Record sales for seafood industry

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak body representing the Australian seafood industry, has applauded consumers for supporting their local seafood industry over the festive season and driving a 30 per cent growth in December seafood sales.

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SPC rebrands for the future

Australian food and beverage manufacturer SPC has launched its new corporate brand and vision, It’s Time For Better, in line with the company’s strategy to become a global business with best in class products.

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Simplifying and integrating the supply chain journey

Consumers’ daily lives revolve around trust. Every day, when peeling an orange, opening a can of baked beans or dining in a favourite restaurant, consumers put their trust in Australia’s food supply chain.

Behind every food and beverage product on the shelf is a supply chain journey that starts with ingredients. The Australian food manufacturing industry is an intricate maze of ingredient and packaging suppliers, most with different supply chain management solutions.

Today, sourcing ingredients without a traceability and food safety protocol invites counterfeit products onto the food chain and an increased risk of contamination. News of unsafe or spoilt food can impact business owner’s livelihoods and the industry’s broader reputation, along with disruption to consumer’s lives.

“To manage ingredient safety and increase the visibility of food ingredients and raw materials in these complex supply chains, a new initiative, the Supply Chain Improvement project, is being implemented using GS1 standards,” said GS1 Australian account director Andrew Steele. “The project’s objective is strengthening integration between the thousands of upstream supply chains in the Australian food manufacturing industry.”

An industry working group has been set up to drive the project using the GS1 global standards for product identification, data capture and data sharing. GS1’s Global Traceability Standard (GTS) is the foremost traceability framework, allowing businesses to track their products in real-time and have end-to-end visibility of the supply chain.

“The group will work to achieve consensus across the industry to improve food safety, deliver efficiencies and reduce costs,” said Steele.

Representatives from Nestlé, Ingham’s, SPC, Lion Dairy and Drinks, Sanitarium, CHR Hansen, Newly Weds Foods, FPC Food Plastics, Labelmakers, Matthews Australasia and Visy Industries make up the group.

The ability for companies to capture material movements from ‘paddock-to-plate’ provides data integrity and timeliness from receipt to delivery, with traceability back to the source. Through automation, many of the manual processes are eliminated and businesses can be proactive with inventory management and handling systems.

“As a food and beverage business it’s critical for us from a food safety perspective to be able to track ingredients all the way back to the origin,” said SPC’s national logistics manager, Christian Lecompte.

Also critical to business is the capability to support information and production flow within existing systems for integrated supply chains. The project has the capacity to eliminate waste within an organisation’s value stream, reduce non-value-added tasks and ensure cost-effective solutions for customers, leading to a ‘right-first-time’ approach for all deliveries.

“One of the things we found we could do to be more efficient was to look at opportunities to be able to electronically track all the product ingredients throughout the production cycle – how we identify a product coming into the warehouses, how we receipt goods, how we put our goods away, how we manage our inventory and how we deal with our suppliers,” said Lecompte.

The adoption of GS1 standards as the common language for the identification, data capture and data sharing will enable automation of key ingredient sourcing, and traceability between ingredient suppliers and food manufacturers. Using GS1 standards for upstream integration goes well beyond minimum standards and allows businesses to translate their internal processes and approaches into the one common language that all trading partners can use and understand, without having to translate data formats across different supply chain management systems. This is the key as Steele believes interoperability is essential to the future of data sharing.

“Establishing international standards to ensure transparency across the supply chain can help lower existing barriers to the exchange of data between suppliers, trading partners and consumers,” he said.

The Supply Chain Improvement Project has the potential to deliver many benefits to industry, including increased visibility of food ingredients and raw materials, unique identification and traceability to improve food safety, and reduced costs with automated business transactions.

Nestle Australia’s head of digital supply chain, Mandeep Sodhi pointed out the key to the project’s success. “By having consensus across the industry on how to interconnect electronically and exchange critical operational data, we can realise cost-effective solutions across the end-to-end – from manufacturers, to suppliers, to customers – everyone benefits from this improvement in standardisation,” he said.

Looking ahead, the industry working group is encouraging all upstream businesses to adopt the food safety and traceability protocol using GS1 standards.

“With an industry-wide solution in place, your trading partners will have more visibility of your products across the supply chain,” said Steele.

Coca-Cola sells iconic SPC brand

Coca-Cola Amatil has announced that the SPC fruit and vegetable processing business (SPC) would be sold to Shepparton Partners Collective and its group of companies (Shepparton Partners Collective) for consideration of $40 million payable at completion.

Taking into account forecasted working capital balances, working capital adjustments to the sale price and costs of disposal, a profit on sale of $10-15 million is expected to be recorded upon completion. Both parties are targeting a completion date before the end of June.

