Olam achieves 100% traceability across direct cocoa supply chain

Olam Cocoa has achieved 100% traceability across its direct global cocoa supply chain. The milestone is the first of many intended to achieve a sustainable ambition for the future of cocoa outlined in the company’s ‘Cocoa Compass’ launched last year. Within this sustainability roadmap, the company set out several challenging goals that address the issues facing the sector – from supporting farmers to earn a living income, to putting children first by eliminating child labour and increasing access to education, to protecting forests and mitigating our environmental impact. The company has now achieved its goal to have 100% traceability of the cocoa we purchase directly in our global supply chain. Through a centralised system, Olam can now trace cocoa on its journey from the cocoa farm or community to one of its ingredient processing facilities across the world. That’s the equivalent of tracking approximately 12% of the world’s cocoa beans. This means that the company’s customers, and their consumers, can be sure that their cocoa or chocolate product has been produced in a way that supports the most vulnerable people and environments in the supply chain. Moreover, Olam says it allows us to tailor sustainability programmes to the specific needs of farmers and cocoa growing communities for maximum impact. In a blog post, Gerard Manley, Managing Director and CEO of Cocoa at Olam, said: “Achieving 100% traceability is just the start. We continue to push towards our longer-term ambition of a cocoa supply chain where farmers are earning a living income, communities can thrive, and the natural world is protected. “There will be challenges ahead, and times when we don’t have all the answers, but I have every confidence that we will see our vision through.”

Cranswick achieve food waste reduction target a decade early

Cranswick has achieved a 61% reduction in food waste a decade earlier than planned, eclipsing the international reduction target. The UK food producer has surpassed the Champions 12.3 Target set in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which seeks to halve food waste and loss by 2030; instead achieving a 61% reduction in edible food waste across the business in under three years. The reduction represents the elimination of over 4,216 tonnes of food waste, and waste now accounts for just 0.4% of total food produced. Led by Cranswick’s ‘Changemakers’, who champion food waste reduction efforts internally and host events for all colleagues, the main steps have been prioritising prevention and building stronger communities, such as partnering with local food charities to stamp out food poverty. Colleagues were engaged to focus on areas identified for improvement in a food loss and waste hot spot mapping exercise. This process led to innovations such as finding new markets for ham trim packs and moving materials up the waste hierarchy so they can be used in new edible products (such as pet food) rather than being sent to landfill or anaerobic digestors. New catch-trays have been installed to prevent meat from falling on the floor and new packaging is being used that increases shelf life. According to Cranswick, a huge help to the prioritising prevention strategy came from the FareShare ‘Surplus with Purpose’ funding supported by the Government. This has enabled the company to redistribute product that previously would not have been donated. Looking to the future, Cranswick is determined to build on this success by targeting zero food waste excluding inedible parts, which is above and beyond current industry targets. “Beating the Champions 12.3 target on food waste so substantially gives us confidence that zero edible food waste is achievable,” said Chris Aldersley, Chief Operating Officer at Cranswick. “We need to get even more resourceful as we strive to get to zero edible food waste, which I am sure we will do with the support from the incredible people across our business.

Europe’s first dedicated plant-based event hits London next year

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With the rise in meat-free proteins, Europe’s first dedicated plant-based event will launch in London next year. Following a series of successful events in the US, the European version of the Plant Based World Expo will offer industry professionals the unique opportunity to hear from the world’s leading plant-based experts and discover more about the incredible innovation taking place. The event is backed by a multitude of leading plant-based businesses, including Just and OmniPork – both of whom aren’t yet available in the UK – Beyond Meat and Meatless Farm, as well as Quorn. Also joining are the leaders in the alternative seafood space, Good Catch. The A curated conference programme will equip retailers, distributers, food service providers, entrepreneurs, investors and healthcare professionals with take-home insights on how to capitalise on the unique business and health opportunities that the sector presents. Talking about plant-based food alternatives is all well and good, but nothing beats being able to try it first-hand. Visitors are invited to explore the Culinary Theatre where they will be able to experience various alternative foods with dishes cooked by professional chefs. Elsewhere, the conference programme will allow visitors to participate in educational seminars designed to demonstrate the business power of the plant-based industry, with influential speakers from across the food and beverage industry. Real-life case studies of successful implementation of plant-based options in retail and food services will further offer visitors the chance to ask questions and seek advice from leading experts. “It is incredibly exciting to be able to officially announce the first Plant Based World Expo in Europe. The plant-based sector is growing at such a rapid pace and we are proud to represent the industry with Europe’s only dedicated B2B event,” said Jonathan Morley, Managing Director of the show organiser JD Events. “With so much happening, from leading exhibitors to a number of show features, including exclusive tastings, the event will showcase the very best of plant-based.” Plant Based World Expo will take place at the Business Design Centre on 8 – 9 April 2021.

