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Expert flavorists will enhance sweet and culinary capabilities with cutting-edge modulation technologies

IFF a global leader in solutions for food and beverages, health, biosciences, and scent has increased its innovation capabilities with two new state-of-the-art flavour labs at its facility in Northern Europe. The sweet and culinary flavour creation labs are the latest addition to the company’s expansive campus that has been in operation since 1964, spanning more than 312,150 square feet in Brabrand, Denmark.

The innovation hub is home to more than 400 employees engaged in research, application development, ingredient and flavour creation. The expanded facility will enable local and regional manufacturers to work in close partnership with a new team of flavourists who will introduce the latest modulation technologies and develop solutions for the beverage, bakery, dairy, snacks, culinary, bars and confectionery end markets. Working with an extensive library of proprietary flavor ingredients they will create exciting and unique flavour experiences for consumers, especially in areas such as masking, sweetness and umami.

“This expanded facility is a testament to our continued investment in innovation to meet evolving consumer expectations,” said Jan Bechtel, regional president of Nourish Europe, IFF. “We will continue to build on our deep expertise and scientific knowledge and invest in tools and products to bring what matters most to consumers in the market: creating the next generation of delicious, healthy and experiential food and beverages.”

Expert flavourists will have access to IFF’s latest research innovations, particularly in plant-based and biotechnology, along with resources like pilot plant manufacturing, ingredient expertise and evaluation studios, creating the perfect environment for end-to-end product design.

“We’re thrilled to launch these flavour labs,” said Laurens Reiber, creative director, Nourish Europe, IFF. “Brabrand is already a massive innovation center, and its location helps us better understand local market preferences and deliver trending global flavours. Now we’re investing further to boost our speed-to-market capabilities and to bring greater value to our partners.”

Following the completion of the Culinary Design Center last summer in Denmark, the opening of the new flavour labs is the company’s latest investment in R&D to develop winning solutions that meet customer and market needs with speed, agility and creativity.

Kerry announced details on the consolidation of its distributor network across Europe. The company has chosen Azelis and Caldic as distribution partners for Kerry products* to selected customers in the European region.

The appointment of these two well-recognised and experienced distributors will extend the reach of Kerry’s portfolio in market, enabling the supply of more customers with Kerry’s industry-leading products and technologies.

Caldic will operate in South Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Nordics and Benelux while Azelis will have responsibility for Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Eastern Europe, within the food, beverage and meat sectors.

Kerry will continue to operate direct sales across the region to its established and target customer base.

*Kerry Dairy Ireland, condensed smoke, food service products, retail butchery in UK and Ireland, pharma products and supplements are not included.

The outlook for consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables remains under pressure in the European Union. These are the conclusions from the latest consumption trends discussed in Freshfel Europe through a review of trends in Member States, covering 75 % of the EU population. Despite a very positive momentum for consumption growth, many barriers are severely impacting the move towards a healthier and more sustainable diet for European consumers.

The latest findings from the Freshfel Europe Consumption Monitor reveal that the average consumption for fresh produce stands at an average of 364 g/capita/day for 2021, a figure that could decline by ca 10 % in 2022 once the final data for last year is known. This is particularly worrying at it stays well below the minimum 400 gr. recommendation of WHO. These figures are driven by the low level of consumption by millennials and the youngest generations, which are tomorrow’s consumers. Under the difficult economic conditions, the consumption among the low-income population is also of particular concern. Informing and engaging with consumers to choose healthy, affordable and sustainable diets was identified as a priority not only for Freshfel Europe but also for retailer organisation EuroCommerce and the consumer organisation BEUC who attended the meeting to share their perspectives.

The economic crisis impacting all Member States following the war in Ukraine and growing protectionism in the world is severely impacting consumer purchasing power and limiting their food expenditure. In times of crisis, these consumers tend to move towards a less healthy diet, which is perceived to be more energy satisfactory and a cheaper food option. Freshfel Europe General Delegate Philippe Binard underlined, “Consumers have a basic misperception about fruit and vegetable prices on the shelf in supermarkets. Fruit and vegetables are the most affordable products and have also undisputed health and environmental assets. Price and value of fresh produce are both very attractive in the food assortment”. He added, “Compared to other food categories, rises in fruit and vegetable prices have been lower than the average inflation. A diet with 5 portions a day or half of the plate with fruit and vegetables can be achieved by EUR 1 or EUR 2 per person per day. Comparatively, for public expenditure of social security, the cost of unhealthy diets results to be twice as high of the total food market value, corresponding to EUR 6 trillion expenditure for social security in the EU according to the World Economic Forum”.

There is a need for the sector to bridge the gap between awareness of the benefits of fresh produce and concrete actions to be undertaken by authorities as well as by consumers. According to Eurostat survey, only 12 % of consumers across the EU reach their 5 portions per day and alarmingly 33 % do not eat fruit and vegetables every day. It is important now to build on the renewed interest of consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic to take time to prepare, cook and eat a wide diversity of fruit and vegetables.

Fresh produce has been demonstrated to be an essential segment of the food assortment and is part of the solution to the objectives of the European Green Deal (contribution to carbon neutrality and low CO2 emissions), the Farm to Fork Strategy (move towards a plant diet) and the EU Beating Cancer Plan (preventive role of fruit and vegetables for non-communicable diseases).

Mr. Binard commented, “Regretfully, policy makers fail to be coherent in the implementation of these strategies and lack ambition in their measures, which should use fresh produce as an essential driver for success for their strategies”. Efficient promotion policy towards generation Y (millennials) and Z as well as education programmes in schools for generation alpha are crucial. The sector also has an important role to play in accompanying consumers to convert their awareness of the health benefits of fresh produce into concrete eating behaviours. In addition, better communication with consumers on expectations regarding societal concerns, price and image misperception will remain key while providing attractive tastes, diversity and convenience of products. This is an essential sector’s responsibility to compete with other food categories.

The latest consumption trends indicate that consumption levels are in decline. The purchasing power of consumers is under pressure due to inflation and high household energy bills. This is changing purchasing patterns away from premium quality and organic products, towards searching for promotions and discount prices, as well as reducing purchase quantities. Mr. Binard emphasized, “In this changing environment it is important to continue to build value for our products despite price becoming the sole priority of consumers. The affordability of fresh produce needs to be reminded to consumers and put in perspective of other food as being a cheap and healthy option. Consumers will have also to take their share of the rising costs for producers and other stakeholders in the supply chain to guarantee profitability and survival of the essential fruit and vegetable sector.”

In 2021, the market size for fresh fruit and vegetables amounted to 75 Mio T out of which comprises 11,6 Mio T in Italy, 11 Mio T in Germany, 10 Mio T in France, 9 Mio T in Spain and 7,2 Mio T in Poland. The most consumed fruit in Europe are apples, bananas, oranges, tables grapes and peaches/nectarines, while blueberries is the segment that is experiencing the most dynamic growth in many members states such as Germany and Poland. For vegetables, tomatoes, cabbages, carrots, cucumbers and sweet peppers are the most consumed products respectively.

In their review of the latest drivers of consumption, Freshfel Europe members confirmed that price is predominantly influencing the decision of consumers in recent months across Europe and consumers are buying less alimentary items. Mr. Binard further clarified, “This trend is impacting the frequency and place of buying, where a concentration of purchase is occurring in the beginning of the month along with a reduction of ingredients and items purchased. Premium labels and organic sales are those segments declining more”. Besides, Association members also reconfirmed that consumers remain adamant to buy local and seasonal, are eager to be informed about origin, variety, method of production, sustainable practices and when appropriate preparation or consumption tips.

Freshfel Europe members remain confident that fresh produce consumption can be stimulated in the coming months by building partnerships across the supply chain with all actors, providing quality and affordable products, and giving confidence to retailers to build the share of the category as an essential part of a sustainable and healthy diet for European consumers in 2023.

