Posted on 28 March 2017.
The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC UK), has announced that leading UK paper cup manufacturer, Benders Papers Cups, has produced distinctive coffee cups which will carry the PEFC certification label for its client Falkingham & Taylor (Vending) Ltd. They have been manufactured to mark the occasion of Hull becoming UK City of Culture for 2017.
The special City of Culture 2017 coffee cups will carry PEFC’s distinctive “two trees” label, thereby providing coffee lovers with the assurance that the materials used in the manufacture of the commemorative certified cups have been both responsibly and sustainably sourced.
Based in Hull, Falkingham & Taylor (Vending) Ltd., is a family run business with over 50 years’ experience in the vending industry. The company services a wide variety of customers across a range of sectors, including; heavy industrial, manufacturing, food manufacturing, local government, leisure, education, retail, office, pubs, clubs, and café bars.
Hull, known for being the home of the poet Philip Larkin, the Ferens Gallery and the Hull Truck Theatre Company has been named the UK City of Culture for 2017.
Commenting on the City of Culture coffee cups, Benders’ Marketing Manager, Adrian Pratt, states: “Benders is committed to sustainable sourcing of its raw materials. PEFC Chain of Custody certification provides full traceability for all paper cups manufactured from materials sourced in sustainably managed forests.”
Benders Paper Cups is dedicated to the manufacturer of paper hot cups. All its cups are made in the UK at its BRC/IOP AA Grade factory in Wrexham, North Wales, and supplied across the UK and Europe to the Workplace and On the Go sectors covering vending, specialty coffee, QSR and ‘To-Go’ markets. Benders’ has a long history of producing paper cups and is part of the Flo, and Dopla group of companies. The company employs around 150 staff at its Wrexham facility.
PEFC, as the world’s leading forest certification system, has certified more than 300 million hectares of forests to PEFC’s internationally recognised Sustainability Benchmarks, supplying more than 18,000 Chain of Custody certified companies with responsibly sourced timber and wood products, such as those used in producing fibre-based paper products such as packaging.
Today, more and more companies from SMEs to global brands are keen to demonstrate that the fibre they use in their packaging materials comes from a certified sustainable source. This is important as consumers are increasingly conscious of how their purchasing decisions impact on the world’s natural resources.
Posted in Environment, Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 22 March 2017.
Dublin is one of seven European cities chosen to take part in an exciting pan-European TRiFOCAL project designed to reduce food waste while promoting healthy and sustainable eating. The Eastern-Midland Regional Waste Management Office (EMWRO) is the Irish participant in the project, which aims to find food waste solutions specifically suited to cities.
The EU LIFE funded TRiFOCAL project is being led by a number of research organisations based in the UK, including WRAP the London Waste and Recycling Board (under the joint partnerships of Resource London) and Groundwork London. In its current phase, the project will work with a wide range of stakeholders throughout London to pilot a number of food waste prevention and healthy eating innovations. Successes within London will then be shared with the seven cities in the EU, with Dublin, Barcelona, Brussels, Burgas (Bulgaria) Milan, Oslo and Växjö (Sweden) the first to sign up to join the TRiFOCAL initiative.
Hugh Coughlan, Co-ordinator of the EMWRO, says: “We are delighted to roll out the replication phase of this project in Dublin. It’s an exciting opportunity to be part of an initiative that has real potential to enact positive environmental and health impacts for our capital city and indeed cities all over Europe. In addition, we are hoping the results of this project can be adapted and extended nationally to all parts of Ireland.”
He adds: “Participating in this project perfectly complements other work we are already doing in our region in terms of awareness and education to prevent avoidable food waste and to increase the recycling of unavoidable food waste. On average Irish households throw out one-third of food purchased, at an estimated cost of between €400 and €1,000 per household”.
The TRiFOCAL project seeks to raise awareness amongst those living in and visiting cities. It aims to prevent food waste by changing planning, shopping, storage and meal preparation habits. For further information see http://trifocal.eu.com
Posted in Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 21 March 2017.
A first-ever ‘farm to fork’ programme for shrimp production has been announced, offering consumers DNA based assurance on the origin and quality of shrimp. Through enhanced transparency the TraceBack programme will also help promote ethical labour practices, which have been highlighted in the global shrimp industry.
The technology offering – already available in animal meat – has been developed by DNA tracing company IdentiGEN in partnership with international seafood producer Seafresh. The traceable shrimp will be sold at Marks and Spencer outlets in the UK, the first time such an offering has been brought to the consumer.
IdentiGEN Co-Founder and Director Ronan Loftus says that shrimp are globally sourced and the application of DNA TraceBack to the industry brings a further degree of accountability to production and labour practices, which are increasingly being demanded by both retailers and the consumer.
“With its complex and global supply chain, the shrimp industry has been subject to high profile controversy in recent years for poor quality, excessive use of antibiotics and reports of human trafficking, slave and child labour,” he says. “This programme will give guaranteed transparency to both retailer and consumer that what they are buying is sourced from approved sources and meets highest standards in terms of production practices.”
He points out that recent scientific advances in DNA technology has made traceability deliverable at a large scale, enabling its expansion into the seafood sector.
He elaborates: “A sample taken from a female shrimp can be used to trace all of its progeny (hundreds of thousands of shrimp) back to its farm of origin with unprecedented accuracy – through the use of ‘Natures Barcode’. This makes DNA sampling and TraceBack of large numbers of shrimp from the fork back to their exact farm of production possible and cost efficient. The system can also be used to trace shrimp post cooking, or further processing, where considerable co-mingling of production from different sources can occur.”
The programme is currently being operated by Seafresh which is producing the shrimp in Central America, processing in the UK and supplying to Marks and Spencer.
Seafresh CEO Lasse Hansen says: “We are delighted to partner with IdentiGEN and our customers on this exciting new era for shrimp traceability. Our industry has been dogged by claims of child labour, poor production practices and use of unapproved feeding regimes. The unprecedented levels of supply chain transparency will help us convey more effectively to our customers and the consumer the care we take to meet the growing consumer expectations for a top quality, sustainable and ethically sourced shrimp supply.”
Posted in CSR, Quality Assurance, Sustainability
Posted on 16 March 2017.
A major new Bord Bia campaign to support Irish beef exports to Germany has been launched by Bord Bia (Irish Food Board). The promotional campaign, valued at almost €1 million this year alone, will target in excess of 8 million German consumers. In 2016, Ireland exported 23,000 tonnes of beef to Germany, a doubling in volume since 2012 (from 11,500 tonnes), and according to Bord Bia this figure is expected to reach 30,000 tonnes by 2018.
Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia’s Chief Executive, says that building on the recent strong export performance in this competitive environment requires a sustained marketing and promotional drive such as this campaign. “Irish beef continues to perform in what is considered an important premium market, with beef exports rising to €142 million in 2016 from €92 million just four years ago. This campaign follows comprehensive consumer research in the German market and a highly encouraging performance by industry,” she comments.
As part of the campaign planning, Bord Bia undertook qualitative and quantitative consumer research to gain a better understanding of German consumer attitudes to Irish beef. According to Donal Denvir, Bord Bia’s German Manager:“The research found that there is a huge interest among German consumers around the topics of food sustainability, origin and animal welfare. Ireland as a food producing nation was viewed favourably and the image of our food production system is one that is pure, green and natural where animals freely graze on green pastures.”
Bord Bia will undertake a five year multi-channel communications campaign across retail level in-store, in restaurants, online advertising, on social media, in print, and at various trade and consumer events. This year will see the campaign commence with five retail promotions in over 2,000 stores and a series of promotions with leading steak restaurant chains across 100 locations. In addition, Bord Bia will organise trade journalists visit Ireland to gain a first-hand experience and understanding of Irish beef. Consumers will be directed to a website where they can engage with Irish farmers on farming and Irish beef.
Selling Ireland’s green image, the campaign will also feature an ongoing communications programme around Bord Bia’s sustainability initiative, Origin Green. Since the inception of Origin Green, over 137,000 carbon assessments have been completed on Irish beef and dairy farms, or an average of 800 assessments per week. According to Bord Bia, over 37,000 individual improvement targets have been established for Irish beef farmers, and when completed, these targets could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7%.
Germany is Ireland’s sixth largest export market for food and drink and estimated to worth some €600 million. Irish dairy, beef and prepared foods are Ireland’s top food exports to Germany.
Posted in Marketing, Sustainability
Posted on 14 March 2017.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is long established within the food industry. Offsetting grid based power supply and producing hot water, steam or chilled water from a natural gas fuelled reciprocating engine has proved very cost effective.
The advantage of CHP are lower operating costs, less reliance on the electricity grid and improved sustainability in terms of carbon usage.
Over the past 3 years wholesale gas and electricity prices have declined, although both have risen in the past 4 months. However, although the wholesale electricity price has reduced, the supply price to consumers has not and has even risen, departing from the usual gas and electricity supply price following each other. The ratio between gas supply price and electricity supply price is often called the spark spread and this too has increased. A greater spark spread makes the installation of a CHP plant a more viable prospect.
The reason for the increase in electricity supply price over the wholesale price is the additional charges for the Green Energy subsidies, and the increases in power distribution costs.
Most sites have a higher electrical power demand than a heat demand which is also often more varied. However, CHP installations assess the site heat requirement to size an installation i.e. the generator is sized so that the heat supply is optimised to the heat demand. This is the most efficient way of using the energy provided in the natural gas fuel and would be counted as good quality CHP. This also maximises the installation sustainability criteria.
With the increased spark spread, potentially greater cost savings could be made if the CHP is sized to the electrical power demand rather than the heat demand. The electricity pricing is where the greatest cost savings for a company can be made.
If an existing CHP is controlled to the heat demand and has extra generation capacity, then consideration should be made to increasing output (and potentially dumping heat) for greater site electrical power supply. This should especially be the case during the peak power demand times between 4pm and 7pm. This period is when the wholesale half hourly power price is the greatest and the where the majority of distribution charges are implemented.
Distribution charges are the Distribution Use of System red band (DUoS) and Transmission Use of System (TNUoS or Triad). In the last quarter of 2016 there were two half hour periods when the spot electricity price hit £1000/MWh.
Edina is a leading supplier, installer and maintenance provider for gas to power solutions, and is the sole distributor for MWM manufactured gas engines in the UK and Ireland.
With over 400MWe installed across the UK, Ireland and Australia, Edina continues to work with the food processing industry, supporting clients to reduce their energy costs, reduce carbon emissions and deliver improved business competitiveness.
If you would like to discuss the benefits and feasibility of CHP within your business, please contact Edina at email@example.com or visit www.edina.eu.
Posted in Energy, Sustainability
Posted on 13 March 2017.
BIM, Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, has launched a new certification standard to drive sustainability in the Irish Fishing Sector. The BIM Responsibly Sourced Seafood Standard is a third party accreditation that certifies fishing vessels that adhere to strict criteria regarding Care of the Catch, Traceability and Provenance, Training, Welfare and Social Sustainability.
Michael Keatinge, Interim CEO of BIM, says: “The Irish seafood sector and in particular the catching sector understands the ever increasing need to actively demonstrate their commitment to responsible fishing practices. With 7 fishing vessels certified under the updated Responsibly Sourced Seafood Standard and a target of 40 by year end; this standard will provide an independently certified raw material source that links in with the sector’s sustainability charter, Origin Green. This integrated approach to Irish seafood is vital for competitiveness, especially on our existing and emerging export markets, where sustainability is a key criterion for business.”
With seafood exports valued at €557 million in 2016 and domestic sales of seafood reaching €239 million, the demand for seafood continues to grow. BIM is working directly with fishermen, fish farmers, processors and retailers through an integrated sustainability programme to ensure the Irish sector operates responsibly and in doing so increases its profitability.
For a traditional industry, the seafood sector has already made significant progress with Ireland’s largest co-op, Castletownbere Fisherman’s Co-op receiving the top accolade of ‘Green Business of the Year’ at this year’s Green Awards.
BIM is also working with fishermen and producers through local Fishery Improvement Programmes (FIP’s). These programmes aim to improve the long term sustainability of fisheries over time with volunteers agreeing to engage in specific actions that work to preserve the fishery. The activity of FIPs underpins the BIM Responsibly Sourced Seafood Standard. The aim of the FIP is to meet the sustainability standards set by the Marine Stewardship Council and they also enhance producers and processers access to markets that now demand sustainability credentials. Four fisheries have been identified for the first phase of development; brown crab, whitefish (hake, monkfish and megrim), nephrops and albacore tuna.
Another simple but very effective initiative is the BIM Fishing for Litter programme. With five ports participating (Clogherhead, Killybegs, Castletownbere, Union Hall and Ros a Mhil) and another 3 ports expected to participate this year, the programme enables fishermen to collect marine litter in heavy duty Fishing for Litter bags that can be brought ashore for appropriate disposal and recycling. In 2016, close to 8 tonnes of waste was collected and disposed of from the marine environment. The Fishing for Litter programme links in with BIM’s existing Net Recycling programme and since 2005, has recycled 600 tonnes of fishing nets.
Social Sustainability is another key element in BIM’s Sustainability programme and to demonstrate this at the Skipper Expo, BIM have teamed up with ReCreate, a national social enterprise, to divert certain fishing net materials aimed for landfill to be repurposed towards creative projects. Clean and unused net cut offs provide inventive art materials and ReCreate provide these art materials to groups that may not ordinarily have access to supplies. To date, ReCreate has provided over 500 tonnes of materials that have been re-used by over 5,000 children’s art and play projects. BIM are encouraging fishermen to donate clean materials to the programme. The workshops are open to kids of all ages and are taking place in BIM’s Coastal Training Unit at the Skipper Expo show in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill on Friday at 3.30pm and on Saturday at 11am and at 2.30pm.
For more information on any of the sustainability initiatives, please visit www.bim.ie or to sign up for the BIM Responsibly Sourced Seafood Standard email RSSstandard@bim.ie.
Posted in Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 13 March 2017.
