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Majority of Künzel Maschinenbau GmbH shares acquired

Ziemann Holvrieka has expanded its capabilities for providing complete brewery solutions with the acquisition of Künzel Maschinenbau in Mainleus, Germany. Künzel is a leading manufacturer particularly known for its expertise in malt handling and grist mills, which are crucial components for breweries. Künzel has been a major player in the raw material handling sector since 1922.

This acquisition reflects Ziemann Holvrieka’s strong commitment to excellence in the brewery equipment industry. Künzel’s specialisation in the upstream phase of brewing process aligns perfectly with our existing product portfolio. It enables us to enhance our range of products and turnkey solutions. Furthermore, we will harness Künzel’s expertise within our group of companies, including Ziemann Holvrieka, to explore new opportunities for Künzel in other sectors.

The site in Mainleus will continue to operate as it always has, with the same management team, with the same dedication to all its customers and with their committed employees. Künzel will retain its company name, brands, and organisational culture.

Energy and raw material prices were already on very high level but surged even further after the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Those increases combined with availability issues have serious financial impacts on the flexible packaging supply chain. All main substrates used for flexible packaging such as plastics, paper and aluminium are concerned but also adhesives, lacquers and inks. The industry is confronted with the high energy prices in their direct operations manufacturing flexible packaging and logistics.

Even though the cost share for logistics is less than in other packaging sectors due to the low product to packaging ratio of flexible packaging and very efficient transportation (usually on reels) the absolute increase is very significant. Reports from forwarder associations even show the risk of reduction of available logistic capacities as companies will have to give up their operational business due to high diesel prices.

“The level of cost increases due this situation for manufacturers of the flexible packaging industry cannot yet be assessed completely but we are convinced that the peak is not reached yet,” commented Guido Aufdemkamp, Executive Director of Flexible Packaging Europe the situation.

“Main difficulties for our membership are the high uncertainty of serious pricing to their customers as many suppliers to the industry change their rates even after fixed delivery confirmation. Non-acceptance of such increases is often penalised by non-delivery or non-availability of the next order. Compared to the supplier and customer industry our sector is in a certain sandwich position. Furthermore, liquidity issues are of growing concern in particular for small- and medium-sized companies. That is combined with insufficient credit insurance lines due to high raw material prices.”

Almost half of the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) in Europe, excluding beverages, are packed with flexible packaging.

The global pandemic has affected the packaging solution industry by leading to a significant price increase and shortage of raw materials and components used in packaging equipment. To compensate for the rising costs and continue to provide the highest quality solutions, Sidel is implementing a commodity-induced price adjustment on its equipment by an average of 5 % effective September 6, 2021. Deficiency of raw materials and components may impact equipment delivery time as well.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Sidel has been striving to keep the same price level for its equipment despite the fact that the price of raw materials has increased significantly since 2020. Moreover, this increase is not expected to recover in the foreseeable future.

Additionally, the pandemic, combined with other external factors, has resulted in a significant shortage of microchips globally. This shortage is an outcome of supply-related disruptions, including forced closure of factories, together with an unanticipated increase in demand for personal electronics such as cell phones and laptops as people were required to work or study remotely. Both supply shortage of microchips and increase in consumption of personal electronics lead to supplier delays which might impact the overall Sidel delivery channels for the near future.

Tridge, the global sourcing and market intelligence hub for food buyers and suppliers, has predicted how the La Nina weather system is likely to impact tropical fruit crops – avocado, mango, and pineapple – in parts of South America, Asia, and Australasia. These predictions can help food buyers globally to mitigate the risks of La Nina on their supply chains.

La Nina is a weather phenomenon that occurs every few years including 2020. During La Nina, changes in Pacific Ocean temperatures impact tropical rainfall patterns from Indonesia to the west coast of South America.

Avocado – New Zealand could suffer where Peru could succeed

La Nina is expected to have both positive and negative effects on Avocado.

