The exporters did not say which of their international buyers had asked to postpone shipments, but the unwanted stockpile adds to a growing store of beans at ports after chocolate makers and buyers in Europe and the United States asked that deliveries scheduled for October-December be postponed to January-March. Chocolate makers such as Mars Inc, Hershey and Barry Callebaut purchase Ivorian cocoa. The estimated 100,000 t of beans stuck at farms and cooperatives amounts to roughly one-third of Ivory Coast’s monthly output at this time of year.
Farmers are desperate for money to sustain a living and this delay is hindering their livelihoods. The guaranteed farm gate price of 1,000 CFA francs (USD 1.82) per kg is not being met. They have made sales for as little as 900 to 950 CFA francs per kg.
components will take place in parallel with interpack. It is oriented towards the supplier sector for the packaging and processing industry. Interested parties can register for components in the same period as interpack.
The websites of the trade fairs will regularly provide information on industry trends and innovations up until the next edition of both events. The online presence of the upcoming interpack and components is also being built up and expanded.
The launch of Twenty Degrees, a new specialty cacao business sourcing premium quality cacao beans from around the world, is backed by Olam Cocoa, one of the world’s leading suppliers of cocoa beans and cocoa ingredients.
According to the company group, the premium chocolate market has seen significant growth in recent years as consumers become more interested in the provenance of their food and increasingly seek out high quality, artisanal products with a unique flavour and story. Twenty Degrees – named for the cacao belt which ranges twenty degrees north and south of the equator – is responding by sourcing premium quality cacao beans from ten unique regions, each hand-picked for their distinctive flavour and sensory profile.
The business will unlock opportunities for farmers by bringing single origin cacao beans to market that are either too specialist or too remote to be sold to mainstream manufacturers. From cacao grown in the highland Simbu region of Papua New Guinea, to beans farmed by the indigenous Eperara community in Ecuador’s coastal rainforest, a community only accessible by boat. A team of agronomists will work with each community to make sure the quality and flavour of its cacao meets the highest standards.
The Twenty Degrees business model is built on positive partnerships with farmers and customers. It is helping farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices and investing in the growth and security of the communities it works with. This also allows it to provide customers with new levels of transparency and traceability right back to the farm gate, so chocolate makers can know everything about the cacao beans they buy, from the farmers who grew them to the carbon footprint of the crop.
Leopold Palmer, Business Head, Twenty Degrees, said: “We’re on a mission to change the way we think about premium cacao. We’re exploring new territories and discovering fresh terroirs in established growing regions, uncovering unique cacao beans farmed to the highest quality with the greatest possible positive impact. And we’re doing this in a way that is transparent, traceable and delivers quality, consistency and taste to meet the needs of craft chocolate makers.”
Twenty Degrees will be led by an entrepreneurial new team but draw on the expertise and operational strength of Olam Cocoa, one of the industry-leading businesses under Olam Food Ingredients (OFI). Twenty Degrees benefits from Olam Cocoa’s long-standing experience in cocoa sustainability and from the insight and expertise of its dedicated flavour lab in the Netherlands, which will test the specialty cacao beans and help to bring out their unique flavour, smell and texture.
Commenting on the launch, Gerard A. Manley, CEO of Olam Cocoa concluded: “With Twenty Degrees, we are combining our knowledge of cocoa farming and our capability to source from distant and often remote communities with a greater focus on flavour differentiation. It will leverage our existing presence to drive sustainable farming practices and support livelihoods as part of Cocoa Compass, our sustainability ambition for the future of the industry. We are building on our wider Olam Food Ingredients offering to provide natural, value-added ingredients that positively impact people and the planet. With the benefit of our knowledge and scale, Twenty Degrees will create something truly unique in the specialty market.”
Futupack is a Finnish company that designs and implements sustainable packaging solutions. Jani Mäkipää, Lead Packaging Engineer at Futupack, explains: “We wanted the mask bin to be as aesthetic as possible so that it could be placed easily into any indoor environment. The mask bin is delivered flat, and can be quickly assembled. In addition, full instructions on assembly for the consumers are printed on to the bin itself. When the mask bin is full, it is easy to close the lid, and the entire bin can be safely and hygienically disposed of with the incinerated waste”.
MetsäBoard Pro WKL 160 g/m2 coated white kraftliner was used as the top liner of the mask bin. The Finnish corrugated board converter Capertum printed the e-flute corrugated board in silk screen. The bin is light and robust thanks to the fresh fibres of the white kraftliner, and its stylish, lightweight design makes it easy to place in various indoor public spaces.
Bühler North America expands and strengthens its service network and offerings with the acquisition of Design Corrugating Companies, a leading roller mill and other equipment service company based in Taylorville, Illinois, US.
Design Corrugating is a leading provider of roller mill parts and services, including roll reconditioning, new rolls, and other equipment parts and services, with facilities in Taylorville/IL, Oakdale/CA, Wichita/KS and Chattanooga/TN. All Design Corrugating locations will become new service centre sites in the Bühler Customer Service network, and the entire Design Corrugating staff has joined the Bühler team. Existing operations will continue unchanged, utilizing the “pick-up, repair and deliver” model.