The sale agreement also includes a four-year deferred payment which, subject to business performance, could result in up to an additional $15 million of sale proceeds at that time. Due to the realisation of recognised deferred tax assets, Amatil’s ability to frank dividends will be impacted in the short to medium term. The sale concludes a review and divestment process commenced in August 2018, with the new owners committing to grow the Goulburn Valley-based business and offering employment to all permanent staff.

Group managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil, Alison Watkins, said Shepparton Partners Collective had the right combination of commercial experience, funding support and confidence in the future of SPC.

“This outcome is good news for SPC and good news for the Goulburn Valley,” Watkins said. Watkins said there was strong domestic and international interest during the divestment process, reflecting SPC’s iconic status and the transformation of its manufacturing capacity following a $100 million co-investment between Amatil and the Victorian Government.

“Shepparton Partners Collective recognises the value of SPC’s brands, the opportunities for innovation and category growth in Australia, and its export potential,” Watkins said. “Importantly, they’re also committed to offering ongoing employment to all permanent members of the SPC team.

“This ensures continued access to the world-class capability and experience in fruit and vegetable processing which is brought to the company by SPC managing director Reg Weine and his team.

“On behalf of Amatil, I thank everyone at SPC for their commitment to the business. The combination of Shepparton Partners Collective, Reg and the team ensures SPC is in safe hands.”

Weine welcomed the outcome as an opportunity for SPC to continue its transformation and pursue new opportunities in domestic and international markets.

“In recent years we’ve grown our market share in tomatoes and we recently launched Australia’s first organic canned tomato. Our award-winning functional food range – ProVital continues to grow and gain support with dieticians and our enhanced processing and automation capability has opened up new export markets,” Mr Weine said. “We’re proud of those achievements and we’re confident we can do more.”

How to simplify the supply chain journey

Consumers’ daily lives revolve around trust. Every day, when peeling an orange, opening a can of baked beans or dining in a favourite restaurant, consumers put their trust in Australia’s food supply chain.

Behind every food and beverage product on the shelf is a supply chain journey that starts with ingredients. The Australian food manufacturing industry is an intricate maze of ingredient and packaging suppliers that have different supply chain management solutions.

Sourcing ingredients without a traceability and food safety protocol today invites counterfeit products onto the food chain and increases the risk of contamination. News of unsafe or spoilt food can impact business owners’ livelihoods and the industry’s broader reputation, and causes significant disruption to consumers’ lives.

“To manage ingredient safety and increase the visibility of food ingredients and raw materials in these complex supply chains, a new initiative, the Supply Chain Improvement Project, is being implemented using GS1 standards,” said Steele. “The project’s objective is strengthening integration between the thousands of upstream supply chains in the Australian food manufacturing industry.”

An industry working group has been set up to drive the project using the GS1 global standards for product identification, data capture and data sharing. GS1’s Global Traceability Standard (GTS) is the foremost traceability framework, allowing businesses to track their products in real-time and have end-to-end visibility of the supply chain.
“The group will work to achieve consensus across the industry to improve food safety, deliver efficiencies and reduce costs,” said Steele.

Representatives from Nestlé, Ingham’s, SPC, Lion Dairy and Drinks, Sanitarium, CHR Hansen, Newly Weds Foods, FPC Food Plastics, Labelmakers, Matthews Australasia and Visy Industries make up the group.

The ability for companies to capture material movements from “paddock to plate” provides data integrity and timeliness from receipt to delivery, with traceability back to the source. Through automation, many of the manual processes are eliminated and businesses can be proactive with inventory management and handling systems.
“As a food and beverage business it’s critical for us from a food safety perspective to be able to track ingredients all the way back to the origin,” said SPC’s national logistics manager, Christian Lecompte.

Also critical to business is the capability to support information and production flow within existing systems for integrated supply chains. The project has the capacity to eliminate waste within an organisation’s value stream, reduce non-value-added tasks and ensure cost-effective solutions for customers, leading to a “right-first-time” approach for all deliveries.

“One of the things we found we could do to be more efficient was to look at opportunities to be able to electronically track all the product ingredients throughout the production cycle – how we identify a product coming into the warehouses, how we receipt goods, how we put our goods away, how we manage our inventory and how we deal with our suppliers,” said Lecompte.

The adoption of GS1 standards as the common language for identification, data capture and data sharing will enable automation of key ingredient sourcing and traceability between ingredient suppliers and food manufacturers.

Using GS1 standards for upstream integration goes well beyond minimum standards. It allows businesses to translate their internal processes and approaches into the one common language that all trading partners can use and understand, without having to translate data formats across different supply chain management systems.

