Metal and X-ray detectable broom

Featuring metal detectable and X-ray materials, Detectaclean’s new Total MDX Brushware from Hill Brush is the biggest innovations since the invention of resin-set bristles. Effective in both wet and dry conditions, the metal detectable and X-ray components, which have been independently tested, have proved to be effective when metal detection machines are correctly calibrated.

The metal Detectable and X-ray brush back and filaments held in place by detectable Resin-Set DRS (Dual Retention System) technology, Detectaclean’s new brush ware and cleaning products are fully HACCP-compliant and made entirely of FDA/EU-approved materials.

The detectable resin inhibits bacterial growth and accumulation of contaminants via its anti-microbial properties, whilst providing an incredibly strong retention system. Autoclavable at 134°C, Total MDX Brushware ensures your regimes are optimal and avoid contamination, for the ultimate in hygiene safety and technology.

Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences enters into agreement to combat Alzheimer’s

The Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences SA (NIHS), a research institute of the global food maker Nestlé, has signed a research collaboration agreement with AC Immune SA – a leading Lausanne-based biopharmaceutical company focused on neurodegenerative diseases. 

The aim of the collaboration is to develop a sensitive, minimally invasive Tau diagnostic assay for early Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by applying Nestlé’s proprietary multiplexed ultrasensitive antibody technology platform.

Tangles of Tau proteins are recognised as one of two major hallmarks of neurodegeneration, the other being beta-amyloid (Abeta) plaques. 

Tangles and other abnormal forms of Tau protein accumulate inside the brain cells and spread between cells of people with Alzheimer’s disease over a long period of time. It is now well established that Tau correlates well with cognitive decline and disease progression. Furthermore, Tau may develop into a suitable biomarker for early diagnosis of the disease.

Ed Baetge, Head of NIHS said: “Our overarching goal at NIHS is to develop nutritional approaches and technologies that help people maintain or improve their cognitive vigour especially for early diagnosis and targeted intervention to combat this global health problem”.

ACCC concerned over implementation of Food and Grocery code

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is investigating reports about the approach supermarket retailers are taking to implement the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct (Code).

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said, “The aim of the Code is to redress the imbalance in bargaining power that can exist between suppliers and large grocery retailers by prohibiting certain types of unfair conduct”.

“The Code imposes a duty to deal with suppliers in good faith and we are concerned by reports we have received from suppliers that suggest that some retailers have not got off to a good start when it comes to implementing the Code,” Mr Sims said.

“The ACCC has concerns as to the manner in which some retailers, in particular Woolworths and Aldi, are presenting new Grocery Supply Agreements (GSAs), which might give the impression that the supplier is not able to negotiate the terms of the GSA.”

“The ACCC is also concerned about the low level of detail provided in some GSAs about the circumstances in which certain payments may arise.”

The Code sets out a number of prohibitions on, for example, requiring a payment for wastage that occurs at the premises of the retailer. While it is possible for retailers and suppliers to opt out of such prohibitions, this can only occur if the opt outs are agreed, if the agreement sets out the circumstances in which the opt out applies and if the payment is reasonable in the circumstances.

“One of the purposes of the Code is to provide certainty to suppliers, who are often in a much weaker bargaining position when dealing with retailers. In order to provide that certainty, the ACCC expects retailers to set out the circumstances in which they will seek payments from suppliers,” Mr Sims said.

The Code requires that retailers offer code-compliant GSAs. Suppliers should not feel compelled to sign these agreements and should seek advice before signing them. In particular, the Code will confer protections on suppliers 12 months after a retailer has signed up to the Code, regardless of whether a supplier has accepted a code-compliant GSA.

The ACCC said it has written to retailers about the manner in which they purport to be giving effect to the Code. The retailers have responded providing their new GSAs and the correspondence they have sent to suppliers offering the new GSAs. 

The said ACCC said it will continue to monitor compliance with the code.

tna appoints dedicated AP processing manager

Packaging and processing solutions provider, tna has appointed John Van Duin as its new group solutions manager – processing for Asia Pacific. 

