Cargill has launched the initial phase of its new grain terminal in Ukraine’s Yuzhny port, in partnership with local company MV Cargo. The terminal, which is one of the biggest investments the country has seen in a while, should be handling 1 million mt of grains by this autumn. Techagro also announced a plan to build three grain terminals at the same port that would handle 4.5 million mt by 2021.
In Argentina, Cargill hiked its stake in Glucovil Argentina to 70% by buying 40% of Ledesma’s holdings. The family now holds a 30% stake which Cargill can buy until 2023.
Bunge announced it opened a new wheat mill in Mexico. Located near the port, from where the wheat is imported, the mill will process and re-export the wheat to the rest of Latin America. In Brazil, meanwhile, Bunge announced it had completed the sale of its 49.9% share in the algae business SB Renewable Oils to joint venture partner Corbion.
Wilmar is planning to release the Indonesian version of an online system designed to help its palm oil suppliers become more sustainable. It already launched one in Malaysia ahead of the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil national certification becoming compulsory next year. The questionnaire, which results in a score, will give Wilmar an idea of which areas need to be addressed and develop further training or workshops accordingly. The company has also designed a similar system for Latin America.
Danone’s dairy arm, Centrale Danone, is facing losses in Morocco after a boycott from consumers caused its sales to fall by over 50%. To cope, the company has reduced by 30% the amount of milk it buys from farmers and has had to lay people off. The boycott, which also affected fuel stations, was started to protest high prices from foreign brands.
Coca-Cola aims to recycle all of its packaging by 2030. In Zimbabwe, the company is now collecting over 15% of the PET produced, up from just over 7% in 2017. Similarly, in Uganda it invested in Plastics Recycling Initiative which recycles 14mt of plastic every day while providing an income for plastic collectors.
A report from the UN showed that some 50 countries are actively working to fight plastic pollution. Additional taxes and outright bans have been, in some cases, effective, such as in Eritrea, Morocco, China and Ireland but have failed in other areas mainly because of the lack of enforcement. The head of the UN environment argued that plastic in itself was not bad, the problem was what we did with it. As such, the report suggested businesses and plastic producers needed to incentivise recycling more.
In a bid to capture more of the value chain and to control prices, Ivory Coast and Ghana are planning to work together on cocoa production and marketing. Both countries, which represent two-thirds of the global cocoa production but where very little processing happens, want to build warehouses, coordinate production and encourage local consumption. Many analysts are sceptical this will work, however, arguing that previous attempts to coordinate efforts have failed.
Ghana did send a delegation to China to try to convince consumers of the benefits of cocoa and look for a market for its premium cocoa beans, semi-finished and finished cocoa products.
Meanwhile, chocolate maker Barry Callebaut has partnered with growers in Ghana and Ivory Coast to replant trees infected with the swollen-shoot virus disease as part of a wider sustainable farming initiative.
Qatar has become a self-sufficient milk producer just a year after its neighbouring countries cut off diplomatic and trade ties and soon expects to start exporting. Before the blockade, the country imported all its milk from Saudi Arabia and had no dairy herd. The cows were flown in from the US and could reach 20,000 head-count by 2019.
Neighbouring Dubai, meanwhile, could soon be growing paddy in its desert on a commercial scale. A group of Chinese scientists have successfully grown rice in diluted sea-water in a test project which yielded 7,500kg/ha, over twice the world average. Ultimately, the aim would be to cover 10% of the UAE, although some question whether the region has enough fresh water to dilute into the seawater.
Oxford University and Agroscope researchers published a huge database of the environmental impact of 40 food products across the world, using data from 40,000 farms and 1,600 processors. Have a look at the impact of 9 animal and 6 vegetable products here.
This summary was produced by ECRUU