This is the key, as Steele believes interoperability is essential to the future of data sharing. “Establishing international standards to ensure transparency across the supply chain can help lower existing barriers to the exchange of data between suppliers, trading partners and consumers,” he said.

The Supply Chain Improvement Project has the potential to deliver many benefits to industry, including increased visibility of food ingredients and raw materials, unique identification and traceability to improve food safety, and reduced costs with automated business transactions.

Nestlé Australia’s eBusiness manager, Mandeep Sodhi pointed out the key to the project’s success.

“By having consensus across the industry on how to interconnect electronically and exchange critical operational data, we can realise cost-effective solutions across the end-to-end – from manufacturers, to suppliers, to customers. Everyone benefits from this improvement in standardisation,” he said.

Looking ahead, the industry working group is encouraging all upstream businesses to adopt the food safety and traceability protocol using GS1 standards.

“With an industry-wide solution in place, your trading partners will have more visibility of your products across the supply chain,” said Steele.

Coca-Cola Amatil to sell SPC

Coca-Cola Amatil will sell its fruit and vegetable processing business, SPC, which is expected to record a $10 million loss for the 2017-18 financial year.

The beverage company’s decision to sell SPC comes four years after the Victorian government and Coca-Cola Amatil co-invested $100 million ($78 and $22 million respectively) to help the struggling business.

Coca-Cola Amatil initiated a strategic review into SPC in August. The company’s group managing director, Alison Watkins, said that while there were no plans to close SPC, the review had concluded that selling the Shepparton-based firm would provide the best means of enabling it to grow in the future.

“We believe there are many opportunities for growth in SPC, including new products and markets, further efficiency improvements, and leveraging technology and intellectual property,” Watkins said.

“The review has concluded that the best way to unlock these opportunities is through divestment, enabling SPC to maximise its potential with the benefit of the recent $100 million co-investment, while Amatil sharpens its focus as a beverages powerhouse.”

Watkins said that while SPC production would for now continue as normal at Shepparton and Kyabram, Coca-Cola Amantil would develop a divestment timeline and process over the coming months.

Watkins also indicated that Coca Cola Amatil has decided that the IXL and Taylor’s brands will remain with SPC following the announcement on 21 November that an expected sale to Kyabram Conserves will no longer proceed.

Coca Cola Amatil has invested approximately $250 million into SPC since acquiring it in 2005, including in new tomato and high-speed snack lines, a new aseptic fruit processing system and new export opportunities including in China.

Watkins said that Coca-Cola Amatil expects its 2017-18 full-year results will weighed down by $50 million in expenses due to “cost optimisation programs” and that the company would possibly be unable to meet earnings growth target in the 2018-19 financial year due to factors that include the impacts of container deposit schemes in Australia, higher PET resin costs and a weak Indonesian rupiah.

Watkins said that SPC’s $10 million loss was “modest” and “not a big deal” in the  long-run.

“The challenge for the business is top-line growth, but the core structure of the business now is very good. So what will move that loss to a profit is growth, and that’s what the business is poised to do,” Watkins said.

“We really see a very bright future as a result of the investment we’ve made.”

SPC launches new fruit pouches that are easy to eat on-the-go

SPC has launched three new fruit pouch pack ranges to a give people a healthier snack alternative.

The company aims to give consumers a product that works into their demanding daily schedules, which still has great nutritional value.

Venturing into a new format, the three ranges contain the goodness of real fruit in a convenient pouch pack.

The pouches include Puree and Simple, which is ideal for lunchbox snacks for children, Frumax – aimed at busy children and teenagers, and Goulburn Valley Fruit Plus for women on the go.

SPC general manager for marketing and innovation, Simone Coté, said many Australian’s wanted to make the right choice when it came to snacking for themselves and their families.

“At SPC we want to make things easier for consumers to make positive choices about the products they buy,” said Coté.

“We created the SPC fruit pouch range to be both delicious and easy to use, made from local, home grown fruit from our Australian backyard,” she said.

The pouches are made with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

“Our products have been developed to the needs of women as well as busy families on the go – where the daily chore of packing a lunchbox or filling a hungry tummy after school can be, just that, a chore. Best of all it allows parents to feel confident in with the quality of the products they give to their children,” said Coté.

Puree and Simple used Australian grown fruit and comes in a wide range of flavours including apple and strawberry, peach and pineapple, and apple and mango.

Frumax is the sleekest snack for the sports bag or lunchbox – ideal for teenagers on the go. Flavours include apple and orange, and apple and pineapple and Apple.

Goulburn Valley Fruit Plus is a healthy fruit snack enriched with the goodness of chia and coconut. It is a quick grab option for breakfast or a snack. Flavours include apple and cinnamon with chia, strawberry and berry with chia, banana and honey with coconut.

