New food grade grease improves bearing performance

Schaeffler Australia has introduced FAG Arcanol FOOD2 grease which is designed to be sturdier and more energy saving than other lubricants on the market.

The latest FAG Arcanol FOOD2 grease not only meets strict sanitation standards, but also copes with high stresses and ambient conditions. It is also kosher and halal certified.

“Bearings typically used in the food and beverage industry are tapered roller bearings and angular contact ball bearings.”

These are bearings that are subjected to the most extreme stresses, so reducing friction is a big advantage which improves the bearings’ starting behaviour and reduces power consumption,” says Mark Ciechanowicz, Industrial Services Manager, Schaeffler Australia.

“The other major advantage of the FOOD2 grease is that it maintains its fluidity in cold environments, as low as -30 degrees Celsius. This is important for food and beverage manufacturers working with refrigerated environments,” said Ciechanowicz.

Aussie wine scoops three gold CWSA Awards

Calabria Wines has outclassed the competition at the recent China Wine & Spirits Awards, taking home three Gold Medals from the competition, including the prestigious Double Gold.

The company’s 2013 Iconic Grand Reserve Barossa Valley Shiraz was awarded the superior Double Gold, while the 2014 Three Bridges Durif & 2014 Three Bridges Barossa Valley Shiraz both won a Gold Medal.

“We are very proud of the success we have yielded for our Barossa wines. We have worked extremely hard to produce high quality wines from this region and the C.W.S.A accolades reinforce our long term commitment to the Barossa Valley” commented Calabria Wines third generation family member and Sales & Marketing Manager, Andrew Calabria.

Calabria Wines have been producing Three Bridges Durif for 15 years and it is the company’s most celebrated product.

Sacmi beverage & packaging plans to conquer Asia

Sacmi Group, a plant engineering provider to Indonesian industry will be attending the Plastic & Rubber Indonesia (Jakarta, 16-19 November 2016) to show existing and potential customers its comprehensive solutions range, which has improved in terms of product versatility and process automation.

Thanks to decades of experience developed in the closures field, Sacmi is able to provide all the intrinsic advantages of a technology with outstanding productivity and the lowest energy consumption on the market.

It was, in fact, starting from this technology that Sacmi successfully developed applications such as the new high quality, ultra-light containers obtained with compression blow forming.

Sacmi’s modular labellers designed to work efficiently and in parallel across multiple technologies and labelling systems go hand in hand with a full range of solutions that ensure total quality control on the production line, at every stage of cap, preform, label and primary packaging production.

Designed and developed by the Group’s Automation & Service Division.

These systems are equipped with high-definition image acquisition devices and advanced software to ensure all-round high-speed product quality control, directly on the line.

Sacmi also provides an efficient parts service via its two companies in Indonesia.

High speed production camera

Fastec Imaging’s IL5 High-Speed 5MP Camera enables you to record any production equipment moving or turning at high-speed, such as drives, motors and bearings, and vibration or alignment problems.

It is also provides performance analysis or troubleshooting using slow motion replay. For analysis or troubleshooting using slow motion replay, so you can see what you have been missing with normal speed video.

With four models to choose from 2560 x 2080 @ 230fps to 800 x 600 @ 1650fps, there is an IL5 to fit your application needs.

All models record over 3200 fps at VGA resolution and more than 18,000 fps at smaller resolutions.

Built for flexibility and ease of use, the Fastec IL5 camera can be controlled over Gigabit Ethernet via Fastec FasMotion software on your PC/Mac or via the built-in web interface with your favorite web browser on your PC, Mac, tablet, or even your smartphone.

Using the (LR) FasCorder Mode, the camera can be operated as a regular camcorder to record and pause as needed and follow the action.

Then stop recording and review what you have. You can then append additional footage, even after a power cycle.

China suspends licence of Australian dairy processor

China has suspended the licence of the Camperdown Dairy Company, claiming the company’s products contain harmful bacteria.

