International news agency

Examples of Stories for Sale

The ideas below are examples of pitches we make to our clients. International News Services ensures that established clients only receive such ideas and the agency strives at all times to avoid pitching to direct competitors of established customers

The European Food Safety Authority about a potential risk to a major lead market

The European Food Safety Authority has released a new report on non-wetland uses of lead in ammunition (gunshot and bullets) and in fishing weights. It has found sufficient evidence of risk to justify additional restrictions in the EU, where 5,000 tonnes of lead are currently dispersed into wetlands due to hunting, while other shooting activities such as lead gunshot used in non-wetland areas spreads a further 14,000 tonnes of lead into the environment, and the use of lead bullets and fishing weights adds to this quantity. In addition, between 10,000 to 20,000 ...
Read more

USMCA and the impact on third party diary industries

The US and Canada have struck an agreement on revising NAFTA (now to be called the USMCA) which will involve giving US dairy exporters access to the Canadian dairy market. We want to offer a piece where we look at the detail of what is on offer here and how it will not only affect the Canadian and US dairy sectors, but also third party dairy industries, like that in Europe, which will have to export products to North American markets affected by the new system.

Read more

Germany's spending on organic products

“The Confederation of Organic Food: figures, data, facts about the organic sector 2017” report in Germany looks at why Germans spend approximately 9-10% more on organic products every year.  We would like to look at the details regarding the organic meat industry is in Germany and have a look at key statistics that could give us a better idea of latest trends. What organic cuts and meats are most popular in Germany, why, and who supplies them?  We will speak to industry experts and the Confederation of Organic Food in Germany which conducted the research.

Read more

EU Commission proposals for money-laundering

The European Commission has released a paper outlining proposals to beef up EU powers regarding the controlling of EU money-laundering policies and actions. This has been sent to member states. It includes increasing the AML powers of the European Central Bank, among other options. Have paper and can write string news piece today, if you wish.

Read more

US cotton affected by Trump trade wars

The US government has released details of the extra help US ag producers will get to cope with Trump’s trade wars - and cotton producers will be a key beneficiary. We have the details and offer a news analysis piece plus comments from the US cotton industry that would explore the impact of the Trump trade wars on the cotton sector.

Read more

EU's Blocking Statute on Iran

As the first batch of re-imposed US sanctions on Iran took effect, the EU's updated Blocking Statute entered into force early today to mitigate their impact on the interests of EU companies doing legitimate business in Iran. The updated Blocking Statute is part of the European Union's support for the continued full and effective implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the Iran nuclear deal, including by sustaining trade and economic relations between the EU and Iran, which were normalised when nuclear-related sanctions were lifted as ...
Read more

Swedish government on animal welfare for meat

The Swedish government has announced plans to make it mandatory for municipalities to impose high standards of animal welfare and low dosages of antibiotics in the meat industry.

Read more

Pork producers in Trump's trade war

The US government has released details of the extra help US food producers will get to cope with Trump’s trade wars - and pork producers will be the second largest beneficiary. The government will buy up excess commodities—$558 million out of an estimated $1.2 billion.  We have the details and offer a news Piece plus comments from the US pork industry - New York correspondent.

Read more

WTO against Indonesia duties on iron and steel

We are offering a news piece on how the WTO appellate body has ruled against Indonesia saying its duties on iron and steel imports break WTO rules, ordering Jakarta to liberalise its rules.

Read more

Kevlar for phone charging cables

Kevlar is being used to produce the world's first armoured phone charging cable to stop them breaking.  Jet Co Labs, based in London, has integrated Aramid, or Kevlar, to reinforce the braided nylon wire in a cable, making it durable.  The company has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to start the production of the JET cable with the technology it calls "KevlaBraid".

Read more

Irish laws for Ryanair employees

We want to assess the potential impact on Irish HR of a case about how Ryanair employees are insisting to be governed by the laws of the nations where they are based, and not by Irish law as is currently the case (except for staff based in the U.K.). Trade unions have already explained that by having Irish labour contracts, the company finds it easier to fire workers, to be sued by its employees, not to put a limit on working hours, not to reduce hours in case of emergency or for instance, to offer a paid leave for weddings.  We would like to look at how the ...
Read more

Turning anaerobic digesters and waste into biogas

We wanted to offer you a piece that looks at the problems that have faced livestock farmers who have invested in anaerobic digesters to turn slurry and other production waste into biogas, that can then be fed into national gas grids.  Apparently in the UK and Ireland there have been a slew of insolvencies involving companies installing and operating these systems.  We wanted to offer a news piece that looked into this - where we focus on advice to livestock producer struggling to operate such systems.

