from Walvis Bay to South Africa and through to Mozambique where traders take the fish. “Our refrigerated
fleet is a mixture of bodies build by Icecold Bodies and Elite Fibre. There is also a combination of Thermo king and Carrier refrigeration units that we possess.
Because of the long distances and severe climatic conditions that we travel, our fleet does take some strain. Our biggest challenge in urban areas is waiting time at the back of supermarkets as staff waits to offload. This idle time is costly and needs to be curbed”. With this growing demand to curb increasing operating costs, founding partner of Namibian-based MR Repairs, Peter Bader, developed a small cold room that uses minimal energy and is solar powered. According to Bader, “the refrigeration system has an open driven compressor belt driven by a 0.75 kW AC motor connected to inverted power from solar panels. The delta connection reduces the starting current as the motor gradually increases speed
which is later regulated to maintain the cold room air temperature between 20C and 90C and an average of 40C. Thus far we have installed about 35 systems in a 6 year period.” Bader concludes that he remains upbeat regarding the transport refrigeration sector in Namibia and neighbouring countries, “We are hopeful that more international role players in the food business will enter our markets,” he says.
Additional reporting by The cold chain newspaper
Serco: Tel +27 11 397 8993;
Sirkel Transport: Tel +264 61 22 8013
MR Repairs: Tel +264 228341/230728; Fax +264 061228952;

Nestlé layoffs in Africa ‘won’t affect SA’

Plans by the world’s biggest food and drinks company, Nestlé, to reduce staff across the continent will not affect SA, its Johannesburg-based unit said.
Nestlé’s Swiss parent company confirmed reports it would axe 15% of its workforce across 21 African countries after overestimating consumer spending power in the region. Other international companies such as Coca-Cola, Cadbury, and Eveready have all cut jobs in recent months bringing into question Africa’s supposedly booming middle class.

“The workforce cuts by Nestlé in the East African region which were reported in the media do not concern Nestlé SA,” a local company spokesperson said in a statement.

In contrast to the disappointing performance being experienced in the east of the continent, Southern Africa — which includes SA, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia and Botswana — are Nestlé’s fastest growing African markets. In the first quarter of the year, growth in the region was already in double digits, the local division said. Central and West Africa, Nestlé’s biggest market on the continent, had seen good growth, the company said.

About 60 workers across equatorial Africa — which includes the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Angola and Kenya — would be affected by the restructuring as the Swiss company embarked on a drive to break even by next year.

