National Manufacturing Week 2014 opens doors

National Manufacturing Week for 2014 has officially opened, with a record number of product zones and over 280 companies exhibiting at the four day event.
To be co-located for the first time with Ausplas and featuring Strategic Partners including Engineers Australia and NSW Trade and Investment, the exhibition commenced at 10am today and will run until Friday.

“Engineers Australia sees a positive future for the Australian manufacturing industry and is pleased to be a major partner in National Manufacturing Week, where the industry’s innovations will be showcased,” Stephen Durkin, CEO of Engineers Australia, said in a statement.

NMW attracted 11,223 trade visitors last year. This year it will feature a record 15 product zones.

Andrew Stoner, NSW deputy premier and minister for trade and investment, said that there would be fresh perspectives on the state’s manufacturing sector offered this week.

Stoner’s department will launch three short videos showcasing some of NSW’s unsung manufacturing heroes during the week.

"NSW is the nation’s manufacturing powerhouse, responsible for around a third of Australia’s total manufacturing output and home to innovative and globally competitive manufacturing companies with world-class strengths in design, research, logistics and information/communications technology,” he said.

This year chief scientist Ian Chubb was the first of the week’s expert speaker, addressing the R&D hub this morning at 10:30, giving a keynote address on innovation.


Foodpro to host government business lounge

A government business lounge will introduce a range of government programs to visitors at this year’s foodpro exhibition.

Food manufacturers visiting the event can find out how the Victorian government can help them enter new export markets, adopt new technology, collaborate with other businesses, overcome barriers to market, and access government support.

Foodpro exhibition manager, Peter Petherick, said the Business Lounge is open to foodpro visitors from Victoria, as well as interstate and international visitors interested in doing business in the host state.

“The Business Lounge means that visitors can not only come to foodpro to see how the latest technology can make their businesses more efficient, but they can also be educated on the many ways government can help grow their business,” Petherick said.

Visitors interested in pre-booking a meeting at foodpro with a business development manager can do so via the foodpro website


Australia lags in demand for novel vegie products

Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world in launching new products that contain vegetables, a report released by AUSVEG shows.

The Project Harvest consumer report states that less than two percent of products containing vegetables launched globally are released in Australia.

Tim Shue, AUSVEG spokesman said this indicates an opportunity for vegetable growers to find new ways of getting their produce to consumers.

“New product types may help relieve pressures placed on growers by retailers. Vegetables that don’t make the grade could be transformed into brand new products rather than going to waste,” Shue said.

Green bean ice-cream, instant pumpkin desserts, yoghurts and chips containing vegetable products and vegetable garden cream cheeses are just a handful of the thousands of new products recently launched overseas.

“Creativity, lateral thinking and an active engagement with global experts in produce innovation could help industry access new domestic and international markets,” said Shue.

To start the discussion, AUSVEG is holding the Produce Innovation Seminar at the Cairns Convention Centre on 19 June.

“By exposing the Australian industry to research and development being conducted globally, we hope to excite businesses with innovative ideas about how Australian vegetables could be transformed and consumed,” Shue said. “While the fresh market may remain the focus for Australia, other countries throughout Asia, Europe and the US have been investing in novel vegetable products, and this indicates that there are definitely markets out there.”

The Produce Innovation Seminar will hear from global leaders from the US and Europe in product innovation and sensory science, including David Lundahl, founder and CEO of InsightsNow Inc. and Rob Baan, CEO of Koppert Cress.

For more information, click here.


Registrations open for AIP National Conference

Registrations are open 2014 AIP National Conference, to be held on 17 and 18 June.

The conference will host 40 speakers from seven countries and is ideally suited for the food, beverage, manufacturing and packaging industries, offering networking opportunities from professionals both here and abroad.

The event will be held at the Sofitel Wentworth, Sydney and have a theme of ‘Packaging and Innovation Excellence’.

Keynote speakers include:

·         Bryan McKay FAIP, director packaging development – Asia Pacific, Campbell Arnotts will speak on validating innovative packaging

·         Fran Bova FAIP, packaging manager, Kimberly-Clark Australia will discuss a shelf ready shippers case study looking at various requirements from box making, compatibility with existing case packing equipment, board grade and strength considerations, distribution, marketing requirements and retail shelf requirements.

·         Nicolas Georges, RD&Q director, Premium Chocolate & Dairy, Asia Pacific, Mondelez International will discuss ‘What if the Silicon Valley of food manufacturing was in Australia’?

·         Craig Walker MAIP, national packaging manager – PET, Coca-Cola Amatil. Walker will provide a presentation about the award winner packaging and innovations designed from Coca-Cola Amatil.