Read more

EU Commission on alcohol labelling

This is a news idea about how a group of European Parliament members have called on the Commission to turn down an industry proposal on alcohol labelling, claiming that alcoholic beverages should no longer enjoy a preferential regime compared to other foodstuffs. “The current situation created disparities in the internal market, where a milk producer has higher administrative burden than a vodka producer did” the letter reads.  We would like to look at the concrete requests of the MEPs and look in details at their requests.

Read more

Germany: a money laundering haven

Germany recently confiscated 77 newly-bought homes under an AML law that came into effect a year earlier. Under the old law, the confiscation wouldn't have been possible because the scope of predicate crimes was too narrow.  Still, 77 homes bought with dirty money means a lot of banks and attesting notaries have looked the other way. The media calls Germany a money laundering haven. The FATF has long been underwhelmed by Germany's AML efforts.  We offer a news piece where we highlight this development and append German AML expert comment on the extent to which ...
Read more

Trade pact Mercosur

This is an insider news piece about how a trade pact between the EU and the South American bloc Mercosur could be agreed in early September. We’d tap Brussels and Buenos Aires sources. This would mean closing key gaps remain on how far to open each other’s markets to industrial goods and farm products, such as Latin American beef. What is more, the window for a quick agreement is narrowing, with elections in Brazil in early 2019 and the mandate of the Commission ending after the European Parliament in May.

Read more

Zimbabwe's platinum mine expected for 2020

Work on Zimbabwe's new US$4.2 billion platinum mine is expected to start this week, with the groundbreaking  ceremony presided over by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the site expected to take place either on Wednesday or Friday. The  first mineral output  is expected in 2020.  The mine is being developed by Cyprus based investor Karo resources  after it signed  an agreement with government recently for the  project that will see 15,000 jobs being created. This will be the African country's biggest investment since independence in 1980 which the new ...
Read more

Russia's Miratorg now producing sausages

We are offering a newsy article to cover one of Russia’s largest meat processors, Miratorg, which is reorienting up to 30% of their capacities to the production of sausages. Our Russian correspondent can speak to a company representative to discuss the changes at Miratorg and how exactly they will focus their operative capacities on the production of sausages.  Does this require employing more workers and construction? We would also discuss the company’s future expansion objectives.

Read more

Impacts of the phthalates EU ban

The European Commission is finally taking action against four phthalates - and we wanted to offer a news analysis where we looked at what is being banned, what production will be affected and what alternative materials  there are to replace these phthalates . According to the proposed restriction presented in the REACH Committee, the four phthalates may not be present in articles used by consumers or available in indoor areas in a concentration equal to or above 0.1% by weight individually or in any combination in any plasticised material. The restriction ...
Read more

Montegro's development in beef products

The FAO and the EBRD worked with Montenegro’s public authorities and meat producers to develop and register GIs for a beef products. Some 5,000 northern Montenegrin farmers still make the traditional dried beef Crnogorska Goveđa pršuta – a specialty which has long been a part of the country’s culinary repertoire.  Crnogorska Goveđa pršuta and Crnogorska Stelja, the Montenegrin dried and smoked sheep meat, are poised to receive geographical indication (GI) status, an origin-based label that can give high-quality food products more cachet with consumers. ...
Read more

Hong Kong's guidelines for AML/CFT

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), of Hong Kong, is consulting on proposed amendments to the territory’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) guidelines. These would expand the definition of ‘politically exposed persons’ subject to special AML/CFT checks to customers given a prominent function by an international organisation. The reforms would also streamline identification and verification rules for onboarding customers to allow more flexible approaches that reflect the AML/CFT risk in handling their business.

Read more

CMR limitations in fabrics and textiles

New European Commission special regulation to minimise consumer exposure, banning the placing on the market of carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction substances in clothing and related accessories (including sportswear and bags), or footwear, bed linen, blankets, upholstery or reusable nappies for use by consumers where the CMR substances are present in concentrations above a certain level.