Lab Innovations postponed to 2021

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Lab Innovations, which was due to take place on 4 & 5 November at the NEC, Birmingham, has been postponed until next year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Organisers Easyfairs made the difficult decision following consultation with the laboratory industry and due to the ongoing unforeseeable and unprecedented global scope of the pandemic which sees the UK government reviewing its decision to allow live events to run from 1 October and places Birmingham under local lockdown. Lab Innovations reaffirms its commitment to ensuring the industry can have a valuable opportunity to meet digitally and reignite business connections, by recently launching its new Lab Live virtual series in partnership with key industry players and associations. The online events cover topics such as sustainability, social distancing in the lab, professional registration for technicians and efficiency assessment frameworks. Alison Willis, Divisional Director of Lab Innovations, explains: “Despite being given the green light by the UK Government to run business events back in July, with this decision now suspended,  teamed with the stringent safety and sanitary protocols we had in place for this year’s event, we have been in close consultation with the laboratory industry and all stakeholders in the event regarding their concerns around bringing the whole community face to face at this time. “Considering the global situation, the social distancing restrictions and the requirements of our exhibitors, we have made to the extremely difficult decision to have to postpone this year’s edition to 2021.” Given the scope of the coronavirus, to ensure the most successful and highest quality event for the market and to guarantee the health and safety of all involved, Easyfairs has postponed the event to the next calendar year in order to deliver a safe environment in which the entire community can feel confident to gather again. Willis added: “During this difficult and unprecedented time, I have been overwhelmed by the support that we have from the industry for the event and its critical role in bringing the industry together again. “This year the laboratory industry has been centre stage like never before and we are proud to serve a community that plays a critical role in helping us get through the pandemic safely. “We know that Lab Innovations 2021 will play a vital role in reigniting new business connections, will demonstrate pioneering case studies and will therefore be the perfect opportunity to come together and celebrate the hard work of the community.”

Innovia Films launch new carbon neutral label film

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Innovia Films is launching Encore C45cn, the first carbon neutral BOPP label film. Encore C45cn is ISCC certified and will contribute to reducing carbon footprint and reducing the use of fossil resources. Stephen Weber, Key Account Director, Labels at Innovia Films explains: “In addition to being carbon neutral Encore C45cn is a high MD stiffness 45um BOPP bubble film for automatic label dispensing performance. “This could allow the replacement of standard 50um films giving a further 10% material saving “ Encore 45cn is carbon neutral on a mass balance and cradle to gate basis as certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC Plus) programme. Major brand owners are making commitments to move towards net zero emissions and as part of this will communicate the carbon footprint of each product. The availability of a carbon neutral film to lower the labels’ carbon footprint is one step to help towards this net zero emissions goal.

