New switchbox for food processing plants

The new GEMÜ 4242 combi switchbox is suitable for secure and fast applications in most food and other types of process plants.

It is small, compact and light, and is ideal for pneumatically operated linear actuators. With its integrated 3/2-way pilot valve made of anodized aluminium or stainless steel, the new combi switchbox 4242 from GEMÜ, the Ingelfingen-based specialist for valves, measurement and control systems, is especially designed for smaller and medium nominal sizes. It is particularly well suited for secure and fast applications with a stroke of 2 to 30 mm.

The design is compact and saves material, and in comparison with competitors’ products, it is much smaller. This has a favourable effect on pricing and provides protection for the environment at the same time.

Green engineering is part of the GEMÜ range. The pneumatic and electrical connections of the combi switchbox save  space and enable easy access as they are positioned in one direction. This means that the combi switchbox can be fitted quickly and easily without any great need for cabling, and there are no problems during servicing either.

Mounting and commissioning is made simpler by a speed-AP function. A manual override enables fast diaphragm change. This all saves time and money, and lowers the planning efforts.

The combi switchbox has a microprocessor-controlled, intelligent position sensor and an analogue, integrated travel sensor system. The combi switchbox provides extended diagnostics, and reports various programming, sensor and pneumatic faults using high visibility.

The end positions are programmed on site via the reed contact, using a solenoid on the top of the housing, but without a PLC connection. The position of the reed contact in the housing is clearly marked. The housing therefore need not be opened. Mechanical openings in the housing for buttons and switches are therefore not required.

Mother Earth to partner with Netball Victoria

Netball Victoria has announced that Mother Earth has formed a new partnership with our Clinics and Camps program in 2017.

Mother Earth is the flagship brand of Prolife Foods New Zealand, manufacturer and producers of the Mother Earth range of snacks, nuts and spreads including Baked Oaty Slices, Fruit Sticks and Brekkie on the Go!

“We are delighted to have Mother Earth partner with us for Netball Victoria Clinic and Camps in 2017,” said Netball Victoria CEO Rosie King.

“Mother Earth is the perfect fit for Netball Victoria with its wholesome range of snacks, nuts and spreads matching our desire to promote healthy and active lifestyle choices in the netball community.”

As part of the partnership Mother Earth will provide clinic funding, where children have fun improving their skills and making new friends.

King’s sentiments were echoed by Kevin Hawkes, general manager grocery & marketing Mother Earth.

“Mother Earth is thrilled to come on board as a major partner of Netball Victoria Camps and Clinics,” said Hawkes.

“We have always supported community and family through a range of programs including some junior and club level netball sponsorships in New Zealand.”

“This partnership is a perfect opportunity to invest in grass roots netball here as the Mother Earth brand increases its presence and investment in Australia.”

Traceability software for meat processors

The SIMBA (Specialized Inventory Management with Barcode Accuracy) system solves the problem of how to track processed products and produce high quality finished goods labeling.

The updated deconstruction process provides easy traceability of individual primal cuts, by products and scrap, tracking back to the original carcass. SIMBA can be integrated to most scales for proper weight measurements and also tracks carcasses and finished goods boxes to multiple locations.

Yield reporting SIMBA allows production line workers to change content of product labels with a fingertip on the computer or touch screen, capturing product weight information and printing a label with a barcode identifier for that case or carton.

That information is stored in the SIMBA Office system, and given a clean input and output, SIMBA is then able to calculate yields per line, per day, etc.

SIMBA’s inventory system provides current inventory of processed cartons. Cartons can be accumulated onto a pallet and tracked by a single pallet identifier. This integrated system gives the user complete reporting of the product from receiving to shipping. The cartons or pallets can be stored and tracked by location.

Key results from implementing the SIMBA software include increased production speed; the ability to get real-time, accurate production reports and yields; to fulfill traceability requirements; to report accurate inventory on the fly, to print professional looking carton and pallet labels in unlimited formats.

For more information go to https://dynamic-systemsinc.com/software/meat/

 

Are we giving our pets poisoned food?

According to phys.org, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that short-term feeding of canned dog food has resulted in a significant increase of BPA in dogs. Scientists believe that because of shared environments, dog exposure to BPA through canned foods could have human health implications.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely used industrial chemical found in many household items, including resins used to line metal storage containers, such as food cans.