Pro2Pac and Waste-Works have revealed an exciting line-up of high-profile speakers for the three-day event which returns to ExCeL London this March. A host of well-known industry experts including Dick Searle, CEO of The Packaging Federation, Jonny MacNeal, Business Development Manager at Insignia Technologies (winner of Best New Concept at the 2016 UK Packaging Awards) and Simon Rayner of Friends of the Earth, will take to the ‘Outside the Box’ stage – built entirely from recyclable cardboard! – to discuss a wide range of packaging-related issues. Underlining the event’s new combined waste and packaging focus, these will include topics such as the coffee cup recycling debate, the reduction of food waste through packaging and shelf life maximisation technologies.
Additional speakers include Andrew Jackson, Director of ooh-AR Technologies, who will discuss augmented reality, and Antoinette Devine, an experienced packaging professional who has previously worked with Bacardi, talking on the ‘Juxtaposition of Waste and Sustainability’ in the Luxury Packaging Sector.
These bite-sized and thought-provoking ‘industry insight’ briefings will run throughout each day while the lunchtime panel debates will see a number of experts share their views on a wide range of hot topics. These will include an assessment chaired by Philip Chadwick, editor of Packaging News, of how the packaging industry will fare post-Brexit, as well as the ‘Storm in a Coffee Cup’ debate chaired by Martin Kersh, executive director of the FPA, with Peter Goodwin (Closed Loop Recycling), Chris Sherrington (Eunomia environmental consulting), Simon Rayner (Friends of the Earth), Joanna Gilroy (Bunzl) and Adrian Pratt (Benders Paper Cups). For full details of the speaker timetable and topics, visit pro2pac.co.uk/outsidethebox
Nick Piper, Event Manager for Pro2Pac said: “We’re delighted to welcome such high profile names from the packaging sector, both brand owners and manufacturers alike from across the globe, to take part in our speaker programme which promises to tackle the latest challenges affecting our industry, head on.”
Alongside these expert workshops, more than 120 food and drink packaging companies including Coveris, Henkelman UK, Organic Waste Logistics and Rapid Action Packaging will be on hand at Pro2Pac and Waste-Works to offer inspiration, advice and exceptional packaging solutions.
Pro2Pac is free to attend – simply register online at pro2pac.co.uk
Posted in Conferences & Exhibitions, Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 03 March 2017.
The impact of climate change represents a significant opportunity for Ireland’s dairy Sector but also poses a threat, a special industry conference held recently at the Teagasc Ashtown conference centre, Dublin, heard. The conference included details of a safefood sponsored research project which surveyed dairy industry stakeholders to determine their level of awareness of the potential impacts that Climate Change could create.
Principal researcher on the project, Professor Thia Hennessy of University College Cork’s Department of Food Business said: “This is the first such survey of dairy industry stakeholders on the island and we found that stakeholders from right across the dairy supply chain demonstrated a high level of awareness of climate change as well as a commitment to collective action to avail of any opportunities climate change may bring.”
Research collaborator Trevor Donnellan of Teagasc, continued: “The study confirmed that Climate Change presents both an opportunity and a threat for the Irish dairy sector. The threats identified in the survey included, extreme weather events, the emergence of new diseases and pests. By contrast the development of unfavourable climate conditions in some of the world’s key milk producing countries could offer an advantage to the Irish dairy sector, since the Irish climate is likely to be less adversely affected. One of the major recommendations of this research was that more planning is required to consider how to deal with extreme weather events.”
Welcoming the research, Dr James McIntosh, safefood, said: “Our work to improve public health on the island of Ireland is evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers and the food environment. Climate Change has the potential to impact on almost every aspect of food production and supply on the island and it’s important for us to understand how the provision of safe food and the promotion of good food safety practices across the food chain will be affected, particularly in larger agri-food sectors such as the dairy industry.”
The conference heard that there was a general view that science and technology can play a major role in mitigating Climate Change, but that there are obstacles to getting technology from the lab to the farm. Not all farmers were eager to adopt technological developments and these concerns needed to be addressed. Stakeholders felt that technologies being developed to address greenhouse gas emissions should be discussed with farmers in the developmental stage to establish their practicality.
Katrina Campbell of Queen’s University Belfast, who also collaborated on the research, continued: “Climate Change may also pose a threat for food safety as one of the most prevalent food safety hazards within the dairy industry is mycotoxins which emerge in animal feed. Warmer and wetter climates, as projected for Ireland under Climate Change, would contribute to a proliferation in fungal growth and thereby increase in mycotoxin contamination.”
“To counter the potential impact of Climate Change on food safety, new innovative technology and monitoring systems must be invested in to help ensure Climate Change consequences do not become a threat from the beginning point of the dairy food chain. New testing methods to detect contaminants may need to be investigated in order to prevent transmission through the food chain and human consumption,” she added.
Posted in Agriculture, Environment, Research, Sustainability
Posted on 09 February 2017.
A new Bord Bia report has revealed that 220 major players in the Irish food, drink and horticulture sector, representing 90% of total exports, committed to more than 1,600 sustainability targets during 2016, a 100% increase on 2015 figures. Set in areas such as raw material sourcing, energy usage and emissions, water and waste management, and social sustainability, the ambitious targets have been established as part of the industry’s participation in Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability programme. Launched some four and a half years ago, Origin Green is a national sustainability plan for the entire food and drink sector and a key delivery of the industry and government’s FoodWise 2025 plan.
Since the inception of Origin Green, over 137,000 carbon assessments have been completed on Irish beef and dairy farms, or an average of 800 assessments per week. These audits have provided Bord Bia with some 24.7 million pieces of information on the performance of Irish farms with regard to sustainable practices.
According to Bord Bia, over 37,000 individual improvement targets have been established for Irish beef farmers, and another 28,000 for dairy farmers. When completed, these targets could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7% and 14% respectively.
At manufacturing level, food and drink companies are required to create three to five year sustainability plans to become fully verified members of Origin Green. Last year saw 98 Irish companies become fully verified members, more than doubling the performance of any other year. This brings the total number of fully verified Origin Green members to 220.
Meanwhile, a further 310 companies are currently preparing, or have submitted, plans for verification. Bord Bia offers significant support and resources to companies throughout the plan development process, with each company on average receiving 15 hours of one-to-one support and guidance. Last year also saw the introduction of retail and foodservice companies to the programme, thus ensuring all levels of the supply chain are participating in Origin Green for the first time.
Welcoming the report the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD said: “Ireland is world renowned as a producer of safe, quality and sustainable food. The Origin Green brand and the assurances it provides our international customers will assist us we strive to open new markets. This unique selling point is all the more important in a post Brexit scenario. I would like to thank both our farming community and our agri-food sector for their work in this regard.”
Bord Bia’s Director of Sustainable Development, Jim O’Toole, also complimented the farming and agri-food industry on its significant progress to date and highlighted the importance of knowledge sharing. “While no one country, sector or individual business can solely lead the move towards sustainable production, Bord Bia is committed to working with both domestic and international partners to improve performance through collaboration. Our Statement of Strategy for 2016-2018, ‘Making a World of Difference’, further reinforces this ambition by setting out our commitment to underpin each and every aspect of our work with Origin Green.”
Visit Origin Green to access the full report.
Posted in Sustainability
Posted on 06 February 2017.
Tetra Pak has pledged that by 2030, the greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations will be at least 40% lower than in 2015. Working with the Science Based Targets initiative, the company also set a goal that by 2040, emissions will be down 58% compared with a year ago.
In doing so, Tetra Pak becomes the first company in the food packaging industry to have its climate impact reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative.
To achieve these targets, Tetra Pak will focus on three areas:
- Driving energy efficiency, aiming to reduce energy use by a further 12%;
- Purchasing electricity from renewable sources, investing in renewable energy projects and renewable electricity certificate schemes;
- Installing onsite renewable energy systems such as solar panels.
In addition, the company commits to reduce GHG emissions across the value chain by 16% per unit of revenue by 2020 from a 2010 base-year.
Mario Abreu, Vice President Environment at Tetra Pak, says: “The collaboration with the SBT initiative has helped us accurately define our greenhouse gas emission targets and set a direction for the company in a scientific way. The new targets ensure we are able to openly and accurately demonstrate the contribution we are making to a low carbon economy among customers and other stakeholders.”
Cynthia Cummis at the World Resources Institute (WRI) says: “The SBT initiative provides a science-based methodology for companies who are serious about incorporating sustainability into their business practice and want to do their part in avoiding the worst impacts from climate change. Tetra Pak is the first packaging company to complete our target review process and we are very pleased to see them join a growing number of companies that understand the benefits of transitioning towards a low-carbon economy.”
SBT is a partnership between CDP, WRI, WWF and UN Global Compact that mobilizes companies to set emissions reduction target in-line with climate science. Since its launch in 2015, 208 companies have committed to set science-based targets and 33 companies across different industries have had their targets approved by the initiative.
For further information, see here www.tetrapak.com/sustainability
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 30 January 2017.
Inland Fisheries Ireland has published a new report called The Celtic Sea Trout Project (CSTP) which addresses significant knowledge gaps around sea trout. This migratory trout has a significant fisheries value however some sea trout fisheries in parts of Ireland and the UK bordering the Irish Sea are suffering decline.
The project, which consisted of a multi-agency partnership investigation into sea trout stocks and fisheries of rivers entering the Irish Sea, aimed to address the knowledge gaps, and identify the causes of decline with a view to supporting potential management solutions. Current understanding suggests that the incidence of sea trout and the composition and status of their stocks is sensitive to changes in the environments in which they live. These life history features and the sea trout’s widespread occurrence, make it a unique and potentially sensitive indicator of environmental change.
The structure of the Irish Sea and the variety of rivers draining to it, ranging from the mountainous rivers of West Wales to the lowland rivers of East Ireland, meant there was a wide range of marine and freshwater environments for the study. Funded under the INTERREG IVA Ireland Wales Programme, the Celtic Sea Trout Project was the first project in Ireland and the UK to combine a variety of disciplines in the study of sea trout and their fisheries on a large scale.
Sean Kyne TD, Minister with responsibility for Inland Fisheries, says: “I particularly welcome this report and the exemplary collaboration between Irish researchers at Inland Fisheries Ireland and other bodies and their international counterparts. The research has resulted in a better understanding of the Sea Trout stocks in the Irish and Celtic seas and this will underpin logical and well-informed decisions on the management requirements that are needed to safeguard these stocks into the future and to ensure the maximum social and economic contribution is secured.”
Dr Cathal Gallagher, Head of Research at Inland Fisheries Ireland, says: “This is a ground-breaking multi-agency partnership investigation which aims to fill some of the information gaps around sea trout conservation. The first study of its kind, the Celtic Sea Trout Project is a wide-scale comprehensive, cross-disciplinary project which has provided valuable insight into many important research needs in this area, which were first identified at the International Symposium on Sea Trout in 2004. Its primary purpose of improving understanding of sea trout stocks in order to support better management in the freshwater and marine environments has been achieved.”
The research will improve the management and long term future of sea trout in the Irish Sea by providing information and advice for management which can be translated into fishery and conservation benefits for countries bordering the Irish Sea. It has also established a wider awareness and long term network of people working to secure the future of sea trout.
Partners in the Celtic Sea Trout Project included: Inland Fisheries Ireland, Bangor University, University College Cork, Natural Resources Wales, the Environment Agency (England), Isle of Man Government, Nith District Salmon Fisheries Board, Galloway Fisheries Trust, Annan District Salmon Fisheries Board and Buccleuth Estate (Border Esk). Subcontractors included APEM Ltd, Cefas and Fishskill Consultancy Services.
For more information about Inland Fisheries Ireland, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie . To view the full report, visit: http://celticseatrout.com/downloads/technical-report/.
Pictured were: Dr Willie Roche, Senior Research Officer at Inland Fisheries Ireland; Minister Sean Kyne TD; and Dr Cathal Gallagher, Head of Research at Inland Fisheries Ireland; at the launch of the Celtic Sea Trout Project.
Posted in Research, Sustainability
Posted on 26 January 2017.
Nestlé has been recognised as a global leader in reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change across its supply chain. The international not-for-profit CDP has included Nestlé in its first supplier engagement leader board. CDP assessed actions to reduce emissions and lower climate-related risks in the supply chain in the past reporting year.
Nestlé is one of only 29 companies included out of a total of 3,300 assessed, putting it among just 1% awarded a place. The 29 companies are:
Bank of America
Coca-Cola European Partners
Creative Group of Industries
Deutsche Telekom AG
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV
General Mills Inc.
General Motors Company
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Stora Enso Oyj
Yokohama Rubber Company, Limited
Posted in Environment, Supply chain, Sustainability
Posted on 24 January 2017.
Lamb Weston/Meijer, a leading company in the area of high quality potato products, has published its sustainability report for 2015-2016. Headquartered at Kruiningen in the Netherlands, Lamb Weston/Meijer is well on its way to achieving its sustainability objectives for 2020. Over the last two years the company has made a number of significant investments to support those ambitions.
Compared to the reference year 2008, energy consumption per tonne of product has reduced by more than 21% and potato utilisation has improved by 4.5%. Increasing transport by water and rail has reduced road transport by more than 6 million kilometres per year. Furthermore, Lamb Weston/Meijer pre-fries more than 82% of its products in a healthier frying oil. On an annual basis this equals a reduction of 9.6 million kilos of saturated fat through its products.
Lamb Weston/Meijer has a sustainability strategy that goes beyond corporate social responsibility. The strategy focuses on six areas – the Sustainable Six. These are Water, Energy & Emissions, Potato & Waste, Employees, Food Safety & Quality and Nutrition & Health. In 2015, the company opened a state-of-the-art receiving area in Kruiningen. This has led to better potato utilisation and improved product quality. In November 2016, it opened a new production line in Bergen op Zoom with the latest energy-efficiency technology. The new production line comprises innovations in the areas of cutting, optical grading, frying, freezing and utilities. All contributing to the ambition to produce even more sustainably and efficiently.
