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Aryzta makes senior appointments in North America | Food Industry News

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Aryzta has cited increasing competition in US

Aryzta has made a number of executive changes within its struggling North America operations, including a new divisional chief executive, moves the Swiss-Irish bakery business described as a “planned organisational evolution”.

Tyson Yu, Aryzta’s chief operations officer for North America, has been promoted to chief executive, effective 1 February, and will replace existing divisional CEO Dave Johnson, according to a statement from the dual-listed company. Johnson will now assume the role of non-executive chairman of North America.

And John Heffernan, group chief strategy officer, has been appointed president and chief commercial officer for the region.

North America has been challenging of late for Aryzta, which is in the midst of a three-year transformation programme dubbed Project Renew to return the business to a path of sustainable growth. While some analysts have suggested the company should exit the region to focus on its core European operations, group CEO Kevin Toland has previously emphasised his commitment to North America amid what he has described as a “competitive retail environment” with the rise of private label in the US.  

According to Aryzta’s most recent full-year results, the North American market accounts for 40% of company revenues and 32% of profits, as measured by EBITDA. Elsewhere, Toland has been in the process of selling off what he calls non-core assets under Project Renew.

Commenting on the appointments, Toland said: “I would like to thank Dave for his leadership and contribution in refocusing our North American business in the past two years, improving our customer focus, restructuring and reorganising the region and successfully launching Project Renew. I am pleased that he will continue to stay involved with the Group. 

“Tyson has significant experience in our business in various geographic, operational and functional roles in North America over the past decade. John has been deeply involved in the commercial, innovation and strategy development across the group. I wish them both every success in their new roles.” 

Most recently, Aryzta has exited its UK foodservice business Delice de France through a management buyout, and in October reached an agreement to sell its majority stake in French frozen food company Picard to Tunisia-based investment group Invest Group Zouari. Other recent disposals include Cloverhill, Signature Flatbreads and La Rousse Foods.





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US reopens door to Brazilian beef imports | Food Industry News

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USDA move took effect last Friday

The US has reportedly reopened its doors to imports of Brazilian beef after a more than two-year suspension.

According to Reuters, Brazilian Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said on Friday (21 February) that the US had granted access again to Brazilian fresh beef exports with immediate effect. 

In 2017, Brazil suspended exports of beef to the US amid allegations of corruption involving some of the South American country’s largest meat processors, including reports of officials taking bribes to overlook unsanitary conditions in a case that became known as Carne Fraca, or Weak Flesh.

just-food has approached the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for comment but the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has already acknowledged the move, along with US Senator Jon Tester. Both have disputed the decision, reportedly instigated by US Secretary for Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

A statement from Tester’s office said: “Following reports in 2017 that Brazil was exporting rotten beef and attempting to cover it up with cancer-causing acid products, Tester successfully urged the USDA to implement a ban on Brazilian fresh beef imports. Last year, Tester introduced legislation that would require the Secretary of Agriculture to create a working group comprised of food safety experts and relevant trade agencies to comprehensively investigate safety threats related to Brazilian beef.”

Tester added in the statement: “Let’s be clear, Brazil put American families at risk by exporting rotten beef into American grocery stores and covering it up with cancer-causing chemicals. Now, Secretary Perdue is letting them off the hook without a long-term plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Meanwhile, Kent Bacus, the senior director for international trade and market access at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said the organisation “has serious concerns about the re-entry of Brazilian beef”.

Bacus continued: “NCBA has frequently questioned the lack of scientific evidence that was used to justify Brazil’s initial access to the US market in 2016, and unfortunately, we were not surprised when Brazil forfeited its beef access to the US in 2017 due to numerous food-safety violations. 

“NCBA praised Secretary Perdue for standing up for science-based trade and holding Brazil accountable for their numerous violations by suspending Brazil’s access and subjecting Brazil to undergo a thorough science-based inspection and audit process. It is evident that USDA believes that Brazil has addressed the concerns raised in the audit process, and steps will soon be taken to restore Brazil’s access to the United States.” 