Nestle employs about 11 000 workers in Africa. –

Sustainable futures for African retailers

Businesses, food retailers in particular, often struggle to implement sustainability measures; this is often thought of as taking money from shareholders. However, as more pressure builds from the public, they are forced to look at combining sustainability and good business practices. In Africa it is particularly difficult as there are development and infrastructure challenges. An in-depth look at prominent retailers across the continent gives an indication on how far the continent is on this development.
South Africa’s largest retailer, The Shoprite Group, has an increasing footprint in Africa which includes Shoprite, Checkers, OK stores, House & Home, Megasave Wholesalers, Hungry Lion, and TransPharm. According to the group, it does not have a designated sustainability officer, instead sustainability is viewed as a shared responsibility by a number of divisional managers and heads of department.
In their 2014 non-financial report the group indicated that it is focusing on the environmental impact of its value chain. The environmental impact of their activities has a direct impact on the current and future price of the products.
“Our response to climate change forms part of our overall business strategy and is aligned with investor requirements, regulatory changes and operational impacts. We have completed four reports to the Carbon disclosure project with extensive reports on our approach to climate change, our perceived risks and opportunities,current initiatives and targets to drive future projects. We recognise the potential impacts of climate change on our business and are committed to managing these in a sustainable manner. The biggest direct impact of climate change on our business will be increased costs due to the impact of the planned South African carbon tax, operational costs due to potential requirements for mandatory emissions reporting, costs associated with fuel and energy taxes and regulations, increases in capital expenditure due to green building requirements and other general environmental regulations,” said Whitey Basson, Group CEO. Furthermore the group is implementing emission reduction projects as well as assisting their wider value chain by replacing light fittings with more energy efficient alternatives; optimising supply chain activities both with trading partners and within the Shoprite distribution network, at all-time optimising travel distances; fuel efficient driving practices, reduced kilometres travelled and fugitive emission reductions; and utilising environmentally friendly fuels for refrigeration in trucks, to reduce carbon emissions. The group says that it supports the National
Environmental Waste Act of 2008 principle of waste avoidance first, followed by reduction, re-use and recycling where possible, “Shoprite aims to reduce the use of one-way packaging by purchasing re-usable packaging equipment.
Ways to recycle materials and reduce landfill contribution are constantly being assessed, and the group collaborates with suppliers on new packaging initiatives.
A reclamation centre in Centurion centre remains the testing ground for all store returns including the return of damaged product – further reducing the mileage, fuel and carbon emissions of our trading partners. The Group introduced reusable equipment for moving products,including plastic totes, crates and rolltainers.This change resulted in a large reduction in wooden pallets. Also, an added benefit of this equipment is the reduced physical involvement of effort required from staff, thereby increasing efficiency. Their present implementing procedures for the collection of recyclable waste with a view to bale and sell it centrally.
For their first year, they baled and sold more than 100 tons of cardboard and 30 tons of plastic. The potential to increase this is promising and they have set significantly higher targets for the coming year.
Retailer Pick n Pay says sustainable development is one of its key business drivers. According to Marketing and Sustainability Director, Bronwen Rohland, “We do not do a thing in the business without knowing the impact. We want to be on the leading edge and set the tone for other retailers to follow. The approach is to ensure it becomes more resilient by embedding sustainable practices into core activities.” As a food retailer, food security is top priority for the group. This is supported by six pillars, or focus areas, which impact on PnP’s ability to do business and create value into the future. These focus areas are: enhancing governance and accountability; empowering staff; supporting communities (corporate social investment); providing safe food and expanding sustainable product lines; building a resilient supply base; and working for a clean and healthy environment. PnP is implementing new solutions through- out its business.
“There is a lot of theory out there from suppliers and it is important to be willing and able to test it in your own stores, and this helps to build the case for return on investment. It is often a leap of faith, but it must be worked back into the business case,” says Rohland. There are a number of ‘greener’ options available to consumers in PnP stores. Feedback through consumer focus groups has shown that PnP customers want to engage in more sustainable living, but want this to be easy. They want to be given a choice, and they want relevant information on products to be easily accessible.It has been important for PnP to be able to supply these products at a reasonable or comparable price to traditional products.
“PnP really aims for a pricing entry point that is not prohibitive. We don’t want it to be an elite offering. Yes, the more affluent customer can afford to pay a premium, but it should be accessible to all,” says Rohland. According to the retailers, in 2012/2013 it was awarded numerous sustainability achievements in response to climate change when it was awarded the Climate Change Leadership Award for the retail sector. They were also the only retailer to be included in the top 10 companies on the 2012 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index. Furthermore an announcement by the retailer to sell only Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified seafood sustainable products across their entire fresh, frozen and canned seafood range, by the end of 2015.
Pick n Pay becomes the first African retailer to follow the growing international trend by making a formal commitment to source only from sustainable fisheries, thereby transforming their seafood operations.
South Africa’s second largest retailer already currently stocks a variety of frozen South African hake products bearing the globally recognised MSC eco-label and through this initiative the number and range of certified products is likely toexpand further. Rohland says: “As one of the country’s largest retailers, we cannot ignore the fact that seafood is inextricably linked to food security and that it provides the primary source of food or income for 2.6-billion people globally. As a retailer and significant role player in the seafood industry, we will help to drive positive change in fisheries by supporting and promoting sustainable seafood choices from legal and responsibly managed sources.”
According to Justin Smith, Woolworths Head of Sustainability, “sustainability within the business is somewhat a moving target and is a constant learning process, and for that reason, that is why they refer to their process as a Good Business Journey Plan, “Four years into the programme we revised our targets and priority areas as much had changed and some of the assumptions we made did not apply any longer. We realised, for instance, that energy savings should be given greater priority. We also assumed that reducing packing was the trick to managing waste and reducing landfill sites. We soon learned that reducing packing often results in food waste and that using recycled material in packing and making the packaging itself recyclable was a better option most of the time. We had committed to only selling free range eggs and later, using only free range eggs in prepared means. We set ourselves challenging targets which we sometimes couldn’t meet as customers and suppliers could not afford the additional costs of the initial phase of developing a free range industry. We persevered; the costs are now affordable for customers and currently about 90% of our prepared food is made with free range eggs.”
He added, “We’re also committed to selling only sow friendly pork. We’ve met our own deadline to sell sow friendly fresh pork by December 2014 ahead of the industry target of 2020. But our plan to roll out sow friendly pork to prepared meals is proving more challenging than initially thought due to the costs and time required for farms to change infrastructure. What you have to do is keep the commitment and try and find a different way to get there. We were committed to free range eggs and we got there. We’re committed to sow friendly pork meals, and we’ll get there.”
Furthermore Smith highlighted that Woolworths realised quite early that being a successful business also depends on protecting the environment and supporting the people impacted by the business, “When it comes to driving sustainability in the business, a few critical issues work in our favour. We have support for our programme at Board and executive level which means there is a serious and consistent commitment to doing business more sustainably.
Secondly, we have targets that we measure regularly and incorporate in our company balanced scorecard. Thirdly, we have focused on sustainability issues that are not only important for Woolworths and our suppliers, but for the entire country. These include, for instance, water, energy, transformation and social development. Finally, we could not have done this without the support of our customers.”
Smith says the retailer is also transferring their Good Business Journey plan to other countries where its interests lie, “We are in the process of extending our programme to 2020 at a Group level, making sure we do so in a way that drives consistency of approach, but allows for recognition and consideration of local issues and standards too. These are exciting opportunities as it means we can almost ‘export’ our sustainability capital to other territories in the southern hemisphere where we have an interest.”
The Shoprite Group tel: +27 (0) 21 9804000;
Pick n Pay Group tel: +27 (0) 21 658 1000;
Woolworths Group: tel: +27 (0) 21 407 7002;