Read more

Nano technology and environmental health regulation for chemical companies

A draft European Commission regulation amending European Union (EU) chemical control system REACH is to insist that chemical manufacturers using nanoparticles must consider the special potential environmental health impact of using them in their products.
These proposals have been backed by the European Chemical Agency’s (ECHA) REACH committee. The new regulation says that any different nanoforms covered by a REACH registered chemical “should be considered by the registrant in the demonstration of safety”. Moreover, information on manufacture, uses ...
Read more

Uganda's cotton textile sector

We offer a piece looking at attempts to revive Uganda’s textile sector. Cotton is Uganda’s third largest export crop after coffee and tea. But 90 per cent of this cotton is exported in form of lint as most of the government run textile industries collapsed in the past.
Through its national textile policy, the government hopes it can help the country earn more from its cotton, through value addition.
One way it is doing this is by attracting foreign investment into the textile industry. In the past few years for example, an investor from Turkey ...
Read more

New guidelines for adhesives in plastic food packaging

New guidelines for testing adhesives meant for plastic food packaging have been released by the Association of the European Adhesive & Sealant Industry (FEICA). We have access to the document, which outlines the specific guidelines for conformity testing of adhesives as components of food contact materials, and would like to offer you a news story on these updates.

Read more

Meeting discussing additives in animal feed

We propose covering the plenary meeting of the European Food Safety Authority’s ‘scientific panel on additives and products or substances used in animal feed’ (FEEDAP), in Brussels, Belgium July 12-14. Experts will discuss, among other things, a draft scientific opinion on the potential reduction of the currently authorised maximum copper content in feed. We can offer coverage of the key issues and opinions emerging from this meeting. What are the challenges facing meat producers in this area and what are the potential solutions?


Read more

Hong Kong recession to hit the auto sector

There is a possibility that Hong Kong's economic recession may be hitting the auto sector hard. Hong Kong looks headed for recession with an economy that contracted 0.40 percent on quarter in the three months to March 2016, compared to 0.2 percent growth in the previous period. It was the first contraction since the second quarter of 2014 and the biggest since 2011. Hong Kong’s economy is heavily dependent on exports and slumping tourism and merchandise trade has negatively affected growth. How will a recession affect HK’s new car sales and imports? New ...
Read more

Upcoming banking and legal summit in India

The 3rd Annual Banking & Finance Legal Summit 2016 will be held by Lex Witness on June 24, 2016 in Mumbai.This highly anticipated summit will deliberate the legal and regulatory implications of the banking, finance and insurance sector, and discuss topics such as debt restructuring and recovery challenges, insolvency and bankruptcy codes, non-performing assets change dynamics and disputes, CDR Scheme for MSMEs, etc. Confirmed speakers include Abhimanyu Singh Poonia, general counsel for the Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Amol Apte, AVP legal at Future ...
Read more

Virtual EU currency task force to be created

Members of the European Parliament have said that the European Commission should set up a taskforce to monitor virtual currencies to prevent their being used to launder money or finance terrorism. MEPs passed this non-binding resolution noting the taskforce should build expertise in the underlying technology of virtual currencies and recommend any necessary legislation.

Read more

Danish domestic pork market share drops while chicken meat catches up

In Denmark chicken meat is catching up on pork which however still leads the market, according to the Danish Food and Agriculture council. We could do a follow up story to see if chicken meat producers are benefiting from the drop in pork and what has led to it with comments from industry experts. Between 2013 and 2015, the pork market share has gone down from 39.1% to 35.9%. During the same period chicken meat market has gained slowly but steadily from 22.4% to 23.5%.

Read more

India goes high tech to beat waste

The southern Indian city of Visakhapatnam is going to introduce GPS enabled chicken waste collection to ensure that the waste is not thrown on the street. Waste collection vehicles will have GPS tracker which will record all the places where it has stopped for collection. For compliance daily entries will be matched with the database of butchers and poultry producers at different locations. Such a system is already in place in another Indian city. We want to look at the potential effectiveness of this system, how much it costs and its potential for its additional ...
Read more

EU packaging event

There will be an event tomorrow hosted by MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz, as well as the EU’s packaging and environmental association, Europen. We wanted to offer coverage as the event's focus will be on the EU's long-running plans to create a circular economy. As you know, the European Commission has been reviewing how it achieves this, and the recycling of waste plastic is a key part of the policy.

