New Zealand-basedFonterraand UK-basedFirst Milkannounced a strategic joint venture to produce premium whey proteins for Fonterra’s growing food ingredients business.

Covanceentered into a definitive agreement to acquireTRAC Microbiology, Inc., a Madison, WI-based food microbiology and chemistry laboratory. TRAC provides testing, research, auditing and consulting services.

Rice Lake Weighing Systemspurchased a 29,700-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Fernley, NV where the company plans to expand truck-scale manufacturing and improve service to its Western heavy-capacity customers.

Sara Lee Corp.namedMichiel Herkemijas chief of its international beverage business; he will lead Sara Lee’sCoffeeCosegment once it is spun off.

Cleveland-basedAthens FoodsappointedScott Sumseras president.

Dannonunveiled its $9 million Discovery and Innovation Center at the French company’s American headquarters in Greenburgh, NY.

Blue Diamond, the US almond grower and manufacturer, announced that its Sacramento manufacturing facility was named “Plant of the Year of the Pinnacle Club” by theAmerican Council for Food Safety & Quality, also known as the DFA of California.

Plaza Belmont Fund II LLC sold the tortilla-production assets ofCasa de Oro Foods LLCtoGruma Corporationfor $20 million.

The Coca-Cola Companyand its Chinese bottling partners announced a new investment of $4 billion over the next three years commencing in 2012.

MegaMex Foods, a joint venture of Hormel Foods and Herdez Del Fuetre, acquiredFresherized Foods, maker of Wholly Guacamole and other products.

Schenck AccuRate announced the grand opening of its renovated test center located in Whitewater, WI.  The newly remodeled facility is equipped with all the necessary features for testing customers’ dry bulk solid materials in volumetric, gravimetric, vibratory and sanitary feeding configurations. 

Crown Holdings, Inc., a supplier of metal packaging products worldwide, will continue to expand its footprint in China by building two new beverage can plants and adding a second line to an existing facility.

TÜV SÜD America Inc., a global testing, inspection and certification services firm, namedIan Nicolas president and CEO for Americas operations, including TÜV SÜD Canada, TÜV SÜD América de México and TÜV SÜD America do Brasil.

Key TechnologyappointedRichard van Densenas product marketing manager atKey Technology BV, the company’s European operation. 

DannonappointedEric O’Tooleas senior vice president of the company’s foodservice and restaurant business,Luciano Lopez-Mayas senior vice president of sales andSergio Fusteras its new senior vice president of marketing.   

Pearson Candywas acquired by private equity firmBrynwood Partners.

C. F. Sauer has sold itsDean Foods margarine operations, including a plant in Sandston, VA, to St. Louis-basedBunge North America.

Provisur Technologies, Inc.acquiredTS Techniek B.V., a technology-driven, food processing equipment manufacturer based in Pijnacker, the Netherlands. This is the second European acquisition for Provisur this year.

Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board has cleared the way to a joint venture betweenCargill Beef AustraliaandTeys Bros. The new company will be a 50-50 joint venture and trade under the name ofTeys Australia – A Cargill Joint Venture.

Krones AG, Neutraubling, Germany, signed a cooperation agreement with the folding-carton producer and multipack specialistA&R Carton Bremen GmbH, located in Bremen, Germany.

The Grocery Manufacturers Associationand its Associate Member Council awardedGeneral MillsandBatter Blaster with the 2011 CPG Award for Innovation and Creativity. The award is given annually to companies that have demonstrated creativity, innovation, and have made a significant impact on the industry knowledge base.