The AFR reports that Chinese authorities claim traces of E.coli and staphylococcus bacteria were present in shipments of Camperdown’s fresh milk.

On top of the action taken against the company, Beijing has increased supervision of all dairy products coming into the country from Australia.

Camperdown Dairy General manager, Chris Melville denied the claim.

“If that type of bacteria had been found in our milk we would have been informed straight away and this is the first I’m hearing about it,” he told the AFR.

“We have test results to prove it is not true.”

Camperdown and its parent company has been on something of a high since July when Woolworths awarded Camperdown the right to supply milk to over 220 of its stores in Victoria.

At the time, the company’s management estimated the deal would help it double production.

Lambie pushes for Senate Inquiry into dairy industry

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie has called for a Senate Inquiry into the dairy industry, claiming this is the best way to uncover illegal activity in the sector.

As reports, Lambie told parliament on Tuesday that the investigation being carried out by the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) was a “sly way of covering up wrongdoings” in the industry.

The ACCC inquiry, announced by Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce last week, follows the April decisions of the two major dairy processors, Murray Goulburn and Fonterra, to retrospectively cut the price it pays suppliers for milk. As a result, most dairy farmers involved are in a perilous financial position and many don’t expect to survive.

As The Weekly Times reports, ACCC chairman Rod Sims dismissed the claims that the inquiry will not achieve anything.

“I doubt there’s been anything of this level (in agriculture) before,” he said.

“Murray Goulburn and Fonterra has triggered the fact the Government would like this to be a warts-and-all look.”

The inquiry can, by law, compel companies and people to give evidence and provide documents.

Beemster Dutch gouda cheese

Beemster, a premium gouda cheese renowned for its rich and creamy taste has been launched in Australia.

Made in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, ‘The Beemster’ in North Holland, its delicious taste is the direct result of ideal farming conditions and practices.

Made from local farming cooperatives since 1901, the Beemster family now consists of 175 employees and 460 farmers. The cheese aims to be the most environmentally-friendly cheese maker in the world and is dedicated to sustainability and free-range farming.

The cheese is aged in historic warehouses for between one month for a mild taste and up to 26 months for a more robust taste. The range includes Mild, Medium, Aged, Classic, X-O- and Royaal, each aged for a distinctive flavour, suited to accompany different beverages and foods.

The Beemster region has unique mineral-rich soil, which results in smooth and sweet milk and the creamiest Gouda cheese in Holland. The Beemster is considered the first and most famous polder in Holland, a low-lying land area surrounded by dykes and windmills, which creates pastures ideal for cattle to feed on.

The Beemster Polder is largely unchanged since 1901 and was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, formally recognising and protecting the region. The small herds of cattle graze freely and have free-range access to the pastures.

The company has been recognised as Holland’s most distinguished cheesemaker by being made a supplier to the Royal Court of the Netherlands, the highest honour for a cheese company in Holland. In 2001 The company was given the right to use “Royal Warrant”, an honour reserved for exceptional Dutch businesses that are over a century old.

The cheese is imported in Australia through Angeles Fine Foods, an independent importer, wholesaler and distributor of premium gourmet food products.


Joyce confirms commitment to commodity milk price index

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce chaired a symposium involving dairy farmers, processors and retailers in Melbourne today and again committed the Government to establishing a commodity milk price index.

Joyce said in a statement the index will cost up to $2 million to implement and that the meeting allowed stakeholders to express their views on its introduction.

The symposium comes in the decisions of major dairy processors, Murray Goulburn (MG) and Fonterra to retrospectively cut farmgate milk prices in April. As a result of the cuts, MG suppliers now owe the company an average of about $100,000 each.

“Recent events have shown there is a need for the industry to better balance risk along the dairy supply chain, especially when it comes to managing the effects of lower world prices,” Joyce said in a statement.

“Ultimately, I want to see improved farm gate returns for dairy farmers, an openness in milk price arrangements and fair and transparent milk supply contracts.

