Morocco launches campaign to give UK food companies a taste of its quality, credible, sustainable produce

Morocco has launched its first food and drink export campaign in the UK to inspire British businesses and consumers to explore the richness and quality of Morocco’s diverse food products, as well as promoting its offering as a quicker, reliable and credible trading alternative. The multi-channel campaign includes a series of both B2B and B2C creative assets that highlight the importance of Moroccan agriculture and foodstuffs to the respective audiences, with a heavy focus on the quality and diversity of its food and drink sector, as well as its sustainable farming practices, competitive prices and reliability of the logistics involved to transport goods between the two countries. It coincides with the opening of a new direct shipping route between Tangier in Morocco and Poole in the UK, cutting journey times from more than six days by road to less than three. Until now, maritime trade between the two countries took place via two crossings, with the shipping route passing through Spain. The new route will significantly reduce emissions compared to previous logistic chains by road. A country with a long-standing relationship with the UK and Europe, Morocco offers modern, secure and high quality manufacturing processes which meet top British standards at competitive prices, allowing buyers in the sector to offer credible, reliable alternatives at lower prices without compromising on quality. “The special relationship between Morocco and the UK dates back over 800 years and it continues to get stronger every year,” said El Mehdi El Alami, Director of Export Promotion and Development at Morocco FoodEx. “And now, we have a real opportunity to take our economic and trade relations to a new level. Food is such an important part of Morocco’s history and identity and we’re passionate about the high-quality produce, authentic cuisine and sustainability of our food and drink offering. That’s what we want to celebrate and promote to the UK through this campaign.” Morocco, a key exporter of produce including citrus fruits and market vegetables, fish and other processed and local produce, has a rich heritage in agriculture and agribusiness – a key pillar of its economy. With approximately 33,000 square miles of arable land and a temperate Mediterranean climate, the agricultural potential of Morocco is unmatched. The campaign marks the beginning of a wider awareness initiative from Morocco Foodex to promote the quality and importance of Moroccan agriculture. The campaign will also be supported by an experiential food sampling campaign across London. Click or tap here to find out more.

Kite Packaging invests in new mobile packaging laboratory

Continuing to lead the way with its culture of innovation, Kite Packaging has announced the new arrival of a purpose built, state of the art mobile packaging laboratory (MPL). Incorporating a focus on the company’s green credentials the brand-new mobile facility hosts innovative features, the most up to date equipment, an abundance of space and custom-built testing facilities. The new laboratory accommodates a complete range of packaging machinery and systems to showcase Kite’s broad multitude of solutions available to existing and prospective customers. A range of customer packaging solutions can be trialled and tested live in the mobile lab with a purpose-built box testing facility (including a precision multi access drop test attachment) and state of the art load stability testing function. Kite has a reputation for their focus on sustainability and so this, their latest generation of mobile facility, has been designed and built to incorporate a green energy solution. The trailer section of the MPL is entirely run-on solar power taken from the roof mounted panels. The plastic panels which make up the interior of the laboratory are made from 80% recycled content demonstrating that at any opportunity, Kite will continue to help the planet. Gavin Ashe, Kite Packaging Managing Partner, said: “This new MPL represents a significant investment by Kite to help our customers find a more efficient and greener packaging solution. It allows us to take what is probably the best equipped packaging innovation and testing facility directly to our customers.”

Canned fish producer Karavela to unveil vegan seafood line

This month, Latvian-based canned fish producer Karavela will introduce a new plant-based product line and brand. Both will be officially unveiled at an online event taking place later this month. During the event, the company will disclose the ingredients and technology behind the products. Extensive experimentation with more than 100 different recipes has resulted in the development of an innovative vegan seafood product range – salads, spreads, and flakes. A new product – real vegan TUNO fillets – is also being developed and will be presented in the SEE ALL online event and global trade fair ANUGA. Karavela’s new product range aims to satisfy the growing global demand for food that supports a sustainable lifestyle. “Currently, there is a lack of understanding about how plant-based seafood products should taste. We are planning to change that, combining our extensive experience as a canned fish producer with sustainable innovation in the realm of plant-based ingredients,” said Andris Bite, CEO of Karavela. “With the launch of our vegan products range, we plan to become trendsetters in the plant-based seafood product market leading the way for other brands that want to create new vegan products and tastes.”

