Innovative new ingredient for high-protein RTD beverages

Dairy processors and soft drinks manufacturers can exploit the huge potential offered by high-protein RTD beverages with Nutrilac WheyHi, an innovative new ingredient solution from Arla Foods Ingredients.

Sales of RTD beverages are exhibiting strong growth, with worldwide sales set to grow by 28 per cent between 2016 and 2020. This trend reflects increased demand for convenience, primarily among busy urban-dwelling consumers. By 2050, it is forecast that 66 per cent of people globally will live in cities compared with 54 per cent now¹, a factor that will almost certainly drive demand for convenient RTD beverages in the coming years.

At the same time, protein continues to cement its popularity in the mainstream beverage market, presenting companies with an excellent opportunity to tap into both trends simultaneously with high-protein RTD products.

In many countries the RTD market remains dominated by long shelf life drinks made using UHT processes. Previously, technical obstacles have made it difficult for manufacturers to add whey protein to such products without the risk of fouling. But now, with WheyHi from Arla Foods Ingredients, this risk is significantly reduced. This means that with WheyHi, companies can create long-life sports nutrition drinks, tea and coffee beverages, and smoothies in which 40 per cent of the protein comes from whey – and yet still deliver a delicious flavour.

WheyHi is suitable for high temperature applications that use both direct and indirect UHT treatment, without compromising on processing capacity. In addition, the same compound can be used to create several different types of products, thereby simplifying inventory. WheyHi offers 80 per cent more whey content than standard milk protein concentrates, boosting the nutritional value of the finished product. It also delivers a better taste profile compared with vegetable proteins and casein.

WheyHi has been launched as part of Arla Foods Ingredients’ latest marketing campaign, which is called ‘Whey Better Protein’. It is highlighting how whey protein solutions offer multiple application and nutrition benefits and can enable food and beverage companies to benefit from emerging trends by entering new categories that are growing quickly.

“RTD beverages are the future of the soft drinks market. They tap into growing demand for convenience among busy urban consumers who want products they can drink on the go,” said Inge Lise Povlsen, Category Manager for Beverage at Arla Foods Ingredients.

“These consumers – who are often millennials – are also looking for products that offer high quality nutrition, and whey protein is an ingredient that resonates with them. Now, with WheyHi, it’s possible to overcome previous technical challenges to bring the wonders of whey into the booming RTD category.”

[1] World Urbanization Prospects, United Nations (2014)

 

Warrnambool Cheese returns to profit

Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company has announced a half year normalised net profit after tax of $12.0 million for 2017, following the loss of the previous corresponding period.

In addition, the company increased revenue to $325.9 million (a rise of 10 per cent).

WCB said in a statement the increase is due to improved returns from its consumer goods business and joint ventures, realigning raw milk cost with market conditions and a lower average Australian dollar.

Normalised NPAT for HY17 is calculated after removing the one-off net profit after tax of $8.8 million achieved on the sale of the Company’s interest in food testing business Dairy Technical Services Limited.

The company cautioned that the volatility of the Australian dollar as well as global milk price variations means will continue to affect future results.

 

Asian milk demand growing but competition strong for exporters

Asian demand for Australian milk is continuing to grow but export margins have been squeezed and could potentially tighten further, according to new research.

The report, Liquid milk exports to Asia – avoiding the crush, by agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank, says competition in Asian markets will remain fiercely competitive as both international and local brands fight for market share and consumer spend.

Report author, Rabobank senior dairy analyst Michael Harvey (pictured below) says the automatic premium that international brands had historically received was unlikely to be repeated.

“It wasn’t long ago that being an imported brand automatically provided a retail price premium but that is no longer the case,” Harvey said.

“This has particular consequences for Australia and New Zealand given the previously alluring retail price premiums, combined with trade opportunities and relatively low capital outlays, which fuelled a period of significant investment in liquid milk processing capacity across Oceania.

“This increased capacity has been specifically geared towards Asia’s liquid milk markets, the short-term consequence of which has been a contribution to diminishing export margins.”

Michael__Harvey

The flood of investment in the regions has resulted in capacity almost doubling across Australia and New Zealand, with additional investment potentially in the pipeline.

This region’s dairy exporters are also competing with their European counterparts, many of which have large-scale and highly efficient processing plants complemented by a growing milk supply.

And while competition from Europe is continuing to squeeze the market, local Asian brands are providing additional competition.

Harvey says while the companies behind local brands have also been pressured by increased import competition, they are by no means looking to surrender.

However, despite some of these home advantages, the report says, longer-term a major hurdle for local brands will still be accessing enough locally produced milk in a cost- effective manner.

