May 17, 2020

Unilever expands ice cream portfolio with acquisition of Australia’s Weis

Weis
Unilever
Australian ice cream industry
Queensland food manufacturing
Tom Wadlow
2 min
Aus ice cream
Global food conglomerate Unilever has agreed a deal to buy an Australian frozen dessert company.

Weis is a second-generation Australian company, founde...

Global food conglomerate Unilever has agreed a deal to buy an Australian frozen dessert company.

Weis is a second-generation Australian company, founded in 1957 by Les Weis with the original Fruito Bar. Its range features a variety of ice cream formats including single bar, multi-pack bars, dairy-free sorbet tubs and frozen yogurt tubs.

Weis ice creams will continue to be made in its factory in Toowoomba, Queensland, using locally sourced, natural ingredients. Financial details of the purchase were not revealed.

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These Australian products will join Unilever brands Grom, Ben & Jerry’s and Talenti in what is a high-growth segment for the company.

Clive Stiff, Unilever Australia & New Zealand CEO, said: “We are delighted to bring Weis’ exciting and delicious range into our portfolio, adding another Australian favourite to our leading ice cream range. This acquisition will bring Weis the benefits of scale, strong market access and ice cream category expertise to help take the business to the next level in its growth.

“We are committed to providing Weis consumers and customers with the same exceptional products with the same high quality natural ingredients. We look forward to welcoming Weis’ strong, dedicated and passionate team to Unilever.”

Weis Managing Director, Julie Weis, added: “Our family made this decision because Unilever demonstrated their understanding of our brand, our products and how important our people and the Toowoomba manufacturing site are in ensuring Weis’ success into the future. In addition Unilever’s scale will enable greater market access and growth that will provide opportunities for our extended Weis family of staff, suppliers, customers and of course our wonderful consumers.”

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Jun 17, 2021

Better Origin’s AI insect farm is a solution to food waste

Food
BetterOrigin
agritech
AI
Helen Adams
2 min
Better Origin, a UK agritech business uses food waste as the solution to food security

With 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted annually, a solution has come to market that recycles food waste back into feed, using insects.

Better Origin, a UK agritech business based in Cambridge, has developed a fully automated insect farm powered by AI, to naturally feed chickens. The company is reducing dependency on imported feed and helping food producers achieve net-zero. 

With the global population expected to surpass nine billion by 2050, food production will need to increase by 70% to meet this demand. Sustainably produced animal-grade protein is a part of a long-term solution to increase food supply to humans.

Launched in 2015, Better Origin started with two Cambridge graduates’ love for nature and technology and a desire to ‘bring the food chain back to its origins’.

 

The Better Origin X1 product reduces the need for many resources

Better Origin wanted a solution to the broken food chain. By using both nature and AI, the company is addressing the global food security problem. Their solution to food waste increases food security and improves animal welfare and sustainability. 

The product – the Better Origin X1 - uses insects to naturally convert food waste into animal feed. It reduces the need for many resources required to produce animal feed:

  • Land
  • Crops
  • Transport
  • Water 

The X1 looks like a standard shipping container, but it's a fully autonomous, modular insect farm powered by AI. The feed created by this new technology is produced naturally, is cost-effective and promotes a more circular food system, providing greater resilience and flexibility in times of need.

The Better Origin X1 recycles local agricultural waste to produce natural insect protein. This reduces the farmers’ dependency on unsustainable feeds, such as soy. The bioconversion unit grows insect feed on the farmers’ behalf, overseeing the larvae’s feeding and growth. This solution tackles waste and improves productivity, yield, and animal welfare, all while delivering a 130% ROI.

 

Achieving net-zero with insect protein and AI innovation

Insects farms are already operating in four places around the UK, including independent free-range farms.

“Humans are terrible at dealing with waste, while nature does it perfectly”, said Fotis Fotiadis, CEO & Founder of Better Origin. “We can have insects all around the world, addressing food waste locally. They will improve the lives of animals and make the future of food more sustainable. Our technology is on the path to becoming the mark of best practice within the food industry. We are working with farmers, retailers, and food producers to roll out this solution, with the aim to help secure the future of food.”

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