To help with their Panamanian business, Greek coffee supplier Ninety Plus has purchased a turnkey project from Allied Steel Buildings.
Ninety Plus is a coffee producer integrated vertically with an international reputation for rare and exclusive coffees. They operate a trading and distribution company that partners with green coffee farmers to cultivate and sell coffee to importer and specialty coffee roasters worldwide. They also own a green coffee producing business that currently operates an 184 hectare coffee estate in Panama.
Allied Steel Buildings' International Team managed the whole project, including the design and delivery of the steel structure, the foundation, and erection of the 200 sq m metal building. The steel structure is located in Volcan, a remote area of the Chirique province in the west part of the country.
Chris Rucker, Director of International Accounts at Allied Steel Buildings, says, “We handled this project under very remote and challenging conditions as the building was built out in the country, on the side of a hill. We were able to overcome these challenges to deliver a successful project.”
Winterhalter has won the prestigious FCSI award for Manufacturer of the Year. The award was announced at the FCSI EAME conference in Madrid.
Judges singled out the company’s energy-efficient PT Series of passthrough warewashers, including the latest model, the ClimatePlus, which not only reduces energy consumption by over 50%, but also acts as a climate controller, pumping cool air into kitchens when the ambient temperature rises above 25°C.
The FCSI is the largest worldwide foodservice industry association. The award covers both the company and the product line, so as well as Winterhalter being the Manufacturer of the Year, the PT Series is the Product of the Year.
Stephen Kinkead, managing director of Winterhalter UK, says, “To say we are absolutely delighted would be an understatement. The FCSI is the most knowledgeable professional body in our industry – for them to have given us this accolade is simply tremendous. It underlines our achievement in launching the PT Series and ratifies our Intelligent Resource Technology programme, which commits us to developing energy- and water-saving systems.”
The FCSI judges were impressed by the fact that the PT Series is the first pass through on the market to have energy-saving heat exchange technology fitted as standard. The ClimatePlus version features a radical new heat pump, which not only recycles waste heat from inside the machine but also draws in warm air from the kitchen, using it to heat up the cold water supply.
The study reveals that over two thirds of Brits considered drinking tea an important part of their social lives, but the same results show that tea sales have been steadily dropping.
The research was conducted by market analysts Mintel, who found that sales had dropped from £699 million in 2010 to around £654 million in 2015. In purely volume terms, sales had dropped by 22 per cent from 97mhg to 76mkg, and Mintel predicts that the sales are likely to further fall to 68.7mkg by 2020.
Sales of the traditional breakfast blend have been declining, but alternatives such as herb, fruit and green teas are on the rise, which rose 31 per cent between 2012 and 2014. Sales of traditional tea bags, on the other hand, fell by 13 per cent. Drinkers of alternative teas attribute mood enhancing, relaxing and beneficial health properties of the drinks to their continued success.
Emma Clifford, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, comments: “Standard black tea is struggling to maintain customers’ interest amid growing competition from other drinks – held back by a rather uninspiring image.”
“This has been translated into the downfall of the tea category overall. Signalling that customers are becoming more adventurous in their choice of tea is that sales of fruit or herbal teas, speciality teas and green tea continue to post impressive performances.”
“It is widely accepted that tea is a good accompaniment to biscuits and cakes. Given the sugar scare, however, and that usage of such treats is in decline, these strong associations could have had a negative impact on the tea market.”
Pluckr, a machine that uses ultrasonic vibrations to rapidly de-bunch grapes without damaging them, has won the Food Valley Award 2014. The machine was developed by JFPT/foodlife and TOP.
“Winning this prize is fantastic,” says Patrick Jansen of JFTP/foodlife.
“It’s a real perk to continue to innovate. Launching a new technology and finding markets for it is quite a challenge. No doubt winning the Food Valley Award is going to make a difference.”
Wouter de Heij of TOP adds: “We are incredibly proud of the fruit of our partnership. Winning this award is the cherry on the cake. And it shows that innovative technologies can help increase profit margins in the sector. We are happy to be contributing to that.”
The new grape de-buncher is a compact piece of equipment featuring 3-12 heads, each of which consists of a small, stainless steel gripper and a vibration system.
Depending on the number of heads, Pluckr can de-bunch 300-600 kilos of fruit per hour. By comparison, the top speed of manual de-bunching is 20 kilos per hour.
The equipment is unique in its use of ultrasonic vibrations combined with the multidirectional drive technology. Grapes are gently shaken off their stems and stay whole, while on existing systems the fruit suffers damage from being ‘massaged’ off the stalks. An additional benefit is that the machine can easily be combined with another new technology for packaging the loose grapes in a modified atmosphere that extends their shelf life to 3 or 4 weeks.
In its praise for Pluckr, the Food Valley Award judges’ panel said: “We are impressed with the amount of research and development that went into this innovation. Thanks to their intensive collaboration, JFPT/foodlife and TOP successfully developed and combined new technologies into a single machine. We believe the de-stemmer has considerable market potential because of its wider applicability and offers great benefits to the fruit and vegetable processing industry. These considerations convinced us to crown the Pluckr the 2014 Food Valley Award winner.”
This is the 10th year that Food Valley NL has presented the Food Valley Award. An independent panel of experts has judged the entries on their innovativeness, economic viability, originality and degree of collaboration. The other nominees considered for this year’s prize were the biodegradable, isothermal champagne packaging developed by PaperFoam and Veuve Clicquot, and fresh, chilled, pressure-treated baby food by Pit-Foodconcepts.