 “Bisphenol A is a prevalent endocrine-disrupting chemical found in canned foods and beverages,” said Cheryl Rosenfeld, an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and an investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center.
“We wanted to determine if short-term feeding of widely available commercial canned food could alter BPA concentrations in dogs. Thus, we assessed BPA contained within pet food cans. We also analyzed whether disturbances in bacteria found in the gut and metabolic changes could be associated with exposure to BPA from the canned food.”

“The dogs in the study did have minimal circulating BPA in their blood when it was drawn for the baseline,” Rosenfeld said. “However, BPA increased nearly three-fold after being on the either of the two canned diets for two weeks. We also found that increased serum BPA concentrations were correlated with gut microbiome and in the dogs analyzed. Increased BPA may also reduce one bacterium that has the ability to metabolize BPA and related environmental chemicals.”

Dogs who share internal and external environments with their owners are likely excellent indicators of the effects of BPA and other industrial chemicals on .

“We share our homes with our dogs,” Rosenfeld said. “Thus, these findings could have implications and relevance to humans. Indeed, our canine companions may be the best bio-sentinels for human health concerns.”

“Bisphenol A (BPA) in the serum of pet following short-term consumption of canned dog food and potential health consequences of exposure to BPA” was published in Science of the Total Environment.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2016-12-bisphenol-canned-dog-food-bpa.html#jCp

Bounce rolls out its latest chia almond balls

The Chia Almond Natural Energy Ball is gluten free, suitable for vegetarians, contains 23.7 per cent protein per ball, 40 per cent of the required intake of Omega 3 and has no refined sugar, no artificial additives or preservatives.

Bounce Natural Energy Balls are available in eight additional flavours including Almond, Apple Cinnamon, Cacao Mint, Coconut Macadamia, Hazelnut Cacao, Maple Pecan, Peanut, Spirulina Ginseng and Superberry.

Fountain squeezes in new packaging just before Xmas

Australian sauce maker, Fountain, has today unveiled new packaging across its bottled sauce range, featuring new on-pack product information and imagery.

From December, the refreshed packaging will start to appear across the range, which includes a variety of sauces for every occasion, ensuring meals can be enriched with flavour at any stage of the cooking process, from start to finish.

The changes have been made based on loyal consumer insights that found home cooks prefer products to have clear labelling, in addition to useful tips and suggestions to help them to make decisions on which sauces to use at home.

The new coloured labels will now display key details such as whether a variant is gluten free or has no artificial colours and flavours and packaging has also been redesigned to demonstrate the comprehensive range of flavours, along with providing flavour inspiration to current and new consumers of the brand.

Although the packaging of the Fountain sauce range has undergone a makeover, brand manager at Fountain, Gillian O’Brien says that the trusted and much-loved Aussie recipes have not.

“At Fountain, we’re excited to unveil the new branding, which has been revamped to make the range easier to shop for and enable customers to make informed decisions.We can assure Australians that we have not changed any ingredients in the sauces that our consumers know and love – each sauce is still bursting with flavour.” she said.

The full range includes Hoi Sin, Hot Chilli, Mint, Satay, Soy, Soy & Honey, Spicy Red, Steak, Sweet Chilli, Thick Mint, Mild Mexican Chilli, Plum, Sweet & Sour, and Mustard, as well as its range of Tomato & BBQ sauces, which are available in a number of convenient formats.

Nice to meat you: 3D printed meat is on its way

By using a meat extract as ink, layer-by-layer, a food could be created that is as soft as butter and like meat, packed with nutrients. In a report by ABC news, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) was alerted to the possibility of 3D printed red meat after seeing it done with chicken meat in Germany.

Currently they have investigated a way to turn every last bit of meat from the bone into a high value product and believes it is feasible with a high protein ink or powder could be used in a 3D printer.

“You could have a sugar ink, fat ink and by using those different ink pots you could create a food that is catered to a specific calorific and protein value,”

Sean Starling, general manager of Research, Development and Innovation at MLA, said.

The 3D printed meat would be targeted at people who have trouble chewing and swallowing and suffer dysphagia, those nutrients are hard to get.

MLA had found in Germany has 3D printed food in 1,000 nursing homes, and 3D printed food would be more appetising than pureed food.

