Cargill acquires Owensboro Grain Company

Cargill and Owensboro Grain Company, a fifth-generation family-owned soybean processing facility and refinery located in Owensboro, Ky., have entered into a definitive agreement where Cargill will add Owensboro Grain Company (OGC) to its North American agricultural supply chain business. Owensboro Grain Company was founded in 1906 as a small grain merchant and today operates a fully integrated soy processing facility, producing soy products, including protein meal and hull pellets for animal feeds, crude and degummed oil, lecithin, various blends of refined vegetable oil for human consumption, biodiesel, glycerin and industrial waxes. The addition of Owensboro Grain Company enhances Cargill’s efforts to modernize and increase capacity across its North American oilseeds network to support growing demand for oilseeds driven by food, feed and renewable fuel markets. “We are pleased to welcome Owensboro Grain Company into our Cargill family,” said Leonardo Aguiar, president of Cargill’s North American agricultural supply chain. “Our two companies have tremendous operational histories, similar heritages as grain merchants, and values, including an unwavering commitment to prioritizing people ― making this a tremendous fit. Additionally, this is a significant milestone in Cargill’s journey to create a connected and modernized grain experience for our customers,” said Aguiar. “We are excited for this new chapter in the life of Owensboro Grain Company and believe an acquisition by Cargill will ensure the long-term success of the company,” said Helen Cornell, president and CEO of the fifth-generation, family-owned soy processor. “Cargill has the ability to capitalize on growing opportunities in the industry, such as renewable energy. The acquisition will ensure that Owensboro Grain Company, its employees, farmers, customers and the community are best positioned for the future. “We are excited to transfer ownership to another multi-generational family held enterprise with global access to markets and capabilities to ensure the future growth of our business. Cargill has the global resources necessary to support Owensboro Grain Company’s growth goals and operations.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction, which has been approved by the Boards of Directors of Cargill and Owensboro Grain Company, is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in early 2023.

Troy Foods sold to the Fylde Fresh and Fabulous Group

Troy Foods Limited, one of the UK’s leading vegetable processing manufacturers, has been bought by the Fylde, Fresh & Fabulous Group (FFF). Fylde Fresh and Fabulous Ltd, established in 2005, is one of the UK’s leading potato growing and processing businesses, supplying ready meal manufacturers, the food service sector and over 500 fish and chip shops with a range of peeled potato products. It also supplies heat and electricity to over 600 homes through its Biogas plant near Preston. Based in Leeds, Troy Foods Limited is a fourth-generation family business which has grown to become one of the UK’s leading processors of vegetables. A total of 104 employees have transferred to the Fylde Fresh and Fabulous Group as part of the transaction, which was led by a team from Interpath Advisory and Addleshaw Goddard. FFF was advised by Napthens LLP. Neil Morley, director at Interpath Advisory, said: “We are pleased to have concluded this transaction which secures the future of the business by providing a new platform upon which it can move forward.” Colin Bradley, director at Fylde Fresh and Fabulous, said: “We have known and respected Troy Foods for many years. It is a natural fit for our already established business.” Troy Foods (Salads) Limited (a related entity) is not part of the transaction and continues to trade under its existing management and ownership.

Introducing Citizen Spritz: Innovative new entrant to the low and no alcohol market

A disruptive new entrant to the market, Citizen Spritz is reimagining adult drinks with its range of innovative concentrated spritz mixes. Sophisticated and deeply complex in flavour, when combined with sparkling or soda water, the carefully crafted but simple-to-serve drinks, create a refreshing aperitif style beverage, designed to be enjoyed either at home or served via the on-trade. The brainchild of successful food industry entrepreneurs, Mark Gould and Mike Bagshaw, Citizen Spritz was born from the desire to moderate their own alcohol intake. According to a 2021 Mintel Report, more people reduced their alcohol intake in 2021 compared to 2019 – 21% of adults report not drinking alcohol at all and over a third say they’ve reduced or limited their intake in the past year. Over the last two years and through dozens of concepts, the Citizen Spritz team developed a flavour almost indistinguishable from authentic Italian Prosecco. This flavour became the base notes for the whole spritz range. For more information visit

