Protecting bakery workers

Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) is a major issue in the bread products industry.

Mixing machines, hot ovens and large heavy baking trays for doing hundreds of loaves or muffins at a time, are all potential hazards.

Bread product manufacturers’ responses to this are largely a matter of scale.

Automation

Industrial bakers, companies making hundreds of thousands of loaves of bread, muffins and the like every day, are tending towards automated systems like those produced by Australian company Auto-Bake Serpentine.

Local bakeries are also trying to remove the human factor but on a much smaller scale.

Automation is by far the most obvious trend in industrial bakeries, Auto-Bake general manager Mark Appleford said.

“Trying to make equipment safe by minimising human intervention is a definite trend.

“For example, with our systems, flour [and other ingredients are] dropped from silos into mixers, the mixers operate, the batter goes into our lines and, essentially, the finished product comes out without human intervention at all.

“It comes out as a baked product, then it goes onto conveyers and off for freezing, cooling or packaging and there’s barely a human hand intervening.”

The move to automation is driven by cost efficiency in terms of reducing the number of staff but an even greater efficiency is the reduction in worker’s compensation claims resulting from automation.

“With rack ovens, you open the door, push the product in and when it’s done you pull it out.

“In that process there are potentially people getting burnt, getting hands mashed in doors, not picking racks up properly and getting back injuries,” said Appleford.

“One of our American customers produces 250,000 muffins an hour using Auto-Bake’s systems.

“It was only doing a third of that with rack ovens and one of its biggest savings has been worker’s compensation.”

While trends towards automation can simply shift the OH&S risk from production to maintenance there are ways to compensate.

“Whenever you have to maintain something there is the chance of an accident plus the cost of having the line down,” explained Appleford.

“This can be minimised in simple ways , for example, by using high-end greases in the machines, which only need application once a month instead of every day.

“There is also cleaning in process (CIP), sanitising the line while it’s running using sprayers, etc.”

Communication

However, the majority of bread in Australia is still made by the small end of town; suburban bakeries run by a handful of people.

In these environments automation is not economical so the focus shifts back to human beings, and how management communicates and executes OH&S systems, explained Baker’s Delight Holdings human resources and training manager Craig King.

“When someone takes up a Baker’s Delight franchise they get a number of systems including an OH&S system for the bakery.”

“Baker’s Delight has done hazard risk analysis for all the commonly used equipment in its bakeries.

“Franchisees are then able to do a customised risk analysis using templates provided by Baker’s Delight.”

“Once a risk analysis has been done,” said King, “it’s all about training your staff and reducing risks”.

“We used to have mixing bowls with no lids on them but now they have guards so that as soon as someone opens the lid, the machine turns itself off.

“Ergonomics is also an issue,” he said

“There’s constant lifting involved in running a bakery so we’ve reduced packaging from 25kg to 12.5kg so people can manage the lifting more easily.”

Ultimately, communication is the most important innovation.

“If companies are not communicating OH&S and constantly reviewing systems, then they’re not going to keep up the pace, and productivity and morale will be down,” King said.

“But it’s also a shared responsibility, there needs to be a feedback loop, innovation from the top down and also from the bottom up.”

Approach

WSP Risk Solutions general manager Genevieve Hawkins belives that whether the bakery is an industrial operation or a suburban bakery, the important thing is not to treat OH&S as something that needs to be done to stay out of trouble.

“It’s often done as a formal format with OH&S committees and all those sorts of things, or it’s just ignored, said Hawkins.

“But the way to approach OH&S is not to take a ‘what do we need to do to legally comply’ approach, but a ‘what do we need to do to run our business effectively and manage the risk we have’ approach.”

There are also sound business reasons for approaching worker safety in this way.

“If someone is injured at work, worker’s compensation premiums are going to increase, which is a direct cost to the bottom line.

“The injured worker may be off work for some time and will need to be replaced, so there’s recruitment costs, training costs, all those things come in to cover someone while they’re injured,” she said

“From a business management point of view it’s just not cost effective to keep injuring people at work.”

Limited FREE tickets for packaging awards

LIMITED free tickets are available for the 2nd Annual Packaging magazine Evolution Awards breakfast ceremony to be held on Wednesday September 12th, 2007, from 7.30am at Waters Edge, Walsh Bay in Sydney.

In attendance will be packaging professionals and key stakeholders in packaging waste management in Australia and New Zealand.

