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China direct

China rushes to research its newest staple

An institute co-founded by research agencies and potato processors in China and Kazakhstan has been established in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to study China’s newest staple. 

Sunshine or supplements? Cholesterol concerns must be considered with vitamin D, says expert

Clinicians must consider the impact vitamin D supplements may have on cholesterol levels in some consumers, warns an epidemiology expert. 

Seaweed strategy unveiled as Korea seeks sea-change in exports

South Korea has unveiled plans on how it will develop its seaweed industry, which it hopes will be worth US$1bn in overseas sales by 2024.

News in brief

Aussie families struggle to afford healthy meals

Australian families relying on welfare and those on low incomes are struggling to afford healthy food, and an expansion of the GST would only make things worse, according to new research.

This week Down Under

Suppliers must expand ethical sourcing to avoid Aldi sanctions

Aldi suppliers are being required to enhance their ethical sourcing practices as the discount retailer shifts its focus to corporate social responsibility.


Extreme monsoon weather leads to agri-production uncertainty

Nearly 4m hectares of Indian farmland were by a torrential monsoon this year, while four southern states were hit by drought.

American corn promoters make a charge into Saudi grain industry

Saudi Arabia has imported roughly twice as much American corn and associated products this year due to a change in government policy and more competitive prices for the commodity.


Cofco agrees to major distribution deal with US partner

Cofco, the Chinese state-owned grain major, will form a partnership with American co-operative Growmark in a bid to improve control of its import chain. 

Project to safeguard Qatari commodity supplies gets finance

Qatar Islamic Bank has backed Doha-based contractor Al Jaber Engineering to construct a 530,000 square-metre “food-security” facility at Hamad Port to meet local demand for sugar, rice and cooking oil.


Organic watchdog celebrates accreditation milestone

China is now home to more than 10,000 food companies with green accreditation, according to new data. 


FSSAI gets involved in Indian culinary tradition

India’s food regulator is developing a recipe archive to preserve the country’s food heritage, as part of a number of initiatives that include setting up cuisine hubs and organising food festivals.


Csiro’s high-tech sound-and-light show for furry farm pests

Australian scientists have developed humane technology that could save farmers’ crops and livelihoods from pests.

Booming Asian mega farms are an ‘economic risk’

Investors should not get overexcited by the risky Asian meat industry as booming production may not translate to soaring profits, a FAIRR (Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return) Initiative report has claimed.

Fsanz calls for submissions for GM rice variety

The antipodean food regulator is consulting the public on an application to allow a genetically modified rice line for human consumption.

Richer Chinese making dent in established organic markets

Chinese demand has been fuelling growth in the global organic food market, which is predicted to grow to a value of nearly US$190bn by 2021.

South Asia radius

India puts GM foods on ‘permanent hiatus’

Widespread opposition to ending the moratorium on genetically modified food has pushed the government onto the back food on the issue.

Municipality’s kitchen gardens campaign starts to bloom

Dubai Municipality’s two-year-old campaign to encourage the emirate’s residents to grow their own food has been gaining momentum, with 1,600 individuals now signed up.

FAO turns to mobile technology to tempt Iraqi farmers back to fields

Mobile money transfers has been adopted as part of a cash-for-work programme aimed at rehabilitating agricultural infrastructure for the benefit of vulnerable rural families in Iraq.

Food sector attracts over 40% of Sri Lankan SMEs

More than 40% of Sri Lankan small- and medium-sized businesses are now engaged in food processing, prompting the government to begin construction of a food testing centre aimed at village producers.


Scientists trial charged-water irrigation system to boost food safety

Technology that allows vegetables to be cleaned with electrically charged water before harvest is being trialled in Australia.

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