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Food traceability tops North American Summit agenda

The North American edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit will hone in on food traceability.

As the battle for labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms continues in the US food industry, retailers and consumers are increasingly asking questions about transparency, production methods and provenance. Taking place in San Francisco on 21st and 22nd January, the summit will cover such developments in the context of traceability of food ingredients.

Labelling and identification of GMOs is a major focus. Sarah Bird, board member of Just label It! and Organic Trade Association will give an update on legislative developments, including Vermont’s labelling law and recent ballots. Following Colorado and Oregon, what other states are likely to hold GM labelling ballots in 2015? In the absence of mandatory labelling, an update will be given on voluntary GMO labelling schemes.

Kenneth Ross, CEO of Global ID, will highlight vulnerabilities in global supply chains for food ingredients. How can food and ingredient firms guarantee non-GMO supply chains? With a growing number of natural food retailers like Whole Foods Market taking a pro-labeling stance, the National Cooperative Grocers Association shows how retailers can improve transparency.

Sustainable ingredients are also featured. Many food and beverage companies are reducing their environmental footprints by using sustainable ingredients, whilst others are using such ingredients for product innovations. Kristina Locke, Founder of Conscious Food, highlights developments in natural sweeteners. With palm oil continuing to be a thorny sourcing issue for the food industry, IOI Loders Croklaan and Daabon Organic will give an update on sustainable palm oil production and consumption. Hampton Creek will show how sustainable proteins are creating innovative meat alternatives.

Other papers will cover sustainable value chains, gluten-free products, and superfood ingredients. The customer behaviour session will discuss approaches to encourage sustainable purchasing and consumption of food products. Jon Dettling, Managing Director of US Quantis, will present the latest environmental footprint measurements for food production, consumption and waste.

Globescan will show how consumer attitudes towards sustainable products and foods are evolving. Matt Jones, chair of Slow Food USA, will give case studies on how positive consumer change can be instigated. Keller & Heckman will give an update on the regulatory environment for marketing claims, while another seminar features mobile apps for traceability.

This fifth North American edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit aims to highlight major developments in food traceability, sustainable ingredients and customer behaviour. With consumer expectations towards sustainability and food products rising, there is a greater need for transparency and traceability in food supply chains. By showcasing industry best practices, the summit will cover major advances in these areas.

Organised by Organic Monitor, the aim of the Sustainable Foods Summit is to explore new horizons for eco-labels and sustainability in the food industry by discussing key industry issues in a high level forum. The North American edition will be hosted at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District on 21st and 22nd January, and for more information, visit www.sustainablefoodssummit.com

Hanovia recognised by Chinese award

UV disinfection specialist Hanovia has won the Great British Product award at this year’s British Business Awards in Beijing. Hanovia won the award for its PharmaLine and PureLine range of UV disinfection systems.

Wang Tao, Hanovia’s China General Manager, says, “This is the first time we have won this award and we are absolutely delighted. It is a great recognition of the quality and reliability of our UV technology." The award was accepted by Rebecca Kang, pictured, the administrative assistant at Hanovia’s Beijing office.

Organised by the British Chamber of Commerce in China and the China-Britain Business Council, the British Business Awards recognise and promote excellence in innovation, enterprise and endeavour in the British and Chinese business communities. They highlight organisations who are achieving outstanding results and who demonstrate commitment to trade and investment in China. The Awards have grown in stature since the inaugural edition in 2008 to become a prestigious feature of the business calendar in China.

Hanovia’s PharmaLine and PureLine disinfection systems stood out from rivals as they are designed very specifically to provide effective water disinfection in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries, where effective disinfection is essential and driven by legislation.

Wang Tao says, “As a leading UV company Hanovia is dedicated to continuous innovation. Since we entered the Chinese market in 2005 we have successively launched a number of innovative products for the Chinese food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, winning unanimous praise from industry experts. This makes us extremely proud of the work we do.

“This year also saw us celebrate Hanovia’s ninetieth anniversary, so it’s a very special time for the company. We recently established an Asia Pacific UV Application R&D Centre in Shanghai and we will continue to innovate and provide better and safer UV technology to the Chinese food & beverage industry.”

UK food businesses must prepare for new food information regulations

On 13th December 2014, new food regulations will hit all businesses working in the food industry. The aim of the new legislation is to set out clear requirements for food businesses on what allergy information they must make available to consumers and customers.

Nikki Sammé, Marketing and Portfolio Development Director at Alcumus comments on the news: ‘Food safety certifications, risk assessments and training are all essential tools for protecting organisations and limiting brand damage. Assuring the integrity of the supply chain and the quality of produce should be a priority for any organisation operating within this sector. Customers need the assurance that the sourcing and manufacturing of food products comply with recognised standards and that the products they purchase are safe and labelled appropriately.”

From the aforementioned date, if you operate within the food sector you will need to provide and display allergy information for any food on site. The regulation covers information regarding 14 potential allergens found across food groups including seafish, Crustaceans, milk, eggs and nuts.

The good news is that here are a number of different ways a business can conform to the food information regulations. Allergy information can be displayed on a chart, a sign can show customers the location of the relevant information or members of staff can communicate the information verbally.

Alcumus has recently launched a tailored food allergen eLearning module, allowing businesses to ensure their staff can provide the duty of care customers require regarding allergens.

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New qualification to prepare foodservice staff for allergen legislation

A new qualification has been launched that could help foodservice staff prepare for legislation on food allergens due to be introduced later this year.

