Coca-Cola, Pepsi settle packaging trademark lawsuit

Posted by Rita Mu

The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo have settled a trademark-infringement lawsuit over packaging designs.

In October, Coca-Cola sued PepsiCo, claiming the packaging of the company’s low-calorie Trop50 fruit juice was too similar to its Simply brand juices.

US District Judge Sim Lake signed an order to dismiss the suit late last week. Terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

Coca-Cola introduced its Simply juice line in 2001 with Simply Orange. The company launched another two flavours in 2007: Simply Grapefruit and Simply Apple.

PepsiCo launched its Trop50 stevia-sweetened orange juice in 2009, and introduced a redesign in August.


Coca-Cola off to a positive start in 2011

Posted by Rita Mu

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA)’s Australian business is off to a solid start this year, with volume and revenue in the first four months of 2011 reportedly ahead of last year. 

While natural disasters such as Cyclone Yasi and the floods in Queensland and Victoria have impacted demand and led to a short-term increase in operating costs, CCA says its Project Zero investments have partially offset these impacts and are driving expectations in Australia to around five per cent growth for the first half of 2011.

“The business continues to deliver efficiency, service and revenue gains ahead of internal targets from the strong pipeline of capital projects,” says CCA’s Group Managing Director, Terry Davis, in a trading update statement last Wednesday.

“2011 is expected to be a peak year for capital expenditure, with expectations of an overall spend of around $375 million on capacity and capability movements.”

The company’s Indonesian and Papua New Guinea (PNG) businesses are also expecting economic growth for the first half of 2011. Growth in the PET bottle self-manufacturing sector in the regions is expected to drive local currency earnings up to about 10 per cent for the first half of the year.

Despite the Christchurch earthquake, which led to short-term increases in operating costs, CCA says it is expecting to match local currency earnings of those achieved in the first half of last year in New Zealand.

Earnings from the company’s SPC Ardmona business are expected to be five per cent lower than for the first half of 2010 due to the strong Australian dollar, which has led to increased competition from cheaper imported and private label, says CCA.

However, the company’s Pacific Beverages business is expected to grow this year, with Peroni and Bluetongue reportedly already ahead of target as a result of the increased production of draught beer at the new Bluetongue brewery in New South Wales.


Aussie brewer aims for world’s best in water usage

An environmentally sensitive brewery that makes more beer out of less water and less energy, has commenced production in the home of one of the world’s leading beer drinking countries, Australia.

Pacific Beverages’ new Bluetongue Brewery in New South Wales features a state-of-the-art water recovery plant, which targets best-practice water reuse standards. The water recovery plant also provides renewable energy for the brewery, reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.

The system – which was designed as a model for food and beverage plants globally – was installed by a partnership of CST Wastewater Solutions and Global Water Engineering (GWE), which are respectively Australian and global leaders in environmental engineering.

The $120 million state-of-the-art Bluetongue Brewery on NSW’s Central Coast will eventually have an annual capacity of 150 million litres, producing premium beers for increasingly discriminating palates in a nation with the world’s fourth-largest annual per capita beer consumption, 109.9 litres. (Behind only the Czech Republic, Ireland and Germany).

Pacific Beverages – a joint venture by Coca-Cola Amatil and global brewer SABMiller – has ensured the brewery will boast strict environmental standards and world-class water and energy savings, says the CEO of Pacific Beverages Mr Peter McLoughlin.

“Bluetongue Brewery is designed in a modular format which allows it to grow as we do. Coupled with this flexibility are significant sustainability credentials, predominately water and energy. Using water recovery techniques and modern design principles, we are able to target a reduction in our water usage to 2.2l / l litres of beer produced, which is amongst the best in the world and certainly well above the global average of 4 – 5 litres of water to every one litre of beer.

“Methane from this process will also power a third boiler which will reduce our energy consumption by about 15 per cent” Mr McLoughlin told the first taste launch event.

Bluetongue Brewery’s water recovery is subjected to GWE’s state-of-the-art anaerobic treatment that significantly reduces the brewery’s carbon footprint by avoiding the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, say CST Wastewater Solutions Managing Director Mr Michael Bambridge and GWE CEO Jean Pierre Ombregt.