CSIRO looks at 3D printer created foods

“We believe the biggest opportunity is for people who have trouble consuming a full bodied steak, the aged and disabled, who can’t eat highly textured and highly interconnective muscle foods,” Starling said.

“We’re thinking you could still print a steak, you’ll get the perception of a steak, the taste of a steak, but it will be almost like butter to chew through and swallow.”

According to ABC news, the CSIRO’s team leader in Meat Science Dr Aarti Tobin said the combination of gels and starches with the meat ink will have to produce something delicious. Dr Tobin said the CSIRO Meat Science team had worked on recombined meat from a meat paste.

“The cubes were nice and soft, looked like diced meat, once you put it into your mouth you just pushed it against your palette and they fell apart and formed a nice poultice.”

Methane from food production – the next wildcard in climate change

Methane concentrations in the atmosphere are growing faster than any time in the past 20 years. The increase is largely driven by the growth in food production, according to the Global Methane Budget released today. Methane is contributing less to global warming than carbon dioxide (CO₂), but it is a very powerful greenhouse gas.

Since 2014, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have begun to track the most carbon-intensive pathways developed for the 21st century by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The growth of methane emissions from human activities comes at a time when CO₂ emissions from burning fossil fuels have stalled over the past three years.

If these trends continue, methane growth could become a dangerous climate wildcard, overwhelming efforts to reduce CO₂ in the short term.

Methane concentration pathways from IPCC and observations from the NOAA measuring network (Saunois et al 2016, Environmental Research Letters). The projected global warming range by the year 2100, relative to 1850-1900, is shown for each pathway.

In two papers published today (see here and here), we bring together the most comprehensive ensemble of data and models to build a complete picture of methane and where it is going – the global methane budget. This includes all major natural and human sources of methane, and the places where it ends up in methane “sinks” such as the atmosphere and the land.

This work is a companion effort to the global CO₂ budget published annually, both by international scientists under the Global Carbon Project.

Where does all the methane go?

Methane is emitted from multiple sources, mostly from land, and accumulates in the atmosphere. In our greenhouse gas budgets, we look at two important numbers.

First, we look at emissions (which activities are producing greenhouse gases).

Second, we look at where this gas ends up. The important quantity here is the accumulation (concentration) of methane in the atmosphere, which leads to global warming. The accumulation results from the difference between total emissions and the destruction of methane in the atmosphere and uptake by soil bacteria.

CO₂ emissions take centre stage in most discussions to limit climate change. The focus is well justified, given that CO₂ is responsible for more than 80% of global warming due to greenhouse gases. The concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere (now around 400 parts per million) has risen by 44% since the Industrial Revolution (around the year 1750).

While CO₂ in the atmosphere has increased steadily, methane concentrations grew relatively slowly throughout the 2000s, but since 2007 have grown ten times faster. Methane increased faster still in 2014 and 2015.

Remarkably, this growth is occurring on top of methane concentrations that are already 150% higher than at the start of the Industrial Revolution (now around 1,834 parts per billion).

The global methane budget is important for other reasons too: it is less well understood than the CO₂ budget and is influenced to a much greater extent by a wide variety of human activities. About 60% of all methane emissions come from human actions.

These include living sources – such as livestock, rice paddies and landfills – and fossil fuel sources, such as emissions during the extraction and use of coal, oil and natural gas.

We know less about natural sources of methane, such as those from wetlands, permafrost, termites and geological seeps.

Biomass and biofuel burning originates from both human and natural fires.

Global methane budget 2003-2012 based on Saunois et al. 2016, Earth System Science Data. See the Global Carbon Atlas at https://www.globalcarbonatlas.org.

Given the rapid increase in methane concentrations in the atmosphere, what factors are responsible for its increase?

Uncovering the causes

Scientists are still uncovering the reasons for the rise. Possibilities include: increased emissions from agriculture, particularly from rice and cattle production; emissions from tropical and northern wetlands; and greater losses during the extraction and use of fossil fuels, such as from fracking in the United States. Changes in how much methane is destroyed in the atmosphere might also be a contributor.

Our approach shows an emerging and consistent picture, with a suggested dominant source along with other contributing secondary sources.