Lamb Weston/Meijer is also focusing heavily on a circular economy. By finding the most useful destinations for all the by-products and waste flows from its processes, it achieves environmental gains and more efficient production. Since 2008 Lamb Weston/Meijer sends zero waste to landfill and as of 2016 only 0.2% (mixed company waste) is incinerated. For further information visit www.lambweston.eu/sustainability.
Posted in News, Sustainability
Posted on 23 January 2017.
Arla Foods is teaming up with a number of partners to launch the ‘Food Reform for Sustainability and Health’ (FReSH) programme. It aims to define guidelines on sustainable diets, redefine food production, reshape food consumption and evaluate a sustainable footprint for food transport.
A growing number of people suffer from obesity or malnutrition worldwide, while a large number of people still go hungry. Modern consumers are increasingly interested in health and nutrition and want to consume food in a sustainable way with respect for the environment, the climate and for people.
As a member of the EAT Foundation (EAT), Arla is already participating in work that links food, health and sustainability across science, business, civil society and policy. The EAT Foundation brings stakeholders together to drive a transformation of the global food system.
Today the EAT Foundation (EAT) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) together with Arla and other leading global companies, announce the launch of the FReSH programme.
“Consumers are at the heart of all of Arla’s activities and only by responding to their needs closely are we able to provide food, innovative solutions and great inspiration for a healthy everyday life. FReSH brings together business and science to define a future in which everyone can choose to enjoy healthy and affordable food, which is sustainably produced. It is natural for Arla to contribute based on our experience with sustainable dairy production practices and knowledge of the high nutritional value of dairy products,” says Kristian Østerling Eriknauer, vice president of CSR within Arla.
A Natural Role
As a global leading food company, Arla has a natural role in fighting and minimising health, socio-economic and environmental challenges throughout the value chain. Its Sustainable Dairy Farming programme sees Arla working closely with its dairy farmer-owners in DK, SE, UK, DE, NL, BE and LUX to improve animal welfare, reduce consumption of water, energy and feed, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve biodiversity.
“In Arla, being a responsible business means conducting our activities with respect for global and local, social, environmental and economic challenges. We believe that our commitment to long-term responsibility and sustainability is only achievable in cooperation with others,” adds Kristian Østerling Eriknauer.
The FReSH programme will enable Arla and other reputable companies and institutions, like the Lancet Committee, to influence and develop solutions for food production and consumption globally.
“Achieving complex goals requires all the relevant stakeholders at the table. It is extremely important for Arla to engage in a dialogue about the change we would like to see in the world. That is why we are very pleased to be part of this programme and we believe that together we can make a difference,” says Kristian Østerling Eriknauer.
Posted in Nutrition, Sustainability
Posted on 23 January 2017.
The RSPO has published its 2016 RSPO Impact Report, providing a detailed look at RSPO’s sustainability efforts and outcomes from the past year. Over the years, the RSPO’s focus has remained constant: transforming the market to make sustainable palm oil the norm. To ensure the vision is achieved, the RSPO vigilantly monitors the impact of RSPO on the 3 pillars of sustainability, People, Planet and Profit.
Here are a few highlights from the 2016 RSPO Impact Report:
● High Conservation Area: As of 30 June 2016, the total High Conservation Value area set aside within RSPO Certified concessions amounts to 157,115 ha, an increase of 9% from the last reporting period. That is an area of forest and indigenous communities lands equal to the size of more than 200,000 soccer fields now set aside for conservation.
● Paraquat: At least 40 RSPO growers have phased out paraquat, and at least 33 also have a policy banning, or have already phased out, WHO category 1a and 1b pesticides.
● Resolution of grievances: Out of the 63 complaint cases since 2009, 41 have either been closed or are closed for monitoring.
● Support to smallholders: Since 2013, the RSPO has been running a Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF) aimed at improving access to RSPO certification, promoting sustainable agricultural practices and increasing production of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). RSPO has certified 109,415 smallholders (individual and schemed) in the last reporting period.
Together with monitoring the RSPO impacts, the report identifies areas of contribution and opportunity for support by the RSPO to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) launched by United Nations in 2015. The RSPO, through its actions, is already working in supporting five of the SDGs: zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, and life on land. The RSPO continues to support and further integrate the other SDGs into RSPO standards and activities.
The report also includes data from several industries that have committed to 100% CSPO in many European countries, and as of the reporting period Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK have all made significant progress towards reaching their targets.
“RSPO recognises that oil palm cultivation has been linked as one of the major causes of deforestation across the globe. However, with the mandatory assessment becoming part of the RSPO new planting procedure, our members have been able to increase the HCV certified areas. This practice hence eliminates the loss of forests with outstanding and critical importance due to their environmental, socio-economic, cultural, biodiversity and landscape value,” says Darrel Webber, CEO of the RSPO. He adds: “the most important priority in the sustainable palm oil sector is to continue to help shape government and global policy to strike the right balance between the need for development and environmental protection globally”
To further strengthen its global engagement with the largest consumer and producer markets, the RSPO has in the last year set up additional offices in China and Latin America and now has representatives in India, Thailand and the USA.
Posted in CSR, Environment, Ingredients, Reports, Sustainability
Posted on 20 January 2017.
The majority of Europeans say they eat fish because its healthy. Fish consumption is increasing, with 42% Europeans eating fish/aquaculture products at least once a week at home. This underlines the need to ensure sustainable supply of fish to the EU market.
A new Eurobarometer survey on EU consumer choices regarding fishery and aquaculture products reveals that people in the EU eat seafood quite regularly, although how far people live from the sea plays a role in how often they eat fish.
“This survey helps us see how Europeans choose their seafood. This helps inform our policies. We must make sure that Consumers continue to have a wide range of high quality seafood to choose from. That is why we are determined to reach targets on sustainable fishing by 2020,” says European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella.
For seafood, there is a strong preference for regional, national and European origin (80%). The majority of consumers indicated that they like to try new products and species, which shows the importance and potential of diversified sourcing. Reducing import dependency by developing sustainable fishing and aquaculture in the EU is again emphasised. 68% of consumers indicated that they would eat more fish if the prices were lower.
People mainly buy their seafood at the supermarket, and they look first at its appearance, then at its price and origin. Europeans trust the content of labels, especially when the information provided is required by law. 66% think the information on products is clear and easy to understand, showing that EU labelling rules are working.
The survey findings are largely confirmed in a new study by EUMOFA, the Commission’s European market observatory for fisheries and aquaculture products. The study, which looked into retailers’ strategies and national campaigns promoting seafood consumption, notes the growing importance of farmed seafood products in the EU market, given the need for retailers to ensure a stable supply. The analysis also finds that various categories of consumers show common attitudes and behaviours across Member States, highlighting the potential for reinforcing the EU internal market for fishery and aquaculture products.
Posted in Marketing, News, Research, Sustainability
Posted on 20 January 2017.
Danone and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have announced a partnership aimed at accelerating the global transition to a circular economy. For decades, conventional supply chains have been linear; taking, making and disposing of resources often to landfill. With the global population set to reach nine billion by 2050, access to quality food and water is becoming an increasing challenge.
Founded in 2010 by renowned yachtswoman, Dame Ellen MacArthur, the Foundation works to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, collaborating with businesses, government and academia to build a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.
As the Foundation’s ninth Global Partner, Danone will embark on a three-year partnership to further embed circular economy principles both inside and outside Danone. It marks an important step in Danone’s quest to produce quality products that preserve natural resources cycles, while also enabling future growth for the business.
Through this partnership, Danone’s teams will access extensive education and training through the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to generate widespread understanding of the circular economy and drive behavioural change. The Foundation will advise and support Danone central and local teams in their effort to transition brands toward circular economy.
Danone will also become a Core Partner in the Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Initiative, leveraging cross-sector collaboration to re-think and re-design the future of plastics, starting with packaging. Danone’s participation in this initiative will contribute to the company’s efforts to co-build the circular economy of packaging by sourcing sustainable materials and creating a second life for all plastics, as outlined in the company’s Packaging Policy released in November last year.
Danone Executive Vice President of Strategic Resource Cycles, Pascal De Petrini, says: “At Danone we are committed to treasure every single drop of water or milk or every gram of plastic. Over the past years, we have been transforming our approach, and are convinced that systemic change is key to foster sustainable business growth and preserve natural resource cycles. Working with EMF will allow us to accelerate our shift to a more circular value chain while continuing to bring health through food to as many people as possible.”
Danone operates across four business lines: Fresh Dairy Products, Early Life Nutrition, Waters and Medical Nutrition. Present in over 130 markets, Danone generated sales of €22.4 billion in 2015, with more than half in emerging countries. Danone’s brand portfolio includes both international brands (Activia, Actimel, Danette, Danonino, Danio, evian, Volvic, Nutrilon/Aptamil, Nutricia) and local brands (Oikos, Prostokvashino, Aqua, Bonafont, Mizone, Blédina, Cow & Gate).
Posted in Environment, Supply chain, Sustainability
Posted on 17 January 2017.
One year after announcing its bold ambition to become carbon positive by 2030, Unilever has taken another significant step on its renewable energy journey, with the signing of a contract to use biomethane (also known as green gas/biogas) at five of its sites in the UK and Ireland.
Unilever UK & Ireland has signed a deal with a renewable energy company GENeco, which means that from 1 January 2017, its offices in Leatherhead (Surrey) and 100 Victoria Embankment (London), and its food and drink factories in Norwich, Trafford Park and Cork, will use by 10,000 MWh of biomethane to power the sites’ heating and significantly reduce carbon emissions from the sites. With electricity already coming from certified renewable sources, the purchase of a certified supply of bioemethane means that Unilever has become carbon neutral (from energy sources) at these five sites.
The biomethane – which is fully traceable and certified – is generated by GENeco’s anaerobic digester in Avonmouth, which converts inedible food waste and sewage into energy.
This new contract supports the overarching work that Unilever has already undertaken in cutting its greenhouse gas emissions. Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan in 2010, the global fast moving consumer goods company has cut its manufacturing greenhouse gas footprint by 39% per tonne of production since 2008 – the equivalent of one million tonnes of CO2 per annum.
Charlotte Carroll, Sustainable Business Director, Unilever UK & Ireland, says: “In 2015, just as world leaders came together for COP 21 (the United Nations Climate Change Conference), our business committed to making our operations carbon positive by 2030. The ambitious target encouraged us to look carefully at our sites through a fresh, sustainability lens which helped to inspire our landmark agreement with GENeco.”
Charlotte Carroll continues:“With Biomethane or ‘green gas’ still in its relative infancy compared to other forms of renewable energy, this agreement marks a significant step forward in helping us source 100% renewable energy for five of our UK and Ireland sites. Recognising that this is only the start of our journey, we hope to build on this great foundation and eventually convert waste from our own operations into energy to truly support a circular economy.”
GENeco has been carbon neutral and zero waste to landfill in its operations since 2013. Biomethane generated at its Bristol site is produced from household food and sewage waste; from here it can be injected into the national gas grid to power thousands of local homes, or used as vehicle fuel.
GENeco managing director Mohammed Saddiq says: “This deal marks a significant step change in the decarbonisation of UK industry and we are very pleased to be working with Unilever to help in their aims to become carbon positive. We believe that in order for the UK to meet the 2020 targets as defined in the Renewable Energy Directive, there will need to be an increasing role for biomethane in the UK’s heat networks.”
In late November 2015, Unilever outlined its ambition to become carbon positive, eliminating fossil fuels from its operations and directly supporting the generation of more renewable energy than it consumes. Through the ambition, which is part of the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever will:
* Source 100% of our total energy across our operations from renewable sources by 2030
* Source all electricity purchased from the grid from renewable sources by 2020
* Eliminate coal from its energy mix by 2020
* Directly support the generation of more renewable energy than the company consumes and make the surplus available to the markets and communities in which it operates.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 16 January 2017.
Arla Foods Ltd production facility is the most environmentally friendly dairy in the world. Situated outside Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, this ambitious £150 million project succeeded in creating their zero carbon vision with the application of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology.
Spread over a floor space of 6.5 hectares, this inspirational production facility produces 1billion litres of milk per annum and utilises the very best in energy saving and water recycling techniques.
Leading supplier, installer and maintenance provider for gas to power solutions, Edina, supplied two MWM TCG 2020 V20 engines capable of generating a total power output of 4MWe and 3.8MWt. The MWM engines are fuelled by a combination of natural gas mixed with biogas produced from the anaerobic digestion of some of the process waste product.
The natural gas/biogas integration system was designed and supplied by Edina and allows the generators to operate on natural gas only or natural gas with the inclusion of a proportion of biogas.
In addition, the CHP is designed to work in Island Mode Operation, in the event of a power outage at site, the CHP is configured to hold all essential loads until site power is re-established. Edina worked closely with the client to finalise a solution via their load shedding electrical infrastructure.
Commissioned in September 2013, the dairy is the most technological advanced and efficient of its kind and achieves zero waste to landfill. Arla’s ‘mega dairy’ sets a new benchmark in environmental standards on a global scale.
Edina continues to work with the food processing industry across the UK and Ireland, supporting clients to reduce their energy costs, reduce carbon emissions and deliver improved business competitiveness. The inclusion of CHP to any factory will improve sustainability criteria, save on current operating costs and protect from the known future electrical power cost rises from the electricity grid.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 09 January 2017.
Heat sealing manufacturer Proseal has successfully supplied Cargill with equipment for an extended period of 15 years, producing over 150 tool sets and most recently multiple GT2 and GT2ex Twin machines to keep up with their continuing growth of production.
Cargill’s sustainability efforts are supported by Proseal’s constant drive to reduce power consumption. Proseal has developed a revolutionary high performance, high precision, high force electrical delivery system, that dramatically reduces air consumption normally associated with high speed tray sealing machinery up to 90%, delivering important energy and cost savings.
A Proseal machine fitted with the E-Seal® high force electric heat seal system benefits from an increased seal force of 600%, but consumes only 8% of the air that a machine fitted with an equivalent standard pneumatic cylinder would use.
