One of the interesting exhibitors at Gulfood Manufacturing next week, is UFT who are promoting a Factory in a Box. While this seems to be an extension of UFT’s normal turnkey factory offering, it makes me think of a time in the late nineties in South Africa when container based “factories” were very popular.
This was driven in South Africa by an excess of used containers, Corporate Responsibility’s responses to the new South Africa and arguments of low cost, simplicity and portability allowing units to be relocated in the event of failure.
In my experience this didn’t work out as the excess of used containers was soon depleted, the costs of installation and modification where higher than predicted and relocation turned out to be expensive because of transport and service connection costs. Containers have fared better as retail or service outlets than as food processing facilities.
Research shows that the principle of an “instant”, prefabricated or modular factory that can be quickly installed on site is attractive. There are still many examples, including those developed by multinationals. This definitely needs to be borne in mind and investigated when new processing is being evaluated.
Click the images below to be directed to sites explaining the different concepts.
Researching this has been an eye opener for me and it surely needs some research and evaluation to make sure we are not missing something by “going it alone”.
To begin with I felt that food on France would be expensive and didn’t look too hard. Lately I have started taking a bit more note and am beginning to wonder what is going on. After coming home from a medium sized supermarket in Cluny, a small rural town, I took these items out of the shopping bag and photographed them on the stove.
photograph by DIGIVU
published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.
Using the Pick and Pay shopping site, selecting similar products and converting at R 10/Euro shows the following
Clover Cream R26.99 / 500ml equivalent to 53.98 R/l compared to 40.00 R/l
Bakers East Sum More R12.49 per 200g equivalent to R62.45 per kg compared to 47,60 R/kg
Free Range Eggs R1.80 each compared to R 2,60 each
Pick and Pay Pure Ground Coffee R46.99 per 250 Gr equivalent to R187.96 per kg compared to 36,00 R/kg
Pongracz Cap Classique R89.99 per bottle compared to 52.50 R/bottle
Carrots R5.69 a bunch compared to R18.00 a bunch, but who knows the size of the bunch.
There is much to be looked at, for instance these are low price items although of quality at least as good as any in South Africa and in particular those costed here. There are always higher priced articles of different quality eg sparkling wine at R250 a bottle and coffee at R45 a packet, the best steak costs R 200/kg and of course one an buy Wine at R1 000s a bottle.
Adding to the complexity you can get a 3 course midday dinner at a restaurant in town for €10 to €12 if you select the special and that’s not a small helping! A very drinkable bottle of red wine such as Cote de Rhone can cost as little as €1.30, a traditional French bread costs €0.80 and a good French goat cheese as little as €1.50 so thats lunch for three at €3.60 or R12.00 each.
Of course this is not a comprehensive or accurate comparison – maybe I will have a further look and report on prices more rigorously sometime. Anyone interested in this could contact me.
I do, however, think it does two things:
It contradicts the perception that food is cheap in South Africa
Raises the question, given low wages and agricultural potential, of why South African prices are high.
.. 58 per cent said biscuits can “positively influence a company’s first impressions”.
.. biscuits were deemed the second most important aspect when hobnobbing in the boardroom, coming behind only the type of tables and chairs provided. Biscuits were prioritised over the lighting, technology and artwork in the room.
The classic chocolate digestives proved to be the professionals’ preferred biscuit. However, its top status meant it was also considered the biscuit of choice to soften the blow when delivering bad news for 18 per cent respondents.
Shortbread came in second for the boardroom’s top biscuits, followed by oat biscuits such as Hobnobs, jam rings and then Bourbons.
.. 28 per cent saying they would refuse a biscuit if it looked too crumbly.
— 48 per cent said they would dunk, while 52 per cent frowned on the act. However, men (55 per cent) are rather more likely to dunk than women (45 per cent).
.. half of professionals would not take more than two biscuits during the meeting, with only 18 per cent saying they would stretch to three.