The wastewater passes through several pre-treatment steps before entering a GWE ANUBIX-B anaerobic methane reactor in which the wastewater’s organic content (COD) is digested by bacteria in a closed reactor, degrading the compounds and converting them into valuable biogas and cleaned effluent.

Biogas from the process is collected and reused as renewable energy to power the brewery’s boiler.

Treated effluent continues to an aerobic post-treatment stage in which organic content is further reduced by GWE’s proprietary MEMBROX Membrane Biological Reactor (MBR) system.

In the water polishing step, the water from the MBR unit is sent through a Reverse Osmosis (RO) installation. Finally the effluent is led to a disinfection and storage unit, where the recycled water is kept for reuse applications.

Shareholders call for a beer and wine demerger of the Foster’s Group

The Foster’s Group received a clear and concise message from its shareholders last week to separate its wine and beer interests. The nearly unanimous endorsement was to sell off the underperforming Treasury Wine Estates and remain focused on its Carlton and United Breweries beer.

The Australian reported outgoing CEO Ian Johnston as saying "since 1980s there’s always been something else hanging on to CUB, be it land or wine". And that a demerger will create “a beer company for the first time in 31 years".

Foster’s Chairman David Crawford believed the demerge would provide long-term benefits for the group’s shareholders.

"The Foster’s board believes the demerger will maximise aggregate long-term value for Foster’s shareholders as compared to the status quo, or a possible sale or an initial public offering of the wine business and that the advantages of the demerger outweigh any disadvantages of the demerger," he said.

However, The Australian also reported that Mr Crawford held reservations, by suggesting that the “demergers also held disadvantages, including the transaction costs ($150 million), additional corporate costs and higher credit costs incurred by the smaller entities”.


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O-I’s new Lean+Green Riesling bottle

Glass container maker O-I is launching a new 750mL Lean+Green Riesling bottle, which is 21% lighter than its predecessor but retains its premium look and feel.

Manufactured at O-I’s Adelaide plant, the bottle’s weight has been reduced from 518g to 410g and will be commercially available in June 2011. Produced using narrow neck press and blow (NNPB) technology, the new Riesling bottle reduces energy and water consumption while maintaining the proportions and premium design cues brand owners require.

The NNPB production process for the new bottle delivers significant environmental benefits including:

  • A 19% reduction in CO2 per container and;
  • A 19% reduction in water per container.

O-I Australia’s Wine Marketing Manager, Maria Armstrong, said the new Lean+Green® Riesling bottle had been designed to offer a standout lightweight alternative for Australian Riesling products.

“The key was to retain the iconic Riesling bottle’s shape, in particular its height, while providing our customers with a number of environmental benefits,” said Ms Armstrong.

“This is the sixth option in our award-winning Lean+Green® range which further cements its position as one of the Australian wine industry’s most popular and respected sustainable packaging choices.”

Beer for breakfast anyone? New Zealand’s Moa thinks so.

The Kiwi brewer Moa has started brewing a Breakfast Beer, true story.

Launching in Auckland’s Quay St Café this week, Moa Breakfast is a blend of premium wheat malt, floral Nelson hops and cherries.

Brewer Josh Scott got the idea while on a trip to Auckland. He and his father Allan would sometimes compliment a leisurely breakfast with beer, which got him to thinking. “On occasion people enjoy champagne at breakfast time, so I thought, ‘why not beer?’” says Josh.

Moa Breakfast is a refreshing and fruity lager specifically designed as a breakfast style beer, but can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It has an alcohol content of 5.5%. Like champagne, it is bottle fermented and conditioned and is sealed with a cork, muselet and foil.

The Quay St Café launch of Moa Breakfast is open to all from 7am – 11am, Thursday 7 April, 2011. The beer will be paired with Pain perdu (a posh French toast) with crispy bacon, toasted almonds, caramelised banana and cherry compote, and there is a solid Kiwi rock line-up to entertain the attendees.

Additional Moa Breakfast events are set to be held in Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown over the coming months.


