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Weekly Roundup... 01 September, 2020

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Roundup... 01 September, 2020

An increasing number of consumers are expressing interest in organic food and drink, with the lockdown contributing to a growing interest in provenance and animal welfare, a recent study by Waitrose & Partners has revealed. According to the latest OnePoll research conducted by Waitrose, more than half of the respondents said that they wanted retailers to show more information about ethical practices on product packaging, reports Three-quarters of respondents said they wanted to see more British sourcing, while more than 44% of shoppers searched for products with less packaging when shopping online, the retailer added. The study also found that the search on Google for the Waitrose Duchy Organic range almost doubled during the lockdown. The retailer saw sales of organic food and drink increase by 13% in this period.

The European Union cut its duty on maize (corn) imports to zero on Thursday to take account of a rise in US maize prices following a reduced forecast for the 2020/21 US maize harvest, the European Commission said. The new zero-rated duty is effective as of Thursday and will also apply to rye and sorghum imports, reports Reuters. "The revised tariff [...] is calculated based on the difference between the European reference price and the world benchmark for maize (i.e. the US cif price – cost, insurance and freight included – at the port of Rotterdam)," the Commission said in a statement.

A discussion about the negotiations over Britain and the European Union's post-Brexit relationship has been dropped from the agenda of a meeting of EU envoys next week because the talks have stalled, an EU diplomat recently said. Earlier, The Guardian reported that the issue would not be discussed at a meeting of ambassadors from the EU's 27 member states, though diplomats said this referred to a regular meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives due on 2 September. EU officials now believe the British government is prepared to risk a no-deal exit when the transition period comes to an end on 31 December, and will try to pin the blame on Brussels if talks fail, the Guardian report said. The German government, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU council, had intended to discuss Brexit during the meeting, but dropped it because there had not been 'any tangible progress' in the talks, the report said, citing an EU diplomat.

Packaging company SIG has announced that its chief marketing officer Markus Boehm has stepped down from the role, reports He cited upcoming organisational changes as the reason behind the decision. The company has decided to delegate some of his responsibilities to the regional heads in Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Americas, while the remaining to other members of the group executive board. Elsewhere, the president and general manager of the company’s European division, Martin Herrenbrück, has stepped down from the position. He has decided to take up a position outside SIG and will leave the Company at the end of 2020, the company said. CEO of SIG Combibloc, Rolf Stangl, commented, “I would like to thank both Markus [Boehm] and Martin [Herrenbrück] for their contributions to the success of SIG over many years.

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