Category: Dairy Farm

Healthy People, Healthy Products, Healthy Planet

earth-day-foodToday is Earth Day, and our blog usually focuses around Nelson-Jameson’s social and environmental sustainability practices. This year, however, we’re taking a “big picture” approach, and exploring the overall food industry’s sustainability outlook. We’ll take a closer look at the ways in which food manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and retailers are taking steps to increase sustainability and reduce waste in the supply chain.

So, what is sustainability? Well, in this context it means that a business’s industrial practices and strategies create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony while permitting the fulfillment of social and economic needs of present and future generations. For the food industry, sustainability is a major strategic issue for the entire food supply chain—agriculture, manufacturing, packing and distribution.  With an expected 60% increase in global food demand by the year 2050, the food industry is facing increasing pressure regarding raw materials, ingredient sourcing and food production in a competitive environment of constant supply chain optimization and control. Given the circumstances, achieving sustainable practices seems pretty daunting. So, what can be done?

One of the largest and most popular initiatives involves focusing on food waste. Food waste is food that is discarded or unusable, and it occurs at all levels of the supply chain. An estimated 40% of all food produced in the United States is never eaten. General food waste solutions focus on three overall strategies—Reduce, Recover and Recycle. Food waste can be reduced by improving product development, storage, packaging, procurement, marketing, labeling and cooking methods. It can be recovered by connecting potential food donors (food service providers, food retailers and food processors) to hunger-relief organizations. Finally, food waste can be recycled to feed animals or to create compost, bioenergy and natural fertilizers. In addition to the positive environmental and social implications, managing and reducing food waste is also advantageous to the food industry’s overall financial health. Food waste is estimated to cost the commercial food service industry in the US approximately $100 billion per year, US consumers approximately $43 billion per year and global food processors approximately $750 billion per year.

Another way in which the food industry is increasing sustainability is through strengthening the links between industry and agriculture. Agribusiness is said to build sustainable food systems by providing more nutritious, healthy and foods and assuring increased food security. Many food manufacturers are reevaluating their ingredient and raw material sourcing, and are finding that building direct relationships with local agribusiness is efficient from both a cost and energy standpoint.

Using environmentally-responsible packaging is another example of a strategy in which many sustainably-minded members of the food industry are engaging. Americans recycle at only an average rate of 34.5%, so the majority of food packaging ends up in landfills or as street litter. Therefore, there’s a general perception that the onus to reduce packaging waste and increase recycling is on the makers of packaged foods and beverages. Although packaging only makes up a small part of a product’s environmental impact, packaging heavily influences buying decisions—especially those of sustainably-minded consumers. Therefore, many manufacturers are seeking ways to reduce plastic and paper waste in their packaging, while finding ways to make it easier for consumers to recycle, reuse or compost that packaging.

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No “Off Season” for Farmers

Source: Morning Ag Clips

Source: Morning Ag Clips

Here in Wisconsin it is easy to drive through the countryside during the winter and not think too much about the busy days that are whirling by on the many farms dotting the landscape. Perhaps because everything is covered in a seemingly peaceful, uniform blanket of white, or maybe because you’re simply too busy praying to make it through another white-knuckled ride across slippery roads and highways, one can tend to be focused on other things.

The fact of the matter though, is that underneath the peaceful veil of winter lives a flurry (pun completely intended) of activity on the farm, ensuring that there is always food waiting at our next stop on our journey, or waiting for us when we get back home. Though crops may not be in the ground or herds out in the fields munching on fresh grass, farming is an all-seasons activity.

With this in mind, Nelson-Jameson will be putting a few miles on the roads this winter, getting to a variety of farm-related shows, meetings, and conferences in the coming months. If we are in your neck of the woods, please be sure to stop by and see us to discuss your farm-related needs…for all seasons! Or be in touch and let us know what we can do for you!

