Positive outlook for Australian sheep producers in 2017

The New Year should see the Australian lamb and sheep market benefit from reduced supplies and positive demand from domestic consumers according to the Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) 2017 Sheep Industry projections.

MLA’s Manager of Market Information Ben Thomas said lamb slaughter is projected to be 22 million head for 2017, down 2% from the estimated 2016 level.

“While this is a decline year-on-year, 22 million head is still in line with the long-term growth trend observed over the past decade,” Mr Thomas said.

“Breaking the annual processing down to a quarterly basis, it is anticipated that the June and September quarters will be when supplies are the tightest. Lamb availability in the March quarter on the other hand, is likely to benefit from carry-over stocks from the final months of 2016, when extremely wet weather delayed many lambs coming to market.”

Assuming average seasonal conditions and a return to normal lamb marking rates, the numbers of lambs processed are anticipated to increase to 23 million head by 2020.

Thomas said Australian lamb production for 2017 is projected to ease 2% to 492,000 tonnes carcase weight (cwt), and while this is a year-on-year decline, the volume is in the realms of record territory.

“The Australian domestic market is anticipated to remain the largest consumer and account for 48% of production, or 237,000 tonnes cwt, with many encouraging signs coming from the market,” he said.

“For instance, domestic per capita consumption has stabilised in recent years, while at the same time the weighted average retail price has been increasing.

“To put this in perspective, domestic lamb retail prices in 2016 averaged just 10 cents shy of the record high set in 2011, at $14.51/kg, and per capita consumption is 8% higher now than what it was then.”

On the export front, Australian lamb shipments are anticipated to ease 4% year-on-year in 2017, to 220,000 tonnes shipped weight (swt).

“While this will be the third consecutive year of slightly lower exports, volumes are still in excess of 200,000 tonnes swt – a level breached for only the first time in 2013. The major markets are likely to again be the US, China and the Middle East,” Thomas said.

A recovery in lamb exports is forecast from 2018, with volumes expected to reach a record 235,000 tonnes swt by 2020.

“The longer-term export outlook should be underpinned by further growth in demand in Asia, especially China, the US and the Middle East, a lower Australian dollar, diminishing New Zealand exports, and Australia’s projected growth in production,” Mr Thomas said.

“Uncertainty surrounds the impact of Brexit on access to both the UK and EU. If negotiations result in expansion of Australia’s meagre sheepmeat access to these markets, it could provide a significant lift to exports and prices.”

Coffee cherry moonshine ready for Xmas from Campos

Melbourne Moonshine Cáscara Moonshine is made from the dehydrated cherries of the coffee plant.

Traditionally discarded, Campos says it has worked with a small coffee farm in Costa Rica to keep and naturally dry the cherries, resulting in a fruity coffee variety that gives a more subtle tea-like taste.

Campos Coffee, the specialty roaster founded out of a small Newtown café, has always been focused on innovation in coffee, and realised the untapped potential of this previously under-utilised part of the coffee tree.

After months of testing to get the flavours right, the end result is a rich liqueur with cherry and raisin flavours, and hints of molasses, reminiscent of Christmas Cake.

Premium cider on the rise across European markets, says Canadean

Premium cider brands in West Europe recorded a compound annual growth rate of almost 8% between 2009 and 2015, far exceeding competing price segment categories which all posted declines, says consumer insight firm Canadean.

According to the company’s latest research, one of the most important trends currently being recorded in the West European cider market is the premiumization trend, which has led to consumers spending more on quality cider at the expense of discount and mainstream brands.

Premium brands, determined as brands which have a price index between 115%-149%, when using the leading mainstream brand as the benchmark, have witnessed positive results from this. However superpremium brands, those priced in the market at a 150% price index and above on the leading brand, have not yet benefited from this trend, with consumers still exhibiting some caution with their spending.

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The impressive growth seen in West Europe was driven by strong performances in Spain (3%) and France (15%), as well as huge growth in the Republic of Ireland (107%), helping to offset the 1% decline in the largest market by volume, the United Kingdom.

