Premium vodka brand fusing Indian and British flavours looks to raise £1m

Desi Daru Vodka, the premium vodka brand known for its fusion of Indian and British flavours, is looking to raise £1,000,000 investment, aimed at expanding its presence in the UK, increasing direct-to-consumer sales, and commencing international distribution. Mohit Singh and Aneet Kaur, the husband and wife team behind Desi Daru, are looking to use the investment raised to increase their production capacity at the distillery in Oxfordshire where they produce their award-winning liquid, as well as expanding their marketing capabilities and strengthening direct-to-consumer channels. A significant portion of the investment would also be allocated for international distribution, allowing Desi Daru to bring their vodkas to new global markets. Their vodkas have garnered much international acclaim, the Original and Alphonso Mango varieties scored 98 and 99 respectively in the IWSC awards, as well as the receiving World’s Best Flavoured Vodka at the World Drink Awards, 5 Master Medals at The Spirit Masters and a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirit Competition. Mohit Singh, founder of Desi Daru, shared: “It is a pivotal time to be raising money for Desi Daru, as we strive to expand and solidify our position as one of the premier vodka brands in the UK. This funding will help fuel our ambitious growth and bring our vodkas to a wider audience, both domestically and internationally.”

Speciality & Fine Food Fair partners with IND!E and Ocado for Pitch Live 2024

Speciality & Fine Food Fair, taking place on 10-11 September at Olympia London, has announced an exciting new partnership with IND!E and Ocado, providing two innovative food & drink brands with the opportunity to secure a listing with the online supermarket. Open to producers exhibiting at Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2024, Pitch Live will see brands take part in a Dragon’s Den style live pitch on the Fair’s Talking Trends stage, before one food brand and one drinks brand are declared the winners. The two winning brands will secure a listing on Ocado through the IND!E partnership. The IND!E shop-in shop at Ocado will be a dedicated space to showcase a curated selection of innovative products from emerging brands, offering customers a unique shopping experience and giving SMEs the chance to reach a wider audience. Hannah McKillop, Marketing Manager at IND!E, comments: “We’ve decided to partner with Speciality & Fine Food Fair again for 2024 because it aligns perfectly with our mission to connect with and support high-quality, innovative brands and help them get into retail. “The Fair provides a unique platform for emerging brands to showcase their products to a diverse and engaged audience, fostering brand awareness and loyalty. Additionally, our past collaborations have proven successful, and it has been fantastic to work with the winner of Pitch Live last year in bringing their products to UK consumers.” Nicola Woods, Event Manager for Speciality & Fine Food Fair, adds: “We’re delighted to be working with the IND!E team again and expanding Pitch Live for 2024 with highly desirable listing with Ocado for two talented food and drink brands. “The Fair is passionate about offering opportunities to artisan food & drink brands to get in front of key buyers and new consumer audiences, and this is an amazing chance for the right brands to shine. The perfect pitch combines a killer product, clear USPs, a compelling story and knock-out branding, and we can’t wait to see which producers succeed in Pitch Live this year.” Freya O’Mara, Trading Manager, Pantry and Speciality Foods at Ocado Retail, says: “We are incredibly excited to be part of Pitch Live at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2024. This event is a fantastic opportunity to connect with the most promising and innovative food and drink brands. “At Ocado and through our partnership with IND!E, we are passionate about bringing our customers the best and most unique products available, and Pitch Live allows us to discover and support the next generation of standout brands. We look forward to seeing the creativity and quality that this year’s participants will bring to the table.” Speciality & Fine Food Fair takes place on Tuesday 10 September – Wednesday 11 September at Olympia London. To find out more about everything happening at this year’s event, and to secure your complimentary trade ticket, visit specialityandfinefoodfairs.co.uk.

