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Weekly Roundup... 20 April 2021

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Roundup... 20 April 2021

German vertical farming start-up Infarm has hired Goldman Sachs to help with talks on the possibility of going public through a merger with a so-called blank check company as it seeks funds for expansion, people close to the matter said. Berlin-based Infarm, which currently focuses on indoor production of herbs and salad greens, uses cloud-computing to manage the cultivation of produce that is grown close to consumers, minimising its environmental impact, reports Reuters. The company has hired Goldman to help engage in talks with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) about a potential merger that could give it so-called unicorn status, meaning a valuation of more than $1 billion, the people said.

Keelings has announced the launch of its Great Rewilding initiative in an effort to address the reduction of Ireland’s bee and pollinator population. As the first step in this campaign, Keelings will be giving away 100,000,000 wildflower seeds. To get involved, people can pick up their free wildflower seeds by redeeming promotional codes online from their special berry punnets. Each seed pack has a blend of 30 different species which have been expertly mixed by Sandro Cafolla, a wildflower grower in Carlow who has worked with Keelings for many years and has helped them to create their wildflower meadow in St Margarets, Co Dublin. David Keeling, managing director, Keelings said, "The launch of the Keelings Great Rewilding initiative is a commitment from our business to helping address the declining population of pollinators. Bees and pollinators play such a critical role in growing fruit and other foods and we really hope people will get on board and join us by encouraging wildflowers to grow locally in whatever outdoor space they might have."

Belgian online supermarket Hopr has commenced the trial run of its service in Hasselt in the province of Limburg. Starting yesterday (19 April 2021), the supermarket will offer small-scale deliveries in Limburg in the Flemish Region, a report in Retail Detail said. Hopr aims to offer deliveries to all areas in Hasselt by the end of this month and extend the service across the whole country by 2026. Hopr is Belgium’s first online supermarket without any physical stores. In March of this year, Carrefour Belgium partnered with Deliveroo to offer grocery deliveries in less than 30 minutes.

Rainfall was mixed last week across Ivory Coast's cocoa-growing regions, bolstering hopes for a strong April-to-September mid-crop in some areas while others are in need of stronger rains, farmers have said. The world’s top cocoa producer is in its rainy season, which runs from April to mid-November, with farmers reporting increased numbers of maturing beans as the harvest begins to pick up. Some saw last week's dry weather as a positive development, adding that overall quality of the mid-crop would be improved by the ability to sun-dry beans early.


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