Global packaging company, TricorBraun, has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Cormack Packaging, an Australian family-owned packaging supplier. This will establish the company’s footprint in the region. Read more
The group that recently purchased the wholesale New Zealand bakery Original Foods Baking Co. has announced it will acquire Sara Lee, the iconic Australian desserts and baked goods brand, from McCain Foods in Australia and New Zealand. Read more
Calabria Family Wines is continuing to expand its distribution portfolio with the recent addition of Dow’s Port, owned by the Symington family.
Halewood Australia has added Yardhead Whisky to its ever-expanding portfolio of premium alcohol brands, in a move set to disrupt the spirit’s category.
Distilled in Scotland, Yardhead is a single malt Whisky and the first non-age declared spirit of its kind from the John Crabbie & Co Company. Each bottle of Yardhead is matured in 100 per cent ex-bourbon casks, sourced from the original sites frequented by founder John Crabbie in the 1800s, during his time as a blender and bottler.
Despite its rich history, the brand is set to revolutionise the way single-malts are enjoyed. Created for the younger generation, the spirit’s distilling process produces a light flavour, making it the perfect entry-level whisky for traditional bourbon and rum drinkers.
Kelly Coughlan, Marketing Manager of Halewood Australia, said of the launch: “Yardhead is the newest whisky brand on the market to be discovered. A brand steeped in heritage and Scottish distilling expertise, with a modern edge. We’re breaking boundaries within the category, by providing an accessible price point and an approachable way to enjoy the spirit. We recognize that dark spirits and classic cocktails are making a comeback, which is why we’re launching a single malt, made perfectly for mixing.”
Halewood International’s launch of Yardhead also sees the production of single malt whisky brought back to its origins in Edinburgh this month, after a 93-year break. The new Bonnington distillery will be the new home for John Crabbie & Co. Situated only a few hundred metres from the original site where John Crabbie matured, distilled and blended his whisky, the new site will produce 3,500 casks of single malt a year.
Sunshine Sugar is a step closer to realising a vision to join the rum market, having today entered into a Heads of Agreement with the Holey Dollar Rum Distilling Company.
The Holey Dollar brand is owned by former Olympic Yachtsman and multiple World Windsurfing Champion, Stuart Gilbert.
Stuart formerly owned the iconic Inner Circle Rum brand, which he successfully relaunched in 2002. The Inner Circle rum brand was officially launched by CSR back in 1968. Whilst the rum was made at their distillery in Pyrmont, Sydney, the beginnings of this infamous Australian alcohol hails from 95 years before, when CSR established its original and the first known distillery in Australia, at the Harwood Sugar Mill on the Clarence River in the NSW Northern Rivers.
Since 2009, Stuart has been appointed as an International Spirit Panel Judge (specialising in Rum), at the International Wine and Spirit competition (IWSC) held in London each year. His Holey Dollar rum has won three Gold medals and “best in class” for each product, including World Wide Distiller of the Year, a feat no other rum company in the world has won in the 40-year history of the IWSC.
Named after the coins made by Governor Macquarie in the earliest days of Australia’s colonial history in 1813 and the first official currency of Australia, Holey Dollar rum has been described by the judging panel as “rich and full on the nose and in the mouth with spice, exotic fruit, raisin and lots of oak. Clean in all respects. Lots of treacle with some bitter caramel giving some unexpected bite. Big and full bodied with woody, spicy finish.”
CEO of Sunshine Sugar, Chris Connors said; “We are excited to have agreed to partner with Stuart Gilbert and his Holey Dollar Rum company, and look forward to working collaboratively to develop the business in providing Australians with an alternative, high-quality and world-class tasting rum that is highly awarded and locally made and owned in NSW.”
It is anticipated that a pot still plant will be built at either the Harwood or Broadwater Sugar Mill site, as part of a graduated approach to developing the partnership over a period of time.
“This is another step in our strategic development program and will join our Low GI and Caster Sugar products in a suite of alternative income streams. We have a number of other projects that are close to announcement that are all targeted at our sustainability,” said Connors.
Arrow Energy has announced plans to double the production capacity of its Tipton gas project in Queensland amid an east-coast industrial gas shortage.
