Small-to-medium machine automation controller

Omron electronics has released its entry level controller, NX1P, designed for small to midsize production machines.

Based on the Sysmas (System for Machine Automation Control) platform, the controller features advanced motion control and networking for onsite IoT.

It is battery free and reduces machine maintenance, featuring an SD memory card slot to restore, back-up and verify data in the controller.

With one or two built-in option boards, there is no need to increase the size of the control panel for adding serial and analog communication.

This makes it a compact controller with push-in-plus terminals at the I/O and CPU unit to strengthen connection and save wiring time. According to the company, these features together with a fast execution time of 3.3ns makes the controller an easy-to-use, high performance compact controller.

Moreover, the controller has built-in Ethernet/IP and EtherCAT ports. EtherCAT allows connection between I/O devices with a single cable providing control for up to eight servo systems, reducing wiring work.

Single-axis position control and four axes of motion control can also be achieved through electronic gear/cam and linear/circular interpolation. IO-Link master is enabled, meaning downtime is reduced and status of machines can be detected quickly and precisely.

Chemical-free food factory cleaning system

Tennants ec-H2O technology electrically converts water into an​ innovative cleaning solution that cleans effectively, saves money, improves safety, and reduces environmental impact compared to daily cleaning floor chemicals and methods.
Real-world testing by customers and a third party has shown that scrubbing with ec-H2O technology effectively removes soil. And ec-H2O leaves no chemical residue so your floors retain that polished look with simplified ongoing floor maintenance.
Using ec-H2O technology can deliver cost savings and productivity gains by reducing training, purchasing, storing, handling, and mixing tasks and costs associated with floor cleaning chemicals.

Using ec-H2O technology can deliver cost savings and productivity gains by reducing training, purchasing, storing, handling, and mixing tasks and costs associated with floor cleaning chemicals.

ec-H2O technology significantly reduces the environmental impact of cleaning operations in seven key categories, according to a third-party study by EcoForm. Scrubbers equipped with ec-H2O technology can scrub up to three times longer with a single tank of water and use up to 70% less water than conventional floor scrubbing methods.​​​​​​

 

Composite hoses for food makers

RADCOFLEX offers a whole range of genuine Australian manufactured composite hoses, assemblies and hose fittings for use across chemical, gas and fuel transfer applications.

RADCOFLEX composite hoses are specially engineered and tested in-house and on-site to ensure compliance with industry standards.
Some of the advantages offered by RADCOFLEX composite hose assemblies are:
Lightweight and more flexible alternatives to rubber hoses;
All RADCOFLEX composite hoses are manufactured in Australia to Australian Standards and codes of practice.
The hoses’ applications are easily identifiable by the colours on the hoses’ outer covers;
Standard average connections with visible internal and external wires, which allow for a quick visual check on the ongoing integrity of the electrical continuity of the hose assembly.

RADOFLEX’S range includes the following:
Chemical Composite Hoses
Chemdock: for use in heavy duty suction and discharge of bulk chemicals in road and rail tankers, dockside and ship to shore to EN 13765 and IMO;
Solchem: for the transfer of chemicals and solvents where the fluid may be corrosive to a galvanised inner wire to AS 2594 and EN 13765;
Solflon: for the transfer of the most aggressive chemicals and searching solvents, having a special PTFE liner, to EN 13765;
Transchem: for the transfer of various acids and alkalis to AS 2594 and EN 13765.
Petroleum Hoses
avfuel & avfuel Light: aviation fuel transfer hoses to AS 2683 and EN 13765;
Petrofuel & Petrofuel Light: tanker fuel transfer hoses to AS 2683 and AIP CP27;
Transdock: for the heavy duty suction and discharge transfer of petroleum products in road and rail tanker, dockside and ship to shore applications to AS 2117, EN 13765 and IMO;
Transfuel: a tanker and fuel depot transfer hose to AS 2683 and EN 13765;
Transoil: a hydrocarbon suction and discharge hose for in-plant and light-duty marine applications to AS 2117 and EN 13765.
Air, Gas & Water Composite Hoses
Bituflex: for the transfer of hot bitumen at elevated temperatures;
Transgas: for the transfer of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and cryogenic conveyants down to -50C to AS 1369 and EN 13766;
Transheat: for the transfer of most hot fluids;
Roof Drain: for use with floating roof drain systems;
VRH: for the recovery of vapours from tanks and tankers to AS 2683.
Composite Hose – Additional Protective Solutions
PVC Spiral Guard: a PVC strip wound helically around the exterior of the hose;
PVC Wear Beads: PVC collars attached to the exterior of the hose at intervals;
Rope Lagging: a polypropylene rope wrapped helically around the exterior of the hose.
Composite Hose Fittings
Camlocks: quick-release cam lever fittings in aluminium, bronze, stainless steel, and polypropylene.
Dust Caps and Plugs: to suit camlock fittings
Flanges: standard drillings in carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium;
Threaded Ends: standard threads in carbon steel, stainless steel, and polypropylene.

