What a whirlwind couple of months it has been for the Food & Drink Business team. International travel has featured, as has being involved in industry events and attending various expos and shows, all while keeping you up to date with the industry's news. Our October/November magazine covers all of this and more, with special features on beverages, plant design & fitout, testing and measuring, and meat, fish & poultry, and all the regulars as well.
In September, materials handling company Combilift invited me to its headquarters in Ireland to celebrate its 25th birthday. It is well established how much I enjoy a factory visit, but to be flown to, and hosted in, Ireland was really taking it to the next level. I mean, even a castle was involved.
Needless to say it was a fantastic trip to learn about the company, see its operations, and latest releases, but it was witnessing the intangible qualities of the business that was most striking. CEOs can talk about the culture of an organisation and what makes it tick, but it is being on the ground, watching employees interact with each other, and simply being in the building where you can truly get a sense of it. I have to thank Combilift – CEO Martin McVicar, its Australian MD, Chris Littlewood, and all the team at HQ in Monaghan, Ireland for their hospitality, generosity of time and knowledge, and organisational prowess, it was an experience I won’t forget. For the full story, head to page 18.
And what Combilift is doing in materials handling, our cover story company, MHM Automation, is doing in product handling. On page 16 we have a case study of MHM’s project with one of Australia’s largest meat processing companies, Midfield Group. MHM is revolutionising the back-end operations for food processors like Midfield around the world through automation, robotics and partnership with its customers.
And over in the drinks sector, the CEO of Australian Beverages Council, Geoff Parker, provides a full and thorough update on the issues and challenges the industry has been addressing, all while developing new varieties and new drinks to keep consumers happy. Geoff’s article is on page 24, and our Beverage Business feature begins on page 30.
A soft and squishy Rising Star
In her home kitchen in the Adelaide Hills, May Pike found the ingredient for sweet success with a batch of homemade marshmallows. Pippa Haupt spoke to the Cloud Theory founder about the journey so far. (Page 22)
Redefining soft drink
In the dynamic soft drinks category, Kristian Johannsen is ready to shake things up. With credentials including Minor Figures and Capi, Kim Berry asks him about his latest venture, better-for-you soft drink brand Bobby. (Page 32)
A new era for the poachers
Located on the outskirts of Canberra, family owned smoked meat producer Poachers Pantry is now in its 32nd year. As the second-generation takes the reins, a refurbishment will see the company set up long into the future. Pippa Haupt spoke to general manager Lauren Allen. (Page 38)
There is so much more packed into this issue, with our Beverage Business feature starting on page 30, Meat, Fish, & Poultry feature from page 36, Plant Design & Fitout from page 42, and Testing & Measuring on page 46.