Patience wins through with industrial freezer build

Building a commercial freezer is no easy task. The amount of work and effort that goes into making sure all the specifications are met can be arduous. This is not lost on the team from Total Construction, a company that specialises in food and beverage builds.

In 2015, a baking company wanted to build a new freezer due to its business expanding and so began a consultation process with Total Construction’s Engineering Construction Group (ECG).

“We began talking with them five years ago about building a 500 sqm freezer on an adjoining site to its current plant,” said Rob Blythman, general manager for ECG. “The client makes par baked bakery products for the café market and their point of difference is that each individual product has its own unique shape and look – the real homemade appearance.”

It was for this reason that the bakery needed to expand. With orders up, and the uniqueness of some of its products, space was at a premium. The scope of the job was nothing new to ECG, so they started to scope the project with the client.

“The Total Construction team worked with the client’s operations staff extensively through workshops and discussions to develop a profile of what the client needed by way of a freezer build and how this could be achieved with maximum efficiency at the lowest cost,” said Blythman.

Total Construction was up for the challenge, and presented four design options to the client. The point of the four different options was to provide a variety of possibilities when it came to costings. This would allow the bakery to enable the best process flow while maximising the pallet capacity of the facility.

“After much discussion on the cost, the client decided to go it alone and manage the construction with his own team,” said Blythman.

“As you can imagine, we were extremely disappointed to have missed out on doing the build. However, we were quite philosophical about it too, as we well know, in the food and beverage market, this frequently happens. This is mainly due to many clients being privately owned medium-sized businesses that want to save money wherever they can. We respected the client’s decision and said if they needed any help at all to give us a call. Little did we know that a few years down the track we would get that call.”

Three years later Blythman was with some colleagues at a food and beverage trade show when they ran into the owner of the bakery. They talked about the state of the industry, but the discussion soon turned to the freezer project that had been on the cards back in 2015.
“It turned out the client was at his wit’s end with the project, as he had experienced nothing but trouble trying to get it started,” said Blythman. “To top it off, he had been pinged by council for conducting building works without approval.”

Blythman and the Total Construction team knew in the back of their minds that this kind of issue could come to the fore because Total Construction has had extensive experience in how councils work, due to being in continual contact with various councils on a weekly basis on many projects and fully understood what type of issues could arise going it alone. However, Total Construction wasn’t the type of company to bask in the misfortune of others, instead it saw an opportunity to help.

“Within a few weeks we had signed them up for design works, a DA submission and CM contract for the construction,” said Blythman.

The scope that the owner gave Total Construction was extensive. It was to construct a new freezer in the neighbouring building with all council approvals completed; make sure there was access from the existing premises through to the neighbouring premises; make sure there was a provision of an air lock ingress/egress in the new freezer; ensure that there was sufficient area allocated for the dispatch of receivables; provide a series of layout options for the freezer size and additional production locations; and makes sure that the freezer racking design could accommodate long-term and short-term pallet storage (400 pallets) within 500 sqm.

The biggest issue that needed solving was the final instruction in the scope – accommodating the pallet storage. Space was at a premium and they had to come up with a strategy to make sure it met the specifications. They did this using some lateral thinking.
“To maximise pallet space, we came up with a design that allowed the freezer space to follow the existing building roof line to allow sufficient space for the required evaporators. This posed a problem of potential issues with the EPS panel ceiling joints not sealing properly due to the acute angles involved,” said Blythman.

“To counter the potential of icing of the joints, particular attention was given to the over sealing done on each joint to ensure no air would penetrate, so the freezer would not only function properly, but provide room for more pallet space.”

In the end, the project was completed on time without a hitch and not only to the customer’s specifications but meeting all council and building standards.

“Needless to say, the client was impressed with the final build as were we,” said Blythman, “We found the project interesting from a build point of view – with regard to the acute angles – and the client ended up with a freezer that will help move the business forward.”