National Skills Academy for Food & Drink lays bare double whammy of staff shortages and rising costs facing UK food manufacturing

UK food and drink manufacturing and processing businesses are facing unprecedented challenges in keeping affordable food on the nation’s table according to new in-depth research by the National Skills Academy for Food & Drink (NSAFD), the sector’s industry-led skills experts. Rising costs and labour shortages are accelerating transition to greater use of automation and digitally-controlled production. But according to the NSAFD’s keynote report, economic and political uncertainty are undermining business confidence and ability to invest — both in new plant and necessary workforce training for its effective use. Insight highlights:
  • Rising energy and transportation costs are hitting Food & Drink Manufacturing and Processing harder than other sectors.
  • Over three quarters (77%) of businesses are suffering from staff shortages in jobs without high skill hurdles with 45% of those surveyed describing the situation as chronic. Some 60% of food and beverage businesses have experienced low applications for advertised jobs, resulting in higher labour costs.
  • In the face of labour shortages, demand for increased productivity is leading to more widespread uptake of smart technology manufacturing processes. But economic and labour market challenges, coupled with threats of recession, are liable to affect the ability and willingness of firms to invest in transformational plant and associated training.
  • The industry is likely to require an increasing range of multi-disciplinary business skills in future, not just those typically associated with food production. These include digital skills, procurement, supply chain management, environmental management, sustainability and data analysis and management.
  • Over 80% of businesses are ‘strongly in favour/in favour’ of the Apprenticeship Levy but most want greater flexibility in its use to support other programmes, traineeships and employees. Apprentices represented 1% of the workforce in over half of responding businesses, 1-2% in 20% of firms and 2-3% in over a quarter of companies surveyed.
The 44-page report commissioned by the NSAFD provides the latest facts, figures and analysis of key strategic areas affecting the current and future fortunes of the UK’s £112 billion turnover food and drink manufacturing and processing sector which currently employs almost 451,000 people across 11,675 enterprises. Commenting on the research release NSAFD CEO Louise Cairns said: “Small and medium-sized businesses form the vast majority of UK Food & Drink firms. As an organisation dedicated to helping companies grow by strengthening workforce skills and attracting new talent, we want to ensure they have access to vital Big Picture data at this time of economic challenge. “Larger manufacturers may be able to turn to internal resources to assess changing market pressures but we’re absolutely certain they will also find a range of information nuggets in this landmark report.”

Future Food-Tech and Kraft Heinz announce innovation challenge to unleash the power of tomatoes from seed to shelf

Future Food-Tech has announced an exclusive innovation challenge with The Kraft Heinz Company, culminating at the flagship Future Food-Tech San Francisco summit on March 16-17. The challenge seeks innovative solutions to unleash the power of tomatoes, delivering on taste, sustainability, nutrition, convenience and/or affordability. The Innovation Challenge Kraft Heinz is interested in a wide range of solutions including ingredients, processing, and packaging technologies, as well as finished products, and companies are encouraged to have proof of principle and prototypes. Start-ups are invited to apply before Friday January 20, 2023, and can find additional information on the challenge at Three finalists will be selected to pitch their innovative solutions to Kraft Heinz judges in front of a global audience of food brands, corporations and investors at the Future Food-Tech San Francisco summit on March 16-17, 2023, and the winning start-up will be revealed by Kraft Heinz live on stage. The finalists will also be invited to attend both days of networking and insights at the summit and will benefit from considerable brand visibility to Future Food-Tech’s global network. The innovation challenge winner will receive extensive development opportunities, including coaching and expertise from Kraft Heinz North America that may encompass technical, regulatory, innovation, marketing, scale-up and distribution guidance, as well as access to Kraft Heinz facilities for on-site support. Commenting on the challenge, Maxine Roman, New Ventures & Disruptive R&D Lead at Kraft Heinz, said: “At Kraft Heinz, we have the ambition to lead the future of food, and we can’t do it alone. We’re accelerating innovation and growth by bringing in outside expertise to augment what we can do. Kraft Heinz has deep roots in cultivating high quality tomatoes for our iconic brands, and in this challenge, we’re asking food-tech innovators to help us inspire the future of this critical ingredient. What else can we do to make tomatoes better for consumers and our planet?” The Insights Webinar On Tuesday, December 13 at 8 AM PST, Maxine Roman and Erin Wahal, Head of Research and Development – Taste, Meals, and Away from Home at Kraft Heinz, will sit down with the Future Food-Tech team to provide additional information about the Innovation Challenge. The free and interactive webinar will explain the drivers behind the challenge, the organization’s approach to partnerships, and tips for start-ups to differentiate their applications. Webinar registration is open at Full details of the Future Food-Tech summit in San Francisco, with program, speaking faculty and registration can be found at:

