Traceability program to build trust in Australia’s food supply chains

Australia’s food safety systems will be strengthened by the delivery of a new national implementation program to help track and trace food products from farm to fork in domestic and export markets.

The industry-led program, co-designed by Deakin University’s Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics (CSCL), includes an Australian-first Implementing Food Traceability Guide, plus product specific guides and industry demonstrations that will enable greater visibility along the entire food supply chain.

Dr Hermione Parsons, Industry Professor and Director of CSCL, said the program would help supply chains achieve end-to-end traceability and lift capability across the sector from small producers and food manufacturers to large-scale enterprises.

“This package is about building national consistency and integrity into Australia’s food traceability systems,” Parsons said.

“It will ensure industry can better respond to product recalls and will give consumers greater certainty about the source of the products they buy.

“The framework was co-designed in CSCL Food Traceability Lab, a partnership of the private sector, peak industry bodies and government agencies, and gives stakeholders across an agrifood supply chain product visibility and the ability to share relevant product and event data with others along the chain.

“Food suppliers will be able to trace back and authenticate genuine product as supplied and enable regulators to confirm that correct information relating to a product has been entered into border clearance and compliance processes and platforms.”

Ram Akella, from Food Co Metro and product traceability at Woolworths said the need to address customer queries, verify product claims, process product recalls and maintain product integrity with speed and accuracy was fundamental to food enterprises as was the need to know what information to collect and what to share while protecting multiple commercial interests.

“When food products pass through the supply chain – whether animal, plant, grain or grocery item – we need to know where the product has been, when and how it was handled and who was involved,” Akella said.

“By building full product traceability in parallel with regulatory compliance, we will further enhance Brand Australia in both domestic and global markets.

“Using a standard framework and data model means any technology platform or solution can apply a consistent format and the data can be shared with other partners in the supply chain,” Mr Akella said.

The first industry funders of the National Food Traceability Program include Lab members – the MLA’s Integrity Systems Company and the Woolworths Group. GS1 Australia is applying global data standards and is supporting solution providers.

Parsons said the first generic traceability modules relate to On-farm Production and Exporting, and encouraged organisations involved in these activities to have input to these modules commencing in July.

Riverina Fresh pivots supply chain in 72 hours after lockdown comes into effect

Coronavirus and subsequent government restrictions have hit businesses hard, but milk processor is one of the Australian company to rise to the challenge.

As the dairy partner to over 5,000 cafes in VIC, NSW and ACT, Riverina Fresh was forced to seek out alternate sales channels fast when stage three government restrictions forced the shutdown of thousands of hospitality businesses overnight.

Discussions with supermarkets began, and within 72 hours, Riverina Fresh had expanded its retail footprint with a selection of its milks on the shelves of 180 Woolworths stores in Victoria and 100 per cent of stores in NSW and ACT, bypassing the backlogged distribution centres in Victoria and delivering direct to store with its refrigerated trucks.

“Panic buying had set in, and so we seized the opportunity to partner with Woolworths, and regional Coles and independent retailers to keep quality Australian produce on their shelves,” said Riverina Fresh CEO Rob Collier. “We’re a 100 per cent Australian owned dairy company that understands how to navigate tough times, having supported our farmers through the drought in the Riverina for the past three years.”

Following the expansion of its retail footprint, Riverina Fresh sought to collaborate with its out of home channel customers, using Riverina Fresh refrigerators for its milk and cream to enable cafes in their own pivot from eatery to local food pantry.

“Having been part of the foodservice and specialty coffee industry for almost a decade, this challenge is like nothing else we have faced before. And while the storm is far from over, it has been uplifting to see how the industry has come together to rally for their staff, their producers and their partners,” said Collier.

Riverina Fresh’s own pivot has secured the brand an expanded retail footprint in all NSW and ACT Woolworths; a boost for Riverina Fresh, its employees and farmers, in an uncertain time for many Australian manufacturers. The brand is now actively exploring the establishment of a home delivery channel in Melbourne and Sydney as well as further partnerships with independent retailers.

How to grow overseas market share

Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Fiji, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the US and Vietnam – if there is one thing Trisco knows about, it’s exporting.

The Queensland-based company is a fifth-generation company that has been producing food and beverage products for more than 140 years and is always looking for new markets in which to expand.

CEO Mike Tristram has a plethora of dealing with the red tape and bureaucracies when sending products overseas. The first thing he points out is that no two countries are the same – whether they be first or third world. With some countries, getting approval is easy, another might be require more time, while yet others may rely on another country’s approval system.

READ MORE: Anthony Pratt: Value added food will pave way for Australian exports

“For example, the US,” said Tristram. “Officials in another country might say ‘well, if you’re approved by the FDA in the US, there’s no problems here’. Every country has its own little idiosyncrasies. In Pakistan, you need to have specific approval by some office that has to have a physical stamp. Trying to get that physical stamp instead of a photocopy and approval is very difficult. Dealing with those sorts of idiosyncrasies from country to country, can be interesting.”

One of Tristram’s favourite quotes is from LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffman, who described start-ups as like jumping off a cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down.

“Exporting is a little similar but not quite as dramatic,” he said. “It is one of those things you have to figure out on your own depending on your market and depending on where you are going and what you have to sell. It is how unique or not unique it might be and where your strategic advantage is.

“You need the boldness to be able to go into the adventure and find your own pathway within that and be prepared to solve those problems as and when you see them. Even with speed bumps along the way, you need to keep going and learn from them and not give up.”

He believes resilience is the biggest thing that gets a company through the export journey. Also, it is important to get someone on the ground. It is not something that can be discovered, nurtured and expanded upon while sitting in an office in Australia.

“That is the hardest thing – staying on the path and keep slogging,” he said. “You can’t follow a market you don’t understand so you have to go there. And if you are not prepared to go there on a regular basis, then don’t attempt that journey. If you are not prepared to leave the country – at least initially and put a good bedrock down – you will not be successful.”

However, once the connections have been made, it is possible to tone down the travel schedule as long as there is someone on the ground that can be trusted. These are usually locals who know how local regulators and the laws surrounding imports work.
“Some of those places you can handle through agents once you have forged a relationship,” said Tristram. “As long as you have a trusting relationship with the local agent you can pull back a little on those sorts of visits.”

What does help is Australia’s reputation not only as a quality food producer, but as being upfront and honest.

“Australian products are recognised throughout the world as high quality,” he said. “And being relatively clean and green, we’re recognised as being reasonably easy to deal with and we are straightforward. There are a lot of advantages to being Australian.”

The main reason companies try and get into exporting is to grow their company financially. Australia has a finite number of markets within the continent, so expansion is the only way to grow. And while Trisco is happy to manufacture in Australia, the company is going one step further to magnify its footprint in the US – building a plant over there.

“One of the disadvantages is we are still one of the highest costs of manufacturing in the world,” said Tristram. “Until we solve some of these issues, such as energy and utility costs, we are going to continue to struggle. And until we are competitive with the rest of the world on red tape and tax and that sort of thing, there’s not a huge incentive to come to Australia and manufacture. We need to change that.”