·         Bassam Hallak, director, Innovation Discovery & Insights, Avery Dennison –  Consumer Insight trends and impact on Packaging.

·         Nina Cleeve-Edwards MAIP, packaging specialist, Nestle Oceania, on innovation in packaging sustainability.

·         Paul Horn, strategic procurement director – Technical, LION, on Delivering New to Business Innovation.

International speakers include:

·         Massimo Annatarone, Gualapack Packaging System

·         Prof Ing Matthias Niemeyer, chief executive officer, KHS

·         Peter Lockery, H.B Fuller

·         Paul Taulien, Sidel Group

·         Antony Conway, Esko

·         Doug Kunneman and Mark Vergauwen from Nature Works

·         Andreas Schweiger, Rofin-Baasel LaserTech.

For the full program, click here.

Conference to address how we can feed more with less

A global sustainable markets conference in Cairns will this week face the question of how to feed a growing global community with less.

At the conference, industry leaders and conservation experts will discuss the sustainable production of major commodities such as sugar, beef, seafood, paper and timber, and palm oil.

The conference follows the latest draft IPCC report warning of increasing threats to food security as a result of climate change and a rising demand for food commodities, with crop yields already being negatively impacted by global warming, and projected to drop further in many areas.

“WWF is partnering with businesses and producers all over the world on strategies that address some of the issues raised in the most recent IPCC report, such as how to produce more with less in a way that doesn’t further degrade critical ecosystems,” said head of WWF-Australia’s Market Transformations Initiative, Dr Joshua Bishop.

“While these strategies by themselves are not a solution to the problems presented by climate change, they will help us adapt to a changing world and to meet the rising demand for basic commodities. The global population is growing and we are using the Earth’s living resources faster than they can be replenished.”

The conference is taking place between 7 and 11 April and will bring together WWF conservation experts from all over the world, including the US, China, Europe and the Asia Pacific, as well as senior executives from leading corporations.


Argus Realcold to exhibit latest meat injection technology at foodpro 2014

Food processing supplier Argus Realcold will be launching the latest in meat injection technology at foodpro 2014, as well as a new range of lightweight cut resistant gloves and cut resistant arm guards.

On display will be Argus’ InjectStar Linear Injector IS300, the smallest of a family of injectors that provides solutions for the small butchers to larger industrial applications.

The IS300 incorporates a quick-change needle system with injection needles that are easily replaced depending on the type of product being processed. The system also provides capability for the needle system to be replaced by tenderizing knives.

The linear motor technology allows full operator control for the depth of injection, duration of injection as well as options to provide multi-purpose capability for injection of red meats, fish and whole chickens.

Argus’ general manager, Steve Coatham, said that he was excited to showcase the company’s latest innovations at the event.

“At Argus, we develop many of our local products in direct response to feedback from our customers,” he said. “Showcasing our new offerings at foodpro 2014 will be a great opportunity to present directly to the meat, poultry, fish, vegetable and dairy industries that we work with in Australia.”

In addition to the IS300, Argus will also be showcasing a dual chilled tumbler unit which is designed to process two different product batches on the one frame at the same time.

The side-by-side massaging system reduces processing times for multiple species requirements form conventional single unit tumblers, where only one product can be massaged at a time.

“The great thing about this side-by-side tumbler technology is that is can be used in multiple contexts across the hospitality industry, in food testing laboratories, retail butchers, ingredient manufacturers, and food processors such as fresh vegetable producers for mixing vegetables with sauces/oils.”

foodpro Exhibition Manager, Peter Petherick said that the event is a great forum to showcase the future of the food manufacturing industry in Australia.

“The type of innovations we’re seeing from companies like Argus are indicative of the type of forward, progressive thinking visitors can expect from exhibitors at this year’s event,”said Petherick.

foodpro will run from Sunday June 22 to Wednesday June 25 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Southbank.


Aussie wines praised at Australia Day Tasting in UK

Over 700 trade and media guests attended Wine Australia’s annual Australia Day tasting in London last week where a vast selection of the Nation’s versatile wine portfolio was showcased.

Considered one of the most important events for Australian wine in the UK calendar, almost 1,000 wines from 32 regions across Australia were tasted, showcasing both boutique labels and major brands.

Key European trade personalities including Wine Gang member and publisher of, Tom Cannavan, said that the high quality demonstrated by the Nation’s wineries marked a ‘new era’ for Australian wine.

 “I bumped into loads of people who feel the same kind of energy about this event – it’s almost as if Australia is reawakening and it’s a brand new thing that’s coming into UK,” said Cannavan .

“Everyone’s excited and trying new things, trying new styles of wine, and there’s a real kind of energy about it.”

