Track and trace – the benefits of global standards

GS1 Australia’s Andrew Steele reports on the importance of traceability standards and other emerging local and global supply chain initiatives.

Enhanced product traceability, faster recalls and improved consumer safety should be at the top of the agenda when an organisation is detailing its supply chain process.

Traceability is key to consumer safety and an important part of any organisation’s product recall management plan, particularly in the food industry. It makes recalls and withdrawals more efficient. It ensures proper information about unsafe products can be given to consumers in the case of a recall. Not having an effective traceability process is one of the leading causes of product recall incidents escalating into a crisis.

A Product Traceability Expert Group set up by the European Commission released the Research Support for an Informal Expert Group on Product Traceability Report in December 2013, recognising the adoption of GS1 Standards as a best practice for improving supply chain traceability and consumer product safety.

GS1 was selected as one of the 15 expert members of the Product Traceability Expert Group, which was established in 2011 by the European Commission’s Directorate General Health and Consumers to address traceability and product safety issues.

Adoption of traceability standards was just one of several recommendations highlighted in the report, released by the group following two years of industry-wide dialogue. These recommendations focus on benefits for not only businesses and consumers, but also for market surveillance authorities with the common goal of protecting public safety and health.

As supply chains continue to span the globe and consumers purchase more products online, the ability to track and trace products helps properly identify dangerous products and remove them from the supply chain more effectively.

The group’s report outlined the following recommendations:

  • For economic operators, the group recommends labelling consumer products with product identification codes and automating traceability systems using global standards such as ISO and GS1 Standards for product identification, data capture and exchange in order to strengthen consumer safety and improve traceability between trading partners across multiple countries.
  • For market surveillance and other authorities, the group recommends including the use of barcodes in training and conducting traceability assessments in cooperation with private sectors as well as developing best practices to collect information about dangerous products when they cross EU borders.
  • For consumers, the group suggests raising more awareness on the importance of product identification and helping consumers alert authorities about suspicious or potentially dangerous products.

How can the employment of global standards help improve traceability and adhere to new regulations around traceability?
GS1 Standards are used around the world to identify products and capture, record and share data about these products. This information is key in laying the groundwork for traceability. Reliable data cannot exist if traceability systems are not automated. These automated systems rely on a common language of standards in order to “talk” to each other when capturing and sharing data.

How do consumers benefit from improved product traceability?
In the event of a safety issue or recall, dangerous products can be properly identified and removed from the market faster. In addition, efficient, standards-based traceability systems improve the accuracy of product information and labels.

As supply chains often span the globe across different industries and involve raw materials, additives, other ingredients and packaging through to Point-of-Sale (POS), ensuring traceability throughout the whole supply chain has become more challenging.

The ability for a company to successfully track and trace their products through their supply chain and retrieve them from the marketplace is a key component of a product recall event.

GS1 Recallnet is GS1 Australia’s secure web-based portal for the management of recall and withdrawal notifications. Based on global GS1 Standards and best practices, GS1 Recallnet simplifies and automates the exchange of information between suppliers, distributors and retailers as well as government agencies such as Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

By increasing the speed and accuracy of recall and withdrawal notifications, introducing global standards for traceability significantly decreases business and consumer risk, reduces costs, protects brands and ultimately helps improve food safety in Australia.

Why be standard?
Well-designed supply chain standards play a very important role in day-to-day business operations because:

  • They reduce complexity between and within organisations.
  • They make it easier to make the right decisions about purchasing hardware, software and equipment.
  • They reduce the costs of implementation, integration and maintenance.
  • They facilitate collaboration between trading partners in the supply chain, in a many-to-many relationship, making it quicker and easier to identify items, share information, order and receive parts or ingredients from suppliers, or ship goods to customers.
  • They help improve patient safety and reduce medication errors.
  • They enable global traceability and authentication.

Andrew Steele is Industry Manager – Food & Beverage at GS1 Australia.

There’s more to pack integrity than meets the eye

The days of careless wrapping of packaged food and drink bound for retail are all but over, as large supermarket and grocery chains force ever greater liabilities on suppliers who take short cuts, writes Nelson Joyce & Co’s Nelson Joyce.

With packaging integrity such a key factor for product placed on shelves, the tiniest blemish or dent during transit renders an item ‘un-sellable’, and the burden is instantly shifted back by powerful retailers to the supplier.

There are so many examples, but bottled water and other drinks is an excellent case in point.

Deep down the majority of operators view their packaging as a cost impost rather than an asset, and this sets off problems. The solution, though, is rather more straightforward. Although each case will differ, it is simply a matter of being shown ‘how’.

There is a proper, ‘engineered’ approach to packaging that is designed to ensure any business can derive a good margin at all levels – being mindful that there is a chain of events that make up the packing and transporting process.

The likes of Coles, Woolworths and other powerful retail giants have very strict rejection criteria to protect their own quality standards and aesthetics, so suppliers need to be wary of the situation.

There is such strong competition to be on the shelf space of the retail giants, so the retailers themselves have to protect their own visual standards and bottled drinks are a very good example of a product line that’s often rejected and returned to suppliers.

As a packaging specialist, we are regularly consulted by suppliers whose palletised goods have suffered some sort of change before or during shipment and thus paid the price. For instance, if a mineral water supplier’s pallet moved under its shrink wrap during transport and bottles were bumped so that, say, the tops and necks were bent inwards, the retailer will not place them on the shelves, it will reject the pallet, plus it is highly likely to charge for the space on the shelves reserved for it.


