In the midst of what can only be described as a dramatic year, many firms will be reviewing their efforts to hit 2020 targets for sustainable production of palm oil, an ingredient that is simultaneously ever-present in food products and demonised by environmental advocates.

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In this issue, we look at why it’s vital for companies to map out their next steps and the importance of programmes that seek to ensure sustainability standards of all producers within specific jurisdictional areas. 

Under the same broader umbrella of ‘ethical business efforts’, in a week where Unilever-owned ice cream brand Ben & Jerrys took to twitter to scold the British Home Secretary Priti Patel over immigration, we look at why environmental, social and governance issues are coming to the fore again for brands and investors. 

The Conservative government has faced something of a PR battle in recent weeks over the dreaded ‘chlorinated chicken’ that could be making its way into supermarkets as a result of a potential US-UK trade deal. We take a look into what the practice actually is, and ask if it’s simply a symbol of fear for declining food safety.

Food safety, among other factors, has been part of a rising demand for meat-alternatives by consumers, aside from health and environmental concerns over meat production. We speak to the founder of Big Idea Ventures to find out why venture capital firms are ploughing more cash into alternative protein.

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And we now come to the elephant in the room. Just as some businesses start their road to recovery following lockdown, recession hits. Unsurprisingly, the hospitality sector has been hit hard over the last 6 months, but there is still cautious optimism for the future. We look at what the impact of the ‘eat out to help out’ campaign in the UK has been for those businesses able to reopen.

We also learn about how Uber Eats has been prospering during lockdown and how the company plans to maintain its performance in the long-term. Finally, we speak to Kraft Heinz to find out if ventures during lockdown into the direct-to-consumer arena by businesses could have a lasting effect.

In this issue

Is sustainable palm oil possible using landscape programmes?

Despite the challenge food manufacturers have in meeting their 2020 targets for certified sustainable palm oil, companies need to map out the next steps they plan to take on the ingredient. Ben Cooper looks at the importance of companies supporting programmes that seek to ensure sustainability standards of all producers within specific jurisdictional areas.

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Kraft Heinz ventures into direct-to-consumer

As more major packaged food manufacturers navigating the volatile trading environment brought by Covid-19 and invest in direct-to-consumer, Kraft Heinz’s Jean-Philippe Nier talks to Simon Harvey about the US giant’s new service in the UK.

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Are investors reviving focus on environmental and social issues?

David Burrows looks at whether Covid-19 will mean the investor community starts to ramp up pressure on food companies to do more on environmental, social, and governance criteria and start to scrutinise companies’ efforts more thoroughly.

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Chlorinated chicken: what’s everyone really talking about?

As the UK and US hold discussions over a free trade deal, Ben Cooper digs into what has become the controversial issue of ‘chlorinated chicken’.

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A big idea: investing in meat alternatives

Venture capital firms are ploughing more cash into alternative protein, looking to ride the wave of interest in substitutes to meat, seafood and dairy. Dean Best speaks to Andrew Ive, the founder of venture-accelerator hybrid Big Idea Ventures about the prospects for plant and cell-based proteins, what his firm can offer startups and looking for “world-changing” investments. 

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Uber Eats: thriving in the pandemic and beyond

Uber’s ridesharing business may have seriously stalled during the coronavirus pandemic, but its delivery arm, Uber Eats, has thrived. Lucy Ingham hears from VP Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty about how the company has managed and responded to this growth.

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‘Eat Out To Help Out’: 14% rise in UK restaurant transactions according to fintech data

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme prompted a 14% increase in restaurant transactions during its first week, according to fintech firm Yolt. Robert Scammell reports on the matter.

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Next issue preview

In the next issue, we’ll be looking into the newest food trends in health and wellness, taking a dive into functional foods and also finding out the latest developments in the world of natural ingredients.

And, of course, we’ll look at the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, whilst also looking to future recovery.

You’ll be able to read the latest analysis and insights in the next edition, but until then, keep up to date with the latest news on our Covid-19 timeline.

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