Jobs, factories and profits all go as MG battens down the hatches

In a sign of the impact the falling milk price is having on the food sector, food company Murray Goulburn (MG) said it will be closing down factories and reducing its farmgate milk price in a bid to address its “cost base, improve efficiencies and ultimately increase earnings.”

This will include closure of MG’s manufacturing facilities at Edith Creek, Rochester and Kiewa, forgiveness of the Milk Supply Support Package (MSSP), total write-downs of up to $410 million, and a dividend suspension.

The factory closures, the company said, are expected to impact some 360 employees while at the same time delivering a net financial benefit of $40 million to $50 million per annum. Overall, MG said that it anticipates a net financial benefit in FY18 from the closures of approximately $15 million.

However, the dairy company said that it needed to spend $60 million of capital expenditure to enable the closures, which will be largely funded by maintenance capital expenditure no longer required at the sites.

MG also announced that it will write off farmers loans incurred in the MSSP, with all future repayments of the MSSP which were to recommence from July 2017 ceasing, meaning the company will write-down $148 million.

Due to weaker trading conditions, the FY17 forecast available FMP of $4.70 per kilogram milk solids is expected to be fall to $4.60 per kilogram milk solids.

The company said that it remained “committed to paying a FY17 average FMP of $4.95 per kilogram milk solids.”

In order to protect against any potential further losses this financial year, MG has provided access of up to $30 million of additional debt funded milk payments, so as to maintain the forecast FMP of $4.95 per kilogram milk solids up until the end of this financial year, the company said.

Linerless self-adhesive labelling system featured at foodpro

Le Mac are suppliers of the linerless labelling system that is self-adhesive for trays of meats, ready meals, salads etc.

Linerless labels are an environmentally-friendly innovation: they do not use backing liner like traditional labels, which cannot be recycled and does not decompose in landfill.

The system itself is fully automatic and delivers significant efficiency gains over traditional pressure sensitive labelling machines or hand-application of carton sleeves.

It works with heavy gauge cardboard, film or paper labels in 8 formats (top, top & side, top & 2 sides, Full-wrap, C-Wrap, D-Wrap, Skin Packs and Slide Sleeve). It is suitable for stretch wrap trays, top seal trays and vacuum skin packs (with protrusions). To top it, all this can be run on the same machine without change parts.

The La Mac linerless systems are used by a number of major Australian food manufacturers, and they are currently also used on a range of Woolworths and Coles products.

The Le Mac Australia Group will be showcasing the linerless labelling system along with other products at Stand K61 on Level 4 at foodpro,  16-19 JUL 2017 @ the ICC SYDNEY, DARLING HARBOUR.

Australian obesity increases despite lower sugar intake

A new study has found that despite consumers’ decreased sugar intake, Australian obesity rates are higher than ever.

In recent years, scientists have linked excessive sugar consumption with obesity.

This has led to a number of initiatives to decrease added or refined sugars in Australia’s food and beverages.

The nation has recently experienced the biggest increase in adult obesity levels since 1980 (16 per cent). The number of overweight or obese Australians is now 63 per cent, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

This is despite the fact that in Australia, the per capita availability of added or refined sugars and sweeteners was shown to have fallen by 16 per cent between 1980 and 2011, according to the study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Specifically, in national dietary surveys in 1995 and 2011-2012, added sugar intake saw a marked decline in men (18 per cent), but little to no decline in women.

However, during the same period, the proportion of sugar-sweetened beverage intake (including 100 per cent juice) fell 10 per cent in men and 20 per cent in women.

The most significant changes were seen in children aged 2-18 (who currently have an overweight/obesity rate of 25 per cent).

According to the study, data from national grocery sales indicated that per capita added-sugars intakes derived from carbonated soft drinks decreased from 26 per cent between 1997 and 2011, with similar trends for non-carbonated beverages.

However, Australia’s childhood obesity rate has also been steadily increasing over the years.

The study suggests that the link between sugar consumption and obesity may not be as strong as scientists initially thought.

