SIG is the first in the industry to offer a market-ready alternative to plastic straws, announcing today that a 

paper straw solution will be delivered to first customers in the first quarter of 2019.


With growing concern about the environmental impact of plastic straws, the food and beverage industry urgently needs an alternative solution. SIG’s new paper straw offers such a solution.


Markus Boehm, Chief Market Officer at SIG, said: “We saw an opportunity to address concerns about marine litter and offer added value to our customers by helping them meet consumer and regulatory demand to scrap plastic straws. This win-win is a great example of how our commitment to go Way Beyond Good for the environment is delivering real business benefits.”


Nestlé is the first customer to introduce SIG’s paper straw solution and has already tested the market launch in the Dominican Republic.


Michael Schwan, Manufacturing Manager RTD - Dairy Strategic Business Unitat Nestlé: “We are committed to improving the environmental performance of our packaging and addressing the critical issue of single-use plastics is an important part of that. We need effective, scalable solutions and SIG’s new paper straw has the potential to meet that need.”


Seeking a solution

SIG does not make straws, but some of its portion-size packs are designed to be used with a straw for convenience on the go and the company has been working with suppliers to develop alternatives.

Paper is renewable and recyclable. This forest-based material already makes up 70-80% of SIG’s cartons on average, and the look and feel of paper also visibly reinforces its environmental credentials to consumers.

SIG worked closely with a manufacturing partner to develop an innovative and exclusive solution that makes the paper straw robust enough to pierce the closed straw hole of SIG’s aseptic cartons. The wrapper for the straw has also been redesigned to help prevent litter by remaining attached to the pack to be recycled along with the rest of the carton.

The new paper straws will be made of paperboard from FSCTM (Forest Stewardship CouncilTM)-certified forests or other controlled sources. Customers can already include the FSClabel on any SIG carton and they will be able to add the label to the paper straws once the manufacturing partner has completed FSC Chain-of-Custody certification, which is expected during the second half of 2019.

The new paper straw solution supports SIG’s efforts to use more renewable materials. The initial volume of paper straws will be limited during the launch phase, as SIG ramps up capacity with its manufacturing partner. SIG is also continuing to invest in new ways to apply this alternative straw solution to a wider variety of packaging formats.

SIG is determined to collaborate with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to find new approaches to reduce single-use plastics, foster recycling and minimise waste. Helping customers improve the sustainability of their products is an important part of the company’s commitment to go Way Beyond Good by putting more into the environment and society than it takes out.

More on SIG’s Way Beyond

About SIG

SIG(FSCTM trademark licence code: FSCTM C020428)is a leading systems and solutions provider for aseptic packaging. We work in partnership with our customers to bring food products to consumers around the world in a safe, sustainable and affordable way. Our unique technology and outstanding innovation capacity enable us to provide our customers with end-to-end solutions for differentiated products, smarter factories and connected packs, all to address the ever-changing needs of consumers.

Founded in 1853, SIG is headquartered in Neuhausen, Switzerland. The skills and experience of our 5,000-plus employees worldwide enable us to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of our customers in more than 60 countries. In 2017, SIG produced 33.6 billion carton packs and generated €1.66 billion in revenue. For more information, visit

Picture Caption:

SIG is the first in the industry to offer a market-ready alternative to plastic straws, announcing today that a paper straw solution will be delivered to first customers in the first quarter of 2019.

Registration is open: FAO-UNITAR online course on Agriculture in International Trade Agreements, May 13 - June 7, 2019

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has the honor to announce the new online course on Agriculture in Trade Agreements to be delivered in the Russian language. This course is free of charge and will be conducted in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).


Course Dates: May 13 to June 7, 2019

Language: Russian

Registration status: Registration is OPEN, register HERE (

Deadline: April 22, 2019

Target Audience: This course is designed to assist professionals from ministries of agriculture, trade, economic development and other government and related authorities, who are directly involved in the formulation and implementation of trade or agricultural policies in the post-Soviet countries.