The Packaging magazine Evolution Awards aim to encourage, recognise and reward National Packaging Covenant signatories for excellence in packaging waste management.

This year’s Awards will highlight companies within the industry that have shown innovation and excellence in the following categories:

  1. Beverage Packaging Action Award
  2. Food Packaging Action Award sponsored by Tronics
  3. Household Goods Packaging Action Award
  4. Personal Care & Cosmetics Packaging Action Award
  5. Pharmaceutical Packaging Action Award sponsored by Cospak
  6. Retail Packaging Action Award sponsored by Sealed Air / Cryovac
  7. Community Partnership Action Award sponsored by 3M Australia
  8. Most Innovative Solution in Packaging Waste Management Award sponsored by Heidelberg Graphic Equipment
  9. Most Outstanding Demonstration of Packaging Waste Management Award sponsored by Globus Food Packaging and Equipment in Australia
  10. Most Outstanding Demonstration of Packaging Waste Management in New Zealand Award

Finalist companies for this year’s awards include the following companies: Amcor, Assa, Abloy, Astron Plastics, Australia Post, Blackmores, BP, Coca-Cola Amatil, Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ), Diageo, Dulux, Ego Pharmaceuticals, Electrolux, Golden Circle, Goodman Fielder, Heinz, Herron Pharmaceuticals, Huhtamaki Moulded Fibre New Zealand, IBM, J. Boag & Son, Kimberly-Clark, LG Electronics, Nutrimetics, Pace Farm, Revlon, Roche, Schering-Plough, Simplot and Telstra.

The judging panel includes: Professor Harry Lovell; Margaret Jollands, Assoc Prof, Civil, Envtal and Chemical Engineering RMIT; Mike Walker, F.Inst.Pkg, FAIP; and Robin Tuckerman, Fellow of the AIP.

If you would like to attend, RSVP via email to RBI events co-ordinator Bahieya Sipos: bahieya.sipos@reedbusiness.com.au.

For more information, call Bahieya on 02 9422 2193.

Old timer’s new bottle

Jack Daniel’s has introduced a new bottle for its famous Tennessee whisky, which is On The Shelf now.

Packaging details:

Brand owner: Brown-Forman

Brand/product manager: Jonathan Croft

Graphics packaging supplier: Ann O’Daniel

Fruity yoghurt

Vaalia’s new yoghurt is On The Shelf. Details on ingredients, brand owner, packaging and suppliers are:

Ingredients: skim milk, sugar, milk solids, water, raspberry (3%), inulin, maize thickener (1442), gelatine (halal), pomegranate (0.5%), food acid (331), flavours, live yoghurt cultures

Brand owner: Parmalat Australia

Brand/product manager: Michael Goodhew

Packaging supplier: Cryovac, Carter Holt Harvey, Huhtamaki, MeadWestvaco

Graphics packaging designer: Carpe Diem

Certified Profibus training courses

The Australian Profibus Association will be hosting accredited Profibus training courses in Sydney and Perth in October 2007, for engineers in the food processing, packaging and other industries.

By implementing Profibus architecture into a food processing plant, an engineer will be able to monitor what is happening throughout the production process, predict and identify conditions that may have caused variability in the output, and maintain and/or rectify the process before a problem occurs.

Two internationally recognised Profibus courses — the Certified Installer Course and the Certified Engineers Course — will be conducted in Sydney and Perth by Andy Verwer, principal lecturer at the Manchester Metropolitan University’s Department of Engineering and Technology in the UK.

John Immelman, of Endress+Hauser, will manage the course seminars.

The Certified Profibus Installer Course covers the layout, installation and testing of Profibus networks and is suitable for all engineers and technicians involved in the planning and installation of Fieldbus networks.

The Certified Profibus Engineers Course is a more advanced course that covers the Profibus Network Design, commissioning and live fault-finding, aimed at engineers and technicians who already have a basic technical knowledge of Profibus or other Fieldbus systems.

For information on the course content, costs, venues, dates and booking information visit the local Australian Profibus Training website.

FOOD Challenge Awards winners

The winners of the FOOD Challenge Awards were presented with their awards at a Gala dinner held on July 11th at Sydney’s Daltone House.

The Awards recognise and reward brand owner excellence in food manufacture.

Brand owners can enter products produced over the last year, which are then judged based on the level of innovation shown in the following areas: processing, safety, marketing, export and packaging.

A winner and highly commended were awarded in each of ten categories.