Growth in Spain, the second largest premium cider market by volume, was a consequence of the increased demand for imported cider and ‘natural’ cider, which is generally associated with premium and superpremium price points. Natural cider in particular benefited from its popularity with young adult consumers, who find the concept of filtered cider with no added sugar to be appealing.

France’s market was largely in line with the rest of the continent, with volumes declining overall and premium offerings the sole growth point. Consumers in France are increasingly switching their cider drinking habits to quality over quantity, driving value growth.

The exceptional gains witnessed in the Republic of Ireland market for premium brands can be partly attributed to the recovering economy that has restored consumer confidence. Ireland was the fastest-growing economy in West Europe in 2015, and in a traditional cider drinking market, this proved fruitful for premium brands. Heineken also introduced its Orchard Thieves brand in 2015. After vigorous taste panel testing with Irish consumers, it has been designed specifically for the Irish palate, and entered the market with a high price point that more than doubled the volumes in the premium price segment.

Canadean states that premium cider will continue its consistent growth pattern in West Europe in 2016 due to rising consumer interest and willingness to purchase higher priced and quality ciders. Brewers quick to jump on this trend, as Heineken has been in the Republic of Ireland, could capitalize on this shift in consumer buying behavior by focusing on development of more unique and premium cider offerings.

Information is based on Canadean’s reports: Spain Cider Market Insights Report 2016; France Cider Market Insights Report 2016; Republic of Ireland Cider Market Insights Report 2016.

Animal rights groups cheesed off over dairy production

Vegan Australia and the Animal Justice Party (AJP) have reportedly told federal politicians the best long-term solution to the dairy sector’s farm-gate pricing crisis is to phase-out the industry over a decade according to a North Queenslander report.

The two groups have submitted their views and suggestions into the Senate Economics References Committee’s current examination of the Australian dairy industry. In response, industry leaders have hit back saying the dairy sector employs “world-leading practices” while generating $4.7 billion in farm-gate value that enriches regional Australian communities.

The Senate inquiry was instigated in September in response to the dairy industry farm gate pricing crisis that ignited earlier this year and is scheduled to report its findings by February 24 next year.

Public hearings have already been held in Canberra on October 26 and in Melbourne on November 15 with a range of industry and government agencies giving evidence.

The inquiry’s terms of reference include examining the legality of retrospective elements of milk supply contracts and the behaviour of Murray Goulburn in relation to the late season claw-back of farm-gate returns to producers, revealed in April.

Vegan Australia’s rationale was that it said it was “very aware” agriculture was a fundamental part of society and it wanted to see the “continued prosperity” of farming and farmers but was recommended pursuing that goal could be achieved without the “use and exploitation of animals”. It envisions the long term solution to the dairy crisis is to phase out dairy.

According to the North Queenslander, they are hoping for the day that technology is able to offer what Vegan Australia terms as “superior alternatives” to dairy products.

Vegan Australia said Australian consumers may hold out some loyalty to the dairy industry, but others in countries like Australia’s largest export market China were, “unlikely to show the same loyalty”.

It said Chinese policy would also shift to domestic production using advanced technology as soon as it became more cost efficient than importing Australian milk.

Vegan Australia said government assistance should be given to current dairy farmers that wanted to transition to plant-based agriculture, as part of the 10-year phase-out.

The AJP’s submission accused the dairy industry of inflicting animal cruelty while causing harm to human health and the environment.

“The most responsible course of action for the government to take is to transition away from animal-based milk and dairy, to humane, healthy, and sustainable plant-based milks,” the AJP said.

“Instead of focussing on trying to rescue an unsustainable industry that is harmful to humans and animals, the government should be turning its attention to innovative transition solutions.

“Consumers are increasingly embracing plant-based milks and it is the position of the Animal Justice Party that the government should embrace this trend and promote plant-based milks as healthier, more humane and more sustainable industries.”