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Industrial Conveying take on the beverage industry

Materials handling specialist and turnkey logistics solutions provider, Industrial Conveying, has expanded its targets in key beverage sectors including the dairy industry, soft drinks manufacture and handling, confectionery, wine and beer, spirits and any others that require design and implementation to suit specific needs.

Industrial Conveying (Aust) Pty Ltd has given it three main capabilities that favour the domestic market:
  • a huge range of off-the-shelf products and customisation capability
  • a series of strategic acquisitions and amalgamations
  • and an Australia-based engineering centre delivering world class solutions

Managing Director, Mr Don Erskine, says the bold move by ICA into the beverage industry is a natural progression.

“For some time now, we have been able to grow not just because of our high-technologies but also because of a strong domestic presence and ability to deal directly with clients.”

 “Industrial Conveying is structured to give the beverage industry turnkey solutions for just about all it materials handling needs.

“From handling the empty container at the start of the line through to assembling a truck load, then automatically loading to truck without the use of forklifts.

“Not only is interest strong in Australia, the export market has seen what we can do and we are gaining momentum through enquiries from around the world."

The company’s project turnkey capability has continued to develop with the establishment of an engineering design and development office in Melbourne, from where some of Australia’s best CAD and CAE engineers engage their expertise.

The combination of this facility with the Bendigo design and project Engineering Group has placed ICA in a position where almost any product can be engineered as purpose specific and integrated into an overall materials handling system with any of the company’s standard food and beverage handling products.

Standard technologies typically include knife edge conveyors, 90°/180° modular belting type conveyors, plastic modular belt type conveyors, and slat band conveyors.

ICA also designs, programs, installs and commissions the control systems and automation for these material handling projects.

“Just as the mining and quarrying sectors are benefiting by our presence, the beverage industry now has a one-stop shop for world-class materials handling system supply,” said Mr Erskine.

“Not only do we have the range of products, we handle projects one-on-one with the client.

“There is now no need for any third-party engineering group to become involved, thus keeping the cost down and eliminating that extra step which always holds the potential to cause a communications gap.”

Health and wellness driving energy drink growth

Vitamin fortification and other health and wellness initiatives are speeding up the global growth of sports and energy drinks, according to a recent Leatherhead report.

The energy drink market has grown by an estimated 32 per cent since 2006, according to the Market research firm, bringing the value of the sector to $36 billion in 2010. Sales of sports and energy drinks have surged thanks to a wave of new products purporting to contain various health benefits.

“The market has benefited from the worldwide health and wellness trend”, the Leatherhead report said, “whilst news drinks featuring lower sugar levels and more natural ingredients have also assisted in attracting new consumers to the category.”

According to the report, vitamin and mineral fortification has become the most popular health claim across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.


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FSANZ calls for comments on minimum alcohol content in wine

Posted by Rita Mu

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FZANZ) is calling for comments on a proposal to reduce the minimum alcohol content in Australian produced wine.

FSANZ Chief Executive Steve McCutcheon said the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia had applied to reduce the minimum alcohol content permitted for Australian produced wine and sparkling wine from eight per cent to 4.5 per cent alcohol/volume.

“This will align Australian produced wine with the European Union, which is Australia’s largest wine export market,” McCutcheon said. “It will also address a regulatory disadvantage for the Australian wine industry compared to imported wine which has no minimum alcohol requirements.”

According to FSANZ, a risk assessment has not been completed on the basis that there are no public health and safety risks associated with the application.

“Based on the available information, FSANZ concludes that the benefits of the proposed amendment outweigh any associated costs,” McCutcheon said.

“We are seeking further comment on the potential costs and benefits of the proposed amendment through submissions on the assessment report.”

Comments on the assessment report for Application A1026 close on 2 June 2011.


“Space beer,” one giant leap for mankind

With NASA talking of a promising future in space tourism, Australians can be sure they won’t be short of their favourite beverage – beer – when they holiday on Mars, thanks to researchers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), who are helping to create the world’s first “space beer.”

The scientists at the new microgravity research facility, “Drop Tower,” at QUT have been testing the effect of zero-gravity on the carbonation and palatability of beer.

The microgravity tower, which is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere and one of only a few world-wide, is able to simulate the low gravity level present in space, here on Earth.

