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- Getting Ready for ANUGA 2009 - the largest food trade show in the world!
posted on August 26, 2009 06:46:56 pm
As we prepare for ANUGA 2009 (October 10-14, Cologne, Germany) it occurs to me that I must remind clients that the worst thing they can do at a trade show is to stay at their own booth, waiting for the world to beat a pathway to their door.The only way to make a trade show work for you (make contacts, meet new clients) is to walk the floor, with an open mind and a list of companies that you want to see (the show catalogue for pavilion and booth numbers should be your bible). Stop at any booth that catches your eye - there are so many new products out there that you may need to know about, in order to position yours better.Leave your tri-lingual hostess at your booth with a stack of business cards to the handle the walk-ins and take appointments for you. In the meantime, hit the floor. If you're not footsore and weary after each day, you're not getting the most out of a trade show. Three miles hiking everyday - minimum. ANUGA ... the food trade show that needs comfortable shoes.Check out the ANUGA website. ANUGA
- Plumpy'nut is great - but why stop there?
posted on August 26, 2009 12:20:49 pm
Plumpy'nut is the new revolution in food aid emergency feeding. Developed by Nutriset, a French company specializing in food supplements for relief efforts, Plumpy'nut was conceived by French scientist, André Briend.This ready-to-eat food is a paste, packaged in foil packets, with a two-year shelf life. No need to add water or refrigerate - just cut the foil and suck the peanut-tasting paste, which is fortified with milk, vitamins and minerals for a 500-calorie powerhouse per packet.Used widely now by Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières) in the Niger crisis, Plumpy'nut is sure to start spreading to feeding stations in other parts of drought-ridden Africa. A four-week course of treatment costs $20 and can be administered by the mothers themselves, rather than by doctors or nurses. Children can gain on average 450 to 900 grams per week - a miraculous growth curve when compared to other treatments available.And what else in on the humanitarian food aid menu? For more than thirty years, food aid agencies have been dependent on powdered milk, and wheat/soy and corn/soy blends, which are fortified powders requiring added clean water. Frequently clean water just isn't there.My question is: why has it taken so long for a company to come up with an emergency food ration that is really designed to be used in the field under real-life conditions? Where are all the other Plumpy'nut ideas?Why haven't the major food manufacturers, such as Nestlé or General Foods, developed research divisions solely for altruistic, humanitarian purposes - to develop a new generation of relief-aid products? Not for profit. Not to sell more Western milk or wheat or corn or soy - but to come up with inventive solutions for emergency situations in countries touched by disaster. The answer is that there is no real money to be made in humanitarian aid and Nestlé and General Foods are interested in real money, not charity.Plumpy'nut can be produced almost anywhere with local ingredients - plus the fortified vitamins and minerals supplied by Nutriset. There are start-up operations in Malawi and Niger, and Nutriset is looking for more local partners in Africa.Plumpy'nut is great. So why aren't we encouraging more people/companies to develop products as good as Plumpy'nut? New product ideas should be a priority for the UN's World Food Program communications campaigns.
- How can you buy Fair Trade products if you can?t find them ?
posted on August 26, 2009 12:22:13 pm
Fair trade ? a worldwide system that currently provides around 800,000 third world growers a better life by paying them above-market prices and passing the increased cost onto affluent Western consumers like you and me. But how many Fair Trade products do you have in your kitchen cupboard or your wardrobe? I live in France and the answer is: none.In this feverish time of Live 8 concerts and G8 Summits, everyone wants to help to ease poverty. Buying Fair Trade consumer goods is a good place to start for the average shopper.What is there to know about Fair Trade? The movement started about 10 years ago with coffee beans. Today Fair Trade products can cover everything from cotton T-shirts to bananas.The umbrella group, Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International was created 8 years ago. Companies that want to use the Fairtrade trademark (a logo showing a waving blue and green figure) agree to buy goods at above-market prices. The price must guarantee growers a profit. Companies must also contribute to development projects that improve labor conditions and environmental standards.I believe that lot of people in France would like to buy Fair Trade products to do their bit (and also drink good coffee!). But it?s like finding a needle in a haystack and if you ask the supermarket manager to stock Fair Trade products, he doesn?t want to know ("consumers won?t pay higher prices" is the refrain). It?s no wonder that Fair Trade sales make up less than 0.01 % of the world?s markets.Buying fair trade products is one way to make a direct impact on the Third World. Fair trade should cease to be a ?marginalized? concept and should start taking the front seat with retailers and consumers.So ? it?s time that the large supermarket chains in France promoted Fair Trade products. If consumers could see the products ? really see them through highly visible promotions ? products would fly off the shelves.