Designing and building a facility in Asia: What you need to know

Australian food and beverage manufacturers open processing factories in Asia for many different reasons – cheap labour, being closer to markets, lower running costs.

Wiley is a company that has spent many years building up its portfolio of building projects in Asia – Thailand and Indonesia  are just a few countries where they have built facilities for a variety of FMCG food specialists. Wiley’s first Asia project was 1995 for Nestle Indonesia, who where going through an expansion phase on several sites in East Java – a condensed milk factory was built quickly followed by a Milo factory and then by others including factory upgrades and central distribution centre.

Wiley brought some innovations to their projects, which provided better hygiene controls, sped up construction  and reduced ongoing maintenance. An example of innovation was concrete tilt-up walls to a warehouse which made construction faster and eliminated the maintenance of repairing plastered blockwork.

After its start in Indonesia, Wiley designed some ‘signature’ facilities in the Philippines, particularly a large commissary for leading Filipino fast food company Jollibee.

There are many preconceived ideas – some true, some not so much – when starting up a factory in the most populous continent on the planet. For a start, there are still standards that have to be met. Maybe they’re not as stringent as those in Australia? Not necessarily so says the company’s advisory services director, Andrew Newby.

“We build to international standards or specific client requirements when building overseas,” said Newby. “A country like Thailand considers itself the kitchen of the world. They export to Japan, Europe and all over the planet so they have to meet high standards. You look at the workmanship level when building in Asia – the finishes – as to being similar to Australia. We look at how they might improve the way they do things, and, in some cases, we do have a lot of supervision when building as to how they carry out tasks. I find that supervision is a really strong factor in achieving great finishes.”

Wiley business development manager, Michael Fung, backs up that assertion. “When starting a project, I would advise to have somebody up there who can manage the delivery. Having an Australian supervisor is a good idea,” he said. “If you leave all the dealings with a local contractor you don’t know what you are going to end up with.”

Dealing with local government can vary from country to country. While there might be an impression that a lot of these places have third-world infrastructure, they still have construction standards that have to be adhered to, licenses that have to be put in place, approvals and other bureaucratic necessities that must be met. A key factor for food and beverage processors have to take into consideration is risk. What are the local issues? Is the government reasonably stable? Is the workforce reliable? What are the local labour laws and how will they affect my business? Fung also says that sometimes companies get caught up with the setting up and forget about the commercial aspects.

“You have to look at how they operate,” he said. “Things like bank accounts, what you need to have in place before you even go over there. Take Indonesia and Thailand for example. The differences doing business in those two countries is significant. There are differences in paid-up capital requirements to setup business. Then there are business set-up costs. It is that up front advice that they need to get from lawyers and accountants before they get their foot in the door of the country that needs sorting out and we often assist with.”

Is it easier doing business in one country compared to another? Yes and no, says Newby. It’s more to do with how the country sees itself with regard to food manufacturing than any clear set of rules designed to make things easier or harder for the companies involved.
“It is about making sure you are ready,” said Newby. “For example, Thailand has a very active board of investment. They will give you a lot of help to set up a new business. Whereas you might not get that in Indonesia because they are not such an export-driven country. So, it’s important to look for incentives.”

Then there are the reasons a company is going there to Asia in the first place. Is it to export back to Australia? Export that country’s produce around the world? Depending on what you are going to do relates to which is the best country to erect a factory.

“It’s all about supply chain,” said Newby. “It’s about what you are making. Is your raw material available in that country? Because every country is different. What are you producing? Does it make sense to build in that location? If you’re not really sure then we can help a client decide the geographical location within Asia where it makes sense to be. You have to also look at where ports are located, airports – things like that.”

Wiley is a company that has many years’ experience building facilities on the continent. This experience can go a long way to helping companies just starting their journey in Asia, especially when it comes to scoping a new project.