Data presented during the Prognosfruit conference speak to Poland’s and Italy’s good recovery. Forecasts for organic harvests are very promising. This year’s Interpoma Award will focus on sustainability.

Apple production figures showing overall stability are emerging from Prognosfruit, the annual conference organized by WAPA, the World Apple and Pear Association. During its 2022 edition, held in attendance in Belgrade after two years of pandemic-related online editions, the data presented on the upcoming European apple harvest estimate a yield of 12,168,000 tons which represent a slight growth of 1 % compared to 2021.

Poland spearheads the effort, boasting 4,495,000 tons (+ 5 %), followed by Italy at 2,150,000 tons, which equals a 5 % year-on-year growth. If we look at Italy, South Tyrol – the best-performing apple-growing region – registers a slight decrease in production (- 3 %) at 912,803 tons. A similar drop is evident in the Trentino region (- 1 %) with a forecast of 507,360 tons. France ranks third at 1,468,000 tons (+ 6 %), with Germany slightly behind at 1,067,000 tons (+ 6 %). One of the growing trends is Italy’s organic harvest, which is expected to reach a new record at just under 200,000 tons (+ 4 % YOY growth), representing more than 9 % of the total apple yield.

These facts and figures will dominate the Interpoma Congress scheduled for November 17 and 18 at Fiera Bolzano during the Interpoma trade fair (November 17-19, 2022). The international apple fair will focus on the industry’s innovations and cutting-edge automated fruit-picking technology, with experts from all over the world contributing to the debate. The program will, as usual, include many new items of interest, including the Congress’ coordinator himself, Walter Guerra. He has been the Vice-Director of the Laimburg Research Center since 2021, and the Head of the Pomology Working Group from 2005 onwards. Tickets to Interpoma Congress can be purchased online, with the Early Bird ticket costing €54 until August 31; after that, tickets will cost €69.

The most important world fair on apples would not be what it is without the Interpoma Award. The 2022 edition will focus on cutting-edge water-saving technologies in apple-growing. Two prizes will be awarded this year: one will go to companies or individuals, the other to start-ups. An expert jury will analyze the products or services submitted, such as machines, systems, components or devices. Applications for the award can be submitted by filling out an application form in English and sending it to The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2022.

WAPA, the World Apple and Pear Association, released the first apple and pear stock figures of 2022. The figures show that in Europe apple stocks increased by 5.1 % compared to 2021 to reach 4,308,683 T, while pear stocks decreased by 18.2 % to 661,587 T. In the USA, apple stocks as of 1 January 2022 stood at 1,674,042 T (- 2.7 % compared to 2021), while pear stocks reached 190,192 T (24.8 % above 2021).

WAPA, the World Apple and Pear Association, collects every month the stock figures for apples and pears from Europe and the United States. WAPA can reveal that European apple stocks stood at 4,308,683 T as of 1 January 2022, which is 5.1 % above the figure of 2021. This increase was mainly driven by Golden Delicious (up 19.5 % from 2021), Jonagold (+ 15.8 %), and Gala (+ 15.7 %), which compensated for the decrease in several varieties, most notably Granny Smith (- 12.5 %) and Cripps Pink (- 11 %). On the other hand, pear stocks stood at 661,587 on 1 January 2022, 18.2 % below the volume of 2021, mostly because of the large decrease in Italy.

In the USA, apple stocks in January stood at 1,674,042 T, down 2.7 % compared to 2021. This is due to a decrease among the largest varieties, such as Fuji (- 19.6 %), Honeycrisp (- 15.5 %), Red Delicious (- 12.5 %), and Gala (- 8.3 %), and despite significant increases for Cosmic Crisp (+ 147 %) and Pink Lady (+ 17.4 %). Pears stocks in the USA stood at 190,192 T, which is 24.8 % above last year.

WAPA releases the first apple and pear stock figures of 2022
(Photo: WAPA)


WAPA releases the first apple and pear stock figures of 2022
(Foto: WAPA)

Firmenich, one of the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste companies, and Finlays, a leading supplier of tea, coffee and botanical solutions, have entered an agreement giving Firmenich full sales rights to Finlays’ European tea and coffee extracts portfolio in Europe, effective immediately.

As a part of this new agreement, Firmenich will focus on commercializing two core parts of Finlays’ extracts business in Europe: its world-leading Cold Brew Coffee portfolio and its Tea Extract portfolio. The Cold Brew Coffee portfolio serves a rapidly growing segment within the European region, and is crafted using a proprietary process which delivers a distinctly smooth, rich flavor experience. Finlays’ Tea Extract portfolio includes The Wellbeing Collection, a range of premium, all-natural tea extracts which are rich in bioactive compounds associated with various health benefits. These extracts are sustainably sourced from Finlays’ own tea farms, with on-site extraction facilities that enable tea leaves to be harvested and extracted on the same day, thereby preserving their fresh flavor and natural bioactive composition.

Under the new agreement, Firmenich is responsible for the full sales process, from commercial relationship to brief management, supported by the Finlays team. The partnership focuses exclusively on Finlays’ ranges of tea and coffee extracts, and covers European markets only.

PepsiCo, Inc. announced the establishment of the company’s first two Digital Hubs in North America and Europe, with plans to expand to more locations in the future. These Hubs, located in Dallas and Barcelona, are expected to create more than 500 new, high-caliber data and digital jobs over the next three years, bringing additional opportunity to the regions. By creating state-of-the-art spaces designed for real-time collaboration, the talent and capabilities housed in these Digital Hubs will drive PepsiCo’s digitalization agenda and create a strong, global digital delivery network.

As one of the first major consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to establish a robust Digital Hub in North America, the Dallas-based Hub will support the development of global solutions with a primary focus on meeting the needs of the company’s North America-based businesses: PepsiCo Foods North America and PepsiCo Beverages North America. The Hub in Barcelona will serve as a Center of Excellence for PepsiCo Global Digitalization priority programs. Together, the Hubs will accelerate the way PepsiCo develops, centralizes and deploys critical digital capabilities, such as near instant, holistic, predictive analytics and ecosystem engagement across our global operations.

“Our Digital Hubs will support PepsiCo’s efforts to be an even Faster, Stronger and Better Company,” said Athina Kanioura, Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer, PepsiCo. “By creating an agile and dedicated environment where innovation will thrive, our talent will have the opportunity to lead work that will reach global scale and have a significant impact for PepsiCo for many years to come.”

These capabilities move the company closer to a future vision where customers will have improved access to real-time sales and inventory data; consumers will benefit from consistent product availability at the right place, right time and right price; and employees will utilize predictive decision-making tools, giving them the ability to manage more complexity with enhanced efficiency.

From leveraging AI to ensure perfectly consistent Cheetos every time to optimizing water consumption and preventing leaks in manufacturing facilities, PepsiCo has been at the forefront of digital innovation across its global operations. PepsiCo’s Digital Hubs will greatly influence the way the organization reinvents planning, making, moving, selling and delivering products.

Kanioura added, “We strategically chose Barcelona and Dallas because they are truly innovative cities with topnotch talent, world-class education systems and fully-developed regional infrastructures. Coming into PepsiCo one year ago, I was extremely impressed with the caliber of existing data and digital talent within a CPG, and I’m excited to harness that power to grow our teams in North America and Europe.”

Sweegen’s footprint in Europe became stronger after the European Union Commission published its approval of Sweegen’s non-GMO Signature Bestevia Rebaudioside M (Reb M) for use in food and beverages.

The approval of Sweegen’s Signature Bestevia Reb M leads the future of wellness in food and drink in Europe. Brands in Europe now have access to the best-tasting highly sought-after stevia sweetener. The availability broadens the toolkit for sugar alternatives to reimagine food and drink, opening new doors for creating healthy products for consumers.

