The COVID-19 pandemic made an unprecedented impact on communities worldwide. To support the global response to this crisis, the Tetra Laval Group donated €10 million to various voluntary organisations supporting the health care systems across the countries that we operate in. While maintaining important measures to ensure the health and safety of its employees, the Tetra Laval Group which comprises Tetra Pak, Sidel and DeLaval, is fully committed to play its part in ensuring uninterrupted food supplies during these difficult times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically transformed the way we live our lives and will have a lasting effect on consumer behaviour. Health, hygiene and food safety have all increased in importance for consumers around the world, with 68 per cent agreeing that food safety is a major concern for society.
Consumers now give greater consideration to hygiene and sanitation procedures in the processing, transporting and preparing of their food, with many believing that food safety should be the top priority for manufacturers. This has placed greater food safety and quality demands on the food and beverage industry, which must also cater to restrictions on household expenditure.
Brands also need to show they act responsibly by fighting physical and mental illness, pollution and other health related issues affected by our choices.
While it’s true that the pandemic has shifted the spotlight away from the environment, it still remains an important issue ahead of topics such as the economy. In fact, consumers perceive the topics of food safety, health and environmental responsibility in the food industry to be closely intertwined.
Consumers want to be morally responsible in their everyday choices – and even empowered to make a positive difference in society through their actions. This makes it important for brands to give consumers the information they need to make informed choices through packaging.
An inventory of actions to reduce direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions has been carried out at Sidel’s sites around the world. Gas and fuel for heating account for most part of direct emissions. Sidel’s sites continuously improve their energy efficiency, such as by improving insulation and installing more efficient equipment to reduce emissions. As well, several sites changed old facilities to less power-hungry models, and reduced electricity consumption, that represents indirect emissions.
Reducing Sidel’s carbon footprint is part of an ongoing improvement process that is built on constant collaboration between sites and the prioritisation of investments based on cost-carbon calculations. This approach has helped Sidel identify actions for the next decade to target a 30 per cent CO2 reduction by 2030.
The COVID-19 crisis highlighted one of the primary functions of packaging – to protect the product. Facing the fears of tap water contamination, water bottles were among the most requested packaging in 2020, along with the significantly increased need for individual formats. Therefore, Sidel were there for water producers to provide them with equipment and services, both on site and remotely, to meet this increased demand.
DeLaval’s engineers are collaborating with farmers around the world to create automated solutions that enable ‘precision dairy farming’. This involves integrating advanced technologies into dairy farming practices in order to increase production efficiency, improve animal welfare and the quality of dairy products – and ultimately help make sustainable food production possible.
Automation also improves the quality of life for dairy farmers by reducing heavy labour and tedious tasks, from early mornings to late evenings. The farmers of the future will instead spend their time performing tasks such as analysing data and planning farm operations on their computers and mobile phones, and of course, have more time for their animals and families.
Dairy farms of the future will have sensors embedded into every stage of their production process and on every piece of equipment. The Internet of Things (IoT) is what brings all this technology together and will make it possible to operate more efficiently and sustainably.
IoT-enabled systems provide farmers with an enormous amount of data that they can use to make optimal decisions. In this way, ‘smart farms’ can increase dairy production while becoming more sustainable by helping dairy farmers to do more with less.