In January 2020, I started as the Editor-in-Chief of FOOD ENGINEERING’s sister publication, Refrigerated & Frozen Foods. At the time, I was looking forward to touring cold foods processing plants and learning about the industry firsthand, which in turn, would make our editorial content stronger, because I’d be writing from experience rather than second-hand information delivered via email and phone calls.
Three months later, the pandemic started, and my plans to visit those facilities vanished. In the ensuing two years, I moved over to FOOD ENGINEERING, and as the pandemic has waned recently, my opportunity to tour processing plants opened up again.
My first facility tour ever happened just last month, at the enormous, recently expanded Kerry Foods breadcrumbs and coatings plant in Rome, Georgia. Seeing how the machines, materials, automation and engineering strategies work in concert to produce volumes of breading (if you’ve eaten a fried chicken sandwich from any fast food restaurant recently, the breading likely came from this plant) was a revelation after two years of absorbing everything from a distance, or looking at static equipment on tradeshow floors.
This Kerry factory is our 2022 Sustainable Plant of the Year, and I’m confident that when I write the story in a few weeks, the content will be stronger because I’ve seen the place in person. I’d like to ask our readers who operate food and beverage processing facilities to schedule a tour with us so we can see all the innovative ideas and efficiencies you have in your operation, which in turn, will help others in the industry through the pages of our e-magazine and on our website.
However, one barrier I am coming up against repeatedly is the idea that we are somehow reckless media who will give away all your trade secrets, like we’re Cold War spies in disguise as a B2B magazine. FOOD ENGINEERING wouldn’t be around for 93 years and counting if we sabotaged our core readership. Not all media is the same, and shouldn’t lazily be lumped into one formless category. FOOD ENGINEERING is here to help the food processing industry move forward by showcasing success stories and best practices in every aspect of F&B production, with no other agenda.
So, I’m eager to see your production facilities firsthand now that pandemic restrictions are receding. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can schedule a tour and a story. I’m ready!