Nestlé partners with Deliveroo to deliver KitKats direct to consumers

Nestlé has joined forces with Deliveroo’s Essentials delivery platform, allowing consumers to have a variety of chocolate, sweets and snacks delivered to their doors. Via the new partnership, consumers can order confectionery such as KitKat two finger bars and Fruit Pastilles, as well as tins of Nescafé Azera or Nescafé Cappuccino sachets, via the app. The deliveries are available from 11 Deliveroo Edition sites in Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham. “With people not able to just pop to the shop as easily on their lunch break for their favourite drink or snack, it made complete sense for us to be able to work with Deliveroo to bring it directly to their door,” said Alexandre Manoukian, e-commerce lead for Nestlé Professional. “Deliveroo offer a completely contactless delivery so it means even those having to self-isolate can enjoy a well-deserved treat.” Arabella Jenkins at Deliveroo added: “When you can’t justify popping to the shop just for a KitKat to get you through the final hours of your working day, Deliveroo is here to deliver a range of Nestlé snacks and drinks to your door in as little as under 30 minutes.”

Pandemic hits UK food and drink exports

Food and drink exports fell by more than £700 million for Q1 2020 compared with the same period last year as the coronavirus pandemic impacted the industry. According to analysis from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), sales to the EU were hit the hardest, with total value falling by 17.4% compared to 2019. This decrease was largely driven by the immediate impacts of COVID-19, including the closure of hospitality and travel sectors, which has meant a loss of sales into restaurants, cafés, bars and the out-of-home sector across Europe. While sales to the majority of the UK’s top markets declined, demand has been more resilient from others nations, including Singapore, Canada and Norway, which each saw sales growth of more than 10%. The performance of our top ten products has been mixed, with whisky, cheese, gin, wine, beer and breakfast cereals declining in value and volume. Conversely, salmon and pork saw over 10% value growth. The first quarter of the year also saw a fall in the value of branded food and non-alcoholic drinks exports of 9.1%. Sales to all EU nations among the UK’s top ten branded goods export markets decreased in Q1 2020; almost one third of branded exports are now going to non-EU countries, a 4.5pp increase on Q1 2019. Demand for UK branded food & drink increased globally Branded exports to Australia increased by 3.5% in Q1 2020, driven by a rise in sales of cakes and baked goods, including tarts, pastries, wafers, pizzas and quiches, which saw a 12% increase on Q1 2019. Increased sales of beer and soft drinks helped drive growth to the US by 6.9%, while exports of gin, infant food and bottled water saw the value of exports to China rise to £34m in Q1. “Manufacturers and the other hidden heroes working across the supply chain have ensured continued access to essential food and drink for UK shoppers during this crisis. But we can now see how COVID-19 has impacted valuable overseas sales of UK food and drink that were worth over £23 billion in 201,” said Dominic Goudie, Head of International Trade at the FDF. “The closure of the hospitality sector in high-value export markets in the EU and further afield has been devastating for many exporters. However, we can also see that opportunities do remain in retail channels in many markets. “Ensuring a quick return to growth will be essential to support resilience in our industry and also the UK’s economic recovery. “We are working closely with Government and industry partners to set out a recovery plan that will deliver a return to sustainable export growth right across the UK.”

