Monthly Archives: February 2009

Free Subscription to Food Processing Electronic Edition

Continuing the focus on identifying free online material we look at an online food Journal. Unfortunately this requires good and affordable online access and bandwidth.

Food Processing, an American company that is based on a paper journal and an informative website now offers free access to its online electronic journal.


ReadOz - Read.jpg

click here to apply for free subscription
(click image to visit the site)


The commercial content is obviously very focussed on the American market but there is technical information that is interesting and one should anyway know what is going on around the world to be able to succeed in the food market.

The format makes it necessary to read the journal using an animated online reader – fancy but maybe not most appropriate for Africa.


Business Manual – Exporting Speciality Foods

I have blogged on the West African Tradehub before, but this is a look at specific information and an assessment of it practicality and applicability.

from: West Africa Tradehub
(click image for full story online)

Every small food business workshop surely lists export as an opportunity in their SWOT analysis. What the vast majority are unable to do is to understand the implication of a strategy that focuses on export. Therefore it gets written up and maybe posted on the webpage more in excitement and optimism that in expectation.

This manual should be prescribed reading for the facilitator of such workshops, but more importantly seems to be a realistic HOW TO manual for a business wishing to consider the potential of entering and export market and also its checklist and directory as an exporter.

The manual appears to be pretty comprehensive, but if anyone who has practical experience could offer feedback I would be happy to publish that here.

The Table of Contents is copied below:

Why this export guide?
1. Success in exporting specialty foods
1.1. Why should your business export?
1.2. How does international trade differ from domestic trade?
1.3. In-house management issues involved in the decision to export
1.4. Importance of an export marketing strategy
Continue reading

Food Processing and the Economic Downturn

A recent article in the world street journal showed the picture below which represents the change in expenditure in the US in the third quarter of 2008.

I post this because although a food processing business might not be supplying this market directly, these changes must surely have some relevance even if only as a confirmation of an amazing economic downturn.


Consumers Cut Food Spending Sharply -

from: Wall Street Journal
(click image for full story online)


What this shows that compared to the previous quarter, the expenditure on alcoholic beverages dropped 10.9% or the equivalent of almost 44% over a year – given that the 4th Quarter includes the festive season and Christmas it is unlikely that season variations would make the annual figure smaller.

However the U.S. Department of Commerce’s inflation and seasonality corrected data shows a 13.8% per year decrease for the 4th quarter of 2008.


BlogCalcs.xls - Calc.jpg

from: Bureau of Economic Analysis
(click image for all online data)


What is also interesting is the trends the data shows. When people are short of money they spend less on non necessities such as chocolate, pet food and alcohol as well as expensive foods such as beef. The reduction in cereals probably reflects breakfast cereals rather than wheat, maize etc.


Business Manual -Setting up and Running a Small-scale Dairy Processing Business a Small-scale Dairy Processing Business

This is another food processing based business manual by Peter Fellows like others I have reviewed eg

Business Manual – Setting Up and Running a Small Fruit or Vegetable Business

Business Manual – Small-scale Root Crops and Tubers Processing and Products

Free Online Information – Milling & Baking Enterprise Design

Processing Fruit & Vegetables

The latter being similar to this manual but with more of a technology focus and less of an enterprise focus.



from: CTA Documents
(click image to access manual online)


The manual starts off with a discussion of how to identify a market, test its feasibility, serve it and maintain customers and where and how to set up the milk processing plant. Only then are processes and technologies discussed. The manual ends with sections on quality assurance & legislation and planning and managing production and finances.

All the sections of the manual contain practical calculations, tips for success, case studies, chapter summaries and checklists, which help to make the material real and reinforce the learning process.

Valuable practical information including a bibliography, a list of Institutions offering support to small-scale processors, a glossary and a list of acronyms can be found in the appendix.