Participants from regional and international organizations, the private sector and academia can also benefit from the course.

Learning Objectives:

  • Better understand the international regulatory frameworks governing trade and its implementation mechanism as well as the eventual implications of the recent WTO Ministerial Conferences;
  • Discuss the significance of non-tariff measures (NTMs) on the international trade and the relevance of WTO Agreements regarding such measures on the national trade policies;
  • Formulate agricultural trade strategies tailored to trading partners, taking into consideration the differences in treatment of agriculture between the regional trade agreements and multilateral trade agreements.


For more information and online registration, please visit UNITAR’s website at:

This course is offered as part of FAO’s Regional Initiative for Improving Agrifood Trade and Market Integration in Europe and Central Asia. Limited slots are available and will be subject to a selection process conducted by FAO and UNITAR, taking into account in particular, the geographical distribution and gender balance.

In general, a participant needs to work approximately 1 hour of work per day for 4 weeks in order to successfully complete the course. A certificate of completion from UNITAR and FAO will be issued to participants who successfully complete all course-related assignments and assessments.

UNITAR would be grateful for your assistance in extending this message to any potentially interested departments of your organization and your partners, thereby giving them the opportunity to benefit from participating in this unique course.


Best wishes,

Public Finance and Trade Programme

Division for Prosperity


United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." rel=" noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. |  


UNITAR_Logo_35mm_Blue-Pantone279C-email-pngThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="border:0px;width:1.427in;height:0.625in;" title="" width="137" />


2019 World Pork Expo — See, Discover, Connect

DES MOINES, Iowa, March 14, 2019 — The 2019 World Pork Expo will take place June 5-7, delivering three days of education, innovation and networking for pork professionals from across the United States and the world. Presented by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), Expo is home to the world’s largest pork-specific trade show, with indoor and outdoor exhibits displayed throughout the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.



Each year, more than 20,000 pork producers and representatives visit World Pork Expo to attend educational seminars, learn about the latest products, services and technology within the trade show and share ideas and perspectives with their peers.

“Expo has something for everyone, regardless of your operation’s size or whether you’re an owner, grower, employee, veterinarian or allied industry representative. All aspects of the pork production cycle are presented at Expo,” says David Herring, NPPC president and pork producer from Lillington, N.C. “It’s a great place to see what’s new, discover opportunities and connect with other pork professionals.”



Expansive indoor and outdoor trade show


Expo’s crown jewel is its vast trade show where more than 500 U.S. and international companies display products and services from animal health, nutrition, building and equipment, finance, marketing, genetics and more. The Jacobson Exhibition Center (JEC) will return this year, combining with the Varied Industries Building (VIB) and outdoor displays to present more than 360,000 square feet of exhibit space.

“Exhibitor interest continues to build, and we plan to expand the outdoor exhibits in the space between the VIB and JEC,” says Doug Fricke, director of trade show marketing for NPPC. “For people who haven’t been to Expo for several years, they would be surprised to see how much the show has changed. If you hope to see it all, you will definitely need two days.”

More exhibitors also want to link up with the live-hog shows to display their products and services, so areas around the swine, sheep and cattle barns will be seeing more activity.

Company-sponsored hospitality tents continue to flourish and can be found throughout the fairgrounds. Fricke expects 60 or so hospitality tents at this year’s Expo, giving allied industry representatives an opportunity to connect with producers and their employees in a more relaxed setting.

Expo attendees can visit the trade show from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, and Thursday, June 6, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 7.

See, discover, connect is the theme for the 2019 World Pork Expo, presented by the National Pork Producers Council. The organizers expect 500 companies from the United States and across the world to display the latest technology, products and services for pork production on June 5-7, in Des Moines.


Free educational and business seminars, live-hog shows and sales, a world-class trade show, entertainment and networking with individuals who work to produce safe, wholesome, nutritious pork for domestic and international markets are just some of what you’ll find at this year’s World Pork Expo, June 5-7.