Chinese wine company searches for Australian vineyards

The third biggest wine company in China is planning a $80 million winery based in Australia, which it hope will rival exporters to the Chinese market.

Weilong Grape Wine Company is proposing to expand its Grand Dragon brand to Mildura, only several kilometres from the Karadoc winery in north-west Victoria.

The move presents “one of the largest infrastructure investments in the $4 billion wine industry in the past decade”, according to a report in the AFR.

But it must first overcome roadblocks to get the project up and running after objections were submitted by rivals and a ongoing planning issue including Telstra.

Bruno Zappia, Weilong’s general manager of Australian operations, Bruno Zappia, said he was confident any red tape would be resolved soon so that the 80,000-tonne winery would be in production in time for the 2019 vintage.

“There will be a combination of our own vineyards and external grapegrowers,” Zappia added.

Red meat: the next product to be revolutionised by 3D printing

 As the hype around 3D printing continues to grow, red meat has been identified as the next product that could benefit substantially from the technology.

 According to experts, 3D printing could result in added value to current secondary cuts, trims and products by developing “meat ink”. For example, the technology could be used in the aged care sector to create high protein and nutritious meals that can be presented in a range of shapes and sizes, and made more appetising than the traditional pureed food.

 One benefit of 3D printing meat is the ability to produce meat in a more sterile environment than traditional meat production, potentially avoiding contamination. It has also been cited as a potential way to boost food production for the world’s growing population.

 Yet experts have cited challenges; it will be difficult to achieve a genuine meat taste and texture, and there may be some reluctance for consumers to accept 3D printed meat.

 Overall however, there is increasing demand from markets who want personalised approaches to nutrients or textures, rather than the current whole muscle product.

 The 3D Food Printing Conference Asia-Pacific will discuss these issues and more, to be held on May 2 in Melbourne.

 

Doctors cheer at last drinks for VB and Cricket Australia

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has welcomed news that Carlton United Breweries (CUB) has ended its VB sponsorship with Cricket Australia (CA).

The demise of VB’s 20-year sponsorship with CA, estimated to be worth $65 million over the past five years is one of more than 20 alcohol-related sponsorships in Australian cricket.

The RACP is on record as saying that it was “unacceptable that young children are being bombarded with alcohol promotion both at the ground and at home watching on TV.”

This sentiment is shared by the majority of Australians, with over 60 per cent concerned about the exposure of children to alcohol promotions in sport, according to a number of recent surveys.

RACP President Dr Catherine Yelland said, “A generation of Australians have grown up and become accustomed to a sponsorship that has relentlessly pushed its product and left young Australians as collateral damage.”

“Sadly, we know alcohol marketing leads children and adolescents to start drinking earlier and makes young drinkers prone to binge drinking patterns.”

“Sometimes it starts them on a journey that has a lifelong impact. It’s not surprising that the peak age for the onset of alcohol use disorders is only 18 years old.”

 

Chinese supermarkets stop selling Brazilian meat

 

According to a story from the Voice of America (VoA), some of China’s largest food suppliers have stopped selling Brazilian beef and poultry following a scandal over Brazil’s meat processing industry.

While Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of beef, fears over Brazilian meat safety have increased since police accused inspectors of taking bribes to permit the sale of rotten and infected meats.

The announcement from the Chinese food suppliers comes days after China temporarily suspended Brazilian all meat imports.

Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and Mexico have also announced they were stopping major imports of some Brazilian meat.

Brazilian President Michel Temer said the sale of rotten meat was an “economic embarrassment for the country.”

The Brazilian government has so far barred the exports of meats from 21 plants under investigation, while officials have tried to calm consumers by saying the recent investigation has found only “isolated problems with rotten or infected meat”.

However, the reaction by Chinese food suppliers suggests that the investigation could have a big effect on the world’s top meat exporter, said VoA.

Brazil’s trade associations for meat producers warned that the scandal could affect the economy considering meat exports make up 15 per cent of total exports.

 

 

 

Australian researchers find way to stop food mould

West Australian researchers led by Dr. Kirsty Bayliss have discovered how to stop mould growing on fresh food.