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Safety aspects of indoor farming signal a change in agriculture

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An indoor agricultural evolution is in the making. That’s how some people see the surge of interest in growing leafy greens in greenhouses. No doubt about it, this approach to farming has increased dramatically in every corner of the country, even the South.

Not surprisingly, food safety has been one of the driving forces pushing indoor farming forward. Repeated recalls over the past several years  of romaine lettuce contaminated by the potentially deadly E. coli O157:H7 pathogen grown in the Yuma, AZ, and Salinas, Calif., regions have been enough to have consumers shying away from the popular lettuce and often other leafy greens. 

The most recent romaine outbreak just before Thanksgiving 2019, originating in the  the Salinas, CA, growing  area triggered yet more apprehensions about the lettuce. 

Advice to consumers from the CDC just after Thanksgiving solidified those fears. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised consumers not to eat any romaine at all from the Salinas growing area until the outbreak was over — unless it was grown indoors. That outbreak has since been declared over.

In effect, the CDC was giving greenhouse-grown romaine a food safety thumbs up. 

“Hydroponically and greenhouse-grown romaine from any region does not appear to be related to the current outbreak,” said the agency on its December 2019 update about the outbreak in the Salinas growing area. It also noted that the lettuce might be labeled as “indoor grown.”

That came as welcome news to greenhouse growers — and also to buyers such as restaurants and other foodservice establishments that wanted to keep offering romaine to their customers. In many cases, demand outstripped supply.

“The more outbreaks we have, the more this trend will probably grow,” said Kirk Smith, director of the Minnesota Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence, one of six centers around the U.S. designated by the CDC to strengthen the safety of the nation’s food system.

“There’s an upswing in interest in a big, big way,” said John Bonner, co-owner of Great Lake Growers. “I’ve seen consumers’ knowledge base about this increase. They like that it’s safer, fresher and lasts longer. It’s almost like ‘why wouldn’t you buy greenhouse salad greens.’ It’s a catalyst for change.”

Looking ahead, he believes indoor growing will happen on a bigger scale yet, although, as he quickly concedes:  “It might take 20 years. “But it’s coming,” he said.

Ryan Oates, founder and owner of Tyger River Smart Farm in South Carolina, sees hydroponics as “the future of farming” because there are so many advantages to it, among them conserving water and nutrients. Also, you can do it year round.

“We’ll see more and more of it,” he says in a video on Tyger River’s website. “You’ll see a lot of crops moving in that direction.”

As for food safety, Oates said the biggest advantage is that you’re growing inside greenhouses, which allows me to keep things really clean. “It’s a lot easier to do that than growing outdoors.”

Because indoor growing is a controlled environment, the farmers don’t have to deal with wildlife, domestic animals, and birds flying overhead — all of which can contaminate the crops.

Bendon Kreieg, a partner and sales manager at Revol Greens said that the government’s advice on this is definitely helping.

“We are seeing an uptick in demand from retailers and restaurants because it has such a major impact on their business when they suddenly can’t serve salads,” Kreieg said.

A spokesperson for Gotham Greens, a New York-based operation with three locations in New York City, two in Chicago, one under construction in Baltimore, and more underway in other states, told a reporter that the farm has been selling out of its greenhouse grown leafy greens every day.

Janeen Wright, editor for Greenhouse Grower magazine, said that although the publication has always covered greenhouse cultivation of vegetables — as well as ornamental and nursery plants — it has been covering the vegetable side of the industry a lot more recently. 

Referring to the romaine recalls in 2018 and 2019, Wright said growers have told her that the recalls have really helped them “get a name for themselves.” 

“Unfortunately, all of these recalls will be a concern for consumers,” said Scott Horsfall, CEO of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. “The plantings (for romaine lettuce) are down but there’s still demand for it.”

