Calabria Family Wines buys brands

Australian winemaker Calabria Family Wines has bought three Australian wine brands –  Deakin Estate, La La Land and Azahara. The formal agreement is a brand-only sale and transfers ownership of these brands from the Wingara Wine Group, part of Henkell Freixenet, to the Calabria family.
Calabria Family Wines will now produce all of the wines across each of the brands’ portfolios from their Griffith, NSW winery as well as manage marketing across all markets. Calabria Family Wines will continue the current distribution partnership with Red & White for all three brands in Australia.
“Each of these brands brings something new to the table for the team at Calabria and we are eager to welcome them to the family as we diversify and broaden our wine offering,” third-generation general manager Michael Calabria said.
Read More: Deal activity slows
“Deakin Estate, with over 50 years of winemaking history behind it, has achieved outstanding distribution, particularly in challenging export markets where many haven’t. That can only happen with a good quality product and dedicated team behind it.
“Both La La Land and Azahara, while newer to market, are unique brands with well-established portfolios and market presence, both domestically and overseas. We look forward to relishing in La La Land’s dedication to emerging wine styles with our own Italian alternatives and celebrating Azahara’s effervescent flare and sophistication.”
Wingara Wine Group is part of Henkell Freixenet, a global market leader in sparkling wine, which was formed in January 2019 from the legacy Henkell & Co. Group and Grupo Freixenet.

Woolworths’ new $135m Melbourne Fresh DC

Woolworths Group’s supply chain arm – Primary Connect – has today unveiled its new Melbourne Fresh Distribution Centre (MFDC) in Truganina.
The next generation supply chain facility will allow Woolworths to deliver fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and chilled products to more than 230 Victorian supermarkets fresh, faster and more efficiently.
At 38,000sqm, the distribution centre will provide employment to over 400 Melburnians, including many from the local area, and process around 1.5 million cartons per week from more than 500 fresh food suppliers.
The MFDC is linked via an automated airbridge with Woolworths’ meat supplier Hilton Foods Australia’s production facility, and replaces existing operations at the Mulgrave Produce DC.
“The importance of a strong, responsive and resilient fresh food supply chain has come into sharp focus during the pandemic,” said Primary Connect’s supply chain general manager for Southern Region Justin Dowling.
Read More: How Nestlé came out on top during COVID-19
“This state-of-the-art distribution centre will take our supply chain to the next level – allowing us to get fresh food into our stores much faster for our customers. The opening is a welcome boost for local employment and will help us deliver what is expected to be our busiest Christmas ever.
“The site has the latest in banana and avocado ripening technology, along with world-class refrigeration systems to ensure top product quality and freshness on the shelf.
“A fully integrated warehouse and transport management system will also help reduce freight movements as we optimise inbound and outbound deliveries. This will not only reduce the lead time for fresh food deliveries to stores, but also help cut our carbon footprint.”
The opening of the MFDC will take around 600 truck movements off the West Gate each week as Truganina is located closer to more Woolworths suppliers than Mulgrave. Co-location with Hilton Meats will take a further 3,000 truck movements off Melbourne roads each year as it eliminates shuttle runs between Mulgrave and Truganina.
The MFDC is also targeting a Five Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, with a solar panel system on the roof, charge points for electric trucks, and fuel savings of more than 400,000 litres each year from transport efficiencies.
The investment on the MFDC is majority funded by landowner Charter Hall, with Woolworths signing an initial 15-year lease on the site. This builds on an extensive national relationship between Woolworths and Charter Hall across both industrial and retail properties.

How the humble thermometer helps reduce food waste

A new training initiative based on the thermometer is about to be introduced to the Australian cold chain industry. It is seen as a practical move to help combat the country’s serious food loss and wastage problem, estimated to cost the country nearly $4 billion a year at farm gate value.
The Australian Food Cold Chain Council (AFCCC), the peak advocacy body comprising concerned industry leaders covering refrigeration assets, transport and food distribution, will release an online education program, Thermometers and the Cold Chain Practitioner this month.
The program is aimed squarely at those the AFCCC regards as the super heroes of the food cold chain process – the people who oversee the movement of food through refrigerated transports, loading docks and cold rooms across the nation.
Industry research convinced the AFCCC that Australia desperately needed a new Cold Food Code that should be adopted by industry to stimulate a nation-wide educational push to bring Australian cold chain practices up to the much higher international standard.
The educational program starting with temperature measurement is the first of a planned five-code series.
The AFCCC has invested in new online education software that will be used to develop training programs to support the release of the actual Code document that will cover temperature technologies and how they should be used for monitoring a variety of foods carried in the cold chain.
The initiative runs alongside the work being done by other authorities, including Food Innovation Australia (FIAL) and the Commonwealth Government, which has signed up to a United Nations treaty to halve food wastage by 2030.
Some of the rising levels of national food wastage is considered to be the result of poor temperature management, and poor understanding of how refrigeration works in a range of storage environments. This includes from cold storage rooms through to
trucks and trailers, and even home delivery vans.
Australia has world-class refrigeration and monitoring technologies, but the AFCCC believes industry will have to adopt serious training programs so that those responsible for moving food and pharmaceuticals around the country can get the best out of the available technologies.
Because of the vast distances in this country, food transport is a series of refrigerated events, in the hands of a range of stake holders.
Mangoes picked in the Northern Territory may be handled through stationary and mobile refrigerated spaces as many as 14 times by multiple owners on a 3,400 km journey to Melbourne.
If temperature abuse through poor refrigeration practices occurs in just one of those spaces, the losses at the consumer end are compounded, and shelf life can be either drastically reduced, or result in the whole load being sent to landfill.
People working at the coalface of the industry can sign on independently to do the course, which the AFCCC believes will be an important next phase in their professional journey. Kindred organisations involved in the cold chain will be encouraged to become retailers of the education program. Many industry groups have already signed up to help drive cold chain practitioners to the training program from their own websites.
There will only be modest charges for the course, which will help fund AFCCC’s continuing work on assembling the research and expertise to complete further parts of the overall Code of Practice. This will ultimately be gifted to the cold chain industry for the purposes of universal adoption.
The extent of food wastage in this country should not be under-estimated. It is almost criminal that one quarter of Australia’s production of fruit and vegetables are never eaten and end up in land fill or rotting at the farm gate.
This loss alone accounts for almost two million tonnes of otherwise edible food, worth
$3 billion.
A government-sponsored study released earlier in 2020 revealed that meat and seafood waste in the cold chain costs the country another $90 million and dairy losses total $70 million.
It’s not just the wasted food at stake. The impacts on greenhouse emissions, water usage and energy consumption will end up being felt nationwide.
The AFCCC was formed in mid 2017 by a cross section of industry leaders covering manufacturing, food transport, refrigeration and cold chain services.
The Council sees itself as an important part of the solution, encouraging innovation, compliance, waste reduction and safety across the Australian food cold chain.
The new Council is not about promoting an industry – it wants to change the industry for the better. It acknowledges that Australia’s track record in efficient cold food handling, from farm to plate, is far from perfect.

