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Archive for April, 2012

Almost a third of Australian “free range” eggs in breach of industry code

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

From the Australian Food News website 16 April 2012:

Almost a third of eggs labelled as “free range” in Australia are produced in conditions that breach the egg industry’s own regulations, according to new figures published by the Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL).

A media statement published on the AECL’s website states that 29 per cent of free range egg production in Australia is sourced from farms that stock free range hens at densities greater than two birds per square metre (20,000 per hectare).

However, the current Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals only allows for a maximum of 1,500 hens per hectare (but states “any higher bird density is acceptable only where regular rotation of birds onto fresh range areas occurs and close management is undertaken which provides some continuing fodder cover”).

The AECL said it does not consider this to be appropriate and that it wishes to draw a ‘line in the sand’ at a “responsible and transparent maximum outdoor or range density”.

The AECL believes the free range outdoor stocking density cap should be lifted 20,000 hens per hectare to meet growing consumer demand.

Click here to read the full article on the Australian Food News website.

Support to fast track the development of carbon farming methodologies

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

From the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (Media release):

The Federal Government today published draft funding guidelines for the development of carbon farming methodologies.

“Industry and Indigenous groups and other methodology developers will soon be able to access funding to develop methodologies for use under the Carbon Farming Initiative,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus.

The Carbon Farming Initiative allows farmers and land managers to earn and sell carbon credits, creating extra income, by storing carbon or reducing greenhouse gas emissions on the land. These credits can then be sold to people and businesses wishing to offset their emissions.
“Carbon estimation methodologies are needed so farmers can measure pollution reduction when they undertake approved carbon farming projects. Every tonne of pollution measured and verified can earn a carbon credit that can be sold under the Carbon Farming Initiative. This funding will help to fast track the development of these methodologies,” said Mr Dreyfus.

Click here to download the full Media Release [PDF:79KB].

Click here to access to the Draft Guidelines on the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website.

Australian Government to fund extension of collaboration between dairy industry and Foodbank

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

From the Australian Food News website 19 April 2012:

The Australian Government has decided to fund an extension of a collaboration between the dairy industry and Foodbank Australia which aims to provide 2 million litres of milk a year to Australians in need.

Minister for Community Services and the Status of Women, Julie Collins, announced the AU$300,000 injection into the dairy program this week. To date, the collaboration has seen over 450,000 litres of fresh milk go to charities around Australia.

Foodbank is the largest hunger relief organisation in Australia that works in partnership with the food industry, the corporate sector, governments and volunteers. Foodbank assists the charities and community groups of Australia to tackle the problem of hunger.

The additional funds from the Australian Government will enable Foodbank to source the shelf-stable UHT milk it needs to compliment the fresh supply. This will allow milk to be included in home food hampers and distributed to charities with no or limited refrigeration, particularly in remote and regional areas of Australia.

Click here to read the full article on the Australian Food News website.

Chance for Peters Icecream to come home

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

From The Australian website 19 April 2012

FROZEN summer favourites including Drumsticks and chocolate Billabongs could soon be back under local ownership as Swiss food giant Nestle prepares to sell off its Peters ice-cream business.

The news came as entrepreneur Dick Smith blamed pricing pressure from supermarkets for wiping out returns from his food business, which he said may be forced to close after 12 years of championing Australian-made products.

Nestle refused to comment on the Peters sale yesterday, but industry analysts said the decision was likely to have been prompted by increasing pressure for lower prices from the major supermarket chains, which buy more than 70 per cent of Peters’s ice creams.

See full story here.

Lucy Court, left, and Claudia Brkic enjoy Peters Drumsticks in Melbourne’s South Yarra yesterday. Picture: Stuart McEvoy

VFITB loses Victorian Government Funding

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

On March 30, 2012, the Victorian Minister for Higher Education and Skills, the Hon Peter Hall MLC, announced the cessation of Victorian Government funding for Industry Training Boards.
Find out  more


Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Australia on globe

From the Federal Government Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website, 17April 2012:

The latest National Greenhouse Accounts released by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency show Australia is on track to meet its Kyoto Protocol target of limiting growth in carbon pollution.

The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, said the National Greenhouse Accounts show Australia’s national inventory total emissions of greenhouse gases increased by 0.6 per cent to 546 million tonnes over the year to December 2011. This reflects the long-term trend of growth in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 and highlights the need for action on climate change.