Other benefits from this system include; the potential to increase machine productivity through a reduced seal time, improved MAP processes through ensuring accurate gas flush positioning and reducing gas flush cycle times.
The innovative E-seal® sealing system is available across Proseal’s range of automatic and semi-automatic tray sealers.
Posted in Innovation, Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 06 January 2017.
Water treatment has always been a major topic of interest for the food and beverage industry within the UK. The use of large volumes of water for various washing and cleaning regime’s means that the industry relies heavily on water treatment in order to reduce on their effluent disposal costs and in some cases recycling.
The development of modern Membrane Bio Reactor technologies (MBR) such as the Mitsubishi hollow fibre membranes allow the industry to benefit from compact, high performing treatment plants which are highly automated and easy to operate.
Modern remote access systems with data acquisition and real time monitoring allow plant operators to be in total control of their plants 24/7. MBR Installation references include a number of Branston Ltd, potato washing, packing and processing sites.
Cleaning and the packing of potatoes has a high water usage which brings with it significant economic and environmental issues. Branston needed a safe method to recycle the water rather than continuously drawing water from a borehole.
The process of recycling the wash water is complex as the water has to be purged not only of the inevitable soil content but also of the nitrogen and phosphorus within it from fertilizers and from organic contamination.
Branston announced that: “By working with several local agencies, we have successfully created a water recycling unit which, after just a few months of being up and running, is reducing our mains water usage by an incredible 52%.”
Indeed up to 90% of water at the South West site is now recycled, with any excess waste being safe to discharge off site.
With several award winning plants already supplied to the food and beverage sector MSE Systems has become a trusted partner in the supply of complete water treatment plants within the UK. For further information visit www.msesystems.co.uk.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 22 December 2016.
Pentair Haffmans has won the 2016 UK AD & Biogas Award, hosted by the Anaerobic Digestion Association (ADBA), in the category of ‘Best Process Optimisation’ for its advanced biogas upgrading technology.
Taking place on the evening of 6 July as part of this years’ UK AD & Biogas Trade Fair, the UK AD & Biogas Industry Awards showcased the very best plants, successes and people across the anaerobic digestion industry in the UK & beyond.
Ivan Williams, Pentair Haffmans Commercial Director and Haffmans Systems Business Leader, comments: ‘’On behalf of the Pentair Haffmans team we are honoured to receive this award from the AD Biogas Association, UK. We are strongly committed to our One Pentair Values of Win Right and Customer First. We highly appreciate the trust our customers continue to show in our products and services and remain dedicated to developing new, innovative and sustainable solutions for an ever changing world.’’
The judging panel recognised the positive impact that Pentair Haffmans’ technology brings to the operation of a biogas upgrading plant. Pentair Haffmans’ Advanced Plus biogas upgrading system recovers 100 per cent of the methane, which eliminates the environmentally-harmful methane slip that usually occurs with other upgrading techniques.
In addition, the CO2 by-product can be recovered and sold, providing plant operators with an additional source of income. The portion of environmentally-harmful greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere is reduced to almost zero, which makes this technology a future-proof investment.
Recently, Pentair Haffmans has extended its product range with the Compact Enclosed Skid CO2 Recovery System that can be connected to any existing biogas upgrading plant. In total, 71 entries across 17 categories were shortlisted for the award. For further information visit www.pentair.com.
Pictured (left to right): Charlotte Smith, ADBA; Olaf Müller, Vice President Hygienic Process Solutions; Francois Huberts, Haffmans Sales Manager Biogas Systems; Ivan Williams, Commercial Director CO2 & Biogas Systems; Ivan Rigney, Sales Director Food & Beverage Process Solutions UK, Ireland, Russia, & Eastern Europe; Jorgen Ballermann.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 14 December 2016.
Irish agri-tech business BHSL has agreed €13 million in sales of its pioneering manure-to-energy technology which is aimed at transforming the environmental impact of the global poultry industry. The 8 new BHSL Energy Centre units are being sold to large UK poultry farms and will all be installed by March 2017.
The patented technology will be shipped from BHSL’s plant in Ballagh, County Limerick, and represents the first fruits of an expansion strategy announced by the company’s chairman Denis Brosnan upon his appointment in October.
BHSL’s technology converts poultry manure into energy, which is then used to provide heating for future batches of chicks. BHSL’s system is the only one available that meets both US and EU environmental regulations, and allows farmers to use manure for power and heat rather than the traditional practice of transporting and spreading it on land as a fertiliser which is increasingly restricted by law due to pollution concerns.
This week BHSL also celebrated a world industry first, with technology it has installed in Maryland in the US and Norfolk in the UK producing electricity for the first time. The ability to generate electricity in addition to heat allows farmers use the power generated for other purposes on farm when there is less demand for heat in the poultry houses. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) solutions which generate electricity will also help farmers play their part in meeting the EU’s 2020 renewable energy targets
BHSL estimates that farms may be able to meet all their energy needs by using their manure as a fuel, thereby reducing costs and improving the sustainability of intensive poultry production.
BHSL has also expanded its sales team, adding 5 new employees to focus on opportunities in Poland, German and the Netherlands, in addition to existing sales and marketing initiatives in the US and UK.
BHSL recently commenced a process to raise at least €7 million in new equity to support its global expansion and open offices in the US, continental Europe and the Middle East. It expects to complete this process by the end of February.
BHSL Managing Director Declan O’Connor comments: “We are very pleased to have agreed sales of 8 new units in recent months, as we implement our commercialisation strategy, and poultry farmers become more aware of the cost savings and environmental regulatory benefits of using our technology. We are preparing for a busy period in the months ahead, with the aim to make sales in excess of €40m in the company’s next financial year.”
BHSL’s founder and Director of Research & Development Jack O’Connor says: “It was always the desire to generate electricity in addition to heat, and it is an exciting milestone to have now achieved this at sites in both the UK and US. Poultry farms have big electricity bills and there is enough manure created to provide both heat and electricity. In fact by generating electricity all the manure on a site can be utilised, completely removing the need to land spread manure which is increasingly considered a pollutant and restricted by law.”
Farmers who use BHSL’s system can benefit from:
- Reduced environmental impact: A significant reduction in the environmental impact thereby ensuring compliance with an increasingly strict regulatory environment, both in the US and EU
- Lower energy costs: A potential 95% reduction in energy costs through using heat from the manure as a source for heating a new batch of chicks, who must be started at a temperature of 32 degrees celsius/90 degrees Fahrenheit
- Improved animal welfare: Improved biosecurity and animal welfare, with reduced risk of diseases
- Improved performance: Faster growth – chicks reaching target weight 3 days quicker
- Additional revenue: Revenue earned from the sale of excess electricity and a (non-polluting) fertiliser by-product.
Posted in Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Innovation, Sustainability
Posted on 08 December 2016.
Nestlé and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are partnering to help farmers in Ghana produce high quality maize. The goal is to reduce mycotoxins, a natural, fungal contamination of crops that can damage health and lead to financial ruin for farmers.
The USAID Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) programme team will train over 113,000 farmers on procedures developed by Nestlé to reduce the mycotoxins in maize to acceptable levels. It will also support them to produce maize that meets Nestlé’s quality standards.
The partnership reinforces Nestlé’s commitment to help farming communities to increase yields, crop quality and income level.
Nestlé is already helping train about 26,000 farmers in good agricultural and storage practices to manage grain quality and safety.
Posted in Agriculture, CSR, Ingredients, Sustainability
Posted on 08 December 2016.
Tetra Pak has launched a new version of Tetra Brik® Aseptic 1000 Edge with Bio-based LightCap™ 30. This is the first aseptic carton package in the world to receive the highest class of Vinçotte certification for its use of renewable materials.
The new package is manufactured using a bio-based plastic film and cap, made from polymers derived from sugar cane. Combined with the paperboard, this lifts the share of materials from renewable sources in the package to above 80%, the threshold for four-star certification from Vinçotte, the Belgium-based accreditation agency that is world-recognised for assessing the renewable content of packaging products.
The new package also boasts up to 17% lower carbon footprint than a standard package, according to an independent lifecycle analysis conducted by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
“Increasing the use of renewable materials, defined as natural resources that can be replenished over time, plays an increasingly important role in mitigating resource scarcity and climate change,” says Philippe Dewolfs, President of the Certification Committee from Vinçotte “This is the only aseptic carton package we have certified so far and it has qualified for four-star certification.”
Charles Brand, Executive Vice President, Product Management and Commercial Operations at Tetra Pak, says: “There is a growing trend that consumers want to do more for the planet, and they want brand owners to help. With the authentic certification from Vinçotte, our new package gives customers credible information to communicate with consumers, and helps them differentiate their products.
“Our ultimate goal is to produce all of our packages using only sustainably-managed renewable materials. Launching the new Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Edge with Bio-based LightCap 30 package is a significant milestone for us on that journey.”
The new version of Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Edge with Bio-based LightCap 30 package is available to customers globally. Switching to the new version requires no additional capital equipment investment.
Posted in Innovation, Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 01 December 2016.
Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, has published its new sustainability strategy “Forever Chocolate” with the ambition to move sustainable chocolate from niche to norm in less than a decade.
In order to secure the future of chocolate, Barry Callebaut’s new sustainability strategy includes four targets that the company expects to achieve by 2025 and that address the biggest sustainability challenges in the chocolate supply chain:
1 Eradicate child labor from its supply chain;
2 Lift more than 500,000 cocoa farmers out of poverty
3 Become carbon and forest positive
4 Have 100% sustainable ingredients in all its products.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique, chief executive of Barry Callebaut, comments: “We have been pioneering sustainability in cocoa and chocolate for many years, and we have made great progress. But despite all our efforts, only 23% of the cocoa beans we source are from sustainability programs. We are determined to step change this and have 100% of our chocolate and its ingredient sustainably sourced by 2025.”
Antoine de Saint-Affrique elaborates: “The targets we have set ourselves after a thorough materiality analysis are bold, and we recognize that we do not have all the answers. What we know for sure is that we cannot reach these targets by ourselves. That is why we intend to start a movement that also includes governments, NGOs, consumers and our customers. Sustainable chocolate is as much about governments creating an enabling policy environment and enforcing legislation, NGOs creating awareness and consumers making sustainable choices, as it is about industry commitment and investment. ‘Forever Chocolate’ is an open invitation to work with us in finding structural solutions to the sustainability challenges in the chocolate supply chain. Without sustainability, there cannot be growth. By taking on the challenges we face as an industry, we will make ‘Forever Chocolate’ a reality.”
Barry Callebaut will publish each year a report on the progress it is making towards the four targets it has defined.
With annual sales of about SFr6.7 billion (Eur 6.1 billion) in fiscal year 2015/16, the Zurich-based Barry Callebaut Group operates more than 50 production facilities worldwide and employs close to 10,000 people. The Barry Callebaut Group serves the entire food industry, from industrial food manufacturers to artisanal and professional users of chocolate, such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakers, hotels, restaurants or caterers. The two global brands catering to the specific needs of these Gourmet customers are Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®.
Posted in Agriculture, CSR, Ingredients, Sustainability
Posted on 01 December 2016.
The move towards sustainable food retailing shows no sign of slowing down, with consumers more aware of environmental issues than ever before. Research from Globescan revealed that 92 per cent of shoppers think food companies should focus their efforts on securing the future sustainability of food, with two-thirds believing that farmers should be paid more for their produce. As more food retailers start to reap the benefits of marketing lower carbon products, will they now put their money where their mouth is and support the supply chain in developing new anaerobic digestion (AD) infrastructure?
“The vast majority of the UK’s 200 on-farm AD plants have been built with Feed-in Tariff support,” says Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA). “With that incentive heavily reduced and constrained, we are now looking at how we build the next 200. As many retailers enjoy the ‘green halo’ that comes from marketing low carbon products, is it now time for incentive cuts to be compensated by the support of supermarkets and large food retailers?”
The role that retailers can play in the future of AD is just one of the topics on the agenda at the ADBA National Conference 2016, taking place at One Great George Street, Westminster on 8 December. Now in its eighth year, the 2016 event will bring together industry, academia and policy makers to assess how the UK’s changing relationship with the world and the priorities of a new government can create future opportunities. Key speakers include Matthew Bell (Committee on Climate Change), Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP, Richard Court (National Grid), Chris Huhne (Former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate), Alison Fergusson (Ofwat), Iain Gulland (Zero Waste Scotland) and David Newman (President, World Biogas Association).
Taking a lead on food waste
Another keynote speaker at the ADBA National Conference is WRAP’s Dr Richard Swannell, who will present on the current global food waste challenge and how food waste recycling and AD can help reduce food waste. “The UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 sets out a clear challenge to tackle food waste. The aim is to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains. There is a strong case to reduce food waste and to increase separate collection and recycling around the world, not only for the benefit of the environment but also consumers, food producers and the AD industry. My talk will consider how the world might manage food waste more successfully, looking at the scale of the challenge ahead of us and also the size of the prize for the sector.”
Global AD industry set to reach $1trn and deliver green energy more cheaply than coal
The rewards to be had are great – with its current value set at $19.5bn, significant improvements in AD efficiency and plant operation, through advances in R&I currently being discussed, will see the global biogas industry growing exponentially and producing green energy more cheaply than coal. At the same time AD will be playing a critical role in addressing some of the world’s most imminent and critical challenges, including climate change, waste recycling, wastewater treatment and sanitation, and food and energy security.
According to Charlotte Morton, the UK’s strong research and development base – in partnership with its mature and robust operational sector which comprises over 540 AD plants – means the UK is well placed to take a leading role in the global AD revolution: “Improving the AD process – for example, by looking at ways to match the digestion efficiency being achieved in nature – is just one area of focus for our world-leading academic researchers. With a return to a more supportive policy environment, this could start to deliver the industry’s huge potential around the world. The UK has a golden opportunity to be a global leader in what has the potential to become a $1 trillion biogas industry, exporting expertise and equipment worth billions of pounds, and creating tens of thousands of jobs to replace those being lost in the fossil fuel industries.”