It may sound like rough justice, but the retailers run operations based on margins and quantity sales and will not have time to replace that product with anything else, so the supplier suffers the penalty – which is likely to be written into the agreement.

The importance of an engineered approach is even more prominent in the regional areas where freighting takes even longer and a Plan B is almost always out of the question.

It is like a demurrage cost in the transport game where the stock movement failures by one party will not be suffered as incurred charges by another.

Even an evaluation of a packaging line – which is an inexpensive exercise – can identify so many shortfalls and provide answers as to how a supplier can professionalise, increase quality and speed up its own packaging and delivery systems.

Various emerging packaging technologies can protect against such incidents; cheap stretch wrap should be avoided, versatile and cost-identifiable machines can replace slow, wasteful and substandard manual wrapping.

Retail-ready packaging often is ignored because of the multi-faceted approach it requires; for instance, fill form and seal/rewind films and machines, barrier products, carton liners, separation sheets, crate liners, carcass covers and all other manner of products are affordable and can make the ultimate difference in maintaining a profitable supply line free of mishaps.

Again, the bottled water sector is such a good case study on this issue. A place that packs bottled water needs to ensure its product is presented to customers in a uniform way. The moment a single item moves out of alignment during transit, it can pop out and cause damage to more of the shipment – and bear in mind this type of item can be moved five or six times depending on its final destination.

From warehouse to secondary handlers and finally to retailers, restaurants and cafes, it is multi-handled and suppliers need to protect the integrity and clarity of each pack, making sure no deformation takes place.

Once plastic bottle necks are turned inwards, they are harder to stock properly. Even to take a basic re-evaluation of their heat-induced wrapping systems can make an enormous difference. In some cases, we have found that reducing heat from 200°C to 175°C and increasing the rate of pack movements through blow formers and fillers etc will optimise your bundle shrink systems and positively affect overall productivity and transport quality.

We have seen in so many food and beverage handling plants that making such straightforward analysis of the entire supply procedure can increase speed and efficiency by 30 percent, plus protect the packaging integrity.

Nelson Joyce & Co is an importer, converter and distributors of flexible packaging products, based in Sydney’s Seven Hills.

Retail sales at its strongest since 2010, AFGC CHEP Retail Index

The 12th edition of the AFGC CHEP Retail Index was released today indicating that retail sales have enjoyed its strongest growth year-on-year since early 2010.

The Index was 4.2 percent higher in December 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, with the December quarter scoring an overall 4 percent increase in 2013 compared to 2012.

The Index suggests that growth is likely to sustain throughout early 2014 with a forecast of a 4.2 percent year-on-year increase for the month of February 2014. The March quarter 2014 is also forecast to increase by 4.2 year-on-year.

CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council, Gary Dawson said that strengthening growth during the 2013 Christmas trading period appears to have been better than analyst had expected.

“The combined effect of low interest rates and improved consumer confidence after the Federal election has seen retailers experience a stronger-than-expected rise in retail sales over the past few months,” said Dawson.

“Retailers will be hoping that the labour market also strengthens to support a return to a genuinely strong retail environment.”  

The Index’s findings are consistent with retail trend data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics which demonstrated that year-on-year growth in nominal retail trade had increased by 4.1 percent over the year to November 2013.

“The strong growth since August 2013 is a welcome change,” said CHEP Australia and New Zealand President, Phillip Austin.

“We’re delighted that the retail industry experienced a stronger than forecasted Christmas peak and that the uplift can be expected to continue into the March quarter of 2014. With our network size and scale, CHEP fully supported our retail customers through this upswing, and is well positioned to meet the additional demand for pallets, produce crates and retail display solutions resulting from the increase in retail trade.”


How investing in logistics can lift your standards

Whether you're running a small food manufacturing business or a large scale distribution operation, logistics matters. By Aoife Boothroyd.

There are a myriad of logistics models that businesses can subscribe to, with the size, scope and nature of the business being the key determining factors influencing which model is most appropriate.

Food magazine recently spoke to two food manufacturers that employ automation as a key part of their overall logistical operations: South Australian tomato producer D'VineRipe and cereal giant Kellogg's.

D'VineRipe was established in 2006 as a joint venture between food marketing company, Perfection Fresh Australia and investment company, The Victor Smorgon Group. 

The company produces a wide range of tomatoes from cocktail-sized, right up to the larger truss varieties.

D'VineRipe has the capacity to produce up to 15,000 tonnes of vine-ripened fruit year round in its state-of-the-art, 27 hectare glasshouse facility, complete with climate control and irrigation.

D'VineRipe supplies some of the nation's largest retailers including Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and Costco, and delivers to all the eastern states, with a smaller concentration in Western Australia and South Australia. Most impressively, they do this within a 24 to 72 hour turn-around from when the fruit is picked from the vine. 

D'VineRipe operates to the Delivered In Full, On Time (DIFOT) logistics model which is designed to measure delivery performance throughout the supply chain, and is geared to tailor deliveries to the customer by measuring how often the customer gets exactly what they want, at the time that they want it.


As D'VineRipe is in the business of perishable goods, it is imperative that its operations run as timely and as smoothly as possible. To achieve this, the facility is fitted out with a network of automatic guided vehicles which run down the rows of each glasshouse to collect fruit, and then deliver the full boxes straight back to the pack house where they are automatically weighed, entered into a buffer system, graded, and packed based on variety.

