Sustainability has long been an aspirational ‘buzz’ word for industry – something we’d like to work towards. People and companies liked the way it sounded, and the way it made them feel about their impact on the environment. But industry being a hectic place meant that everyone lacked the requisite time to pause and pivot to the sustainable operations that aligned to our values. While the term has been thrown about, it is only in recent years we have seen industry’s intent start to action change in food processing projects. Wiley have worked extensively with businesses in the food industry, delivering sustainable solutions and working with companies to achieve their sustainability goals internationally.
In the last few years we have started to see widespread adoption of sustainable methods, particularly in the meat industry. The meat industry has a lot of ‘low-hanging-fruit’ when it comes to opportunities to improve their sustainability. From rendering facilities, introduction of covered anaerobic lagoons (CAL’s), to biogas and renewable energy (there’s lots of land to add solar), there’s opportunity aplenty and also an expectation due to a perceived reputation.
Currently we still see the opportunity sitting within the meat industry within the food landscape of New Zealand. As well as biogas and renewable energy solutions, the process could be evolved to support a more sustainable model. Currently a snapshot would be; transport of the live animal, slaughtering, chilling, processing (break down), freezing, transport (ship), potentially further process (generally offshore where the extra value is added) – all of which consume great amounts of energy.
When we think of the red meat industry; do we need to reconsider the processing model itself for optimum efficiencies, outcomes and sustainability? Are modular abattoirs the system of the future? There’s a lot to ponder and numerous roads ahead.
Wiley is constantly working to bring the best advice and technology to the food industry. With seismic changes rattling through the consumer food landscape and the energy industry, Wiley is excited to work with industry and academic leaders to help bring innovations to the food industry.
If you are interested in a sustainable solution for your food processing facility, we welcome your call. We are Dunedin based with a team across New Zealand, backed up with global expertise.