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Food Manufacturers Waste: The Problems and the Solutions

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Waste and waste management has been an extremely topical subject for many years across the globe, with food waste receiving further attention more recently in the UK from the Government and high-profile media campaigns such as “War on Waste” led by professional chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. His mission, which was aired on the BBC, was to change the way we think about waste by challenging the supermarkets and fast food industry to drastically reduce the amount of waste they generate.

However, it’s not only the supermarkets and fast food industry who produce food waste, but food manufacturers also account for 1.7 million tonnes of waste each year, costing the food manufacturing sector £1.2 billion per year.

Implications of food waste

So why is food waste a concern? Food waste has economic, environmental and social impacts; Greenhouse gas emissions are produced when food is decomposing on landfill, as well as when it’s transported. These greenhouse gases have a global impact on temperature and weather systems, with the ‘greenhouse effect’ resulting in global warming.

Landfill

Causes of food waste

Food wastage from manufacturers can occur at any point during the food manufacturing process. For example, at pre-production, there could be inaccurate forecasting of raw materials which may not get used fully and leftovers go to waste.

During production, waste can happen through spillage, spoilage, even plant shutdowns and washes. Ingredient waste can also occur during the food production process from peeling, washing, slicing and even boiling.

According to WRAP.org.uk, 9% of waste in the ready meals and chilled products sector is caused by machine mishandling, and 3.5% of products are rejected for poor production such as under or over baking, or under or overweight.

Cancellation of orders, packaging, and end of sell-by-date products are also a cause of food waste.

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Reducing food waste

It’s not only important to reduce food waste for the good of the environment and economy, but waste can also have a huge impact on the bottom line for food manufacturers.

Here are a few tips which can help waste management;

  • Form good relationships with your supply chain – so you can return ingredients to them if they won’t be used (if your supplier agrees to do this)
  • Forecast for accuracy – order the right amount of raw materials for production so that left-over goods don’t go to waste
  • Increase re-work – re-use waste product where possible
  • Use cutoffs – to create a new product and maximise ingredients
  • Regularly check machines – walk the line regularly to ensure machinery is working properly

Stevens Waste Management

The tips above are just a few ways to reduce waste in the food processing industry, however, Stevens Traceability has a waste management system which is proven to reduce product giveaway, wastage and conform to traceability audits and average weight regulations.

By having full traceability of raw ingredients from goods in, throughout the production process and through to waste, the Stevens system provides reports so that you can improve performance, make production more efficient and reduce the costs of materials, labour, and energy.

What’s more, you can ensure collections of waste are scheduled in line with actual waste on-site, reducing unnecessary collections, further helping the environment and reducing waste collection costs.

If you’re looking for, or would like more information about a traceability or waste management solution, please get in touch with our expert team today on 01254 685200 or email info@stevenstraceability.com

New Partnership Strengthens End-to-End Compliance & Maintenance Solution for Manufacturers

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Stevens Traceability Systems Limited are pleased to announce their strategic partnership with leading instrumentation maintenance and management company, Envogen UK Limited.

Having provided weighing and traceability solutions to manufacturers operating in the food and beverage, industrial, waste and logistics sectors for over 100 years, we know how important it is for manufacturers to comply with industry regulations.

This extensive experience has also allowed us to fully understand the importance of ensuring that production is at full capacity for maximum profitability, and it’s for this reason that we have appointed Envogen UK Limited as a strategic partner to support our service offering.

WHAT THIS PARTNERSHIP MEANS FOR MANUFACTURERS

Working with Envogen UK Limited, allows Stevens Traceability to not only ensure that manufacturers comply with the ever-increasing regulations when it comes to product safety, employee safety and disposal of waste procedures using our award-winning modular software and weighing equipment. It also enables us to extend our current service provision to weighing equipment and associated assets, to include Instrumentation calibration services.

INSTRUMENT & CONTROL: ON-SITE CALIBRATION & REPAIRS BY ENVOGEN UK LIMITED

ON-SITE CALIBRATION SERVICES

Envogen provides a comprehensive, cost-effective range of on-site service that includes calibration, preventative maintenance, planned shutdown work, installation, and commissioning.

Service is available for all forms of measurement, including;

  • Pressure
  • Temperature
  • Level
  • Flow
  • Ph
  • Conductivity
  • All other electrical equipment

They certify the instrumentation within the client’s plant, allowing them to demonstrate compliance with their Regulatory Authority, British Standard, FSA, FDA, International Standard or other Governing bodies.

These services are supported by an in-house repair service, to all of the above instruments and they are able to supply replacement instrumentation at competitive prices.