Woolworths expands Africa footprint with a new store in Ghana

Mega retailer Woolworths has opened a new store in Accra, Ghana. The shop which is the retailer’s second store in Ghana is at the West Hills Mall. The 555 square metres store is large enough to meet Ghana’s growing demand for Woolworths modern product offerings.

“We are delighted to be able to meet our customers’ growing expectations and needs by opening a new store in a great location and we are optimistic about our future in Ghana,” said Paula Disberry, Woolworths Group Director, Retail Operations. Ghana remains a compelling growth opportunity for Woolworths. The economy has shown successive year-on-year economic growth, coupled with rising household incomes, increasing urbanisation and a significant emerging middle class.”

Woolworths is investing in staff development programmes with an emphasis on growing retail skills.  This is another example of our ongoing commitment to our African business as we become a leading Southern Hemisphere retailer,” added Disberry.  Woolworths currently has 63 stores in 11 African countries outside of South Africa including Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Mauritius.

Simba launches new South African flavour

Simba and Tiger Brands All Gold tomato Sauce has teamed up to launch Simba All Gold tomato sauce flavoured potato chips. The new flavour launch represents the fourth time Simba has embarked on a co-branding initiative with another South African Heritage brand. The flavour introduction follows on from the popular launches of Simba Nandos Peri-Peri flavoured potato chips, Simba Mrs HS Balls Chutney flavoured potato chips as well as Simba Steers Monkey Gland Sauce flavoured potato chips, and provides additional variety within the Simba potato chip range.