Strategies to ease the squeeze

While the Rabobank report is forecasting growing export volumes of liquid milk into Asia, margin growth is likely to be the bigger challenge.

“The key areas of focus that dairy export businesses will be looking at to increase their margins will include ensuring processing efficiency, improving their distribution chains and building a premium platform,” Harvey said.

While economies of scale will be important to remain competitive in the Asian liquid milk export market Mr Harvey says developing a premium platform will be essential for those companies wanting to increase their margins.

“For dairy exporters this is not just about product and packaging innovation, but also category expansion, R&D and behind-the-border support to better cater to changing consumer demands,” he said.

Image: daxueconsulting.com

Murray Goulburn to face dairy farmers at AGM

Dairy farmers still looking for answers six months after Murray Goulburn (MG) cut the amount it pays them will converge on Melbourne today for the co-operative’s annual general meeting.

In late April retrospectively cut its farm gate milk price, taking its suppliers completely by surprise and leaving them having to pay back much of what they had earned during that financial year.

Di Bowles, a farmer from Mead in northern Victoria will be at today’s meeting to find out what is happening.

“Murray Goulburn suppliers feel let down that they’re the last one to get any financial gain from the company,” she told the ABC.

“The shareholders are placed before the farmers.”

As AAP reports, both MG and other major supplier Fonterra Australia raised their farm gate prices yesterday. MG forecasts that it will pay $4.95 kg/MS for this full financial year, while Fonterra expects to pay $5.10 kg/MS.

According to Fonterra’s managing director Rene Dedoncker, strengthening global dairy prices were behind the company’s decision to raise the price.

“Although the global market remains volatile, since the beginning of the season, global milk supply has continued to decline significantly while demand has remained relatively stable,” she said.

Murray Goulburn cuts farmgate milk price, profit expectations

Dairy giant Murray Goulburn has cut both its profit expectations and expected closing farmgate milk price for this financial year because of wet weather and a subsequent drop in milk intake.

The company said in a statement that its forecast of $42 million for 2016/17 would be revised down and its expected closing farmgate milk price would fall from $4.88 per kilogram of milk solids to $4.70.

In addition, MG said it would suspend the milk supply support package, a loan scheme set up to assist dairy farmers struggling to repay the debts associated with its retrospective farmgate milk price cuts earlier this year.

“Until recently, there was confidence that spring rainfall was positioning the industry for an excellent season,” said Interim Chief Executive Officer, David Mallinson.

“However unexpected continual rainfall since mid-September following the step-up announcement on 13 September 2016 has created a major challenge for our suppliers and industry.

“Production across South Eastern Australia was down 10.7 percent in August, and this trend has continued to date. In particular, the North of Victoria has moved from drought like conditions in FY16 to severe wet conditions, with production from that region down 16.9 percent August year to date.”

Katter’s Australian Party wants fair milk price logo

Katter’s Australian Party MP Shane Knuth has tabled a private members bill into the Queensland Parliament to legislate for the introduction of fair milk price ‘logos’.

The aim is for voluntary region-specific logos to be placed on milk containers, giving consumers confidence the dairy farmer who produced that milk received a fair price.

As production costs vary across Queensland, the Bill identifies three dairy regions – north Queensland, central Queensland and south-east Queensland.

“This will make it very simple for the consumer – they can walk into the shop and immediately see which fresh milk produced in which region is fairly priced by looking for the logo,” Knuth (pictured) said in a statement.

The Bill provides for the setting of a minimum price to be paid to dairy farmers for the production of milk carrying a logo, which is a voluntary market mechanism processors can choose to incorporate into existing milk labels.

The legislation establishes the eligibility criteria and legal protection for logos and introduces offences for particular conduct to protect the logo integrity.

However, producers and processors would not be penalised if they chose to not adopt the logo.

Knuth stressed that the Bill did not enable regulation of the Queensland dairy industry.

As the ABC reports, both the Government and the Opposition indicated they have not yet decided if they will support the bill.

Both the Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson and the Opposition agriculture spokesman Dale Last will assess the merits of the bill after a parliamentary committee first assesses it.

Image: Facebook

 

Global water crisis a concern for food and drinks makers

Market research company Euromonitor International’s white paper “Sustainability and the New Normal for Natural Resources” has revealed that reliable access to natural resources is of critical importance to governments, businesses and consumers.

According to the whitepaper, in 2015, the World Economic Forum mentioned water crisis as the number one long-term global threat.