The event showcased 184 brands with over 20 winemarkers and principals flying over to London specifically for the event including Jacob’s Creek Senior Winemaker Nick Bruer, Ten Minutes by Tractor Owner and Winemaker Martin Spedding and Elderton Co-Managing Director Cameron Ashmead.

Yvonne May, Wine Australia Director for UK/Ireland/Europe said the tasting was the most comprehensive for the category in the UK.

“The reach of the event goes beyond the UK, with major buyers travelling to the tasting from across Europe and we are delighted to welcome guests from Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland,” said May.

“The event highlights the diversity, both regionally and varietally, of a wine portfolio that continues to excite key players around the world.”


Tasting Australia to take sustainable focus in 2014

Tasting Australia, South Australia’s largest gastronomic festival has confirmed that American farmer, lecturer and author, Joel Salatin and Australian landscape architect, Costa Georgiadis will be sharing their knowledge and passion for sustainable food production at next year's event.

Tasting Australia's creative director,, Simon Bryant of Cook and the Chef fame said that the attendance of both Salatin and Georgiadis will mark a new direction for the festival which will now have a stronger focus on experiences and shared knowledge within food production.

 “Tasting Australia is taking a new direction in 2014 and we’ll be celebrating the origins of our renowned produce,” said Bryant.

“This festival will be about eating and drinking, not just food and wine. It will focus on experiences, not purely events, and on participating rather than simply being there.

“I’m delighted Joel Salatin and Costa Georgiadis will be among special guests sharing their unique insights at what is set to be a refreshed, bold and exciting Tasting Australia.”

Salatin, owner of the Virginian based Polyface Farms is well-known internationally for his role in the documentary Food Inc, as well as featuring in Michael Pollan’s best selling book on the American food industry, The Omnivores Dilemma.

Salatin has been dubbed the world’s most innovative farmer by Time magazine, has written nine books and taken tens of thousands of people through his seminars and courses.

 “Because integrity food creates integrity ecology, I'm both honoured and excited to be a part of the Tasting Australia event in 2014,” said Salatin.

Georgiadis, best known as the host of ABC’s Gardening Australia, is a passionate supporter of sustainable living and food production and has also expressed his excitement of being a part of the festival.

“I can’t wait to taste the dialogue, join the debate and view the pictures painted about our food and its future,” Costa said.

“It’s all about bringing everyone along: farmers, cooks, growers, eaters and more.”

The biennial festival which attracts over 50,000 people over the course of a week will commence on 27 April, 2014 and the full event program will be announced over the coming months.


Australian wines in focus at Savour Australia

Leading wine retailers, sommeliers, importers and distributors from around the world are getting a taste of some of Australia's best drops at Savour Australia – the biggest Australian wine forum ever staged.

Kicking off in Adelaide today, and running for three days, Savour Australia will comprise business sessions on wine, consumer trends and retailing; themed lunches and dinners; and a Grand Tasting featuring wines from more than 170 Australian wineries.

Wine Australia’s chief executive, Andrew Cheesman, said the event aimed to get the world’s wine influencers excited about and engaged with Australian wine.

"Through Savour Australia 2013, we want to ignite the world’s interest in Australian wines and help get more quality Australian wines onto the world’s retail shelves and wine lists.

"Ultimately, through this event, we want to generate a renewed focus on the Australian wine category with expanded Australian wine portfolios in all our markets," he said.

Wine Australia’s general manager, market development, James Gosper said the event would re-energise the world's wine trade and provide new perspectives on Australian wine.

"The time is right to remind the world about our innovative and high quality wines with China now the biggest market for Australian bottled exports above $7.50 per litre, an improved sentiment shift in the US and increasing recognition of quality Australian wines, and Australia the number one category in the UK.

"On top of that, Tourism Australia’s new food and wine focus, which will be announced today at Savour Australia 2013, will help forge a strong identity in the marketplace about Australia’s incredibly diverse, unique and top quality wine and food experiences," he said.

Australian cuisine and fresh produce will also be a focus of Savour Australia 2013, with some of Australia’s top chefs and producers attending. They include:

  • Matt Stone, executive chef, Silo and Greenhouse;
  • Mark Jensen, head chef, Red Lantern;
  • Andre Ursini, owner and chef at Andre’s Cucina;
  • Ollie Gould, head chef, Stokehouse.
  • Kris Lloyd, head cheese maker, Woodside Cheese Wrights;
  • John Susman, partner of Fishtales;
  • Matt Purbrick, vegetable producer; and
  • Tim O’Connor, beef processor, O’Connor Meats.

For the full event program, visit


Mondelez International and CSIRO to speak at AIP technical dinner

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) in conjunction with the Surface Coating Association of Australia (SCAA) will be holding a technical dinner featuring speakers from Mondelēz International and the CSIRO.