 

Safe Work releases new hazardous labelling regulations

Chemicals manufactured or imported before January 1 2017 will be allowed to be supplied without having to meet Work Health and Safety Regulations’ labelling requirements, according to Safe Work Australia.

Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter said this was decided in response to concerns raised by chemical suppliers in the lead up to Australia developing a globally harmonised system for chemical labelling.

“This approach will ensure a smooth transition to the globally harmonised system, or GHS, and will avoid an unnecessary burden on suppliers to re-label existing chemical stock,” she said.

“From 1 January next year, hazardous chemicals may only be supplied to other workplaces without GHS labelling if they were manufactured or imported on or before 31 December 2016, and were correctly labelled at that time.

“In 2017, manufacturers and importers operating under harmonised work health and safety laws must label their hazardous chemicals in accordance with the GHS under the model WHS Regulations.”

Norco leads with domestic violence leave

According to the ABC, In what has been described as a landmark reform, New South Wales dairy cooperative Norco has introduced paid domestic violence (DV) leave for its employees.

Norco chief executive Brett Kelly said it sends the right message on an important social issue.

“You need to look after your employees and it is really important that we have the environment that people can feel safe and an employer that really does care,” he said.

The 121-year-old farming cooperative will now provide three days of paid leave for its workers experiencing domestic violence to access medical appointments, legal proceedings, and other matters, said the ABC report.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union helped negotiate the deal alongside the meatworkers union and said it was a landmark decision and particularly significant to occur in the food manufacturing sector where shifts were more regimented.

New Cacao Peanut Crunch from Bounce

Bounce has announced their latest addition to the Bounce Bites range – introducing Cacao Peanut Crunch.

Made from 100% nut butter combined with crunchy peanuts, sweet dates and rich cacao, this delicious creation is naturally preserved with coconut oil and rosemary extract.

The little nuggets of goodness are gluten free, GMO free, vegetarian friendly and cold pressed. Bounce is the natural and convenient way to get your sweet fix.

Teresa Boyce, Bounce Nutritionist says, “It is so important that there are healthy snack options available and Bounce has created just that.

Made with 29% peanuts, these delicious bite size pieces are perfect for active, busy people looking for a quick grab and go option. “Australian made with minimal ingredients, nothing artificial, and no refined sugar, new Bounce Bites Cacao Peanut Crunch is a delicious and nutritious alternative to processed, sugary confectionary,” adds Teresa.

Some health benefits of cacao and peanuts include:

• Cacao is a great source of magnesium, which helps to keep your heart healthy, boosts energy, alertness and stamina

• Cacao is rich in antioxidants while being a natural mood elevator

• Peanuts are a good source of Vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese

• Peanuts contain many nutrients and are rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats

Perfect for grabbing on the go, packing for a lunch box or desk draw snack, or saving for an after dinner treat, Bounce Bites are the new guilt-free indulgence.

The Bounce Bites range also comes in three other flavours: Blueberry Banana Bliss, Coconut Almond Kiss and Coconut Cacao Delight.

What will Aussies be drinking these holidays?

