BUCKING THE STAR Fuelling the US arm of coffee giant Starbucks
CRESTING THE DAIRY WAVE How the UK’s leading dairy company survived the recession
THE QUEST FOR BALANCE www.nextgenerationfood.com Q1 2011 •
Huhtamaki tackles the issues facing the packaging industry
As with fashion, food trends come and go. We chart a course for the food trends that will affect consumers, producers and suppliers this coming year. NGF Cover.indd 1
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FROM THE EDITOR 5
Charting food trends Obesity. Demographic shifts. Technology. Recession. All these and more will affect what fills our plates in 2011
ood trends, like fame, are ﬁckle and ﬂeeting. Today’s tuna tartare is tomorrow’s tuna noodle casserole, yesterday’s jus is today’s joke, and this month’s hot restaurant is next year’s high-end vacancy. Perhaps the only constant in the rapidly changing culinary landscape is that the food our grandparents consumed bears little resemblance to the carbs, protein and fat that fuel our 21st century lifestyles. But as 2010 packs its bags and heads for the airport, what will we be eating and drinking in the coming year? One leading trends analyst, Mintel, is picking no less than six fads we may be riding the coat-tales of before 2011 is out. Probably the most signiﬁcant are those associated with demographic shifts, particularly where women have taken on dominant roles in the home and workplace. In the UK, for example, 30 percent of women in partnerships are the main household earners. This means that men could become the primary shoppers, leading to all manner of issues how retailers and marketers peddle food to male consumers. At the other end of spectrum is the West’s ageing society and the increasing number of over 55s who are unwilling, or unable, to slide quietly into retirement. The increased spending power of this sector will continue to exert a powerful inﬂuence on the food and beverage retailing sector this year, particularly in terms of products geared towards vitality, health and energy. There are no prizes for guessing that obesity, and its attendant ills, once again occupies a top spot in trend spotters’ 2011 lists. The fact is we are getting bigger as a species: the UK is now the fourth tubbiest nation
Ed Note.indd 5
in the world, with a quarter of its citizens sporting a body mass index of 30 or more, easily nudging them into the ‘obese’ category. And our European cousins, including Germany and France, have little reason for complacency: they too feature signiﬁcantly in the fat league tables. It’s a trend that has food and beverage manufacturers split – either they can cater to the obesity epidemic (take a bow fast food outlets) or they can counter it with healthier options, as the burgeoning health and diet industries have chosen to. But no matter which side of the debate businesses are on, one thing is clear: they’ll be getting stretch marks from the rapid growth of this sector during 2011. According to one analyst, food trends reﬂect the social, economic and cultural shifts taking place around us. What we eat is, they believe, largely a reﬂection of what’s going on in our world and our reaction to it. Economic tsunamis, automation, a desire to reconnect with our rural roots and utilise technology – our cover story predicts how these and other inﬂuences will affect what ends up on our plates this year. Here’s to enjoyable culinary experiences in 2011…
“Only 29 percent of UK respondents thought food could possibly damage their health, as opposed to 48 percent in the rest of the EU” – 2010 Eurobarometer Survey Report (page 66)
“Our strategy is to drive added value in the supply chain but, as a broadly-based dairy company, we continue to operate in some of the traditional ingredients markets” – Dairy Crest’s Roger Emery (page 106)
Sharon Stephenson Editor
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What will we be eating in 2011?
As with fashion, food trends come and go. FST charts a course for the food trends that will affect consumers, producers and suppliers this coming year
106 Bucking the star Cliff Burrows, US President of Starbucks, talks about the highs and lows of helming the American arm of the coffee giant
Cresting the dairy wave The UK’s leading dairy processing company reveals how it has survived – and thrived – through the worst recession in recent memory
The price of food There’s no doubt that the era of cheap food is well and truly over. But could regulation improve the industry and stop speculation from sending food prices even higher?
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62 The dilemma of rosemary antioxidant E392 Flavex’s Dr Karl-Werner Quirin turns the spotlight onto rosemary antioxidants
64 The challenge of natural flavouring Einar Willumsen’s Dr Anna-Carin Bäckman looks at the increase in demand for natural ﬂavouring in food
66 Food of the future Ross Warburton, President of the Food and Drink Federation, charts a course for food in 2030
72 Food hygiene solutions to go Innovation is essential to development, according to Georgia-Paciﬁc
74 Scare stories Food scares can bring the food industry to its knees. But a recent European food survey shows that Europeans aren’t overly bothered by food-related risks
76 Is anti-microbial protection the new black?
92 PL ATI N U M SPONSOR
Bjørn Hegstad of AcryliCon Group Worldwide highlights the role of anti-bacterial ﬂooring in the battle against food safety hazards
78 Safety first Paul B Young examines ﬁt-for-purpose methods of analysis to assess food safety
80 Why near infrared spectroscopy? Dagmar Behmer from Bruker Optics looks at near infrared spectroscopy and its role in the non-destructive and rapid analysis of oilseeds and ﬁnished oils
82 We can work it out 18 Colour measurement of lycopene
38 Innovation in nutrition
HunterLab talks us through its next generation Color Flex EZ spectrophotometer which reﬂects almost 60 years of colour measurement innovation
Dr Michel du Peloux looks at the challenges ahead for the sector
We look at an innovative scheme that has incentivised thousands of employees to get active, ﬁtter and more productive in the workplace
48 Ingredients roundtable A panel of experts discuss the current challenges facing the ingredients sector
86 Packaging solutions for the industry
Håkan Grubb, Managing Director of Xylophane AB, looks at how the view of bioplastics for food packaging has changed over the last few years
56 A healthy outlook
Horst Bitterman looks at how Mayr-Melnhof Karton is responding to the challenges currently facing the packaging industry
30 Meeting salmonella testing needs
58 Recipe for success
DuPont Qualicon sheds light on the latest salmonella testing techniques
McCain Foods’ CIO Roman Coba speaks about how technology can provide the secret ingredient to a successful global business
26 Renewable barrier material for food packaging
Novozymes’ David Cowan explains why enzymatically modiﬁed fats are better for you and the environment
88 Thinking outside the box Nestlé’s Head of Packaging and Design, Anne Roulin, details how the world’s largest consumer goods company is improving its packaging
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92 Searching for the right balance Huhtamaki’s Dieter Bergner says for most consumer goods packaging businesses the question is not whether to invest in innovation, but how to ﬁnance it
94 What’s in your food? Recent European Commission legislation has stepped up the battle for country-of-origin and nutritional labelling
96 What are they selling our kids? Governments should regulate marketing unhealthy food and beverages to children, according to the European Commission
98 Automated line solutions Advanced automation and complete traceability are available from Ishida Europe Ltd, says Ulrich Carlin Nielsen
100 Organic versus conventional foodstuffs People choose organic food for many reasons. But is organic food a healthier alternative to conventionally farmed produce?
102 Robots: Food for thought Bob Struijk from FANUC Robotics reveals how robotics are helping the food industry
104 Fresh steam control for food and beverages Greg Sutcliffe from Bürkert Fluid Control Systems turns the spotlight onto customeroriented innovation
138 36 Hours in…Rome 140 Agenda 142 Objects of Desire
143 Books 144 The Final Word
110 Food grade lubricants
118 Safety first
Colleen Flanagan looks at how implementing food grade lubricants doesn’t mean sacriﬁcing cost or performance
Paola Testori Coggi, Director General for Health and Consumers at the European Commission, discusses the Better Training for Safer Food initiative
112 A tale of two epidemics CEO of Kraft Foods Inc, Irene Rosenfeld, confronts the challenges of the food industry in the 21st century
122 A sustainable supply chain Walmart has set itself a new goal to cut 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gases by 2015 by greening its supply chain
116 Producing perishable foodstuffs hygienically
124 Managing the variety of nature
Bizerba’s Dieter Conzelmann explains how organic foodstuffs can be packaged and produced more effectively using specialist software
Yaveon’s Rainer Weißenberger asks if it’s possible to manage non-deterministic productions with reasonable time to market and costs
126 A competitive edge
Alan Spreckley from ABB Robotics UK reveals how developments in robot technology could provide the all-important competitive advantage for food processing companies
128 A global perspective Dieter Greissinger from Evonik discusses the effect of globalisation on the feed to food chain
130 An innovation driver Calvin Grieder reveals how Buhler is making important contributions in the areas of food, raw materials, energy and the environment
132 Meaningful metrics CIO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Esat Sezer, explains the role of IT in the company’s business transformation programme
The CIO Europe Summit 24 – 26 May 2011 The Ritz-Carlton in Berlin, Germany The CIO Summit is a three-day critical information gathering of the most influential and important CIOs from across Europe. The CIO Summit is an opportunity to debate, benchmark and learn from other industry leaders.
A Controlled, Professional and Focused Environment It is a C-level event reserved for 100 participants that includes expert workshops, facilitated roundtables, peer-to-peer networking, and coordinated technology meetings.
A Proven Format This inspired and professional format has been used by over 100 executives as a rewarding platform for discussion and learning.
Find Out More – Contact CIO (+44) 02920 729 432
Next Generation Food Europe GDS Publishing, Queen Square House 18-21 Queen Square, Bristol, BS1 4NH Tel: +44 117 9214000 E-mail: email@example.com Legal Information The advertising and articles appearing within this publication reﬂect the opinions and attitudes of their respective authors and not necessarily those of the publisher or editors. We are not to be held accountable for unsolicited manuscripts, transparencies or photographs. All material within this magazine is ©2011 NGF.
Chairman/Publisher Spencer Green Worldwide Sales Director Oliver Smart Finance Director Jamie Cantillon Content Director Kelly Grant Design Director James West Editor Sharon Stephenson Associate Editor Rebecca Goozee Contributors Ian Clover, Lorna Davies, Lucy Douglas, Nicholas Pryke, Ben Thompson Print Director Andrew Hobson Associate Designers Dan Clayton, Élise Gilbert, Michael Hall, Crystal Mather, Cliff Newman, Catherine Wilson Online Editor Jana Grune Project Director Owen Burgess Sales Executives Lucinda Madura, Catherine Saunders, Melody Andoy, Jennifer Clark Production Director Lauren Heal Production Coordinators Renata Okrajni, Aimee Whitehead VP North America Jason Green Operations Director Ben Kelly IT Director Karen Boparoy Marketing Director John Funnell
“The summit was an excellent opportunity for networking with other CIOs. Meetings, keynotes and workshops also provided a high quality added value” Bonduelle - Ludovic Decourcelle
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I stole the bees
THE BRIEF 16
s far as combinations go, it’s not a good one: bee mortality is rising at the same time as the number of beekeepers in Europe is declining. Which could have serious implications for food production since most plants and crops are pollinated by bees. In December 2010, the European Parliament issued a call for the EU to step up support to the beekeeping industry when the common agricultural policy is next revamped. With 76 percent of food production and 84 percent of plant species dependent on pollination by bees, Parliament’s resolution asked the European Commission to do more to aid the beekeeping sector in the common agricultural policy (CAP) after 2013, by reviewing legislation, boosting funding and stepping up investment in research. According to Paolo De Castro, who tabled the resolution on behalf of the Agriculture Committee, the debate “tackled head-on” the issues currently facing the European beekeeping sector. “Difﬁcult marketing conditions, price volatility and increased mortality are some of the critical factors that put at risk the EU beekeeping sector. Bees are important for the quality of our lives. Therefore a complex and global policy to ensure the EU has a sufﬁcient number of bees and beekeepers and thus avoid depopulation is urgently needed.” Enhanced labelling rules and controls, further research on bee mortality and the inclusion of bee diseases in EU veterinary policy are among recommendations in the resolution. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) also urged the Commission to set up an action plan for tackling bee mortality that would include promoting pollinator-friendly farming practices, and to maintain and improve existing support programmes, which are due to expire in 2012.
Changes in labelling needed Imports account for more than 40 percent of the honey sold in Europe, hence Parliament’s desire for EU food quality policy laws to be updated to improve rules on labelling of origin so as to avoid misleading information on blends of honey from EU and non-EU countries. Moreover, MEPs asked for border controls to be harmonised, especially for third country imports, because they said low-quality honey imports, adulteration and honey substitutes distort the market and exert constant pressure on prices and the ﬁnal product quality on the EU internal market. Processed products advertised as containing honey should also be allowed to refer to honey in the name of the product only if at least 50 percent of the sugar originates from honey, according to Parliament.
Better disease control Other issues covered also included EU veterinary policy, which MEPs said needed to be modiﬁed to allow
it to tackle bee mortality. This would include effective measures to control bee diseases such as the Varroa mite. In addition, they said access to medicines in the whole of the European Union should be improved through EU funding.
Independent research to inform the public The resolution also urged the Commission to support independent research on bee mortality and ensure that any data on the effects of GMO crops and pesticides on particular species of bees were made public. “And Parliament suggested revising the rules on pesticides and plant protection products to allow risk assessments of bees’ exposure to such substances,” said De Castro.
A man dines at a KFC restaurant in Mumbai, India. Western-style fast food is gaining a foothold in the subcontinent where Gross Domestic Product climbed 8.2 percent in the third quarter.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE BEES GONE? Scientists say the number of bee colonies has been on the decline in Central and Western Europe since 1965. Since 1985 this trend has also become apparent in countries such as the Czech Republic, Norway, the Slovak Republic and Sweden. By comparison, in the South of Europe (Greece, Italy and Portugal) the number of bee colonies increased between 1965 and 2005. In contrast however, the number of beekeepers decreased in most European countries. Scientists assume the cause for this is the social and economic changes over recent decades. Rising incomes of the rural population made other sugarbased products affordable, the replacement of jobs by machines in agriculture speeded up the rural exodus to urban regions and so beekeeping as a hobby lost its attractiveness. Dr Simon G. Potts of the University of Reading says the price of treating bee diseases “has increased to the extent that the cost of treatments may equal or exceed the income from a colony for an entire year, thus making it uneconomic to keep bees on a small scale. “Moreover, the effort for treating disease, in particular V. destructor, has probably also reduced the attractiveness of beekeeping as a hobby.” The loss of pollinators such as bees, bumble bees and butterﬂies is one of the four pillars of the EU project ALARM. ALARM (Assessing Large-scale Environmental Risks for Biodiversity with Tested Methods) is the largest research project of the EU in the ﬁeld of biodiversity.
An employee checks goods in the ﬁrst branch of French luxury food shop Fauchon outside of Paris, which opened in Bordeaux in early December. Fauchon says it has plans to open a network of the stores around France.
Chinese farmers pick vegetables in Chengmai County of Hainan Province, China. Chengmai County is renown for the longevity of its citizens due to a mild climate and favourable environment. It is also an important production base of outof-season vegetables.
COMPANY INDEX Q1 2011 UPFRONT
Companies in this issue are indexed to the first page of the article in which each is mentioned.
Colour measurement of lycopene with the ColorFlex EZ
ighty-ﬁve to 90 percent of the colour of a red, ripe tomato is due to the presence of lycopene. The skin of the tomato has the highest lycopene content of all its parts. Since tomato skins are discarded in large quantities during the processing of tomatoes into paste, sauce, ketchup, etc., lots of lycopene is being lost. The potential exists to use this skin waste as a source of lycopene as a red colourant, primarily for foods. Lycopene is also beginning to be marketed as a nutritional supplement, since it is an excellent antioxidant and can help prevent heart disease and some forms of cancer. Of course, raw tomatoes and, especially, processed tomatoes are rich in this healthy lycopene. HunterLab already has a great deal of experience measuring processed tomato products (the ColorFlex and LabScan XE are currently deemed suitable for measurement of tomato paste, sauce, catsup and juice by the United States Department of Agriculture), so it is not surprising that the red colour of lycopene can be measured using HunterLab instruments. In fact, the lycopene concentration correlates to colorimetric ratios, implemented into our new ColorFlex EZ. This method of analysis is quicker and easier than high-performance liquid chromatography and does not require use of hazardous solvents like acetone and hexane. HunterLab’s next generation Color Flex EZ spectrophotometer takes colour quality control to its highest level with 45/0 design for the ultimate in colour measurement preciseness. It lets you see your colours exactly the way your customers do, not just in the lab but in the real world. Combining versatility, simplicity and performance, the ColorFlex EZ reﬂects almost 60 years of colour measurement innovation in one easy-to-use, compact instrument from the world’s most trusted experts in colour quality.
ABB Robotics AcryliCon Ajinmoto Bizerba Blackberry Bruker Optics Bryt Buhler Cadbury Bürkert Coca-Cola Enterprises Crosse & Blackwell Dairy Crest DEFRA DuPont Qualicon Einar Williamson European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME) European Commission European Commission European Commission European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Evonik Fairtrade FANUC Robotics Fayreﬁeld Foodtec FLAVEX Naturextrakte GmbH Food and Drink Federation Georgia Paciﬁc Food Standards Agency (FSA) Habitat Heinz Henry Amar Horphag Research Huhtamaki HunterLab International Obesity Task Force Ishida Kraft Foods Leiber Littlewoods McCain Mayr-Melnhof Meettheboss.com Mintel Mintel Oxygen Neilsen Nestle Nestlé Novozymes OMVE Oxford Nutrascience PetroCanada PR Organics Sillker Starbucks TDW Logistics UK Dairy UK Food Safety Authority Virgin HealthMiles Walmart Waters World Development Movement World Health Organisation Xylophone YAVEON AG Zeiss
126, 127 76,77 48 116, 117 98 80, 81 32 130, 131 104 104, 105 124 88 106 66 30, 31 64, 65 86 110 86 88 68 4, 128, 129 104 102, 103 54 62, 63 62 72, 73 40 34 88 20, 21 6, 146, IBC 92, 93, OBC 18, 19 88 8, 98 112, 113, 114, 115 48, 49 34 58 86, 87 40 28 32 32 54 88 58, 57 48, 53 48, 55 IFC, 110, 111 88 38, 39 40 22, 23 86 68 82 122 78, 79 40 104 26, 27 124, 125 121
Don’t Miss… Want to know what we’ll be eating and drinking in 2011? Check out our cover story, Food Trends 2011 on page 32
For more information, please visit: www.hunterlab.com
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Keeping a family business aďŹ‚oat for 50 years
by 65 percent, which has allowed us to store more product. We have also commissioned a substantial enhancement of our IT systems, which will be operational by 2011, and we have recruited additional staff.” Looking back over his 50 years in the hot seat, ou’d have to love what you do to spend Amar says one of the key challenges he’s had to 50 years working for the same company. deal with is currency issues. “This probably really But when it’s the family ﬁrm and you’re started in 1968 when sterling was devalued, and has passionate about what you do, then it’s continued to the current time when we are dealing hardly a chore says Henry Amar, Chairman of R.H. with the exchange rate of sterling to the euro.” Amar, one of the UK’s most successful ﬁne food and One of the highpoints has been keeping the ﬁrm beverage distribution companies. in the family. “All the shares in R.H. Amar are owned Based in High Wycombe, the company has a by close family members, which protects us from turnover of UK£50 million and is responsible for hostile takeovers. Currently four members of the introducing Britain to such leading brands as Crespo family are involved in the business, and we work well Olives, Ciro tomato products, Cardini salad dressings, with each other and also with the ﬁve non-family Gaea Greek specialties, Scala pesto, Bertolli oils, Ella’s directors.” Kitchen baby food, Del Monte canned Another highlight has been fruit, along with their house brand, “The company has acquiring prestigious distributorships, Cooks and Co, whose range includes been the driving particularly the most recent one olives, antipasti, sauces and pesto. force behind where the company was contracted to The business, explains Henry, supply Starbucks VIA, a new roasted was started by his father, Raoul Amar, many emerging ground coffee in instant form to high in 1945. “His vision was to introduce trends, including street retailers. “This relationship has the UK to the world of ﬁne foods and Mediterranean allowed us to dip our toes into the give consumers a taste of more exotic food” beverage market.” ﬂavours. Since then, the company has And he’s proud to have served been the driving force behind many three tours of duty as Chairman of the Delicatessen & emerging trends, including Mediterranean food.” Fine Food Association (DAFFA). Admitting he is in the For his part, Amar joined the family ﬁrm in 1960 “autumn of his career”, Amar says he is planning to after graduating from St John’s College, Oxford. He scale down his day-to-day involvement in running the became Managing Director in 1983 and Chairman company, but his son Rob has now stepped into the in 1998. The secret to both his and the company’s role of Vice Chairman, the third generation of Amars longevity is a ﬂair for spotting and generating the very to helm the company. “I will continue to take a keen latest trends in ﬁne food. interest and pride in the way the company is run and “Today we supply around 40 ﬁne food brands work with my son to take it forward.” across a dozen ambient categories – ranging from oils,
enry Amar divulges the secret to a successful family food business
vinegar dressings and marinades, to vegetables and pulses, bakery products, olives and pickles. We offer the highest quality products in each and every one of these categories, as well as bringing new and exciting products to market.” Unlike most companies, Amar says keeping the business aﬂoat during the recession hasn’t proved too arduous. “Strangely, good quality food has prospered during the recession. We’ve found that when consumers have to abandon large purchases such as new cars, they console themselves with good food. The biggest issue we’ve had to face over the last two years has been the weakness of sterling, particularly against the euro.” While others were cutting back, the resilience of the business during the recession meant that Amar could implement a strategy of large-scale investment. “This has included increasing our warehouse space
Increase your ASK THE EXPERT
Rudolf Hansl says retail distribution centres are facing increasing volumes, higher throughput and a less available workforce. How can these requirements transform into a highly efficient distribution centre operation?
housands of different products have to be handled in retail distribution centres, ranging from small chewing gum packages to voluminous and heavy detergent multi packs. Many retail distribution centres are still based on pallet storage and manual picking activities where each picking worker has to manipulate up to 15 tons daily in rather nonergonomic operations. The high requirements in throughput, logistics serRudolf Hansl is Managing Director of TGW Logistics Group, vice, ergonomics, energy consumption and efﬁciency a leading provider of integrated can best be solved by a tailor-made order fulﬁllment sologistics systems, which specialises in high performance lution based on proven technology. Innovative distribudistribution centre automation and order fulﬁllment solutions. tion centre designs combine high performance modules for picking and warehouse automation with powerful software solutions. The handling of empty load carriers. High reliability is guarresulting integrated sysanteed by the system’s lean modules, which are based tems provide the highon standardised components. This modular concept est distribution centre enables customers to choose among different levels of performance not only for automation, depending on their individual processes perfect shop replenishand needs. ment but for online retail The PerfectPick solution is not only able to handle operations too. the very different product sizes and weights automatiOne of the most cally, but it is highly cost effective too. Depending on innovative systems is the selected automation level and the intensity of the recently introduced usage, this solution pays off in two to four years. PerfectPick solution from An important function within integrated order TGW, which is a highly fulﬁllment systems for retail distribution is to automodular automated pickmatically conﬁgure and pack complete shop orders ing concept. In contrast on pallets or roller containers. The conﬁguration of to competing solutions the shipping load has to exactly meet the customer’s it handles every SKU direquirements, e.g. by optimising the stacking pattern rectly on the automated to the unloading process within the individual shop’s conveyor and storage layout. And the solution should be applicable for the equipment without the entire temperature range within the grocery retail necessity of any additionproduct range, even in deep freeze applications. al load carrier. Therefore During the design of a new distribution centre it the material ﬂow within is essential to keep two aspects in mind: the material the distribution centre is ﬂow should be designed as simply as possible and the much simpler and the sosolution has to be able to handle the greatest variety lution does not need any
of retail SKUs. Both INNOVATIVE aspects should have a DISTRIBUTION major inﬂuence on the CENTRE DESIGNS long term efﬁciency of COMBINE HIGH our distribution centre PERFORMANCE operations. MODULES FOR Prior to installing PICKING AND an automated order WAREHOUSE fulﬁllment solution it AUTOMATION is advised to test the WITH POWERFUL critical processes not SOFTWARE only in simulations but SOLUTIONS on real equipment with real products. In their technology centres the relevant systems integrators have the possibility to offer that service. In our technology centre we are hosting demonstration events, showing the abilities of our new solution. And we are offering to use it as a test installation for our customers’ real products too. Our customers are invited to bring their ‘worst’ products and test them throughout the entire PerfectPick process.
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Food from around the world T
ravelling is as much about seeing the sights as it is about enjoying - or enduring - local delicacies. But just where is the best place in the world to eat freshly cooked squid? And which countries should you avoid if you don’t want to find a sheep’s eye or slab of kangaroo on your plate? Here’s a guide to some of the best and most unusual cuisines to be found around the world.
A visit to the Emerald Isle isn’t complete without eating potatoes in as many forms as possible. But boxty, a type of potato pancake, is a perennial favourite. Made from a mixture of grated raw potato and cold and already-cooked mashed potato mixed with ﬂour and milk, boxty are cooked in a similar way to pancakes.
Fried insects Visit many African, Middle East and Asian countries and chances are you’ll be offered fried locusts, worms and cockroaches. But archaeological evidence shows that mankind has been practising entomophagy – insect eating – since we ﬁrst arrived on the planet. Nowadays, insects are eaten as a delicacy in many countries. In Mexico, for example, fried crickets prepared with salt and lemon are known as chapulines, while in Thailand they enjoy not only crickets but also grasshoppers, beetle larvae and even dragonﬂies.
Mussels in Brussels
Haggis No self-respecting Burns supper would be complete without a boiled haggis. Made from the liver, heart and lungs of a sheep, mixed together with oats and stuffed into the sheep’s stomach, the haggis is then boiled before being eaten with neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes). And if that hasn’t put you off, a glass of Scottish whisky should help you get over it.
Order moules frites and you’ll get a steaming bowl of mussels in their shells with some French fries on the side, and a big bowl of water to wash your hands in. Usually cooked in sauce – the garlic, onion and white wine moules mariniere sauce is the most popular – eating the slippery molluscs can be a challenge. But they’re worth it.
Pizza and Pasta The best place to carbload is, of course, Italy. But be warned, no two pizzas are the same and intense rivalry exists between Naples and the Romans: the former prefer their bases thick whereas the Romans like a thin, crispy, paper-like base.
Sheep’s eyes Got a hangover? You probably don’t want to have one in Mongolia, where the hangover cure is said to be a pickled sheep’s eyeball in tomato juice. Maybe a bloody Mary doesn’t sound so bad after all…
Biltong Legend has it that the thin cured strips of beef were ﬁrst created by South African pioneers who had no way of storing meat, so they strung it to the underside of horses’ saddles as they rode; the salt in the horses’ sweat cured the meat and the air dried it. These days, it’s prepared by being covered in salt, dipped in vinegar, sprinkled with pepper and coriander and left to dry. And the taste? Well let’s just say that if you’re expecting it to be chewy, you won’t be surprised.
Raw ﬁsh Fufu
Frogs legs and snails Do frogs’ legs really taste of chicken? And are snails really slimy? Yes and yes. Frogs legs do look similar to a chicken wing and they’re usually deep fried and sometimes covered in breadcrumbs. Snails are removed from their shells, stripped of their entrails and cooked in a garlic butter sauce before being put back into the shell. When in France…
A staple food in many African countries, this porridge-like food is used instead of potatoes or rice as a ‘ﬁller’ or to accompany stews. Fufu is made from grains – usually maize or corn – pounded and boiled with water before being mixed into a thick mass. It’s usually served as a big round ball from which you tear off a small piece, roll into a sphere and dip into a soup or stew.
The Japanese consume around three times the amount of ﬁsh per head than in the UK. One of the most popular dishes is sashimi: raw, very thinly-sliced fresh ﬁsh. Many types of ﬁsh are used for sashimi, including tuna, mackerel, squid and octopus. But the most famous is the potentially deadly fugu, or puffer ﬁsh: if it’s poisonous sac isn’t removed correctly, eating it can kill the gourmand. Needless to say, only a few chefs have a licence to prepare the ﬁsh.
Eating Skippy has only been legal in Australia in recent years, and while many still object to eating the marsupial that features on their country’s coat of arms, others say the dark, gamey meat is lean and good for you. But if that doesn’t ﬂoat your culinary boat, then how about crocodile meat, also available in Oz, a white meat that looks similar to ﬁsh but tastes more like chicken, or ostrich meat which is dark and quite tough, but popular as an alternative for beef in burgers?
Renewable barrier material for food packaging
Beetroot juice linked to brain health
Could drinking a glass of beetroot juice boost your brain health?
New research suggests that, in addition to heart health beneﬁts, beetroot juice could improve blood ﬂow to the brain and therefore help in the ﬁght against dementia. According to scientists at Wake Forest University in the US, beetroot juice could prove a powerful tool in boosting brain health. “There have been several high-proﬁle studies showing that drinking beet juice can lower blood pressure, but we wanted to show that drinking beet juice also increases perfusion, or blood ﬂow, to the brain,” said Daniel Kim-Schapiro, director of the Translational Science Centre at Wake Forest University. Improved blood ﬂow to the brain is relevant to cognitive health and ageing because poorer blood ﬂow in the brain among the elderly is believed to be linked to the onset of dementia. Beetroot is a high-nitrate food and nitrate has been found to help open blood vessels and improve blood ﬂow, say scientists. To do so, they took a group of 14 adults aged 70 or over and for two days fed half of them a high nitrate breakfast that included 16 ounces of beetroot juice, while the other half ate a low nitrate breakfast. After that, an MRI scan was taken before the two groups swapped breakfasts for two days and underwent another scan. The MRI scans revealed that blood ﬂow to the white matter of the frontal lobes, an area commonly associated with dementia, was higher among those who had just had the high nitrate breakfast. Perhaps not surprisingly, on the back of this recent research into its heart and stamina beneﬁts beetroot juice has begun to see its share of the market grow. In the UK, leading supermarket chain Waitrose recently revealed that sales had grown 82 percent over the past year, while bunched and prepared beetroot sales were also up 15 and 22 percent respectively. Meanwhile the scientists at Wake Forest University behind this latest research say they are looking to exploit the market potential of beetroot juice and are currently working with a company to reduce the bitterness of the drink – with the aim of developing a new beetroot beverage. The university is also looking at ways of marketing the drink.
Håkan Grubb, Managing Director of Xylophane AB, looks at how the view of bioplastics for food packaging has changed during the last few years
he search for renewable materials for food packaging has been ongoing for some time. Recently, however, it has become clear that brand owners have increased their efforts in ﬁnding renewable barrier materials. A desire to replace non-renewable materials such as metal foils and synthetic plastics for more sustainable alternatives is one reason, along with the fear of cost increases due to ﬂuctuating oil and metal prices. Xylophane is a new renewable barrier material for food packaging. The raw material of Xylophane, xylan, is derived from agricultural by-products and is therefore not competing with food production which is a common argument against many other bio-based materials. It has barrier properties against oxygen, grease and aroma and can thus prolong the shelf life of sensitive food such as snacks, coffee, spices and so on. According to Håkan Grubb, the Managing Director of Xylophane AB, the view on bioplastics for food packaging has changed during the last few years. “When bioplastics were ﬁrst introduced, the requirements were very stringent – one material should have all properties,” says Håkan. “Today the brand owners’ view is more pragmatic. We have seen an increasing interest in replacing one layer at a time in the multilayer packaging material.” Xylophane can be the renewable alternative to conventional oxygen or grease barrier layers in multilayer packaging materials. Today these barrier properties are often obtained with aluminum foil or synthetic plastics. However, many food products also need packaging that exhibits moisture barrier properties. This property is more difﬁcult to ﬁnd within the available renewable barrier materials so many companies continue to use conventional synthetic moisture barriers while waiting for other renewable coatings or the large-scale production of renewable polyethylene from such substances as sugar cane. “Combining paper and board with a renewable barrier material like Xylophane enables sustainable packaging solutions which are in demand by customers, says Håkan. “ Sustainable packaging is also a great way to highlight the image of an organic, ecological or locally produced food product.” For more information, visit www.xylophane.com
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International News Antioxidants may reduce Alzheimer’s Researchers in Spain have found that consuming an antioxidant-rich beverage may counter the detrimental inﬂammatory effects associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The study, from the Catholic University of San Antonio in Murcia, found that daily consumption of an antioxidantrich drink for eight months was associated with a smaller increase in homocysteine levels. “Our results suggest that a polyphenol antioxidant drink can reduce the effects of inﬂammation and cardiovascular risk associated with Alzheimer’s disease,” said researchers. The antioxidant beverage offered to the female participants who took part in the trial included apple and lemon concentrate juice, apple and green tea extracts and vitamins B and C.
Chocolate milk aids muscle recovery
“MICVAC – A BETTER WAY OF PRODUCING CHILLED READY MEALS” MicVac is the modern solution for producers aiming at satisfying today’s demanding consumers looking for a fresh and tasty meal.
An American company is pioneering the use of cocoa in sports drinks, saying it can aid in muscle recovery. ADM Cocoa says the cocoa powder in its chocolate-ﬂavoured milk can assist athletes to recover from high-impact sports. Alongside the exercise recovery beneﬁts linked with milk, ADM claims that key beneﬁts for adding cocoa powder to dairy-based recovery drinks include added ﬂavonoids – linked by several studies with beneﬁcial cardiovascular effects – an improved ﬂavour and long shelf-life stability, where the latter is traditionally something of a problem when adding cocoa. It’s predicted that the Western European market for sports drinks will grow by four percent a year until 2014 and in striving to capitalise on this trend, ADM says it is touting the beneﬁts of its cocoa powder in chocolate-ﬂavoured dairy beverages, as an alternative to “sugar-rich commercial sports recovery drinks”.
icVac’s objective is to combine several parameters that are beneﬁcial for the manufacturers of chilled ready meals. In-pack microwave cooking and pasteurisation extends the shelf life of a chilled ready meal. Studies show that in-pack microwave cooked and pasteurised ready meals have a shelf life of at least 30 days at +8°C. This extended shelf-life reduces waste throughout the value chain of the food from efﬁcient production and logistics to extended exposure on retailers shelves.
Another plus for green tea?
Our current and future customers are food manufacturers wanting to be part of the growing market of chilled ready meals with the aim of distributing high-quality products to a large market from a centralised production site. That is, food manufacturers can combine their highmargin products together with cost-efﬁcient production.
Drinking green tea after a meal might boost satiety levels, but has very little effect on blood glucose levels or glycemic index, according to a new study from Lund University in Sweden. Research suggests that the antioxidant-rich beverage could boost feelings of fullness, but found no evidence to support previous suggestions that it may moderate insulin sensitivity or glucose levels. Researchers said the overall sensation of satiety was boosted more after a meal accompanied by green tea than after a meal accompanied by water. They said their conclusions that green tea signiﬁcantly boosted satiety were supported by the fact that “not only was satiety increased, but also the feeling of fullness and the feeling of having had enough to consume”.