Nicolas Georges, director premium chocolate and dairy, research and development Asia Pacific – Mondelēz International’s presentation will be on “What if the Silicon Valley of food manufacturing was in Australia?”

The presentation will be focusing on sustainable growth and the notion of harnessing Australia’s talent, opportunity and innovation capabilities in order to create new possibilities and underpin healthy growth prospects.

The presentation will address Australia’s limited access to talent, opportunity and innovation and propose a plan for stakeholders, universities, government industry and research institutes to openly collaborate with urgency to take Australia’s food industry to the next level and beyond.

Kraft Foods, (now Mondelēz International) in partnership with the Victorian Government, have decided to initiate the first steps in making this plan of fostering Australia's talent into reality.

Philip Casey, research program leader (polymers) CSIRO will be discussing; ‘As the world moves towards coping with resource constrained economies, organisations will find it imperative to adapt to this wave of change as it will increasingly define their competitive boundaries.’

Casey will talk about the importance of shifting towards smarter and more sustainable materials.

He will also discuss the multi-faceted aspects of global megatrends, consumer needs and regulatory trends together with sustainability in materials and materials technology development from the perspective of:

  • High performance and smart function
  • Lifecycle issues including degradability, biodegradability and recyclability
  • Strategies for sustainable manufacturing

The talk will take place on Wednesday 2nd of October at Box Hill Golf Club, Box Hill Victoria. 


APPMA to exhibit at PACK EXPO Las Vegas

The APPMA has announced it's joined the PMMI Allied Association Partner Program and will be exhibiting at PACK EXPO Las Vegas in September.

According to Mark Dingley, chairman of the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA), the association's inclusion in the program and the exhibition provides an opportunity to further develop its relationship with PMM – the association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (formerly known as the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute).

"This in turn will enable the APPMA to understand where and how the Association can better leverage the PMMI’s wealth of experience, services, publications and research materials," Dingley said.

PACK EXPO Las Vegas, held on 23 to 25 September 2013, will have more than 26,000 attendees from 127 countries, professionals from more than 40 vertical markets, over 1,600 exhibiting companies and over 700,000 square feet of exhibition space.

The PMMI is a trade association made up of more than 600 member companies that manufacture packaging, processing and packaging-related converting machinery, commercially-available
packaging machinery components, containers and materials in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The APPMA will be at booth #C-441 within the Association Pavilion.

For more information on the exhibition please visit


PACK EXPO partners with Koelnmesse GmbH for global reach

PMMI, the Association for Packaging & Processing Technologies is partnering with Koelnmesse GmbH to promote their packaging and processing industry events.

PMMI owns and produces the PACK EXPO family of trade shows while Koelnmesse GmbH is the organiser of trade fairs such as Anuga FoodTec. The agreement allows for promotional support and exhibiting at select events for each group.

Charles D. Yuska, president & CEO, PMMI explains that the partnership with Koelnmesse will enable PMMI exhibitors and attendees fully realise the possibilities that are available globally.

Koelnmesse will add to the marketing efforts for PMMI’s PACK EXPO International, PACK EXPO Las Vegas and EXPO PACK México, while PMMI will reciprocate by promoting Koelnmesse’s Anuga FoodTec, ProSweets Cologne and International FoodTec India.

According to Dietmar Eiden, Vice President Trade Fair Management Koelnmesse GmbH, by exhibiting at each other’s shows, PMMI and Koelnmesse will support their own events, and more importantly, will provide insight to companies considering expansion in North America, Europe and India. The collaboration will allow attendees to get a broader picture of global factors impacting packaging and processing operations.

Yuska adds that attendees to Koelnmesse’s events are dealing with many of the same issues as PACK EXPO attendees, including food safety, sustainability and efficient use of resources, which are critical up and down the supply chain, regardless of geographical location.

The agreement will be in place through 2018, and will cover specific events such as PACK EXPO Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.); EXPO PACK México (Mexico City, Mexico); PACK EXPO International (Chicago, Ill., U.S.); Anuga FoodTec (Cologne, Germany); ProSweets Cologne (Cologne, Germany); and International FoodTec India (Mumbai, India).

Industry leaders prepare for GM debate

The Gold Coast will this weekend be hosting the 2013 Ausveg National Convention, the centrepiece of which will be a debate on the use of genetic modification in food production.

Arguing in favour of GM will be Paula Fitzgerald, manager of biotechnology at Dairy Australia and Professor T.J. Higgins, executive director at Agrifood Awareness and an Honorary Research Fellow at CSIRO’s Plant Industry department.