QUT’s Research Facility Director, Professor Ted Steinberg, a former NASA researcher, said researchers, government agencies, and businesses, like private space research company Saber Astronautics Australia and Sydney’s 4-Pines Brewing Company – the companies behind the new space brew – were using the tower as a stepping stone to sending their experiments into space.

Experiments were conducted at the QUT tower to analyse the properties of beer in microgravity conditions. Beer was loaded into a 400kg metal capsule, winched 27 metres to the top of the tower and then released, allowing the “space beer” to freefall and experience two seconds of microgravity prior to bringing it to a rest at the bottom of the tower.

"Two seconds may seem like a little time, but it is a lot for studying a very large variety of phenomena in reduced gravity such as combustion of metals, fire safety, certain biological processes and fluid dynamics," Prof Steinberg said in a statement.

"For example, many metals burn more easily in reduced gravity, liquids behave differently, both of which have important implications for safety and the way machinery and equipment operate in spacecraft and space stations. The beer experiments assisted in determining the correct level of carbonation, so that it can in the future be appropriately enjoyed by humans in reduced gravity,” he said.

In February, a taste-test was conducted on the “space beer” in the United States by the Zero Gravity Corporation. An astronaut aboard a parabolic trajectory microgravity flight out of Cape Canaveral, Florida drank 6 x 150ml samples of "space beer," which passed taste and carbonation tests.

Image: Professor Ted Steinberg at QUT’s "Drop Tower", Source:

Bruers ad slams pastuerised beers as “cooked” [VIDEO]

A new ad campaign for Bruers Bright takes a potshot at the widespread practice of pasteurising beer, going so far as to label most beer “cooked”.

Bruers Bright, by Pacific Beverages is brewed in the Bluetounge brewery in Newcastle, and is described by Bruers as:

“Australian style draught lager with a clean fresh aroma, a fruity individualistic palate and a soft bitter aftertaste”.

The beverage was dreamed up with the help of key customers which is currently being rolled out to selected venues across the eastern sea board.

Bruers have been keen to push the freshness of their  product from the start, and the latest ad which has been released on YouTube.

“Most beer in Australia is effectively cooked before it is served, which makes it no different to bottled beer,” said Paul Gloster, chief marketing officer of Pacific Beverages told marketing blog Mumbrella. “Our film plays on the abnormality of that, and how Bruers Bright is different.”

The new ad is critical of the pastuerising process that many breweries use to increase the shelf life of beer.

A keg of non-pastuerised beer will keep for around 45-60 days, whilst pastuerised beer will last from 90-120 days.

Pastuerised beer is also more resistant to heat fluctuations which could cause the fermentation process to start again and spoil the product.

This is just the latest move in beer industry which has seen the dominance of CUB and Lion Nathan stables decrease with smaller players like Coopers and Pacific Brands eating into their market share.

Whilst Bruers may claim its the only unpastuerised bright beer on the market, it does deal with a case of selective amnesia  to the independent boutique brewery’s quietly plying their trade.

However the video does call into question the process of pastuerising beer, and unpastuerised beers become a wider trend, it could mean shorter shelf lives and a greater chance of wastage.


Do you think the ad makes a valid point, or are they all full of bluster?

Ardagh Group manufactures first Australian aluminum beverage bottles

Posted by Rita Mu

The Ardagh Group has manufactured the first Australian-made aluminium beverage bottles at its facility in Taree, New South Wales.

The move extends the company’s aluminium portfolio, which originally included the manufacture of aerosols.

"Aluminium bottles offer some specific advantages to beverage brand owners," said Ardagh Group Business Development Manager Sion Orritt.

"The bottles offer excellent on-shelf branding opportunities. They especially lend themselves to packaging a special promotional product – for example, for a sporting event, product launch, anniversary edition drink, or just to differentiate a product from the competition.”

According to Orritt, the bottles are ideal for beer and energy drinks.

"The bottle offers consumers the premium look, feel and functionality of a glass bottle, with the added benefits of being unbreakable.

"It can be used at outside events or functions, where for safety reasons glass cannot."

The aluminium bottle is initially available in sizes from 330-355ml with a crown seal closure.