The scale of the opportunity will be a key topic at the ADBA National Conference, which will also cover why England is still lagging behind Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in regard to separate food waste collections; where green gas fits in the UK’s energy strategy; how water sector deregulation is changing organic waste markets; and how the biomethane sector will develop between 2017-2021.
For the full programme and to book your place, go to adbioresources.org.
Posted in Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 28 November 2016.
North Sea cod fishermen will be able to land every catch – not just cod – more easily following the European Parliament’s recent decision. The updated regulation will remove limits on the number of days a vessel can spend in a fishing area and thus remove all obstacles to complying with the landing obligation in full.
The update will amend the 2008 Regulation establishing a long-term-plan for cod stocks in the Kattegat, the North Sea, the Skagerrak and the eastern Channel, the west of Scotland and the Irish Sea, and fisheries exploiting those stocks. This will make it fully compatible with the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), by applying the obligation to land all catches in full.
MEPs removed the rule for calculating fishing effort – i.e. power of each vessel in kW plus the number of days it is present within a given area – as this led fishermen to discard unwanted catches by hampering further adaptation of fishing patterns, such as the choice of area and gear.
Under the new rule, fishermen will face no obstacles to landing all their catches as they will no longer be subject to time limits. The landing obligation and the discard ban are key elements of the new CFP.
The long-term cod plan aims to “maintain the cod stocks above levels which can produce maximum sustainable yield” (MSY).
The new regulation will enter into force on the fourth day following its publication in the EU Official Journal of the EU and will apply from 1 January 2017.
Posted in Regulations, Sustainability
Posted on 25 November 2016.
Companies that clearly demonstrate the climate change credentials of their products could secure a competitive and commercial advantage, with two thirds of consumers across the UK, France and Germany saying they would like to see a recognisable carbon footprint label on products. This was a key finding from a study of over 5,000 consumers across Europe’s three largest economies, which was conducted by YouGov for the Carbon Trust in the run up to this year’s international climate change negotiations in Marrakech.
This could create growth opportunities for greener products, services and brands, especially in France where three-quarters of the shoppers say they would feel more positive about a company that has reduced the carbon footprint of their products, of which 30 percent would feel much more positive. A majority of consumers in the UK and Germany felt the same, with 56 percent and 50 percent respectively saying they would also feel more positive.
“It is possible that we are seeing a ‘Paris Effect’ after the success of securing a global agreement on climate change last year,” says Darran Messem, Managing Director of Certification at the Carbon Trust. “Businesses that communicate their achievements in reducing emissions can secure a reputational advantage over competitors.”
Product carbon footprint labelling was originally introduced into Europe by the Carbon Trust in 2007, with major commitments from retailers and consumer goods companies. However, although carbon footprint labels are still found on supermarket shelves today, there has been an overall reduction in the use of labels as levels of consumer concern appeared to wane in the aftermath of the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009.
However, the survey did highlight an apparent value-action gap. Although a majority of consumers express that it is a good idea to use a carbon footprint label, just over half admit that they do not generally think about a product’s carbon footprint when making purchasing decisions.
But this is counterbalanced by a significant group of actively green consumers – approximately one in five shoppers in the UK, France and Germany that do consider climate change impact when making purchasing decisions. And 37 percent say that it is important for them to know that businesses they buy from are taking action to reduce the carbon footprint of their products.
“It seems we are reaching a tipping point,” Messem explains. “The demand for sustainable products is there in principle and actively green consumer behaviour is following in its wake. And this is not just happening in Europe. For example at the Carbon Trust we are actively working with the Chinese government on a major new scheme to enable greener purchasing behaviour, with a pilot taking place in Guangdong, which is an economic powerhouse of a province with a population of over 100 million.”
“We now have a binding global deal on climate change and consumer attitudes are shifting, which will create opportunities for companies with more sustainable products,” Messem adds. “Businesses need to be aware of the risks and opportunities that this will create. Environmental impact is increasingly a criteria for competition, alongside price and quality. Stronger regulation and changing consumer demand is a powerful combination, businesses that take early action and build sustainability into their brand will reap the rewards.”
Posted in Environment, Marketing, Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 24 November 2016.
Irish chicken producer Manor Farm was named Food Producer of the Year at the Agribusiness Awards. The competition received more than 200 entries from participating companies throughout Ireland. The chicken producer’s commitment to innovation and sustainability were the two major themes in winning the prestigious award.
Vincent Carton, Managing Director of Manor Farm, praises ” the dedication and commitment of the team at Manor Farm in helping to drive the company’s business values of innovation and sustainability.”
The agri food sector in Ireland accounts for more than 7% of Ireland’s GDP according to the CSO. Manor Farm is an important contributor to the agri-food sector in Ireland and to the local economy. Based in Shercock, Co. Cavan, the family owned company employs more than 800 people, and a further 1,000 indirectly, from farmers growing wheat and other grains to suppliers.
Ireland has one of the highest consumption rates of poultry consumption in Europe. The consumption of poultry accounts for one third of the nation’s total meat consumption.
Manor Farm is a 100% Irish and family owned food producing business. The Carton family has been producing Irish chicken since the late 18th Century. All of Manor Farm’s chickens are produced in Ireland and are fully traceable. Manor Farm is a member and firm supporter of Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme. The producer’s commitment to sustainability focuses on reducing emissions to air, water and land; reducing waste; and using energy and resources efficiently.
Pictured (from left to right): Justin Carton of Manor Farm; Tom Kelly of Enterprise Ireland; Joyce Jonston of Manor Farm; and John McHale of Manor Farm.
Posted in Agriculture, Innovation, Sustainability
Posted on 23 November 2016.
Belgian pre-fried and frozen potato products manufacturer Agristo is teaming up with Egemin Automation for the third time in a row for the construction of a new, fully automated high-bay deepfreeze warehouse. The new warehouse will be built in Wielsbeke (90 km West of Brussels) on a 25-hectare lot. Alongside the storage facilities, Agristo is also erecting new production buildings and green zones. The investment needs to support extra production capacity, further improve Agristo’s quality insurance and expand the company’s storage capacity.
Work started on the new site at the beginning of September. The warehouse will be nearly 45 metres high, and with 15 storage levels it will accommodate 50,000 pallets, or 35,000 tons of frozen fries. The warehouse is due to go into operation in autumn 2017. Agristo already has two Egemin high-bay warehouses in use, in Tilburg (2012) and Nazareth (2015).
Egemin is handling the complete intralogistics infrastructure and the automation of the warehouse operations. It is providing the warehouse racks for the clad rack structure, as well as the pallet stacker cranes, the conveyor system and pallet lifts that connect production and shipping with the high-bay warehouse. Agristo will use Egemin’s E’wms software for automatic control and management of its new warehouse and all transport systems.
“Automation means that it is easier for Agristo to guarantee the quality of its products,” says Marcel Spruijt, Sales Manager at Egemin. “The cold chain is never interrupted even for a moment. The pallet conveyor system automatically conveys the frozen fries from production to the high-bay warehouse. In addition, fewer actions are needed to move products to the warehouse, which reduces the risk of damage to the pallets and packaging.”
The high-performance warehouse concept has a double outfeed conveyor system on two levels. This means that Agristo can handle large buffers very quickly making it possible to load trucks from the warehouse in barely 15-20 minutes.
The clad rack structure of the deepfreeze warehouse is designed to use energy sustainably. “The production and storage of frozen fries takes a lot of energy,” says Carmen Wallays, Procurement & Logistics Director at Agristo. “When designing this new project with Egemin, we therefore paid a lot of attention to efficiency, sustainability and the environment.”
As a result, the roof and wall insulation is thicker than the standard for deepfreeze warehouses. The pallet stacker cranes have an internal energy recovery system.The system collects the energy released during lowering and braking operations of the cranes and feeds the energy back into the power grid. In this way, the cranes save up to 20% energy, less heat is released into the warehouse and less cooling is required.
Posted in Chilling & Refrigeration, Logistics, Storage, Sustainability
Posted on 23 November 2016.
Irish businesses are being called on to take action in helping to save the bees. The National Biodiversity Date Centre and Bord Bia have launched a Framework for Businesses as part of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, which identifies actions that companies can take to help protect pollinators and the livelihoods of farmers who rely on their invaluable pollination service.
Companies are being urged to sign up and implement the plan’s business guidelines. The guidelines suggest 18 practical actions that any business can take in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Some of the actions include:
- protecting areas that are providing food and shelter for pollinators
- mowing lawns using a pollinator friendly regimen
- install a bee or insect hotel
- raising awareness in your community or supply chain
- planting pollinator friendly bulbs, trees, shrubs and flower beds
- and reducing the use of pesticides.
The Importance of Bees and Pollinators
Pollinators, especially bees, make up an important part of Ireland’s biodiversity. Irish pollinators are in decline, with one third of Ireland’s 98 bee species threatened by extinction in Ireland. The annual value of pollinators for human food crops is at least €53 million. Dr. Jane Stout, deputy chair of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan Steering Group, says: “Without pollinators it would be impossible for farmers or gardeners to affordably produce many of the fruits and vegetables we need for a healthy diet. Pollinators are also necessary for a healthy environment and landscape. Without them, the 78% of wild plants in Ireland that require insect pollination would disappear.The overall strategy, the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, makes Ireland one of the first countries in Europe with an approach to address this problem.”
Commenting on the Irish agri-food industry’s efforts, Jim O’Toole, Bord Bia’s director of sustainable development, says: “Bord Bia has worked closely with the National Biodiversity Data Centre to support the implementation of the Pollinator Plan through Origin Green, it’s national sustainability programme for the agri-food industry. Support of the Pollinator Plan offers businesses multiple benefits, such as demonstration of their sustainability credentials and a way of differentiating a business to key customers who require strong sustainability commitments in an increasingly competitive market. Together with the National Biodiversity Data Centre, we are asking businesses. regardless of their sector or size or land holdings to play an active role in helping pollinators.”
Along with the business benefits that come from supporting the Pollinator Plan, registered companies will receive a certificate of participation, as well as support in developing plans to take pollinator friendly actions within the business. Once businesses have taken pollinator friendly actions, they may also receive recognition for their work by logging their efforts on the publicly available mapping system, ‘Actions for Pollinators’. Furthermore, commitment to the plan encourages and increases employee engagement through relevant training and events and improves employee health and wellbeing, as well as supporting community engagement and strengthening relationships with local groups.
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015 – 2020
Last year, the National Biodiversity Date Centre and Bord Bia, along with 68 governmental and non-governmental organisations, came together to form a shared plan of action, to help pollinators and improve biodiversity across Ireland. The national plan provides a framework to support Corporate Social Responsibility objectives, as well as coordination and support through Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme.
For more information or to sign up, visit www.biodiversityireland.ie/pollinator-plan.
Pictured with an insect hotel that provides shelter for insects and is an example one of the practical actions a business can take are: Dr. Jane Stout, deputy chair of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan Steering Group, and Jim O’Toole, Bord Bia’s director of sustainable development.
Posted in Agriculture, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 22 November 2016.
WeFarm, a peer-to-peer agtech network that enables small-scale farmers to access and share vital agricultural information even without internet, has reached over 100,000 users and secured £1.3 million in seed funding. The round is led by LocalGlobe, a UK-based venture capital firm focused on seed investing, whose other investments include Citymapper, Lovefilm, Moo, TweetDeck, TransferWise and Zoopla. The seed round will go towards bringing the benefits of WeFarm to thousands of new farmers.
Approximately 500 million small-scale farmers around the world provide over 70% of the world’s food. However, up to 90% have no access to the internet and they are often isolated and lack access to even basic agricultural information and new ideas. With the world’s population projected to grow from 7 to 9 billion by 2050 and climate change an entrenched reality, increased pressures on the global food supply chain will only persist. Farmers and businesses without access to problem-solving technologies and data are at risk of being left behind.
WeFarm has developed a peer-to-peer mobile network which enables small-scale farmers to access crowdsourced information and advice from other farmers, even when offline. By sending a free SMS, farmers can receive accurate answers to any agricultural queries. The service uses machine learning technology to connect incoming questions to those users on the system who have the most relevant knowledge. Topics discussed on the network range from how to stop baby chicks from dying to where to find a market to sell onions.
WeFarm launched in 2015 and now boasts a community of over 100,000 farmers across Kenya, Uganda and Peru. This is an unprecedented rate of growth considering the ‘off-grid’ nature of their end users, and to date they have used the service a huge amount; sharing more than 15 million pieces of information. In 2015 WeFarm was part of the Wayra UK accelerator in London, which supported the business in its growth trajectory.
WeFarm Founder & CEO, Kenny Ewan, says: “Connecting farmers to relevant advice from other farmers is a completely new approach. The majority of information delivered to people living in poverty is top-down, whereas we are using a crowdsourcing model to unlock generations worth of grassroots knowledge, ideas, and experience among farmers. This is why WeFarm has already secured more than 100,000 registered members in an industry where less than 0.1 % of mobile apps ever reach even half that number.”
LocalGlobe partner Saul Klein says: “WeFarm is building and empowering a community of farmers, dramatically improving their experience of obtaining advice. In doing so, WeFarm has created an SMS and web-based network that’s enjoying real user growth and engagement. We believe that this network, whether delivered on feature or smart phones, will, over time, become an important channel for farmers into the wider food supply chain. We are thrilled that WeFarm has reached over 100,000 users and look forward to working with Kenny and his team.”
Kenny Ewan continues: “In five years time we want to connect 100 million small-scale farmers to our network. There is still massive global inequality around access to information, but by designing services for basic mobiles phones you can create social impact on an unprecedented scale as well as develop a highly profitable social business.”
As a result of WeFarm’s crowdsourcing approach, the firm is also generating unique user data on the world’s supply chain and commodities, as well as on populations in the developing world who are yet to have internet access. WeFarm generates revenue by supplying actionable insights to businesses, NGOs and governments. The impact of this important data could be extremely significant in the fight to eradicate poverty and hunger in the developing world. Using this data, governments can track major issues such as disease and drought, and businesses can save millions of pounds by preventing crop diseases from ravaging their supply chains.
