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
AFRICAN RESEARCH COLLABORATION
17th Dec 2021
The University of Lagos (UNILAG), alongside two other universities in Africa, recently won a research grant worth GBP1.9 million by the United Kingdom (UK) Research Institute, funded under the UKRI-GCRF ARUA Research Excellence Programme. The other beneficiaries of the grant, which will fund a three-year research project (2021-2023), are the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and the University of Makerere in Uganda. The research project will focus on unravelling the complexities surrounding migration and urbanisation in Africa. Our article will look at how these ... Read more
UGANDA UNIVERSITIES REOPEN
10th Dec 2021
Uganda reopened and resumed in-person learning to all universities in Uganda this November . This happened after the 18-month closure of COVID-19 and numerous failed plans to open. We offer an article looking at what Ugandan universities have done to ready themselves for this reopening and how ireopenign plans are going. What made the ministry of higher education confident to reopen now after previous failed attempts? What do students and academics think about this move?
HIGH TECH FRUIT CREAM AND WHO'S BUYING IT
26th Nov 2021
Brazil-based Landê is a new plant-based category of food created in 2020 and made of fruit, seeds and oilseeds. It is a single option of nutritious and refreshing fruit creme that is 100% natural, the brand claims. It is as cold as ice cream and comes in three flavors: rustic chocolate, wild strawberries and banana with almonds. The idea is that they are taken between meals or at breakfast. The idea was developed in six months with the support of doctors and nutritionists. We’d look at other novel plant-based fruity creams in Europe, Asia and North America ... Read more
FOCUS: THE UAE'S BUDDING TEXTILE INDUSTRY
19th Nov 2021
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has developed a significant textile industry, making knitwear, child safety seats, curtains, luggage, and some high end fashion for local purchase. The industry sells to more than 50 countries, with a large customer base domestically. Some manufacturers have been attracted to the country’s many free trade zones which enable them to operate without much tax or fees. Given the importance of the UAE as a trading and retail hub we offer an article looking at what kind of fabrics are being made in the UAE and for what customers and ... Read more
IS PLASTIC-FREE CHEWING GUM NOW MAINSTREAM?
13th Nov 2021
In April 2021, Plant-based, plastic-free and biodegradable gum brand Nuud has made its UK retail debut. the chewing gum is sweetened with xylitol and claims to be completely vegan and biodegradable. It uses a tree sap called chicle in the place of plastic in its gum base, which it claims helps the gum biodegrade naturally “like a banana skin”. Companies from different countries have also launched plant-based natural alternatives to traditional plastic-based gum. We’d gather major brands from the North America, Europe and Asia and talk to experts about how ... Read more
HOW AGRICULTURAL WASTE CAN BE USED TO MAKE TEXTILES
10th Oct 2021
Agro-residue fibre feedstock is now being used in textile industries around the world. A study published in August 2021, entitled ‘Spinning Future Threads’ commissioned by Laudes Foundation, has found large quantities of agricultural residue in eight countries across Asia including India and Bangladesh, which could be used to make textiles fibres. Rice straw, banana stems and other agricultural waste could soon be utilised for producing eco-friendly products, such as textile fibres, in a move that could provide the triple benefits of increased farmers’ ... Read more
EV REVOLUTION REALLY SET TO TAKE OFF IN US?