The planned expansion of Arrow’s Tipton operations is expected to involve 90 new wells in the initial phase and another 180 wells over the next 25 years.
It will also include new gathering lines, an upgraded water treatment facility and four new compressors.
“This project continues the development of the Arrow resource which will see more gas in the market,” said Arrow Energy CEO Qian Mingyang.
The project follows investment of more than $600 million by Arrow in its Surat Basin infrastructure, including $500 million towards its Daandine expansion project commissioned in late 2016 and more than $100 million to expand capacity at its Daandine and Tipton fields.
“We only hope that the other states follow Queensland’s lead and open up gas reserves to help fix the energy crisis households and businesses, especially manufacturers, along the eastern seaboard are facing,” said Mingyang.
XTS Hygienic, the stainless steel version of the eXtended Transport System from Beckhoff, opens up a wide spectrum of new applications for processing and filling liquids.
Allowing optimal cleanability with the high protection rating of IP 69K, very good chemical resistance and without any hidden corners, edges or undercuts, the hygienic design offers maximum production line availability even when the demands made on hygiene are high.
The XTS replaces mechanics with software functionality to allow for a high degree of design freedom in realising completely new machine concepts.
Through a significant reduction in mechanical engineering requirements, machines can be set up with the XTS more compactly, at a lighter weight and with less wiring.
Thus, machine builders can now offer smaller, more powerful and more efficient systems and the end user benefits accordingly from a smaller footprint, higher productivity and quicker product switchovers.
With the XTS Hygienic, which is so much easier to clean compared to more complex mechanical systems, the routine cleaning tasks along with those for product switchover – which are optimally supported by the XTS as standard – can be performed much more quickly. .
Vantage Australia has just been awarded the silver medal in this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC).
More than 2,100 spirits were judged this year, the largest number of entries in the competition’s 17-year history with the botanical Vantage Australia taking home the silver medal in this year’s awards.
The San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017 silver medal demonstrates that Vantage Australia is among the finest in the spirits industry, awarded for its ability to show refinement and finesse.
Vantage Australia was recognised for its multi-layered complexity, the smooth yet peppery mixture is made up of Australian botanicals, lemon myrtle, Tasmanian mountain pepper berries with a hint of mandarin oil from Australian produced imperial mandarins.
Complimented with zesty citrus notes, this unique premium Australian tipple has the ability to cut across traditional spirit genres, making it the perfect base for most mixers while also giving life to old classics, with an Australian twist.
Riding on its 2016 success, where Vantage Australia won Best Innovation-Best in Class 2016 from the Australian Drinks Awards, the Aussie spirit was also recognised for strong performance across key measures, including purchase intention, excitement, and relevance.
Vantage Australia was honoured with this prize for having the highest level of uniqueness, reflected through its inspiration of Australian native flora.
The complex flavour comes from only using natural bush foods to create a blend that blurs the lines between sweet and dry, giving this multi-layered spirit the uniqueness that it has been nationally and now internationally, recognised for.
“We are honoured by the international award Vantage Australia has received from the highly competitive San Francisco World Spirits Competition and now having been involved with this year’s TV Week Logie Awards, we appreciate the overwhelming domestic and international support our Australian owned and produced spirit has received,” said Bill Hargitay, Vantage Australia Owner.
Le Mac are suppliers of the linerless labelling system that is self-adhesive for trays of meats, ready meals, salads etc.
Linerless labels are an environmentally-friendly innovation: they do not use backing liner like traditional labels, which cannot be recycled and does not decompose in landfill.
The system itself is fully automatic and delivers significant efficiency gains over traditional pressure sensitive labelling machines or hand-application of carton sleeves.
It works with heavy gauge cardboard, film or paper labels in 8 formats (top, top & side, top & 2 sides, Full-wrap, C-Wrap, D-Wrap, Skin Packs and Slide Sleeve). It is suitable for stretch wrap trays, top seal trays and vacuum skin packs (with protrusions). To top it, all this can be run on the same machine without change parts.
The La Mac linerless systems are used by a number of major Australian food manufacturers, and they are currently also used on a range of Woolworths and Coles products.
It’s the mystery of all mysteries of science. Why is it that humans are so unusual compared to all other life? The key to solving this riddle lies in explaining the evolution of our large brains and exceptional intelligence.
