FoodBev Media’s Rafaela Sousa rounds up this week’s food and beverage news, including:
Single-use plastic cutlery ban comes into force in England
A ban on some single-use plastic products came into force across England in a bid to reduce plastic pollution across the country.
Under the new rules, all shops and businesses in the hospitality industry are no longer allowed to sell single-use plastic cutlery, balloon sticks or polystyrene cups and food containers. The supply of single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls has also been restricted.
The new regulations were announced in January, and the UK government says that extensive work has taken place throughout 2023 to provide further guidance on the ban for businesses.
The ban does not apply to single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls used as packaging in shelf-ready pre-packaged food items. These will be included in the government’s plans for an ‘extended producer responsibility scheme,’ which will incentivise producers to use less packaging and meet higher recycling targets.
Mondelēz finalises sale of gum business to Perfetti Van Melle
Mondelēz International has completed the sale of its developed-market gum business in the US, Canada and Europe (excluding Portugal) to Perfetti Van Melle Group, a global gum and confectionery manufacturer.
The agreement includes the transfer of manufacturing facilities in Rockford, Illinois, and Skarbimierz, Poland, along with a range of well-known gum brands, such as Trident, V6, Bubbaloo and more.
Mondelēz will retain its gum business in Portugal temporarily, pending regulatory clearance from the Portuguese Competition Authority. Once approval is secured, the Portugal segment of the business will be sold and transferred to Perfetti Van Melle Group.
Mondelēz will continue to operate its gum business outside the US, Canada and Europe, with a focus on the Chinese market – led by the Stride gum brand – along with its other candy brands and products
Infarm’s Dutch branch declared bankrupt
Vertical farming company Infarm has been “declared bankrupt” in the Netherlands, according to official documents.
The news comes after the company closed operations across its key markets in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark over the last year, completely exiting the European market. At the end of last year, Infarm laid off more than half of its staff to downsize operations.
Infarm grows salad leaves, herbs and other vegetables in vertical farms and sells them to supermarkets, restaurants and wholesalers. Like many vertical farms, Infarm has been hit by rising energy prices, which have impacted the company’s margins.
UK to fast-track approval of cell-based meat with Israel deal
The Telegraph has reported that the UK government is working to fast-track regulatory approval for cell-based meat to boost food security and sustainability.
Ministers and regulators are working to accelerate approval of the novel food, to ease the cost of living and provide more sustainable sources of meat as the global population grows.
Currently, no cell-based meat is authorised for sale in the UK. However, The Telegraph reported that the UK government is poised to sign a bilateral agreement to boost collaboration on cell-based meat with Israel, a country at the forefront of the movement.
The Food Standards Agency is also said to be considering future changes to the approval process of cell-based meat to remove unnecessary burdens on businesses.
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