FoodBev Media’s Phoebe Fraser rounds up this week’s food and beverage news, including:
Vitafoods Europe to move to Barcelona from 2025
Informa Markets has announced that global nutraceutical event Vitafoods will take place in Barcelona, Spain, from 2025.
After 26 years in Geneva, Switzerland, the decision to move has been made after visitor and exhibitor feedback, as well as growth plans for the Vitafoods brand. Vitafoods Europe 2025 will be held on 20-22 May 2025 at Fira Barcelona, with more details to be announced next year.
Barcelona’s accessibility was a “crucial selection factor” due to the number of direct flights, accommodation options and streamlined logistics within the EU.
EU cracks down on carbon neutral claims
New European laws set to be introduced in 2026 aim to prevent companies from making unsubstantiated environmental claims, such as ‘carbon neutral’.
The EU Parliament and Council announced last week that they had reached a provisional agreement on the new rules, which aim to empower consumers to make more sustainable purchasing choices and prevent misleading ‘greenwashing’ claims from businesses.
Under the new legislation, businesses will not be allowed to use generic environmental claims, such as ‘environmentally friendly,’ ‘climate neutral’ or ‘biodegradable’ without providing proof of relevant “recognised excellent environmental performance”.
This will include claims based on emissions offsetting schemes that a product has a ‘neutral,’ ‘reduced’ or ‘positive’ effect on the environment.
The European Consumer Organisation has described offsetting schemes as “controversial,” pointing out that these schemes offer “no guarantee for locking in carbon for the future” and can often be the cheaper option for companies, deterring them from taking more ambitious (and costly) measures to reduce emissions within their own operations.
JBS begins work on Brazil’s first cultivated protein research centre
Global meat giant JBS has begun construction on “Brazil’s first” cultivated protein R&D innovation centre.
Scheduled to open in Q4 2024, the JBS Biotech Innovation Centre – located at Sapiens Parque innovation hub in Santa Catarina, Brazil – will be the largest research facility focused on food biotechnology in the country.
JBS is investing $22 million in phase one and phase two, which focus on the construction of lab facilities and a pilot plant. While the current focus is to explore research to optimise beef cell cultivation, JBS says the main aim is to establish cell-based beef production in the future. In the third stage, an industrial-scale model will be built to demonstrate the technical and economic viability of cultivated protein.
JBS says that when it reaches the commercial stage, its cultivated protein will initially reach consumers in the form of prepared foods, such as hamburgers, sausages and meatballs, with the same quality, safety, flavour and texture as traditional protein.
JM Smucker to sell Sahale Snacks to Second Nature Brands
JM Smucker has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Sahale Snacks brand to Second Nature Brands in an all-cash transaction valued at around $34 million.
The transaction encompasses all trademarks and the company’s leased manufacturing plant in Seattle, Washington, which currently employs around 100 people.
Second Nature Brands says the divestiture reflects its commitment to portfolio and resource optimisation, to sharpen its focus and support continued growth.
Ingredion launches drinkable porridge to combat malnutrition in Kenya
Ingredion Kenya has announced a part of a public-private partnership that aims to provide 2.4 million malnourished school-age children with a nutritious ready-to-drink ‘super porridge’ by 2025.
The partnership aims to combat hunger and malnutrition experienced by school children in the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya, to improve school attendance and educational performance.
The partnership, which Ingredion says is “the first of its kind for Africa,” brings together expertise from DSM, Ingredion and Tetra Pak, as well as the Kenyan government and other partners.
The initiative is committed to supporting the regional economy, with 12,000 small-scale farmers contracted to supply the raw materials.
The used cardboard packaging will be recycled and converted into boards and used to make chairs and desks that will be donated to the schools covered in the programme.
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