Speakers at the event include Mr Martin Reynolds: EUROPEN Chairman, CROWN Europe; and Mr Hans van Bochove: EUROPEN Vice-Chair, Coca Cola Enterprises.

Read more

Japan lifts 15-year ban on Italian beef

Japan has lifted its 15-year ban on imports of Italian beef. Japan had banned beef from the EU in 2001 based on concerns over Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). Japan has already opened its market to beef from other member states such as France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark and Sweden.

Read more

New sheep could see China’s market share grow

We would like to propose a news feature looking at how China is developing new domestic wool supplies to create a more sustainable, high-end knitwear sector. The country has cultivated a new fine-wool sheep named Mountain Merino, which can be adapted to the coldness and aridness of high altitude, according to the country’s ministry of agriculture. The new breed can adapt to an altitude range of 2400-4070 meters with its wool as thin as 19.1-21.5 micrometers and also fills the gap of high-altitude fine-wool sheep cultivation in the world.This piece would explore ...
Read more

New EU rules on medicated feed

The European Parliament’s agriculture committee has backed a report of new rules on medicated feed. These aim to harmonise standards across Europe and encourage more responsible use of medicines such as antibiotics. The parliament will now negotiate a final text with the Council of Ministers.

Read more

Norwegian seal hunt gains government funding

The Norwegian Fisheries Minister announced last week that he would give NOK 2 million (around EUR210 000) to the seal hunt against the vote of the parliament on the government budget for 2016. This is despite controversy over the seal hunt and seal products – furs and leather - that has led to jurisdictions such as the US, Mexico, EU, and Russia banning them in some way.

Read more

EU agreements to fight cigarette smuggling

An idea regarding an upcoming European Parliament meeting. MEPs will quiz the Commission on the four agreements currently in force between the EU and Philip Morris International (PMI), Japan Tobacco International (JTI), Imperial Tobacco Limited (ITL) and British American Tobacco (BAT) to fight cigarette smuggling. Members will ask for an assessment, including the possible financial implications, and will question whether these agreements should be prolonged. The agreement with PMI is due to expire in July 2016.We can attend the Parliament meeting and get all the ...
Read more

China's excess steel capacity

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China has said in a new report that China’s government efforts to address excessive production capacity including in steel have failed due to, for instance, regional protectionism, weak regulatory enforcement, low resource pricing, and misdirected investment.

Read more

Scotland's confusing food labels

Scotland’s confusing food labels are contributing to food waste and could hinder the government’s circular economy strategy, according to Approved Food, a large online retailer of short-dated and residual stock food. Approved Food surveyed 2,079 people from across the UK on their food waste habits and found more than 50% of people across Scotland throw away food that is approaching or past its best-before date despite it being perfectly safe to eat. Scotland plans to reduce food waste by 33% by 2025.


Read more

The EU's new skills agenda

The European Union Council of Ministers yesterday debated how to better link education to the skills needed in the market. The outcomes will help shape a European Commission policy initiative "A New Skills Agenda for Europe", which is expected to orient education EU higher education policy, expected for May. In the debate, ministers noted the importance of upgrading numeracy, literacy and digital skills of all students.

Read more

Potential impact of TTIP on meat sector

A piece looking at the potential benefits and detriments of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and EU for the meat sector as negotiations reach the twelfth round. For instance, Copa-Cogeca has noted that protectionism should be avoided and that areas such as processed food exports in particular could benefit from the deal. However, the organisation has warned there is a lack of progress on eliminating red tape and non-tariff barriers to trade.

Read more

Adidas wins case to oppose similarly-designed shoe

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Adidas may oppose Belgium-based Shoe Branding Europe’s application to register a shoe with two parallel stripes on the side as a trade mark. This is similar to Adidas’ mark, which is a shoe with three parallel stripes on the side. This decision overturns an earlier decision by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) that dismissed Adidas’ opposition.


Read more

European Commission approves equity firm’s control over shoe retailer Kurt Geiger Topco

The European Commission has approved Cinven Capital Management General Partner Limited’s (UK) sole control over shoes and accessories retailer Kurt Geiger Topco Limited (Cayman Islands). Cinven is a private equity business providing investment management and investment advisory services.