Dr. Bayliss will be presenting her technology, titled ‘Breaking the Mould’, a chemical-free treatment for fresh produce that increases shelf-life, prevents mould and decay, and reduces food wastage, in the US.

“Our technology will directly address the global food security challenge by reducing food waste and making more food available for more people,” Dr. Bayliss said.

“The technology is based on the most abundant form of matter in the universe– plasma. Plasma kills the moulds that grow on fruit and vegetables, making fresh produce healthier for consumption and increasing shelf-life.”

Dr. Bayliss’s Murdoch University team has been working on preliminary trials for the past 18 months and are now preparing to start scaling up trials to work with commercial production facilities.

Dr. Bayliss said the LAUNCH Food Innovation Challenge was a “huge opportunity.”

“I will be presenting our research to an audience comprising investors, company directors and CEOs, philanthropists and other influential people from organisations such as Fonterra, Walmart, The Gates Foundation, as well as USAID, DFAT and even Google Food.”

“What is really exciting is the potential linkages and networks that I can develop; already NASA are interested in our work,” she said.

In an interview with ABC Online, she said “Food wastage contributes to a lot of the food insecurity as the US and Europe wastes around 100 kilograms of food per person every year.

“If we could reduce food wastage by a quarter, we could feed 870 million people.”

Dr. Bayliss said the technology also kills bacteria associated with food-borne illness, such as salmonella and listeria.

 

 

New Chilli Beef Pie from Four-N Twenty

 Four-N Twenty is launching its new Chilli Beef Pie, which has been developed for “adventurous eaters who are keen to try a new and exciting flavour”.

 The pie is made from chunks of eight-hour slow-cooked 100 per cent Australian beef, with a spicy chilli gravy, wrapped in a golden pastry.

 “Chilli has been identified as one of the key condiment flavour trends for 2017 and beyond,” said Four’N Twenty marketing manager, Mario Matchado.

 “Creating a spicy chilli version of our eight-hour slow-cooked Real Chunky Pie is sure to prove a winner with pie lovers this winter. So fire up your taste buds, the Four’N Twenty Chilli Beef Pies are hot!”

 The Chilli Beef Pie will be launched in selected petrol and convenience stores nationally from April.

 

 

Making sure you get the fruit and veg you pay for

A new campaign launched by the National Measurement Institute (NMI) will help buyers and sellers get value for money as Australian fruit and vegetables make their way from the farm gate to the table.

The NMI’s ‘Harvest to Home’ trade measurement inspection program will run until June and involve oversight by NMI inspectors of the weighing, packaging and selling of fruit and vegetables throughout their journey from paddock to plate. The program will include:

  • visits to 1,400 traders, ranging from producers to wholesalers and retailers
  • testing 1,700 measuring instruments
  • inspecting 11,000 lines of packaged goods
  • making 200 ‘secret shopper’ trial purchases.

“We want to make sure that everyone involved in the fruit and vegetable industry, from importers and farmers to retailers, is aware of their rights and obligations under trade measurement laws“, General Manager for Legal Metrology at NMI, Bill Loizides, said.

“Each year in Australia, fruit and vegetables are moved from importers and farms to our homes in millions of measurement-based transactions. In fact, around five million tonnes of produce are bought and sold each year.

“Whether you’re a farmer, a wholesaler or a consumer, accurate measurement is vital to support trade, ensure fair competition among businesses, and give consumers confidence in what they’re buying.

“Where breaches of the law are detected, NMI inspectors will usually advise businesses on how to improve their trading practices to meet their legal obligations. However, where persistent or serious breaches occur, NMI may use a range of enforcement options, including fines and prosecution.”

In addition to site visits by trade measurement inspectors, the campaign is supported by a factsheet and a short video clip that is available through the department’s YouTube channel, websites and other social media sources.

Mr Loizides said that shoppers who were concerned that products had been weighed incorrectly or had incorrect measurement labels should contact the National Trade Measurement hotline on 1300 686 664 or infotm@measurement.gov.au.

