NiceLabel announces new VP and General Manager EMEA

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NiceLabel, developer of barcode and RFID labeling software, has appointed Greg Tanner as VP and General Manager EMEA. His addition further builds on NiceLabel’s continuous growth globally and further enforces its customer and partner support in the region.

Matej Kosmrlj, Managing Director, NiceLabel Group, says, “NiceLabel has a superior technology platform which allows us deliver solutions offering greater value to both smaller businesses and true global enterprises. Greg Tanner joins NiceLabel with an outstanding record in establishing and growing the two most successful pan-European companies in their industry sectors. His knowledge, skills and attitude will verify Greg as the best choice to foster partner and customer relationships to support NiceLabel desktop and cloud based label management solutions’ growth on a global scale.”

With over 25 years of experience as an international high-growth technology business leader, Greg started, structured and grew the European division of one of the largest industrial printer manufacturers from start-up to over $100 million in pan-EMEA sales, distribution and support in the AIDC industry. In addition, he started the EMEA operations of Vocollect, the industry leading provider of innovative voice-enabled workflow and data collection solutions and grew it to account for over 50% of the company’s systems worldwide within six years. In both cases the companies achieved dominant market share positions under his leadership.

reg says, “NiceLabel has consistently achieved impressive growth figures. However, our ‘next generation’ software, which moves the focus on printing productivity and away from designing and printing, sets us and our channel partners ahead of our competitors and is driving accelerated demand in all markets – from small businesses through to global enterprise customers. I am delighted to join the company and contribute to its enhanced global growth.”

Experts discuss the future of the Indian market

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drink technology India again has a lot more to offer this year in addition to the exhibitors. The dti Roundtable Talk is taking place for the first time, a panel discussion with leading manufacturers from the Indian beverage and food industry. Both supporting programs will deal with issues that are relevant for the future of the Indian beverage and food industry.

The dti panel discussion on Friday 26th September is the ideal supplement to the dti exhibitor forum. While customised solutions for the Indian market will be presented in the forum, the Roundtable Talk will deal with the future of the beverage and food industry in India. The panel discussion will be chaired by Rajesh Nath, President of VDMA India, and Sumit Sharma, VDMA Regional Manager (North) India. The panel discussion will provide an outlook of the beverage and food industry in India until 2020 and the chance to discuss case studies with recognised experts. All participants will have the chance to share their experiences and learn from each other.

Demand in the prospering Indian beverage and food industry is being reflected in the considerable number of participants at the successful trade fair duo drink technology India and International PackTech India. Approximately 230 exhibitors will present the complete range of offers for the packaging, printing, processing, beverage and food industries on about 11,000 sq m in the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre in Mumbai from 25th to 27th September.

For more information, visit www.drinktechnology-india.com.

Fourpure craft beer choose Rexam to produce bespoke can designs

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Rexam has partnered with Fourpure Brewing Co, an independent British craft brewer, to develop unique designs for their newly canned craft beer range.

In a move that sees the brand switch from glass bottle to aluminium can, the six new designs depict the skyline of each city from which the characteristics of the beer are inspired. The innovative designs reflect the speciality of the Fourpure beers and use Rexam’s value added matt overvarnish to create strong stand out on shelf.

Speaking about the partnership, Daniel Lowe, Co-founder of Fourpure says: “With craft beer on the rise in an overall declining British beer market, it was essential to produce an interesting and unique design in order to differentiate our products from the macro breweries.

“Furthermore, as the first craft brewer in the UK to can it’s full core range we had to lead the way in packaging design in the emerging craft canning market. The bespoke designs and special finishes offered by Rexam are perfect for the evolution of the Fourpure brand to cans.”

The 33cl cans, produced out of Rexam’s Milton Keynes plant, will be sold in the on-trade, restaurants and specialist craft beer retailers.

HERMA two-side labelling system is virtual shake-up for ketchup

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In order to create an unmistakable look for its ketchup, mustard and salad dressing bottles, Meira is placing its trust in the high-precision two-side labelling system 362M built by HERMA.

The labels for the Finnish company’s redesigned products present a special challenge for two reasons. First, their tapered shape and size can easily give rise to inconsistencies during the dispensing operation. And second, they have to be applied exactly in the envisaged recess on the tapered bottles, which also have an oval cross-section.