New data reveals Australia’s beverage trends, from beer and spirits to zero alcohol

Beverage purchase data from pubs and bars across major Australian cities reveals the types of drinks we may be consuming at functions in the lead up to Christmas and New Year’s.

At these establishments, beer is Australia’s favourite beverage – even among women – and is mainly consumed at lunchtime and in the afternoons. Spirits are our second favourite – and is surprisingly the number one category among women, surpassing wine purchases – and is mostly consumed late at night.

The analysis was carried out by Clipp.co, Australia’s leading and fastest-growing mobile-payment and deals app for bars, pubs and their restaurants. Clipp took alcohol-purchase data from 55,000 customer orders across more than 600 establishments Australia-wide.

The data compares beverage purchases across four categories: beer, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks. While beer makes up 45 per cent of all beverage purchases, surprisingly spirits not wine is our next favourite at 33 per cent of all beverage purchases. Wine is third on the list, at 19 per cent of all purchases, and non-alcoholic drinks make up just four per cent of purchases.

When it comes to enjoying a beverage or two over Christmas and New Year’s, it doesn’t have to be at the cost of your holiday or present fund according to Greg Taylor, co-founder of Clipp. The app offers Australians significant discounts on the cost of food and drinks at bars, pubs and restaurants around the country.

“Many Aussies spend this time of year catching up with friends to send off the year that’s been and toast the year ahead, and a lot of us feel the impact of these social outings on our back pocket,” he says.

“January is often a tight month financially as this is when the festive season catches up with us. This data confirms that we love a drink, generally no matter the cost, but by taking advantage of menu specials and happy hour, as well as deals apps and sites – like Clipp – we’re going to get the most bang for our buck and ring in the new year with one less financial concern or resolution to make.”

Beverage trends between men and women

There is a notable difference between men’s and women’s drink purchases. Nearly 55 per cent of all beverage purchases among men is beer – the highest proportion (an average of 64% of all purchases) of which his consumed at lunchtime and in the afternoons. While spirits make up 30 per cent of all beverage purchases by men, this increases to 55 per cent late at night. Wine makes up just 12 per cent of purchases among men.

Surprisingly, spirits top the list of beverages among women, at 36 per cent of all purchases, and increasing to 53 per cent of all purchases late at night. Beer follows closely, at 35 per cent of all purchases, and increasing to 43 per cent of purchases among women at lunchtime. Wine makes up 25 per cent of all beverage purchases among women.

Trends in spirits

Vodka and whisky are the favourite spirits across the nation, making up just over 20 per cent each of all spirit purchases. Vodka is the favourite spirit for all age groups up to age 49, averaging 24 per cent of all spirit purchases. Bourbon is the favourite spirit for Aussies in their fifties (41% of spirit purchases in that age group) and whisky is a favourite for the over sixties, at 42 per cent of spirit purchases.

Trends in wine

White wine is the favourite wine nationally, making up an average of 43 per cent of wine purchases across the major cities. Among women, white wine made up 46 per cent of wine purchases. White wine is a winner among under-20s (83% of all wine purchases) and those in their 50s (52% of all wine purchases).

Queenslanders and West Australians are the biggest white wine drinkers (51% of wine purchases in each State). White wine is also a favourite in South Australia and Victoria, at 48 per cent each of wine purchases. NSW residents are bucking the trend by preferring red wine (48% of all wine purchases).

Trends in beer

Craft beer accounted for 45 per cent of all purchases nationally, with regular beer coming in second at 40 per cent. Melbourne takes the craft beer crown, with the highest percentage of craft beer purchases (55 per cent) against just 34 per cent of regular beer purchases. Perth comes in second, with 48 per cent of craft purchases and regular beer at 35 per cent. Sydney is third, with 46 per cent of craft beer purchases and regular beer at 39 per cent.

In contrast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Adelaide and Darwin are holding onto their love of regular beer, with this category accounting for 59 per cent, 63 per cent and 65 per cent of all beer purchases respectively.

The price is not right: how much is too much for a beer at sporting events?

