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Bonduelle to Expand Three Facilities in Ontario

From: Food in Canada

Mississauga, Ont. – Bonduelle Canada Inc. is upgrading its vegetable processing facilities and adding 87 new jobs along the way.

The company announced a $79.8-million project that would include expanding its facilities in Southwestern Ontario in Tecumseh, Ingersoll and Strathroy. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)has contributed $8.5 million to help with the project.

In a statement, OMAFRA says its investment is through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund. The $8.5 million is expected to help Bonduelle “adopt new technology to put new frozen vegetable products and packaging formats on the domestic and export markets, increase productivity, enhance food safety and increase exports,” says the statement.

Bonduelle Canada processes Ontario-grown vegetables in frozen and canned formats for the Canadian and U.S. markets through its three facilities, which produce 250 million pounds of finished produce annually.

A story in the Windsor Star (“Bonduelle to get up to $8.5 million from Ontario for expansion; ‘Tremendous news’ for Tecumseh” by Sharon Hill on May 8, 2018) says the facility in Tecumseh is the largest “and produces Green Giant canned vegetables and canned products for other labels along with frozen vegetables, while the smaller operations in Strathroy and Ingersoll produce frozen vegetables.”

The Windsor Star article also says that the Tecumseh site “survived a $40 million to $50 million fire in July 2014.”

Bonduelle’s expansion project is expected to increase its exports to the U.S. by $34 million per year, which is 55 per cent higher than current levels, says the OMAFRA statement.

How much do Canadians love Ketchup?

From: Food in Canada

Toronto – Canadians love ketchup.

If you weren’t sure, just read some recent findings from Kraft Heinz Canada.

In a statement the company says a recent survey it conducted found that Canadians “eat more ketchup per capita than our U.S. neighbours.”

Some other findings include that 87 per cent of us currently have a bottle of the condiment in our refrigerators. And 56 per cent of us say it’s our favourite condiment.

So Kraft Heinz Canada is asking Canadians to use #CanadaLovesKetchup this summer and share “quirky ketchup confessions and hacks.”

Consumers can also pick up a personalized bottle of Heinz Ketchup at a mobile pop-up GIF shop, which is launching on May 12 in Toronto.

The company says the mobile pop-up GIF shop will travel across Canada this summer and give out free personalized glass bottles of Heinz Ketchup. Look for it at the Calgary Stampede, Burlington Music Festival, Taste of the Danforth, The Canadian National Exhibition and Mondial de la Bière, among other Canadian events.

The company is also launching @CanadaLovesKetchup on Instagram.

So is there a country that loves ketchup more than us? Yes, and it’s Finland.

Maple Leaf Foods Revamps its Portfolio

From: Food in Canada

Mississauga, Ont. – One of Canada’s largest consumer protein companies is revamping its entire portfolio of products.

In a statement, Maple Leaf Foods says its aim is to meet “the changing needs of Canadian families.”

And in order to do that, the company is now ensuring that all of its products are made with premium meat and real, simple or natural ingredients.

All products will contain no artificial preservatives, flavours, colours or sweeteners. And the company adds that ingredient lists will contain only “pronounceable ingredients that consumers trust.”

The changes are all part of the company’s new Food Manifesto. To read the document, click here.

The products, which began rolling out in May, will have a new logo, packaging design and more prominent ingredient list. Maple Leaf says it will be using television, billboards, digital and print media to get the word out.

Adam Grogan, senior vice-president of Marketing and Innovation, says in the statement that “Over the last 18 months, Maple Leaf has reformulated each product carrying this brand, with just the simplest and highest quality real food.”

Food Performance: How Does Western Canada Measure Up?

From: Food in Canada

By Jean-Charles Le Vallée

Food-borne illness outbreaks and food recalls tend to grab media headlines and consumers’ attention. Many Albertans will be familiar with the XL Foods meat recall, for instance. Overall, there are more than four million cases of food-borne illness per year in Canada. It leaves Canadians to question just how safe is our food. Canadians are also questioning the cost, health and availability of our food.

How well do Western provinces perform? In The Conference Board of Canada’s 2016 provincial food performance report card, Western provinces performed relatively well to their provincial peers. Indeed, Saskatchewan is head of the class among all provinces. The province excels with “A” grades in four of five categories: food safety, industry prosperity, household food security, and environmental sustainability. Its only “B” grade is awarded on the healthy food and diets category. B.C. is also among the top performers, Alberta received an “A” grade for household food security while Manitoba’s best grade was an “A” for food safety.

