Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 23 September 2017

The South African citrus industry has been preparing a systems approach to manage false codling moth for the past four years, in expectation of what has indeed come to pass: from 1 January 2018 false codling moth will be a regulated pest in the EU. Dr Sean Moore of Citrus Research International presented information on the systems approach to delegates at a workshop on FCM and other citrus pests, near Groblersdal in the Senwes region, as part of a nationwide CRI roadshow on FCM. “We can scientifically prove that the system we have developed will mitigate the phytosanitary risk and this approach is in line with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures of the FAO’s International Plant Protection Convention. It has been developed in conjunction with all stakeholders within the citrus industry. Apart from lemons, which are exempt from the regulation as a non-host for FCM, there will be no other way of exporting to the EU.”

With the EU set to lift caps on sugar production, African producers could be squeezed out of a market that has propped up places like Swaziland for years. When the European Union deregulates its sugar market at the end of September, some of the biggest losers will be in the lush hills of this tiny, landlocked nation. More than 8,000 miles from Brussels, Swaziland’s sugar farmers for over a decade have benefited from the EU’s tight grip on domestic production of the sweetener. Caps on annual production in European countries helped keep prices artificially high and created a market for imports, especially from poor countries that are freed from tariffs. Currently, more than half of the EU’s raw sugar comes from Africa.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Kenya is set to host the second edition of Africa-France Summit next month that is expected to bring over 200 French companies in the country for investment opportunities. The business meet set for October 5 and 6 is projected to bring together over 2500 investors from Kenya, France and other African countries. Dubbed ‘The Encounters Africa 2017’, the event is already attracting strong interest from French companies, as well as from Francophone countries. Event Coordinator Annemijn Perrin says they expect to connect businesses with the aim of closing deals at the summit.

Selling beer is now very competitive in Ivory Coast. Since the arrival of Dutch group Heineken in April 2016, the monopoly enjoyed by Solibara owned by French Group Castel has pushed both companies to engage in a series of advertising campaigns. The advertising campaigns in the form of posters is going on at a time when retailers in the beer business complain of a decline in profits. “A crate of beer in Ivory Coast is now sold for 5000FCFA. How much will one gain after selling the crate. This is because today I sell Solibra products. When you say that beer is made in Ivory Coast then dealers in the product need to benefit from it. I gain about 1000 FCFA from a crate of beer. Who then pays all the other costs. I have just spoken the truth,” a dealer in beer products, Josue Gnahoua said. Solibra holds two thirds of the market and achieved a turnover of 305 million euros in 2016. On the other side is its competitor Brassivoire, which has seized a third of the market in a year.

Danish fish feed group Aller Aqua will continue to “take risks” when it comes to developing emerging aquaculture markets, CEO Hans Erik Bylling, told Undercurrent News. The firm has grown rapidly in recent years and in 2017 will open two new plants in Zambia and China to bring its total up to six – doubling its overall production capacity, to around 300,000 metric tons. However, its recently-reported 2016 results showed that depreciation in the Nigerian and Egyptian currencies had hit the group's bottom line profit. “That's something that's very hard to protect yourself against,” said Bylling, during AquaNor 2017.

On 7 September 2017 in Douala, the Cameroonian economic capital, Guinness Cameroon, local subsidiary of the Diageo group, officially presented the first whiskey brand locally produced by the company. It is the Scottish whiskey “Black & White”, for which Guinness Cameroon, after a few years of negotiation with the owners of the brand, was granted all required authorisations for local production. To achieve this, the management of the company revealed, this subsidiary of the Diageo group had to purchase a liquor production unit.

Arla is adding another market to its Sub-Saharan Africa business region by establishing a new sales and packaging facility in Ghana. The new subsidiary will begin selling Arla’s branded dairy products in Ghana from September 2017 in response to growing demand for nutritious dairy products. The new Arla-owned subsidiary, Arla Foods Ltd., will be based in Accra, Ghana and will supply products from its Dano range also sold in Nigeria, including powdered milk, which is in demand among the rapidly growing middle class in urban areas, and butter and cheese from value-added brands like Arla and Lurpak. The move by Arla is in line with the company’s business strategy, Good Growth 2020, which aims to develop new markets for Arla’s products outside the EU to improve the milk price for the 11,200 farmer-owners who own the company.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy broke European Union law by authorizing vessels to fish in the territorial waters off Gambia and Equatorial Guinea, according to the findings of conservation group Oceana published on Tuesday. Fishing vessels from Europe and Asia are drawn to West Africa, particularly for high-value tuna. Many ships operate legally but West African states are vulnerable to illegal fishing because of corruption and a lack of maritime policing capacity. Using data from their onboard tracking devices, Oceana found that 19 vessels illegally spent over 31,000 hours in Gambia and Equatorial Guinea’s exclusive economic zones - waters which extend 200 nautical miles from the coast - from April 2012 to August 2015.

NESTLE Zimbabwe is looking at reviving coffee estates in the Eastern Highlands through contracting small-scale farmers, sources familiar with the development have said. The company, a unit of the world’s largest food and beverage firm, Swiss-based Nestle Global, is looking into the wider scope of the re-development of the coffee industry in Zimbabwe. “Coffee fits well into a wider range of Nestle products and it is an area that Nestle Zimbabwe is looking at; possibly reviving the estates in the eastern highlands,” said one source. “As such, some preliminary studies are being done; obviously to determine the model that could be used to resuscitate the industry. It is a project that has involvement of other stakeholders such as the Agriculture Marketing Authority and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.”

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

According to statistics published by the European Commission, cocoa processed into paste and powder is the second most important African product exported to the EU. In its publication of 22 August 2017, the Quotidien de l’Economie states that according to the European Commission’s ‘Agri-Food Trade Statistical Factsheet EU-Sub-Saharan Africa’, agricultural foodstuffs in 2016 accounted for 12.5% of the European Union’s (EU) exports to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), including South Africa. The most important export to the EU in terms of value is cocoa beans, which last year accounted for 36% of the total, up 15.1% from 2015.