For many Australian sports fans, buying beer at sporting venues is an exercise in subjugation. For starters, the alcohol content for those in general admission is often capped at mid-strength – a typically penal restriction aimed at civilising the riff-raff.

Yet the true indignity arrives right at the dreaded moment the attendant rings up the till. By the time you have handed over the cost of a round, you’ve just paid for the better part of a three-course meal at a decent restaurant.

High prices

Fans at the 2014 football World Cup in Brazil were able to buy a local Brahma beer for as little as R$10 (A$3.97). Yet not only are the Germans football world champions, but their elite Bundesliga leads the way in beer prices. The average cost of a beer in the league is less than €4 (A$5.59).

Elsewhere in Europe, a pint of beer costs on average £3.99 (A$6.76) at English Premier League venues. Yet fans in Australia can be held to ransom if they want to enjoy a beer at the footy or cricket.

Ahead of this year’s third cricket Test, the Adelaide Oval was criticised for planning to raise its already high price of beer to A$9.20. Following public pressure prices were held at A$8.90 (for 425ml).

However, beer at Adelaide is better value than Domain Stadium in Perth, where $8 only buys 330ml of beer. Compared to the average price of beer in Australia ($6.44 for a lager) it is clear that stadium prices are at a premium.

Different serving sizes can often mask higher prices, making it hard for a fan to tell if a $5.40 Carlton Draught at the MCG is better value than paying $8 for a Carlton Mid at the SCG. Stadiums may boast that their beer is cheaper than another – but such claims can be misleading, and fans can be exploited.

The global picture

Exchange rates make global price comparisons even more difficult and leave fans at the mercy of stadium operators. But, surprisingly, when beer sizes and prices are standardised, Australian venues don’t fare too badly.

Although Australian stadiums don’t measure up to some of their European counterparts, beer is generally cheaper here than at North American venues. Ahead of the pack in this beer swindle are the Philadelphia Eagles, which charge US$8.50 (A$11.50) for a 12oz (355ml) beer.

The food and drink served at stadiums have long been a point of angst for sport-mad Australians. Research shows fans are not satisfied with the price, quality and service of this element of the fan experience. They are frustrated by the limited options of weak, poor-quality beer at stadiums.

Worst aspect of match experience according to Australian fans.
Keith Parry

Overseas stadiums leave many Australian venues far behind when it comes to choice. Australian fans may drink large quantities of beer at games, but they are increasingly looking for higher-quality offerings – and craft beer in particular. Craft beer consumption is increasing in Australia, but the trend is yet to infiltrate Australian sport.

Throughout the US, however, it is standard to find five or ten locally brewed and independent craft beers on tap at major venues. For example, Major League Soccer (MLS) side Sporting Kansas City has Boulevard Brewing on its concession stands. And the Tap Room public bar at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium features close to 50 craft beer options from across Florida.

Tap Room at Hard Rock Stadium.
Blair Hughes

Closer to home, Wellington’s Westpac Stadium has partnered with local brewery Garage Project to feature its range of craft beers along with a rotating selection of New Zealand craft beers.

The Garage Project partnership at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium.
Blair Hughes

Advances in beer services

Technology is playing a part in the push for implementing craft beer.

Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles created a special, technologically advanced, ice-cream-type foam that sits atop beer cups to keep it ice-cold for longer. And self-serve beer vending machines are on the rise throughout American stadiums to serve both quality beer options while cutting down the time fans are away from their seats.

Collaborations between teams, stadiums and craft beer breweries are on the rise. Teams such the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and MLS side DC United have their own lines of pale ales for fans.

In England, football clubs including Reading FC have called on fans to name their new match-day pale ale. West Ham United’s new ground features two types of craft beer – Boleyn Bitter and Iron Ale. This further highlights the emphasis that stadiums and teams are placing on engaging with fans through quality craft beer.

With falling attendance numbers in many Australian venues, there is a need for an improved fan experience to attract stay-away fans, particularly as sports teams are competing with a growing number of alternative entertainment options.

