• Welcome to Food & Drink Business’ first print magazine of 2024. Before we even know what’s what, we have the first ever APPEX event kicking off in just two weeks’ time, and our inaugural (a time for firsts!) Hive Awards underway (extended closing date is this Thursday, 29 February). 
    Welcome to Food & Drink Business’ first print magazine of 2024. Before we even know what’s what, we have the first ever APPEX event kicking off in just two weeks’ time, and our inaugural (a time for firsts!) Hive Awards underway (extended closing date is this Thursday, 29 February). 
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Welcome to Food & Drink Business’ first print magazine of 2024. Before we even know what’s what, we have the first ever APPEX event kicking off in just two weeks time, and our inaugural (a time for firsts!) Hive Awards underway (extended closing date is this Thursday, 29 February). 

Matthews CEO Mark Dingley said manufacturing industry education is a value and purpose that Matthews shares with AFGC, as evidenced through the assets the coding and labelling specialist has built in its iDSnet Cloud and two Barcode Learning Centres.
Matthews' Retailer Engagement Hub will be one feature of many at APPEX.

APPEX has been born out of the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association’s (APPMA) AUSPACK event. It will be showcasing the latest and best processing and packaging equipment and services in the country.

Filling all 20 bays at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 12-15 March, it’s going to be quite the show.

Food & Drink Business will be there with PKN Packaging News, roaming the halls and manning the mic for our legendary live podcasting. And don’t miss the three hours of power on the afternoon of the 12th, when the team from PKN, Food & Drink Business, and Print21 will be hosting a forum in conjunction with the International Packaging Press Organisation.

Our APPEX preview starts on page 28.

Australia's first limoncello spritz.
Australia's first limoncello spritz.

This issue’s Rising Star is also off and racing. Solbevi founder Stefan Di Benedetto launched Australia’s first canned Limoncello Spritz five months ago and is already stocked in 165 shops and venues. He is as passionate as he is determined – read all about it from page 14.

If it’s (near) the beginning of the year, then it must be trends reviewing time. Head to page 20 for my rundown on some of the big consumer trends we’re seeing emerge or mature. Humans, we are a curious bunch.

On page 42, Robotic Automation details its project with logistics company Tacca Industries to resolve significant operational challenges in its warehouse facility. RA developed and delivered a tailored solution RA specified Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) shuttle system with impressive results.

And on page 44, Troy Gosetti from Neogen puts forward a pretty compelling case to not underinvest in your food safety systems.

When Dairyworks approached Process Partners to install a new line, the food engineering firm offered another idea to drive greater productivity.
When Dairyworks approached Process Partners to install a new line, the food engineering firm offered another idea to drive greater productivity.

When New Zealand cheese company, Dairyworks, contacted Process Partners to install a new line, the food engineering firm offered another idea that would drive greater productivity, efficiency, and savings. Find out what it was on page 48.

Unfolding as you read this are our inaugural industry excellence awards – The Hive Awards. On the other side of APPEX, on 16 May, we will be hosting a night of nights to announce the very first award recipients, setting the standard for years to come. We would love to see you there as we celebrate the talent and innovation in the sector.

Packaging News

Under pressure from shareholders to cut costs, Unilever has released a revised sustainability strategy that CEO Hein Schumacher describes as “unashamedly realistic”, while critics call it shameful.

Warwick Armstrong is the new managing director IPE Pack Oceania, joining the company with a wealth of experience in the Australian packaging industry, and deep knowledge of equipment and materials.

The ACCC has instituted court proceedings against Clorox Australia, owner of GLAD-branded kitchen and garbage bags, over alleged false claims that bags were partly made of recycled 'ocean plastic'.