One of the products that the company produces is Thick-N Instant, which is under the company’s Precise brand. It has been on the market for three years and doing well. It is designed for those who have dysphagia, which is a condition whereby people have difficulty swallowing. There are many different types of dysphagia, but it usually impacts on those who are aged over 65. It also has a high correlation with people who have Parkinson’s Disease, motor neuron issues or are a victim of a stroke.

“The market that manages the condition, thickens products to four distinct levels that are internationally recognised as part of the diet,” said Tristram. “We take those products up to those viscosities depending on what the problem is. Then they can swallow safely, which means the food goes into their digestive tract and not into their lungs, or into other areas that can cause fluid on the lungs, which can lead to pneumonia.”

It is this demand for the product stateside that lead the company to build a plant over there. Thick-N Instant is protected by intellectual property including patents, some of which are still pending.

“We need to build a plant a little closer to one of our largest customers in the US,” said Tristram.

“And we’ve done that for a couple of reasons. First, Thick-N Instant is a product that is unique and is for a vulnerable population and there is nothing like it in the world that we compete against. Nobody makes anything like it.

“The other issue for us is that you have to have some redundancy, so if something catastrophic happened to the plant we would be in trouble. You have to have that redundancy. Plus of course, seven to nine weeks on the water to another country is a long time for something that only has a shelf life of 12 months.”

Does Tristram feel the company has reached the apex of its export potential? No, but there are other issues he can see on the horizon

“The food industry is contracting a little bit,” he said. “What we are seeing now is ingredient suppliers not being as flexible as they used to be. The variety of the products on offer are there. They’re bringing them in from all over the world – Europe, Asia, US – everywhere.

“But getting consistent supply and variety that we can use to draw off the same sort of spec is becoming more difficult. For example, if you have 40 tonnes of strawberries and you need another 20 tonnes, trying to find it locally is going to be difficult.”

Steel belts for chocolate manufacturing solutions

Cooling and forming are critical stages in the production of both chocolate and confectionery, and few companies have more experience in these areas than Melbourne-based IPCO.

As an independent company owned by FAM AB, and part of the Swedish-based Wallenberg group, IPCO is a globally active engineering company with sales and service offices in more than 35 countries. As a business its connection with the food industry stretches back almost a century, when its steel belts were first used in bake ovens.

Milestones since then include their use for cooling chocolate drops at an American confectionery company in the 1930s, for ice-cream freezing (1959) and for chocolate conveying (1960). Today, IPCO steel belts are used in applications ranging from simple conveying to continuous processes such as cooling/solidification, conditioning, casting, freezing and finishing.

In parallel with this, IPCO has developed its own forming systems including the Rotoform FD – a food-grade pastillation system used to turn molten product, such as chocolate, fruit-flavoured jelly, gum base, fats and other additives, into solid, consistently sized pastilles.

Processing solution for industrial and decorative chocolate
This expertise in pastillation in general, and chocolate in particular, has seen the company create a specialist division focussed on chocolate processing.

With its own production facilities in Breda, The Netherlands, this division produces versatile forming systems for both industrial (chunks, chips and blocks) and decorative (rolls, shavings, blossoms etc.) chocolate products. These systems are designed to maximise productivity while also ensuring a premium quality end product.

The company has developed a portfolio that includes depositors, extruders, cutters and decorative forming systems, as well as high-performance, steel-belt conveyors and economical plastic belt systems. By combining these different elements, IPCO can offer process lines suitable for everything from low-cost, rapid-deployment start-ups to high-performance, multi-layer systems.

Rotoform rotary depositing chip production
At the heart of every IPCO high-speed, high-capacity chocolate forming system is the Rotoform rotary depositor, a unit first developed for the chemical industry but subsequently adapted for food processing. More than 2,000 Rotoform depositors are now used around the world.

The Rotoform itself consists of a heated cylindrical stator and perforated rotating shell that turns concentrically around the stator. Chocolate drops are deposited across the whole operating width of a continuously running cooling belt. The outer depositor shell can be replaced to enable the production of chips of a different size, with a changeover in less than 30 minutes.

The circumferential speed of the Rotoform is synchronised with the speed of the belt so drops are deposited without deformation. The heat of the drops is transferred to cooling air blown onto the product and also to the belt itself.

The most recent addition to this range is the Rotoform HP, a high-performance system offering a range of advantages including increased productivity, reduced maintenance and the ability to handle higher viscosity products. Reliable, versatile and easy to use, the Rotoform HP is available on all IPCO chocolate production lines, or as a retrofit replacement for piston depositors.

Suitable for the production of chips from 250-35,000 pcs/kg, this versatile module delivers a consistently sized product at depositing speeds of up to 40 m/min. Available in 800mm, 1,200mm and 1,500mm widths, the Rotoform HP can process viscosities up to 25,000 mPas.

Single- and triple-pass cooling lines
IPCO produces a range of cooling systems to meet different throughput requirements. Single-pass, end-to-end cooling lines are designed for low-to-medium capacity requirements from 200-2,000 kg/hr.

These affordable systems can incorporate a gear or rotary depositor for chip production and/or extruder and servo cutter for chunks. IPCO triple-pass cooling systems enable high throughput rates while minimising floor space requirements. The product is deposited on the first belt and adheres to the underside for the second pass. It is then removed on to a second conveyor for a third pass.

IPCO steel belts for confectionery processing
As well as producing complete process systems, IPCO is also a manufacturer of steel belts, supplying third-party machine builders (OEMs) throughout the food industry in general, and the confectionery industry in particular.

Steel belts are a versatile conveying medium. They are available in solid or perforated form and can be manufactured to virtually any length and, at IPCO’s manufacturing plant in Sweden, to widths from 25-9,000mm.

Steel belts offer a unique range of thermal properties, being capable of operating in temperatures from minus 80°C to +750°C. Cooling is an area in which IPCO has end-to-end process expertise, working with machine manufacturers to ensure optimum productivity and return on investment.

These systems are used for cooling and solidifying, with applications including chocolate, sugar mass, caramel, gelatine, hard-melt candy, nougat, nut brittle and more.

Steel belts are also used in zoned conditioning systems; slab and bar casting applications (e.g. caramel and sugar mass); freezer lines; drying units; chocolate melt reclamation; and in finishing operations (e.g. cutting, folding, layering).

In terms of cleanliness and hygienic food handling, the flat surface of a steel confectionery conveyor means there are no joints or crevices in which germs can hide. Its smoothness means a cleaner, easier discharge of lollies, chocolate and similar products at the end of a conveying or processing line.

And stainless steel can be subjected to any method of cleaning – steam, pressure, detergents, brushes, chemicals, even aggressive scrapers – to ensure the lowest levels of bacteria and the highest standards of hygiene.