Posted in Agriculture, Innovation, IT, Sustainability
Posted on 21 November 2016.
Mondelēz International has laid out new milestones and requirements for suppliers to work toward a sustainable supply of palm oil as part of its updated Palm Oil Action Plan. The update advances the company’s goal to make sustainable palm oil the mainstream option, based on the principles that production should be on legally held land; not lead to deforestation or loss of peat land; respect human rights, including land rights; and not use forced or child labor.
The new plan builds on progress made since June 2014. As such, at the end of 2015, 90 percent of the palm oil sourced by the company was traceable to the mill, and 91 percent was purchased from suppliers with published policies that are aligned with Mondelēz International’s principles.
Mondelēz International was the first multinational consumer goods company to require suppliers to track oil sourced from third-party suppliers as well as their own farms, and believes this was a critical step in catalyzing systemic change in sustainable palm oil.
“Our suppliers have done great work to align their policies and make their palm oil more traceable,” says Walter Nobles, Vice President, Global Raw Materials. “But more is needed to drive real progress on the ground, so we’re asking them to improve practices across their entire operations and engage their third-party suppliers — who supply much of the oil they trade — to implement the same practices.
“We’ll exclude suppliers who don’t immediately cease deforestation in their own concessions or exclude deforestation in their third-party supply.”
Key new provisions in the updated plan require suppliers to:
* Map and assess the risk for all supplying mills on Global Forest Watch
* Provide assurance that no deforestation occurs on their own concessions and exclude third-party suppliers who do not immediately cease deforestation
* Work with recognized third-party experts to protect labor rights
The updated palm oil action plan complements Mondelēz International’s wider commitment to sustainably source key agricultural commodities. In 2013, the company achieved RSPO coverage for 100 percent of the palm oil it bought, two years ahead of its commitment.
Posted in CSR, Ingredients, Sustainability
Posted on 14 November 2016.
Avery Dennison has collaborated with partners throughout the supply chain namely Viridor and PET UK, to help Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) reduce waste, costs, and the carbon footprint of Smartwater production in the United Kingdom.
According to Joe Franses, director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Coca-Cola European Partners: “This example shows how we can turn the crisis of resources into a business opportunity through close collaboration across the value chain. Businesses which can be truly innovative with the products and services they provide, optimising the resources they use and encouraging consumers to do the same, have the potential to transform our economy.”
Xander van der Vlies, sustainability director for Avery Dennison Materials Group Europe, says that CCEP wanted to further improve Smartwater production in line with its focus on recycling, sustainability and creating a circular economy: “Avery Dennison was a natural choice of partner for this project, given our ambitious year-on-year sustainability goals, and the various initiatives we promote around the reduction of waste created in the self-adhesive label value chain. We have close relationships both with PET UK and with CCEP’s waste management company Viridor, and together we have been able to establish a strategy that saves on waste and emissions while at the same time giving CCEP concrete business benefits and cost reductions.”
More than 50 million bottles of Smartwater were produced in 2015. The PET liners used (carrying the self-adhesive labels before dispensing) generated more than 40 tonnes of waste in that year, costing around £8,500 in disposal/handling costs. Under the new recycling scheme, PET UK shreds and extrudes the waste PET liner and then produces a material suitable for making new items such as PET staple fiber, strapping or thermoformable sheets. There will also be significant savings in CO2 emissions – around 180-200 tonnes in 2016.
Van der Vlies notes that creating awareness on PET recycling will continue: “Since we launched this initiative with PET UK in 2014, we have signed up many wine, spirits, beer, and beverage brands. Avery Dennison has set an ambitious sustainability goal for 2025 of eliminating 70% of liner waste from the industry value chain.”
Posted in Environment, Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 10 November 2016.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) 14th Annual Roundtable Meeting (RT14) urged corporate leaders, NGOs, policy makers and academics to step up and join forces to ensure an effective and sustainable palm oil ecosystem. Following the success of the RSPO NEXT discussion last year, which called for stakeholders “to work together, rather than competing to be more sustainable than your neighbour,” this year’s RT14 theme, “Learning to Live Together: From Vision to Transformation” is prompting stakeholders to share knowledge and practical expertise.
“Inclusive partnership is more crucial than ever at this stage as we embrace the concept of market transformation in committing of not leaving anyone behind. Stakeholders must increase their participation to improve effectiveness. Now comes the hard question. How do we ensure these certification schemes are benefiting sustainability? Only through strong collaboration and collective action, we will be able to achieve this vision,” said Datuk Darrel Webber, Chief Executive Officer of the RSPO.
The RT14 also emphasised social issues within the palm oil producing regions, related to contract labour, gender, migration and occupational health and safety and how the whole supply chain and invested stakeholders can contribute in addressing these issues, and move towards a truly sustainable future for the industry.
During the conference, the RSPO reaffirmed its commitment to lead the change by ensuring that no stakeholders are left behind in the process of transformation, which includes the smallholders by providing them with access to global markets.
“There are over 3 million oil palm smallholders worldwide, who account for 30% of the total global production of palm oil while making up 40% of the land coverage used for palm oil cultivation. As part of RSPO’s efforts to support the smallholders, we have implemented various activities and local outreach in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and more recently Colombia and Ghana,” Datuk Webber added.
In addition, at the RT14 the RSPO launched a video campaign to promote its new RSPO Trademark Mobile App, which will allow consumers to identify and geolocate products carrying the RSPO Trademark in a bid to increase consumer awareness on Certified Sustainable Palm Oil and to help consumers have a say with their shopping choices.
The progress made on Jurisdictional approach were also highlighted at the conference. In particular, the government of Ecuador achieved a major milestone by demonstrating firm support of sustainable palm oil. The Ecuadorian Amazon is one of Ecuador’s highest producing regions. Effort is concentrated on transforming parts of the landscape that have been deforested for agricultural use with a transversal focus on sustainability. Launching a pilot programme utilising RSPO principles, the government has established coalitions with stakeholders such as palm oil companies and non-profit organisations like Ancupa and UN-REDD (UN-Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).
The RT14 was held in the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok, Thailand from 9th to 10th November 2016 and was attended by H.E. General Prawit Wongsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand along with over 800 representatives from leading figures in the palm oil industry, corporate leaders in sustainability, financial institutions, policymakers, and academics as well as social and environmental NGOs from 46 countries.
Posted in Agriculture, CSR, Environment, Ingredients, Sustainability
Posted on 04 November 2016.
Cargill’s cocoa & chocolate business has established its own licensed buying company (LBC) following the successful application for a licence from the Ghanaian Cocoa Board (Cocobod). The new LBC is now fully operational and Cargill has purchased its first consignment of beans directly from cocoa farmers in Ghana, with around 30,000 farmers already registered with the LBC. By directly sourcing the beans, the company is now able to diversify the way it sources sustainable beans and rolls out the Cargill Cocoa Promise more effectively to better serve its customers.
“Direct sourcing of certified beans from farmers via our own LBC in Ghana is an exciting new business model for us,” says Lionel Soulard, Managing Director West-Africa, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate. “Cocoa sustainability is at the heart of our global growth strategy for cocoa and chocolate. Developing a direct sourcing capability in the world’s second largest cocoa producing country means we will be better placed to meet growing demand for sustainable, certified cocoa.”
Lionel Soulard adds: “We are confident this business model will add value at every level particularly for farmers who, as a result of working directly with us, will make a better living out of cocoa farming, and we are really proud of this development.”
Cargill has been operating a cocoa processing plant in Ghana since 2008. The move to direct sourcing of cocoa via its 60 strong team in the country reflects the company’s commitment to growing the business in Ghana. It will also enable a more direct approach to supporting more productive, profitable and sustainable farms.
The new purchasing model will be fully sustainable and fully certified. By operating its own LBC, Cargill will implement high standards of safety, integrity and quality throughout the supply chain in Ghana.
“We already source directly from cocoa farmers or farmer organisations in the other cocoa producing countries in which we operate. By moving to this model in Ghana we will be much better positioned to fully implement the Cargill Cocoa Promise,” Lionel Soulard explains. “This means expanding our sustainability activities to enable farmers to benefit from premium payments for certified sustainable cocoa beans. Farming communities will also be able to benefit from training, community and farm development support which will also help with improving their livelihoods. For example around community support, we will be building four new schools to serve the children of cocoa farmers in the four districts where we will operate.”
“It is our objective to work hand in hand with the Ghanaian authorities to improve the livelihoods of cocoa communities for generations to come,” concludes Lionel Soulard.
Pictured are just some of the almost 30,000 cocoa farmers who have already registered with Cargill’s new LBC.
Posted in CSR, Ingredients, Sustainability
Posted on 02 November 2016.
In preparation for the December Fisheries Council, where EU Member States will negotiate fishing quotas in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2017, the European Commission is presenting its proposal on fishing quotas for next year in the Atlantic and the North Sea. This is the annual scheme for the amount of fish which can be caught by European Union fishermen from the main commercial fish stocks next year, also referred to as Total Allowable Catches (TACs). On the basis of the scientific advice received, the Commission proposes to maintain or increase the current fishing quotas for 42 stocks which are in good health, and reduce catches for 28 stocks which are faring poorly.
Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, comments: “Our goal is clear: we need to bring all stocks to healthy and sustainable levels as soon as possible so that our fishing industry can remain viable. This is not up to the Commission alone: stakeholders are fundamental enablers in this process. We are proposing an ambitious programme for 2017 and the only way forward will be to work with fishermen, scientists and national authorities to develop real solutions that lead to fisheries that are both economically profitable and sustainable.”
Later this autumn the Commission will also propose some additional quotas, the so-called ‘quota top-ups’, for the fisheries that fall under the landing obligation in 2017. These extra quotas are granted on account of the fact that fishermen can no longer discard the fish caught unintentionally but have to land it. The allowed quota is therefore increased to facilitate the transition to the new system of no discards. The exact top-ups per fishery will be determined on the basis of scientific advice expected in mid-November and of the quantities that need to be landed according to the regional discard plans.
The proposal covers stocks managed by the EU alone and stocks managed with third countries, such as Norway, or through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) across the world’s oceans. International negotiations for many of the stocks concerned are still ongoing and some stocks are awaiting scientific advice. For these, the figures will be included at a later stage, once the negotiations with third countries and within RFMOs have taken place.
The current proposal will be submitted for discussion and adoption by the Ministers of the Member States at the Fisheries Council in December, to be applied as from 1 January 2017.
Details of the Proposal
The Commission’s objective, under the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, is to have all stocks fished sustainably by respecting the Maximum Sustainable Yield of a fishery. Fishing at Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) levels allows the fishing industry to take the highest amount of fish from the sea while keeping fish stocks healthy. The Commission proposes maximum fishing levels on the basis of scientific advice received from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). This year, ICES advice was given for 34 stocks.
* Stocks at sustainable levels
For some EU stocks already at MSY, such as anglerfish in Southern Waters, common sole in the Skagerrak/Kattegat and sole in the Western Channel, the Commission proposes to raise the TACs. Increases are also proposed for Norway lobster in the Kattegat/Skagerrak, horse mackerel in Atlantic Iberian waters and haddock in the Irish Sea and Celtic Sea. The continued growth of the Northern hake stock also justifies a new substantial increase in the TAC.
* Stocks fished unsustainably
At the same time, some stocks still give reasons for concern – for example cod stocks continue to decline in West of Ireland, in the Celtic Sea, in the Bay of Biscay and in Atlantic Iberian Waters. Sole in the Irish Sea is very vulnerable. The advice for whiting in the West of Scotland is for zero catches and decreases are proposed for megrims and pollack in the Celtic and Irish seas. In the Kattegat a reduction for plaice is proposed.
* The scientific advice for sea bass is also very alarming. The Commission has included in its proposal actions for managing sea bass in 2017. These management measures would allow some fishing possibilities to the small-scale fishermen that depend on this stock, but take into account that ICES advises to cut the overall landings of sea bass.
* Stocks for which scientific data are lacking
For cases where data are not sufficient to properly estimate the stock’s size, the Commission proposal follows the advice of ICES, i.e. cuts or increases of a maximum of 20%. Following a common statement in 2012, 26 data-limited stocks were set at a lower TAC but maintained for 5 years. For 2 of these stocks, updated scientific advice demonstrates that the stocks have declined further and an additional TAC reduction is now needed. This concerns sprat in the Channel and plaice in the Celtic sea and South-West of Ireland.
Posted in News, Regulations, Sustainability
Posted on 02 November 2016.
According to the latest figures from IRI, a leading provider of FMCG market intelligence and predictive, actionable insight, government targets to reduce the number of plastic bags used by English shoppers has not only been met, but exceeded. A price levy of 5p per bag came into force in England last October, following similar charges enforced some time ago in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Previously, supermarkets gave away the bags for free.
Whilst the introduction of the levy saw sales of “5p levy” plastic single use bags increase from 138 million units (52 weeks to 12 Oct 2015) to 1.1 billion (52 weeks to 10 Oct 2016), an additional 985 million bags, this is a significant drop from the 8.5 billion bags reportedly given away free by supermarkets in England, Scotland and Wales in 2014. The number of shopping bags overall, including ‘bags for life’, increased from 258 million to 1.7 billion, an additional 1.4 billion bags. Supermarket value sales of plastic and fabric shopping bags increased from £50 million to £147 million, with much of this additional £97 million of revenue going to charity.
“While it still appears that large volumes of plastic bags are being used by shoppers, the Government’s target of an 80% reduction in plastic bag production was easily met,” according to IRI’s Head of Strategic Insight for Retail, Martin Wood. “The total of 1.1 billion single use bags in 2015/16 is just 13.2% of the 8.5 billion figure, so close to a 90% drop, which is astonishing.”