29th Jul 2021
In a recent letter to the US congress, The Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance has pleaded for increased government spending on electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. Specifically, the alliance proposes the development of an investment tax credit or point-of-sale program to boost sales of electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles. Companies like Amazon, DHL, and AT&T are among the signees and such corporate pressure could finally convince legislators to start spending more on the EV cause. President Biden already appears sold on the issue - he proposed $173 ... Read more
EU MINISTERS FEAR DEADLY PESTICIDES COULD ENTER EU THROUGH MERCOSUR DEAL
21st Jul 2021
A new report from the Left group in the European Parliament has found that circa 7000 tonnes of deadly pesticides which the EU exported to Mercosur countries in 2018-2019 have returned to the EU through food imports, the report argues. For example, in 2018, Argentina exported EUR71 million worth of pears and apples to the EU despite the fact that 14 of the pesticides prohibited for use in the EU are used in the cultivation of apples and pears in Argentina. The report argues that the EU-Mercosur Agreement will exacerbate this ongoing problem: “European chemical ... Read more
GLOBAL MEAT PRODUCTION TRENDS IN 2021
9th Feb 2021
The recent Rabobank Global Animal Protein Outlook 2021 has forecasted a rise in global pork demand in 2021, as China and Taiwan are expected to recover from the African swine fever (ASF) pandemic affecting wild boar and pigs. Rabobank sees pork production growing faster than other edible animal species in 2021, even though the disease keeps affecting pig herds, pork production and rising demand for other animal protein species, such as poultry, as substitutes for pork in both Asia and Europe. Since September 2020, veterinarians in Germany have confirmed more ... Read more
ELECTRICITY FROM RENEWABLES OVERTAKES FOSSIL FUELS IN EU BUT INVESTMENTS STILL NEEDED
29th Jan 2021
2020 was the first year in which the European Union (EU) consumed more electricity from renewable energy than fossil fuels, marking a major milestone and step forward in the bloc’s ambitious climate and energy goals. But to make the shift to cleaner electricity sources successful and long lasting, massive investment in Europe’s distribution grids is needed now, electricity industry body Eurelectrichas warned. In a new report Eurelectric argues that smarter distribution grids will allow an increased amount of variable renewable energy on the grid that would be ... Read more
ALLEGED EGG LABELLING FRAUD BY BRAND LEADER IN ITALY
27th Oct 2020
While Italy’s was grappling with strict containment measures due to the coronavirus pandemic, a special unit of food and health investigators from Carabinieri police uncovered an alleged corporate fraud in which a leading Italian egg brand had sold on the Italian market eggs sourced from Poland and Spain, illegally stamping them as “Italian”. As a result, police sequestered 3 million eggs with the fraudulent country of origin labels that a leading fresh egg brand from Cremona, in northern Italy, was set to sell on the market. Prosectors are currently ... Read more
INTERNATIONAL ITALIAN DOC WINE SCAM UNCOVERED
23rd Oct 2020
Italy’s Financial Police unit in Florence have dismembered an international criminal network that was about to sell fake bottles of DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia wine - one of Italy’s most expensive and best known wines internationally - at about 30% below the market price to clients in China, Korea and Russia. Two persons have been placed on house arrest and 11 others are under investigation for charges ranging from international fraud, trademark and geographical indication (DOC) infringement and possession of stolen goods. According to the scam, the fake ... Read more
STATE SUPPORT POLICIES DISTORT AGRICULTURAL MARKET, SAYS OECD
20th Oct 2020
The latest edition of the OECD’s annual Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation report has revealed that many government policies aiming to support the agriculture sector are more of a hamper than a help. The report analysed policies directly supporting farmers implemented by 54 countries in the period from 2017 to 2019, averaged USD 536 billion (EUR 469 billion) per year. Results of the report showed that these policies distort markets, stifle innovation and harm the environment. As national governments seek to provide relief to the agricultural sector ... Read more
ECO-ENGINEERED MATERIALS IN FURNITURE
6th Jul 2020
We offer a story that looks at innovative new eco-engineered products in the furniture sector, with comments from industry experts. For example, Pinatex, a “leather” crafted from the tropical fruit’s cellulose fibres, was used in everything from the upholstered seating and botanical-themed artwork to key cards, cushions and headboards, in a new all-vegan suite at Hilton London Bankside hotel. In Yorkshire, a material manufactured from recycled PET plastic bottles and other single-use plastics, which initially launched as an eco-engineered carpet ... Read more
THE CHALLENGES FACING E-CIGARETTES AND WHAT THEY MEAN FOR THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY
3rd Jul 2020