A wide range of activities



The three days of Expo are packed with events and activities, from educational seminars to live-hog shows to business meetings to music and plenty of tasty, grilled pork.

Always high on that list are the nearly two dozen free educational and informational seminars that address innovative production and management strategies, as well as current issues, topics and trends that producers face on and off the farm. The PORK Academy and Business Seminars will run throughout the day on Wednesday and Thursday in both the JEC and VIB

But there are a host of other activities that Expo visitors won’t want to miss:

  • Junior National — The World Pork Expo Junior National, hosted by the National Junior Swine Association and Team Purebred, kicks off Expo week with activities on Monday, June 3. In its 16 years, the Expo Junior National has grown into one of the nation’s largest youth hog shows. Organizers report that 1,500 exhibitors from 32 states and 3,500 hogs are expected for this year’s show. The Junior National combines educational activities and certification programs, with swine judging, live-hog competitions and showmanship.
  • Open Show — On Friday, June 7, the open show, presented by the National Swine Registry, features hundreds of crossbred and purebred boars and gilts from throughout the United States. A breeding stock sale rounds out the live-hog events on Saturday morning, June 8.
  • Pre-Expo tour — A two-day, Midwest Agricultural Tour takes place ahead of Expo, beginning on the morning of Monday, June 3, through Tuesday, June 4. Participants will travel across Iowa into Illinois and Indiana, for a first-hand look at crop and pork production, farm equipment manufacturing and commodity shipping.
  • NPPC hospitality tent — Expo offers an opportunity to visit one-on-one with NPPC board members and staff to gain perspective on legislation, regulation and public policy issues that impact pork production.
  • MusicFest — Presented on Thursday evening, this social event provides an opportunity for visitors to relax, enjoy some free live music and refreshments, while interacting with their peers. This year will feature country singer/songwriter Jake McVey and the crowd-pleasing cover band The Pork Tornadoes.
  • Big Grill — More than 10,000 free pork lunches are served during the three days of Expo. Plan to stop by from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to enjoy some tasty pork.

“Expo is truly an industry-wide event and reflects the vitality of U.S. pork production,” Herring says. “As individuals make plans to attend this year’s Expo, I want to reinforce the importance that biosecurity measures play on our farms every day and that we need to take the necessary precautions anytime we leave and return to our herds. After all, we all want to ensure the health and well-being of our industry for years to come.”



Register online today


Now in its 31st year, the 2019 World Pork Expo is set for June 5-7, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. More than 20,000 U.S. and international pork professionals are expected to visit this global event that features the world’s largest pork-specific trade show with indoor and outdoor displays totaling more than 360,000 square feet of exhibit space.


Pre-registration is available online and offers a discounted rate of $10 per adult (ages 12 and up) and $1 for children, 6 to 11 years old. Onsite registration will be $20 per adult. Whether you pre-register or do so onsite, it provides entrance into Expo for all three days. There is a special Friday-only option for $10.

Whether you’re looking to shop the trade show aisles, listen to a seminar or two, stop by the hog show or connect with other pork professionals, now is the time to make plans to attend the 31st World Pork Expo, June 5-7, in Des Moines.

World Pork Expo, the world's largest pork-specific trade show, is brought to you by NPPC. On behalf of its members, NPPC develops and defends export markets, fights for reasonable legislation and regulation, and informs and educates legislators. For more information, visit

More photos are available for download at the World Pork Expo Media Center.



«Portuguese Beef» reaches new markets due to an internationalization project focused on how to potentiate the Portuguese endogenous products and trigger the demand for products of recognized quality with Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO).

The aim of the «Portuguese Beef» brand is to promote the tradition, authenticity of the meat from Portuguese autochthonous breeds (Arouquesa, Barrosã, Cachena, Marinhoa, Maronesa, Minhota, and Mirandesa).  

The combination of genetic characteristics with an extensive breeding and the exclusive feeding of the calves on mother's milk, fodder, and cereals, allows the early and infiltration of fat into the muscle fibers, providing the meat with succulent, tenderness and unmistakable taste, of recognized international merit.