Deal activity slows

Corporate activity in the third quarter of 2020 was still impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus and the containment measures implemented by the Australian and New Zealand governments. Comet Line did observe an uplift in investor sentiment and acquisition interest for businesses in the food and beverage industry towards the end of the third quarter. Seven transactions were reported over the seven-week period to 2 October 2020.
Extra Mile Food Trading acquired Marsh Dairy Products for an undisclosed consideration. Marsh Dairy Products supplies bulk dairy ingredients including cheeses, butters and milk powders and honey to the retail and foodservice channels.
Woolworths announced the acquisition of a 65 per cent shareholding in PFD Food Services and PFD’s freehold properties for a consideration of $552 million. The transaction valued the PFD property portfolio at $249m and placed a value $302m on the 65 per cent shareholding in PFD. The Woolworths acquisition valued PFD on an 11x multiple of PFD FY20 EBITDA (before any adjustments for AASB16).
Daly Potato Company, a distributor of pre-packaged potato salads, mashed potato and cauliflower and broccoli in sauce was acquired by ASX-listed Pure Foods Tasmania. Pure Foods Tasmania paid $1.8m in cash and shares for Daly Potato Company.
Fonterra acquired Melbourne-based secondary cheese-processing company Dairy Country from Retail Food Group for $19.2m. Dairy Country has before the acquisition provided shredding and grating services for Fonterra’s retail cheese products, The transaction facilitates Retail Food Group’s exit from its foodservice and manufacturing pursuits, enabling a focus on its core retail food franchising and coffee business.
The Remarkable Milk Company acquired the assets of Organic Dairy Farmers of Australia. Organic Dairy Farmers of Australia was placed in receivership in May 2020. The acquisition includes the land, processing facility and all brands and trademarks.
Queensland based organic dairy product producer, Barambah Organics, sold a 70 per cent shareholding to Tanarra Capital. Barambah Organics produces organic milk, yoghurt, cream and cheese, which are sold via a national distribution agreement with supermarket group IGA.
The outlook for the food and beverage industry is more positive at the end of the third quarter compared to the end of the second quarter. The gradual relaxation of lockdown restrictions in Melbourne and the continued support for the industry by the Australian government will support investor interest in the food and beverage industry.

Cider Australia launches The Australian Cider Guide

The Australian craft cider industry has been heavily impacted by the closure of hospitality venues and imposed social isolation around the nation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
To help support the industry during the peak selling season of spring/summer, and educate consumers who enjoy this new world beverage, Cider Australia has launched The Australian Cider Guide. Written by award winning drinks journalist and cider aficionado, Max Allen, the glossy A4 guide educates the reader about: the history and production of cider; the ingredients that make an authentic Australian cider; and tips on food and cider pairing for the perfect flavour experience.
Available to download from or in hard copy from, The Australian Cider Guide is part of a $500,000 Australian Government investment to reach developing craft cider markets overseas, including Japan.
Publication of The Australian Cider Guide follows the 2018 introduction of the ‘100% Australian Grown’ trust mark, which enables consumers to identify craft ciders made from Australian grown apples and pears; helping them support local businesses.
“While the export market is very important for the Australian cider industry, there is still significant potential at a local level, with Australian craft cider producers representing less than 15 per cent of the cider market here,” commented Sam Reid, Cider Australia president and craft cider producer.
“Australia is producing world-class craft cider and The Australian Cider Guide will help Cider Australia promote the diversity of Australian ciders and the regions in which they’re produced.”