For as long as humanity has been contemplating our existence we must surely have been struck by the fact that we are the only species capable of doing so.
I don’t believe it’s an exaggeration to say that the evolutionary arrival of humankind – some 200,000 years ago – was a decisive moment in the long history of the universe. After 14 billion years in the making, and in the blink of an eye of cosmological time, human intelligence arrived and gave the universe the ability to comprehend itself.
Maybe this all seems a little too anthropocentric for your taste? Smacks of literary indulgence on my behalf? Perhaps. But the simple matter is that we can’t avoid the fact of human uniqueness, and explaining it is tied to understanding the evolution of our extraordinary brainpower.
The eighteenth century British anatomist and creationist Richard Owen, one of Charles Darwin’s foremost foes, thought humans were so unusual that we ought to be classified in our own sub-class – the ‘Archenecephala’ as he dubbed it – on account of our highly advanced brain.
It rather conveniently stood us apart from the apes, confirming his view of the specialness of humankind.
By the standards of today’s biological classifications this would place us in a position in the tree of life above all of the orders of mammals, making us about as exceptional as the monotremes are to the placentals.
But with the facts of our evolution now well and truly established we have a much better understanding our place in nature, as members of the primate order, and particularly as African Great Apes.
To really understand how the human brain emerged we must first recognise that we share big brains with other primates. It’s our evolutionary inheritance, as primates are among the brainiest of all mammals; when taken kilo for kilo against body size. And apes are especially well endowed in the brains department.
Why? Well, this has been a major puzzle for anthropologists for decades, and the most widely accepted explanation has been the cognitive demands placed on us by living in large social groups; the so-called ‘social brain hypothesis’ or ‘Dunbar’s Number’.
The main alternative has been that braininess evolved in response to the demands of sex. Polygynandrous species – where males and females have multiple partners in a given breeding season – possess larger brains than those using other systems of mating, such as a harem or monogamy.
Now a new study by Alex DeCasien and colleagues published in Nature Ecology and Evolution has turned the debate completely on its head. They’ve found that the kind of diet a primate species consumes offers the best explanation for its brain size.
While this idea is not an entirely new one, their work provides strong validation for the diet-brain connection.
When it comes to apes it turns out that fruit eating – the dietary niche present in most living apes and the one our ancient ape ancestors indulged in – is so cognitively demanding that it led to a big evolutionary leap in intelligence when it began.
How come? Well, challenging diets require individuals to seek out or capture food; they have to judge whether it’s ready to be eaten or not; and they may even need to extract it, peel it, or process it in some way before it can be ingested.
Sound familiar? It should. Humans have the most specialised and challenging diets of all primates; and I have in mind here hunters and gatherers not urban foodies.
The human dietary niche is exceptionally broad and involves behaviours aimed at not only obtaining food but also making it more palatable and digestible; activities like extraction, digging, hunting, fishing, drying, grinding, cooking, combining other foods to add flavor, or even adding minerals to season or make food safe to eat.
What other species would so gleefully jiggle their jaws on the flames of a Jalapeno or lap up the tongue curling delights of a lemon?
What’s more, our large fruit eating ape brains got even bigger late in human evolution because our diets became ever more challenging to obtain and prepare, especially as a result of our ancestor’s penchant for eating meat.
Hunter-gatherers typically have a diet comprising between 30% and 80% vertebrate meat, while for chimpanzees it’s only around 2%. Instead, chimps get 60% of their diet from fruit, but hunter-gatherers typically obtain only 5% or 6 % (on the odd occasion a lot more) of their nutrition from fruit.
Humans rarely eat raw meat though, and we cook many of our vegetables as well, so even after expending huge efforts to collect it we still have to process much of our food in drawn out ways.
All of this throws up a paradox for us. Why is it that our closest and now extinct relatives, such as the Neanderthals, who were capable of complex behaviours like hunting, cooking and perhaps even cultural activities like art, lacked the smarts to ponder the ultimate questions of life?
Why is it us, and not them, that are capable of pondering and explaining the existence of life and the universe, including human life itself? There is clearly something very unique about human intelligence and a lot more to this evolutionary tale than mere food for thought.