Being part of Florigo Industry B.V., (a leading food processing specialist recently acquired by tna), John will head up the company’s processing division for this region. 

John has a long history with Asian Pacific customers and has an in-depth understanding of the key influences on the current market. 

This, coupled with his exceptional processing knowledge, means customers and prospects in Asia Pacific can now benefit from a dedicated regional processing specialist to support them in the development of modular solutions in both processing and packaging.

With a background in mechanical engineering and international sales, John brings more than 30 years of experience in the food industry. Having worked for world-renowned specialty equipment and systems suppliers in the potato and vegetable processing segments, he possesses a wealth of expertise in energy, steam and condensate systems  ̶  a clear benefit in his new role as tna’s processing specialist for Asia Pacific. John, with his customer centric ethos, will provide customers in the region with a high level of on-the-ground support in this growing market.

Michael Green, managing director at tna comments: “We are thrilled to welcome John into the tna family as part of the Florigo team. His experience, product and market knowledge and his enthusiasm will be a great asset to our team, enabling us to drive our Asia Pacific business forward.”


Mars Australia is officially a ‘Great Place to Work’- again

For the fourth year in a row, Mars Australia has been recognised as being one of Australia’s best workplaces by the BRW Great Place to Work Awards, being ranked as the 15th best place to work in the country.

The awards are Australia’s most highly regarded annual study of workplace excellence, identifying the top 50 Australian workplaces in terms of culture.
Sylvia Burbery, General Manager at Mars Petcare Australia said it is the company’s five core principles that distinguish and underpin its success in Australia.
“We are proud to be recognised as a great place to work. We believe our values and our people are integral to our success, which is why we have an unwavering commitment to creating a distinctive culture that is collaborative and energetic. In doing so, we are able to drive our business forward, and benefit communities,” Ms Burbery said.
From dynamic office floor plans that encourage collaboration to team cooking classes and the opportunity to bring pets to the workplace, it is the culture across all Mars business segments that was highlighted by the award. The company has also been credited for its wellness programs as well as local and global volunteering opportunities.

“After 100 years of global success, nearly 50 years of success in Australia and creating hundreds of products that have become household names, we’re still a private, family-owned business. Our story and our vision are an important part of our identity, and that inspires our Associates each and every day.

“Ultimately, people want to work for a company that inspires them, that fosters innovation and creates an engaging work environment, and that’s why people come to join, stay and grow with Mars Australia,” Ms Burbery said.

Detmold aces packaging design awards

Australian owned and operated, global packaging company, Detmold Packaging has proven it is at the cutting edge of innovation at design and print in the packaging world, recently winning five nationally recognised awards.

Detmold’s investment in innovation and design for packaging is both deliberate and substantial and this is evident through LaunchPad.  LaunchPad is the Detmold Group’s innovative centre for research and development, concept creation and rapid prototyping and there are studios both in Australia and China.

The first accolade was the 2015 Good Design Award for Detmold’s innovative creation of the Qantas dinner box.  This product is Australia’s first ovenable board carton that is specially designed to hold pre-cooked meals which are then baked onboard. 

The dinner box was created by Detmold LaunchPad’s Industrial Designer and Young Australian Designer of the Year 2014, Max Hughes as well as Detmold LaunchPad’s Group Product Manager, Andrew Good.

The duo designed this award-winning piece to reduce the packaging of in-flight meals, enhance portion sizes and create efficiency in serving guests for QANTAS. 

The Australian Packaging Covenant presented Detmold with the overall Sustainable Design Award (KPI 1) in 2015. This award recognises the outstanding performer amongst brand owners and packaging manufacturers in designing packaging that achieves significant sustainability improvements. 

Detmold’s entry into the 2015 National Print Awards, led to three awards.   A gold medal was awarded for the Chandler’s Pet Litter bag in the Wide Format, Flexible Substrate Division and a bronze for the same product in the packaging category.  The high quality print was achieved on the technically challenging brown kraft material. 

A further bronze medal was awarded in the Wide Format, Flexible Substrate Division for the White Wings Heritage Flour design. 