Consumers are increasingly aware of the need to reduce sugar in their diets for better health. Yet, when they are making decisions for purchasing food and beverages, consumers will ultimately select the brand with the best taste. Therefore, tackling the toughest sugar reduction challenges is a priority for brands as taste is the reason for repeat purchases.

The soft drinks industry in Europe is making a pledge to cut added sugars in Europe. The Union of European Soft Drinks Associations (UNESDA) announced on June 29 this year to reduce average added sugars in its beverages by another 10 % across Europe by 2025.

In its further commitment to Europe, Sweegen has aligned the availability of its Reb M with commercializing the high-purity sweetener at its manufacturing facility in Europe. The facility is open in Europe for helping food and beverage manufacturers with rapid production and low cost-in-use sugar reduction solutions.

To compliment the approval of Reb M, Sweegen invested in designing and building its Innovation Studio in Reading, England, near London. The studio opened its doors in January 2021 with a full applications team to collaborate with food and beverage manufacturers on exploring the entire consumer landscape to understand what trends are driving consumer behaviour, and then provide inspirational ingredients to represent those trend drivers.

Sweegen is the first company to receive the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) panel’s safety status for any steviol glycoside produced by alternative and sustainable technologies. To achieve high purity clean-tasting stevia leaf sweeteners, Sweegen uses a bioconversion process starting with the stevia leaf. This process enabled Sweegen to obtain the Non-GMO Project verification for its Signature Bestevia stevia sweeteners in the U.S. market.

Bestevia Reb M was commercialized in 2017 and has already been approved in many regions around the world.

Refresco, the world’s largest independent bottler for retailers and A-brands in Europe and North America, publishes the second quarter and half-year 2021 results of Refresco Group B.V.1

Q2 2021 Highlights

  • Total volume was 3,204 million liters (Q2 2020: 2,983 million liters).
  • Gross profit margin was €531 million (Q2 2020: €477 million).
  • Adjusted EBITDA amounted to €159 million (Q2 2020: €138 million).
  • Cash and cash equivalents at the end of Q2 2021 were €504 million (June 30, 2020: €314 million).
  • Announced acquisition of HANSA-HEEMANN, a major German mineral water and CSD company, on July 8, 2021.
  • Announced agreement with The Coca-Cola Company to acquire three of its production locations in the US, on August 3, 2021.

Half-year 2021 Highlights

  • Total volume was 5,986 million liters (YTD 2020: 5,745 million liters).
  • Gross profit margin was €1,009 million (YTD 2020: €925 million).
  • Adjusted EBITDA amounted to €278 million (YTD 2020: €241 million).

Key figures

Refresco reports strong Q2 2021 results
(Photo: Refresco)

CEO Refresco, Hans Roelofs commented:

“We are pleased to report a strong performance in the second quarter of 2021. We have been able to accelerate our growth in volume and profitability this quarter, ending the first six months of 2021 with good results. We have strengthened the business organically by growing along with our customers, specifically in Contract Manufacturing. As we move into the second half of the year, we are facing increasing cost pressure on commodities and transportation, with higher inflation levels across all regions in which we operate.

On July 8, 2021, we announced the acquisition of HANSA-HEEMANN, a major German mineral water and CSD company. This acquisition will allow us to further improve our operational excellence, diversify our business and product offering, and will enable us to offer nationwide coverage to German retailers. With its five production sites spread across Germany, this acquisition is highly complementary. We look forward to welcoming HANSA-HEEMANN to Refresco, pending regulatory approval.

On August 2, 2021, we closed the acquisition of SEBB with one production site in Dade City, Florida, US. The acquisition expands our incubation capabilities for Contract Manufacturing customers looking for flexibility as they launch new, complex and innovative products. As their need for production capacity increases, customers will be able to leverage our existing footprint across North America.

On August 3, 2021, we announced that we have entered into an agreement with The Coca-Cola Company to acquire three of its production facilities in the United States, pending regulatory approval. The ongoing trend of A-brands outsourcing their production capabilities continues to provide opportunities for us as an independent beverage solution provider. With manufacturing and supply chain being at the heart of our business, the acquisition of three Coca-Cola facilities in the US is another step forward in our growth strategy.

With these strong financial results, our well-balanced customer base across Europe and North America, and our robust M&A approach, we continue to pursue our ambition of Our Drinks On Every Table.”

Please download the full report under

1All values are rounded to the nearest million unless otherwise stated.
2Net debt as at June 30, 2020 includes €117 million shareholder funding; in Q4 2020, the shareholder loan plus accrued interest have been converted into equity.

Coca-Cola in Europe will trial its first ever paper bottle prototype. The move marks a further step in fulfilling The Coca-Cola Company’s global vision of achieving a “World Without Waste”, in which the Company has pledged to ensure all of its packaging is collected, recycled or re-used by 2030.

The new paper bottle prototype has been developed through a partnership between scientists at the Coca-Cola Research and Development Laboratories in Brussels and The Paper Bottle Company (Paboco).The technology developed by Paboco is designed to create 100 % recyclable bottles made of sustainably sourced wood with a bio-based material barrier capable of resisting liquids, CO2 and oxygen, and suitable for liquid goods such as carbonated and still drinks, beauty products and more. The current prototype consists of a paper shell with a recyclable* plastic lining and cap. The ultimate goal is a bottle that can be recycled as paper.

“The trial we are announcing today is a milestone for us in our quest to develop a paper bottle”, said Daniela Zahariea, Director of Technical Supply Chain & Innovation for Coca-Cola Europe. “People expect Coca-Cola to develop and bring to market new, innovative and sustainable types of packaging. That’s why we are partnering with experts like Paboco, experimenting openly and conducting this first in-market trial. It’s part of delivering on our World Without Waste commitments.”

The trial is scheduled to take place in the second quarter of this year and will involve the Company’s plant-based AdeZ drink being offered to 2,000 consumers in Hungary, through a partnership with – one of Hungary’s fastest growing online grocery retailers.

The launch is an important step in seeing how the paper bottle prototype performs and how consumers react, according to Coca-Cola Europe’s Stijn Franssen, R&D Packaging Innovation Manager. The paper bottle prototype is 100 % recyclable* and currently consists of a paper shell, with a recyclable plastic lining and cap. Mr Franssen said the Company’s partnership with Paboco is focused on developing a paper bottle than can be fully recycled as paper.

“This trial will provide us with invaluable insight and feedback”, said Mr Franssen. “We will get to see how the paper bottle prototype performs as packaging and what consumers think and feel about it. This is an exciting step forward for us, as it means we’re out of the lab and into the real world. So for the first time, consumers will actually be drinking one of our products from a potentially new type of paper packaging”, he added.

*where technology is available

Freshfel Europe published its 2020 Consumption Monitor, the Association’s analysis for fresh fruit and vegetables production, trade and consumption trends in the EU-28. This latest and highly anticipated edition of Freshfel Europe’s Consumption Monitor shows that in 2018 daily fresh fruit and vegetable consumption per capita has increased by 4 % from 2017 levels to 363.76 g per capita per day. While still below the WHO recommended minimum daily consumption of 400 g, this represents a 5.1 % increase compared to the previous five years (2013-2017) and halts previous consumption stagnation.

Freshfel Europe released its much-anticipated 2020 Consumption Monitor. Analysing fresh fruit and vegetable production, trade and consumption trends for the EU-28, Freshfel Europe’s 2020 Consumption Monitor examines the latest sector data from 2018. While aggregate consumption remained below the WHO recommended minimum daily consumption of 400 g, fresh produce consumption in the EU showed a strong positive increase of 4 % compared to 2017 levels. Representing a 5.1 % increase compared to the previous five years (2013-2017), this significant improvement can be attributed to a 9.5 % rise in fresh fruit consumption to 211.82 g per capita per day, which also compensated for a slight overall decrease in vegetable consumption to 151.94 g per capita per day.