First, carbon isotopes suggest a stronger contribution from living sources than from fossil fuels. These isotopes reflect the weights of carbon atoms in methane from different sources. Methane from fossil fuel use also increased, but evidently not by as much as from living sources.

Second, our analysis suggests that the tropics were a dominant contributor to the atmospheric growth. This is consistent with the vast agricultural development and wetland areas found there (and consistent with increased emissions from living sources).

This also excludes a dominant role for fossil fuels, which we would expect to be concentrated in temperate regions such as the US and China. Those emissions have increased, but not by as much as from tropical and living sources.

Third, state-of-the-art global wetland models show little evidence for any significant increase in wetland emissions over the study period.

The overall chain of evidence suggests that agriculture, including livestock, is likely to be a dominant cause of the rapid increase in methane concentrations. This is consistent with increased emissions reported by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and does not exclude the role of other sources.

Remarkably, there is still a gap between what we know about methane emissions and methane concentrations in the atmosphere. If we add all the methane emissions estimated with data inventories and models, we get a number bigger than the one consistent with the growth in methane concentrations. This highlights the need for better accounting and reporting of methane emissions.

We also don’t know enough about emissions from wetlands, thawing permafrost and the destruction of methane in the atmosphere.

The way forward

At a time when global CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels and industry have stalled for three consecutive years, the upward methane trend we highlight in our new papers is unwelcome news. Food production will continue to grow strongly to meet the demands of a growing global population and to feed a growing global middle class keen on diets richer in meat.

However, unlike CO₂, which remains in the atmosphere for centuries, a molecule of methane lasts only about 10 years.

This, combined with methane’s super global warming potency, means we have a massive opportunity. If we cut methane emissions now, this will have a rapid impact on methane concentrations in the atmosphere, and therefore on global warming.

There are large global and domestic efforts to support more climate-friendly food production with many successes, ample opportunities for improvement, and potential game-changers.

However, current efforts are insufficient if we are to follow pathways consistent with keeping global warming to below 2℃. Reducing methane emissions needs to become a prevalent feature in the global pursuit of the sustainable future outlined in the Paris Agreement.

The Conversation

Pep Canadell, CSIRO Scientist, and Executive Director of the Global Carbon Project, CSIRO; Ben Poulter, Research scientist, NASA; Marielle Saunois, Enseignant chercheur à l’Université de Versailles Saint Quentin; chercheur au Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace; Paul Krummel, Research Group Leader, CSIRO; Philippe Bousquet, Professeur à l’université de Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, chercheur au Laboratoire des sciences du climat et de l’environnement (LSCE), membre de l’Institut de France, auteur contributif d’un chapitre des deux derniers rapports du GIEC, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines – Université Paris-Saclay , and Rob Jackson, Professor, Earth System Science and Chair of the Global Carbon Project, Stanford University

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

Ari Mervis appointed CEO and MD of Murray Goulburn

The Chairman of Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co. Limited (MG), Philip Tracy, today announced that the Board of Directors has appointed Ari Mervis as the new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of MG and MG Responsible Entity Limited.

He will commence on Monday, 13 February 2017. Commenting on the appointment of Mr Mervis, Mr Tracy highlighted the Board’s desire for MG’s incoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to possess extensive operations and consumer goods experience.

“After a comprehensive international search, the Board unanimously agreed that Ari was the ideal choice to lead MG at this critical juncture in its history. We are delighted to have secured a candidate with a proven track record of delivering results and operational success across multiple geographies,” Tracy said.

Mervis’ career with SABMiller, the world’s second largest brewer, began in 1989 and included senior positions in South Africa, Swaziland, Russia and Hong Kong. In his most recent capacity, Mervis was Managing Director of SABMiller in the Asia Pacific and CEO of Carlton & United Breweries in Melbourne, with responsibility for overseeing businesses across Asia Pacific including China, India, Vietnam, South Korea and Australia.

“I am extremely pleased to be joining MG and see it as an enormous privilege to lead such an iconic business that plays an important role in the daily lives and livelihoods of so many Australians,”  Mervis said.

“Murray Goulburn is a great company, with a long and proud history. I am looking forward to partnering with MG’s dairy farmers, employees, customers and stakeholders to restore this great Australian co-operative, as we adapt to the challenges and opportunities facing the dairy industry globally.