Nestlé tops category in Dow Jones Sustainability Index

A 'zero water' factory in Mexico, a UK confectionery factory that turns waste into renewable energy are just two examples of the kind of work that has helped Nestlé achieve an industry leading score of 99 out of 100 in the 'Environmental Dimension' of the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).

The DJSI is a globally recognised independent benchmark that measures company performance across three dimensions: Economic, Environmental and Social.

With an overall score of 89 out of 100 in the DJSI ranking, Nestlé was among the top performing food product companies. In the Index’s 'Environmental Dimension', its score of 99 is the highest in the industry, which underlines its commitment to water stewardship and environmental sustainability.

For instance, Nestlé says it is committed to achieving water efficiency and sustainability across its operations, and one example is the introduction of 'zero water' technology at its dairy factory in Jalisco, Mexico, which allows the plant to operate without using any local groundwater.

The UK provides another example of new, more sustainable production processes: an anaerobic digestion system at Nestlé's Fawdon confectionery factory turns confectionery waste into renewable energy and clean water.

Nestlé's status as the leading Nutrition, Health & Wellness company was recognised with a top score of 100 for Health & Nutrition in the Index, a testament it says, to work done in areas including product innovation and renovation.

Junk food shrinks your brain claims study

New research has shown for the first time that the part of the brain used for learning, memory and mental health is smaller in people with unhealthy diets.

 The results of the study by researchers at Deakin University and the Australian National University (ANU) suggest that older Australians with unhealthy diets have smaller hippocampi – the hippocampus is a part of the brain believed to be integral to learning, memory and mental health. It has also shown that older people with healthier diets have larger hippocampi.
Associate Professor Felice Jacka, lead author of the study and researcher with Deakin University’s IMPACT Strategic Research Centre in Geelong, said that as the negative impact of unhealthy foods on the waistline of the population grows, so does the evidence suggesting that our brain health is also affected.
“It is becoming even clearer that diet is critically important to mental as well as physical health throughout life,” Associate Professor Jacka said.

“We’ve known for some time that components of diet, both healthy and unhealthy, have a rapid impact on aspects of the brain that affect hippocampal size and function, but up until now these studies have only been done in rats and mice. This is the first study to show that this also appears to be the case for humans.”
The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the size of hippocampi (there are two in the brain – left and right) in Australian adults aged 60-64 years and participating in the PATH study – a large longitudinal study of ageing conducted at the ANU. They also measured the participants’ regular diets and took into account a range of other factors that could affect the hippocampus.

The results of the study, now published in the international journal BMC Medicine, suggest that older adults who eat more unhealthy foods, such as sweet drinks, salty snacks and processed meats, have smaller left hippocampi. It also shows that older adults who eat more nutrient-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits and fish, have larger left hippocampi. These relationships existed over and above other factors that may explain these associations, such as gender, levels of physical activity, smoking, education or depression itself.
These findings have relevance for both dementia and mental health, Associate Professor Jacka said.
“Mental disorders account for the leading cause of disability worldwide, while rates of dementia are increasing as the population ages,” she said.
“Recent research has established that diet and nutrition are related to the risk for depression, anxiety and dementia, however, until now it was not clear how diet might exert an influence on mental health and cognition.
“This latest study sheds light on at least one of the pathways by which eating an unhealthy diet may influence the risk for dementia, cognitive decline and mental disorders such as depression and anxiety in older people.
“However, it also points to the importance of diet for brain health in other age groups. As the hippocampus is critical to learning and memory throughout life, as well as being a key part of the brain involved in mental health, this study underscores the importance of good nutrition for children, adolescents and adults of all ages.”

Fonterra opens new manufacturing facility in Indonesia

Fonterra Co-operative Group has officially opened its new blending and packing plant in Indonesia – its first manufacturing facility in the country. 