“This can only happen if there is buy-in from industry and a willingness from key stakeholders to hear each other out and develop solutions together.

Joyce also reiterated that the Government is assisting dairy farmers through its $579 million support package.

Murray Goulburn increases profit despite turmoil

Dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn has increased net profit by 61.2 per cent, despite a turbulent year in which it retrospectively cut its farmgate milk price.

MG’s net profit of $40.6m for the year to June 30 was in line with its most recent forecast of $39m-$42m. However, this was well below the profit forecast originally stated in its prospectus last year.

The co-operative’s revenue of $2.8 billion was down 3.3 percent compared to the previous twelve months.

“FY16 has been a challenging year for our co-operative. We faced an environment comprised of very challenging macro settings, including sustained low commodity prices, a volatile Australian dollar, changes in Chinese regulations, and difficult seasonal conditions across many of our key regions,” said MG’s interim Chief Executive Officer in a statement.

“This has placed our suppliers and Australian dairy farmers generally in a very difficult environment. The Board, MG’s management team, and I personally have also acknowledged to all our key stakeholders that MG’s FMP downgrade so late in the year added to the challenge of FY16. Today we reported a final FMP for FY16 of $4.80 per kgms – in line with our April revised earnings guidance.

“At the time of our revised earnings guidance in April, MG made the decision to support our suppliers for the remainder of the financial year through a Milk Supply Support Package (MSSP). At the close of the year, this support totalled $183 million, net of $7 million of early repayments. This delivered an average cash price for milk to our suppliers of $5.53 per kgms, after two consecutive years of FMP above $6.00 per kgms. The MSSP is larger than originally anticipated predominantly on account of incentives payable as a result of stronger than forecast milk receipts in May and June.”

As the ABC notes, MG suppliers who were shocked by the farmgate price cut in April now owe the company an average of about $100,000 each.

Pental hoping Chinese dairy demand extends to goat’s milk soap

Laundry products maker Pental has said it hopes to capitalise on the Chinese demand for Australian dairy products after recently delivering its first shipment of goat’s milk soap.

The Australian reports that CEO Charlie McLeish said the Country Life soap should benefit from China’s appetite for dairy. The company announced a full-year net profit increase of 10.6 per cent to $5.6 million this week.

Pental makes products including Country Life soaps and White King bleach.

Fairfax Media reported in March that the 20-year old soap product had been reformulated and repackaged. Pental has also secured online sales in China (including through and distribution in two major supermarket chains.

“We have to make sure we live up to the reputation the dairy industry has created for other manufacturers in the Chinese market,” McLeish told Fairfax at the time.

It expects to sell on 6 million bars of soap to Asian customers in the first year.

Science or Snake Oil: is A2 milk better for you than regular cow’s milk?

The new big thing hitting our supermarket shelves is “A2 milk”. Not only has this resulted in a great debate about whether it is any better for us than regular cow’s milk, but also a bitter feud over labelling between the big dairy companies in the Federal Court.

So what is A2?

Cow’s milk contains protein. The primary group of milk proteins are the caseins. A1 and A2 are the two primary types of beta-casein (beta-casein is one of the three major casein proteins) present in milk. They are simply genetic variants of one another that differ in structure by one amino acid.

The A1 protein produces beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7), which has been shown to alter gastrointestinal function (slowing down bowel movements from stomach to anus) and increase inflammation in the gut in animal studies.

Commonly, both A1 and A2 types of casein are expressed in cow’s milk in Europe, America, Australian and New Zealand, and hence the milk we find on our supermarket shelves.

The hype surrounding A2 milk came about after the patenting of a genetic test by the a2 Milk Company. The patent allows the company to determine what type of protein a cow produces in its milk and therefore license dairy farmers that prove their cows express only A2 protein in their milk (and not A1 protein). A2 milk is marketed by the a2 Milk Company to contain only the A2 type of beta-casein.