The Ardagh Group is currently in discussions with the beverage industry to bring the bottles to market.

Entries opening soon for Product of the Year Awards

Posted by Rita Mu

The Product of the Year Awards, which is based on an independent consumer survey completed by more than 5000 shoppers, have been launched – with entries opening Monday 18 April.

To be eligible for entry, products must launch between January 2010 and August 2011 and be either a completely new type of product or a useful innovation to an existing product or brand, such as a new ingredient, redesigned shape or size, new formula, or new packaging.

“Following a successful second year of the awards program in 2010, Product of the Year is building its profile as a valuable marketing tool helping winners set themselves apart from their competition in the eyes of the consumer,” said Sarah Connelly, the Director of Product of the Year Australia.

“Previous award winners from around the world have benefited from average sales increases of around 10-15 per cent after using the Product of the Year logo on their packaging, promotions and advertising, which they’re able to do for 12 months following their win.”

In 2010 winners were chosen from 21 categories, up from 17 the year before, including Food and Beverage, Packaged Goods, Beauty, Pet Care, Cleaning and Adult Medicine.

Winners in the packaging category last year including Dettol’s No-Touch hand washing system, Berocca Performance with its Twist N Go bottle, Airwick Aqua Mist with its unique trigger and Finish Quantum with a dissolvable capsule that doesn’t need to be unwrapped. The Organic Bubs baby food pouches also resonated with the consumer, as did the new Cadbury block packaging.

Categories in 2012 will be finalised once entries close on August 2nd.

 All entrants will be judged and vetted by a ‘jury’ of industry experts representing retailers, media, consumer researchers and journalists. They will determine whether each meets the key criteria of the program and can then be submitted for judging in the 5,000-strong consumer survey by global research group TNS.

More information on the Product of the Year Awards is available here.

WA builds roads from recycled glass beverages

A detailed financial analysis of waste to landfill and the benefits of diverting glass containers into productive re-use has led to a partnership between the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River in Western Australia and the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s Packaging Stewardship Forum (PSF) to use recycled, crushed glass from beverage containers in road construction.

Opening the construction site at Railway Terrace, Shire President Ray Colyer said, “This is a great regional solution and a model that I would recommend to others. It’s a win for the environment, the economy and for the rate payer.”

“Prior to commencing the project the Shire analysed how much it costs to put glass in our landfill or transport it long distances for recycling compared with the costs of processing it locally.

"This cost benefit analysis showed that local processing of glass and the potential reuse of it locally would dramatically reduce recovery costs, significantly increase recycling rates and minimise uneconomic and environmentally unacceptable practices.

"Crushing it in the Shire and reusing it locally in civil construction provides a net benefit,” Mr Colyer said.

The collected glass is crushed locally at the Margaret River Glass Reprocessing Plant, an Australian Packaging Covenant/WA Government funded facility, to a national standard specification suitable for use in a range of alternative local markets including road base, asphalt, concrete and pipe embedment as a partial sand replacement.

General Manager of the PSF Jenny Pickles said the Shire’s cost benefit analysis will be of enormous value to other councils demonstrating the financial case for using RCG in civil construction projects.

“For the first time this study sets out for councils what they need to know about the comparative costs of processing glass rather than sending it to landfill.

"Through our kerbside recycling systems we’re collecting more than 76 per cent of glass beverage containers annually but due to breakage we’re recycling just over half back into new containers.

"That means around 130,000 tonnes nationally is either stockpiled or going to waste in our landfills annually.

“The road construction sector uses millions of tonnes of sand and aggregate each year. By using RCG as a replacement for sand, we could reduce the extraction of virgin sand, eliminate current glass waste, save landfill space and provide ongoing local markets for the glass we collect through kerbside,” Ms Pickles said.


Foodpro shaping up to be the biggest ever

Foodpro, a trade event for the food and beverage processing industry across the region, returns to Sydney on Sunday 10 to Wednesday 13 July 2011.

Showcasing a comprehensive display of innovative food processing developments and technologies, Foodpro is a triennial destination for the food and beverage industry.