This gentle and short process reduces the thermal decrease of nutritional values, colour and ﬂavour. There is no need to add preservatives into the product. Together with machinery suppliers MicVac is able to deliver complete production lines to food manufacturers worldwide. MicVac supplies packaging material optimised for in-pack microwave cooking and pasteurisation.
- Taste and quality - Nutritive value - Whistle sound: indicates when the product is ready to eat.
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MicVac – a better way of producing chilled ready meals Chilled ready meals are a fast growing market worldwide and MicVac offers a modern solution to suit the demanding consumers of today. Food produced with our short and gentle production process give you a healthy and tasty meal. The unique in-pack microwave cooking and pasteurisation method enables a longer shelf life without the need for additives. It also reduces waste throughout the production chain.
MicVac AB Flöjelbergsgatan 10 SE-431 37 Mölndal Sweden
To make it easier for the consumer, MicVac meals whistle when they are ready to eat.
Tel. +46 31 706 12 30 Fax +46 31 706 12 49 email@example.com
If you want to know more about how to become a successful producer of chilled ready meals, please contact us and we’ll help you.
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MEETING SALMONELLA TESTING NEEDS
almonellosis is the second most often reported foodborne illness in the European Union (EU) accounting for roughly 150,000 conﬁrmed human cases each year. Various salmonella serotypes have been associated with foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, milk, ﬁsh, sauces, chocolate and others. In the EU, a high prevalence of S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium in poultry and eggs has driven a new regulation requiring poultry samples that test positive for salmonella to be further tested for the presence of these two serotypes. DuPont Qualicon offers a wide range of salmonella testing solutions from the simple and affordable DuPont™ Lateral Flow System to the highly accurate and reliable DNA-based BAX® Detection System, along with the advanced RiboPrinter® System for simultaneous identiﬁcation and typing of salmonella species and strains. The BAX® System provides food producers with a next-day method for $13M detecting salmonella. The use of automated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) processing with tableted rather than liquid reagents helps ensure the highest level of accuracy and creates a dramatic increase in speed and ease of use. The RiboPrinter® System combines automation with the power of DNA to accurately identify contaminants and track their source at the strain level. The RiboPrinter® System database is customisable, and includes a pre-installed identiﬁcation library with 238 serotypes and 27 additional sub-groups of salmonella for a total of 610 unique patterns (including several for both S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium). The DuPont™ Lateral Flow System for salmonella AD is a simple and inexpensive alternative to traditional culture methods for routine salmonella screening. This system requires no capital investment, is easy to use and provides clear results in only 10 minutes after enrichment of the sample with an optimised phage-based media. To learn more about new easy to use testing breakthroughs for faster results with superior accuracy and sensitivity, please visit: www.Qualicon.com
Crossing the threshold New thresholds for peanut, milk and egg allergens are expected by 2012
here could be a light at the end of the tunnel for those who suffer from peanut, milk and egg allergens – as well as the food manufacturers, retailers and enforcement agencies, thanks to a move by the UK Standards Agency to develop clearly deﬁned action levels for ‘may contain’ and ‘free from’ labelling . According to the Food Standards Agency allergy chief, Sue Hattersley, there has been a lot of research into the prevalence of food allergy in the last few years. “The International Life Sciences Institute’s (ILSI’s) food allergy task force is now looking at how we can move from clinical thresholds in patients to action levels that industry can work to. And they are expected to report back by mid-2010,” Hattersley. “There is a lot of data on peanuts, eggs and milk now, although there is always the chance that safety factors we might have to apply to those response curves make the thresholds so low that they are unworkable, for example. But at least we know how to proceed now.” While it could take some time before action levels suggested by ILSI could be translated into legal limits, a voluntary approach would do in the meantime. “The action levels set by the ILSI expert grouping mid-2012 would be submitted to the European Commission before going to the European Food Safety Authority for assessment, and this could take some time. But in the meantime, they could form the basis of an industry code of practice and this could, in turn, enable us to re-launch ‘may contains’ labelling underpinned by clear action levels.” She added: “It may be that if we agree action levels and best practice that we could also think about the wording of ‘may contains’ statements at the same time, so that everyone is using the same language”.
What will we be eating in 2011
As with fashion, food trends come and go. FST charts a course for the food trends that will affect consumers, producers and suppliers this coming year. By Sharon Stephenson
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COVER STORY 33
ears ago, I worked as an after-school waitress in an upmarket restaurant. The sous chef, who has gone on to have the word ‘celebrity’ slotted in front of his title, was somewhat of a culinary adventurer, experimenting with such ‘exotic’ foodstuffs as Italian risotto. It was runny, creamy and beautiful: pretty much everything a good risotto should be. Yet it was constantly sent back to the kitchen. “I ordered risotto, not gluggy rice,” was the common refrain. Back then, punters expected a tarted-up version of the boxed risotto that was available from the supermarket, a reconstituted dish of bland fried rice studded with even blander frozen vegetables. These days you can buy Arborio rice at most corner shops. “We’ve certainly come a long way in a very short time,” agrees Eddie Stableford, Managing Director of London-based trends agency Bryt. “Pizza, poppadums, Pad Thai and Peking Duck – they are all on the weekly menu of your average suburban home,” says Stableford. “Globally, there has been a rapid rise in modern food, partly as a result of being able to travel to places we once only knew in an atlas. Ingredients our mothers and grandmothers would never, ever have dreamed of using are now commonplace and are breaking down barriers, introducing an ever curious public to new places, adventures and foods. What’s more, it’s considered good to try new taste experiences, to push the culinary envelope and fi nd the next ‘big thing’. As this happens, many ‘niche’ flavours become mainstream.” Witness the food trends of the last few years: flexitarianism, cupcakes, raw food and protein-only diets. For a while, being a locavore and consuming only food and drink sourced within a certain radius of home was all the rage. And probiotic drinks, eating seasonally and keeping chickens have long been the new black. “Not surprisingly, food trends reflect the social, economic and cultural shifts taking place around us,” says Stableford. “What we eat, and how we eat it, is largely a reflection of what’s going on in our world and our reaction to that.” So what are the soothsayers picking as their top culinary trends for this coming year? NGF looks at what and how we’ll be eating and drinking in 2011 – and the impact this will have on producers, suppliers and growers as they work to meet consumer and industry demand.
Demographic Shifts Of the food and beverage trends for 2011 identified by leading research company Mintel, the most significant are those related to demographic shifts. According to Mintel’s principal trends analyst Richard Cope, this trend can be broken down into two distinct strands – the fi rst of which his company calls ‘On Her Own Terms’. “This trend is basically about female empowerment and the rise and rise of women becoming dominant figures in the home and workplace,” begins Cope. “Women in the workforce are now better qualified, work longer hours and command higher salaries. For example, recent research shows that 30 percent of women in the UK in partnerships are the dominant earners in their families.” The knock-on effect is that men are, in a sense, left holding not only the baby but also the shopping basket. “If more men are going to be doing the grocery shopping then that raises some really interesting questions about whether retailers and brands need to change the way they’re marketing products and produce to male notions of value or health or providing for children – and whether these notions are different to female notions.” Th is will necessitate a more masculine take on health and value, to create food products targeted more at men as individuals or as people shopping for their families. “At the same time, men may be tempted to buy more products they are interested in. Th is has already happened in the cosmetics industry, with the emergence of a distinct ‘male cosmetics’ segment – and, to some extent, in the US it has started to happen with food with a trend towards ‘macho-cheffi ng’ which involves quantities of meat and alcohol.” Also under the umbrella of demographic changes is the trend labelled by Mintel as ‘Retired for Hire’. “The ageing society in the West is probably having the biggest influence on all consumer trends at the moment. We looked at the idea that people aren't retiring, either because they haven’t made provision and so are carrying on working because of
Food Trends.indd 33
them, because currently this sector says it is pretty much ignored by advertisers.” Cope says there will also be a rise in demand for products that keep consumers looking good. “People who are continuing to work need to fend off competition from younger workers, so they want to be able to look good and be able to do the job as well, if not better, than younger colleagues which is where the cosmetics/beauty industry comes in.”
The big issue
fi nancial necessity, or because they say they want to work. We are seeing an increasing number of people say they want to work, they enjoy it and want to be more engaged, more part of society.” According to statistics recently released by the United Nations, one in three people will be eligible for their pension by 2050, so this is a very significant sector. Add to this the fact that research conducted by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development revealed that three-quarters of those aged over 55 said they planned to continue working after retirement age in order to enjoy and prolong a better standard of living, and it’s easy to see that an ageing demographic is going to prove very significant in dictating its needs to retailers and producers. Says Cope: “By choosing to continue working, these people will have more disposable income and will continue spending, which makes them more powerful consumers. For example, in the UK it’s believed that the over-50s control around 80 percent of the nation’s wealth. What it means for producers and retailers is that this sector needs different products than they would if they were going off into retirement. For example, products geared toward vitality, healthy and energy will become more important, as well as other products aimed at keeping people energised and sharp mentally”. Which is where the spectre of advertising raises its ugly head. “At the moment, energy drinks, foods and snacks are targeted at the youth market. But as the older generation becomes bigger consumers of these products, advertisers are going to have consider how to appeal to them. Th is demographic doesn't want to be targeted in the same way young people are, but they also don't want to be seen as old. So it’s a challenge for advertisers to appeal to
Food Trends.indd 34
The UK is now the fourth tubbiest nation in the world
In the UK, the over 50s control around 80 percent of the nation’s wealth
The figures don't lie: the UK is now the fourth tubbiest nation in the world, with a quarter of its citizens sporting a body mass index of 30 or more, slotting them into the 'obese' category. A further one in four Britons is considered overweight, according to research company Datamonitor. That means a whopping 40 million people are deemed to be at an unhealthy weight. Briton is behind only Australia (71.1 percent), the US (69.9 percent) and the United Arab Emirates (68.4 percent) in the world fat league tables. The UK’s closest European rival is Germany at 62 percent while in France the figure hovers around the 42.3 percent mark. “You can’t argue against it – we are getting fatter,” says Cope. “Th is is by no means a new trend, but food and beverage manufacturers are increasingly having to face a decision about whether they cater to the trend, or attempt to counter it with healthier alternatives.” When it comes to the former, there are plenty of companies willing to hop on the fat bandwagon. “We will see some rebel brands who celebrate the idea of personal freedom and stick two fi ngers up to the state. These brand will embrace the concept of indulgence and gluttony, and argue that consumers who want to eat this kind of food should be able to.” He cites the example of global fat-food chain KFC who recently released a burger in the US, Canada and the Philippines called the ‘Double Down’ which dispenses with the usual bread bun and instead uses two deep-fried chicken breasts to bookend the calorific entity. “It was the fastest selling burger they’ve ever had,” says Cope. At the other end of the obesity spectrum, there are those people for whom ‘super-sizing’ is a swear word. “There is a lot of pressure on people to keep the kilos at bay by eating healthily. Th is trend manifests itself in producers and retailers offering healthier options, such as McDonald’s introducing a range of salads and healthier options. A lot of this behaviour is in response to the increasing social pressure to eat healthily. “There is a lot of anger bubbling up out there at the moment about obesity and its effects on society. Obesity is increasingly being seen as ‘the new tobacco’ and, just as people have said they are unhappy having their taxes pay for someone who smokes and has lung cancer, they are now turning their anger to obese people and saying, ‘why should my taxes pay for gastric surgery and heart disease?’ Some brands will tap into this backlash to fuel the market
COVER STORY 35
in healthier food, in helping people who want to maintain a healthy weight to do so and that's going to be a key issue in 2011.” The twin forces of catering for, or countering, obesity also creates niche markets for researchers looking at ways for us to, quite literally, have our cake and eat it too. “Recent research coming out of the UK claims that if you took a pill call a ‘statin pill’ after eating a burger and shake it would basically eradicate the cholesterol of those foods so that you wouldn't put on weight. It’s still at a theoretical stage at present but it raises the argument about whether it might be okay to call on certain indulgent foods if you then could offset them through science or medicine, without the need for exercise. I can see this being a big area in terms of research and product development to help people keep the lifestyles they've got by relying on pharmaceuticals to keep healthy.”
Grow your own A third key trend identified by Mintel for 2011 is entitled ‘Garden State’. Again, says Cope, the desire to grow one's own vegetables and hark back to basic values is not new but Cope warns against dismissing these sustainable initiatives as a passing fad. “Our research would suggest that it isn't a niche or fringe trend but rather a reaction to the world becoming increasingly urbanised. The United Nations claims that by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities. So the general knock-on effect is that while people might be living in concrete jungles, they don’t want to lose the connection to the land.” The primary way this trend manifests itself is via a
One in ﬁve people in the UK grow their own fruit and vegetables
By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities
rise in the number of people growing their own fruit and vegetables. “People are increasingly cut off from their food sources, from good local products, which means that they either have the option of processed, tasteless food such as an apple that’s sat on a refrigerator shelf for two weeks and doesn’t taste of anything, or very expensive organics. I think part of the reason people are growing their own is to fi ll that middle ground.” The statistics speak for themselves, with one in five people in the UK growing their own fruit and vegetables and a 20 percent increase in the waiting list for allotments. Not surprisingly, sales of seeds have “gone through the roof” says Cope, which mainly translates into opportunities for garden centres or supermarkets which cater to the self-sufficient drive by stocking herbs for window boxes. Or for those who want to get their hands dirty, Cope cites the example of a company in Germany that rents pre-prepared vegetable gardens. “People pay a fee to rent them which allows them to till them and grow food.” The trend also creates opportunities for food companies to push the ‘we grow our own’ message. Just as one semi-rural branch of UK supermarket giant Sainsbury’s did by installing beehives and selling the honey on-site. “Obviously you need a lot of land to grow your own produce or have beehives, but with lots of mega stores being sited out of town there is great potential to do this.” Riding the coattails of the sustainability trend is the increasingly consumer-driven trend for better farming and manufacturing processes that benefit both humans, such as Fairtrade products, and for animals, such as freerange initiatives. And, of course, it also corresponds with our ongoing “Men are, in a sense, left holding not only the baby but also the shopping basket”
Food Trends.indd 35
FOODIE TRENDS FROM ACROSS THE POND Want to know what our trans-Atlantic cousins will be chowing down on in 2011? Here’s what trend analyst ﬁrm Freeman & Co sees in the crystal ball for 2011:
The pie’s the limit: Move over cupcake, make way for pie. It’s predicted that pies, ranging from whisky-buttermilk to traditional banana cream, will become the number one foodie trend in 2011. Decadence, say the experts, is endless with everything from individual deep-fried pies, bite-sized minis and even pies blended into shakes expected to grab the food headlines.
Smaller is better: Traditional meals are going the way of the fun snack. S Smaller portions are perfect for smaller walle smalle wallets and eating on the run so mini pizzass and d bagels, bage two-bite hot-dogs, mini tacos and burritos, cake truf trufﬂes, even pot roasts and pot pies, will all be downsized. al downsized
You’re the one: Singlepurpose eateries serving a variation of one thing – experts say expect such places as the Peanut Butter Palace, French Dippity Dog or even the Big Biscuit which specialises in, what else but large biscuits, to open soon.
p fried veggies: gg p Deep It’s predicted that throwing previously unloved veggies into the deep-fryer will turn them into culinary sensations.. Get ready for deep-fried cauliﬂ caul ower, Brussel Bruss sprouts and kale chips.
Food Trends.indd 36
interest in cooking and making meals from scratch – a trend prompted not only by recession-fuelled austerity but also by our love of celebrity chefs and cooking shows. Says Stableford: “We love watching chefs slice, sauté, steam and roast and now we’re dusting off the gadgets and discovering they’re more fun to use than admire. Our kitchens are crammed with utensils and items like baking pans and fish kettles, things that let us indulge our love of cooking real food from scratch and from the land, rather than from a carton”.
Where it's app A close relative of the trend above, this will see consumers increasingly utilise technology and, in particular, smartphones, to make informed consumer choices. “The smartphone market is growing enormously in Europe – something like 41 percent between 2009 and 2010. In the UK, 28 percent of internet users now have a smartphone, “which gives rise to various applications (apps) and geo-tracking technology that allows consumers to monitor what they're eating.” For example, there is an app called Augmented Living Goods that basically allows consumers to read bar-codes on food and uses these to produce data about a product’s origin. “People are still very interested in where their food comes from, how many air-miles it has, how far its travelled, how old it is and how it’s grown and reared. They’re in tune with the seasons and want to know the provenance of what they’re putting into their mouths.” Th is is a trend that Cope predicts will have even more of a significant impact on consumers and producers alike in 2011. It focuses on people eating lower on the food chain, and reflects a reduction in consumer spending by almost 30 percent from this time last year. “The legacy of this trend is, of course, the recession and the resulting drive for austerity. It's really about people taking a preventative attitude towards their spending and trying to act in moderation. It's basically an antiwastage attitude.” But its reach is wider than just individual waste: Cope says people want to buy from companies who also don't waste money or resources. It also extends to those who can afford to spend, who may be beset by what’s being termed ‘luxury shame’. Th is means high-end consumption is out and discount shopping is in. “In the food context, at it’s very basic level, this trend translates into things like people buying more tinned or frozen food. There is a greater awareness that freezing foods early locks in nutritious benefits, that just because something is frozen doesn’t mean that it’s any less fresh than something that’s sold as fresh but has, in fact, been sitting on the refrigerator shelf for two weeks.” It’s a trend that has been gathering steam for the past few years. For example, between 2004 and 2008, there was a 100 percent increase in frozen food sales in the UK alone, a trend that is borne out across Europe. Cope admits it has echoes of a “bunker mentality” where people search for stability in a tumultuous world.
COVER STORY 37
and recreate the dish yourself. It’s something that can really make food shopping more interesting, more interactive and help to build up trust for people with retailers.” An interesting development within this trend is for nonfood retailers to get involved in the food sector. “There’s been quite a lot of cross-over between confectionery and fashion stores, with lots of high-end boutiques getting involved.” One of the most significant is UK footwear/accessory designer Patrick Cox who recently opened a boutique bakery in London’s Covent Garden. “It’s a good fit for these kind of retailers because the shop has connotations of high-end indulgence at different price points but this cross-over trend is also about trying to add something extra to make the shopping experience more enjoyable. It gives people another reason to shop and meet people. The phenomenon of social shopping is quite established in areas like fashion, at least for women. But with events like in-store cooking lessons, retailers are looking to move social influence into the food arena, to give customers other reasons to go into the shop in the fi rst place, and then expand their visit.”
Who needs humans? “It's about people taking the long-term view and, again, being prepared for the worst. In the US for example, retailing giant Walmart was offering a year's supply of canned goods for a certain price. It’s the bunker mentality of consumers being prepared for whatever life can throw at them, of being ready.”
“There are people for whom ‘super-sizing’ is a swear word”
Retail rebirth It's no secret that the recession has been tough on retailers, particularly in the food arena. But focusing solely on lowering price point, on discounting prices, may have backfired for some retailers, says Cope. “If retailers discount too much, it can have negative connotations as in, you become associated as a low-cost store. So this trend is about how retailers will be looking at more creative ways to get people into their shops but avoiding doing it purely on discounting or price.” One way of doing this is to expand your offering – for example, clothing stores like Ted Baker are adding a barber in-store, while Kmart is introducing a laundromat. “In the food sector, it’s something that’s been going on for a few years. For example, Asda in the UK has tried to differentiate itself by making its stores more ‘community oriented’ by welcoming in local businesses such as fishmongers or butchers to open concessions in-store. Th is gives the stores a more local community kind of feel.” In France, Carrefour supermarkets are making use of their large retail spaces to add features that encourage people to spend more time in-store. These include offering hairdressing salons or nurseries for children while you shop. “They’re also doing things such as live cooking lessons, which allows customers to buy the products they're using. So you come to the lesson and buy all the food to take home
Food Trends.indd 37
51 percent of Britons consider vending machines a quick and easy way to get what they need
As the name suggests, this trend is all about automation in society, about machines replacing roles that humans once had. “Some of it strays into quite left-field territory about robots and rent-a-friend groups. But at the heart of it, this trend is about people becoming more isolated who may, or may not, be looking to make connections,” says Cope. On a food and beverage level, this trend is really concerned about the rise of vending machines and selfcheckouts, and raises the argument about whether we want to get advice from people when we buy our food, or if we’d prefer to do it without human contact in a highspeed kind of way. Th is of course, has ramifications for producers and suppliers wishing to meet the demand for fast food and snacks. “Research we did in 2009 showed that 51 percent of Britons considered vending machines a quick and easy way to get what they need. Across Europe the trend is even more expansive; in Spain, for example, there’s a butchers, shop that offers meat vending machines where you can buy fresh meat from a machine 24 hours a day. While in Germany, you can buy dairy products and breakfast-type products from a vending machine.” And here’s one that will cause the purists to spit out their dinner in horror: in Italy, the birthplace of pizza, they’ve recently launched a vending machine that dispenses slices of hot pizza. And anecedotal evidence suggests it’s been selling like, well, hot pizza. “People are essentially more open-minded to buying things from vending machines, but it also shows how people’s perceptions of freshness are changing. They’re coming round to the idea that something frozen or from a vending machine may be just as good, if not better, than food that has travelled a long way and sat around for a long time…”
ASK THE EXPERT
Innovation in nutrition – challenges for the food sector Innovative nutrition is helping to build a healthier tomorrow, but also poses new challenges for the food industry. Dr Michel du Peloux M.D., MBA, Senior Vice President at Mérieux NutriSciences and Head of Biofortis, shares his thoughts.
ood safety and nutrition are major global public health challenges. By 2050 the world’s population will reach nearly 9.2 billion, needing access to healthy and nutritious food. An ageing population will have customised nutritional needs with increased life expectancy. What is also changing rapidly is the understanding that good nutrition is key to building and sustaining health and well-being. By 2015, the World Health Organization projects that approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million people will be obese. Human suffering and health care costs will increase as diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and 30 percent of cancers are directly linked to obesity. A number of countries now include food quality in their public health policies, and are mobilising their regulatory authorities and agri-food sector to address this important issue. In recent years, the agri-food industry has been investing in research and development in order to bring consumers new generations of foods that are beneficial to their health. The food industry has been inspired by the pharmaceutical sector to develop “health” products with companies such as Danone, Coca Cola and Barilla increasing investment in research to develop nutrition related products. Recently, Nestlé announced they would invest $USD500 million to develop their medical nutrition activities. Scientific advances are also playing a role. Recent work on the human metagenome is paving the way for new avenues of exploration in research and medicine. For example, by sequencing the intestinal metagenome, it may be possible to identify biomarkers indicating a person’s state of health. In the near future, functional foods may allow altering microbiota in order to prevent disease, improve medical treatment and offer health benefits. Furthermore, fi rms at all stages of the food supply chain are adapting to the challenges of globalisation and the increasing complexity of their activities within a constantly evolving regulatory framework.
But developing the next generation of healthier foods poses unique challenges for the food industry: consumer insight, research and development, new ingredients, regulatory expertise, validation of health allegations, testing and trials, product development, product testing before market launch – these complex steps are required to bring the product to the global marketplace in a timely matter. Market leading brands in food processing, food service and food distribution put their trust in Mérieux NutriSciences and its three complementary services – Silliker, Biofortis and Bioagri - to help them address these challenges. Silliker is a global market leader for food safety and quality, offering an international network of accredited laboratories, audits on the quality of manufacturing processes, consulting, training, scientific, regulatory and technical expertise. Biofortis offers contract research services in support of innovation in nutrition including clinical studies in the field of nutrition, R+D of new food products and processes, molecular biology analyses and expert analyses of products’ health benefits. Bioagri is also the leading laboratory in Latin America for environment, pharmaceutical analysis and chemical safety. Compelling strengths for Mérieux NutriSciences come from numerous sources: 4,000 employees; a reference shareholder - Institut Mérieux with over 100 years of experience and 10 000 employees, all dedicated to public health; specialisation in the food sector; 50 people dedicated to R+D; an international presence in 16 countries with 62 accredited laboratories; standardised quality services worldwide and benefits from synergies with multi-disciplinary and multicultural teams at Silliker, Biofortis and Bioagri. Innovation in food safety and nutrition are helping to build a healthier tomorrow. Firms with expertise in nutrition, scientific innovation and regulatory affairs will win in the global marketplace.
“A number of countries now include food quality in their public health policies, and are mobilising their regulatory authorities and agri-food sector to address this important issue”
Michel du Peloux is an innovative nutrition and consumer healthcare specialist, who has held senior executive roles within major pharma companies over the past 20 years. Michel is currently Senior Vice President of Mérieux NutriSciences, part of Institut Mérieux.
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THE BIG INTERVIEW
Cliff Burrows, President of Starbucks US, talks about the highs and lows of helming the US arm of the global coffee giant It’s a long way from running one Starbucks store to running the US empire. How did you make this leap? Did you think, ‘I need to be better at this and better at that’? Cliff Burrows: I think one of the big inflection points is when you move from running a single store because it gets bigger, but the principle is the same. You have the keys, you are the manager, and you’re responsible for everything in those four walls. And you succeed or you fail, and each day you measure your progress, you work with your team, you try and do better the next day or the next month or the next year. And then all of the sudden you go out into multi-unit management, as a district manager or regional manager, and suddenly you don’t own anything, you’re responsible for influencing people. It’s shades of gray. Is it about most of your stores doing well? Is it about the aggregate of your stores doing well? And if it fails it’s your responsibility. If it’s successful each of the store managers is celebrating. I described becoming a district manager as the first rung on the ladder of loneliness and it’s that leadership transition point where you’re no longer on the field, you’re no longer the captain of the team, you’re all of a sudden the manager on the sideline. And we know all too well in sport that is a very, very different position. How do you get staff to sign up to your vision? CB: Well, for me it’s about firstly setting a vision that people have bought into, have contributed to, and in some part feel as though is their own. And then working with them to develop plans and encouraging them to take those big strides and working with them so that they are owning it, they’re solving their own problems and they’re driving their own piece of it. So in one part they’re saying, ‘I know where we’re going, and I know my part in it’.
What, for you, are the key factors in creating a high performing team? CB: It’s been very interesting moving to the States. It’s a place I never thought I would work and really until Starbucks started to become truly global with the return of Howard Schultz to the CEO position, then I don’t think that opportunity would have come along. But when I came here and I looked at how successful the business had been, I looked at how much it had grown and how successful it had been year after year to a point where the people who were working some very senior positions had never experienced challenging times. So the agenda and the challenge I set was, if we are to be one of the most recognised and respected brands in the world, then how are we going to create a team to deliver that? So really try and change operators who by nature are fairly modest and humble in what they do because they don’t create the big ideas, they go deliver it. And it was really about creating world class teams, but equally looking at the U.S. where we’ve got 11,000 stores between company operated and licensed stores, and looking at it through the lens of the customer, rather than just dividing the county in four.
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THE BIG INTERVIEW
And it’s been amazing how it’s released energy by focusing the northeast, which is a brewed coffee and fi ltered coffee market, the north of the country from Michigan through to San Francisco, taking in our homeland of Seattle, that is the espresso based business. And then the third person does the Sunbelt and that’s quite an amazing geography because it runs from Florida right across the south of the country right out to Hawaii, including most of Southern California. Now, the original challenge to me was, ‘But we can’t do that because that goes over time zones’. But having worked in Amsterdam and looked after 25 countries in five time zones with 17 languages, they soon got over the challenge that I was putting to them. And that’s what it’s been: it’s been about really looking at it through the lens of the customer and then finding the best people, the people who can push a level up rather than the manager having to go a level down. And we’ve just seen tremendous energy from our district managers by increasing their spans of control, and our store managers being free to run their businesses. And keeping them in place longer so that essentially they are growing their own business and we’ve changed our incentive schemes to reinforce and recognise and encourage the right thing. So you’re saying you’re looking at things through the lens of the customer. Can you give us an example of one thing that a customer has seen and how that’s ﬁltered into the company, driven your vision then made a real change to the company? CB: A great example is if you take fresh coffee, our customers were telling us that they wanted consistency in the coffee they had everyday and the US is a big filter coffee or brewed coffee market. They also wanted something that was smooth, but bold. And they wanted more freshness. So we took on all those challenges which in some ways are quite illogical, and our coffee resource team put together a blend called Pike Place Roast which has a full body, but is a smooth taste. And we also improved the freshness by saying, ‘We’re going to brew it every half hour’. And that, essentially, doubled the freshness or improved it by 50 percent. And we managed to satisfy our customers with a fresher more consistent coffee. All of this happened at a time when we’re reducing costs. For the team who work with us, we call them our partners, it was an easier work flow, an easier work routine and for the company in terms of profitability, it saved us a lot of cost. So those are the ways we’ve been solving problems starting with the customer. Okay, so how would you deﬁne good leadership? CB: Good leadership for me is creating a vision and that vision comes from three parts. One is the customer, or potential customer, that you want to satisfy. The second is the stakeholders, such as the people who work with you to get their energy released because at the end of the day, they know so much about our business and can release that by talking, listening, sharing and learning. And probably the fi nal part is an insatiable curiosity for what is possible, and I suppose the epitaph would be, ‘Why not?’
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CLIFF BURROWS AT A GLANCE Cliff Burrows was named president, Starbucks Coffee U.S. in March 2008. He is responsible for all of Starbucks US operations and is committed to ensuring that the Starbucks Experience is delivered to customers and partners (employees), combining a passion for the best quality coffee, served in a superb in-store environment. Cliff is known for his demonstrated track record of strong leadership and a commitment to Starbucks Guiding Principles. Cliff joined Starbucks Coffee Company in 2001 as managing director of the United Kingdom. In April 2006, Cliff was named president for Starbucks Coffee EMEA BV and led the region as it grew to more than 1350 stores across 24 countries. Prior to joining Starbucks, Cliff was managing director for Habitat Design Limited, the home furnishings company, where he was responsible for the company’s UK business and European retail and franchises. During his 19-year career with Habitat, Cliff spent seven years working for Heals, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Habitat. Cliff started his career with Littlewoods plc, where he was a management trainee. Cliff was raised in Zambia and completed his education in the UK. He is married with two daughters and lives in Seattle.
That’s a great epitaph. So in that context, do you think the term ‘leadership’ can be taught or is it intuitive? CB: I’d say it can be taught. And I did not start off imagining I would run a company. I don’t even think I believed I would – nobody would ever give me the keys to a store. And I just joined to do a job, I needed a job, and they gave me very clear responsibility, very clear instructions, and the next piece was about learning to work with people. I had the great luxury of having been born in the UK, spending time in Africa as a kid, and my later teens in the Middle East, and all of those have really helped me with embracing diversity and diversity on many different levels and that’s given me the great opportunity to go and work not only in the UK but across Europe and the Middle East, open stores in Russia, the Czech Republic and Egypt, and then fi nally come work in the US, which is in many ways the most diverse population in the world. It just shares a common language and many common beliefs. So I’m one of those people that took the opportunities that came my way. I was lucky enough to work with some incredible people like Terence Conran who started Habitat,
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and also John Moores who started Littlewoods which, in its day, was unique. And I also spent time working with Ingvar Kamprad when IKEA was the purchaser of Habitat, and now I fi nd myself in the States working with another entrepreneur in Howard Schultz and every day I learn not only from them, but I learn from the very humbling experience of being in my stores, talking to the people that work there and the customers who give me feedback. And each of those things just helps us get better everyday. You’ve been fortunate to work with these four entrepreneurs, who are also quite famously passionate people. What are the favourite lessons you’ve learnt from them? CB: Probably a clarity and a belief, a tenacity and energy and the word ‘passion’. Th is word comes through every time. And it’s not just about solving a problem or delivering a product, it’s about a richer experience, it’s about a quality. At Starbucks, we’re very focused on creating the sort of company that we want to work for. Here in the US, what is very relevant is healthcare, and that’s been there for everybody who works more than 20 hours since the company
“I learn not only from them, but I learn from the very humbling experience of being in my stores, talking to the people that work there and the customers who give me feedback” started and also the opportunity to partake in the success through stock grants on an annual basis. And those are the types of things that take the norm and say, ‘How can we do it differently to engage our people and really release their passion and energy and allow them to be successful by being good at what they do?’ From your perspective, what was one of the most deﬁning moments in the evolution of your leadership style? CB: I think the realisation that people want to do the right thing, they come to work with positive intent and we just have to create a framework, give them the guardrails but empower them to do what they know is right. And I would describe it as aligning around the priorities and then inspiring people to give it their best everyday, but also trying to elevate the customer experience because if we can do that, that reinforces the recognition for, in our case, the barista doing a good job. And that releases an incredible energy, and with more than 100,000 people working serving coffee to our customers here in the US, then it’s got to be about empowerment, not control. A recent survey said that when people start a job they are phenomenally motivated but after six months their motivation starts to tail off. Companies know all about
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motivating staff but how do you stop de-motivating them? CB: We go to great lengths in the selection of staff and they are often people who used to be our customers who like what we’re about and like the type of work, so they join us. We also spend incredible amounts of time talking to people, and that can be in the form of a survey or giving them the opportunity to give us feedback when we’re getting it wrong and I would say 80 percent of any of our managers’ jobs is talking and listening. We use meetings, we use surveys, and it’s not about satisfaction surveys, it’s about telling us how we can improve. Ultimately we know that the most successful people are those who stay or those who are most engaged, and those are the people who will do the right thing on a daily basis. Do you use Net Promoter Score? CB: We’ve certainly looked at it and there has certainly been a push from one of our Board members to look at it more closely. At the moment we don’t do that. We use engagement scores. And for us it’s because we’ve got a history of using that and we can see an increase or decline. You’ve said you’re always learning and looking to improve. What would you say are your personal stretch goals? CB: If I look at the two years I’ve been here in the States heading up the US operation, it’s been about turning the business around. It’s been about improving the relationship between our people, our partners, and the company during a time of great difficulty for so many. It’s been about strengthening our relationships with our customers and our communities where we serve, and it’s also been about reducing cost. We’ve been trying to do all of those at the same time. We’ve got through that phase and I would describe it as our transformation agenda is now complete and we’re now looking at how we grow in the future. A big part of me is about how do I work with a very wide workforce, a huge base of people, who are passionate about our product and about what we do and how do I release that energy to help us grow for the future? What’s the worst thing a leader can do? CB: Well, I think the worst thing for any leader is when they stop listening and turn inside and they look backwards. I think if you don’t innovate it’s going to stop because there are people all around you competing, being creative and being innovative. So if you stagnate I think that is the worst because not only are you letting yourself and your business down, you’re also letting down the people who follow you. So what would you say is the best thing about your job? CB: The best thing for me is this opportunity to work with people and to see people go beyond their best everyday, and I think that’s what a leader does, he or she releases the energy, releases the creativity, and gives people the confidence to go and do what they’re capable of.