How one company's tray sealing technology is continuing to expand and grow

G.Mondini, a name that delivers innovation, quality and experience in providing dynamic tray sealing systems continue to grow with their ground-breaking tray sealer innovation.
With the culmination of over 45 years’ experience in designing and building tray sealing systems, the TRAVE was created to be at the heart of any packaging system. The design and construction mean this tray sealer can handle the demands of all industrial environments, deliver secure packs with every machine cycle, ability to seal any shape and size of packaging materials on the market, and with patented Platform Technology allows for different packaging technologies to be applied in a simple modular way.
The TRAVE range of fully automatic tray sealing systems deliver on reliability, efficiency and can produce a variety of new innovative packaging options including Vacuum Skin, Darfresh On Tray, MAP, Slimfresh, Slicefresh and the Award Winning Paperseal. Attention to design detail means this is the most hygienic tray sealer on the market, guaranteeing customers the best possible solution.
James White, marketing and sales director at Select Equip, a food equipment company which has been in business for over 35 years and the exclusive distributor of G.Mondini, explains, “It isn’t common knowledge that Mondini TRAVE 350 -R & Trave 384 -R tray sealers can be on the water within 4 weeks from order, with the same Trave performance at a more affordable price. Its all about delivering on all levels with no compromise on its functionality with Mondini PLATFORM Technology fully integrated into its construction. It’s all about offering our customers a real competitive advantage to develop and build their business quickly to meet retailer timelines and demands.”
When it comes to making purchasing decisions with food packaging equipment like tray sealing, it needs to be top-of-mind that capital expenditure is a fixed cost, but it is the ongoing cost of ownership that needs to be considered as well. TRAVE is the lowest cost of ownership compared to any other tray sealer currently on the market today.
Select Equip expertise is on delivering a complete system and support service throughout a clients entire growth cycle. The Trave range of tray sealers is the only system on the market that is delivered future proof and ready to adapt to retailers ever changing packaging format requirements.  It’s all about thinking about ‘systems’ and the efficiency and reliability that having one supplier for all your food packaging needs can provide (as opposed to having to rely on different suppliers.) You receive your support, service, equipment, spare parts, and advice all from one place,” said White.
G.Mondini and TRAVE are available through Select Equip. To find out more visit email or call 1800 1010 122.

Nothing beats experience when it comes to digitisation

Automation specialist Bürkert has developed and introduced a number of technologies over the past few years that have specifically assisted Australian F&B manufacturers introduce digitalisation in their plant utilities space.
Plant utilities is the term given to equipment that is not used in the direct manufacturing process, but is required to facilitate that process. This includes such applications as creating steam for heating heat exchanges that can pasteurise milk, water blending, water quality monitoring or Clean in Place (CIP) processes.
Bürkert’s national segment manager, Ryan Orbell, said it is an often overlooked area of processing and manufacturing, but an important one. This is the space where Bürkert has a lot of expertise.
“We’ve built a strong reputation in this are. It’s given us a really strong framework and understanding of the benefits of digitalisation and automation for F&B manufacturers,” he said. “Bürkert has a number of different solutions, especially around fieldbus connectivity – like I/O link, industrial Ethernet etc. We work with these types of technologies every day, so we have very good experience and understanding of the best requirements for an application.”
Bürkert provides flexibility in its hardware by working with a number of different network and fieldbus providers. This adaptability enables Bürkert to provide unbiased advice, it therefore becomes an individual approach to a customer’s needs instead of being limited to only one providers offering.
“We are not aligned with just one company, so this allows us to speak to our customers with an impartial objective,” said Orbell. “We therefore consider what our customers are aiming to achieve, and customise a solution that works specifically for them.
“Often we find that a customer may be considering bespoke, complicated solutions, but we can bring our varied experience to the table and provide them with several options to help them resolve their challenges. We then assist to drill down and understand short- and long-term cost advantages and benefits that can be offered for adapting, upgrading or implementing to existing or new applications.”
Orbell sees Bürkert’s approach as holistic as he believes some suppliers only offer part of a solution.
“A lot of suppliers might be just providing an instrumentation package, but we can take a wholesome look of the entire plant utilities framework and look inside the process to help them develop ‘automation control architecture’ for their site,” he said. “It allows us to bring valves, sensors, transmitters and controllers together as a complete infrastructure solution.
“The way we work with customers is that we use a consultative approach to understand what the customers’ ultimate goals are. Then we put together a packaged solution that supports what they are looking to achieve.
“At Bürkert, we talk a lot about decentralised automation and distributed automation – this is how we summarise the way we can communicate with all of the many different levels of automation devices to provide the best performance of processes for our customers.”
It’s the collaboration and expertise across the most common digitalisation solutions that Orbell sees as Bürkert’s unique offering. He said a lot of Bürkert’s customers are open to these discussions, often because Orbell and his team consult first and foremost different ideas. He said it helps them build long lasting partnerships with customers.
Orbell is also all too aware that there is a lot of trepidation about embracing automation and the potential costs involved, especially with those companies that are concerned about how their legacy equipment can be utilised. Some customers are caught in the dichotomy of realising that they need to adapt to the modern world and changing manufacturing environment, but upgrading plant utilities usually doesn’t equate to big dollars and large capital outlay, said Orbell.
“A lot of the time it will depend on their budget and what they want to do,” he said. “With older legacy equipment, our devices can communicate on I/O link, for example, creating a real advantage. This means for a minimal start up – they can use traditional, old hard-wired sensors already being used, and we can bring in masters on top of that, allowing them to communicate. That is a real cost-effective way to start customers on their journey of Industry 4.0 and providing digital connectivity. This solution is fast to install, cheaper to adapt and offers all the diagnostic information for them to bring their plants up to scratch.”
It will make them more competitive, according to Orbell, because at the end of the day, it’s all about having strong frameworks in place. He believes if these food and beverage manufacturers have got a strong automation process structure, combined with quality equipment, it will be reflected in the cash flow to the bottom line of their business.
“The reality is, those older sites need to get on the journey of industry 4.0, there is no doubt about it,” he said. “Bürkert can support them by taking baby steps and concentrating on one area at a time. It doesn’t mean a wholesale change or taking their existing equipment out. We can even utilise the aforementioned I/O links and help them digitise their site with new connectivity technologies. This can then communicate to higher level architectures like Industrial Ethernet at the top level, while still using a lower level fieldbus that is more cost advantageous.
Orbell said the whole idea of modernising a site is all about saving money in the long run. If companies don’t adapt they will get left behind, “it is as simple as that”, he said.
“Look at Kodak. They didn’t take digital seriously until it was too late and they lost their business. That is where we are as far as modern food and beverage manufacturing sites go,” he said. “Information on things like the health and performance of their assets relates directly to cash flow and bottom line. If they’re not able to monitor these efficiencies in productivity, then they are at risk of being left behind.”
Burkert devices do this, with advanced diagnostic capabilities. The end customer has total transparency on the performance and management of their assets and can trend and predict the health and performance at all times. This results directly in consistently reproducing a quality product out the door to the consumer for Bürkert’s customers.
And to aid those just starting out on their journey, Orbell and the team at Bürkert have produced a series of videos and webinars that are designed to show various fieldbus connectivity options and how easy implementing processes can be with regard to plant utilities.
“One of our webinars talks about CIP. An animated presentation to give a good understanding of what the principles of CIP are,” said Orbell. “We’ve also developed a presentation on Solutions for Plant Utilities: Best Practice showcasing animated applications that Bürkert supports in modern food and beverage plants.
“For example, fermentation application shows users where a product drops in and acts with the interface application, showing the cycle and how each part of the process works within that cycle. This webinar also shows examples of water blending systems, water quality monitoring and heat treatment.”
“We even have a video where we have some of our team members wiring a tank system together using a number of typical glycol valves and hygienic product valves combined with control heads, demonstrating old traditional legacy connections on one side of the tank. At the same time, the other side of the tank is being wired utilising Industry 4.0 digital connectivity technologies. It shows first-hand the considerable time you save when utilising digital connectivity technologies in real time.”
This is a an example that shows Bürkert has moved beyond just applications outside the process in Plant Utilities, said Orbell. The company’s wholesome approach means it also works inside the process, directly in the manufacturing and production processes, which directly supports the connection between the two areas for seamless integration. He is confident that his team, and Bürkert as an automation specialist, can help food and beverage manufacturing enterprises on their digitisation journey, by offering advice that best suits each individual’s company needs.