On the other side of the debate will be Scott Kinnear, director and co-founder at the Safe Food Foundation and Institute, and Maarten Stapper, director at BioLogic AgFood.

The debate will be held at Jupiters Gold Coast on Saturday 1 June at 11.50am, reports Queensland Country Life.

For more information or to register online, visit


Food mag awards entries close tomorrow

Time is running out to enter our Food Magazine Awards! If you've got a new product that you think is pretty special, now's your chance to have it recognised by industry peers.

Entries close tomorrow for the 9th annual Food Magazine Awards – one of the food and beverage manufacturing's most prestigious industry events!

The awards night will take place at Luna Park’s Crystal Palace on Friday 26 July, recognising and rewarding best practice and innovation in food and beverage processing in Australia and New Zealand

Categories for this year's awards include Packaging Design, Sustainable Manufacturing, Snack Foods, Ready Meals, Beverages, Confectionery, Dairy and many more.

In order to be considered, your product needs to be no more than two years old (launched in May 2011 – May 2013).

You're able to enter your product in a maximum of three different categories, but can only enter two different products in the same category.

Your entry must be accompanied by one high res and one low res image.

Finalists will be announced in the June/July issue of Food Magazine and will have the opportunity to show-off their new product at the awards night gala dinner, held at Sydney's Luna Park on 26 July.

Apart from bragging rights and a decent dose of industry recognition, winners will also receive a write-up in September's Food magazine.

We're also excited to say that the Chaser boys, most recently of The Checkout fame, will once again MC the awards night in July.

If you'd like to enter your product into our awards, click here for information and nomination forms. You can also call our editor, Danielle Bowling on (02) 8484 0667 for more details.

Sponsors for this year's Food Magazine Awards include Heat and Control, APPMA, Earlee Products, Flavour Makers, HACCP Australia, Janbak, Kerry, Kurz, Newly Weds Foods and Tronics.


AUSPACK PLUS to be opened by NSW minister for Fair Trading

Anthony Roberts, minister for Fair Trading, will be officially opening next week's AUSPACK PLUS event, the largest biennial packaging and processing machinery and materials exhibition in Australia.

Roberts will be opening the show with Mark Dingley, APPMA chairman, at 9am on Tuesday 7 May at the Sydney Showgrounds.

Luke Kasprzak, event manager, said "The owners of AUSPACK PLUS, the APPMA, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and it should be proud that it has continued to grow the exhibition over the last three decades. Having the Honourable Anthony Roberts to officially open AUSPACK PLUS is apt for this special anniversary year for the APPMA."

Roberts said he was honoured to be opening the show.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals government is committed to encouraging a strong and innovative packaging and processing sector and I look forward to opening the event which showcases the latest technology the industry has to offer," he said.

AUSPM PLUS will be held at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park from Tuesday 7 to Friday 10 May, 2013.

Mark Dingley recently spoke with Food mag about the APPMA's 30th anniversary, reflecting on how the industry has changed over the year's and where it's headed. Read more here.


Record entry numbers ‘raise the bar’ at 2013 Royal Fine Food Show

Over 790 products showcasing the country’s finest bread, cake and pie, pasta and coffee were entered in the 2013 Sydney Royal Fine Food Show which took place last month.

2013 saw a record number of entries for the Cake and Pie Competition and the Royal Agricultural Society Fine Food Chair, Kim Currie said that the exhibitors have once again raised the bar of excellence in food production across all categories.

Sydney Royal Bread, Cake and Pie Competition

With a record breaking entry count of 484, there was stiff competition in the baking arena. 183 medals were awarded in total including 16 gold, 57 silver and 110 bronze.

Standout producers, The Gumnut Patisserie from Mittagong won Champion Gourmet Pie for the third year running for their Lamb Cutlet Pie and Champion Pastry Exhibit for their Vanilla Slice. The Gumnut Patisserie was awarded 46 medals in total including 9 gold, 17 silver and 20 bronze.

Other notable mentions included The Spotted Cow Cookie Company for their gluten-free triple chocolate brownie which took home the award for Champion Sweet Biscuit or Biscotti Exhibit, and Locantro Fine Foods who won the Champion Cake Exhibit for their Baked Ricotta Cheesecake.

Brassiere Bread was another standout performer winning Champion Sourdough or Artisan Bread for their Bakers Round.

Sydney Royal Pasta Competition

The Pasta Competition showcased 69 exhibits with 60 medals awarded to exhibitors from across the country.

Pasta Fina was awarded the only gold medal of the competition for its Champion 100% Durum Wheat Fresh Pasta for its Egg Pappardelle.

Pasta judge Ray Hara believes that Australian pasta is now up to world standards.