A study by statistics firm Statista researched 43,000 consumers from 49 different countries to determine the world’s most respected ‘Made in’ labels. According to the study, Australia ranks 14th.
Germany ranked first, receiving 100 index points, closely followed by Switzerland with 98 index points.
Other nations in the top five include the EU as a whole, the UK and Sweden.
Australia’s 14th place ranking puts the nation just above New Zealand (ranked 15th), and below the Netherlands (ranked 13th).
At the end of the spectrum were China on 28 index points and Iran on 27 index points. Statista noted the irony of the fact that Germany scored the top rank, considering that the
‘Made in’ label was introduced by Britain at the end of the 19thcentury to protect its economy from “cheap, low quality and sometimes counterfeit” imports from Germany.
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has welcomed news that Carlton United Breweries (CUB) has ended its VB sponsorship with Cricket Australia (CA).
The demise of VB’s 20-year sponsorship with CA, estimated to be worth $65 million over the past five years is one of more than 20 alcohol-related sponsorships in Australian cricket.
The RACP is on record as saying that it was “unacceptable that young children are being bombarded with alcohol promotion both at the ground and at home watching on TV.”
This sentiment is shared by the majority of Australians, with over 60 per cent concerned about the exposure of children to alcohol promotions in sport, according to a number of recent surveys.
RACP President Dr Catherine Yelland said, “A generation of Australians have grown up and become accustomed to a sponsorship that has relentlessly pushed its product and left young Australians as collateral damage.”
“Sadly, we know alcohol marketing leads children and adolescents to start drinking earlier and makes young drinkers prone to binge drinking patterns.”
“Sometimes it starts them on a journey that has a lifelong impact. It’s not surprising that the peak age for the onset of alcohol use disorders is only 18 years old.”
Arkadia Beverages has released a blend of high of turmeric, spices and organic panela sugar and called it Arkadia Golden Latte.
This turmeric blend is designed to be ready to drunk with hot or cold milk.
With no added dairy, vegan friendly and gluten and caffeine free, Arkadia Golden Latte is claimed to imbue the natural benefits of turmeric – often referred to as the most powerful herb on the planet for helping to fight a range of diseases.
Privately owned Wegdam Holding BV announced today the takeover of all assets of Tilly Sabco Bretagne SAS. Tilly Sabco was placed in receivership on July 29, 2016 by the Commercial Court of Brest with a six months’ period of observation.
Wegdam will restart Tilly Sabco International SAS consequently directly saving 61 employees from redundancy. The new Tilly Sabco will be concentrating primarily on the production of chicken sausages and packing frozen foods. In the near future it will set up a logistics hub for the Wegdam Food Group.
Wegdam expects the new company to grow to over 100 employees.
Jungheinrich has launched an entry-level range of pallet trucks for low-duty applications.
This new range of electric pedestrian trucks is designed for retailers, print shops, workshops or garden centers, or even small to medium-sized businesses that routinely need to move heavy individual items.
The range includes EJE M13 (1300kg) and EJE M15 (1500kg) electric pedestrian pallet trucks. The AC drive motor provides fast and efficient transport of pallets over short distances. An intelligent automatic shutoff system turns the truck off automatically after 30 minutes of non-use, conserving energy and the battery.
All trucks are fitted with a maintenance-free, three-phase AC motor and a maintenance-free gel battery with integrated charger as well as an ergonomic Jungheinrich tiller, offering fast, efficient and safe throughput, claims the manufacturer.
Moving loads in these applications can be difficult if the operator only has a conventional hand pallet truck,” says Greg McNamara, National Jungheinrich Product Manager. “The initial effort required to get the load moving, and then stopping, can be a possible OH&S risk or if not, sometimes impossible with a manual pallet truck.”
The Jungheinrich EJE M13 and EJE M15 electric pallet trucks are now available from NTP Forklifts Australia.
Following a long and bitter dispute between Nestle and Mondelez, the owners of the Cadbury brand, Nestle has now lost its EU trademark for its KitKat bar after an EU court ruled the popular chocolate bar was not proven to be sufficiently of a “distinctive character.”
Nestle filed its application to register the KitKat shape in 2002 – which was originally launched in 1935 by Rowntree.