Winners are as follows:

Best in show

Sponsored by Heat and Control

Winner: Wine Chocolates, Farm by Nature

Confectionery Award

Sponsored by Peacock Bros

Winner: Wine Chocolates, Farm by Nature

Highly commended: Well Naturally Sugar Free Chocolate Block with Mint Crisp, Vitality Brands Worldwide

Ready meals Award

Sponsored by Kerry Ingredients

Winner: Captain Birds Eye Chicken and Vegetable Patties, Simplot

Highly commended: Gourmet Salad Range, Mrs Crocket’s Fast and Fresh

Soup and prepared foods Award

Sponsored by Flavour Makers

Winner: Greenseas Tuna and Salmon Varieties

Highly commended: HJ Heinz

Snack foods Award

Sponsored by Earlee Products

Winner: Whole Kids Organic Sea Salt Popcorn, Nourish Foods

Highly commended: Sue’s Own Deli-Puffs, Highlands Cereal Foods

Meat and smallgoods Award

Sponsored by Ibex Group

Winner: Beef Ribs Slow Cooked in Barbeque Baste, Creative Food Solutions

Highly commended: Hans Bites, Hans Continental Smallgoods

Dairy Award

Sponsored by Danisco

Winner: a2 milk, A2 Australia

Highly commended: Bliss Ice Cream Gallery, Buderim Ginger

Alcoholic beverages Award

Sponsored by Imaje

Winner: Babicka Original Wormwood Vodka, Babicka Vodka

Highly commended: Brightlight Wines, JMB Beverages

Non-alcoholic beverages Award

Sponsored by Tronics

Winner: Edenvale, JMB Beverages

Highly commended: Diet Rite, P&N Beverages

Baked goods Award

Sponsored by insignia

Winner: Lifestyle Range Fig & Pecan Cookie, Byron Bay Cookie Company

Highly commended: Macadamia and Brandy Log

Health and wellness Award

Sponsored by Amcor

Winner: Rice Bran Oil Spread, Old Fashioned Foods

Highly commended: 100 Healthy Calories Range, Freedom Nutritional Products

Call for papers on sustainable packaging

Members of the food, beverage, packaging and manufacturing industries are invited to submit abstracts under the theme Climate of Change: Towards a Sustainable Packaging Industry, for the 2008 Australian Institute of Packaging National Conference that will be held from June 12th to 13th, 2008, at Luna Park, Sydney.

The deadline for submissions is Monday September 24th, 2007.

The conference will advance discussions on sustainable packaging and look at continuous improvement in the environmental performance of products through the entire lifecycle from raw materials to landfill.

Areas of specific interest include:

• Defining sustainable packaging.

• Lifecycle analysis.

• The application of sustainability principles.

• Barriers for sustainable packaging development.

• Development of recovery systems for packaging.

• Economic, social and environmental impacts of packaging: the triple bottom line.

• Case studies of packaging that embody sustainability principles.

• Practical strategies for implementation.

• Carbon trading in 2011.

Case studies and real application examples are strongly encouraged within presentations.

Topic suggestions:

• Defining sustainable packaging.

• Packaging and greenhouse gases: the facts.

• Lifecycle analysis for sustainability.

• A sustainable packaging scorecard: the WalMart experience.

• Balancing sustainability and cost.

• Barriers to sustainable packaging development.

• Development of sustainable recovery systems for packaging.

• Economic, social and environmental aspects of packaging: the triple bottom line.

• Case studies in sustainable packaging.

• Bio-based packaging and sustainability.

• Sustainable paper-based packaging.

• Sustainable glass and metal packaging.

• Synthetic polymers: how can they be more sustainable?

• Returnables in their many forms, ie RPC’S, dollies, crates.

• Roll cages as a responsible response to climate change.

Case studies might include:

• Reduce, Reuse, Redesign, Recycle principles.

• Design and marketing versus environmental impacts.

• Flexible packaging and laminates.

• The changing technologies behind non-toxic products.

• Sustainability and the National Packaging Covenant.

• Microenvironments of sustainable packaging: design, marketing, distribution and legislation.

• Innovations in design to reduce materials.

• Examples of significant improve ments in eco-efficiency: doing more with less.

Deadline for abstracts: Monday September 24th, 2007.

For further information or a copy of the ‘call for papers’ contact Nerida Kelton, nerida@aipack.com.au or visit www.aipack.com.au.

tna announces new team member

tna, a supplier of packaging and processing solutions for food production companies, has announced the appointment of Nartira Carlson to the position of Indian-Pacific marketing coordinator.