IPCO supplies belts for use in OEM systems and it can also supply every aspect of a steel-belt conveying unit, including drums, compact belt tracking devices, belt and drum cleaners, safety scrapers and belt-edge detectors, cast-iron skid bars, graphite skid bars and both active and passive belt-tracking controls.

Engineers can advise on upgrade paths or optimum process layouts, and the company’s worldwide technical support network means that installations and commissioning can be carried out quickly and efficiently.

The company can also supply complete, standalone conveyor units that represent best practice in terms of hygienic food conveying. These feature a stainless-steel framework designed to allow access for cleaning, with no narrow gaps or other hard-to-reach places in which dirt, debris and bacteria could otherwise collect.

The framework is designed to minimise the risk of water pooling after cleaning, reducing the possibility of bacterial growth. The stainless-steel conveyor belt is “endless welded” to eliminate any trace of a joint and its smooth surface means there are no hidden gaps or recesses in which bacteria could collect. All bearings are food approved and lubricated for life with food-approved lubricating grease. The motor is food-approved and has IP65 protection.

Enhanced technical and service support throughout Oceania
In line with the strategic vision for business growth in the region, IPCO recently announced its relocation to a new office, warehouse and workshop facility at Burwood, Victoria. This new facility will enable IPCO to increase efficiency and enhance support capabilities – resulting in stronger partnerships with clients throughout Oceania.

Future-proofing your supply chain: It’s not what you expect

Your greatest cost is also your greatest asset. Make one crucial step before investing in new technologies and invest in future-proofing your people. Here’s why…

Technology is no doubt having a transformational impact on the supply chain sector; blockchain, automation, machine learning and AI are improving operational processes, driving efficiency and ultimately better supply chain management.

Food and beverage companies are running lean operations and there’s always pressure on the supply chain manager to improve efficiency, lower costs and continue to deliver the same level of customer experience throughout the supply chain. Financially, the biggest cost to your business are your people – but what if you saw them as an asset, rather than a cost; improving your supply chain through their talents.

Supply chain leadership for F&B supply chains is crucial; before you harness the capability of new technologies or processes like IBP and advanced analytics, you need to have a foundation of good talent to be able to utilise them. Supply chain managers acknowledge that other leaders in their businesses think their job is a ‘back office’ function, but the real opportunity to improve the business lies in strategic differentiation and unleashing the power of your people to enable change.

READ: 7 risks in the food supply chain that compromise customer safety.

Amy O’Hara – head of supply chain at Sumo Salad suggests that the biggest indicator of success in your supply chain is in the success of your teams. The true ability to future-proof your systems is by preparing your teams for success in an automated supply chain future and understanding the importance of outsourcing to build skillsets in areas you’re currently lacking.

One of the brains behind Nike’s automated warehouse – Marie Varrasso, former director supply chain highlights the importance of bringing your people and technology together to create an automated warehouse that works in practice. The key reminder here: if you do not prepare your people properly for technological innovation, they will not be able to use these tools to their fullest potential. Automated warehouses are becoming more common in the F&B sector with Woolies leading the way in their fully autonomous warehouse – would your teams be prepared and upskilled if your warehouse was to go autonomous tomorrow?

The ASCI2019 conference brings together pioneers like O’Hara and Varasso in the industry who are leading the way to a more connected, transparent and automated supply chain. Leaders from Coca Cola – Carly Cummings and former Head of Transformation – Supply Chain will come together to discuss the nexus between people, skills and technology and why future-proofing your supply chain actually means future-proofing your people.

Across two days and three customisable streams, the event delves into the practical impacts of technology and innovation, pathing the way toward operational excellence in Industry 4.0 and the imperative to prepare the future supply chain management workforce today.

The supply chain workforce brings promise with opportunity for skills development and a multi-generational diverse group of thought leaders to engage – but this requires true leadership. ASC2019 brings together leaders and their teams with interactive workshops, panels and the coveted ASCI Leadership Challenge. Share your challenges with peers, learn from the thought leaders in the sector and develop a plan to harness this opportunity at ACSI2019.

Bridging the gap – dock levellers in food & beverage manufacturing

Food & Beverage Industry News talks to MHE-Demag Australia’s Paul Clarke about how dock levellers help businesses improve their bottom lines by ensuring their logistics operations are safe and efficient.

For manufacturers, the gap between the plant floor and the delivery truck is tricky. It not only poses a potential safety risk, but also can be a source of inefficiency. For food and beverage makers, there is an added concern. Because these businesses deal with perishable products, speed and temperature control are important considerations. They have to be able to ensure their goods arrive fresh to their destinations.

MHE-Demag Australia offers a range of solutions to help businesses deal with these concerns.

“The products and solutions we offer within the industrial product market, provide entrance controls that assist with the environmental integrity within food and beverage temperature-controlled storage and manufacturing facilities,” Paul Clarke, MHE-Demag Australia’s national sales manager told Food & Beverage Industry News.

“Our low-maintenance/high-strength docking products, along with our range of industrial doors, assist with improving productivity through longevity and durability and cost reduction through environmental controls.”

How to choose the right dock leveller

There are many dock levellers on the market that are sold with promises of heavy-duty capacity or high quality. However, according to Clarke, those making such claims often overlook some important considerations.

Choosing the right product for each individual application is one such concern. “The correct size and duty of the dock leveller will not only greatly affect the transition between the factory or warehouse floor and the floor, or bed of the trailer or truck being loaded, but also improve the life cycle of the products and maintain safe operational integrity,” he said.

He said that, where floor heights and load averages are known, MHE-Demag Australia can use a formula to identify the most suitable product for the application.

“Our products not only satisfy any concerns surrounding quality, strength and integrity but can also reduce the internal footprint normally taken up by dock leveller equipment,” he said. “This can increase the valuable floor space within manufacturing or storage facilities by taking the loading process outside the buildings with external dock design options.”

The company offers a variety of docking solutions, from the hydraulically operated “Gator” pit or frame mounted dock leveller range, through to “Edge of Dock” and “Scissor Lift” dock platforms in all sizes and configurations.

According to Clarke, the Gator dock leveller is worth highlighting. Research, conducted by the company showed that one of the most critical parts for loading docks is the capacity they can carry. As a result, MHE-Demag Australia designed the Gator from scratch to allow up to 20t being carried over the dock leveller, while having the same dimensions as most existing dock pits. This design enables fitting Gators into existing dock pits as well as consideration for current projects that work on standard pit dimensions.

On top of that, MHE-Demag Australia offers a range of industrial door products as well as number of after-market safety and environmental products such as “vehicle restraint systems”, traffic control/communication systems, lights and fans for safety and comfort as well as “dock seals and shelters” that are designed to provide an environmental enclosure in and around loading docks.

Pre and after-sales support

As national sales manager, Clarke is predominantly concerned with building new business and customer relationships by penetrating into a targeted market and territories.

“I also oversee the establishment or addition of vendor and sub-contract specialist resources to accompany our technical abilities to install and service all products within our holistic product portfolio,” he said.