“It is important to get a company, or someone, with experience building facilities there,” said Wiley communications manager, Rachael Hedges. “We can start right from the beginning through our business advisory unit – from identifying what country you should go into. What is the business risk? What is the business position for going there? We make sure there is due diligence and that the company’s future planning is in the right spaces and places. Then our delivery team can partner with local suppliers and subcontractors and make sure they are getting the right advice to get the right outcome.”
And how are things looking there at the moment? Wiley is at pains to point out that the whole region – depending on wants and needs – is open for business. However, the big player in the arena – China – is never far from anyone’s thoughts. Still, opportunities abound everywhere said Newby.

“The areas that I’ve seen pretty good growth in are the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia,” he said. “With Indonesia for example, it has got a population of 230 million. There is a really strong domestic need for food there. Whereas Thailand has 60 -70 million people but is a big exporter because the government has been very proactive in supporting the food industry. Some Asian countries are building strong connections to China.

“As the infrastructure gets better in Asia, it is going to open up. You are then going to see more trade, which those governments are trying to do with the ASEAN (Association of South-east Asian Nations) agreement – trying to break down trade barriers in the region so labour and goods can cross borders easily.”

How does Newby feel about the near future with regard to growth, especially for Australian companies thinking of dipping their toes in the food and beverage processing market?
“Some economists say that at the moment the Asian economies are sluggish, but this view only makes sense when compared to the double-digit growth that the region experienced in previous economic cycles,” he said.

Growth rates in the ASEAN area for example are still forecast to be somewhere between 5-9 per cent in 2019 and when combined with the big populations in Asia, it is unlikely that demand for high quality food and beverages will be declining anytime soon.

Total Tips – design and building advice for food & beverage manufacturers

Welcome to Total Tips, a regular column by plant building and design provider, Total Construction about how businesses can ensure they have well-designed, well-functioning manufacturing facilities that give them the best chance to prosper. This issue we hear from Tom Franks, a design engineer at the company.

TIP 2 – Building to hygiene standards helps ensure a clean working environment and decrease the risk of future food safety issues.

Food safety is priority number one for food and beverage manufacturers. As the recent Australian listeria outbreak illustrates, failure to properly address the issue can lead to illness or even death of the people who matter the most, consumers. On top of that are the business costs. Food safety scares can shut down operations and, worse, significantly damage the reputations of food manufacturers.

Maintaining a clean and safe environment all starts with the design and building of the manufacturing facility.

Designing the facility

When it comes to design, there are many rules to follow. Facilities in this sector must not only conform to the National Construction Code, but also to food and beverage design and hygiene standards. On top of that some buyers, such as Woolworths, have their own standards above and beyond the national standards.

Many factors – including bacteria and microbial growth, disease, vermin, and bugs – need to be considered when designing a facility. A good fit out methodology can help reduce the risk of contamination. Employing smooth and impervious surfaces allows for ease of clean down in operations. Areas where this can help include food grade stainless steel; epoxy resin flooring, sandwich panel walls and ceilings; coved and sealed junctions between floors, walls and ceilings; sealed concrete; and so on.

The presence of a food literate process engineer and a food hygienist can help businesses determine what design features will be required and where.

For example, it is important to ensure there are hand wash basins for employees to use after touching food, sneezing, or coughing. Also, there should be sanitation stations at all entries into production areas; male and female change rooms should be provided, with boot scrubbers or boot change areas with swing over benches if required; and colour coded clothing and tools can be used to identify employees working in high or low risk hygiene areas.

The pooling of water where dirt and grime are present can help listeria breed and grow. Good facility design which ensures all floors have appropriate falls to drains can prevent this. However, it is not only pooling on the floors that can cause problems. Drain pipes themselves can also play a big part in bacteria growth. Thankfully, the use of backflow prevention valves in pipes helps prevent this from happening.

Understanding how the client wants to run the facility from entry to exit, knowing the number of employees, and so forth all help to design a safe facility with appropriate hygiene systems.