Pernod Ricard to acquire The Whisky Exchange

Pernod Ricard is to acquire online spirits retailer, The Whisky Exchange, as it expands ecommerce efforts. Since its creation by Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh in 1999, UK-based The Whisky Exchange has become one of the most successful online drinks retailers, with a catalogue of circa 10,000 products. It has been a pioneer in many innovative services and has become a truly omnichannel player, expanding its activities to on-trade supply and physical stores in the UK, with several award-winning shops in London. It is also active in private sales and online auctions of rare spirits, two fast-expanding activities on which it will also develop innovative synergies with Pernod Ricard. This acquisition is in line with Pernod Ricard’s consumer centric strategy of meeting new consumer needs and expectations, in a context of solid e-commerce growth and strong demand for premiumisation. Pernod Ricard will leverage synergies between The Whisky Exchange’s expertise and its in-house platforms such as Drinks&Co and Bodeboca. “After more than 20 years building The Whisky Exchange, we are delighted to be joining the Pernod Ricard family and working with them to take the business to the next level,” said Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh, founders of The Whisky Exchange. “The Whisky Exchange and our customers have always felt like a family, and we are looking forward to maintaining this ethos with a partner that shares our values. “Our mission remains the same: to offer the finest range of whiskies and spirits from the best producers around the world, educate and engage with consumers, and support the top on-trade establishments around the UK.” Alexandre Ricard, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, said: “E-commerce is a key channel in our long term strategy. We are thrilled to work with Industry pioneers such as Sukhinder, Rajbir and the whole team to bring The Whisky Exchange to a new step of its development.” The Whisky Exchange will continue to operate with its current team and structure, with Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh managing the business as joint Managing Directors.