Surging demand for plant-based meat

The global meat sector at present is facing unprecedented level of disruption and competition, due to mounting growth of plant-based meat alternatives across many categories, according to market research company Future Market Insights. Earlier, plant-based meat alternative products warranted limited shelf space and were meant for niche consumers. With increased awareness of “Veganuary” multiple manufacturers have expanded new product line for plant-based products owing to increased vegan or indeed flexitarian diet.
The global food and beverage recent industry changes illustrate the growth in plant-based alternatives that has brought disruption. Companies across the spectrum are investing heavily in creating and acquiring new products and brands which will provide momentum to the surging consumer demand for plant-based beef products.
Key point from the plant-based beef market study

  • A latest study by an ESOMAR certified market research and consultancy company, forecasts impressive growth of the Plant Based Beef market at over 22.7% CAGR between 2020 and 2030
  • Based on the source, the soy-based protein segment holds the dominance in the market for plant based beef, while wheat-based protein segments are expected to grow prominently in the forecasted period of 2020-2030
  • Based on the product type, burger patty segment holds the dominance in the market for plant based beef
  • As alternate protein gains traction in the market owing to the increasing awareness about the environmental impact of food choices consumers make, the majority of the population is shifting towards plant based beef and is expected to gain traction in near future
  • Companies across the spectrum are investing heavily in creating and acquiring new products and brands which will provide momentum to the surging consumer demand for plant-based beef products

New product development fuelling plant-based products demand
Increasing demand for innovative products has paved the way for product development across frozen, chilled and ambient segments. This innovation helps consumers with a wider choice of brands and products, and allows plant-based beef to advance improved shelf space and recognition.
Read More: A bearing for all harvest seasons
UK is the global leader for vegan food launches. In 2019 approximately 18% of new food launches were vegan. Tesco has developed wicked kitchen range of meat-free products.
Who is winning?
A few of the leading players operating in the Plant Based Beef market are Impossible Foods, Gardein by Conagra Brands, MorningStar Farms, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Symrise, Roquette Frères S.A., Kellogg’s, Tyson Foods, Sotexpro SA, Crown Soya Protein Group, Puris Proteins, Ingredion, Beneo GmbH, Glanbia, Fuji Oil Co., and other players.
Several leading manufacturers of Plant Based Beef are focusing on partnering with prominent players in the market to increase its business footprints and to increase their production capacity. Leading players of Plant Based Beef are investing in research and development to produce organic, non-GMO ingredients for plant-based beef.

Confusion over soft plastics recycling

While conscious living has continued to be an important factor in Aussies lives, a quarter (26 per cent) of the nation has admitted to having limited knowledge on recycling and soft plastics recycling.
While most Aussies are aware of recycling via kerbside i.e. the yellow top bins, when it comes to recycling soft plastics research commissioned by Kellogg’s Australia revealed 85 per cent of the nation aren’t aware that soft plastics – like cereal liners – can be recycled.
If recycled correctly, these plastics, the kind that can be scrunched into a ball, can be turned into low maintenance and durable products that are designed to last, a fact half the nation (53 per cent) is unaware of.
Read More: Traceability platform to help reduce food fraud
Ninety per cent of Aussies admit they would feel more comfortable recycling if they had a deeper understanding of where the plastics were going. To help raise awareness of the fact that soft plastics can be recycled, and inspire Aussies and kids alike on recycling these plastics, Kellogg’s Australia has worked with REDCycle and Replas to create sustainable planter boxes, made with recycled soft plastics.
The sustainable planter boxes will be donated to refresh the community garden at New Lambton South Public School in Newcastle, this December.
Tamara Howe, director of corporate affairs and general manager at Kellogg’s New Zealand said, “Australian’s want to recycle but with so much information out there, it can be overwhelming and confusing. Our research has shown 69 per cent of the nation feel their lack of knowledge actually stops them from recycling.
“As a founding partner of REDcycle, we want to cut through the clutter and share the simple message that our Kellogg cereal liners along with other soft plastics can be converted into sustainable products that last.”
Kellogg’s cereal liners along with other soft plastics can be recycled via the REDcycle recycling initiative where plastic packaging is collected from the REDcycle drop-off bins at Coles and Woolworths every week.
Through the REDcycle Program, Replas takes the material and turns it into durable products designed for outdoor use within the community, like park benches and planter boxers.