Concerns are growing over e-cigarettes due to a range of factors, especially safety worries following a number of deaths in the US. There are now e-cigarette bans in place across several American states, and Walmart recently announced that it would stop selling e-cigarettes across its stores in the country. Meanwhile, India has banned e-cigarettes and there has also been a crackdown in China. Similar action has not emerged in Europe yet, but concerns among consumers are growing following the fatalities in the US. With insight from industry experts from both the ... Read more
3D PRINTING AND PROPERTY RIGHTS
30th Jun 2020
We can offer a news feature examining the intellectual property issues involved in the development of 3D printing in the textiles sector. As this technology becomes more powerful and more ubiquitous, the potential for 3D printed textiles will inevitably grow and this will make the copying of designs and also see copying of material mixes much harder to control. We would explore the liability that may exist for producers of 3D printers should they be used for purposes that infringe on intellectual property rights. We would also talk to legal specialists within the ... Read more
US BANKER CHARGED WITH GHANA POWER PLANT BRIBES
27th Apr 2020
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged a former executive of a foreign-based subsidiary of a U.S. bank holding company with paying bribes to gain power plant contracts in Ghana in breach of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The SEC alleges Asante Berko arranged for his firm’s client, a Turkish energy company, to funnel at least USD2.5 million to a Ghana-based intermediary to pay illicit bribes to Ghanaian government officials in order to gain their approval of an electrical power plant project.
RUSSIA BEEFS UP AML LAWS AHEAD OF CRYPTOCURRENCY LAUNCH
21st Apr 2020
Russia has updated its anti-bribery and anti-money laundering laws to cover cryptocurrency ahead of a planned launch of a Russian cyber-money later this year. The legislative revamp also follows allegations that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) attempted to extract a USD1 million bribe in bitcoin from a media mogul last year.
HOW DEVELOPERS ARE USING ULTRASONICS IN NONWOVEN SECTOR
18th Apr 2020
Nonwovens manufacturers are increasingly developing technology that uses ultrasonics for joining or slitting synthetic materials. The tech uses high frequency sound to generate localized heat through vibration and causes thermoplastic fibres to bond together. The creation of a mechanical bond, rather than a chemical bond, allows a product to better withstand extreme heat conditions while also being friendlier to the environment. We would look at which companies are developing this technology and at what kind of nonwovens are being developed as a result and in ... Read more
DIAPER CHEMICAL REGULATION
10th Apr 2020
We offer a regulatory round up looking at chemical restrictions for the manufacture of diapers/nappies. As it stands, there is a proposal being considered at the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) For new restrictions on the use of chemicals to make diapers in the European Union. We would take a look at those proposals and talk to the non-woven sector to see what they thought about them - are they too tough or are they reasonable? We would use this as a news hook to look at other restrictions around the world in key markets - for instance the USA, Australia, India, ... Read more
RECYCLING NONWOVENS: GLOBAL ROUND-UP
5th Apr 2020
Nonwovens do not have an excellent reputation when it comes to recycling - but of course regulation is pushing companies towards increased environmental sustainability and we want to look at innovation and research that is focused on recycling non woven materials. A good example is the Verdex patented technology -- a simple, safe process for spinning nanofibres using no solvents but only low pressure air. This provides nonwoven manufacturers the capability to offer a wide variety of functional enhancements to their products containing nanofibres. The Verdex ... Read more
NONWOVENS OF THE FUTURE FOR THE CAR MARKET
1st Apr 2020
Today, more than 40 individual components in the production of domestic vehicles use nonwoven materials, from trunk lining to tyre strengthening layers. As designs become more complex, costs become ever more critical for commercial success. We'd use our strong contacts within the automotive sector to assess innovation in the use of nonwovens in automobile manufacturing sector - looking at what research indicates will be made of nonwovens in future, especially as cars continued to attempt to lightweight to improve their emissions performance. We can look at ... Read more
CANNABIS A FRONT FOR FRAUD SCHEMES
28th Mar 2020
The cannabis industry is increasingly being used to cover for Ponzi schemes, with fraudsters seeking to exploit potential investors in the market. Most cases brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission involve operations that purport to be cannabis businesses but instead are schemes -- typically of the Ponzi and pump-and-dump variety -- said a former DEA chief, who has advised the financial community to conduct the same due diligence as appropriate for any other kind of investment, regardless of the product.