“As Simba is a truly South African brand we are always looking at ways to offer our audience an authentic South African flavour experience.  Tomato sauce ranks within top three preferred consumer flavour choices in potato chip (MAM STUDY, 2011), and has a very loyal consumer following. We combined this taste insight with the partnership of two homegrown popular brands entrenched in the South African landscape, and who have both been acknowledged as favourite brands by consumers over the years. Simba has been a part of South African family moments for over 57 years, while All Gold celebrates over 100 years as an essential grocery item of South African families. As both Simba and All Gold target a similar consumer audience, it made sense to leverage off the heritage and quality experience encompassed in each brand,” says Zibuyile Mdlalose, Simba Brand Manager. The new Simba All Gold Tomato Sauce flavour offers the perfect opportunity to promote a great family time experience and builds into Simba’s ‘Mapha’ philosophy.  ‘Mapha’ is centred on the joy of sharing, and family and is entrenched in Simba’s heritage and legacy as a sharing brand.

The Simba All Gold Tomato Sauce flavoured potato chips are available nationwide in the large bag 125g and small bag 36g packets

More investments for Africa

Symrise has joined the trend of affirming that Africa is the new global business destination. The multinational has strengthened its presence on the continent by launching a subsidiary in Lagos, Nigeria.
The new Nigerian office will include sales and marketing functions as well as application laboratories. Symrise will use the market insights from its presence in Nigeria to serve both local and multinational customers with products tailored for the West African market.
Nigeria has been present and active in the Nigerian market for about 30 years, albeit without a centralised office.
Says Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise AG: “We can look back on a long history in the Nigerian market by both our segments, Scent & Care and Flavour & Nutrition. During that time we have gathered a deep understanding of local markets by continuously sending fragrance and flavour experts to Nigeria. This has also built long-term relationships with customers. Establishing our own company in Nigeria is thus a logical step.
“With about 175 million inhabitants, abundant mineral and other resources, Nigeria has the potential to become one of the top 10 economies in the world. Already today, the country is Africa’s largest economy, one of the fastest growing on the continent, and seen as gateway to West Africa.
“Symrise has also successfully grown its representation in Nigeria for over three decades through our longstanding agent, Allied Technol Systems Ltd. Now, we have decided to intensify our presence and commitment and to establish our own legal entity, while continuing to be supported by and collaborating with Allied Technol. Symrise is known as a company with a long-term set of goals”
Officially launched on the  15 October 2014, Symrise Nigeria Ltd is situated in a business park in the Ikeja suburb of
Lagos State.
“With its local infrastructure, the company will be able to offer customers closer support as well as faster, more direct dialogue to anticipate and satisfy their needs and market requirements. There is also much potential for further development. The company in Lagos will also enjoy support through frequent visits from experts and managers from the Europe, Africa, Middle East Region,” said  Bertram.
Symrise has committed to maintaining its high internal standards in quality and regulatory throughout its organisation, as well as its strict code of compliance with domestic legal requirements.

More regions covered by Symrise
In Madagascar, on 13 October 2014, Symrise opened a 3,500m extraction facility for sustainable vanilla production at Benavony, following an investment of approximately €3million. The plant allows every step in the processing of vanilla to be performed locally for the first time.
The new facility has capacity for fermentation, extraction, analysis,  quality control and the proper storage of vanilla extracts.
The site, which has been completely newly constructed, has a total of 36ha of space. In the medium term, Symrise plans to process additional important raw materials here, such as vetiver, an important and popular fragrance for producing perfumes.
Says Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise AG: “The company has been active in Madagascar, where 80% of the world’s vanilla is grown, since 2005. This site is a further milestone in Symrise’s strategy of establishing the entire value chain for vanilla in its source country and in accordance with strict sustainability criteria. “With this new plant, we are completing the cycle of responsible vanilla production on site. Our vanilla activities in Madagascar are the best evidence that business success and sustainability go hand in hand. Our investment of roughly €3million is a clear statement that we are directly committed long-term to the country, its people and vanilla farming.”
Symrise works directly with about 7,000 vanilla farmers in 90 villages in north-eastern Madagascar to source natural vanilla as well as guarantee traceability. More than 30,000 people benefit directly and indirectly in terms of income, health, education and training, according to Symrise. In addition, the organisation reinvests 10 % of its yields from vanilla operations into Madagascar in the form of education and training, reforestation and the sustainable cultivation of various agricultural raw materials on the island.
Says Alain Bourdon, head of Symrise Madagascar: “Benavony is a strong symbol for our sustainable approach in Madagascar. We produce energy by burning acacia wood and bamboo. We purchase the bamboo from village residents, providing them with additional income. At the same time, residents are trained in the sustainable cultivation and harvesting of bamboo. As part of our reforestation programme, in 2014 approximately 80,000 acacia and 50,000 intsia bijuga seedlings were planted. The same number of trees will also be planted in 2015.”

