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”.
click image to visit site
click the image to visit the website
There seems to be an outcry in the UK, because it has come to light that chocolates labeled Fairtrade may actually contain no Fairtrade cocoa (cocoa produced by disadvantaged third world farmers) because all cocoa is mixed before distribution to manufacturers.
from: The Sun (click image for full story online)
While this may be the case and is quite disturbing, I still believe the labeling of a product as Fairtrade when only a portion (now shown to be an unknown portion) of one of the many ingredients in a chocolate bar allows the supplier to use the Fairtrade logo!
The ingredient list, gives cocoa butter as only the third ingredient after sugar and wheat flour for Kit Kat and sugar and milk for Dairy Milk Chocolate. So way less than one third of the ingredients are actually Fairtrade ingredients, if 20% (which is extremely optimistic) of UK cocoa were Fairtrade it would be a maximum of only 6%. So why can the bar as a whole be termed a Fairtrade Chocolate Bar?
This is one of the few products that seems to be focussed specifically on informal trading and the poor.
The outer candy shell is designed to ensure that the product remains solid and round in the hot conditions of the hawkers table and it will sell at 75c (around 10 US cents) and be available to the hawker in an affordable pack size.
Sounds really good but is it good to eat when the chocolate is melted, 75 c is still quite an amount in poor areas and what is the cost per unit of chocolate.
If these factors don’t limit its popularity it will be very interesting to follow!
I have always thought that FAIRTRADE offered a marketing advantage to the small scale food manufacturer. After all the FAIRTRADE sales in the UK in 2009 were 800 million pounds!
Now in the last few days we see 2 very different stories on FAIRTRADE chocolate, in the Australian Foodweek.
(click the image to open website)
(click the image to open website)
Both of these raise questions and prompt me to write a few blogs trying to answer one that has been bothering me for some time. What fraction of, lets say Kit Kat’s raw materials, are FAIRTRADE? I will also be giving an overview of FAIRTRADE and how different organisations view it.
Just links to the two sites:
from: Le Whif (click image for full story online)
from: Gear Fuse (click image for full story online)
Yes they do really enrich dark chocolate with Omega 2 oil.