"All the picking operations are manually done, however the automatic guided vehicles improve efficiencies by eliminating that extra operation of someone transporting the fruit back to the pack house, picking up the box, weighing it, recording the weight on a piece of paper and then entering it into a computer," says Jon Jones, general manager of D'VineRipe.

"The vehicles enable all those steps to happen automatically."

The automatic guided vehicle system was built for D'VineRipe by Belgian company, Bogaerts Greenhouse Logistics. The vehicles deliver accurate recording data capabilities in terms of weighing the product, and also feature a built-in sensor, or a photo eye, that picks up if a person or object is within its range, enabling it to slow down or stop to avoid a collision.

When asked about the reliability of such a sophisticated system, Jones says that it's almost "bulletproof."

"It's like any computer system, it is » extremely reliable. Sometimes you can experience a glitch here or there, but the majority of the time it's bulletproof," he says.

Jones says that since the system was put in place over four years ago, operational efficiencies have improved even further thanks to various updates in technology.

"We are always looking for new efficiencies. We as a company have changed and gotten bigger; the technology in the automatic guided vehicles has also been upgraded and improved."

Logistics automation is key to the operations of many businesses, however the processes required by long shelf life FMCG's are obviously different compared to that of perishable produce like tomatoes.

Global food manufacturer Kellogg's decided to make the switch from an almost entirely manually operated 27,000 square metre distribution centre in Botany, New South Wales, to a system that could automatically process high demand volumes whilst also achieving high storage densities.

The system back in 2003 was capable of accommodating 28,000 pallet positions across the warehouse's 27,000 square metres, but the introduction of a new system saw the company achieve impressive storage and operational efficiencies that it did not expect.

Kellogg's worked with Dexion, a distribution management specialist, and supply chain solution company, Linfox, to create a more efficient and sustainable distribution model.  The model incorporated an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) which was implemented as part of a broader Real-Time Distribution System (RDS). 

ASRS is designed to tackle some of the most difficult challenges that FMCG distribution centres face including completing orders that cover high volume, fast moving and fluctuating quantities of goods that can be subject to strict use-by dates, while RDS controls the physical and operational aspects of a company's distribution centre from the receipt of goods to processing, storage, order fulfilment and despatch in real time.

Kellogg's new ASRS includes pallet conveyors, robotics, storage and retrieval systems and IT hardware that enabled the new distribution centre to hold 32,000 pallets – 4,000 more than what was previously possible – within the automated storage component and the conventional section of the warehouse. 

The new system enabled pallets to be stored in five aisles, six pallets deep on either side, with each aisle serviced by its own automatic crane. The ASRS enabled Kellogg's to have the capacity to put away up to 90 pallets per hour, and retrieve 120 pallets per hour.

Another impressive aspect of the new system was the command and control centre that provides a pictorial overview of the ASRS system, enabling the operator to see what the system's doing in real time and quickly resolve any issues that arise.

Since the introduction of the system, Kellogg's has reported a 10 percent reduction in pick error; production damage has been reduced by a staggering 85 percent and labour costs have also dropped as only half the amount of forklifts are now required, even with the increased capacities.

The most important part of any logistical operation is to have appropriate processes in place, enabling the operation to run as smoothly as possible by eliminating inefficiencies. 

While investing in sophisticated automation systems might mean a reduction in staff levels and a considerable investment initially, the productivity and long-term financial gains can most definitely outweigh the disadvantages. 


Two US students reinvent humble cardboard box [video]

Two undergrad students from the United States have reinvented the humble cardboard box, creating their own version that’s less wasteful, easier to pack and easier to open.

Henry Wang and Chris Curro created the Rapid Packing Container, which can be put together in seconds and is easily reused.

According to, the Albert Nerken School of Engineering at Cooper Union students started by identifying the problems with existing cardboard boxes, including difficulty in packing and opening, and material wastage.

For the Rapid Packaging Container, Wang and Curro used about 15 to 20 percent less cardboard than traditional paperboard packaging, while still maintaining load strength. The bottom of the box is reinforced with twice as much cardboard when folded, and in order to assemble the Rapid Packaging Container, the user simply has to take an unfolded box and press it into a custom jig, then close the top and seal it with the box’s adhesive strip.

To open the box, the user has to push a tab on its base, which will cause the package to unfold itself back into a flat sheet.

The Rapid Packing Container is also fully reversible

According to Wang and Carro, the Rapid Packing Container has a patent pending, and the team is looking for manufacturing partners.



Retail Index suggests slowed Christmas spending with food retailers fairing best

The 11th edition of the AFGC and CHEP Retail Index has been released, suggesting that slowing year on year retail sales may result in a challenging trading period during the festive season.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) states that discretionary spending over the past year has resulted in varying performance in the retail sector, with food retailers performing best.

A main contributor to the reduction in spending is believed to be the slowing of the mining boom as ABS data shows a reduction in sales growth in Western Australia from 10 percent to 2 percent over the past year.

According to the report, the Index was 1.8 percent higher in the September quarter than in the same period last year, and growth is expected to further ease to 1.5 percent in the December quarter.

For the September quarter, the Retail Index indicates that the ABS is likely to report a 1.9 percent increase in year-on-year retail growth and turnover of $21.89b. Forecasts for November year-on-year growth estimate growth at 1.5 percent – dropping to $21.85b.

“Retail sales growth is certainly underperforming against longer term trends, with the growth rate halving over the course of 2013,” says Australian Food & Grocery Council CEO, Gary Dawson.