This indication of a strong positive increase in EU consumption has coincided with increased sector efforts to raise awareness of the importance of fresh produce consumption over the last few years. Freshfel Europe General Delegate Philippe Binard commented on the publication emphasizing, “The findings of Freshfel Europe’s 2020 Consumption Monitor are highly encouraging and clearly illustrate that the sector’s heightened efforts to boost consumption above the WHO recommended minimum of 400 g per capita per day are being paid off. While we will continue to observe the stability of this recovery, we need to investigate this new discrepancy between fruit and vegetable consumption”. Mr Binard encouraged the sector to continue its efforts adding, “The fresh fruit and vegetable sector must capitalize on 2021 being the UN International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. Continued reinforcement of the important role of fresh produce in a balanced healthy and sustainable diet is essential to maintain and boost this latest positive consumption trend”. Freshfel Europe is active in consumption promotion activities at EU-level. Freshfel Europe’s ‘Follow me to be healthy with Europe’ EU promotion campaign is now in its third year, and alongside its longstanding online #FruitVeg4You campaign this year Freshfel Europe is conducting a specific campaign, #SpeakUp4FruitVeg, to encourage support for the sector by EU policy-makers and boost consumption to celebrate the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables 2021.

The 143-page Freshfel Europe 2020 Consumption Monitor consists of three parts:

  1. total gross supply of fruit and vegetables in the EU-28, including trends in production, exports and imports of fruit and vegetables (2013-2018),
  2. a comparative review of consumption trends across the EU-28 (2013-2018), and
  3. a review of the total net supply and trends exports and imports of fruit and vegetables in the EU-28 (2013-2018).

Freshfel Europe members receive the full report free of charge. The 2020 Consumption Monitor is also available for purchase for non-members at a rate of 1000 EUR. All information about the Freshfel Europe Consumption Monitor is available via the Freshfel website (

…and will contribute to protect 17,872 hectares of forest in the Amazon area annually

The Eckes-Granini Group with all its subsidiaries will operate climate neutral throughout Europe as of January 1, 2021. Europe-wide, the Group emitted 43,082 tons of carbon into the atmosphere in 2019 – caused, among other things, by energy and heating, waste processing, employee commuting and business trips. This is the result of a profound analysis of the companies’ carbon footprint in cooperation with ClimatePartner. The solution provider of climate action for companies has been supporting the leading supplier of fruit juices and fruit beverages since this year. With regard to the fight against climate change, the Eckes-Granini Group strives for zero greenhouse gas emissions. In order to get much closer to this overall goal, the Group will offset 43,000 tons carbon emissions of its direct business activities through a carbon offset project conducted by ClimatePartner in Portel, Brazil. Thereby, Eckes-Granini ensures the protection of 17,872 hectares of forest in the Amazon region per year.

Eckes-Granini carbon offset project protects Brazilian primeval forest

Eckes-Granini offsets its emissions by supporting a forest protection project in Portel, in the Brazilian state of Pará. The project protects a total of 151,105 hectares of forest each year. It also provides alternative sources of income and education for the residents of Portel, e.g. through the cultivation of pepper or the training of forest rangers.

Commitment to climate action across Europe

The German subsidiary of Eckes-Granini (hohes C, granini) has already been climate neutral since 2019. This is a great success that was achieved through the implementation of numerous climate protection measures. These include the modernization of facilities, the purchase of green electricity and the reduction of fuel consumption in the logistics fleet. As of January 2021, the entire carbon footprint of all eleven European subsidiaries will be offset.

About ClimatePartner
ClimatePartner is a solution provider of climate action for companies. ClimatePartner combines individual consulting with cloud-based software that is unique on the market. Customers can use it to calculate and reduce carbon emissions and compensate for unavoidable emissions. In this way, products and companies become climate neutral, which is confirmed by the ClimatePartner label. ClimatePartner offers carbon offset projects in different regions and with different technologies and standards. The additional social effects of the projects are particularly important: The 17 goals for sustainable development of the United Nations, the SDGs, are the benchmark here. ClimatePartner was founded in Munich in 2006 and today has more than 100 employees in Munich, Berlin, Essen, Vienna, Zurich and Yerevan and cooperates with more than 2,500 companies in 35 countries.

Reaching 14.6 % reduction of added sugars in soft drinks between 2015-2019

Europe’s soft drinks industry has reduced added sugars in its drinks across Europe by an average of 14.6 % between 2015 and 2019.[1]

UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe, representing soft drinks producers across the EU, is committed to creating healthier and more sustainable food environments. It is determined to support consumers in managing their intake of added sugars from soft drinks by ensuring that the healthier choice becomes the easy choice. The industry responded to the European Commission’s call for a 10 % reduction in added sugars by 2020 and recent research, by independent analysts GlobalData, confirms that it has met, and surpassed, the target ahead of time.

“This reduction is proof that the soft drinks industry’s voluntary efforts to reduce sugar across the EU are delivering tangible results,” said UNESDA president and president Western Europe at The Coca-Cola Company, Tim Brett. It demonstrates our sector’s accelerated action in response to changing consumer preferences and the expectations of public health stakeholders.”

The 14.6 % reduction in added sugars has been achieved through a comprehensive range of actions including changing recipes to reduce sugars while maintaining a taste with which consumers are happy; innovating to develop new products with different sweetness levels; increasing availability of small packs to support portion control and moderation; and nudging people toward more no- and low-sugar/calorie options through marketing investments. This latest sugar reduction comes on top of previous achievements and means that Europe’s soft drinks industry has now reduced added sugars by an average of 26 % since 2000.

UNESDA is a founding member of the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health and has undertaken a series of voluntary commitments over the past 15 years to help address unhealthy diets as a risk factor for non-communicable diseases. These have been complemented by numerous national pledges to support EU member states in their action plans to create healthier food environments. These pledges are the result of stakeholder engagement at a national level and set targets based on local baselines and expectations. They reflect the conclusions of the 2016 Dutch EU Presidency which highlighted that sugar reduction is a gradual process and needs to take account of different dietary habits and preferences across the EU.

“Our sector’s progress in reducing sugar and calorie reduction has been enabled by the openness of stakeholders to engage through the EU Platform,” concluded Tim Brett. “We believe that the EU Code of Conduct for responsible business and marketing practices announced in the EU Farm to Fork strategy offers an opportunity to continue this dialogue with all actors, including Member States. As an industry we are committed to maintaining our efforts through a range of voluntary actions to ensure that the healthier choice becomes the easy choice.”

The path towards sugar reduction through reformulation comes with multiple challenges from a technological and consumer acceptance perspective and these become greater the more the reductions continue.

While the soft drinks sector has reduced the average sugar content in its products, and the WHO’s research[2] shows that frequency of consumption among school-aged children has declined across all age groups over the past 16 years, recent data shows that rates of overweight and obesity have not reduced. This demonstrates the complexity of the issue and the need for a holistic approach with all food and drink sectors committing to actions that support healthier food environments.

In addition to ongoing sugar and calorie reduction, Europe’s soft drinks sector has also made far-reaching commitments to behave responsibly in the marketplace including no advertising to children under 12; no sales of any soft drinks in EU primary schools and only no- and low- calorie drinks offered for sale in EU secondary schools.

Established in 1958 UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe is a Brussels-based association representing the European soft drinks industry. Its membership includes both companies and national associations from across Europe producing drinks including still drinks, squashes, carbonates, powders, iced teas, iced coffees, syrups, energy drinks and sports drinks. It is signatory to the EU Transparency Register (No: 25498952296-56).

[1] GlobalData research across 7 markets – Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Romania, UK
– representing 62 % of the EU market and extrapolated to create an aggregate figure.

Fi Europe co-located with Hi Europe has announced they are postponing the live event to 2021 and are transitioning to virtual for their 2020 event.

Over recent weeks and months, the Fi Europe team has been in discussions with key industry stakeholders and partners to stay abreast of the challenges facing the F&B industry due to COVID-19. While the event was set to take place this December with Informa’s AllSecure guidelines incorporating the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness, the decision to postpone the live event and transition to virtual was taken as a result of the global nature of the event.