Building the facility

From time to time, Total hears people describe food factories as “just boxes”. This is, of course, incorrect and, anyway, it’s what is inside the box that matters. If good hygiene practices are not in place, kitchens and food preparation areas can provide optimal environments for bacteria to breed. Minimising the risk of cross-contamination and spread of bacteria and ensuring proper hygiene are critical elements in ensuring the well-being of staff and consumers.

Total has vast experience in the food and beverage manufacturing sector. The company’s deep understanding of hygiene requirements means that they can be relied upon to deliver not only well-functioning, hygienic facilities, but also peace of mind.

 

SunPork Group future-proof Swickers Kingaroy bacon factory

The SunPork Group is partnering with Wiley to upgrade and expand their processing capacity at the Swickers Kingaroy bacon factory by early 2019. The new slaughter room on the western side of Swickers’ site is a $60 million greenfield expansion that will further establish the business as the largest pork processor in the state.

As the largest employer in the South Burnett region, this expansion is a significant investment in the community’s future. Swickers currently processes over ninety per cent of the pigs processed in Queensland, and this expansion will allow the broader pig industry in Queensland to grow with the increased processing capacity. Swickers is the only export accredited pig abattoir in Queensland and their quality pork is much in demand by local and export customers.

Wiley has been engaged on both the design and the delivery of the project and will be working with local suppliers to deliver the project. Wiley Senior Project Manager, Greg Lynn said, “I am looking forward to delivering this project for Swickers with local suppliers in the South Burnett region. This project has been a vision of the company for some time and I am excited to be helping them to realise it.”

Wiley Managing Director, Tom Wiley said, “We are proud to be designing and delivering this facility for Swickers to enable them to respond to demand while also being a huge investment in the community. I am excited to be working with a company who shares our community values and bringing their project to life.”

Wiley has been collaborating on the design with Swickers to ensure their facility upgrade is state of the art and future proofed. While not required immediately, the new plant will be capable of processing at three times the speed and overall volume of the current plant. Wiley will be delivering; complete slaughter floor, freezer, chillers, amenities and offal rooms. The 4700m² project will take approximately 12 months to complete.

New extrusion mill for Ridley Corporation

Ridley Corporation continues its path upstream, with the announcement that Wiley will take on the responsibility of design build partner and principal contractor for its new extrusion mill project in Westbury, Tasmania.

The new state of the art, purpose built mill, will have an annualised capacity of up to 50,000 tonnes per annum, on-site bulk storage capacity and fit for purpose warehouses for both raw materials and finished goods. The Extrusion Mill will manufacture and supply feed primarily to the salmon industry, as well as other aquaculture species in Australia and in New Zealand.

Wiley have been engaged by Ridley to design and construct the Extrusion Mill and the duo have been working together on the design of the facility over the past year. Following the recent Development Approval for the project, the collaboration will continue through the construction phase on to a fully operational facility.

“We are proud to collaborate with Ridley on this fantastic project. It’s great to work with a company that shares similar values to our own. Our commitment to Ridley and the broader aquaculture industry is to deliver value at every stage of this project and unlock a new level of commercial possibilities for the industry in doing so,” said Wiley Innovation and Strategy Director, Brandon Miller.

The new extrusion mill will add to Ridley’s already strong position as the market leading producer of high quality animal nutrition solutions. This modern processing facility will incorporate the latest technologies from around the world and provides the industry with a wide range of benefits. These include a greater capacity in shorter lead times and the ability to collaborate more closely on new product development and dietary enhancements.

“We’ve been a part of what is going into the design and engineering of this project and it is truly world class. It’s due for completion in 2019 and it is now our job to bring it to life,” said Miller.

Wiley awarded Bundaberg sugar terminal roofs upgrade project

STL, the owner of the State’s Bulk Sugar Terminals (BSTs) and its operator, Queensland Sugar Limited (QSL Operations), have announced that Wiley has been awarded the project to deliver their roof replacement project in Bundaberg. The project involves the roof replacement and recladding of galbestos on two existing bulk sugar terminals, spanning over 30,000m², which will remain in operation during construction.

