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Food Security Investments

ADQ’s strategy to support the UAE’s agri-food ecosystem

Abu Dhabi’s, ADQ has agreed to acquire a 50 per cent stake to buy 50% stake in agri-food specialist Al Dahra Holding. Al Dahra is a prominent multinational leader in agribusiness, specializing in the cultivation, production and trading of animal feed and essential food commodities and end-to-end supply chain management. Serving a large customer base spanning the Government and Commercial sectors, Al Dahra has a widespread geographic footprint, with a workforce of 5,000 employees, operating in over 20 countries and catering to more than 45 markets, with a leading position in Asia and the Middle East.

“Food and agri-business is of importance to ADQ’s strategy because it is high growth and important for Abu Dhabi’s socio-economic agenda. Since 1995 when Al Dahra was founded in the UAE, it has grown into a global food and animal feed company and is a pillar of Abu Dhabi and our country’s food security mandate. Al Dahra will complement our existing efforts to extend ADQ’s reach in food production and distribution. With our investment, Al Dahra will be well positioned to further expand its reach and footprint while enabling Abu Dhabi to reach its goals of continuing to diversify its food sources and growing into a regional food hub.”

H.E. Mohammed Hassan Alsuwaidi, Chief Executive Officer of ADQ

Al Dahra owns and operates 15 state-of-the-art forage processing and baling facilities globally. The company also cultivates different types of fresh produce, including a wide range of fruits and vegetables, as well as grains with infrastructure to facilitate grains’ trading. Al Dahra operates three rice mills with capacity to supply 500,000 tons annually in India, Pakistan and the UAE.

The company also owns shares in three flour mills in Greece and Bulgaria that have the capacity to supply 500,000 tons annually. Additionally, the company has an olive oil production plant in Morocco with an annual production capacity of 10,000 tons, and dairy farms in Serbia and the UAE with 20,000 cows and a production capacity of 80 million liters of milk annually.

Read more at Al Dahra

Categories
Food Safety Supply Chain

It’s not the food supply chain that’s breaking, it’s the meat supply chain

Supply lines across the food industry have been impacted by the coronavirus. Shuttered restaurants, university dining halls, workplace food providers, and more have all strained the food supply chain. In particular, the meat industry has suffered the hardest hit. In addition to closures of many of its largest purchasers, COVID-19 outbreaks inside meatpacking facilities have forced largest meat processing plants to shut down. The cold, damp conditions and crowded workstations in meatpacking plants make infectious diseases particularly hard to control.

On April 26, Tyson Foods Inc., the biggest U.S. meat processor, closed at least six major plants. Similar covid-19 outbreaks were reported at Danish Crown A/S, a huge pork producer; Goikoa, of Spain; Sanderson Farms Inc., America’s third-largest poultry producer, and Cargill’s High River slaughterhouse outside Calgary. The whole situation is an incontrovertible nightmare. But the pandemic is an opportunity to ask more probing questions about the nature of our system of animal agriculture.

Since COVID-19 began, we’ve seen plant-based product sales growth exceed that of animal-based products, both in meat and dairy categories. In the United States, sales of vegan meat jumped by a staggering 280% and sales of oat milk jumped by 477% in the second week of March compared to the same period last year, as the country became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. This meat crisis has become a big opportunity for plant-based protein companies that have developed healthier, safer and more environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional animal products.

Choosing a plant-based diet is one of the best things you can do for the environment as plant-based diets are kind to the earth and kind to animals. As is the case with plant-based meat, plant-based dairy supply chains are much better poised to respond in real-time to changing market conditions and are not vulnerable to the type of disruptions inherent in industrial animal agriculture.

Categories
Milk

Consumer preference for Milk in Europe and America

Americans prefer chilled milk, while Europeans store their milk outside the refrigerator. The difference arises due to different taste/ flavor preferences of consumers and the pasteurization technologies used by dairy industry in these two geographies. Pasteurization, here means, heat-treatment process that destroys pathogenic microorganisms in certain foods and beverages.The treatment also destroys most of the microorganisms that cause spoilage and so prolongs the storage time of food.

In the U.S. and Canada, milk manufacturers use high-temperature short-time pasteurization, or HTST. HTST is efficient but results in milk that expires relatively quickly—usually within a week and requires storage in a refrigerator. That’s because the temperature used (about 161°F for 15 seconds) is enough to kill most bacteria, but some will proliferate if the milk hangs around long enough.

In Europe, another technique called ultra-heat-treated pasteurization, or UHT, is used. Milk is exposed to higher temperatures of 284°F for three seconds, decimating virtually all the bacteria and making it shelf-stable for a couple of months if left unopened. (Once opened, it has to be refrigerated.) Because it’s “cooked” at high heat and burns off some of the sugar, UHT milk also has a slightly different flavor.

Read more at MentalFloss

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Milk

FDA has given dairies the official permission to label their skim milk as “skim milk.”

Skim milk is milk with the fat or cream removed—skimmed off. According to FDA guidelines, in order to be called “skim milk,” dairies had to add vitamins A and D to the milk before it could be lawfully distributed. Dairies or creameries who did not add those vitamins were prohibited from labeling their skim milk as skim milk. Instead, they were required to call it “imitation skim milk” or “imitation milk product,” even though their skim milk was not, in fact, an imitation of anything.

The letter that the US FDA sent on April 22, 2020 informed South Mountain Creamery LLC that the agency will no longer enforce the “imitation” labeling requirement and will no longer ask the states to enforce it.