MINIATURE ID TAG DEVELOPED TO TACKLE PRODUCT COUNTERFEITING
25th Mar 2020
Researchers at MIT have devised a cryptographic tag small enough to be attached to any product to verify its authenticity. While RFID tags are too large for some automotive components, for example, this new tag has been shrunk in size to one millimetre, does not need batteries but stores sensitive data and can be used to tackle supply chain counterfeiting.
CORONAVIRUS USED BY FRADUSTERS
18th Mar 2020
The first major phishing attack of 2020 was based on phoney information on the Coronavirus, with criminals putting fake WHO logos on email messages with bogus links in the message encouraging users to click through and - at the same time - hand over their personal details. We'd gather warnings and best practice plus find out how national authorities are fighting these attempts.
EU'S NEW STRATEGY ON ANIMAL WELFARE
7th Jan 2020
The European Commission has been told by EU ministers to develop a new EU strategy for the protection and welfare of animals based on the lessons learned from the strategy for 2012-2015. This includes communication and education activities for the public of the essential role of good animal welfare in promoting animal health and telling the livestock sector to treat welfare as an integral part of sustainable animal production. ministers told the Commission that it should consider updating current legislation, in particular in areas such as animal transport over ... Read more
EU CHEMICAL SUPPLIERS FACE TIGHTER RULES IN LATEST ANTI-TERRORISM MEASURES
10th Dec 2019
THE EUROPEAN UNION has tightened controls on explosives precursors that aim to ensure stronger safeguards and controls, including online, on the sale and marketing of the dangerous chemicals, which have been used to produce “home-made” explosives in a number of terror attacks in Europe. The new rules also aim to allow law-enforcement better access to obtain financial information across borders quickly, helping them fight serious crime and terrorism more effectively. The new rules will affect EU suppliers of chemicals to the mining industry which will have to ... Read more
EU LAUNCHES HIGH COMPUTING PERFORMANCE INITIATIVE
4th Dec 2019
THE EUROPEAN High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking has opened its first calls to fund research and innovation activities in high performance computing (HPC). The calls have a total budget of EUR190 million, and focus on areas highlighted in the Joint Undertaking's work plan for 2019: the development of essential technologies for high-performance computing hardware and software, supporting manufacturing and engineering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to use HPC in innovative ways, and establishing HPC Competence Centres in every EuroHPC ... Read more
TEXTILE SOLVENT RESTRICTION IN EU
29th Nov 2019
ECHA has added 2-methoxyethyl acetate, a textile solvent, to its list of substances of high concern that are likely to see their use tightly restricted in the EU and made subject to special authorisation - the concern here is that the chemical is toxic to reproduction. We have the details.