There is no doubt that the era of cheap food is well and truly over. But could regulation improve the industry and stop speculation from sending food prices even higher?
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read, cereal and vegetables all cost more. And there is every indication that food will start to soak up more of our money year by year, reversing a cheap food trend that has lasted for decades. With average pay only rising by 1.2 percent a year at the moment, we are set to feel the pinch. But why are food prices rising at such a phenomenal rate? The World Development Movement has calculated that over the summer, fi nancial speculators have fuelled record food price rises. New evidence released by anti-poverty campaigners on World Food Day, October 16, 2010, has suggested that fi nancial speculators in Chicago alone brought up corn future contracts equivalent to 1.7 billion bushels – more than the annual consumption of Brazil, the world’s third largest consumer of corn. The figure for wheat over the same April to September period was 241 million bushels, equivalent to seven times the amount consumed by Kenya, or half the UK’s total annual wheat harvest. Likewise, the sugar industry will need to meet an extra 50 percent demand by 2030, while the rising price of cocoa has hit a 24 year high, with prices rising 7.4 percent to GBP£2135 a tonne. The World Development Movement revealed that world prices for wheat rose by over 40 percent, while corn has risen by over 30 percent, the highest since the food crisis that gripped the world in 2008, contributing to higher inflation in the UK for basic foodstuffs like bread and pasta, as well as causing hunger in developing countries. Deborah Doane, Director of the World Development Movement, explains that this summer has seen some of the highest price rises since the food crisis in 2008. “It’s clear that there have been some extreme weather events related to climate change – for example, the drought and fi res in Russia and Ukraine, which affected the price of wheat. However, what we saw was opportunistic speculation by financiers who sought to make a profit off the price increase, further fuelling the price rises. “Although there were fears about a shortage of wheat – which triggered the price rise – due to good yields in other parts of the world, there was no global shortage of wheat. So the dramatic rise in price that we have seen was down to an inflow of hot speculative money rather than a real shortage of wheat.” Dr Julian Oram, Head of Policy at the World Development Movement, adds: “These figures categorically demonstrate that recent price spikes have been fuelled by opportunistic speculators snapping up food derivatives contracts to make a quick buck,” he explains. “This kind of activity is bad news for ordinary people in the UK, whose weekly shop is becoming more expensive during already tight times and for poor consumers in development countries, where it’s contributing to hunger and political instability.” So how did we get into this situation? Historically, futures or derivatives contracts were created in US fi nancial markets to help farmers deal with the uncertainty of growing crops. The futures contracts ensure that farmers sell their crops at a future date at a guaranteed price. The
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problem lies with the bankers who have little or no involvement in the actual food being traded, but bet on food prices to make money. So while bankers continue to reap huge profits from betting on food, poor families across the world pay the price of hunger. “The impact of these price rises are obviously particularly devastating in developing countries,” explains Doane. “Th is year in Niger there has been a famine, and in Mozambique there were riots over the price of food increasing so much.” Research by the World Development Movement showed that families in 2008 decreased the number of meals they were eating each day, were unable to afford medication, school fees for their children and were having to take increasingly risky loans and forms of employment to get by. “In the UK, inflation is high and a large part of this can be attributed to increased food prices, so people on low incomes will be really feeling this too,” adds Doane. Evidence by the World Development Movement, as well as that from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and the World Bank, shows that there is a clear link between increased speculation on complex food contracts and the real price of food increasing. Massive profits can be made from speculation on food derivatives and are often seen as a ‘safe’ investment making them very attractive. According to Johann Hari, an award-winning British journalist and writer, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, traders like Merrill Lynch and many more people like them have helped cause the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world. He explains in his column with British newspaper, the Independent, that throughout the 1990s, Goldman Sachs and others lobbied hard to abolish regulations, which meant the futures contracts were turned into derivatives that could be bought and sold by those who had nothing to do with agriculture. Herein lies the problem.
Bankers continue to reap huge proﬁts from betting on food, poor families across the world pay the price of hunger
World prices for wheat rose by over 40 percent
CASE STUDY: RICE
he knock-on effects of speculation can be seen through a range of commodities. Very little rice is traded on international commodity exchanges or in futures contracts. Yet the price of rice increased far more than that of wheat in 2007 and 2008. This is given as a key argument by those who argue speculation had little impact on the price of food in 2007 and 2008. The international market for rice is very small; about six to seven percent of global production. As the rice price rose, key rice exporters such as India, Vietnam and Thailand introduced export bans to protect rice availability for their own people, making the international market even smaller. The rising price also probably prompted households to buy and store more rice, in anticipation of rising prices, but also caused prices to rise further. Intervening to protect the food supply of their own people is a necessary and legitimate response from governments to wildly ﬂuctuating global markets. Some commentators point to rice to show that ﬁnancial speculation was not a problem, but rather blame ‘protectionism’. It is undoubtedly the case that the reason the global rice price went so high was due to the factors listed above. However, there is strong evidence that the extreme increase in the price of wheat triggered the increase in the price of rice. In some countries, most importantly India, rice and wheat are substitutes for each other. India is a large net importer of wheat. The average cost of India’s net wheat imports rose from US$220 a tonne in 2006 to $255 a tonne in 2007 and US$370 a tonne in 2008. As well as causing the local wheat price to rise, this also led to India importing far less wheat in 2008. Net imports fell from ﬁve million tonnes in 2007 to just over 700,000 tonnes in 2008. This rise in the price of wheat and fall in wheat imports had knock-on impacts on rice price and demand. The global price of wheat increased particularly in late 2007, whilst the rice price increase began in early 2008. Statistical tests show that at times the price of rice is ‘caused’ by the price of wheat. There was a crucial period at the start of 2008 when statistical tests by a researcher for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) showed that the rise in the price of rice was ‘caused’ by the rise in the price of wheat. Similarly, a research paper for the World Bank says that there was little change in production or stocks of rice, and the initial increase in world rice price was caused by the increases in wheat prices in 2007. An FAO food outlook report says: “The shock to demand for rice was largely generated by demand to make up shortfalls in wheat available to consumers”. Financial speculation can be said to have had an impact on the rice price by amplifying the increase in the price of wheat which, in turn, triggered the dramatic increase in the price of rice. Source: The Great Hungry Lottery report by Tim Jones, World Development, July 2010.
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Until this time, the price of food was set by the forces of supply and demand for food itself, as per the regulations introduced after the Wall Street crash in the 1930s. But after the weakened regulations of the 1990s and early 2000s – thanks to Goldman Sachs – the market was no longer solely about food, it was now about the theoretical future of crops. And when fi nancial speculators pulled out of the collapsing real estate market, they headed straight for the food industry, where prospects seemed safter. While the supply and demand of food stayed the same, the supply and demand for derivatives based on food rose. Hari explains in a column in July 2010 that: “The bubble only burst in March 2009, when the situation got so bad in the US that the speculators had to slash their spending to cover their losses back home”. Hari points to Professor Jayati Ghosh who has researched the market. Ghosh reveals that vital crops – including millet, cassava and potatoes – were not traded on the futures market, and that while their price rose a little during the same period, it was only a fraction as much as the ones aff ected by speculation. Unless strict regulation prevents such fi nancial activity, speculation will continue. And the challenges facing all of us as food prices get higher are clear. There undoubtedly needs to be recognition from governments that there is not a shortage of food, but that hunger stems from not being able to afford food. In order to fi x this situation, a fundamental overhaul of the trading system and regulation of speculation, which artificially increases prices, must be introduced immediately. “Regulation is absolutely vital on this issue,” confirms Doane. “For years the banks lobbied hard for deregulation and they won. They succeeded and now people around the world are living with hunger. In the US, regulation is being reintroduced and we are pushing for similar regulation to be introduced in Europe. Th is regulation will limit the amount of food contracts that fi nancial speculators can buy and make the process more transparent. Without this regulation, we could see another food price spike leave million more without food.” Indeed, in the US, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law in July 2010. The 2319 page act tackles almost every aspect of American fi nance from municipal bonds to executive pay in the broadest revamp of fi nancial rules since the 1930s. The derivatives portion requires transactions to be standardised, traded on exchanges, just like corporate stocks, and funnelled through clearinghouses to protect against default, with the goal to make such deals transparent. In a report entitled Commodity Speculation and the Food Crisis, Ghosh explains that while fi nancial regulation in the US is important, it is not enough. Currently, only 30 percent of commodity futures contracts are traded in the US, while European exchanges account for the bulk of the rest, followed by Tokyo and Singapore to a much lesser extent. To that end, appropriate legislation in the EU is absolutely essential. “Without it,” says Ghosh’s report, “the
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danger is that speculative activity that has so disturbed essential commodity prices will simply move to other financial centres.” Unfortunately, the European Union’s proposed legislation is very weak and will effectively allow such speculation to continue. “Most importantly, it does not provide for position limits in commodity derivatives markets. And the ‘swap dealer’ loophole that allowed purely fi nancial agents to actively participate in commodity markets would still be operative. A more stringent set of rules is therefore essential,” continues the report. The World Development Movement has launched a campaign to try and tackle the problem of speculation and is calling on people to join the campaign and to work with the organisation to stop banks betting on food. “At the moment we are trying to raise awareness of the issue and build a
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"Unless there is strict regulation, speculation will continue"
mass movement of people who take action to stop this,” says Doane. “We are asking people to write to their MPs to bring this to George Osborne’s attention and ask him to introduce regulation that would curb this excessive speculation.” Looking forward, Doane hopes that the World Development Movement campaign will be successful and that the outcome will impact people around the world in a positive way. “We hope to see more stable food prices that are not subject to sudden volatility triggered by bankers. Th is will mean that farmers in developing countries will be able to plan their production based on real prices of crops, not artificially high or low prices. People in the developing world will be able to afford more food and people in the UK on low incomes will also benefit. We are determined to ensure that this regulation goes through the EU so that this can become a reality.”
Next Generation Food asks a panel of experts for their opinions on the current challenges facing the ingredients sector.
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What are the most challenging issues facing the ingredients sector at the moment? And how is your organisation attempting to confront â€“ and overcome â€“ these challenges? Michael Coopman. OMVE is a leading technology company specialised in high quality small-scale liquid food processing equipment for laboratory and pilot departments. Our main objective is to support food processing companies to choose the best possible investments regarding small scale innovative technologies and high quality equipment from the complete range of technologies available to achieve trials in less time, saving on labour and ingredient and delivering highest performance and reliable test results that can be quickly and accurately reproduced and scaled to production size. We are aware that the food sector is going through an interesting and exciting time. New markets are driven by the growth of innovative brands and private labels, an interest in healthy food and the awareness in sustainability. Among our main customers, leading food ingredient
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companies will not hesitate to invest in innovation, food quality and clients services. Our services and equipment speed-up reproducible/ reliable processes and production of a small amount of product to undergo required trials without interfering with daily production scheduling, equipment certification, etc. Many different products and processes can be simulated in a day, thereby lowering costs. Our challenge and our driving force is to optimise our equipment to enable our clients in the ingredient sector to attain their specific objectives. Th is you can only achieve when you fully focus on your customers’ requirements and needs. Our goal is to fi nd the best solution for each one of our customers. Nigel Theobald. By far the most talked about issue for food ingredients is the EFSA health claims process and their overwhelming rejection of most health claims. For years the food ingredient industry has been making more and more health claims, trying to behave like pharmaceutical companies but without the back up of full clinical evidence. Sure, some studies provide the necessary support but the overwhelming majority do not. I feel too much emphasis over the last few years has been placed on making claims for ingredients rather than focusing on delivering innovative products and formats that would get individuals to buy more products. On one hand the industry appears to want to behave like the pharmaceutical industry by making health claims, yet on the other it does not focus its development on product differentiation, which is the key focus of consumer healthcare companies. A molecule like ibuprofen now available generically with a strong evidence-based health claim has seen a host of innovative new products launched to allow brands to differentiate. If ingredient companies were working with ibuprofen they would focus more time and effort trying to prove ibuprofen cures this or that rather than coming up with new novel formats to tackle headaches. Ingredient companies need to focus more on diversity of format as opposed to ingredient claim. At Oxford Nutrascience we devote all our energy to providing innovative delivery formats for medicines, supplements and food ingredients in a way that consumers actually want to try them. Tomokazu Teshima. Not many food technologists would dispute the usefulness of MSG, but it has been subject to unjustified health concerns and is now often branded under the “No-MSG” campaign. As a company that supplies the key ingredient Monosodium Glutamate to the food industry, winning the correct understanding has always been an uphill battle for us due to the misconception on the nature of the product itself. In ancient Rome, garum, a fermented fish sauce, was an essential and valuable condiment. Today, we enjoy Parmesan cheese sprinkled over our favourite Italian dishes. Of all the variety of cheeses, Parmesan cheese is known
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to have the highest content of glutamate. It is not simply because people liked the taste of garum, or Parmesan cheese, but because people appreciated something different and satisfying. Th is is what is now scientifically identified as UMAMI, and glutamte is one of the substances that expresses it. Wilfried Brandl. There is growing demand for ready-made meals and convenience food preparations by the progressive industrialisation of additional parts of the world. Th is is accompanied by the demand for natural and healthy food caused by increased consciousness of consumers about the importance of healthy nutrition. Leiber is producing yeast products based on naturally fermented brewers yeast. We are serving the food industry with yeast extracts produced only by biological, enzymatic and physical processes. These products, apart from supplying diverse, savoury taste solutions, contribute to healthy nutrition by their natural constituents, as there are amino acids, vitamins and minerals. With our health functional products InterYeast Vital (inactive brewers yeast) and Yestimun (yeast beta glucan) we offer prebiotic and vitamin-rich products supporting the human immune system. The growth of demand has made us invest strongly in our production capacity accompanied by modernisation up to the latest technical quality level. The ingredients market is a highly competitive one. In your quest to gain a larger market share, what are some of the new products that you believe will gain valuable cut through for your organisation? NT. Meet the Chewyz, high fibre soft chews packed full of extra vitamins and omega3 but still as tasty as the brand leader. Kids love them because they taste great, it’s a simple as that, and parents love them because they know these chews are healthier for their children so it’s a win all round. Chewyz are the latest product to emerge from Oxford Nutrascience. As a technology company we use our systems to develop products and solutions for manufacturers and out licence the technology or provide fi nished products from our manufacturing partners. We use a unique blend of non-digestible fibres to reduce the sugars and fat traditionally used to make soft chews and this provides for improved organoleptic properties. Our patented process allows for lower cooking temperature so we can add hard-to-work with ingredients such as omega3 yet with no fishy taste. As a result, our unique fortified chew is reduced in sugar, high in fibre yet with the same soft texture as traditional chews. TT. The word, and the meaning of, Umami have just begun to gain full understanding from leading companies and chefs. We are now introducing the concept of Kokumi which describes a more intricate taste profi le that can only be obtained through cooking. Whilst Umami singles out one of the five basic tastes, Kokumi defi nes a much more complex taste profi le that is expressed mainly by a combination of amino acids.
“We are aware that the food sector is going through an interesting and exciting time. New markets are driven by the growth of innovative brands and private labels, an interest in healthy food and the awareness in sustainability” Michael Coopman
“I feel too much emphasis over the last few years has been placed on making claims for ingredients rather than focusing on delivering innovative products and formats that would get individuals to buy more products” Nigel Theobald
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I expect that it will take time to gain similar recognition as Umami. We are trying to shed light on an area of taste that has been appreciated, but not recognised, as an essential field of taste.
The existence of glutamate in food is nothing artificial, but a necessity. “Adding” is nowadays regarded to be somewhat negative, but “balancing” should give a totally new perspective.
WB. We at Leiber are specialists in products made from yeast. As a medium-sized company we concentrate our activities on these specialties and here we are serving every solution needed. We are expressively customer orientated and eager to fi nd the best solution for our customers, wherever they are in the world. Because of our raw material we are in a situation to offer a wider range of products compared to our competitors. So the customer can receive the solution from us and not necessarily has to approach several yeast extract producers. In German tradition, the utmost quality possible is our daily objective. Production in industrial size and highest quality and flexibility for us is not a contradiction but a challenge. One example is our Leiber-Viande A65, a dark yeast extract with meaty, beefy taste, highly concentrated but in liquid form. So the product is easy to handle, pumpable and available at a comparable low price. Another example is our Leiber-Bouillon G, LS, a light yeast extract with cooked meat bouillon taste, rich in natural amino acids so, for example, glutamic acid. And this is made of regular brewers yeast –Saccharomyces cerevisiae – with no GMO or untypical strains of yeast.
WB. For Leiber the emerging markets are predominantly in Eastern Europe, like Poland, Ukraine and Russia and in Asia, like Thailand, Indonesia and China. In some respect for us also the USA is a market to be developed. The US is industrialised but the awareness for healthy daily food, for example the abandonment of artificial taste enhancers, is becoming more and more important for consumers’ buying decisions. In the eastern and far eastern emerging market, most of these countries do have top class food industries, but our presence and education is most important to accelerate and increase the acceptance and use of our products. Our consultancy can contribute to the expertise of customers while creating opportunities for businesses. Not at least with various products we are in the position of price leadership, which is of even greater importance for emerging countries.
MC. OMVE approach – i.e. simulating an industrial process our clients are familiar with – is rapidly gaining users approval. Our customers appreciate the growing opportunities through a win-win partnership available with OMVE: ‘Fit to purpose’ as they say. The OMVE task force has always been stimulated and inspired by novel, latest innovation in process technologies that would give added value to the product, be more respectful of the environment and be of assistance for our customer cost saving concerns. In this field in 2011 OMVE will launch new non-thermal processing equipment achieving product safety and quality attributes preservation, extended shelf-life and keeping the product as natural and fresh as possible. Empowering the food ingredient sector to develop new products, to get access to larger markets and develop new opportunities.
MC. We see a continuing growing interest in nutritionals, healthy ingredients, natural ingredients and less processed foods. These trends require different production processes, newly adapted systems and solutions to specific needs. In emerging markets such as the BRIC countries, quality requirements may still be lower than in the EU and USA, policy systems may not yet be implemented and the lowest cost is often the driving market force. Safety and quality are the best guarantees of success for the food sector. Ensuring the availability of such food is one of the best ways to promote good business while protecting and promoting better public health.
“We at Leiber are specialists in products made from yeast. As a mediumsized company we concentrate our activities on these specialties and here we are serving every solution needed” Wilfried Brandl
What do you see as the emerging markets? How do you aim to crack these critical markets? TT. Since the discovery of glutamate, Ajinomoto has expanded the range of amino acids it offers through its unique production technology. I believe that fi nding applications for individual amino acids in food can also make a significant difference. The use of MSG is sometimes criticized as “masking the taste of poor ingredients”. Th is is defi nitely untrue. The use of MSG restores the balance of amino acids which may have been lost through the industrial process and leads to higher satisfaction. Replacement of MSG by HVP, yeast extract, or even soy sauce powder is possible. However, this is simply replacing MSG with something that is rich in glutamate.
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NT. Ingredients have had a lot of success in markets where they can easily be incorporated into existing formats e.g. probiotics in yoghurts, but there are many food categories where trying to develop healthier products becomes more complicated. Taste will be the biggest issue facing functional ingredients in the coming years. At Oxford Nutrascience we are well aware of the trade off between something that is good for you and something that tastes great, after all this is our heartland. We specialise in making medicines easier to take. We place more emphasis on developing ‘better for you’ formats that taste great and meet the needs of food consumers rather than what the ingredient can do to improve your health; after all if consumers won’t eat the product then they won’t get the health benefit. Let’s do a little crystal ball gazing for a minute. What do you see as having the most potential for future growth? WB. Supplying the growing population with food and the awareness of healthy nutrition, I think are the most important challenges for the food industry. So one important factor is to supply sufficient food to secure human nutrition and secondly to improve the healthiness of the ingredients. The world of food ingredients is very much diversified: products satisfying the nutritional value, additives with technological properties and ingredients, like our yeast extracts, supporting the indulgence and health. These solve these challenges, certainly by different and single solutions for every type of product, and the consideration of sustainability and human health seems to be a basis for future development of our industry and for the benefit of our customers, the consumers. MC. OMVE is inspired by the idea that knowledge can be used to improve people’s lives and the advanced processing equipment simulates industrial processes at the highest level, but raises the bar with the unconditional respect of safety and quality of the product. OMVE believes that sharing this information and knowledge in emerging markets contributes to people’s good health and therefore is a fundamental resource for social and economic development. This means there is a need for thinking outside the box. We are convinced that novel process technologies, like OMVE’s Pulsed Electric Fields (PEF) and Cold Plasma Sterilisation, will play an important role in this. NT. Those ingredients that have the best taste profile and most flexibility of being integrated into different formats will see the greatest future growth. The debate with EFSA will largely become irrelevant if consumers do not buy the products because they don’t match up to their expectations. If they are being asked to switch their product choice from the high sugar, high fat version to one that is ‘better for them’ then it has to at least match the taste of their existing product otherwise it will be doomed to stay on the shelf.
to Umami taste, it has become possible to scan through thousands of chemicals with creative structure, and identify chemical structures that particularly impact the Umami taste bud. Of course, these will be subject to full safety evaluation, but I expect it will not be long before products containing such substances hit the shelves. Th is can be regarded as innovative, but must be reminded that they replace conventional ingredients with something that did not exist chemically in our traditional food. Somewhat related, I am a little concerned that a new concept “Clean Label” has emerged. It may possibly appeal to the consumers. However, I start to worry when I hear people discussing “how to reduce the number of E-numbers on the ingredient lists” in this context. E-numbers have somehow been promoted to the consumers as something negative from the beginning. Preservatives, for example, are there to ensure that the food products on the shelves remain safe to eat. “No preservatives” may appeal to some consumers, but they are not prompted to ask, “then, how is it preserved?” The intent of creating E-numbers was (and still is) meant to signal to consumers who are not familiar with chemical names or industrial ingredient names, that these were fully evaluated and endorsed for their safety. Creativity is always required, but such good intent to protect consumers and to benefit the food industry should not be twisted.
“Preservatives, for example, are there to ensure that the food products on the shelves remain safe to eat. “No preservatives” may appeal to some consumers, but they are not prompted to ask, “then, how is it preserved?” Tomokazu Teshima
THE PANEL Michael Coopman has been active for more than 15 years in the processing industry in different countries and companies. He joined OMVE Netherlands BV in 2003 and since 2008 has been Sales Director/ Co-Owner of OMVE Netherlands BV, a leading technology company specialised in high quality, small-scale liquid processing equipment. Nigel Theobald is Chief Executive Ofﬁcer, Oxford Nutrascience Group Plc and has a background in marketing and product development in the OTC consumer healthcare market. Theobald worked for Boots for 15 years before setting up and selling his own distribution business in 2008 to set up ONG. Dr. Wilfried Brandl is Business Unit Director Food at Leiber GmbH, Germany. He has studied food chemistry and done a PhD and research work at the universities of Hanover and Braunschweig, Germany. After 23 years research and development in the ﬂavour and spices industry, today he is responsible for the food ingredient business at Leiber GmbH. Tomokazu Teshima is President of Ajinomoto Foods Europe SAS. He joined Ajinomoto in 1980 and most of his previous career involved working with amino acids for the pharmaceutical industry, but also food ingredients and animal nutrition. He headed up the sweeteners department for two years before taking on the current assignment as President of Ajinomoto Foods Europe.
TT. Lately, with the help of highly sophisticated computer technology and by modelling human taste bud particular
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A healthy outlook David Cowan explains why enzymatically modiﬁed fats are better for you and better for the environment.
n recent times, consumers have been taking an active interest in food and diet. In the case of oils and fats, many consumers are aware that trans fats are linked to increased levels of bad cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases. People are becoming more aware of what they eat and no longer are health and sustainability only welcomed by a small market segment. The broader public now demands top-quality, tasty products that contain fewer additives and preservatives and are produced to highly-ethical standards. As a result, food manufacturers need to enhance their products and processes in a natural, effective and environmentally friendly way. Enzymatic solutions help the industry to meet this pressing challenge – but their use for large-scale production within the oils and fats industry has been limited – until now. The baking industry requires margarine and baking fats of specific melting properties, that are not available when extracted from raw materials such as palm, soya bean, rape seed or sunflower oils. The most common processes used to obtain the desired consistency and melting points of fats are chemical interesterification or hydrogenation. Both require harsh processing, which often result in high levels of waste products – and hydrogenation also generates trans fats. The application of enzymes for bulk fat modification is a recent development. In enzymatic interesterification, a lipase is used to catalyse the exchange of fatty acids between the two tri-glycerides, resulting in a fat blend with altered melting characteristics compared to the original mixed fat. The melting properties of the resulting fat are very similar to those obtained by chemical interesterification. Unlike the chemical process, the enzymatic one does not produce any by-products, resulting in an end product that is inherently more pure and containing higher levels of natural anti-oxidants. By combining different fats a range of melting properties can be obtained to produce products suitable for shortenings, margarines and cream fi llers. In addition to table margarines, shortenings and baking margarines are a major potential source of trans fat in the diet.
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To successfully replace partially hydrogenated fats in these products, baking performance has to be at least equivalent to the standard material. Studies on the baking performance of margarines produced from enzymatically interesterified hardstock were reported by Kirkeby (Kirkeby, P.G. Proceedings of the 94th AOCS Conference, Kansas City (2003)). During baking tests producing puff pastry, the margarine from the enzymatically interesterified hardstock gave superior results to that from chemical interesterification. Further studies made by Novozymes demonstrated that shortenings of good quality can be produced from enzymatically interesterified hardstocks using tropical oils as a base. A simple shortening produced from an interesterified mix of 50 percent palm oil and 50 percent Stearine gave identical baking performance to a commercial product containing partially hydrogenated fats. A number of manufacturers now offer enzymatically interesterified fats and the trend is to see these replace products made either by chemical interesterification or hydrogenation. The baking industry can use these to substitute these less desirable fats without any negative impact on quality or economy. Fats obtained by enzymatic interesterification have a lower environmental impact than those derived from the older technologies, enabling the industry to become more sustainable. The process is energy efficient, easier to control and generates less waste and CO2 emissions. As a result consumers and producers can enjoy a trans fat free product that is healthier and produced using a process, which is a better alternative for the environment.
David Cowan is the Customer Solutions Application scientist for the oils and fats applications at Novozymes. He is responsible for heading up a team of Novozymes’ scientists involved in application development in the ﬁeld of lipases and phospholipases for food and technical use. He has a BSc and PhD in applied microbiology from the University of Surrey (UK).
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RY OF A BRIEF HISTOSA McCAIN U
McCain Foods Ltd begins production in Florenceville, Canada, in 1956
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In the mid-1960s McCain enters the US market, following success in the UK
McCain acquires two French fry production plants in Maine in the 1970s
During the 1980s, McCain acquires a plant in Othello, WA, and announces a $35 million expansion
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Found on dinner tables everywhere, McCain has become one of the world’s best-loved food companies. But operations across the globe present a sizeable portion of challenges for the 50 year-old food production company. Business Management speaks to CIO Roman Coba to ﬁnd out how technology can smooth over the bumps in a global organization.
few years back, a television commercial nizations around the world, and none of them would talk in the UK was receiving considerable to each other,” laughs Coba. “So we had to put a program attention. Two young girls are at the together that would drive one global IT organization with table eating dinner – an innocuone global mandate, one global strategy. We brought all ous and typically British children’s the teams together fi rst, dropped the barriers and we built meal – when the older girl turns to the strategy.” her younger sister and asks which she He reveals that prior to his arrival at McCain, the prefers, Daddy or chips? After much deliberation, the girl firm’s IT operations had been segregated from the rest of chooses the French fries over her father. the organization, and many other sectors of the firm had While the advertising message from McCain may little understanding of the role IT played. “The key was have been a little strong, the sentiment about the to sit with the business owners and sell them on our popularity of the brand is undeniable. McCain’s strategy because the business was never exposed McCain products can be found in freezers in 130 counto it,” Coba explains. “We sat in front of them, operates in tries worldwide; the company produces over and I told them, ‘Here is where we are. Here a million pounds of potato products every are all our issues. Here are our fi nancials.’ hour and a third of all the frozen French fries I just took them through the whole thing. countries produced in the world, and is the second largThen we said, ‘Here is how we plan to fi x it.’ worldwide est privately owned company in Canada. We shared with them the whole plan. Such a far-reaching global presence is “It was eye opening for some of them beundoubtedly impressive, but operating out of 55 cause they had never even seen where the spend production facilities – in 12 countries, over six continents, goes. They just knew that they were throwing out $40, $50, with 20,000 employees, into 130 markets – presents its fair $60, $70 million a year, and never really understood where share of challenges, not least from an IT standpoint. And it was spent. So we set a baseline, and then we sold them indeed, when Roman Coba, McCain’s unassuming and on the plan.” Of course, there was some scepticism, and likeable CIO, took charge of the firm’s IT operations two Coba spent the fi rst year of his tenure travelling around and half years ago, he found the technology affairs in disthe globe, meeting each of McCain’s numerous regional array. “They were a very inward focusing IT organization,” business teams, both to listen to their main concerns and Coba explains. “They had no credibility with the business. needs from a technology point of view and to explain his Their approach to IT was ram and jam; there were no new global technology strategy. partnerships. Their approach to technology was fi nd the “I also spent that year working with our internal IT cheapest, and just put it in because it looks like we’re drivorganizations,” he adds, “but it was hard to change habits. ing value. There was no long-term IT strategy.” It was a matter of breaking down barriers, identifying the Coba had a daunting task on his hands: to restrucglobal projects. We’d build global work teams, and global ture McCain’s entire global IT operation, right from its work streams. We put everybody on them, and we started very foundation. His fi rst project was to develop a solid, creating that whole global or team atmosphere. Once five-year IT strategy that could be applied to the entire we went through the business and gained credibility, we organization around the world. “We had seven IT orgathen started showing the value of some of our plans. For
In 1997 McCain takes over the Ore Ida Food Service frozen foods ﬁrm at a cost of $500 million
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The ﬁrm then plans to invest $70.8 million into wide scale expansion of US operations
In 2001, McCain acquires Anchor Food Products Inc., a leading frozen food producer
Today, headquartered in Lisle, Il, McCain USA employs 4300 people nationwide, and serves customers that rank among the most recognized brands in the world
example, what did year one give us? What’s year two going to look like? We started showing them the value, then we started getting the credibility.” The next step in Coba’s task was to add value to the company’s IT operations. Now that a comprehensive framework had been established, Coba had to implement systems and programs that were both cost and time effective across the organization. “We exposed [the business] to some of the enabling technologies that other global companies were starting to implement that were innovative in nature. They all had a dollar return on them, and they all had business value around processes, workforce optimization and things like that. We fi rst sold the idea and the concept of the technology; then we brought the vendor in and did a show and tell, and allowed them to play. A lot of CEOs don’t care, don’t want to care, but they actually loved it.” Now two years into his five-year plan, Coba explains that his department is working on implementing a utilitybased computing model across the organization, and the global integration of enabling technologies is about six months from completion. Then comes the process of revisiting each area of the business to look at how they’re utilizing the technology and identify any further opportunities to increase the value of the IT operations. “At the same time we’re actually at the beginning of a business transformation project,” he adds. “Working on enterprise resource planning (ERP), new processes, global processes, things like that. We’ve got our hands full.”
