ASEAN Focus: Nestle Malaysia, Singapore's Avant, Indonesia's sugar interest and more feature in our round-up

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Nestle Malaysia, Singapore's Avant, Indonesia's sugar interest and more feature in this edition of ASEAN Focus. ©Getty Images
Nestle Malaysia, Singapore's Avant, Indonesia's sugar interest and more feature in this edition of ASEAN Focus. ©Getty Images

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Nestle Malaysia, Singapore's Avant, Indonesia's sugar interest and more feature in this edition of ASEAN Focus.

‘Tough conditions’: Nestle Malaysia predicts continued challenges as economic woes hit Q3 profits

Nestle Malaysia saw its profits for the third quarter take a hit year-on-year due to rising commodity costs and poor exchange rates, with firm predicting that this challenging situation will not abate any time soon.

The firm recently announced its Q3FY2022 financial results alongside its nine-month performance for FY2022.

The nine-month performance results were positive, highlighting a 17.5% year-on-year increase in sales to RM5.02bn (US$1.06bn) in 2022 from RM4.27bn (US$904.2mn) in 2021, a 13.7% growth in domestic sales and 33.8% growth in export sales, and a 11.8% growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) to RM676.1mn (US$143.2mn) as well as 6.5% to RM487.5mn (US$103.2mn) in Profit After Tax (PAT).

‘Only produce what we eat’: Singapore-based firm Avant on the sustainability case for cultivated seafood

Eating cultivated seafood will become a “more efficient” way to consume protein by slashing waste, while also removing fears over the intake of microplastics, according to Singapore-based firm Avant.

Avant’s CEO Carrie Chan was a keynote speaker at our Growth Asia Summit held in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore between October 11 and 13.

Chan was speaking on the topic “Epicentre APAC: Why the region is primed to see cultivated seafood take-off”. 

Taking control: Indonesian government aims to dominate sugar sector in same way as palm oil

The Indonesian government is to establish what will become the nation’s largest sugar company by 2028, aiming to seize control of the local sugar market in the same way it dominates the palm oil sector.

Indonesia’s sugar trade has been in deficit for many years, with data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) showing that as of 2020 the country exported just US$25.1mn in raw sugar, but imported US$1.46bn of it.

It is the fourteenth most imported product by Indonesia.

Trans-fat fight: Philippines to ban all prepackaged processed foods with high trans-fat levels by 2023

The Philippines government has announced a ban on all prepackaged processed foods containing high trans-fats levels as part of its objective to completely eliminate their presence by 2023.

In 2021 the Philippines laid out guidelines to prohibit the presence of partially-hydrogenated oils (PHOs) within the food supply, whether these be in edible oils and fats or used in the preparation of processed food products.

This has now been expanded to include more guidelines for trans-fatty acids (TFAs) or trans-fats, specifically industrially-produced TFAs (artificial trans fat developed via the partial hydrogenation of oils).

Cannabis commotion: Thailand tightens use of hemp and CBD in foods three months after decriminalisation

The Thai government has announced new regulatory edicts specifying tighter regulatory control over the use of hemp and CBD in food and seasonings, just three months after announcing the decriminalisation of cannabis in the country.

In July this year, FoodNavigator-Asia​ reported that Thailand became the first country in South East Asia to formally legalise the use of cannabis for food-related purposes, after the Thai Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) announced that cannabis and hemp were delisted from the Category 5 list of narcotics in the Royal Gazette.

About three months on, MOPH has now issued several new edicts regarding the use of cannabis and hemp and cannabis in foods and seasonings, presumably to tighten regulatory control and ensure that these would not be misused for recreational purposes.

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