SIA launches seafood blitz in Australia

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing the Australian seafood industry, has launched the first whole-of-industry marketing blitz, supported by the Australian Government, to promote Australian seafood and unveiled the nation’s flagship brand, Great Australian Seafood.
Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Jonno Duniam, said encouraging more domestic consumption of Australian seafood was important for the industry’s survival and recovery
“It’s been an incredibly tough year for Australia’s seafood sector and they need our support,” Duniam said. “The seafood industry was the first and worst hit when export markets virtually shut down overnight at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read More: Meeting the 2030 waste targets
“Fortunately, every Australian can play a role in helping our fishers, and it’s as simple as eating some Aussie seafood. That’s a win-win for all of us.
“This campaign will support all sectors of the seafood industry, from fishers and processors, through to those in the foodservices sector, and it will provide a much-needed boost to ensure we have a strong, sector-wide recovery.”
“This campaign is led by industry, for industry, to promote domestic sales and provide a
boost to the entire Australian seafood industry supply chain as we recover,” SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta said.
The campaign, which premiered on November 8, sees the industry establish its first
whole-of-industry brand similar to Australian other key protein and agricultural products.
The 12-month campaign includes consumer-facing advertising across all regional and metro TV and streaming platforms, out of home including shopping centres, street furniture and roadside, digital activations and partnerships. It also includes the launch of the new brand identity including logo and name, consumer-facing website and social media platforms.

Rockwell Automation improves productivity and reduces risk with the release of PlantPAx 5.0

Rockwell Automation has released the PlantPAx 5.0 distributed control system (DCS). This latest DCS version from Rockwell Automation helps industrial producers positively impact the lifecycle of their plant operations with plant-wide and scalable systems to drive digital transformation and operational excellence.
New system capabilities help digitally transform operations by introducing process functionality native to the controller, improving the availability of system assets driving compliance in regulated industries, while enabling the adoption of analytics at all levels of the enterprise. Intuitive workflows and the use of industry-leading cybersecurity standards will help teams design, deploy, and support a DCS infrastructure which reduces time-to-market and helps plants realize profit at a faster rate.
“We’re excited to bring PlantPAx DCS 5.0 to our customers,” said Jim Winter, global process director, Rockwell Automation. “New system features are step changes in helping our customers lower the overall costs to design and commission. The functionality improves the overall effort to integrate the process control layer to the enterprise. By reducing the lifecycle cost of the system and lowering operational risks, we are continuing to find innovative ways to bring more value to end users.”
Process end users desire a system that offers the benefits of a modern experience without the burdens that come with a traditional DCS. The new 5.0 release innovates the modern DCS in the following areas:

  • Reduced Footprint
    • This release introduces new process controllers and extends the Logix family with cutting-edge processing power and capacity to reduce the complexity of PlantPAx architectures. This action reduces total cost of ownership of the system throughout the lifecycle.
  • Project Consistency
    • With native process instructions embedded in the controller firmware, project teams can adopt approaches to control strategies that drive consistency for individual projects or multi-site deployments. Consistency simplifies the lifecycle management of deployed systems as teams modernize their automation infrastructure. Consistency lowers total cost of ownership (TCO).
  • Streamlined Workflows
    • PlantPAx 5.0 provides improved design and operational user experiences. Development teams will realize savings in the configuration of instrumentation, alarms and diagnostic system elements. Operators will have the extended ability to view underlying control logic in a safe and secured manner. Maintenance will have controlled view access for troubleshooting.
  • TÜV -Certified for Cybersecurity
    • To operate at peak performance and minimize cybersecurity threats, PlantPAx 5.0 system architectures are TÜV certified to the international standard ISA-99/IEC 62443-3-3 which provides guidance on the implementation of an electronically secured system.
  • Analytics Enabled
    • Process end users recognize the value of analytics as an essential strategy to realize profit in their process operations. The PlantPAx 5.0 release has purpose-built frameworks that easily connect live and historical data from the DCS into reporting and analytical tools.
    • Enables extended experiences, such as Augmented Reality, using workflows aligned with process strategies controlling plant operations.
    • Allows extensible scalable analytic packages leveraging predictive and prescriptive models for process applications such as soft sensors, anomaly detection, or model predictive control.