Still underestimated by many businesses, water risk is a very serious and complex issue which threatens wildlife, human access to clean water and continuation of business through shortage, flooding and pollution.

A well-managed water strategy, conversely, can help build a resilient and innovative business and a strong ethical brand image.

“Water stress and poor water stewardship can have a sizeable impact on profit and a huge impact on businesses’ reputation and operations.

The most obviously affected sector is the food and drinks industry, where water is a key input.

But many other sectors are also at risk, including apparel, energy and beauty and personal care,” says Sarah Boumphrey, Global Lead of Economies and Consumers at Euromonitor International.

The whitepaper also reveals that a large amount of packaged food companies’ growth is increasingly reliant on water-stressed regions with India having the largest area harvested for cereals in 2015.

It also mentioned that soft drinks and beer record the highest absolute volume of water consumption and are highly vulnerable to water risk.

The prediction is that by 2020, 50 per cent of the global laundry detergents market by volume will be accounted for, by water-stressed countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa and the US.

Tomra acquires Compac for A$65m

Norway’s Tomra Systems has agreed to a buyout deal of NZ$70m (A$65m) for Kiwi fruit sorting company Compac Holdings.

The 100 per cent acquisition of the Auckland based packhouse automation systems maker by Tomra will see it expand extend its global operations.

The deal is subject to Overseas Investment Office approval and is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

“Market forces have driven double-digit growth at Compac over recent years, and we have rapidly become a global business from humble New Zealand roots,” Compac chief executive Mike Riley said.

He also added that the merger will see Compac being able to meet the increasing demands for their products and services in a more “scalable and operationally efficient manner”. Executive vice president and head of Tomra sorting Volker Rehrmann explained,

“Compac serves complimentary food sorting markets, which is a very welcome addition to the Tomra sorting food business. We see our customers’ needs evolving and with our complementary solutions and an increased ability to leverage our combined food sorting technologies, we are ready to meet future customer needs.”

Despite the acquisition, Compac’s leadership will stay in place in the new structure, operating as a standalone entity while Tomra will still continue to offer its existing product portfolio.

Tomra has also said it will continue to invest in Compac’s R&D activities as the Norwegian group’s “centre of excellence for lane sorting” worldwide.

Have we finally entered the age of the Chato?

Potato has long been in the staple diet for the Australian diet. However, with rising global consumerism and increasing concerns over food security, the market looks to be turning towards alternative and more sustainable food sources.

Australian inventor Andrew Dyhin from PotatoMagic in Melbourne has claimed to have achieved a breakthrough to save wasted potatoes.

In 12 years of what he has coined as “intense research”, Dyhin has developed what he has coined the “chato” that looks like a block of cheese, melts like cheese but all potato. Furthermore, according to Mr Dyhin, the potatoes are peeled and processed with no added ingredients making it a reportedly eco friendly process.

The “chato” can be melted or sliced like a cheese, cut into cubes and served as a salad, or mixed with water and additional ingredients to make any consistency of liquid including dips, aoli and custard.

With over roughly 75000 tonnes of potatoes wasted annually in Australia, Dyhin sees an opportunity to push the “chato” product into a commercialisation phase and attract investors with a target to set up a pilot production plant within a year.

“Food security is a very important issue and we need to look at products that have more yield per hectare, like potatoes.”

“And also how we use that yield. Something like 25 per cent of all potato that is grown doesn’t make it to the plate, mostly because it’s not pretty enough for the shelves,”  Dyhin said.

“While he’s proud of the work he’s doing, he said the bigger issues at play are food security and the environment, and chato could help feed the future population of Australia and the world.”

“We need to find alternatives to animals and intensive agricultural practises. With chato we can take any potato, especially the ones that will just be thrown away, and make something that’s delicious and versatile. We can make the most of what we have,” added Dyhin.

South Australia banking on a brandy re-branding

Making brandy cool again and appealing to millennials with a growing appreciation for boutique spirits are the goals of a new distillery opened today by a leading Australian beverage company.

Bickford’s Australia has launched a craft range of spirits under the 23rd Street label at a reinvented distillery in South Australia’s Riverland.

The 23rd St Distillery, on the street of the same name in the town of Renmark, has launched two brandies, a gin and a hybrid whisky.

The former Renmano distillery will also produce craft spirits under its own label as well as well-known Australian label Black Bottle Brandy, Australia’s second biggest brandy brand.

It is about a kilometre away from the St Agnes distillery, the maker of Australia’s biggest selling brandy.

Bickford’s, established in South Australia in 1874 and historically known for its cordials and syrups, has grown strongly into the alcoholic beverage market in recent years.