“Food retailers are performing best with sales growth of around 3 per cent over the past year. Retailers will be hoping the recent improvement in consumer confidence will assist sales growth this Christmas.”   

Phillip Austin, president of CHEP Australia and New Zealand said that the findings indicate a need for efficiency in supply chains to maximise profitability during the Christmas period.

“AFGC CHEP Retail Index forecasts highlight the criticality of effective and efficient supply chains in maximising on shelf availability and promotion in the peak Christmas period, and we will be focusing our efforts on helping retailers have product where they need it, when they need it over what is traditionally the busiest retail period of the year.”  


GS1 joins The Sustainability Consortium

Supply chain standards organisation, GS1, has officially announced its membership with The Sustainability Consortium (TSC)–  an independent, global organisation that works to build a scientific foundation to drive consumer product sustainability innovation.

The membership marks a logical step for GS1, as the organisation also recently released its Global Protocol for Packaging Sustainability Standard which includes over 40 environmental, economic and social indicators for packaging sustainability.

GS1 will provide valuable insights in the Retail and Measurement Science Consortium Working Groups within TSC by contributing to the communication of information throughout the supply chain, as well as to suppliers.

The membership will also give GS1 the opportunity to participate in the seven other sector working groups within TSC including food, beverage and agriculture.

Marcel Sieira, GS1 Australia’s general manager – industry engagement said GS1 is committed to supporting the drive for sustainable consumption and production.

 “We are looking forward to participating in the working groups to ensure that sustainability best practices and measures can be easily converted into global standards. This will ensure that sustainability data on products, packaging and services can be exchanged electronically between business partners using business solutions and service based on GS1’s open, global standards,” said Mr Sieira.

"We are delighted to welcome GS1 to The Sustainability Consortium. Having the knowledge and experience of GS1 within our working groups will enhance our conversations around things like food waste and product data exchange. Members such as GS1 are invaluable to our system and process," said Kelly Unger, member manager at The Sustainability Consortium.


Aldi and CHEP team up to launch new reusable crate [video]

Supermarket chain, Aldi, has partnered with CHEP to release a new reusable plastic 'Gen 3' crate for use in the fresh produce industry.

Officially launched on 23 August at Aldi's Salisbury store in Brisbane, Aldi is the first retailer to use CHEP's new crate range, promoting supply chain efficiencies from farm gate to supermarkets.

ALDI Queensland managing director, Viktor Jakupec, said "The new crate allows products to be packed directly on farm before being delivered to our warehouses and subsequently to stores, which reduces the amount of repacking and speeds up the process. The crate design allows it to fit directly into our new fresh produce display on the shop floor, which means less product handling and therefore a higher level of product quality. Instead of store staff having to pack products on tables within the produce area, the majority of products will remain displayed within the crates which will assist with better product rotation and minimise damage to the products through less handling."

According to CHEP, the new Gen 3 crate uses globally best-in-class latching technology and is fully compatible with the previous generation crate and existing infrastructure.

"The Gen 3 crate family is a game changer. It’s not only an industry-wide solution, it offers world leading return logistics; with a folded height of 25mm, the Gen 3 outperforms all other crates on the market by up to 29 percent," CHEP Australia and New Zealand president, Phillip Austin said.

CHEP's range of reusable crates have a number of sustainability benefits. An independent lifecycle analysis conducted by RMIT in 2010 showed that compared with a single-use corrugated cardboard system, CHEP crates produced 70 percent less greenhouse gas emissions, used 85 percent less water and produced 95 percent less solid waste to landfill even if the cardboard was recycled.



Share a Coke campaign success thanks to supply chain flexibility

A representative of Coca-Cola Amatil will attend the upcoming Smart Conference and Expo to shed light on why the Australian-born Share a Coke campaign was such an enormous success for the brand.

The hugely successful campaign which saw people's names or year of birth printed on Coke bottles and cans was such a sales and marketing triumph it has since been replicated in around 20 markets across the world including in Brazil and China.

CCA's director of supply chain, Bruce Herbert, will be attending the upcoming Smart Conference and Expo in Sydney, telling attendees how he convinced executive leaders to abandon conventional supply chain teachings, cast aside asset optimisation, big run printing and truckload deliveries to enable customers to purchase a personalised beverage.

Herbert says that despite the campaign having a massive production and logistics footprint he always knew it would be a success.

"We had faith in our suppliers and our own business and took it on as a challenge. Our suppliers in particular modified their own processes to meet our demands and the whole campaign drove innovation that is now being copied by global markets," he said.

"The campaign demonstrated that the supply chain can contribute positively to the profits of a company, acting as profit driver rather than a cost centre."

Herbert will be joined at Smart 2013 by Angela Tatlis, chair of the National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO), for a presentation titled ‘Death to the Big Batch Paradigm’ that will share what CCA was thinking with the Share a Coke campaign, what the campaign entailed and why it was a success.

Tatlis will discuss how diversity of thinking drove the CCA campaign.


Sustainable structure sees Chep move with the times

With a global network in 54 countries, more than 7,700 employees and over 75 sites in Australia alone, CHEP is a leading provider of pallet, container and crate pooling services. Here, Phillip Austin, president of CHEP Australia and NZ explains how its equipment is contributing to a more environmentally sustainable supply chain.