Australia has formally submitted the latest National Greenhouse Accounts to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The accounts show emissions growth has been subdued recently with emissions yet to return to the previous peak set in 2008.
The accounts show emissions growth has been subdued recently with emissions yet to return to the previous peak set in 2008.

As a result, Australia remains on track to meet its Kyoto Protocol target of limiting emissions to 108 per cent of 1990 levels, on average, over the period from 2008 to 2012. The Accounts show Australia’s carbon pollution is currently tracking at 104 per cent of 1990 levels.

Emissions from the electricity generation sector rose by 50 per cent from 1990 to 2011, the strongest growth of all sectors in Australia.

This shows the importance of investing in clean energy sources, like natural gas, wind and solar power, to cut carbon pollution and tackle climate change.

Australia’s latest National Greenhouse Accounts include four reports:

• Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory: December Quarter 2011
• National Inventory Report 2010 (submission under the UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol)
• National Inventory by Economic Sector 2009/10
• State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories 2009/10

See full reports here

2012 MINTRAC Training Award Winners

Monday, April 16th, 2012

SWIT meat dept

Congratulations to South West Institute of TAFE and William Angliss Institute of TAFE for being short listed as best Training Provider this year. SWIT (training photo on right) did pip WAI – you can see all the winners on the MINTRAC website

Melbourne apprentice Daniel Lewis won Vocational Student of the Year.  Daniel works with his father Stephen at Continental Kosher Butchers, in Malvern, Melbourne. Well done! Pop in to try some of their award winning small goods and unique products such as goose sausages.

And thanks must go to Alison Kirwan, Jenny Kroonstuiver and the gang at MINTRAC for conducting these awards each – recognising the achievements and dedication of those working in the meat industry and those who train them. As readers know, these types of industry training awards provide a much needed opportunity to give recognition, to network more closely with employers and industry at large, and build industry camaraderie. Now it’s time for all the Victorian nominees for MINTRAC to repeat their nomination efforts with the Victorian Training Awards. here


Individual categories

Organisational categories

Massive increase in recent Australian food production, government report

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

DAFF Food Statistics Cover

From the Australian Food News website 3 April:

The total value of Australian food production increased by 17 per cent in 2010-11, a new government report has revealed. (Report here)

Federal Government’s ‘Australian Food Statistics 2010-11′ report, published today, suggests that “generally favourable seasonal conditions” are largely to thank for the rise in food production during 2010-2011, despite floods in south-eastern Australia and a destructive cyclone in north Queensland.

The report also shows that employment in the food industry now accounts for 15 per cent of total employment in Australia.

According to the report, in 2010-11, more than 1.68 million people, from production through to food service, were employed in the Australian food industry, marking a two per cent increase in employment in the sector on the previous year.

Launching the report, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig said, “As we celebrate the Australian Year of the Farmer in 2012, this report acknowledges the valuable role our primary producers play in Australian food production and supply.

Click here to read the full article on the Australian Food News website.

Energy efficiency: Not in Australia mate!

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

See below for this week’s Radio National program on Energy Efficiency in Australia, on Background Briefing. This timely national overview, including an interview with Simplot’s national Environment Manager, sits well with the introduction of the Federal Government’s Clean Technology Grants, specifically the Food and Foundries program. Here

Energy efficiency: Not in Australia mate! (from the Radio National ABC website, 10 Apr 2012)

In forty years Australia’s energy efficiency record has barely improved. We’re a land of air con, power hungry industry, and fuel guzzling cars. But electricity is no longer cheap, and we have to deal with carbon emissions. Energy savings could deal with both. Yet the message has been swept away by the political storm over a carbon price. Reporter: Di Martin


VFITB is keen to promote another opportunity for industry to explore carbon reduction  – the NORTHlink/RMIT Greenhouse gas reduction program. This program places final year Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering (Sustainability Energy) students into companies to work on energy reduction projects. Take advantage of this innovative program to improve your company’s energy efficiency.

1st semester companies this year:

PWB Anchor   Melbourne Water  Food Plastics   BTI Logistics   Armstrong World Industries   Sealed Air Cryovac   Olex   Colonial First State   Nestle Campbellfield   Capral   Fonterra

2nd semester :

Envirotank; John Holland Engineering; WilloWare; William Adams

Contact Mick Butera NORTH Link, P: 03 9479 3337 and at RMIT: John Andrews


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