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Hundreds meet in Nepal for world's biggest Passover feast

Hundreds of Jewish travellers gathered in Kathmandu Monday to attend what organisers claim is the world's biggest Passover celebration as food supplies, delayed for weeks due to a diplomats' strike, arrived hours before the feast. Chabad House Nepal, which organises the celebration every year, usually relies on the Israeli embassy to help import supplies for the feast in the impoverished Himalayan nation.

Disease threatens world's bananas

The United Nations warned on Monday of the potential "massive destruction" of the world's $5.0-billion (3.6-billion euro) a year banana crop as a plant disease spreads from Asia to Africa and the Middle East. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the TR4 strain of Panama disease, which has already hit tens of thousands of hectares in Southeast Asia, had been reported in Jordan and Mozambique.

Disease threatens world's bananas

The United Nations warned on Monday of the potential "massive destruction" of the world's banana crop if a disease affecting the most popular variety spreads from Asia to Africa and the Middle East. The disease is "posing a serious threat to production and export" of bananas, the fourth most important food crop for the world's least developed countries, the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in a statement.

Subway says 'yoga mat chemical' will be out of bread soon, after protest over common additive

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Subway says an ingredient dubbed the "yoga mat chemical" will be entirely phased out of its bread by next week. The disclosure comes as Subway has suffered from an onslaught of bad publicity since a food blogger petitioned the chain to remove the ingredient.

Frozen food makers plan major PR push touting nutrition as sales slip

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Frozen foods are about to get some badly needed image therapy. With sales slipping in the category, frozen food makers are in the final stages of preparing a major public relations campaign to defend the nutritional reputation of their products. The push will include what are said to be the first national TV ads on behalf of the industry as a whole, as well as social media and in-store promotions.

Desperate for credit, China importers default on soy cargoes

By Naveen Thukral and Niu Shuping SINGAPORE/BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese importers have defaulted on at least 500,000 tons of U.S. and Brazilian soybean cargoes worth around $300 million, the biggest in a decade, as buyers struggle to get credit amid losses in processing beans. Three companies in the eastern province of Shandong had defaulted on payments for shipments as they were unable to open letters of credit with banks, trade sources said on Thursday.

Taste Holdings surges 10 pct on deal with Domino's Pizza

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Shares of South African small-cap restaurant operator Taste Holdings <TASJ.J> surged 10 percent on Thursday after it said it had signed an exclusive franchise deal with U.S. chain Domino's Pizza <DMZ.N>. The deal makes Domino's the latest U.S. fast-food chain to target rising consumer spending in Africa. Yum Brands <YUM.N> has been rolling out its Kentucky Fried Chicken stores, while McDonald's Corp <MCD.N> is well established in South Africa.

Wal-Mart teams up with Wild Oats to sell lower-priced organic food offering

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Wal-Mart is using its massive size to drive down the price of organic food items from tomato paste to chicken broth to make them more affordable for its low-income customers.

Pair of Japanese mangoes fetch $3,000 at auction

A pair of mangoes grown in southern Japan sold Thursday for a whopping 300,000 yen ($3,000), a record price for the fruit's first auction of the season, Kyodo News reported. The "Taiyo no Tamago" (Egg of the Sun)-brand mangoes were set to be airlifted from Miyazaki in the far south of the country to a department store in Fukuoka, where they were to go on sale, the agency said. To qualify as a "Taiyo no Tamago" mango, each fruit must weigh at least 350 grammes (12 oz) and have a high sugar content, according to the Miyazaki Agricultural Economic Federation.

Fast food operator MTY Food Group to get into casual dining through Madisons

MONTREAL - Fast food operator MTY Food Group Inc. says it's making its entry into casual dining in Canada with the $13-million acquisition of some of the assets of the companies that own and operate the Madisons New York Grill When the deal closes later this spring, Madisons is expected to have 14 franchised restaurants in Canada. MTY Food Group (TSX:MTY) said casual dining has been strong in the last few years and is expected to continue in the future. Sales for the Madisons chain were $40 million in 2013.
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