Australia’s supply chain infrastructure has been built around the CHEP pallet – every trailer in Australia is designed to be two CHEP pallets wide; every warehouse rack is precisely one CHEP pallet wide.  Globally, the company manages 237 million pallets, 600,000 bulk containers and 34.9 million reusable plastic containers. It goes without saying then, that CHEP plays an integral role in the manufacturing and logistics industries both here and abroad.

As the company that moves what we make – and with the environment front of mind for many of Australia’s manufacturers, retailers and consumers alike – CHEP’s business model is an inherently sustainable one. It’s based on a pooling system which essentially does away with one-way equipment use by customers.

Phillip Austin (pictured below) elaborates…

CHEP issues a piece of equipment to a customer who has it on hire until they transfer it – usually with their goods – to a trading partner. Equipment moves this way through the supply chain until it is not needed by the last customer in the chain, then is returned to CHEP for conditioning and reissue.

CHEP’s equipment pooling model is sustainable for a number of reasons: reuse of assets, maximised transport efficiency and the responsible use of resources.

Indeed, an independent lifecycle analysis of CHEP’s returnable plastic crate system shows, daily, the system saves more than 175 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, more than 1.2 million litres of water and more than 20 tonnes of solid waste compared to a one-way corrugated cardboard system.

The scale and density of CHEP’s network allows equipment to travel shorter distances, thereby minimising transport-related carbon emissions. Also, CHEP has accreditation to stack pallets 20-high on trucks instead of the industry standard of 18, saving around seven percent of emissions per trip.

And finally, CHEP equipment is 100 percent recyclable. Plastic crates and pallets are recycled at the end of their lives and ground up for reuse, in things like planter pots. Timber cut-offs and timber from damaged pallets are reused at service centres, with about 85 percent of a pallet used to repair other pallets. What is not suitable for repair is mulched and used as garden compost.

In 2010 we established a Sustainability Program to further enhance the sustainability value of CHEP’s pooling system to Australian supply chains, including food and beverage manufacturers.

Our Sustainability Program focuses on four key areas: customer, environment, people and community, and has targets for these to 2015.

Highlights from this program, which benefit Australia’s food and beverage supply chain include:

  • Our unique pool of reusable, recyclable Multi-purpose Beverage Trays (pictured here) eliminating around 1,250 tonnes of one-way cardboard packaging waste each year.
  • CHEP’s accreditation from the National Transport Commission to stack empty pallets 20-high on trucks rather than 18-high, saving fuel and reducing carbon emissions
  • Our in-kind support of equipment to key food distribution charities including Foodbank and The Smith Family, equalling around $800,000 per year.

The new CHEP Retail Beverage Tray and Display Pallet will be released into the Australian market early this year. The benefits of this new system will be similar to the existing Multi-purpose Beverage Tray and Display Pallet, which, as mentioned above, has reduced the environmental impact of the customer’s beverage supply chain by eliminating around 1,250 tonnes of one-way cardboard packaging each year.

The Retail Beverage Tray and Display Pallet will be a one-touch packaging solution. Beverages are packed into the trays and onto the display pallets at the point of manufacture and travel through the supply chain to point of sale.

Additionally, in some cases, transport efficiencies may be gained through loading additional units per vehicle compared to traditional packaging.

Add to this CHEP’s returnable plastic crate system, which is used by the fresh produce industry to cool products and deliver them to retailers and which, when compared to a one-way corrugated cardboard system, saves more than 175 tonnes of greenhouse gases and more than 20 tonnes of solid waste a day.

We are also developing a new generation fresh produce crate in consultation with industry. It is an improved version of the existing fresh produce returnable plastic crate and is expected to be at least as environmentally sustainable as its predecessor. And, like the current generation crate, it will be fully recyclable at the end of its life.


Tesco enjoys improved efficiency with new materials handling system

Material handling and logistics automation company, Dematic, has provided Tesco with an innovative new system for its Enfield 'Dotcom' store.

The automated materials picking and handling system went live in January last year, enabling Teso to fulfil an increased number of home delivery grocery orders from one location.

The Enfield store is Tesco's fourth Dotcom store, which is effectively a warehouse dedicated to home-delivering orders made online. The Dotcom stores replace Tesco’s previous operation in some particularly busy areas where employees pick online orders straight from the shelves of its retail stores. Tesco has transferred picking and delivery of online orders from several of its normal stores into the Enfield Dotcom store.

The fifth Dotcom facility will go live early this year in Crawley, WA, and a sixth is being built, and will comprise further automation technologies from Dematic.

The Enfield integrated installation features zone routing picking for ambient and chilled goods and separate ambient and chilled Dematic Multishuttle tote order consolidation buffers.

Dematic’s zone picking system auto-launches customer order totes directly to numerous pick zones as required within the ambient area, and separate totes across zones in the chilled area.

Tesco staff pick grocery, produce and bakery goods into the order totes according to instructions received via wrist mounted Radio Data Terminals. Once scanned, totes are sent to the next relevant zone via conveyor. Complete totes are then routed to the Multishuttle consolidation buffers.

Two separate Dematic Multishuttle Consolidation Buffer units hold completed customer order totes for both ambient and chilled home delivery orders. Once a full van has been consolidated, the totes are sent in order sequence to one of the centre's van loading bays for operators to load.

Tesco’s operations development manager, David Burroughs, said "This system will help us reduce our running costs and offer more delivery slots to customers from earlier in the day. We wanted to ensure we could get customers’ orders picked, vans loaded and out on time with the freshest possible produce. The system also gives the accuracy we need to ensure the highest possible service levels."