According to news.com.au, after the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), which promotes and registers EU trademarks, agreed to register the shape in 2006, Cadbury Schweppes – now Mondelez – moved to have the mark declared invalid in 2007.
The EU General Court said last Friday that it was annulling the 2012 EUIPO decision to dismiss Mondelez’s claim, as the office had not yet proved the “distinctive character” of the chocolate bar shape in all EU member countries.
Melbourne Moonshine Cáscara Moonshine is made from the dehydrated cherries of the coffee plant.
Traditionally discarded, Campos says it has worked with a small coffee farm in Costa Rica to keep and naturally dry the cherries, resulting in a fruity coffee variety that gives a more subtle tea-like taste.
Campos Coffee, the specialty roaster founded out of a small Newtown café, has always been focused on innovation in coffee, and realised the untapped potential of this previously under-utilised part of the coffee tree.
After months of testing to get the flavours right, the end result is a rich liqueur with cherry and raisin flavours, and hints of molasses, reminiscent of Christmas Cake.
Premium cider brands in West Europe recorded a compound annual growth rate of almost 8% between 2009 and 2015, far exceeding competing price segment categories which all posted declines, says consumer insight firm Canadean.
According to the company’s latest research, one of the most important trends currently being recorded in the West European cider market is the premiumization trend, which has led to consumers spending more on quality cider at the expense of discount and mainstream brands.
Premium brands, determined as brands which have a price index between 115%-149%, when using the leading mainstream brand as the benchmark, have witnessed positive results from this. However superpremium brands, those priced in the market at a 150% price index and above on the leading brand, have not yet benefited from this trend, with consumers still exhibiting some caution with their spending.
The impressive growth seen in West Europe was driven by strong performances in Spain (3%) and France (15%), as well as huge growth in the Republic of Ireland (107%), helping to offset the 1% decline in the largest market by volume, the United Kingdom.
Growth in Spain, the second largest premium cider market by volume, was a consequence of the increased demand for imported cider and ‘natural’ cider, which is generally associated with premium and superpremium price points. Natural cider in particular benefited from its popularity with young adult consumers, who find the concept of filtered cider with no added sugar to be appealing.
France’s market was largely in line with the rest of the continent, with volumes declining overall and premium offerings the sole growth point. Consumers in France are increasingly switching their cider drinking habits to quality over quantity, driving value growth.
The exceptional gains witnessed in the Republic of Ireland market for premium brands can be partly attributed to the recovering economy that has restored consumer confidence. Ireland was the fastest-growing economy in West Europe in 2015, and in a traditional cider drinking market, this proved fruitful for premium brands. Heineken also introduced its Orchard Thieves brand in 2015. After vigorous taste panel testing with Irish consumers, it has been designed specifically for the Irish palate, and entered the market with a high price point that more than doubled the volumes in the premium price segment.
Canadean states that premium cider will continue its consistent growth pattern in West Europe in 2016 due to rising consumer interest and willingness to purchase higher priced and quality ciders. Brewers quick to jump on this trend, as Heineken has been in the Republic of Ireland, could capitalize on this shift in consumer buying behavior by focusing on development of more unique and premium cider offerings.
Information is based on Canadean’s reports: Spain Cider Market Insights Report 2016; France Cider Market Insights Report 2016; Republic of Ireland Cider Market Insights Report 2016.
Vegan Australia and the Animal Justice Party (AJP) have reportedly told federal politicians the best long-term solution to the dairy sector’s farm-gate pricing crisis is to phase-out the industry over a decade according to a North Queenslander report.
The two groups have submitted their views and suggestions into the Senate Economics References Committee’s current examination of the Australian dairy industry. In response, industry leaders have hit back saying the dairy sector employs “world-leading practices” while generating $4.7 billion in farm-gate value that enriches regional Australian communities.
The Senate inquiry was instigated in September in response to the dairy industry farm gate pricing crisis that ignited earlier this year and is scheduled to report its findings by February 24 next year.
Public hearings have already been held in Canberra on October 26 and in Melbourne on November 15 with a range of industry and government agencies giving evidence.
The inquiry’s terms of reference include examining the legality of retrospective elements of milk supply contracts and the behaviour of Murray Goulburn in relation to the late season claw-back of farm-gate returns to producers, revealed in April.