New barcode validation solution from Toshiba Tec

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Print solutions specialist Toshiba Tec has launched ScanSure, a flexible verification-based validation solution for barcodes. Aimed at manufacturing companies, especially those in the food and beverage sectors, ScanSure checks product labels as they are being printed to ensure that the barcodes will scan perfectly every time. Poor traceability, reduced efficiency and the risk of emergency product recalls are just some of the issues that can result from unreadable barcodes. In addition, defective barcode labels invariably need to be re-printed and replaced, which often causes disruption and delays, leading to increased costs. Toshiba Tec’s new ScanSure solution, which incorporates DataLogic intelligent 2D scanner technology, helps to solve these problems. Developed for use with the Toshiba Tec B-EX range of 4 and 6-inch industrial printers, ScanSure offers users a choice of two operating modes. In Fast Mode, it uses rigorous checks based on ISO 15416 and ISO 15415 to ensure that the barcode on a printed label is accurate and perfectly readable to the specified ANSI grade. If it detects an unreadable barcode, due to poor print quality or a damaged label, it provides an immediate alert. In Void Mode, ScanSure carries out the same validation checks as in Fast Mode, but if it detects a faulty barcode, it automatically rewinds the label roll, scores out the defective label to prevent it being used, and re-prints a replacement. Compact, versatile and ideally suited for use in industrial environments, ScanSure is extremely user-friendly. Focus and exposure setting are carried out using the Automatic Setup feature, then all that’s necessary is to use the Code Auto Learn to teach the scanner what it is looking for and to define the passing grade. Once ScanSure has been configured, the user can access a live image of the labels as they are printed. If multiple setups to suit different products are needed, they can simply be stored on the scanner and selected via the web interface with a single click. “ScanSure has been specifically developed to meet customer requirements for a reliable label validation solution that’s convenient and intuitive in operation,” explained Deyon Antoine – Product Manager at Toshiba Tec. “By combining our printing know-how and software capabilities with DataLogic’s scanner technology, we have been able to bring to market a fast and dependable solution that can save food producers – and other users in the manufacturing sector – a lot of money and time. “Thanks to ScanSure, rejected goods and emergency product recalls due to defective barcodes are now a thing of the past.”

SICK casts wide with versatile AS30 array sensor

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SICK has developed a versatile, high-precision array sensor – the AS30 – that is easily adapted to a multitude of machine guidance and process control tasks in manufacturing and logistics. With a repeatability of up to 0.03mm and a wide 50mm 2D light band, the SICK AS30 delivers industry-leading performance for classic array sensing tasks such as edge guidance or conveyor control. It also detects object positions, widths, diameters, gaps and centre lines with ease. With a choice of proximity or reflector modes, the SICK AS30 can even be used to reliably detect shiny, opaque or transparent materials. The SICK AS30 is therefore ideal for diverse duties in food and drink manufacture, for example conveyor belt guidance and packaging edge detection, or bottle roundness checks. The AS30’s versatility is underpinned with plug-and-play configuration via the on-sensor full-colour TFT display or using SICK’s SOPAS engineering tool. The step-by-step wizard makes it quick and easy to select from the available sensor settings and to teach-in edges or contrast zones in just a few clicks. Easy alignment using a visible light spot, along with the ability to adjust the sensitivity, aid quick and accurate set up for robust process control. The AS30 is IO-Link enabled and its digital switching outputs and external inputs can be logically linked to configure a wide variety of machine integrations, as well as facilitating condition monitoring and predictive maintenance through smart diagnostics tools. “The new AS30 really is the best of all worlds for array sensing in a completely new design from SICK,” explains David Hannaby, SICK’s UK Product Manager for Presence Detection. “It offers the prospect not only to achieve higher-than-ever process reliability and stability, but also to reduce the number of sensor types you need to keep in your inventory, whether you are a machine builder or an end-user. “With no fine positioning necessary due to the AS30’s wide light band, the sensor is straightforward to set up and to adjust in-situ. With IO-Link on-board, it also offers all the application integration and diagnostics capabilities you would expect from a SICK smart sensor.” The SICK AS30 Prime offers full-colour TFT display, four operating modes and a choice of proximity and reflector versions. With a repeatability of 0.03mm, the Prime variant can be set up with a 30mm field of view at 25mm scanning distance, or 50mm field of view at 100mm scanning distance. The AS30 Core offers an economical option where more straightforward proximity sensing is all that is required. The Core version still achieves 0.2mm repeatability and a 45mm field of view at 100mm scanning distance. All sensors feature an easy-mounting fixture and flexible pin connector options.