Tumeric-rich Arkadia Golden Latte released

Arkadia Beverages has released a blend of high of turmeric, spices and organic panela sugar and called it Arkadia Golden Latte.

This turmeric blend is designed to be ready to drunk with hot or cold milk.

With no added dairy, vegan friendly and gluten and caffeine free, Arkadia Golden Latte is claimed to imbue the natural benefits of turmeric – often referred to as the most powerful herb on the planet for helping to fight a range of diseases.

Mechatronic drive awarded HACCP certification

 Understanding the extremely high standards that Australia’s food and beverage manufacturers work towards to ensure that consumers receive the highest quality products, SEW-EURODRIVE has announced the recent Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification of its mechatronic drive system MOVIGEAR type B, variant for wet areas.

Traditional machine components are not only difficult to clean thoroughly; they also generally require production areas to shut down – at least in part – for cleaning activities to take place. This procedure places strain on production timeframes, contributing to reduced product throughput affecting the overall profitability.

Machine components mounted in production or processing areas are often exposed to harsh cleaning chemicals. The shape of the component, its material composition and the method of substrate protection all play a large role in the cleaning efforts, likelihood of becoming a source of contamination and product longevity.

Designed specifically for the food and beverage industry MOVIGEAR for wet areas has a number of advantages over traditional drive solutions. Up to three core products can be assembled into a “self-draining” and compact housing: gear unit, motor and drive electronics (optional).

Combining the technical and practical advantages of all three drive components leads to an increase in the performance, efficiency and reliability. The MOVIGEAR product range can be easily integrated into most materials handling applications such as conveyor systems.

The smooth housing of the MOVIGEAR for wet areas is finished with a ‘HP200’ treatment which is burned-in-to the surface during the application process. Highly resistant to rigorous cleaning regimes, including chemical and high pressure wash down, the integrity of the surface finish eliminates the possibility of “paint-lift-off” often associated with traditional surface coatings.

The inherent anti-stick properties contribute to a reduction of debris build-up resulting in reduced cleaning efforts and system downtime. Standard inclusion of stainless steel shafts, fasteners and auxiliary fittings further enhances the MOVIGEAR for wet areas anticorrosive properties.

The totally enclosed non-ventilated mechatronic drive system is designed according to the principle of convection cooling, eliminating the need of a motor fan. Motor-fan noise spread of germs and bacteria due to air swirls are a thing of the past with the MOVIGEAR product range.

Compliant with IE4 (Super Premium Efficiency) standards, a major benefit of the MOVIGEAR is the impressive energy savings potential.

 

 

Food industry penalty rate change applauded by business

The Australian Industry Group has welcomed today’s Fair Work Commission (FWC) Penalty Rates Decision.

“The Commission has accepted Ai Group’s evidence and arguments to re-set penalty rates in the fast food industry to better align them with the characteristics and needs of 21st century workplaces,” Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said.

“Ai Group represented the fast food industry in the case.  A great deal of evidence was presented from Ai Group members, McDonalds and Hungry Jacks, and from relevant experts.”

“A very high proportion of employees in the fast food industry are young people who have study commitments during normal business hours.”

The Commission accepted Ai Group’s evidence that young people often prefer to work in the evenings and on weekends, and that many prefer to work on Sundays rather than Saturdays.

“In the fast food industry, weekends and evenings are peak times. Regular business hours have little relevance to businesses in the fast food industry and, therefore, penalty rates that were designed many decades ago around regular business hours need to be re-set.”

“In the Decision, the Commission has recognised that existing Sunday penalty rates in the fast food industry are not fair for employers and no longer relevant.”

“The new penalty rates will be phased in over at least two years to reduce the impact upon employees.”

“The five-Member Full Bench, headed by FWC President, Justice Iain Ross, made their decision on penalty rates in the fast food industry after a case which continued for over two years. The Full Bench carefully weighed up all the arguments and evidence and arrived at a fair and sensible outcome.”

“What is important now is that the decision by the independent umpire is implemented as soon as possible, and that all parties accept the outcome,” Willox said.