New Zealand’s avocado growers have been suffering a prolonged dry spell and eagerly awaiting rainfall for 20 months. However, the heavy rain likely because of la Nina could be detrimental to their avocado yields.

Abhishek Dudejja, Engagement Manager at Tridge New Zealand, said, “It only takes two to three days of rainfall for avocado trees suffering from water stress to recover. Although avocado trees need plenty of water, too much can quickly tip the balance and cause problems such as root rot and asphyxiation. The impacts of this include reduced yields, and smaller and lower quality fruits with a shorter shelf life.”

In contrast, Peru, with a favorable geographical and climatic condition in South America could benefit from La Nina. The colder temperatures this weather system causes could help avocados mature more effectively. Irrigation levels are also currently at the right level for a good harvest.

Cinzia Riccio, Engagement Manager at Tridge Peru, commented, “While la Nina might cause later avocado flowering than normal, the cooler temperatures that are likely should reduce the level of pests, protecting crops. On balance, Peru Avocado appears to be a winner from La Nina.”

Mango – problems expected in Peru and Southeast Asia

For Mangos, the prognosis looks poor in several regions. Prolonged dry spells in Peru, added to an already dry 2020 could impact Mango productivity and prices. In Piura, northern Peru, the country’s top mango growing region, there have been ongoing water shortages and 50 % of its reservoir is depleted.

Jin Woo Lee, Market Analyst at Tridge, said, “This year we’re expecting Peruvian mango to be at least 15 % lower than in 2019, which will increase prices.”

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam and Thailand are experiencing typhoons and facing the prospect of more heavy rain and flooding. This could cause several issues for mango crops, including decreased productivity, internal rotting, canker, and fruit fly, which could mean suspension of exports for phytosanitary reasons.

Pineapple – Costa Rica feels the dual pressures of C-19 and La Nina

Costa Rican pineapples may be scarcer than normal in importing countries such as the US due to reduced demand and supply caused by COVID-19 and la Nina combined. 86 % of US pineapple imports are from Costa Rica, valued at 616 Million USD in 2019.1

Tridge’s Jin Woo Lee said, “COVID-19 has made reefer containers for pineapple shipping to the US scarce. Added to this, heavy rainfall over the past few weeks is affecting the quality of the fruit.”

Since October 2020, Costa Rica’s principal pineapple farming regions, Alajuela and Heredia, have seen well over two and a half times average rainfall2 leading to reduced yield and quality.

One US buyer of Costa Rican pineapples commented, “pineapples are normally sold at retail with a greenish-yellow exterior, which indicates full ripeness. However, over the past month, we’ve been receiving products which are either too ripe or not ripe enough to be sold properly, as pineapples stop ripening after they are picked.”

Despite this drop in supply, export prices to the US have decreased, because COVID-19 has caused reduced demand from US buyers. Equally, the heavy rainfall worsened by la Nina is unnerving Costa Rican suppliers about the quality of their product and therefore its value.

According to Jason Kong, Operations Managers at Tridge, “12kg of Costa Rican MD-2 Pineapples were traded at $6.2 in October 2020 but now they are at $5.0.”

Hoshik Shin, CEO of Tridge, commented: “La Nina will cause a turbulent end to an already difficult year for many fruit growers. It is another reminder of why both food growers and buyers globally need to be prepared for change and disruption and be ready to adapt or switch their supply lines and routes to market quickly using digital trading platforms and expert partners. At Tridge we’re supporting an increasing volume of organisations on both sides of the food supply chain who are seeking this agility.”

1Tridge: https://www.tridge.com/products/pineapple/import/US
2UN Seasonal Explorer: https://dataviz.vam.wfp.org/seasonal_explorer/rainfall_vegetation/visualizations#

About Tridge
Tridge is a global trade ecosystem where buyers and suppliers of agricultural and food products can find everything they need to understand their markets with just a simple search. Using a combination of the latest digital technology and the latest insights gathered through a human network, they provide a very powerful global-scale platform for buyers and suppliers to connect and do business with each other more confidently.
Using a global network covering over 150 countries worldwide, Tridge has developed a comprehensive data set of 300,000,000+ prices and 1,600,000,000+ trade data points covering 1000+ items in the agriculture and food sector and successfully facilitates the B2B and B2C trading of these items. Tridge aims to achieve digitalization and globalization of the trade industry.

