I'm a title. Click here to edit me.
Beyond Meat Obtains 150M USD Credit Facility to Facilitate Global Growth
In what looks like the world’s biggest plant-based overdraft facility, Beyond Meat has obtained $150 million five-year secured revolving credit facility through JPMorgan Chase Bank, and Silicon Valley Bank, to allow a “greater amount of financial flexibility and better position the Company for long-term success.”
The announcement immediately follows this week’s news that Starbucks China will launch Beyond’s products, as well as those of Omnipork and Oatly, onto its lunchtime menu, marking the company’s entrance into Asia’s most populated country.
The $150 million credit facility includes the right to extend by an additional $200 million. Beyond’s Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Mark Nelson, said: “We appreciate the support of our lenders as this transaction lowers our cost of capital, is expected to support our future global growth initiatives and enables greater strategic flexibility.
“We remain committed to providing consumers around the world with great-tasting plant-based meats, while contributing to important health, climate, natural resource, and animal welfare goals.”
Milkadamias Jim Richards - What We are Witnessing is Not Solely a Food Movement
In the last of our end-of-year guest posts, plant milk brand Milkadamia’s founder and CEO Jim Richards talks about his year in food.
Richards is a specialist in regenerative farming, and his macadamia milk and butter products have seen huge success over 2019 and been rolled out into new markets amid a phenomenal year for dairy alternatives.
2019 in Food
“For many commentators and food industry insiders, the attitude to the emergence of plant-based food companies seemed to be – look how cute they are, dancing their little dance against the backdrop of the omni-powerful meat and dairy industry. The attitude suggested it was a certitude good old meat n’ dairy, so safely embedded within the diet, culture, and government would swat this fad. Such a direct challenge to their national status and income surely could not stand.
2019 shattered that perception, creating a reality in which more and more plant-based products are now preferentially chosen and enjoyed (yes enjoyed!) by significant numbers of the general population. An ever-growing number of whom are cutting down on meat and dairy consumption. A groundswell of consumer demand and preference has pushed plant-based options into the mainstream for reasons ranging from diet and wellness to taste and environmental concern. According to Nielsen, more than 39% of consumers in the United States are trying to work plant-based foods into their diet for health as well as ecological reasons.
This past year, the plant-food movement fully entered the mainstream as credible and tasty alternates became widely available at competitive prices. Hard-core vegans and vegetarians are joined by millions of flexitarians, the veggie-curious and the eco-concerned. Millions of families are cutting back on dairy and meat consumption, choosing plant-based for the wellness of body, landscape, and conscience. This has been evidenced by the Impossible Burger becoming a prominent menu item on Burger King as well as Dunkin Donuts Beyond Sausage ® Sandwich.
Our Cruel Treatment of Animals Led to the Coronavirus
The conditions that lead to the emergence of new infectious diseases are the same ones that inflict horrific harms on animals.
There is the obvious and then there is what should be obvious.
The obvious is that the coronavirus pandemic has brought much of the human world to a standstill. Many countries are in lockdown. So far, more than 1.7 million have been infected, more than 100,000 have died, and billions live in fear that the
numbers of sick and dead will rise exponentially. Economies are in recession, with all the hardship that entails for human well-being.
What should be obvious, but may not be to many, is that none of this should come as a surprise. That there would be another pandemic was entirely predictable, even though the precise timing of its emergence and the shape of its trajectory were not. And there is an important sense in which the pandemic is of our own making as humans. A pandemic may seem like an entirely natural disaster, but it is often — perhaps even usually — not.
The coronavirus arose in animals and jumped the species barrier to humans and then spread with human-to-human transmission. This is a common phenomenon. Most — and some believe all — infectious diseases are of this type (zoonotic). That in itself does not put them within the realm of human responsibility. However, many zoonotic diseases arise because of the ways in which humans treat animals. The “wet” markets of China are a prime example. They are the likely source not only of Covid-19 but also of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some outbreaks of avian influenza, for example. (Another possible source of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 may be one of the many mixed wildlife-livestock farms in China, but humans are responsible for those, too.)
Conservation in Crisis Why Covid-19 Could Push Mountain Gorillas Back to the Brink
Once a step away from extinction, their survival was a rare success story. But groundbreaking gorilla conservation is now in peril.
As he clambers down the forested ravine, soil slipping beneath his boots, Dr Fred Nizeyimana knows they are close. “I can smell them,” he says, just before the mountain gorillas come into view high in the canopy, plucking leaves and chomping on the vegetation.
An adult female slides down a tree, a flash of black fur and elongated limb. More follow, with infants and juveniles in tow. A grunting silverback descends to join its family, the branches buckling beneath approximately 180kg (400lb) of iconic primate.
Then Nizeyimana, a specialist vet offering hands-on care in the wild, spots a remarkable scene. Ambling up the steep, wooded slope, another gorilla family has emerged from the valley floor. The first group look on, then head deeper into the primeval jungle of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable national park – one of Africa’s most ancient habitats and home to almost half of the world’s mountain gorillas.
Such a close and well-populated encounter with one of humankind’s nearest relatives (witnessed before the Covid-19 pandemic) would have been inconceivable during the dark days of the early 1980s, when it was estimated that there were only 250 mountain gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Virunga national park, and around 100 thought to be in Bwindi. That all-time low prompted fears they would vanish by the end of the 20th century. Even in early 2018, the conservation status of these gorillas put them one step away from extinction.