In response, the Australian Dairy Farmers said the industry’s quality and safety processes were “among the best in the world” and the nation’s dairy sector – comprising 6128 dairy farmers of which 98 per cent are family-owned businesses – made a “vital contribution to the national economy”.

“With a farm gate value alone of $4.7 billion, dairy enriches regional Australian communities,” it said.

“Dairy farmers have had a tough past season and it is pleasing to note that the outlook for dairy in the future is more positive with a rebalancing of supply and demand fundamentals globally taking place.

“While we are an industry that has been under intense pressure, we are also an industry that has the know-how and resilience to overcome adversity and thrive in the long term.”

In its submission to the Senate inquiry, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) said the food and grocery manufacturing sector employed more than 322,900 Australians, paying around $16.1 billion a year in salaries and wages.

The AFGC said the sector’s contribution to the economic and social well-being of Australia “cannot be overstated” and the dairy export industry had “solid” long term prospects.

“In the long term, global demand for dairy products is expected to remain strong with some analysts predicting a 25 per cent increase in consumption by 2025,” the submission said.

“With continued consumption growth in the Asia region, including China, the medium to long term prospects for Australian dairy exports are solid.”

Regional demographic changes impacting on food makers

According to ARC, due to the essential nature of many of the products produced, the food & beverages industry is typically less affected by global economic conditions trends than many others, but is highly sensitive to government regulations that often determine how products are manufactured and where they can be sold.

Regional demographic changes also often have a major impact on this industry.

In general, new products, product innovation, and a growing population drive growth in the food & beverages sector. The growing middle class in emerging economies increases demand for more convenient processed foods as well as for more profitable luxury food and beverage products.

Today’s food and beverage companies strive to be able to respond to consumer demand for a wide variety of fresh, nutritious, convenient, and high-quality foods.

Many companies invest large amounts of money to develop new products. As many manufacturers operate globally, product packaging and labeling must meet country-specific requirements and regulations. In addition, product formulas need to be adapted to suit different consumer tastes.

As a whole, this sector has invested heavily in IT infrastructure in recent years.

These systems are expected to support information necessary to maintain quality standards, improve compliance, address food safety issues, and track product information.

Flexibility in both R&D and manufacturing are important to support frequent product changes and reduce product time-to-market.

We’re also seeing increasing pressures to reduce costs to remain competitive.

One area of concern is the potential effect of product recalls on a company’s reputation. Most companies are making targeted investment to both improve their internal controls to reduce the risk of product recalls and improving their ability to recall products, when necessary.

Cybersecurity is another challenge that the industry is addressing, largely through technology. Despite these challenges, food & beverage manufacturers are reasonably optimistic about their future prospects.

Executives believe that new products and line extensions, plus more autonomous operations and efficiency improvements will drive growth and help improve profitability in this largely low-margin sector.

Flexible optical sensors to control beverage quality

Researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have developed an innovative optical sensor using conventional tape, a low-cost and flexible material that can be easily acquired at stationery shops. It can detect variations of the optical properties of a liquid when is immersed. The sensor can be used to control both the quality of beverages and environmental monitoring.

Light from an LED is introduced in one of end of a piece of tape and the light that emerges from the other end is detected through a photodiode.

The light coupling to the flexible waveguide is mediated by a diffractive element using a grating with aluminum lines of nano dimensions; it is added to the tape through a simple process of “tear and paste.” Both ends of the waveguide can be easily adhered to the LED emitter and the light detector (photodiode).
Because of the flexibility of the tape, the waveguide can bend and is partially immersed in the liquid under examination. Due to the waveguide bend, part of the propagated light is lost by radiation.

This curvature loss depends on the refractive index of the surrounding medium. Thus, it is possible to detect variations of the refractive index of the liquid by photodiode measurement of the optical power lost during the path of light through the immersed waveguide.
The refractive index of a liquid solution is related to both its physical and chemical properties, including density and concentration.