Tesco announces close to £14m of additional support for British egg industry

Tesco has announced further support for its British egg suppliers and producers, as the sector continues to experience challenging market conditions brought on by price increases in key inputs such as feed and energy and the avian flu outbreak. The support package includes £13.6m of support already provided to Tesco’s suppliers and producers since March this year, as well as a commitment to provide a further £13.9m of additional support until March 2023, with the support continuing after that date. Earlier this year, Tesco announced five-year contracts with its five main British shell egg suppliers – Anglia Free Range Eggs, Glenrath Farms, Griffiths Family Farms, Noble Foods and Skea Eggs. The long-term contracts, which began in October, mean Tesco will continue to stock 100% British shell eggs in its stores, while helping to provide UK egg farmers with the confidence to invest and plan for the future. Tesco has also confirmed the continuation of its industry-leading poultry feed model. Poultry feed represents up to 70% of the cost of production on egg and poultry farms. The model adjusts to price changes in the market, providing producers with the cost protection and security they need when buying feed. The support package will be paid to suppliers to cover the cost of handling, processing and egg production, including any increases in feed for farmers. Tesco will continue to work with its suppliers to ensure the additional investment gets passed to farmers as quickly as possible. Dominic Morrey, Tesco commercial director for Fresh, said: “We know the British egg sector continues to face acute market conditions with input costs continuing to increase, and avian flu causing disruption and adding complexities to farming conditions and the supply chain. We’re pleased to continue our support for UK suppliers and producers, as well as provide reassurance to our customers that we will remain 100% British on all our shell eggs. “With five-year contracts with our suppliers now underway, and our well-established feed model in place, we hope the support we’re providing alleviates some of the pressure being felt and provides the industry with confidence and protection during these uncertain times.” Tesco says it and its suppliers are committed to high welfare standards and together are working towards the retailer’s aim of 100% cage free eggs by 2025. It is hoped the new long-term contracts will help achieve the commitment. Mark Williams, Chief Executive of the British Egg Industry Council, said: “We are delighted that Tesco is investing in its supply chain to support British egg producers. We know that consumers want and expect the eggs on retailers’ shelves to be British and it is great to see Tesco publicly reinforcing its commitment to stock British Lion eggs. “The Lion is not only recognised by consumers as a sign of quality, but it also shows that the eggs are approved by the Food Standards Agency to be eaten runny by everyone, including vulnerable groups.”