US FDA CONSIDERS ANTIBIOTICS BAN ON LIVESTOCK
5th Nov 2019
IN a Sept 2019 draft document providing guidance to veterinarians, the US’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed banning over-the-counter sales of more than 100 drugs used on animals, including antibiotics and formulations such as cephapirin, penicillin G procaine, sulfamethazine and tetracycline. According to the guidance, the ban would take at least two years to implement the FDA says. The FDA proposes that livestock producers obtain veterinary prescriptions for these medications, when and if they want to continue their use. In proposing the ban, ... Read more
SCOTTISH BEEF SHIPPED TO JAPAN FOR FIRST TIME IN 23 YEARS
1st Nov 2019
Scottish beef producers made their first export to Japan since the lifting of a 23-year ban in January 2019. West Lothian-based processor AK Stoddart’s exported the country's first batch of beef, which arrived in Japan this week. The meat arrival was celebrated at an official showcase event organised by Scottish Development International and Quality Meat Scotland as part of Rugby World Cup 2019 celebrations. Japanese retailers and food importers attended and expressed interest in dealing with Scotch beef. The Japan market is worth GBP127 million to UK farmers ... Read more
TEXTILE COATING GUIDANCE IN THE EU
30th Sep 2019
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has released a new guideline for industrial users of 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), which is a coating used to coat textile fibres. The Europena Union (EU) is restricting its use because of concerns over its toxicity - with the chemical being subject to the first restriction of its kind that is based on Derived no Effect Levels (DNEL). Industrial users will have to comply with the restriction by May 9, 2020. We can explain the details of this policy change and what implications it will have on textile coating companies.
USA ANNOUNCES MORE TARIFFS ON CHINESE IMPORTS INCLUDING ELECTRONICS
18th Aug 2019
President Donald Trump announced on August 1st that the USA would impose an additional 10% duties on USD300 billion’s worth of exported goods from China starting September 1, 2019. This includes hard copy books, brochures, dictionaries, encyclopaedias and more. More recently, the US Trade Representantive's Office has said that as of December 15,2019 tariffs will be slapped on a series of electronics from China, including mobile phones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, and certain footwear and clothing.
MEAT SUBSTITUTED IN ONE IN FIVE FOODS SOLD IN THE UK
20th Jul 2019
Several years after the horsemeat scandal hit international headlines, meat substitution continues in the UK a new report has found. A series of tests conducted by the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) on meat and meat products sold in the UK in 2017 revealed that one in five products contained meat not declared on labels. The FSA ran test on 665 items and found that 145 items were partly or wholly made up of unspecified meat, finding DNA from as many as 4 different animals in the samples tested, with the most commonly mislabelled product being minced meat, ... Read more
CHINA-CANADA TENSIONS ESCALATE AMID “FORGED” CERTIFICATES OF CANADIAN PORK
9th Jul 2019
Canadian politician, conservative leader Andrew Scheer, is urging Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to step up inspections and consider retaliatory tariffs on all products from China days after China announced that it was suspending all imports of Canadian meat, including beef and pork products, due to its concerns over fraudulent inspection reports. In late June, Chinese customs authorities inspected and found ractopamine residues - an additive that is banned in China - in a batch of pork products exported from Canada to China, and Chinese authorities ... Read more
URANIUM AND OTHER MINERALS AT CENTRE OF ESCALATING US-CHINA TRADE WAR
29th May 2019
President Trump has increased a wide range of 10% duties on Chinese exports to the USA to 25%. The tariff hike covers uranium ores, compounds (and metal). The US imported USD60.3 million’s worth of uranium from China in 2018 (3.5% of all imports). China responded with retaliatory tariffs on a range of US imports, including metal ores such as iron, nickel, zinc, titanium and zirconium. These latest tariff hikes in the US-China Trade War will have a major impact on the global minerals sector.
