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Weekly Roundup... 19 October 2021

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Roundup... 19 October 2021

Bushmills Irish Whiskey has announced the release of the American Oak Cask Finish, the second in a series of whiskeys from the new Bushmills Original Cask Finish range. Inspired by a partnership spanning decades between Bushmills and legendary barrel makers Kelvin Cooperage, the American Oak Cask Finish celebrates the amalgamation of two of the world’s great whiskey-making capitals, Bushmills and Louisville, Kentucky. In 2008, Louisville, the home of Kelvin Cooperage, was twinned with the village of Bushmills during celebrations marking Bushmills 400th anniversary, further strengthening the ties between these two areas steeped in whiskey heritage. The American Oak Cask Finish features the award-winning single malt used in Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey, finished in double-charred American Oak barrels. It is then blended with the brand’s signature triple distilled Irish grain whiskey, giving it an extra smooth character with fresh wood and sweet vanilla notes. Paul McLaughlin, President, Kelvin Cooperage, said, “Our relationship with the team at The Old Bushmills Distillery began over 30 years ago. Over the course of three decades, we have worked closely in a continuous process of mutual learning and collaboration. “At Kelvin Cooperage, we have remained true to time-tested traditional techniques, handcrafting and charring each cask, ensuring that The Old Bushmills Distillery only receives the finest American oak casks for this release. The double-charring process has a substantial impact on the flavour profile the cask imparts on the whiskey, which is what makes this American Oak Cask Finish product truly special.”

Swift Prepared Foods, a consumer packaged goods company and subsidiary of JBS USAannounced it has reached an agreement to acquire California-based Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats, Inc., for $90 million (€77.6 million). Founded in 1990, Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats produces a variety of quality smoked bacon, ham and turkey products for sale to retail and wholesale customers under the Sunnyvalley brand. The purchase includes one production facility in Manteca, Calif., and the company employs more than 300 team members. Sunnyvalley’s gross revenues are $150 million annually. Tom Lopez, president and chief operating officer, Swift Prepared Foods, said, "The announcement is consistent with our company’s long-term strategy to increase our value-added and branded portfolio, and provide even more diverse product offerings to customers and consumers. "Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats makes delicious food products, has an impressive history and a reputation for exceptional quality and service. We look forward to welcoming the dedicated Sunnyvalley team members to Swift Prepared Foods and continuing to grow the brand."

Royal Dutch Shell has appointed Wael Sawan as head of its integrated gas and renewables division, replacing Maarten Wetselaar who will leave the energy company after 25 years. Sawan currently heads Shell's oil and gas production, or upstream, division. In his new position he will oversee Shell's continued expansion into low-carbon and renewable energies as well as the power markets, key pillars in Shell's strategy to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2050. Sawan, 47, a Canadian citizen of Lebanese origin, is seen by many as a potential successor to Ben van Beurden, chief executive along with Huibert Vigeveno, who heads Shell's refining and chemicals division. Sawan will be replaced by Zoë Yujnovich, 46, who currently heads conventional oil and gas operations, Shell said in a statement. Both appointments are effective from 25 October.

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