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SLIM Program Supports Saskatchewan’s AG Processing Sector

From: Food in Canada

Regina, Sask. – A local brewer and food and ingredients company are reaping the benefits of a government investment.

In a press release (“Support for Value-Added Sector in Saskatchewan,” on Sept. 29, 2017), the government of Saskatchewan announced $330,000 in funding for Rebellion Brewing. And $500,000 for AGT Food and Ingredients.

The funding is through the Saskatchewan Lean Improvements in Manufacturing (SLIM) program.

The brewery, says the release, will use the funding to expand its brewing capacity, and add exterior grain storage and a canning system.

Mark Heise, president of Rebellion Brewing, says in the release that the brewery is growing. “We live here, we spend dollars here and our profits stay here,” he says. “In less than three years, our small brewery has created 20 new jobs with more on the way. The value-added agriculture sector has tremendous growth potential and is key to creating a diversified and resilient Saskatchewan economy.”

AGT says it will use the funding to support production and equipment upgrades. That includes improving its polishing, bagging and conveyor system to increase productivity.

Murad Al-Katib, AGT’s President and CEO, says in the release that, “Investments in infrastructure, value-added advanced manufacturing and innovative new technologies, aided through programs like SLIM, are assisting Saskatchewan agriculture in building sustainable competitive advantages.  These investments position Saskatchewan and Canada to capture opportunities with the world’s growing populations and rising incomes in emerging markets.”

Mars Canada Celebrates Official Opening of Bolton Food Plant Expansion

From: Canadian Packaging 

Mars Food has invested CDN$77 million in the 50,000-square-foot expansion of its Bolton, Ont. food plant to increase production of its ready-to-heat rice and grain products. Mars Food celebrated its official opening on October 11, 2017.

This expansion represents the single-largest capital expenditure in the history of Mars Food, and will the much-needed capacity having been designed for future growth. Most importantly, the state-of-the-art, LEED Gold-certified facility will add 37 new highly-skilled jobs.

The Bolton food plant expansion comes on the heels of a similar expansion of its chocolate facility located in Newmarket, Ont. Together, the two expansion represents a total investment of $147 million in 2017, greatly increasing the company’s presence in Ontario.

About Mars Food
Mars Food is a fast-growing food business, making tastier, healthier, easier meals for all consumers to enjoy. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, Mars Food is a leader in producing great tasting products such as: Uncle Ben’sDolmioSeeds of ChangeMasterFoodsSuzi WanEblyRoycoKan Tong, and Raris. Mars Food is a division of Mars, Incorporated.

About Mars Canada
Mars Canada is a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, a private family-owned business with more than 1,300 associates across the country. In Canada, Mars was established in the late 1940s and is known for some of the Canada’s best-loved brands, including Uncle Ben’sSeeds of ChangeMaltesersM&M’sPedigreeSnickersRoyal CaninWhiskas, and Excel. Mars in Canada comprises four business segments: food, chocolate, Wrigley and petcare. Mars Canada is one of Canada’s top 100 employers. For more information, visit www.mars.com/canada/en.

Manitoba Entrepreneurs Gathered for a Special Food Fight

From: Food in Canada

Winnipeg – Several food entrepreneurs gathered at a specialty shop gearing up for a fight. A food fight, that is. But not just any food fight. De Luca’s specialty grocery store was home to the Great Manitoba Food Fight in late September. In a press release, the Manitoba government explains that the competition is “open to companies that have developed but not fully commercialized a new food or beverage product.” The Food Fight  is presented by De Luca’s and Food & Beverage Manitoba. This year, four companies received awards to help them get their products out in the marketplace.

The winners were:

• Tall Grass Dill Pickle Vodka, from Capital K Distillery in Winnipeg, won the inaugural craft beer and spirit competition. Owner Jason Kang received a prize packaged valued at approximately $5,000.

• Little Bones, from Little Bones Wings in Winnipeg, won Gold in the food category. Owner Alex Goertzen received a prize package valued at approximately $13,000.

• Hemp Macaroons, from Piccola Cucina in Winnipeg, won Silver in the food category. Owner Pina Romolo received a prize package valued at approximately $7,000.

• Bilton and Stokkies, from Mr. Biltong Beef Jerky Company in Winnipeg, won bronze. Owner Jeremy Silcox received a prize package valued at approximately $4,000.

The release says the prize packages “will be tailored to each entrepreneurs’ needs and the expertise and resources needed to help move the product toward commercialization.” Some of the services could include recipe refinement, package design, marketing, workshops, trade shows, business management, food processing, or safety and handling.

