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Valio introduces Carbo® Farm calculator – to help lower its farmers’ CO2e emissions by an estimated 30% within 5 years

Valio’s aim is to cut the carbon footprint of milk to net zero by 2035. To accelerate its journey, the company is now launching a calculator that its farms can use to measure their own carbon emissions and identify the most effective actions to lower them. These actions are likely to result in dairy products with a lower carbon footprint. The methodology behind the tool is certified by global climate and sustainability experts, the Carbon Trust.

Emissions from milk production can be reduced in many ways. One of the most important methods is carbon farming, i.e. farming methods that maximize the carbon sequestration capacity of fields. The carbon footprint also decreases by increasing the per-hectare harvest of grass for feeding cows. Cow welfare also has a big climate impact: emissions per litre of milk are reduced when cows live longer and produce milk well. The proper handling of manure also reduces emissions: tilling manure into soil rather than spraying it reduces nutrient runoff, and less industrial fertilizers are needed. Some dairy farms are already using their own biogas plants. The energy they produce from manure can be used to heat the farm and to power the milking equipment, for example.

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Over the decades, Finnish dairy farms have done a lot of work to reduce their carbon footprint. The global average carbon footprint of raw milk is currently 2.5 CO2e per litre (Source: FAO). In Finland, we estimate the figure is around 1 CO2e per litre. Using the calculator, emissions reductions can be measured and verified at the farm level.

- Finnish cows’ methane emissions per litre of milk have halved in 50 years as a result of improved animal productivity, health, and nutrition. Cows today can produce more milk with the same amount of feed. Despite this development, our climate impact is still significant. We are humble about the challenges and we are pursuing ways to lower the figures even further. This is the first carbon footprint calculator in Finland developed specifically for dairy farms, says Aleksi Astaptsev, Valio’s scientist who developed the calculation model.

Actions reducing emissions are also savings actions

Farmers can play an important role in reducing carbon emissions because a big part of the footprint of food is generated in primary production. Valio is a company owned by 4,700 Finnish milk producers and it pays all its profits to the dairy farms.

Rami Rauhala and his wife Johanna operate a 65-cow dairy farm in Sievi, western Finland. The carbon footprint of the Hilliaho dairy farm was calculated as part of the work to develop the calculator.

- Climate-smart milk production is also resource efficient, i.e. it makes good sense economically. Most of the fields on our farm are either grass silage or grazing pastures. We have also over-seeded to make the vegetation as thick as possible. In our area, the significance of reparcelling is also big. Parcels that have over time become fragmented have been reparcelled into feasible parcels among land owners. When fields are closer to the farm centre, tractors use less fuel. It has been great to notice that us milk producers are part of the solution to climate change. I believe that a growing share of consumers value our work as environmentally sustainable food producers, says Rauhala.

Valio’s goal is that all its farms are using the tool within the next five years. So far, data has been collected from 100 farms.

- We have scheduled a training roadshow for dairy farms and we are providing them with online support, too. The calculator is easy to use and the farmers already have most of the data at hand. I estimate that the average farm can lower its emissions by 30 percent by 2025.  At the same time, we are of course working to reduce emissions from Valio’s factories, transportation and in packaging,” Astaptsev continues. 

Certified calculation model

Valio’s carbon footprint calculation uses the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) methodology and data from Valio’s own scientific work that started as animal nutrition research 10 years ago.

- It is great to see Valio create this carbon calculator in order to help their farmers drive down their carbon emissions. It demonstrates the company’s commitment to minimising its emissions and we are pleased to have certified its calculator, says John Newton, Associate Director, Carbon Trust.

Valio will continue developing the carbon footprint calculator. Life cycle models for calculating the carbon footprint of food products do not currently include the soil’s carbon balance. So the carbon footprint of milk, or of any other food, doesn’t include the emissions or carbon binding of the soil.

- Carbon binding in grass fields and emissions from farming peat fields should also be included in the calculations in order to get a more accurate picture of a food’s carbon footprint. Another area of development is combining the nutritional values of different foods with their carbon footprints,” Astaptsev concludes.

Background information

Carbon footprint

The carbon footprint is a single-figure or range representation of a product or activity’s greenhouse emissions. Greenhouse gasses, such as methane, nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide, released by the product or activity are converted to a common format, the carbon dioxide equivalent. The carbon footprint is always an estimate and it varies between different farms.

