Food Business News - May 17, 2016 - (Page 12)

Bunge launches non-G.M.O. corn product line Largest corn miller poised to bring scale to non-G.M.O. production MARK GREEN ST. LOUIS - For major consumer packaged food manufacturers considering transitioning to non-bioengineered for part or all of their product lines, the availability of nongenetically modified ingredients often stands as the largest hurdle to overcome. For makers of snacks and other foods that are corn-based, Bunge Milling is poised to lower the hurdle. Culminating an initiative with roots dating back four years, Bunge last month produced a run of Non-GMO Project verified milled corn products at its Crete, Neb., corn mill and is set to scale up production in the months ahead. The pending implementation of Vermont's mandatory labeling bill for foods containing bioengineered ingredients and the inability of Congress to establish a national standard for labeling has intensified interest that had been mounting in recent years. Even before the Vermont referendum was passed into law, Bunge and its customers had been exploring the introduction on a wide scale of corn grits, meals and flour milled from non-bioengineered corn. "At a macro level, every food company was interested, but understandably no one was willing to make a commitment without a sustainable supply," 12 FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® said Wade Ellis, vice-president of milling, Bunge North America, St. Louis. "There are a couple smaller players in the space. But there was no option for a large food manufacturer to scale up a program. Representatives of major brands are clearly interested in nonG.M.O. corn products, but that couldn't happen unless we initiated some type of program." The commitment necessary from a milling company to launch the non-G.M.O. program is considerable, said Brian Anderson, vice-president of innovation and marketing. "It isn't a situation where you can just open a spigot for non-G.M.O. corn," he said. Dr. Anderson expanded on this "chicken-egg" scenario between food company interest and the necessary commitment from milling companies. "We had a strong ask from several customers about how to enter this space more than two years ago," he said. "They were looking for a rock solid plan for how it would work so they could evaluate it internally. We needed to put the good plan together through a growing cycle - how we will maintain identity preserved supply separate from our conventional corn. How we will work with farmers." Mr. Ellis said customer discussions grew more serious in 2014 and 2015. "About a year ago, we put ourselves on a path to provide a scalable solution to the food industry in our space for a non-G.M.O. solution," he said. "We did our first scalable run Wade Ellis, Bunge North America. two weeks ago, and finished product will reach the market in the next two weeks." Dr. Anderson credited the Vermont measure and associated publicity with nudging Bunge and its customers toward a commitment to launching the effort. "For some time, nonG.M.O. products have enjoyed growing demand and have become a larger niche," he said. "It's different now because of media, Internet, blogs, web sites, there has been faster growth in the nonG.M.O. space. Labeling laws have only heightened interest. There is a greater sense of awareness of products containing bioengineered ingredients. Food companies are asking 'Is there a risk to the brand?' 'Do we have an alternative?' There is no solution to these questions unless the milling industry provides it. As companies begin to label, it is critical that we provide a non-G.M.O. option." Still, Mr. Ellis acknowledges that gauging where customer and consumer interest is headed is difficult. He explained, "Will consumer demand be 10 times greater a year from now? We don't know." To ensure Bunge will be offering milled corn products that may be labeled as nonG.M.O., Bunge has certified its operation and products will be operating within Non-GMO Project verified standards. An initiative dating back to 2007, products approved under the standard first appeared on supermarket shelves in 2010. At present, the Non-GMO Project (the non-profit organization incorporated in charge of establishing and overseeing the standard) said 35,000 products spanning 2,500 brands with annual sales totaling $16 billion currently are Non-GMO Project verified. To gain certification, the maximum threshold is 0.9% of May 17, 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - May 17, 2016

Food Business News - May 17, 2016
Dean Foods diversifying with Friendly’s acquisition
Nutrition point of reference
Dairy Business News - Hydrocolloids – It’s all about the gel
Table of Contents
Web Contents
Editorial - Investors view food production as ripe for disruption
F.D.A. adjusts course on ‘healthy’ labeling
Doug Gillespie to lead Harvest Hill Beverage Co.
Bunge launches non-G.M.O. corn product line
JAB to acquire Krispy Kreme for $1.35 billion
CAVU Venture Partners: Building and creating winners
Hain Celestial begins restructuring effort
Hain learns tough lesson with tea revamp
Pilgrim’s Pride to enter organic chicken category
Green Giant brings giant boost to B&G Foods
Cott making leadership changes in North America and U.K.
Market Insight - Where’s the sugar?
Ingredient Trends - Flavor innovation energizes sports nutrition category
Ingredient Innovations - Ancient grains rising in product development
New Food Products
Ingredient Market Trends - U.S.D.A. issues unexpectedly bullish outlook for soybeans
Ingredient Markets
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News

Food Business News - May 17, 2016