Spice of life Coba’s restructuring of the IT operations has by no means been an easy task, but McCain being a food product company, operating globally presents another set of challenges. “You get seven flavors of everything,” he explains. “Our people want seven flavors of everything, so we have to deal with that challenge. That’s all around asking the why. Why is it different? Why do you need it different? Can’t you just approach it this way? “The next challenge is that being a food manufacturer, margins are low and brand identity is high. It’s all around driving cost effectiveness and enablers back into the business. So our challenge as IT professionals is that we should be looking at how we change the business – how do we drive more value back into the business based on what we want to do?” Indeed, Coba’s industry has a history of frugality, closely monitoring outgoings, and he highlights that a return on investment and proven efficiency increase in business processes are essential when introducing new technologies. “One thing you have to watch out for is the need to educate the business on what the baseline is,” he says. “I need X amount of money every year for five years just to keep the lights on. That won’t change. Then everything else I do is incremental value.” Still, despite the difficulties posed by being a global organization, Coba explains that he maintains a level of standardization in order to successfully manage his diverse
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workforce. “They could be different standards depending on the part of the world,” he explains, “because technology could be different in another part. An example is we’re standardizing on a mobile platform today. So, we decide today we’re going to go with Blackberry, and now all of our workforce has a Blackberry. But when you get to China and Japan, that’s not the prevalent device. The prevalent device might be an Android type of device. So, we’re flexible enough to look at it region by region, but we want a standard for the region. We want operating principles, procedures and policies in place, and we want to be able to know where it is, who’s got it, how they’re using it and keep it locked within the framework of what we as a business want to allow and not allow.” Once the devices and tools have been implemented into the workforce, the challenge then becomes looking at how the devices can be used to really empower the mobile workforce, rather than just facilitating their ability to move outside the office. “We’re looking at tablet type devices,” reveals Coba. “I’ll say tablet devices, which could be tablet computers, iPads, the new Black Pad, whatever Google’s going to come out with and so on. But it’s more looking at how we can use the tool to drive customer adoption. So do we need presentations, a dashboard? Do I need the volumes at my fi ngertips? We want to use it as a device to sell, not just as a device to communicate and collaborate.” Indeed, highlighting the enabling capabilities of technology to his organization is the key for Coba, who feels that ultimately his job is about explaining IT in plain terms. “I think the most important part of my role is showing the value of technology and investment in technology to the business leaders so that they can actually prove some of the money that we’re asking for to move things forward.” ■
“I think the most important part of my role is showing the value of technology and investment in technology to the business leaders” Roman Coba
McCain produces one third of the world’s frozen French fries
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The dilemma of rosemary antioxidant E392 By Dr Karl-Werner Quirin
osemary antioxidants are derived from the needle-like leaves of Rosmarinus officinalis, which are an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. They contain different compounds with antioxidative property, especially phenolic diterpenes. Rosemary antioxidants have recently been classified as a food additive and assigned the number E392. The new status applies if added to foods and supplements with technological function as an antioxidant but also if this intention is combined with other nutritional or flavouring purposes. An advantage is that the approval is based on the EFSA safety assessment stating that tox-data are insufficient to establish a numerical ADI but that the margin of safety is high enough for use as an antioxidative food ingredient. The new classification is however also connected to obligations. The latest amendment of Directive 2008/84/ EC on specific purity criteria of food additives other than colours and sweeteners provides in Annex I the defi nition and specifications for rosemary antioxidants. Reference antioxidative compounds are carnosic acid and carnosol, which should not represent less than 90 percent of the total diterpene phenols. Borneol, bornyl acetate, camphor, 1,8cineol and verbenon are considered as reference volatiles. Depending on production processes by using normal solvents like ethanol, acetone and hexane or supercritical carbon dioxide, the content of reference antioxidant compounds, the antioxidant/volatiles ratios as well as the residual solvent contents are specified for different types of rosemary antioxidants. A max amount of 3 mg/kg arsenic and of 2 mg/kg lead applies in all cases. Besides the obligations of the producer there are obligations of the user according to Directive 95/2/EC, Annex III, Part D referring to the declaration as “Antioxidant: E392” alternatively as “Antioxidant: Rosemary extract”. In addition, upper limits of use are expressed as the sum of carnosic acid + carnosol for different groups of food, e.g. 30 ppm in vegetable oils for non-heat treated products; 50 ppm in fats and oils for heat-treated food, frying oil, fish and algal oils; 100 ppm (on fat basis) in sauces; 200 ppm (on fat basis) in bakeries, in dehydrated potatoes and egg products, up to 400 ppm in supplements and 1000 ppm in flavourings. Here it has to be criticised that the approved addition to different types of oils, which represents one of the main applications of antioxidants, is in principle too low in order to provide adequate protection. Rosemary antioxidants which were not regulated and limited before and therefore considered as ultra natural were even more restricted than gallates (E310 – E312), TBHQ (E319), BHA (E320) and BHT
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(E321). For example in fats and oils for heat-treated food, rosemary is limited to 50 ppm whereas accumulated gallates, TBHQ and BHA are allowed up to 200 ppm. In frying oil and fat rosemary is restricted to 50 ppm, BHT to 100 ppm; in chewing gum rosemary is allowed up to 200 ppm, gallates, TBHQ and BHA in total up to 400 ppm. The discrimination of rosemary antioxidants is still more evident if compared to tocopherols (E306 – E309), which are approved in general at quantum satis in accordance with good manufacturing practice apart from some infant formulae. The reason for this situation might be that mixed tocopherols were authorised back in 1989 by former SCF. Even a quiet high NOAEL value of 300 mg alpha-tocopherol equivalence per day was allocated (SCF, 2003), a fact which is differently judged today since tocopherols have besides their radical scavenging property also prooxidative potential if applied in higher dosage. For comparison rosemary is limited to 400 ppm antioxidative compounds in supplements and taking six pills or capsules a day of 0.5 g means an amount of 1.2 mg antioxidants which is 250 times lower than the tocopherol value. In order to be fair, the very conservative values for rosemary antioxidants are certainly due to the fact that there is not enough tox data available according to present standards which does not, however, mean that rosemary antioxidants are more harmful than other products.
Dr Karl-Werner Quirin is a chemist and received his PhD in 1984 from the University of Saarland, Institute of Pharmacognosy and Analytical Phytochemistry. For 24 years he has worked as CEO of FLAVEX Naturextrakte GmbH, a company producing specialty botanical extracts for cosmetics, food and dietary supplements on the base of supercritical CO2-extraction.
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The challenge of natural ﬂavouring The demand for natural ﬂavouring in food is growing. Regional differences in legislation and legislation changes, together with raw material availability and authenticity bring challenge to this branch of the discipline. By Dr Anna-Carin Bäckman
A Dr Anna-Carin Bäckman is an Analytical Chemistry Scientist at A/S Einar Willumsen in Denmark. She works with the development of new ﬂavours and is project leader for the company’s raw material documentation system. Bäckman has a PhD from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences with a research background in plant emitted volatiles.
flavouring is a concentration of an aroma that can be added to many types of food, e.g. soft drinks, candy, bakery, dairy and ready-to-eat meals. The basic idea behind natural flavourings is that the used raw materials must stem from a natural source. The raw materials can, for example, be plant extracts or distillates (called natural preparations), but single chemical substances isolated from plants are also used. The cost of raw materials for natural flavourings depends on the availability of different source plants, the occurrence of desired components and the complexity of the production process. The cost of raw materials for natural flavourings therefore ranges from low to economically inapplicable, compared to raw materials produced by chemical synthesis. In general, the price of natural flavourings is higher than for “non-natural” flavourings. Another constraint when creating a natural flavouring is the smaller size of the toolbox; some of the otherwise used raw materials do not occur in nature and others cannot be purchased. With the forthcoming EU-legislation, the present range of commercially available isolated natural substances will most likely be reduced. Many of today’s flavourings will probably have to be re-formulated. The labelling of natural flavourings within the EU will also become very dependent on the source of the raw materials. As an example, at least 95 percent of the raw materials will have to stem from a strawberry plant in order to use the label “natural strawberry flavouring”. Today, a natural strawberry flavour may contain natural raw materials from strawberry, rasp-
berry, orange etc. The consequence of the new labelling legislation is that single natural flavouring components must be produced from many different raw material sources. In general, this will result in increased raw material prices as well as increased inventory costs. The industry faces a big logistical challenge to handle natural raw materials after source. The consumer safety is, of course, the main concern for the new EU legislation, as well as the prevention of misleading marketing. However, very little attention has been drawn to the control aspects. With present analytical methods, it can be very hard to trace the plant species origin of used raw materials. In addition, it is often difficult to investigate what processes that have been used during production (the processes allowed for production of natural flavouring raw materials are strictly limited within the EU legislation, and they are different from the authorised processes in the US). Because of the higher cost for natural raw materials, the authenticity of natural flavourings is an issue for the whole supply chain of the flavouring industry as well as for the regulatory authorities. Einar Willumsen is a modern f lavour house with f lavouring creation and application laboratories as well as an in-house analytical laboratory. We have a strong focus on the legal aspects of f lavouring development, production and sales. Our raw materials are monitored under the quality demands of BRC certification. This is our recipe for creating superior f lavours, when speed and taste matter.
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Ross Warburton, President of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), looks into his crystal ball to chart a course for food in 2030.
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redictions are dangerous things. A quick Google search on the internet – itself dismissed as an irrelevance in a 1995 Newsweek magazine story – shows just how many people have failed to second guess the future. Ken Olson, the founder of the Digital Equipment Corporation famously announced in 1977 that “there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home”. Or how about hapless Decca record company executive Dick Rowe who rejected the Beatles in 1962 saying: “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out?” In particular, I am keen to spend a little time thinking about how the world will appear in 2030 from a food sector perspective. As many of you know, that date is significant for all of us in industry, if only because the UK Department of Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), our sponsoring government department, recently set out its vision for a sustainable and secure food system by 2030. So what sort of issues did this cover? Well, I think there are some pretty big themes emerging around which there is growing consensus among academics, futurologists, politicians, campaigners and industry leaders: first, there will be an explosion in world population growth in the next 20 years – eight billion by 2030, rising to 12 billion by 2050. All of whom will need to be fed. Not an encouraging prospect, when you consider that one billion people go hungry today – largely, we all know, through the inequitable distribution of food globally. People will also be living longer and societal demographics will continue to change – particularly in more developed nations – with some predicting that one billion, or one in eight people, will be aged 65 or older by 2030 – double today’s figure. Even before 2030 we will probably start seeing tangible evidence of the long-term challenges that will be posed to the planet by the impact of climate change – not least through growing global shortages of valuable resources such as water. In fact, the World Economic Forum has already described water scarcity as the “headline geopolitical issue” for the next 20 years. With more mouths to feed, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation believes that the planet will need to produce 50 percent more food by 2030. But rising demand and climate change impacts also mean that we can expect much more uncertainty and volatility in the price of basic foodstuffs and ingredients in the next two decades. Food security is no longer an issue that we can take for granted in the UK. And just to add to the fun, we may also be approaching – or indeed have passed – peak oil production by 2030 at a time when the world’s energy needs will have doubled. But if we step away from such detailed – and potentially gloomy – analysis for a moment, I think we should feel positive about the future because history tells us that the food industry has a strong track record of responding quickly to rapid societal change, of evolving business models to ensure they remain fit for purpose and of adapting products and processes to meet new and emerging consumer needs. We also know that today’s food and drink sector is a high value manufacturing industry offering genuine world class capabilities in areas of production, logistics, sales, marketing and innovation. These are our inherent strengths and we will have to continue leveraging them to maximum effect over the course of the next two decades if we are to remain productive, sustainable and, above all, profitable. And if we are to be in a position to keep supporting British farmers, keep feeding consumers and keep hundreds of thousands of people in manufacturing jobs. Let’s just reflect for a moment on some of the changes we have witnessed in British society in the past 50 years: in the post-war years, food accounted for about 33 percent of disposable income compared with 10
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percent today; the average family size has actually halved; we now have more people living on their own; there are more of us crammed into this island, and we are living longer and getting older as a nation. With more people working, the way we eat food has changed – and we now spend less than 20 minutes preparing the main meal, compared with the hour or more we used to spend. But we have taken it all in our stride and the food chain as a whole has responded in so many different, positive, ways including consumer innovations – such as frozen foods and chilled ready meals, oven-ready dishes and convenient microwaveable foods, exotic foods and global cuisines – as well as supply chain and manufacturing innovations such as the Chorleywood bread-making process, the barcode and the advent of just-in-time production, and continuous retail innovation from the first self-service supermarket in the 1950s to today’s growth in online shopping and to the explosion in affordable options for eating out of home.
Consumers and society have clearly benefitted from our success. Since the Second World War we have delivered food that is safer, more nutritious, tastier and more affordable than ever. There is a much wider range of choice for people than at any time in our history, with year round availability. With rare exceptions, shops are always fully stocked. As we look ahead, you could argue that consumers in 2030 will – in many ways – be no different than their grandparents in the 1950s: they will want us to keep delivering as wide a choice of products as possible and to keep offering outstanding value for money. All which begs an obvious ethical question: is it right that society continues to behave that way in a resource-constrained future? There are clearly huge gaps between how we think today as citizens and actually behave in the supermarket as consumers – and if we are to make progress, we do need to close those gaps. Equally, it’s obvious that the next generation of shoppers will put more emphasis on values than value per se.
There will be a growing awareness of the broader sustainability issues which will, in turn, lead to increasing consumer interest in where ingredients are sourced, how they are grown and how the food is actually made. By 2030, we will also see more consumers going back to the future: with meaningful numbers growing their own food and buying local produce. Changing purchasing habits will clearly send out strong signals to the industry and we will, of course, respond. But this vision of a values-led future is predicated on the pretty big assumption that government, industry and others will be able to work together to help consumers navigate through some pretty complex issues so that more of us do start behaving as concerned citizens. There’s a huge job to be done educating consumers so that they can make better informed choices about the food and drink they buy – can feel empowered to improve their family’s diet and lifestyles – and can take real responsibility for minimising their own impacts on the environment, not least through unacceptable levels of food waste. But if education is critical, it is going to be ever more difficult for any of us to influence consumers at a time when Alexander Pope’s view that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” has never been truer. You don’t need to be Bill Gates to predict that consumer-facing technologies will continue to transform not only the way we buy food, but also continue to shape our knowledge about what we are eating. Here’s some food for thought: today 93 percent of us carry a mobile and 73 percent of homes are connected to the web. In the brave new world of mobile phone apps and social media, the technological ideas that frankly sounded fanciful a few years ago now appear perfectly reasonable – such
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as the fridge that knows when you are running low of food and places an order with an online grocer and but only choosing what you need to stay healthy using sound dietary advice based on GDAs. Daft? Perhaps. But the geeks will know that companies such as LG Electronics have been trying to commercialise the internet fridge since the beginning of this decade. So it’s only a matter of time. In fact, we have entered a new consumer era of empowerment through communication – where it is pointless trying to pretend you can “control” the key messages, and where transparency will no longer be optional for any company. Every aspect of your business is under intense scrutiny – from the way you market products to the honesty of the country of origin labelling you provide on packs. All of us need to be ready to embrace this revolution. Consumer feedback – good or bad – is now virtually instantaneous. Today’s Twitter backlash may be tomorrow’s sales collapse. Th is is either an exciting prospect or all rather disturbing, depending on your point of view. But technology will change things in other equally profound ways by 2030: on the consumer side, for example, smart packaging may yet become a reality – helping reduce waste by keeping things fresher for longer and telling shoppers when the food needs to be eaten. And despite our sector’s focus on ruthless efficiency, we will also need to deliver greater levels of personalisation and customisation, no doubt internet-enabled. On the production side, we’ll clearly keep investing in ever more efficient processing equipment that helps reduce our energy and water usage and keeps our waste to a minimum – and we have the potential to exploit our skills and knowledge to become world leaders in resource efficiency.
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Perhaps some of the kit we use in our factories will also be enhanced with nano-coatings that will ensure food is safer than ever. On the supply side, modern biotechnologies, including GM, offer some potential to improve the quality and quantity of food available. And by 2030 we will have to have formed a clearer view about the environmental, safety and consumer benefits of GM. I’ll worry if we haven’t! I am convinced that technology – in all its many guises – will play a vital role in underpinning the food industry’s collective response to a future world impacted by the challenge of climate change and energy shortages. I also recognise that we can’t expect society’s response to the challenges ahead to be solely about changing consumer behaviours in the hope of creating a demand-side solution. The industry also needs to step up to the plate. As part of our strategies for adapting to a resource-constrained future, the entire food chain is going to have to do more to encourage greater efficiency of resource use. Very simply, more will need to be produced with less. Members of FDF are already demonstrating what manufacturers can do through our five-fold Environmental Ambition: reducing our carbon emissions, cutting our use of water, using less packaging, aiming to eliminate waste to landfill and increasing the efficiency of our transport operations. All of which not only improves our sustainability, but also makes good business sense by helping to reduce costs and boost productivity. It’s not all about the environment, of course. In its most basic defi nition, sustainability is about how we embrace environmental improvement, social issues and economic development – all at the same time. So we have a clear responsibility to keep responding to other equally important societal
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concerns, otherwise some of today’s big headaches will remain unresolved. For instance: all the evidence suggests that not only will we be older as a nation in 2030, we may be fatter than ever. That poses ongoing challenges for industry and for policy makers around issues relating to both quality of life and public health. From our perspective, we are rightly proud of how our sector has already reacted to complex challenges such as obesity. UK food manufacturers are leading the world in terms of their voluntary action to improve the recipes of popular brands, introduce new choices and appropriate portion sizes, improve the nutrition information on products, market products responsibly, notably through initiatives to restrict advertising to young children, and use the workplace to promote the importance of healthy lifestyles. Government has a positive role to play in guiding food choices, setting minimum standards (particularly for school meals) and in improving the food literacy of consumers through education, clearer on-pack labelling and encouraging caterers to provide more information on their menus. But when it comes to tackling complex lifestyle issues such as obesity, I remain convinced that the most successful approaches are those that are based on empowering healthier choices, rather than trying to control individuals through taxes, bans and other diktats from on high. And we have seen that the best results will always come when government works in genuine partnership with industry to educate individuals to be more aware of the impact of the choices they make in terms of both diet and exercise, for themselves, their families and, ultimately, society. But what about the fi nal pillar of my defi nition of sustainability – economic development? I believe passionately that if industry is to keep
responding over the next 20 years to the changing shopping behaviours of better-informed consumers and invest in strategies and technologies to help us mitigate the impact of climate change to ensure our continued food security while partnering with government to improve the health of the nation, we can only do that if we have a successful food manufacturing industry. And that’s the fundamental challenge facing government today. Maintaining a thriving, innovative and profitable food system to 2030 and beyond has to be an overarching government priority in its own right. We need clear, coherent and consistent policies across Whitehall. We need a political, fiscal and regulatory framework which promotes efficiency of resource use, stimulates innovation and attracts the investment that will be needed if our industry is to continue to thrive in 2030. More than that, policy making needs to be proportionate and balanced, with a clear focus on maintaining our sector’s ability to compete and to build future capacity here, rather than overseas. Critical perhaps to the success of all that will be government’s ability to work with industry to agree a shared vision of what we think a healthy, low environmental impact actually diet looks like.
“There will be an explosion in world population growth in the next 20 years – eight billion by 2030, rising to 12 billion by 2050. All of whom will need to be fed” Only then can we decide how best to encourage a change in consumer behaviours – and which behaviours need changing – as well as highlighting any long-term support necessary to help the entire food chain equip itself to change the products we make. But it is complicated stuff. We will need to adopt common methodologies for proper life cycle analysis of impacts across the value chain and then we will need to use these in ways that promote rational decision making which takes full account of the social aspects of sustainability as well as the potential economic implications of what is being proposed. None of which will be easily captured in a simple sound-bite. So I do get frustrated when I see so-called experts telling us that the answer to all of our problems is for British consumers to cut down on meat and dairy and reduce their intakes of processed foods. It’s not as simple as that. There will never be one, clear-cut answer in this debate. Anyone claiming otherwise is being disingenuous. There will always have to be hard trade-offs that reflect the personal preferences, incomes and cultures of the many different population groups that inhabit our crowded world. And a diet that is healthy will not always necessarily be low impact. For instance, vegetables grown in greenhouses may have a high carbon footprint but then vegetables grown elsewhere may have a damaging water footprint. Which is more important for the environment? If we don’t buy fresh vegetables from Africa, how does that sit with our responsibility to help economic development overseas? And what do we want to do: encourage consumers to eat more vegetables, which may mean buying more frozen and canned produce, or encourage them to eat only UK field-grown, seasonable vegetables?
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The answer to each of these questions – and myriad more – clearly represents different sets of challenges, choices and trade-offs for government, for the food chain and for consumers. And we cannot address these issues as if we existed in splendid isolation from the rest of the world – and from the potential global impacts of climate and demographic change, environmental degradation and future shortages of fossil fuels and water. In that future global context, the question for government is actually pretty simple: what should we be doing today to maintain the UK’s food security for tomorrow? Is it really about trying to stop the production of meat and dairy in the UK, thus running the risk of externalising our environmental impacts in the short-term (as imports increase) as well as undermining our ability to respond to long-term changes in food production and sourcing. After all, from a UK perspective, cattle and sheep kept on land that can’t support any other form of cropping is surely an important use of that valuable resource. And let’s not forget another important fact. As I have said already, consumers in 2030 will, in many ways, behave exactly the same as shoppers today. They will not want to live in a drab world of limited choices, where we buy food that looks grey, smells grey and comes in grey packets. They will want food that is tasty. They will want food that excites the senses. And they will want food that is pleasurable – whether eating a nice slice of toast for breakfast or chomping an indulgent treat or sitting down with the family to enjoy a Sunday roast. Will the food industry still be able to deliver all of that in 2030? As I said at the start, predictions can be dangerous things. I am not blind to the massive challenges that lie ahead. I understand that by 2030, we will be living in an increasingly uncertain world. But my vision of the future is not all gloomy. I predict that we will be delivering the goods in 2030. I remain optimistic that in 20 years time we will have an industry that has successfully adapted to the changes happening all around it. Just as we have always done. I believe that new skills, technologies and innovations will have underpinned our efforts to become ever more resource efficient – and ensured that we are well equipped to meet the needs of a new generation of better-informed and even more demanding consumers. I also see an industry working in genuine partnership with government, and others, to tackle public health issues such as obesity – and getting to grips with the emerging nutrition challenges posed by an ageing population. And in doing all of this, I predict a profitable food manufacturing sector, which has grown in size and is providing thousands of jobs across the country, as well as a vital outlet for the output of an economically vibrant British farming community. But if my optimistic vision is to be realised, my challenge to government remains stop taking us for granted. Develop a national policy that reflects the key strategic role food and drink manufacturers will play in ensuring the nation’s future food security. And work with us to ensure our sector is in a fit state to meet the many challenges of 2030. Otherwise, I predict an alternative vision for the future of food that I frankly think is far too unpalatable a thing to contemplate. This article is based on a speech given by Ross Wharburton in London in 2010.
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he systems and disciplines operated front-ofhouse and behind the scenes in the food service market are important to legislative requirements and also help to encourage staff to act with consideration to the customer, thereby positively affecting the perceptions they may form about the establishment. Intrinsic to these processes is the need to invest in the right equipment: products which are easy to use, produce results and aid everyone from waiting staff to kitchen porters in efficient, cost-effective functioning. According to studies, one germ on a dishcloth can spread to one million in the space of half a day, and this is increased in warmer room temperatures. Consider how often a chef wipes their hands on an apron and then kitchenware with the same cloth in a hot sweaty kitchen. If you then consider that on average a kitchen sink harbours 100,000 times more harmful bacteria than the lavatory, disposable cleaning cloths are clearly preferable when it comes to preventing cross-contamination in the kitchen. Paper wipes are ideal where large surfaces need to be cleaned on a regular basis, as are single sheet centre feed dispensers which can reduce waste by delivering a fast and controlled wiping solution. Research shows that this sort of system can provide up to a 45 percent decrease in consumption. Single use wipes like the Reflex® Wiping system by Lotus Professional® mean the bacteria picked up on the wipe get sent straight into the bin, rather than passed all around the kitchen, equipment and soon-to-be-eaten food. The Reflex® Wiper System’s controlled single sheet dispenser function limits excess waste, offering a fast and cost-effective solution to wiping away the grime. The Water Resistant enMotion® dispenser has also been especially developed for the food preparation industry, a unique system which can be sprayed clean for fast and efficient workplace maintenance, saving time and improving hygiene management. The Water Resistant enMotion® dispenser greatly reduces the threat of cross-contamination in food preparation areas as users do not have to touch the system. The unique design of the dispenser itself allows it to be hosed down for thorough and effective cleaning. Limiting waste is also a prime consideration for front of house – controlled napkin dispensing systems, like the JustOne® napkin dispenser, are important to help limit waste and save costs. Guests take just one absorbent napkin and staff benefit from a system which is quick and easy to refi ll.
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Focusing on the fi ner details can help businesses in the hospitality industry to stand out from the crowd when it comes to attracting and retaining custom cost effectively. Custom print, possible on a range of disposable tableware, is a viable option for a range of settings from work canteens and lunchrooms, to cafeterias and restaurants. Despite industry misconception, it is an accessible option for venues of all sizes operating within a range of markets. Many restaurant owners, caterers and hoteliers are now taking this a step further and increasingly experimenting with more varied messages: wishing customers an enjoyable meal, highlighting special promotions and even helping to drive traffic to websites. With the flexibility of 50 different colours to choose from and the technology to match a company’s specific brand and pantone colours, Lotus Professional® custom print service offers the flexibility required to make each design unique to the relevant company. Sophisticated print services allow businesses the opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors with highly recognisable and truly distinctive designs. Manufacturing capabilities at Georgia-Pacific allow flexibility for managers who may also wish to extend their brand to other printable tableware products. As well as one, two and three-ply napkins, restaurant and catering managers may also consider custom print cups, coasters and placemats to complement the full dining experience.
“According to studies, one germ on a dishcloth can spread to one million in the space of half a day, and this is increased in warmer room temperatures”
Georgia-Paciﬁc is one of the world’s largest producers of tissue paper for the Away-FromHome market. Lotus Professional from GeorgiaPaciﬁc is one of the leading European brands for away-fromhome tissue products.
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e r a ScStories Food scares can bring the food industry to its knees. But a recent European food survey shows that Europeans aren’t overly bothered by food-related risks.
ant to know the quickest way to scare someone? Lead them to the nearest supermarket: not because of the rising price of food – although that is enough to make most people’s blood pressure rise – but because of the so-called ‘food scares’ that have surfaced in the past few years. From mad cows and melamine contamination of milk in China to pesticides in aerated drinks from India and salmonella in peanut butter, such instances have significantly impacted upon consumers, policy makers, producers and the food and beverage industries. However, according to a recent food survey, most Europeans aren’t overly concerned about food-related risks. According to the 2010 Eurobarometer Survey Report commissioned by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), most Europeans associate food with eating and enjoyment and those that are concerned about food risks tend to worry more about chemical contamination of food rather than bacterial contamination or health and nutrition issues. Around 27,000 consumers across the European Union were asked a range of questions relating to the possible risks associated with food and the level of confidence in public authorities on food safety-related issues. Respondents were asked how worried they were about certain perceived food risks such as pesticides, food poisoning and hormones in meat. No single widespread concern about food-related risks was
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mentioned spontaneously, but a majority (19 percent) cited chemicals, pesticides and other substances as the major concerns, while one in 10 answered there was no problem at all with food. When prompted by a list of possible issues associated with food, respondents mentioned the risks they were very worried about included chemical residues from pesticides in fruit, vegetables and cereals (31 percent, up around three percent from the 2005 survey); antibiotics or hormones in meat (30 percent, again up three percent since 2005); cloning animals for food products (30 percent) and pollutants such as mercury in fish and dioxins in pork (29 percent, up three percent on 2005). Fewer people were very worried about bacterial contamination of foods (23 percent) and even fewer about possible nutritional risks like gaining weight (15 percent) or not having a healthy/balanced diet (15 percent). When it came to individual Member response to the threat of food scares, UK residents took a far more measured approach than their European cousins. UK respondents were less worried about all of the perceived food-related risks than their European counterparts but were most concerned about the welfare of farmed animals and the quality and freshness of food. Only 29 percent of UK respondents thought that food could possibly damage their health, as opposed to 48 percent in the rest of the EU. The negative impact of the economic crisis on UK consumers’ lives was more of a concern than food damaging their health, the survey showed. UK respondents were also less likely to permanently change their eating habits after hearing that a type of food was unsafe,
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following media stories (only seven percent as opposed to 11 percent in the rest of Europe). Andrew Wadge, Chief Scientist at the UK’s Food Standards Agency, said he was pleased with the results. “I’m delighted that here in the UK we keep our stiff upper lip when faced with food scares, and have a positive attitude to what we eat. I think we’re right not to worry unnecessarily about food safety threats, as there are lots of checks in place to keep food safe,” he says. “On the other hand, it’s important not to be complacent and there are simple steps people can take to prevent food poisoning, such as not eating food past its use-by-date or not washing poultry – as the bacteria can spread around the kitchen – to always making sure that food is cooked properly.” When asked about their perceptions of food, the majority of respondents associated to a large extent food eating with enjoyment, such as selecting fresh and tasty food (58 percent), or the pleasure of having meals with family and friends (54 percent). Less than half of residents (44 percent) focused on concerns such as looking for affordable prices and satisfying hunger. Fewer were concerned about the safety of food (37 percent) or nutrition issues such as checking calories and nutrients (23 percent). When placed in the context of other risks that could personally affect them, more EU citizens ranked the ecoThere was a broad agreement that public authorities do work to ensure that food is safe in Europe, that public authorities are quick to act, base their decisions on scientific evidence and do a good job of informing people about food-related risks. However, opinion was more divided on whether scientific evidence and public authorities are independent from other interests. While 46 percent of respondents agree that public authorities in the EU view the health of citizens as more important than the profits of producers (up seven percentage points on 2005), 42 percent disagree with this statement and 12 percent said they were not sure. More than 81 percent of respondents believe public authorities should do more to ensure that food is healthy and to inform people about healthy diets and lifestyles. “Understanding consumer perceptions of risk is critical to providing timely, clear and effective communications regarding food safety, says the EFSA Executive Director Catherine Geslain-Laneelle. “The Eurobarometer findings provide a fascinating insight into what Europeans are currently thinking about food and possible risks associated with food. It’s also positive to see food is associated with pleasure, that national and European food safety agencies are thought to be doing a good job and, in particular, that scientists are very much viewed as trusted sources of information.” The Eurobarometer findings provide an important resource for carrying out further research on the relation between trust in information sources, confidence in public authorities and perception of foodrelated risks.
“Only 29 percent of UK respondents thought food could possibly damage their health, as opposed to 48 percent in the rest of the EU” nomic crisis (20 percent) and environmental pollution (18 percent) as very likely to affect their lives compared with the possible risk of damaging their health (11 percent). The survey, which was conducted in all 27 Member States, found that EU citizens expressed the highest level of confidence in information obtained from doctors and other health professionals (84 percent), followed by family and friends (82 percent), consumer organisations (76 percent), scientists (73 percent) and environmental protection groups (71 percent). National and European food safety agencies and institutions drew a relatively high level of confidence at 64 percent and 57 percent respectively, with national governments at 47 percent. Asked how they respond to information on food-related matters communicated in the media or on the internet, about half said they ignored stories in the media or worried about them but did not change their eating habits. The survey showed that there seems to be a greater tendency to ignore information regarding diet and health issues (29 percent) than food safety-related risks (24 percent).
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Is anti-microbial protection the new black? Bjørn Hegstad, President, AcryliCon Group Worldwide, highlights the role of anti-bacterial ﬂooring in the battle against food safety hazards.
acteria and other micro-organisms are a fact of life. Some are good for us, others are neutral, but a few are harmful. So it makes sense to do what we can to protect ourselves against their potentially undesirable effects. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is an internationally recognised way of managing food safety and protecting consumers and a requirement of EU food hygiene legislation that applies to all food business operators except farmers and growers. HACCAP focuses on the identification and control of microbiological, chemical and physical food safety hazards during production. The hazard assessment and regular monitoring of critical control measures must be documented to provide the basis for audit checks and may provide evidence of due diligence in case of legal action.
“Given the right conditions –warmth, food source, time and humidity – bacteria can double every 20 minutes” Cleaning and microbiological controls form a large part of this, and can become a major cost as resources are devoted to cleaning and control measures. In most factories, cleaning is often carried out at the end of each shift but inbetween cleanings, the microbiological count can slowly increase. Good practice (and EU law) dictates the use of detergents and disinfectants when cleaning, but these are a short-term solution that provide only a limited residual activity. Because of this we see ‘spikes’ of high microbial activity towards the end of the shift before cleaning starts again.
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It’s worth bearing in mind that given the right conditions – warmth, food source, time and humidity – bacteria can double in number every 20 minutes. With high traffic volumes in and around production areas, it’s not surprising that in a survey of foodservice providers and restaurant owners, 85 percent of respondents* said they were concerned about the growth of bacteria, mould and mildew found on flooring in their facilities. Instead, anti-microbial technology guarantees long-lasting protection, continuously working to prevent the growth of bacteria throughout the entire cleaning cycle. Once bacteria have started to grow and reproduce, they will come into contact with the anti-microbial surface. The technology works by disrupting their biological functioning so the lifecycle cannot proceed. It can never replace regular cleaning, as there will always be some microbiological activity, but it will prevent high levels from building up. It will also reduce cross contamination, with any new bacteria being brought to the area killed immediately on contact with the anti-microbial surface. The floor will now be easier to clean, with focus and effort now
placed on simply removing dirt and debris from the surface – instead of having to rely solely on the disinfectant for HACCP control. Th is leads to more efficient and cost effective cleaning, as well as promoting a better working environment. Of course, none of this matters if the floor cannot be cleaned in the fi rst place. The floor must be free from pinholes and pores because any dirt trapped can never be effectively removed or cleaned, no matter how good the anti-microbial technology! Non-porous AcryliCon Flooring Systems have proven to be one of the easiest to clean on the market. Th is ensures that dirt and bacteria will remain on the surface and can easily be washed away. They also have Microban antibacterial protection built into their molecular structure to inhibit the growth of potentially harmful bacteria from the surface of the floor, helping to prevent the risk of cross-contamination. It also cannot wash away or wear out, providing round-the-clock antibacterial protection.
Bjørn Hegstad is Chemical Engineer and President, AcryliCon Group Worldwide, and has made the challenges of industrial ﬂooring his own during more than 30 years in the business. He has developed and established AcryliCon in Norway, Sweden, Finland, England, Ireland, Middle East, Canada, USA and internationally to deal with contracts outside our established areas.
*Research carried out by Decision Analyst June 2006.
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Safety ﬁrst Paul B Young examines ﬁt-for-purpose methods of analysis to assess food safety.
number of years ago whilst working as a food safety regulator, I had occasion to defend in court analytical test results demonstrating the presence of the banned antibiotic chloramphenicol in poultry imported into the United Kingdom. The reason for the challenge lay in the fact that the exporter had been diligently carrying out in-house testing for this antibiotic for several years and had never once detected its presence. Our fi ndings indicated that the chloramphenicol was present at less than two parts per billion (ppb); a low concentration but violative nonetheless. During the hearing, it came to light that the test employed by the exporter had a limit of detection of five parts per million (more than 15,000 times higher than is necessary to afford protection from violative findings in Europe). European Union regulations demand that analytical techniques employed for detection of chloramphenicol must be able to detect the antibiotic at 0.3 ppb or less, so this was an unfortunate case where a food producer was diligently employing an analytical technique completely oblivious to the fact that the test itself was not fit-for-purpose. In other words, the test result did not provide the correct information to allow the producer to make an appropriate decision. Th is unfortunate example perfectly illustrates the importance of understanding the purpose of testing before we even begin to evaluate the parameters that need to be characterised (accuracy, precision, sensitivity, specificity, robustness, etc.) alongside those that may exert a significant effect, such as changing matrix. It’s often stated that ‘we can’t test our way to safe food’, and indeed this is true. Testing can only definitively tell us that the piece of food that we just destroyed in the testing process was safe. Rather, effective food safety is built in through a series of systems employed during production processes, designed to minimise the possibility of hazards being introduced. Those systems themselves need to be continually monitored through testing to verify their efficacy. Additionally, regulatory bodies are also required to carry out a significant level of surveillance testing to ensure the systems are being employed effectively across the industry. If the verification tests are not fit-for-purpose then there can be no assurance that the systems are affording any protection. Traditionally, fitness-for-purpose of individual analytical test methods has been verified through the establishment of reference methods, which have undergone very extensive collaborative studies in the hands of numerous scientists from a large number of laboratories. Whilst this is very time-consuming, such methods can play a valuable
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role in settlement of disputes arising when there is poor agreement between findings in different laboratories. One reason for the different fi ndings could lie in the fact that scientists may make the assumption that reference methods do not require some level of validation to demonstrate in-house efficacy. More often, however, these discrepancies occur because the development of reference methods cannot keep pace with scientific advances and the reference methods themselves become outmoded and inefficient and are therefore no longer the method of choice for routine use in busy food safety laboratories. The World Trade Organisation’s Technical Barriers to Trade agreement encourages countries to recognise each others’ procedures for assessing whether a product conforms. However, this potential for disputed laboratory fi ndings creates a very real challenge for countries to accept the assurances given by their trading partners regarding the safety of foods produced overseas. In the absence of universally accepted and enforced harmonised criteria to assess the fitness-for-purpose of analytical methods, authorities will always have doubts about the efficacy of tests employed elsewhere and will be forced to carry out high level verification (re-testing) at import. Conversely, adoption of universally accepted inhouse validation procedures permits authorities to move from a regular and frequent inspection-based approach to regulating the safety of food imports, to a regular but infrequent audit-based approach to ensure the procedures employed overseas offer equivalent guarantees of safety as those employed for domestically produced foods.