As producers continue their digital transformation journey, the advances from this system release will help them unlock value and reduce overall costs at all phases of the plant lifecycle. For more information about PlantPAx DCS 5.0, please visit


CSIRO teams up with fledgling food company

New food manufacturing company, Nutri V, has been formed by vegetable grower Fresh Select and Australia’s national science agency CSIRO.
Nutri V is developing nutritious products from vegetables that might otherwise be thrown out to help people eat healthier and pioneer new sustainable farming practices.
Nutri V is commercialising CSIRO-patented technologies to turn surplus Australian-grown vegetables into ingredients, products and supplements that lock in the vegetable’s natural colour and flavour.
They also have enhanced nutritional content thanks to CSIRO’s microencapsulation of healthy oils and gut health fermentation applications.
Only 7 per cent of Australian adults and 5 per cent of children eat the recommended five serves of vegetables a day.
At the same time, food waste costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year, with about 20 per cent of all vegetables grown in Australia wasted before even hitting retail shelves.
Sustainable, dairy and gluten free, Nutri V ingredients help the environment as well as Australians looking to meet their daily vegetable intake.
Nutri V CEO John Said explained that Nutri V would produce a range of value-added vegetable ingredients from 100 per cent Australian grown vegetables including highly nutritious powders and purees for use in a variety of applications such as food products or supplements.
Read More: Nut butter obsession turns into million dollar Coles deal
“We’ll be able to minimise wastage by using the entire crop to make powder – ‘ugly veg’, stems and leaves as well – not just the retail-fit parts,” Mr Said said.
“In the years to come, our planet needs to produce more with the same resources and we see Nutri V as part of that solution.”
“We’ve been collaborating with the CSIRO for more than two decades and this latest venture is a tremendous breakthrough with numerous benefits for people and the planet.”
CSIRO scientist Dr Pablo Juliano said Nutri V was turning cutting-edge food science into products for all Australians to enjoy while making a difference for the planet.
“We’ve been able to apply our expertise in creating nutrient dense foods with innovative techniques to tackle the challenge of converting what might otherwise be lower value crops into foods with enhanced nutritional profile,” Dr Juliano said.
“This is next-step innovation in plant-based ingredient and product technology.”
Said he did not see the Nuri V products as a repalcement for a fresh and healthy diet.
“Fresh is best,” Said said. “Rather, Nutri V provides an opportunity to help consumers increase their vegetable intake quickly and easily. Nutri V sees these ingredients as a fantastic opportunity for the Australian food industry to increase the nutritional content of products to maximise the health of consumers.”
The first Nutri V products will be available in the coming months.

Tap the potential of craft brewing

Brewing and German technology go hand in hand. The German Purity law defined quality of beer back in the 1400’s. For over 50 years now, Siemens’ programmable logic controllers (PLC) have been defining the quality of automation for various industries. Siemens Factory Automation can be found in breweries all over the world whether it be giant breweries in Germany or our growing craft sector in Australia. Regardless of size, the great common elements is – quality. So if you’re a brewer and you want quality product every single time and with every sip of beer, investing in the right technology is the key.
Scotty McKinnon, Founder and head brewer of Wolf of The Willows credits technology for massive cost savings saying, “As a result of the technology we have implemented, we’ve gone from an average of 25 days down to now 18 day ferment cycle. So, from first brewing beer to actually putting it in the package product to go out into market, that’s a massive cost saving for us.”
At Wolf in the Willows, Fermecraft have integrated a Siemens s7 1500 PLC as the brains of the control system, capturing and processing the status of the brewing process via Profinet industrial ethernet. Critically, the entire process is easily observed and managed by a 22inch high resolution Comfort Panel Human Machine Interface (HMI) screen right on the brew deck, so the artisan manual elements of the brew crafting and the modern control system work together seamlessly to provide the consistent quality end product.

Alternative Dairy Co triples sales

The Alternative Dairy Co has experienced the strongest sales on record for its home-grown range of barista plant milks, despite the negative impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on the nation’s cafè businesses.
The Australian owned and made brand has seen its sales triple in the first quarter of FY21, compared to the last quarter of FY20. This has been fuelled by a clear shift in consumer preference towards locally made products and a fast-growing taste for plant milks by Australia’s sophisticated coffee drinkers – 55% of whom prefer their morning brew at their local café and overwhelmingly want their coffee white.
In recent years dairy-free milk alternatives have continued to surge in popularity, with almond milk officially overtaking soy as the most requested dairy alternative in 2019. Almond milk is tipped to continue to grow, but it is oat milk’s dairy-like taste and creamy texture that has industry pundits predicting it’s the plant milk to watch over the next five years.
The Alternative Dairy Co enjoys the backing of Sanitarium Health Food Company, an Australian-owned company that is largely credited for introducing Australians to soy milk in the 1980s and has enjoyed success with its market-leading So Good brand for more than three decades. According to Steve Beams, Sanitarium Health Food Company, general manager – sales, the reason people were increasingly turning to plant milks was two-fold.
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“People have long been attracted to the health benefits of plant milks, but a growing number of socially conscious consumers are now also seeking food and drinks with stronger sustainability credentials. In coffee, the decision to switch from dairy to a plant milk is now easy too, because it no longer represents a compromise on the coffee experience,” said Beams.
While this trend is adding momentum to the uptake in plant milks, Mr Beams explains it also gives The Alternative Dairy Co a strong market advantage, particularly in competing with some of the global dairy free milk brands.
“The Alternative Dairy Co source Australian almonds from the Murray-Darling region. Our supplier Select Harvests is committed to sustainable agriculture and has implemented some innovative solutions at their orchards to minimise the use of water and energy and support bee health. All our oats are locally grown too.
“Using Australian ingredients is a win-win because we’re getting the best quality raw ingredients while supporting Australian agriculture. Plus, we make all our milks on the New South Wales Central Coast.”
Australians have always loved the idea of supporting Australian owned businesses and locally made products, but the COVID-19 pandemic has seen consumers turning this sentiment into action. This is another trend that has played to The Alternative Dairy Co’s advantage.
“What we have seen in the last few months is an increasing push in the marketplace for people wanting to support local – both in terms of the businesses in their neighbourhood, but also the products they sell. Our plant milks not only tick this box, but they’re as good as if not, better than – any other product on the market,” said Beams.