While sales of natural fabric bags, such as cotton, jute and Jaco, grew by 23% in value, these only account for a fraction (under 1 million) of the additional bags sold. According to IRI’s Retail Advantage, which measures supermarket value and volume sales data, the biggest growth came from woven/plastic bags, which sold an additional 431 million bags.
More surprising was a clear growth in sales of bin liners, following the price levy, up from £156 million to £169 million in value sales, a rise of 8.25%, and up 11.3% in volume sales to 90 million packs (52 weeks to 1 October 2016) – at a time when most household categories are in decline.
IRI’s Wood, adds: “The correlating growth in the bin liner category suggests that some people who previously used free plastic bags for collecting and disposing of their rubbish are now having to buy bin liners instead!”
According to IRI data, the average price per bag paid came down across all types of multi-use bags, except insulated bags, which went up from £1.24 to £1.50/bag.
Posted in Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 02 November 2016.
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. Engineered Sustainability™ by Rexnord is a product program to help you design durable conveyor systems with components that guarantee optimal product handling without compromising the ability to meet targets on safety improvement, increased productivity, water reduction and energy savings.
The program highlights the on-going commitment to creating and manufacturing environmentally-friendly conveyor equipment. Selecting the right conveyor equipment can deliver impressive energy reduction, water reduction and improved conveyor safety in comparison to more traditional conveyor concepts. Rexnord believes that everything starts with the voice of the customer. The products support customers’ goals and have been developed and manufactured in line with what customers need. KPI’s, safety goals and sustainability goals such as water usage in their production facilities are studied. All this information is the basis to define Rexnord’s strategy in this area.
The ‘Engineered Sustainability by Rexnord’ programme is now being successfully delivered and the upcoming BrauBeviale exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany is Rexnord’s latest opportunity to deliver its ‘Engineered Sustainability by Rexnord’ message. The booth at the trade show helps to illustrate what Rexnord can do to help. Customers and potential customers can test the conveyor equipment and see the real time energy savings. It’s a powerful way to show the advantages of working with Rexnord.
The company will also be launching two new conveyor chain designs, which have been created and manufactured with the same message in mind. The two new chains have been developed to deliver excellent benefits for both OEMs and end users, showing how environmentally-friendly advantages such as energy savings can be achieved. For example, the chains use a plastic that lowers friction as it is self-lubricating and the weight of the chain itself is also lowered.
Rexnord’s skilled engineers will help you obtain the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), resulting in significant cost savings by improving operational safety, efficiency and productivity.
Posted in Materials Handling, Sustainability
Posted on 01 November 2016.
No food company deliberately creates unnecessary waste. However, the volume of food waste created over the festive period is typically 30 per cent higher than the rest of the year. Finding a cost-effective, speedy and green way of treating this additional waste can be a headache for food firms at their busiest time of year. Fortunately, there is a solution.
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is an increasingly popular food waste treatment option turning waste into renewable energy – biogas. The last seven years have seen an unprecedented growth in the number of AD plants throughout the UK, rising from less than 50 in 2009 to 381 today (excluding the water sector). A fifth of these plants (79) process food waste, turning this valuable resource into renewable energy and biofertiliser (digestate).
In December, it is estimated that 230,000 tonnes of additional food waste is generated in the UK. If this extra waste was sent to AD, it would create 124 MWe of energy – enough to power 220,000 homes throughout December, or a city the size of Southampton.
The Price of Food Waste
While the priority for food businesses should always be food waste prevention and minimisation, the increased complexity and uncertainty around Christmas ordering and production schedules means that an increase in food waste at this time of year is inevitable. Each Christmas, two million turkeys, 11 million potatoes, 17 million sprouts, 12 million carrots and 7.5 million mince pies are wasted, as shopping habits change and consumption rises. The cost of this additional festive food waste to the UK economy is an eye-watering £64 million per year. But not only does this increase in food waste impact on food firms’ profit margins, there is also an environmental price to pay – leaving food waste to rot in landfill causes the release of methane into the atmosphere, a gas with 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.
Sending food waste to an anaerobic digestion plant (also knows as an AD plant or biogas plant) significantly lowers greenhouse gas emissions compared to landfill and incineration. A naturally occurring process of decomposition whereby organic material including crops, farm and food waste is broken down, anaerobic digestion is a waste treatment option that is quickly becoming a favourite of food manufacturers, producers and retailers. And it’s not solely down to the associated ‘green halo’ that comes from doing the right thing for the environment; today’s modern AD plants are also a flexible, cost-effective and hassle-free way to treat waste food.
Last Christmas North London-based Willen Biogas turned thousands of tonnes of mince pies into biogas.
No Room at the (B)inn
As waste volumes increase during the festive period, waste hauliers’ capacity fills up fast. Food companies can suddenly find themselves faced with a mountain of surplus Christmas food waste that their usual waste carrier is unable to take – or will only treat for a vastly inflated fee. No company wants its waste hanging around for longer than is absolutely necessary, and some sites also have the additional issue of waste permits, which may prohibit them from keeping their waste on site for any length of time. Food firms should plan ahead for an alternative place to send their additional Christmas food waste and seek out their local AD plant.
Headache Gone – Waste Collected Within 24 hours
Last Christmas, food businesses based in London, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire sent thousands of tonnes of mince pies, sprouts and turkeys to London-based AD plant Willen Biogas. “We helped a number of local food companies with their last-minute Christmas waste problems, arranging collection, transport, depackaging and treatment of their food waste at short notice,” says Willen Biogas Chairman, Adrian Williams. “Our cost-competitive waste treatment options can be used for one-off loads or we are happy to discuss longer term contracts depending on our client’s requirements.”
Located just off junction 25 of the M25, the state-of-the-art, modern 1.5 MW AD plant processes around 60,000 tonnes of food waste every day – and has capacity to handle any local Christmas surplus. Fitted with sophisticated front-end depackaging equipment, it can handle all types of food waste, including packaged, (with the exception of palletised loads) and accepts deliveries with as little as 24 hours’ notice.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 31 October 2016.
A group of leading businesses and organisations in Scotland’s aquaculture industry have come together for the first time to create an ambitious new growth strategy for the sector. The 2030 Aquaculture Strategy identifies key actions required to double the economic contribution of the industry from £1.8 billion in 2016, to £3.6 billion by 2030. It is estimated this will generate over 9,000 new jobs in the sector and establish Scotland as a global leader in the industry.
Aquaculture in Scotland is diverse, from the farming of salmon and other finfish species, to the production of mussels and oysters and the harvesting of seaweed. The industry is already a real success story in Scotland – salmon is the country’s top food export – however the new strategy seeks to unleash the sector’s full potential contribution to Scotland’s economy, environment and communities.
The strategy, developed after industry-wide consultation, sets out key recommendations for action by both the industry itself and government. The recommendations cover six themes: industry leadership; regulation; innovation; skills development; investment; and infrastructure. Amidst 20 specific recommendations, three are identified as critical to the sustainable growth of the industry:
* The creation of a new industry leadership group to drive alignment between industry and government in order to deliver growth
* A restructure of the role of Marine Scotland – the government agency that regulates the sector – to maintain its regulatory role but to remove its industry development role
* The introduction world-leading innovation sites to trial cutting-edge equipment, technology and fish health strategies.
The Working Group that has produced the plan comprised representatives of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, Scotland Food & Drink, Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers, Highland Council, as well as leading businesses in the sector: Aquascot, Gael Force Group, Ferguson Transport & Shipping and Wester Ross Salmon.
Stewart Graham, Group Managing Director of Gael Force Group and co-chair of the Working Group, comments: “This new strategy reflects the industry’s ambition to drive sustainable growth and for Scotland to be a world leader in aquaculture. We have developed a roadmap to 2030 which can make a transformational impact on Scotland’s economy and our rural communities.”
He adds: “However, the real work begins now and we want to forge a new partnership between the industry, government and its agencies to unlock the full potential of sustainably farming Scotland’s seas. The creation of a new Industry Leadership Group to reflect that collaborative partnership will be a critical first step. The strategy must act a catalyst to drive growth throughout the aquaculture supply chain through innovation, skills development and investment, and by ensuring we have proportionate and enabling regulation which balances economic growth and environmental sustainability.”
A copy of the strategy can be found here.
Posted in Enterprise, News, Sustainability
Posted on 26 October 2016.
Are proteins derived from sustainable sources, nutritious enough? This question is central to research conducted by the public-private partnership Sustainable Future proteins: focus on nutritional and health-promoting qualities. The research, coordinated by Wageningen University & Research, will provide a scientific basis for the development of high-quality foods with sustainable proteins, and will provide ways for companies to rapidly and efficiently screen novel proteins.
The global population will increase from 7 billion in 2016 to more than 9 billion people by 2050, according to estimates by the United Nations. At the same time, prosperity is increasing in large parts of the world, doubling the demand for food. “If we want to ensure we produce enough food for all these people, then we must move towards a diet with sustainable proteins, derived from plant sources and waste streams,” says Marloes Groenewegen, Program Manager Healthy and Tasty Food at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research. “The question is whether we can develop sustainable protein beside animal protein in foods without sacrificing nutritional value.” Current knowledge about sustainable proteins is limited to little more than the energy value and amino-acid composition. “But we do not know to what degree these proteins are broken down into amino acids and how these components are absorbed by the body,” she illustrates.
Five Sustainable-protein Sources
The research by the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Sustainable future proteins: focus on nutritional and health-promoting qualities will provide insights into the digestibility of a number of sustainable-protein sources such as peas, potatoes, animal plasma, edible fungi and insects. The digestibility of proteins and peptides formed during digestion is being studied and compared to milk, soy and egg protein.
In addition, the biological activity of the peptides formed in the gastrointestinal tract is under investigation: how do they affect the immune system, the composition of the intestinal microbiota and the intestinal barrier? The PPP is also looking at whether combined provision of these proteins leads to higher nutritional values and increased biological activity. The researchers are working with advanced in-vitro digestion models and are evaluating proteins and protein combinations in a clinical study using volunteers.
The PPP will provide an integrated toolbox that allows manufacturers to quickly and efficiently evaluate the nutritional value, digestibility and biological activity of novel proteins. “Existing methods for the measurement of digestibility and biological activity are laborious and time-consuming, and often must use animal experiments”, says Harry Wichers, Professor of Immunomodulation at Wageningen University & Research and scientific coordinator of the project. “We will develop a user- and animal-friendly alternative.”
Sustainable future proteins: focus on nutritional and health-promoting qualities has 10 partners: Nutricia Research, AVEBE, Darling Ingredients, BASF, Roquette, QUORN, PROTI-FARM, Mimetas, Wageningen University & Research, and Utrecht University (Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences). The PPP is a long-term public-private collaboration, co-financed by the Dutch Topsector Agri&Food; the research program runs until 2020. The consortium is open to partners offering additional proteins, knowledge and expertise.
Posted in Ingredients, Nutrition, Research, Sustainability
Posted on 25 October 2016.
The European Commission has presented a proposal for a Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area – PRIMA. The first partnership of its kind in the Mediterranean basin aims to develop much-needed novel solutions for sustainable water management and food production.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, says: “EU research and innovation is open to the world so we can tackle global challenges together. This Euro-Mediterranean partnership is an excellent example of where pooling knowledge and money can make a huge difference. It will bring more clean water and food to the people, boost local economies and create jobs. Through PRIMA, research and innovation will play a crucial role in addressing the root causes of migration.”
The Commission’s proposal already includes Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia. The participation of Germany is currently under negotiation. As the initiative is evolving over time, more participants are expected to follow, both EU and non-EU countries.
Funding for the €400 million partnership will come from the participating countries (currently around €200 million), matched by a €200 million contribution from the EU through its current research framework programme Horizon 2020. The partnership is scheduled to run for 10 years, starting in 2018.
In recent years, the agricultural sector in the Mediterranean has been suffering from severe water shortages and decreasing crop yields. Today, 180 million people in the Mediterranean basin are considered ‘water poor’. The lack of clean water and nutritious food has adverse effects on the health and stability of the populations.
Based on a proposal of nine Member States in 2014, this partnership will be created under Horizon 2020 and based on Article 185 TFEU, which enables the EU to participate in research programmes undertaken jointly by several Member States.
The Commission’s proposal will now be sent to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU for political discussion and legislative approval.
Posted in Agriculture, Sustainability
Posted on 20 October 2016.
The EU is proposing to restart talks on an international WTO agreement on fisheries subsidies to combat the further depletion of the world’s fish stocks and the devastation of natural habitats. Many countries the world over subsidise their fishing activity in ways that contribute to overfishing. While curbing harmful subsidies, the EU proposal foresees exceptions for developing countries, and takes account of the needs of local fishing communities in least developed and developing countries.
Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella wrote in a blog post: “A broad, multilateral agreement on harmful fishing subsidies will be key to safeguarding the world’s fisheries. We call upon other members of the WTO to join us in addressing this massive global challenge together, and to implement the commitments we made in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Negotiations should start immediately, in order to reach an agreement at the next WTO Ministerial Conference in December of next year.”
The proposal from the Commission has now been given the green light of the EU Member States, for presentation to all WTO members. The proposal addresses two forms of harmful subsidies, namely those that directly increase the capacity of fleets to catch fish and those that contribute to illegal, unregulated or unreported fishing. While the rapidly growing capacity of industrial fleets needs to be addressed, subsistence fishing needs to be protected. The EU proposal is in line with commitments made in the UN Sustainable development goals to prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies through the WTO by 2020. The EU is also acting at home, through its new common fisheries policy, which will ensure that all EU fish stocks are fished at a sustainable level by 2020 at the latest.
Posted in Sustainability
Posted on 20 October 2016.
Holfeld Plastics knows the value of sustainable packaging in the meat industry. Their VSP range has recently been extended taking into account portion size, sustainability, good looks and freshness. With consumers suggested to spend three times the amount of time selecting meats compared with any other foodstuffs shelf appeal is a significant determinator of choice – skinpacks offer a more ‘natural’ appearance – they extend shelf life, to the processor they offer operational efficiencies with direct on-tray vacuum packing and from a retailers point of view can be displayed horizontally, vertically, shingled or hung. They remove the need to touch the product and are a more effective barrier to oxygen maintaining a more natural meat freshness and appearance over a longer period of time.