“Given the very high quality of Australian durum wheat, which is regarded by Italian experts as the best, together with the dedication and skills of Australian pasta makers, Australian pasta is now up there with the best in the world,” he said.

Sydney Royal Coffee Competition

17 coffee judges sampled a total of 241 entries, awarding 113 medals including 6 gold, 30 silver and 77 bronze. This year saw four champion medals awarded, the first time a champion medal has been awarded since 2010.

Champion Cappuccino was awarded to The Bean Barn from Victoria for its Mopoke Blend who also took home a gold and bronze medal.

Roastcraft from North Geelong won Champion Plunger Coffee and Champion Single Origin Coffee for their Ethiopian Blend, taking home five medals in total; one gold, two silver and two bronze.

Gourmet Coffee Roasters Pty. Ltd, from Fortitude Valley (QLD) was awarded Champion Organic Coffee for their Gourmet Ethiopian Organic Single Origin blend and also brought home one gold and two bronze medals.

Local producers are raising the bar

Currie was impressed by the high standards of Australia’s local producers stating that the benchmark has once again been raised.

“The Sydney Royal Fine Food Show is one of Australia’s premier industry events, recognising and rewarding innovation, diversity and excellence in agricultural production,” Ms Currie said.

“To win a Sydney Royal medal is a mark of great achievement and this year’s show was no exception with some impressive results across all competitions. My congratulations are extended to all medal winners and exhibitors.”


APPMA celebrates and reflects on 30 years

This year, the APPMA is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and according to chairman, Mark Dingley, now is the time for all manufacturers to prepare for what lies ahead. Danielle Bowling reports.

Let's be honest. Manufacturers – regardless of which industry segment they belong to – are facing tough times. The high Australian dollar, competition from cheap imports brought in from international markets and growing pressure from the supermarket duopoly are all making business a very hard slog for our homegrown brands.

But that doesn't mean the future is bleak. According to chairman of the Australian Packaging & Processing Machinery Association (APPMA), Mark Dingley, these tough times mean manufacturers – and therefore suppliers to the industry, including APPMA members – need to get on the front-foot and adapt their business models accordingly.

AUSPACK PLUS, which is owned by the APPMA, is Australia's largest packaging and processing machinery, materials and technology exhibition and is the perfect opportunity for manufacturers to not only network with both Australian and international industry members, but see the latest and greatest in technological advancements in packaging and processing machinery from around the world on display, all under one roof.

The biennial event will this month be held at the Sydney Showground, boasting more than 1,200 brands and 302 exhibitors, of which 72 are international exhibitors, all across more than 7,000 square metres of floor space.

It's a record year for the event, which first kicked off in 1985, with the largest ever number of exhibitors taking the floor over the four days from 7 to 10 May, 2013. 

Exhibitors this year spruiking their wares and sharing their expertise include packaging and processing machinery companies, plastics manufacturers, processing equipment suppliers and leading labelling and coding agencies from across Australasia.


Now and then
As well as helping manufacturers from across the globe to connect and learn from each others' experiences, this year's AUSPACK PLUS is being held in the same year that the APPMA is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

"The APPMA formed 30 years ago. The main focus was to provide Australian manufacturers with an Association of members that upheld ethical and quality standards from a packaging machinery point of view," Mark Dingley, APPMA chairman told Food magazine.

"The main focus of the Association back then, and still the case today, is to represent the packaging and processing machinery industry at a very high calibre trade show, which has become known now as AUSPACK PLUS." 

Today, the Association has an increased focus, not just on packaging machinery, but also on processing, and both of these elements of manufacturing will be focussed on at AUSPACK PLUS, which over its 30 years has created a loyal following and a well-respected reputation.

"Both the Association and AUSPACK PLUS have significantly grown over the last 30 years. AUSPACK PLUS has become the premier packaging, processing machinery and materials show in Australia. The show was sold out months ago, which demonstrates the true strength of the event and the acceptance of a trade show run by the industry for the industry," he says.

"What AUSPACK PLUS represents is a premium packaging and processing machinery and materials show … where the best technologies from around the world can be seen in one space."

Moving forward
Dingley [pictured below], who's been on the APPMA board since 2002 and is also general manager of operations at Matthews Australasia, which will also be exhibiting at AUSPACK PLUS, says the manufacturing industry today is being faced with a lot of changes and challenges.

"The industry has changed significantly in recent years, and I think, from an Association point of view, we need to change with the times as well. We need to stay relevant for our members and for the industry.

"We read about the pressures that manufacturers are facing daily, in the newspapers, in trade magazines, on the news at night. It obviously has a flow-on effect to our members. So if manufacturing is hurting in Australia then our members hurt.