Given the importance of alcohol to Australians, sports teams can score an easy win by offering more varied and higher-quality beer at games. Fans are irritated when they are continually offered mid-strength beer; they are demanding more for their money.

Fans are irritated and frustrated when they are continually offered mid-strength beer.
Blair Hughes

The way forward

Australian stadiums should look overseas for innovations in their beer offerings. Here are seven suggestions for satisfying thirsty stadium-goers:

  • prices published online to allow fans to make informed choices and to allow comparison;
  • better options of local independent craft beer made available;
  • teams to collaborate with local breweries for team-branded beers for fans;
  • cup-holders in stadium seating so beers stay colder for longer;
  • designated driver programs, where fans receive free soft drinks in exchange for being the designated driver for their friends (a very popular program at US stadiums);
  • ice-foam technology to keep beers colder for longer; and
  • no charge for beer trays.
Beer options at ANZ Stadium, Sydney.
Blair Hughes

There have been some recent changes to the typical restricted drinks menus on offer. A small number of stadiums throughout Australia are now selling craft beers, but these are still a minority.

After speaking with stadium representatives to gauge the interest in offering local independent craft beer options, many have suggested that fans will soon likely see more availability of locally produced brews, albeit in small quantities to keep pourage rights holders and catering companies happy.

The stadium fan experience is evolving at a rapid pace, with global venues locked in an arms race to improve, revolutionise, and add value to the offering for fans on match days. There is a concerted effort to listen to fans’ concerns and get them out of their home sport caves and into the ground.The Conversation

Keith Parry, Lecturer in Sport Management, Western Sydney University and Blair Hughes, PhD Candidate, Western Sydney University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

China finally opens market to Aussie stonefruit

As Australia’s stonefruit season gets underway, growers have high hopes for a prosperous year with more than 5,000 tonnes of nectarines being exported to the Chinese mainland market for the first time.

Following more than a decade of negotiations, Chinese authorities granted market access to Australia in May, representing the first major new market open to the Australian stonefruit industry since exports to Canada commenced in 2000.

If all goes well, mainland China will join the industry’s existing main export markets Hong Kong, Middle East and Singapore, which currently receive more than 10,000 tonnes of fruit annually.

John Moore, CEO of Summerfruit Australia, said “Chilean white nectarines will also be sold in China and we see this as our biggest competitor. However, for the first time ever, Australia is making white nectarines available on supermarket shelves. This will be a brand new consumer experience for mainland China and we’re excited to see how it goes.”

“A major driving force in our export success is Australia’s clean, green image and food safety standards. Consumers demand premium, high quality and healthy products and Australian branded items are well received at the top end of the market,” Mr Moore said.

Australia is still the biggest market with more than 80,000 tonnes of peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines consumed locally each year.

Early season’s bounty comes from sub-tropical Queensland and northern areas of Western Australia and New South Wales and is followed by crops from mid to southern New South Wales and Western Australia, parts of Victoria like Swan Hill and the Riverland of South Australia. Fruit from cooler climates are last to market.

Typically in season from October to March, summer stonefruit supply is based on a staggered flow of different varieties, each lasting only a week or two which means there is a fresh, new variety at green grocers and supermarkets each week.

Energy management software

NHP has announced a partnership with Switch Automation to deliver InfoSyte, an energy management software solution from NHP tailored to the Australian and New Zealand markets.

A powerful cloud-hosted energy management platform, InfoSyte has the ability to integrate with energy, water and gas measuring devices along with other facility systems such as building management systems (BMS) and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

It offers a range of features including in-built reporting (including NABERS reporting), advanced analysis and trending functionality, fault detection and diagnosis and configurable user dashboards.

Responding to the growing challenge and need to interpret collected data for real world application use, the platform has capabilities enabling the visualisation of data to provide an engaging and intuitive user interface in real time.

According to the company, users will gain valuable insight into their facility operations, empowering them to identify process improvement opportunities and effective management of energy consumption where significant financial savings can result.

Machine automation controller

Omron electronics has released its entry level controller, NX1P, designed for small to midsize production machines. Based on the Sysmas (System for Machine Automation Control) platform, the controller features advanced motion control and networking for onsite IoT.