Initially, there were marketing claims that A1 proteins were harmful to our health, but a full review of the literature by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2009 nullified such claims. Insufficient evidence exists to suggest A1 proteins have a negative effect on our health. The EFSA found no relationship between drinking milk with the A1 protein and non-communicable diseases such as type 1 diabetes, heart disease and autism, which is the focus of much of the hype.

After these findings were released to the public, the marketing focus shifted towards the A1 protein causing digestive discomfort and symptoms usually associated with lactose intolerance (for example, bloating and flatulance).

The first peer-reviewed human study was conducted with a small number of people (41). Only ten of the participants reported an intolerance to commercial cow’s milk. They compared differences after drinking milk containing only the A1 protein versus milk containing only the A2 protein (the milk on our supermarket shelves is usually a combination of the A1 and A2 milk proteins).

Interestingly, they found after drinking the milk containing A1 protein only, participants reported softer stools than when drinking the A2 milk. These results tend to go against the evidence in animal studies that the A1 protein slows down the movement of contents through the gastrointestinal system, which could be thought to bulk up stool content and hence result in harder stools.

The authors of this study suggested the softer stools might have been caused by an increase in gut inflammation caused by consumption of the A1 protein. Gut inflammation can cause malabsorption of fluids and nutrients and hence softer stools. However, the study found no difference in calprotectin (a measure of inflammation) between the two milk groups, so it failed to draw any sound conclusions.

This led to the second study conducted in humans, which was published this year. Unlike the previous study, it did use common commercial milk that contains both the A1 and A2 milk proteins and compared this to consuming milk containing only the A2 protein. It included only people (45 subjects) who self-reported an intolerance to cow’s milk.

Of the 45 subjects, 23 were diagnosed as lactose-intolerant. Someone who is intolerant to cow’s milk has an inability to digest lactose due to a deficiency in the lactase enzyme. But it is important to note lactose is present in both A1 milk and A2 milk.

The results showed A2 milk did not cause an increase in unpleasant digestive symptoms (for example, bloating and flatulence) usually associated with milk consumption in those who are lactose-intolerant. When cow’s milk containing both the A1 and A2 proteins was provided, there was an exacerbation of stomach upset. However, this would be expected for someone who is sensitive to dairy products, or lactose-intolerant.

The changes in inflammatory markers observed in this study need to be interpreted carefully. Despite some statistically significant changes between the two milk groups being noted, these aren’t necessarily clinically relevant and therefore do need further investigation in a much larger study with a greater sample size.

So is A2 worth it?

For those who do not experience any problems with milk consumption, there is no evidence to suggest any benefit in having A2 milk over the common consumed commercial milk, which contains both the A1 and A2 proteins. For less than half the price per litre, the latter would be the favoured option.

For those who self-report an intolerance to milk or are lactose-intolerant, A2 milk may be a suitable selection to prevent commonly reported stomach upset complaints, but so too is lactose-free milk. Lactose-free milk does not contain lactose, which is the naturally occurring sugar that causes the gastrointestinal problems in the lactose-intolerant. Consequently, what is needed is a study comparing the effects of lactose-free milk versus A2 milk in those who are lactose-intolerant.

Most importantly, longer-term studies with larger sample sizes are needed, as both of the studies conducted in humans to date have been conducted with small numbers over short durations.

The most important thing is that we don’t exclude milk products from the diet, as dairy is a rich source of calcium that is readily bio-available (meaning we can absorb the majority of it from this food source). Calcium is essential for the prevention of osteoporosis (brittle or weak bones) and an adult should aim for three dairy serves per day.

The Conversation

Nicholas Fuller, Research Fellow, Clinical Trials Development & Analysis, University of Sydney

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Murray Goulburn again defends farmgate milk price cuts

Dairy Co-Operative Murray Goulburn (MG) has again defended its retrospective farmgate milk price cuts and denied it didn’t warn suppliers about its financial position early enough.

MG chairman Philip Tracy (pictured) told ABC Rural that, after reviewing its public disclosures on the topic, the co-operative stands by all of them. He maintained MG went into a trading halt as soon as the board realised the financial position.