He pointed out that the company is not just about supplying the highest quality products. Making sure customers choose the right solution for their application is the most important concern.

“That’s why we offer a free, no obligation dock survey and site inspection prior to any business engagement, to assist with identifying any potential issues or hazards that can often be overlooked,” he said. “We also focus on constant improvements to provide high standard after-sales service and planned maintenance options to protect our customers’ best investments and provide ‘peace of mind’.”

MHE-Demag Australia has established a strong presence in the Australian food and beverage manufacturing sector. For example, the company is currently in the final stage of completion within the expansion project at the Coca Cola Amatil site in Brisbane. For this project, it has provided a docking solution package incorporating dock levellers, restraint systems and loading lights through F K Gardener & Sons Constructions.

In addition, the company also has docks installed with RED Trucks Logistics & Storage and Style Ergonomics in Sydney. There have also been further successful projects undertaken at various sites through resellers in Victoria, along with the use of industrial door products within DTZ Auburn rail maintenance facility.

The future of logistics

According to Clarke, the importance of logistics has never been greater. “I believe that with the growing demands of an increasing population within Australia there will always be a need for greater logistical presence and efficiency,” he said.

“With the arrival and expansion of global retail giants like Amazon, Costco, Lidl and many more making their way into our growing market, the need for viable and reliable products that assist with the productivity of this sector will be in high demand. Quality is now the growing focus and presence within this modern market and MHE-Demag is renowned for being at the forefront of quality and safety with cranes and lifting equipment. This experience in delivering highest quality solutions now dwells into docking solutions to serve the food and beverage industry.”

MHE-Demag Australia designed the Gator from scratch to allow up to 20t being carried over the dock leveller.
MHE-Demag Australia designed the Gator from scratch to allow up to 20t being carried over the dock leveller.

Dock levellers – bridging the gap for logistics operations

Food & Beverage Industry News talks to MHE-Demag Australia’s Paul Clarke about how dock levellers help businesses improve their bottom lines by ensuring their logistics operations are safe and efficient.

For manufacturers, the gap between the plant floor and the delivery truck is tricky. It not only poses a potential safety risk, but also can be a source of inefficiency. For food and beverage makers, there is an added concern. Because these businesses deal with perishable products, speed and temperature control are important considerations. They have to be able to ensure their goods arrive fresh to their destinations.

MHE-Demag Australia offers a range of solutions to help businesses deal with these concerns.

“The products and solutions we offer within the industrial product market, provide entrance controls that assist with the environmental integrity within food and beverage temperature-controlled storage and manufacturing facilities,” Paul Clarke, MHE-Demag Australia’s national sales manager told Food & Beverage Industry News.

“Our low-maintenance/high-strength docking products, along with our range of industrial doors, assist with improving productivity through longevity and durability and cost reduction through environmental controls.”

How to choose the right dock leveller

There are many dock levellers on the market that are sold with promises of heavy-duty capacity or high quality. However, according to Clarke, those making such claims often overlook some important considerations.

Choosing the right product for each individual application is one such concern. “The correct size and duty of the dock leveller will not only greatly affect the transition between the factory or warehouse floor and the floor, or bed of the trailer or truck being loaded, but also improve the life cycle of the products and maintain safe operational integrity,” he said.

He said that, where floor heights and load averages are known, MHE-Demag Australia can use a formula to identify the most suitable product for the application.

“Our products not only satisfy any concerns surrounding quality, strength and integrity but can also reduce the internal footprint normally taken up by dock leveller equipment,” he said. “This can increase the valuable floor space within manufacturing or storage facilities by taking the loading process outside the buildings with external dock design options.”

The company offers a variety of docking solutions, from the hydraulically operated “Gator” pit or frame mounted dock leveller range, through to “Edge of Dock” and “Scissor Lift” dock platforms in all sizes and configurations.

According to Clarke, the Gator dock leveller is worth highlighting. Research, conducted by the company showed that one of the most critical parts for loading docks is the capacity they can carry. As a result, MHE-Demag Australia designed the Gator from scratch to allow up to 20t being carried over the dock leveller, while having the same dimensions as most existing dock pits. This design enables fitting Gators into existing dock pits as well as consideration for current projects that work on standard pit dimensions.

On top of that, MHE-Demag Australia offers a range of industrial door products as well as number of after-market safety and environmental products such as “vehicle restraint systems”, traffic control/communication systems, lights and fans for safety and comfort as well as “dock seals and shelters” that are designed to provide an environmental enclosure in and around loading docks.

Pre and after-sales support

As national sales manager, Clarke is predominantly concerned with building new business and customer relationships by penetrating into a targeted market and territories.

“I also oversee the establishment or addition of vendor and sub-contract specialist resources to accompany our technical abilities to install and service all products within our holistic product portfolio,” he said.

He pointed out that the company is not just about supplying the highest quality products. Making sure customers choose the right solution for their application is the most important concern.

“That’s why we offer a free, no obligation dock survey and site inspection prior to any business engagement, to assist with identifying any potential issues or hazards that can often be overlooked,” he said. “We also focus on constant improvements to provide high standard after-sales service and planned maintenance options to protect our customers’ best investments and provide ‘peace of mind’.”

MHE-Demag Australia has established a strong presence in the Australian food and beverage manufacturing sector. For example, the company is currently in the final stage of completion within the expansion project at the Coca Cola Amatil site in Brisbane. For this project, it has provided a docking solution package incorporating dock levellers, restraint systems and loading lights through F K Gardener & Sons Constructions.

In addition, the company also has docks installed with RED Trucks Logistics & Storage and Style Ergonomics in Sydney. There have also been further successful projects undertaken at various sites through resellers in Victoria, along with the use of industrial door products within DTZ Auburn rail maintenance facility.

The future of logistics

According to Clarke, the importance of logistics has never been greater. “I believe that with the growing demands of an increasing population within Australia there will always be a need for greater logistical presence and efficiency,” he said.

“With the arrival and expansion of global retail giants like Amazon, Costco, Lidl and many more making their way into our growing market, the need for viable and reliable products that assist with the productivity of this sector will be in high demand. Quality is now the growing focus and presence within this modern market and MHE-Demag is renowned for being at the forefront of quality and safety with cranes and lifting equipment. This experience in delivering highest quality solutions now dwells into docking solutions to serve the food and beverage industry.”

The task of transferring goods from plant to truck can be tricky.
The task of transferring goods from plant to truck can be tricky.

Fulfilment by Amazon launches for Australian Businesses

The thousands of businesses registered to sell on Amazon’s Australian Marketplace can now access Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). Businesses can now benefit from Amazon’s logistics capabilities, helping them quickly and efficiently reach customers across Australia.

Businesses simply send the products they wish to ship through FBA to Amazon’s fulfilment centre and when a customer places an order, Amazon will pick, pack and ship the product on behalf of the business. This saves valuable time and money for businesses as they will no longer need to individually purchase shipping materials, individually pack orders, and make multiple trips to the post office.