The Great Manitoba Food Fight is sponsored by the Manitoba government and Food & Beverage Manitoba in partnership with De Luca’s.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated Acquires Distribution Territories And Manufacturing Facilities

From: Food Manufacturing 

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 02, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (the “Company”) announced Monday that it entered into and completed transactions with The Coca-Cola Company to exchange distribution territory previously served by the Company in parts of southern Alabama, southwestern Georgia, southeastern Mississippi, northwestern Florida and in and around Somerset, Kentucky, and a manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama previously owned by the Company for distribution territory previously served by Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Inc. (“CCR”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, in parts of Arkansas and two manufacturing facilities previously owned by CCR in Memphis, Tennessee and West Memphis, Arkansas, and to acquire additional distribution territory previously served by CCR in and around Memphis, Tennessee, including in portions of northwestern Mississippi and eastern Arkansas.

As part of the transactions, the Company acquired exclusive distribution rights in territory that includes the following major markets: Little Rock, West Memphis and southern Arkansas; and Memphis, Tennessee. The Company relinquished distribution rights in territory that includes Mobile, Leroy and Robertsdale, Alabama; Columbus, Sylvester and Bainbridge, Georgia; Ocean Springs, Mississippi; Panama City, Florida; and Somerset, Kentucky. The definitive agreements with CCR include the exchange and acquisition of distribution territory and manufacturing facilities described in the previously-announced letters of intent dated June 14, 2016 and April 11, 2017 between the Company and The Coca-Cola Company.

The Company also announced today that it entered into and completed a transaction with Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc. (“United”) to exchange distribution territory previously served by the Company in Florence, Alabama, south-central Tennessee and Laurel, Mississippi for distribution territory previously served by United in Spartanburg and portions of Bluffton, South Carolina. Piedmont Coca-Cola Bottling Partnership (“Piedmont”), a majority owned subsidiary of the Company, also entered into and completed a transaction with United to exchange distribution territory previously served by Piedmont in northeastern Georgia for the remainder of the distribution territory in Bluffton, South Carolina previously served by United. The definitive agreement with United includes the exchange of distribution territory described in the previously-announced letter of intent dated June 14, 2016 between the Company and United.

Frozen Foods: Key Considerations To Optimize The Packaging Process

From: Food Manufacturing

Global interest in frozen foods has soared in recent years, resulting in numerous growth opportunities for manufacturers. Expected to reach close to $9 billion (USD) by 2019, the global frozen food packaging market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 5 percent during the period 2016-2020.

Worldwide economic growth and rising incomes, as well as consumers’ increasingly busy lifestyles, mean that more and more people are looking for convenient meal options that fit within their busy lives. Technological advancements have also played a central role, with new film types and improved packaging designs coming to the forefront. Vertical form, fill and seal (VFFS) systems are widely used to package frozen produce due to their flexibility, high sealing performance, hygienic design and reliability in harsh environments. However, there are several considerations for manufacturers when specifying a frozen food packaging system. 

The frozen food industry has some of the highest safety standards, particularly concerning sanitation and cleaning procedures. Food packaging machinery in this industry needs to withstand some of the most demanding sanitation requirements and cleaning procedures. Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are commonly used across the food industry to measure the protection level of equipment against solid objects, liquids and mechanical parts. Frozen food packaging technology should typically be IP65 protected. Such machinery offers total protection from dust ingress and harsh washdown procedures, including low pressure water jets (from any direction).

Individual components of the packaging system are also required to meet regulatory requirements. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s NEMA 4x rating, for instance, stipulates that control systems must be protected against the ingress of solid foreign objects such as windblown dust, as well as harmful effects on the equipment caused by water or ice. Typically more corrosive-resistant than standard NEMA 4 units, NEMA 4x enclosures are regularly used in food processing facilities to offer protection for controls systems, where total washdowns with disinfectants occur frequently.

A hygienically designed packaging system is one of the best ways to optimize food safety and quality. VFFS systems are a popular choice as they are designed to leverage the benefits of gravity to transport products, and their sloping surfaces make it is easier to prevent food residues from accumulating on the equipment. Easier access to machine parts further simplifies cleaning procedures. Ideally, cleaning should be possible without removing components; but if components need to be removed, it should have a tool-less design with no loose parts. In addition, crevices, corners and other areas where food can build up are open invitations to cross-contamination. The packaging system design should therefore be free of features that create recesses, gaps and areas that are typically hard to clean.

Product application and the type of cleaning procedure often determine the best construction materials for the packaging system. When using harsh cleaning agents or frequent high-pressure washdowns, stainless steel is a must. It offers a smooth, defect-free surface to prevent product residue build-up, as well as easier cleaning. Alternatively, if dry cleaning is applied, food producers can consider other alternatives, such as aluminum.

The Digitalization of Food Palletizing

From: Food Manufacturing

The technological and social revolutions of the past few decades have completely reshaped industry. The food packaging and palletizing industry is no exception. In fact, the last ten years alone has seen the adoption of advanced technologies at an unprecedented rate. Alan Spreckley, robotics food and beverage segment manager, and palletizing robotics expert at ABB, explains how digitalization is repackaging the future of food palletizing.