Fi Europe co-located with Hi Europe is a truly international event which brings together key industry players from all over the world. Given international travel is only returning gradually, stakeholders and partners felt it was difficult to ensure the same level of participation typically expected at the live event, and thus the Fi Europe team made the difficult decision to transition to a virtual format in 2020, with the expectation that they will return to Frankfurt as a best-in-class physical event from 30 November to 2 December 2021. The following year the show will take place in Paris.

For 2020, the Fi Europe team are transforming Europe’s largest F&B exhibition into a unique digital experience and expo. Fi Europe CONNECT 2020 is a virtual event designed to give the F&B community access to the global F&B ingredients industry, tools and collaboration opportunities they require to meet their business objectives.

Attracting over 8,000 attendees at their virtual event which will shape the future of the F&B industry, giving the community the chance to stay up to date with trends through 100+ on-demand and 16+ expert sessions and to use Fi Europe’s data-driven matchmaking service to find the most relevant buyers for customers’ products and solutions.

Biesterfeld is expanding its long-term partnership with US-based ingredients manufacturer CP Kelco in the food and nutrition sector. Following on from their successful cooperation in Germany and Poland, the distribution of CP Kelco’s nature-based pectin, carrageenan, xanthan gum, gellan gum and citrus fiber for food applications has been extended to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, as of April 2020.

CP Kelco’s nature-based ingredients provide a wide range of functional benefits in innovative product formulations. CP Kelco is one of the leading producers of pectin, a gelling agent derived from citrus peel and used primarily in the production of fruit preparations and acidified milk products. GENU® Carrageenans are extracted from red seaweed and used in products such as confectioneries and milk-based desserts with different textures. Fermented KELCOGEL® Gellan Gum is widely used as a stabiliser and suspension agent in dairy alternative beverages. KELTROL® Xanthan Gum is used as a versatile thickening agent in various foods. The recently introduced, innovative NUTRAVA™ Citrus Fiber can be used to replace some E-numbered additives and help meet “clean-label” goals as a stabiliser in condiments and dressings, fruit applications and fruit-flavoured beverages, and dairy, bakery and meat products.

“With consumer demand for clean-label products continuing to grow, our portfolio meets the need for nature-based ingredients for a wide range of food applications,” says Bernd-Maximilian Fischer, Business Manager Nutrition, Biesterfeld Spezialchemie. “The expansion of our distribution area allows us to serve our customers and address evolving market needs even more comprehensively.”

“Our partnership with Biesterfeld has been very successful from the start,” adds Niels Thestrup, Head of Commercial, EMEA Region for CP Kelco. “Biesterfeld has an excellent reputation, a high level of technical competence in the field of nutritional formulations and highly effective customer support. We’re delighted to expand our coverage of the European market through our strong partnership with Biesterfeld.”

Ball Corporation announced that it has executed two virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) in Europe – one for the Corral Nuevo project with wpd and one for the Brattmyrliden project with Falck Renewables – for a total of 93.4 megawatts (MW) of additional wind energy. These agreements are a testament to Ball’s long-term commitment to achieve and maintain 100 % renewable energy in Europe and will allow the company to address approximately 63 % of the European electricity load utilized in its aluminum beverage packaging plants (excluding Russia) with new renewable energy.

The wind developments in Spain and Sweden will collectively enable Ball to reduce its Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions generated in Europe by approximately 60 % compared to 2019 – equivalent to the carbon reduction that would be provided by removing more than 47,000 passenger vehicles from the road annually. Ball’s commitment is to address 100 % of its electricity footprint in the region with clean power. The company’s regional strategy is to pursue PPAs when and where they are available and attractive. To the extent Ball has not achieved 100 % clean energy in the region through PPAs, the company is purchasing Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs). It recently announced the purchase of EACs to fully cover its operations in the European Union, Serbia and the UK through 2020.

“These milestone renewable energy deals in Europe affirm Ball’s steadfast commitment to reduce absolute carbon emissions within our operations and through our value chain,” said Kathleen Pitre, chief commercial and sustainability officer. “Both projects will allow us to address a substantial portion of our European electricity use with new wind energy and accelerate progress toward our recently approved science-based targets.”

In 2019, Ball was one of the top ten corporate renewable energy buyers in the United States. Last April, the company announced it had executed a wind and a solar VPPA for 388 MW of new renewable energy to address 100 % of its North American electricity load by 2021.

The VPPAs in Spain and Sweden demonstrate Ball’s industry-leading efforts to quickly expand on its renewable energy successes in North America as a major force driving new clean energy growth in global markets. Scheduled to come online in 2021, Ball’s share of the Corral Nuevo and Brattmyrliden wind projects will generate nearly 308,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable electricity in Europe each year—equivalent to the electricity load of approximately 10 Ball beverage packaging plants.

Ball is the first company in the can making industry to adopt approved science-based targets, which seek to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. By 2030, the company aims to reduce absolute carbon emissions within its own global operations by 55 % and within its value chain by 16 % against a 2017 baseline.

The company recently achieved another first for global can manufacturers by earning Aluminum Stewardship Initiative Certification for all 23 of its EMEA beverage plants.

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler, has taken an important step on its journey towards 100 % rPET for its plastic bottles by funding CuRe Technology – a recycling start-up which seeks to provide a new lease of life for difficult to recycle plastic polyester waste.

The funding from CCEP, through its innovation investment fund, CCEP Ventures, will enable CuRe to accelerate its ‘polyester rejuvenation’ technology from pilot plant to commercial readiness. Once the technology is commercialised, CCEP will receive the majority of the output from a CuRe-licensed, new-build plant.

Once operational, CuRe has the potential to support CCEP’s ambition, in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company in Western Europe, to eliminate virgin oil-based PET from its PET bottles within the next decade. This will contribute to removing of a total of over 200,000* tonnes of virgin oil-based PET from CCEP’s packaging portfolio a year and support the transition to a circular economy for PET packaging.

CuRe Technology – a start-up, created and led by a consortium of world-leading recycling innovators and experts led by the Morssinkhof Group and the Cumapol/DuFor Group, with strategic partners DSM-Niaga and NHL Stenden University of Applied Science – will initially apply its end-to-end partial depolymerisation recycling process to transform opaque and difficult to recycle (ODR) food grade PET to high quality recycled PET (rPET) that can be used again for food and drink packaging in one continuous process on the same site.

Towards a Circular Economy

The CuRe funding from CCEP Ventures builds on existing strategic investments by The Coca-Cola Company to explore and support the scaling of ‘enhanced’ full depolymerisation recycling technologies in order to make a circular economy for PET a reality.

Depolymerisation recycling technologies complement existing mechanical polymer recycling processes. They have the potential to upcycle lower grade PET that cannot currently be recycled via mechanical recycling means and is instead currently downcycled, incinerated or sent to landfill. These depolymerisation technologies could play a role in significantly increasing the supply of rPET whilst also accelerating the transition to a circular economy for PET bottles by reducing the reliance on virgin oil-based PET.

The Coca-Cola system in Western Europe is working towards a future source vision for its PET material which will help remove the need for virgin oil-based PET (figurative future sources of PET in Western Europe: 70 % derived from mechanical recycling with 25 % from depolyemrisation recycling and 5 % PET from plant-based renewable sources, all while remaining 100 % recyclable*).

About CuRe Technology

CuRe Technology uses a partial depolymerisation process – shortening the polymer chains just enough to allow the removal of many impurities and to rejuvenate food grade PET to high quality rPET – and can be less energy intensive than full depolymerisation offering lower associated C02 emissions. It’s like pressing a ‘reset’ button to partially break down plastic PET into its component building blocks to produce a high quality rPET. Due to the modularity of the process, the longer term ambition for this technology is to upcycle all polyester waste streams including product to product rejuvenation of carpets and textiles.