It bought VOK Beverages in 2002 and has steadily built up a portfolio of well-known spirits brands including Beenleigh Rum, Real McCoy, El Toro and Vickers Gin.

It bought the Black Bottle Brandy label from Accolade in 2011 and has until now been making it out of its Beenleigh Rum distillery in Queensland. Vickers Gin and the new premium Black Bottle Very Special Australian Brandy will also be produced at the new Renmark distillery, which is about 260km northeast of the South Australian capital Adelaide.

Bickford’s bought the Renmark site from Accolade Wines in 2014 after receiving more than $2 million in Riverland Sustainable Futures Funding towards the establishment of a spirit distillery in the region.

The 23rd Street Distillery is the result of a $6.6-million transformation and rejuvenation of the century-old landmark.

“With research suggesting the younger millennials are a discerning generation looking to bring quality and premium products into their repertoire, our focus is very much on boutique products of exceptional body and taste,” 23rd Street Distillery’s Head Distiller, Graham Buller said.

“We’re blending our distilling knowledge and expertise – along with all the delicious local produce of the Riverland on our doorstep and those of the Adelaide Hills just a few hundred kilometres away – to create fun, exciting and prime sprits for the liberated palate.”

The new generation 23rd Street Not Your Nanna’s Brandy (AU $50) has spent two years ex- Chardonnay oak barrels to impart rich colour, smoothness and length.

It is described as having vanillin sweetness on the front palate that gives way to vivacious honey and apricot flavours before finishing with soft oak spiciness. It’s a brandy with a new flavour profile and proposition the distillery hopes will encourage a new, younger breed to the category.

Buller describes 23rd Street Prime 5 brandy (AU$80) as “the ultimate in refined character” and “a rich and complex fruitcake-in-a-glass”. Aged up to eight years, portions of traditional double pot distilled liquor deliver sophisticated richness and roundness which, combined with portions distilled by the single pot process, add liveliness to an outstanding limited edition craft brandy.

For the brand’s Signature Gin (A$80), Buller individually infuses 10 botanicals – including traditional juniper and coriander – and complements them with invigorating freshness from local mandarins and limes to create what he terms “a layered palate and full-bodied mouthfeel”.

The hybrid whiskey is, in Buller’s words, “the realisation of my dream to achieve the best of both worlds and create the perfect blend of scotch and bourbon whiskies”.

The barrels of Scotch and American bourbon – each with an average of five years’ individual maturation – are returned to bourbon barrels for finishing.

The new premium Black Bottle Very Special Australian Brandy is a blend of double and single pot distillation and matured for an average of eight years in a mix of French and American oak.

“We will also look to be creative and inventive, introducing new tastes and flavour combinations to the craft spirits industry that particularly resonate with millennials seeking maximum enjoyment by satisfying their sensory pleasures of savoury and sweet, bright and smooth, contradictory yet united,” Buller said.

“In addition, we hope to reignite brandy, give it a healthy dose of cool and engage consumers with a drink they thought was only for their nannas.”

Bickford’s Group Owner and Managing Director Angelo Kotses said the distillery was a chance for the company become a player in Australia’s booming craft spirits industry and leverage export markets.

“We looked at the international model where cognac all of a sudden became cool and consumption went up and markets such as Asia grew dramatically so it was an ideal time to look at that whole category again,” he said.

“Suddenly Renmark has become the centre of brandy in Australia and what we want to do is build the pie rather than take share from anyone else.

The new distillery’s production will centre on three restored vintage copper pot stills with the capacity to produce around 1500 litres – or about 11 barrels – of matured spirit during each run, positioning 23rd Street Distillery as Australia’s leading family-owned producer of branded spirits.

Kotses said having the marketing arm and manufacturing experience of a large beverage company, sufficient scale and existing buyers on hand globally was a boost for the new brands.

“What we’re seeing is the craft spirits guys can’t produce enough volume because of the equipment size and style,” he said.

“We’ve got this nice space where we can take advantage of scale and that also gives you a great quality product on a consistent basis that sometimes you can’t get with a small still.”

Published with approval from The Lead

Australian consumers demanding sustainably sourced seafood claims new research

Some 75 per cent of Australian seafood consumers believe in order to save the ocean, we have to consume fish and seafood only from sustainable sources, making it a top priority, reveals the Marine Stewardship Council’s annual report and independent research launched today.

This represents a significant shift in consumption habits as Australian seafood shoppers say they value sustainability over price, with 51 per cent willing to pay more for sustainably certified seafood, according to the report.