Dr Paul B Young is Director, Chemical Analysis Operations at Waters Corporation. Before joining the company in 2007, Young was employed in the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland for more than 25 years, involved in food safety regulation. Young has acted as a consultant to the FAO advising developing countries on the development and implementation of food safety control programmes.
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Why near infrared spectroscopy? Dagmar Behmer looks at how the well-established technique of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is the ideal tool for the non-destructive and rapid analysis of oilseeds and ﬁnished oils.
he traditional analyses in the edible oil industry are generally carried out using standardised chemical and physical methods sanctioned by the American Oil Chemist Society (AOCS) and/or the association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC). Those require Kjeldahl protein analysis; Soxhlet extraction for total oil; oven methods or moisture balance for moisture analysis; gas chromatography (GC) or high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for fatty acid composition analysis and glucosinolates; spectrophotometry for colour analysis and many other types of analysis. These methods usually take a long time and result in sample destruction during the analysis process. The FT-NIR technology offers a lot of advantages over classical wet-chemical and chromatographic analyses, since it is quick, cost-eff ective and safe, as no hazardous chemicals are used. It simply measures the absorption of near-infrared light of the sample at different wavelengths. FT-NIR also avoids the typical operator depending error sources of the classical lab methods, e.g. during the sample preparation stage. With only one measurement, multiple components can be analysed in less than one minute, saving thousands of euros on traditional reference analysis every month. Another issue is food safety. Although NIR spectroscopy is not a technology for trace analysis like for toxins, it will help the producer to constantly monitor the quality of the goods along the production chain – from checking the incoming raw materials up to quality testing the fi nished product.
eters like colour parameters. The analysis of iodine value (IV) by FT-NIR is today acknowledged by the AOCS (method Cd1e-01) and can substitute the time consuming Wijs method. The determination of the trans fatty acid (TFA) content in an edible oil is important for consumer health. A large amount of trans configurations in the double bonds of an oil has been identified as a risk for coronary heart disease.
Testing A common problem not only for the olive oil industry is the adulteration of high priced oil with cheaper vegetable oils such as sunflower oil or hazelnut oil. Today’s public awareness of the health benefit of olive oil makes the adulteration economically attractive. Since the different oils vary in their fatty acid profi le, NIR spectroscopy can offer a valuable tool for determining other types of oil in olive oil down to a low percentage range. Today, FT-NIR spectroscopy has the potential to substitute a wide range of classical analysis methods in the edible oil industry: it is fast, reliable and costefficient. Bruker Optics offers ready-to-use calibrations for edible fats and oils as well as for various oil seeds to enable a quick and efficient start.
Dagmar Behmer has an MSc degree in analytical chemistry and is Head of International Support in the NIR & Process Technology group of Bruker Optics in Germany. She has 20 years of experience with NIR spectroscopy, focusing on food and agricultural applications.
Bruker Optics’ Multi Purpose Analyser MPA for the analysis of oils and oilseeds.
Analysis NIR spectroscopy offers solutions for oil producers as well as for breeders. To optimise the oil pressing process, the oil seeds as well as the intermediate products, like expellers or extracts can be analysed for oil and moisture content in order to optimise the pressing parameters. On the other hand, breeders can obtain valuable additional information like fatty acid profi les of their seeds, including erucic acid as well as the glucosinolate content for rape seeds or oleic acid content for sunflower seeds.
Quality control For edible oils and fats a wide number of quality parameters can be analysed with only one measurement. Apart from the fatty acid profi le, it is possible to analyse free fatty acid (FFA) content as well as physical param-
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We can work it out
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With sickness and absenteeism costing businesses billions of euros each year, Ian Clover looks at an innovative Stateside scheme that has incentivised thousands of employees to get active, ﬁtter and more productive in the workplace.
e all know the facts. We have all heard the horror stories. Inactivity, sedentary lifestyles and bad diets are eviscerating the populations of the western world, causing chronic diseases, shortening life spans and drastically altering behavioural patterns. Obesity and ill health caused by the lifestyle choices of individuals were previously issues to be dealt with solely by that person, their immediate family and their GP. If a person chose to saunter, waddle or puff their way through life, fi ne; that was their prerogative. But now, the situation has become so problematic and universal that it has begun to negatively impact upon the lives of the majority. In Europe, national healthcare services are stretched to breaking point throughout the continent due to increased occurrences of preventable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and many forms of cancer. In the US, health insurance programmes – the majority provided by an individual’s employer – are becoming ever more expensive and restrictive. Th is epidemic of the west has become a responsibility for us all, from the individual themselves right up to politicians and medical and industry leaders. Sickness and absenteeism from work cost businesses billions of euros every year. In the UK, a study by Hewitt Associates estimates that sickness costs British companies more than €1250 per employee a year, while absenteeism adds an additional €870 per employee. If you factor in the unquantifiable indirect costs of lower productivity, replacement recruitment and other issues, these figures can increase by as much as 60 percent. Poor employee health is an expensive issue throughout Europe and the US. But while most companies in Europe do little to monitor, address or rectify the situation – largely because of the free or subsidised provision of universal healthcare throughout the continent – a pioneering scheme in the States is tackling the issue of staff ill-health head on. Virgin HealthMiles provides incentivised employee health programmes for companies eager to get a handle on the collective health, and consequential productivity, of their staff. The company has devised a Pay-forPrevention model that measures the physical activity and healthy lifestyle changes of participants, and then devises a number of rewards for the employee, closely collaborating with the employers to ensure the incentives are in the best interests of both parties. So, workers on the scheme
could earn days off work, cash prizes or contributions to their pension plans by simply signing up, working out and getting fit. “What we’re doing is very straightforward,” says Sean Forbes, President of Virgin HealthMiles. “We’re creating a good drive discount for healthcare and it came about in a pretty straightforward manner. We recognised that there was a disease that was exploding across the developed world – obesity, and all of the chronic diseases that came with it, like diabetes, heart disease and a lot of forms of cancer, not to mention the precursors to those diseases like hyperlipidemia and hypertension.” According to the Milken Institute, obesity in the workplace has begun to account for 75 percent of all corporate healthcare spending, amounting to approximately €730 billion in lost employee productivity. The idea behind Virgin HealthMiles is to make it easier for both employees and employers to reach a happy medium; a medium that encourages personal fitness and involvement, allied to corporate reward and, hopefully, resulting in better work performance, fewer sick days and a reduction in unspecified absenteeism. “Richard Branson is probably the world’s pioneer social entrepreneur, and our thesis was that Virgin could bring the funds together to go where all the collective wellness programmes of the past three decades have failed to go,” says Forbes. Investment has been instrumental in getting the scheme off the ground, but it is not just fi nancial incentives that have been the drivers behind corporate and worker participation. “There are three factors behind the success of Virgin HealthMiles, and one of those is certainly the lure of the dollars,” says Forbes. “But it’s also the fun factor, and the trust too. We currently have approximately 650,000 people on the programme, and we spend a lot of time talking to the ones who have been on it for some time now because we see renewal rates that are in the high 90-percents.”
“You cannot lose sight of that US$1 trillion worth of lost productivity. Businesses in Europe are going to be interested in hearing more about that, and how to – excuse the pun – eat into it”
Engagement and incentive Very few people would choose a life that is threatened by health concerns, blighted by shortness of breath and subject to the castigation and social stigma that comes with being obese. Yet millions make the daily lifestyle choices that set them sleepwalking down this path almost absent-mindedly; whether they lack the will power, the motivation or the confidence to affect change, there exists
this ticking time bomb of an obesity problem throughout the western world. Forbes has recognised why people perennially try – and fail – to lose weight, get fit, and change the habits of a lifetime. “Engagement has been the number one reason why other wellness programmes have failed,” he says. “People try to get excited about having a gym membership for the fi rst few weeks after their New Year’s resolution, and then we all know what happens. So we have recognised a way that keeps people engaged in the scheme.” By aligning the workplace with one’s own personal health, Virgin HealthMiles has been able to elicit not only a greater take-up in participants to its health schemes, but more regular participation too. The Payfor-Prevention model treads the well-worn path of professional relationships, mining that same vein that dictates that colleagues work for, rather than against, one another, and fostering a healthy level of camaraderie and competition among the participants. From a corporate perspective, such positive and quantifiable participation is invaluable. “The CFO of a company that is involved in the Virgin HealthMiles scheme can, for the fi rst time, inspect what they expect around the health of their workforce,” says Forbes. “So we take some simple measurements of employee activity, and then once a month some biometric measurements, blood pressure, weight and body fat, and we put this information together in the form of reports to employers that can be used in an anonymous format. The employer then dishes out the reward, which can be a cash reward, premium discounts, days off or HSA contributions.” Virgin HealthMiles enters into a discussion with the employer in order to work out what type of reward they would like to bestow for each type of behaviour. These ‘qualifiers’ are flexible, equipping the employer with the ability to accurately assess how well their staff is performing and how best to reward this good performance. All of this is achieved through the utilisation of some simple but effective technology that enables accurate reporting, recording and feedback. “One of the most important parts of the programme is a family of activity and biometric measurement devices that we use,” says Forbes. “From an employee’s point of view, they get three things when they sign up to a programme. They get an activity measurement device, which is an accelerometer the size of a one-euro coin; they get access to a personalised website that shows how much activity they have done over the days, weeks, months and year and what that is worth them in terms of money, days off work or HSA contributions; and they get a social network that looks a lot like Facebook.” While the accelerometer might sound very much like some frightfully futuristic ‘stick’ with which participants are beaten in order to attain better health and fitness, the personalised website and social network act very much as the ‘carrots’. There is a tangible sense of reward and progress viewable on the website, while the social network acts much like a cyber-version of the obligatory cheering, clap-
About Virgin HealthMiles Virgin HealthMiles provides employee health programmes that pay people to get active. The company’s Pay-for-Prevention approach, based on physical activity and healthy lifestyle change, attracts an average of 40 percent of employees who participate, which helps organisations reduce medical costs and improve employee productivity and satisfaction. The programme is offered by employers, government entities, and insurers. Over 120 industry leaders representing more than 600,000 employees across the US, including American Diabetes Association, Intuit, MWV, OhioHealth, Ochsner Health System, Protective Life, SunGard, SunTrust, and Timberland have selected Virgin HealthMiles’ programme for their employees. Members are rewarded for getting approximately 30 minutes of moderate activity ﬁve days per week. That is the same amount of activity the CDC recommends adults get in order to reap long-term health beneﬁts such as a signiﬁcantly reduced chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
ping crowd that lines the course of marathons the world over – offering encouragement to those in the race. Th is cooperation, this sense of achievement and belonging is, cites Forbes, one of the key drivers behind the success of these programmes. “The social network is right there on the homepage. Users are also taken there automatically whenever they plug in any of our devices. The site allows them to engage with other HealthMiles members, typically in competition but also in chat communication, feedback and banter. Th is all happens virally, and when we talk to the users for feedback, they all say that the thing that keeps them coming back to the programme are the social connections they are making.” Most communications are initially made within the boundaries of a single company, but can quickly expand externally, as Forbes explains. “There are no barriers with the scheme – there’s nothing keeping a HealthMiles member from, say, the American Diabetes Association from reaching out to somebody from a bank. And they do. Typically, individuals initiate competitions between themselves, or even form teams. So then, during the Olympics and the last World Cup, teams began forming around their favourite countries, with cross-company competition occurring organically.”
Beneﬁts to business So far, so good for the employees. Coupling personal achievement with fi nancial or career reward is a masterstroke, while the sense of belonging and social interaction forged by the competitive nature of the programmes has been the key driver behind Virgin HealthMiles’ impressive renewal rates. But what of the companies that get involved? How difficult, time-consuming and rewarding is participation? How does the technology employed make it easier for companies to quantify investment, risk and return? “The social component is facilitated by our technol-
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ogy – both the hardware and the soft ware – in bringing people together around this unifying goal of positive behaviour change related to activity and biometrics,” says Forbes. “For the company, we can get them up and running with 70 percent participation rates very quickly. Th is is incredibly important, because CFOs want to manage their population costs down, and if you do not have a large threat for the population using something that is beneficial, then you’re not going to see a large impact.” With the majority of employees now equipped with their own smartphone, they are always connected to the internet and, as a result, more likely to engage in and be at-
Inactivity in action Who would have thought that doing so little could cost so much? • According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), inactivity drives 40% of the cost of lifestyle-related chronic diseases • Treating and paying for preventable chronic diseases accounts for 75% of all business healthcare costs in the US • In the UK, the total cost of sickness and absenteeism to business is £20 billion • In Ireland, absenteeism costs employers €563 million a year • Obesity in Europe accounts for seven % of all healthcare spend • Peninsula Employment estimates that 17% of all sick days are not genuine • Employers typically see a return of €3 for every €1 they invest in employee health initiatives
two out of three workers whose employers offer ﬁnancial incentives say it has
• A recent survey from National Business Group on Health found that motivated them to try healthier lifestyles
tracted by the social component of Virgin HealthMiles. Additionally, there is a growing desire among the populations of Europe and the US to get fitter and healthier. How, then, is this desire and accessibility transferred into increased productivity and better performance in the workplace? “Many businesses in the US are reaching a tipping point,” says Forbes. “As self-insured businesses they are paying their employees’ claims costs. Those claims costs associated with preventable chronic disease have been increasing at double-digit rates for the last 12 years. So this has become the largest unmanaged portion of their income statement. There are other portions that are equally large, but these are generally associated with their sales force, which they have been managing for years. But there has never been a way for companies to get independent, third party validated data about something that drove so much cost and had such a large impact on profitability as employee welfare. So we have seen a really big take up in self-insured employers wanting to figure out how they can get a measure on something that has traditionally been unmeasured.” Virgin HealthMiles provides its companies with real-time data on what is happening, and also instigates conversations between the CFO and a dedicated Virgin account manager to discuss where the improvement areas lie for their population. Th is analysis and feedback is then translated into the company to provide more incentives for its employees to strive for. “This is a very active conversation,” admits Forbes. “We have a real-time reporting facility that we use inside of Virgin HealthMiles to keep track of our clients, so that we reach out to them proactively when we see, typically, certain departments or certain demographics heading towards risk areas, or not keeping up with what we see is either the pace of the rest of the company, or the industry benchmark.” How the company then acts upon this information is a decision taken collaboratively with Virgin. Under the Pay-for-Prevention model, an employer can accurately work with its employees to assess where each individual needs to align its objectives with next year’s healthcare plan, and how to attribute a suitable reward parameter. “People can receive up to US$2500 a year for doing the right thing,” says Forbes. “CFOs have the option of making that a zero impact to their income statement by balancing it against premium increases for people who either elected not to participate, or didn’t push their activity and biometrics in the right direction.” Extending such a business model into Europe is Forbes’ next aim, a region where, he admits, businesses and healthcare policies are set up in a manner quite different to those in the US. “Clearly, the US has got its own, very defi ned way of doing things, especially in terms of reward schemes and self-insured companies,” concludes Forbes. “But you cannot lose sight of that US$1 trillion worth of lost productivity. Businesses in Europe are going to be interested in hearing more about that, and how to – excuse the pun – eat into it.”
Packaging solutions for the industry Horst Bitterman looks at how Mayr-Melnhof Karton is responding to the challenges currently facing the packaging industry.
ayr-Melnhof Karton (MM Karton) is the world’s largest producer of coated cartonboard made from recovered fibre, and also holds an increasingly strong position in the production of virgin fibre-based board. MM Karton is a symbol for quality and reliability, competence and packaging safety. In seven European mills on nine board machines with an annual capacity of more than 1.6 million tons we create a wide range of folding box board (FBB), white line chipboard (WLC) qualities and offset as well as flexo liner (LIN). We sell in more than 100 countries globally.
Cartonboard packaging materials Cartonboard as a packaging material must protect the product, make it useable and match the quality and functional needs of the product – cartonboard is the face of the brand. MM Karton meets all of these requirements. Ongoing investments in research, development and market intelligence enables us to act on market trends and develop innovative, future-oriented packaging solutions as well as creating sizeable customer value. By producing one third of the cartonboard utilised in food packaging, MM Karton is aware of its outstanding position in the cartonboard market. Consequently it is an absolute must for us to provide innovative and safe packaging solutions for consumers.
Consumer protection – a top priority for MM Karton From the consumer’s point of view particular attention is given to the direct contact between packaging material and foodstuffs. Th is core-topic is substantially covered by MM Karton: in the spirit of optimised consumer protection our team of experts co-operates constantly with legislative institutions on a national and European level. For achieving the certification “safe and proved for food contact”, packaging has to fulfi l complex requirements. The perfect interaction of various factors is decisive: from the raw material selection, the processing and storage to hygiene measures during the entire process. MM Karton has been one of the fi rst companies within the cartonboard industry to comply with the standards of ISO 9001 and HACCP.
Sustainable cartonboard packaging In a competitive environment the most economical and ecological use of resources is critical. In meeting our
long tradition of sustainability values, we apply stateof-the-art technologies to all our production processes, which sustains us to achieve optimal values on a European level for many specific consumption and emissions figures. In addition to this product-related technical and economic advantages the use of cartonboard as a packaging product offers an ecological packaging solution marked by utmost sustainability. It is based on the use of renewable resources, providing the highest recycling rate and lowest carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions values throughout the entire value-added chain. Th is also means that cartonboard enables FCMGs to meet the goals of their own sustainability agendas.
Horst Bitterman is the Head of Marketing at MM Karton. He has years of experience in the packaging industry. Previously Horst worked in the retailing industry in different senior sales and marketing roles.
PEFC and FSC-certiﬁed recovered cartonboard and folding box board With the objective of further increasing transparency in the use of fibres throughout the whole chain of custody – from the tree to the folding carton – for our customers, converters, consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, MM Karton’s seven cartonboard mills are certified according to the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Th is ensures that only raw materials of sustainable forest management are used, which are subject to challenging ecological, economical and social criteria and are supervised on a regular basis. Mayr-Melnhof Group is the largest producer of FSC and PEFC-certified recovered cartonboard and folding cartons in Europe.
Tailor-made cartonboard The business relationship with our customers is marked by the highest level of professionalism. Our requirements for a desired long-term cooperation are market-driven product and service developments, costoptimised pricing and adherence to delivery dates, as well as qualified solution-oriented consultancy that can produce tailor-made cartonboard. The widest range of cartonboard products in the market enables us to give objective consultations on current topics such as carbon footprint, migration and the differences between recovered versus virgin fibre-based board. With our services in the area of supply chain efficiency and product reliability, we help our customers to manage their sustainability and product requirements in an improved and impartial way.
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Nestlé’s Head of Packaging and Design, Anne Roulin, tells Next Generation Food how the world’s largest consumer goods company is improving its packaging.
In your opinion, how important is sustainable and renewable packaging? What are you doing in this sector at Nestlé? Can you give some examples of your alternative and sustainable packaging initiatives? Anne Roulin. Packaging is at the heart of our sustainability agenda. It helps make best use of resources by preventing waste of the product, it makes business possible by allowing easy distribution of products and provides the consumer with fresh and stable food products. Packaging is one of the four priority areas that we have identified in the Nestlé Policy on Environmental Sustainability. There are many ways to reduce the impact of packaging on the environment: promoting the establishment of comprehensive recovery systems for used packaging; using recycled content wherever it makes sense; source reduction; and material selection – the optimal material for the specific application. What are we doing? Nestlé uses all of the above strategies, with the choice depending on a variety of factors such as geography, available recovery infrastructure and protection requirements of the product. Our policy is to reduce the environmental impact of our packaging. We have been systematically reducing the weight of our packaging and since 1991 have saved over 444 million kg. Th at said, there are limitations in how far you can go. Beyond a certain point such an approach will create adverse effects in terms of product spoilage and losses, which far outweigh savings achieved on packaging. We also promote recovery and recycling, using recycled materials where we can and where the safety and quality of our products are not impaired. We choose materials with an inherently lower impact on the environment (such as materials from sustainably managed renewable resources). In considering the impact of packaging on the environment it is important not to just take one indicator (e.g. carbon footprint), but to include other parameters like water usage, non-renewable energy usage, solid waste etc. Whatever measure is taken it should be seen as a means to an end and not as an end in itself. The end is to deliver benefits to consumers in the most environmentally efficient way. In order to address this in a systematic manner we need tools to guide “concrete” actions. The appropriate tool for this is lifecycle assessment (LCA). This area is in rapid evolution, and Nestlé is already using lifecycle assessment-based eco-design tools to systematically address environmental impacts in the packaging design phase.
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What packaging have you introduced recently at Nestlé that you are particularly proud of? AR. There are so many. In the US for example, we have optimised the packaging for Hot Cocoa. We have reduced our new Hot Cocoa carton by six percent in depth, which allowed for a 14 percent reduction in case length. This packaging change has a substantial impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as in saving trees. In Switzerland we won the WorldStar Award for promotional modular display unit made from corrugated board (Display TRIANGOLD). This competition attracted over 230 entries from 35 countries around the world. In Hungary we received two special awards from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for our Christmas Kit Kat tree and Smarties Advent calendar in 2009. In addition we are proud of developing systems that help us to develop the best packaging solution. These are the Packaging Impact Quick Evaluation Tool (PIQET) that helps us, right at the start of a project, to evaluate the impact of a packaging material on the environment. This tool looks at a range of environmental impact factors, and not just on one indicator (such a CO2). And our Globe SAP IT system enables us to analyse our worldwide purchasing of packaging materials, and to focus our efforts on key applications that have the most benefit for the environment. Can you explain about Nestlé’s PIQET and how this is helping optimise choices of materials and packaging design in regards to sustainability? AR. The PIQETprovides a quicker and simpler way (versus full lifecycle assessment) to analyse packaging solutions for a particular application. It allows you to make a balanced comparison of different packaging material solutions for the impact on the environment (e.g. impact on CO2 footprint, water use, land use, air pollution, energy use, solid waste). We generate spider plots to make comparisons between different material, so that we can see what the different trade-offs are. There is no intrinsically “good” or “bad” material – you have to have the right material for the right application. PIQET results can be surprising, some people might expect paper to be better than plastic laminates, but we have found that this is not necessarily the case. For example, for our large pet food containers, we now use woven polypropylene sacks instead of paper. The paper sacks were prone to splitting during transportation, causing wastage and a negative effect on the environment. On balance the impact on the environment is improved by switching to woven polypropylene. This reduction in damage brings cost savings to Nestlé and to our customers. It took a significant amount of time and effort to get this tool developed. In the beginning there was an industry consortium in Australia that co-developed the
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tool but we were the only company who took this further and developed it for worldwide use. We have compared the PIQET data with full lifecycle assessments done by independent companies to ensure that the PIQET tool gives valid results. We are now rolling out the new products with packaging developed by PIQET. The PIQET approach is part of a programme of source reduction that we started in 1991. In 2008 we made a saving of 58 million kg of packaging material and in 2009 we saved 59 million kg of packaging material. Nestlé Waters has been a big part of this over the last two years (reductions in PET in water bottles) but there are additional savings across all the businesses and geographies. What are the main challenges facing the packaging industry? How are you tackling these challenges? AR. We can’t speak on behalf of the packaging industry. However, for the food industry product protection is an extremely important issue and it is critical to ensure that the barrier properties are appropriate. In terms of material choice there is no good or bad material; it all depends on the specific application. For example, to design packaging for our popularly priced products we need to use packaging materials that are suited to the different trade channels, as well as taking into account cost and convenience. This includes downsizing to make the product affordable (for shopkeepers/traders as well as consumers), and small enough for distribution using motorbikes or selling vending carts etc, while also providing the necessary product protection, and minimising the impact on the environment. How has the global economic recession affected the industry? What impact has it had on Nestlé specifically? AR. We can’t speak on behalf of our industry but the global economic recession has not meant any cuts in our packaging budget at Nestlé. We continue to invest in packaging, which is important for the future of the business. The trend of eating at home, which is more relevant in times of economic hardship, provides additional impetus for new packaging developments – especially for improving the convenience and product experience e.g. for our Lean Cuisine range we have developed a new proprietary microwave tray that generates grill marks, and results in a Panini sandwich that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Where do you see the future of innovative packaging solutions for Nestlé? What are your plans over the next 12-24 months and beyond? AR. Developments are on-going in many areas. These include packaging materials from renewable resources, digital printing and interactive packaging.
Packaging innovation Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) continues to invest in improving its environmental performance, with the objective of having the industry’s lightest environmental footprint per unit of product. One priority is the bottle itself, and the company has made progress in reducing the bottle’s environmental footprint by introducing innovative, lighter-weight packaging. The carbon embedded in the purchased PET resin for the bottle accounted for 55 percent of NWNA’s greenhouse gas emissions, so in the 15 years to 2007, NWNA reduced the amount of PET plastic in its bottles by 40 percent.
The EcoShape bottle, launched in 2007, achieved a further 14 percent reduction in plastic used, and weighs only 12.5 grams on average. It remains the lightest branded half-litre bottle on the US market. We estimate that it will save more than 88 million kg of resin and help avoid more than 356 000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions from its launch to the end of 2009. The company plans to reduce plastic in its half-litre bottles by an additional 15 percent by 2010. In addition, since 1994, NWNA has manufactured 98 percent of its PET packaging in its plants, saving the energy required to ship 160,000 truckloads of empty bottles to its sites.
This investment in packaging technology is backed up by a commitment to recycling. The returnable bottles for its US Direct-to-Home & Ofﬁce business get used 35 times. When their useful life is up, the majority are recycled into products such as lawn furniture, synthetic lumber and outdoor sheds. In terms of public recycling, the US only has about a 25 percent plastic recycle rate and about half of Americans have access to kerbside recycling. A lot is about education and changing habits. NWNA is advancing the goal of a minimum 60 percent recycling rate for PET beverage bottles by 2018 through partnerships, coalition-building, consumer education, improved kerbside recycling programmes and policy initiatives.
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ASK THE EXPERT
Searching for the right balance For most consumer goods packaging businesses the question is not whether to invest in innovation, but how to ﬁnance it. Dieter Bergner reveals the key points to consider.
uhtamaki has agreed to divest the majority of its European rigid plastic consumer goods operations to Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a US-based private investment firm. While the closing of the transaction is subject to approval by competition authorities, the outcome is obviously what the involved management teams were looking for during the last 24 months. The question came up regarding how this divestment will change the focus of this European based consumer goods packaging business in the future. Management believes in the huge potential of the business and the reason is our absolute focus on consumer packaging and the company’s major strong hold – our personnel. Keeping the right management overview in place, the management strategy is to trust people at all levels and give them the right space to act responsibly, having the words of Francis Labbe (CEO of former Impress) in mind, who summarised his view to his managers: “Make mistakes – not too many and not too big – but don’t be afraid, it proves you are acting”. Decentralisation is the headstone of our organisation model and our daily objective is to empower people. Some analysts believe that one way to develop the consumer packaging segment is through further consolidation. Plastic and paper packaging especially for consumer goods applications has proven to be very innovative and future oriented. Already today 75 percent of our finished goods are high tech products and we will continue this development in order to be competitive against other packaging materials. The ongoing price pressure after many years of heavy restructuring and continuous process and product improvement is of course a burden for all market players. While customers are showing ongoing financial ability to constantly redefine their product portfolio and raw material suppliers seem to find their way to improve profitability too, the possibility of packaging suppliers to invest in innovation is limited by unsatisfactory profits. In our case, an incredible amount of money has been spent over the last few years to close and restructure more than half of the operations and the majority of this investment has arrived at customers in the form of price reductions. The ongoing price war has not allowed the market players to restore their bottom lines and the actual margins are not in balance with desired a future-oriented investment strategies. From a long-term perspective, such a price war is not efficient for our industry, our customers or their end users and reduces the ability to address innovation.
One way to react to this is consolidation. We believe competition is absolutely healthy and necessary in order to keep the focus on continuous improvement, but the future competition should be around service quality of existing and innovation of future products. Actually we are spending about two percent of turnover for R&D, while other industries like automotive or pharmaceutical spend significantly more. Th is is obviously not enough to answer to all market requirements. We are prepared to follow the trend for more sophisticated packaging and shorter lifecycles with a clear focus on convenience. Nobody can imagine how packaging will look in the future, but we intend to play an active part in its development. Putting price and innovation into the right balance will immediately lead to increased R&D budgets. Obviously there have been questions about the influence of the new investor to the strategy of our business. We are in a stable fi nancial situation today. One outcome of the divestment process is the insight, that we are well positioned compared to other market players. Some might think, after such a long carve-out process, that we are done. In reality we are at the beginning of a long-term company development. We have to change our scope, think long term and start to prepare for the future. The ability to invest in innovation will play a major role.
Dieter Bergner is currently responsible for the carve-out of Huhtamaki’s European consumer goods business. He has previously held various European management roles in metal packaging and automotive industry.
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What’s in your food? Recent European Commission legislation has stepped up the battle for country-of-origin and nutritional labelling. By Sharon Stephenson
Choose the metaphor that best suits you. Country-of-origin and nutritional labelling is: A) A waste of time, money and energy B) Essential for consumers to make informed choices C) An effective way for brands to communicate their values Depending on who you are, and the industry you’re in, it’s entirely possible your choices may oscillate widely across the spectrum. If you’re the European Parliament, then your choice will most certainly be paddling around in the bottom two options. In fact, in June 2010, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted for labelling regulations that will see food labels include mandatory nutritional information and guideline daily consumption amounts. “MEPs voted for labelling rules that will enable consumers to make healthy, well-informed choices, while limiting as far as possible the administrative and fi nancial burden on food businesses,” says German MEP Renee Sommer. “Th is legislation should lead the way to consum-
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“Eight out of 10 people think it’s important that country of origin labelling should be mandatory”
ers being clear about where their food comes from.” It’s a view supported by most Europeans, according to a survey that showed around eight out of 10 people think it’s important that country of origin labelling (COOL) should be mandatory. Th is means that people will be able to tell not only where their food originally comes from but also where it last underwent a ‘substantial change’. Legally, a food’s ‘origin’ is the place where it last underwent change so, for example, the ingredients of a product could be from Denmark but if they are combined in the UK, then their country of origin is Britain. It’s an issue that has become somewhat of a battleground as politicians, lobby groups, legislators, nutritionists, environmentalists and brand managers compete to have their voices heard. Should labels, for example, contain information about the food’s impact on animal welfare, its use of sustainable palm oil, cocoa and soya, or its carbon footprint implications? The European Parliament’s decision to support comprehensive changes to the labelling system should go a long way to providing clarity around the issue, says Sommer. “Country of origin labelling is already compulsory for certain foods, such as beef, honey, olive oil and fresh fruit
and vegetables. That means consumers can choose a locally grown tomato or one grown further afield. MEPs supported extending this to all meat, poultry, dairy products and other single-ingredient products, as well as voting for the country of origin to be stated for meat, poultry and fish when used as an ingredient in processed food. However, this may be subject to an impact assessment.” Meat labels are required to indicate where the animal was born, reared and slaughtered, while meat obtained from slaughter without ‘stunning’ (according to certain religious traditions) should be labelled as such. In the June 2010 ruling, MEPs also backed the European Commission proposal that quantities of fat, saturates, sugar and salt – as well as energy – must be indicated on the front of food packets. These should be accompanied by guideline daily amounts and expressed with per 100g or per 100ml values. They also voted for details of protein, fibres and trans-fats to be included elsewhere on the packaging. However, not everyone was satisfied with the regulations that will determine what information we see in supermarkets. The European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (UEAPME) claimed that the introduction of compulsory country-of-origin labelling, including food coming from other EU countries, was “a slap in the face for small and medium SMEs”. UEAPME's food policy advisor Ludger Fischer argued that such a requirement “will trigger enormous complications” for small businesses changing ingredients very frequently. “I call on the European Council to reject this clause if it is serious about protecting the distinctiveness of typical European fresh foodstuffs.” So too some manufacturers argued the ruling was “impractical and hugely expensive, without delivering any meaningful consumer benefit”. One move that surprised health campaigners and some manufacturers was MEPs rejecting proposals to introduce the controversial EU-wide ‘traffic light’ system which gives consumers a visual warning by requiring certain processed foods to bear read, amber and green values to indicate high, medium or low levels of salt, sugar and fat. ‘Traffic light’ coding is already used by some supermarkets across Europe and the idea has the backing of the European Consumers’ Organisation BEUC. “Independent research tells us that shoppers fi nd this colour-code labelling scheme the easiest to understand,” says BEUC Director General Monique Goyens. “Despite being presented with a wealth of independent research confi rming that the vastt majority of consumers wanted the colour-coding system, m, MEPs have mystifyingly voted against it. One wonderss how we are to convince lawmakers that the fight againstt obesity and the battle to improve public health needs to o start with action today, not tomorrow. There is no doubtt that the vote was a very, very serious setback," she said. Once the legislation is adopted, food businesses willl s, have three years to adapt to the rules. Smaller operators, with fewer than 100 employees and an annual turnoverr under €5 million, would have five years to comply.
