Hot right now: Our top trending food and beverage stories on social media

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Check out what is gaining traction online. ©GettyImages
Check out what is gaining traction online. ©GettyImages
In the first of our monthly reviews of the top five stories finding favour on social media, we highlight the latest developments at Nestle, DuPont and around palm oil and e-commerce.

1 - Nestlé Philippines responds to Greenpeace waste criticisms following Manila's 'plastic waves'

Our most popular story on social media covers Nestlé Philippines’ response​ to criticisms from Greenpeace over packaging waste, with the firm issuing reassurances that steps are in place to ‘reduce its environmental footprint’.

Tropical Storm Yagi (local name: Karding) hit Manila earlier this month, and its aftermath saw enormous waves of plastic waste crashing into the shores.

This comes just months after Manila made international headlines for its ‘trash bin’ waterway, Estero de Magdalena, being covered in plastic bags, bottles and food containers.

“At Nestlé Philippines, we are committed to play our part. We continuously find ways to reduce our environmental footprint,”​ said Nestle Philippines in an official response to queries from FoodNavigator-Asia​.

2 - ‘Fabricated hysteria’: Food firms making dubious ‘no palm oil’ claims under fire as GAR highlights sustainability gains

In second place is our spotlight on palm oil giant GAR​, which claims sustainability practices in Indonesia are slowly reaping rewards, while arguing that manufacturers which make unjustified ‘no palm oil’ label claims are merely cashing in on ‘fabricated hysteria’.

Palm trees were responsible for 270k hectares of annual tropical forest loss, while cattle-rearing and soy farming was responsible for 2.7 million hectares and 480k hectares of forest loss, according to Supply Change Report 2017​.

 “There is increasing evidence that the efforts being made by the palm oil companies, particularly in Indonesia, is slowing rates of deforestation,”​ Anita Neville, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Sustainability Relations from Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) commented on palm oil sustainability efforts in an interview with FoodNavigator-Asia.​ 

3 - Beating the market rate: DuPont seeks to accelerate sales growth in Japan with new innovation centre

Next we have news that DuPont aims to drive sales growth​ that is four to five times higher than the market rate for its Japan’s health and nutrition business.

In an interview with FoodNavigator-Asia and NutraIngredients-Asia, Kobus De Klerk, global innovation leader (sales application food ingredients) of DuPont Nutrition & Health and Dr Li YongJing, regional president (APAC) of DuPont Nutrition & Health, revealed DuPont’s aspiration for its newly opened innovation centre in Japan.   

Located in the Kanagawa Prefecture, Tokyo, it is hoped that the 700m2​ innovation centre will boost sales growth by providing an array of customised food and nutrition solutions.

4 - Philippine rice crisis escalates as shortages push prices to a three-year high

In fourth spot is the rocketing price of rice in the Philippines​, which has increased for the eighth month straight and hit a three-year peak, despite the injection of rice imports.

Rice costs continued on an upward trend despite imported supplies arriving in June. Philippines’ National Food Authority (NFA) has admitted the lack of effect the imports have had on the predicted lowering of prices, especially in Manila, the nation’s capital city.

“As of now, no effect. There are areas that have minimal reduction but here in Metro Manila, where we do not have rice production, there is none,”​ it said in a statement.

5 - Newly-launched UAE organic food e-commerce site seeks to become region’s biggest

Our final story concerns UAE-based Organic& (O&R), which is aiming to become the biggest online marketplace​ for certified organic and natural, vegan, gluten-free and free-from healthy food products.

Founder and CEO Manu Mahdi said the e-commerce site already carried almost 2,000 products, and will be crossing 3,000 in a month’s time.

“Our target is to reach more than 15,000 products by the end of the year, which would be one of the largest stores carrying exclusively organic range of products,” ​Manu told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

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