 Chairman John Wilson said the plant is Fonterra’s largest investment in ASEAN in the last decade and will support the growth of Fonterra’s brands – Anmum, Anlene and Anchor Boneeto – in Indonesia. 
“Fonterra has been supplying high quality dairy nutrition to Indonesia for more than 30 years and today it is one of our most important global markets. The opening of our new plant is an exciting step forward in our relationship with the country and local dairy industry,” he said.
Fonterra Managing Director Asia, Middle-East, Africa (AsiaMEA) Johan Priem said the investment strategically positions Fonterra to help meet Indonesia’s continuous growing demand for dairy nutrition.
“The country’s large and increasingly affluent population is looking for highly nutritious foods for all ages. This is fuelling dairy demand growth, which is expected to increase by five per cent every year to 2020.
“Our new plant has the capacity to pack around 16,000 MT of dairy ingredients a year – that’s a pack of Anlene, Anmum and Anchor Boneeto every second, or 87,000 packs every day, which will go a long way in helping Fonterra meet this growing demand for dairy.” 
Mr Priem said the plant located in Cikarang, West Java is already having a positive impact on the local community. 
“We used local partners for the construction and, when running at full capacity, our new site will employ a team of 160 local employees meaning the investment will continue to flow through the local community.
“The site also utilises Cikarang’s dry port, allowing us to ensure all of our operations are located in one area. This will help us drive logistical efficiencies,” he said.
New Zealand Minister of Local Government, Social Housing and State Services Paula Bennett said this new facility reflects the strength of the relationship between New Zealand and Indonesia. 
“On behalf of the New Zealand government, I wish to congratulate Fonterra on today’s official opening – it reflects the increasingly interconnected nature of global value chains, and more closely links our economies together.
“Our governments have set a target to grow two-way trade to NZD4 billion by 2024 and dairy continues to be a critical part of this relationship,” Ms Bennett said. 
The plant received an A grade rating from regulators during its final stages of testing and commissioning, and has been in commercial operation since June 2015.

Seven million serves of food donated by top food makers

A blow has been struck against hunger in Australia today as Foodbank, Australia’s largest hunger relief organisation says that that seven million serves of food have been donated to Australians in need thanks to its first ever Food Fight campaign. 

Several iconic food brands including Kellogg’s, SPC and Ardmona, Wonder White and Helga’s, Vetta, Primo Smallgoods, Moccona and Harris Coffee, partnered with Foodbank to throw their muscle behind a call for much-needed provisions to meet Australia’s growing demand for food welfare. 

With Food Fight products stocked in retail outlets across the country, including Coles, Woolworths and IGA stores, Australians could help fight hunger just by doing their weekly shop. Each time one of the participating Food Fight products was purchased, a donation was made to Foodbank for distribution to Australians seeking food relief. 

Jason Hincks, Chief Executive Officer of Foodbank Australia, says, "It's tremendous to see our Food Fight campaign reach its goal of raising seven million serves of food in its first year. This couldn't have happened without the mighty support of our amazing food industry partners, suppliers, ambassadors and of course the public – who all played their part in our fight against hunger in Australia". 

Celebrity ambassadors and professional chefs who supported the campaign include: Kylie Gillies (The Morning Show), Colin Fassnidge (My Kitchen Rules), Scott Pickett (The Hot Plate), Adam D'Sylva, Jerry Mai, Oliver Gould, Raymond Capaldi and Simon Moss. 

The food donated during Food Fight will go towards helping to feed more than 500,000 people in Australia who access food relief each month, including low income families, the unemployed, the elderly and refugees who are struggling to put food on the table. 

 “This is an amazing achievement, but the fight isn’t over. Over 60,000 of the Australians seeking food relief are still unable to be assisted, with over two thirds of agencies unable to meet the full demand for food relief. So visit our website to sign up as a Food Fighter and find out how you can join the continuing battle,” said Jason.

Olympus helps to reduce food waste

More than 13,000 meals were served as part of OzHarvest's ‘Think.Eat.Save’ food waste awareness day in July. The Australian food charity's campaign aims to highlight and raise public awareness of how much food is thrown away each year. 