“Our obligation as directors is to act as soon as we know about new information,” Tracy said. “That’s exactly what we did.”

Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce met representatives of MG yesterday to discuss ways of building a more profitable dairy industry that better supports suppliers.

“Australia’s dairy farmers deserve fair returns at the farm gate, as well as transparency in milk price arrangements and supply contracts,” Joyce said in a statement.

“It is important Murray Goulburn can explain to their suppliers what steps they will take to support farmers and restore confidence to the dairy sector.”

According to the statement, they will meet the management of the other major dairy producer Fonterra Australia next week.

In addition, Joyce will chair a dairy symposium, involving representatives from the farming, processing and retail sectors, to be held in Melbourne on August 25.

Meanwhile, the ABC reports that a group of investors has revealed a proposal to re-open a former cheese factory, owned by MG and located in the Northern Victorian town of Leitchville.

The factory closed in 2010.

Image: AFR

IGA commits to more Sungold milk to support local farmers

Six Ryans IGA supermarkets in regional Victoria will this week switch to Sungold milk to further support local farmers.

Sungold is packaged by Warrnambool Cheese & Butter and will be stocked in large quantities in three IGA stores in Ballarat, and one each in Kyneton, Beaufort and Torquay.

The stores had previously stocked Sungold but only a small range. Ryans IGA General Manager Ben Ryan said that following the dramatic drop in farm gate milk prices his team reviewed their milk offering.

“We looked at what was going to be best for our local farmers in regards to getting them the best price and that was overwhelmingly through Warrnambool Cheese & Butter,” he said. “In the end switching to Warrnambool was a no-brainer.

“It is also a win for our consumers. With efficiencies in Warrnambool’s supply chain, Sungold milk gets to our stores quicker so it is fresher with a longer best before date.”

IGA’s switch to Sungold will result in an additional 1 million litres of milk, produced by local farmers, to be used. This means about 90% of all milk stocked in these six IGA stores will be Sungold.

Sungold milk is well known in the south western district of Victoria. Sungold’s Business Manager Bill Slater said Ryans IGA’s commitment to supporting local farmers was a win for all and it was great that more of the state will get to taste Sungold milk.

“Money going back into the region not only supports farmers but associated industries. In total there are 35 dairy farmers that will benefit from IGA’s decision to switch to milk produced locally.”

Mr Ryan said the stores were committing long-term to Sungold and he hoped other IGA stores would also follow their lead.

Kerrygold dairy products

Continuing the traditional farming practices of their ancestors, with more than 6,000 years of provenance, Ireland’s dairy farmers collect milk to craft the dairy brand, Kerrygold.

Roaming freely across a hectare to call their own, up to 300 days a year, amongst the greenest grass graze the dairy cows. The result is butter and cheese, packed with naturally occurring antioxidant beta-carotene to give these products their characteristic golden colour and creamy taste.

Established in 1962, Kerrygold today is a co-operative representing 15,000 family owned farms, most of which have been handed down through the generations. Across Ireland, these small scale dairy farms are working together to share their premium, sustainably farmed and manufactured dairy products with discerning epicureans of the world.

“Our rich, creamy milk from grass-fed cows creates the most naturally produced and exceptionally tasty dairy products unique to Ireland. With a freshness and quality ensured by the care and dedication of our farmers, Kerrygold is a humble embodiment of Ireland’s most beloved craft” said Kate Saul, Marketing Manager, Kerrygold.

“The opportunity to share our Irish butter and cheese in Australia is such an honour. We hope our love of taste and tradition can be enjoyed by families and food lovers across Australia.”

The range includes:

  • Pure Irish Butter, Slightly Salted 250g
  • Pure Irish Butter, Unsalted 250g
  • Cheddar Vintage 200g
  • Cheddar Extra Mature 200g
  • Cheddar Dubliner 200 g

Murray Goulburn loses Woolworths cheese contract

Dairy processor Murray Goulburn has lost the $100 million contract to supply Woolworths’ private label cheese, following a competitive tender process.

