I’m No Longer Posting To This Blog Please Visit www.digivu.co.za

January 11, 2010

I have found it difficult to run a number of blogs on fairly closely related topics.

I have therefore set up a combined blog with continues to provide the content this and other blogs were providing. This blog also provides other services and information.


Clicking on the image above will take you to the blog at http://www.digivu.co.za. Please Email me here. if you have any difficulty or comment.

UK Food Manufacturers and Retailers Agrees to Fight Waste

March 16, 2009

I have often posted on the waste issue – highlighting the problem, looking at solutions and reporting on achievements. Now, in the UK, we have a real agreement in place and initial results that look promising.


Retail homepage - WRAP.jpg

from: WRAP
(click image for full story online)


Retailers and manufacturers are committed to working together to cut the UK’s household food waste by 155,000t or 2.5 per cent of the total waste by the end of 2010 – equivalent to $520 million and 700 000 tons of Carbon Dioxide a year.

The agreement is part of WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign and has already achieved The campaign which was launched in November 2007 had already delivered a reduction of 110,000 tons in the annual amount of household food waste by March 2008.

Fresh fruit and vegetables, bakery products, dairy, meat and fish products are the biggest sources of household food waste, according to WRAP. The latest initiative will focus on eliminating waste by developing more effective labeling; pack size range, storage advice and packaging to keep food fresher for longer.

This is interesting when compared to the situation in Africa where hunger and famine are widespread. There is of course no way of saying how many people this mass of food could feed but its interesting that that in the recent Myanmar Emergency Operation by the World Food Programme people received 450 g/day of food or 0.16 ton a year so a million people would have consumed 160 000 ton a year!


The Beesness of Honey

March 5, 2009

This is a nice article on honey in rural Kenya.



(click image for full story online)


Of particular interest is the fact that the traditional hive, with some of its disadvantages is widely used because of the high cost (US$ 100) of commercial hives. Also that honey separation is done by a co-operative because of the cost of a separator.

The group of 40 beekeepers produced 8 000 kg of raw honey which had a value of US$ 8 000 or US$ 200/person/year. The co-operative was able to sell separated honey for US$ 8/kg indicating the possibility of value addition.

The potential of honey may be large given the difficulties in Europe and USA where swarms are being wiped out by colony collapse disorder and the possibility of moving toward own processing, organic, ethical and FAIRTRADE honey with much larger incomes.


A Market For West African Food

February 16, 2009

This website is a simple commercial undertaking offering a range of Nigerian Foods to expatriates in the United States.


ExceedFoods.com_ Nigerian Foods. One Click Away.  |  Roots.jpg

from: Exceed Foods
(click image for full story online)


The company is clearly an e-commerce company which has built a management team of Nigerians who are able to drive both the food product and the sourcing issues of the company.

As many of these foods are common to other West African countries the market is surely wider than Nigerians in the US. Then there is also an opportunity to apply the business model to other National Foods and set up stores for other groups.

The company is NY based and prices need to be judged by those who know the foods not me. As examples yam roots sell for $2.30 / lb, garri around $1 / lb, dried shrimp $12 / lb and palm oil $25 / gall.

Agribusiness Information – West Africa Trade Hub

December 8, 2008

I always feel good when I see what looks like real useful information that is available to African entrepreneurs for free!


West Africa Trade Hub - Resources.jpg

from: West Africa Trade Hub
(click image for full story online)


The West Africa Trade Hub is funded through and managed by the USAID Regional Mission for West Africa.

This is packed with useful information from trade directories to export and business guides, country and sector analyses to product reports and transport analyses to conferences and workshops.

There are two other hubs for East and Southern Africa, but these do not yet have the breadth of information presented by the West African Hub.

What I would like would be to hear from people who have used the West Africa Hub – is it as good as it seems? Leave a comment or email me here.

If so I think we could start to support and encourage USAID, the main funder of the hubs, to speed up the development of the other hubs.

A New Fad in Diets?

November 16, 2008

We had the low carbohydrate, the low protein and the low calorie diet and the pineapple and drinking man’s diet and many others. Now we have the low Carbon (Footprint) Diet which considers the well being of the world rather than the individual.


Low carbon diet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.jpg

from: Wikipedia
(click image for full story online)


Wikipedia defines it as

making choices about eating that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGe) as a response to estimates that the U.S. food system is responsible for at least 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gases

and identifies the focus areas as

    • selecting low carbon foods
    • reducing animal protein intake
    • evaluating transport energy
    • understanding processing, packaging and loss

While a number of issues like reducing loss, selecting non hot house food, eating local and reducing cooking energy inputs seem to be obvious things to do – there is a lot of debate and an the overall impact needs to always be understood.

There is a calculator that allows one to compare different dishes and meals.


Eat Low Carbon Diet Calculator - Bon Appétit Management Company.jpg

from: Eat Low Carbon
(click image for full story online)


Alternate Energy Sector Under Real Pressure

October 29, 2008

The ongoing disagreement about whether biofuels were effecting food availability, which 2nd generation biofuels offered most, whether wind farms polluted, if nuclear was a better option etc have become somewhat less significant.


Alternative Energy Suddenly Faces Headwinds - NYTimes.com.jpg

from: New York Times
(click image for full story online)


Now the economy is the unarguable brake on the development and implementation of alternate energies.

The economic downturn has forced the price of oil down which ends all investors and investees scrambling to the spreadsheet. It has further reduced the availability of capital in those cases where the venture capitalist is still interested in investing. The billions of dollars, euros etc of capital pumped into the banks to keep them afloat will inevitably lead to less money to be invested in subsidising alternate energy and probably more worrying into R&D.

The alternate energy movement runs the risk of faltering and again loosing momentum as it did after the fuel crisis in the 1980s.