Businesses that participate in FBA also benefit from Amazon’s customer service. Amazon will handle all customer returns, saving businesses time and providing a great customer experience.  By harnessing FBA, businesses of all sizes, or even individuals selling out of their home, can benefit from world-leading logistics and fulfilment services that would otherwise only be possible for well-established companies.

“Size doesn’t matter in the digital economy and Amazon Marketplace helps to level the playing field when it comes to starting or growing a business,” said Amit Mahto, Head of FBA in Australia. “We are focused on helping Australian businesses of all sizes succeed by inventing on their behalf and making our technology available to them and FBA is a fantastic example of this. Customers shopping on amazon.com.au will be able to access an ever growing and more unique range of products accompanied by the convenience of fast delivery and Amazon’s world-class customer service.”

FBA gives customers access to items sold by Marketplace sellers with the benefit of Amazon delivery.  This means that customers can enjoy free delivery on eligible orders above $49, and other shipping options including a one-day expedited delivery service available in select areas across Australia.  With Prime set to launch in mid-2018 all FBA orders will also be eligible for the Prime shipping benefits.

“With the help of FBA, we’ve been able to enter countries including the US and the UK, which we could have never done on our own.” said Kevin Lippy, founder of the Sydney-based baby brand Hip Cub. “Fulfilment by Amazon really changed the game for us, and we’re thrilled it is now launching in Australia. FBA has allowed us to concentrate on the things we’re good at such as digital marketing and product development, leaving the logistics such as packing and delivery to Amazon.”

MEGATRANS2018 continues to gather steam

The event is shaping up as a must-attend event within the Australian and international supply chain. A number of companies which are of particular interest to food and beverage manufacturers have recently signed up as exhibitors.

For three days, from 10 to 12 May 2018, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre will host the inaugural MEGATRANS2018. Delivered in partnership with the Victorian Government, the event will bring together the transport, logistics and supply chain sectors.

Some of the exhibitors which have recently signed up include:

ifm efector

The emergence of big data means that things like sensors have become key components of warehousing and logistics. Global sensor manufacturer ifm efector will be displaying a number of products that support these operations.

The company designs and manufactures instrumentation sensors for process control and automation, as well as a software suite, enabling companies to extract data from the factory floor send it to various medias and make it available on the cloud or on the premises.

Technical director Michael Pitschlitz noted that the event will provide a valuable opportunity for the company to reach key potential customers and gain exposure.

“We are not well known in the logistics industry,” he said. “We believe that MEGATRANS2018 will be a great platform to get into warehousing and logistics and showcase a new range of track-and-trace instrumentation and sensor products that we have been developing.

“We are excited to be involved in this event as it will expose us into this market and introduce us to new customers.”

Daanet

In a similar vein Daanet, a maker of industrial automation products, will be part of the line-up.

As the authorised Australian distributor for a wide range of industrial product ranges, including Hirschmann’s range of Industrial Ethernet equipment, IDEM Safety Switches, B&R Automation products and more, the company brings not only a variety of unique products, but also strong experience to the show.

Daanet joins the diverse list of exhibitors signed up for the show, who cover everything from transport, logistics, warehousing solutions, materials handling, infrastructure and more.

SICK

SICK will be showcasing its range of complete system solutions for the logistics industry. Rather than simply providing individual components, the sensor manufacturer will offer a broad technology portfolio with suitable solutions for individual customer requirements. The company’s appearance will focus on Industry 4.0, digitisation of goods and real-time monitoring.

“SICK is excited to be present at MEGATRANS2018,” said Jason Mair national product and marketing manager SICK Australia/New Zealand. “During recent years digitalisation and networking in logistic processes in particular have crystallised into a major topic that SICK’s exhibition stand focuses on. For a sensor company like SICK this presents amazing opportunities that we look forward to exploring by partnering and collaborating with the industry to ensure that our customers are well placed and digitalised for the future.”

Advanced Robotics Australia

The fast-developing robotics field is sometimes cause for cause among those who believe it will lead to job losses.

The counter-argument to this fear is that robots will always require humans to control them. And far from causing job losses, robotics actually promises to grow industries, for example, by helping the supply chain run more effectively and improving the efficiency of transport and logistics.

Advanced Robotics Australia joins the growing list of manufacturing and logistics-oriented businesses already on board.

With extensive experience across a diverse range of industries and processes, the company offers unique solutions of automation and robotics technology and is well placed to engage with industry leaders in the supply chain and warehousing industry at MEGATRANS2018.

MEGATRANS2018: Take part in a Global Logistics Revolution

VISA Global Logistics joins MEGATRANS2018

Award-winning Australian international logistics company and freight forwarder, VISA Global Logistics, is joining inaugural supply chain event, MEGATRANS2018, to showcase its service offerings.

VISA Global Logistics CEO, Simon Hardwidge, said that MEGATRANS2018 is not just about equipment suppliers, it embraces the entire freight and logistics chain.

“As a global enterprise with dealings with importers, exporters, retailers and manufacturers, VISA Global Logistics is seizing an important opportunity to represent at MEGATRANS2018 to demonstrate how we add value to our clients,” said Hardwidge.

“As one of Australia’s largest privately-owned international freight forwarding companies, we have an extensive global network that continues to grow.

“Last year alone, the company acquired offices in India, Spain and the Netherlands while opening new facilities in Italy. In order to remain competitive, and to look to the future, it is vital for businesses in the freight and logistics space to push innovation and share ideas,” he said.

VISA Global Logistics was awarded the Freight Forwarder of the Year Award at the 2017 Australian Shipping & Maritime Industry Awards.

MEGATRANS2018 aims to bring together leaders and stakeholders in the wider Australian and international supply chain, including those in the transport, logistics, warehousing solutions, materials handling and infrastructure sectors.

For more information on exhibiting at MEGATRANS2018, contact Anastasia Razdiakonova: P 03 9690 8766 E anastasia.razdiakonova@primecreative.com.au

MEGATRANS2018: Take part in a Global Logistics Revolution

SmartFreight solution certified by GS1 Australia for freight labelling standards

SmartFreight, a leading Australian global freight software provider, has embraced the recommendations in Austroads’ supply chain visibility report for Australian industry to adopt Global Data Standards (GDS) to improve freight visibility and supply chain efficiencies.

The SmartFreight solution has successfully completed GS1 Australia’s Transport Software Certification process. SmartFreight users are now able to generate freight labels according to the GS1 global supply chain standards outlined in the Australian Freight Labelling Guideline.

GS1 supply chain standards enable parties across the supply chain to operate more efficiently with improved freight visibility using a common standard for identifying, labelling and sharing data relating to the movement of freight units.

The GS1 Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) is a globally unique freight unit identifier used to uniquely identify each freight unit from origin to destination.