Holfeld’s VSP range secures and protects products in the supply chain, there are boneguard and butter insert trays. We have trays in r-PET/PE & also PP/PE for microwaveable use with bespoke options available. All Holfeld’s trays are compatible with a wide range of top film manufacturers offering a cohesive seal failure witness marking.
Holfeld is providing skinpack trays across a selection of its flagship ‘D’ range in r-PET/PE, r-PET/Mono, PPE/PE/EVOH as well as offering padded options. There are 12 different profiles currently on offer – more products are continually being added to the range.
For more information visit www.holfeldplastics.com and download the flyer or visit the new online products catalogue.
Posted in Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 17 October 2016.
PepsiCo has announced ambitious plans to dramatically reduce the sugar content in its drinks as part of its sustainable growth strategy for 2025.
These goals aim to continue “transforming PepsiCo’s food and beverage product portfolio”.
Its goals include: At least two-thirds of its global beverage portfolio volume will have 100 calories or fewer from added sugars per 12-oz serving by 2025; at least three-quarters of its global foods portfolio volume will not exceed 1.3 milligrams of sodium per calorie by 2025; and the company will provide access to at least three billion servings of nutritious foods and beverages to underserved communities and consumers.
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi says: “We have mapped our plans against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and we believe the steps we are taking will help lift PepsiCo to even greater heights in the year ahead. Companies like PepsiCo have a tremendous opportunity – as well as a responsibility – to not only make a profit, but to do so in a way that makes a difference in the world.”
Also included in their sustainability targets are commitments to significantly reduce carbon emissions, particularly those related to agriculture and packaging. Other elements of the plan include increased efforts in water preservation, sustainable sourcing of crops and the reduction of waste.
Posted in Ingredients, Sustainability
Posted on 17 October 2016.
The Food and Drink Federation has pledged to reduce the carbon emissions of manufacturers in the industry by 55% by 2025.
The group, which has hailed its previous sustainability efforts, has issued a set of commitments that industry plans to follow to decrease its carbon footprint even further.
As well as the proposed 55% reduction, which is fully in line with wider government targets, members of the federation have committed to a cut in supply chain waste of 3.2%. The group also maintains a commitment to send absolutely no food and packaging waste to landfill from members’ own direct operations from 2016 and beyond.
Furthermore, more emphasis on more sustainable packaging and reducing the amount of water used in manufacturing is included in the pledges.
Helen Munday, chief scientific officer at the Food and Drink Federation, says: “Now, having made great progress across a range of areas, including massive CO2 emission and water use reductions, we’ve looked again at what more we can deliver, engaging with more companies within our sector and beyond. The partnership approach has proven most effective at engaging the diverse parts of the UK food chain.”
Posted in Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 05 October 2016.
Sustainability and in particular environmental protection have been key issues for Swiss milk processor Emmi for over 20 years. Now, the company is going a significant step further by setting itself specific objectives in four important sustainability-related areas. These objectives have been defined in communication with various stakeholders, including WWF Switzerland. The environmental protection organisation will also continue to support Emmi in implementing and cultivating its sustainability commitment as a critical and demanding partner in future.
Emmi’s sustainability commitments are as follows:
Reduce CO2 emissions by 25 % by 2020 (compared to 2014, in relation to the quantity of processed milk)
To reduce its CO2 emissions, Emmi will continue to lower its energy consumption as well as opting for more sustainable energy sources.
Process milk from sustainable production
To achieve this, all of Emmi’s Swiss milk suppliers will have to meet a catalogue of sustainability criteria by 2020. Particular importance in this regard will be given to the conditions in which the dairy cows are kept – most notably access to open pasture and feed – in the belief that milk production based on roughage is ecologically sensible and conducive to animal welfare. Switzerland provides a solid platform for achieving this natural and economical form of milk production. In return, Emmi is also committed to paying its Swiss milk suppliers an above-average price.
Reduce food and packaging waste by 20 % by 2020
Emmi will achieve this by generating less waste of packaging and raw materials in production and looking for ways to reintegrate waste into the materials cycle. Emmi will also contribute to reducing the food waste of its customers and consumers.
Invest in the development of employees
Emmi’s aim is for every single one of its 5,750 employees to have personal development objectives. This will not only contribute to employee satisfaction, but is also designed as a tool for combating skills shortages. By 2020, Emmi therefore aims to be in a position to fill half of its vacancies with internal candidates.
By setting itself these objectives, Emmi aims to develop in areas that are particularly important to sustainability. In addition, it will support flagship projects in each of the four focus areas that it considers to be particularly pioneering or exemplary from a sustainability perspective and that could influence the further development of its own sustainability commitment.
Emmi will publish an up-to-date review and initial measures to achieve its sustainability commitments in its Sustainability Report (to be released in summer 2017).
True sustainability is a competitive advantage
Competitive pressure among milk processors has steadily risen in recent years. Emmi’s goal in this competitive environment is clear: to position itself as a provider of innovative, high-quality products. An integral part of this positioning is a credible, ambitious commitment to sustainability.
Urs Riedener, chief executive of Emmi.
According to Urs Riedener, CEO of the Emmi Group: “Consumers are increasingly demanding true commitment from companies. However, they also reward this commitment with their loyalty. In this respect, Emmi’s ambitious sustainability efforts are an important prerequisite for future business success.”
After reporting extensively on numerous sustainability aspects throughout its entire value chain in recent years, Emmi is now going a decisive step further by committing itself with respect to the public and wider society to highly specific objectives in four particularly relevant areas.
WWF as a sparring partner
The commitments in these four focus areas were developed over several months in close communication with various stakeholders. Emmi’s main aim in doing so was to compile a range of expectations that it could then evaluate internally in terms of feasibility.
A particularly valuable partner in this process proved to be WWF Switzerland, which supported Emmi with valuable know-how related to climate protection and agriculture as well as carrying out a critical review of Emmi’s business activities. The WWF also demands that its partner companies set ambitious goals in their commitment to sustainability. To achieve these goals, Emmi will require the continued support of external specialists. The partnership with WWF Switzerland that was recently approved by the Emmi Board of Directors will ensure the company can count on this support. In return, Emmi is committed to maintaining openness and transparency with regard to its sustainability commitment.
Posted in CSR, Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 29 September 2016.
Emmi has committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 25 % by 2020. In an important step towards meeting this objective, the largest Swiss milk processor is switching to sustainable electricity. To this end, it is set to rely entirely on renewable energy and on BKW as its partner. BKW will supply Emmi with around 110 gigawatt hours of hydroelectricity a year – enough to meet the needs of all Emmi facilities in Switzerland.
As part of its commitment to sustainability, Emmi has decided to rely entirely on hydroelectricity for all of its 36 facilities in Switzerland, enabling the largest Swiss milk processor to reduce its annual CO2 emissions by 14000 tonnes.
BKW was already supplying several Emmi locations with electricity. Based on the positive experiences, as well as its know-how and extensive offering, Emmi has now opted for a full supply from BKW. From 2017, BKW is set to supply all Emmi production sites in Switzerland with around 110 gigawatt hours of electricity each year for a period of three years.
Max Peter, Head of Retail and Supply Chain Management Switzerland at Emmi, says: “With its innovative and flexible procurement model, BKW will enable us to optimally satisfy our electricity requirements as well as take an important step towards meeting our CO2 reduction targets.” Christoph Matter, Head of Sales at BKW, adds: “We are delighted to be able to supply an important customer in Emmi with sustainable hydroelectricity throughout Switzerland.”
Other services that Emmi will be able to benefit from besides the supply of electricity include the BKW Club. Comprising a wealth of information – from the latest analyses of load profile valuations on the stock exchange to the monitoring of defined limits – this online tool provides compact assistance for the energy industry and is available to all of BKW’s major customers.
Posted in Energy, Environment, Sustainability
Posted on 29 September 2016.
The new design of Carlsberg’s Green Fiber Bottle was revealed today, as 500 business leaders joined the Sustainable Brands community at the Sustainable Brands 2016 Copenhagen conference, aimed at inspiring business success through innovation and ‘Activating Purpose’ towards a sustainable future.
As part of the work of the Carlsberg Circular Community, Carlsberg kicked off the development project in 2015 with Danish packaging company EcoXpac to develop a beer bottle made from sustainably sourced wood fiber. The first prototype of a fiber-based bottle was revealed in January 2015 by Professor Flemming Besenbacher, Chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation, at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The new design of the beer bottle was developed with Carlsberg’s partners in the Carlsberg Circular Community as well as CP+B Copenhagen and Kilo, a Danish industrial design studio. The prototype, which has been prepared based on the distinctive Carlsberg design, shows how the bottle might look like when it hits the market.
Sustainability Director, Simon Boas Hoffmeyer, revealed the new design at the Sustainable Brands 2016 Copenhagen conference. He said the new bottle is a milestone in the ambitious three-year project.
“The new bottle is a great milestone in the project, as having a physical prototype makes it easier for us to explain the new packaging format to consumers and colleagues. I think the new bottle looks great and shows how we can use innovation and design to help shape products for a bettertomorrow,” says Simon Boas Hoffmeyer, Sustainability Director.
“The bottle has been created with input from some of the leading packaging specialists in the world, who are very excited to participate in the project. Though we still have technical challenges to overcome, we’re on track on the project,” says Håkon Langen, Packaging Innovation Director.
The Green Fiber Bottle will be a landmark in sustainable innovation. Its fibers will come from responsibly managed sources, with trees replanted at the same rate that they are harvested. While the bottle will degrade into environmentally non-harmful materials if discarded randomly, the intention is that it will form part of a proper waste management system, just like today’s bottles and cans.
The three-year project is supported by Innovation Fund Denmark and the Technical University of Denmark. The Green Fiber Bottle is scheduled to be test-launched in a pilot market in 2018.
Posted in Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 28 September 2016.
Sustainable packaging developer Tipa has announced its exclusive UK brand partnership with Snact, a social enterprise making snacks from surplus product.
Snact’s collaboration with Tipa is said to ensure its packaging promotes sustainability and tackling the causes of food waste.
Daphna Nissenbaum chief executive officer and co-Founder of Tipa said: “Our partnership with Snact marks a first step in the UK market. We’re currently trialling our products with a number of UK brands within the grocery retail sector and hope to see further partnerships announced as brands recognise the benefits of our technology.
“Working with such an eco-conscious brand like Snact was a natural fit for us and we’re excited to see the roll out of our fully compostable, flexible packaging in support of such a worthy brand in the fight against food waste.
“We know that many consumers would prefer to treat their food packaging as a natural part of their kitchen waste. Over 9.6 million tonnes of plastic waste is sent to landfill every year in Europe and something has to change. At Tipa, we have the solution that will be a game-changer for the industry. We look forward to the beginning of a new era in packaging where for the first time, viable end of life solutions are available on the market.”
Ilana Taub co-Founder of Snact said: “We launched our new packaging in December last year with traditional plastic as we struggled to find an environmentally-friendly option that had the functional properties required as well as being food safe. We were introduced to TIPA through another company and quickly realised it was the perfect option to build on our environmental and social ethics.
“As an environmentally-conscious brand, our customers – or Snactivists – wanted to see us leave plastic packaging behind and now we have the perfect solution to do this and build on our own eco credentials. We’ve been required to make minimal changes to production and design, simply adding a statement to show we’re proud of the move to a fully compostable pack design.”
Posted in Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 28 September 2016.
The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment UK has reported that beverage carton recycling is continuing to grow across the EU member states.
According to industry-wide figures, Europe recycled 44% of its beverage cartons in 2015.
The figure is equivalent to around 400,000t, or more than 16 billion used beverage cartons recycled in more than 20 paper mills across Europe.
Last year, the total recovery rate, including recycling and energy recovery, reached 74%.
ACE, which provides a platform for European beverage carton manufacturers, stated that collecting all packaging individually and banning it from landfills would improve the circular economy of the region.
Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment director general Annick Carpentier said: “Our sector is committed to supporting and promoting beverage carton recycling, and we are happy to report a continued year-on-year increase.
“Recycling of milk or juice cartons used in homes across Europe can be increased further. ACE suggests collecting all packaging separately, combined with a ban on landfilling packaging waste.
“Industry has been focusing on innovation in recycling solutions for our packaging, which is made of responsibly sourced, low-carbon renewable materials. Legal obligations such as these would provide much needed security for investment in recycling infrastructure.”
Last year, after initiating a voluntary plan to collect cartons, the Netherlands was able to increase the country’s recycling rates.
Posted in Packaging, Sustainability
Posted on 27 September 2016.
Italian bioplastics company Novamont is calling on the foodservice industry to invest in compostable biodegradable bioplastics.
Adding to the recent media debate around paper cup recycling, the company is promoting it’s Mater-Bi family of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics which use renewable resources.
Paul Darby, area manager UK & Ireland, Novamont, told Packaging News the material has already been proven in Italy where some high street retailers have successfully rolled out Mater-Bi products.
“Everything that is plastic and related to food is now able to be collected and transformed into compost and thus recycled back into agriculture. Around 700 million compostable cups have been used on the Italian market in 2015. It should also be noted that a compostable coffee cup can also be recovered and processed through a paper cup recycling process which is currently available on a small scale should this option be available and preferred.”
Additionally, Darby said the new law in France banning all plastic cups and cutlery that are not made of biologically-sourced materials should be seen as a business opportunity to help drive innovation and create new jobs throughout the supply chain.
“Novamont is already working closely with some UK based manufacturers who are being pro-active and plan to launch compostable bioplastic packaging solutions way before the legislation date. A compostable packaging range can offer an alternative choice and feel good factor to the consumer and even help build on a company’s brand and identity.”
Novamont recorded a turnover of €170m in 2015, with a production capacity of 150KT.
Posted in Packaging, Sustainability