Diageo sells Safari to Casa Redondo

Diageo has agreed the sale of Safari, a fruit flavoured liqueur brand, to Casa Redondo, a Portuguese beverage-alcohol company. Safari is predominantly sold in Benelux, Portugal and Türkiye. Given its consumer base, Diageo believes Casa Redondo is the right owner to take Safari into its next chapter of growth across Europe and beyond. John Kennedy, Diageo’s President, Europe said: “The sale of Safari reflects Diageo’s commitment to delivering consistent growth and value creation for shareholders. “This transaction will allow us to further concentrate on our core areas of strength, including tequila and whisk(e)y, as we accelerate towards our ambition; to be one of the best performing, most trusted and respected consumer products companies in the world.” On the purchase of Safari, Daniel and Ricardo Redondo, Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer of Casa Redondo said: “We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of Safari from Diageo. “This transaction underscores our commitment to expanding our portfolio with premium offerings that resonate with consumers globally. We look forward to integrating this brand into our family, continuing to innovate for our customers, whilst ensuring exceptional quality.”

Morrisons partners with Sea Forest to fast track lower methane beef

Morrisons has partnered with Sea Forest, an Earthshot finalist and science-based environmental technology company, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from beef cattle. Sea Forest will work with Myton Food Group, Morrisons’ manufacturing arm, exclusively to supply SeaFeedTM – its methane abating livestock feed – to help fast track the introduction of lower carbon beef products such as mince, burgers, steaks and joints in Morrisons. Approval for the process is being worked through, but if successful customers should see products on the shelf in Morrisons by 2026. The partnership supports Morrisons ambition to achieve net zero agriculture emissions from its directly supplied farms by 2030. Sophie Throup, Technical and Sustainability Director at Myton Food Group for Morrisons, said: “As British farming’s biggest direct customer, we are well placed to support the farmers we work with and help them farm more sustainably. This partnership  supports our ambition to have net zero agriculture emissions by 2030. “Having our own livestock experts with direct relationships with farmers enables us to make changes quickly, meaning that once our trial is complete and we have approvals in place, we can develop our lower carbon beef products and help support the drive to lower emissions from cattle.” Sam Elsom, CEO of Sea Forest, said: “Distributing our methane-busting solution to one of the most respected retailers and food producers in the UK to reduce livestock methane emissions is a tremendous milestone for Sea Forest. “SeaFeedTM has the potential to sustainably feed the planet while tackling one of the most challenging pieces of the climate puzzle. Our trials with beef, dairy and wool producers across Australia and New Zealand have demonstrated excellent results and we are delighted to partner with Morrisons to make a meaningful impact on climate change at an international scale.” The partnership is the latest step in an innovative research programme by Morrisons and Queen’s University Belfast that is looking at the use of seaweed to help reduce methane production in cattle. Professor Sharon Huws, Director of Research, Queen’s University Belfast, School of Biological Sciences and Institute for Global Food Security (IGF), said: “We are delighted to be working closely with Morrisons and Sea Forest to provide the scientific evidence underpinning the journey towards net zero in the Morrisons beef chain. “Innovation is at the centre of the IGFS ethos, and this collaboration is an important example of how our research translates into impact for the sector, and indeed for the health of our planet.”

Exclusive UK distributor named for Brad Pitt & the Perrin Family’s The Gardener Gin

Family-owned specialist drinks importer, distributor, and retailer, Amathus Drinks will be the exclusive UK distributor for The Gardener Gin, the latest collaboration from Brad Pitt and the Perrin Family, created in partnership with the gin legend Tom Nichol, one of the world’s pre-eminent Master Distillers. An ode to the French Riviera, The Gardener Gin is vibrant and complex, with a smooth texture and sparkling scent notes of juniper, and citrus flavours that sneak to the front to produce a rich and balanced flavour. Made from wheat in copper stills, the organic certified gin rests upon a canvas of citrus, juniper, liquorice, angelica and coriander. It is a melding of lush greens and brilliant golds, laced through with an unconventional blend of both fresh and dry citruses – pink grapefruit, bright lemon and the yin and yang of sweet and bitter orange from the Cap d’Antibes area. Brad Pitt and the Perrin family, fifth-generation winemakers, first joined forces in 2012 when Pitt worked with the family on their Rosé. The Gardener Gin will be available to purchase in the UK from Amathus, online and from Amathus’ eleven stores around London. Greg Kimber, Head of Agency Spirits at Amathus Drinks, says: “We’re delighted to have been trusted to be the exclusive UK suppliers of The Gardener Gin, and to expand our collection of drinks from the creative minds of Brad Pitt and the Perrin Family. “We’re admirers of Tom Nichol’s work, who is such an important and influential figure in the gin business, and with Pitt and Famille Perrin he has helped create a lively and modern gin that captures the art-de-vivre of the French Riviera. Thanks to their considered mix of bitter orange, sweet orange and pink grapefruit, all grown locally in the heart of the French Riviera, the gin has a rich and balanced taste.” Matthieu Perrin, co-founder of The Gardener and 5th generation of Famille Perrin, says: “We are extremely delighted to announce our distribution partnership with Amathus Drinks to bring The Gardener to the UK. Their commitment to excellence, diversity, and progression in the dynamic drinks sector mirrors that of Famille Perrin and we look forward to a successful and long-lasting collaboration.”

