Open the door to Cuizina Food Company and you are greeted by the aroma of simmering sauces and soups. Housed in a new facility amongst the boutique wineries of Woodinville, WA this growing company has found a niche market in creation, production, and distribution of gourmet products. Owner Ric Ferrera took his restaurant background, capitalized on the possibilities of internet marketing, and soon found a need for production automation.
In December 2007, after five years of study, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared that meat and milk products from cloned livestock are safe to eat. The decision has sparked fierce ethical and scientific debates. While these debates rage on, the question for the food industry is - where do we go from here? In the midst of much uncertainty, it is clear that several considerations need to be taken into account when trying to determine the adoption and growth of cloned animal products.
Every doorway needs a door and at many distribution centers that is as far as consideration of the issue goes – sometimes to the peril of the operation. Dock doors provide a vital function on the dock wall and beyond to ensure the food safety, worker safety, energy efficiency and smooth traffic a facility needs to be profitable and to attract and retain customer accounts.
It’s not easy being a food manufacturer these days. Between food safety concerns, environmental issues and ever-changing consumer tastes, it’s a struggle for survival. One thing is for certain though – if you can’t keep pace with the growing demands of the industry, your company’s products will quickly be replaced on store shelves. In the words of Will Rogers, “even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.”
How clean is clean? Can you have ranges of clean, such as, pretty clean, almost clean or generally clean? In practice, there is no such thing as "partly" clean. Either you are or you aren't. There are, however, degrees of soiling - slightly soiled, minor product residues, soiled, heavily soiled, filthy, "call the HAZMAT crew," etc.
Although using industrial vacuums isn't new to the food industry, many companies have tried in the past to use shop type vacuums to clean up dust and debris, and have found them inadequate under the rigorous demands in the food processing environment. Thus, when companies begin researching industrial vacuum systems and compare them against the concept of shop-type vacs, they are often surprised by the power, size and cost of the industrial units.
During a recent trip to Aruba – right around the time when the wind was blowing so furiously that my $14 pina colada actually took flight off my beach towel – I started thinking about wind power. It surprised me that a place such Aruba – which has an average wind speed of around 18 mph – was not making use of this renewable energy source.
In today's competitive global food market, process manufacturers search for effective ways to increase profitability and reduce costs in the face of mounting customer service and pricing pressures. The challenge to create competitive advantages and boost profits without unnecessary risk extends throughout a supply chain that can sometimes circle the globe.
Long viewed as a traditional packaging type, metal cans are about to be shaken up by the commercialization of innovative shapes that deliver a strong marketing message. Although the familiar cylindrical shape won't disappear any time soon, the technology is now in place which makes the production of shaped metal cans at commercial quantities a viable option for forward thinking marketers.
The other day, I went to the grocery store to buy some marinade. I soon discovered that marinades have their own special, secluded section in the store. When I entered the world of marinades I found that aside from the no less than 100 different flavor choices, marinades come in “low sodium,” “low fat,” “low carb” and “low calorie” not to mention “sugar-free,” “fat-free,” “carb-free,” as well as “all-natural,” “organic” and, my personal favorite, “fancy gourmet.
Two tradeshows, 67 booth appointments and 5896 Frequent Flyer miles later, I’m back behind my desk in NJ. For those of you who did not have the chance to attend PROCESS/PACK EXPO in Las Vegas and the World Wide Food Expo in Chicago, you missed out on two eventful shows. When I walk the floors of industry tradeshows (most of the time wishing that running shoes were an acceptable footwear pairing with business suits) I try to absorb what seems to be an endless amount of information about new products, technologies and company initiatives.
Anyone who has ever worked in an office is surely familiar with the catch phrases, clichés and buzzwords that litter nearly every meeting - even the water-cooler kind. A few of my favorites include: "undergo network optimization," "formulate an action plan," and "develop core competencies." All of these terms sound powerful when they are spoken, but upon returning to the comfort of your cubicle, you usually realize you have no idea what these words actually mean, at least in the context they were spoken.
Food Manufacturing magazine asked key industry experts who will be presenting at the 2008 International Poultry Expo and International Feed Expo (January 23-25) to comment on current issues confronting the poultry industry. Detailed presentations on pressing topics such as fuel costs, supply and demand, and animal feed recalls will be offered free to attendees and exhibitors.
Even with the emergence of new rotating-equipment supply channels including web-based vendors, the traditional channel of industrial distribution remains a vital supply source for food manufacturers and processors. The reasons involve familiar distributor strengths, such as accessibility, personalized service and fast delivery.
Supplying big box stores like Wal-Mart is somewhat like survival of the fittest - adapt to their distribution model or lose the business. While most food manufacturers have adapted to meet the varying carton pack quantities and product mixes that these huge retailers demand, many have done so at the expense of product novelty.
Producing certified organic products in a facility that is also running conventional products requires careful consideration of production schedules, labeling and storage of products and tools.
Recent high-profile recalls have illustrated the dire potential consequences for food manufacturers unable to track and trace throughout the supply chain. But for every headline-grabbing incident, there are scores of less publicized cases with equally damaging capacity.
Duck farm employs an ERP warehouse management solution to streamline a complicated manufacturing process The need to maintain product quality and freshness from factory to marketplace can complicate the food manufacturing process. When dealing with poultry products, the "freshness factor" is not just desirable, it is mandatory, regardless of whether the poultry is distributed raw or cooked.
Take the experience of a mid-western plant that ran into a bacteria problem last year. Every couple of weeks, tests would indicate the presence of bacteria. It was often different, suggesting different sources. The plant manager pressurized the building and implemented other tactics to keep bacteria out - to no avail.
When it comes to food, consumers have high expectations. In fact, it rarely crosses the consumer's mind that their food might be unsafe. The general population has a limited understanding, if any at all, of the extensive quality and safety control programs necessary to keep them safe and healthy.