The new consumer data is the largest ever global analysis of attitudes to seafood consumption and was carried out by independent GlobeScan, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

“This research released in conjunction with MSC’s latest annual report shows Australian consumers are voting with their wallets to future-proof our oceans by opting for sustainably certified seafood.”

“This is not just a passing trend, it’s an evolution strongly driven by consumer demand that demonstrates greater engagement on traceability and consideration towards our food sources”, said Anne Gabriel, Oceania Program Director, MSC.

“With four out of five households (85 per cent) of Australians purchasing seafood on a regular basis, there’s an opportunity for consumers to make a tangible difference by choosing to source sustainable seafood.” In fact, noted Ms. Gabriel,

“Some 69 per cent of Australian seafood consumers state they want to know that the fish they buy can be traced back to known and trusted source.”

The consumer insights data also found that:

• A majority (54 per cent) of seafood consumers are likely to trust the source of the products if they are ecolabelled

• 71 per cent of Australians believe brands’ claims about sustainability need to be labelled by an independent org.

• Globally, 66 per cent of respondents are willing to pay more for sustainable goods, which is up from 55 per cent in 2014 and 50 per cent in 2013 (Nielsen’s The Sustainability Imperative, October 2015)

• 36 per cent of Australians say they are purchasing more ecolabelled seafood than a year ago

These figures support findings of the 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, which showed that over the previous year, sales of consumer goods from brands with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability grew by more than 4 per cent globally, while those without grew less than 1 per cent.

A full copy of the report can be found here

Sweet cheese cubes add new flavour to growing Asian market

AUSTRALIAN cheese products flavoured with chocolate, fruits and nuts are aiming to win new customers in Asia.

Beston Pure Foods began producing its Edwards Crossing range of natural cheeses in Murray Bridge, South Australia, in September 2015. It sent its first shipment of cheddar and gouda to Thailand and Singapore in December where it is reprocessed and flavoured under the Kyubu brand.

Flavours include Chocolate & Almond, Strawberry, Orange Yoghurt, Nacho and Milky Cheddar.

The Japanese-style cheese snack cubes hit the shelves through a retail supermarket chain in Thailand in July and in Singapore last month.

Beston Pure Foods General Manager Daniel Raschella said the flavoured cheeses were designed to be a first introduction to cheese for people before encouraging them to try the more traditional cheese products.

img - KyubuTal2

He said Kyubu was developed specifically for the growing Asian market, particularly Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.

“It’s a bridge for a period to allow people to get a feel for some of the cheeses we can make but also we want to use it as a platform to give people the experience of eating the natural cheeses we make as well,” Raschella said.

“We’re also very keen at the moment to move it into China and we’ve got a person on the ground in Vietnam who’s getting a lot of interest. We’re also talking to distributors in Cambodia and Malaysia.”

Australia sent 17,000 tonnes of cheese to China worth US$81 million in 2014 and is the second largest exporter of cheese to China, behind New Zealand.

Japan is Australia’s most important overseas cheese market, accounting for almost 55 per cent of product exports in 2014-15, followed by China, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore.

“The Japanese are much more mature in their palate for cheese,” Raschella said.

“Kyubu is more aimed at the ASEAN countries and potentially China.”

“What’s also happening is a lot of the ASEAN countries and China have a lot of expats who have lived in Australia, the US or Europe for many years, have had children abroad and are now coming back with children who have been brought up with western foods and are still looking for these sorts of products.”

img - Edwards CrossingShallow

Asia eats less than 10 per cent of the world’s cheese but its appetite is growing fast.

Cheese consumption in Asia rose from about 550,000 tonnes in 2000 to just over a million tonnes in 2012. It is expected to reach 1.65 million tonnes by 2020.

Raschella said the Asian cheese market was very commodity driven at the moment, meaning that a lot of cheese was going into processed products such as slices or cubes.

“What we’re trying to do is slowly move people away from full processed cheeses and back to natural to get more flavour,” he said.

“The market is so big – we’re not out to take the whole world, we’re out to find the pockets and the people who are interested in quality products.”

Jarlsberg launches cheese mini’s

Jarlsberg cheese is now available in a new mini format.

Currently available at Woolworths, Coles and leading independent supermarkets in packs of five minis, each 20g Jarlsberg Mini is a perfectly round, individually wrapped miniature cheese wheel.

Bite-sized and consistent with the brand’s sweet nutty taste Australian’s have come to love, the products are ideal for breakfast on the go, school lunches, work lunches and snacking occasions.

Naturally low in lactose, the cheese portions suit the needs of today’s busy families with hectic schedules who snack more frequently but want healthier, all natural and fresh ready to eat options.

