Food for thought

 

A recent survey conducted in the UK and reported by CampaignLive showed that McDonald’s and Coca-Cola were the two brands consumers most associated with litter. Two-thirds of those surveyed said their perception of a brand was negatively affected when they saw its waste in the streets and that they were less likely to buy from them as a result.

Following in the footsteps of Danone, Bloomberg reported that Nestle was working on making its water-bottling business more sustainable through its tie-up with Alliance for Water Stewardship, as consumers become increasingly worried about the environmental problems caused by bottling water. Similarly, the World Bank is flagging the importance of water management in a new report that found that some 80 million people could be fed for a year with all the food destroyed by drought, the Guardian reports. The Bank warns that water will become increasingly scarce with growing population and climate change and that the regions the most at risk were also the areas with the highest food deficits.

Olam announced it will be managing Gabon’s Owendo’s multipurpose terminal along with Bolloré Transport & Logistics (through their affiliates STCG and GSEZ Ports), according to Stat Times. Some USD 300 million will be invested to increase the port’s capacity, a strategy that could be replicated elsewhere on the continent as both partners said they are looking to work together in developing West Africa’s agricultural commodity market.

The race to buy Unilever’s margarine and spreads business is on, with three bidders expected to be shortlisted for an auction’s second round, according to sources who spoke with Reuters. The amount could be in excess of USD 7 billion given the business’ high margins, even though consumption of bread and margarine has reportedly dropped in western countries.

Meanwhile, Cargill continues on its acquisition spree as part of its strategy to diversify, having just added Iowa-based feed maker Diamond V to its portfolio, Reuters reports. Cargill said this was one of its five largest acquisitions ever and Standard & Poor commented it made a lot of sense as the world will need plenty of proteins to feed a growing population.

More and more impact investors are looking at sustainable food and agriculture, a sector in which impact investment has grown at an annual rate of 33% since 2013, according to Global Impact Investing Network, Greenbiz reports. Projects include encouraging grass-fed beef and transitioning farmland so that it can regenerate. There are a lot of good ideas but not enough access to capital, one of funds said.

Talking of things to come, China is anticipating exponential demand for pet food. A Chinese group has just bought the majority stake in Queensland-based The Real Pet Food Company (TRPC), ABC reports. A company official commented that the global phenomenon of “pet humanisation” had already taken place in the US and Europe, and has started to happen in China.

Finally, take a look at this infographic to see how self-executing Smart Contracts on the Blockchain could eventually replace brokers, some say. 

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