Food Labelling 95
A CHEESE BY ANY OTHER NAME
n the UK, the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) recently introduced a new code of practice on country-of-origin labelling requiring manufacturers to state the origin of liquid milk used in cheese and butter, or the place these products are manufactured. The fi nal draft of the voluntary code, which also covers meat, meat products and eggs, was published at the end of December 2010. But Jim Begg, Director General of trade association Dairy UK, said the measures did not go far enough. “Our view is that consumer requirements for cheese can only be met by mandatory arrangements that recognise the place of manufacture of the product. At present, a product such as Cheddar cheese might be labelled with the name and address of a UK seller, carry a UK identification mark because it’s cut and wrapped w in the UK, and yet have been produced in another Member State, with no indication on the label to this effect.” He said D Dairy UK wasn’t “looking for a simple solution to rresolve the issue. You don’t need a sledgehamme mer to crack a nut. But we do think that a mandator tory element is necessary to be effective.” The outcome of the legislation was both uncertain u and some way off, he added. “We’re probably p talking 2013 before anything happens o this, so we need to move now.” on
Governments should regulate marketing unhealthy food and beverages to children, says the European Commission.
What are they selling our kids?
ny idea what your children ate today? Whatever it was, chances are it contained significant amounts of sodium benzoate (E211), Sunset Yellow (E110), Ponceau 4R (E124), salt, Aspartame (E951), Carmoisine (E122) – oh, and probably lots of sugar. But that’s what you get from a diet of high-fat cereal bars, energy drinks, cheese slices, pizza and crisps. It’s also the reason why childhood obesity rates in Europe are so high: of the 70 million five to 18 year olds in the EU, more than five million are obese and 11 million overweight. Britain, along with some southern European countries, is top of the list and millions of those children are so overweight they are already showing signs of chronic diseases, which could lead to major problems in adulthood. In the EU more than 560,000 have high blood pressure and more than 640,000 primary school-aged children in Europe suffer from high cholesterol, with a further 640,000 suffering from Non Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease. A sedentary lifestyle is partly to blame but so, increasingly, is diet. According to a UK Government National Diet and Nutrition Survey, 92 percent of children consume more saturated fat than the maximum recommended level for adults, and 83 percent consume added sugars above suggested limits. And because they are so busy heeding the call of marketing pitches for fi zzy drinks and high-fat breakfast cereals, many European children only have time to eat less than half the recommended daily portions of fruit and vegetables.
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Of the 70 million ﬁve to 18 year olds in the EU, more than ﬁve million are obese and 11 million overweight
“92 percent of children consume more saturated fat than the maximum recommended level for adults”
Chairman and Founder of the International Obesity Task Force, Professor Phillip James, warns we face an ‘epidemic’ of childhood obesity and point the fi nger fi rmly in the direction of food marketers. “Children are targeted as consumers and are vulnerable to sophisticated marketing techniques and intense, repetitive advertising for the high-calorie, high-energy foods and drinks which are significant contributory factors to the rise in obesity. The marketing pressure starts well before they reach school age and is designed to ‘overtly manipulate the child to demand a high-energy-dense diet’.” It’s one of the reasons behind a review by the European Commission to look at measures to restrict the advertising of unhealthy foods to children. Tim Lobstein, director of policy at the International Association for the Study of Obesity (ISAO) was commissioned by the European Commission to draft a report aimed at gathering evidence to support policy making on the marketing of foods to children. Entitled the EU Polmark Study, it looked at the range and nature of current advertising regulations on food and beverage marketing of foods to children in 27 EU member states, and aimed to promote an understanding of current and anticipated regulatory controls, as well as researching the relationships between stakeholders’ positions on marketing controls and their capacity to influence policy. “There has been significant progress in the past six years to curb the marketing of unhealthy foods to kids, but there is chaos within the details,” says Lobstein. “An increasing
FAT’S ALL FOLKS!
t’s Advertising 101: when trying to attract the attention of the younger set, use colourful packaging and characters they recognise or can identify with. No surprise then that everyone from Shrek and Scooby Doo to Tony the Tiger and most of Disney’s stable are used to market foods high in fat, sugar and salt to younger children. However, the tide could be turning with a growing trend for food and beverage brands to ally themselves with the values of well-known characters, and to leverage them to attract young consumers to more healthy fare. Take the example of UK company Peter Rabbit (PR) Organics, which sells a range of fruit juices and purees, pasta, sauces and fruit-sweetened cookies represented by famous author Beatrix Potter’s animal characters. All products in the range are free from added sugar and salt, and none contain artiﬁcial colours, ﬂavours or preservatives. Ben Ford, Managing Director of PR Organics, was reported as saying that the brand has strong links to nature, to the environment, healthy living and fresh fruit and vegetables. Companies such as Crosse & Backwell and Heinz have also jumped on the bandwagon of using cartoon characters to endorse their pasta shapes. Crosse & Blackwell Wholewheat Pasta Shapes, for example, featured characters such as Barney, Scooby-Doo and Tom & Jerry, and were low in fat, saturates, sugar and salt. Also in the range were Tweenies, Thomas the Tank Engine, Spongebob SquarePants, Bob the Builder and Bratz. Heinz Pasta Shapes, which also came low in the fat, saturates and sugar stakes, featured a range of characters on the tin, including g Winnie the Pooh, Thomas the Tank Engine, Spiderman and Disney Princess.
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number of countries are trying to address this issue, with some introducing regulations addressing television advertising during children’s programming or the use of familiar personalities or fictional characters to promote products during that television slot (see side-bar). There is real progress but the challenges are numerous,” said Lobstein. “Firstly, most countries do not address advertising to children by the calorie content or other nutrient quality of the food product, and marketing channels beyond broadcast advertising have been largely ignored. Secondly, our research has shown that there’s a certain amount of anarchy at the moment and concluded that the terms need to be set by government, not the industry itself, because although they appear to be willing, there’s chaos within the details, with a lot of contradiction in what the industry is offering.” The issue of food marketing to children has dominated debate for some years and, as far back as 2005, EU Health and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Markos Kyprianou issued warnings to the food industry that it must restrict advertising of products high in fat, sugar and salt to children, or face legislation. Th is was followed by the ‘EU Pledge’ in December 2007, when 11 leading food and beverage companies agreed to stop running junk food adverts on TV, in print and on the internet to under-12s by the end of 2008. The original signatories, which represent more than 50 percent of the food and beverage advertising spend in the EU, included Burger King, Coca-Cola, Danone, Ferrero, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Nestle, Unilever, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo. And in 2009, the World Health Organisation weighed into the debate, releasing a no-holds barred report that set recommendations for the marketing of foods and beverages to children. The objective was to reduce both “the exposure of children to, and power of, marketing of foods high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, free sugars, or salt. Governments should be the key stakeholders in the development of policy and provide leadership, through a multi-stakeholder platform, for implementation, monitoring and evaluation. In setting the national policy framework, governments may choose to allocate defined roles to other stakeholders, while protecting the public interest and avoiding a confl ict of interest,” said the report. Lobstein, however, believes that voluntary measures adopted by manufacturers and advertisers don’t go far enough in the battle of the childhood bulge. “Food companies are making pledges and showing that they are sticking to those, but the pledges have loopholes. They don’t all stick to the same criteria around the defi nition of marketing, the age group of children and the foods that are covered,” he said. “Companies have been pushing the boundaries into children’s social marketing networks, school playgrounds, text messaging to mobile phones, and so on, undermining any likely parental controls. We need a system that supports, rather than hinders, the efforts of parents to prevent obesity in their children. You cannot expect the industry to reform itself when so much money would be lost.”
Automated line solutions
Advanced automation and complete traceability from Ishida. By Ulrich Carlin Nielsen
new Ishida packing line enables three to four operators to turn out sophisticated prepared salads, with all the trimmings, at up to 40 trays per minute. It also automates inspection and ensures an X-ray image is retrievable for every single pack. Gastro Star AG produces 30 tonnes of fresh products every day, ranging from vegetables and salads to fruit, much of it grown under the company’s direct supervision. A pioneer of convenience foods in Europe, it produces ready to use salad mixes under the Betty Bossi and Weight Watchers brands. The company was an early adopter of automation in salad packing. The new line is part of a wider series of measures it has taken to rationalise and increase efficiency in the face of steady demand for its products. Gastro Star decided to increase capacity by optimising the operation of its three existing tray-packing lines and installing a fourth, more completely automated line with a new level of quality control. The fi rst step was to concentrate all its tray-packing resources into one building, in order to maximise tray handling efficiency from initial delivery of trays to the factory to dispatch of the fi nished product. The new line was designed by Ishida Integrated Solu-
tions, who installed it in November 2009 in conjunction with Itech, Ishida’s agent in Italy and Switzerland. It produces 200g and 250g packs and includes tray denesting, multihead weighing, tray sealing, labelling, seal testing, vision system, X-ray inspection, checkweighing and packing into crates, yet is under 20m in length. Overall room height was restricted to just 4.08m. Despite this, the Ishida design enables crates of prepared leaves (cut to size and washed) to be run via an elevator to a point above the multihead weigher, where they tip the salad into an infeed system. The tray sealer at the heart of the line is a state-of-theart Ishida QX-1100. It handles four trays at a time, flushing them with an atmosphere of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, and delivers a neat, economical seal with no protruding edges.
A new level of automation The new line has something to offer at all the points where labour has been intensive in the past. The special stainless steel contact surfaces and sophisticated vibratory system of the 10-head Ishida RS-series weigher reduces the likelihood of clumping or sticking of leaves. The need to manually rectify potential product-in-seal problems is largely eliminated by a distribution system that delivers the leaves to the tray in a neat and discrete batch via a feeder tube and dipping funnel, then gently tamps them to below the tray edge. At the end of the line, the IPS (Ishida Packing System) pick-and-place system not only
Ulrich Carlin Nielsen is Business Development Manager-Large Solutions for Ishida Europe Ltd and a member of the board. He has spent the last 25 years using his in-depth application knowledge to design food factories, including those for some of the world’s largest food manufacturers, as well as developing new machines and registering several patents along the way.
PROJECT FOCUS 99
The Ishida Tray Seal Tester, with an Ishida Vision System mounted on it. These combine with an Ishida IX-GA X-ray detection system, a DACS W checkweigher, data from the Ishida QX-1100 Traysealer and Gastro Star’s information system to deliver unprecedented pack compliance and traceability.
automates what used to be the most labour-intensive part of the line, but does it at high speed and with far greater flexibility by picking individual packs rather than predetermined lots or layers. While such a high-volume line would previously have needed six or seven operators, the new Ishida Gastro Star installation uses three, occasionally four. The addition of a plastic cup containing product-specific additions, such as salad dressing, cheese or croutons, accounts for much of the small amount of labour involved. “Such a high tech line is very simple to operate,” says Project Manager Johann Meier. “All the operators have to do is place the cups in the trays by hand, monitor the salad leaves supply and replace fi lm and labelling materials. The important parameters are preset, and a qualified, Ishida-trained supervisor is only needed to take care of product changeovers.“
Making hygiene less labour-intensive Given the importance of hygiene in the food industry, any quest for rapid, efficient operation should always extend to cleaning. One of the most time-consuming aspects of cleaning is accessing those difficult-to-reach areas of a fi xed structure, where incomplete cleaning will lead to a build up of food waste. The new Ishida line has the weigher mounted on wheels, for easy movement around the floor, and both weigher and infeed system can be effortlessly raised and lowered for full cleaning access. Together with the general Ishida policy of designing contact parts to be removeable and replaceable without tools, this means that hygiene standards can be improved while man-hours spent cleaning are reduced.
Faster than the human eye Automation has a key role to play in more rigorous yet much faster inspection of packs for defects or foreign bodies, providing extra protection for the end-consumer as well as for retailers and brand reputations.
Complete traceability: the ultimate security against groundless claims Gastro Star may be the first packaged salads producer to install an X-ray inspection system linked to complete traceability of every pack. Not only can the monitoring system record the exact gas mixture received by each modified atmosphere pack, and the temperature at which sealing took place, it can also enable the company to bring up at any future time the X-ray image associated with the pack, in order to settle any dispute about its contents. The chosen X-ray inspection system is an Ishida IX-GA 2475, which can not only detect unwanted metal, plastic, glass, stone, rubber and bone, but can also draw attention to underfi lled or damaged packs. According to Johann Meier: “Metal detectors are not appropriate for our products, which incorporate not only salad leaves, but also, depending on the product, eggs, croûtons or a dressing in a cup with an aluminium closure. The X-ray machine is very easy to tune up and detects even the tiniest contaminant particles. The diameter of the smallest contaminant detected so far was only 0.6mm”. Attitudes to X-ray inspection have changed with the arrival of fully functional systems at moderate prices. Ueli Forster, Managing Director of Gastro Star says: “Using an X-ray machine has improved product safety. Some time ago, the technology was very expensive, but in the meantime, buying an X-ray machine has become a sensible investment”. It was an investment that also gave Gastro Star certified improvements in safety standards to communicate to its customers.
CUSTOMER C CU US ST TOMER OM M R
INDUSTRY INDU IN NDUSTRY STRY TRY
Ishida Europe Ltd
Weighing & packing equipment manufacturer
CHALLENGE C CH HA ALL LLE EN NG GE E
SOLUTION SOLLU SO UT TION ON N
BE BEN BENEFITS NE EFFIT TS S
Rationalise and increase efﬁciency, increase capacity, optimise automation with a new level of quality control.
Design and install a complete automated line capable of enabling three to four operators to produce prepared salads at up to 40 trays per minute, whilst automating inspection and making every pack traceable to a stored X-ray image.
Reduction in give-away from 10 percent to one to two percent, unprecedented pack compliance and traceability. One stop shop supplier able to guarantee line availability and service whilst being an expert in integrated line solutions.
The Ishida Seal Tester can detect a 0.75mm hole or gap in the seal at high speed. Mounted on it, and capable of using its rejection system, is an Ishida Vision System which verifies that each label is appropriate and positioned correctly, as well as relating the overprinted data to the company’s information systems in order to check that dates, weights, prices and barcodes are correct.
The 30-40 packs per minute achieved with the new line is double that of the former fastest line at Gastro Star. Giveaway is one to two percent, by comparison with 10 percent. Currently working no more than two shift s per day, Gastro Star calculates that it will pay for itself within five years. With expert scheduling by Gastro Star, a typical product changeover takes under 10 minutes, while a traysealer tool change takes 30 minutes. “The whole project has been very well and very professionally managed,” says Forster. “We were surprised to encounter so few problems. “Ishida is an expert in line solutions and made the best integrated proposal. The line’s layout was convincing and service as well as guaranteed line availability were included. In addition, we were keen, as we lacked experience with such a line, to be able to rely on a one-stopshop supplier“
Organic versus conventional foodstuffs People choose organic food for many reasons: because it tastes better, it’s safer, it’s more nutritious and it ensures better animal welfare. But is organic food a healthier alternative to conventionally farmed produce?
he fundamental differences between organic and conventional agricultural systems is that organic food is classified as being free from all synthetic chemicals. Th is starts at ground level, when a farmer prepares his field without using any petroleumbased fertiliser or chemically altered material in the soil. Chemicals also aren’t allowed for pest or disease control. In addition, organic food cannot be genetically altered in any way. Current scientific evidence doesn’t show that organic food is any safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced products. Back in 2009 a report commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) sparked controversy when it showed there was little difference in nutritional value and no evidence of any extra health benefits from eating organic produce. Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine looked at the evidence on nutrition and health benefits for the past 50 years. Study leader, Dr Alan Dangour, revealed that among the 55 of 162 studies that were included in the fi nal analysis, there was a small number of differences in nutrition between organic and conventionally produced food, but not large enough to be of any public health relevance. The report, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found no differences in most nutrients in organically or conventionally grown crops, including
in vitamin C, calcium and iron, as well as meat, diary and eggs. The report concluded that of the differences that were detected, such as levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, most were likely to be due to difference in fertiliser use and ripeness at harvest as opposed to health benefits. At the time the Soil Association reported that it was disappointed with the conclusions, while the FSA accepted that better quality studies were needed. In 2010, in a Danish study published by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, new evidence reported that organically grown onions, carrots and potatoes do not have higher levels of polyphenol antioxidants than vegetables grown with traditional fertilisers and pesticides. The researchers, led by Pia Knuthsen from the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark, point out that there are many reasons to pay a premium for organic food products. However, the health
FOOD PROCESSING 101
benefits of organic food consumption are still controversial and not considered scientifically well documented. The scientists describe experiments in which they analysed antioxidants termed ‘polyphenols’ from onions, carrots and potatoes grown using conventional and organic methods. They found no differences in polyphenol content for organic versus traditional methods of growth. The report stated: “On the basis of the present study carried out under well controlled conditions, it cannot be concluded that organically grown onions, carrots and potatoes generally have higher contents of health-promoting secondary metobolites in comparison with the conventionally cultivated ones”. The new research throws yet more fuel on the fire as to whether organically grown fruit and vegetables are any more nutritious than their traditionally cultivated counterparts. That said, several smaller studies over the past year have reported that certain organically grown produce, like strawberries, have higher levels of nutrients. Online journal PLoS One tested 13 pairs
of strawberries and the soil they were grown from in neighbouring farms over a two-year period and found that organic strawberries had higher levels of vitamin C and antioxidants and didn’t rot as quickly as the conventionally grown ones. The authors concluded: “Our fi ndings show that the organic strawberry farms produced higher quality fruit and that their higher quality soils may have greater microbial functional capability and resilience to stress”. The authors did, however, concede that there needs to be further investigations to detect and quantify these effects and their interactions. Likewise, a 2009 review from France concluded that there are, in fact, nutritional benefits to organic produce. Published in the Agronomy for Sustainable Development, the report’s author Denis Lairon of the University of Aix-Marseille, coordinated an up-to-date exhaustive and critical evaluation of the nutritional and sanitary quality of organic food. The review was based on the original, published in 2003 as well as the fi ndings of new studies, published in the intervening years. Lairon concluded that organic plant products contain more dry matter and minerals – such as iron and magnesium – and more antioxident polyphenols like phenols and salicylic acid.
“Our findings show that the organic strawberry farms produced higher quality fruit and that their higher quality soils may have greater microbial functional capability and resilience to stress” Knuthsen and colleagues pointed out in the most recent study that there are still many reasons to pay a premium for organic food products, that health reasons were still controversial and not considered scientifically welldocumented. “The objective of our study was to compare the content of selected flavonoids and phenolic acids in organically and conventionally grown onions, potatoes and carrots and to evaluate if the ability of the crops to synthesise selected secondary metabolites is systematically affected by growth systems across different growth years as well as geographic location,” stated the authors. The authors went on to conclude that – based on their study – it cannot be concluded that organically grown onions, carrots and potatoes have higher contents of polyphenols and related secondary metabolites, in comparison with conventionally cultivated ones. They stated: “The ability of crops to synthesise selected secondary metabolites was not systematically affected by the growth system across different growth years and geographical locations”. Whether or not organic food proves to have more nutritional benefits remains to be seen at this point. So as the controversy continues, consumers are left with tough decisions over choosing organic produce.
ASK THE EXPERT
Robots: Food for thought Flexible automation is key to many industries. Can it be beneﬁcial for the food industry as well? Bob Struijk reveals why robotics is helping the food industry.
ontrary to popular belief, the main driver to use robots isn’t cutting labour costs. Robots improve the productivity of expensive production lines by ensuring that manufacturing operations move at a constant pace with minimal machine idle time. A robot is a mere component of any production line, albeit a highly f lexible and reliable one. Hard automation might fulfil a dedicated function, but comes at a high price: the grouping of various valves, cylinders, sensors, motors and controls come not even close to the reliability of a robot, with up-times of 99.99 percent. Robots allow faster and easier set-up when change-over occurs at the line. And it is not only the big automakers that use robots. Robots have been in factories since 1962 and are a mature technology. Companies with less than 500 employees now have the highest robot adoption rate. The second reason why robots can help your business is higher quality and lower scrap. Robots provide higher quality and yield because of more controllable, predictable and repeatable process consistencies. Imagine for your production process if you would only have half of the current rework/scrap costs. Or likewise, what is your current number of customer returns/rejects? Could this be reduced drastically if robots were used? Lessons learned in the automobile industry are now being deployed in the food industry, from cutting raw
meat with robots (increasing the quality of the cut hence the price/Kg) to handling of salads and fruits (time to market is faster, putting fresher produce on the supermarket’s shelves). Of course labour costs can also be reduced by applying robots. Robots reduce direct manufacturing labour needs and improve labour deployment. Also important to mention are the improved ergonomics and worker safety. By using robots humans can be removed from hazardous and unhealthy processes, such as exposure to gases, acids, extreme temperatures, lifting weights, or avoiding strenuous repetitive motions that provoke injuries. It is a myth however that robots will eliminate all production labour costs. In reality we can state that robots are not panaceas; there will always be some jobs for which people are better than robots. Think also about employee training and turnover. There is a substantial reduction in HR related costs when using robots in your production line instead of human labour: less cost for hiring, training, safety clothes and equipment etc. These hidden costs are often forgotten while calculating the ROI on robot related investments. With the crisis at hand and the rising pressure from low cost countries many small company owners think that robots are too expensive to set up and to maintain. We see that as with personal computers, prices have declined over the past decades while ease of use and performance have improved. Robots are considered commodities. And thanks to the powerful evolution of CPU’s the programming of robots is surprisingly easy. Line operators take ownership of these f lexible automation solutions and improve their performance thanks to their knowledge of the underlying process. And it is not only high production runs that can justify robot costs. Robots can perform different tasks for different parts while hard automation usually is limited and often needs more time for change over. What’s more, FANUC offers integrated vision in its robots, allowing the robot to see. Capturing images and processing the data into information for the robot and by the robot. No more need for costly and unreliable PC driven systems and interfaces. And what is not there cannot break down and stop the line. It also greatly enhances the reliability and thus throughput of the line. Again a hidden cost saver only recently recognised by the food industry.
Bob Struijk is currently FANUC Robotics European Marketing Director. He is also holding general management roles in Spain, Portugal and Hungary.
FANUC AD.indd 1
Fresh steam control for food and beverages Greg Sutcliffe from Bürkert Fluid Control Systems turns the spotlight onto customer-oriented innovation.
ith companies who compete in global markets wishing to make production processes as economical as possible, there is an increased demand for automation solutions at the plant level. Intelligent process valves with integrated automation functions offer a more viable and efficient alternative to the conventional approach of centralised automation. With a de-centralised system, only status monitoring and optional control are handled by the central process control system. Th is means that at the plant level, pneumatically operated process valves can be equipped with on-board automation components such as pilot valves, electrical feedback units and optical status indicators, field bus interfaces and even highly accurate positioners and PID process controllers. Th is shift in process philosophy incorporated in Element allows food and beverage manufacturers to reconcile the commercial necessity for a high degree of production automation, with increased hygiene and food safety. Hygiene and food safety naturally plays a key role in this market segment, and safe production processes are at the forefront of the Element valve design. They feature the high IP protection demanded by food and beverage applications and are made exclusively from detergent-proof materials, which prevent them from the ill-effects associated with long-term use in demanding ambient conditions such as high air humidity, frequent wash-down cleaning with aggressive chemicals and high temperatures. When you compare Element valves to standard valve conventions, these features mark real progress for improved production hygiene. For instance they have internally integrated channelled air supply, allowing a smooth exterior design, making them easy to clean and providing maximum production availability, thanks also in part to in-built functional safety. One way this is achieved is via the unique air delivery system which delivers clean instrument air to both the actuator chambers, which ensures that the spring chamber is supplied only with pure, dry and clean instrument air. Th is prevents moisture, dust and contaminants in the ambient air from entering the actuator unit which, in turn, effectively prevents contamination of the piston seals and corrosion of the drive springs caused by cleaning solutions entering the housing. Not only does this significantly prolong the production availability of the actuator, it also enhances the hygiene of the whole process. In addition, as the actuator exhausts, it delivers clean instrument air into
CHRISTIAN BURKET.indd 104
the control unit housing. As a result, a slight overpressure is ever-present in the control head, further improving its IP protection and eliminating condensation. Our steam experience drives us to fi nd new and practical solutions for the steam challenges we face daily. As a result of actively listening to our customers, we have introduced some surprising features to set us apart. Each globe valve body is offered with at least three valve trim options. These parabolic trims provide the user with the choice and flexibility to change the trim at a later date if the process conditions change, but also allow you to fit ‘line-sized’ control valves with reduced trims to your steam pipework, reducing the time and work needed on site during installation. In addition, our continuous control valve bodies are offered exclusively from cast 316L stainless steel as standard. Lighter in weight, robust and beautiful, stainless steel sits perfectly in the food and beverage environment, maintaining a great long lasting exterior look, without peeling paint to make a nuisance of itself. We also know that in food and beverage steam applications, there are three things you will surely fi nd – humidity, heat and product. Our Element valves are constructed from clean stainless steel and temperature resistance PPS, making them durable and tough enough to live in this demanding world. The internal routing of both the air channels and stroke position feedback means that we avoid the cumbersome external linkages, connections and sliders found in more conventional general purpose control valves, thus removing as many places where product can sit and attract unwanted attention as possible!
Greg Sutcliffe is the Steam Segment Manager for Bürkert Fluid Control Systems. Bürkert is at the forefront of continuous customer-oriented innovation, a true single source for hardworking valve elements, process controllers and sensors. Sutcliffe is a regular steam blogger and article contributor, as well as a passionate steam trainer with an enthusiasm for engaging with steam users around the world.
CHRISTIAN BURKERT AD.indd 1
C e da r es h t t i g n
The UK’s leading dairy processing company reveals how it has survived – and thrived – through the worst recession in recent memory. By Sharon Stephenson
oger Emery has the good grace not to curl his lip when I tell him I don’t take milk in my tea. In some quarters, that would be akin to telling Victoria Beckham you don’t believe in high heels or zero body fat. But then Emery has more reason than most to consider my refusal of milk as something verging on treason. Based in Shropshire, the 41-year-old is the Group Technical Director of Dairy Crest Group plc, the UK’s leading dairy company responsible for processing and selling fresh milk and branded dairy products to the UK and Europe. It’s a role that entails working with a team of food technologists to unlock the goodness of dairy and product ingredients for a range of application categories. The milk-less tea gaffe over, Emery settles back to sing the praises of the role he’s held for the past three years. “Milk is a fantastic raw material and it’s my aim to make sure Dairy Crest gets as much value from each last drop as possible. Our strategy is to drive added value in the supply chain but, as a broadly-based dairy company, we continue to operate in some of the traditional ingredients markets.” That includes the UK’s competitive milk processing sector, where the statistics that have shunted Dairy Crest to
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the front of the queue are certainly impressive: the 23-yearold company processes some 2.2 billion litres of milk a year, and then delivers it to customers via door-to-door milkmen and leading supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. Thanks to Dairy Crest, every day more than 1.3 million residential customers have something to pour over their cornflakes and top up their hot beverages with. Not to mention the 20,000 businesses such as cafes and hospitals who rely on milk to help keep the wheels of their organisations turning. “The sheer volume of milk is what makes it possible for us to supply some of the UK’s biggest retailers with liquid milk,” says Emery. “Dairy is one of the largest food categories in the UK, worth around GBP£10 billion, and I’m proud that Dairy Crest is able to claim a large chunk of this market.” To prove his point, the company’s turnover was GBP£1.6 billion for the period 2009/10. The economic crisis hasn’t been kind to other parts of the food sector, but Emery says markets for dairy products have remained strong. “According to a survey by Mintel Oxygen, nearly a third of consumers say they avoid processed foods and are looking for more natural products such as dairy. Milk was the world’s first super food and consumers understand and trust the benefits of dairy products including calcium and protein.” It hasn’t hurt that Dairy Crest owns one of the UK’s top selling fresh flavoured milk brands, FRijj, or that their complementary manufacturing businesses in the UK and France feature some of the most recognisable brands in the dairy sector such as Country Life and Clover spreads as well
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as Cathedral City Cheddar, which is the UK’s best selling Cheddar cheese with a retail value of around GBP£211m last year alone. Sitting under the Dairy Crest brands in Europe are leading spreads brands St Hubert (France) and Vallé in Italy. The key, is to focus on innovating products to meet consumers’ needs, and therefore to increase the value through the supply chain. “For example, Cathedral City Cheddar has shown yearon-year growth to be the UK’s number one Cheddar brand taking market share from own-label Cheddar. We have achieved this through consistently high quality. A key focus for us has been expanding our range to include healthier products such as low fat variants of our main brands Clover, Country Life and, of course, Cathedral City. Research from Nielsen told us that over three-quarters of people (77 percent) want to eat more healthily, but 62 percent don’t believe they are succeeding. We can help by providing core, everyday products which are healthy as well as enjoyable.” According to research by Kantar, the average British household buys 28kgs of saturated fat a year, which is 40 percent too much, according to government guidelines. The significance of these figures haven’t been lost on Dairy Crest. “Consumers are becoming more aware of health issues around saturated fat and research shows that almost half of them claim it is their first or second concern when buying food,” according to Emery. “It is something we have concentrated on when developing our strategy – I’m proud to say that we estimate that all of our initiatives, such as introducing lighter variants of the main brands, have saved consumers over 6400 tonnes of saturated fat.” Cathedral City Lighter has revolutionised the Cheddar category. Before its launch most consumers rejected low-fat alternatives due to lack of taste. Emery says that Cathedral City Lighter offers 30 percent less fat but still delivers on taste and now accounts for 11 percent of total brand sales. “With 30 percent less fat than its standard counterparts, Clover Lighter now accounts for 14 percent of total brand volume, while sister brand Country Life Spreadable Lighter accounts for 13 percent of sales.” The reduced fat message from Dairy Crest isn’t confi ned to cheese, butters and spreads – Emery is also proud of the fact that the company’s vast liquid milk division is following suit. “A year or so ago we championed one percent fat milk,” he says, “which quickly achieved a combined volume of over
Research from Nielsen told us that over three-quarters of people (77 percent) want to eat more healthily, but 62 percent don’t believe they are succeeding, says Emery
18 million litres in Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose supermarkets. It’s been so popular, we also sell it through our online doorstep delivery business, milk and more.” Emery says another key focus has been to fine-tune the ingredients business over the past few years. This has seen the spotlight trained firmly on skimmed milk powder and whey powder, the by-products of Dairy Crest’s main dairy manufacturing processes. “Our ingredients operation can be a balancing act and needs careful management of seasonal supply and demand,” Emery says. “We focus mainly on the by-products from our manufacturing processes, such as whey and buttermilk. Last year we had a successful year on the back of rising commodity markets.” The underlying strategy, he says, is to drive added value in the supply chain. A major link in this chain was last year’s acquisition of Fayrefield Foodtec, a company that specialises in developing innovative raw ingredients for the food industry. “The business focuses on replacing traditional ingredients with those that can deliver other benefits such as removal of allergens. Fayrefield Foodtech has developed an award-winning range of gluten-free baking products and products such as the GelTec egg replacer which can significantly reduce egg usage while offering lower cost fat, cholesterol and a clean label for no loss of functionality.” The past year has also seen the launch of a gluten-free bread supplied nationwide to Boots, as well as such envelopepushing products as Equilibrium, a lactose-based product aimed at easing stress. “Acquiring Fayrefield Foodtech has allowed us to widen the scope of our innovation proposition and add value to our main ingredient stream. It is one of the ways that we have managed to ride out the recession and improve our product offering to consumers.” Emery has worked in the food industry since graduation and has a background in technical, manufacturing and continuous improvement. Most of this was gained from 16 years at Nestlé where he moved between dairy, canning, fruit juices, frozen foods and chilled deserts. The future for Dairy Crest, he says, lies in continually driving innovation, which isn’t totally confined to the development of healthier products. Dairy Crest has also led the way with new packaging ideas: “Cathedral City pioneered re-sealable cheese packaging which keeps cheese fresher for longer without consumers having to resort to silver foil and cling-film. This also has the benefit of keeping the brand in front of consumers every time they take more cheese from the fridge. And, more recently, we produced a revolutionary new milk bag and jug system, of which we are very proud. This gives consumers an alternative to poly bottles and makes recycling easier. Research shows that the milk bag can save 75 percent of packaging, as well as reducing supply chain costs for the company. “Our company vision states that we aim to meet consumers’ needs and go where this takes us. I think that by keeping our eyes on the future, anticipating trends and needs, we live that vision every day. I’m very proud of my team’s part in that achievement.”
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Spread ‘em A key part of the Dairy Crest business is the Foods Division which manufacturers and sells butters, spreads and cheese in the UK and Europe. More than 80 percent of this division’s sales are branded with a strong focus on marketing and innovation. In the UK, Dairy Crest’s butters and spreads are manufactured in two factories at Kirkby near Liverpool, and Crudgington in Shropshire. In France and Italy, the spreads portfolio includes St Hubert, which was acquired in January 2007 from Uniq and is now the number one brand in the French spreads market. Building on last year’s launch of two products targeted at health-conscious consumers, St Hubert Omega 3 Leger in France and Valle + Leggera in Italy, Dairy Crest has recently expanded its offering: St Hubert Bio is the ﬁrst mainstream organic spread in the French market and has been well received by both retail and consumers. Spreads for the French and Italian markets are manufactured at Ludres in North Eastern France.
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Th e Big Chees e Cheese is one of the most varied and subtle foods in the world. It can taste bland, buttery, innocuous, rich, creamy, pungent, sharp, salty or lightly delicate. In texture it can be hard enough to chip off in ﬂakes or so soft and runny that it needs to be eaten with a spoon. Some archaeologists have suggested that there is evidence of cheese being made from the milk of cows and goats as far back as 6000 BC, while murals found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 2000 BC show milk being stored in skin bags. Most authorities consider that cheese was ﬁrst made in the Middle East. The earliest type was a form of sour milk which came into being when it was discovered that domesticated animals could be milked. Legend has it that cheese was discovered by an unknown Arab nomad who is said to have ﬁlled a saddlebag with milk to sustain him on a journey across the desert by horse. After several hours he stopped to quench his thirst, only to ﬁnd that the milk had separated into a pale watery liquid and solid white lumps. Because the saddlebag, which was made from the stomach of a young animal, contained a coagulating enzyme known as rennin, the milk had been effectively separated into curds and whey by the combination of the rennin, the hot sun and the galloping motions of the horse. The nomad, unconcerned with technical details, found the whey drinkable and the curds edible. By AD 300, cheese was being regularly exported to countries along the Mediterranean seaboard. Trade had developed to such an extent that the emperor Diocletian had to ﬁx maximum prices for a range of cheeses including an apple-smoked cheese highly popular with Romans. Yet another cheese was stamped and sold under the brand name of ‘La Luna’, and is said to have been the precursor of today’s Parmesan which was ﬁrst reported as an individual make of cheese in AD 1579. Roman expertise spread throughout Europe. While the skills were initially employed only by landowners and Roman farmers, there is little doubt that in time they ﬁltered down to the local population. Roman soldiers who had completed their military service married local women and set up ‘coloniae’ farms in retirement, and may well have passed on cheese making skills. With the collapse of the Roman Empire around AD 410, cheese making spread slowly via the Mediter-
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ranean, Aegean and Adriatic seas to Southern and Central Europe. The river valleys provided easy access and methods adopted for production were adapted to suit the different terrain and climatic conditions. Cheesemakers in remote mountainous areas naturally used the milk of goats and sheep. In the fertile lowlands of Europe dairy husbandry developed at a faster pace and cheese making from cows’ milk became the norm. Hence, the particular development of cheeses such as Edam and Gouda in the Netherlands. France developed a wider range of cheeses from the rich agricultural areas in the south and west. French cheesemakers preferred soft cheese production which had a comparatively long making season. Hard-pressed cheeses appeared to play a secondary role. To some extent this reﬂects the Latin culture of the nation, mirroring the cheese types produced in the Mediterranean areas as distinct from the hard-pressed cheese that were developed in the northern regions of Europe for storage and use in the long cold winter months that lay ahead. Monks were the innovators and developers of the Middle Ages and it is to them we owe many of the classic varieties of cheese marketed today. During the Renaissance period cheese suffered a drop in popularity, being considered unhealthy, but it regained favour by the nineteenth century when, on the heels of the industrial revolution, production began to move from farm to factory.