Thus, researchers can assess, for example, the maturation degree of grapes by measuring the refractive index of grape juice; it could also detect the alcoholic content of certain beverages. The sensor can be used in the food sector for process control and beverage quality, and in the environmental sector for water quality control.
The materials and components used to develop this sensor are common and inexpensive. Additionally, the assembly of the three main components of the sensor is simple and there is no need for instrumentation or specialized tools.

Therefore, the assembly can be carried out by non-qualified personnel.
Dr. Carlos Angulo Barrios, the lead researcher for this project, says, “These features, along with the flexibility of the tape, make this sensor very advantageous regarding other optical instruments for the detection of refractive index more complex, rigid and expensive, especially in field applications and on-site analysis of liquids in areas of difficult access.”
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2016-12-flexible-optical-sensors-quality-beverages.html#jCp

Beef jerky brand moo-ving at a rapid rate

Launched in 2012 by northern NSW-based company New World Foods is a snack food company on the move.

According to Managing Director  and the brains behind the brand, Don Nisbet, he always had the ambition to develop a range of snack food products and a legends brand.

Around five years ago, the Local Legends concept came into his head.

“The Bob Marley album Legend inspired me to create the brand as he’s obviously a legendary guy. The first concept artwork featured Mohammed Ali on the back of the packs because the idea was to associate legendary people with the brand.

“A lot of these people came from a difficult background and went on to become household names but we wanted a brand that could connect local people too so as it transpired we brought that in” he said.

The company has seen growth year on year of 25 per cent plus including expanding internationally.

Nisbet and his team became involved with a local grassroots AFL club and enlisted a legendary player, Danny Frawley, to launch the brand.

The company was set up to on the basis of every unit sold meant money was donated back into football allowing the Local Legends brand to connect to local people.

According to Nisbet, jerky is an honest, wholesome and funky product that fit the existing brand.

“I’ve been running New World Foods for many years and with protein being such a necessary staple, it was the perfect tie in to give the brand a healthy image” he said.

“I spent a lot of time looking at the whole sport supplement space and seeing products that called themselves health foods but were loaded full of synthesized protein.

“What we’re offering is a very natural protein” he said.

The company has seen growth year on year of 25 per cent plus including expanding internationally.

As of this month, Local Legends Original Beef Jerky is the brands’ highest selling unit. The company recently signed a deal with Snack Brands Australia to be distributed into their network ensuring increased exposure.

For the future Don said his intention “was to make Local Legends the leading meat snack brand in the country. We’re going to take the brand into other areas including some exciting new products and, in the next calendar year, the brand will take on a refreshed look.”

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.

 

Twinings releases new tea blend

Twinings has released a new blend, Twinings Morning Tea, created by Master Tea Blender Philippa Thacker and 10th generation Twining, Stephen Twining, due to hit shelves late January 2017.

“Speaking with dozens of Australian women during my recent tour around Australia, I discovered what women really wanted from a cup of tea was refreshment, and this was the inspiration for creating the new, Twinings Morning Tea said Ms Philippa Thacker, Twinings Master Tea Blender.

“Morning Tea is a blend of both high and low grown Ceylon teas from the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. The high grown teas impart a refreshing character to the blend whilst the low grown tea gives colour, flavour and body, said Ms Thacker.

“Twinings Morning Tea has a clean flavour with no aftertaste, and can work equally well with a little milk, simply black or with a slice of fresh lemon”, concluded Ms Thacker.

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.”

Oxygen permeability tester for food and package makers

Bestech Australia has introduced the OX2/231, an oxygen permeability tester to determine oxygen transmission rate of film and package products, including plastic films, composite films, sheeting, plastic bottles, plastic bags and other packages.

This is important to ensure the food product maintains a long shelf life. It comes with 2 test modes for both films and packages for accurate tsts.