Carlsberg reaches agreement to acquire Britvic in £3.3bn deal

Carlsberg has reached an agreement to acquire soft drinks business Britvic in a deal that values the latter at approximately £3.3 billion, and gives the brewing giant an opportunity to grow its UK operations and bottling relationship with PepsiCo.

Carlsberg intends to create a single integrated beverage company in the UK, to be named Carlsberg Britvic and led by a management team comprised of individuals from each of Carlsberg, CMBC and Britvic. The enlarged business will have a portfolio of leading brands across the beer and soft drinks categories. Britvic shareholders will vote on the takeover at a general meeting. Following completion Carlsberg is expected to become the largest PepsiCo bottling partner in Europe.

Ian Durant, Non-Executive Chair of Britvic, said: “Britvic is an outstanding business with a strong heritage built on its portfolio of family-favourite brands, long-standing customer relationships, a well-invested supply chain infrastructure and a fantastic team of people across multiple markets. All these factors have supported a consistent track record of delivery for Britvic’s stakeholders over a sustained period of time. 

“The proposed transaction creates an enlarged international group that is well-placed to capture the growth opportunities in multiple drinks sectors. Crucially, to remain competitive at a time when the market is being shaped by the trend of increasing consolidation among bottling partners, Carlsberg’s agreement with PepsiCo provides the combined group with a strong platform for continued success. 

“The Board of Directors believe that the strategic merits of this offer are compelling, and the offer also provides shareholders with the opportunity to receive the certainty of cash consideration that reflects the current strength and medium-term prospects of the Britvic business.

“It also recognises the challenges of achieving an appropriate future rating and valuation for Britvic versus its historical range of trading multiples, alongside less certain long-term alignment with regard to its PepsiCo bottling business. Therefore, the Board is unanimously recommending the offer to our shareholders.

Jacob Aarup-Andersen, CEO of Carlsberg, said: “With this transaction, we are combining Britvic’s high-quality soft drinks portfolio with Carlsberg’s strong beer portfolio and route-to-market capabilities, creating an enhanced proposition across the UK and markets in Western Europe.

“The proposed transaction is attractive for shareholders of Carlsberg, supporting our growth ambitions and being immediately earnings accretive and value accretive in year three. We are excited about expanding our global partnership with PepsiCo and believe that the longer-term opportunities will be very beneficial for both companies.

“We are pleased that the Britvic Board is unanimously recommending our offer to Britvic Shareholders. We look forward to welcoming Britvic’s employees into the Carlsberg family and creating an exciting, combined company for all employees.

“We are committed to accelerating commercial and supply chain investments in Britvic, and we are confident that Carlsberg Britvic will become the preferred multi-beverage supplier to customers in the UK with a comprehensive portfolio of market-leading brands.

Silviu Popovici, CEO of PepsiCo Europe, said: “We are looking forward to building on our long-standing and successful partnerships with both Carlsberg and Britvic. We believe that the combination of Carlsberg and Britvic will create even stronger sales and distribution capabilities for our winning brands in important markets. We look forward to continuing to expand the partnership into further important markets in the future.”