OzHarvest is one of the charities supported by Olympus Australia and staff from the company's offices around Australia volunteered to help at this year's event which was simultaneously held in eight cities and two regional centres across the country. OzHarvest uses donated and surplus food from retailers and restaurants, and invites the public to enjoy a free and delicious hot meal made from the rescued produce while learning about food waste from some of the nation’s top chefs, politicians and celebrities.

“Olympus Australia has made a commitment to OzHarvest which allows us to direct resources to them so that our impact is more significant,” said Oliver Clarke, Communications Manager for Olympus Australia. “Our view is that we are partnered with them for the long term which makes the most effective use of the company and staff's support for activities in the wider community.” 

‘Think.Eat.Save’ was launched in July with tri-partisan support at Parliament House in Canberra and the free meals were provided at venues in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, the Gold Coast, Port Macquarie and the Sapphire Coast. High profile volunteers, such as chefs Neil Perry and Jost Bakker, assisted at functions to take a stance against food waste. Olympus staff helped serve the soup and desserts to lunchtime visitors in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The Olympus volunteers also helped set up the serving tents and clean up at the end of the day. 

Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn said "Think.Eat.Save 2015 continues to highlight the disturbing amount of food wasted in Australia and around the world. Of the more than one billion tonnes of food produced for human consumption, approximately one third is wasted."

“Our modern day challenge is to create a sustainable food culture that can be shared by all, where we waste less at all levels of food production and distribution,” Kahn said.

MLC Centre gets a new IGA supermarket

Co-owners, The GPT Group and QIC, have announced that the MLC Centre will open an IGA Romeo’s Food Hall, which will complete Stage One of the MLC development and mark another milestone in the centre’s ongoing transformation.

The 1000 sqm boutique supermarket will open beneath the MLC Centre’s transformed food court, creating a convenient shopping option on Martin Place, in the heart of the CBD.
GPT’s Head of Investment Management for Office, David Burgess said the introduction of IGA Romeo’s Food Hall continued to build on the quality retail offer at the MLC Centre.
“We are just putting the finishing touches on the ‘new look’ MLC Centre food court and now we can announce the arrival of IGA Romeo’s Food Hall, within the MLC Centre and linked to Martin Place train station,” Mr Burgess said.
“It will deliver a tailored and highly convenient supermarket for CBD commuters and further build on the MLC Centre’s position as a focal point for eating, shopping and socialising in the city.
“This will round out Stage One of the development works for the MLC Centre and paves the way for the Stage Two retail development, which is due to begin in 2016, subject to approvals.”
Marked for completion in late 2015, the Romeo Group will tailor its supermarket offer to inner city consumers, with a focus on fresh meal solutions and healthy produce, all at competitive prices.
Joseph Romeo, storeowner of IGA’s Romeo’s Food Hall said the store has been designed to accommodate the changing demographic of the city – city workers, commuters, shoppers and residents living and socialising in the city.
“As a successful independent retailer we have been providing service, quality and fresh produce to Sydney shoppers for many years and IGA’s Romeo’s Food Hall is the next step up in retailing for the Group.”

ACCC skewers Primo, KR Castlemaine & Otway Pork over labelling porkies

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has concluded investigations into alleged misleading conduct in the pork industry arising from ‘free range’, ‘bred free range’ and ‘bred outdoors’ labelling. 

The ACCC has accepted court enforceable undertakings from Primo Smallgoods, KR Castlemaine and Otway Pork as a result of these investigations.

“It is important that the description on product packaging and in promotional material accurately reflects the living conditions of the animals raised for the production of meat products,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“When claims such as “free range” or “bred free range” are misused, consumers may be misled into paying more for a product feature that doesn’t exist,” Mr. Sims said.

In each of these three cases, the ACCC considered that the reference to either ‘free range’ (used by Primo Small goods) or ‘bred free range’ (used by Otway Pork and KR Castlemaine) in the promotion and labelling of the pork products was likely to give consumers the overall impression that the pigs were farmed according to free range methods. “

“These methods include that, at a minimum, pigs are able to move about freely in an outdoor paddock on most ordinary days. In fact, this was not the case.”