Boost for UK fishing industry with funding for new infrastructure projects

Funding to expand processing facilities for popular British fish like Scottish salmon, mackerel and herring are some of the projects which will modernise infrastructure across the UK seafood sector following a £20 million Government investment. Part of the £100 million UK Seafood Fund, the announcement comes as a further £30 million is being made available for infrastructure projects as the latest round of funding opens for bidding. The UK Seafood Fund is a landmark government investment supporting the long-term future and sustainability of the UK fishing and seafood industry, with the infrastructure strand of the Fund helping to pay for upgrades to ports, processing and aquaculture facilities so they can meet future demand whilst also boosting jobs and economic growth. The infrastructure scheme also supports businesses to become more environmentally sustainable, with successful bidders in Round 1 investing in greener technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to more reusable materials. Successful bidders from the first round of infrastructure funding include:
  • Denholm Seafoods who with almost £3 million funding will install new equipment to increase production of mackerel and herring landed at Peterhead.
  • In the West Highlands, Mowi Scotland – an aquaculture processing facility for salmon – has been awarded £2 million funding to invest in new, modern equipment that will vastly speed up both the processing and despatch of their products.
Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer said: “Fishing communities are an important part of the UK’s heritage and they make a valuable contribution to our economy so we are backing them with funds to boost growth and opportunities across the industry. “This funding will ensure seafood businesses throughout the supply chain are well-equipped to keep pace with increasing demand at home and abroad, boosting production and sustainability and building a resilient sector for the future.” UK Government Minister for Scotland John Lamont said: “It’s fantastic to see Scottish expertise securing a share of this multi-million pound UK Government funding. From substantially increasing the production of mackerel and herring in Peterhead, to speeding up the processing and sale of salmon from the West Highlands, the investment will boost innovation and sustainability. “Scotland’s seafood, aquaculture and science sectors are world renowned. I look forward to continuing to work closely with them to ensure that this funding – and future allocations – helps deliver a sustainable and profitable future.” Allan Stephen, director at Denholm Seafoods, said: “We are delighted with the support we have received from Defra, which from the outset has been highly productive. Securing the Defra grant will enable Denholm Seafoods to invest in our new freezing and production facilities which will maintain our high quality product.” Scott Nolan, Mowi Scotland Operations Director Processing & Sales (UK and Ireland), said:  “The upgrade to our salmon processing plant in Fort William, Scotland, is vital to ensuring the UK remains competitive in a very global seafood market. The UK Seafood Fund Infrastructure Scheme comes at an important time, helping to safeguard and grow our domestic food supply as well as securing local jobs in rural communities.” The UK has a thriving seafood sector with exports of salmon – one of the UK’s most important exports – worth around £600 million annually and other abundant fish stocks such as Cornish sardines in demand on the continent for their quality. For the second round of the UK Seafood Fund infrastructure scheme, which is worth £30 million, businesses will have until March 2025 to deliver their transformational projects meaning a wider range of organisations will be able to apply. Defra will also shortly announce successful applicants from the Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships (FISP) scheme, part of the UK Seafood Fund, which funds data collection and research to support sustainable fisheries management. The final FISP round will launch in December 2022.

ERP in food manufacturing: benefits and applications

ERP, which stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, is a software system for business management. It enables managers to think about how to improve their business, implement the strategies, document and test changes applied, and integrate the process of manufacturing food products. Nowadays, people are looking for ways their companies can become competitive and efficient, and make more profits. One such promising way to achieve that is by embracing technological systems like ERP. The software combines several functions of a company or organization into one network with organized processes. Various sources are available to help in getting a technological solution for your business, like As an all-in-one system, ERP helps perform several functions, including purchasing food products, accounting for what is spent, controlling finances, and managing human relations. This article will explore the benefits and applications of ERP in food manufacturing. Read on to learn.
  1. Enables Management From Top To Bottom
ERP helps to manage the various steps involved in food manufacturing such that operations are combined into a comprehensive network. This way, you can achieve reasonable quality control, high-level integrity information, proper production management, and reliable feedback to help isolate issues that need to be addressed.
  1. Helps Food Manufacturers Adhere To The Set Rules And Regulations
ERP software helps manufacturers comply with the rules and regulations set so they can follow through the process from when raw materials are purchased to when finished products are conveyed. You can use the software to fix labels and barcodes, manage inventory, and conduct audits, among other functions.
  1. Tracking Quality Of Food Products
To maintain good quality, which is one of the food manufacturing companies’ requirements, ERP software helps monitor food manufacturing and expiry dates. A notification is set such that whenever a food item expires, it’s removed from the inventory, and stock records are updated accordingly.
  1. Management Of Data
ERP software enables centralizing of data such that all departments, i.e., from storage, transportation, marketing, and quality control, can access stock data in real time. This way, the manager can tell which items are in excess quantities and plan to avoid any wastage. That data is readily available, improves efficiency, and provides opportunities for learning new skills for growing the business.
  1. Improve Production
ERP software enables uploading manufacturing equipment information onto the system such that you can determine the measure of production per machine. You can also detect the non-performance of the devices and quickly troubleshoot and sort out malfunction issues. This way, you can plan to increase the production capacity.
  1. Gives You The Ability To Predict Your Achievements
ERP software helps you to have intelligent operations such that you can obtain information about the performance of all your stores from the different areas they’re located. From this feedback, you can predict your achievements in terms of how much profit you can make within a given period. Inventory management is made easy so that you can estimate your expenses and profits, and plan how to strategically reduce costs and make savings.
  1. Improves The Efficiency Of The Supply Chain
With ERP software, the management of a food manufacturing company has proper control of its inventory. They can determine the food items they need, the quantity, and by when they should have it. This way, they have the flexibility of deciding the number of orders to take, and if there are any supply changes, the adjustments and updates are made in real time.
  1. Boost Customer Relations
As in other businesses, how customers are treated in the food manufacturing industry contributes significantly to remaining afloat and relevant in business. Customers always come back to a place where they’re valued and treated well together with the services they are provided with. ERP software enables a company to create a customer database where each customer is attended to individually. It’s also possible to set up a portal where customers can share their queries and they’re responded to, boosting customer relationship.
  1. Giving Offers For The Promotion Of Business
Giving promotional offers is one way of growing the business and making more profit. Food manufacturers can also benefit from promotional offers by using ERP. The software enables management to control promotional offers without interfering with the overall prices of items. This way, food manufacturers can hike their sales as they monitor the growth of their profits. Conclusion ERP is of significant benefit to the food manufacturing industry in many ways including better planning, minimizing waste, and improving communication. Investing in ERP which is a technological solution is a promising way for a business to remain competitive and also credible.