Food grade lubricants – pure and simple Colleen Flanagan looks at how implementing food grade lubricants doesn’t mean sacriﬁcing performance or increasing operating costs.
n order to ensure food product safety, many food processors have adopted or are in the process of implementing the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) system. HACCP requires that points where lubricants and food products could come in contact during various manufacturing processes must be analysed for potential hazards. For these processes, H1 food grade lubricants and greases should be used in equipment such as hydraulic systems, pumps, mixers, tanks, chain drives and even seaming units to reduce the risk of incidental contamination by non-food grade lubricants. There are many misconceptions when it comes to food grade lubricants, including:
scuffi ng and scoring, and reduce overall maintenance costs by extending the life of the hydraulic system. 3) Resistance to foaming and air entrapment A hydraulic fluid should prevent reservoir overflow and eliminate “sponginess” from hydraulic systems and damage caused by pump cavitations.
Food Grade Compressor Fluids When selecting a food grade compressor fluid, four key criteria are important,including fluid life (oxidative and thermal stability), wear protection, low oil volatility and rust and corrosion protection.
Food Grade Gear Fluids 1) Food grade lubricants do not last as long as non-food grade lubricants 2) Food grade lubricants do not protect equipment as well as non-food grade lubricants 3) Using food grade lubricants add significant costs to operations 4) For tough applications only non-food grade lubricants can be used 5) All food grade lubricants are the same.
When selecting a food grade gear fluid, four key criteria are critical, including loading carrying capability and wear protection, life of the fluid (oxidative and thermal resistance), resistance to forming and air entrapment and resistance to contamination.
These misconceptions have caused some food processors to downplay HACCP recommendations due to concerns over equipment protection or increased cost of operations. However, ignoring the recommendations could result in higher costs in the long run. It’s timely, therefore, to look at proper food grade lubricant selection, and key criteria to consider during the selection process for major applications. These criteria can be evaluated using standardised laboratory tests.
1) Resistance to lubricant breakdown in harsh operating environments Food grade grease should maintain consistency and lubrication in the presence of food acids, juices and by-products.
Food Grade Hydraulic Fluids
3) Load carrying capability and wear protection Food grade grease should prevent seizure, scuffi ng and spalling under shock loading conditions.
When selecting a food grade hydraulic fluid, here are three key properties to consider: 1) Fluid life – oxidative and thermal stability Resistance to oxidative and thermal breakdown keeps systems free of sludge and varnish to ensure the smooth and reliable operation of hydraulic valves and actuators. It can also result in longer fluid life and reduced downtime in tough operating environments. 2) Wear protection A hydraulic fluid should protect metal pump parts from
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Food Grade Greases When selecting food grade grease, there are four key criteria to keep in mind:
2) Effectiveness across a wide range of temperatures Food grade grease should not run from bearings operating at high temperatures, yet should remain pumpable at low temperatures.
4) Rust and corrosion protection Food grade grease should prevent bearing, gear and equipment damage in moist or wet operating conditions.
Talk To Your Lubricant Supplier When selecting food grade lubricants, it is important to work with your lubricant supplier. Start by explaining your operating issues to fi nd a solution that will decrease your overall operating costs.
Colleen Flanagan is Category Manager (Specialty Fluids & Food Grade Lubricants) at Petro-Canada Lubricants. She has over 25 years experience in the oil and lubricants industry, the majority of which has been in the downstream sector with Petro-Canada. Prior to her category manager role in specialty ﬂuids and food grade lubricants, Colleen held similar positions with a focus on the company’s grease, mining, gas plant and pipeline and power and commercial transportation portfolios.
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he figures don’t lie: more than a billion people are estimated to be overweight, almost one in six people currently occupying this planet. The World Health Organisation also estimates that around 43 million children under five are overweight. “All you have to do is walk around today in any public place – an airport, movie theatre, or a shopping-mall to see that we have an obesity epidemic,” says the CEO of Kraft Foods, Irene Rosenfeld. “Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable disease and death globally, second only to smoking.” And nor is this issue solely the preserve of first world countries. “Take India, for example. It’s well known that the country has a hunger problem. In fact, about 220 million Indians are undernourished. But at the same time, about 155 million Indians are obese – that’s more than the populations of Germany and the UK combined. And, unfortunately, the number is growing. So obesity is truly a global problem.” Rosenfeld, who was recently voted by Forbes as the second most powerful women in the world, says we currently face a critical paradoxical challenge: “For the fi rst time in history, we’re battling epidemics around the world related to both obesity and hunger – feast and famine – at the very same time”.
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A tale of two epidemics CEO of Kraft Foods Inc, Irene Rosenfeld, confronts the challenges of the food industry in the 21st century Given Kraft Foods’ broad portfolio and extensive global footprint, it’s clear the food giant is deeply engaged in both of these issues. “We sell products in 170 countries; in fact, almost 60 percent of our revenue comes from outside the US. Our products range from indulgences such as chocolate, to healthy snacks like wholegrain crackers and cheese, and those that offer essential vitamins and minerals like fortified biscuits and powdered beverages. What might be less clear is how Kraft Foods is going about this issue to ensure that they “make a lasting, positive change in the lives of millions of people affected by these two epidemics”. According to Rosenfeld, the key is to address both the immediate needs and the root causes of obesity and hunger. “We are organising our efforts around the three P’s: products, partnerships and policies. Within that framework, we are actively fighting both feast and famine.” When it comes to the former, Rosenfeld says one of the biggest challenges facing her organisation is that while consumers say they want to eat healthier, it’s difficult for them to translate that intent into action. “The fact is that people are unwilling to compromise on taste: they simply won’t eat foods they don’t like in order to be healthy. And they fi nd it especially difficult to give up their favourite foods. So, Kraft Foods’ health and
wellness product strategy is grounded in two principles: firstly, we’re helping people to eat healthier not with radical behaviour change, but by making small changes that add up over time.” Rosenfeld quotes Dr Jim Hill, chair of the fi rst World Health Organisation Consultation on Obesity, who says that those engaged in the food and beverage industry should aim to help people make one or two smarter food choices that will reduce their energy intake by 50-100 calories daily. “Dr Hill suggests that these small changes in diet, along with exercise, can stop gradual weight gain. And stopping weight gain is a fi rst step in reversing the obesity epidemic.” Kraft Foods’ second principle is to ensure that the healthier products they develop for their consumers still taste delicious. To this end, since 2005, the company has reformulated or launched more than 5000 products globally to make it easier for people to make smarter food choices. “These include products with fewer calories, like our 100-calorie packs, or CapriSun beverages, where a recent reformulation eliminated over 100 billion calories annually. Or Jell-O-Mousse Temptations, a new product with only 60 calories which is, in fact, growing faster than our regular version.” Also on the roster of lower-fat products are those with more whole grain, including the fi rst whole grain biscuit in China, as well as lower-sodium products. “We’ve committed to reduce sodium in our North American products by an average of 10 percent by the end of 2010. We’ve also taken steps like adding fruit to some of our Lunchables products, many of which now include whole grain buns, lean meats, reduced-fat cheeses, fat-free mayo and sugarfree Jell-O. Our aim is to make these products better for you, but still tasting delicious, which is a real testament to the strength of our R&D capabilities and talent.” Indeed, Rosenfeld estimates around 30 percent of Kraft Foods’ products now fall into the ‘better choices’ basket and, over time, she expects that percentage to grow as more people sample and migrate to these products. The message, she says, is clear. “We believe that our greatest strength lies in our range of offerings, and in our ability to provide choices to our consumers. Indeed, there is room in a healthy diet for all our products, so our goal is to provide a wider range of offerings to enable people to make healthier, more balanced choices to meet their unique nutritional needs.” Running in tandem with product development is Kraft Foods’ range of partnerships aimed at educating consumers about healthy eating and the importance of physical activity. Over the past 25 years, the company has supported programmes in nearly 50 countries, including the Health4Schools campaign in the UK. “Th is is an award-winning programme designed to engage students in the elements of healthy lifestyle by promoting gardening, cooking and active play. Since 2004, we’ve launched the programme in 100 schools in Gloucestershire, reaching about 25,000 students and inspiring the adults in their lives, as well. Recently, we announced that we will
“ Our aim is to make these products better for you, but still tasting delicious, which is a real testament to the strength of our R&D capabilities and talent” be making a similar investment over the next three years in Birmingham which, of course is the home of Cadbury’s historic Bournville factory.” In Latin America, Kraft Foods has partnered with the National Latino Children’s Institute to launch Salsa, Sabor y Salud in 2002, a free, bilingual programme that targets childhood obesity in the US Latino community. “Th is programme engages the whole family in healthier food choices and increasing their physical activity,” says Rosenthal. Importantly, Kraft Foods is also “actively engaged” globally to affect policies that help educate consumers about nutrition. “We were one of the fi rst companies to put full nutritional information on all our packages, even when it was not required by law. We’ve been a leader in marketing responsibly to children as part of our global commitment to the World Health Organisation and in 2005, we were the fi rst company to take the bold step of setting nutrition criteria for the products we advertise to children. We also do not advertise to children under six; instead we only advertise products to children aged 6-11 that meet specific nutritional standards. We eliminated all in-school advertising and are proud that many in the industry have now followed our lead.” But, she admits, that’s only half the battle. “The other side of the feast and famine coin is the global hunger epidemic. The latest UN estimate is that nearly a billion people worldwide are undernourished today. About half of them live in Asia and another quarter are in sub-Saharan Africa. But even in the US, the most affluent nation in the world, one out of every six Americans goes to bed hungry. In developing countries, malnutrition affects one in every three children, a statistic that is particularly troubling because scientific evidence has shown that beyond the age of three, the effects of chronic malnutrition are irreversible.” Like obesity, hunger is a complex issue with many contributing factors. “Poverty, natural disasters, climate change, political unrest, insufficient investment in agriculture and ineffective public policy all play a role. And, like obesity, the social costs of hunger are devastating. To help solve the hunger challenge, we also start with our products.” It is, she says, an exciting opportunity to use Kraft Foods’ knowledge and technology to make a difference in improving people’s lives. “I’m pleased to say than in developing markets, about 10 percent of our revenue comes from products we call ‘affordable nutrition’. These products are fortified with the nutrients that are most lacking in people’s diets, are affordable to consumers with limited incomes, have long shelf lives and are easy to ship and carry home.” These products include fortified biscuits like Biskuat in Indonesia and Jai Gai in China, fortified cheeses like Eden, sold in the Philippines, and fortified beverages, like
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Tang, in Brazil. “These products have small price tags, but they are big businesses for us. For example, and this may surprise you, but Tang alone is a US$800 million brand, growing 30 percent each year.” As is the case with Kraft Foods’ efforts to combat obesity, the company fi nds it an effective strategy to partner with others in the fight against hunger. “As you know, poverty is a key underlying cause of hunger in many developing markets. Of all the people in the world who don’t get enough food, approximately 70 percent work in agriculture. So we’re leading the way in improving the livelihoods of more than a million farmers through partnerships that support sustainable agriculture. For example, we’re the largest buyer of coffee and cocoa from Rainforest Alliancecertified farms, which we use to make products like Kenco Coffee or Cote D’or chocolate. These farms support biodiversity, reduce pollution and soil erosion and ensure decent wages, housing and education for farm workers.” Rosenfeld, who has worked in the food and beverage industry for 25 years, says her company is also empowering farmer organisations directly through a US$70 million investment in the Cadbury Cocoa partnership. Th is is aimed at helping farmers to achieve Fairtrade certification, enabling them to receive a guaranteed minimum price for their products. “In just two years, we’ve obtained Fairtrade certification in many Commonwealth countries for Cad-
Almost 60% of Kraft Foods revenue comes from outside the US
More than a billion people are overweight, almost 1/3 of the planet
bury Dairy milk, making it the number one Fairtrade chocolate bar in the world. All told, we sell more than 15 coffee and cocoa brands that are either Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance certified.” But man, or woman, doesn’t live on coffee or tea alone, so Kraft Foods is working with other commodities. The company is, for example, the world’s largest purchaser of cashew nuts. “In West Africa, which supplies about a third of the world’s cashews, we’ve partnered with organisations like the Gates Foundation and together we are investing almost US$100 million over five years to advance sustainable production of cashews and other cash crops, while boosting the incomes of African farmers.” Likewise ‘Project Laser Beam’, a five-year, multimillion dollar initiative with the World Food Programme which aims to end child malnutrition in developing markets by taking an holistic approach that encompasses food, hygiene and behaviour change. “We’re currently testing it in Bangladesh and Indonesia, and we hope to expand it to other countries as we learn more.” Closer to home, Kraft Foods partners with Feeding America, a leading hunger relief organisation. The latest initiative includes funding a fleet of 25 mobile pantries by the end of 2011, which will deliver almost one million kilos of food a year, including fresh produce. “We are also fortunate to be able to tap into the intellectual capital and passion of some of the best partners anywhere in the world: our employees. Many of them volunteer at food banks and pantries, packing food and distributing meals. Recently, Kraft Foods employees in Dubai set a Guinness World Record by creating the world’s longest line of sandwiches – 10,000 of them, end-to-end – which they then packed into 5000 food packages and distributed to the hungry. Now that’s what I call making a really big difference!” Rosenfeld is also a keen supporter of Kraft Foods’ global activities in advocating for policies that can help combat hunger and malnutrition. “For example, we’re working with the Global Food Banking Network to help countries establish policies that encourage businesses to donate food before it goes bad. And we’re part of a broadbased coalition that’s supporting the Roadmap to End Hunger, which advocates increasing international food aid and converting food aid donations from commodities to cash.” Solving world hunger feels like a daunting challenge, concludes Rosenfeld. “And it is. But we believe it’s doable. By using our technology to create delicious, fortified products, engaging with partners who share our commitment, and advocating for policies to create lasting change, we believe Kraft Foods is truly making a difference in the lives of hungry people around the world. And together, we can help solve the paradox of ‘feast and famine’. As we like to say, together we really can ‘make a delicious difference’ in our communities, in our state, in our countries and in our world.” * This article is based on a speech delivered on 18 October 2010 in Chicago
NEXT BIG THING
Producing perishable foodstuffs hygienically Dieter Conzelmann explains how organic foodstuffs can be packaged and produced more effectively using specialist software.
rganic products have become a focus in our society. Customers diets are becoming increasingly healthier and include more and more organic food, that is an easily-identifiable market trend. According to a representative study by the German Federal Ministry of Food, around 53 percent of Germans purchase organic products at least occasionally. The term organic is legally defi ned by the EU and requires, amongst other things, that the product contains less food additives in direct comparison with conventional foodstuffs. But when foodstuff producers dispense with preservatives during production, the danger that products become contaminated with bacteria increases. The solution here must lie in designing all machines that come into contact with perishable foodstuffs ergonomically and in such a way that the bacteria are not allowed for and that are easy to clean. In the unpacked foodstuffs sector most competitors offer checkweighers with single motorised conveyors – so already at the transitions from the feeding belt, weighing belt and discharge belt, there can be hygienic problems. In these areas, parts of the foodstuff fall from the belt drive and collect in hard-to-reach parts of the system. The Bizerba Checkweigher CWP Neptune weighs and sorts unpacked foodstuffs and is perfectly suited to the requirements of perishable foodstuffs thanks to its hygienic ergonomics. It has been designed in compliance with the hygienic design criteria of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) and only requires the use of one single drive belt. Th is belt is the widest part of the system. Should parts of the product fall off the belt, they cannot fi nish up either in another part of the machinery, or back in the production stream. Underfi lling is illegal and damaging to a company’s image, but even slight overfi lling adds up to substantial costs during the course of a year. Therefore the checkweigher can easily be combined with the Bizerba soft ware statistics, BRAIN. The company can make sure that no packaging leaves the factory that does not have the correct weight. At 15,000 fi nished packs per day and 200 production days per year, overfi lling of only seven grams adds up to 21 tons per year. At a cost price of one euro per kilo the give-away adds up to €21,000 per year. The combination of soft ware with control scales results in an effective instrument for process opimisation. In the production stage products and fi nished packaging are checked – depending on the customer’s demands either by sampling or to 100 percent. During the entire processes the production personnel execute the
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Dieter Conzelmann, Director of Industry Solutions Market at Bizerba, studied information technology in Stuttgart/ Esslingen and began his employment at Bizerba GmbH & Co. KG in 1989 as a development engineer. Since 1999, he has been responsible for managing the industry solutions division. Since 2008 he has also been responsible for the business management of Bizerba Solutions Inc. in the US.
computerised quality checks themselves. The scales operators receive a direct alarm signal in the case of possible flaws and can immediately intervene in the production process. Online monitoring permits the person working in front of the PC in the control centre to visualise the process online. In the case of large amounts of data, a histogram provides an immediate overview of distribution and outliers without having to analyse long sequences of numbers. High-level quality management of the products can be guaranteed in this way. Th is will be beneficial to the company’s image and will increase customer satisfaction as well as customer loyalty. The checkweigher can be governed with the terminal GT-12C. From touchscreen with colour display to userfriendly user interfaces: the operating terminal is clearly structured and child’s play to operate. It practically explains itself. Th is is necessary nowadays as no one has more time to battle with complicated technology. Information is communicated through simple graphics. Soft keys can be stored with self-explanatory images or icons. As a result, the user quickly and intuitively becomes confident with all functions. From colour scales in the background to the corporate logo the screen can be configured specifically to client’s needs.
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SAFETY Paola Testori Coggi, Director General for Health and Consumers at the European Commission, reveals the history, importance and impact of the Better Training for Safer Food initiative across Europe and the rest of the world.
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he Better Training for Safer Food initiative was launched in 2006 under the auspices of the European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Consumers, with considerable backing from the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development. Its main purpose was, and remains, to provide high quality training in the areas of food and feed safety, animal health and welfare and plant health for national officials of Member States, associated and third countries involved in controls related to these fields. While the training itself started in 2006, the roots of Better Training for Safer Food go back further, with Regulation 882/2004 on official controls that were adopted in April 2004 forming the legal basis for the initiative. Article 51 of this regulation empowered the Commission to organise training for Member State competent authority staff responsible for official controls in the fields of feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules as well as for third and particularly developing country participants. As regards plant health, the legal basis for training goes back further still to Council Directive 2000/29/EC on measures against the introduction into and, spread within, the European Union of organisms harmful to plants or plant products. These developments did not however happen in a vacuum. The empowerment of the Commission to organise training in the areas which Better Training for Safer Food would come to cover, came against the back-
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FIRST ground of considerable activity as regards the development of European Union legislation in those areas, to the extent that by the early part of the last decade, national-level food and feed law, animal health and welfare requirements and plant health rules were almost fully harmonised within the European Union. Th is went a considerable way to fi nalising the creation of the internal market in these fields. At the same time, this European Union-level action also made a significant contribution to raising levels of consumer protection and restoring confidence in food in Europe, which were at a particularly low ebb following crises such as the outbreak of BSE and the dioxin scare in the 1990s. Once the Internal Market objectives had largely been achieved, the Commission felt that the next step was to ensure that existing law was correctly applied. It was quickly recognised that training of those who verify implementation of European Union law in these fields would be a key element in this. Thus Better Training for Safer Food was set up with the objective of providing just this kind of training so as to ensure that official control staff at national level were kept up to date with relevant European Union legislative requirements and thus better able to identify non-compliance. Th is would in turn make a considerable contribution to making controls more efficient, objective and harmonised across the Union, thereby further making Europe’s citizens safer, healthier and more confident. Various additional positive knock-on effects from training in these areas can be identified. Foremost amongst these is the fact that harmonisa-
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tion offers food businesses greater certainty of equal treatment wherever their goods are placed on the market and thus facilitates trade. It should, however, be emphasised that Better Training for Safer Food was never intended to replace training provided by European Union Member States in these fields, but to complement them. Indeed, the very same regulation which provides the legal basis for much of Better Training for Safer Food’s activity also requires that Member State competent authorities ensure their own official control staff receive appropriate training. Th is is still the case today and I will stress here that Better Training for Safer Food is only intended to cover aspects where it is considered that added value will accrue from action at European Union level. Looking beyond Europe’s frontiers, it was clear from the outset that considerable benefits could also arise from providing similar training to third countries, something that was foreseen in the legal basis of Better Training for Safer Food. Given the extent of food imports into the European Union (which is, after all, the world’s largest food importer), the advantages for the Union itself are obvious. For instance, such training serves to promote European standards and the European Union’s legislative model at global level and also gives businesses and consumers in the Union easier access to safe products from all over the world. At the same time, if third country products fully comply with European Union standards, this cuts down on the burden of carrying out extensive import checks at the Union’s borders but also puts European food businesses in an equally competitive position as their third country counterparts.
By the same token, the benefits to third and particularly developing countries are also numerous. First, increased knowledge of European Union standards amongst relevant parties within developing countries will better enable them to ensure that their food products respect these standards. This is vital in order to ease access to the European market for such products and can have positive associated effects in terms of generating economic growth and employment and combating poverty. Second, increases in trade in safe food at a global level bring about a win-win situation for all parties, be they in Europe or elsewhere, and have an important role to play in fostering and strengthening trade links between the European Union and its partners, both potential and actual, around the world. Third, in the same way as for the European Union, improved safety controls are essential in order to ensure a safe food supply for consumers in third countries thereby reducing the risk of disease outbreaks and related social and economic burdens.
capacity to ensure that their agro-food products meet internationally recognised sanitary and phytosanitary standards. Although the work carried out over the last two years within Better Training for Safer Food in Africa is a concrete step towards achieving these aims, further concerted action will be needed. As we are coming to the end of this programme, we consider this a good time to ref lect on the experience of the past couple of years, with a view to mapping out the best way forward. Better Training for Safer Food represents a considerable success story for the European Commission. However, this success is not solely down to the Commission as the management of Better Training for Safer Food requires constructive engagement from European Union Member State and third country authorities and a wide array of stakeholders. It is my firm belief that this training programme must continue for a long time to come. We have received many indications to this effect from training participants, competent authorities and stakeholders from both European Union Member “Increases in trade in safe food States and around the world. However, for the further imat a global level bring about a provement and possible extension win-win situation for all parties, of Better Training for Safer Food, be they in Europe or elsewhere, many challenges lie ahead. We are and have an important role conscious of this, and for this reason to play in fostering and the Commission services issued a staff working document which strengthening trade links highlights the most important of between the European Union these challenges and the ways in and its partners” which we believe they can be overPaola Testori Coggi come. Most of them rely on improving coordination so as to deal more Where we come from effectively with certain difficult With the aims I have just described firmly in mind, the Commisaspects such as better selection of participants, offering basic and sion launched concrete training in 2006. The offer for that year comadvanced-level courses, increasing dissemination and adopting a more prised seven programmes and trained just under 1500 people. demand-driven approach. I would like to focus on one specific point From these relatively modest beginnings, the initiative has become only: the role played by our expert group of national contact points a real success story over the last few years. The number of programmes in the European Union Member States, candidate and European Free increased to 12 in 2007, with participation more than doubling in reTrade Association countries. lation to the previous year. Similar increases have been seen over the These contact points channel information related to Better Trainfollowing years and it is a testament to the positive impact of Better ing for Safer Food between the Commission, the Executive Agency for Training for Safer Food that today it comprises programmes on around Health and Consumers and the external contractors responsible for the 25 different subjects and has trained upwards of 23,000 people both in running of training activities on the one hand and the national authorithe European Union and worldwide. ties on the other. Regular meetings of this Group with the Commission The scope of the training is also very broad, with European-based allows to define training needs, coordinate activities and f lag up any programmes covering such diverse subjects as veterinary and food problems, which may have been encountered during the activities. The safety checks at border inspection posts, animal welfare during transwork of these experts has been fundamental to the smooth functioning port and at slaughter, food contact materials and plant protection prodof Better Training for Safer Food thus far and in order to successfully ucts. Third country training has likewise been varied in its outlook, implement the actions laid down in the working document, their role with subjects covered ranging from European Union food standards, and commitment will need to increase further still. Of course, coorvia highly pathogenic avian inf luenza control, to analysis of genetically dination through this channel mainly concerns activities taking place modified organisms. in the European Union and primarily aimed at European participants. To this third-country training was added the Better Training for Events such as this conference also provide an ideal opportunity to Safer Food in Africa programme in 2008, within which activities have obtain further input on the running of the training both in the Eurotaken place over the course of 2009 and 2010, in parallel with the stanpean Union and worldwide. dard Better Training for Safer Food activity. This programme comprisThis article is based on a speech made by Paola Testori Coggi at a conference on the Better Training for Safer Food Programme. es seven highly varied activities aimed at developing African countries’
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Walmart has set itself a goal to cut 20 million tonnes off greenh house gases by 2015 and green its supply chain.
almart, the world’s largest retailer with more than 7800 stores around the world, has set itself a new goal of reducing its environmental footprint by turning its attention to its supply chain. Walmart is looking to its suppliers to help it achieve a 20 million tonne cut in greenhouse gas emissions from the lifestyle and supply chain of Walmart products by 2015. The company’s measures to reduce some of its impact include working toward: 100 percent use of renewable energy; zero waste at its sites and a prototype design for new stores to make them 20 percent more energy efficient. Speaking at a webcast news conference, CEO Mike Duke gave details of how Walmart plans to make the entire business more environmentally friendly. The cut in emissions is about one-and-a-half times the company’s projected carbon growth over the next five years and is roughly equivalent to taking 3.8 million cars off the road for a year, he said. “We’re announcing an aggressive new goal,” said Duke. “There are opportunities throughout the product lifecycle – from the sourcing of raw materials to the manufacturing of a product to its transportation and how customers use it, dispose of it and recycle it. We will be efficient because we can find the reductions anywhere in the world and at the lowest price. We will be a leader in retail because we will be the first to take a look at the supply chain on a global scale.”
Environmental Defence Fund Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defence Fund (EDF), an organisation which has been working closely with Walmart to implement their measures, has praised Walmart’s initiatives. “Th is is real leadership. Walmart is looking at the whole picture,” says Krupp, referencing the fi rm’s work to reduce emissions of its fleets and buildings, establish a Sustainability Index and increase
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standards among suppliers in China and around the globe. Duke acknowledged EDF’s counsel and assistance in developing the new goal, as well as input from the Natural Resources Defence Council and the World Wildlife Fund in the company’s broad environmental programme. Other help in achieving this impressive supply chain goal is coming from PricewaterhouseCoopers, ClearCarbon Inc., the Carbon Disclosure Project and the Applied Sustainability Center (ASC) at the University of Arkansas. The organisations will help identify projects, measure and verify reductions and engage with suppliers. Elizabeth Sturcken, Managing Director of EDF’s Corporate Partnerships programme who leads the team working with Walmart, said the company, its suppliers and the various advisory groups collaborating on supply chain emissions are venturing into “uncharted waters”. They plan to share their framework for some of the key processes. “We’re going to open this up to the world to make sure this is real and accurate,” she says. With 90 percent of its carbon footprint embedded in its products’ supply chain and lifecycle, the company plans to focus fi rst on the sectors that are likely to yield the greatest amount of emissions reductions as well as the greatest amount of cost savings, says Matt Kistler, Walmart’s Senior Vice President for Sustainability. “Walmart has more than 100,000 global suppliers. With its biggest-bang-for-the-buck strategy, the supply chain reduction effort is expected to involve several hundred suppliers,” says Kistler. Walmart ran several pilots with suppliers before announcing the goal, he says. Early successes include that of Fox Home Entertainment, whose reductions in DVD packaging have served as a model and resulted in DVD suppliers eliminating 28,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions last year. Paul Kelly of ASDA, a Walmart subsidiary and the UK’s second-largest grocery chain, noted that it has achieved a seven percent absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the past two years. “We’ve taken more than 80,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent out of Asda’s operations since 2007, despite opening 36 stores and serving an additional 2.5 million customers each week,” says Kelly. “We’re now producing 66 tonnes of CO2 equivalent for every GBP£1 million of our sales, compared with 83 tonnes two years ago.” In the UK the distance between stores and the distribution centres average only 50 miles so that ASDA can reduce the number of miles trucks travel and save fuel. ASDA is also working with suppliers to reduce the amount of carbon in the supply chain. In 2007, the grocery fi rm worked closely with a number of its fresh food suppliers to map the embedded carbon in their products, including eggs, milk, potatoes, lamb and chicken. As part of this work they identified hot spots that could be targeted to significantly reduce levels of carbon. For example, ASDA is working with 100 dairy farms to calculate their individual carbon footprint and then provide them with a toolkit to help identify and reduce embedded carbon.
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Walmart’s innovative programme to reduce greenhouse gases has three main components:
1 Selection Walmart will focus on the product categories with the highest embedded carbon. This is deﬁned as the amount of lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit multiplied by the amount the company sells. To ﬁnd the embedded carbon, the ASC reviewed the GHG emissions associated with all Walmart product categories. This approach ensures the project team focuses on the categories that have the greatest opportunity for reductions. Reductions can come from any part of a product’s lifecycle.
2 Action For a project to be included as part of this goal, it must reduce GHGs from a product in either the sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, customer use or end-of-life disposal. Walmart must demonstrate it had direct inﬂuence on the reduction and show how that reduction would not have occurred without Walmart’s participation.
3 Assessment Suppliers and Walmart will jointly account for the reductions. ClearCarbon will perform a quality assurance review of those claims to ensure methodology, completeness and calculations are correct. When the claims meet the quality assurance check, PricewaterhouseCoopers will assess under consulting standards whether the deﬁned procedures were followed consistently to quantify the reduction claim.
ASK THE EXPERT
Managing the variety of nature Using natural raw materials is a key requirement in today’s food and consumer industry. Is it possible to manage those non-deterministic productions with reasonable time to market and costs? Less is more – ERP with MES integration streamlines processes from raw material to ﬁnal distribution. By Rainer Weißenberger
company’s information logistics must combine all aspects of production and materials management. Today’s ERP systems can do much more than simply depict the flow of materials and values. ERP systems for the food industry integrate specialised systems for recipe creation, production optimisation and laboratory information. Th is makes it easier for small and medium-sized companies in particular to truly rely on integrated business processes. A fruit processing facility processes natural raw materials (fruits and vegetables) which, by their nature, come in a range of different quality levels and quantities. The raw materials must be processed using conversion and mixing processes to create products for the food industry that conform to precise specifications. These include fruit juice concentrates for beverage manufacturers or fruit preparations for the ice cream or baking industry, for example. All products have recipes that are translated into manufacturing instructions. One of the recipe system’s tasks is to establish whether a recipe adheres to certain internal or external (i.e. customer) specifications on the basis of the ingredients in the recipe components. If this system operates independently of the ERP system, evaluations and information linking are only possible to a limited extent or have to be performed by means of a third system. Integrating the recipe management system into the ERP not only makes it possible to use more data such as costing and lot information, but also includes, for example, characteristics-based mapping of a flexible, freely-configurable formula management system and, therefore, a knowhow management system for product development. The system links, controls and documents the distribution and product development processes by means of electronic workflows – from the customer enquiry and feasibility study stages, to initial samples, right through
to order production, product lifecycle management, and change management. Th is means that real data from the ERP system (relating to unit costs) can even be accessed for preliminary costing of the development recipe. But product development is just one area to benefit from integration: data can also be extracted from the recipe in the laboratory when creating inspection plans. What is more, product information and specifications based on data from the product development department and laboratory can be created at virtually the touch of a button and, thanks to integration, can be accessed by the purchasing, sales and production departments. The resulting production protocol incorporates not just the recipe components themselves, but also customer stipulations concerning fruit content, for example. The machine centre enables production orders to be entered quickly and control over the processing chain as a result, from raw materials to semi-finished products, right through to the point at which the tank is filled. In the case of production orders the individual components are allocated while also ensuring compliance with the specified limits for the end product based on all the components involved. Depending on the Brix value, for example, a greater quantity of lot A than of lot B may be required. Indeed, the system may even be able to generate a suggestion for all the recipe components at the touch of a button. Transparency is ensured in lot concepts that integrate lot monitoring and status management throughout all stages of production, from the original materials to the fi nal product and vice versa, and which encompass management of tanks and containers, as well as various other forms of packaging.
Rainer Weißenberger is CEO of YAVEON AG. He has long term experience in fully integrated information logistics for batch processes and ERP systems.