The promotion of PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) certified products brings considerable benefits to the rural economy, retaining the rural population, improving farmers' incomes and increasing the trade business of the country.

All the meat of these breeds has in common the fact that they are from traditional Portuguese breeds of the North and Center of Portugal, fed on natural pastures, without productive stress, in eco-sustainable systems.

Since last year, the «Portuguese Beef» has attended in international fairs and organized international events, mainly directed to opinion-makers, press, distributors, and importers in the gourmet market niche.

These activities are part of the internationalization project of the «Portuguese Beef» project, promoted by the National Federation of Autochthonous Breeds Association and co-financing by the Operational Thematic Program for Competitiveness and Internationalization, within the scope of the Support System for Collective Actions (SIAC) of a total investment of EUR 426,637.00, co-financed by 85% by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER).

US outlines "specific negotiating objectives" for post-Brexit trade deal with UK

The US government has outlined what it would expect to achieve from a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK.

In its Summary of Specific Negotiating Objectives, the US Trade Representative said it seeks to support higher-paying jobs in the US and to grow the country's economy by improving US opportunities for trade and investment with the UK.

Trump has sought to follow America First policy on trade

Trump has sought to follow 'America First' policy on trade

 It follows the Trump Administration notifying Congress in October the President intends to negotiate a trade agreement with the UK once it leaves the EU.

"As the first and fifth biggest global economies, the US economic relationship with the UK is one of the largest and most complex in the world, with annual two-way trade totalling more than US$230bn," the document said.

"Multiple tariff and non-tariff barriers have challenged US exporters in key sectors while the UK has been a Member State of the EU and therefore a part of the common trade policy of the EU. 

"The UK's decision to leave the EU creates a new opportunity to expand and deepen the US-UK trade relationship. A new US-UK trade agreement could address these challenges, as well as provide an opportunity to develop new approaches to emerging trade areas where the United States and the UK share common interests and are global leaders."

The US Trade Representative said its aim in negotiations with the UK is to "address both tariff and non-tariff barriers and to achieve fairer and deeper trade in a manner consistent with the objectives that Congress has set out in section 102 of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act".

It added: "We are committed to concluding these negotiations with timely and substantive results for US consumers, businesses, farmers, ranchers, and workers, consistent with US priorities and the negotiating objectives established by Congress in statute."

The UK government is hoping to forge a meaningful trade deal with the US after it leaves the EU on 29 March but it is likely to face tough negotiations as President Trump has sought to pursue an 'America first' stance on such deals, stating on numerous occasions that he feels the US had done badly out of trade deals it has agreed in the past.

Once the UK leaves the EU it it would then start trading on the basis of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. Every WTO member has a list of tariffs and quotas (limits on the number of goods) they apply to other countries. These are known as their WTO schedules.

The UK could choose to introduce low tariffs or waive them altogether, in an attempt to stimulate trade, but under the WTO's most favoured nation (MFN) rules, the UK would not be allowed to lower tariffs for any specific country, alone. It would have to treat every other WTO member around the world in the same way.

One area of the negotiations that will have to be navigated skilfully is around regulations.

In a section in its document referring to agricultural goods, the UK Trade Representative said one of its objectives is to "promote greater regulatory compatibility to reduce burdens associated with unnecessary differences in regulations and standards, including through regulatory cooperation where appropriate".

It added it wants to "establish specific commitments for trade in products developed through agricultural bio-technologies".

The US administration takes the view that under its EU membership the UK food and agricultural sector has been over-regulated.

Last week the US Ambassador to the UK, Woody Johnson, urged the UK to leave the EU's "Museum of Agriculture" and dismiss "misleading scare-stories" about American agriculture.

But Jim Moseley, CEO of UK food standards body Red Tractor responded by saying the UK's food standards are now under threat from the United States food lobby. 

The US allows practices such as chlorinating chicken, which consists of dipping meat into chlorinated water to prevent microbial contamination. This practice is banned in the EU.