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This week in FMCG

Coca_Cola_AmatilAnother work week is ending and the Australian FMCG sector had a full week with big headlines.

A soft drinks giant launched a startup program, a retail and supermarket giant expanded service in the US, Aussie liquor giant workers held strikes, frozen fruit was recalled due to a Hepatitis A scare; controversial live sheep export rocked the agriculture sector, convenience chain celebrated its suppliers and a multinational giant pledged to have 100% recyclable plastics by 2025.

Coca-Cola Amatil announced Amatil X launch

Soft drinks global giant Coca-Cola Amatil has launched Amatil X, a new platform for emerging possibilities to power growth beyond its core business. Coca-Cola Amatil group managing director Alison Watkins said the new startup program would support the development of concepts, startups and early stage businesses that anticipate and address customer needs.

At the centre of Amatil X is AX Ventures, a multimillion dollar corporate venturing program, set up to invest in future revenue growth opportunities that is outside of Amatil’s core – and beyond innovation in beverages which sits within the core business.

Amazon, Whole Foods Market expanded grocery delivery to Los Angeles

Online retail giant Amazon and supermarket Whole Foods Market has expanded its free two-hour delivery of organic products through Prime Now in the US. Whole Foods Market executive vice president of operations Christina Minardi said in a statement the announcement allows customers to have access to their high-quality products and locally-sourced favourites.

Amazon Prime members in greater Los Angeles and Orange County – from Santa Monica to San ClementePasadena to the North and Yorba Linda to the East – can shop online for fresh produce, high-quality meat and seafood, everyday staples and other locally sourced items from Whole Foods Market.

XXXX Queensland workers held strikes

Brisbane’s XXXX brewery’s workers held strikes this week and threatened to have more strikes in the future over fears the brewery’s owners are planning to shift to casual workers. The United Voice union claimed brewer giant Lion is planning to create a cheaper workforce by employing contract staff at a lower pay rate through a third party.

United Voice spokesman Damien Davie met with XXXX representatives at the Fair Work Commission. He said the beer giant can employ casuals for seasonal periods which they don’t oppose “but what they want to do is replace a permanent workforce with a cheaper casual workforce.” An email from XXXX brewery director Irene Bell was released by the union ahead of the strike last Wednesday. She said the union was misrepresenting the situation.

Creative Gourmet Frozen Pomegranate recalled over Hepatitis A scare

Seven people in NSW were recently diagnosed with Hepatitis A after eating imported frozen pomegranate seeds from Coles. Creative Gourmet Frozen Pomegranate is currently under investigation and was held responsible for production. The fruit company recalled the implicated product as a precaution.

The Conversation article reported there were about 40,000 packs of Creative Gourmet Frozen Pomegranate Arils sold since it was made available at supermarkets in September 2017. NSW Health has advised consumers to immediately dispose any in their possession.

Animal groups, vets prompted quick action on live sheep exports

Animal groups and veterinarians in Australian has urged prompt action on live export ships to the Middle East to end to animal cruelty. AAP reported shocking footage of sheep dying in sweltering conditions on a ship in August last year which has sparked widespread calls for change in the industry.

Agriculture minister David Littleproud launched a veterinarian-led review into the northern summer trade and audit of the independent regulator. Australian Veterinary Association president Paula Parker also said the system has failed and any deficient livestock export standards need urgent review.

According to AAP, almost 50,000 people have signed independent senator Derryn Hinch’s online petition to ban live exports. The RSPCA also has expressed grave concerns in a statement over the Department of Agriculture’s response to the latest live export disaster. The concerns come following the animal welfare group’s meeting with Australian Government Department of Agriculture representatives last Tuesday.

7-Eleven Australia celebrated supplier partners

Convenience store giant 7-Eleven Australia has toasted to the contribution of its suppliers to the company’s growth and transformation at an awards ceremony held in Melbourne on Tuesday. 7-Eleven chief executive officer, Angus McKay, commented suppliers made a significant contribution to the company’s ongoing success.

He said the support of their suppliers is vital to what 7-Eleven have been able to achieved and he looks forward to “the transformation and growth we will be able to achieve with their support in the years ahead.”

Nestlé pledged 100 per cent recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025

Multinational giant Nestlé said it has an ambition to make 100 per cent of its packaging recyclable or re-usable by 2025. Its vision is that none of its packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill or as litter.

Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said plastic waste is one of the biggest sustainability issues the world is facing today. The company focuses on three core areas: eliminate non-recyclable plastics; encourage the use of plastics that allow better recycling rates and eliminate or change complex combinations of packaging materials.

However, Greenpeace said it does not include clear targets to reduce and eventually phase out single-use plastics. Instead, it announced “ambition” for its packaging to be 100 per cent recyclable or reusable by 2025, plans for “continuing to increase the proportion of recycled plastics in packaging” without a clear timeline, and additional efforts to help facilitate recycling by consumers.

That’s all for now and we will be back in touch on Monday morning. Have a wonderful weekend!

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