It is battery free and reduces machine maintenance, featuring an SD memory card slot to restore, back-up and verify data in the controller.

With one or two built-in option boards, there is no need to increase the size of the control panel for adding serial and analog communication.

This makes it a compact controller with push-in-plus terminals at the I/O and CPU unit to strengthen connection and save wiring time.

According to the company, these features together with a fast execution time of 3.3ns makes the controller an easy-to-use, high performance compact controller.

Moreover, the controller has built-in Ethernet/IP and EtherCAT ports. EtherCAT allows connection between I/O devices with a single cable providing control for up to eight servo systems, reducing wiring work.

Single-axis position control and four axes of motion control can also be achieved through electronic gear/cam and linear/circular interpolation. IO-Link master is enabled, meaning downtime is reduced and status of machines can be detected quickly and precisely.

New switchbox for food processing plants

The new GEMÜ 4242 combi switchbox is suitable for secure and fast applications in most food and other types of process plants.

It is small, compact and light, and is ideal for pneumatically operated linear actuators. With its integrated 3/2-way pilot valve made of anodized aluminium or stainless steel, the new combi switchbox 4242 from GEMÜ, the Ingelfingen-based specialist for valves, measurement and control systems, is especially designed for smaller and medium nominal sizes. It is particularly well suited for secure and fast applications with a stroke of 2 to 30 mm.

The design is compact and saves material, and in comparison with competitors’ products, it is much smaller. This has a favourable effect on pricing and provides protection for the environment at the same time.

Green engineering is part of the GEMÜ range. The pneumatic and electrical connections of the combi switchbox save  space and enable easy access as they are positioned in one direction. This means that the combi switchbox can be fitted quickly and easily without any great need for cabling, and there are no problems during servicing either.

Mounting and commissioning is made simpler by a speed-AP function. A manual override enables fast diaphragm change. This all saves time and money, and lowers the planning efforts.

The combi switchbox has a microprocessor-controlled, intelligent position sensor and an analogue, integrated travel sensor system. The combi switchbox provides extended diagnostics, and reports various programming, sensor and pneumatic faults using high visibility.

The end positions are programmed on site via the reed contact, using a solenoid on the top of the housing, but without a PLC connection. The position of the reed contact in the housing is clearly marked. The housing therefore need not be opened. Mechanical openings in the housing for buttons and switches are therefore not required.

Mother Earth to partner with Netball Victoria

Netball Victoria has announced that Mother Earth has formed a new partnership with our Clinics and Camps program in 2017.

Mother Earth is the flagship brand of Prolife Foods New Zealand, manufacturer and producers of the Mother Earth range of snacks, nuts and spreads including Baked Oaty Slices, Fruit Sticks and Brekkie on the Go!

“We are delighted to have Mother Earth partner with us for Netball Victoria Clinic and Camps in 2017,” said Netball Victoria CEO Rosie King.

“Mother Earth is the perfect fit for Netball Victoria with its wholesome range of snacks, nuts and spreads matching our desire to promote healthy and active lifestyle choices in the netball community.”

As part of the partnership Mother Earth will provide clinic funding, where children have fun improving their skills and making new friends.

King’s sentiments were echoed by Kevin Hawkes, general manager grocery & marketing Mother Earth.

“Mother Earth is thrilled to come on board as a major partner of Netball Victoria Camps and Clinics,” said Hawkes.

“We have always supported community and family through a range of programs including some junior and club level netball sponsorships in New Zealand.”

“This partnership is a perfect opportunity to invest in grass roots netball here as the Mother Earth brand increases its presence and investment in Australia.”

Aussie wine exporters celebrate ChAFTA’s anniversary

One year ago today, the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entered into force. From this date, Australian wine exporters could claim preferential tariff reductions through accompanying wine consignments with a ChAFTA Certificate of Origin.