Keeping Modern (Food) Manufacturing Secure

In the classic factory of the 1950s, security was simple. Managers strolled from their offices on a floor that towered over plant activity, closely observing whether shift crews below were doing what they were supposed to do.

Because employees knew the eyes of a supervisor may be upon them at any time, they were less inclined to cheat the system – such as slipping any of the company’s property or product into their pockets, or sabotaging a machine out of spite. And motives were, on the whole, aligned: what was good for the business was good for everyone involved.

Fast-forward six decades and it’s a different story. With advancements in information and communications technology, the manufacturing industry has undergone significant transformation.

Today, manufacturing employees are more likely to operate advanced technology from their computers and mobile devices, rather than undertake physical work. They are empowered to connect remotely, set their own hours and even self-determine how to effectively perform assigned duties.

As opposed to their factory counterparts of prior generations, their tools aren’t welding machines, circular saws and drills; they’re tablets, smartphones and thumb drives. They don’t follow instructions from an assembly book stocked on a shelf; all best practices/guidance are stored in files on a server.

But that’s also where an abundance of sensitive, proprietary data about customers is kept, as well as information about electronic payments to both suppliers and workers.

With the rapid rise of sophistication and autonomy, it’s clear that something important has been lost: the protective eyes on the floor. And this has security implications for both the insider threat and external cyber security threats.

The Insider Threat

Years ago, those eyes made it more difficult for a disgruntled crew member to surreptitiously slip a blueprint into his lunchbox.

Today, it’s much easier for the same worker – perhaps unhappy after years of stagnant career progression – to abruptly quit, transfer the entire R&D library onto a thumb drive and deliver the stolen information to a competitor.

Without proper monitoring and auditing controls in place, the current level of empowerment – which ultimately serves a positive, productive purpose for organisations – can be abused.

That’s not good for the enterprise, and it’s not good for employees. But it’s fairly unfeasible to “watch” over everything when there are so many employees now connecting to manufacturing systems both inside and outside a traditional factory environment. Toss in an expanding influx of contractors, partners and other non-staff enterprise users, and you invite additional risk.

Especially since many of these parties aren’t vetted to the same degree of scrutiny as full-time personnel. It’s worth noting here that not all security breaches are the result of a malicious insider.

Personnel or contractors may play the role of the unintentional insider where they can be ‘tricked’ into downloading malware and introducing this into the network.

Or they can lapse into sloppy habits, such as sending corporate materials to their home computers on vulnerable, private email accounts.

Of course, they can also outright lose things (devices, USB flash drives, etc.) which can end up in the wrong hands.

To combat the insider threat, manufacturers need to empower the organisation to better protect the information and data that helps make it profitable. Whilst it’s important to give employees the latitude they need to do their jobs the business also needs to retain visibility into their actions.

A robust security measure that is able to do this includes three important pillars:

1. Data capture – implementing a lightweight endpoint agent can capture data without disrupting user productivity. A system like this can monitor the data’s location and movement, as well as the actions of users who access, alter and transport the data. Collected user data can be viewed as a video replay that displays keys typed, mouse movements, documents opened or websites visited. This unique capability provides irrefutable and unambiguous attribution of end-user activity.

2. Behavioural audit – understanding how employees act will help pinpoint unusual or suspect behaviour enabling closer monitoring for those deemed high risk.

3. Focused investigation – if a clear violation is detected it’s important to pinpoint specific events or users so you can assess the severity of the threat, remediate the problem and create new policies to stop it happening again.

The Outside Threat

With significant changes to the manufacturing landscape businesses also face significant threats from outside criminals. Over the last decade there has been huge uptake of technology and online systems to create new efficiencies and improve operational effectiveness through the sharing of information.

However with every opportunity comes risk; and given the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoTs) and big data it’s no surprise that cyber security has been elevated to one of manufacturers’ biggest risk factors. In fact, according to IBM, manufacturing was the second most targeted industry in the US for cyber-attacks in 2015.

So whilst networked products, known as IIoT in manufacturing, means there are virtually endless opportunities and connections that can take place between devices, it also means there are a number risks due to the growth in data and network entry points. In many cases, manufacturers have been quick to embrace the benefits of IIoT but still have some catching up to do in order to adequately protect their data, customers, products and factory floors.

Australian manufacturers need to consider multiple cyber security threats including factory threats, product threats and operational threats.