As the AFR reports, in what has been a bad year for MG, it lost the contract to competitor Bega Cheese. The change will come into force in January.

MG retained the contract to supply Woolworths private label mozzarella shred cheese as well as the contract to supply private label butter, which has been expanded to include additional products and increased ranging. However, these are less lucrative contracts.

MG said in a statement that annualised revenue loss will be approximately $108 million, however the financial impact on MG in FY17 will be limited given timing of existing contracts completing.

MG’s interim Chief Executive Officer, David Mallinson remained upbeat despite the bad news.

“MG continues to enjoy a strong ongoing relationship with Woolworths and they remain a valued partner for our co-operative. We believe our tender to retain this business was competitive, whilst balancing acceptable returns for our products given the current environment for our farmer/suppliers and investors. I can also re-assure our valued consumers that ranging of MG’s Devondale and Liddells products are not impacted by this decision and continue to be available at Woolworths nationally,” he said.

In April, Murray Goulburn downgraded its forecast 2015-16 profit to between $39 and $42 million, down from its February guidance of $63 million. This came after the company had quoted a figure of $89 million in July last year.

As a result, the company retrospectively cut farmgate milk prices and left dairy farmers in a perilous financial position.

Female foodies have a bone to pick with women about osteoporosis

Australia’s most influential female foodies are flexing their culinary muscle, warning women about a stealthy danger that threatens the best years of their lives.

Maggie Beer, Lyndey Milan, Kate McGhie, Christine Manfield and Catherine Saxelby are among the food gurus spearheading Healthy Bones Action Week’s Fit, Fab & 50 Challenge from August 1 to 7.

The Week highlights the painful and potentially crippling effects of osteoporosis, calling on women to make a commitment to bone-healthy food, activity and sunshine.

Determined to make a big noise about the silent disease that strikes without any prior symptoms, the culinary experts want women of all ages, especially those heading into menopause, to realise the benefits of dairy foods and embrace the white side.

To spread the word, they have compiled a selection of inspiring, mouth-watering recipes to get you on your way to upping your bone-boosting calcium, while also sharing some of their own insights and experiences around healthy living and loving life.

The Fit, Fab and 50 cookbook is free to everyone who registers for the Challenge here.

By signing up for the Fit, Fab & 50 Challenge women can kick-start their journey to better bone health. Each day during the Week participants will be supported with healthy eating, exercise and wellbeing with prizes and incentives along the way.

Endocrinologist Dr Sonia Davison, from Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, says that while Healthy Bones Action Week is designed to promote a positive and lively health message, the underlying agenda is urgent, especially as Australia’s population ages.

After menopause, bone density falls quickly as the body’s oestrogen levels drop, and women who want to try new adventures and continue to enjoy life are putting their lifestyle at risk by ignoring bone health.

Virtually all Australian women over 50 are not getting their daily four serves from the dairy food group needed to keep their bones strong, as recommended by the updated Australian Dietary Guidelines.

“One million Australians are estimated to have osteoporosis, and six million are estimated to have osteopenia, which is mild bone thinning that can lead to osteoporosis,’’ Dr Davison says.

“Many of these Australians are not aware of this silent process occurring in their bodies.

“Women underestimate the severity of falls and fractures which evidence shows lead to a loss of independence and a faster track to nursing home admission, especially after a bad hip fracture.”

Scientists develop process to add weeks to milk’s shelf life

A rapid heating and cooling of milk significantly reduces the amount of harmful bacteria present, extending by several weeks the shelf life of one of the most common refrigerator staples in the world, according to a Purdue University study.

Bruce Applegate, Purdue associate professor in the Department of Food Science, and collaborators from Purdue and the University of Tennessee published their findings in the journal SpringerPlus, where they show that increasing the temperature of milk by 10 degrees for less than a second eliminates more than 99 percent of the bacteria left behind after pasteurization.