“Ours is a demanding situation, but the HERMA system offers compelling accuracy. Our products’ new look has precisely the desired impact, and the labelling is performed very consistently and efficiently. Despite the complexity of the labelling solution, we are achieving an output of 60 bottles a minute,” says Meira Factory Director Juha Suikkanen.

“We also much appreciated HERMA’s input before the system was installed; its technical advice related not only to the machine, but also to the development of appropriate labels.”

Meira is Finland’s leading supplier of herbs and spices, seasonings, dressings and coffee. It is a member of the Italian Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group (Segafredo brand).

The HERMA two-side labeller 362M is predestined for highly accurate front and back labelling applications. Its special centring device exactly positions the labels on the fly, and the product itself is arrested and centred during the labelling operation.

Conventional practice is to align the product accurately and apply the label in discrete operations, but in HERMA’s case, the centring device is synchronised with the conveyor belt. With many labelling systems, in contrast to HERMA’s solution, the product’s position can change in the event of even minimal misalignment between the centring and labelling operations – with a visible impact on the correct seating of the label.

For Meira’s application, the centring device plays a crucial role with the large ketchup (930 ml) and mustard (500 ml) bottles in particular. A pre-centring unit is sufficient, however, for the smaller bottles of salad dressing.

Fairburn is egg-static about Co-op deal

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The family company, L J Fairburn and Son Limited, is ecstatic with a deal to supply all 77 Lincolnshire Co-op stores with Fairburn’s Lincolnshire Free Range Eggs.

Fairburns are very proud to be going back to their roots, after a long history supplying co-operative societies. In the early 1960s Leslie James Fairburn supplied co-operative shops in the county with his freshly produced free range eggs. 53 years on technology and production methods may have changed but the retail partnership and family values haven’t.

Forming part of Lincolnshire Co-op’s Love Local Range, Fairburn’s Lincolnshire Free Range eggs only travel a maximum of 25 miles, ensuring the freshest eggs are packed for the Love Local Range. Fairburn’s are in control of every process from day old chick to the family fridge. This means that each great tasting egg is full of freshness and very local.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Supply Chain Manager Nicola Berry says: “We’re delighted to have added large Lincolnshire Free Range Eggs to our growing Love Local range as it gives our shoppers another choice when it comes to buying produce from the county.

“Supporting local family firms like L J Fairburn and Son is also really important to us and because the chickens live on farms in Lincolnshire, it means our customers can really identify with where the eggs are coming from.”

Sarah Louise Fairburn, Brand Director of L J Fairburn and Son Limited, says: “We take great pride in our family business and our eggs, just like our Grandfather did all those years ago. We are delighted that he is alive today to see us rekindle the relationship with the Co-op.

“Our Fairburn’s Lincolnshire Free Range Egg brand is proving really popular and we are so pleased to be supplying all Lincolnshire Co-op stores in the county. The Co-op is an amazing retailer to work with and we look forward to adding future additions to our range to support such a great sponsor of local produce.”

Food standards body for Scotland supported by Health Committee

The creation of a standalone food standards body in Scotland has been supported by MSPs on the Health and Sport Committee.

The Food (Scotland) Bill proposes that the current Food Standards Agency in Scotland be replaced with Food Standards Scotland which, in addition to regulating food safety, would also have a role in diet and nutrition policy.

In a report, MSPs call for greater detail on the proposed research functions of Food Standards Scotland and how these functions will relate to UK-funded research bodies. The report also highlighted significant opportunities for the new body to gain from European funding streams including Horizon 2020 and the Committee has requested more detail in relation to how these funding opportunities can be exploited.

The new agency will also have the ability to apply administrative sanctions, including issuing fixed penalty notices, on those who commit an offence related to Scotland’s food law. Whilst supportive of the principle, the Committee is calling on the Scottish Government to consider establishing an appeals process for the new sanctions.

Duncan McNeil MSP, Convener of the Committee, says, “Scotland’s food and drink industry has gained an international reputation for quality, so the creation of this body will have a vital role in ensuring that consumers have trust in the safety of the food they eat. The proposed legislation will also give the new organisation greater power to administer sanctions to those breaking Scotland’s food law which will ultimately provide reassurance to consumers.”