Clearmark celebrates eco ICE-age milestone

Clearmark’s launch date is forever etched in their memories. For the coding entrepreneurs embarking on their new venture during the week of 9/11, the sudden and drastic events which changed the world forever served to increase the company’s fortitude and sustainability ambitions which in just two short decades has seen them emerge as a pioneer and disrupter in the food and beverage labelling world. Starting out with just three people, in just two decades Nottingham-based Clearmark now employs a team of 90 dedicated labelling professionals and has captured the attention of more than 100 retail partners and 2,000 customers. Clearmark is recognised now as one of the fastest growing businesses in the Midlands. It’s been quite a journey for the fledgling start-up which began with simple goal: to shake up the customer view of coding equipment for ever. Sustainability has been the one constant companion in this journey, with the heavy environmental and regulatory burden, retailer Codes of Practice (COP) and advances in new packaging substrates multiplying to force the pace of change. As an innovative business, Clearmark has led the charge with its successful ICE (Interactive Coding Equipment) range. It all started with the ICE Zodiac thermal transfer printer and by 2003 the large character ICE Torus case coder was introduced to the market with a patented ink reclaim system. Each ICE printer has subsequently delivered incremental and environmental enhancements, including reliability, ease of use, performance and better Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). Smart and sustainable Citing the intelligence that now goes into supermarket shelf-life labels as a prime example of the technical coding advances, Chris expands: “Supermarkets and the issue of waste has forced the coding data pace. From the legibility of dates to automating a seemingly simple 10 day to expiry date requires coding machines to intelligently adapt to recognise public holidays or leap years. Resolving this in collaboration with several of the largest supermarkets was just one way in which Clearmark disrupted the status quo.” Recognising the widespread date issue, its CLARiSUITE software adjusts to flexible date/time formats with automatic best before date calculation. Food waste, states Chris, is now deemed as prominent a topic as single use packaging. Protecting the food and ensuring the best before and sell by dates are given as much visibility as the visual branding has been another project Clearmark collaborated with a major retailer on. Despite the pressures, even now plastic is the main packaging material used by retailers and manufacturers to maintain food freshness for as long as possible. Given its popularity, thermal transfer overprinting is the ideal choice of coding and marking technology – allowing machines to print at extreme temperatures, speeds and under varied factory conditions without compromising on print quality. However, recognising that new packaging combination materials, card and paper would rapidly become the norm, in 2010, Clearmark unveiled its maintenance-free ICE Viper thermal inkjet printer. Using fast-drying inks that are compatible with porous materials, Clearmark continued to show customers that the company was forever mindful and ready for the future packaging landscape. Success through sophistication It was around the ICE Viper launch date that data-rich labels really started to gain traction highlights Chris. “This was all driven by quality control and being able to clearly demonstrate the provenance of products, improve safety and reduce waste through transparent supply chain tracking technology,” he explains. With the ICE Viper, manufacturers were presented with the option to seamlessly connect up to four printheads to create complex text, barcodes, 2D matrix codes and even logos. Automating the printing and application of labels with the launch of the ICE Vulcan came next, saving time, labour, as well as eliminating 80 percent of wear parts. “Our Intelligent Motion drive is a simple measure that requires minimal maintenance as there are fewer moving parts, such as brakes and clutches,” explains Chris. With the recent launch of the Vector Pallet labelling System in the last month, Clearmark now has a coding solution for all three packaging types: primary, secondary and tertiary. Customers can benefit from buying their pallet labeller from the same company that supplied their case labeller and thermal transfer overprinter which operate using familiar interfaces and share common parts. Noting how much retailer COPs have evolved in the last two decades, Chris proudly reports that the technical elegance of the archive structure in all ICE printers means that upgrades are easy to perform. He expands: “Since our inception the technical elegance has evolved. However, our intelligent software solutions and the fact that all our printers share a common platform, means that we can email files if a technology update is required. Frankly, it means that printer obsolescence is not really a factor that concerns any of our customers.” Eyes to the sky Seven years ago, Clearmark tackled another source of wasted energy by eliminating the use of compressed air on all its core printer products. As well as being a big win for carbon emissions, the precision delivered by the airless all-electric print head boosts line output by up to 25 percent, helps to reduce the printer’s total cost of ownership, and reduces operation and maintenance costs. In another ‘ahead of its time’ eco-breakthrough, the R&D team zeroed in on ribbon waste with the launch of the ICE Zodiac Hawk. A longer length 1,200m ribbon and indexing technology to eliminate space between prints, now means fewer ribbon changeovers while continuing to drive down total cost of ownership. Additionally, introducing the iAssure – a fully integrated print checking system – the ICE Zodiac Hawk addresses the time critical issue of spotting and resolving costly coding errors. Providing an early warning sign, if the iAssure system detects any coding errors, operators are alerted quickly and can stop production, avoiding wasted products. “Our sustainability story is one of continual progress that ripples through our culture and is the foundation of our business,” Chris proudly reports, stating that the company will continue to evaluate every operational aspect of the business to meet its legacy commitments. “The time for talking has passed. This next decade will be an era of sustainable actions. As testimony to our team commitment, we have installed electric vehicle charging points and by the end of 2021 will switch on our solar panels to capture as much source energy as possible to power our manufacturing site. Our people, partners and customers are all aligned to this agenda, and we look forward to reporting on the next phase.”

