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Ayenat Mersie

Disease lowers Ghanaian cocoa output, processors must import -sources

13 Jun 2019

June 13 Bad weather and crop disease have hampered the cocoa crop in second-largest producer Ghana, forcing processors there to import beans at rates higher than usual, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Fair Trade USA raises cocoa price minimums

12 Jun 2019

NEW YORK Fair Trade USA will increase the floor price and fixed premium it requires companies to pay cocoa farmers under its certification system, the organization said on Tuesday.

Venezuelan cocoa piles up in New York as exporters scramble for cash

07 Jun 2019

NEW YORK U.S. stockpiles of Venezuelan cocoa swelled in May to levels not seen in at least five years, a Reuters analysis showed, as exporters in the crisis-hit country hit by U.S. sanctions scramble to raise cash however they can.

In push to raise coffee output, Colombia's south may hold key

22 May 2019

FLORENCIA, Colombia Colombia's isolated south could be crucial to the country's push to expand coffee production by nearly 30 percent despite low global prices, its growers federation says, as farmers seek to ramp up productivity amid security improvements.

Starbucks, Mercon announce separate sustainability loans

14 May 2019

NEW YORK Starbucks and Mercon Coffee Group separately announced sustainability-focused loan facilities on Monday, signaling the coffee sector's growing emphasis on sustainability as climate change and low global prices threaten the future of the crop.

Brazil minister says U.S. 'gesture' on beef imports insufficient

20 Mar 2019

NEW YORK Brazil's farm minister said on Wednesday that a U.S. agreement to conduct further inspections on the country's meatpacking system is a step toward reopening the United States to fresh Brazilian beef, but is not sufficient.

Target's Archer Farms coffee to be fair trade by 2022

20 Mar 2019

(Corrects to remove the word "all" from headline; fixes description of coffee type in first paragraph)

Ghana's Cocobod signs $300 mln loan to refinance bills, finance programs

19 Mar 2019

NEW YORK, March 19 Ghana's Cocobod signed a $300 million three-year loan with several international lenders on Tuesday to refinance central bank-raised cocoa bills and finance production enhancement programs, one of the lenders said in a statement.

Colombian proposal to ditch NY coffee price may send buyers elsewhere

19 Mar 2019

BOGOTA/NEW YORK A proposal by Colombian coffee growers' federation that producer countries sell their high-quality harvests untethered from the New York market price could encourage buyers to look for alternative providers, importers and exporters said.

UPDATE 1-South Africa sugar tax to cut industry revenues, prompt reform -USDA

13 Mar 2019

(Adds details from report, background) By Ayenat Mersie NEW YORK, March 13 South Africa's sugar tax could slash industry revenues and prompt restructuring of the country's sugar sector, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a report published on Wednesday. The tax, introduced last April, has slashed the beverage sector's use of sugar by 30 percent, the USDA attache in Pretoria said, marking a major win for health advocates who have sought to curb sugar consumption in an effort to fight health epidemics of obesity and diabetes. The initial law imposed a tax of 2.1 cents on beverages for every gram of sugar in excess of 4 grams per 100 milliliters. Last month, the government raised the tax to 2.21 cents per gram, a 5 percent increase. The sugar tax could reduce the sugar industry's revenues by up to $129 million in the 2018-19 marketing year and in turn reduce prices paid to sugarcane growers, the USDA report said, citing industry. Even without the tax, South Africa's sugar sector had been beleaguered by low futures prices , competition from imports and droughts. "The current crisis in the sugar sector may be an opportunity for the industry to restructure and for government to reconsider the support measures it should be providing to the industry," the USDA report said. The tax could also present an opportunity for some U.S. exporters of alternative sweeteners as well as to beverage manufacturers capable of reformulating their products to contain less than the 4-gram threshold, the USDA said. On Monday, shares in South African sugar producer Tongaat Hulett Ltd fell more than 14 percent to trade at their lowest level since 1993. Shares of the struggling company fell after its chief executive said last week that a review of past accounting practices at the company could affect previously reported financial information. In October, raw sugar from South Africa made a rare appearance in the cash delivery against an ICE Futures U.S. contract, often seen as a buyer of last resort. (Reporting by Ayenat Mersie; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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