Do vegetarians live longer? Probably, but not because they’re vegetarian

In the past few years, you may have noticed more and more people around you turning away from meat. At dinner parties or family barbecues, on your social media feed or in the news, vegetarianism and its more austere cousin, veganism, are becoming increasingly popular.

While the veggie patty and the superfood salad are not going to totally replace lamb, chicken or beef as Aussie staples any time soon, the number of Australians identifying as a vegetarian is rising steadily.

According to Roy Morgan Research, almost 2.1 million Australian adults now say their diet is all or almost all vegetarian. Ask someone why they are a vegetarian and you are likely to get many different answers. The reasons include environmental, animal welfare and ethical concerns, religious beliefs and, of course, health considerations.

It’s this last factor we set out to investigate. There are several existing studies on the impact of vegetarianism on health, but the results are mixed. A 2013 study, which followed more than 95,000 men and women in the United States from 2002 to 2009, found vegetarians had a 12% lower risk of death from all causes than non-vegetarians.

Given the contentious nature of discussions about vegetarianism and meat eating, these findings generated lots of coverage and vegetarianism advocates hailed the study.

We set out to test these findings, to see if being a vegetarian would translate into lower risk of early death in the Australian population. Australia is home to the largest ongoing study of healthy ageing in the southern hemisphere, the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study. This gives us a pool of more than 260,000 men and women aged 45 and over in New South Wales to work with.

We followed a total of 267,180 men and women over an average of six years. During the follow-up period, 16,836 participants died. When we compared the risk of early death for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, while controlling for a range of other factors, we did not find any statistical difference.

Put more simply, when we crunched the data we found vegetarians did not have a lower risk of early death compared with their meat-eating counterparts.

Vegetarians are less likely to be obese.
from www.shutterstock.com

This lack of “survival advantage” among vegetarians, outlined in our paper in Preventive Medicine, does not come as a complete surprise. In 2015, a United Kingdom-based cohort study concluded vegetarians had a similar risk of death from all causes when compared with non-vegetarians. This is contrary to the US-based study findings.

Does that mean everyone should drop the asparagus, fire up the barbie and fill up on snags, steaks and cheeseburgers? Not necessarily.

Other ‘healthy’ factors

It’s standard practice in epidemiological studies to statistically control for various factors (we call them “confounders” as they may confound an association). We controlled for a number of factors to get a true sense of whether vegetarianism by itself reduces risk of death.

It’s important to acknowledge that in most studies vegetarians tend to be the “health-conscious” people, with overall healthier lifestyle patterns than the norm. For example, among the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up participants, vegetarians were less likely than non-vegetarians to report smoking, drinking excessively, insufficient physical activity and being overweight/obese. They were also less likely to report having heart or metabolic disease or cancer at the start of the study.

In most previous studies, vegetarians did have lower risk of early death from all causes in unadjusted analysis. However, after controlling for other lifestyle factors, such as the ones listed above, the risk reduction often decreased significantly (or even completely vanished).

This suggests other characteristics beyond abstinence from meat may contribute to better health among vegetarians. More simply, it’s the associated healthier behaviours that generally come with being a vegetarian – such as not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly – that explain why vegetarians tend to have better health outcomes than non-vegetarians.

In a separate study we conducted using data from the 45 and Up Study, we found people who ate more fruit and vegetables, particularly those who had seven or more serves per day, had a lower risk of death than those who consumed less, even when other factors were accounted for.

And although there is unclear evidence a vegetarian diet promotes longevity, studies have consistently shown other health benefits. For example, a vegetarian diet has been consistently associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

A meta-analysis (a statistical analysis that combines data from multiple studies) from 2012 concluded vegetarians had a 29% lower risk of early death from heart disease and an 18% lower risk for cancer.

It’s important to keep in mind that the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer agency of the World Health Organisation, has classified the consumption of processed meat as carcinogenic and red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans.

So what does it all mean?

While we can’t say for certain if being a vegetarian helps you live longer, we do know having a well-planned, balanced diet with sufficient fruit and vegetables is certainly good for you.