Vegan Australia’s rationale was that it said it was “very aware” agriculture was a fundamental part of society and it wanted to see the “continued prosperity” of farming and farmers but was recommended pursuing that goal could be achieved without the “use and exploitation of animals”. It envisions the long term solution to the dairy crisis is to phase out dairy.
According to the North Queenslander, they are hoping for the day that technology is able to offer what Vegan Australia terms as “superior alternatives” to dairy products.
Vegan Australia said Australian consumers may hold out some loyalty to the dairy industry, but others in countries like Australia’s largest export market China were, “unlikely to show the same loyalty”.
It said Chinese policy would also shift to domestic production using advanced technology as soon as it became more cost efficient than importing Australian milk.
Vegan Australia said government assistance should be given to current dairy farmers that wanted to transition to plant-based agriculture, as part of the 10-year phase-out.
The AJP’s submission accused the dairy industry of inflicting animal cruelty while causing harm to human health and the environment.
“The most responsible course of action for the government to take is to transition away from animal-based milk and dairy, to humane, healthy, and sustainable plant-based milks,” the AJP said.
“Instead of focussing on trying to rescue an unsustainable industry that is harmful to humans and animals, the government should be turning its attention to innovative transition solutions.
“Consumers are increasingly embracing plant-based milks and it is the position of the Animal Justice Party that the government should embrace this trend and promote plant-based milks as healthier, more humane and more sustainable industries.”
In response, the Australian Dairy Farmers said the industry’s quality and safety processes were “among the best in the world” and the nation’s dairy sector – comprising 6128 dairy farmers of which 98 per cent are family-owned businesses – made a “vital contribution to the national economy”.
“With a farm gate value alone of $4.7 billion, dairy enriches regional Australian communities,” it said.
“Dairy farmers have had a tough past season and it is pleasing to note that the outlook for dairy in the future is more positive with a rebalancing of supply and demand fundamentals globally taking place.
“While we are an industry that has been under intense pressure, we are also an industry that has the know-how and resilience to overcome adversity and thrive in the long term.”
In its submission to the Senate inquiry, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) said the food and grocery manufacturing sector employed more than 322,900 Australians, paying around $16.1 billion a year in salaries and wages.
The AFGC said the sector’s contribution to the economic and social well-being of Australia “cannot be overstated” and the dairy export industry had “solid” long term prospects.
“In the long term, global demand for dairy products is expected to remain strong with some analysts predicting a 25 per cent increase in consumption by 2025,” the submission said.
“With continued consumption growth in the Asia region, including China, the medium to long term prospects for Australian dairy exports are solid.”
According to ARC, due to the essential nature of many of the products produced, the food & beverages industry is typically less affected by global economic conditions trends than many others, but is highly sensitive to government regulations that often determine how products are manufactured and where they can be sold.
Regional demographic changes also often have a major impact on this industry.
In general, new products, product innovation, and a growing population drive growth in the food & beverages sector. The growing middle class in emerging economies increases demand for more convenient processed foods as well as for more profitable luxury food and beverage products.
Today’s food and beverage companies strive to be able to respond to consumer demand for a wide variety of fresh, nutritious, convenient, and high-quality foods.
Many companies invest large amounts of money to develop new products. As many manufacturers operate globally, product packaging and labeling must meet country-specific requirements and regulations. In addition, product formulas need to be adapted to suit different consumer tastes.
As a whole, this sector has invested heavily in IT infrastructure in recent years.
These systems are expected to support information necessary to maintain quality standards, improve compliance, address food safety issues, and track product information.
Flexibility in both R&D and manufacturing are important to support frequent product changes and reduce product time-to-market.
We’re also seeing increasing pressures to reduce costs to remain competitive.
One area of concern is the potential effect of product recalls on a company’s reputation. Most companies are making targeted investment to both improve their internal controls to reduce the risk of product recalls and improving their ability to recall products, when necessary.
Cybersecurity is another challenge that the industry is addressing, largely through technology. Despite these challenges, food & beverage manufacturers are reasonably optimistic about their future prospects.
Executives believe that new products and line extensions, plus more autonomous operations and efficiency improvements will drive growth and help improve profitability in this largely low-margin sector.