February 13 & 14     FarmFirst Annual Meeting - Appleton, WI
February 18 & 19     Central Wisconsin Farm Show - Marshfield, WI
March 16 – 18     DFA Annual Meeting – Kansas City, MO (DSM booth)
March 18 & 19     Professional Dairy Producers of WI (PDPW) – Madison, WI
March 25 & 26     Central Plains Dairy Expo – Sioux Falls, SD

For more information all events, see our Events page.

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In Support of Animal Well-Being

Source: National Milk Producers Federation

Source: National Milk Producers Federation

Instances of animal abuse that have recently surfaced in the media and online are of concern for the general public and the food industry alike. Nelson-Jameson whole-heartedly believes in protecting and ensuring the proper care of animals on the farm. For this reason, we want to express our support and provide information for our customers, suppliers, and other interested parties on programs like the National Milk Producers Federation’s National Dairy “FARM Program.”

To learn more about the FARM program, please click here to see the “Overview and FAQs.”
Like you, our valued customer, Nelson-Jameson’s commitment to a safe, ethically-sound food industry, from the farm to the table, is an on-going one that is a core tenet of how we do business.
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Nelson-Jameson Release 2014-2015 Edition of Buyers Guide

NJ_2014_15BG_cover (1)MARSHFIELD, WIS., June 5, 2014 – Nelson-Jameson, Inc. announces the release of the much anticipated 2014-2015 edition of their Buyers Guide.

Customers will notice that the new edition includes more than 50 additional pages of new and innovative products for the food and dairy industries including expanded offerings in the popular color-coded and metal detectable product lines. The easy-to-use “How to Order” boxes, terminology, and other guides were expanded to help provide customers with a one-stop source to find the right product for their applications.

The newly designed color-coded insert also includes eight additional pages of products to expand Nelson-Jameson’s already extensive color-coded offering. In an effort to give customers even more options, Nelson-Jameson now has many more color-coded products available in pink. The catalog offers many hard-to-find and specialty products exclusive to Nelson-Jameson, as well as hundreds of supply items used daily.

Customers can request a FREE copy of the Nelson-Jameson Buyers Guide by calling 800/826-8302, or visit nelsonjameson.com.

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At Yeast We Can Mold the Future

The food industry surely sees its share of yeast and mold concerns.   Both are relentless aggressors in food deterioration and spoilage that: “can invade and grow on virtually any type of food at any time; they invade crops such as grains, nuts, beans, and fruits in fields before harvesting and during storage. They also grow on processed foods and food mixturespetrifilm.”

Not only can the presence of yeast and mold compromise your product but they sometimes also make people sick.

So, how do we control unwanted yeast and mold when it comes to our food supply?   Obviously, industry innovations targeted at inhibiting yeast and mold growth have done a great deal for quality assurance and producers’ bottom lines.

Yet, peace of mind might be much more difficult to come by than a piece of moldy food in your operation.   Even with such preventative measures in place, yeast and mold still cause issues and are wont to show up anywhere at any time.  This provides a great deal of frustration to food producers, as their equipment, the facility, and the foods produced are all susceptible.  Consumers, naturally, can grow weary when yeast and mold compromise their latest purchase at the supermarket.

Thankfully, the industry continues to research methods to minimize the waste and possible ill health effects generated by yeast and mold issues.   For example, 3M recently introduced a new line of defense in this battle against yeast and mold: 3M™ Petrifilm™ Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plates.

Instead of waiting on traditional agar methods, which may take up to five days to incubate, the new Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plates provide results in 48-hours, allowing for more oversight of incoming ingredients and finished products leaving food facilities.  You can check out 3M’s Petrifilm™ Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plates in 50-count boxes here or 500-count cases here.

Nelson-Jameson is continuously searching out new methods and products, like the 3M Petrifilm™ Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plates, to ensure food safety and integrity.  Keep checking back here for more updates on food safety and quality issues, including a host of innovative solutions that target food quality and safety concerns.

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