Milk’s carbon footprint

Cows convert the energy and nutrients in grass into milk. This is called rumination, and its price is the methane that is generated in the animal’s rumen. Most of milk production’s emissions (40-50%) are created in the cow’s rumen as well as in manure storage. The second largest share (35-45%) of the carbon footprint is generated in feed production, which releases nitrous oxide. The carbon dioxide generated in different stages of the production chain, e.g. in energy production for factors and in transportation, forms another notable part (10-15%) of the carbon footprint.

Guidelines for calculating a carbon footprint

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, provides guidelines on calculating a food’s carbon footprint at three levels of accuracy. Valio uses the most accurate, i.e. level 3 guidelines, applicable to Finland. Most methods utilised to calculate the carbon footprint rely on general estimates found in external databanks.

Level 1: Emission factors are provided by IPCC
Level 2: Emission factors are calculated with IPCC-provided formulas and parameters
Level 3: Use of the most accurate national calculation methods, factors, and parameters

Emission reductions vs. compensations

It’s also possible to compensate for carbon footprints, i.e. to offset emissions through external actions, such as afforestation projects in developing countries. This does not reduce or change a product’s true carbon footprint. At Valio, our priority is to focus on minimising the emissions in our own production chain in order to permanently reduce emissions. In 2020, we will set targets that are in line with the Paris Agreement: the temperature increase must be limited to 1.5 degrees.

VALIO FROM FINLAND – THE WORLD’S MOST INNOVATIVE DAIRY AND FOOD COMPANY

Valio, offering the taste of Nordic nature since 1905, is a brand leader and the biggest dairy business in Finland and a major player in the international dairy ingredients market. The company is owned by dairy cooperatives comprising some 5,100 dairy farmers.

Wellbeing is at the heart of Valio’s world leading technology innovations, expertise and products that are made from clean Finnish milk and other ingredients. Our product development follows in the footsteps of Nobel Prize winner A. I. Virtanen, and the company holds 350 patents in 50 countries. Our efforts to improve animal wellbeing are resolute, and we know that only healthy cows can produce premium milk products. Valio’s milk ranks among the cleanest in the world, and we have zero tolerance for antibiotic residue in milk.

Valio has net sales of EUR 1.7 billion and is Finland’s biggest food exporter. Valio products are found in some 60 countries and account for 30% of Finland’s total food exports. Valio seeks strong growth in international markets and has subsidiaries in Russia, Sweden, the Baltics, USA and China.

Valio – Together we make life better

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Too cold for comfort

~ Ensuring worker safety in extreme temperature environments ~

Production, preparation, storage and transportation — none of these aspects of food manufacturing are complete without temperature control. Whether workers are packaging frozen fish or loading dough into blazing furnaces, they must handle temperatures that far exceed the usual comfort and safety limits of the human body. So, how do we produce such items while ensuring worker safety? Here, Tatjana Milenovic, global head of food & beverage segment at ABB, explores the ways manufacturers can protect their staff from extreme temperatures.

The body has many effective mechanisms to deal with changes in temperature such as shivering, perspiring and altered breathing. While the body does this automatically, it would quickly become tiring if a person was tasked with manually carrying out this temperature control in a facility. While the law does not state a minimum or maximum working temperature, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises that temperatures in work rooms in the UK and Europe should be at least 16 degrees Celsius (C), or 13 degrees Celsius if the work involves rigorous physical effort. However, if we consider the temperature requirements to cook, freeze and maintain the safety of food products, these conditions can be difficult to guarantee.

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Out in the cold
Maintaining the cold chain plays an instrumental part in keeping produce fresh from farm to fork and is a key process in food manufacturing. Processing raw meat, for example, must be done in a low temperature environment to prevent the development of harmful bacteria. While a very cold environment may be ideal for frozen food products, the conditions are not so desirable for human workers. Prolonged cold exposure can produce a multitude of health effects including hypothermia, chilblains and, in very extreme cases, even frostbite.

To help keep workers safe, regular breaks are a crucial requirement. While human safety should always come first, it should not hamper production as a consequence. Automation can help solve this issue because picking and packing robots can operate continuously to perform repetitive tasks and reduce the need for human workers in severely low temperatures.

Rising dangers
While extremely cold temperatures are dangerous, the opposite is also true. In the Glaswegian suburb of Hamilton, in Scotland, a cluster of warehouses work tirelessly. As one of eight specialty manufacturing plants belonging to bakery company Finsbury Food, the factory produces a remarkable 180,000 cakes every week. While impressive, these results aren’t totally unique — advanced automation in batch production allows manufacturers to produce thousands of baker’s dozens every day.

