New Zealand-based Fonterra and UK-based First Milk announced a strategic joint venture to produce premium whey proteins for Fonterra’s growing food ingredients business.

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

Rice Lake Weighing Systems purchased 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. named Michiel Herkemij as chief of its international beverage business; he will lead Sara Lee’s CoffeeCo segment once it is spun off.

Cleveland-based Athens Foods appointed Scott Sumser as president.

Dannon unveiled 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 the American Council for Food Safety & Quality, also known as the DFA of California.

Plaza Belmont Fund II LLC sold the tortilla-production assets of Casa de Oro Foods LLC to Gruma Corporation for $20 million.

The Coca-Cola Company and 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, acquired Fresherized 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, named Ian Nicol as president and CEO for Americas operations, including TÜV SÜD Canada, TÜV SÜD América de México and TÜV SÜD America do Brasil.

Key Technology appointed Richard van Densen as product marketing manager at Key Technology BV, the company’s European operation. 

Dannon appointed Eric O’Toole as senior vice president of the company’s foodservice and restaurant business, Luciano Lopez-May as senior vice president of sales and Sergio Fuster as its new senior vice president of marketing.   

Pearson Candy was acquired by private equity firm Brynwood Partners.

C. F. Sauer has sold its Dean Foods margarine operations, including a plant in Sandston, VA, to St. Louis-based Bunge North America.

Provisur Technologies, Inc. acquired TS 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 between Cargill Beef Australia and Teys Bros. The new company will be a 50-50 joint venture and trade under the name of Teys Australia – A Cargill Joint Venture.

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

The Grocery Manufacturers Association and its Associate Member Council awarded General Mills and Batter 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.