“I look forward to working with the Board and Executive Leadership Team to ensure we strengthen MG’s position as Australia’s leading dairy company,” Mervis commented. In making the announcement Mr Tracy paid tribute to interim Chief Executive Officer, David Mallinson.

“As interim CEO, David has led MG with conviction and discipline during an exceptionally challenging period, focussing on the twin priorities of MG’s value-add strategy and achieving significant cost efficiencies to support stronger farmgate milk pricing for MG’s suppliers,” Tracy said.

 

SA wine industry leads way on solar uptake

Dozens of wineries in Australia’s premier wine state are harnessing the sun’s power for purposes beyond growing grapes.

South Australian wineries are embracing solar energy at twice the rate of other business sectors, installers say. Yalumba Wine Company in the Barossa Valley is just weeks away from completing one of the largest commercial solar system installations in South Australia and the largest to date by any Australian winery.

It will have taken more than three months to put the 5384 individual panels in place at three sites: Yalumba Angaston Winery, Yalumba Nursery, and the separate Oxford Landing Winery.

When fully operational, the 1.4 MW PV system will produce enough renewable energy to reduce Yalumba’s energy costs by about 20 per cent and cut its annual CO2 emissions by more than 1200 tonnes, equivalent to taking 340+ cars off the road.

“It is an exciting project and one that will deliver us significant savings, as well as being consistent with our corporate focus on sustainability,” said Managing Director Nick Waterman. Yalumba is currently the leader of the pack, but it is an increasingly large pack.

No one keeps a detailed list, but wineries with systems in excess of 100kW include D’Arenberg, Seppeltsfield, Peter Lehmann, Angove, Torbreck, Wirra Wirra, Jim Barry and Gemtree. Many smaller wineries are installing smaller systems.

In the Adelaide Hills, Sidewood has flicked the switch on a 100kW solar system as part of a $3.5m expansion project at its Nairne winery.

With the support of an $856,000 grant from the South Australian Government, the system will provide more than 50 per cent of the winery’s annual consumption.

Sidewood has also become the largest sustainable winery in the Adelaide Hills after receiving full Entwine Accreditation for all four of its vineyards in September.

There was a brief lull in solar installations after the current Federal Government scrapped the financial support provided under the previous government’s Clean Technology Investment Program (36 of the 80 projects funded in South Australia in 2012-13 were in wineries) but things are moving again.

David Buetefuer is Director of Sales and Business Development for The Solar Project, which has worked with a number of local wineries including D’Arenberg, suggests four reasons for this: the wine industry is starting to recover from a slow patch; the price of electricity is at an unprecedented high; the cost of solar is coming down; and there are new ways to get started.

Yalumba, for example, has signed a 10-year power purchase agreement with energy supplier AGL, which is installing and maintaining the system and will own the energy produced.

This will be sold to Yalumba at a rate comparable or lower than its current per kilowatt hour rate. Another alternative is a rental model under which, as Buetefuer puts it, the bank owns the system. In both cases, the winery does not have to find the capital up front and the system is off balance sheet.

“It’s an interesting time because all three models now work – power-purchase, rental and straight purchase – whereas not that long ago the only people buying solar were those who had the available capital and could justify payback times of five, six or more years,” Buetefuer said. “It’s opened up a lot more opportunities.”

Buetefuer said the wine industry recognised the benefit of harnessing solar power at its most productive period of the year, which coincided with the summer to autumn vintage when the demand for electricity was at its peak in wine production.

“One of the defining features of the industry is the long-term planning that goes into establishing vineyards and infrastructure to support wine production well into the future,” he said. D’Arenberg’s chief winemaker Chester Osborn agrees.

He said one of the important things for the winery last year was reducing peak demand from the grid. “A big portion of our electricity cost comes from our peak requirements which we only need for a couple of months a year, but get charged for every month,” he said.

“We have reduced our power bill by 40 per cent and we are hopeful that the advances in battery technology will lead to further efficiency improvements.”

D’Arenberg’s 200kW system in McLaren Vale was the largest in a winery in South Australia when installed at the end of 2013.

The company made the investment so it could generate 20-30 per cent of its power from solar energy and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent. Among the most publicly visible solar installations in South Australia are the two arrays that line the road to the Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre in the Barossa.

