Researchers find lettuce from low-income communities to be contaminated

U.S – Researchers from the University of Houston have established that Houstonians living in low-income and urban neighborhoods are at a higher risk of contracting gastrointestinal illnesses, possibly linked to the lettuce they purchase from grocery stores in their community. The findings, published in the Journal of Food Protection, focus on loose-leaf romaine lettuce. According to the study, loose-leaf romaine lettuce, when purchased from supermarkets in low-income communities in Houston, was found to be contaminated with disease-causing microorganisms. Researchers said the discovery raises questions about quality and safety. “Looking at…

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Save Foods penetrates Turkish Market as it eyes European market

TURKEY – Save Foods, an agri-food tech company, has announced it has engaged a local commercial post-harvest expert in Turkey, who is well connected in the local produce market, to introduce the Company to local post-harvest operators with ties to the EU produce market. The company is focused on developing and selling eco-friendly products specifically designed to extend the shelf life and ensure the food safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. According to the Union of Exporters of the Mediterranean Region, Turkey exported a record US$2.7 billion in fruits and…

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Best Sanitizers Inc’s Alpet D2 Quat-Free Surface Sanitizer gets OMRI listed

U.S – Best Sanitizers, Inc., a premier manufacturer of innovative alcohol-based hand and surface sanitizers, has announced that Alpet D2 Quat-Free Surface Sanitizer is now OMRI listed. Founded in 1997, the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) provides organic certifiers, growers, manufacturers, and suppliers an independent review of the products intended for use in a certified organic facility. OMRI Listed Products are allowed for use in certified organic facilities under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program. Organic food processors and food handlers in need of a surface…

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UK to assent use of gene editing in agriculture following exit from EU

UK – The United Kingdom (UK) government is set to  greenlight the use of gene editing in agriculture which could see altered produce on the supermarket shelves in five years’ time. The move will mark the biggest divergence by the UK away from existing European laws since leaving the European Union (EU), which has banned the technique for years amid fears it is unsafe. Gene editing involves the technique of replacing genes that govern certain traits, such as water dependency, disease resistance and nutrition with better-functioning ones from the same…

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Experts underscore need for collaborations to improve food safety, intra-African trade

AFRICA – The 2021 Shaping a World of Trust virtual business conversation, hosted by Bureau Veritas Africa, has emphasized the need for collaboration between government, companies and customers if Africa is to meet sustainability goals, ensure food safety,  and improve intra-African trade. The Executive Food Safety Initiative (FSI) at the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA), Matlou Stati, highlighted that collaboration across a wide range of public and private sector stakeholders, including those representing consumers, was a key element of the functioning of the FSI. The FSI collaborates closely…

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Gursoy leverages TOMRA’s latest sorting machine to increase hazelnut quality

TURKEY – Gürsoy, one of Turkey’s top 10 hazelnut exporters, has invested in the new TOMRA 5C optical sorter machine for processing hazelnuts, giving it a competitive advantage  targeting high quality export markets as it is the first company in the country to employ this technology. Gürsoy produces natural hazelnuts and various processed hazelnuts for industrial use, cream types with cocoa or milk, hazelnut spread, dragée, various packaged hazelnuts, sauces, and chocolate for the domestic and export retail industry. Gürsoy has been using TOMRA machines in its facilities since the…

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Triumph for cassava farmers as Bayer launches herbicide to increase yields

NIGERIA – Bayer Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, , one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, has developed and launched a new crop protection product known as Lagon to help farmers tackle the problem of weeds in cassava and raise yield. Tested on more than 200 trials and demos across Nigeria and Tanzania, Lagon was rated among the top best pre-emergent herbicides for control of both grasses and broad-leaf weeds in cassava. “The launch of Lagon aims to provide a big relief to farmers. These are…

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Namibia draft law to prohibit alcoholic beverages advertisement

NAMIBIA – The government of Namibia is drafting a law that could potentially make the advertisement, promotion, and sponsorship of alcoholic beverages in Namibia illegal. The draft bill, seen by The Namibian and titled ‘The Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use’, aims to curb the negative impacts of certain substances, among other things. The proposed law will therefore ban the advertisement and promotion of highly addictive and illegal narcotic drugs that affect mental performance, and cause changes in mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings, or behavior. By implication, this will include commercially…

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Kenya’s Agricultural CS calls for enhanced crop pest management strategies

KENYA – Kenya’s Agricultural Cabinet Secretary (CS), Peter Munya, has called for greater efforts in mitigating effects of pests and diseases in crops, an issue he considers the main challenge in the agribusiness sector. In a speech read on his behalf by Douglas Kangi, the Director of Crops Management at the Ministry during the official opening of the 3rd Phytosanitary conference in Nairobi, the CS highlighted that since studies have shown that agribusiness has the capacity to transform livelihoods, particularly here in Kenya and Africa, increased capacity building to meet…

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Biotech innovator AgBiome culminates funding round, raises US$116 million

U.S – AgBiome, a biotechnology company using new knowledge of the plant-associated microbiome to create innovative products for agriculture, has announced the completion of a US$116 million oversubscribed Series D funding round. The funding round was Co-led by alt protein impact investor Blue Horizon, as well as Novalis LifeSciences, to accelerate and expand AgBiome’s portfolio of microbial products and help establish a global presence. The new Series D funding will also allow the company to scale its scientific and commercial teams. Mission-driven investment disruptor Blue Horizon was drawn to AgBiome…

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