"The impact of the high Australian dollar and the effect it has on manufacturing exports has been talked about a lot. So we are seeing manufacturing having to change in Australia. We are having to adapt to the new ways of doing business and the impacts that they might have moving forward," Dingley explains.

Part of this adaptation is the continued embracement of automation, something which all manufacturers have had to consider in today's technology-driven world.

"They have to do things faster and leaner. There are a lot of lean projects going on at the moment. Quality has to stand out, not just because of the cheaper imports, but also because of consumer expectations. Consumers expect more. So a lot of manufacturing is faced with the need to upgrade, to produce at a lower cost but still maintain a higher quality."

With quality front of mind for both industry members and consumers, it's somewhat ironic that another growing trend in the industry is consolidation. Manufacturers' growing reliance on equipment, which often delivers efficiency and productivity benefits beyond what humans are capable of, means that products and machines are, innevitably, replacing people.

"Manufacturing and production is changing. Plants are being consolidated. Where there may have been three plants previously, there may now only be one," says Dingley.

"But that one plant now needs to be not only a lot more automated, but also more flexible as it is doing the same job that three plants did 10 or 15 years ago."

Yes, consolidation and automation might be growing trends in the industry today, but if conditions are so difficult at the moment, can Australian manufacturers really afford to be investing in the latest and greatest new technologies?

"It's a case of perhaps they can't afford not to," says Dingley.  "To survive, production lines have to be a lot more productive, efficient and flexible to cope with the quickest change-over times between products. Yes, there may be some investment required, but the output is what's important. [Manufacturers] have to work on being more productive. They have to work on efficiency improvements which will help them to get their return on investment from upgrading to these new pieces of machinery.

"There are cost pressures involved but manufacturers are looking for more than just the best price, they're looking for productivity and efficiency across the board. It's a big discussion point at a lot of meetings that the APPMA is involved in and which our members are having.

"We are having to demonstrate that new machinery really is going to deliver on a whole range of the KPIs which production lines are currently being tested against."

Dingley says AUSPACK PLUS is the perfect opportunity for the industry's decision makers to see all the products that they've researched and read about in the flesh, so to speak.

"The worldwide web makes information more accessible these days, with technical information on machinery now readily available, at any time of the day or night. 

"Manufacturers certainly do their homework. They understand the machinery, but at AUSPACK PLUS, in one place, they get to see and compare all the machinery that they may be looking at and which they have researched online. They can come to the show, see the equipment right there in front of them, and therefore review the functionality and human interface which cannot be experienced on a web page. 

"More importantly, visitors can then discuss face to face with the suppliers their requirements. AUSPACK PLUS allows visitors to round-off their research," Dingley says.

What lies ahead
So what do the next 30 years look like for the APPMA? Dingley told Food magazine that the Association, just like its members, is in no position to look that far ahead – or at least with any real certainty.

"I don't think anyone these days and in this environment can predict with true confidence what lies ahead, 30 years from now. I think what's important is the next five to 10 years, and then the next five to 10 years after that. 

"I know we'd all like to think that we'll have businesses that are relevant in 30 years' time but it will take a lot of hard work. Certainly the Association is going to be here for another 30 years, to grow AUSPACK PLUS and to support our growing member services as well.

"Let's put it this way: Australians are  resilient people. We don't have a large manufacturing base, but it is certainly an important manufacturing base to Australia and to the economy. Yes, we're going to see continuous change, because at the end of the day the manufacturing industry is about continuous improvement," says Dingley. 

"Who knows what the next 30 years will bring? But one thing is for certain: it will bring change and every organisation, every business that has a touch-point with manufacturing, regardless of where you sit in the food chain, so to speak, will have to continue to adapt and improve."



Broaden your horizons at AUSPACK PLUS 2013

This year, Australia's largest processing machinery, materials and technology exhibition, AUSPACK PLUS, is returning to Sydney, presenting food manufacturers with an invaluable opportunity to network with other industry members and gain an insight into the latest and greatest developments in packaging.

Held at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, from 7 to 10 May, this year AUSPACK PLUS had to expand its venue space by 202sqm due to high exhibitor demand.

Visitors can expect to see over 1,100 brands and 240 exhibitors representing 13 countries, with 58 international exhibitors across more than 7,000sqm of floor space.

The event is owned and presented by the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA), and, once again,  a highlight of this year's event will be the AIP Technical Forum, which is taking on a 'Global Packaging Trends' theme and will include presentations from international speakers representing Brazil, Austria, India, South Africa, Indonesia and the United States.

Adding to this international focus will be the WorldStar Packaging awards, held on 9 May at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park.

The WorldStar awards is one of the major events of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) and highlights the best of the best in the international packaging industry.

