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Kraft Foods cuts global water usage more than 20%

Over the past three years, Kraft Foods has reduced water usage in manufacturing processes by more than 3 billion gallons-enough water to fill nearly 5,000 Olympic-sized sized swimming pools. This drop in water usage reflects a 21% reduction since 2005, exceeding the company’s goal two years early.

Employees play a role in water usage reduction. “Around the world, thousands of our employees are working on projects that help us reduce our environmental impact,” says Steve Yucknut, vice president, sustainability. “We focus on manufacturing, since that’s where we use the most water for internal operations. And we pay particular attention to water-scarce areas, where the need is greatest,” he adds.

The company has several worldwide successes:

  • Australia: Port Melbourne plant recently won a prominent environmental award for identifying opportunities to reduce potable water use up to 39% (20 million gallons per year).
  • Bahrain: Cheese and beverage plant reduced water use by 33% (5 million gallons per year) by using alternative options to enhance the effectiveness of cleaning.
  • Germany: Fallingbostel cheese plant reduced water use by 7% (18.5 million gallons per year) by reusing its manufacturing process water-instead of the town’s water-to run the plant’s cooling towers.
  • US/Florida: Jacksonville coffee plant installed a closed-loop system to reuse water to cool coffee grinding equipment instead of using city water, reducing usage by more than 35% (nearly 20 million gallons).
  • US/Georgia: Atlanta Bakery reduced water use by 33% (17 million gallons). Employees reduced the amount of water used for cleaning specific equipment and also eliminated unnecessary re-cleaning of equipment.
  • US/Illinois: The Champaign grocery plant reduced water use by nearly 20% (nearly 120 million gallons). Employees raised awareness about ways to reduce water use, fixed leaks and outfitted the plant boilers and evaporating equipment to reuse well water instead of the town’s water.
At its corporate campus in Northfield, IL, three lakes capture rainwater for reuse in handling half the land’s irrigation needs. At night, recycled water is frozen and used to cool the building during the day.

The Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value will be awarded every other year to an individual, a non-governmental organization (NGO), or a business. Source: Nestlé.

Nestlé offers award for water, nutrition and rural development

Nestlé will recognize local efforts to practice its Creating Shared Value principle through a new award. Individuals, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), or small enterprises that offer innovative solutions to improve nutritional deficiencies, access to clean water, or progress in rural development are eligible to expand their impact with an investment of up to $465,000.

This biennial award is designed to encourage innovative ideas that make a positive impact in the areas of water, nutrition or rural development by an individual, NGO, or small business.

Nominees must have proven the innovation on a small-scale, ensure it is applicable on a broader scale and demonstrate a promise of improving rural development, nutrition, access to clean water, or having a significant impact on water management.

For more information or to enter, visit this special Web site. 

Rethinking food production in the UK

The UK will need to change the way food is produced and processed if it expects to continue enjoying healthy and affordable food in the decades ahead, said Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Hilary Benn as he published the country’s first food security assessment.

The assessment shows the UK is doing well in many areas that make up a secure and sustainable food system, such as a diverse food supply, which includes UK production and a strong distribution system.

The challenges will be to ensure the sustainability of the UK’s food supply. In particular, greenhouse gas emissions will need to be reduced, and it will be necessary to adapt to a changing climate that will affect where selected crops can be grown. The assessment also highlights the availability and effective use of water to produce food and reduce the depletion of fish stocks.

We need to consider what the food system should look like in 20 years, and what must happen to get there. We need everyone in the food system to get involved-from farmers and retailers to the health service, schools and consumers,” said Benn.

Benn pointed out three challenges to be met:

  • How to meet the economic and environmental challenges of increased productivity in the food chain;
  • How to help people eat more healthily and ensure people have access to safe, affordable food;
  • How to ensure that the way food is produced today doesn’t damage the natural resources on which future food production depends.
Benn concluded, “Our food strategy will need to cover all aspects of our food-production, processing, distribution, retail, consumption and disposal. And that includes the impact on our health, on the environment and future productivity, and on how we deal with food waste.”

Antibiotics used in ethanol industry could filter into food chain

A report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) has called for the voluntary cessation of antibiotics used in the ethanol fermentation process to control bacterial outbreaks because the antibiotics eventually could wind up in the food chain. There are no reporting requirements for antibiotic use in ethanol production, so no reliable numbers are available on how widespread the practice is.