We also know sufficient physical activity, moderating alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco smoking are key factors in living longer. And the growing body of evidence shows vegetarians are more likely to have these healthy habits.

The Conversation

Melody Ding, Senior Research Fellow of Public Health, University of Sydney

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

Scientists have unlocked the secret of making tomatoes taste of something again

If you shop in a supermarket you may well have asked why the fruit and veg you buy there is so tasteless, especially if you’ve also tried homegrown alternatives. Traditional breeds of tomatoes usually grown in gardens, known as heirloom tomatoes, for example, are often small and strangely shaped and coloured but renowned for their delicious taste. Those in the supermarkets, meanwhile, are often pumped up in size but somewhat insipid to eat.

This is because plants used by most tomato farms have gone through an intensive artificial selection process to breed fruit that are big, red and round – but at the expense of taste. Now a 20-strong international research team have identified the chemical compounds responsible for the rich flavour of heirloom tomatoes and the genes that produce them. This information could provide a way for farmers to grow tomatoes that taste of something again.

The unique flavour of a tomato is determined by specific airborne molecules called volatiles, which emanate from flavour chemicals in the fruit. By asking a panel of consumers to rate over a hundred varieties of tomato, the researchers identified 13 volatiles that play an important role in producing the most appealing flavours. They also found that these molecules were significantly reduced in modern tomato varieties compared to the heirloom ones. And they found that bigger tomatoes tended to have less sugar, another reason why large supermarket fruits often fail to inspire.

Tomatoes originally hail from the Andean region of South America and belong to the Solanaceae family, making them relatively close relations of potatoes and peppers. The original, ancestral tomato was very small, more like a pea, showing just how much human intervention has swollen the fruit. We don’t know how long they have been grown for human consumption but they had reached an advanced stage of domestication by the 15th century when they were taken to Europe.

Before the 20th century, tomato varieties were commonly developed in families and small communities (which explains the name “heirloom”). With the industrialisation of farming, the serious business of tomato breeding began with intensive selection for fruit size and shelf life.

Some more recent effort has been put into improving the flavour of tomatoes through breeding. But the new research appears to indicate that this has ultimately been unsuccessful and that earlier breeding efforts have doomed modern commercial varieties to mediocrity.

Family heirlooms.
Shutterstock

The new paper, published in Science, emphasises what seems to be a constant conflict between the food industry’s desire for profit and what the public actually want. The researchers tactfully excuse the way tomatoes have been bred for size and shelf-life at the expense of taste as being down to breeders’ inability to analyse the fruit’s chemical composition and find the right volatiles.

But many people will find this hard to swallow. After all, the new research itself used the most ancient volatile analysis system there is: the human taster. It wouldn’t have taken much for farmers to incorporate taste trials into their breeding programmes.

Because modern farmed tomatoes have only lost their flavour in the last hundred years or so and varieties are still available that produce the tasty volatiles, it should be possible to reinsert the crucial taste genes back into commercial varieties. This could be done by genetic modification or conventional breeding. Just as we are seeing a resurgence in organic and artisan growing, it would be great to see a new generation of tomato breeders interested in returning flavour to the fruit using wild and heirloom varieties, while maintaining other commercially desirable traits.

There is significant public opposition to the idea of genetically modifying foods by inserting genes into a plant’s DNA in the lab. But the idea of reinserting lost genes may be more palatable to the public than introducing completely new ones. Either way, it shows how perverse the food industry’s methods are that we may need to use one of the world’s most advanced technologies to give an inherently delicious food some flavour.

The Conversation

Colin Tosh, Lecturer in Ecology, Evolution and Computational Biology, Newcastle University; Niall Conboy, PhD candidate, Newcastle University, and Thomas McDaniel, PhD candidate, Newcastle University

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

Food safe rectantgular connectors

Mencom’s T-Type Hygienic rectangular connectors are designed for installation on food industry machines and systems.

The food safe and self-extinguishing thermoplastic material is easily cleanable and resistant to the cleaning and sanitising agents commonly used in food processing factories.