In 2015, the Conference Board produced an international food performance comparison of Canada’s food system to assess how the food system meets the needs of the population. The report card measures Canada’s performance against 16 OECD countries across the same five elements of the Canadian Food Strategy: industry prosperity, healthy foods and diets, food safety, food security and environmental sustainability. While Canada (along with Ireland) received the top grades in food safety, there is need for improvement, particularly in reporting on chemical risks in food consumption, conducting more frequent nutrition and dietary studies, food traceability and radiation standards in food.

Compared to most of our peers, Canadians generally choose healthy foods, as we consume lower-than-average intake levels of salt and saturated fats and have a diverse diet. However, Canadians’ health is somewhat compromised by higher levels of diabetes and obesity. Moreover, many Canadians bring home more food than they need generating relatively high levels of food waste and are comparable with other countries in terms of their knowledge and literacy about food.

When measured by affordability and price volatility, overall food availability on a national level is not at issue. However, there are localized problems of food access and prices, and at-risk populations (including indigenous people and single-parent households) continue to exist. Canada does not perform as well in other areas. For example, Canada has among the highest rates of both food waste and food losses in the world, and ranks behind all other countries for rates of greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions.

Canada’s industrial strengths in the food sector are its resource endowments, capital available to farms, crop production, and economic viability. However, the Canadian industry falls short of other countries in measures such as food innovation, livestock production, and representation among leading global food companies.

The Conference Board of Canada’s 6th Annual Canadian Food & Drink Summit, taking place this December in Calgary, will explore Western Canada’s food performance. Topics of discussion will also include the Barton Report and the recommendations from the federal government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth where agriculture was identified as having strong potential for substantial growth and export improvement. The Summit will also debate the Government of Canada’s National Food Policy and more.

The Summit will feature engaging sessions and an exciting lineup of leading food experts and experienced practitioners who will share best practices and insights with you on how to engage stakeholders and Canadians to take action, including on trade, inspiring food innovation stories from Alberta, healthier beverages, agri-food outlook, reducing food waste, the labour gap in agriculture, affordable diets, organic retail experience, the future of the grocery business, growing culinary experiences, beef and crop sustainability, and more.

The goal is to advance Canada’s food performance. Food affects our lives, health, jobs, environment, and economy. Ensuring that our food is of high quality, affordable, healthy and safe to eat matters to every one of us. We hope you will attend the Summit and look forward to seeing you in Calgary on December 4-6, 2017.

 

Last year’s Summit in Toronto trended nationally on Twitter! You can also follow the Summit at @CBoC_Food and #CBoCFood.

Jean-Charles Le Vallée, PhD,  associate director Food Horizons Canada, The Conference Board of Canada.

The Digitalization of Food Palletizing

From: Food Manufacturing

The technological and social revolutions of the past few decades have completely reshaped industry. The food packaging and palletizing industry is no exception. In fact, the last ten years alone has seen the adoption of advanced technologies at an unprecedented rate. Alan Spreckley, robotics food and beverage segment manager, and palletizing robotics expert at ABB, explains how digitalization is repackaging the future of food palletizing.

Spreckly explains that this growing trend places a higher demand for single-portion servings of pre-prepared and pre-packaged food on the food industry, which makes the packaging and palletizing processes less linear than they have previously been. Similarly, the unstable economy of recent years has nurtured a generation of savvy customers, eager for the special offers and deals that retailers regularly provide, further complicating the palletizing process. This leads to scenarios where manufacturers will be required to change palletizing patterns quickly and cost-efficiently.

Robotics is taking over the palletizing industry. In the past decade, robot pricing has come down making this a cost-effective choice for palletizing applications. Robots are more flexible and require less maintenance and floor space. Our sister company (Advance Millwrights Inc.), provides equipment for bag filling/handling, bag sealing and robotic palletizing.

Go to www.advancemillwrights.com for more information on robotic palletizing.

Ontario’s Supports Conestoga Meat Packers

From: Food in Canada

Breslau, Ont. – Conestoga Meat Packers has received a financial boost from the province of Ontario. In a statement, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced that it is investing $5.3 million to help the company “boost productivity and expand its pork processing capacity by 86 per cent.” The investment is expected to create 170 new jobs at the facility in Breslau.

“Our government is proud to support the continued growth of Ontario’s food processing sector, an important driver of our economy,” said Jeff Leal, Ontario’s minister of Agriculture, in the statement. “This support will help Conestoga Meat Packers increase its productivity, enhance competitiveness and create good jobs in Waterloo Region.” Conestoga Meat began processing farm-fresh pork in 1982. Today it is Ontario’s second-largest pork processor and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Progressive Pork Producers Co-operative Inc., a co-op of 157 southwestern Ontario hog producers. The government investment was made through Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Fund. With the funding Conestoga Meat “will purchase leading-edge equipment that will almost double its meat processing capacity.”