APS DB – The Distribution Board for Australian Industry

APS Industrial are proud to have released a complete family of ‘DB’ distribution boards that are custom designed for the demands of Australian industry and feature world-class technology and innovation. The ‘DB family’ of competitively priced distribution boards are exclusive to APS Industrial and purpose-built for compatibility with Siemens circuit breakers.
Within the APS DB family of distribution boards there are three models to ensure you’re application requirements are met – no matter how big or small.
APS DB Ultimate
The ‘DB Ultimate’ range of competitively priced distribution boards are exclusive to APS Industrial, purpose-built for compatibility with Siemens circuit breakers and feature an enclosure by the world’s leading supplier of innovative enclosure technology, Rittal.
Combining the shared expertise and experience of these leading global manufacturers that also draws on KATKO switching technology and Weidmüller surge protection, the ‘DB Ultimate’ sets the benchmark for quality, flexibility, compliance and intelligence.
In a move that will revolutionise distribution board assembly and installation, the ‘DB Ultimate’, within the ‘DB family’ of distribution boards also feature a unique removable one-piece gear tray assembly that enables full assembly and wiring independent of the enclosure itself. This exciting feature provides unparalleled flexibility in design, assembly, installation, commissioning and future retro-fitting.
Ideally suited to high-end industrial applications, the ‘DB Ultimate’ is a true industrial distribution board designed for arduous and heavy-duty environments.
APS DB Essential
Consistent throughout the ‘DB’ family of distribution boards, the newly released DB Essential is custom designed for the demands of Australian industry and purpose built for compatibility with Siemens circuit breakers.
The DB Essential has been developed as a quality lightweight distribution board for high end commercial and medium duty industrial environments. The enclosure by KATKO is a fully welded construction and meets the highest IK rating against external mechanical impacts whilst maintaining an IP55 ingress rating.
Together these ratings make this range of distribution boards ideal for indoor and outdoor applications typically seen in office, retail, hotel warehouse and distribution applications.
As well as being custom designed for the demands of Australian industry and purpose built for compatibility with Siemens circuit breakers, the DB Eco has been developed as a quality lightweight distribution board for standard domestic, commercial and light duty industrial environments.
This versatile entry level distribution board boasts all the quality of the APS DB family at a competitive price point. Featuring careful weight composition to ensure easy handling and installation without comprising performance, the APS DB Eco is readily available at your preferred local wholesaler for on-demand pick-up and installation.
The world-class manufacturer’s that have been involved in the development of this new-to-market range of distribution boards are at the forefront of Industry 4.0 and industrial digitalisation. All of the combined expertise and knowledge has been embedded in the distribution boards that APS Industrial are bringing to market.

Beer consumption suffered during lockdown

Across the globe, beer consumption suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic in the early stages of 2020. In some countries – such as South Africa – alcohol consumption was restricted, while others – like Mexico – classified brewing as a non-essential activity and ceased beer production.
“In most countries, consumers faced a lockdown and the on-premise channel was closed, creating varying degrees of pain for nearly all brewers,” according to Francois Sonneville, Senior Analyst – Beverages at Rabobank .
“In North America, the overall market has held up relatively well, helped by its reliance on off-trade sales and stellar e-commerce growth. Brewers large and small have proved surprisingly nimble and adaptable – which may lead to notable changes to the on-premise moving forward,” says Sonneville. Craft brewers, who are more dependent on the on-trade, have so far avoided closures, although the winter might impact those dependent on outdoor seating.
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In Europe, on-trade markets have been hit hard, especially in tourist areas, and beer
going stale in kegs has caused additional problems. As new Covid cases are on the
rise and the risk of a second lockdown increases, chain integration might help to
lower costs.
Despite a sharp recovery in China, the loss of summer sales will hang over 2020
Asian beer volumes. As China comprises 70% of total Asian beer consumption, it is
critical to recovery. Thailand and Japan have shown smart recoveries in Q3 2020. For
the rest of Asia, specifically, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam, there are mixed

Nut butter obsession turns into million dollar Coles deal

Nick Sheridan created 99th Monkey in Melbourne in 2013. His aim was to create a nut butter that not only tastes delicious but also that was good for a person’s health and kind to the planet.
“As a former journalist (The Age, Global Coffee Report) living in London and training for my first (and maybe last) marathon in 2012, I became obsessed with peanut butter. When my wife Tracey and I returned to Melbourne, I decided to turn my nut butter obsession into a business,” said Sheridan.

Sheridan started out selling in farmers markets then into local stores and online. At the end of 2017, 99th Monkey was in about 800 independent retailers around Australia.
In 2018, 99th Monkey was one of five Australian businesses that were selected to take part in the Chobani Food Incubator program.
“The program helped me to expand my vision for the business and gave me the contacts and confidence to take the brand to the next level,” said Sheridan
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“2018 was also that year that I finally went all in on the business, leaving my job as editor of a coffee magazine to focus on 99th Monkey full time – it felt like a big leap at the time considering we had a two-year-old daughter and a mortgage.”
The leap paid off and by the end of 2018, 99th Monkey was stocked in Coles’ new format stores, Coles Local. This led to 99th Monkey securing three products stocked in 200 Coles stores in Victoria in 2019.
This past year, 99th Monkey have signed a million dollar deal with Coles. 99th Monkey Natural Almond Butter and Cacao Almond Butter will be stocked in 650 Coles stores nationally.