Working out of the Sydney office, Carlson will be responsible for implementing marketing strategies across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and South Africa, as well as coordinating all marketing research, planning, implementation and feedback for the Indian-Pacific region.

Carlson joins tna with over seven years of marketing experience.

She has worked for companies including Electrolux and Global Food Equipment where she was responsible for coordinating promotional events, developing marketing material, and organising public relations and advertising campaigns.

Success at home and overseas

Four years ago, JMP recognised that if it was to continue its growth in the palletising and packaging market it would have to change its business model and way of manufacturing.

New Zealand has been hit hard by the cheaper Chinese products being imported into Australia and New Zealand.

JMP did not want to give up manufacturing in New Zealand so took the decision to export, despite the dollar’s value not being favourable, and to increase the work load to streamline its manufacturing and processes.

This was made easier with the support of Kawasaki Robotics and by being able to sell Robotic systems designed and manufactured in New Zealand.

To support the number of systems being installed, especially in Australia, JMP Australia was formed under the management of Cameron Traum.

This way JMP New Zealand could manufacture the systems and Traum could sell, install and service the systems locally.

JMP Australia is currently installing its largest Robotic Palletising system in Australia for Nestle, which consists of twelve lanes palletising at a rate of over 60 cartons per minute.

Systems have been sold in Australia to Fonterra, Dairy Farmers, Simplot, Nestle, SCA and Goodman Fielder, to name a few, which have all been manufactured in New Zealand.

JMP has also designed and developed robotic case packing, which uses Kawasaki robots to pick up the robotic palletising on the end of lines.

Both the up-stream and down-stream lines can be sourced from one supplier.

JMP holds complete robots in stock, both in Australia and New Zealand, to guarantee 100% spares and parts are always in-house.

Because the systems are manufactured in New Zealand they are fully set up and run in front of the customer prior to installation.

This makes on-site commissioning quick and easy, and gives the operators confidence that the system will work, allowing them to embrace the system quickly and easily.

www.jmpaust.com.au

Maggi moves from tin to plastic

Nestle New Zealand (NZ) and Australia partnered with Viscount Plastics NZ to design and produce a plastic container to replace the metal cans previously used for packaging and distributing Maggi stocks and desserts to the institutional catering trade in both countries.

The new polypropylene container is reusable, microwave and dishwasher safe, stackable and nestable, and is half the weight of the previous metal can.

An innovative finger grip to aid in carrying the packs was included without negatively impacting on its ability to be stacked, while the security of the pack was increased by strengthening the tamper proofing.

Brand identity and shelf presence were enhanced by inclusion of an embossed Nestle Food Services’ logo on the tub that remains when the labels are removed, and the use of bright yellows and reds allow the product to stand out, particularly in the cash-and-carry bulk buying environment.

Despite the initial challenges of developing new packaging for the first time in thirty years that would maintain Nestle’s brand identity, while not increasing its market price, the move to plastic has proven to be cost effective and successful for the company, with Maggi sales up in the two month period since its launch.

The tub’s nestable design has significantly reduced the storage space needed for containers at the Nestle factory, with fifteen pallet spaces per day being saved.

Deliveries of empty containers to the Nestle factory have also been cut by 80%, and 2216 pallet movements eliminated.

A more complete assessment of the product’s success will take place later this year.

Green measures today ensure business success tomorrow

In these times of drought and gobal climate change what is being done by the Australian food and beverage industry?

Well, manufacturers are doing their bit, often in small ways, but every little bit helps.

From using ‘green’ ink to print labels and packaging, through incorporating bio-degradable materials into product packaging, to recycling of ‘grey’ water and other water-saving measures, manufacturers from small SMEs to large multinationals are trying.

It is worth doing as much as possible to minimise a business’ impact on the environment.

There is growing concern that as climates change across the world growing seasons are being impacted and ingredients may not be readily available.

Costs could rise as a result of supply chain challenges and these would hit manufacturers, who in turn might have to pass them on to consumers in the form of price hikes.

Decreased consumption of processed foods could result and this would really hit manufacturers where it hurts.

If initiatives are not already underway, now is the time to act.

Time must be made for a review of processes and systems, and changes made no matter how painful it might be to do so.

Money and time invested now in addressing the impact of environmental damage and change on a business will safeguard that business’ future.