Alternative options for safer bandsaws

Safety is becoming an ever-increasing focus in meat processing and nowhere more so than in the operation of bandsaws which pose one of the highest risks in terms of potential injury to those who are using them. There are essentially two approaches to keeping operators safe: the first is to restrict access to the cutting area while the second is to ensure that the cutting area itself is as safe as possible. Interfood Technology offers solutions for both. The first option available from Interfood’s dedicated Butchery Division is manufactured by Astech. The PW (precision weight) saw is a continuous bandsaw which is an automatic and fully enclosed machine so requires no manual intervention in the blade area. Offering integrated weight control, it features a scanning system through which precise slices are produced to pre-determined weights/thicknesses. Continuous operation is available for frozen meat and fish or fresh bone-in products. The second option is BladeStop, a system designed, developed and manufactured by Scott Automation & Robotics, in association with Meat & Livestock Australia. Unlike the Astech bandsaw, this system is specifically for those applications in which sections of the moving bandsaw blade are totally exposed. If the unit senses the operator has come into contact with the blade, or is even dangerously close to it, the blade is automatically stopped in a fraction of a second. The system’s body sensing technology provides a much higher level of protection than systems based on cameras alone. “Different processors have different approaches to their meat cutting operations,” said Richard Nethercot, Interfood’s Group Divisional Manager, Low Risk, Butchery Division. “Some like to ensure that no access is available to the cutting area and want a completely automated process while others recognise the benefit of being able to get up closer to the actual blade, particularly for more intricate cuts, using the butchery skills of their employees. “At Interfood we don’t adopt a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in supplying any of our equipment and we follow that philosophy through in our Butchery Division. We look at the specific requirements of a given customer and by having both Astech and BladeStop available, we are in a position to match the solution with the application.”

Regenerative ag platform to launch at food business conference

A new regenerative agriculture platform is set to launch at next week’s Innovation Forum: The Future of Food virtual conference. Franco Costantini, Managing Director at global consultancy and compliance organisation Peterson Control Union UK, will launch regenagri to delegates on 2 June as well as taking part in a discussion on regenerative agriculture and food supply chains, as part of the conference’s extensive programme of virtual events. “In a growing movement, regenagri is a regenerative agriculture initiative aimed at securing the health of the land and the wealth of those who live on it,” says Mr Costantini. “Through its membership platform, regenagri is designed for continuous improvement of agriculture practice, promoting holistic farming techniques that increase soil organic matter, encourage biodiversity and sequester CO2 from the atmosphere.” The platform is aimed at farms and organisations looking to restore the land they work and make it carbon positive. “We’ll empower farmers and organisations to transition towards more ecologically sustainable practices via the regenagri digital hub, consultancy and certification.” Members of regenagri can gain numerous benefits, Mr Costantini said, including improved yield quality, greater access to markets and data in regenerative agriculture and accreditation from a global certifying body. “Peterson Control Union Group seeks to bring together supporters of regenerative agriculture to address issues around soil degradation and the climate crisis, and implement sustainable strategies in food and farming sectors,” said Mr Costantini.

Farmers still able to access lending despite coronavirus disruption

Farmers are still able to access lending despite the disruption caused by coronavirus, according to UK Agricultural Finance (UKAF). “There has been a regular flow of loans – with increasing enquiries in recent months – and unlike other lenders we have been able to remain writing loans with secure funding lines,” said Rob Suss, co-founder at UKAF. The ability to lend against agricultural land has enabled flexibility in the challenge of valuing properties during lockdown. “The nature of farmland and buildings make social distancing much easier to maintain. Indeed, some loans are proceeding based on a mix of a Red Book valuation on the land and barns, but an estimate on the farmhouse,” said Mr Suss. UKAF recently completed a loan of £260,000 for a mixed farm in north England, where the main long-term lender would not offer any flexibility without high penalty charges. The borrowers own a substantial farm with acreage and woodland, tenanted cottages, 400 head of cattle, around 2,000 sheep and a good track record of servicing their debt. “We designed a loan for 38% Loan to Value (LTV) and persuaded the main lender to release part of their security over a couple of fields for UKAF’s first charge, topped up with a second charge against the remainder of the farm,” said Mr Suss.

