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French equipment sector booming on back of exports

France has become the world's fifth largest exporter of food processing equipment according to ANVAR, the French agency for innovation that operates under the aegis of the French Minister of Finance, Trade and Industry.

CEDC strengthens its hand ahead of Bialystock auction

Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) has acquired yet another Polish alcohol distribution company, taking the number of companies owned by the Florida-based holding to 13. But the company is now keen to launch its own products, and will bid aggressively for the Polmos Bialystock distillery in a bid to win control of several popular Polish vodkas.

Ukraine calls for calm over meat price rises

Sharp increases in meat prices at the end of September have prompted Ukraine's Ministry of Agriculture to call for tighter measures to prevent speculation and ensure more stable pricing. But market observers claim that the increases are justified by higher input costs further up the chain.

Loss-making vodka group slated for sale

RosSpirtProm, Russia's state-owned alcohol producer, is to be privatised next year in a two-phase operation expected to garner interest from a wide range of drinks companies. But with many of the distilleries within the group running at massive losses, the sale is likely to mean a major consolidation in the Russian alcohol sector, writes Angela Drujinina.

Buhler opens Asian rice extrusion plant

Buhler has developed a new extrusion process that allows white rice to be enriched with vitamins.

Food production hit by increasing ozone levels

Dr Lisa Emberson of the University of York tells Anthony Fletcher why high ozone concentrations could cost food producers millions in damaged crops.

APV Baker secures Venezuela contract

Another cooker-extruder line from UK-based APV Baker is on its way to South America to help a long-established family cereal company increase its production as it strives to stay ahead of the leading multinationals.

Genome project promises a beef production revolution

The beef industry's ability to accurately breed cattle for specific traits such as increased meat or milk yield has been significantly improved with the release of the first draft of the bovine genome sequence.

Tray sealers installed to meet ready meal demand

UK supplier Kettleby Foods has installed two Proseal F45 tray sealers to increase efficiency in order to satisfy growing retailer and consumer demand for ready meals.

Ozone increase will hit Asian food production, claims report

Increased ozone concentrations at ground level may be causing millions of pounds of damage to food crops, according to a University of York researcher - and nowhere is more likely to be affected than Asia. Anthony Fletcher reports.

China's brewing industry gears for expansion

The Brewing Industry Association of the China National Food Industry Association has announced its support and cooperation in the organisation of BevTek & BrewTek China 2005, which will be held in conjunction with ProPak China 2005.

Russian milk market under pressure as herds decline

Steep declines in the number of milk cattle in Russia is having knock-on effect on the country's dairy industry, which is being forced to import increasing amounts of milk from other, more expensive sources. But calls for greater support from Moscow to develop new breeding programmes appear to be falling on deaf ears, writes Angela Drujinina.

Pick restructures to keep competitive

Hungary's accession to the European Union has already led to increased competition in the food industry there, prompting one of the country's leading food manufacturers, Pick Szeged, to embark upon a two-year restructuring programme aimed at cutting costs and improving productivity.

Chinese scientist recognised for rice production breakthrough

A scientist from China has been awarded first prize in the International Year of Rice (IYR) global scientific contest for his work on genetic diversity and disease control, the UN's FAO announced this week.

Valio increase Estonian cheese holdings

Finnish dairy products company Valio is to acquire Norwegian firm Synnöve Finden's 42 per cent holding in Estonian cheese producer Võru Juust, leaving Valio with a 99 per cent stake in Võru Juust.

PVM steps up Russian expansion

Perfetti Van Melle (PVM), the Dutch-Italian confectionery producer, is to open a new production facility in the Moscow region as it seeks to exploit market growth and narrow the gap with rival producers already established there, writes Angela Drujinina.

Heineken re-joins battle for Russian breweries

Dutch brewing giant Heineken has increased its stake in Russia's rapidly growing beer market for the second time in three months, underlining the competition among big brewers to exploit the potential of this newly crowned nation of beer lovers.

Sokolow's soaring profit bolsters confidence

A boost from EU exports and a solid home market performance have helped Polish meat processing company Sokolów to achieve bumper net profits for the first half of 2004, but this is all part of the plan, according to a company quietly confident of establishing itself further at home and abroad.

Antimicrobial firm targets pig and poultry processors

An Australian company has developed a product to improve poultry production without having to pump chickens and pigs full of antibiotics.

Big brewers fight over Eastern Russian brewer

Three major European brewing companies are competing to purchase a small brewery in the previously unexplored region of Russia's far east, as the scrap to profit from one of the world's fastest-growing beer markets hots up.

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