Joe Franses, Vice President, Sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners said: “CuRe is an exciting technology start-up with transformational potential developed by an experienced consortium, making it an ideal investment for CCEP Ventures. Our investment in CuRe underlines our commitment to supporting innovations that have the potential to drive growth in our business and our sustainable packaging goals. It also offers us the potential to access vital rPET volume that will help to accelerate delivery of our 100% rPET ambition for our PET bottles.”

As part of their joint Sustainability Action Plan, This is Forward, Coca-Cola European Partners and Coca-Cola in Western Europe have pledged that by 2025, Coca-Cola will: collect a can or bottle for every one it sells and ensure that all its packaging is 100 % recyclable and by 2023 will: ensure that at least 50 % of the content of its PET bottles will come from recycled content, accelerating towards its ambition to use zero oil-based PET in its PET bottles in the future, using instead 100 % recycled or renewable content.

Josse Kunst, Chief Commercial Officer at CuRe Technology said: “Polyester is one of the world’s most reversible plastics and should not go to waste. In the pilot plant phase of the CuRe process, we were supported with a subsidy from the European Union and the three northern provinces of the Netherlands. Now our ambition to create an energy-efficient solution for product to product polyester transformation will be accelerated because of this funding.

The support of CCEP Ventures will enable us to start with opaque and difficult to recycle food grade PET and take the first step towards our ultimate vision of recycling all polyester, again and again.”

*By 2019, CCEP was already using 60,000 tonnes of rPET in its bottle and has committed to using 50% rPET by 2023.

Despite providing an uninterrupted supply of fresh fruit and vegetables so far to European citizens confined at home, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to destabilize the European fresh fruit and vegetable sector, threatening long-term food supply. In a letter sent to European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski Freshfel Europe has requested urgent financial assistance and flexibility in CAP tools to provide much needed stability to the fresh fruit and vegetable sector. Currently, growers are grappling with significant cost increases estimated to be at least €500 million per month. The sector has also lost access to the food service sector representing 25 – 30 % of the market supply and EU fresh fruit and vegetables exports to third countries worth € 5 billion per year are also confronted with significant difficulties. As the pandemic evolves, it will continue to bring with it further economic stress for the sector and threaten the financial sustainability of fresh fruit and vegetable supply.

Freshfel Europe’s letter to European Commissioner Wojciechowski warns that the European fresh fruit and vegetable sector cannot sustain the increased level of production and logistic costs resulting from the COVID-19 crisis without endangering fresh fruit and vegetable supply in the long term. Financial support is essential in conjunction with other measures, such as flexibility in management of CAP tools, to allow the sector to continue balancing additional costs related to COVID-19 with economic sustainability. Remarking on the huge financial burden being carried by the sector, Freshfel Europe General Delegate affirmed that, “Added costs in orchards and packing houses are estimated at least € 0,05 cts/kg and a similar amount of € 0,05 cts/kg is also to be considered to be added as extra charge in intra EU transport”. Collectively this represents about € 500 million given the volume produced and shipped monthly. Mr. Binard also highlighted that the sector should be considered an essential sector to secure access to protective tools and measures that would enable the return to normal operating conditions as early as possible. This would include access to hydrogel, masks and testing and allow the sector to be in a position to remove social distancing measures. With the availability of all seasonal workers this would these changes would facilitate orchard activities and logistics operations to run at normal high efficiency rates to ensure supply.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold Freshfel Europe maintains that further necessary measures under the CAP must be taken at European level to avoid a food supply crisis later in the year and secure that the sector can continue to provide Europe’s supply of fresh fruit and vegetables at affordable prices to consumers in the coming months. Freshfel Europe has also recommended to Commissioner Wojciechowski that in light of the far reaching implications of the COVID-19 crisis to also review different policies connected to agriculture and fruit and vegetables specifically, such as research and innovation, organic reform, promotion policy, international trade policy and the forthcoming Farm to Fork Strategy. Evolving conditions in regard to insurance and credit insurance and equal access to liquidity should also be analyzed.

Refresco Europe was awarded the first-ever European Lean & Green Star for their transport operations in their European business. Refresco earned the Star for having transport emissions that are 20 % lower than the industry benchmark. This was achieved by implementing a range of optimization programs in their European operations.

Since 2018, Refresco implemented a number of projects and initiatives, including:

  1. driving with fully loaded trucks as much as possible, including cross-border traffic,
  2. entering into strategic partnerships with transport companies and suppliers to optimize transport efficiency,
  3. and optimizing the production footprint, thus reducing the distance from production location to customer sites.

All of these initiatives were aimed at increasing transport efficiency and reducing transport emissions. Case in point: Refresco Italy introduced a longer lightweight truck with 8 % more loading capacity, and two new external warehouses located closer to the plants. Both initiatives contribute to a permanent and sizable reduction of transport emissions.

Ms. Minna Lyijynen, Refresco Group Sustainability Manager: “We are excited to have received this first-ever European Lean&Green Star. While there are many other elements involved, the way we handle transportation has a large impact on the sustainability of our business. Thanks to our pan-European manufacturing footprint we are able to supply with short transport lines and provide our customers the proximity they need. Our aim is, together with our carriers and suppliers, optimal transport efficiency and minimum impact on the environment. The Lean & Green program is a valuable tool to help us to realize this ambition and improve as we go. ”

Adds Nico Anten, Executive Chairman Lean&Green Europe: “New technologies might help facilitate more sustainable transport, but the most important element in success is a company’s dedication to making it happen. This first-ever European Lean & Green Star is well-deserved and reflects the emphasis Refresco places on making transport more sustainable.”

31 billion cans recycled, or 420,000 tons of aluminium

The overall recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland in 2017 rose 2.3 % from 2016 (72.8 %), to reach an all-time record 74.5 % in 2017. Almost 31 billion cans were recycled in the EU and EFTA countries in 2017, representing a total of more than 420,000 tons of aluminium and underscoring its contribution to the European circular economy. All aluminium cans are equally recyclable, no matter the colour, design, format or size.

Recycling aluminium consumes 95 % less energy than producing it from raw material, while the recycling process generates only 5 % of the greenhouse gas emissions produced from raw material production. Can recycling therefore saves the annual equivalent of approximately 3 million tons of GHG emissions – or the annual emissions of a mid-sized European town like Belfast, Malmö or Thessaloniki*.

Can manufacturers (members of Metal Packaging Europe) and their aluminium suppliers are confident that the European can recycling rate will increase further in the coming decade, primarily through a combination of measures such as improved PMD collection systems (‘yellow’ or ‘blue’ bags and bins) and incentive based initiatives such as modern deposit return and voluntary take back (‘cash for cans’) schemes.

Can manufacturers and aluminium recyclers are ready to invest in additional recycling capacities, providing other stakeholders, such as public and private waste management operators, are equally prepared to invest in additional and modern sorting facilities.

Leonie Knox-Peebles, CEO of Metal Packaging Europe, stated: “We believe that the new European calculation method will hardly impact the final recycling rates being achieved for aluminium beverage cans.” Maarten Labberton, Director Packaging Group at European Aluminium, added: “As we move towards our 100 % recycling rate target, what matters most is the recycling yields; aluminium is well positioned for the future given its very low losses during recycling.”

The following diagram provides a detailed overview of aluminium beverage can recycling rates by country in 2017. Recycling rates have been calculated on the basis of the present EU reporting rules.

*If a yearly GHG emission of 9.2 tonnes is assumed per EU citizen as used in the Product environmental footprint methodology, see Normalisation method and data for Environmental Footprints – Deliverable 2 of the AA Environmental Footprint and Material Efficiency Support for Product Policy (No. 70307/2012/ENV.C.1/635340)

Europe’s drinks industry saw a rise of 73.9 % in overall deal activity during Q2 2019, when compared to the four-quarter average, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

A total of 40 deals worth $76.18m were announced for the region during Q2 2019, against the last four-quarter average of 23 deals.