There are two series available in the Hygienic enclosures, T-Type/H and T-Type/C. T-Type/H is designed for production lines applications and features the HNBR rubber sealing gasket that has excellent resistance to both chemicals and animal/vegetable fats.

T-Type/C is designed for low-temperature applications, and the sealing gasket is made of silicone rubber that is not only resistant to chemical agents and fats, but also low-temperature resistant as low as -50°C.

The Hygienic enclosure series is IP66 and IP69 rated to withstand rigorous high-pressure, high-temperature washdown procedures.

Safe Work releases new hazardous labelling regulations

Chemicals manufactured or imported before January 1 2017 will be allowed to be supplied without having to meet Work Health and Safety Regulations’ labelling requirements, according to Safe Work Australia.

Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter said this was decided in response to concerns raised by chemical suppliers in the lead up to Australia developing a globally harmonised system for chemical labelling.

“This approach will ensure a smooth transition to the globally harmonised system, or GHS, and will avoid an unnecessary burden on suppliers to re-label existing chemical stock,” she said.

“From 1 January next year, hazardous chemicals may only be supplied to other workplaces without GHS labelling if they were manufactured or imported on or before 31 December 2016, and were correctly labelled at that time.

“In 2017, manufacturers and importers operating under harmonised work health and safety laws must label their hazardous chemicals in accordance with the GHS under the model WHS Regulations.”

Norco leads with domestic violence leave

According to the ABC, In what has been described as a landmark reform, New South Wales dairy cooperative Norco has introduced paid domestic violence (DV) leave for its employees.

Norco chief executive Brett Kelly said it sends the right message on an important social issue.

“You need to look after your employees and it is really important that we have the environment that people can feel safe and an employer that really does care,” he said.

The 121-year-old farming cooperative will now provide three days of paid leave for its workers experiencing domestic violence to access medical appointments, legal proceedings, and other matters, said the ABC report.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union helped negotiate the deal alongside the meatworkers union and said it was a landmark decision and particularly significant to occur in the food manufacturing sector where shifts were more regimented.

Nestle finds life is sweet with Chocolate Law subsidy

Nestlé and other food manufacturers will receive the same levels of export subsidies for using milk and cereals from Swiss farmers next year.

The government wanted to trim Chocolate Law payments by CHF26.7 million but parliament voted to maintain the current level of nearly CHF95 million ($93.8 million).
The decision is seen as a victory for the powerful food industry and farming lobby groups. So what is the Chocolate Law, how did it come into existence and how long can it keep going?
The Chocolate Law
The so-called Schoggigesetz (or Chocolate Law) was introduced in 1974 to compensate Swiss food exporters for the high price of Swiss agricultural goods. Milk and wheat are more expensive to produce in high price Switzerland while high custom duties curtail cheaper foreign imports.
The Swiss food manufacturing industry accounts for around 10% of all Swiss-produced cereals and 7% of milk. Its lobby group estimates that companies have to pay two to three times (or CHF130 million) more for agricultural raw materials than their foreign competitors.
The likes of Nestlé and Lindt & Sprüngli therefore receive state compensation for food products they export broad.

What’s new?
The exact amount of these food export subsidies is open for debate each year. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) insists that they should be capped at CHF114.9 million per annum. But state coffers rarely offer anything like that amount.
Between 2010 and 2014, the payments were around CHF70 million. The Swiss National Bank’s decision to scrap its franc-euro cap in January 2015 put yet more pressure on exporters, so the Chocolate Law pot was raised to around CHF95 million.
The government wants to cut expenditure, so recommended a return to CHF70 million from next year. Following intense lobbying, parliament has rejected any cuts in the subsidy.

Great news for Nestlé & Co
In the short-term, yes. The problem is that WTO pressure finally forced Switzerland to concede defeat last year. It agreed then to phase out the subsidy completely by 2020.
To complicate matters, a “Swiss Made” law will come into force on January 1, 2017, compelling manufacturers to use local produce if they want to use the prestigious “Made in Switzerland” label.
Food manufacturers say they won’t be able to continue producing in Switzerland unless a new solution is found.

