Monthly Archives: September 2013

Fairtrade Shebeen Style?

FAIRTRADE has been a great success based on its rapid growth in turnover. There are, however questions that linger around the benefit to farmers compared to the turnover as well as other issues.

Shebeen generating funds to development

from: Shebeen
(click image for full story online)

A new idea that also allows the consumer to generate income for development is the Australian Shebeen. This food and drink outlet carries products that are linked to specific developing countries e.g. Tuskers from Kenya, Valdivieso Pinot Noir from Chile and Mumma Ho’s Vietnamese meatball.

It then distributes “100%” of its profits to “Not for Profits” in the country of origin of the food or drink bought.

I really like the idea, but it needs more information and transparency to understand its real benefit. Does $2 really go to development for each beer drunk as reported in one story?

  • what are profits – e.g. how are salaries, disbursement and reinvestment set
  • how are “Not for Profits” selected and what is the cost of this
  • how do normal developed country products contribute
  • is this a once off or is it scalable – i.e. when do we see an Australian she been in Soweto
  • I will be following up on this over the next while.

    The Dark Cider in a Black Bottle for South Africa

    Savanna cider joined Amarula Cream to become second largest in its alcoholic beverage class a few years ago. This was achieved with Savanna Dry and Savanna Light which are now complemented by Savanna Dark.

    RealNew Dark Apple Cider Savanna Cider South Africa

    from: Savanna
    (click image for full story online)

    This appears to be a golden cider in a black bottle – wonder if this will bring it some further success in Black Africa?

    Another Source of Free Online INformation

    My previous post on sourcing free online information omitted the in house information of major public organisations.

    EPA technical Information on Breakfast Cereals

    from: US EPA
    (click image for full story online)

    The flowsheet is an extract from a document by the Environment Protection Agency on Breakfast Cereal Processing. The 11 page document describes raw materials, products and 6 processes in detail. It has a short section on what emission controls are required.

    The information is prepared as background for it field officers and is downloadable from their website.

    I have seen similar information on useful food processing information from organisations such as USDA, US FDA, Shipping Associations, Firefighters and Equipment Suppliers. Its well worthwhile identifying these sources.

    Chemical Engineering Unit Operations in Food Processing

    As a Chemical Engineer I have always promoted the role that the Chemical Engineering Unit Operation plays in food manufacturing.

    Chemical Engineers in Food Manufacturing - Action Innovation at Work

    click image to download the pdf


    As well as elaborating on Chemical Engineering’s input to progress in the industry, this article simply charts the changes which lead from what we would now call artisanal local food to multinational worldwide distribution of cheap food.

    The question as to which of these two is the better from the energy, global warming, health, taste, sustainability …. viewpoints is something that requires attention as the world gets squeezed and another opportunity for Chemical Engineers.

    Using Food Science and Technology to Improve Nutrition and Promote National Development

    This is an interesting and detailed paper presenting detailed information on the processing of traditional foods.

    Chapter from an IUFOST publication

    from: IUFOST
    (click image for full story online)

    The paper concludes that the existing small scale processing is important to food supply, food preservation and employment.

    It finds that the expansion of the production of these traditional foods would make business sense, this has been hampered by the normal culprits – access to technology, poor management, lack of funding and low profit margins.

    The paper presents information on the mechanization of gari, the production of instant yam flour and flakes and the production of traditional products including soy-ogi, dawadawa, kilishi and cheese.

    The article has a detailed list of references.

    National Mission on Food Processing – Free Online Information

    The National Mission on Food Processing is an Indian web site that provides very detailed information for food processing entrepreneurs on a wide range of food products.

    A webpage offering detailed food processing business information

    from: National Mission on Food Procesing
    (click image for full story online)

    The site provides wide ranging information including product and process descriptions as well as costing and financial analysis. It is focused on the needs of smaller and start up entrepreneurs, although the information would be valuable to any processor. Some 110 product are covered in this manual.

    Unfortunately, the information and especially the suppliers and costing is developed for application in India. However, it is still a useful source of information for any entrepreneur.