Kerry Holmes, Managing Director Australia and New Zealand at SmartFreight said, “SmartFreight fully support the Australian Freight Labelling Standards, based on GS1 open global standards. The GS1 system is the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world, enabling increased visibility and reduced costs across the supply chain, which ultimately helps all Australians.”

GS1 Australia’s Senior Advisor – Trade, Transport & Heavy Industry, Michiel Ruighaver said, “We are very pleased that SmartFreight have embraced GS1 global supply chain standards and look forward to assisting them and their clients to improve efficiency and freight visibility within their supply chains.”

The SSCC can be used to uniquely identify any type of logistic unit including satchels, cartons, crates and pallets.

 

MEGATRANS2018: Take part in a Global Logistics Revolution

A 200-year journey: Serving the food manufacturer in Australia

With Australian-grown produce now on the march, managing director Vince Di Costanzo explains how MHE-Demag Australia is driving the food and beverage industry forward.

At the forefront of manufacturing growth in Australia, food and beverage production is the guiding light.

The end of 2017 marked 15 months of continual expansion, according
to the Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI), despite a misconceived belief that the industry is in decline.

While it is changing focus – following the off shoring of sectors including automotive assembly and an acceleration towards the age of automation and robotics – one thing remains certain.

The appetite for Australian-grown food products is stronger than ever
– particularly in Asia – and means the distribution of packaged produce doesn’t have plans to go away any time soon.

Ideally positioned as the Pacific Rim’s dual logistics and cranes specialist, MHE-Demag’s industry knowledge is helping the drive from farm to fork.

And its latest technology, including the KBK Crane Construction Kit, is adding value to the production of raw and processed foodstuffs.

Following a journey that brought the German-based cranes specialist Demag halfway around the world to

Australia, it was a stop off in Asia in the last century where it first discovered its new purpose.

“KBK is our light-weight construction kit and is very adaptable to applications within the food industry,” said Vince Di Costanzo, MHE-Demag Australia’s managing director.

“It is used mainly in handling lighter loads – up to a ton or so – though, in the food industry, it can also support loads as low as 50kg.

“The beauty is that it gives room to manipulate the crane’s movements with less manual effort, improving cycle times while ensuring the safety of the machine operator.”
The company turns 200 years old next year. For almost 65 years, it has been based in Australia.

MHE-Demag's GATOR dock leveller - an essential piece in loading bay solutions.
MHE-Demag’s GATOR dock leveller – an essential piece in loading bay solutions.

 

Expanding the business has been no easy feat, however. Introducing new markets in Asia to its own supply chain, the company – formerly known as Demag Cranes and Components
– first sought the services of a distributor already established in that region.

Jebsen and Jessen (J&J), based
in Singapore and Malaysia, has a footprint in Southeast Asia over many generations, and it was in the early 1970s when Demag came calling.

“Although pockets of our manufacturing industry in Australia are moving offshore, we are still consuming those goods and that consumption is only expected to increase,” Di Costanzo said.

“In terms of manufacturing production, that is in decline. However, in terms of logistics, warehousing and transportation of manufactured goods – whether for import or export – that is In 2015, a smart move saw Demag Cranes & Components become MHE-Demag Australia, allowing J&J to own 50 per cent – joining their crane technology with J&J’s logistical nous, including its in-house dock-levelling equipment.

From this marriage of continents, MHE-Demag made its way to Australia.

“It means, in terms of the food industry and those customers we served before, we can do more than simply focus on their factory floor,” Di Costanzo explained.

“We can now assist them in getting the product out of the factory and into the warehouses where they are ultimately distributed from.”

This assistance can be provided by innovative loading bay solutions, tailored to ever-growing logistics challenges in Australia. The key here is MHE-Demag’s Gator – a dock leveller specifically designed for highly demanding operations in Australian warehouses.

Especially in the food and beverage industry, this extension of being further along the value chain allows the company to provide one-stop solutions, both on the factory floor and in the loading bay.

Using nylon wheels instead
of steel, KBK wears cleanly; a feature Di Costanzo insists makes MHE-Demag’s cranes more suited to the sector.

“The KBK Construction Kit
is designed to fit to lightweight structures, which are typically used around food-grade equipment,” he said.

“It is much easier to integrate than a large, overhead-travelling crane, which, due to its design,

wears over time, and when that happens, can cause debris to fall into the foodstuffs and contaminate stock.”

Standards for haulage on Australia’s roads and transport infrastructure are changing, with the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) making amendments to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR), which will hold more manufacturers accountable for freight-related incidents on the road, and not only haulage companies.

MHE-Demag’s cranes and loading bay solutions are supported by German safety standards, which Di Costanzo says are an industry leader worldwide.

“Having that German connection means we have always been ahead of the safety standards required,” he continued, “and that is the case for all of our products”.

“Australia, typically, looks to Europe for the next revision of
the standards. At MHE-Demag, our own engineering manager, Peter Woodward, heads the Crane Standards Committee here in Australia, which allows us to be the pace-setter when it comes to safety, whether that is in manufacturing or logistics.”

Paving the way to cutting food costs

Researchers have provided the most detailed map of routes and costings across Australia’s entire agricultural supply chain, potentially saving the industry millions of dollars annually.

The CSIRO researchers have applied the logistics tool TraNSIT (Transport Network Strategic Investment Tool) to 98 per cent of agriculture transport across Australia including commodities such as beef, sheep, goats, dairy, pigs, poultry, grains, cotton, rice, sugar, stockfeed, horticultural and even buffalo.

The information was presented in the final TraNSIT agricultural report, released this week.

Transport infrastructure is essential to moving over 80 million tonnes of Australian agricultural (including horticultural) output between farms, storage, processors and to markets each year and  costs close to $6 billion annually.

The TraNSIT tool identifies ways to reduce travel distance and time, save fuel costs, cut down on wear and tear to vehicles and produce and minimise stress for both truck drivers and livestock.

“Farmers will be saving money on transport as well as being able to deliver food to the market faster and with less damage and disruption,” CSIRO’s TraNSIT project leader Dr Andrew Higgins said.

“We expect these savings will eventually be passed onto the consumers.”

In 2013, CSIRO developed TraNSIT to provide a comprehensive view of transport logistics costs and benefits based on infrastructure investments in agriculture supply chains in Australia.

An initiative of the Federal Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the tool was originally applied to the beef industry before being extended to all agriculture transport across Australia.

The first project under the $100 million Beef Roads program will be the sealing of 17km of the Clermont to Alpha Road in Central Queensland, which is due to start early next year.

The $8m works will improve road safety and access for oversize vehicles while reducing freight and maintenance costs.

Besides the latest TraNSIT agricultural report focusing on each agricultural commodity, it also features a flood case study and rail to road scenarios.

“Several case studies were identified by industry and government for this final report, representing TraNSIT’s diversity of applications across Australia,” Dr Higgins said.

Researchers applied TraNSIT to evaluate the impact of road closures and detours on the transport of valuable crops and livestock during flood events, using Forbes in Central West NSW as an important case study.