Bühler will continue to provide parts and services for all makes and models of roller mills. Future investments are planned for equipment that will allow new services to be delivered, and the full Bühler supply chain will be leveraged to improve competitiveness in terms of cost and efficiency.
The Swedish packaging group AR Packaging Group AB broadens its offering to the UK food and healthcare customers by adding local folding carton production through the acquisition of Firstan Holdings Ltd, including its subsidiary Firstan Ltd.
This strategic move makes the Group a key multi-category provider of folding cartons, flexibles and fibre-based containers in the UK. AR Packaging’s strategic direction to grow in selected segments and geographies continues successfully. The group already holds a strong position as a specialist in flexible barrier materials and carton-based containers for the UK market. The acquisition of Firstan now adds local manufacturing of folding cartons, and thereby enables a unique wide offering of multicategory packaging solutions mainly to the food and healthcare customers.
“It is with great pleasure we welcome the Firstan company and its employees to our AR Packaging family. This addition is of significant strategic importance to strengthen our position on the UK market”, said Harald Schulz, CEO and President of AR Packaging. “Together with our existing two plants in the UK, Firstan provides an excellent platform for further growth in this important and fast-moving market.”
Firstan Ltd is a leading independent folding carton manufacturer with focus on quality, customer service and operational efficiency. Its factory, located in Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, is a streamlined production facility with best in class machinery and operating systems. The company’s 140 skilled employees are dedicated to the design and manufacture of printed cartons for the food, pharmaceutical, healthcare and cosmetic sectors.
“I am happy to see our company take the next step in its development and join AR Packaging”, said Andrew Hartwig, previous majority shareholder and Managing Director of Firstan Holdings Ltd. “Our strategically located and well invested facility will together with our skilled team add further capabilities to AR Packaging and we will together offer extended services to all UK customers.” Paul Hartwig, also a former shareholder of Firstan Holdings Ltd, added, “This is a very exciting new chapter for our business. Together with the rest of the management team, I am looking forward to working with the AR Packaging team to take our business to the next level.”
AR Packaging is one of Europe’s leading companies in the packaging sector with net sales of more than € 900 m, 5,500 employees and 29 factories in 13 countries. The group offers a unique range of packaging solutions from its specialised plants. Added value is created to its customers through its broad product offering and deep knowledge of carton-based and flexible packaging. The head office is located in Lund, Sweden. AR Packaging has an objective to grow both organically and by way of acquisitions.
The company reports an underlying Ebit margin b.s.i. of 28. 5 %, incl. 1 %-point negative currency impact, compared to 29.0 % in Q1 2019/20. Reported Ebit margin b.s.i. (incl. all acquisition impacts) was 25.2 %. The divestment process of Natural Colours is also on track and the business delivered as expected.
CEO Mauricio Graber says: “Our first quarter came in quite strong on a relatively easy comparable from Q1 last year, with good performance across our business, especially within Health & Nutrition. We were able to win new business, launch new products in Food Cultures & Enzymes and drive upselling in key markets such as cheese – all despite the difficulties of Covid-19. We have more product launches scheduled for the current financial year, which will help to ensure that we have a healthy commercial pipeline in the years to come.”
Christian Traumann, Group President of Multivac, explains: “Our series of events is intended as an invitation to our customers and other interested parties to engage in live discussions on current topics relevant to the sector and the future. In addition to practically based, live equipment demonstrations in our new application centre, there will also be technical presentations and individual discussions with our experts”.
Among the main topics of the series will be Sustainability & Digitalization, Automation, as well as Solutions for Bakeries. Each topic is offered over a period of four weeks as a face-to-face event in small groups under corona restrictions, taking place for one day at Multivac headquarters (Wolfertschwenden) or at Fritsch (Markt Einersheim) and TVI (Bruckmühl). Alternatively, the content is available as a virtual event on the Multivac City platform. One of the opening events from 8 to 25 March 2021 in Wolfertschwenden will be on the topic of Sustainability & Digitalization.
Ivory Coast is currently in its dry season, which runs from mid-November to March, but unexpected rain in recent weeks has meant soil was good to produce plenty of flowers and cherelles on the trees, which bode well for the April-to-September mid-crop. Kouassi Kouame, a farmer near Soubre, South West of Ivory Coast, said: “We will still have a lot of cocoa. But it’s the sales that’s the problem.”
The cocoa sector had a turbulent end to 2020, where cocoa producers and chocolate manufacturers went to war over avoiding the Living Income Difference (LID) premium, leading to sustainability programmes being suspended. Farmers are desperate for money to sustain a living but are saying they have made sales for as little as 900 to 950 CFA francs per kilogram, below the guaranteed farm gate price of 1,000 CFA francs. They don’t know the reasons why there are few buyers, and how much may be due to the holiday season.