Meeting the 2030 food waste targets

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), in partnership with the Australasian Waste Recycling Expo 2020, are inviting all members and industry colleagues to attend a free webinar on 25 November which will discuss how to find the balance between the 2025 Packaging and 2030 Food Waste Targets.
Everyone in the world has a role to play in meeting two important targets:
1. 2025 Global and Local Packaging Targets and
2. Food Waste Targets.
Neither is mutually exclusive and when there is talk about pivoting a business to become more sustainable inside and out it is critical that businesses understand both goals and what they really mean to a business.
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The webinar will include a panel discussion with Nerida Kelton MAIP Kelton, (AIP)), Alan Adams MAIP (Sealed Air), Michael Dossor MAIP (Result Group), Warwick Armstrong MAIP (Plantic) and Ralph Moyle CPP FAIP (AIP).
The panel of experts are here to help you look at your own footprint and what road you need to take to become more sustainable as a business.

Woolworths to use Primary Connect platform

Woolworths has unveiled another step in its journey to become a Food and Everyday Needs Ecosystem with the launch of its Primary Connect supply chain platform.
This will see Woolworths’ internal supply chain function rebrand to Primary Connect as it begins to evolve into an end-to-end service provider not just for Woolworths Group retail businesses, but an increasing number of partners.
A key catalyst for the move is the proposed separation of Endeavour Group from Woolworths Group. This has seen the platform become the full-service supply chain service provider to BWS and Dan Murphy’s.
Primary Connect managing director, Paul Graham, said: “Establishing the Primary Connect platform is a key step in our ambition to build Australia’s next generation supply chain.
“We run the largest and most distributed retail supply chain network in Australia. This size and scale provides us with a unique opportunity to deliver a lot of value to business partners both within our group and beyond.
“But it’s not enough to have a best-in-class network. To be successful in growing the platform, we need to deliver world-class customer service and build on our digital offering to deliver safer and smarter supply chain solutions for partners. We’ve never been better placed to do so.”
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Woolworths’ existing Primary Connect transport business currently services more than 1,000 external customers, including Ingham’s, Kimberly-Clark, Marley Spoon and Diageo. All team members within Woolworths Group Supply Chain will now form part of the expanded Primary Connect team.
Primary Connect’s transport business works with more than 70 trusted carrier partners to optimise freight movements and improve utilisation across its end-to-end network. In FY20, the platform moved more than 8.4 million pallets across 4,000 locations for more than 1,000 suppliers with high service levels.
Tasmanian-based salad grower Houston’s Farm has been using the platform  since 2017. Primary Connect transports bagged salads and ready to eat salad bowls from Houston’s Farm’s Tasmanian, Western Australian, South Australian and Queensland processing facilities to Woolworths distribution centres across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Launceston. The salads are stocked in all Woolworths supermarkets and replenished daily.
“Primary Connect is a premium supply chain service provider with a vision similar to our own,” said Houston’s Farm CEO, Richard Hopkins.
“We’ve established a close working relationship with them over the years and are able to share and implement ideas to improve our offering for customers.
“Working with Primary Connect has made transport and logistics much simpler for us to manage, and allowed us to focus on what we do best – growing the best quality fresh produce for Australian families.”

CSIRO partners with manufacturers for nutritious meals

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, is partnering with Australian food manufacturers to help Australians choose nutritious ready meals consistent with the successful CSIRO Low Carb Diet and Lifestyle Plan.
Be Fit Food is the first provider to partner with CSIRO to develop and deliver meals that have been specifically designed to comply with the CSIRO Low Carb Diet.
The meals will feature a front of pack labelling mark, signalling they are a meal suitable for the CSIRO Low Carb Diet. Ready meals featuring the mark have been formulated and passed independent tests to ensure strict benchmarks have been met, making them compliant with the food and nutrient specifications of the science-based CSIRO Low Carb Diet.
CSIRO’s senior research scientist, Grant Brinkworth, said through decades of nutrition and health research, CSIRO understood the barriers that can hold people back from improving their diet quality.
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“We know that lifestyle factors like time and budget pressures and the growing rate of single person households are fuelling a strong demand for ready meals,” he said.
“In Australia, our diet is getting worse. Of the top 20 causes of death in Australia, 14 are lifestyle related, with Type 2 diabetes one of the fastest growing chronic health conditions contributing to these startling numbers.
“As people are seeking convenient food solutions, it is important to make the healthy solution the easy option.”
The CSIRO Low Carb Diet is an energy-controlled, nutritionally complete meal plan that is lower in carbohydrate and higher in protein and healthy (unsaturated) fats.
When compared to ready meals currently available in the Australian market, the meals displaying the Meal Suitable for the CSIRO Low Carb Dietmark on average contain 68 per cent less carbohydrate and 55 per cent less sodium.
“In a world full of so much nutrition noise, few diets have undergone the type of rigorous clinical testing and research that the CSIRO Low-Carb Diet has,” Brinkworth said.
Clinical studies have shown that the CSIRO Low Carb Diet and Lifestyle Plan effectively delivers sustained long-term weight loss and greater improvements in blood glucose control, and reduction in diabetes medication requirements as well as risk factors for heart disease compared to a traditional high carbohydrate, low fat diet.
Be Fit Food co-founder and CEO Kate Save welcomed the partnership with CSIRO.
“The new Be Fit Food Lifestyle Range has been specifically formulated to follow the exact science of the CSIRO Low Carb Diet. The range is a tasty and convenient way to enjoy the benefits of the CSIRO Low Carb Diet, without having to cook,” Save said.
“Our philosophy is that food should be the first medicine in the pursuit of optimal health and prevention and treatment of weight-related disease. We’re delighted to partner with CSIRO to deliver delicious and nutritionally complete meal options to help people achieve healthier lifestyles.”