According to the organisers, this year Foodpro will confidently fill five large halls at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, expanding from four halls in 2008.

Foodpro manager, Peter Petherick, is enthusiastic about the popularity of the trade show among visitors and exhibitors alike.

“Since its inception in the 1960s, Foodpro has become the most influential and comprehensive food manufacturing event in the Australasian region,” he said.

“For visitors, it’s an invaluable opportunity to view the latest products and concepts from highly skilled food manufacturing business suppliers. Foodpro will certainly be a diary date for those who wish to be inspired, crystallise strategies or set new business partnerships for future success. It’s the event to attend so you can keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to what’s now and what’s next.”

Foodpro is a convergence of the industry’s ideas and product showcases including newest food manufacturing industry trends as well as the latest in food and beverage processing machinery, services, technical products, ingredients, flavourings, additives, food safety, micro-biology and testing equipment, packaging, handling, storage, transport, plant equipment, hygiene, water and waste systems, and much more.

This exhibition presents equipment and inspiration to cater to industries from meat and dairy to confectionery and baking, seafood to fruit and vegetables, beverage, soft drink and juice, even the brewing, wine and spirit industries.

Baco fruit juice launch in an O-I bottle

Baco Pty Ltd, the Victoria based fruit juice manufacturer, has launched four new flavours of its Apple Tree fruit juice range in O-I glass bottles.

The bottles include an applied ceramic label (ACL), which states the bottle typically uses 30% recycled content, reduces carbon emissions by around 15% and creates an energy saving of close to 10%.

Baco’s Managing Director, Mark Epstein, said O-I’s glass bottle also helped create an environmentally responsible brand.

"We believe people intuitively know fruit juice tastes better in glass but we think there is an important environmental story to tell too as glass is made from natural materials, mainly sand which is abundantly available in Australia,” said Mr Epstein.

“Glass is 100% infinitely recyclable and is the perfect packaging choice for our Apple Tree juices which are made from 100% Australian fruit juice and contain no added sugar or preservatives and no artificial flavours or colours.”

O-I Asia Pacific’s General Manager of Marketing and Sales, Jacqueline Moth, said customers continued to recognise glass as a sustainable packaging choice.

“We recently conducted a complete life cycle assessment (LCA) to examine the carbon footprint of different packaging types including glass, aluminium and PET,” said Ms Moth.

“The LCA demonstrated glass packaging produced the least amount of carbon dioxide and any increase in recycled content (cullet) further improves the CO2 footprint of glass packaging.”

Apple Tree fruit juice packaging features an ACL label helping to create a clean, fresh visually appealing product which complements the bottles’ contents.

Not made from concentrate, Apple Tree’s new flavours include Apple, Blueberry and Blackcurrant, Apple and Honeydew Melon, Apple and Pomegranate, and Valencia Orange.

Cargill acquires Dutch alcohol business

Posted by Rita Mu

Food producer Cargill has acquired Dutch-based Royal Nedalco’s alcohol business from its parent company Royal Cosun.

The acquisition, which was completed on Friday, includes Nedalco’s production sites in Sas van Gent, the Netherlands and in Manchester, the United Kingdom.

The two plants produce around one million hectolitres of potable and industrial alcohol per annum and employ approximately 100 people.

According to Cargill, Nedalco’s alcohol business will become an “integral part” of the company’s starches and sweeteners business in Europe.

"We are looking forward to building on Nedalco’s market-leading position at the high end of the potable and industrial alcohol market in Europe, by tapping into its excellent reputation and the expertise of its employees," said Peter van Deursen, Head of Cargill’s starches and sweeteners European division.

"In addition, Nedalco’s customers will receive access to Cargill’s product offering and international services."

Nedalco’s alcohol is used in multiple industrial applications in the spirit, food, pharmaceutical, chemical and cosmetics industries.

Image: Royal Nedalco’s Manchester plant, Source:

Green wine picks up gold for Australia

Third-generation family winery, Taylors Wines, has picked up the only Australian gold medal at the 18th annual Chardonnay du Monde international wine competition held at the Pasteur Institute, Saint-Lager, Burgundy, France March 2011.

