Japan's $16b beer buy
Another big Japanese brewing giant is about to be a major force in Australia's beer market with the Foreign Investment Review Board giving the green light to Asahi Beverages's $16 billion takeover of Carlton and United Breweries.
The deal, one of the biggest in Australian corporate history, is set to be official at the end of this month.
However Asahi will need to sell two of CUB's popular beer brands and three cider labels as part of an agreement with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
CUB is being sold off by the Belgian multinational drink and brewing company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, which itself formed following the acquisition of American brewer Anheuser-Busch by Belgian-Brazilian brewer InBev, and the subsequent 2016 takeover of SABMiller, which had owned Australia's CUB (Fosters Group) since 2011.
Aside from locally-owned Coopers, the other major brewing group in Australia, Lion, is also Japanese-owned, as part of the Kirin beverage conglomerate.
Last year Lion quit its nationwide dairy interests, including the Dairy Farmers and King Island cheese brands which were divided up between China's Mengniu Dairy and Canada's Saputo.
Coles' pork fundraiser
Getting some pork on your fork this month could help find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease.
Pig producers have teamed up with Coles to support FightMND, raising funds for MND research in Australia and overseas.
Until June 16, Coles will donate 10 cents from the sale of each pack of Coles branded fresh Australian pork at its supermarkets.
For the third year running, farmers supplying Coles will also donate to the FightMND foundation.
Australian Pork Limited chief executive officer Margo Andrae said producers were proud to help a great cause and hoped shoppers would help ,too, buying fresh Australian pork at Coles.
Customers can also buy FightMND beanies during the Coles campaign.
New York win for Taralinga
Victoria's Taralinga Estate has claimed two gold awards at the 2020 New York International Olive Oil Competition.
A panel of world-leading experts judged more than 1000 extra virgin olive oil entries from 27 countries, including 16 from Australia, three of which won gold.
Taralinga Estate Olive Grove was established on the Mornington Peninsula in 2015 by businessman Salvatore (Sam) Tarascio whose Italian family produced olive oil in Vizzini near Sicily in the 1930s.
All olives are pressed and bottled at Taralinga, with an additional 1000 tonnes from other local growers also pressed annually.
Bubs grows up
Goat milk farmer and formula maker Bubs Australia has stitched up a new supply agreement with Coles supermarkets from June, topping deals which have seen increased shelf space in Woolworths stores and supplies sold through Australia's largest nursery retailer, Baby Bunting.
Bubs Organic grass fed infant formula will be distributed to 482 Coles stores, while 800 Woolworths stores also stock the grass fed line and 654 stores sell Bubs goat milk infant nutrition formula.
Baby Bunting added both lines and Bubs baby food pouches and cereals to its range across 52 stores this month.
The supply agreements mean the Bubs Organic grass fed line is now the only Australian made and owned organic formula brand sold nationally by all major retailers.
"This is a continued vote of confidence in Bubs' brand portfolio and demonstrates our strong performance in the super- premium specialty infant formula segments, and confidence in our vertically integrated supply chain to meet supply commitments," said chief executive officer Kristy Carr.
Families tighten belts
Credit card spending analysis by Commonwealth Bank of Australia shows household expenditure has definitely shifted down a few gears.
Spending on clothing, education and transport fell sharply by about 30 per cent although each category was not as bad as it had been in mid April.
Food and alcohol spending via cards was up 12pc and 4pc, respectively on the same period's figures for 2019, but spending on personal care was down 29pc, recreation down 18pc and medical costs down 19pc.
The biggest performer was household furnishings and equipment - up 53pc compared to levels a year earlier, suggesting the more time Australians have been spending at home the more we want to make changes to it.
CBA said while it was still early, and the bank's data was somewhat volatile, but households may have stepped started to lift their expenditure in the second half of April and early May, possibly because of pent up demand in the lead up to Mother's Day.
Heritage snaps $50,000 in prizes
A massive prize money boost from $7500 to $50,000 makes this year's Heritage Bank Photographic Awards one of the richest, and longest running in Australia, and throws out a creative challenge to photographers facing COVID-19 isolation.
The awards now offer a $15,000 first prize in each of two categories - the Open category, and the themed category, "Resilience".
Heritage has introduced a new mobile phone category, offering a $5000 prize for the best image taken on a smart phone or tablet, plus a $5000 CEO's choice prize.
Heritage, Australia's largest mutual bank, is based in Toowoomba with 60 branches in southern Queensland and NSW plus a network of mortgage brokers Australia-wide.
The 32nd annual awards, with their significant prizemoney increase would help give the competition the profile it deserved, said chief executive officer Peter Lock.
This year's themed category of "Resilience" offered the perfect opportunity for people to tackle a stimulating challenge during COVID-19 restrictions.
"What a time we've been living through. A devastating drought, horrific bushfires, floods in some parts and now the pandemic."
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