In 2008, FDA found residues from four types of antibiotics in dried distillers' grains-the nutrient rich residue sold as livestock feed that is a co-product of ethanol production. The agency has yet to make its findings public or take enforcement action against any ethanol facilities.

IATP’s report, Fueling Resistance? Antibiotics in Ethanol Production estimates that of the 170 ethanol production facilities in the US, nearly 45% already are avoiding antibiotic use through readily available alternatives. Dozens more facilities are running trials on one of these alternatives.

Food Safety Working Group is a step in the right direction

FSWG has recommended a new, public health-focused approach to food safety.


Water efficiency: Don't let your liquid assets go down the drain

 Food processors confront both financial and behavioral issues when implementing green water practices.

The changing face of site selection

Food and beverage manufacturers must plan for change when selecting processing facility sites in today’s volatile economy.

Tech Update: Intelligent pumping systems

The rising importance of energy efficiency in manufacturing could give a boost to the intelligent pump.

Engineering R&D: Liquid squeeze play

Pushing solvent through a membrane while retaining solute is the essence of reverse osmosis, and engineers like Wes Byrne are helping to apply the technology more broadly in food and beverage.

People, Plant and Industry News

Ball Corporation named Michael L. Hranicka as its executive vice president and chief operating officer for the company’s North American metal beverage packaging operations.


Harry & David Holdings, Inc., appointed Ed Dunlap as senior vice president and chief financial officer for the company.


Autodesk, Inc. named A.T. Ferrell as the August 2009 Inventor of the Month for its use of Autodesk Inventor software for the design and engineering of its roller mills and other industrial food processing machines.


The Chiquita Brands International, Inc. board of directors appointed Michael Sims to the position of senior vice president and chief financial officer.


TreeHouse Foods, Inc. expanded the size of its board from seven to nine members and appointed Dennis F. O'Brien and David B. Vermylen to its board of directors.



PepsiCo has entered into definitive merger agreements with The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc. and PepsiAmericas, Inc. under which PepsiCo will acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock it does not already own in its two largest anchor bottlers.


In 2010, the Tortilla Industry Association (TIA) will join the International Baking Industry Exposition’s (IBIE) expanding roster of strategic partners, and will hold its annual two-day Technical Conference in conjunction with IBIE. The Conference, normally held in May, is now scheduled for September 25 - 26, 2010 and will integrate with IBIE’s educational program-alongside offerings from the American Institute of Baking and the Retail Bakers of America.


The initial class has been elected to the newly formed Meat Industry Hall of Fame, according to Hall officials. The 21 new members were chosen in voting by the Hall’s Board of Trustees from among more than 70 executives, researchers, innovators and association leaders across all sectors of the industry. Members of the 2009 inaugural class include:

  • Dell Allen, Ph.D., former professor, Kansas State University and vice president of technical services & food safety, Cargill Meat Solutions
  • Donald L. Houston, former administrator of FSIS, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service
  • Donald Tyson, former senior chairman, Tyson Foods
  • Earl Olsen, former chairman, Jennie-O Turkey Co.
  • Frank Perdue, former chairman of the board, Perdue Farms
  • Gary C. Smith, Ph.D., professor, Colorado State University
  • Jimmy Dean, founder, Jimmy Dean Sausage Co.
  • Joseph Luter III, former chairman and CEO, Smithfield Foods
  • Kenneth W. Monfort, former chairman and CEO, Monfort Inc.
  • Lawrence Starr, former CEO, Koch Equipment Co.
  • Louis “Mick” Colvin, Founder and former executive director, Certified Angus Beef
  • Mel Coleman, Sr., founder, Coleman Natural Meats
  • Paul Engler, founder, Cactus Feeders
  • Phillip M. Seng, president and CEO, U.S. Meat Export Federation
  • Ray Townsend, founder and former Chairman, Townsend Engineering
  • Richard L. Knowlton, former chairman, president and CEO, Hormel Foods
  • Richard E. Lyng, former USDA secretary and chairman, American Meat Institute
  • Rosemary Mucklow, former executive director, National Meat Association
  • Robert Peterson, former chairman, IBP Inc.
  • Russell Cross, Ph.D., professor and administrator, Texas A&M University
  • Temple Grandin, Ph.D., author and professor of animal science, Colorado State University
To learn more about the Meat Industry Hall of Fame, visit its Web site.