“In all cases, the producers have committed not to use the same descriptions unless their farming practices are such that, at a minimum, the pigs are able to move about freely in an outdoor paddock on most ordinary days. They have also agreed to implement consumer law compliance programs and publish corrective notices,” Mr Sims said.


Less is more when it comes to Aussie rum

Stuart and Simon Griffith, part of the team behind the creation of the new Substation No. 41 Rum, talk to Food Magazine about rum making, and the challenges of the Australian beverage industry.

Food Magazine (FM): How has the rum changed over recent years?

Simon:  I think the general drinking culture has changed on the whole, not just with rum.  It is very noticeable across the board with all aspects of liquor; beer, wine and spirits that the Australian market is becoming more attracted to the social aspect of drinking and the eventual quality of the drink in their hand.  It is certainly less evident that the consumer is drinking for the affect of the 'grog'.  

Alcohol and the Australian culture go hand in hand.  During Australia's penal era, rum had been used as currency and it has been suggested that the colony's inhabitants drank more alcohol per capita than any other time in human history.
Nowadays Australia's love affair with rum may have changed, but it is still there, it's just different.  As the country has evolved, so has the alcohol consumption and palate of the 'everyday citizen'.  Less is more and quality is everything.

FM: You say that rum is undergoing a “strong renaissance.” Why is it seeing an increase in popularity?

Stuart:  Spirits tend to follow a cycle of popularity and it just so happens that rum is seeing a huge spike in its fortunes that spirits like gin, vodka and whisky have had over the past twenty years or so.  
Rum has often been categorised as a working class drink, which hasn’t been helped with stories of pirates and naval crew downing large amounts for 'Dutch courage' in the face of terrifying situations.  I think the consumer has looked past these old anecdotal stories and made their own choice.  
Rum can work on every level and doesn’t seem to discriminate like maybe other spirits do.  Its versatility is its strength, it doesn’t matter what your gender is or your budget, it appeals to all walks of life for completely different reasons.  And yet, when you strip it all back you find that its unique power is that it makes everyone equal. 

FM: Are Australian drinkers more educated about rum than before?

Stuart:  Yes, they absolutely are.  The liquor market has definitely become a 'buyers market'.  The customer is now in a position where they can ask a question about a product they are buying and not fear a reprisal from the person serving them.  
Also with the advent of the Internet and information at the fingertips, customers more than ever can research before buying.  It’s not uncommon for costumers to visit us at the Substation No. 41 Rum Bar with a list of the rums they may want to try during an evening.  They have information on the rum, pros and cons, a tasting profile, prices etc.  Our job is to help them choose the right rum for them, for the right reasons.  Ten years ago, punters came into the bar with less pre-conceived ideas and were generally happy to get what they were given.

FM: In a market saturated with imports, how can Australian spirits compete?

Stuart:  It's really important to not try and be something your not.  There are so many amazing spirits on the market from a whole heap of international destinations.  So many of these spirits tick all the right boxes and are perfect in so many ways.  The key is to not try and replicate what someone else is doing really well and do your own thing to the best of your ability.  It is the Australian way to barrack for the underdog and give everyone a fair go and so if you apply these fundamental values of Australian culture to making quality spirits then it can be an easy recipe to follow.  Home grown ingredients coupled with this beautiful climate, love, tenderness and hard work and the end product can be a liquor that everyone can be proud of and sold at a reasonable price.


Sunpork launches new BBQ pork range

Sunpork Fresh Foods Chinese BBQ style pork roast is set to hit shelves in Victoria and South Australia on September 1, followed by launches into NSW and Queensland in the following weeks.

Made from 100 per cent Australian pork, the roast is marinated in a delicious and fragrant Chinese BBQ sauce and then slow cooked, SunPork Fresh Foods Marketing Manager Mary-Jane Knudsen said consumers now have the opportunity to cook this classic and versatile favourite at home.

“The pork only takes about 30 minutes in the oven (depending on the weight), and the result is a fantastic, full flavoured take on this traditional favourite that usually requires hours of preparation and slow cooking,” Ms Knudsen said.