 

SPC fruit brands heading to China

SPC is expanding its global footprint, launching for the first time into China with its Goulburn Valley and SPC fruit brands. Announced in partnership with China State Farm Agribusiness Shanghai (CSFA Shanghai) at a formal signing ceremony in Shanghai on Thursday, this major milestone demonstrates SPC’s continued momentum and the growing demand in China for Australian produce.

“In our 100th year, we are thrilled to be able to bring our premium Goulburn Valley & SPC packaged fruit to the largest consumer market in the world,” said SPC Managing Director Reg Weine. “China represents a significant business opportunity for SPC in the years ahead, and this is an important step in realising our growth strategy.

As well as being two of Australia’s most recognised, loved and trusted food brands, the products we are taking to China come straight out of the Goulburn Valley – the renowned food bowl of Australia. We aim to leverage this reputation, as well as our heritage and provenance when launching our brands in China,” adds Weine.

CSFA Shanghai, is part of the CSFA Group Corporation, will be SPC’s master distributor in China. According to Mr Weine, “it takes significant time and resources to build brands in overseas markets and CSFA Shanghai has the dedicated personnel, sales and marketing support we need to build our brands on the ground, as well as the distribution capability to reach China’s burgeoning middle class.”

Zhao Qingyong, General Manager, China State Farm Holdings Shanghai Corp said, “We have established strong business relationships with several Australian companies and we are very pleased to be partnering with SPC to continue developing successful businesses in China”.

To give the brand a consumer face in this new market, SPC has appointed Ye Yiqian, a well- known celebrity, singer and actress, as its brand ambassador for China.

“Ye Yiqian has already injected a great amount of personality and style into our brands ahead of our launch into the Chinese market,” said Weine.

Her passion for cooking, love of food, and her deep connection with aspirational Chinese consumers is something we believe will be advantageous for our launch and will help contextualise our products for this new audience.”

SPC’s plans include bringing its premium branded products to Chinese consumers through high-end supermarkets, speciality retailers and leading on-line and e-commerce platforms.

“It’s about taking our market leading brands into markets where provenance plays a part and there is a large enough consumer segment that is affluent and willing to pay a premium for Australian produce. The Chinese market is five times the size of the Australian processed fruit market, which makes this a huge opportunity,” Weine concludes.

Victoria’s Acting Minister for Trade and Investment John Eren, says: “SPC is a great Victorian company – and we’re proud to back them as they continue to expand into new markets and export our world class produce.”

SPC has been successfully exporting to international markets for more than 90 years, including in the USA, UK, Europe, Southeast Asia, Japan and the Middle East.

Woolworths may cancel $70m SPC contract

Supermarket chain Woolworths is reportedly considering the end of its contract with SPC Ardmona, two years into a five-year, $70 million contract.

The Herald Sun reports that the contract is under review, with unnamed industry sources suggesting Woolworths is looking to suppliers in China and India.

The deal with SPC in 2014 came when the processor’s Shepparton cannery – which supports 350 jobs directly and 650 indirectly in the Goulburn Valley – was under threat of closure.

The then-Coalition Victorian government announced a $22 million co-investment package at the time, with SPC’s parent company Coca-Cola Amatil investing $78 million of its own money to boost efficiency and innovation at the site.

The state government support could be in question, according to The Herald Sun, as this was conditional on 500 full-time jobs remaining over the five years.

“Woolworths needs to honour their contracts, everyone in this arrangement needs to honour their contracts,”opposition leader Matthew Guy told AAP this morning.

Foodbank recognises its food industry partners

The  annual Foodbank Awards, recognising the outstanding contributions of the companies who play a pivotal role in helping to bring food relief to the thousands of Australians doing it tough every day.

Both Kellogg’s and SPC have come out on top; Kellogg’s was awarded the Foodbank Purple Beret for distinguished service in fighting hunger and SPC Ardmona received the Foodbank Purple Plate for conspicuous gallantry in the fight against hunger through the Foodbank Key Staples Program.

Rebecca Boustead, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for Kellogg Asia-Pacific said, “The issue of hunger for children and families in need is something that’s very close to our hearts. Every day, one in seven children in Australia go to school on an empty stomach, while many more families rely on the support that relief organisations like Foodbank are committed to provide. We’re proud to be partnered with Foodbank to continue the fight against hunger and to help make a nourishing start to the day possible.”

Reg Weine, SPC Ardmona’s Managing Director, said: “SPC has had a proud association with Foodbank since it was founded. We’re delighted to provide quality Australian fruit, tomatoes, baked beans and spaghetti – a staple in all diets – to Australians in need. This award is a great honour and we look forward to working with Foodbank for many years to come”.