Munters DSS Pro offers the next level of dehumidification

Providing users the right climate more efficiently than ever before, Munters DSS Pro represents an evolutionary leap forward from the market-leading Munters DSS system, with performance upgrades that make a real difference. Suitable for indoor or outdoor installation, Munters DSS Pro is designed for a wide range of industries that demand dehumidification efficiencies such as pharmaceutical, food, and battery applications. Equipped with the Munters custom configured control system, the DSS Pro offers full function integration, delivering the perfect climate whenever and wherever it´s needed. It comes in twenty configurable sizes with three different desiccant rotor types. The DSS Pro offers key energy-saving features. It consumes up to 30% less energy with its Green PowerPurge™ and when it’s time to transition to renewable energy the DSS Pro is ready for a seamless switch. Another positive energy saving feature is the new AirPro casing, an innovative enclosure that significantly improves durability, reduces air leakage, and reduces energy consumption. When it comes to size, the DSS Pro offers a reduced physical footprint, which makes the system more convenient to install and can free up much-needed space that can be used to generate revenue. Munters offers more than a benchmark dehumidification system with the DSS Pro. As a partner with the knowledge and expertise to ensure indoor climate is always exactly as it needs to be, Munters provides support from design and quotation to ongoing service from our offices all over the world. “DSS Pro provides reliable and consistent operations, reduced system footprint and a positive effect on the bottom line,” says Sander Hielkema, Product Manager Systems EMEA, Munters. “Our innovative and intuitive selection tool Genesys ensures you get the right Munters solution for your specific needs. It delivers all the technical specifications for installation, start-up and lifecycle of the product, right from the start. Changes are easily made with this smart tool, and we can serve our customers better and more efficiently. “Developed for Europe and Asia, the system is the result of a true team effort with the world’s best climate control engineers partnering with our customers to make this a reality,” concludes Sander Hielkema.

FEA publishes list of top 100 foodservice social media influencers

The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) has unveiled its first Top 100 Foodservice Social Media Influencers list at its 2021 annual conference. The brainchild of FEA chair Steve Hobbs and the association’s marketing manager, Adam Lawrence, the list was compiled with the help of expert influencer marketing consultant Gordon Glenister, who helped FEA analyse the influence of a range of people in the foodservice industry to calculate the impact of their social media posting. This took into account how frequently each account is replied to, reposted, mentioned or followed on both Twitter and LinkedIn. The final chart was calculated by amalgamating these scores and equally weighting influence on both platforms. Coming in at number one is Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, with co-founder of Leon Restaurants and the Sustainable Restaurants Association Henry Dimbleby and the Poverty & Inequality Commissioner for Scotland Lindsay Graham in second and third places respectively. In a video message, Kate Nicholls stressed how important online communities and the connections they allowed over the last eighteen months are: “As Covid hit, social media helped to build the shared networks that have been so vital in getting our industry through the crisis. “We’ve seen the importance of that cascading of information, that sharing of content across the industry, UKHospitality and FEA working hand in hand with other trade associations, building that collaborative network across the industry to educate, inform and inspire, and I think that’s something that we want to make sure that we build on, going forwards.” “Somebody who has been the voice of the wider hospitality industry over the last year is deserving of this award,” says Steve Hobbs. “I think the message that Kate has delivered at all levels has been quite phenomenal, and, on behalf of FEA, I send my congratulations to her.” The top ten foodservice influencers are: 1 Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality 2 Henry Dimbleby, Co-founder of Leon Restaurants and the Sustainable Restaurant Association 3 Lindsay Graham, Poverty and Inequality Commissioner at Poverty and Inequality Commission Scotland 4 Mark Lewis, CEO of Hospitality Action 5 James Stagg, Editor at The Caterer 6 Andy Jones, Chair of the PS100 Group 7 Hayden Groves, chef consultant 8 Lisa Jenkins, Managing Editor at The Caterer 9 James Golding, Group Chef Director of The Pig Hotels 10 Stuart Roberts, Deputy President of the National Farmers Union

New technology helps food manufacturers reduce carbon and energy consumption

Scientists have uncovered new ways for food industry manufacturers to help tackle climate change by altering their cooking techniques to reduce energy consumption. New research carried out by the University of Lincoln, in collaboration with industry partner OAL, found that using novel approaches to a process called Steam Infusion can reduce energy consumption by 17%, cutting close to 9 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per production line each year. The research, led by Dr Wayne Martindale of the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at the University of Lincoln and OAL’s Development Chef, Christopher Brooks, also reports that Steam Infusion can improve the quality of food products. With many manufacturers having signed up to net zero commitments, the need to tackle emissions associated with supply chain activities is creating new business strategies, with many organisations engaging with carbon crediting schemes and purchasing greener energy supplies. Steam Infusion technology is unique in that it reduces carbon emissions directly at the site of manufacturing, which can support businesses’ plans to incrementally cut emissions throughout their facilities, while the technology enables alignment to UN Sustainable Development Goals. Dr Wayne Martindale, Associate Professor, Enterprise & Food Insights and Sustainability at NCFM and lead author of the study, said: “This is a world first in terms of looking into the sustainability benefits of technologies like Steam Infusion. “The most energy intensive parts of food manufacturing facilities are often heating operations so it’s exciting to see how Steam Infusion can help to reduce the impact of the industry. “In this report, we connect a manufacturing innovation to consumer experience and improved product quality with greater sustainability credentials – a win for manufacturers and consumers alike.” Jake Norman, Sales Director at OAL, added: “We knew that Steam Infusion could help food and beverage manufacturers to become more energy efficient from anecdotal evidence but it’s great to have it confirmed in a peer-reviewed study. “As manufacturers adjust their plans to achieve net zero goals, we’re confident that Steam Infusion can support them by delivering top quality products that consumers love with lower emissions.”