“This is sure to become a family favourite for many households as Chinese BBQ Pork Roast is loved by most of us. It’s so good to be able to prepare a dish like this at home and enjoy without the effort of dining out.”

The Pork Roast in Chinese BBQ Sauce joins the Pork Schnitzel with Peri Peri Crumb, which was launched last month.

Sold through Woolworths, SunPork is continuing to add to its popular range of pre-prepared pork products, making it easy to serve fast and tasty meals at home.

Other products include a shredded meat range, Slow Cooked BBQ pork ribs and Slow Cooked pork belly.

Thomas Foods set to pack on the beef

South Australian meat processor, Thomas Foods International says it will boost its beef processing capacity by up to 25 per cent with a new beef boning facility.

Thomas Foods has an annual revenue in excess of $AUD1billion and is Australia’s largest family-owned meat-processing company.

It currently supplies a range of retail outlets including Coles, Woolworth’s, Costco and also Aldi.

According to the company, this $AUD25 million upgrade of its Murray Bridge abattoir will boost the company's beef processing capacity by a quarter and will see the creation of an additional 200 jobs.

“The new facility will use the latest technology for refrigeration, conveying, sortation, cryovac packing and hygiene,” Thomas Foods CEO David McKay said.

"It will be one of our company's biggest investments," he said.

New verification technology to be used for food exports

DataTrace technology is set to be used for Australian export food & wine authentication, Security & Safety.

DataDot Technology Limited (DDT) says it is pursuing opportunities in the growing export food and wine authentication market through its newly established joint venture with Beston Pacific Group. 

DDT and Beston subsidiary company, Grape Ensembles (GE), have jointly established Brandlok Brand Protection Solutions, and over the next nine months Brandlok will develop labels and other devices to authenticate and provide information on wine, dairy, seafood, health food and meat products to be exported to China, Southeast Asia, the Americas, Europe and Middle East. 

DDT has granted an exclusive 5-year licence of its DataTrace authentication technology to Brandlok for incorporation into the labels and devices to prove authenticity for these exported products so that customers can track and trace the ingredients from paddock to plate and verify for themselves that the products are safe to eat.

Bruce Rathie, Chairman of DDT, said that the Brandlok joint venture and its arrangement with the new company BGFC focused on food exports to China and other markets represents a significant opportunity to capitalise on major concerns regarding food security, safety and counterfeiting in these emerging export markets.  

“We have seen a number of food and other product counterfeiting issues especially in places like China.”

“This technology is a mixture of labels, barcodes and apps that can be used on mobile devices allowing them to check the authenticity of what they are buying,” he said.


Patties CEO picks berries as a profit squasher

Responding to the release of Patties Food Limited 2015 (FY15) financial results, which showed a significant slump in earnings mainly due to the impact of the recent frozen berries recall, Patties CEO Steve Chaur said that future is looking much brighter for the food maker thanks mainly to their diverse food portfolio.

“The FY15 reported Net Profit After Tax [NPAT] result was significantly impacted by the frozen berries recall, which led to a $13.6m non-cash impairment (pre tax) of the Frozen Fruit business,” said Chaur.

“Our core savoury products, which represent over 90 per cent of our business earnings, performed solidly, delivering an increase in sales revenue and profit growth in our iconic savoury brands,” he added.

However, financial results are a lot like berries – you can always pick the better looking ones, and as such, the figures look worse when you notice the EBIT- or Earnings before income Tax result – where the drop in earnings went from $26.0 million in FY14 to $9.1m in FY15.

Chaur also noted that mechanisms have now been put into place to prevent a repeat of this problem.

“[It’s] Not appropriate to comment, other than to say we are continuing to test every batch before it is released to the market with nil detection found to date. Patties Foods frozen berries are amongst the most rigorously tested berries in the Australian market. “

Another meaty issue that is rubbing the Patties ledger the wrong way is that of beef prices, which have increased by about 40 per cent since the beginning of the year, a fact that is impacting on Patties profitability.

