March 2016 Newsletter

Business Disruption

CCA Amatil

At a recent business conference, the CEO of CCA Amatil said that unless they were offering good returns and new products, capital would go elsewhere.  And now the UK Government is about to levy a tax on high sugar soft drinks.    Two recent articles on the top ten stocks for the future missed all the ‘traditional’ companies such as BHP, Rio and the banks.    Which companies will survive?

Lidl and David Jones

The German discount supermarket Lidl is evidently looking to set up here and is protecting its logo and marketing colours in Australia.  David Jones is planning to emulate the upmarket UK chain Waitrose with a gourmet food element.    Where will this all lead?


The growth of Airbnb (founded in 2008) is disrupting the hotel industry significantly.    Recent data on the scale of Airbnb is below.   How might your business be disrupted? (See

The rise and rise of Airbnb, p20, Weekend Australian Magazine, March 12-13 2016.   

  • Number of guests
    • 2009, 21 000
    • 2015 40 million
  • Total listings on Air BnB 2 million, including;
    • 4 000 boats
    • 2 000 castles
    • 620 tree houses
    • 390 private islands
  • Total number of cities where it is available: 34 000
  • Number of countries where it is available: 191
  • Most popular city and city with most Airbnb rentals: Paris

An effects test!

The Federal Government has endorsed changes to competition laws which would protect small business against the misuse of market power by bigger players.   Cabinet signed off on the “effects test” on 15 March.   Mr Turnbull, who previously argued against an effects test, said this was “yet again my government taking long overdue reforms out of the too-hard basket”.   “This is a vital economic reform,” he said. “We know that while larger firms are often very innovative and competitive, they are more innovative if the hot breath of competition is coming down their neck.”

Last year, the Harper Review recommended the changes, which would ban conduct that has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition.

Big business, including Coles, Woolworths and the Retail Council lobby group, have previously warned that introducing an effects test could force them to raise prices and stop opening new stores.   But Peter Strong, chief executive of the Small Business Council of Australia, said he was “really pleased”.   “This has been a point of conflict between a couple of big businesses who don’t want competition and the rest of the business community,” he said.

The actual legislation will take some time to prepare.


  • Effects test recommended to be added to misuse of market power provisions in section 46 of Competition and Consumer Act
  • It would ban conduct that has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition, rather than conduct that damages a competitor
  • Courts would have to decide how much the conduct in question increases competition against how much it decreases competition
  • The test would apply to businesses with substantial market power, such as Coles and Woolworths
  • It is already used and accepted in other parts of competition law
  • Big supermarkets fear they could end up in court battles over store openings, discounting, supply chain efficiencies and innovations



Critics suggest reporting as R&D tax break blows out 40%

  The Weekend Australian of 13-14 February (p2) reported that the costs of the R&D tax concession are blowing out and it is being reviewed.  A more prescriptive definition of R&D is likely.  Critics say some claims are for business as usual expenses, not genuine new activities. The universities are asking that the biggest rewards to business are for those with university links, as now only 10% of projects involve a university. Cochlear says the R&D tax incentive was a key reason why they do their research here. Others say the incentive should target SMEs as this is where most of the truly innovative work is done. The ATO is asking for more information on aggressive claims.


Ethical Food Issues

The Investor Group on Climate Change, encourages stable market based policies, has over 50 large corporate members.   Current members of IGCC, listed below, represent total funds under management of over $1 trillion. This group supports a carbon price and a range of other measures to address environmental protection and climate change.    

They may not be household names but collectively global food companies Cargill, Tyson and Yara have a bigger climate footprint than the Netherlands, Vietnam or Colombia, according to a new analysis.   (Yara?    Who has heard of Yarra? See, the world’s largest producer of ammonia, nitrates, phosphates and potassium.   It is Norwegian and grew out of Norsk Hydro.)    

There is also a growing movement urging disinvestment in factory farming.  See ShareAction,, Eden Tree,, and the Food Ethics Council,

FoodStream Mango Peeler

The FoodStream TFR342 mango peeler slicer revision B is now available for order. The relatively low Australian dollar in 2015 led to machines being exported for use in Asia and South America. To meet the needs of these customers, the new revision was developed with the following new features:

Single phase, dual voltage (configurable for 110v 60hz or 220-240v 50hz).

A new “Peel and Halve” slicing blade set also available.  The blade sets available now are:

  • Peeling only
  • Peel and cut cups
  • Peel and cut fingers
  • Peel and halve

Revision b also features a new gearbox from a leading European manufacturer. This will help shorten lead times and give more speed flexibility.

The Development of the Mango Deseeder progressing.

The TFR342 is Designed, Manufactured and Assembled locally in Brisbane.

If you would like more information, we have a brochure available at

A video is also on our YouTube channel –

Or you get in touch via email:



Training News

FoodStream Associates Publish Text Book on Extrusion

After almost two decades presenting short course in Extrusion Technology – first in Australia, and now regularly as far afield as Thailand and Norway – FoodStream Associates Dennis Forte and Gordon Young have published a text book on the subject.

Food & Feed Extrusion Technology: An Applied Approach to Extrusion Theory (ISBN 978-0-9945433-0-1), aims, like the courses, to present the theory behind extrusion technology, but in a way which clearly applies in practice. Understanding the theory behind the process – and how it applies – means that formulations and processes can be designed to be more robust, appropriate equipment can be selected for the required duty, and effective operating procedures and guidelines can be developed – leading to reliable processes and consistent product.

This book is relevant to all types of extruded human foods and animal feeds, and all types of equipment used to produce them: single- and twin-screw extruders, and specialised snack food machines.  It considers how the equipment and processes operate, and how the process conditions interact with the ingredients used.

It can be ordered directly via, or will be available through commercial booksellers.

Drying course with CSIRO Werribee a success

On 2 & 3 March, we presented our first “Food Drying Technology” course in association with CSIRO Food Innovation at Werribee in Victoria.  The course was fully booked, and response from participants was very positive.  Following the course we received an email from Neda Aarabi, Process Technologist/Engineer with Ballantyne Foods, commenting “The drying course was one of the best courses I have ever attended. The greatest thing was to see how the theories and formulas that were taught in Uni can be used in real world.” It is gratifying to get that sort of feedback  – especially recognising what we hope we achieve – showing that theory is also practical when you understand it!

Training cooperation with AIFST

Two of our coming Australian courses are jointly presented with the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST).  Under this arrangement, AIFST members will receive an additional 10% discount on registration fees.  The courses that this currently applies to are:

We hope this cooperation will continue with other courses in the future.

Coming International courses:

For the two Norway courses, we have already received 20 registrations, with participants from 15 different countries – not only Europe, but from as far as the USA, Africa, and Asia.


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