Food Round-up

01 July 2004
Food Round-up

Worldwide threat to chocolate
Worldwide chocolate production is under threat from the spread of virulent plant diseases, a scientist has warned.

Witches' Broom, a disease that affects the cacao bean, has already devastated plantations in South America.

Dr Gareth Griffith, of the University of Wales, fears plantations elsewhere could be at risk because of improved transport links between South America and other cacao-growing regions such as Africa. If the disease were to spread, worldwide chocolate production would fall dramatically.

Strawberries for all year round With the annual two-week Wimbledon tennis tournament in full swing, one Scottish-based strawberry breeder is already turning his thoughts to next year's event.

Ronnie McNicol, at the Scottish Crop Research Institute, near Dundee, is working on producing strawberry crops that bear fruit all year. If successful, the new variety will be on the market in time for Wimbledon 2005.

This year, it is predicted that 27,000kg of strawberries will be eaten during the tournament, together with 7,000 litres of cream.

Coffee and an overdraft, please The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has struck a deal which will allow it to lend money through coffee shops.

It has formed a partnership with Germany-based group Tchibo, which has 870 coffee bars across continental Europe and the UK. It will start selling fixed-term loans and alternatives to bank overdrafts at Tchibo stores by the end of the year.

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