The tester can test 3 specimens at once, and then export test results for analysis. An easy-to-use menu interface with LCD display ensures viewing and exporting data is convenient. The OX2/231 is recommended for the following packages:

• Films – Plastic films, aluminium foils, etc

• Sheeting – Engineering plastics, rubber and building materials

• Package Caps

• Plastic Pipes

• Blister Packs

• Wine bottles

• Contact Lenses

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.

Stainless steel pipe conveyor for food makers

Exair has added smaller and larger sizes to the air operated 316 Stainless Steel Threaded Line Vac conveyor product line, which is designed to convert ordinary pipe into a powerful in-line conveying system for food products, pharmaceuticals and other bulk materials.

The 316SS Threaded Line Vac is now available with NPT threads for use on 3/8 NPT through 3 NPT pipes.

Featuring large throat diameters for maximum throughput capability, these conveyors are designed to attach to plumbing pipe couplers, sanitary flanges and other pipe fittings.

Available from Compressed Air Australia, the 316SS Threaded Line Vac conveyors eject a small amount of compressed air to produce a vacuum on one end with high output flows on the other. Response is instantaneous.

Regulating the compressed air pressure provides infinite control of the conveying rate. Construction is durable Type 316 stainless steel to resist corrosion and contamination.

The 316SS Threaded Line Vacs can withstand temperatures to 204ºC.

Nine sizes are available. Applications include gas, grain or ingredient sampling, part transfer, hopper loading, scrap trim removal, tablet transfer and packaging. Other styles and sizes are available to suit hose or tube.

Additional materials include aluminium and abrasion resistant alloy. 316SS Threaded Line Vacs are CE compliant and solve a wide variety of conveying applications.

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.

Canadian Club named as an official partner of the Australian Open

Canadian Club has once again signed on as an official partner, official spirit and exclusive dark spirit, of the Australian Open, one of the nation’s largest annual sporting events.

For the second year in a row, Canadian Club (CC) will be making a ‘racquet’ at the Australian Open Festival with the Canadian Club Racquet Club activation perched hillside at the Birrarung Marr festival.

And for the first time, it will also expand its footprint outside of Melbourne with the Canadian Club Racquet Club popping up at three iconic venues in NSW and QLD – The Bucket List Bondi, Cruise Bar Sydney and Sandstone Point Hotel QLD.

The Canadian Club Racquet Club pop-ups will open in December, serving up refreshing Canadian Club cocktails, along with the classic CC and dry. The locations will be decked out in true CC summer style and for the duration of the AO, each site will also feature a big screen, broadcasting every game live to those wanting to soak up the social tennis vibes in Sydney and Brisbane.

The Australian Open partnership includes exclusive dark spirit pourage within Melbourne Park and throughout the Emirates Australian Open Series, the lead-in events to the first Grand Slam of the year, further unlocking trial amongst tennis goers.

“The Australian Open is one of the most iconic events on the Australian sporting calendar, and after great success during the last couple of years we are very excited to be taking the CC Racquet Club to Sydney and Brisbane,” Kristy Rathborne, Brand Manager, Canadian Club said.

The CC Summer of Tennis will extend nationally, from December through to February.

Coke hires Jennifer Aniston for new Glaceau campaign

Coca-Cola South Pacific has announced that Glaceau smartwater’s new Australian summer campaign will be fronted by Jennifer Aniston who has been brought on board as brand ambassador.

Following the successful launch of Glaceau smartwater in Australia earlier this year, Coca-Cola said Aniston will be front and centre of the campaign, appearing across large format iconic out of home displays that include full wraps of Melbourne and Adelaide trams, as well as national billboards in high impact locations.

In addition to Aniston, the Glaceau smartwater summer campaign will also include product trials that will be driven through one of Coca-Cola’s largest ever sampling programs in Australia.

Glaceau smartwater has also partnered with Westfield to activate targeted sampling at selected NSW and VIC Westfield shopping centres, getting in front of their target audience as they do their Christmas and New Year shopping.

Glaceau smartwater is available in 12x700ml sports cap lid packs from a wide range of retail channels including grocery, independents and other outlets.