NASA ALUMINIUM SUPPLIER INVESTIGATED FOR FRAUD
24th May 2019
Documents released by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) suggest fraud by an aluminium supplier, Sapa Profiles Inc (SPI), cost the agency over USD700 million. In a case that the US Department of Justice is investigating, Oregon-based SPI is accused of falsifying data about the parts’ suitability for use in space vehicles resulting in the loss of two Taurus rockets and the satellites they carried in 2009 and 2011. According to NASA, materials failings in the frangible joint rail, which is part of the structural system that ... Read more
EU CAPS PALM OIL FEEDSTOCK USE BUT LEAVES POTENTIAL LOOPHOLES
9th May 2019
The European Commission has released a regulation establishing the framework for the use of palm oil feedstock in the EU for the decade to come - it classifies palm oil as a high indirect and use change (ILUC)-risk feedstock which should be capped at its 2019 level of the consumption in accordance with the renewable energy directive II. However, EU farmers/growers group COPA/COGECA says that, despite extensive consultation, the final proposal failed to close loopholes that will inevitably result in the expansion of the use of palm oil feedstock, undermining the ... Read more
US FARMERS BOOST SOY BEAN PRODUCTION DESPITE US-CHINA TRADE DISPUTE
9th May 2019
U.S. farmers are gearing up to plant what could be their third-largest soybean crop ever despite failing to sell a mountain of beans from their last harvest due to a U.S.-China trade war that remains unresolved. Soybeans were the single most valuable U.S. agricultural export crop and until the trade war, China bought $12 billion-worth a year from American farmers. But Chinese tariffs have almost halted the trade, taking the biggest buyer out of the market and leaving farmers with crops they cannot sell. The U.S. government estimates farmers will have 900 million ... Read more
EU APPROVES DIRECTIVE ON UNFAIR TRADING IN B2B SECTOR
24th Apr 2019
The EU Council of Ministers has now formally approved the long-debated directive on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain. The directive will ban the most obvious unfair trading practices and provide member states with more effective ways of tackling abuses. Now if has been approved at last - we want to talk to EU food sector associations about how this law will start to have a practical impact and how the industry - manufacturers, processors and farmers - can prepare to make it work without ... Read more
EU BANS USE OF BIOCIDE
24th Apr 2019
The EU Biocidal Products Committee (BPC) has decided that the following active substance should not be approved for use in the EU, including in the textile sextor - carbendazim for product-type 9 (fibre, leather, rubber and polymerised materials preservatives). The committee’s opinion is that carbendazim, which meets the exclusion criteria, cannot be approved for product-type 9 because of unacceptable risks posed to the environment that cannot be mitigated.
REPORT: USD132 BILLION OF UK PROPERTY REGISTERED IN TAX HAVENS
15th Apr 2019
Over 87,000 properties in England and Wales valued at an excess of USD132.4 billion (GBP100 billion) are owned by anonymous companies registered in tax havens, according to a new report. Forty percent of the identified properties are in London. Cadogan Square in Knightsbridge, an affluent neighbourhood of Victorian homes bordering Hyde Park, hosts at least 134 secretly owned properties. About 10,000 properties are in Westminster, home to the British Parliament.
EUROPEAN COMPANIES CONNECTED TO ILLEGAL CONGO TIMBER
10th Apr 2019
Ten European companies trading in timber have sourced USD2.26 million of wood from a company engaged in illegal logging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a report released by Global Witness. The findings are especially worrying because most of the world’s second largest tropical rainforest is in the DRC, said the report. Tropical forests are estimated to absorb 30% of the world’s carbon emissions.
SWEDBANK SCANDAL DOUBLES IN SCOPE
10th Apr 2019
A scandal implicating Sweden’s oldest bank has widened dramatically with new revelations that the suspicious flows that the institution handled — transactions with potential connections to alleged Danske Bank money laundering — which amount to USD10.2 billion, not USD5.8 billion as earlier reported.
TOP HONG KONG OFFICIAL JAILED FOR BRIBERY AND MONEY LAUNDERING
3rd Apr 2019
Hong Kong's former home secretary was sentenced to three years in prison and a USD400,000 fine on March 25 for bribing African officials on behalf of a Chinese energy company. Sentencing followed a one-week trial in the Southern District of New York last December, when Patrick Ho was convicted by a jury on seven counts - one of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, four of violating the FCPA, one of conspiring to commit international money laundering, and one of committing international money laundering.