Bob Doris MSP, Deputy Convener of the Committee, says, “Whilst this Bill may seem like an administrative change, in fact, what is being proposed is a new body which will not only be responsible for food safety but also diet and nutrition. It was clear that all these issues are extremely important in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland and protecting the reputation of Scotland’s food and drink industry. Our Committee agrees that the creation of this new body will be a positive step forward.”

Great Taste Deli opens at Speciality & Fine Food Fair

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Last year the Great Taste Deli was a honeypot for buyers so this year it has been extended and there will be more tastings over the course of the three days at Speciality & Fine Food Fair at London Olympia on 7th to 9th September.

The most important show in the calendar for buyers of speciality food and the producers who make it, Speciality & Fine Food Fair is a hive of activity over three days with the world’s finest food and drink on offer. One of the most respected logos at the show is round, black and gold with stars emblazoned on it – the Great Taste logo.

John Farrand, MD of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of Great Taste, says, “We had such a great response from buyers and producers last year that the Great Taste Deli has gone big this year! With many more producer tastings taking place and much more space to display Great Taste award-winning products. We are most grateful to www.wbc.co.uk for supporting us again and for allowing us to showcase its latest range of BRIX modular display system.”

Buyers, producers, chefs and everyone working in the speciality food trade is welcome to drop by the Great Taste Deli to taste some of the 3-star Great Taste winners and on Tuesday 9th September. Plans are afoot to have the Great Taste Supreme Champion product on the Great Taste Deli, offering visitors to the show an opportunity to taste the very top product of Great Taste 2014.

European food suppliers reeling from Russian embargo

In reactions to US and EU sanctions against certain Russian goods, the Russian Government in Moscow has imposed a one year trade embargo on a number of specific farm and food products. The effects of which many suppliers across the EU are feeling most keenly.

With the Russian market accounting for a significant percentage of exports, the sudden ban has left many companies in situations where they have a large amount of stock that now needs to be sold to someone else before it rots. What’s worse is that suppliers are unlikely to be able to claim anything back from the Russian companies who have terminated their contracts – because it was due to forces outside those companies’ control.

For many however the loss of long term clients will be the worst aspect. Although the embargo is only planned to be in place for a single year, there is no guarantee the situation won’t worsen. What’s more even after the embargo is over the companies who have lost customers might face stiff competition from other suppliers. In the meantime Russia will no doubt be seeking more goods from Asian or African nations, which could end up replacing EU goods on a long term basis.

What is apparent though is that EU food suppliers affected by the embargo will need to step up their trade relations within the EU and to other continents they might not have entered before. The emphasis for the coming future might come back to “buying local.”

Whisky firm eyes expansion with support from Clydesdale Bank

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Independent Scotch whisky firm JG Distillers is targeting increased growth with support from Clydesdale Bank.

The whisky blender, bottler and exporter, which trades through its wholly owned subsidiary Campbell Meyer and Co, Ltd is investing in new stock after obtaining significant funding from Clydesdale Bank’s West of Scotland Business and Private Banking Centre in Glasgow. The bespoke package includes a revolving credit facility together with general day to day banking support.

Founded in 1991 by Colin Barclay the JG Distillers Group employs 40 staff at its bonded warehouse facility in East Kilbride. The business exports a range of single malt, blended malt and blended Scotch whisky to over 40 overseas markets, including its best-selling blended Scotch whisky brands Barclays, Highland Chief and McIvor. It also supplies a range of Hart Brothers single malts featuring whisky from some of Scotland’s most acclaimed distilleries including world famous Islay distillery Ardbeg.

According to figures published by the Scotch Whisky Association in April of this year, Scotch whisky exports increased by 3% last year and were worth £4.3bn to the UK economy. The fastest growing markets were the US, India and Brazil.

Gerry McSherry, group managing director, says: “Scotch whisky continues to be one of the UK’s major export success stories, accounting for 85% of Scottish food and drink exports and nearly a quarter of the British total.”

“As demand continues to grow overseas we aim to develop new markets and expand within existing markets. Campbell Meyer is currently seeing strongest demand in the US, the Middle East and Latin America, but we supply to many more markets around the world.

“Maintaining our maturing stock portfolio is crucial to building on our success. We are delighted that Clydesdale Bank’s knowledgeable team took time to fully understand the very specific dynamics of our business and tailored a bespoke funding package that will support our growth ambitions over the years to come. The revolving credit facility gives the group medium term funding which marries well with the aging process and forward commitments required to maintain and grow our inventory.”