For example, if equipment controllers are not adequately secured it is possible for an outsider to attach malware ridden PCs to the OT network while performing routine maintenance. Similarly, manufacturers must take great care in preventing any products, like driverless cards or robotics, from being compromised as not all cyber-attacks are focused on the network but can also affect how a computer processor or piece of technology operates.

For manufacturers to fully realise the benefits of IIoT securely, it’s important they identify security weaknesses and put a process in place that can mitigate not just current but future risks.

This means any security system should be:

1. Simple and flexible – your security solution should be able to scale with your operations and be easy to use.

2. Unified – in today’s environment you’re likely to split IT functions between cloud and on-premise technologies to maximise the advantages of each approach. By implementing a unified solution you can eliminate the extra cost and duplicated work of systems that have separate management to consolidate cloud services and on-premises solutions in a single console with one visibility, policy and reporting system.

3. Fault tolerant – there’s no point in having a security system if it goes down when you need it most. Prevent interruptions in network security by having traffic rerouted to a trusted partner in the event that a security appliance goes offline.

Ultimately, even though the threat of cyber-attacks in manufacturing is a reality, there are multiple ways Australian businesses can move forward without fear.

 

 

Forcepoint

www.forcepoint.com

 

 

 

Bundy Rum gets all fancy with its new Master Distillers’ collection

The Bundaberg Distilling Company (BDC), Australia’s most awarded rum distillery has released the limited edition Bundaberg Rum Master Distillers’ Collection (MDC) Solera, and the highly anticipated return of Bundaberg Rum Black.

Launching at The Spirit of Bundaberg Festival on the 15th October, Bundaberg Rum Solera is a celebration of the modern era of premium rum.

Rich and bold, it has been instilled with notes of vanilla, fruitcake and butterscotch, making it a well-balanced treat for the palate, according to the company.

One of the most complex rums the company has ever created, Bundaberg Rum Solera is named after the fractional blending and maturation process it uses in order to achieve its unique flavour profile.

Senior Brand Manager for Bundaberg Rum, Duncan Littler, said: “The Bundaberg Distilling Company was always going to have big shoes to fill in 2016, following Bundaberg Blenders Edition 2015 winning the World’s Best Rum earlier this year. Bundaberg Rum Solera has delivered perfectly – it is as sophisticated as it is bold – and it is an exceptional addition to our Master Distillers’ Collection.”

As with previous MDC releases, each bottle of Bundaberg Rum Solera carries a unique bottle number, making it the perfect addition for any collector/collection.

Also making a return at The Spirit of Bundaberg Festival is the legendary Bundaberg Rum Black.

One of the first drops from Bundaberg Rum to be aged for 12 years, it pioneered the notion of premium rum in Australia when first released in 1995.

The process of ageing this legendary rum for 12 years gives it notes of rich molasses, warming aromatic layers of clove and nutmeg, which develop into a raisin and honeyed oak finish.

“Bundaberg Rum Black has always been a favourite amongst our fans and we’re thrilled to be able to respond to that by bringing it back,” finishes Duncan.

Fonterra posts $807 million profit

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has announced a 65 per cent increase in net profit after tax to $807 million (NZ$834 million) for the financial year ended 31 July 2016.

The result came despite difficult market conditions, in particular the global oversupply of milk and a drop in demand (mainly from China and Russia).

The Co-operative is paying a Cash Payout of $4.30 for the 2016 season for a 100 per cent share-backed farmer, comprising a Farmgate Milk Price of $3.90 per kgMS and a dividend of 40 cents per share, on a total available for payout of $4.41.

Chairman John Wilson said in a statement that the 2015/16 season had been incredibly difficult for farmers, their families and rural communities, with global dairy prices at unsustainable levels.

“Our Co-operative has responded. We continued with the significant and necessary changes we began in the business over three years ago to support our strategy and its priorities, and worked hard to return every possible cent of value back to our farmers.

“Our business strategy is serving us well. We are moving more milk into higher-returning consumer and foodservice products while securing sustainable ingredients margins over the GlobalDairyTrade benchmarks, especially through speciality ingredients and service offerings.”

Fonterra invests $4.3m in Tasmanian plant

Dairy processor Fonterra will increase its cheese and whey capacity at its Wynyard plant with a $4.3m investment.

The company said in a statement that the investment will increase the plant’s cheese making capacity by 8,000 MT per annum – equivalent to 30 Olympic size pools of processed milk per annum – by quickening every step of the cheese making process.

However, as the Weekly Times reports, the investment will not result in any new jobs or a need for increased milk supplies.

Fonterra Australia Regional Operations Manager South Steve Taylor says that the Wynyard factory is a key part of Fonterra’s global multi-hub strategy.