 

From https://www.swissinfo.ch

 

What will Aussies be drinking these holidays?

New data reveals Australia’s beverage trends, from beer and spirits to zero alcohol

Beverage purchase data from pubs and bars across major Australian cities reveals the types of drinks we may be consuming at functions in the lead up to Christmas and New Year’s.

At these establishments, beer is Australia’s favourite beverage – even among women – and is mainly consumed at lunchtime and in the afternoons. Spirits are our second favourite – and is surprisingly the number one category among women, surpassing wine purchases – and is mostly consumed late at night.

The analysis was carried out by Clipp.co, Australia’s leading and fastest-growing mobile-payment and deals app for bars, pubs and their restaurants. Clipp took alcohol-purchase data from 55,000 customer orders across more than 600 establishments Australia-wide.

The data compares beverage purchases across four categories: beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks. While beer makes up 45 per cent of all beverage purchases, surprisingly spirits not wine is our next favourite at 33 per cent of all beverage purchases. Wine is third on the list, at 19 per cent of all purchases, and non-alcoholic drinks make up just four per cent of purchases.

When it comes to enjoying a beverage or two over Christmas and New Year’s, it doesn’t have to be at the cost of your holiday or present fund according to Greg Taylor, co-founder of Clipp. The app offers Australians significant discounts on the cost of food and drinks at bars, pubs and restaurants around the country.

“Many Aussies spend this time of year catching up with friends to send off the year that’s been and toast the year ahead, and a lot of us feel the impact of these social outings on our back pocket,” he says.

“January is often a tight month financially as this is when the festive season catches up with us. This data confirms that we love a drink, generally no matter the cost, but by taking advantage of menu specials and happy hour, as well as deals apps and sites – like Clipp – we’re going to get the most bang for our buck and ring in the new year with one less financial concern or resolution to make.”

Beverage trends between men and women

There is a notable difference between men’s and women’s drink purchases. Nearly 55 per cent of all beverage purchases among men is beer – the highest proportion (an average of 64% of all purchases) of which his consumed at lunchtime and in the afternoons. While spirits make up 30 per cent of all beverage purchases by men, this increases to 55 per cent late at night. Wine makes up just 12 per cent of purchases among men.

Surprisingly, spirits top the list of beverages among women, at 36 per cent of all purchases, and increasing to 53 per cent of all purchases late at night. Beer follows closely, at 35 per cent of all purchases, and increasing to 43 per cent of purchases among women at lunchtime. Wine makes up 25 per cent of all beverage purchases among women.

Trends in spirits

Vodka and whisky are the favourite spirits across the nation, making up just over 20 per cent each of all spirit purchases. Vodka is the favourite spirit for all age groups up to age 49, averaging 24 per cent of all spirit purchases. Bourbon is the favourite spirit for Aussies in their fifties (41% of spirit purchases in that age group) and whisky is a favourite for the over sixties, at 42 per cent of spirit purchases.

Trends in wine

White wine is the favourite wine nationally, making up an average of 43 per cent of wine purchases across the major cities. Among women, white wine made up 46 per cent of wine purchases. White wine is a winner among under-20s (83% of all wine purchases) and those in their 50s (52% of all wine purchases).

Queenslanders and West Australians are the biggest white wine drinkers (51% of wine purchases in each State). White wine is also a favourite in South Australia and Victoria, at 48 per cent each of wine purchases. NSW residents are bucking the trend by preferring red wine (48% of all wine purchases).

Trends in beer

Craft beer accounted for 45 per cent of all purchases nationally, with regular beer coming in second at 40 per cent. Melbourne takes the craft beer crown, with the highest percentage of craft beer purchases (55 per cent) against just 34 per cent of regular beer purchases. Perth comes in second, with 48 per cent of craft purchases and regular beer at 35 per cent. Sydney is third, with 46 per cent of craft beer purchases and regular beer at 39 per cent.

In contrast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Adelaide and Darwin are holding onto their love of regular beer, with this category accounting for 59 per cent, 63 per cent and 65 per cent of all beer purchases respectively.