However, hundreds of thousands of baked goods require ovens along the conveyor belt to remain in continuous production. Because ovens need to reach temperatures of over 250 degrees Celsius to thoroughly cook products, it’s not long before things start heating up on the shop floor. Overheating can prove fatal, so plant managers must address dangerously high temperatures promptly.

Maintenance engineers could implement stronger air conditioning or better ventilation across the plant. However, if we consider the delicacy of a process such as baking, this method of temperature regulation could impact the quality of products.

Sense the danger
Instead, one method to regulate temperatures in extreme working environments harnesses the benefits of the Internet of Things. Temperature sensors such as ABB’s TSP341-N can be non-evasively installed to monitor the temperature of a working environment and increase safety. Using a network of sensors to calculate temperature algorithms, the equipment can detect when a temperature falls above or below an environment’s average temperature margins between -40 and 400 degrees and alert plant managers via a human machine interface (HMI).

As the sensor is surface mounted and non-invasive, it can be fitted without the need to drill a hole and fit a temperature probe and does not require a shutdown of operations during its installation. Once fitted, workers can quickly take action to rectify the situation or remove employees from the environment until the temperatures have been regulated to a safe level.

When we think about keeping things hot or cold in the food and beverage industry, it’s understandable that we prioritize the safety and quality of the product. While working with the correct temperatures is crucial to almost every food manufacturing process, it is just as important that we ensure the safety of those working in extreme environments.

Next time you’re preparing a frozen meal for the microwave, or tucking into your breakfast pastry, spare a thought for extreme temperatures that may have gone into making it.

For more information about ABB’s range of temperature sensing technology, visit the website today.

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Dust extraction specialist set to exhibit its food specific capabilities at Foodex 2020

Dustcontrol UK has announced it will be exhibiting its evolved range of Good For Food (GFF) brushes at Foodex 2020.

Taking place on Monday, March 30th to Wednesday, April 1st at the NEC, Birmingham, the Dustcontrol team will be showcasing the firm’s updated and highly efficient GFF brushes, at stand N239.

Developed specifically for the needs of the food industry, the evolved range offers a unique combination of properties. For one, the brushes are antistatic and ESD certified which means they can be used in ATEX Zone 22 where dust explosions can occur. 

The brushes are also approved for food surface contact being both FDA compliant and the European equivalent. In addition, their material composition makes them detectable via metal detector as well as being autoclavable up to 121 degrees Celsius, allowing for high-pressure saturated steam cleaning. 

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James Miller, Managing Director of Dustcontrol UK, said: "Foodex is an excellent exhibition and one that’s really important for us. It gives us the opportunity to showcase our food specific capabilities, which helps us to demonstrate our worth to key decision makers in the food industry.

“Our GFF brushes, for example, have been developed specifically for the food industry, so Foodex gives us the opportunity to convey their qualities directly to those that will recognise the benefits they bring.”

The company, based in Milton Keynes, has over 45 years of experience in developing dust extraction solutions and centralised vacuum systems to fit client requirements in the food industry. They are experts in capturing dust at its source - both where and when it is created.

With more than 1,500 exhibitors and 30,000 guests expected to be in attendance across the three-day event, Foodex is the UK’s premier trade exhibition for the food and drink processing, packaging and logistics industries.

James concluded: “We’re really looking forward to Foodex and are confident our extraction capabilities will be well received. The GFF brushes are popular choices for food processing plants and we’re hoping to spread awareness of their beneficial properties, helping to extend their improvement of safety and hygiene standards.”

For further information on Dustcontrol UK's products, please call 01327 858001, or email sales@dustcontrol.co.uk.

Alternatively, for further information on Dustcontrol UK, visit www.dustcontroluk.co.uk, or for more information on Foodex 2020, visit https://www.foodex.co.uk/.

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Hartmann expands with acquisition of Mohan Fibre in India

Brødrene Hartmann A/S ("Hartmann") has entered into an agreement with the shareholders of Mohan Fibre Products Pvt. Ltd. (“Mohan Fibre”) for the acquisition of the company, which sells moulded-fibre packaging to egg and apple producers in India with a particular focus on the northern states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.

hartmann logoThe purchase price is DKK 119 million, corresponding to an EBITDA multiple of around 9. The transaction will strengthen Hartmann’s earnings per share (EPS) immediately after the acquisition, which is expected to be completed by mid-2020 conditional on a formal authority approval of Hartmann as a buyer.