“The more we invest for growth the more competitive our business will be, putting us in a strong position to manage global volatility, pay the best possible price to farmers and the best possible returns to our shareholders,” he said.

The Wynyard plant has been running at full capacity since a fire destroyed the company’s Victorian cheese plant at Stanhope in December 2014.

The Wynyard expansion will see Fonterra’s total Australian cheese production increase by 50 per cent once the Stanhope plant is commissioned in mid-2017.

 

Elders to cease live exports of cattle and sheep

Agribusiness Elders will sell its subsidiary North Australian Cattle Company (NACC), and thus exit the live export business.

As the ABC reports, NACC currently ships cattle to Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia and flies cattle and sheep to China.

The move follows a comprehensive review of the company’s live export business and, according to CEO Mark Allison, does not reflect on the viability of the industry as a whole.

He said in a statement that the company remains supportive of the live export industry, and the business remains committed to the needs of its livestock producer clients.

“Our focus remains on increasing client access to a range of markets, including live export markets for their stock, and we will continue to work with industry live exporters to market our clients’ livestock,” Allison said.

He added that the export, logistics and shipping of live cattle to long haul destinations is no longer central to Elders’ strategy.

“Elders reported a loss of $2.9m from its Live Export businesses in the 6 months to 30 March 2016.  That poor result had included a loss of $3.8m attributable to the long haul business.  Since that report, margin performance in the long haul business has continued to be poor and we believe that margins are unlikely to recover in the near to medium term,” said Allison.

“In addition, we do not see that the China feeder and slaughter trade, which is yet to fully open, will deliver margins or a return on capital at levels that meets our, and our shareholders’, expectations.  As a result, we consider that the long haul of live cattle is best suited to specialist logistics operators.”

Elders expects an underlying EBIT for the full year to 30 September 2016 in the range of $54-57m.

This result reflects better than average retail activity due to seasonal conditions and strong livestock prices driving the agency result. Conversely, high cattle prices have impacted margins in the Feed and Processing businesses.

Upon finalisation of the Live Export exit, Elders’ will have circa $25m of working capital which can be redeployed in areas that meet return on capital expectations.

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Murray Goulburn increases farmgate milk price

Dairy processor Murray Goulburn will increase the amount it pays suppliers for milk, though the amount will still be less than it costs those farmers to produce it.

The co-operative said in a statement that it will pay farmers $4.46kg/ms after application of the MSSP repayment, or an extra 15 cents per kg.

As the ABC notes, this is less than other processors, such as Fonterra (which is paying $4.75kg/ms), Bega ($5kg/ms) and Warrnambool Cheese and Butter ($4.80kg/ms).

In addition, MG has increased its forecast FY17 farmgate milk price to $4.88 kg/ms.

“Market conditions remain volatile however we have been able to capture enough of the current uplift to pass on both a step-up and modest increase in full year forecast to suppliers today,” said MG’s Interim Chief Executive Officer David Mallinson.

“Whilst international dairy markets have improved recently, they remain below historical average levels. Recent signs of recovery have come as global milk supply slows year-on-year. However, commodity prices and the strength of the Australian dollar remain a source of risk to current full year forecast.”

In April, MG retrospectively cut its farmgate price. Shocked farmers, who were not expecting the cut now owe the company money and many don’t expect to survive.

Farmers’ Fund milk to launch this week

Farmers’ Fund milk, a new brand which will raise money for Australian dairy farmers, will be launched in Victorian supermarkets this week.

AAP reports that the new brand will be made by Murray Goulburn (MG) under license from the Victorian Farmers Federation, and sold in Coles supermarkets.

The milk will sell for $2.50 per two litre container and 40 cents of that price will go to a fund to support struggling farmers. Individual farmers will be able to apply for grants up $20,000 with the first of these to be delivered in mid-October.

The move follows the April decisions of the two major dairy processors, MG as well as Fonterra to retrospectively cut farmgate milk prices. This has left many farmers in financial difficulty.

VFF President David Jochinke said the establishment of the Farmers’ Fund brand had strong potential to bridge the gap between primary producers and consumers.

“Many people have asked what they can do to help dairy farmers.  If they are not already buying branded milk, they can now buy Farmers’ Fund milk knowing that they are directly investing 40 cents straight into the Farmers’ Fund,” he said in a statement.

“Milk is our first product and is the start of something much greater.  There is a great opportunity for a farmer advocacy group like VFF to leverage the Farmers’ Fund brand to share with consumers the challenges farmers face and show how to support them all year round, not only in times of need.”