Spreckly explains that this growing trend places a higher demand for single-portion servings of pre-prepared and pre-packaged food on the food industry, which makes the packaging and palletizing processes less linear than they have previously been. Similarly, the unstable economy of recent years has nurtured a generation of savvy customers, eager for the special offers and deals that retailers regularly provide, further complicating the palletizing process. This leads to scenarios where manufacturers will be required to change palletizing patterns quickly and cost-efficiently.

Robotics is taking over the palletizing industry. In the past decade, robot pricing has come down making this a cost-effective choice for palletizing applications. Robots are more flexible and require less maintenance and floor space. Our sister company (Advance Millwrights Inc.), provides equipment for bag filling/handling, bag sealing and robotic palletizing.

Go to www.advancemillwrights.com for more information on robotic palletizing.

Ontario’s Food and Agriculture Sector is Thriving

From: Food in Canada

Guelph, Ont. – A new study has found that Ontario’s agriculture and food industry is thriving but there just aren’t enough qualified people to fill the jobs. The University of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) commissioned the employment study, which is called Planning for Tomorrow 2.0.

In a statement (“Jobs Aplenty for Agri-Food Grads, Report Finds,” from Sept. 14, 2017), the university says the report found “an increase from three to four jobs available for every graduate, but it also found employers predicting even more jobs over the next five years.”

“It’s great news for students entering and coming out of the programs because of the tremendous demand for their skills and the many opportunities for them,” says Rene Van Acker, OAC’s dean.

“On the other side, it remains a challenge for us at the university to help the sector find the people they need to grow.” The study is based on a survey of 123 Ontario employers in the sector. The statement adds that the new survey “updates a report from five years earlier that found there were three jobs for every graduate of an OAC undergraduate program.”

Among the companies the university surveyed were food processors and growers, input suppliers, financial institutions and government agencies. The OAC dean’s office, the OAC Alumni Foundation, Farm Credit Canada and RBC Royal Bank funded the survey.

“It’s a sector that has to grow no matter what, because people have to eat,” says Van Acker. “But it’s also a sector that has a chronic challenge in attracting people.”

PROCESS EXPO 2017

From: PROCESS EXPO

Produced by FPSA, PROCESS EXPO is the nation’s largest trade show dedicated to bringing the latest technology and integrated solutions to all segments of the food and beverage industry. Processors gain a competitive advantage with the innovative technology on the show floor, where food processing and packaging experts demonstrate their machines and products. Both veterans and those new to food and beverage processing get training on food safety, trends, leadership, and more.

Food and beverage processors from small to large companies across the globe attend PROCESS EXPO in Chicago, USA. Attendees cover a range of food production and manufacturing responsibilities including CEO, owner, corporate management, sales and marketing, production, operations, sanitation, maintenance, research and development, quality assurance, engineering, chefs, contract manufacturers, and more. 

Tri-Mach Group Inc. is attending this year’s PROCESS EXPO. The expo runs from  September 19–22, 2017  at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL USA  

Check out what the attendees are saying about the PROCESS EXPO: 

 

NSF International Debuts Website for Canada

From: Bakers Journal

Guelph, ON — NSF International launched www.nsfcanada.ca to give Canada’s growing and complex food and beverage industry easy access to the global public health organization’s expertise and services in Canada. The website combines information on the depth, experience and capabilities of the NSF International Canadian office with access to NSF International’s global services dedicated to food safety and quality. Evolving regulations across countries and increasing complexities associated with a globalized food supply network present challenges for NSF International clients in Canada and around the world. The new Canadian website offers expertise and services to help companies navigate these challenges, including certification and auditing, consulting, technical services, training and education, food and label compliance, packaging, and product and process development.

NSF International’s Canadian website provides information on the following services:

  • Certification & Auditing 
  • Consulting 
  • Technical Services 
  • Training & Education

Additionally, the website includes information about management system registrations for the food, automotive, environmental, information security, medical devices, aerospace and chemical industries, as well as for Ontario drinking water programs.

Students win $2,000 Bursary with the FBO’s Taste your Future Program

From: Food in Canada

Food and Beverage Ontario’s Taste Your Future program announced the winners of its inaugural student competition: Stir Up a Career. The campaign launched earlier this year and was open to Ontario high school or university students with an innovative idea for the food and beverage industry. 

The winners will each receive:

  • $2,000 bursary
  • Mentorship from an Ontario processor
  • Resume building support from Food Grads
  • Business resources from Food Starter to help them pursue their interests in food and beverage processing

For more information on the winners and the contest, visit: TasteYourFuture.ca/contest