As for whether greenhouse lettuces and greens will overtake field grown lettuces and greens, Horsfall doesn’t think that will ever happen especially considering the vast quantity of the crops that are field grown.

“I certainly haven’t seen concerns about this on the production side of the industry,” he said.

Even so, greenhouse farming is making important strides. During the 52 weeks ending Sept. 29, 2019, sales of produce marked as greenhouse grown increased 7.6 percent and sales of produce described as locally grown increased 23.2 percent, according to the latest Fresh Facts on Retail report from United Fresh Produce Association, a trade organization.

The “local” aspect is important because greenhouses are located in many regions of the country and therefore lettuces grown in them don’t have to be shipped across the country from Yuma and Salinas during the winter months. Because the lettuces and greens can be grown year-round they have an extra “local” advantage.

In the winter, more than 90 percent of the lettuces and greens in the United States are grown in the Yuma, AZ, and Salinas, CA, growing regions. Salinas is often referred to as America’s “Salad Bowl,” and Yuma, the “Lettuce Capital of the World.” 

Yuma is home to nine factories that produce bagged lettuce and salad mixes. Each of these plants processes more than 2 million pounds of lettuce per day during Yuma’s peak production months, November thru March.

“It’s a long way from Yuma to Cleveland,” said John Bonner, co-owner of Great Lake Growers based in Ohio. He pointed out that the difference in distance between the two is part of why the lettuces and greens don’t arrive in stores and restaurants as fresh as they do when they arrive in establishments that are near his greenhouses.

In addition, consumers’ interest in locally grown food has risen dramatically. Some are even referring to the lettuces from the Yuma and Salinas growing regions as “corporate lettuce.”

Controlled-environment agriculture, another way to describe greenhouse cultivation when done according to certain standards, is helping grow the local food market. The USDA estimated they would reach $20 billion in sales by 2019, up from $12 billion in 2014.

Peace of mind about food safety is another important part of the puzzle when it comes to increased demand for greenhouse produce. A spokesperson for Gotham Greens agrees that the food safety scares originating from large-scale farms have buyers looking for lettuces and greens grown on a smaller scale and closer to home.

For the most part, greenhouse growers don’t use pesticides or other harmful-to-humans chemicals on their crops, and many follow strict organic standards.

Greenhouses: The indoor option
When you think of farming, you think of soil.

In contrast, most indoor farming — or greenhouse growing — does away with soil. Instead, crops are grown hydroponically in controlled sterile environments.

In most hydroponic systems, plants are grown in nutrient-rich water, instead of in soil. The water is rich in phosphorus, nitrogen and calcium.  

At the top of the list when it comes to the advantages of hydroponics is that it requires only 10 percent to 16 percent of the same amount of water to produce vegetables as conventional irrigation systems in outdoor farming. That’s because water in a hydroponic system is captured and reused, rather than allowed to run off and drain into the environment, according to indoor growers.

That’s especially important in areas where water is scarce. In California, for example, conventional outdoor agriculture accounts for 80 percent of total water use. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been implementing hydroponic farming in areas of the world beset with food shortages. There are currently ongoing projects to establish large hydroponic farms in  Latin American and African countries. 

NASA has even gotten into the act. In the late 20th century, physicists and biologists put their heads together to come up with a way to grow food in space. They began by growing plants on the International Space Station, opting for hydroponices because it needs less space and fewer resources — and produces vastly higher yields — than growing in soil.

In 2015, astronauts actually dined on the first space-grown vegetables.

Although there hasn’t been much government funding for research on greenhouse agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently gave Michigan State University $2.7 million for research into indoor growing techniques. In addition to that, the researchers have won industry grants bringing the project total to $5.4 million.

A focus of the research will be gathering information on the economically viability of greenhouse growing. 

Food safety and hydroponics
Food-safety scientist Kirk Smith, who has been leading investigations into food safety outbreaks for many years, said one thing that has emerged in outbreak investigations is that E. coli contamination in produce almost always comes from irrigation water used on fields. 