There’s a market for “all-natural” skim milk without the added vitamins, and dairies and creameries who want to offer this product have been battling federal and state regulators for years. “Words mean what the public understands them to mean, not what the government wishes they meant,” said IJ Attorney Anya Bidwell.

Read more at Institute for Justice

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Uncategorized

A2 Milk: attempts to premiumize the once-commoditized product

Conventional milk contains two main types of beta-casein protein, A1 and A2; the former is believed by many consumers and health care professionals to affect digestive health and possibly cause heart diseases and diabetes. This is where a2 Milk attempts to premiumize its brand. Australia-based The a2 Milk Co. Ltd. engages in the commercialization of A1 protein-free milk and related products. In order to do so, the company starts with specially selected cow that are not affected by the natural genetic mutation leading to the production of milk containing A1 proteins.

According to management, a2 Milk captures the leading value share of 6.4% in the fast-growing Chinese infant nutrition market. At the same time, a2 Milk has become the top premium milk brand in Australia with an 11.2% value share. As of fiscal 2019, the company had approximately 16,000 stores (up 64% year over year) for distribution in China and 13,000 (up 161% year over year) in the U.S.

Read more at GuruFocus

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Uncategorized

What’s the way out for Big Food companies?

After decades of rising sales and high popularity, makers and sellers of processed food are under pressure. Stringent regulations, negative media campaigns, declining popularity, shrinking margins and consolidation are the trending words in the food processing industry.

What’s the way out for Big Food companies?

  1. Consolidation and cost-cutting: The situation in Big Food sector is similar to that of tobacco industry where consolidation and cost-cutting was the only way-out to keep profits up. If the decline in processed foods’ popularity continues, two further strategies—consolidation and cost­ cutting—will become more prevalent.
    • Example: In 2015, Berkshire and 3G backed Heinz in its roughly $45b merger with Kraft Foods, created the third-largest North American food company.
  2. Emulate lean startups: Big companies face a common issue: sunk-cost fallacy. As per sunk-cost fallacy, companies continue to invest more time and money into the existing projects because they have already invested a lot of time and money into that project. This situation is similar to the case of Family farms, who are going out of business for decades, but new ones are being founded, promising organic, locally grown produce.
    • Example: Chobani, a maker of Greek­style yogurt started in 2005, has reached to a sales of around $1.5b by 2018, as per forbes estimates.
Categories
Uncategorized

Farmer forced to dump 17,000 gallons of milk

Farmers in North Carolina are dumping fresh milk they can’t sell during the coronavirus pandemic. Homeland Creamery supplies milk to restaurants and coffee shops. Many of those establishments are closed. There is a 65-percent decrease in total milk sales. Because there’s no one to buy milk in bulk, Bowman said he has no choice but dump it in a pasture down the road. Bowman said he’s dumped 17,000 gallons of fresh milk since the pandemic began. I would say probably about $160,000 if I had to put a dollar figure on it.

Dumping the milk is the worst. That’s the profit going down the drain.

In the meantime, to keep business afloat, Bowman opened up a drive-thru at his creamery, selling small quantities of milk, homemade ice-cream, and other items.

Read more at WBTV

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Uncategorized

Study Suggests East Africa’s Ancient Pastoralists Processed Milk

A statement released by Washington University in St. Louis in St. Louis, scientists analyzed residues on pottery recovered from prehistoric sites in Kenya and Tanzania, and detected traces of cooked milk, meat, and plants. Grillo said the ability for adults to digest milk, known as lactase persistence, had been thought to have evolved in East Africa about 5,000 years ago, based upon previous genetic studies and the bones of cattle, sheep, and goats found at archaeological sites.

Most people don’t think about the fact that we are not really designed to drink milk as adults — most mammals can’t. People who had mutations that allowed them to digest fresh milk survived better in Africa.

Read more at The Source

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Uncategorized

U.S. to Buy Milk and Meat as Part of $15.5 Billion Aid

The Trump administration would like to make purchases of milk and meat products as part of a $15.5 billion initial aid package to farmers rattled by the coronavirus, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. We want to purchase as much of this milk, or other protein products, hams and pork products, and move them into where they can be utilized in our food banks, or possibly even into international humanitarian aid. The combination of direct payments to farmers and bulk government purchases of commodities parallels the approach the Trump administration followed in its $28 billion agriculture trade bailout over the past two years. The coronavirus relief bill Congress passed last month includes $23.5 billion in aid for farmers.

Read more at Bloomberg

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Uncategorized

Cellular Agriculture – cell-based technology to produce milk.

Cell-based processes of creating clean milk completely bypass the environmental degradation and animal welfare issues of industrial dairy. The approach has the ability to match nutritional content, taste, and quality of milk obtained traditionally. Acellular technology works by culturing mammary cells in vitro and inducing their natural ability to produce all components of milk. The first step involves obtaining stem cells from sources such as milk. They are then transferred into an environment where they convert into mammary gland cells. The mammary gland cells interact with a special formula which causes the cells to lactate. The end product – milk is obtained through a filtration process.

Milk from plants like almond, soy and oat is increasingly popular as a good source of protein. However, the milk from these alternative sources lacks one or more components of dairy milk, therefore, are not able to recreate the functionality of milk, translating to other dairy products like cheese, butter and yoghurt.

Read more at Technology Networks