Here you will find a weekly update on what is happening in the food and drink sector.

FOOD INDUSTRY

FSA Board meeting

The Food Standards Agency board meeting held on 9 September 2015 included discussion on the development of the National Food Crime Unit and other key recommendations of the post horsemeat reviews and the European Commission’s amendments to the TSE Regulations: implications for the UK.

Food Standards Agency, 9 September 2015

European Parliament votes for comprehensive cloning ban

The European Parliament has banned the use of products from all cloned farm animals and their descendants, including imports and use of food from the descendants of cloned livestock.

Globalmeatnews.com, 8 September 2015

Dairy industry questions €500M EU support plan

Dairy industry representatives have welcomed the European Commission’s £362.5M (€500M) aid package for farmers but criticised its refusal to lift the intervention price.

Foodmanufacture.co.uk, 8 September 2015

British pie maker eyes a slice of Middle East market

British firm Lewis Pies will start exporting a range of frozen pies to the Middle East after signing a new sales and distribution agreement with the Yearsley Group.

Foodnavigator.com, 8 September 2015

Tate & Lyle raise price of corn-based ingredients by up to 20%

Tate & Lyle will raise the price of corn-based food ingredients by up to 20% following a European heatwave which has lowered yields.

Foodnavigator.com, 8 September 2015

European Commission clears ADM seed oil acquisition of AOR

The European Commission (EC) has approved the acquisition of Belgian firms AOR NV and AOR Plastics NV by Archer-Daniels-Midland UK, under the EU Merger Regulation.

Foodnavigator.com, 8 September 2015 
  
Qatar aims to produce 70% of veg domestically by 2023

Hassad subsidiary Zulal Oasis plans to supply up to 70% of Qatar’s vegetable demand with home-grown produce by 2023, through the use of patented greenhouse technology.

Foodnavigator.com, 8 September 2015

Food exports drop 5% due to currency factors

UK exports of food and non-alcoholic drink exports dropped 5.3% in value to £6bn in the first six months of the year, as the strength of sterling became “a growing concern”, warned the Food & Drink Exporters Association (FDEA).

Foodmanufacture.co.uk, 7 September 2015

Quorn lifts capacity by 50% to meet surge in US sales

Quorn Foods has revealed a 50% increase in production capacity to meet a surge in global sales – particularly from the US and Europe – but has remained silent on reports of a takeover bid.

Foodmanufacture.co.uk, 7 September 2015

Back to the farm: Companies need to zoom in on climate risks in agriculture, says CDP

Many multinational food and beverage brands are missing their biggest chance to address climate risks, according to the global non-profit group CDP, which says companies need to work closer with suppliers to improve agricultural emissions.

Foodnavigator.com, 4 September 2015

Dr Oetker’s UK profits rise to £15.5m

Dr Oetker has boosted its pre-tax profits to £15.5M for the year ending 31 December 2014, despite tough trading conditions.

Foodmanufacture.co.uk, 4 September 2015

Katjes creates first-to-market 3D printed gummies

The first commercial 3D printer for retail will be used to create gummies in different shapes, sizes, colours and flavours, says creator Katjes Fassin UK.

Foodnavigator.com, 3 September 2015 
  
UK ingredients firm takes first steps into US

UK-based Direct Food Ingredients has expanded overseas and opened its first office in the US.

Foodmanufacture.co.uk, 2 September 2015 
  
DRINKS INDUSTRY 
  
Taylors eyes future coffee investment

Taylors of Harrogate will bring the production of its new coffee capsule products in-house as soon as possible, factory manager John Hennighan has said.

Foodmanufacture.co.uk, 8 September 2015

Industry hits back at calls for UK tax on sugary drinks

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has put the spotlight back on sugar with a call for a tax on sugary drinks – but industry has accused him of simplifying a complex problem.

Foodnavigator.com, 4 September 2015

Minimum unit pricing on alcohol could break free trade rules

Scotland’s plans for minimum unit pricing on alcohol could break free trade rules, says the advocate general for the European Court of Justice; but the Scottish government says it will continue to ‘vigorously make the case’ for the policy.

Beveragedaily.com, 3 September 2015 
  
‘Stop pretending drinkers are a burden on taxpayers!’ Report says alcohol tax revenue far outweighs cost to the public purse

The cost of alcohol use to the government in England has been over-stated by public health campaigners, and in fact the revenue from taxes outweighs such costs to the tune of £6.5bn, according to a report from the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Foodnavigator.com, 3 September 2015  
  
Non-alcoholic Guinness hopes to address beer challenges

Diageo hopes its non-alcoholic Guinness will improve fortunes in Indonesia, with the alcoholic beverage giant saying the beverage is addressing market trends in the country, and legislation which now bans the sale of beer in some stores.

Foodnavigator.com, 2 September 2015 
  
Sales of ‘posh’ juices are now in decline

Sales of high-pressure processed (HPP) juices in the west are growing and overtaking premium fresh juices as consumers’ interest in their health benefits explodes, according to consumer insight firm Canadean.

Foodmanufacture.co.uk, 2 September 2015 
  
ASA ADJUDICATIONS

 ASA Adjudication on Life Health Foods UK Ltd t/a Up & Go

Two adverts for the Up&Go drink, one displayed on a bus shelter and the other displayed on the side of a bus, claimed that the product was "AUSTRALIA'S NO.1 BREAKFAST" in large text. Small print at the bottom of the advert stated "Source: IRI-Aztec, AU Grocery, Value Sales, 2014".

Two complainants challenged whether the claim "AUSTRALIA'S NO.1 BREAKSFAST" could be substantiated.

In its response, Life Health Foods UK Ltd (Life Health Foods) stated that they intended the claim to relate to sales value which, for brand size, was the widely used standard industry measure. They provided the report by IRI-Aztec (referred to in the small print) which backed up this claim. Although the claim in the advert was intended to refer to sales value, Life Health Foods also informed the ASA that they were the top selling breakfast product in Australia in terms of unit sales, and provided a further report including information relation to both sales value and unit sales from an independent consumer insights company to substantiate this.

The complaint was not upheld. The ASA considered that the small print in the advert referring to "value sales" would not be read by consumers due to its size, and that it also contradicted the likely impression of the headline claim. The ASA therefore considered that to substantiate the claim, Life Health Foods would have to provide evidence of unit sales. Life Health Foods had provided this in the form of the additional independent report provided to the ASA, so the ASA concluded that the claim "AUSTRALIA'S NO.1 BREAKFAST" was substantiated. 
  
ASA Adjudication on Life Health Foods UK Ltd t/a Up & Go

AG Comment: Ensure that any claims made in adverts can be substantiated with evidence. Also, be aware that a claim to be the "No.1" in a category is likely to be construed as a reference to unit sales, unless this is clearly qualified.