Australian wine exports have had two tariff reductions since the entering of force of ChAFTA. For most wine, the rate has fallen from 14% to the current rate of 8.4% and will drop further to 5.6% on 1 January 2017, giving Australian winemakers a substantial competitive advantage over our European counterparts.

Australian wine exporters have made the most of the preferential tariff rates into China and China is now Australia’s most valuable wine export market. In the last 12 months, exports to mainland China have grown by over 50% per cent to just under $500 million. To put this in context, just a decade ago, Australian wine exports to China were valued at $27 million.

The trade benefits of the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement, and the growing Chinese middle class’ increased interest in wine, have meant that more than a third of Australian wine exports priced $10 and more per litre FOB, are now destined for China (valued at almost $200 million and up over 60 per cent).

‘The demand for our premium wines in China shows no sign of abating and the next round of tariff cuts will give us a further advantage over our next biggest rivals in France’ said Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.

He went on to say ‘The Australian Governments’ continued emphasis on pursuing trade opportunities and reducing market access barriers is welcomed by the wine sector and the benefits of this will flow on to rural and regional Australia over the next decade’.

Coke summer campaign now with Snapchat

Coca-Cola South Pacific has today announced that it has developed Snapchat lens for their summer campaign including one to go live on New Year’s Day which will allow users to interact with Coke in a new way.

“There are a number of ‘firsts’ in our summer campaign this year including the exciting launch of the Coca-Cola AU Snapchat channel,” Kate Wilson, Coca-Cola South Pacific IMC Manager (Sparkling) said.

“This platform provides us with the perfect opportunity to bring to life the campaign through an impactful, real-time and relevant connection point that resonates with our audience.

“We hope the campaign inspires young Australians and shows them a fresh and surprising side of our brand. “This year we’ve taken a different approach, challenging our consumers in surprising ways through music and artistic content as well as using social and digital to drive awareness amongst youth.”

The multi-million dollar integrated marketing campaign will feature in out-of-home, mobile and cinema, experiential marketing, PR, social and influencer engagement, as well as point of sale shopper marketing. Digital content will run across catch-up TV, Vevo and YouTube in 15 and 30 second cut-downs through programmatic advertising.

In a new twist to building awareness for Coca-Cola, street art murals will bring the campaign to life across iconic urban sites in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.  Sydney-based street artist Mulga has been working with Coca-Cola over recent months to create the murals and artwork that will feature across social media, online video, digital and OOH – including on the iconic Kings Cross billboard from this week.

 

Oh Snap – Nestle loses KitKat trademark

Following a long and bitter dispute between Nestle  and Mondelez, the owners of the Cadbury brand, Nestle has now lost its EU trademark for its KitKat bar after an EU court ruled the popular chocolate bar was not proven to be sufficiently of a “distinctive character.”

Nestle filed its application to register the KitKat shape in 2002 – which was originally launched in 1935 by Rowntree.

According to news.com.au, after the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), which promotes and registers EU trademarks, agreed to register the shape in 2006, Cadbury Schweppes – now Mondelez – moved to have the mark declared invalid in 2007.

The EU General Court said last Friday that it was annulling the 2012 EUIPO decision to dismiss Mondelez’s claim, as the office had not yet proved the “distinctive character” of the chocolate bar shape in all EU member countries.

Entries set to pour in for Australia’s best wine

The hunt is on for fine wines across Australia worthy of raising a glass to, with entries for the prestigious Royal Queensland Wine Show (RQWS) opening today.

Chief Judge David Bicknell will lead a team of expert judges for his second year at the helm, as they sniff, swirl and taste their way through the nation’s top drops, at the first capital city wine show of the season.

This means the RQWS judges will be the first to critically review the 2017 vintage in Australia, setting the benchmark for the industry and letting wine lovers know which bottles to look for.

In keeping up with changes in consumer interest, a new dry red wine class called ‘current drinking light dry red’ has been introduced to the competition for 2017.

Bicknell said the new class is for current release dry red wines that are bottled early for current consumption.

“This should be a fun class where we will see modern ‘bar wines’ that have captured the imagination of the wine savvy public,’’ he said.