They not only produce all the energy the winery needs, they feature in quite a few visitor photographs.

South Australia is consistently responsible for about 50 per cent of Australia’s annual wine production, including iconic brands such as Penfolds Grange, Jacob’s Creek, Hardys and Wolf Blass. From The Lead

Small manufacturers will get into the zone at foodpro

Australasia’s iconic food manufacturing event, foodpro, will be partnering with Food Innovation Australia (FIAL) in a brand new initiative: The Supply Chain Integrity Zone.

Security in the supply chain is vital to the food manufacturing process with traceability and audit compliance a priority; however smaller manufacturers often find it costly to comply.

The majority of technologies for traceability are often geared to larger manufacturers, which causes obstacles and barriers for smaller players in the industry.

In response to this, foodpro and FIAL have launched the Supply Chain Integrity Zone, a new initiative focusing on solutions available for small manufacturers who produce pre-packaged goods for sale to the consumer.

Companies across the various stages of the supply chain will be represented, allowing visitors to discuss end-to-end solutions with suppliers best suited for their business.

The zone will also include a series of seminars covering the latest technology, capabilities and insights.

“The Supply Chain Integrity Zone is a really important and exciting addition to foodpro” says Peter Petherick, foodpro Event Director.

“Foodpro has supported Australia’s manufacturing needs for 50 years, and it’s important we continue to respond to the industry as it changes. It’s become clear that there are an increasing number of smaller manufacturers whose needs, although similar to the bigger companies, must be met in more specific ways. The new zone serves a purpose for solutions and importantly, for discussion and engagement. With a focus on improving traceability and supporting audit compliance, the benefit to the industry will be incredible.”

The zone will feature companies that offer solutions specifically for smaller manufacturers who produce less than 10,000 units a week with a focus on areas including: materials in, processing integrity, packaging integrity, shipping & receivables and quality management solutions for traceability. FIAL is directly supporting the zone with the objective of increasing industry capability and compliance.

FIAL was established to foster commercially driven collaboration and innovation in the Australian food and agribusiness industry.

They are industry led and take a collective approach to ensure productivity, profitability and resilience in the food and agribusiness sector. Along with the partnership with FIAL, foodpro 2017 will also host wider discussions around innovation and the food industry with the annual AIFST (Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology) Convention.

Over 400 delegates are expected to attend the Convention’s 50th year to hear about topics such as the future nutritional needs, technology driving innovation, regulations related to imports as well as a roundtable discussing financing innovation and growth in the food industry.

For more information see: https://www.foodproexh.com/

PepsiCo gets gender equality award

PepsiCo Australia has been awarded the Workplace Gender Equality Agency ‘Employer of Choice for Gender Equality’ citation for the third year in a row.

The Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation has been given to the top 100 organisations in Australia that meet the stringent criteria for best practice in promoting gender equality. PepsiCo Australia is leading the way for the food and drink industry – and the only FMCG company on the 2016 citation list.

This accolade is in recognition of PepsiCo’s ongoing commitment and effort to workplace gender equality through encouraging work life quality and flexibility in the workplace; supporting women at all levels of the organisation to progress into more senior positions; and ensuring pay equity within the business.

CEO of PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand, Robbert Rietbroek said: “We are delighted to have received this recognition for the third year in a row – and the only FMCG to do so. We recognise the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive workforce where both men and woman can thrive.

“When it comes to supporting female talent we have a strong track record, with over 40% of senior roles across the business filled by women and almost half of our ANZ executive leadership team are female. We value and actively promote flexibility and work life quality across the organisation.”

To signify PepsiCo Australia’s ongoing commitment to gender equity, CEO Robbert Rietbroek became a Pay Equity Ambassador earlier this year, to signify his personal commitment to ensuring that PepsiCo people processes are free of bias to achieve equity and pro-actively manage pay equity.

WGEA Director Libby Lyons said: “WGEA data shows there is progress towards gender equality in Australian workplaces, but it is too slow. It is only through more employers adopting leading practices to promote gender equality in the workplace that we will see the pace of change pick up.

“That’s why it is so encouraging to see more than 100 organisations meet the very high standard required to receive the WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation this year.

“I congratulate all the 2016 citation holders for their commitment and recognition of the strong business case for gender equality. I hope to see continued growth in this community of leading practice employers.”

