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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Tnuva’

Chinese Negotiating to Buy Dairy and Agriculture Giant Tnuva

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Negotiations over the sale of control stock in the Israeli Tnuva dairy and agricultural product giant have been moving forward in recent days, according to the daily Isarel Hayom. The company’s controlling shareholders—British investment firm Apax and Mivtach Shamir Food Industries Ltd.—appear interested in selling the Apax share in the company to the Chinese Bright Food Group.

According to sources close to the negotiations speaking to Israel Hayom, if the deal goes through it would be for between $2.4 and $2.7 billion. The deal is said to be on a positive track, but the Chinese are not planning to send representatives to Israel in the near future.

The Chinese did appoint local professional representatives to examine every aspect of the purchase.

Apax and Mivtach Shamir today control about 76.7 percent of Tnuva, while the rest of the shared are still owned by the 620 moshavim and kibbutzim that founded the Tnuva cooperative back in 1926. Tnuva is the largest dairy products manufacturer in Israel; its sales account for 70% of the country’s dairy market as well as sales of meat, eggs and packaged food.

Tnuva employs 6,630 workers.

Will Israeli Companies be Israeli in the Future?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Are we rapidly approaching the day when most Israeli mega food companies will not even be Israeli? Nestle already owns a sizable share of Osem and PepsiCo holds a major stake in Strauss.

Now comes word that China’s Bright Food Group is in talks to buy Tnuva Food Industries. Could you imagine an Israeli food company owned by a Chinese company?

It may indeed be the days of the Moshiach (Messiah). Bright Food has over 3,300 retail stores across China and is known in the country for its dairy and White Rabbit candy. It is on a global buying spree and has bought majority holdings in Australia’s Manassen Foods and UK cereal maker Weetabix.

Tnuva is Israel’s largest food company and according to controlling shareholder Apax Partners LLP, the company holds 14% of Israel’s food retail shelf space. Apax and investment partner Mivtach Shamir Food Industries Ltd. acquired a 77% stake in Tnuva for more than $1 billion in 2008. I can already see a session between the two companies where the Tnuva people are explaining their different kashrus standards.

But as usual, there are so many ways to look at this possible acquisition. One is that Israeli companies have been so successful in producing and marketing quality food that they have attracted international attention. It is a tribute to the Israelis that some of the largest and most powerful food conglomerates are looking to gain a piece of the action and apply some of the unique Israeli technology and success to their efforts worldwide.

Second is that the Israelis are securing an infusion of capital to further develop their economy.

So much for the positive. My question is how will Israelis feel when they eat the Chinese Leben or drink the milk at breakfast. Maybe they won’t feel anything so long as the products are good and kosher.

Israeli Company Sued over Cruelty to Kosher Slaughtered Animals

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Jerusalem District Court on Monday will hear arguments over the validity of a consumer class action suit against Tnuva Central Cooperative for the Marketing of Agricultural Produce in Israel Ltd., based on the claim that Tnuva misled consumers regarding the humane treatment of animals in its Beit She’an beef slaughterhouse and meat-packing plant, where its Adom Adom (“very red”) top quality brand is produced.

After a December 6, 2012 expose on Israeli TV consumer advocacy program “Colbotech” revealed some shocking details of the way animals are being treated in the Beit She’an slaughterhouse, a group of consumers, headed by a Haredi woman named Ruth Kolian, is looking to sue Tnuva for consumer anguish.

The issue at hand is whether the fact that the animals had undergone inhumane treatment in itself justifies a claim for monetary compensation for the plaintiffs, and whether it is sufficiently broad to justify a class action suit.

Tnuva, for its part, will be arguing that the very fact that the plaintiffs are essentially organized and represented by an organization called Anonymous for Animal Rights, which exposed the terrible violations at the Beit She’an plant in an effort to get it to close down, disqualifies them from adopting the stance of a cheated consumer.

Here are just some of the appalling conditions the Colbotech show exposed, the list is very long:

Calves were beaten and shocked repeatedly to urge them to march to slaughter.

Calves who had difficulty walking were shocked dozens of times in a row, in different parts of the body including the head and testicles. Those who still did not manage to walk were dragged on the floor by forklifts (the law in such cases says they should be killed on the spot).

Lambs were dragged on the ground by workers holding them by one leg (one employee was documented hauling two lambs at the same time).

Lambs were beaten repeatedly on their heads and bodies with a pipe, in order to encourage them to stand or walk, sometimes without any apparent reason.

Workers were documented stepping on lambs, lying down on them or riding them, throwing them in the air and catching them by the lambs’ mouths.

Calves were kept hanging upside down before slaughter for extended periods of time. An employee told an undercover investigator: “Today a live calf released itself, because of a worker’s blunder. It freed itself [from a conveyer belt to which it was attached hanging upside down by one leg] after it had already been butchered, it came to us still alive, it started to riot, nearly killed us. We fled. Finally they overcame it, with electric shockers. They beat it up until it calmed down ”

In many cases this Tnuva slaughterhouse’s meat was disqualified as traif because of bone fractures and other issues. The meat was marketed non-Jewish consumers.

It is interesting to note that while the plaintiffs never make the claim that it’s the halachic shechitah which is to blame for the terrible images the TV audience had viewed last winter—they blame Tnuva’s mismanagement—it is the corporation which, in effect, is making the anti shechitah case, suggesting it is impossible to slaughter an animal humanely.

The defense also provided a friend of the court note from Rabbi Shlomo Yosef Machpud, head of the Badatz kashrut system, who argues in very strong language against unnecessary cruelty to animals, stating that such action would entail the removal of the kosher certification.

Anonymous for Animal Rights has recruited potential plaintiffs for the district court case by defining them as “any person who has purchased … over the seven year period prior to the filing of this appeal, meat products produced by the brand ‘Adom Adom,’ and who, because of watching the investigation on Colbotech … has suffered emotional anguish and damage to their private autonomy.”

The suit is for 200 million Shekel (roughly $55 million).

The defense will argue that the law in Israel does not award damages to a person who suffered anguish from watching another person’s suffering (parents and their children, for example). How much less entitled are the plaintiffs, who were only affected by watching animals suffer.

But, of course, as Yossi Wolfson, an attorney for the plaintiffs, noted, the human-suffering is in relation to a third person, while here the consumer experienced the anguish directly.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/suit-over-israeli-corp-cruelty-to-kosher-slaughtered-animals/2013/05/20/

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