Symrise: Tel +27 11 281 3000;;

Extrusion fabricated novel grain based nutri-bar to fight malnutrition

In recent decades, huge strides have been made in the fight against child hunger. However, the international humanitarian organisation committed to ending child hunger, Action Against Hunger’s recent report, the State of Global Severe Acute Malnutrition Management Coverage,  indicates that millions of children continue to die from acute malnutrition every year. UNICEF’s most recent figures estimated that 34.6 million children battled severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in 2012.
South Asia tops the list with 21.9 million malnourished children, followed by West and Central Africa with 5.3 million. East and Southern Africa are third on the list with 2.9 million children battling the life threatening condition.
The report says that recent estimates indicate that more SAM children were treated in 2012 than ever before. The global burden of SAM therefore remains high.
The initial recommendation for SAM children was “urgent treatment”, which involved being hospitalised to receive therapeutic diets and medical care. The introduction of ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs) has changed the situation in that it “manages” communities consisting of large numbers of children with SAM without medical treatment.
At the ExtruAfrica Conference 2014, held over four days in Potchefstroom, South Africa, earlier this year, Johan de Wet a retired Food Technologist spoke about the burdens of malnutrition.
Said De Wet: “It is seen as a medical and social disorder. The body consumes its own tissue in order to survive. It is a life-threatening condition and the consequences are often fatal.”
He said that malnutrition imposes an unacceptably high economic cost and burden on developing countries. He further described the “root” of the condition as complex, multi-factorial and multi-dimensional.
“Millions of children begin life without hope,” De Wet said. He particularly stressed the urgent need for effective nutritional intervention to combat malnutrition during early life.
Quoting Nobel Prize laureate, Gabriela Mistral, De Wet said, “Many of our needs can wait, the child’s cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed. His blood is being made, his mind is being developed. To him we cannot say ‘Tomorrow’. His name is ‘Today’.”
De Wet referred to the need to offer ready-to-eat rehabilitation food based on the World Health Organisation’s opposition formulae.
He detailed the production of a grain-based bar used to treat malnutrition.
De Wet said a paediatric nutritionist, Dr Andre Briend, had a  few years ago, together with French food manufacturing company Nutriset, developed a fortified, fat-based spread. The product is also described as a lipid-based nutrient supplement.
Briend is believed to have been inspired by the popular hazelnut choc spread, Nutella.
Nutriset is a company dedicated to preventing and treating malnutrition.
The new ready-to-use therapeutic food was produced and marketed as Plumpy’Nut [PPn].
“PPn is energy-dense [530kcal/100g] food based on peanuts, milk solids, sugar, oil and vitamin mix, with a water activity of 0.3,” De Wet said.
It is used to treat emergency malnutrition cases. It alleviates mpending illness or death in a starving child.
The product is easy for children to eat because it dispenses readily from a durable, tear-open package.
De Wet outlined the product’s advantages:
•    PPn’s low water activity makes it microbiologically safe, requiring only simple packaging.
•    It is stored at tropical household temperatures without refrigeration     [5-6 months].
•    It can be used effectively in situations with non-optimal hygiene conditions.
•    It can be eaten directly without preparation – most children can feed themselves.
•    Its high lipid content serves as an essential matrix ensuring that fat-soluble vitamins are properly dispersed and accessible.
He listed its disadvantages:
•    Milk powder has recently become expensive; it is often imported and its cost can represent half the ingredient cost of the final PPn.
•    Peanuts are notorious for being tainted with potent mycotoxins and antigens which complicate quality control in local, small-scale production.
•    Allergic reactions to and the high phytate/zinc ratio reduces mineral availability and reduces suitability.
•    Peanut protein is deficient in lysine as well as in some vitamins and minerals for growing children.

