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ROSEMONT, IL, September 14, 2020 – The 2020 Virtual Food Safety Summit will offer four days of education with 26 sessions, access to vendors who will be showcasing the newest and most innovative food safety solutions and several online networking opportunities.  This online event will take place Monday, October 19 through Thursday, October 22, 2020 and will feature an opening session on COVID-19 – The New Normal for the Food Industry; a keynote by Will Daniels, President, Produce Division, IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group who will talk about Back to Basics: Consumer-Focused Food Safety; the Summit’s Annual Town Hall with leaders from FDA, USDA, CDC and AFDO and an interactive closing session Foodborne Illness Outbreak Mock Criminal Trial – A View from the Jury Box featuring Shawn Stevens. These four sessions as well as access to the exhibitors and networking are all free to attend.  The early bird discount savings of $100 has now been extended for the full education program through September 30, 2020, by using special code: FSS100VIRTUAL. Click hereto register

“We thank our Educational Advisory Board and all of our exhibitors for their continued support of our new virtual format. We are excited to bring our community together online to have access to four days of live and on demand sessions, robust content, networking opportunities with peers, and an interactive exhibit hall,”said Scott Wolters, Chief Events Officer, BNP Media, producers of the Summit. “We have developed a stellar education program which will kick off Monday, October 19 with an opening session on COVID-19: The New Normal for the Food Industry where subject matter experts from Epidemiology, Regulatory, Manufacturing, Foodservice and Retail will discuss first-hand what they did to address the Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis for their organizations, customers and consumers.”

The COVID-19 Opening Session will feature Steve Mandernach, Executive Director, Association of Food & Drug Officials; Jorge Hernandez, VP, Quality Assurance, The Wendy's Company; Craig Wilson, VP, GMM Quality Assurance, Costco; Joan Menke-Schaenzer, Chief Quality Officer, Van Drunen Farms/FutureCeuticals; Glenn Stolowski, Manager Retail Quality Assurance, HEB; and Lee-Ann Jaykus, PhD, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor, North Carolina State University. The session will be moderated by Gary Ades, PhD, President, G&L Consulting and Chair of the Food Safety Summit Educational Advisory Board and Craig Henry, PhD, Food Safety Consultant.

In addition to the General Sessions there will be four two-hour workshops focused on What Am I Getting Into? Suppliers & Co-Packers Linked to Food Safety; Food Fraud Prevention – Introduction, Implementation and Management; Practice Improves Performance - Internal Audits for Food Processors and Managing Allergens & Sanitation in Food Processing Facilities. The Summit has also partnered with the FSPCA to offer the Intentional Adulteration: Conducting Vulnerability Assessment Certificate Course. 

The one hour sessions will offer insight from subject matter experts on such hot topics as Food Safety Challenges; Difficult to Detect Organisms; How to Control Allergens; How Hep A Prepared Us for COVID; Novel Processing Technologies; Developing Food Safety Disaster Plans, Supply Chain Traceability; Foodborne Outbreaks; Labeling; Indoor Farming; Risk Communications; Best Practices around COVID; Partners with a Common Purpose; and Hot Topics.

From 12:00 – 2:30 pm CT, each of the four days of the event, the virtual exhibit hall featuring Gold Sponsor Purell; Bronze sponsor Elisa Technologies; as well as Conference Sponsor Zebra will be open. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from technology companies in the Tech Tent and attend live sponsored education sessions on the Solutions Stage. Visit https://www.foodsafetystrategies.com/agendato get the most up-to-date sessions and speakers.

The virtual Summit is $299 to attend the full conference with the Early bird rate discount code FSS100VIRTUAL which expires on September 30, 2020. Those who pay to attend the Summit will have complete access to the entire platform, including virtual exhibit booths, all live and on-demand education sessions, the ability to participate in group discussions and networking events with colleagues and speakers, and more! There is also a FREE option to attend the Summit for those that would like to visit the Exhibit Hall and attend only the General Session each day (4 sessions total) Registration is now open at https://www.foodsafetystrategies.com/registration/rates

The new platform extends a number of exciting new opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors that are unique to a virtual event. For additional information about exhibiting at the Summit or sponsorship opportunities contact Kim Hansen, National Sales Manager at 248-786-1233 or hansenk@bnpmedia.com.