This year the awards received 316 entries from 33 countries around the world. WorldStars are presented only to those packs which, having already won recognition in a national or regional competitions, are deemed by a panel of judges to be at the top of their game in regards to execution or innovation.

Ralph Moyle, national president of the Australian Institute of Packaging, said hosting the event is a major coup for Australia. "There will be an international contingent of WPO Board members and award winners from across the globe coming to Australia for this event and we would like to extend an invitation to the entire packaging community to be a part of this significant night," he said.

Yet another exciting event accompanying AUSPACK PLUS 2013 is the APPMA Awards of Excellence, announced on 8 May and sponsored by Midway Metals, PKN, Schenker and SMC.

Mark Dingley, Chairman, APPMA, the biennial Awards of Excellence are designed to recognise innovative and outstanding packaging and processing solutions.

“Companies that enter these biennial awards are recognised for their contribution and outstanding achievements against their peers within the wider packaging industry and we encourage everyone to enter,” Mr Dingley said.

Awards categories include Export Achievement Award, Design Achievement Award, Customer Partnership Award, the Imported Equipment Award, Best New Product Award and the APPMA Scholarship which seeks to reward a packaging engineer looking to further his/her education with a scholarship to enrol in the AIP Diploma in Packaging Technology, an internationally recognised and accredited course.

And if that's not enough, visitors to this year's AUSPACK PLUS will have the opportunity to speak face-to-face with thousands of industry professionals from an array of industry sectors – all under the one roof. 

These include:

tna Australia
This packaging business will be demonstrating its latest packaging solutions at the event, including its 3ci high speed vertical form fill and seal packaging machine.

According to Luigi di Palma, general manager at tna Australia, this machine provides up to a 30 percent improvement in performance in both output and reduction in rejects and achieves throughput rates of up to 150bpm.


"Visitors will also experience our innovative seasoning system, the tna intelli-flavOMS 3c. A complete, one-piece solution for both wet and dry seasoning and flavouring, the tna intelli-flavOMS 3c delivers exceptional performance and provides even coverage at throughput rates of 100 to 500kg per hour for a wide variety of applications," he said.

"Technical experts will also be on-stand to demonstrate our tna rofloHM 3 horizontal motion conveyor, which smoothly distributes goods to minimise losses and breakages and deliver the highest quality end products."

Emrich Packaging Machinery
As a provider of packaging equipment and bagging machines, Emrich will be using AUSPACK PLUS 2013 to show off its PFM ZC1 integrated multi-head weigher and bagging machine.

The PFM ZC1 integrated multi-head weigher and bagging machine is designed for mid-speed duties up to 80 bags per minute and targets products such as snacks, confectionery, pet food, granular products, biscuits and pasta.

Also on display will be Emrich's Adco 15D105 horizontal hand load cartoner, designed for easy conversion to a fully automatic barrel cam machine and available to run in either continuous and intermittent mode.

Swiss Pack
In the past Swiss Pack has concentrated only on its packaging materials; however they've now branched out into packaging machines and will focus on both in Sydney.

Brendan Yee, general manager, Flexible Division, Swiss Pack, said, "In addition our expertise with the associated technical materials such as films, pouches and boxes means that we can offer a true end-to-end solution. Our packaging machines are suitable for all solids, liquids and powders, such as VFFS, mini pouch packing machines, coffee packing machines, flow wrappers, shrink tunnels, rotary pouch packing machines and carton packaging solutions."


Click here to read about A&D's new checkweigher product, launching in Australia at AUSPACK PLUS 2013.


New foodTech QLD expo to launch in 2013

FoodTech QLD will launch in July next year and forms part of the Queensland government's initiative to grow the value of the state's food industry to $40b by 2020.

Launching in Brisbane at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 14 to 16 July, organisers are expecting more than 100 exhibitors showcasing a range of innovative food processing developments and technologies with particular relevance to Queensland.

Confirmed exhibitors include CBS, Key Technologies, CST Wastewater, Vemag, SPX, Arrow Scientific, Wiley, KF Specialty Ingredients, Ecolab, Fallsdale, Plasdene, Titan, Innovate and VOR.

Diversified Exhibitions – the team behind Foodpro – will be managing the event, and exhibition manager Peter Petherick said the expo hopes to address the specific needs of Queensland's food and beverage industries.

"We have sought to give a definite focus to the machinery, packaging and ingredients that reflect the strengths of Queensland’s food industries, in particular, those used in the meat, seafood and fruit and vegetables sectors," he said.

FoodTech QLD 2013 will run alongside the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST) Conference.

Suppliers to the food manufacturing industry can book space now.  Visit for more information.