Of all the deal types, merger and acquisition (M&A) saw the most activity in Q2 2019 with 24, representing a 60 % share for the region.

In second place was venture financing with ten deals, followed by private equity deals with six transactions, respectively capturing a 25 % and 15 % share of the overall deal activity for the quarter.

In terms of value of deals, M&A was the leading category in Europe’s drinks industry with $55.98m, while venture financing deals totaled $20.2m.

Europe drinks industry deals in Q2 2019: Top deals

The top five drinks deals accounted for 80.9 % of the overall value during Q2 2019.

The combined value of the top five drinks deals stood at $61.65m, against the overall value of $76.18m recorded for the quarter. The top announced drinks deal tracked by GlobalData in Q2 2019 was Cafento Coffee Factory S.L’s $33.58m acquisition of Java Republic.

In second place was the $20.39m asset transaction with The Glenturret by Lalique Group and in third place was Five Seasons Ventures and New Ground Ventures’ $4.73m venture financing of YFood Labs.

The $1.68m venture financing of Champagne EPC by Cedric Sellin, Cedric Sire and Kima Ventures and AG Barr’s stake acquisition of Elegantly Spirited for $1.27m held fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

The 2019 European apple and pear crop forecast estimates that most European countries are expecting a rather low apple and pear crop for the coming season. On 8 August 2019, close to 300 representatives of the international apple and pear sector met at the Prognosfruit Conference in Alden Biesen, Belgium. During the conference, the 2019 European apple and pear crop estimate was released. This year, the apple production in the EU is set at 10.5 million T as a result of climatic events and the alternation of last year’s bumper crop. This is a decrease of 20 % compared to last year’s record high crop and of 8 % compared to the average crop of the three previous years. The pear crop is predicted at 2 million T, a decrease of 14 % compared to 2018. Nevertheless, comparisons with previous years need to be handled with much caution, given last two years’ exceptional variation.

Apart from crop alternation after a bumper, this year’s crop estimation has been influenced by several factors, including in particular a mild winter, a cold and wet May, late frost, a sunny and warm June, heat wave and drought in July, abrupt changes in temperature, and low blossoming. However, these events were scattered, and their impact differs significantly between regions. Additionally, for pear, the overall low figure is mainly due to a decrease in estimation of Italian pears which caused the overall forecast to be the second lowest of the decade. The drop was mainly the result of low blossoming, influenced by the high crop, heat of last season and rain.

A general comment for apple is that the crop in the Eastern part of the EU has been affected by the cold snap in May, with losses of 44 % of last year’s record high in Poland. In most apple producing countries, however, there were moderate decreases or stabilisation of the crop. France, Spain and Portugal are recording an increase of their crop. In terms of quality, there might be issues with sunburn and sizing. For pear, there are estimations of moderate to more serious decreases in all major pear producing countries, except for a small increase in Spain. Overall, there are still overhanging stocks on the market, but the late start of the season by up to two weeks might contribute to a better balance of the market.

The crop estimation needs to be held against a complex market situation, given the ongoing consequences of an increasingly more challenging global trading environment. Therefore, efforts to boost consumption need to be continued. WAPA will continue to monitor the developments of the Northern Hemisphere crop and will issue updates when appropriate.

Prognosfruit releases apple and pear crop forecast for Europe

Company will put its paper straw innovations into the public domain to encourage industry collaboration, and will also explore bio-degradable materials

Tetra Pak has today announced that customers have started field testing its paper straws for beverage products in Europe. The move means Tetra Pak is the first carton packaging company to provide such straws for beverage cartons in the region.

The company also announced its intention to publish and share its innovations on paper straw developments to support industrial collaboration on the alternatives to single use plastic straws for beverage cartons.

Adolfo Orive, President and CEO, Tetra Pak said: “We are pleased to have developed a paper straw that is fully functional and meets internationally recognised food safety standards. This is an important step in our vision to deliver a package made entirely from plant-based packaging materials, contributing to a low-carbon circular economy.

“We have decided not to apply for patent protection on the numerous technical improvements we have made on the equipment and the materials, and instead put our innovations into the public domain. For the industry to achieve its common goal of driving towards a low-carbon circular economy, the entire supply base for paper straws must expand and grow quickly. We invite all suppliers and customers to use our knowledge and join forces with us to ramp up production as quickly as possible.”

Made from FSC certified paper and recyclable with the rest of the package, the new paper straw will be available initially for two small size carton packages commonly used for dairy and beverage products for children: Tetra Brik® Aseptic 200 Base and Tetra Brik® Aseptic 200 Base Crystal.

The field testing of the paper straw is beginning with limited volumes while the company increases production capacity at its straw plant in Lisbon, Portugal.

The company also announced that it has been assessing technical advancements and working with a number of technology leaders to explore biodegradable options, such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), a polymer derived from plant-based materials which is also biodegradable.

Other sustainable drink-from development projects in Tetra Pak’s pipeline include tethered caps and integrated drink-from systems. The company has mobilised development and supply chain teams, securing extra resources to advance these priority plans.

MY 2018/19 EU citrus production is projected to reach 11.6 MMT, an eight percent rise compared to previous year and consistent with previous estimates. The regional increase is due to an expected rebound in Spanish production, the EU’s main citrus producer. Favorable weather conditions facilitated good flowering and fruit setting. Spain expects a 14.6 percent increase in citrus production from the previous year at 7.3 MMT and 0.4 percent higher than previous estimates. In February 2019, Spanish growers protested against the European Commission as the rise in EU imports of South African citrus lowered EU prices. However, the rebound of EU citrus production may result in a reduction in EU citrus imports. Strategic markets destinations for EU citrus exports continue to be Canada, the Middle East and China. In addition, in MY 2017/18 EU imports of U.S. grapefruit and orange juice declined due to a decrease in U.S. production.

Read the complete report

Celebrating 30 years of growth in Turkey, Firmenich is proud to announce its new and expanded facility in Istanbul, strategically located to serve the dynamic Turkish market, as well as Europe and the Middle-East. With state-of-the-art laboratories for enhanced creativity and fast speed-to-market, this facility is designed according to the WELL Building Standard™, the global benchmark for employee wellbeing in the workplace.

“Following three decades of solid growth in Turkey, this strategic investment reinforces Firmenich’s commitment to this dynamic market,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO, Firmenich. “With this new creative center in Istanbul, we are set up to deliver winning scent and taste innovation to our customers with greater speed-to-market.”

“Today’s opening is in line with our ambitious growth plans in Turkey and beyond”, said Dilek Arvas, Director & General Manager, Firmenich Turkey. “With our people at the heart of everything we do, we designed this new facility with our colleagues’ wellbeing top of mind, to offer an optimal working and creative environment where everyone can thrive.”

Building on its unique legacy of responsible business, Firmenich operates an inclusive capitalism business model based on delivering positive value for all its stakeholders, including people, planet and society. Putting people first, Firmenich is one of only seven companies worldwide, and the first ever in Turkey, to be globally certified as a gender equal employer by EDGE, the gold standard for workplace equality.

Another key pillar of its inclusive capitalism business model is the Group’s commitment to preserving the planet, by leading the most traceable, ethical and sustainable value chain for its natural ingredients. For instance in Turkey, Firmenich works hand-in-hand with producers in the Isparta region, in mid-Anatolia, to harvest Turkish Roses, known for their beauty and delicacy, in the most sustainable way possible.

When it comes to society, as leaders in the Science of Taste, Firmenich plays a key role in addressing today’s malnutrition crisis, by making healthier food and drink options taste delicious for all. For example, its latest technology TastePRINT™ can reduce up to 100% of added sugar naturally without compromising on taste. Last year alone it removed 150 metric tons of sugar from products that people love, removing 600 billion calories from their diets.