The shift from fossil-based to renewable bio-plastics requires new efficient methods. New technology developed at VTT enables the use of pectin-containing agricultural waste, such as citrus peel and sugar beet pulp, as raw material for bio-based PEF-plastics for replacing fossil-based PET. The carbon footprint of plastic bottles can be lowered by 50 % when replacing their raw material of PET with PEF polymers, which also provides a better shelf life for food.

“In the near future, you may buy orange juice in bottles that are made out of orange peel. VTT’s novel technology provides a circular approach to using food waste streams for high-performance food packaging material, and at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” shares Professor of Practice Holger Pöhler from VTT”.

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and other polyesters are being widely used in food packaging, plastic bottles and textiles. The annual production of PET products is estimated at 30 million tonnes. Replacing fossil-based PET with plant-based PEF (polyethylene furanoate) polymers can lower the carbon footprint of the products by 50 %.

Moreover, the barrier properties of PEF plastics are better than PETs, meaning that the food products have a longer shelf life. PEF is a fully recyclable and renewable high-performance plastic. Therefore, it opens up possibilities for the industries to reduce waste and to have positive impact on the environment.

VTT’s technology has significant advantages for making bio-based PEF plastics. The technology uses a stable intermediate for the production of FDCA (2,5-furandicarboxylic acid), one of the monomers of PEF, which enables a highly efficient process. In addition, utilising pectin-containing waste streams opens up new possibilities for the circular economy of plastics.

VTT’s unique scale-up infrastructure from laboratory to pilot scale ensures that this new technology will be brought to a technology readiness level that will allow polymer manufacturers’ easy transition to full scale.

VTT has patented the technology, and the research has been published in the scientific journal Green Chemistry on 7 December 2020: A unique pathway to platform chemicals: aldaric acids as stable intermediates for the synthesis of furandicarboxylic acid esters

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Organic: added value. VOG Products focuses on traceability and the Bioland quality markVOG Products processed over 30,000 tonnes of organic fruit in the 2019/20 business year. Many factors, starting from the South Tyrol – Südtirol location and the partnership with Bioland, underlie the growing demand.

From 2017 to the present the organic percentage of the output of VOG Products, the modern, innovative fruit processing business in Italy’s South Tyrol – Südtirol region, has tripled. But why is interest in certified organic foods growing so strongly? The answer is apparently simple but actually implies a great deal more: because organic is added value.

“Customers identify it with a healthier product: people want to make a choice that’s good for them, for the environment they live in, and also for nature. This is certainly a trend, but for an ever-increasing number of people it’s more than that: a lifestyle and a new experience”, we are told by Martin Bristot, who works in the organic sector as Senior Key Account Manager at VOG Products.

An Organic brand also represents trust: VOG Products only purchases organic fruit from its members in Trentino-South Tyrol, mainly Bio Val Venosta and Bio Südtirol. “Through traceability back to the farmer, we are able to give the market a strong, clear signal: we know who grows our organic products with hard work and passion,” Mr Bristot confirms. “Since the European market’s two biggest organic producers are members in our owner cooperative, we enjoy preferential access to raw material. Basically, we are able to access supplies all year round.”

Through the partnership with Bioland, VOG Products takes another major step forward: almost all its organic raw materials also meet the Bioland standards. “The whole chain, starting from the farmers through the cooperative to VOG Products itself as processing company, is certified from A to Z, so the final product is certified, too”, Mr Bristot explains.