Dematic’s sales project manager Shane Faulkner added that Dematic's complete system enables Tesco to pick and deliver within the concentrated floor space of the Enfield Dotcom store, which removes dotcom pickers in many of the surrounding Tesco stores.

"This is an advantage in areas where rents are high. Also by automating its online order picking process, Tesco can increase volumes while at the same time maintaining the high service levels that are essential with home delivery," he said.


AIP and SCLAA get into Xmas spirit with Foodbank donation

Over 95 members of the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA), Queensland Division, together with the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), spent their Christmas party this year packing 600 hampers for Foodbank.

Three hours were spent packing hampers for the food donation charity, Foodbank, to donate to those in need this Christmas, including the unemployed and the homeless.

The packing of the hampers was a culmination of twelve months of work, over $60,000 worth of goods raised to go inside the hampers and support from many companies across the country.

Each hamper is worth $100 and is made up of food and personal hygiene products.

If you would like to be a part of this event in 2013, or wish to donate items for the hampers, contact the AIP on


24 hours with Yummia

Yummia's founder, Mia McCarthy takes Food mag's Q&A and sheds some light on the joys and challenges of running your own food brand.

Name: Mia McCarthy

Company name: Yummia

Title: Sole trader

What are your primary roles and responsibilities in your job? Give us a day in your working life.
At the moment I run all aspects of the business. There is no typical day, although I do try and follow a general weekly plan in order to ensure everything gets done through the week. Although every day I have to exercise. This is really important for my sanity and I find I often do my best problem-solving and planning when sweating it out at the gym.

I have listed a few things that happen each week:

  • Manage supplies. Keeping on top of inventory and stock.
  • Investigate new business opportunities, following through with contacts and industry leads.
  • Processing orders, reviewing and invoicing all orders that are placed from customers.
  • Production days – we have a few production days per week, which involve busy days at the factory preparing and packing orders ready for dispatch. Because it's a fresh product we can't have stock sitting around for a long time, so we have to be really on top of orders.
  • Business planning – at least each week I sit down, and look at the business growth up until now, what worked and what did not.
  • Research, research, research. I'm always looking at other businesses and taking advice and reviewing how we can implement successful strategies into Yummia.
  • Paper work – on any given day there is hours of papers to be filed, bills to be paid, money to be collected!!
  • Accounting

What training/education did you need for your job?
Well lots I'm sure, but I have none! I started this company at 21 in my final year of university studying BA Dip ED (Primary), so all my training and education I have learnt through experience and on the field. A lot of trial and error! It is these real life experiences that have shaped the businesswoman I am today, and the one I want to be in the future, so lots more experiences to be had!

How did you get to where you are today? Give us a bullet point career path.

  • Graduated from High School in 2006.
  • Completed BA Dip ED (Primary Education) from Macquarie university in 2011.
  • I started Yummia in my final year of university study. After managing the two for a while, Yummia started to grow.

When I finished university I was able to invest in the business in a full time capacity. I initially made a personal investment of $10,000 into the business. I had saved this up through babysitting and working odd jobs throughout university. As the business has made more money we have re-invested this straight back into the business as well as a loan from my parents.

What tools and/or software do you use on a daily basis?
MYOB – this is by far the single most useful tool that my business uses. I received it as a birthday present because I could not afford it at the time and it's definitely been the best present I've ever received!

What is the one thing that you are most proud of in your professional life?
Yummia as a whole, being quite young I have not had many 'professional' experiences, but I am extremely proud that I have created and built this company from the ground up. I stated off as a uni student with an idea. I receive an extreme sense of pride knowing that Yummia has been created from nothing. That makes me really happy! Although we're still only just over a year old, so hopefully there will be many more happy moments to come!!

Biggest daily challenge?
Cash flow with accounts receivable, I'm slowly learning that people don't like to pay bills and it's a constant battle to chase payments and keep on top of outstanding accounts!

Maintaining sales in shops and positive customer relationships. When I had just a few small shops I was able to really nurture this growth and sales. I developed really strong relationships with all my customers, as we grow the personal connection gets diluted and we become just another product on shelves.

Biggest career challenge?
Logistics and delivery. This is something I constantly battle with, and getting product into shops quick enough to maximise shelf life. We are in the process of implementing a few procedures that will greatly increase shelf life for delivery time!

What is your biggest frustration in your job?
People not doing what they say they will do. I'm constantly following up with suppliers and contracts to ensure that deadlines are met and standards are maintained.

What is the biggest challenge facing your business?
All our products are quite new concepts to the breakfast market, we are not able to piggy-back off the category awareness that comes with other products. So educating the customers of our products.

Sustainable growth, meeting current demand and still having the capacity to greatly increase productivity.

Is there anything else about your job you want Australia to know about?
It's not as daunting as it looks. Compartmentalising different aspects of the business means the big picture does not overwhelm me or stop me from doing my job to the best of my abilities!

Click here to read more on Yummia's product range.

If you'd like to be part of Food mag's Industry Map Q&A, click here.


New CHEP container rises to challenge for yeast manufacturer

A new addition to its IBC range, the CHEP Intercon has increased efficiencies at Australian yeast and bread improver manufacturer, Lesaffre.

The company was previously using the CHEPBox, an Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC), designed specifically for food industry applications, to move its liquid yeast from its Melbourne manufacturing site to its Perth distribution site.

Then, 12 months ago, CHEP approached the company with the new CHEP Intercon, which Peter Gaddes, CHEP senior business relationship manager, sai would add efficiencies to Lesaffre's supply chain.