The 100% Carbon Neutral 2010 Taylors Eighty Acres Chardonnay (RRP $13.95) was the only Australian wine to win gold in a field that included many famous and highly priced Chardonnays from Australia and around the world, such as the 2007 Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay (RRP $129.99).

The Chardonnay du Monde international competition recognises the world’s best chardonnays, awarding medals to only the finest expressions of the varietal from 914 samples, across 38 countries. Of the 305 medals awarded in total, only 53 of these were gold. The result is even sweeter for Taylors as Burgundy is seen as the home of chardonnay.

Eighty Acres is the world’s first 100% carbon neutral range of wines based on a complete cradle to the grave Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) compliant to ISO14044.

Mitchell Taylor, third generation Managing Director for Taylors Wines, was thrilled with the medal win, especially within such a competitive field of wines.

“To win the only Australian gold medal in such a diverse field of wines is a great honour. But to be awarded gold medal for our carbon neutral Eighty Acres wine range is something we are incredibly proud of. We keep saying the great wines shouldn’t cost the earth – and this gold medal win is testament that the finest wines can also be kind to Mother Nature,” said Taylor.

Recent international recognition of the Eighty Acres range of wines has included its selection by Australia’s Ambassador for Climate Change for an official function in Copenhagen, as well as being named “Best Green Launch” by The Drinks Business magazine at the 2010 Green Awards in London. In 2010 Taylors Wines were also awarded the 2010 Banksia Award for "Leading in Sustainability" and the 2010 NAB Agribusiness "Environmental and Energy Management Award".

Taylors Wines Eighty Acres is also the official wine of choice for 2011 Earth Hour (8.30pm, 26 March) and prize sponsor of the inaugural Earth Hour Lifetime Achievement Award.

Manufacturing jobs to pick up in 2011

Employer optimism is looking strong for first quarter of 2011, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released this Tuesday.

Manpower Australia & New Zealand managing director, Lincoln Crawley, said a surprising amount of optimism rested with employers in the manufacturing and transportation & utilities.

Optimism across these two sectors has increased 18 per cent and 23 per cent respectively from last quarter, survey results revealed.

Crawley said the results indicated much higher levels of confidence than expected for these sectors.

“We believe that 2011 is going to be a bumper year for job seekers, with the returning skills shortages set to heat up,” he said.

“Companies are going to have to be flexible about their job criteria and consider candidates who tick most, but not all, of their boxes.

“At the same time, candidates who are willing to relocate, re-skill or change industries will have plenty of opportunities to succeed.”

The survey of more than 2,200 Australian employers showed hiring for the first quarter of 2011 will remain steady overall with the seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook rate at  +21 per cent, a one percentage point increase from the last quarter’s seasonally adjusted outlook and a two-point increase from a year ago.

The number of employers planning to increase hiring has increased to 28 per cent – up from 27 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010 – while the number of employers planning to decrease headcount remains steady at seven per cent.

Overall, the strongest growth of employer optimism was recorded in the services and mining & construction sectors.

South Australian wine listed as top ten in the world

A Barossa Valley wine has been named as one of the top wines in the world by US magazine Wine Spectator.

The 2008 Schild Estate Barossa Shiraz was placed at number seven by the magazine.

Schild Estate General Manager John Retsas welcomed the win.

“This is a huge win for a family-owned winery like Schild, but also for the Barossa as a whole,” he said.

“This proves that the Barossa Valley really is the greatest region in the world for growing Shiraz.”

According to Mr Retsas, the achievement is partly thanks to the winery’s winemaker Scott Hazeldine, who joined Schild’s Estate last year.

The Barossa Valley winery released a new winery site earlier this year, an investment of $4 million in the Barossa region. Schild Estate Wines has received previous praise from Wine Spectator magazine for its Barossa Shiraz vintages including the 2004, 2005 and 2007 wines.

Wine Spectator Editor at Large, Harvey Steiman, said the 2008 Barossa Shiraz “may rank as the biggest over-achiever in Top 10 history.”

Mr Steiman described the 2008 Barossa Shiraz as “polished, ripe and complex, offering roasted meat and walnut accents to its black cherry, and blackberry, tobacco and liquorice aromas and flavours.”