A need for alternatives
De Wet said there was a need for alternatives to products like PPn in order to combine various cereals and oilseeds to maximise protein quality.
“There is a need for novel innovations. Cheaper, indigenously-designed, therapeutic products would be [more] cost effective and more culturally acceptable locally.”
He said that substantial research was put into the development of locally-produced PPn-like products.
“In Benin and Congo, for instance, dried insects and caterpillar worms are mixed with cereals into PPn. In some cases, isolated soya protein, resulting in a lower cost per kilogram of protein, was replacing expensive milk powder,”
De Wet said.
He stated that  the WHO supports the addition of broad-spectrum antibiotics for children with SAM because it reduces the need for administration of antibiotics.
Peanut butter-like paste has a low water content which, De Wet said, makes it a suitable vehicle to deliver probiotics.
De Wet showed attendees the product he prepared in his own home. He said the same ingredients as PPn were used in these products.
He advocated developing a new product in the form of extrusion bars to fight the effects of malnutrition, based on what he had produced.
“Endeavour to design a novel, low-cost PPn formulation composed of locally-available maize, broken rice and soya bean. It should undergo pre-extrusion-treatment with amylase enzyme and reactive-extrusion cooking into a pre-digested, partially-hydrolysed extrudate.”
The enhanced production output was 30/40%, with lower electric energy consumption 20/30% he said.
The flour mixed with oil, sugar, micro-nutrients, and shelf-stable probiotic, required cold-extrusion. A compact food bar that facilitates ingestion and digestion could be produced.
“It would sustain and improve nutritional rehabilitation of malnourished children as well as HIV/TB patients,”
he added.
According to De Wet, the process is a simple, modest technology. The work can be easily performed by unskilled operators.
“It requires low investment in equipment and facilities and can be easily transferable to small scale, local producers in developing countries.”
He said that indigenous PPn production offered the opportunity to stimulate agribusiness, create employment and widen the benefits for local farmer economies.
A patent for the product or process of PPn was filed in 38 countries he said. It provoked widespread debate about the ethics of profiting from poverty or hunger.
– Aarifah Nosarka
tel: +33(0)2 32 93 82 82

