The Underrated Value of Industry Conferences: Reflections from the 2018 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo

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The Underrated Value of Industry Conferences: Reflections from the 2018 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo

I had the opportunity to attend the 2018 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo in March, and it got me thinking about the value in these industry events. Why do we attend them?

There are countless niche conferences that cover every segment of the food and beverage industry, from packaging to refrigeration and from dairy to meat. These events bring professionals together from across the country and world — but why are they so important?

 

How to Design Efficient Product Flow into a New Food Plant

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How to Design Efficient Product Flow into a New Food Plant

Product flow inefficiencies can create a detrimental domino effect within your food and beverage business. When your processing “chain” has breaks and delays, it can cost money, waste time, jeopardize food quality and introduce safety hazards on the production floor.

In last week’s post, we discussed how to detect product flow problems in an existing facility and how to improve them. Now, we’ll focus on how to ensure a new facility is set up for success from receiving to shipping and everything in between.

The ultimate key to success is designing a plant that is linear so that product moves seamlessly downstream through each of the below steps without interruption.

Let’s take a look at those individual steps and how to optimize each for efficient product flow.

 

Improving Product Flow in Your Food Manufacturing Facility

4 inefficiencies that may be threatening your business

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Improving Product Flow in Your Food Manufacturing Facility

Improper product flow can be detrimental to your food plant’s operations in more ways than one. These inefficiencies can cost money, waste time, jeopardize food quality and introduce safety hazards on the production floor.

In this post, we’ll explore the ways your facility may be at risk and what you can do to improve product flow.

 

Building the Arc: LEED v4.1 Emphasizes USGBC Data Platform

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Building the Arc: LEED v4.1 Emphasizes USGBC Data Platform

It seems like only yesterday that we were discussing the launch of LEED v4 and its emphasis on energy and water conservation (OK, that second post was just two months ago). That new iteration of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) certification for sustainable construction was a significant leap forward from previous versions. The USGBC will now only accept LEED registrations under LEED v4.

Back in November, however, the USGBC announced it was fast-tracking the development of yet another update called LEED v4.1. At the Greenbuild Boston conference, it promised that the new standard will be “improved and agile” ensuring that the USGBC will “deliver on the vision of green buildings for all.”

Since LEED v4.1 is now in the pilot stage and available for jobs, I thought I’d take a look at the new certification standard and what it means for those in the food manufacturing sector. In particular, I want to focus on LEED v4.1’s emphasis on using the USGBC Arc platform and data analysis to drive improvements in sustainability.

 

[Infographic] 7 Best Practices for Gluten-Free Manufacturing

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[Infographic] 7 Best Practices for Gluten-Free Manufacturing

The demand for gluten-free products isn’t just a passing trend. In fact, the gluten-free foods market is projected to be valued at $7.59 billion by 2020. Plus, researchers have noted a rise in celiac disease rates in recent years — just more evidence that the need for GF products isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Before you begin producing gluten-free products in your facility, however, consider these principles to ensure you cater to this growing market safely, efficiently and effectively.

 

Do These 5 Things to Maintain Food Safety in Your Older Facility

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Do These 5 Things to Maintain Food Safety in Your Older Facility

 

You don’t need to build a brand new facility to meet modern-day food safety standards. The reality is that most companies don’t have the budget to build from scratch as often as they’d like, but that doesn’t mean your decades-old plant can’t be a shining example of food safety.

Let’s look at five things you can do now to ensure your older facility is up to today’s food safety standards.

 

The Food Industry Is Being Disrupted. What Should You Do About It?

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The Food Industry is Being Disrupted. What Should You Do About It?

The food industry is in the eye of a hurricane named Disruption.

Sweeping consolidation has turned the traditional food industry on its head, leaving major companies like Heinz, Kraft and Unilever feeling under siege. Other major players are working to “redefine” themselves before they become acquisition targets. Taste preferences have evolved and weekday sit-down meals are no longer a mainstay as families are increasingly on-the-go. Therefore, convenience is the name of the game.

Big companies are being challenged by upstart brands: Chobani challenged Yoplait and Dannon, long-time leaders in the yogurt market, and KIND bars have become one of the fastest-selling snack bars on Amazon. Neither company existed at the beginning of the 21st Century! Is the “slow and steady wins the race” mantra of the food industry on the way out?

 

Millennials and Mergers: How Food Manufacturers Should Respond to the Changing Food Industry

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Millennials and Mergers: How Food Manufacturers Should Respond to the Changing Food Industry

Mergers and acquisitions are a driving force in the food industry today. Plus, a growing middle class and the millennial population are less brand loyal than previous generations, leading to a surge in store brands. What does this mean for food manufacturers? How should they respond?

Acknowledge that the next generation is changing the food game

We can’t rely on what we used to know about how consumers make purchasing decisions. “That’s what we’ve always done” is no longer a valid justification in today’s food and beverage market.

 

The Food Facility Safety Double Standard: Keeping Your Maintenance Crew as Safe as Your Product

What updated OSHA standards mean for your facility’s roof and how to protect maintenance workers on your property

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The Facility Safety Double Standard: Is the Outside of Your Building as Safe as the Inside?

There’s a prevalent double standard when it comes to food facility safety management. Think about the measures taken when a visitor enters a food plant production area: You have to dress out, walk through a foot bath, take off jewelry, wear a smock. All of these precautions are designed to keep your product safe — but what about your maintenance crew?

It’s not uncommon to see safety standards and attention to cleanliness become more relaxed in maintenance areas or on the roof of a food plant. Food safety precautions get a lot of attention because owners (rightfully) fear product contamination and highly publicized recalls, but what about the risks outside your building? One maintenance or construction accident can do just as much damage in negative publicity and lawsuits as a product recall.

 

X-ray and Metal Detection Technology: Get the Most from Your System

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X-ray and Metal Detection Technology: Get the Most from Your System

Major food recalls are a reminder of how critical detection technology is for a food facility — and lately, it seems we’re being reminded far too often. There are a lot of variables when it comes to x-ray and metal detection systems: What should you buy? How much protection is enough? How do you maximize performance? Let’s start by understanding the difference between x-ray and metal detection technology.