This project is part of a larger scope of works by STL, to replace roof cladding containing asbestos on twelve sugar storage sheds over a period of eleven years. This particular project is to be staged over 18 months and requires a high degree of coordination to ensure that the BST’s operations are not impacted by construction.

Works onsite in Bundaberg will begin next month. Stage one will take approximately six months to complete before a six month break to meet the sugar industries storage requirements and avoid works during the cyclone season. The final stage will follow with another six months to completion. Construction completion dates are critical to ensuring smooth operations are maintained.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with STL, QSL Operations and Ranbury to deliver this project. Wiley has secured this project based on our superior construction and safety methodology. It is a significant investment by STL into the facility to ensure the future of its operations as well as huge contribution to the sugar industry in Bundaberg,” said Simon Spittle, Wiley’s Business Operations Director.

In addition to the roof refurbishment, structural strengthening works are being undertaken to the roof purlins, trusses, end walls and roller doors. Apex walkways are also being refurbished, replaced or added, depending on the existing arrangement and condition. The works involve a combination of high-risk activities such as asbestos removal, and working at heights, on a 34° pitch roof.

Preparation key to building success for food making facilities

When pie manufacturer Baked Provisions wanted to design a new facility in Western Sydney, it had to make sure that not only was the budget met, but it would have a building that would meet its operational needs and capital constraints. Luckily, Total Construction was able to meet both these requirements.

When building a new facility, a food manufacturer knows that such a capital investment of a bespoke building can be a costly affair. Baked Provisions knew this, so they knew they needed a company that would not only build a quality facility to its specifications, but would do so within its budget.

Total Construction is a company that specialises in building commercial facilities that are designed to give clients the best value for money, and to make sure that the finished product meets the operational needs of a busy, modern enterprise.

Total knows the key to a successful project is to make sure the client involves a builder early on in the process.

Baked Provisions’ management team embraced this strategy and it wasn’t long before the company started helping the Prestons-based bakery conceptualise and design the project from the ground up.

Early Contractor Involvement

“Commonly known in the construction game as Early Contractor Involvement (ECI), having a builder involved during the scoping and design stage can allow critical cost items in any build/ fit out be identified and alternatives discussed,” Total Construction’s national business manager Rob Blythman told Food & Beverage Industry News.

“For instance, you may have a plan to construct a mezzanine level in your operations. Although perfect for the intended process flows, it can be extremely costly to construct.”

Blythman pointed out that sometimes clients cannot see the forest for the trees. They are so entrenched in their business they only see one aspect of the project, such as increasing efficiencies in their production.

“Involving a builder with process engineering capability in the food and beverage industry, such as Total Construction, can allow different eyes to see the requirements and suggest alternatives to the building layout that just don’t reduce the need for costly building works, but can potentially improve the process flow overall,” he said.

How does ECI work to help companies like Baked Provisions meet their budget?

The first step is a site visit, or investigation, which is carried out by the builder. This is similar to scoping a site. Total Construction looked at the existing site and the blueprint of the new facility. This allowed it to see all the services Baked Provisions would need in order to have an efficient operation.

The company also took stock of what utility services were available at the site. The Western Sydney industrial estate where the facility is located was fairly new so it was important to make sufficient services were available (i.e.. gas and electrical capacities). This is something that some businesses forget to do. Not only do you have to make sure the services are available, but increasing power or gas supply to a site can be very costly to the project and create delays.

Another area that needs consideration in the case of an existing building to be fitted out, is the structure integrity. Having to strengthen this to cope with the additional weight of fit out and services can often blow out project costs.

Getting stakeholders together

“A workshop was carried out with all stakeholders to identify required efficiencies, confirm proposed outputs and flag any potential limitations,” said Blythman. “As part of this workshop all production processes were mapped and detailed for both the existing and proposed operations. A comprehensive list including capacities and dimensions of all equipment both existing and new was developed. This helped to identify all utility services required and set the benchmark for power and gas requirements at the proposed site.”

