Sustainability key for local food processors

Posted by Josette Dunn on 8th October 2010

Food processors and manufacturers will be driven out of business if they don’t start adopting a sustainable approach, warns AgriFood Skills Australia.

According to Michael Claessens, General Manager for Workforce Development and Analysis at AgriFood Skills Australia, food manufacturers are facing ever-increasing challenges to business viability resulting from rising energy costs, reduced access to affordable water supplies, greater environmental regulation, more demanding and discerning ‘green consumers’ and gaps in the right skills to deal with new challenges.

“Smaller food companies will have trouble continuing operations in Australia if they don’t prepare themselves for these challenges now,” said Mr Claessens, “and this will have major implications for regional employment because over half of Australia’s food companies are regionally based.”

AgriFood has begun hosting a series of breakfast seminars around the country to help local food processors and manufacturers ‘future-proof’ their companies, with Logan the next stop on 7 October.

The breakfast seminar will be hosted by AgriFood in conjunction with Logan City Council and Manufacturing Skills Queensland, and will bring together some of Australia’s leading business sustainability experts to help food, wine and beverage companies ‘green’ their manufacturing processes while reducing costs and improving overall business performance.

The interactive seminar will provide guests with access to strategies focused on achieving costs savings at an early stage, minimising the carbon footprint of supply chains, engaging workers in a new sustainable culture and securing funding to support a sustainable business.

Guests will hear from notable speakers, including Ralph Plarre, Owner of Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses, Mark Napper, CEO of Windsor Farm Foods Group, Dr Roger Holmes-Brown of Geofabrics Australasia Pty Ltd, Wendy Erhart of Withcott Seedlings, and Ian Young, co-ordinator of the successful ‘Lean-to-Green’ program.

The seminar will be held at 7.30am at Springwood Tower Apartment Hotel, Springwood. Contact Angela Petty on (02) 6163 7208 or email for more information.