The Food Safety Summit is produced by BNP Media (www.bnpmedia.com), one of the country's leading business-to-business media companies serving industry professionals across 60+ industries through magazines, custom media, e-newsletters, webinars, events and market research.

 
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September 3, 2020 – Safe Spacer™ is a lightweight wearable device that helps workers and visitors maintain safe social distancing, enabling factories, offices, museums, hotels, schools and other workplaces and public spaces to operate with peace of mind. It now provides even more flexibility, giving small businesses a simple-yet-effective solution with more convenient ways to wear, charge and sync, as well as offering comprehensive integration options for large-scale enterprises using their own proprietary data systems.

Able to be worn on a lanyard, wristband or belt loop, Safe Spacer precisely detects when other Safe Spacer units come within 2m/6ft*, alerting wearers with a choice of visual, vibrating or audio alarm. Using Ultra-wideband technology, Safe Spacer offers accuracy up to 10x better than Bluetooth, and can optionally store “collision” data to monitor compliance or perform fast contact tracing.

To help organizations manage multiple devices, optional S-Charger docking/charging stations allow up to 25 Safe Spacers to charge simultaneously (or more, when chained together).

Each Safe Spacer device also features a unique ID tag and built-in memory to optionally associate with workers’ names for tracing unintended contact. For privacy, no data except the device’s ID and proximity is stored.

This data can be retrieved by the S-Charger while charging, or wirelessly via the optional S-Bridge UWB access unit.  These can be positioned in strategic locations to read the data from Safe Spacer devices as users approach, eliminating long employee queues to download their device data.

Both the S-Bridge and S-Charger can connect to any computer via USB, and free Safe Spacer software will extract this data for review. Additional options to synchronize data from multiple access points lets companies compile all their data in the cloud, or integrate it into existing enterprise systems.

Pre-ordering for Safe Spacer and accessories is now open.  An online guide recommends the best options for users’ organizations, and lets them reserve their units or request to be contacted.

Safe Spacer will be available in September directly from IK Multimedia:

Safe Spacer -  $99.99/€85.00 each*

S-Charger   - $299.99/€270.00 each

S-Bridge – $139.99/€120.00 each

 *All prices excluding taxes. Volume discounts available.

 
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NEW DELHI, India, August 31, 2020 – DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences is proud to announce the third edition of DuPont NutriScholars Award (DNA) 2020, a pan-India food science program that facilitates knowledge exchange and drives innovation among the country’s food academics. F1rstMR Business Analytics (F1rst) will administer the program as an execution partner, together with DuPont Food & Beverage Innovation team.

DNA 2020 invites budding food technologists from academic institutions across the country to put their knowledge and skills to the test in plant-based protein themed projects, centered around consumer consumption occasions. Winning entries will be judged based on product innovativeness, commercial viability and improvements made in taste and texture using one or more of DuPont™ Danisco® range of protein and functional ingredients during the development process.

“Indian diets are carbohydrate rich and most Indians are not consuming enough protein to meet their RDA requirement; and it has been our constant endeavor to develop technologies and work along with food industry to fortify foods. Plant-based soy protein, for instance, is relevant across lifespan from infants/children to senior population with its nutrition and health benefits. DNA 2020 highlights this very importance of plant-based proteins for an everyday balanced diet. DuPont is committed to motivate design and creative thinking among future food scientists and technologists, providing them a hands-on experience”, said Karuna Jayakrishna, innovation leader, South Asia, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences.

The DuPont NutriScholars Award 2020 features four distinctive award categories:

• Convenient and nutritious breakfast

• Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) style lunch/dinner

• Healthier desserts/indulgences

• 4 PM healthy savory snacks

The DuPont NutriScholars Awards were previously held in 2017 and 2018. In 2017, the awards program encouraged ideation of ethnic Indian food and beverage concepts, followed by bakery food innovation challenge in 2018. Roadshows and student interactions were organized in 19 colleges and university campuses. In total, more than 200 proposals were submitted, and the awards program mentored over 80 teams in innovative food product development and trouble shooting.

DNA 2020 will now reach out to more than 300 universities and academies across the country. The winning team in each award category will be announced in December 2020. The adjudicating panel in the grand finale includes industry experts from leading food companies, academicians, scientists, and DuPont representatives.