“Beef prices are at record highs in Australia, impacting all processors in our category. There’s been continuing growth in the global demand for Australian beef, so price inflation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future,” said Chaur.

“Patties Foods responded early in the past year to put steps in place to mitigate the ongoing impact of rising beef prices, such as a strategic procurement program, price increases and operational cost reductions.”

“We’ve also restructured our operations and driven our Bakery Continuous Improvement program, which has positively impacted on earnings over the past and coming year. “

“We are focused on expanding our savoury business, optimising our cost base, driving efficiency gains at our Bairnsdale bakery, and delivering profitable growth.”

Moving forward, concluded Chaur, it’s all about staying firmly in the black.

“New product development, effective marketing and channel focus have an important part to play in achieving growth.”


Versatile HMI for food manufacturers

Rockwell Automation has released its new Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus 7 Performance graphic terminal to simplify and streamline visualisation in large, complex applications including food manufacturing. 

The PanelView Plus 7 Performance terminal expands on the recently released PanelView Plus 7 Standard model with a larger screen option, more processing power, expanded connectivity and greater software support.

The Performance model has six screen-size options, including a new 19-inch option – the largest to date from Rockwell Automation. The 19-inch screen offers machine builders and end users more display area on which they can design, control and monitor large applications. The Performance model also includes new keypad options to complement the terminal’s standard touch screen.

A more powerful CPU supports larger displays and larger applications. While the Standard model supports applications with up to 25 screens and 200 alarms, the Performance model supports applications much larger in size and complexity.
With the addition of an embedded Ethernet switch and two Ethernet ports, the PanelView Plus 7 Performance terminal can support a device level ring (DLR) topology for single-fault resiliency. 

The terminal also has expanded mobile connectivity. Remote desktop services enable a plant manager, maintenance technician or support provider to securely access the HMI from a remote location to troubleshoot a problem, walk through setup procedures, review alarming and more. In addition, plant operators can monitor HMI data within the plant using a tablet, smartphone or other mobile device.

With video playback support, machine builders and end users can now incorporate helpful videos into the terminal to support operator training and troubleshooting. Microsoft Office viewers and Internet Explorer support give operators instantaneous access to network-based Office files and HTML pages, such as standard operating procedures, directly from the terminal.

The PanelView Plus 7 Performance terminal also retains the benefits introduced with the PanelView Plus 7 Standard terminal. This includes the ability to save projects and critical machine information on an SD card. For example, machine builders can save a single machine’s configuration on an SD card and re-use it for multiple similar machines, while operators can archive machine data for faster terminal replacements and easier troubleshooting.



Food packaging company scoops top business award

Integrated packaging company tna has won the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Eastern Australia. 

Awarded in recognition of tna’s commitment and dedication to innovation in the food industry, the judging committee praised the company’s hard work and pioneering approach that has been so instrumental in tna’s rise to be a worldwide leader in food packaging and processing.
Considered the world’s most prestigious business award, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year is the only truly global programme of its kind. tna received its award in the industry category. 

The judges described tna as an Australian icon and commended its focus on innovation in what is, traditionally, a conservative industrial market, to firmly establish itself as a leading light in the global food processing and packaging market.
Commenting on the award, Alf Taylor, co-founder and CEO of tna, said: “We are honoured and thrilled to win the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Eastern Australia. Through complete determination, sheer hard work and our desire to always ‘rethink the conventional’, we became a world-leading specialist of cutting-edge processing and packaging machinery, supporting food manufacturers in over 120 countries around the globe.”
Nadia Taylor, tna’s co-founder and director added: “Australians are truly great at innovating but often the biggest challenge is obtaining the funding to create that all-important first prototype. I’m so glad we never let go of our dream and were able to turn a revolutionary idea for packaging food products faster and much more efficiently into a reality and successful business. We’re delighted to receive the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award because it represents our persistence and our dedication, and we hope that inspires our fellow Australians to go after their dreams too.”
Entrepreneurs from more than 145 cities in over 60 countries across the globe participate in the scheme. This year, over 100 entrepreneurs competed in five regional programmes around Australia.