Heineken’s partnership with Royal Croquet Club extended

Following a successful Sydney debut last weekend, Heineken is set to bring its Heineken Saturday event to the rest of Australia, and in turn, extending the partnership with the Royal Croquet Club.

The next stop for the event of the beer brand will be Melbourne on 17 December, before rolling out at Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane over the first half of 2017.

Nada Steel, Marketing Manager, Heineken Lion Australia, said, “Bringing Heineken Saturday to Sydney for the first time proved to be a big success. As part of our ongoing commitment to deliver unique world class Heineken experiences for our 18-29-year old consumers, we are excited to extend our relationship with Royal Croquet Club and take Heineken Saturday across Australia.”

Annies Fruit Bars clean up at the Munch Awards

Annies Fruit Bars, a subsidiary of Kono NZ,  has been named as the Best Kids Food Product in the 2016 Munch Foods Awards.

The awards, now in their fourth year, are run by Munch, an eco-friendly New Zealand company that makes and markets products and offers ideas and recipes online to feed the family.

The Munch Food Awards raise awareness about kid’s food marketing and products and allow parents to give players in this industry some feedback.

Nominations for finalists are made by the public and then both public vote and a judging panel choose the category and supreme winners.

“We are thrilled to be recognised in the industry as a product that parents trust to give to their children. Our fruit bars are made from 100 per cent fruit, and nothing else. They have no added sugar, and are free from additives, concentrates, gluten, dairy, and nuts,” said Mel Chambers, GM Food, Kono NZ.

Aussie salmon lands AA rating from BRC

Huon Aquaculture has become the first Australian business of its kind to obtain a AA grade in two categories from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards, a leading safety and quality certification programme, used by over 23,000 certificated suppliers in 123 countries.

Huon received the coveted AA rating after a testing and accreditation process of its new Huon Smokehouse & Product Innovation Centre at Parramatta Creek, Tasmania.

Huon Aquaculture Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Peter Bender said the BRC rating was a testament to years of hard work and commitment to standards of excellence.

“Huon has been working tirelessly for three decades to produce and distribute safe, high quality food to Australian consumers,” Bender said.

“BRC is globally regarded as the industry wide benchmark certification for best practice, quality and food safety in the food industry.”

“We are exceptionally proud to be the first Australian salmon company to achieve this rating in two categories.” “We believe this helps us produce some of the best tasting salmon products available in the Australian market,” Bender said.

The BRC Standard ensures customers can be confident in a company’s food safety program and supply chain management. All BRC audits are carried out by a global network of highly trained certification bodies and training providers.

The standard ensures exceptionally high standards when it comes to the competence, qualifications and experience of its auditors which ensures the audit standards are stringently maintained.

Bender said the new Smokehouse and Product Innovation Centre was one of the most advanced in the world.

“This facility is a crucial step in ensuring we are taking the highest quality, innovative products to market, all proudly carrying the Tasmanian brand,” Bender said.

Australia’s newest distillery made Pozible by crowdfunding

Australia’s newest distillery, Cape Byron Distillery has launched its first spirit, Brookie’s Byron Dry Gin via Australian crowdfunding platform Pozible.

Created by Eddie Brook and acclaimed Scottish distiller Jim McEwan, Brookie’s captures the unique tastes and flavours of sub-tropical New South Wales.

The distillery itself is nestled in the very heart of the Brook family’s macadamia farm and is surrounded by a lush rainforest.

A traditional “dry style” Gin, Brookie’s is a balanced combination of the traditional and local native botanicals, trickle distilled in a custom hand-made copper pot still.

Jim McEwan said, “We’re bringing a new level of excellence to distillation. When you taste this gin, it tastes pure. You’re tasting a bit of nature, you can taste the salt air, you can taste the fruits and flowers of the rainforest, it has the warmth of the personalities associated with family distillers.”

Brookie’s is a gin also has a strong environmental message. Over the past 30 years the Brook family have planted over 35,000 native trees, mostly sub – tropical rainforest trees. Today the farm is thriving eco system.

A percentage of the profits from every bottle sold will support the work of the local Big Scrub Landcare group, whose sole mission is to protect what’s left of a mighty rainforest and to encourage new plantings.