On reading through the FOOD Challenge Awards entry forms, it was clear that many businesses are embracing change in favour of more sustainable business practices.

It is good to see that some business owners and manufacturers are aware and acting.

Of course, more always can and should be done, and as time ticks business pressures will cause even the slow and careless to take action.

But those who do not wait will reap the rewards.

Robotic palletising system wins APMA award

Foodmach, a provider of material movement solutions, won an Australian Packaging Machinery Association (APMA) design award for the Robomatrix, a high-speed palletising system.

The award was presented at AUSPACK and received by the system’s principle inventor Peter Marks.

The Robomatrix system was developed in response to an industry-wide need for increased flexibility and speed to handle the introduction of new and more complex packaging configurations.

Seeing the system work at AUSPACK was impressive.

It is controlled from a central control panel, where the user can input the specifics of a job including the pattern of the palletising.

As an analogy for how the Robomatrix system works, Foodmach recalled to mind the game Tetris.

In other words, the system incorporates robotic pattern forming.

Robotic tools and software make Robomatrix easy to use.

Foodmach national marketing and sales manager Dr Robert Stojanovich said the key to the system’s success was close partnership with customers to create a global technology.

“It’s always nice to win an award and be recognised by your industry colleagues and peers” he added.

First organic Standard developed in Australia

A new Australian Standard is currently being developed for organic products, including processed foods, to govern the production, processing, marketing and transportation within the industry.

Standards Australia deputy chief executive Colin Blair said the new standard will provide clear definition of what is organic, as well as specify requirements for primary production, transport, storage, preparation, packaging and marketing of organic products.

Australia’s $500 million organic industry is currently self-regulated, with different groups adhering to variations of a standard developed by the Australia Quarantine and Inspection Service for export.

The Standard is expected to be finalised in 2008 and will be initially introduced as a voluntary scheme.

The Council of Australia Primary Industry Ministers has indicated the new Australian Standard will form the basis of industry regulation.

Supply Chain & Logistics Conference

The 2007 Queensland Supply Chain & Logistics Conference will be held on August 2nd and 3rd at the Sofitel Hotel, Brisbane. Supported by the Australian Institute of Packaging, the conference will enable members of the food industry to widen their view of how a supply chain works and the role it plays in packaging.

Guest speakers will include G Peter Dapiran, a senior fellow of the freight and logistics group at the University of Melbourne, who will discuss issues of change and collaboration, including supply chain managers’ strategic plans for the coming decades; and Paul Driver, the national transport safety manager for Woolworths, will look at the Retail Logistics Supply Chain Code of Conduct.

To view the conference program or to register, visit the conference website.

Meat processing Award up for grabs

Australian meat processors should encourage their staff to enter the Barry Johnson – Cryovac Young Achievers Award 2007, a $12,500 study and travel grant enabling people working in the red-meat processing industry aged 18 to 39 to advance their technical knowledge and learn at first hand global developments in the packaging arena.

Entries for 2007 close August 3, 2007.

Established in 2001 by Cryovac Australia to recognise the achievements of Barry Johnson in his 40-year career in the local meat industry, the Award supports aspiring achievers in the meat processing and retail industries to develop their career through investigations into the packaging of fresh, frozen and processed meat products, enabling them to make ongoing contributions to meat packaging technology in Australia.

Last year’s grant winner, Michael Connors from Cargill Beef in Tamworth, NSW, recently returned from a one-month study tour to China, which allowed him to expand his knowledge of the meat industry beyond the Australian market.

“To now understand how other cultures use and distribute meat products allows me to utilise this knowledge in a production sense in Australia,” Connors said.

“The real benefit was an appreciation of how different Chinese processing techniques are (to Australian). There is an enormous gap in consumer education about the quality of chilled beef as the Chinese culture has always had fresh product.”

Connors said he envisions there will be future market opportunities for chilled beef products in China.

Given Cargill Beef has customers in China and Hong Kong, the study tour provided significant benefits to Connors’ employer.

Entries for 2007 close August 3, 2007.

For more information on the Awards visit the Sealed Air website or contact Les Muscat for application details.

Improving Australia’s food innovation

A new $54.2 million Food Innovation Grants Programme (FIGP), launched by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to increase innovation in the food industry, is currently accepting round one applications.

The FIGP, which will fund approximately three projects every year until June 2011, aims to assist Australian-based food and beverage businesses undertaking research and development (R&D), innovative programs or developing cutting-edge products and technology.