Profitable business in an attractive market
Mohan Fibre operates a factory near the city of Chandigarh, which is located around 250 kilometres north of New Delhi. In 2019, Mohan Fibre is expected to generate revenue around DKK 75 million and EBITDA around DKK 13 million based on current exchange rates.

Mohan Fibre is India’s largest and leading manufacturer of quality egg and fruit packaging. The transaction establishes a solid platform for Hartmann in the attractive Indian market, which is characterised by a favourable demographic development and increasing egg and fruit production. The combination of population growth and rising urbanisation in the coming years forms a solid foundation for continued development of the retail industry and increasing demand for quality egg packaging. In addition, the penetration of moulded-fibre packaging for protection of fruit is expected to increase as supply chains are professionalised.

“Mohan Fibre is a profitable company and will improve our earnings from day one. The acquisition marks a strategic decision to enter into the great Indian market in which we see significant growth potential,” says Torben Rosenkrantz-Theil, CEO of Hartmann.

The expansion is in line with Hartmann’s strategy ‘Think ahead’, which also entails significant investments in existing markets. In 2020, Hartmann will complete a significant capacity expansion in Europe with a particular focus on the British and Southern European markets, significantly expand the existing factory in the US and open a new factory in Brazil.

The acquisition is financed within the framework of the group’s existing credit facilities.

Outlook for 2019 and 2020
Hartmann maintains expectations to 2019 of reaching the upper end of the DKK 2.2-2.4 billion range after restatement for hyperinflation and a profit margin around 11% before special items and restatement for hyperinflation. Capital expenditure for 2019 is expected to amount to about DKK 200 million before restatement for hyperinflation against former expectations of around DKK 250 million.

The outlook for 2020 will be presented in the annual report for 2019, which will be released on 10 March 2020.

About Brødrene Hartmann A/S

Hartmann is the world’s leading manufacturer of moulded-fibre egg packaging, a market-leading manufacturer of fruit packaging in South America and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of technology for the production of moulded-fibre packaging. Founded in 1917, Hartmann’s market position builds on its strong technology know-how and extensive experience of sustainable moulded-fibre production dating back to 1936. Hartmann sells egg and fruit packaging to manufacturers, distributors and retail chains, which are increasingly demanding sustainable packaging solutions and specialised marketing expertise. Our versatile product portfolio is customised to accommodate customer and consumer needs in each individual market. Hartmann sells machinery and technology to manufacturers of moulded-fibre packaging in selected markets. Headquartered in Gentofte, Denmark, Hartmann has 2,000 employees. Hartmann’s production platform consists of 12 factories in Europe, Israel and North and South America.

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Global food industry deals total $5.55bn in December 2019

Total food industry deals for December 2019 worth $5.55bn were announced globally, according to GlobalData’s deals database.

The value marked an increase of 40.1% over the previous month and a rise of 114.5% when compared with the last 12-month average of $2.59bn.

2017 04 20 114457In terms of number of deals, the sector saw a drop of 32.8% over the last 12-month average with 45 deals against the average of 67 deals.

In value terms, North America led the activity with deals worth $4.34bn.

Food industry deals in December 2019: Top deals

The top five food deals accounted for 97.8% of the overall value during December 2019.

The combined value of the top five food deals stood at $5.43bn, against the overall value of $5.55bn recorded for the month.

The top five food industry deals of December 2019 tracked by GlobalData were:

  1. Froneri International’s $4bn asset transaction with Nestle
  2. The $900m private equity deal with CERELIA by Ardian Holding
  3. Hostess Brands’s $320m acquisition of Voortman Cookies
  4. The $172.21m asset transaction with Bunge and Seara Alimentos by

Guan Chong’s acquisition of SCHOKINAG-Schokolade-Industrie for $33.27m

This analysis considers only announced and completed deals from the GlobalData financial deals database and exclude all terminated and rumored deals. Country and industry are defined according to the headquarters and dominant industry of the target firm. The term ‘acquisition’ refers to both completed deals and those in the bidding stage. 

GlobalData tracks real-time data concerning all merger and acquisition, private equity/venture capital and asset transaction activity around the world from thousands of company websites and other reliable sources. 

About GlobalData 

4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies, make more timely and better business decisions thanks to GlobalData’s unique data, expert analysis, and innovative solutions, all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative across a range of industries, including the healthcare, consumer, retail, technology, energy, financial and professional services sectors