“It’s an add-on to pasteurization, but it can add shelf life of up to five, six or seven weeks to cold milk,” Applegate said.

Pasteurization, which removes significant amounts of harmful pathogens that can cause illness and eventually spoil dairy products, is considered a high-temperature, short-time method. Developed by Louis Pasteur in the 19th century, the treatment gives milk a shelf life of about 2-3 weeks.

The low-temperature, short-time (LTST) method in the Purdue study sprayed tiny droplets of pasteurized milk, which was inoculated with Lactobacillus and Pseudomonas bacteria, through a heated, pressurized chamber, rapidly raising and lowering their temperatures about 10 degrees Celsius but still below the 70-degree Celsius threshold needed for pasteurization. The treatment lowered bacterial levels below detection limits, and extended shelf life to up to 63 days.

“With the treatment, you’re taking out almost everything,” Applegate said. “Whatever does survive is at such a low level that it takes much longer for it to multiply to a point at which it damages the quality of the milk.”

The LTST chamber technology was developed by Millisecond Technologies, a New-York-based company.

Sensory tests compared pasteurized milk with milk that had been pasteurized and run through MST’s process. Panelists did not detect differences in color, aroma, taste or aftertaste between the products.

Phillip Myer, an assistant professor of animal science at the University of Tennessee and a co-author of the paper, said the process uses the heat already necessary for pasteurization to rapidly heat milk droplets.

“The process significantly reduces the amount of bacteria present, and it doesn’t add any extra energy to the system,” Myer said.

Myer said the promise of the technology is that it could reduce waste and allow milk to reach distant locations where transport times using only pasteurization would mean that milk would have a short shelf life upon arrival.

Applegate said the process could be tested without pasteurization to determine if it could stand alone as a treatment for eliminating harmful bacteria from milk.

The study was funded by the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Center for Food Safety Engineering at Purdue University and Millisecond Technologies.

Australian expertise helps provide fresh milk for Fiji

Australian Natural Proteins (AYB) has entered into an agreement with the Fijian-based Anthony Family to set-up an organic dairy farm and produce milk and other dairy products for the local Fijian market.

AYB and the Anthony Family aim to purchase a 1,000 acre organic farm and build an initial herd of 500 cows in order to produce 2.5 million litres of organic milk with the potential to increase this to a target range of 5 million litres within three years.

“Following the completion of the planned acquisition of our Australian dairy facilities, Australian Natural Proteins, will combine their expertise in farming and production with the Anthony family’s expertise in order to embark on this exciting opportunity to expand its business into Fiji,” said Paul Duckett, Executive Chairman of AYB.

“The Anthony family have over 50 years of experience in the dairy industry in Fiji, having established the country’s milk supply and distribution.”

With the complete execution of its Dairy Complex (five farms) acquisition in South Eastern Australia currently underway, the company will also be able through its Australian production volume be in a position to “swap” production for finished products into the Fijian market. The current combined milk production of these five farms is over 24 million litres per annum with a herd of 3,500 cows.

The property will also be used to build a pasteurising and bottling plant (likely A$500,000), and using the expertise of the Anthony family to supply the local market. The full volume of production initially will go direct to the consumer market in Fiji.

The data driven dairy of the (near) future

The dairy industry is on the cusp of a revolution powered by technology and data. Brett Wiskar explores the possibilities.

Throughout the food industry we are witnessing a range of new trends across automation, data, and intelligent systems. The dairy sector is not immune to these trends and the impacts will change how the industry operates. The current breed of semi-automated milking systems for example, has increased yields, reduced labour inputs and improved reliability. Though this has led some to believe that dairies are already highly automated, a new wave of efficiency is just around the corner.

Semi-automation makes way for autonomy

Dairy equipment manufacturers are bringing increasingly sophisticated, automated systems to market. This level of autonomy doesn’t just provide labour efficiencies. These systems will manage the feed and dietary requirements of livestock, monitor the yield of each animal and automatically adjust feed intakes to maximise the output of each animal in the herd. This will in turn empower famers to learn, respond and adjust their operations in real time to optimise their business.