Kite expands product range to support warehouse and logistic operations

Kite Packaging has expanded its pallet and load stability range, providing users with a wide range of solutions for their operations. Load stability is vital to ensure the safety of loads not only whilst being transported on public roads, but also whilst being moved/stored. The employee-owned company supplies a huge range of packaging products to support companies with load stability and have recently extended their range to include pallet boxes, pallet bands and PPE strapping kits, each offering a range of benefits. Pallet boxes Kite’s pallet box without a pallet is the ideal solution for customers who already have pallets and just require the tray, cap and sleeve pallet box. The benefits of this large pallet box is that it can either be used purely as a large box for storage, can be placed on top of an existing pallet, or used with Kite’s individual corrugated pallet runners which can be attached to the bottom, therefore making it a pallet. So, if customers need something more versatile then this is the ideal solution. Sanstrap pallet bands Produced from 100% recyclable 40-micron Polyethylene (PE) film and 100% recyclable, Kite’s offering of Sanstrap pallet bands, a recognised name in the industry, provide great stability, keeping products secure whilst in transit or storage. Once in place these polythene Sanstrap bands quickly grip, holding everything firmly on a pallet. They arrive perforated on a roll in an easy to use portable dispenser box, simply tear off and fit around the load, ensuring one band per layer. Polypropylene strapping kits Kite’s strapping kits are suitable for a wide range of uses and are available in polypropylene, corded, polyester and steel strapping. Recently expanded, Kite’s polypropylene strapping kit range now includes a strapping kit with a combination tool that performs both the tensioning & sealing. It’s vital to have the correct tools for securing products, particularly for handling and transportation.

Carlsberg forms UK joint venture with Marston’s

Carlsberg UK and Marston’s have formed a joint venture beer company in the UK combing the brewing and distribution assets of both companies. With the formation of Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, Carlsberg will pay up to £273 million to Marston’s – £34 million of which will be a deferred contingent payment. Consequently, Carlsberg will become the controlling shareholder, owning 60% of the joint venture, with Marston’s owning 40%. The transaction is anticipated to complete in the second half of this calendar year, subject to shareholder approval at Marston’s and competition clearance. The Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company will have a strong portfolio of international, national and regional beer brands. Carlsberg’s brands include Carlsberg Danish Pilsner, Carlsberg Expørt, Poretti, Tetley’s, Somersby cider and the London Fields Brewery craft portfolio, as well as the UK licence for San Miguel, Mahou and the Brooklyn Brewery craft beer portfolio. The Marston’s portfolio includes Hobgoblin, Wainwright, Marston’s Pedigree and 61 Deep, and the company also owns the Banks’s, Jennings, Ringwood and Eagle beer brands. It also has the UK licence for global brands Estrella Damm, Shipyard, Erdinger, Warsteiner and Kirin. Under the terms of the proposal, the joint venture will have access to the Marston’s pub estate for its beer portfolio through a long-term strategic partnership. Marston’s operates around 1,400 pubs. The joint venture will benefit from Marston’s Beer Company’s wide distribution network. Marston’s Beer Company distributes to around 11,000 customers directly, including the independent free trade, other pub companies, the off-trade and export. “The joint venture’s brand portfolio will allow us to offer a significantly stronger beer portfolio to our UK customers, and at the same time extend distribution into the Marston’s pub estate,” said Carlsberg CEO Cees ’t Hart. “In addition, the combined business will bring our customers wider choice, greater capacity, product innovation, and marketing and distribution efficiency benefits.”