Nestlé’s new MD continues investment in Africa

After being with Nestlé for over 40 years, South African Ian Donald has been announced as the new managing director for Nestlé South Africa. Said Donald: “I am excited to be back home and humbled by this opportunity to lead this company that has been a part of our country for almost 100 years. I would like to thank Sullivan O’Carroll, former Chairman and Managing Director, for his sterling leadership over the past five years and I look forward to building on his legacy and continuing to leading this company to even greater heights.”
Donald began his career at Nestlé in South Africa in 1972 and has worked in various countries including Nestlé in Philippines, Malaysia and Pakistan. Before his return to South Africa, Donald was Market Head for Nestlé Equatorial African Region, based in Kenya, for the past two years where he was responsible for 21 countries in that region.
As part of Donald’s initial projects, Nestlé will invest R2billion into the business over the next five years. Says Donald: “Nestlé believes in Africa as an investment destination and part of our ongoing investment will include increasing the capacity for our coffee factory in Estcourt, Kwa-Zulu Natal, with the aim of creating a coffee hub for the region. The factory is expected to create an export hub for sub-Saharan Africa.”
The R2 billion investment will be focused on capacity building, general capital refurbishment, biomass boilers and converting Nestlé’s Mossel Bay dairy factory to a water neutral one. The new investment is in line with Nestlé South Africa’s existing investment plan.
Donald further said that Nestlé was looking at setting up manufacturing plants in several other African countries, including Ethiopia and Mozambique, although he did not give specifics timeframes.
Nestlé, which makes about 4% of its sales in Africa, could “easily” push that up to 10%, Donald said, without giving details. “We’re being realistic with sub-Saharan Africa. We realise that we are going to have to walk before we run, so we are still building businesses that should contribute significantly to group revenue in the future,” he said.
As part of the strategy to expand in Africa, Nestlé has embarked on a strategy whereby it is evaluating and devising ways to increase agricultural productivity of smallholder dairy farmers through technology innovation. Nestlé and Global Good have announced the Clinton Global Initiative Commitments to Action, as part of a two-year partnership to improve the productivity of smallholder dairy farmers in East Africa. The project will focus on expanding the use of a specially designed milk container, known as Mazzi, to maximize the quality and quantity of milk the farmers sell.
Nestlé’s second commitment is to purchase at least 3,000 Mazzi containers to help simplify the milk collection and transport process and reduce milk spoilage and spillage for farmers.
Derived from “maziwa”, the Swahili word for milk, Mazzi is a durable food-grade plastic container designed with
a wide mouth that better enables farmers to milk using both hands.
Mazzi’s detachable black funnel helps to identify signs of a cow’s mastitis (udder infection). Its secure and durable lid prevents spills and allows for easy transportation by hand, bicycle or draft animal from farms to local collection centres or chilling stations.
Once emptied, Mazzi’s accessible and smooth interior surface also makes it easy to clean, and with much less water than is required with the milk collection buckets and repurposed jerry cans currently widely used by farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Maurizio Vecchione, senior vice-president of Global Good, commented: “Unlike the efficient processing and supply chains common in many developed countries, when these rural farmers collect and transport their cows’ milk from farms to local collection centres or chilling stations, the milk often gets spilled or spoiled.”
Vecchione  added that Mazzi‘s durable lid prevents spills and allows for easy transportation by hand, bicycle or animal from farm to local collection centres.
In a statement issued by Nestlé, the partners will undertake field evaluation work in Uganda or Kenya, which will start from November 2014. The field evaluation work will identify areas where technical innovation can be applied to improve the efficiency, quality, health, nutrition and sustainability of dairy farming.
“It is an important step in deepening Nestlé’s dairy work in East Africa to help smallholder farmers increase their milk production and their incomes,” said Hans Joehr, head of agriculture at Nestlé.
Nestlé has 10 factories, three distribution centres and four agencies across Southern Africa. It manufactures consumer goods such as baby milk powder, coffee creamer and instant noodles.
Nestlé South Africa services neighbouring countries Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia.
– Kgaogelo Mamabolo
Nestle: Tel +27 11 514 6799;

Rising food prices leave Africa fighting Ebola on empty stomachs (Uganda)

KAMPALA—After the price of corn in Uganda leapt 15% recently, Hakim Waiswa could only afford to cook the local corn-flour staple, posho, once a day — making up his seven children’s only meal.
“Life is very hard,” said the 40-year-old mechanic and single father. “We are sleeping on empty stomachs.”
Food prices are rising in Africa, defying a global trend as the Ebola epidemic and other disturbances push some staples to five-year highs. As a result, millions of Africans are struggling to feed themselves, raising concerns about malnutrition and even social unrest.
In 2011, residents of big cities in Mozambique, Senegal and other African countries rioted to protest price increases of as much as a third for some staple grains amid rising fuel prices. This year, from Ebola-ravaged West Africa to South Africa, prices for corn, rice and beans have risen more than 20%.
The falling value of many African currencies against the US dollar is exacerbating the trend, said Jack Allen of Capital Economics.
“Even if currencies do not continue to fall, import-price inflation is likely to remain high for some time,” he said.
Although more than half of Africans farm for a living, many countries on the continent are net importers of staples like rice and corn, leaving their poor citizens vulnerable when prices rise or their currencies weaken.
According to the United Nations, some 20 million people in Central and East Africa are now facing emergency food shortages this year as conflicts and adverse weather conditions disrupt farming and harvests, up from 15 million in 2013. In Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three West African nations battling the worst Ebola outbreak on record, USAID said 60% of the population was facing a food crisis.
South African Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus warned in September that such wage increases could feed a vicious cycle that pushed up inflation even further. “Excessive wage settlements could have adverse impacts on employment, inflation and the general competitiveness of the economy,” she said.
The worst Ebola outbreak in history has trumped all of these pressures. The World Health Organization says the virus killed more than 3,400 people by early October. – Wall Street Journal online