The HABC Level 3 Award in Food Allergen Management for Caterers is aimed at anyone involved in the purchase, delivery, production and serving of food within the catering, hospitality or licensing sectors. Forthcoming legislation from the EU, due to come into force on 13th December, will mean that businesses will need to provide allergy information on any food sold unpackaged, whether via a pub, restaurant, café, deli counter, bakery or sandwich shop.

The qualification from Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance – which is the largest provider of food-safety related qualifications in the UK - will give food staff knowledge relating to the control of food ingredients and allergies at all stages of food purchase and production. They will also gain an understanding of the process for ensuring that accurate ingredient information is available for customers at point of sale and service.

The qualification is supported by two slide presentations, one of which covers the suitable control of allergens in line with the new EU legislation so that learners can remain compliant, and the other which allows supervisors and managers to deliver further training to their staff after completing the qualification themselves.

Christian Sprenger, Managing Director of HABC, says, "Around 8% of children and 4% of adults have a food allergy of some description, and that figure is rising, so even without the new legislation it would be important that caterers make sure their staff are aware of the issue. Through this qualification, businesses – whether large or small - will be able to help their customers make informed choices and protect their welfare, whilst also preserving the reputation of the organisation."

The qualification takes just over ten hours to complete, meaning it can be taken in just one or two days.

Sidel shares beverage production hygiene expertise at world congress

Sidel has reported an excellent response to its presentation at the European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group annual world congress. The subject matter was ‘Food Declaration Management’, an initiative which Sidel started in 2009 and which is now the fundamental basis on which the company structures its food safety and hygienic design processes.

The EHEDG world congress provided an ideal opportunity for Sidel to demonstrate and to share its expertise and experience in Food Declaration Management. This remains a fundamental part of the company’s commitment to the shared duty of all stakeholders in the supply chain to the non-negotiable requirement for product safety in today’s food and beverage production.

Sidel was among an impressive panel of experts presenting at the annual congress, which included internationally recognised consultancies, companies, laboratories and universities. The Sidel presentation for the world congress focused on how Food Declaration Management enables Sidel to handle all the information relating to the suitability of its equipment and components used in the PET bottling of beverages throughout the entire life cycle, from the initial idea through to production. This involves various hygienic design specialists at a number of its manufacturing sites, including Parma and Mantova, Octeville and Beijing.

Sidel is a member of the EHEDG, a worldwide network of experts which provides guidance and practical assistance to manufacturers of food processing and packaging equipment, food manufacturers, national and international regulatory bodies and other stakeholders. The annual world congress plays a fundamental role in the Group’s aim to create a central, internationally recognised source of excellence by imparting knowledge on the hygienic engineering of equipment and by specifying best practices in respect to their hygienic operation, supply and maintenance.

Food Declaration Management is a process through which a benchmark in food safety and hygienic design is applied across different projects to ensure a high level is always maintained. The Food Declaration certificate has to be issued by all suppliers of any components or machinery that comes into contact with the food or beverage, providing proof that the equipment is safe and suitable for such use. For Sidel, this applies to the process machines and the fillers that are in direct contact with the beverage itself.

The end product safety is embedded in the Sidel process of New Product Development, ensuring that hygiene and safety rules are systematically applied each time something new is designed. It starts right from the outset, with training for the team responsible for the design of the components and machines so that they know and understand the specific hygienic design rules and guidelines relating to food-contact areas, thereby avoiding contamination during production. It also involves the Sourcing and Procurement team to enable them to work with suppliers to ensure the right certification is obtained when buying parts. For the Quality Department, it requires collection, checking and releasing through an IT system all the information which proves the suitability of the relevant components for food-contact. The Manufacturing Team is also heavily involved in the process, applying best practice when assembling the machines.

The EHEDG congress is staged in a different country each year, with the 2014 event taking place in Parma, Italy, in conjunction with the Cibus’Tec Food Pack exhibition. Delegates from all over the world attended the event, eager to learn and to share good practice on the hygienic engineering of equipment and facilities for the safe production and processing of food and related products.

Tetra Pak publishes guidelines on raw milk quality

Tetra Pak, the world leader in food processing and packaging solutions, has launched a handbook: The role of raw milk quality in UHT production.

Designed primarily to support quality managers of dairy companies in emerging markets, the handbook draws on best practice from leading dairy companies on ways to ensure the quality of raw milk before processing.

It focuses on critical points such as dairy farm operation, raw milk transportation, and handling and testing at the plant.

“Raw milk quality not only has a significant impact on the ultimate quality of the final UHT products but also affects the efficiency and operational costs of processing machinery”, says Bengt Eliasson, manager of the Centre of Expertise Dairy & Beverage Systems at Tetra Pak commented, “The dairy industry is becoming increasingly competitive; dairy companies must sustain longer running hours and be able to minimize maintenance problems at their plants.

"As our customers are well aware, these measures play a critical role in the delivery of high quality products to consumers and will help to ensure dairy businesses remain competitive within their market. Ultimately, the ability to create high quality products consistently will enable dairies to protect and sustain vital consumer relationships.”

“This new handbook offers a comprehensive guide to support the quality management programmes already implemented by our customers. As a result of collaboration with our sister company DeLaval, a worldwide leader in milking equipment and solutions for dairy farmers; we aim to provide a holistic approach to help our customers meet competitive pressures by maintaining consistency and quality in the processing cycle from farm to shelf.”

Download the paper here. 

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