Sainsbury’s invests in new AI vet tech to enhance animal welfare on dairy farms

Sainsbury’s has become the first retailer in the world to invest in new AI veterinary technology used to measure and enhance positive animal welfare on dairy farms, which could revolutionise the approach to cattle care. In partnership with Vet Vision AI, a new spinout company from the University of Nottingham, Sainsbury’s is trialling new technology which has been designed to spot when cows are happy and healthy, and why. The cows are monitored through low cost and portable cameras which can be used by vets on multiple farms. The AI works by recognising patterns in behaviour, analysing and turning video footage into real-time, accurate data. As well as monitoring behaviour, the AI will offer farmers suggestions on ways to further improve the animals’ lifestyles. Examples of this include housing improvements for better comfort and animal engagement and providing enrichment such as cow brushes, similar to a back scratcher, to reduce stress.
The ability for round the clock monitoring enables more informed decision making, as farmers will have unique insights into cow welfare that they may not be able to identify with standard vet visits. The continuous analysis of behaviour also allows for a ‘test and learn’ approach to the suggested welfare tactics. The use of AI on farms is an expanding area, but what sets this technology apart is the ability to show when a cow is thriving, as opposed to just spotting illnesses and ailments. The constant monitoring can also identify diseases early, preventing vets having to treat disease later down the line. Beyond the benefits for the animal, the tech promotes a step forward in farming efficiency as a healthy cow means a more productive cow. If, for example, the AI advises improving cow comfort through increased lying time, this then may lead to better leg health and more milk produced for the same amount of feed, as the cow is stronger on its hooves. Currently on 30 of Sainsbury’s Dairy Development Group farms, the aim is to roll out the technology further next year. The SDDG was founded in 2007 to provide more support to farmers. It includes around 170 farms who supply Sainsbury’s with its own brand milk. “I have begun to use this AI technology with dairy herd health clients as part of our routine monitoring of health and welfare. The ability of the system to observe the cows’ natural behaviours without disturbing the animals, and to turn these observations into hard outcomes, is of huge value when planning interventions to improve foot health, udder health, fertility performance and so on,” said Dr James Breen, Professor in Cattle Health at the University of Nottingham. Dr Matt Turner, Vet and Agriculture Manager at Sainsbury’s, said: “Investing in British farming and continuously improving animal health and welfare are key priorities for us and this innovative new technology will mean we can help both farmer and animal. “Our dairy farmers that are using the technology are already seeing real benefits and we look forward to expanding it to our wider network of Dairy Development Group farms soon.” Dr Tom Angel, Veterinary Surgeon at Synergy Farm Health, said: “Vet Vision AI has allowed us to identify positive animal welfare on farms, such as increased lying times and cow comfort, as well as management factors that need addressing to improve these outputs. The use of the computer vision technology has then been able to assess the impact of any changes we have implemented, objectively revealing how the animals have responded positively to the environmental and management changes.” Dave Bacon, dairy farmer at Gleadthorpe Farm, said: “I know that happy, comfortable cows produce more milk, but accurately measuring and knowing how to improve cow comfort can be challenging. Using Vet Vision AI, we were able to measure how comfort levels improved after we upgraded our housing and put new cow mattresses in. Knowing that my cows are more comfortable as a result means I can feel confident the investment was worth it.”

European manufacturer of food cans, ends, and closures, Eviosys, to be acquired

Eviosys, the European manufacturer of food cans, ends, and closures, has been acquired by Sonoco, a leader in sustainable packaging. This strategic move marks a significant milestone for both companies, combining their strengths to enhance service and innovation in the metal packaging industry. The transaction, valued at approximately $3.9 billion, is expected to close by the end of 2024. Tomás López, CEO of Eviosys, will continue to lead Sonoco’s EMEA metal packaging business, ensuring a seamless transition and continuity in leadership. Howard Coker, President and CEO of Sonoco, said: “The acquisition of Eviosys establishes our global leadership in metal food can and aerosol packaging, marking an exciting milestone in our strategy to enhance our core metal packaging platform. We are committed to building on Eviosys’ strong foundation and delivering superior value to our customers.” Tomás López, CEO of Eviosys, added: “By joining forces with Sonoco, we will bring our high-quality, sustainable, and innovative packaging solutions to a broader market. Our shared values and commitment to customer service will drive the success of this acquisition, and I look forward to continuing to lead our dedicated team in this new chapter.”