Zambia seeks help from SA to develop farming

A unique opportunity exists for South Africa and Zambia to partner in developing the agriculture sector in both countries as well as agricultural trade between both countries.
Zambia has the potential, in terms of the amount of water and arable land available for development, while SA has the capacity to develop these resources, Zambia’s Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Wylbur Simuusa said earlier this month.
He was in Cape Town recently to attend a summit which brought together Italian and Southern African business leaders and government representatives to discuss strategic opportunities for increased trade and knowledge sharing between Italy and the sub-Saharan African region.
Zambia wanted to grow its agriculture sector by greatly increasing the number of hectares under cultivation, said Simuusa.
Zambia could become the food basket of the region, he said. “We do not yet have the capacity to achieve this, but we have the potential.”
There has not been a strong response from government to partner with Zambia to unlock agricultural potential in the two countries, but SA farmers have responded positively, said Simuusa. – Farmers Weekly

Bühler presents its vision for a more sustainable rice processing future (UK)

The Bühler Group, a rice processing equipment solutions provider, will be reinforcing its commitment to encourage the adoption of sustainable rice processing at the upcoming IRRI International Rice Congress 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.
This was according to the group who presented the vision of its commitment to creating a better future in rice processing. The company expects several significant growth opportunities throughout Asia in 2015.
The current global rice production falls far short of projected annual demand which is expected to reach 576 million tons by 2035 – requiring an increase of 116 million tons of rice production over the next two decades.
This cannot be done by increasing yield alone and requires greater efficiency and quality control throughout the supply chain.
“As global population numbers swell, demand for rice is only going to increase. It is therefore vital that the industry comes together to bring about more sustainable rice production processes. Our machines have been engineered to deliver greater capacity, efficiency and profitability so that millers can increase yield at a lower cost while maintaining the highest quality end product possible, said Bühler UltraLine™ product manager, Sujit Pande.
Food safety is one of the most critical topics in rice processing today. There is a perceived lack of trust from consumers about the safety of their food supply and they are consequently becoming more and more conscious of the origins of the products they buy.
At the same time, more rigorous safety regulation including that of heavy metal content and levels of mycotoxin in rice mean rice processors are faced by an ever more challenging environment in which to operate.
According to the group, Bühler machines are designed with safety in mind, providing easily removable machine covers and screens for cleaning. Its sealing systems are designed to prevent any dust leaking out into the plant.

SAA takes off with Africa’s biggest food, beverage and business opportunities event

Following an agreement between South African Airways (SAA) and Exhibition Management Services (EMS), all exhibitors and visitors who choose to fly via SAA to the expo organiser’s two premier shows will enjoy special flight discounts of up to 18%.

Changing demographics drive breakfast cereal adoption across the continent

Gerald Mahinda joined Kellogg’s as MD of Sub-Saharan Africa in February to steer the company’s emerging markets strategy in
what has been identified as a key long term growth area.

New food formulation and application laboratory in Istanbul (Turkey)

BASF’s Human Nutrition business unit has opened a new Kitchen Lab in Istanbul, Turkey to offer its customers in Africa, the Middle East, and Russia (the Commonwealth of Independent States) tailor-made support for the formulation and application of food solutions.

Staple crop processing zones to increase and diversify fish production (Nigeria)

According to the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the federal government is putting policies and programmes in place to stimulate and stabilise fish production in Nigeria, in order to reduce the country’s reliance on imports.

Tiger Brands to expand East Africa operations (Kenya)

Tiger Brands is to expand its Kenya operations with a $25m acquisition of a milling and a confectionery company to benefit from East Africa’s fast-growing economy.

How soil health affects food quality

With Africa constantly facing the dilemma of providing sufficient food for its ever-growing population, it is essential to produce crops that contain all of the inorganic and organic nutrients (minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins), which are required by both humans and animals. Joyce Kinabo, a lecturer at the Department of Food Science and Technology at Tanzania’s Sokoine University, explains how good quality food depends on soil health and agricultural practices.

Project to add value to camel milk (Kenya and Somalia)

Estimates of annual camel milk production are 935m litres for Somalia and 320m litres for Kenya. In Somalia, the estimated market value of camel milk produced per year, if it were all sold, is $130m. And in Kenya it is approximately $37.5m.