From early-September to mid-October 2016 severe rainfall caused extensive road closures throughout NSW with Forbes becoming particularly isolated.

“The Forbes area is a diverse agricultural region of grain production, beef cattle, poultry, dairy and pigs,” Dr Higgins said.

“There was about a $2m increase in transport costs created by the short term and long term road closures from this flooding event, and about another 500 vehicle trips that could not occur as there was no alternative routes.

“The cost would have been even greater if the floods had occurred during harvest season where more cotton and grain are being transported in large volumes on the roads.”

Using TraNSIT, researchers can analyse several ways to reduce the economic impact of floods in country regions and throughout Australia including upgrading or raising particular bridges to reduce the frequency of closures from flooding.

This will in turn reduce the occurrences where cattle or harvested crops cannot reach their market.

The rail to road hypothetical scenario looked at the impact of shifting all agriculture (grains, beef, sugar, cotton) that currently use rail to be road only.

Grains were more expensive ($208m) when transported by road while cattle (or beef) was much less expensive (about 70 per cent less). These differences were primarily due to rail wagon capacity versus semi-trailer capacity.

TraNSIT is now being applied overseas, particularly in Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam to address supply chain inefficiencies and cross-border bottlenecks.

Isuzu signs on with MEGATRANS2018

Truck manufacturer Isuzu has announced its support of multi-modal supply chain event MEGATRANS2018, joining the show as a Platinum Sponsor.

Isuzu, a market leader in the Australian transport industry for 28 consecutive years, joins key partners including the Victorian Government and the Port of Melbourne in supporting this inaugural trade show event, which takes over the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 10-12 May 2018.

With a focus on connected vehicles and a technology-driven display in the works for MEGATRANS2018, Isuzu is aiming to set a new benchmark in the wider supply chain industry.

“The discussion and hype surrounding autonomous, or driverless, vehicles and technologies continue to build both overseas and here in Australia,” says Phil Taylor, Director and COO of Isuzu.

“Disruptive technologies appear to be becoming more prevalent with each new year, fundamentally changing the way the market will look at the road transport industry over the next few decades.

“There is one thing that I know for certain, whatever the technology, or the timeframe – Isuzu will ensure that Australian truck operators have access to the latest innovations in truck technology that are suitable for Australian operating conditions, driving better safety outcomes for all road users and improving air quality, productivity and the bottom line for the operator.”

Food & Beverage Industry News is an official Media Partner of MEGATRANS2018.

Farmer Power launches new fund raising campaigns

Farmer Power,  has just launched two fund raising campaigns in partnership with APCO Australia to help promote and fund an educational campaign for the public and as a signal to the government to inform them on the issues within the dairy industry.

According to the news release by Farmer Power, they have said that the financial hardships that farmers are facing will not stop at Victoria but will also eventually impact on everyone, both personally and financially, if it is not addressed.

It has been reported across several news sources that rural businesses in dairy farming regions are in trouble with farmers being in debt. This was speculated to be due to the trickle-down effect of last year’s dairy crisis.

 

These campaigns are aimed at gaining assistance from the business fraternity in supporting Farmer Power in their endeavours.

They are also aimed at building support from both the public and businesses to bring about positive change for Dairy Farmers, but not only dairy farmers, but also regional businesses and rural communities which are all being directly  impacted by this crisis.

Skycargo delivering for perishable food producers

Australia’s advanced logistics is helping perishable producers get a leg-up in the Middle Eastern Market.

For Wade Bollard, Export Manager of CT Freight, getting his customers’ product to the growing Middle Eastern market is a race against time.

Australian lamb is the latest fashion in that part of the world, and the Middle East is one of our most rapidly growing export markets. In addition to the inherent challenges of transporting lamb overseas, when exporting to a largely Muslim country a few additional challenges emerge.

“A number of our customers have specific requirements about when products such as meat can be consumed,” explained Bollard. “This means keeping our product secure at an appropriate temperature and making sure that it arrives at its destination within 72 hours of us delivering it.”

For these prime Middle Eastern markets, meat must be consumed or salted within a limited time frame from slaughter for it to be considered halal. From the moment an animal is killed, Bollard’s customers are relying on his speedy delivery to ensure their eagerly awaiting clientele can consume these products.

Bollard isn’t alone in needing consistent, speedy delivery of perishable goods. Australia’s produce is gaining an international reputation for its quality. Greg Johnson, Cargo Manager Australia for Emirates SkyCargo, has seen first hand how consumers globally are gaining a taste for fresh Australian perishables. In 2016 Emirates SkyCargo exported more than 40,000 tonnes of perishables from Australia, including more than 16,000 tonnes of meat.

EKSC Freighter Loading 2 med res

“Consumers around the world are becoming accustomed to high quality fruit and vegetables produce, irrespective of the season,” he said. “We’re seeing this trend in line with hospitality as well, with restaurants offering perishables that need to be shipped by air. Although it may seem that the world is getting smaller everyday, physically it’s not. The logistical challenges aren’t changing.”

Australian exporters, however, are gaining a major competitive advantage thanks to the development of some of the most sophisticated logistical services available on the planet. Although the world isn’t shrinking, services like Emirates SkyFresh – launched in April – are cutting out the geographical barriers that used to limit Australian producers.

“We’ve recognise that the key to our growth is our customers’ growth,” said Johnson. “What we’ve done is develop a range of products and solutions to meet market demands, and they come under the umbrella of SkyFresh.”

The two main logistical challenges that make up getting fresh produce overseas are time and temperature. On the temperature front, Emirates has put together a number of services and products to create a completely unbroken cool chain. Here, three levels of service Emirate SkyFresh, Emirates SkyFresh Breathe and Emirates SkyFresh Active have been designed to meet the levelled needs of their client (see breakout box).

For the SkyFresh Breathe service, Johnson said Emirates is especially proud of its Ventilated Cool Dolly. Possibly the first of its kind in the industry, the Cool Dolly maintains a constant temperature and has a ventilation system to allow it to bring in fresh air from outside.

“The dollies are set to the right temperature while they are waiting for the planes to land,” he explained. “They can fit a complete aircraft pallet, so the perishables are not exposed to the weather.”

When the cargo lands in Dubai, quick ramp access brings it to the Cargo Mega Terminal (CMT) with independently controlled chambers that can vary in temperature, depending on the product.

On the time front, ground staff give the fresh produce quick ramp access and prioritised ground handling. One advantage that Emirates holds above its competition, Johnson explained, is the fact that the airline’s full fleet of aircrafts is wide bodied, and can fit a wide-bodied pallet. This is a major leg up over other services, that will often dismantle pallets to fit them onto smaller aircrafts for the last leg of their journeys.

Thanks to this innovation, Johnson says SkyFresh can deliver fresh produce overnight to the Middle Eastern market.

“Our flights leave every evening, and arrive the next morning in Dubai at around 5:30am – 6am. From there, the goods can be cleared and delivered locally in two to three hours – that’s next day delivery,” he said.