Visitor registration opens for the next edition of West Africa’s leading manufacturing exhibition and conference

Propak West Africa returns in September to unite the manufacturing industry across three action packed days in Lagos. With the countdown started until the doors open, now is the time to register to attend and be the first to hear the latest news and updates. Last year marked the milestone of the 10th Edition of Propak which saw a record attendance of both exhibitors and visitors at the Landmark Centre in Lagos. Building on from that and growing into the forth hall at the centre this year for the first time, the exhibition continues to go from strength to strength. This years edition, taking place from the 10th – 12th September 2024, will see no less than 250 companies from all corners of the globe descend on Lagos, ready to showcase their product innovations to over 5,500 visitors. Speciality Pulp and Paper Ltd have taken the Platinum Sponsor position for the 2024 exhibition, with their market leading products taking centre stage. Alongside them from the Nigerian market companies including Alef Recycling, C. Woerman Nigeria Ltd, Betaglass Ltd, JMG Ltd, Krones West Africa, Sacvin Nigeria, SBA Nigeria, Tetra Pak West Africa and Vista International have all confirmed their stands at the exhibition already, looking to build on their current market share. Internationally also, many new companies have confirmed their stands at the premier exhibition for the sector with AISA Automation, Carbokene, Coperion, Goma Engineering, MLT Pack Services, Neofyton, Phoenix Industries, Reifenhauser Blown Film, Sacmi Beverage, Snetor Chimie, Tricon Dry Chemicals and Vinmar International ready to meet the West African audience in Lagos. Alongside the exhibition, this year the organisers have confirmed the return of the KPMG led conference program on the circular economy and sustainable manufacturing, as well as a series of talks in regards to packaging, hosted by the Africa Packaging Organisation and World Packaging Organisation. For the first time visitors will also get the opportunity to witness companies presenting their latest products at the Product Innovation Stage to an intermate audience, allowing for questions from the crowd. With the proximity of the event, the organisers have said there is much more to be announced over the course of the coming weeks and urge all those interested in staying in touch to register for the exhibition and be kept informed of the new conference sessions, exhibitors and features that are in store. For more information visit – www.propakwestafrica.com

THAIFEX – ANUGA ASIA 2024 achieved remarkable success connecting global food & beverage businesses for vibrant trade networking

THAIFEX – ANUGA ASIA 2024, Asia’s leading food and beverage trade show, concluded its resounding success, held under the theme “Beyond Food Experience” from 28 May to 1 June 2024 at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, Thailand. This event solidified its reputation as an international platform for business matching and valuable networking among entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry worldwide, driving businesses toward greater success. Highlights of THAIFEX – ANUGA ASIA 2024 THAIFEX – ANUGA ASIA 2024 boasted an impressive presence, featuring 3,133 food and beverage exhibitors (1,109 Thai companies and 2,024 international companies) showcasing their products across 6,238 booths from 52 countries around the world. The trade show attracted 138,508 visitors, including 85,850 trade visitors and 52,658 public visitors. The total trade value amounted to 96,265.80 million baht. Countries with the highest total purchase were Thailand, China, India, South Korea, and Malaysia, respectively. The top five product categories by sales were fine food, sweets and confectionery, drinks, frozen food, and seafood, respectively. NOW & BEYOND THAIFEX – ANUGA ASIA 2024 gathered innovations and trends in the food and beverage industry that cater to current and future lifestyles, focusing on health, sustainability, and emerging trends, to help businesses respond to market demands. The activities included THAIFEX – ANUGA Future Food Market, THAIFEX – ANUGA Halal Market, THAIFEX – ANUGA Organic Market, THAIFEX – ANUGA Startup, THAIFEX – ANUGA tasteInnovation Show, and THAIFEX – ANUGA Trend Zone. OPPORTUNITY BEYOND THAIFEX – ANUGA ASIA 2024 brought together exhibitors in the food and beverage industry from 52 countries across various regions, including East Asia, ASEAN, Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East, and Australia, to meet with 85,850 trade visitors for fruitful business negotiations, resulting in the greater opportunity for strategic partnerships and collaborations. INSPIRATION BEYOND THAIFEX – ANUGA ASIA 2024 was also a holistic learning hub for exploring new experiences and enhancing knowledge in the food business and marketing through activities, exhibitions, seminars, and consulting services, all designed to help businesses succeed in the future. There were several fascinating activities such as Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge 2024, Future Food Experience+, Food Arcade, Export Clinic, Thai SELECT Pavilion, and Thai Halal Pavilion. See you again! Be a part of our great success at THAIFEX – ANUGA ASIA 2025 from 27 – 31 May 2025 at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok, Thailand.