Applicants will need to demonstrate a project’s ability to add competition and profitability to the Australian food industry in areas of production, processing, packaging, storage or logistics.

The potential of the project and/or its resulting commercial activities to achieve national productivity and economic growth; diffusion of knowledge and skill to other parts of the Australian economy; or other societal, community or ecological benefits, will also be considered.

Proposals must address a technical challenge in the Australian food industry and/or how the uptake of new technology will deliver significant benefits, either on a national, sectoral or regional basis.

The FIGP will contribute, on a matched funds basis, up to half of the eligible project costs for R&D, the movement of innovation towards commercialisation, and the introduction of cutting-edge technology.

Projects are not eligible if they present no element of technical risk, are food product line extensions, involve the purchase of land or infrastructure costs; or are activities related to food processing inputs rather than outputs, among other things.

Interested applicants can download and complete the self-diagnostic eligibility check to ensure they satisfy eligibility criteria.

Potential applicants must then complete a preliminary application form.

Round One submissions are due by August 9, 2007.

An Advisory Group, consisting of technical, industry and business specialists will assess applications.

Amcor’s new retail packaging initiative

Amcor Australasia has launched a new retail packaging initiative to showcase emerging technology and innovation in primary, secondary and tertiary packaging.

Retail 2010 — Packaging the Future, is a physical and virtual tour of a simulated retail supply chain from the perspective of a package, presenting Amcor’s unique capabilities to create integrated packaging solutions including packaging design and development, retail-ready packaging, point-of-sale displays and RFID.

Simulating communication between Amcor, its customers and other members of the retail supply chain, the Retail 2010 demonstrates the latest in retail solutions, while facilitating the development of practical solutions to meet changing retail packaging requirements.

Based at Amcor’s Research and Technology centre in Alphington, Melbourne, Retail 2010 makes use of Amcor’s world-class packaging design and testing services including virtual computer simulations, primary and secondary packaging prototyping, forensic laboratory testing and transport simulation.

A scaled-down physical retail environment was also purpose-built by Amcor, including back-of-store, a mini-supermarket and point-of-sale check-out portal. A guided tour takes less than three hours and is divided into four key elements, including design, manufacture, distribution and sale, each held in different locations throughout Amcor’s Research and Technology unit.

Believed to be the first of its kind outside Europe and the USA, Retail 2010 was officially launched in early 2007 and feedback from retailers and customers has been positive.

Green measures today ensure business success tomorrow

In these times of drought and gobal climate change what is being done by the Australian food and beverage industry?

Well, manufacturers are doing their bit, often in small ways, but every little bit helps.

From using ‘green’ ink to print labels and packaging, through incorporating bio-degradable materials into product packaging, to recycling of ‘grey’ water and other water-saving measures, manufacturers from small SMEs to large multinationals are trying.

It is worth doing as much as possible to minimise a business’ impact on the environment.

There is growing concern that as climates change across the world growing seasons are being impacted and ingredients may not be readily available.

Costs could rise as a result of supply chain challenges and these would hit manufacturers, who in turn might have to pass them on to consumers in the form of price hikes.

Decreased consumption of processed foods could result and this would really hit manufacturers where it hurts.

If initiatives are not already underway, now is the time to act.

Time must be made for a review of processes and systems, and changes made no matter how painful it might be to do so.

Money and time invested now in addressing the impact of environmental damage and change on a business will safeguard that business’ future.

On reading through the FOOD Challenge Awards entry forms, it was clear that many businesses are embracing change in favour of more sustainable business practices.

It is good to see that some business owners and manufacturers are aware and acting.

Of course, more always can and should be done, and as time ticks business pressures will cause even the slow and careless to take action.

But those who do not wait will reap the rewards.

First organic Standard developed in Australia

A new Australian Standard is currently being developed for organic products, including processed foods, to govern the production, processing, marketing and transportation within the industry.

Standards Australia deputy chief executive Colin Blair said the new standard will provide clear definition of what is organic, as well as specify requirements for primary production, transport, storage, preparation, packaging and marketing of organic products.

Australia’s $500 million organic industry is currently self-regulated, with different groups adhering to variations of a standard developed by the Australia Quarantine and Inspection Service for export.

The Standard is expected to be finalised in 2008 and will be initially introduced as a voluntary scheme.

The Council of Australia Primary Industry Ministers has indicated the new Australian Standard will form the basis of industry regulation.