BENEFITS FOR MANUFACTURERS

  • Maximum output
  • Maximum profitability
  • Improved production processes
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Reduced number of suppliers to site
  • Reduced number of invoices to process
  • Standardised calibrations, rather than every month of the year
  • Increased management control
  • Cost savings

Mike Wynburg, Director at Stevens Traceability Systems Limited said:

“We’re extremely pleased to work in partnership with Envogen so that we can provide customers with further servicing options. Supporting our clients is central to all that we do, and formulating partnerships with key experts in maintenance and servicing is something which we will be growing at Stevens Traceability.”

Dave Sumpter, Director, Envogen UK Limited added:

“Excited by the prospect of working alongside a leading supplier of weighing and traceability services.”

If you’re looking for a traceability solution, servicing or weighing equipment for your manufacturing facility, please get in touch with our expert team today on 01254 685200 or email info@stevenstraceability.com

The Rise of Artisan Bakeries

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The Rise of Artisan Bakers

The launch of The Great British Bake Off in 2010 ignited the nation’s passion for baking. People of all ages and baking experience have attempted the signature dishes, showstoppers and technical tests at one time or another; all no doubt with varying degrees of success. Junior Bake Off, the spin-off series, saw future artisan bakers take to our screens with the aim of impressing the judges with their flaky pastry and gingerbread houses.

Not only did we see the British public tune into the programme in their millions, viewers took to the Supermarkets in their droves. Sainsburys for example, saw sales of orange jelly increase by 150% overnight when the contestants were tasked with making Jaffa Cakes (1) in 2016. The show is also credited by many as being integral to the rise of Artisan Bakeries and their increase in popularity among the British public.

INDEPENDENT BAKERIES

The independent bakery sector has enjoyed years of growth thanks to the likes of Paul Hollywood and Lorraine Pascale championing the art to the masses. The word ‘Artisan’ typically signifies care, expertise and quality of ingredients. There are currently no official restrictions on who can use these terms, so it’s always worth finding out the story behind the label.

For example, Macleans Bakery in Forres, Inverness, Scotland, are a Stevens Traceability client. They are fourth generation family bakers and have held the title of Scottish Master Bakers. A family-run company, they produce traditional shortbreads, sweet biscuits and oatcakes from recipes handed down through the generations. In the 100 years they have been baking, the team at Macleans Bakery have witnessed many changes in their industry, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the quality of ingredients, quality of finished product and eating quality and flavour.

COELIAC DISEASE AND FOOD ALLERGIES

As a nation we have a fondness of bread which spans thousands of years, however in recent years an increase in coeliac disease (gluten intolerance) and food allergies in general, has seen consumers taking more of an interest in what is in their food.

This has provided independent bakeries with an opportunity to bake products which meet the needs of niche markets. Independent bakeries are typically in a better position than the national bakeries to respond quickly to a change in consumer tastes by removing or reducing the ingredients typically associated with intolerances and allergies i.e. yeast and additives. The introduction of sourdough into the baking process has enabled bakeries to continue offering products to this marketplace.

THE IMPORTANCE OF RECIPE TRACEABILITY IN BAKERIES

Nowadays, consumers are not afraid to ask for the details when it comes to ingredients. They are also more demanding as far as product consistency goes. They want the same taste and same size of product each time; regardless of whether they are buying from an independent bakery or Supermarket.

This is where recipe traceability plays a part. Many independent bakeries still take a manual approach to the weighing of ingredients which is typically down to the costs of introducing automation into the process.

At Stevens Traceability our Essentials™ Modular Software has been designed specifically for smaller, independent bakeries. Our system supports you in delivering on product consistency and traceability of ingredients leading to a reduction in costly giveaway.

Introducing automation into the baking process, ensures you can deliver what the customer wants; namely consistency of product and quality. In addition, your bakery benefits from increased productivity and visibility of the entire operation. Introducing the Essentials™ Modular Software into your production process, reduces the amount of manual labour from the process, provides statistics of the batch, manages product giveaway, ensures consistency. All of the previously mentioned gives you the time to focus on developing new products and most importantly growing your business.

FIND OUT MORE

For more information on the Essentials™ Modular Software, please call Lauren on: 01254 685200 or email: lauren.smith@stevenstraceability.com

INTERESTING FACTS

  • As a nation of bread lovers, we purchase over 3,500,000,000 sandwiches each year (2) – this reaches 12,000,000,000 if you count the ones you make yourself (3)!
  • Artisan bread is easier to digest than mass-produced bread, because the enzymes have had time to begin breaking down the gluten in the flour while fermenting. And you can take time to savour it too – as a rule of thumb, the longer the production process, the longer its shelf life will be (4).
  • Sugar keeps everything together when baking (5). Aside from sweetening the baked goods, its role is to bind the water, meaning it attracts water and keeps it from the other ingredients.
  • A rolled-up piece of white bread was used to erase graphite before rubber erasers were invented (6).