The Kraft Heinz Co., based in Pittsburgh and Chicago, announced that after years of distinguished service, Alexandre Van Damme, director nominee of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., will retire from the company’s board of directors following the end of his term. Berkshire Hathaway indicated that it plans to nominate Alicia Knapp, president and CEO of BHE Renewables, to fill Van Damme’s vacancy at the Kraft Heinz 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.


Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth, Wis., said it welcomed new leaders and announced new roles: Kris Cherukuri, vice president of information technology, Vera Petrova Dickinson, vice president of food safety and quality, Chris McCarthy, vice president of pricing and demand planning, Holly Baumgart, vice president of strategic planning, Julia Klimkovich, vice president of financial planning and analysis, and Dennis Schweiger, vice president and treasurer, corporate finance and accounting.


The American Dairy Products Instutute (ADPI), Elmhurst, Ill., announced the appointment of Tara L. Anderson as director of marketing, effective Feb. 1, 2022. In her new role, Anderson will focus on internal and external marketing strategy development, and the related implementation and execution of marketing activities.

Prior to joining ADPI, Anderson served as director of engagement for Crescent Cove, a nonprofit organization in Minnesota that operates the first and only children's hospice facility in the Midwest, overseeing marketing, communications and fundraising, ADPI said. With a background in higher education advancement, Tara has spent years furthering organizations' efforts to engage their stakeholders and others through, member relations, volunteer engagement, marketing and communications.


The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) separately commended USDA’s final rule maintaining low-fat, flavored milk and other needed flexibilities in USDA child nutrition program meal requirements through the 2023-2024 school year.

“Today’s announcement from USDA clears up several years of confusion and takes a positive step toward restoring more varieties of milk to the school meals program,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based IDFA. “The final rule allows schools to continue to serve milk that students prefer to drink while remaining consistent with the Dietary Guidelines. The rule gives clarity to school meals professionals and food makers as they plan ahead amid supply chain challenges, and it will improve students’ access to dairy products, particularly milk and its 13 essential nutrients, and cheese as a nutrient-rich protein alternate.”

Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based NMPF, said: “Ensuring kids have access to the nutrients they need to grow and thrive is a top priority for dairy. We thank USDA for the rule’s provision that maintains schools’ ability to serve low-fat, 1% flavored milk. One percent flavored milk is not only fully consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is also a nutrient-dense, low-fat healthy option kids will choose to drink. I would also like to thank Representatives Joe Courtney and G.T. Thompson for their long-time leadership on this issue. We look forward to continuing to work with them, USDA, and others to help ensure everyone has access to nutritious food.”


The Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA), Madison, Wis., said is now accepting applications for its Dairy Business Builder Grant. Dairy farmers, entrepreneurs and processors in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin are eligible to apply. Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded through a competitive process.

Grant applications and more information about the program are available on the DBIA website: Applications are due March 31 by 5:00 p.m. (CT). Eligible projects will include dairy farm diversification, the creation of value-added dairy products, enhancing dairy by-products or commodities, and efforts to market dairy products for export, DBIA said.


The Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), Arlington, Va., said it requested that the U.S. government further its efforts to proactively secure “firm and explicit commitments” from trading partners to preserve the rights of common name users and strongly combat the EU’s misuse of geographical indications to monopolize generic food and beverage terms.

The request comes in comments filed this week by CCFN with the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) as part of the agency’s annual “Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Protections” comment process. More than 160 Members of Congress from both the House and Senate have already called on USTR to take similar steps. Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 grants USTR authority to investigate and take action to enforce U.S. rights under trade agreements and respond to certain foreign trade practices, CCFN said.


CuliNex, a clean-label food product consultancy headquartered in Seattle, announced the addition of Culinologist Joseph Choi as part of its ever-expanding product development team.

As a Culinologist, Joseph Choi will use his keen ability to coax the full flavor from ingredients and develop consumer-winning prototypes for CuliNex’ clients. He joins the CuliNex team from the restaurant industry, where he spent 16 years learning all aspects of culinary arts and the science of food, CuliNex said. Growing up in the restaurant industry and earning an impressive culinary education, Choi brings proactive problem-solving skills that have been honed by intense kitchen environments and a highly trained understanding of flavor development to the CuliNex team.


Jacksonville, Fla.-based Stellar, a fully integrated firm focused on design, engineering, construction and mechanical services, said it promoted Mike Davis to senior vice president in Food and Beverage. He most recently served as that division's vice president of operations.


Barentz, an Avon, Ohio-based distributor of life science ingredients and specialty chemical solutions throughout North America, said Mike Brennan joined its team as director of supply chain and logistics for North America. Brennan has more than 25 years of experience in global supply chain and logistics management across a variety of industries.


Avery Dennison announced two leadership appointments based in Mentor, Ohio. Tina Hart was named vice president of sales for the company’s Label and Packaging Materials, North America division. Bill Podojil was named vice president of sales excellence and enablement. Both will assume their new roles on Feb. 7, 2022.


Scholle IPN, a Northlake, Ill.-based supplier of flexible packaging solutions, announced that it has agreed to be acquired by SIG, an aseptic carton packaging company.

Founded in 1853 and headquartered in Neuhausen, Switzerland, SIG is a systems and solutions provider for aseptic carton packaging. The company works in partnership with its customers to bring food and beverage products to consumers around the world in a safe, sustainable and affordable way, Scholle IPN said.


Robroy Industries, a Verona, Pa.-based manufacturer of electrical products, announced the promotion of Steve Voelzke to president of Electrical Products, effective immediately. Voelzke joined Robroy Industries in February 2012 as general manager and moved into the role of Raceway Division president in 2013.


FoodChain ID, a Deerfield, Ill.-headquartered provider of technology-enabled food safety, quality and sustainability solutions, said it acquired BCGlobal, a provider of database subscription services delivering timely and accurate information on the constantly changing global regulatory requirements impacting the trade of food, beverage and agricultural products.


Fluid management solutions provider Industrial Flow Solutions, based in New Haven, Conn., announced an agreement to assume the global commercial and execution rights for its direct in-line pumping system — DIP Systeme — from SIDE Industrie, based in Villemer, France. The agreement strengthens the partnership established in 2019 between both companies.