Making things more complicated, the Food Safety Modernization Act, signed into law by President Obama in 2011, has yet to establish definitive standards for agriculture water quality.

Leafy greens, including romaine lettuce, are chopped and washed in huge volumes as part of the bagged salad production process. This allows bacteria on one head of lettuce to be spread to hundreds or thousands of bags. Photo illustration

Another challenge beyond irrigation is washing the field-grown produce after it’s been harvested. That step is when using clean water is especially critical, otherwise contamination from one head of lettuce can spread to the rest of the produce in the factory. 

Food safety scientists warn that even though a package of bagged salad greens that have been field grown says the greens have been triple washed, that doesn’t mean there’s no chance of some of the greens being contaminated. In the case of E. coli, for example, the pathogen can hold on tight and resist being washed away.

In contrast, most greenhouses use municipal water and many wash their greens with running water instead of dunking them into a tank. Some don’t even need to wash them since they never come into contact with any water simply because it’s the roots that are being watered, not the leaves.

Bonner said that his farm makes sure the water it uses is clean and tested.

“We have extensive testing for E. coli,” he said. “We’re monitoring it every second.”

As for farmworkers, Bonner said one part of the audit his company goes through is dedicated strictly to food safety and farmworkers.

“We’re in a building, and the bathrooms are right there,” he said. “And we have handwashing sinks all over the place.”

Because most greenhouse farms grow food year round, there’s no need to rely on a seasonal workforce. In Bonner’s case, the company works with a local Amish community whose young people are eager to work for his company.

In other cases where greenhouses are located in cities, farmworkers live in city apartments. This stability in housing and location gives greenhouse farms a stable workforce.

Nothing’s perfect
Of course, there’s no guarantee that a foodborne pathogens will never occur in greenhouse settings. 

And because most lettuces and greens are eaten raw, they don’t go through a “kill step” to kill pathogens that might be on them.

Many of the foods popular with indoor growers — lettuces, sprouts, fresh herbs, microgreens and wheat grass  — carry the highest risk of outdoor produce, some of that because it grows so close to the ground.

That’s why prevention is so important, the greenhouse growers say. This would include paying attention to how water, tools, animal intrusions, pests and human handling plays a role in preventing food from being contaminated. 

What is it about romaine?
Romaine lettuce is “particularly susceptible” to E. coli, said Keith Warriner a University of Guelph (Canada) professor, in an interview with City News.

During research, Warriner said, scientists discovered that out of all the lettuces, E. coli likes romaine the best.

A study the food safety scientist conducted showed that extracts of romaine lettuce actually brought E. coli out of a dormant state when it’s in the soil. Once out of its dormant state, which can last up to a year, it can flourish.

The FDA included this Google Earth view in its memorandum on the environmental assessment related to the E. coli outbreak. It shows a section of the Wellton canal that is adjacent to a 100,000-head feedlot. Portions of this image (in gray) were redacted by the government. However, the FDA report says the image shows the locations of the feedlot, sites where E. coli-positive water samples were collected, unlined sections of the irrigation canal, and a retention pond at the feedlot. The water in the canal flows from west to east.

Warriner describes several reasons why romaine is particularly susceptible. To begin with, the crop is mostly grown in Arizona and California. That’s cattle country, and irrigation water used on the romaine fields can become contaminated with bacteria from animal feces via water runoff and dust in the air.

Added to that, because both states have hot weather, the lettuce needs an abundance of water.

Warriner pointed out that even though other leafy greens like spinach and kale are also grown in the same areas, and under similar conditions, their leaves are, as he described them, “as tough as nails.”

Romaine is considered the most nutritious lettuce when compared to red leaf, green leaf, butterhead and iceberg.

