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FoodBev Weekly News Bulletin – 23/06/23
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

23 June 2023

FoodBev Weekly News Bulletin – 23/06/23


FoodBev Media’s Rafaela Sousa rounds up this week’s food and beverage news, including: VFC saves Meatless Farm from administration Vegan fried chicken firm VFC Foods has acquired Meatless Farm, a little over a week after the brand made its workforce redundant and entered into administration. The acquisition – worth 12 million pounds – was financed from VFC’s cash reserves, and will see Meatless Farm’s product range join the company’s existing plant-based chicken portfolio. David Sparrow, CEO of VFC Foods, said that by integrating both brands, VFC can utilise numerous synergies with valued customers and suppliers, therefore, driving innovation and extending customer choice. US regulator approves first sales of lab-grown meat Upside Foods and Good Meat have received final approval from the US Department of Agriculture to sell their cell-based meat products in the country. Both companies have now become the first in the US to complete the FDA’s pre-market multi-step safety evaluation, meaning their production facilities satisfy regulatory standards, and their products can now be sold in the country. The companies are aiming to serve their products to high-end restaurants before scaling production to retail and grocery channels. Following the approvals, the US will become the second country after Singapore to allow the sale of cell-based meat. Coca-Cola HBC to acquire Finlandia vodka brand for $220m Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) has reached an agreement to acquire the Finlandia vodka brand from Brown-Forman for 220 million dollars. Founded in 1970, Finlandia is available in pure form, which is distilled alcohol with water, and in several flavoured versions. Prior to the acquisition, Coca-Cola HBC has been distributing Finlandia for over 17 years. The deal is said to bolster Coca-Cola HBC’s reputation in the premium spirits market, creating new opportunities for premium and super-premium non-alcoholic ready-to-drink products, as well as strengthening partnerships with customers in strategically key channels, such as hotel, restaurant and catering. Completion of the transaction is expected in the second half of 2023 and is subject to regulatory approvals. Dairy Farmers of America withdraws from IDFA Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) has revealed it is withdrawing its membership from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) over IDFA’s petition to modify the federal milk marketing order system. DFA has 83 processing plants and has been a longstanding member of IDFA. The decision to withdraw follows a proposal from IDFA, which initially focused on changing how make allowances are configured. The IDFA said its efforts relating to federal order updates have been ongoing for more than a year, including engaging in an extensive process working with members across all segments of the industry. In March, the company met twice with leadership from the National Milk Producers Federation to seek consensus on priorities for Federal Order reform, but this was not achieved. In a statement announcing its decision to withdraw, DFA said it appreciates the significant value that IDFA provides in supporting the dairy processing and manufacturing sector. However, it described IDFA’s milk pricing proposal to the USDA as “divisive” and a “critical exception” to its generally neutral position on policies lacking full membership consensus.

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