For more information on the Conestoga Meat Packers, check out their website: www.conestogameats.com

IFPT/Conestoga Offers a New Program Targeted to Food Manufacturing Leaders

From: BLOCKtalk Magazine 

In the fall of 2016, Conestoga College, through the Craig Richardson Institute of Food Processing Technology (IFPT), launched a new graduate certificate program called, “Operations Leadership in Food Manufacturing”. This one-year, full-time program at Conestoga College is designed for students who want to be prepared for an advanced supervisory career in the food manufacturing industry.

Tri-Mach Group, in partnership with Conestoga, built and installed three full processing lines for the IFPT facility in 2012. These processing lines included: a Vegetable line, a Baking line, and a Liquid Processing line. Tri-Mach Group is happy to hear that the IFPT facility is becoming a success in training graduate students in: quality, food safety, maintenance, operations, procurement, and planning.

Click here to find out the best practices and tools that students are learning from this new and innovative program at Conestoga College.

Milk protein used to make biodegradable food wrap

From the CBC

A new biodegradable film made of milk protein has the potential to keep food fresher and replace plastic wraps, according to researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Lead researchers Peggy Tomasula and Laetitia Bonnaillie plan to present their work before a conference of the American Chemical Society on Sunday in Philadelphia.

Bonnaillie says the substance they created is made of casein, a milk protein, with the addition of citrus pectin and some salts to make it stronger and more resistant to moisture. It behaves much like a plastic cling wrap, but it’s biodegradable, even edible, and there is no danger of harmful compounds leaching into food. The film can be folded and sealed around food products. It is as strong as plastic wrap but not as sticky.

For products such as cheese slices, packaged meat or individually wrapped snacks, it would take packaging that now goes into landfill and replace it with a material that breaks down in the environment.

Tomasula and Bonnaillie work in the dairy research unit of the USDA and hit on the idea of creating a packaging material when they were looking for a use for some of the dry milk that is produced in excess in the U.S. As milk consumption falls, dairy farms have continued to produce too much milk, which is being stored as milk powder.

The casein film could also help keep food fresher longer, as protein-based films are powerful oxygen blockers that help prevent food from spoiling. As an oxygen barrier, the casein film is 250 times better than plastic wrap, Bonnaillie said. It also has the potential to block light more effectively than plastic.

Read the full article here.

Corrugated paper fights plastic for fresh produce share

From Food Manufacture UK

Some large UK retailers are failing to demonstrate the environmental benefits commonly attributed to plastic returnable transit packaging (RTP) when used for fresh produce, instead preferring it for reasons of supply-chain efficiency, the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) has suggested.

“Certain retailers are using RTP to move fruit and vegetables through the supply chain quickly and gain a commercial advantage that way,” said director of packaging affairs Andrew Barnetson.

However, Barnetson pointed out that some retailers with a different sales strategy appeared to favour corrugated cases and trays for produce. The booming home-delivery produce segment had also adopted board as its material of choice.

Meanwhile, Italian research commissioned by the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO) indicated further reasons for choosing corrugated for fresh produce. A team from Bologna University found that bacteria affected fruit far less when packed in corrugated than in RTP.

“Everything else being equal, the nature of corrugated is that it draws pathogens into the packaging where they dry out and die,” said Barnetson.

Learn more about turn-key packaging solutions from Tri-Mach Group here.
Read the full article here.

Kellogg planning ‘aggressive’ changes to revive Special K snacks range

From Bakery & Snacks

Announcing its financial results for the second quarter, Kellogg revealed net sales from its US snacks segment had fallen 4% year on year to $803m while sales in its Morning Goods segment, which includes breakfast cereals, had dropped 2% year on year to $727m.

Sales in the US snack business had been impacted by the performance of the Special K brand, and Kellogg said it is overhauling its Special K snacks range to increase consumer relevance.

“We’ve done a lot of work over the last year renovating some of the Special K SKUs and launching on-trend foods like Special K Nourish Chewy Nut Bars, and we’re seeing positive results,” said Kellogg Snacks Business Unit president Adrienne Deanie Elsner.

She added that Special K Nourish bars had been 80% incremental to the Special K bars line, and that their sales growth was three times greater than the rest of the Special K bar range.

Learn more about turn-key snack food processing solutions from Tri-Mach Group here.
Read the full article here.