Although it’s low in fiber, it’s high in minerals, such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium. It’s also naturally low in sodium. Another plus is that romaine lettuce is packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and folate. And it’s a good source of beta carotene, which converts into Vitamin A in the body.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)



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Oh Baby Latest Telugu Movie||Samantha Akkineni Latest Telugu Movie 2020||Naga Shourya||Samantha

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Oh! Baby
Total length: Oh! Baby is a 2019 Indian Telugu -language
fantasy comedy film directed by B. V. Nandini Reddy . A remake of the South Korean film Miss Granny , it stars Samantha Akkineni, Naga Shaurya, Lakshmi , Rajendra Prasad in the lead roles and music composed by Mickey J. Meyer . Principal photography of the film began in December 2018. The film released theatrically on 5 July 2019 and received positive reviews, with praise for Samantha’s performance. A remake is in development by Sajid Nadiadwala titled Jabudani . Movie was termed as one of the Best Telugu film in 2019 .

Directed by
B. V. Nandini Reddy

Produced by
D. Suresh Babu
Sunitha Tati
T.G.Vishwa Prasad
Hyunwoo Thomas Kim

Written by
Lakshmi Bhupala (dialogues)
Gopimohan (Script Supervision)

Screenplay by
B. V. Nandini Reddy
Based on Miss Granny

Starring
Samantha Akkineni
Lakshmi
Naga Shaurya
Rajendra Prasad

Music by
Mickey J. Meyer

Cinematography
Richard Prasad

Edited by
Junaid Siddique

Production company
Suresh Productions
People’s Media Factory
Guru Films
Kross Pictures

Release date
5 July 2019

Running time
161 minutes

Country
India

Language
Telugu

Budget
₹10 crore (US$1.4 million)

Box office
₹40 crore (US$5.6 million)

Plot
Savitri / Baby ( Lakshmi), a 70-year-old woman, is a cook who runs a canteen in a college, which is co-owned by her childhood friend Pasupuleti Kanakaraj alias Chanti ( Rajendra Prasad), where her son Shekar / Nani ( Rao Ramesh ) also works as a lecturer. She has a very beautiful voice and wants her grandson Rocky ( Teja Sajja), who is interested in singing, to fulfill her dreams. But her relationship with her daughter-in-law Madhavi ( Pragathi) does not run on good terms. Things get worse when Madhavi gets a heart attack and do not want to live with Baby. Even the doctors also suggest the same. Knowing this, heartbroken, Baby leaves the house and accuses God of her fate. On the way, Rocky calls her for his first music performance at an exhibition where God ( Jagapathi Babu ) appears in the form of a saint, presents her a statue of Lord Ganesha and says that it will change her fate. Nevertheless, she finds a photo studio and enters with a hope of getting a good photograph as she would like to print a beautiful photo of hers after her death in the newspaper. The same person appears as the photographer and promises to get back her beauty, after taking the picture, astoundingly, she turns into a 24-year-old young lady ( Samantha Akkineni). Looking at it, she becomes bewildered when God appears again as a hippie and tells her that this new life is given to fill with joy and enlightenment. Thereafter, she joins as a tenant in Chanti’s house changing her name as Swathi, starts a new life and also teams up with her grandson Rocky and becomes a part of the band. Meanwhile, Chanti realizes Swati itself is Baby and supports her at every step. Meanwhile, Vikram ( Naga Shaurya), the head of the music company, likes Baby / Swathi’s voice and gives her band an opportunity. After a lot of romantic comedy, Vikram proposes to Swathi when she is totally confused. At the same time, Chanti learns that if Baby loses her blood she again turns into an old lady. At last, the D-day finale of the competition, unfortunately, Rocky meets with an accident, yet, Baby participates and acquires the victory to see her grandson at peaks. Here Baby / Swathi writes a letter to Vikram telling him to keep their acquaintance as a sweet memory and to always be smiling. After reaching hospital she finds Rocky requires AB-ve blood which Baby donates, even though Chanti & Nani oppose, and transforms into the old lady. In the Climax, God is shown transforming Chanti into a young boy ( Akkineni Naga Chaitanya).

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