Plant-based fish the next big trend in alternative proteins, research shows

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Plant-based fish products have been highlighted as the next big trend in alternative proteins, according to new research. Flavours and fragrances company, Givaudan, conducted the research in collaboration with University of California, Berkeley’s Product Development Programme. It explored the biggest trends in alternative proteins and explores the opportunities and challenges for manufacturers today and for future market development. Consumer interest in plant-based fish alternatives is growing and is poised for a rapid rise like other alternative protein products. While it is being driven by the same macro trends as meat substitutes, the interest in fish and shellfish alternatives reflects some of the specific challenges faced by the fishing and shellfish industry. The position paper explores these challenges and identifies new opportunities for manufacturers. The paper also looks at taste, texture, colour, proteins, nutritional content and processing, and how these must be addressed holistically by manufacturers when developing plant-based fish products.

Cargill to build ‘House of Chocolate’ in Belgium

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Cargill is investing $21 million to build a ‘House of Chocolate’ complex in Belgium to facilitate customer innovation in the chocolate market. The new facility will be built alongside the company’s existing chocolate production plant in Mouscron. It will include a state-of-the-art chocolate experience centre, a unique pilot plant, a sensory lab and creative workspace for the company’s European R&D team of chocolate engineers. The new 700 square meter complex will enable customers to experience the convenience of an all-in-one development process, from inspiration, innovation and training, through pilot lab testing, sensory testing and finally, culminating in commercial-scale production – at a single location. “Innovation stands at the forefront of our House of Chocolate, as we bring together all our expertise and resources,” said Harold Poelma, President of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. “It will allow us to collaborate with customers at every step of their product development journey, transforming ideas into reality using a streamlined approach to facilitate innovation and deliver greater efficiency and speed to market.” Staffed by a team of more than 40 chocolate engineers, including sensory experts, technical service specialists and R&D scientists, the new facility will serve as the hub for all of Cargill’s chocolate, coating and filling activities. “It’s fitting we make this investment in Belgium, given the unique place it holds in the chocolate world,” said Inge Demeyere, Managing Director for Cargill Chocolate Europe. “Our House of Chocolate builds on that rich tradition, offering customers a unique venue to discover all that’s possible with our state-of-the-art capabilities and our broad range of brands including Cargill, Veliche Gourmet and Smet. Construction has already begun, with the pilot centre scheduled to open in fall 2021. The chocolate experience centre and sensory lab will be operational in Jan 2022.

PepsiCo targets 100% renewable electricity globally by 2030

PepsiCo is aiming to source 100% renewable electricity across all of its company owned and controlled operations globally by 2030 and across its entire franchise and third-party operations by 2040. The company says the transition has the potential to reduce approximately 2.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040 – the equivalent of taking more than half a million cars off the road for a full year. “With the devastating effects of climate change being felt around the world, and the global food system under significant strain, accelerated action is needed,” said Jim Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer of PepsiCo. “We know the responsibility that comes with our size and scale, so transitioning PepsiCo’s global business operations to 100% renewable electricity is the right step forward to deliver meaningful impact as we continue to advance our sustainability agenda.” Early this year, PepsiCo signed the Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge, joining other leading companies in committing to set science-based emissions reduction targets in line with limiting global warming to 1.5°C, while also developing a long-term strategy for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The company has made significant progress in reducing GHG emissions throughout its value chain – from working with farmers to implement carbon-efficient practices through its global Sustainable Farming Program to operating one of the largest electric fleets in North America. PepsiCo currently procures renewable electricity in 18 countries, nine of which already meet 100% of their electricity demand from renewable sources. With the shift to renewable electricity in the U.S. underway this year, PepsiCo is currently on track to source 56% of its electricity through renewable sources globally by the end of 2020. With this latest announcement, PepsiCo joins RE100, an initiative led by the Climate Group in partnership with CDP, to bring together the world’s most influential companies committed to 100% renewable electricity. To achieve 100% renewable electricity globally, PepsiCo will employ a diversified portfolio of solutions, including Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) that will support the development of new projects such as solar and wind farms around the world, as well as through purchased energy certificates that will enable the near-term transition to renewable sources in many geographies. The company will also continue to expand its growing list of onsite wind and solar projects at its facilities around the world. PepsiCo’s global headquarters in Purchase, NY installed rooftop solar energy panels earlier this year.