Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Of Sustainability As International Industry Conferences Convene In Chicago

This July could be called the summer of sustainability in Chicago as two major international industry conferences shine the spotlight on sustainability, from ingredients and processing through to packaging.

Sustainability has become an important part of the business for both food manufacturers and ingredients’ suppliers. With an increasing population, reduced land for cultivation and consumers looking for cleaner labels, the challenges faced by the sector are huge. Businesses with sustainability credentials are favored due to this increased awareness with their customers, and consumers.

The IFT International Food Nanoscience Conference takes place from July 12 – 13 at the Hilton Chicago. An 8:30am session on Saturday July 13 entitled, “Emerging Applications for Food System Sustainability” includes my presentation entitled, “UVC Shows Potential for Improving the Quality and Safety of Liquid Dairy Products,” along with presentations by Rajender Varma of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Annette McCarthy and Timothy Duncan of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Susann Bellmann of the TNO and Lacy Simon of the Louisiana State University.

A panel discussion as a part of the scientific sessions at the IFT Annual Meeting + Food Expo which takes place at McCormick Place in Chicago from July 13 – 16, is focused on identifying what steps to sustainability are being taken by industry at the present, and what is being done to lead discussions for future sustainable methods to help advance our lives from the farm to the brands we like.

Entitled “On-going efforts by the industry on sustainable practices, and effect on our lives from farm to table,” the panel discussion takes place on Sunday July 14 at 10:30am, and includes presentations by Sudarshan Nadathur and Scott Harris of Givaudan, Cristian Barcan of BASF as well as myself.

I will be focusing on discussing opportunities for energy reduction in milk processing and packaging, and how smart on-line tools are encouraging identification and adoption of energy management best practices in milk processing plants. This presentation has been highlighted by the U.S. Dairy Export Council as one of six dairy related presentations at IFT13.

Produced by Packaging Digest, in association with Plastics Today, The Global Food and Beverage Packaging Summit takes place from July 17 – 18 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, with notable presenters including Denise Lefebvre and Bill Eaton of Pepsico, Mike Okoroafor of H.J. Heinz, Ken Kernes of Procurian, Patrick Finlay of Pepsico / Lipton Partnerships, Jane Chase of the Schwan Food Company, Dennis Young of the MSU School of Packaging and Brendon Gember of the Centre for Sustainability Excellence.

I will be moderating a panel on the first day of the Summit entitled, “Is sustainability in packaging delivering on the goals?” Panelists will include Jim Hanna of the Starbucks Coffee Company, Megan Daum of the Can Manufacturers Institute and Colin Taylor of Uniloy Milacron.

Following the panel, I will also be making a presentation entitled, “Designing for sustainability – Dairy industry case study shows how to get the most product to the consumer with the lowest carbon footprint,” which will include examples from around the world of dairy processors using new materials that lower the carbon footprint of milk packaging.

A video of me speaking with Lisa McTigue Pierce, executive editor of Packaging Digest, at the 2013 Global Food & Beverage Packaging Summit, about some surprising results from a dairy industry life-cycle analysis study, which I covered in my presentation on Day 1 at the conference.