This is all part of a global trend known as Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Dairies that embrace higher levels of automation and data driven insights across their operation will have significant advantages over the semi-automated operations of today.

Data will be the difference

Dairy farms will have data across all aspects of their operation: cows, feed, milk, weather, grazing locations and conditions. Data will be centralised and the farmer will be empowered to refine the operation remotely. This might be used for simple tasks such as closing a gate, adding supplements to the feed of a particular animal, or to review the impact of yesterday’s decisions.

The analysis of operational data en masse will lead to incremental, but importantly, sustainable improvements. Those improvements are unlikely to come from broad sweeping changes. They will come from smaller, compounding improvements that complement each other. For example, finding a 1-2 per cent increase in yield might come from a combination of increases in milk yield through changes in a herd’s diet; waste savings through transparent tracking of volumes throughout the product journey; and traits that increase milk production being identified and bred into the herd.

All of this will be enabled through insights coming from data. The automated nature of the next generation of dairy infrastructure will empower the data side of the industry in the following two ways.

Leveraging data from individual operations

All aspects of dairy operations, from the grass and feed to the end product, will be tracked and measured. This will allow farmers to make the changes needed to drive their operations into the future.

In the coming era, machine learning and predictive analytics will optimise operations on a micro level by making automatic adjustments, that the farmer would never have found, across the business. Although the gains will be minute, they will have a significant cumulative impact.

The power of combined knowledge

The true power of data is derived from an organisation’s ability to interrogate multiple data sets. For example, Google Ventures recently invested US$15 million in a US based start-up, Farmers Business Network. This organisation allows famers to upload their operational data with anonymity. This is then pooled with data from farms with similar characteristics. Farmers can then access and benefit from that pooled data and the combined learning experiences.

Data pooling like this is expected to impact the dairy industry in the next few years and the data is likely to emerge from one of two sources. The first is large scale dairy operations looking to gain visibility into and empower their supply chains. The second is from the manufacturers of the autonomous systems.

The future will favour the brave

The transition for the dairy industry from the current semi-automated model to a more autonomous model will be a challenge, but not without its rewards. As new innovations are unlocked by data and automation, a wave will sweep through the industry and the early adopters of these technologies stand to gain the most.

Those who move decisively to adopt a technology and data driven approach to their operations will be the powerful players in the industry of the next generation.

[Brett Wiskar is Wiley’s Commercial Technology Director. He leads the company’s data and technology consulting initiatives and is focussed on driving innovation, operational and commercial outcomes in the food industry]

Milk price fall to cut $67m from south-west Vic economy – report

The ongoing dairy crisis will cost the economy of Moyne Shire in south west Victoria about $67m, according to a report prepared for the shire’s council.

The ABC reports that the council prepared the report in the wake of the decisions of the major dairy processors, Murray Goulburn and Fonterra to enact clawback provisions in their agreements with dairy farmers and retrospectively cut farmgate milk prices. As a result of the changes, farmers are having to actually pay back money they had already been paid.

“There are 363 dairy farms in Moyne Shire, which is almost 25 per cent of the total number of dairy farmers in western Victoria,” the report read.

“Recent figures projected that a farm gate milk price drop of 15 per cent would result in a $170,000–$200,000 annual loss per farm.

“This loss would cause a $67.155 million direct impact [in] Moyne Shire.”

According to Moyne Shire councillor Ralph Leutton (pictured), the crisis is not just for the farmers. The wider economy is also affected.

“That’s the issue, where people who have debt and owe the local shop money and the local mechanic money and all that, that’s where the flow-on happens into the community,” he told the ABC.

“It’s almost insidious how widespread the impact of these prices and the reduction of these prices are on the economy for our shire.”

Meanwhile, as AAP reports, farmers from NSW can now access the Federal Government’s $500 million dollar industry assistance package.

The assistance, which comes mainly in the form of low interest loans, is now available to dairy farmers Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and NSW.