Neil Berry, West of Scotland Business Development Manager at Clydesdale Bank, said: “We are proud to support JG Distillers Ltd, a thriving, independent Scotch whisky group supplying blended whiskies and malts from its bonded warehouse in East Kilbride to countries all over the world.

“The company’s success is a testament to the experience, drive and expertise shown by Gerry and his team. With a track record of growing exports in key markets such as the US they are in a fantastic position to expand and develop new markets.

“We look forward to working in partnership with JG Distillers and helping the group to achieve their substantial growth plans.”

Brand new ultra-clean cookstove technology due to launch in Europe

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A British family-run start-up is seeking crowdfunding in order to launch brand new eco-technology in the UK and European market.

Fresh from a successful launch in Africa, the Biomass Cookstove is a smokeless cooking contraption, ideal for busy domestic kitchens through to outdoor camping trips, festivals and impromptu barbeques. The device has roots grounded not only in sustainable cooking technology, generating electricity from heat energy which can power a lamp or charge a mobile phone, but was also contrived in order to solve the problems of carbon poisoning, which claims lives widely throughout Africa, where cooking on open flames is a way of everyday life.

A family-run start-up, based in the UK, is looking to introduce its brand new eco-cooking technology to the UK and Europe, after successfully launching the product across Africa in order to provide a clean, cheap and sustainable way to cook without requiring a power hook-up or an expensive fuel supply.

African Clean Energy, the British family-owned start-up which engineered the technology and developed the product, is looking to bring the ACE 1 Ultra-Clean Biomass Cookstove to the UK audience as a top-end cooking facility, available for both indoor and outdoor use without any worries about smoke, fuel costs or the negative environmental effects.

Throughout Africa, the product also gained popularity as a means of cooking without the risk of smoke inhalation, a common problem which kills four million people every year, equating to one person every eight seconds. In addition to a life-or-death health solution, the Biomass Cookstove presents a solution for the problems posed by open stove cooking for the environment; a year of cooking on an open fire is the equivalent of driving a large SUV vehicle. When considering the scale of open fire cooking in the third world, this problem becomes very real.

Two thirds of sub-Saharan Africa also has no modern energy, so any new cooking technology intending to address the problems of the region is required to function independently and sustainably, in a cheap and efficient manner with safety at the forefront of the design. Many poor families in the region spend up to 25% of their income purely on fuel, with women and children bearing the brunt of sourcing the fuel, often taking up to three hours of their day.

Siblings Judith and Ruben Walker saw an opportunity to develop a stove which would create an accessible and clean solution for these problems, by burning biomass. Anything from sticks and cow dung to specially designed biomass pellets would be considered a compatible fuel source, and the heat would be strong and effective. Not only this, the heat energy would also convert the Cookstove itself into a source of electrical power.

Not only has this revolutionised cooking throughout the sub-African continent, the opportunity to bring the Biomass Cookstove to the UK has now arisen. With a sleek and modern contemporary design, the stove can be used indoors or outdoors, in public areas such as festivals or on patios for effortlessly smoke-free barbeques.

In order to fund this expansion, Judith and Ruben are set to launch the venture on Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding platform, on 1st September.

Judith says: “Initially, we put all of our time and effort into working out exactly how we could develop this technology which would really apply to everyday use for people in sub Saharan Africa. We didn’t want to come up with a short term fix; we wanted to create something that would trigger change for these people and make an honest difference to help them break the cycle of poverty. We’re proud to have found an outcome that means we aren’t asking people to change their own culture or lifestyle, just creating an option that removes the damage being caused now.”

She continues: “What we have subsequently realised is that we have actually got some great technology here which doesn’t just have to be limited to those in poverty in Africa. It can work over here in the UK; there’s world-wide appeal for a cool, sleek, eco-cooking gadget which means you don’t have to spend the summer coughing over a smoky barbeque. You can even plug in your phone charger or lamp at the same time!

“It’s ideal for camping, festivals or even just as a spare cooking appliance to keep around the house. We feel that there’s definitely a huge potential to bring it back to the UK and let the British market enjoy it! We just hope we can get some great investors on board, as that is what will make or break this new venture and give us a chance to really get this off the ground.”