 

Hilton Food Group to open $115m meat plant in Queensland

According to reports, UK-based meat processor Hilton Food Group has announced the opening of a new meat processing facility in Queensland.

The facility will be primarily supplying Woolworths  and will be capable of supplying Woolworths stores across both Queensland and parts of New South Wales, with beef, lamb, pork and other meat products.

The company is now in the process of acquiring an appropriate site for the facility and securing the relevant government approvals.

“It is proposed that Hilton’s Australian subsidiary, Hilton Foods Australia, will finance the new food packing facility, with current target for the commencement of production of 2020,” a company statement said.

Asahi Beverages & Wipro partnership recognised with award

Asahi Beverages, the Australia New Zealand business of the Japanese beverage giant and Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology business services company, have been jointly recognised for the ‘Best BPO Sourcing’ partnership of 2016 by the ANZ Paragon Awards, presented in Sydney.

Now in their sixth year, the Paragon Awards honour and recognize companies that have demonstrated ground-breaking and innovative approaches to sourcing, resulting in a positive impact on their clients’ businesses.

Wipro and Asahi Beverages entered into a multi-year contract in September 2014 to jointly innovate, improve organizational efficiencies and enhance customer satisfaction for the beverage company.

Wipro developed a Process Migration Solution that enabled Asahi Beverages to make a robust transition of shared services by mitigating the risks. The solution was delivered through a combination of process migration levers, procedures and tool sets.

Peter Dalins, General Manager, Enterprise Solutions, Asahi Beverages, said, “We are proud to have won this award jointly with Wipro. Our partnership with Wipro is of key strategic value to us. Wipro has understood many critical elements of our business, and has also helped us improve services to our internal and external customers.”

John West lands top sustainability award

Solidifying its position as Australia’s most sustainable tuna brand, Simplot Australia owned John West, was awarded the highest accolade at the 2016 Banksia Sustainability Awards, in Sydney recently.

John West Australia, the only national supermarket brand to be recognised in the awards this year, won the Communication for Change Award, followed by the prestigious 2016 Banksia Gold Award, which reflects the ‘Best of the Best’ across the categories.

Earlier this year, alongside the WWF-Australia (WWF) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a world leading brand commitment was made, to help end unsustainable fishing methods within the canned tuna industry in Australia, thanks to Pacifical, supplied by the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery, controlled by the PNA (Parties to the Nauru Agreement).

The alliance with WWF, MSC and Pacifical and Simplot’s supplier network, is the result of years of the entities working together to find a way to overhaul John West’s supply standards within Australia, moving towards a more sustainable future for the world’s oceans.

Simplot Australia Managing Director, Terry O’Brien, said, “We feel privileged to have been awarded such an accolade in Australian sustainability. The category shift has been years of work alongside our partners, to truly lead the industry, consumers and the environment, towards a more positive future. We look forward to continuing the work, as we move into the next phase of ensuring a positive future for our oceans.”

The Banksia Awards is the longest running and most prestigious acknowledgement of commitment to sustainability in Australia. They recognise Australian individuals, communities, businesses and government for their innovation, achievement and commitment to sustainability.

ELIX Polymers launches new food grade contact material

ELIX Polymers has launched a new ABS grade for use in products that come into contact with food and which also require extra toughness and resistance to high temperatures.

Target applications include kitchenware, products for preparation and storage of food, and also toys.

The new M545TF grade will enhance the company’s Healthcare portfolio, which already includes grades for medical devices, cosmetics, food contact applications and toys.

The latest grade has been migration tested with different food simulants.

This enables ELIX Polymers to advise its customers about migration issues and regulatory compliance during the product design phase, helping to prevent problems before they occur and shortening time to market.

M545TF can be supplied precolored, with ELIX taking the responsibility for compliance of the pigments with food contact regulations.

ELIX Polymers’ current portfolio of FDA-approved colors already includes more than 120 active recipes; new colors are under continual development.

“ELIX Polymers offers a high level of service to our customers, especially for the healthcare portfolio,” says Aurelie Mannella, Industry Manager Healthcare at ELIX Polymers.

“We are pleased to have gained a reputation among our customers as a company that consistently offers excellence in service, along with high-quality products and constant innovation. We have implemented a rigorous selection of our pigments and suppliers in order to be able to guarantee consistent and zero-risk solutions.”