Freshfel Europe is holding its 2019 Annual Event in connection with The London Produce Show and Conference on 5-6 June in London, UK. With the Annual Event programme now finalised and registrations open, Freshfel Europe is anticipating animated discussion on this year’s theme, ‘Building opportunities for fresh produce in an unpredictable business environment’.

Freshfel Europe, the representative association of the fresh fruit and vegetable sector at EU level, will gather its members from across Europe in London at the Annual Event to discuss strategies for dealing with the current uncertain business environment. Following the Statutory Annual General Meeting and a review of 2018 activities, Freshfel Europe will debate two focus topics, the latest promotion ventures from across Europe endeavouring to stimulate fresh fruit and vegetable consumption and the future UK trading relationship

Jo Ralling from The Food Foundation will kick off the morning Freshfel Public Conference session with a detailed presentation on The Food Foundation’s promotion efforts and its successful Peas Please campaign. This will be followed by an explanation by Dan Parker, also from The Food Foundation, on the UK’s latest promotion campaign Veg Power targeted at children. Freshfel Europe will also be giving a preview of its pan European promotion campaign in collaboration with Aprifel as well as other current EU promotion campaigns focusing on fruit and vegetables and health.

After a networking lunch participants will attend the joint UK Fresh Produce Consortium-Freshfel Europe Seminar on Trading with the UK. A key discussion point during the seminar will be how future market access may evolve for trading with the UK. Speakers include experts from the UK regulatory authority, market analysts and fresh produce industry traders.

The 2019 Freshfel Europe Annual Event is open to non-members and more information and details on how to register are available here. The London Produce Show and Conference full programme is also available here.

Tetra Pak announced the appointment of Charles Brand to the position of President of Tetra Pak Europe & Central Asia (E&CA) Region and he will continue to be a member of the company’s Global Leadership Team.

Charles joined Tetra Pak in 1985 as an Electronics Development Engineer and has since held several key senior roles in the company, like Vice President of R&D for Tetra Rex® , Managing Director of one of the key business units of Tetra Pak and Managing Director Tetra Pak Taiwan, before taking on his last position as Executive Vice President, Product Management & Commercial Operations. On his appointment, Charles Brand said, “I am delighted to lead our activities in the E&CA region. This role is a great opportunity for me to continue to position Tetra Pak as a leader in the industry and in supporting the evolving needs of our customers across the region, with a focus on our common sustainability and digitalisation agendas.” Charles holds an MSC in Electrical Engineering degree from the Technical University of Lund in Sweden.

The first energy drink under the Coca-Cola brand will launch in Europe in April, the company announced.

Coca-Cola Energy, which will debut in Spain and Hungary, features caffeine from naturally-derived sources, guarana extracts, B vitamins and no taurine – all with a great Coca-Cola taste and feeling that people know and love. A no-sugar, no-calorie option also will be available. Both will be offered in 250-ml cans.

As a total beverage company, Coca-Cola continues to evolve its portfolio to bring people more of the drinks they want – from organic teas, to juices, to enhanced waters, to ready-to-drink coffees, to new variants of Coca-Cola. The launch of Coca-Cola Energy is the latest articulation of this strategy.

A visual identity and marketing campaign will support the launch of Coca-Cola Energy, which is designed primarily for young adults, age 18 to 35. The new brand will be promoted in line with The Coca-Cola Company’s responsible marketing guidelines. These include, in line with UNESDA (European Soft Drink Association) guidelines, no sampling in proximity to primary and secondary schools and never promoting mixing with alcohol.

Latest industry data on glass recycling confirms that over 12 million tons of glass bottles and jars are collected and recycled in Europe, with an average glass recycling rate in the EU28 of 74 %(1). Glass remains the best performing food grade closed loop in the world.  The latest industry data have a two-year time lag dating from 2016.

This figure should be set to rise. With the Circular Economy now at the forefront of the political agenda, EU Member States have committed to ambitious targets on municipal waste reduction and glass packaging recycling. This signals a renewed investment in separate collection for glass packaging in the coming years, which will engage consumers, municipalities, Extended Producer Responsibility schemes, recyclers and manufacturers in a collaborative effort to collect, sort and treat the glass that is currently leaking from the system.

“As an industry we commit to actually recycle all collected glass of sufficient quality in the closed loop. An estimated 90 % of what is collected goes into creating new bottles from old ones, offering brands and consumers a food grade quality recycled material. Today, recycled glass is our most important raw material, which brings us major environmental benefits, and energy savings”, commented Adeline Farrelly, FEVE Secretary General.

Our recent study on glass packaging recycling(2) demonstrates that countries such as Austria and Sweden have gone beyond 90 % collection for recycling rates by installing bottle bank systems and investing in consumer awareness. Tailored solutions will need to be found locally, but separating glass from the other materials is the best investment for public authorities to meet the new glass recycling targets. Our recent consumer research suggests that particularly for millennials, environmental credentials drive their product choice, and that the take-back culture for glass packaging is very strong where there is bottle bank infrastructure in place(3).

“Consumers have a strong connection with glass packaging, which is for them more than just a packaging”, she continued. “Over ten years ago, the industry decided to invest in consumer communications to raise awareness about the importance of glass recycling and the other key assets of glass packaging. We want to help bridge the collection gap, but clearly cannot do so on our own. Efforts across the value chain are needed.”

The average 74 % EU glass collection for recycling rate masks a variety of situations between countries. If we look at performance rates, on the one side, we find countries in the ‘Over 90 %’ top league: Belgium, Finland, Austria, Sweden and Slovenia where separate collection schemes for glass perform very well and provide a high quality secondary raw material for the industry. On the opposite side we find countries in the ’Under 40 %’ league: Greece, Hungary, Slovak Republic, Malta, Romania where the collection culture and, consequently the glass collection schemes have important potential for growth.  Looking at overall volumes of glass collected, the picture in larger countries such as France, Italy, the UK, Poland or Spain is different. In conclusion, each country is different and will need its own focused and tailored strategy to ensure top class glass recycling. In conclusion, each country is different and will need its own focused and tailored strategy to ensure top class glass recycling.

(1) – See FEVE Recycling Statistics published on the FEVE website
(2) – See
(3) – See

Strong production growth in 2016 represents a significant increase above the historic average growth rates for glass packaging

Glass packaging production in Europe grew by 2.9 % in volume (Tonnes) and by 2.1 % in unit terms in 2016 according to data published today by the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE)(1). The growth was driven by exports as well as continued demand for glass packaging in food and beverage segments in Europe. A total volume of 20.9 million tonnes or 75.9 billion units were produced in Europe for the EU and international food and beverage markets.

“The buoyant demand for glass is a strong signal of trust from customers in our industry and in glass packaging to help brands stand out on the shelves both in the European market and internationally,” says FEVE President Johan Gorter.

The strong performance in 2016 confirms the steady trend of the last 5 years. Since 2012, the industry has increased its production by 5.8 % in volume and 6.1 per cent in units.

Glass continues to be the reference packaging material for leading markets such as spirits, wines and beer, while it is increasingly gaining share in the food, water and dairy sectors. This is not only due to new consumption trends for local, organic and natural food, but also because of the positive image of glass packaging and the strong consumer trust in glass as their preferred packaging for environmental, health and taste preservation reasons. According to a recent survey(2), glass is consumers’ favourite packaging, with 1 in 2 Europeans saying they use more glass than three years ago and 75 % of Europeans view glass as the most environmentally friendly packaging.

“It is encouraging that consumers trust glass because of its sustainability credentials and because it best preserves the quality of their preferred products. As an industry, we are committed to making the inherent properties of glass more visible to our customers and to the final consumer” continues Johan Gorter.

(1)Production of container glass for food and beverages in the EU, Switzerland and Turkey based on direct industry production data from FEVE member companies compiled by Vivid Economics for FEVE.
(2)InSites Research 2016. View Summary report on the Friends of Glass platform.