“DuPont distinguishes itself with world-class product innovation and application development,” said Anurag Jain, business director, South Asia, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. “We have a broad portfolio of ingredient offerings created with differentiated technologies and a robust innovation pipeline. We are delighted to announce the third edition of DNA and continue collaborative research with Indian food science academia. It’s a journey towards building food strategies of the future and driving innovation in food science.”

 
 
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August 28, 2020

Food manufacturing in Canada is dying a slow death. The sector has lost 12 jobs a day every day since 2012. This won’t help

Consumers got a glimpse of how food supply chains work – or don’t – at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now Walmart is giving them a chilling new perspective.

The sight of empty shelves in grocery stores is certainly a strong indicator at the retail level that something is amiss upstream. Reasons at the start of the pandemic varied from product to product and region to region.

Supply chain management is complicated, obscure and, quite frankly, a tad boring for most. Empty shelves had many interested but only for a while.

Now that things are sort of back to normal, concerns about food procurement are a thing of the past, even as we see a spike in COVID-19 cases.

During the panic-buying phase in the early spring, few experts in the food industry would have predicted the unprecedented levels of vertical co-ordination and incredible support food companies offered to one another. Everyone worked for one shared purpose.

Before COVID-19, things were tense between processors, grocers and farmers. But it was particularly brutal between processors and grocers. Grocers delivered constant unilateral notices through fees and fines. Processors just accepted it, one notice after another. This industry-wide practice has been going on for years.

However, a recent decision by Walmart may be the last straw.

Walmart Canada announced in July that it will require more than 3,000 Canadian suppliers to finance its expansion by charging extra fees for every shipment. Walmart argues that its strategy is about helping consumers save.

In addition to some standardized fees, some items must be delivered in their entirety on the correct date 75 per cent of the time. If items are late or missing during a one-month period, the processor will be fined three per cent of the value.

Your truck is stuck in a snowstorm?

Tough luck.

Even early shipments will incur a fine of three per cent of the value.

New fees could jeopardize the profitability of many Canadian food processors. Of the 3,000 suppliers on Walmart’s list are some multinationals. But there are also several small and medium-sized, family-owned companies trying to keep jobs in rural communities across the country.

Food manufacturing is dying a slow death. The sector has lost 12 jobs a day every day since 2012. And although it’s one of the largest sectors in the country, things may get even worse. We’ve seen recent success stories in parts of the country where new plants have been built, but failures and closures are numerous.

Many factors are contributing to the sector’s demise, the most significant being the ailing co-operative spirit between grocers and vendors.

Undermining food manufacturing is to deny the agri-food sector its strategic foothold. Innovating and growing an economy, especially in rural communities, becomes more challenging.

Recent economic studies suggest that seven jobs can be added just by creating a single food manufacturing job. That ratio is unmatched by any other sectors of the food supply chain.

Growing your own food is a good start but without processing, a nation’s food security remains highly vulnerable. Over time, consumers will pay a hefty price for their nation’s inability to process its own agricultural commodities. With less processing, uncontrollable factors like currency wars, embargoes and tariffs will threaten our food security, one way or another.

Walmart and others can try all they want to make us save, but less procurement control will eventually lead to extremely volatile – and likely higher – retail prices.

The companies that mostly dictate how and what we eat are grocers. Processors and farmers have little say in what Canadians eat.

But that may change, partially due to COVID-19. E-commerce is providing processors with broad access to consumers. And many companies have pivoted in that direction in recent months, avoiding the oligopolistic nature of Canadian food retailing. Wholesalers like Sysco, Gordon Food Service, PepsiCo Canada, Saputo and many more are either doing it or considering it.

Just five companies sell 80 per cent of all the food Canadians eat: Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, Walmart and Costco. They have great power but protecting food manufacturing has never been a real priority for them even though they say it is.

A more democratized supply chain would cause food companies to share more with the public in the exchange of precious information about the market and future trends. As grocers try to get a better sense of what the after-COVID-19 market will look like, processors are contemplating options to get to us.

Walmart is making the life of food manufacturers miserable because it can. The food manufacturing sector has no voice and is rarely given any attention by governments, starting with the federal government.

If COVID-19 failed to change anything, there’s little hope.

There is, however, one solution. To counter abusive behaviour by grocers, establishing a publicly-sanctioned code of conduct for grocers should be considered.

 

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