BEVERAGE INDUSTRY READY AND WAITING New Zealand’s beverage industry has signalled its intent to collaborate with the new Government to help tackle obesity. Beverage Council president Olly Munro says the industry has been a pioneering force in product reformulation, innovation and sugar reduction programmes for years, with sugar contribution from soft drinks and other beverages decreasing for more than a decade and consumers enjoying more low and no-calorie options than ever before. “Research based on Nielsen data and commissioned by the NZBC last year, for instance, showed that over the last decade, sales of low- and no-kj non-alcoholic drinks have grown by 66.7% and within soft drinks in particular, 40% of adults that drink soft drinks consume low- or no-kilojoule (kj) varieties,” Munro says. “We are drinking more water, fewer regular soft drinks and are actually getting most of our daily energy intake (more than 98%) from food and other beverages. Earlier this year, industry proudly partnered with the Government to help reduce the incidence of obesity in children and young people, and Munro says the industry has also taken practical action to encourage healthier choices by rapidly adopting the voluntary Health Start Rating food labelling scheme. www.foodtechnology.co.nz 43 BREWERS COME TOGETHER WINNING BREWERY WELCOMES UPSKILLING Top-rating Emerson’s Taproom has taken out the coveted ServiceIQ excellence in training and staff development award for the year, and the brewery couldn’t be prouder. Venue manager Charlotte Janssen says hospitality is a profession and the goal is to have the most passionate, knowledgeable and engaged team around, matching tasks to their particular interest and skill. “Their joy in sharing the amazing world of craft beer and food matching hopefully helps to create an outstanding customer experience,” she says. Emerson’s has ten employees developing hospitality careers by gaining national qualifications on the job, with one on the way to becoming a professional chef under a ServiceIQ’s cookery apprenticeship and eight others honing professional front-of-house skills with ServiceIQ’s food and beverage - Level 3 qualification programme. “The training increases engagement in the role,” Janssen says “It also helps the team realise they are professionals and to treat hospitality as a career, which is an end-goal for the business.” Winning the coveted award is proof the strategy and huge team commitment is working. “Any achievement takes a village and we are incredibly lucky to have an amazing and dedicated team, a fantastic brand with an awesome brewery crew and the support and back up of Lion.” ServiceIQ is the official training partner for the hospitality, tourism, retail and aviation service industries. The Institute of Brewing and Distilling Asia Pacific section will hold its 35th convention at the TSB Bank Arena and Convention Centre from March 19 to 23, and with a significant number of craft breweries now based in New Zealand, there will be an ongoing focus on brewing as part of the technical programme. Chairman Ian Roberts says the future of beer for many lies in understanding the foundations of beer education from brewing’s past. “The challenges faced by many new, and not so new, to brewing is solved by seeking knowledge and experience from those that have gone before them. The IBD delivers this experience and knowledge to all brewers in an accessible way - to anyone, anywhere and at all levels within the craft of brewing.” The conference will build on previous platforms by integrating craft brewing, large scale brewing and distilling needs throughout the entire convention programme. Craft brewers will exchange their flavour and process knowledge alongside those brewers who can assist and exchange ideas about brewery challenges as businesses grow and expand beyond what was thought possible a decade ago. “And for those wanting insight into the distilling of those traditional amber nectars, the forum is there to share the knowledge discovered over the history of this honourable profession,” Roberts says. “The 2018 convention in Wellington will set the new standard in brewing and distilling knowledge exchange across a platform that is enjoyable and accessible.” A large Asia-Pacific event in Wellington next March will offer craft brewers and distillers the chance to focus on exploring the past to discover the future.
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