Nestlé launches vegan Sensational range in UK supermarkets

Nestlé is bringing its vegan Garden Gourmet brand to UK supermarkets with the next generation of plant-based alternatives, the Sensational range. The range initially includes four delicious and versatile plant-based products, consisting of the burger, mince, Cumberland-style sausages and Mediterranean style filet pieces. The products, which Nestle said the products have already “been very popular” in the UK’s out-of-home channel, are made from high-quality ingredients including responsibly sourced soya beans. “With more and more people looking for great-tasting, more sustainable plant-based food, we are very excited to bring the Garden Gourmet range to UK supermarkets with our tastiest and juiciest Sensational range,” said Honza Dusanek, Managing Director for Food and Dairy at Nestlé UK and Ireland. “We want people to fall in love with plant-based eating at first bite which is why we have worked hard to deliver even more meat-like flavour and texture to satisfy even the most discerning of taste buds. “Our aim is to make plant-based food an easier and more attractive choice for people who want food that is good for them and good for the planet so our new Garden Gourmet range will be offered at good value to help consumers enjoy it week in, week out.”

Loma Systems to showcase latest tech at Pack Expo Las Vegas

Loma Systems, a global leader in inspection technologies for food quality and safety, will be showcasing its latest technologies at Pack Expo Las Vegas on 27 – 29 September 2021 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre. The Loma team are pleased to be back face-to-face with customers and excited to display their new CW3 RUN-WET® Combo System, a fully IP69 rated checkweigher and metal detector system designed following industry leading hygienic principles to provide quicker and easier cleaning. Launched earlier this year the CW3 RUN-WET® Combo system and standalone checkweigher offer a host of new and smartly designed features to maximise production efficiencies, including easier to wash frames with quick surface water runoff, minimal welds and reduced contaminant traps for optimum deep cleaning. To minimise the risk of water ingress the systems are fully IP69 rated. If you are looking for a metal detector for different applications, then on display you can find a great selection including Flex Conveyor, Pipeline, Vertical Fall and Waferthin. You can even bring along small product samples that Loma can test at the show in front of you! If wanting to detect more than metal, then see LOMA’s innovative X5 Space Saver on display. The system is built with LOMA’s strong experience of food industry inspection systems and offers first-class CCP protection in the smallest footprint possible at a line length of just 1000mm. This system offers good detection levels on a wide range of hard and soft contaminants including all metals, bone, glass, dense plastics, within most packaging types, including foil trays or metallised film. The X5 Space Saver comes complete with full colour touchscreen, multilevel password access storing data logged events for traceability, image optimisation, AAT technology and much more. “At Pack Expo it is our chance to re-connect at shows once again with customers old and new, after some time since our last face-to-face event on a scale of this size,” said Christina Rowland, North America Marketing Specialist. “Our visitors can see a number of exciting new technologies on our booth, not least the new CW3 RUN-WET® Combo System, which is certain to be the star attraction. “For those around on Tuesday, 28 September, we will be hosting a happy hour in out booth from 3 to 5pm, so our sales and technical experts look forward to welcoming people.  And don’t forget to bring along a product sample as we’d love to demonstrate our inspection excellence.” The company is exhibiting on booth #4222.