The Greener Manufacturing Show and Plastic Waste Free World affirm the circular economy is almost here

The Greener Manufacturing Show held alongside Plastic Waste Free World Europe (9-10 Nov, Cologne, Germany) welcomed almost 3,000 unique visitors from 50+ countries, spanning six continents with its 175 innovative exhibitors and 150 industry-renowned speakers, demonstrating that a circular economy is right around the corner. The audience represented more than 2,000 leading manufacturing companies and suppliers from a wide variety of industries including, automotive, fashion & textiles, packaging, consumer goods products, chemicals, raw materials, electronics, and cosmetics – just to name a few. Exhibitors including Bio NRW, Qwarzo, Speira, South Pole and Mondi showcased a range of industrialised solutions to help manufacturers enhance the sustainability of their products and help reduce the environmental impact of their operations. Trans-Global Events CEO, Mike Robinson, remarked: “This year’s event took a giant leap forward in terms of attendees and companies participating as exhibitors. Sustainability has become a major focus for companies and organisations across the world with manufacturers facing some of the biggest challenges due to the very nature of their business operations. “The Greener Manufacturing Show is totally unique in that you can find new technologies and solutions that cover a wide range of environmental challenges and various industries all in one place, whilst placing the emphasis on balancing production and making positive changes for the future. Following the excellent feedback of our exhibitors and attendees we are looking forward to taking the next step in 2023 and bringing even more exciting solutions to the event.” Exhibitors were impressed with the calibre of attendees and the wealth of networking opportunities, out-of-the-box ideas, and practical solutions presented. They were also delighted to be attending an in-person event with a key focus on sustainability and to mobilise the manufacturing industries towards a green economy from this ostensibly popular European business-hub. The plethora of innovations showcased at the Koelnmesse provided ample choice for buyers and potential opportunities for exhibitors to forge off-take agreements and partnerships. Natural Materials Unlimited Founder & Interim CEO, Michael Klepacz, said: “The Greener Manufacturing Show brought us a wide variety of guests from many industries, including sports, hotels, shipping, fashion, packaging, dyes and waxes, paper and more. We were excited to see the reactions they had to our offers. I hope many partnerships will grow as a result of this show.” There were 20% more delegates at the conference this year, accounting for the 500+ participants projected pre-show. With 40% more visitors and exhibitors than the previous edition, the show is growing rapidly into becoming a pioneering event for a holistic approach to greener manufacturing and new ways for businesses to reduce their plastic footprint. The Greener Manufacturing Show and Plastic Waste Free World Europe will return to Cologne on 8-9 November 2023. To find out more about next year’s event visit: The second edition of the US show will take place in Atlanta, Georgia on 11-12 October 2023. Find out more here