Made from food-grade polypropylene, the Intercon is designed specifically for the food manufacturing sector and can be used for liquid and dry food applications including juices, edible oil, meat and vinegar, and, in Lesaffre's case, liquid yeast.

The Intercon is more than 60kg lighter than the CHEPBox and can hold 50 litres more liquid yeast.

Russell Cotterell, national logistics and purchasing manager for Lesaffre Australia Pacific, said "The reduction in the weight of our freight, combined with the ability to move more product has cut our annual freight component. The reduction from 144 trips to 140 trips a year is a huge benefit as the Melbourne to Perth trip is logistically one of the most expensive channels in the country."

Cotterell said staff on the company's manufacturing floor were happy with the change.

"A drop door on the side of the unit enables easy access to the base for manual filling and placement of liner bags, so our staff can reach further down inside the Intercon without having to bend," he said.

"The strong, lightweight construction also means the Intercon is easy to manoeuvre within our plant during filling, while the unit's four-way design allows forklifts access from all four sides, providing improved OH&S standards and greater handling efficiencies across the plant."


TAS farmers now have a voice on prohibitive exporting conditions

Jan Davis from the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association is now part of the new Freight Logistics Co-Ordination Team and will help to overcome restrictive exporting conditions.

Funded by the Australian government, the Team will look at overcoming the current issues surrounding the shipment of Tasmanian goods interstate and overseas.

Chief executive of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association,  Davis said, "The high cost of shipping our produce out of Tasmania and the lack of a direct international shipping link are among the most serious problems we face.

"Farmers face the quintuple whammy of high freight costs across Bass Strait, a new licence fee for using the Port of Melbourne, double handling in Melbourne to get onto overseas vessels, a carbon tax on shipping fuel but not road fuel and the outdated Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme that fails to recognise any of these problems," she added.

"And we have the continuing high Australian dollar."


Treasury Wine Estates introduces Australian first logistics model

A first for the Australian wine sector, Trebuchet Logistics will use a fourth party logistics model (4PL) to manage the warehousing and distribution requirements of Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), as part of a joint venture announced today.

As a result of the new logistics model, a National Distribution Centre will be built in Penfield, Adelaide, and a series of satellite state warehouses will be established.

The model will see Trebuchet Logistics contracting third party service providers to manage all elements of the supply chain including the handling, storage, transport and IT requirements to deliver TWE' products both within Australia and to export markets.

Trebuchet Logistics will independently manage the end to end logistics network from raw materials through to domestic and export customer deliveries for all TWE products, with a focus on storing and distributing the wine in appropriately controlled environments, thus preserving product quality and freshness.

Tim Ford, TWE's global director logistics, said "This fresh and efficient approach to logistics is another part of our strategy to optimise our global supply network. We are reviewing and improving our entire logistics networks and
introducing innovation, investment and leading practices to ensure our premium wines reach customers and consumers in the quality and time frames expected."

Knut Oksby, one of the founding partners of Trebuchet Logistics, has moved to Australia to implement the 4PL model and manage the joint venture operation.

"I'm really excited to continue our relationship with TWE and introduce a new fully integrated supply chain management model to the Australian wine industry. We have seen how this model delivers efficiencies and value to all participating companies in Sweden, Finland and Norway and we are keen to develop this business model in Australia."

The new 4PL model will replace TWE's existing domestic and export warehousing and logistics service contracts which expire in the next 12 to 18 months. All logistics services and the 4PL management model will be fully operational by April 2014, with a phased implementation beginning July 2013.


Robatech, Fallsdell, Proseal & Result Packaging head to AUSPACK PLUS 2013

Robatech, Fallsdell, Proseal Australia and Result Packaging are just some of the companies who will be heading to Sydney for AUSPACK PLUS 2013 and between them they will be showcasing new hot and cold glue technology, MAP in-line tray sealers and new ink jet technology.

Robatech announced that they will be displaying their advanced hot and cold glue technology on their stand during AUSPACK PLUS.

Milton Krowitz, National Sales Manager, Robatech, said that with the trend towards personalised print products, printers are finding production runs to be smaller than they have been in the past.

“Greater flexibility is therefore required in order to cost effectively manufacture these smaller runs of print products which are then packaged into folding boxes. Robatech innovative glue application system Corrutack-2 offers an ideal solution to meet this trend: It provides exceptional gluing flexibility for folding boxes as it can be easily readjusted for different types and lengths of production runs.” Krowitz said.

Error-free production with Corrutack-2

Corrutack-2 is a new system for the gluing of flaps of corrugated board and is suitable for flexo-folder gluer machines. Fixed gluing stations often impair a rapid change from top to bottom gluing, or board cut-outs block the run through the station. Corrutack-2 offers an ideal solution in such cases: The adhesive application and the glue verification take place contact-free, and the system is so flexible that it can switch very quickly from top to bottom gluing.

User-friendly gluing of liquid adhesives

CartoGlue LP, the mobile low-pressure cold glue system, enables flexible and fast utilisation on postal envelope machines, folding machines and flexo-folder gluer machines. The cold glue trolley feeds dispersion adhesive and uses up to four heads to apply it to print products and converting materials. The optional 7" touchscreen of the pattern control enables the user-friendly creation of application patterns.

According to Scott Templeton, General Manager of Proseal Australia, this will be their third consecutive AUSPACK PLUS, which is an indication of the success of the exhibition.