Read more

EU lifts 4 year fresh ostrich meat ban from S.Africa

The European Union has lifted a four-year ban on the import of fresh ostrich meat from South Africa following an outbreak of H5N2 avian flu. We could talk to South African ostrich meat exporters for a story assessing the importance of the EU market for the industry. The 2011 outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza strain hit the 1 billion rand ($80 million) industry, which exports meat, leather and feathers to its main EU market. The industry has recovered slightly with the export of processed or pre-heated meat."Resuming exports to the EU will play an ...
Read more

Dairy cow cull threatens US beef quota mark

The high rate of dairy cows currently being culled has sparked concerns that New Zealand beef exports to US could see it run out of its 2015 quota. We could do a follow up on this assessing its possible impact on New Zealand beef sector. Most of these cows are sent to the American market as manufacturing beef for hamburgers, but so many were being killed in response to the slump in milk prices that  New Zealand may run out of its quota going into the USA, Beef+Lamb New Zealand farmer council chairman Martin Coup said. New Zealand's tariff rate quota for beef ...
Read more

Indonesia prepares to increase cattle permits amid soaring beef prices

Indonesia is preparing to significantly increase permits for live cattle imports, with a meeting of key officials at the presidential palace expected to determine a new, higher quota until the end of the year. We propose a follow up story on this assessing to which extent the move will help ease soaring beef prices in the country with comments from industry experts. It comes as some Indonesian butchers in Jakarta and Banding walked off the job in protest at soaring beef prices. High beef prices are also angering consumers and food hawkers, providing political ...
Read more

New ERBD-financed Coca-Cola plant in Tajikistan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing finance for a new Coca-Cola drinks bottling plant in Tajikistan.

The Bank’s loan will be used by Coca-Cola Beverages Tajikistan to refinance loans provided by Coca-Cola İçecek A.Ş. to set up a green-field soft drinks bottling plant in the suburbs of Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikistan. 

The state-of-the-art production plant will produce up to 100 million litres of beverages per year.

Read more

Scottish government banning GMO crops

The Scottish government has announced it will formally ban genetically modified crops, such as those used for animal feed, from being grown in the country. This follows the granting of recent EU powers that allow devolved administrations to opt out of a more relaxed regime. 

*We want to offer a news piece on this.

*We can also offer a follow up feature looking at the position being taken or considered by other EU regional governments – using our network of writers.

Read more

Indian government suing Nestle

The Indian government is suing Nestle for USD100 million over its ‘unfair trade practices’. The complaint against Nestle is that it caused damage to consumers through misleading advertisements related to its Maggi noodles product, which was banned in India after the food safety regulator said Nestle was not complying with food safety laws.

Read more

EU farmers concern over methane rules  

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has backed a review of EU Air Quality Policy, which farmers are warning will hit the EU livestock sector hard.

They are upset about what they see as unrealistic targets called for in the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC), opposing fixing methane targets in the agriculture sector.


Read more

Slovak bank gets EU money  

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is investing

EUR8.5 million in bonds issued by SIJ-Slovenska Industrija Jekla d.d., the largest specialised steel manufacturer in Slovakia.

 We have the details.

Read more

Tobacco directive concern - additives  


A European Commission scientific committee has proposed 57 chemicals that could be part of the priority list of tobacco additives, which would trigger enhanced reporting obligations under the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

These includes caramel colours, carob bean extract, cocoa, glycerol and guar gum. 

The additives were proposed based on their toxicity, attractiveness to the consumer and role in increasing tobacco addiction.


Read more

EFSA concern over flavouring  

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has raised concerns over the flavouring substance p-Mentha-1,8-dien-7-al, also called “Perilla aldehyde”, which is added to some drinks to produce a pungent citrus smell and a woody, spicy, citrus taste.

The substance has been proven to damage DNA in animals.

Would you like some copy? If you do, we would  be glad to supply it.

Read more

Argentina wins foot-and-mouth disease case against USA

THE WORLD Trade Organisation (WTO) has told the USA it has broken WTO rules by maintaining restrictions on imports of Argentine beef and livestock following a 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in northern Argentina. The panel ruled despite the USA lifting restrictions on exports from Patagonia last August (2014), and last month announcing trade bans on beef from northern Argentina would go in September (2015). A WTO disputes settlement panel has ruled the USA was too slow to lift restrictions and its bans were not based on solid science. We have the details ...
Read more