Cargill uses tech to boost transparency in cocoa supply chain – report

Cargill is leveraging technology to improve transparency and sustainability in the cocoa supply chain. The company has recently highlighted its latest effort and progress in improving transparency and sustainability in the five origin countries it sources cocoa from in a new report. Through the Cargill Cocoa Promise, the company is realising the opportunities offered by technologies, such as mobile money, GPS mapping and digital data collection, which allow for greater transparency on how cocoa is grown and sourced from farmers. The ‘Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate 2018-2019 Sustainability Progress Report’ highlights key milestones the company has made during 2018-19: Utilising digital tools With the use of barcoded cocoa bags and digital Cooperative Management Systems (CMS), 50% of sustainable cocoa beans in the global direct supply chain are now traceable from farm-to-factory. In 2018-2019, 151,190 metric tons of cocoa beans were tracked. The CMS enables farmers organizations to manage loans, collect beans and check fixed versus variable costs. Also, starting in 2018-2019, all farmer organizations in the direct sourcing network in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are now visible through an interactive Cargill Cocoa Promise Sourcing Partner Network map. Each of these farmer organisations benefit from Cargill Cocoa Promise programs. Child labour monitoring Implementation of child labour monitoring and remediation systems (CLMRS) to address child labour has significantly increased. In addition to Côte d’Ivoire, Cargill also deploys CLMRS now in Ghana and Cameroon, reaching a total of 58,800 farmers in 2018-2019. This extends the reach from 7% to 29% of the total number of farms in the direct supply chain. In 2018-2019, Cargill also conducted a needs assessment for programs to address child labour in cocoa growing communities in Indonesia; a localized approach to CLRMS will follow in 2020. GPS polygon mapping GPS polygon mapping of 72% of all farmers in the direct supply chain, representing over 400,000 hectares of farmland, was completed. Cargill said it is “well on its way” to identify where the cocoa comes from, which areas may be at risk of deforestation and how to mitigate this risk through specific interventions. Digital tools Digital tools are providing cooperatives and cocoa farmers with information – such as digital farm development plans and market insights – to help improve their farming practices. In addition, the digital tools serve as a means to communicate with farmers during a crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic. Cargill’s digital farming tool is amplifying government safety and sanitation messages to help curb the spread of the virus in farming communities, it said.

lunch! postponed until next year in wake of pandemic

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, lunch! has been postponed until next year, organiser Diversified Communications UK has confirmed. The UK’s foremost trade event for the café, coffee shop and food-to-go sector will now run on 23-24 September 2021 at ExCeL London. While the UK’s lockdown measures are expected to ease over the coming months, social distancing and restrictions on mass gatherings will remain for the foreseeable future. Notably, many of lunch!’s exhibitors and visitors are among the 7.5 million people currently furloughed, with tens of thousands of outlets shut until at least July, which makes it even harder for firms to plan many months ahead. “Whilst we were hopeful that the current tough measures on restricted social interaction would be lifted by the autumn, there are still too many questions surrounding hotels, travel, social distancing measures, and individual company policies, to make it viable to run lunch! this year,” said Chris Brazier, lunch!’s Group Event Director. “Clearly, the best and most responsible option for everyone involved is to wait and host an even better show in 2021. “We appreciate how important lunch! is to the industry it serves and are very sorry to disappoint the thousands of attendees that were planning on exhibiting and visiting.  However, the success as well as the safety of our exhibitors, speakers and visitors has always been our priority and we are hoping that everyone will get behind this tough but necessary decision. “The good news is that much of the event planning is already in place, and we go into 2021 with an incredible amount of good will and support.  The lunch! team would like to thank everyone – our exhibitors, visitors, speakers and partners – for their support. “We look forward to working together to ensure that it continues to be the celebration and gathering the industry deserves – and can be proud of.” The announcement includes the new dates for Commercial Kitchen, with the show now set to run alongside lunch!. Although the two events will maintain separate identities and focus, visitors and exhibitors will benefit from a potential boost in seeing an even greater range of products and customers respectively. lunch! and Commercial Kitchen will take place on 23-24 September 2021 at ExCeL London.

Kite donates thousands of face visors to front line workers

Kite Packaging has donated 5,000 face visors and paper bags to 108 different organisations working and supporting the front line. The employee-owned packaging company recently announced the design and supply of a new protective face visor for the NHS which saw them supplying several hospital trusts in the West Midlands. The company has also offered further support to organisations that had limited access to PPE yet were supporting front line workers. Across their seven regional distribution centres in the UK, based in Gateshead, Rotherham, Coventry, Swindon, Letchworth and Portsmouth, Kite has donated 5,000 protective face visors to a total of 108 separate organisations including care homes, hospices, charities, nursing homes, pharmacies, police stations, foodbanks and NHS workers based in the community. Several of the Kite Team went that extra mile and personally delivered many of the donated visors, observing strict social distancing of course, to ensure that the organisations could have access to vital PPE.