This label’s private law requirements are much more stringent than the criteria enforced by law on the EU’s biological label: farmers implement the seven Bioland principles, which also embrace the circular economy, biodiversity, and the maintenance of soil fertility to combat global warming. A Bioland farm has to operate in accordance with 100% environment-friendly standards, and the use of fertilisers and pesticides is also more strictly controlled. When it comes to processing, fewer than half the food additives approved under EU organic production regulations also meet the Bioland conformity criteria. In general, with Bioland, additives and auxiliary materials, processing methods, packaging, labelling and the quality guarantee are specifically tailored to each group of products, and tight restrictions are often imposed.

Over time, major food retailers have recognised its potentials and have brought their strategies into line with the Bioland standards. Once again, VOG Products benefits from its location in South Tyrol, the only province outside Germany to have a Bioland association.

The market is particularly receptive to pulps and fruit juices for children. “We are able to differentiate our products in order to satisfy even the toughest standards on organic foods for infants”, Mr Bristot adds.

VOG Products also benefits from members’ variety of products and forward-looking varietal strategy: “We can also offer an organic version of variety growers’ club apples such as Pink Lady. On request, we are even able to supply a single-variety product”.

Recently, demand for organic products has recorded constant growth, a trend of which VOG Products is well aware: although in the 2017/18 business year it processed only a little over 10,000 tonnes of organic produce, this volume rose to about 20,000 tonnes in 2018/19 and passed the 30,000 tonne mark in 2019/20. Output of organic apple pulp and juice more than doubled in the same period.

In the future, the added value of organic output will become more and more fundamental for VOG Products: in the years to 2023, the cultivated land used for organic production will be expanded by about 10% per annum.

VOG Products is an innovative company specialising in the processing of apples and other fruit. It is owned by 18 cooperatives in South Tyrol and Trentino and four producers’ organisations comprising over 13,000 family-run enterprises. Every year, VOG Products process more than 300,000 tonnes of raw goods to create healthy, safe products for the international market.

Orange supply should continue to increase in São Paulo State in April. Although some oranges among the early varieties were traded in March, this month, availability should grow, offsetting the low supply of pear oranges in the market. Still, supply should not be considered high, since flower settlement in the first flowerings was reduced.

Thus, the upward trend of orange prices, observed until March, has been interrupted. Demand, in turn, should be affected (positively and negatively) by the covid-19 pandemic – on the one hand, citrus fruits are supposed to strengthen immunity, on the other hand, the demand for school meals, company meals and from food services should continue low.

It is also important to mention that the oranges from SP should reach the ideal maturation stage this month, which may allow these fruits to stay longer on trees while demand is low. However, growers tend to opt for closing deals at this time of the year, before availability grows too much (possibly pressing down quotes), from May.

Besides, crushing is currently at a slow pace at the processing plants from SP, and should step up again only in May, when early varieties start to be crushed. Thus, this month, oranges should be allocated exclusively to the in natura market and small-sized processors. However, as the market has been oscillating and uncertain, due to the changes caused by the pandemic, orange prices may rise again, changing the scenario forecast by growers.

TAHITI LIME – As the fruits from the second flowering have ripened, supply should continue high between April and early May. Quality should be high, reflecting the regular rains in March. Still, it should be lower than that available in the first quarter of the year (crop peak period). In this scenario, a considerable supply with fruits within the required standard may continue to favor exports if international demand keeps firm.

In the first quarter of 2020, the Brazilian exports of lemon and lime were records for the period. According to data from Secex, Brazil shipped 34.7 thousand tons of these fruits, a staggering 46 % up compared to that in the same period last year. Revenue, in turn, totaled 25.9 million USD in January, February and March, 42 % higher in the same comparison.

Cloudy Apple Juice: Influence of Raw Material, Processing and Storage

Cloudy apple juice is one of the most popular juices consumed. As the nature and stability of the cloud particles are an important quality feature for the consumer this review considers the composition of those particles and the various factors that influence the cloudy nature of the juice which should help manufacturers obtain consistent appealing products. In order to maintain the natural reputation of juices with the use of additives to control cloud stability this document provides an important scientific reference for the physical steps that can be taken.

This document has been published and is available via the IFU website under the heading Best Practice & e-learning.