Johnson said this advantage is particularly helpful for Australian producers. Although the nature of our market means we can’t compete on price, we can stay ahead on freshness.

“Australian producers are competing with South American producers, we’re seeing it now with fruit and vegetables. Their costs are a lot lower, but thanks to our logistics, our products are much fresher than what these competitors can provide,” said Johnson.

Johnson advised interested exporters who haven’t yet discovered the Middle Eastern market to start looking.

“There is a big expat community in Dubai. It’s turned into a major trading port. Most of our Australian goods are not easily produced locally – things like beef, lamb, and cheese,” he said.

“Australians can really compete on quality. Thanks to these temperature controlled containers, we can pride ourselves on serving this market while preserving quality.”   

Emirates SkyCargo Cool Chain Image 1

Seaco Global Australia becomes major container player

Container leasing company Seaco has continued to strengthen its presence both in Australia and worldwide since its amalgamation with Cronos Containers.

In January 2015, HNA controlled Bohai Leasing Co of China acquired Cronos Containers and subsequently integrated the container leasing activities into Seaco Global.

The company’s Australian team has been focussed on building the Seaco/HNA brand while developing new business relationships throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Regional vice president for Oceania and Americas, Peter Folkard, welcomed the company’s collaboration with Sydney-based Container Rotation Systems (RCS).

“We are delighted to be working in association with CRS due to the compatibility and capability of their automatic lid lifting and container rotation system compatible with our Half Height containers,” he said.

“These are very exciting times for Seaco Global Australia and we are looking forward to developing projects in other locations worldwide.”

The Australian teams’ success has been supported by access to a global leasing fleet and portfolio of equipment including general purpose containers, ISO bulk liquid, powder & gas tanks, refrigerated and temperature controlled units and specialised container types (suitable for bulk items).

The company provides containers for a range of industries including mining, oil & gas agriculture & Farming, construction, defence, food, government, logistics, manufacturing, and waste.

In addition to a wide range of equipment, the Australian based container leasing team offers flexible domestic or international leasing options to suit individual customer requirements for long-term, short-term, master lease, spot-lease, one-way lease, finance lease and lease purchase options; including Damage Protection Packages (DPP).

Seaco Global has relationships with global carriers for equipment positioning and restocking of various standard and specialised container types.

The Australian team can also offer specific equipment designated for sale in ‘as is’ or ‘cargo worthy’ condition, with a network of engineers able to undertake additional upgrades, modifications and conversions to suit customer specifications.

 

 

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.

Food for thought? Diet helps explain unique human brainpower

It’s the mystery of all mysteries of science. Why is it that humans are so unusual compared to all other life? The key to solving this riddle lies in explaining the evolution of our large brains and exceptional intelligence. The Conversation

For as long as humanity has been contemplating our existence we must surely have been struck by the fact that we are the only species capable of doing so.

I don’t believe it’s an exaggeration to say that the evolutionary arrival of humankind – some 200,000 years ago – was a decisive moment in the long history of the universe. After 14 billion years in the making, and in the blink of an eye of cosmological time, human intelligence arrived and gave the universe the ability to comprehend itself.

Maybe this all seems a little too anthropocentric for your taste? Smacks of literary indulgence on my behalf? Perhaps. But the simple matter is that we can’t avoid the fact of human uniqueness, and explaining it is tied to understanding the evolution of our extraordinary brainpower.

The eighteenth century British anatomist and creationist Richard Owen, one of Charles Darwin’s foremost foes, thought humans were so unusual that we ought to be classified in our own sub-class – the ‘Archenecephala’ as he dubbed it – on account of our highly advanced brain.

It rather conveniently stood us apart from the apes, confirming his view of the specialness of humankind.

By the standards of today’s biological classifications this would place us in a position in the tree of life above all of the orders of mammals, making us about as exceptional as the monotremes are to the placentals.

But with the facts of our evolution now well and truly established we have a much better understanding our place in nature, as members of the primate order, and particularly as African Great Apes.

To really understand how the human brain emerged we must first recognise that we share big brains with other primates. It’s our evolutionary inheritance, as primates are among the brainiest of all mammals; when taken kilo for kilo against body size. And apes are especially well endowed in the brains department.

Why? Well, this has been a major puzzle for anthropologists for decades, and the most widely accepted explanation has been the cognitive demands placed on us by living in large social groups; the so-called ‘social brain hypothesis’ or ‘Dunbar’s Number’.

The main alternative has been that braininess evolved in response to the demands of sex. Polygynandrous species – where males and females have multiple partners in a given breeding season – possess larger brains than those using other systems of mating, such as a harem or monogamy.

Now a new study by Alex DeCasien and colleagues published in Nature Ecology and Evolution has turned the debate completely on its head. They’ve found that the kind of diet a primate species consumes offers the best explanation for its brain size.

While this idea is not an entirely new one, their work provides strong validation for the diet-brain connection.

When it comes to apes it turns out that fruit eating – the dietary niche present in most living apes and the one our ancient ape ancestors indulged in – is so cognitively demanding that it led to a big evolutionary leap in intelligence when it began.

How come? Well, challenging diets require individuals to seek out or capture food; they have to judge whether it’s ready to be eaten or not; and they may even need to extract it, peel it, or process it in some way before it can be ingested.

Sound familiar? It should. Humans have the most specialised and challenging diets of all primates; and I have in mind here hunters and gatherers not urban foodies.

The human dietary niche is exceptionally broad and involves behaviours aimed at not only obtaining food but also making it more palatable and digestible; activities like extraction, digging, hunting, fishing, drying, grinding, cooking, combining other foods to add flavor, or even adding minerals to season or make food safe to eat.

What other species would so gleefully jiggle their jaws on the flames of a Jalapeno or lap up the tongue curling delights of a lemon?

What’s more, our large fruit eating ape brains got even bigger late in human evolution because our diets became ever more challenging to obtain and prepare, especially as a result of our ancestor’s penchant for eating meat.

Hunter-gatherers typically have a diet comprising between 30% and 80% vertebrate meat, while for chimpanzees it’s only around 2%. Instead, chimps get 60% of their diet from fruit, but hunter-gatherers typically obtain only 5% or 6 % (on the odd occasion a lot more) of their nutrition from fruit.

Humans rarely eat raw meat though, and we cook many of our vegetables as well, so even after expending huge efforts to collect it we still have to process much of our food in drawn out ways.

All of this throws up a paradox for us. Why is it that our closest and now extinct relatives, such as the Neanderthals, who were capable of complex behaviours like hunting, cooking and perhaps even cultural activities like art, lacked the smarts to ponder the ultimate questions of life?

Why is it us, and not them, that are capable of pondering and explaining the existence of life and the universe, including human life itself? There is clearly something very unique about human intelligence and a lot more to this evolutionary tale than mere food for thought.

Darren Curnoe, Chief Investigator, ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage, and Director, Palaeontology, Geobiology and Earth Archives Research Centre, UNSW

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