One of the main reasons for being so comprehensive in the planning stage is, again, to save money for the client. It helps identify potential bottle necks in current processes and highlights any hygiene requirements in the new fit out, something that is a key ingredient in the food and beverage industry. Getting all this data captured was critical in maximising efficiencies of the new facility.

Once all these things were scoped, the Total Construction team got to work on the practicalities of the build for Baked Provisions.

“A review of the build-ability of the facility was done and sketch design layouts were completed to optimise process flows to best fit the client’s objectives,” said Blythman.

“A building/fit out SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis was carried out and build/ fit out costs were derived. Through consultation between ourselves and the client this process allowed savings to be identified early on in the overall design and layout of the facility.”

When Blythman talks about a detailed design, this includes all the services and other requirements, which is then put to the market for live market costing. This was so the client could get a firm understanding of what they could get for their dollar. It was at this point that the building of the facility was finalised.

“Here is where working to a budget comes in,” said Blythman. “Once the ideal building and fit out costs are established, it is then possible to derive further reductions in the overall project spend through rationalising the design. This included, but was not limited, to reducing the number and sizes of rooms, freezer/cool room capacities and locations, and finishes in the design.”

He said that this could be done while keeping future expansion capability intact in the design and maintaining the client’s required production output for their new facility.
Total Construction knew that a key to the success of the build was making sure it met Baked Provisions’ needs, as well as giving them the best advice during all stages of the project.

The new facility will make Baked Provisions' range of pies, savoury items and cakes.
The new facility will make Baked Provisions’ range of pies, savoury items and cakes.

The building journey starts early

When it comes to building and design, food businesses can minimise the possibility of problems and defects by working with builders through the planning process. Total Construction is well-equipped to take them on this journey.

Plant building and design – just like lean manufacturing, automation, and food safety – are critically important for food and beverage makers. Having a well-designed, well-functioning manufacturing plant is crucial to their success.

So when these businesses are looking to either construct a new facility or upgrade an existing one, they need to find a good builder. On top of that, according to Rob Blythman, business development manager – food & beverage at Total Construction, it is important they find someone who is willing and able to work closely with them.

“The client is key in deriving the ideal design and process flow. We involve all stakeholders (including chefs) from the client side to develop the design and layout that fits perfectly with their operational needs,” he told Food & Beverage Industry News.

“Total Construction likes to become part of the client’s project team as early as possible, and not be just a ‘supplier’ of services.”

The company prides itself on the “value add” it can provide to clients. It doesn’t just do the building but provides full design and process engineering services. According to Blythman, medium-sized businesses in particular are attracted to this model.

Total Construction

Total Construction was established in 1995 by current directors Steve Taylor and Bill Franks. From this time, when it operated out of an 8m² office in Sydney’s Wetherill Park, the company has grown to the point that it now has three state offices, employs 120 staff, and has an annual turnover of $150 million.

The food and beverage sector accounts for about 20 per cent of the company’s work. Apart from this, it also operates in the aged care, hospital, industrial, renewable energy, and education sectors. Within the food and beverage sector, most of its clients are medium-sized business with an annual turnover of $10 – $30 million.

“Having process engineers on staff and our experience in live food and beverage projects puts us ahead of run-of-the-mill builders,” said Blythman.

Total Construction has extensive expertise in delivering food and beverage projects throughout Australia.
Total Construction has extensive expertise in delivering food and beverage projects throughout Australia.

 

 

On top of that, where necessary, Total Construction works with other businesses on construction projects. To date, these partners have included Beca Engineering, Northrop Engineering, MCHP Architects and more.

The company has extensive expertise in delivering food and beverage projects throughout Australia. Its capabilities in the industry include cost planning, design, construction, and fit-out. On top of that, there are plans to soon add “asset management/equipment supply” and “install” to this list.

To date, Total Construction has completed projects in the beverage, bakery, dairy, and meat sectors. One of its major clients has been Alpha Flight Services, an in-flight catering provider owned by Emirates Airways.