“Proseal Australia is very pleased to be exhibiting at AUSPACK PLUS 2013 as we see the show as a great way to showcase our machinery range and an excellent opportunity to meet new contacts and catch up with existing clients,” Templeton said.

“In 2013 Proseal will be showcasing our latest range of full vacuum MAP in-line tray sealers. The MAP in-line tray sealers are designed and built specifically for use in high-demand food production environments and the high-speed vacuum MAP machines will provide an excellent solution for many applications.” he said.      

Darren Cameron, Sales Consultant, Fallsdell Machinery, said that like other exhibitors the company is also looking forward to exhibiting at the 2013 AUSPACK PLUS.

“Fallsdell will once again be exhibiting a great range of our New Equipment as well as Equipment from our long list of Worldwide Agencies. AUSPACK PLUS is a great opportunity for us to showcase, under one roof, our full range and services to our customers and potential clients.”  Cameron said.

Michael Dossor, National Sales & Marketing Manager, Result Packaging added that they look forward to every AUSPACK PLUS as it is a major industry event.

“AUSPACK PLUS allows Result Packaging the opportunity to build our brand by showcasing our entire equipment range, and to develop new customer relationships opening the doors to more business,” Dossor said. 

“Result Packaging will be showcasing the new Leibinger’s JET3 and JET2neo which are state-of-the-art technology that will revolutionise ink jet printing," he said.

AUSPACK PLUS 2013 is a ‘must-attend’ exhibition on the Australian Packaging and Processing calendar and will be held at the Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney Olympic Park from the 7th to the 10th of May 2013.

AUSPACK PLUS is owned and presented by the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA), Australia’s only national packaging and processing machinery organisation.

To receive a prospectus on exhibiting at AUSPACK PLUS 2013, contact Luke Kasprzak, Event Manager, on PH: 02 9556 7972 or email


Pepsico signs service agreement with Brambles

 Brambles has announced that it has signed a three year service agreement with Pepsico.

The pallet and container pooling company says the contract is worth $45 million in revenues annually.

Tom Gorman, Brambles’ CEO, said the company is "delighted to welcome Pepsico as a customer".


Tips for supply chain management

The saying, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” suggests that if we eat well, we will be able to perform longer without any major medical overhauls. The same principle applies to a supply chain: to create and maintain a sustainable and competitive supply chain, the people and operations involved must be continuously fed or else the supply chain risks deterioration.

Key elements of a superior supply chain

Reliable delivery
Providing customers and clients with cost-effective and quality solutions

Internal flexibility & responsiveness to the market
Having the ability to quickly adapt to a business model to meet the changing needs of the market

Cost control
Being able to deliver and respond to customers’ needs whilst maintaining a cost effective supply chain that stays within budgetary and financial constraints

Efficient asset utilisation
Ensuring available assets in the supply chain, including staff and technologies, are utilised efficiently

Continuous improvement philosophy
Understanding and instilling in others and believing that real business improvement comes by continuously looking for better ways to operate.


Underpinning the above key elements of a best practice supply chain are three key building blocks: Process; Information/Technology; and People (PIP).

Periodic review of clear and concise processes and policies that align with business growth can help eliminate “noise” created by unclear business operating rules.

Also, access to Supply Chain Management (SCM) technology to collate and transform large volumes of data into useful information to base effective, informed decisions can also help better supply chain operations.

Whilst the entire PIP concept is important, the core of a healthy supply chain is arguably a team of dedicated and dynamic people aligned to a common purpose. A well-trained team, driven by a strong leader who inspires a shared vision for the future, can overcome process and technology gaps in any company. The effectiveness of the people who create and use the processes and SCM tools, ultimately determine whether or not a company gains a competitive edge in the market via their supply chain activities.

While formal education is beneficial, an organisational culture that allows for ongoing education and practical application of supply chain practice is also critical in harnessing a superior team. Opportunities to develop basic business knowledge and communication and organisational skills, such as the ability to deal with conflict, manage priorities and projects, are important.

It is time to give your supply chain a check-up?

Leanne Armstrong is the General Manager of Full Capacity.

Full Capacity
0418 229 080


National trade measurement system boosts confidence for Aussie businesses

Posted by Rita Mu

Australian businesses have experienced a confidence boost following the introduction of the national trade measurement system a year ago, Federal Innovation Minister Kim Carr has said.

The development of the system, which is operated through the National Measurement Institute (NMI), ensures products in the supply chain, including food and petrol, are weighed and measured accurately and consistently between businesses and between businesses and consumers.

The system oversees $400 billion worth of measurement-based trade transactions in Australia annually.

Carr said the system was helping Australian businesses become more competitive in the global market.

"The national system has streamlined trade measurement legislation, allowing both businesses and consumers to have confidence in a uniform system," Carr said.

"In the past 12 months, the NMI has recorded more than 1,000 complaints, issued 2,388 organisations with non-compliance notices and completed more than 40,000 tests for measurement and labelling accuracy. Over half of these investigations resulted from public tip-offs to a national hotline about short measures.

"The Commonwealth has invested in raising awareness of trade measurement on a national level so that consumers know what they have the right to expect and businesses know what they are legally obliged to do."

The NMI employs more than 70 trade measurement officers who investigate the measurement standards of businesses, including manufacturing factories, bars, hotels, restaurants, markets, stalls and firewood across the country.

Another 30 officers will be employed in the next 12 months for seven regional locations and 20 operational centres nationally.