“Winemaking technique and variety are irrelevant, enjoyment is paramount and we will hopefully see a few natural and low sulphur wines in the mix as well.”

More than 1,800 wines from 243 wineries were entered into this year’s competition, which saw a sparkling take out Grand Champion Wine of Show for the first time in RQWS history and a pinot noir claim the Stodart Trophy, which is usually won by shiraz.

Entries must be in by April 21, 2017, with judging taking place from June 26 and July 7.

 

Bounce rolls out its latest chia almond balls

The Chia Almond Natural Energy Ball is gluten free, suitable for vegetarians, contains 23.7 per cent protein per ball, 40 per cent of the required intake of Omega 3 and has no refined sugar, no artificial additives or preservatives.

Bounce Natural Energy Balls are available in eight additional flavours including Almond, Apple Cinnamon, Cacao Mint, Coconut Macadamia, Hazelnut Cacao, Maple Pecan, Peanut, Spirulina Ginseng and Superberry.

Positive outlook for Australian sheep producers in 2017

The New Year should see the Australian lamb and sheep market benefit from reduced supplies and positive demand from domestic consumers according to the Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) 2017 Sheep Industry projections.

MLA’s Manager of Market Information Ben Thomas said lamb slaughter is projected to be 22 million head for 2017, down 2% from the estimated 2016 level.

“While this is a decline year-on-year, 22 million head is still in line with the long-term growth trend observed over the past decade,” Mr Thomas said.

“Breaking the annual processing down to a quarterly basis, it is anticipated that the June and September quarters will be when supplies are the tightest. Lamb availability in the March quarter on the other hand, is likely to benefit from carry-over stocks from the final months of 2016, when extremely wet weather delayed many lambs coming to market.”

Assuming average seasonal conditions and a return to normal lamb marking rates, the numbers of lambs processed are anticipated to increase to 23 million head by 2020.

Thomas said Australian lamb production for 2017 is projected to ease 2% to 492,000 tonnes carcase weight (cwt), and while this is a year-on-year decline, the volume is in the realms of record territory.

“The Australian domestic market is anticipated to remain the largest consumer and account for 48% of production, or 237,000 tonnes cwt, with many encouraging signs coming from the market,” he said.

“For instance, domestic per capita consumption has stabilised in recent years, while at the same time the weighted average retail price has been increasing.

“To put this in perspective, domestic lamb retail prices in 2016 averaged just 10 cents shy of the record high set in 2011, at $14.51/kg, and per capita consumption is 8% higher now than what it was then.”

On the export front, Australian lamb shipments are anticipated to ease 4% year-on-year in 2017, to 220,000 tonnes shipped weight (swt).

“While this will be the third consecutive year of slightly lower exports, volumes are still in excess of 200,000 tonnes swt – a level breached for only the first time in 2013. The major markets are likely to again be the US, China and the Middle East,” Thomas said.

A recovery in lamb exports is forecast from 2018, with volumes expected to reach a record 235,000 tonnes swt by 2020.

“The longer-term export outlook should be underpinned by further growth in demand in Asia, especially China, the US and the Middle East, a lower Australian dollar, diminishing New Zealand exports, and Australia’s projected growth in production,” Mr Thomas said.

“Uncertainty surrounds the impact of Brexit on access to both the UK and EU. If negotiations result in expansion of Australia’s meagre sheepmeat access to these markets, it could provide a significant lift to exports and prices.”

Coffee cherry moonshine ready for Xmas from Campos

Melbourne Moonshine Cáscara Moonshine is made from the dehydrated cherries of the coffee plant.

Traditionally discarded, Campos says it has worked with a small coffee farm in Costa Rica to keep and naturally dry the cherries, resulting in a fruity coffee variety that gives a more subtle tea-like taste.

Campos Coffee, the specialty roaster founded out of a small Newtown café, has always been focused on innovation in coffee, and realised the untapped potential of this previously under-utilised part of the coffee tree.

After months of testing to get the flavours right, the end result is a rich liqueur with cherry and raisin flavours, and hints of molasses, reminiscent of Christmas Cake.