Projects for Alpha have included design and construction of  extensions and the construction of a new catering facility at Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne; construction of a new flight catering facility at Sydney Airport; roof replacement and refrigeration of the production area at Alpha’s facility at Brisbane Airport; design and construction management of a new purpose designed in-flight catering facility at Adelaide Airport; construction management of new extensions at Perth and Brisbane Airports; and construction of a new flight catering facility at Cairns Airport.

Total Construction’s clients in the bakery sector have included the likes of Goodman Fielder. One notable project for this client, “Project de Vinci”, involved upgrading works and management of plant and equipment installations at an existing facility in NSW.

Also in the bakery sector, Total completed the design and construction of a new Tip Top bakery facility for George Western Foods in NSW.

The total package

Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to building projects, Total Construction tailors services to clients and offers a range of project delivery models. Experienced at working in “live environments” (i.e. operating factories), the company knows how to take the necessary precautions to eliminate safety risks as well as minimise noise, dust and vibration.

With every project, the company looks for innovations to improve “buildability” and offers value engineering solutions, where possible, to ensure the best possible outcome for clients. It values safety in design as a top priority and takes the responsibility to raise safety issues throughout the course of construction and suggests methodologies to reduce them.

In other words, as the name suggests, Total Construction delivers the total package. “Our key positioning is we are not just a builder, but a solutions provider for the food and beverage industry,” said Blythman.

The company’s client retention rate of 80 per cent suggests this approach of value add, communication with clients and starting the building journey early is just what the food and beverage industry is looking for.

Wiley’s honey project to employ 400,000 ‘workers’

Wiley’s Brisbane office today welcomes 400,000 new ‘workers’ and residents on their rooftop in their latest project. The workers, eight colonies of honey bees, are set to produce over 360kg of honey each year. Wiley, who design and build facilities, are collaborating with Bee One Third to produce a fantastic environment for the bees to create their honey.

“This project is Wiley’s contribution to a thriving bee population which supports our food industry, and the bonus is plenty of fresh honey to share. One of the great things we can learn from bees is that we all win if we cooperate. The bees will enjoy our insect friendly herb garden and collect nectar and pollen from the local Woolloongabba blooms,” said Wiley managing director, Tom Wiley.

Globally, bees contribute directly to one in every three plates of food that we eat, meaning, one third of our global food system is wholly reliant on bee pollination.

On a larger scale, bees contribute to over 97 per cent of the global food production – from seed manufacture, all the way through to the growing of vegetables, nuts and fruits.

Bees and other insect pollinators play a vital role in dictating whether farmers receive a yielded crop at the end of the season, are relied upon by consumers, supermarkets, farmers of all foods (including oils, meat, seeds, fruits and vegetables) and pollinate food crops worth between AU$4-6 billion per year to the Australian economy.

“It’s amazing to collaborate with forward focussed companies like Wiley who understand the intricacies of the production cycle and what it takes to truly contribute back to their environment. We really look forward to comparing our Woolloongabba honey to our other harvests around Brisbane,” Jack Stone from Bee One Third.

Stones main focus is to work with local beekeepers, and the surrounding community, to increase the local bee population and create greater social awareness about the importance of insect pollinators for our food future.

“Our primary focus of what we want to achieve is to increase pollination rates with healthy, strong bee hives and create effective and efficient systems of changes for the neighbourhood. It’s a true contribution to the area as the bees fly within 5km of their hive – they will be visiting East Brisbane, Stones Corner, Buranda and surrounding suburbs too,” said Stone.

The honey the bees collect from around at Wiley will be shared with clients, family and friends. Anything left over will be donated to one of the many charities Wiley collaborates with locally.

There are a lot of sweet lessons to learn from keeping bees. These lessons are especially relatable in the food industry. Bees work together for a collective purpose and achieve the extraordinary. We need to help bees on their mission to ensure our food production well into the future.

Image: Rachael Hedges, Wiley Marketing Manager with Jack Stone from Bee One Third.