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A competitive edge Alan Spreckley reveals how developments in robot technology could provide the all-important competitive advantage for food processing companies.
or today’s food and drink companies, keeping up with rapidly changing consumer behaviour and expectations means having production and packaging equipment that can also keep pace. One of the most pressing challenges facing today’s producers is to ensure they have the most flexible systems in place that can readily adapt to changing circumstances. When it comes to ensuring flexibility in picking, packing and palletising applications, today’s robotic technology offers a very real opportunity for UK food companies to boost their competitiveness. The food and beverage industry is undoubtedly one of the major success areas for automated production and for robotics. In the last three years, demand for industrial robots in this sector has grown by an impressive 300 percent, with units handling a wide range of both production and handling tasks. Th is growth has come from an increased realisation of the possibilities of today’s robots, coupled with developments in the technology that have made it suitable for taking on an ever-expanding list of tasks. The flexibility of robotic technology, for example, makes it ideally matched to the inherently fast changing nature of many food and beverage processes. On the packaging side in particular, robots can be quickly adapted to handle new product designs and package shapes, with no need for extensive reprogramming or reconfiguration. ments in robotic technology have been aimed. In the last three decades, Significant strides forward in robotic control and gripper technology the technology has been steadily tweaked with a whole raft of improvehas also meant that more products can now be handled by ments aimed at reducing complexity and increasing the robots. Even the most fragile products, such as bread or range of applications where robots can be used. brittle goods like biscuits, can now be lifted, moved and Most importantly for end users, robots have also packed with greatly reduced levels of product wastage. become increasingly affordable, opening up new opportuThe availability of high-speed picking, packaging and nities particularly for small to medium enterprises where palletising robots with ever greater speed and precision they might previously have been regarded as prohibitively capabilities also opens up new possibilities for fast perforexpensive. mance, particularly ideal for meeting tight order deadlines That robots can bring very real benefits to companies or increased order quantities. of all sizes is well proven. For users worldwide, the decision In addition to increased up-time and productivity, roto automate with robots has provided a key competitive botic automation can also help to reduce much of the costs advantage in an industry where margins are tight and the and time associated with employee issues such as work- Alan Spreckley is Food Segment pressure to deliver on time and in the right quantities is Manager at ABB Robotics, UK. place accidents and increasingly demanding workplace paramount. legislation. For those needing proof of the benefits that robots Despite all these benefits, however, and a heritage spanning over could bring to their process, we can point to a wide range of real-life ap30 years, robots are still often deemed to be ‘new technology’ by many plications. Whether it’s delivering faster, more accurate palletising at Cadusers, anxious about perceived complexity or cost. Smaller companies burys, sorting and packing cheese products by size at Ilchester Cheese, or especially, which have limited fi nancial and technical resources and are handling and palletising the world’s leading brand of Champagne, robots consequently more risk-averse, often tend to see robots as the preserve of offer very real possibilities for the future of the food industry. larger companies. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details about In fact, it is precisely these smaller companies at which the developthe beneﬁts of robots, visit www.abb.com/robotics.
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A global perspective Dieter Greissinger discusses the effect of globalisation on the feed to food chain.
With a PhD in Chemistry, Dieter Greissinger started his professional career with Marketing of Pharmaceutical Ingredients. Now, in his current position as VP Quality and Regulatory Compliance for Evonik’s Health and Nutrition Unit, he looks back on more than 20 years experience from various technical and managerial functions in the feed additive industry.
Why does globalisation drive safety and quality issues in the feed to food chain? Dieter Greissinger. Free global trade is regarded as a key element of economic wealth. With respect to the feed to food chain, we can have access to new markets and globally source new raw materials and products. But we can as well face or create new risks. Any event that is taking place at a certain place in the world may be of impact anywhere else in the world and initiate a chain reaction of crisis media attention and/or consumer concern of much higher dimension than before. The development of feed safety systems is not only influenced by local feed regulation and the number of feed and food scandals, but also by increasing international trade. Developing countries also suffer from recent feed crises and started to establish regulatory frameworks including measures to ensure feed and food safety. However, when regulations or local quality standards are in an early state of evolution, rules change frequently, teething troubles occur and large deviations or even confl icting requirements compared to other countries may be in force. Does that mean global standards are necessary? DG. A one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate for the global feed industry as there are various types of processes involved and one cannot simply impose standards and expectations of developed countries on lesser developed areas that would only increase costs of food and make it unaffordable for the poor. Export activities of third world countries have to be seen differently, since they have to meet the standard of the destination to keep the same level of safety, quality and efforts needed for imported and domestic products. The benefit of globally harmonised standards, and eventually globally harmonised feed regulation, is clear: as real guidance for operators they provide reliability, trouble free access to markets and high reputation. Are there conﬂicting targets for feed producers? DG. Consumers need trust to benefit from a global range of goods and opportunities, but the significance of quality attributes has shifted over time from nutritional and technical quality to safety. Now, climate change, ethical concerns and animal welfare as well as taste and affordability, all aspects of sustainability and the environmental impact of livestock production are the focus of consumers and stakeholders in developed countries. For a considerable part of the population in less developed countries,
the main concern is, however, still food security. And this is a topic gaining much more relevance in the future. Responding to the population growth, new nutritional concepts are needed and this has to be achieved without jeopardising feed and food safety. We will need an intensification of the food production, efficient processing and distribution, and we will see new technologies and ingredients, for example by-products of various industries or new plant varieties. However, these new developments also carry sufficient risk for new potential hazards and potential safety problems. So how should regulators and the operating feed industry act? DG. For the regulators and operators within the chain, it is easier to fulfi l quality and safety requirements with close communication. The industry usually responds quickly to challenges and there will be a tendency for vertical integration, long-term contracts and less spot market transactions as can already be observed for the meat market and for retailers. Authorities and legislators – as well as to a certain extent associations – are usually not so fast due to their inherent system of consensus fi nding. However, harmonisation is requested on this level as well.
“It will be more important in future to enable a free international food supply chain to secure not only feed and food safety but also global food security” It is important to adopt feed and food regulations to local conditions, but it will be more important in future to enable a free international food supply chain to secure not only feed and food safety but also global food security. At Evonik Degussa our concept of preventative action is that of an integrated management system that includes ISO 9001 as a management system basis, ISO 14001 to cover environmental questions, FAMI-QS to meet feed safety and regulatory needs, ISO 14040 to respond to growing interest in life cycle assessment and a further set of internal rules to meet upcoming ethical and sustainability issues.
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An innovation driver Calvin Grieder reveals how Bühler is making important contributions in the areas of food, raw materials, energy and the environment.
Could you brieﬂy explain who Bühler is? Calvin Grieder. Most people are not aware of how many times a day they encounter products to which Buhler has contributed. Buns in the morning? The ink on the newspaper? Perhaps a few noodles for lunch? The refreshing beer after work? That chocolate bar? Yes, a bit of Bühler is in all of these things – for Bühler is a technology group and global market leader in grain feed and food-processing, but also advanced materials processing. When Adolf Bühler set up an iron foundry in Uzwil in 1860, he is unlikely to have imagined in his wildest dreams that his venture would ultimately produce a global corporation with 7500 employees in more than 140 countries who generate annual revenue of about 1.8 billion Swiss francs (CHF). Why is Bühler recognised as an innovation driver? CG. Every year, we spend more than CHF 80 million on research, which is enormously important. But we must get away from the idea that innovation is created solely in research laboratories. The motto of Bühler’s anniversary year is: “150 Years of Bühler – Innovations for a Better World”. To be able to follow this motto also in the future and to fi nd new and better solutions for the future, we launched a competition among our employees worldwide to generate new business ideas. Last year a total of 140 teams submitted their ideas. Four teams have gone through the fi nal, vying for fi rst place. Th is year again over 120 ideas were submitted. Innovation can occur in every job everywhere around the world. In this connection, the issue of job rotation is very important to me. Exchanging ideas and experiences among different cultures and work styles is a must today.
We understand that Asia will remain hot turf and we will have to speed up in order to remain strong in these markets. Th is I am saying even after Bühler has localised its organisations over the last 100 years and started to produce in China 25 years ago. Bühler will never stand still and developments will go on. Especially after the economic crisis, we expect that the world will be different than it was before. We therefore have strengthened our capabilities to innovate and come up with new solutions for the future markets and customer needs. How will the world be different in the future and what will be Bühler’s contribution? CG. Today the world is facing enormous challenges. The expected growth in global population in conjunction with increasing urbanisation and the related changes in dietary habits are steadily raising demand for grain to cover the needs for meat and dairy products. At the same time, crop growing areas are limited or are even tending to decrease due to the change in climate and the utilisation of valuable crop acreage for other purposes. Besides that, we should not forget that a quarter of all harvest gets lost, rotten or damaged on the way to processing. In this environment, Bühler can make an important contribution in the areas of food, raw materials, energy and the environment and will indeed assume this responsibility. This will also secure the organisation’s business future – in the sense of controlled organic and acquisition-based growth and the carefully nurtured corporate culture, which is so decisive for its success.
Calvin Grieder graduated in process engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. After graduation he worked in a number of management positions in companies engaged in the ﬁelds of control engineering, automation and plant construction to establish and expand their international businesses. Grieder joined the Bühler Group as CEO in 2001.
How has Bühler been preparing itself to better serve its existing customer base while providing solutions to new regions and markets? CG. Very quickly we developed our service organisations with more than 1000 people on the road everyday in each different market. Bühler has also reacted early to the need of offering local adapted solutions, especially for emerging countries. We have built new plants and expertise in China, in India, in South America and in South Africa to engineer and produce solutions adapted to the local needs and requirements. Th irdly, we have understood that performance cannot come at any cost. Buhler must be efficient to compete in the market. We have therefore set up efficiency programmes, which we have driven now for many years and therefore have strengthened our competitiveness and profitability year by year.
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CIO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Esat Sezer, explains the role of IT in the company’s business transformation programme. Consumer behaviours are changing, especially in the soft drink space. How do you balance the formal goal setting required by the business with the ﬂexible nature and inherent agility required by modern business practice? Esat Sezer. Our strategy is primarily explained in a sense that we need to be creating enough resources to fund the growth–related initiatives that differentiate us from our competitors. In other words, create resources through the efficiencies and productivity initiatives and fund your growth–related activities that business requires The approach that we are taking related to the differentiating capabilities which drives competitiveness for our business. We have tight integration with our business In other words, they put the necessary fi nancial resources to be able to drive those capabilities. They could put those fi nancial resources into something else as opposed to IT, but we work with them very closely to defi ne the value proposition up front and then we allocate the resources accordingly with our business partners. There are some exceptions to that. We also, in the business units of using technologies to drive resources, create resources, and drive productivities. And those are the initiatives that we look at from the enterprise corporate benefit perspective, and we have some resources that we are allocating by looking at the enterprise benefits because the enterprise corporate benefits don’t match the business unit benefits every time. So you’ve got to balance those two carefully, and that’s the
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model that we are applying today to our IT investments. Engaging the business with us, defi ning the value, and then letting the business allocate those resources where they see the value. In the meantime, we look to enterprise benefits, corporate benefits, and then make the resource allocation decisions parallel together at the same time. Platform as a service (PaaS) is very much considered the next big thing, and you’re currently assessing infrastructure as a service. How do you, as a CIO, make the decisions on what to build and what to buy? What are meaningful metrics to you? How are you making those decisions? What are the signposts for success and failure? ES. I think the way that we are looking at this is that our team actually have the expertise and knowledge. We’ve also tested the cloud services within the soft ware as a service with Microsoft. We’re now crawling, walking and running from the learning standpoint. We are seeing the thing that drives all those decisions is the customer. As I mentioned, the wow factors created by the soft ware as a service in the communication/collaboration space that we are working with Microsoft in the cloud has created a kind of an eye opening for us. We had eliminated certain orthodoxies that existed in our mental model. In the model that we are working, while we are buying the pre-developed capabilities like email soft ware or instant messaging soft ware, you don’t make too much development on it. But on the other hand,
Coca-Cola beverages are sold in over 200 countries
on our SharePoint team sites and our employee portal space, you do make some development collectively within those platforms. But the amazing thing for me, and I think that’s the exciting part of that, the development cycle that you are talking about, especially when you are in the cloud,and using standard modular capabilities, is extremely shrunken. And that could potentially change the perception. You’ve got to look scenario by scenario into this; there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this. One thing that we are now looking into as a platform, as a service, can be to rapidly develop capabilities and deploy the wow factor that cloud provides with ease of use, adoption and accelerated beta deploy. Would that make sense in the development of some of the functionalities that might be residing in the traditional ways internally within our technology ecosystems? We are looking into that very seriously right now. For you then, what are the meaningful metrics and how do you tie those into genuine business outcomes? ES. To give you an example, if you look into the collaboration space, there are several ways that you could actually get value out of better communication and collaboration,
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if you will. What I mean by that is if you have a transformation agenda in your business, I would not think any CEO or any sound business person could tell you: “I don’t need a better communication or collaboration capabilities if I have a business transformation agenda.” In fact it’s the opposite. What can I do that will engage my employee base into the change agenda that I have, is the question. You need to look from the business requirements perspective. In our case we have a very significant transformation agenda in Coca-Cola Enterprises. It was not much of a debate for us to decide to put more effort into better communication and collaboration capabilities. The question was, how are going to do that? How fast we could get there? Obviously the funding, if the allocation of the resources comes into competition with other things, which in our case it did not really, that could be tricky. But this was a priority because it was enabling capability defined by our executive communication council. All the decision making on the technology investment decisions related with that was driven from a communication and collaboration council that we created in our business. Along with our communications and public
relations team we collectively led that effort and then tied that back into our transformation agenda and built it into our annual plan. Some of those corporate benefits and enterprise benefit initiatives have come from that and then some of them we self-funded by decommissioning those technologies that used to be operating internally. So we created some resources, but we also added some additional funds to be able to get there. So in short answer to your question, the metrics you’ve got to put in are the value, but value sometimes doesn’t necessarily need to be very quantitative. Sometimes, especially in big change agendas that you are driving, it is very intuitive to see what the value proposition is, but on the other hand, the majority of our initiatives are not like that. We have to have a business case for us to put investment into the IT department. In every initiative we have, we have a value management process that we go through, a very rigorous process, and toll gates that we apply and then assure that the value proposition is going to be deliberate, if you will. The metrics are those differentiated new capability standpoints, there’s a solid business case that we defi ne and that we manage that through the toll gate process, whether we are materialising it or not. On some of the corporate benefits, which communication collaboration is a space that we looked at, it was quite honestly a capability building excercise. Rather than a business case requiring activity, it was more required foundation, if you will, that we need to be building. So that was the approach the we took in that case. You’ve previously said that CIOs should take advantage of the buzz around green IT to upgrade their systems and drive cost reductions. Is it really that simple? ES. I don’t know why we need to make this more complicated than it is, quite honestly. As a CIO, the experience that I could relate to this is the Sarbanes Oxley rules that have been introduced. I think many smart CIOs took advantage of the buzz around this act to drive some of the simplification efforts that they would like to make in their IT back office, if you will. Green IT is maybe not quite the same, but has a similar kind of a buzz at the moment. I think we could use that as an opportunity to defi ne, especially for companies like Coca-Cola Enterprises, where corporate responsibility and sustainability is an integral part of the operating framework that we have. We take this very seriously, but on the other hand if you look into the IT space and then drive some of the upgrade processes, like virtualisation and data centre consolidation that reduces your carbon footprint and energy consumption, it’s not a bad idea. Using green IT as a buzz word to drive the print consolidation, fax consolidation and reduce paper use is not a bad idea. And to use that buzz as a tool to drive some of those efficiency-related activities really makes sense. Clearly IT is viewed widely as a place in which costs can be reduced, but you have to prove your value oth-
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erwise you will be forever cast as the place that sucks costs out, but isn’t adding to the top and bottom lines. How do you balance that drive towards cost reduction with the absolute need for innovation? ES. We have defined IT’s value proposition in Coca-Cola Enterprises in two ways. It’s a balancing act, if you will. One side is to create resources for the purpose of funding the growth-related initiatives, so what that means is you’ve got to be creating enough productivity from your business, meaning if nothing innovative or differentiated comes through you’ve got to be better at running what you have year after year. You have to be creating enough productivity. Doing the same thing again and again you’re going to get better at it, so think from that perspective. You have to find a way to drive the productivity in your maintenance of business, either operational expense or capital, and spend that comes into that and then put that reimbursement back into the growth-related initiatives. We have a list of different initiatives to drive to create the resources, such as virtualisation, consolidation, simplification of applications and infrastructure. Then, of course, you can talk about the outsourcing, offshoring, shared services centres. You could talk about the cloud, but that brings to you as an efficiency, cloud computing capabilities. You could talk about the whole green IT thing that basically drives that and also from the standpoint of the vendor management and then really focus into the strategic vendors as opposed to spreading yourself thin into a variety of places. So leverage your volume and investment capacity to drive some of the cost up. These are all the things that can create resources for you to invest back in on your maintenance or business space to invest back into your growth-related initiatives. Now, the funding of growth related initiatives should be shared within business and IT, which has to drive those productivity initiatives. The funding that’s required by the business should also match that so you could be able to drive the growth-related initiatives. We also look into innovation. We don’t want to innovate for the sake of innovation. We would like to put those innovative capabilities if it differentiates us from any of our competitors, so innovation means having differentiated capabilities to us. Those capabilities would be in revenue growth management, either in the selling and customer services or either in the supply chain, which are the world-class capabilities that Coca-Cola Enterprises is constantly building. And do you think that this sort of drive for innovation is perhaps a more modern way of understanding that IT requires different skill sets from IT staff? ES. It does. It requires different competencies that you need to build into your IT organisation. You need to be very specific around where you are differentiating and where you are going to be focusing, so that requires a different dialogue with your business partners. You have to
There are 3300 beverages in the Coca-Cola portfolio, CCE distributes 200 of them
CCE recorded revenues of €14 billion in 2008
CCE boasts 72,000 staff across 430 facilities
really be engaged with your business to understand where the differentiation is gonna come from. To do that you have to have very business savvy IT people that need to be dialoguing with business to extract where the differentiation points are, and that requires a lot of different competencies, like consolidative skills, that you need to be building within your IT organisation. Then you need to be looking into emerging technologies and the current strategic technology base that you have and how you are going to fi nd the shortest, fastest and best way to deliver that differentiated capability. It requires architectural expertise, if you will, because every company has their own technology ecosystems that are – especially in the recent evolution of the technologies – pretty complex. So therefore, to understand how you defi ne the differentiation and then develop the capability and deploy it in a fast way in whatever enterprise that you are in, requires a different skill set. And from the development and deployment perspective it requires some innovative thinking, like the cloud development platform as a service and soft ware as a service and other maybe strategic platforms. How that’s going to get together requires some really good architectural knowledge, if you will, in your IT organisation. But if your IT organisation is occupied with maintenance of business, you can’t build so therefore your focus needs to shift from maintenance of business into differentiated solution development and with the speed and pace deployment of that.
Absolutely. And how are Coca-Cola Enterprises attracting and retaining those more business savvy IT staff? ES. We are absolutely looking into the skill sets in development, deployment areas and governance areas today; and we define our core competencies in each of the development, deployment, support and governance areas in IT. We have clearly articulated core competencies for all of those specific areas. We are bringing skill sets from the outside in and refreshing our talent where it makes sense, but we have also a very focused internal people development programme in place today. And the amount of investment we are making into our people has never been the level that we had at this state, and the return of that is 10-fold. I am now able to bring those differentiated solutions faster than I used to be able to with the external resources coming in because the internal institutional knowledge married with those core competencies added on top of those strategic technologies that we have is the winning formula at the moment. Bringing external resources in, who don’t have your institutional knowledge, and keeping your internal IT people focused into the maintenance of business does not provide any growth for them. All those things are going to be disappearing when you start to focus into your internal organisation shifting from maintenance of business to differentiated solution development. Every dollar you put, you have a 10-fold return because the external spent is going to be reduced significantly for you especially from the capability development standpoint.
Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is the biggest marketer, producer and distributor of Cola-Cola products in the world, serving 419 million consumers
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Agenda | Gadgets | Travel | Books | Leisure Travel
36 hours in Rome
Whatâ€™s on this quarter
A look in the executive toy box
The best business reads of Q4
Horphas Research closes the magazine
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36 hours in... Rome Time: CET (UTC+1) | Population: 2,743,796 (city) | Area: 1285 km2 | Elevation: 20 m
IN THE KNOW History has left a city with much to be proud of. Spanning over 2500 years, Rome was the capital of the Roman Kingdom and the dominant power in Western Europe for over 700 years. Later, Rome was ruled by popes such as Alexander VI and Leo X, who transformed the city into one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, along with Florence. Today, the Vatican Museums and Colosseum are among the world’s most 50 visited tourist destinations with four million tourists each year. Indeed, the city boasts more world-renowned sights than many other European capitals put together.
DRINK Head out after 11pm if you want to party like the Romans, with the fun-seekers heading for the buzzy bars in Trastevere and Campo de’ Fiori. La Coppelle is the perfect place to relax on leopard-print chairs and lipstick-red sofas with a cocktail or two, while Trastevere’s Big Mama is a temple to blues music. Mr Brown in Trastevere is a popular hangout with a funloving crowd and relaxed atmosphere. For something that goes on a bit later head to Goa, an ethno-chic club in the up-and-coming Ostiense district. Housed in a huge garage it attracts some of the world’s best DJ’s to mix hip-hop, house and tribal sounds.
TIME OFF For sightseers, Rome is paradise. First stop is the Colosseum: get your picture taken with one of the centurions hanging around outside or head inside for a more cultural look at this awe-inspiring venue. Next is the Pantheon, the best-preserved ancient building in Rome. With bronze doors and curbed brickwork outside and the spectacular dome inside this is a fascinating sight. Trevi Fountain, packed into a tiny piazza should be next on the list, although go at night if you’d rather see it in dramatic ﬂoodlights and without hoardes of tourists. Galleria Borghese, in the tranquil surroundings of the Villa Borghese park, is the city’s ﬁnest art gallery with extravagant frescoes, dynamic Bernini sculptures and Renaissance masterpieces. For shoppers, this city is also a winner. Via Condotti is a dazzling strip of glamorous stores including Armani, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada. Off the main strip and on the cobbled side streets you’ll ﬁnd quirkier boutiques with vintage clothing and accessories. In the Trastevere district there’s a bohemian spirit in the winding streets and the outdoor food market in Piazza San Costimato is a great chance to watch locals bargaining with vendors. And Piazza Navona is a great place for art lovers to browse the art galleries and antique shops.
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SLEEP The Hassler Roma at the top of the Spanish Steps is Rome’s legendary ﬁve-star hotel. Set in the heart of the city’s historic centre, the Hessler is minutes away from Via Condotti and the most popular shopping venues and landmarks, including the Pantheon, St Peter’s Basilica and the Colesseum. This is for a super luxurious stay, with old style glamour, chandeliers and marble aplenty. Rooms range from €350 to €110. If you’re getting down to business, Hotel Eden is luxurious yet cosy and offers a world-class business centre in the hub of Rome’s business district. The Ambassador ﬂoor has adjoining suites and living room areas for meetings, and the upper ﬂoors have spectacular views of the Villa Medici. Hotel Eden also offers a ﬁtness centre and spa services along with one of the most renowned panoramas in the world from the rooftop restaurant La Terrazza dell’Eden. For something a little less pricey, try the Daphne, a top-notch, urban B&B with spotless air-conditioned rooms, comfortable beds and a fantastic location, just minutes from the Trevi Fountain. Rates range from €80 for a single room to €630 for a seven person apartment.
La beella figura, or presenting your bestt image, iss something Romans aspire to at all timess
It would be a cultural sacrilege not to have an authentic pizza made with a thin crust and cooked in a wood-ﬁred oven. And the best place in town for authentic pizza romana is Remo. With a prime location on the Testaccio district’s main plaza, you can sit outside at wonky tables balanced on the pavement or inside the cavernous interior, overseen by Lazio team photos. Primo, a large, comfortable restaurant with warehouse-chic décor has a decent wine list and takes its food very seriously indeed, which is great for those who adore the slow-food bias. A soup of black cabbage, crouton and mussels and baked anchovies with artichokes make the menu, along were delicious deserts like caramelised prickly pears and balsamic vinegar. If you are looking for something a bit different then Il Pagliaccio should tick the box. A peaceful oasis in the heart of Rome, it’s cosy and elegant, perfect for a business lunch. With just 28 seats reservation is heartily recommended, as are the tasting menus, which are simply delicious.
Coming up… Feb. 5 Six Nations Championships Fans will be treated to a tantalising ﬁnale of the Six Nations with Grand Slam holders France taking on Wales at Stade de France. The England team will then travel to the newly named Aviva Stadium to take on Ireland and Scotland will be keen to avenge their 16-12 defeat when they play Italy. Founded in 1883 the RBS Six Nations is an annual tournament that pits the best rugby players from England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, France and Italy against each other. Originally contested by the so-called Home Nations, France joined the competition in 1910, with Italy joining in 2000. Six Nations tickets always sell out quickly, especially with such long standing rivalries being played out.
Feb. 23 – Mar. 1 Milan Fashion Week
Feb. 17-20 The Finland Ice Marathon Think the most sensible thing to do would be to draw the curtains and set the alarm for April? Not so, say the hundreds who each year compete in the Finland Ice Marathon, a fun-ﬁlled skating event held at Kupio’s lakeice track. The major card draw is the 200 km race, though the less energetic are also catered for with distances of 100 km, 50 km and 25 km. Or celebrate winter with the less competitive 100km kick sledding event.
Kicked off by New York in February, Milan hosts its own Fashion Week twice a year. This show will include collections for Autumn/Winter 2011 by top names such as Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Roberto Cavalli as well as up-and-coming designers. Recently extended to include an increasing number of catwalk shows, Milan Fashion Week reinforces the city’s importance in the global fashion industry.
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Mar. 2-17 Izmir European Jazz Festival Providing perfect acoustics, the Ahmed Adnan Saygun Centre hosts the annual Izmir European Jazz Festival, featuring concerts by important names of the European jazz scene. Seminars and art exhibitions on speciﬁc aspects of jazz complement the music programme.
Apr. 4-10 Race of the Classics First held in 1989, the Race of the Classics is now one of the biggest amateur sailing races in Europe. Over 20 teams sail across the North Sea to England and back, competing for the highly prized Challenge Cup. The sailing challenge starts in Rotterdam, sails via Ostend to Ipswich or Lowestoft (depending on the weather) before re-crossing the North Sea to ﬁnish in Amsterdam. The post-Easter race attracts over 20 teams annually.
Apr. 17 Birth of Rome
Mar. 6 Barcelona Marathon First run in 1977, the Barcelona Marathon now sees the city inundated with runners from all over the world. The course begins and ends at Avenida Maria Christina, allowing participants to take in the city’s famous architecture, coastline and Arc de Triomf. Runners are treated to a ‘Pasta Party’ the day before the race, ensuring they’re stocked up on carbohydrates for the 26-mile slog.
Proud Romans celebrate the birth of the Eternal City, founded by Romulus in 753BC. Parades, gladiator shows, traditional Roman banquets and public speeches galore are held at venues throughout Rome, including Fori Imperiali and Circo Massimo. There is also the Dea Roma contest, an annual event drawing numerous candidates keen on representing the spirit and the beauty of the Goddess of Rome.
Objects of desire Technology for today’s executive
Apple MacBook Air 11-inch A stunningly sleek design marvel, the new 11-inch MacBook Air is strong yet light and measures just 0.3 centimetres at the slimmest point. There’s no optical drive or ﬁrewire, but connections include two USBs, a headphone jack and Mini DisplayPort. The 11.6-inch LED backlit screen is a highlight, as is the MultiTouch Trackpad, and Apple claims battery life of ﬁve hours. It’s pretty pricey at GBP£849 for the basic model, but it’s the perfect size to pop in your bag and a potential rival to the iPad as it features the keyboard many iPad users crave.
Nikon Coolpix S1100pj
Kinect for Xbox 360 The newly released Kinect, compatible with all Xbox 360 consoles, looks set to change the way we play games forever. Using motion and voice sensor technology, players are invited to “become the controller”. Various movements and voice commands control the console and it also uses facial recognition. The sensor responds well, as long as the lighting, distance and spacing are correct. The multiplayer capabilities are brilliant for competitive gaming. It’s still in its infancy so I’d be tempted to wait until the second generation Kinect hits the market, or at least wait until the games you really want are available.
The Nikon Coolpix S1100pj is the world’s ﬁrst compact camera to incorporate a projector. The 14.1-megapixel camera also has a 5x optical zoom and a touchscreen. It’s 40 percent brighter than its predecessor, which enables a fantastic projected-image visibility in non-blacked-out conditions. Shooting options are operated via the touchscreen, which keeps the camera slim as there’s no physical mode dial and also allows room for a projector focus dial on the top plate. On-board animations, background music and transitional effects can be used with slideshow presentations and handwritten annotation can also be added to images. Overall, it feels like a slightly niche product and while it works perfectly well, it’s a little on the pricey side at GBP£300.
Palm Pre 2 On ﬁrst inspection the new Palm Pre 2 is nearly identical to the Palm Pre and Pre Plus in shape, dimension and form. However, the Pre 2 is in fact sleeker and slimmer and the previous sharp edges have been replaced by smooth rounded angles, made out of a soft touch material. Hardware specs have substantially improved: the camera is an impressive ﬁve megapixels and there’s 16 GB of storage. Likewise the operating system is pretty well regarded among technology enthusiasts. All in all, while it’s well-equipped, the competition has nothing to worry about: the Palm Pre 2 is good, but not great.
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On the shelf Make sure you’re ready for 2011 by catching up on last year’s biggest hits in business literature.
Fault Lines by Raghuram G. Rajan
The Big Short by Martin Lewis
The Art of Choosing by Sheen Iyengar
The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick
Winner of the 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, Rajan’s book has been a great success, offering a stimulating account of the recent ﬁnancial crisis. Rajan pointedly marks the societal behaviours, such as income inequality and universal desire for home ownership, as well as the environment in the ﬁnancial market from which the economic downturn bred. His is not only a comprehensive account of the recession, but also provides an informative and original lesson as to why it happened when it did. His use of case studies intersperse the book nicely to keep the reader engaged and make the content accessible to most readerships.
Another account of the recession, but this time in Lewis’s signature accessible and informal style. The book follows a selection of ‘characters’, various ﬁgures who hold positions in the ﬁnancial services industry, and answers the much asked questions about who knew what was happening behind the closed doors of the country’s big banks, mortgage brokers and such. It also closely examines the silent crash in the bond and real estate derivatives market that was playing out in the build up to the major downfall of fall 2008. Shortlisted for the 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.
Ever wondered why you choose a Coke over Pepsi, an Android Phone over an iPhone, a Mars bar over a Snickers? Well Iyengar attempts to bring you the answer, while at the same time raising questions about how much control we really have over what we choose, and how in the mass consumerdriven society of the West, too much choice can have a negative effect. Being the daughter of two Sheikhs, Iyengar also offers an insightful perspective regarding the cultural differences that surround choice. Shortlisted for the 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.
With over 500 million users worldwide, if Facebook was a country it would be the third most populous in the world. For the ﬁrst time, the intimate details of the company are revealed from its founding in a Harvard dorm room to the internet powerhouse it is today. Kirkpatrick examines the sociological implications of Facebook, looking at aspects from how consumers use it to the ongoing privacy saga. Signiﬁcantly, Kirkpatrick wrote the book with the input of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg himself, and the book is the more insightful and credible for it. Shortlisted for the 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.
hile Europe and a host of other counties push for stricter natural ingredient regulations across the board within the food and beverage industry, companies are looking for an edge to stay one step ahead of the regulatory process. Trying to anticipate next moves in the regulatory atmosphere helps companies make organised use of their resources, budgeting time and money more efficiently to navigate through the regulatory process. Horphag Research has managed to stay ahead of the curve from day one with our science and research-focused priorities, but not without challenges. Our science-based mission, established 80 years ago, has put us in an ideal position to handle the regulatory challenges of today. Over the last 40 years, we have invested heavily in scientific research. Today, our flagship ingredient Pycnogenol is one of the most evidence-based health ingredients in the industry, with over 280 scientific publications confirming its quality, safety, non-toxicity and clinical efficacy. Pycnogenol research spans the fields of cardiovascular and circulatory health, inflammation, joint and skin benefits, among others. With such versatile health benefits, it’s a priority for us to function within the framework of global regulatory agency guidelines and we have been proactive in initiating the steps to obtain affirmative health claims. In each country where Pycnogenol has a presence there are different sets of legislative structures, including the United States, Europe, Korea, Australia and Japan. We comply with each set of laws and file for a proprietary health claim when the opportunity arises. As an ingredient supplier, we have a unique position in the market. Not only are we responsible for working with our customers to help them target end-users with a finished product, but we also must educate consumers on our science-backed health benefits – which have resulted in the inclusion of Pycnogenol in more than 700 functional foods and beverages, dietary supplements and cosmetic formulations worldwide. We took it upon ourselves to organise and invest in structured, global public relations campaigns to educate increasingly savvy consumers on Pycnogenol. This strategy been largely successful, and we continue to learn more about the countries where Pycnogenol is distributed, and the particularities of each regulatory landscape. Consumers today are not necessarily aware of the technical regulations placed on functional foods and beverages, but want to be reassured of a product and/or ingredient’s safety. As a result, we’re finding more and more that these consumers are conducting their own research, from reviewing safety data and clinical studies, to reading third party testimonials. Once they have done their homework, they feel empowered to buy based on their research, with perhaps only a question or two for the store clerk. Horphag Research has extensive data, review articles and published studies available to consumers. In fact, we did not wait for changes in the regulatory environment to invest in, and publish, crucial documentation essential to marketing our products. Our history is varied yet focused, with the company beginning scientific research
Staying ahead of the curve
Victor Ferrari examines how and why Horphag Research is continuing to focus on its green initiatives.
on Pycnogenol in 1965. Our first patent was granted in 1987, and we earned food supplement status with Europe and Asia, GRAS certification in the US, as well as Kosher and GMP status. These milestones follow clinical research breakthroughs that have paved the way for the ingredient’s introduction into 80 countries. Now, with the public emphasis on social and environmental responsibilities, As CEO of Horphag Research, we remain ahead of the curve and were Victor Ferrari oversees able to establish ourselves as “green” prior worldwide operations of the company, including to the emergence of the trend. Pycnogenol international expansion and is a 100 percent natural ingredient from worldwide introduction of Pycnogenol. Ferrari spearheaded the bark of the maritime pine tree grown Generally Recognised As Safe in Southwestern France. The maritime (GRAS) certification, validated manufacturing processes pine trees are a sustainable, cultivated following Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and Good plant and are grown entirely without Manufacturing Practice (GMP) pesticides. No toxic substances are and continues to invest millions of dollars a year in research, released or used during the Pycnogenol totaling more than 270 scientific manufacturing process. Pycnogenol publications. produces and uses steam energy from sorted out pine material (wood and bark) at the product’s development and packaging site. The steam energy used throughout production serves as a renewable source. This is just a sampling of our green initiatives as we are continually working to improve upon what we have already done.
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Obesity. Demographic shifts. Technology. Recession. All these and more will affect what fills our plates in 2011.