How to achieve sustainable packaging in your food production

Packaging is one of the crucial aspects of food production. It keeps the products safe from the outside elements so they can arrive at stores and customers without damage or spoilage. However, irresponsible fabrication and disposal of food packaging is also a primary cause of the world’s waste problem. As a solution, businesses are moving towards sustainable options. Sustainable packaging reduces the environmental impact of the supply chain. It involves using recyclable, reusable, and biodegradable materials and minimizing or eradicating plastics. Although switching to green options is the best for your business, it can also be challenging. Here are some practical steps to achieve sustainable packaging in your food production.
  1. Prioritize Durability
The most critical factor in switching to sustainable food packaging is durability. Since food products are perishable, they require a rigid material that can withstand impact and temperature changes. One of the newest innovations in sustainable food packaging is thermoformed plastic. Some of the notable benefits you can get from thermoform packaging are flexibility, resilience, and tamper resistance. It’s made through injection moulding, reducing the use of food-grade plastic by up to 15% compared to the traditional production method. Aside from thermoformed plastic, you may also use plant-based materials like wheat straw and hemp, lined with a moisture-resistant coating to preserve food freshness for longer.
  1. Consider Cost-Effectiveness
One massive challenge in switching to sustainable food packaging is the additional cost, especially for small businesses. Due to the limited supply of eco-friendly options, the material and production costs can be higher than the widely available options made from plastic. Therefore, finding a cost-effective option is imperative. One way to save on packaging costs is to source locally. The growing popularity of green packaging has led to the constant growth of manufacturers. Although they aren’t as abundant as plastic packaging, you can find a supplier near you. Sourcing locally can help you save on shipping costs. Plus, it reduces your business’ overall carbon footprint.
  1. Pick Compostable Materials
Another essential step to sustainable packaging is picking compostable materials. Since the improper disposal of packaging can only add to the growing waste management problem, giving a solution to the end line of consumption is a smart decision. Recycled paper, beeswax wrap, and plant-based inks are some of the most accessible materials you can use for food packaging. Consumers can shred these materials and put them in their compost bin upon consumption. Then, they will degrade over time with other food wastes like fruit and vegetable peels and dried leaves.
  1. Select Recyclable Packaging
If using a compostable material isn’t the most practical choice for your food production, selecting recyclables is the best alternative. Recyclable packaging allows endless reprocessing and reuse of materials without degradation. This way, you can reduce waste while saving on packaging costs in the long run. Recyclable packaging like glass and food-grade stainless steel are some of the best choices. These materials are safe even for liquid and paste food products, especially those preserved for a longer shelf-life. You may also include a disposal guide for your consumers and provide drop-off points where you can collect these used packaging for recycling. Although these steps may be costly initially, the positive environmental impact will be rewarding.
  1. Source Materials Ethically
There needs to be more than just sustainable packaging from a supplier to ensure green production. Some consumers may want to know where the whole product is sourced and if it’s done ethically. This step is crucial to a business’s reputation, especially those labeled as eco-friendly. Ethically sourcing materials is imperative to ensure your business is on the right track. For instance, the paper used in your food packaging should be sourced by adhering to the best practices in tree harvesting. The same goes for other plant-based materials like wheat, hemp, cotton, and soy.
  1. Minimize Packaging
One issue that increases the use of plastics in the supply chain is overpackaging. It’s the unnecessary wrapping of food items, only escalating the amount of waste, but it doesn’t benefit the product itself. As a solution, businesses should practice smart minimization of packaging. Minimizing packaging for the less vulnerable product is a good practice to reduce waste. For produce, leaving it unwrapped is enough since the skin or outer covering acts as the protective layer. Using a water-soluble plastic film or a beeswax wrap is also an eco-friendly option.
  1. Go For Versatility
Switching to sustainable materials should maintain the overall look of your packaging. Since visual appeal always matters in product selling, finding an eco-friendly option that offers versatility in design is a must. Printing is essential when creating unique food packaging. The labels carry your brand’s identity, so choosing a versatile, sustainable material that allows prints is a must. To ensure you’re using all eco-friendly products, from the packaging to the labels, you may use plant-based and water-based ink. Conclusion Achieving sustainable packaging in your food production is a significant challenge. However, taking the steps toward sustainability is a brilliant long-term plan for your business. You can retain and acquire more customers by providing superb products while following eco-friendly practices.