MERRILL LYNCH FINED OVER USD8 MILLION FOR IMPROPER ADR HANDLING
3rd Apr 2019
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on March 22 that Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated will pay over USD8 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). The SEC’s says Merrill Lynch improperly borrowed pre-released ADRs from other brokers did not own the foreign shares needed to support them. This inflated the total number of a foreign issuer’s tradeable securities, which resulted in abusive practices like inappropriate short selling and dividend arbitrage.
US regulatory delays hampering the advance of genetically-engineered dairy cows
11th Mar 2019
Scientists in the US have started seeking sites and markets abroad like Argentina, Brazil and Canada for their genetically engineered hornless dairy cows amid a lack of regulatory guidance and inadequate funding at home. One such company is Recombinetics, an animal biotechnology company based in Minnesota, whose gene-edited dairy cattle are hornless - something that would benefits both animal welfare and dairy farmers who would no longer have to surgically remove the horns from conventional cattle to prevent the animals from hurting each other or their handlers. ... Read more
The European Food Safety Authority about a potential risk to a major lead market
8th Oct 2018
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
8th Oct 2018
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.
Germany's spending on organic products
24th Sep 2018
“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.
EU Commission proposals for money-laundering
13th Sep 2018
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.
US cotton affected by Trump trade wars
13th Sep 2018
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.
EU's Blocking Statute on Iran
7th Sep 2018
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
7th Sep 2018
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.
Pork producers in Trump's trade war
7th Sep 2018
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.
WTO against Indonesia duties on iron and steel
23rd Aug 2018
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.
Kevlar for phone charging cables
23rd Aug 2018
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".
Irish laws for Ryanair employees
23rd Aug 2018
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
23rd Aug 2018
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.
EU Commission on alcohol labelling
23rd Aug 2018
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.
Germany: a money laundering haven
30th Jul 2018
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
30th Jul 2018
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.
Zimbabwe's platinum mine expected for 2020
19th Jul 2018
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
19th Jul 2018
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.
Impacts of the phthalates EU ban
19th Jul 2018
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
19th Jul 2018
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
19th Jul 2018
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.
CMR limitations in fabrics and textiles
25th May 2018
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.
Nano technology and environmental health regulation for chemical companies
25th May 2018
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. Read more
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 ...
Uganda's cotton textile sector
25th May 2018
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. Read more
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 ...
New guidelines for adhesives in plastic food packaging
2nd Jun 2016
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.
Meeting discussing additives in animal feed
1st Jun 2016
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?
Hong Kong recession to hit the auto sector
1st Jun 2016
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
31st May 2016
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
27th May 2016
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.
Danish domestic pork market share drops while chicken meat catches up
27th May 2016
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%.
India goes high tech to beat waste
26th May 2016
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
23rd May 2016
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.
Japan lifts 15-year ban on Italian beef
19th May 2016
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.
New sheep could see China’s market share grow
19th May 2016
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
16th Mar 2016
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.
Norwegian seal hunt gains government funding
15th Mar 2016
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.
EU agreements to fight cigarette smuggling
26th Feb 2016
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
26th Feb 2016
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.
Scotland's confusing food labels
26th Feb 2016
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.
The EU's new skills agenda
26th Feb 2016
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.
Potential impact of TTIP on meat sector
26th Feb 2016
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.
Adidas wins case to oppose similarly-designed shoe
24th Feb 2016
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.
European Commission approves equity firm’s control over shoe retailer Kurt Geiger Topco
12th Feb 2016
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.
EU lifts 4 year fresh ostrich meat ban from S.Africa
14th Aug 2015
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
14th Aug 2015
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
14th Aug 2015
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
14th Aug 2015
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.
Scottish government banning GMO crops
14th Aug 2015
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.
Indian government suing Nestle
14th Aug 2015
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.
EU farmers concern over methane rules
14th Aug 2015
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.
Slovak bank gets EU money
14th Aug 2015
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.
Tobacco directive concern - additives
14th Aug 2015
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.
EFSA concern over flavouring
14th Aug 2015
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.
Argentina wins foot-and-mouth disease case against USA
24th Jul 2015
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