Dairy Dialog podcast 128: Danone, Kerry, Veolia

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Dairy Dialog 128: Danone, Kerry, Veolia
Dairy Dialog 128: Danone, Kerry, Veolia

Related tags Recycling Plastic Milk Sustainability Ice cream IDFA Kerry Danone Danone North America Meiji

This week, we have three interviews on the podcast. We have conversations with Shannon Coco, strategic marketing director, food at Kerry North America, and Logan Cisewski, RD&A senior scientist at Kerry; Tim Duret, director of sustainable technology at Veolia UK and Ireland; and Jean-Michel Lequin, director of Danone’s Wexford, Ireland, formula milk production facility.

We also have our weekly look at the global dairy markets with Liam Fenton at StoneX.

Veolia set to produce more than 100m recycled plastic milk bottles each year

UK resource management company Veolia is set to make a major increase to the amount of recycled plastic used in milk bottles and close the recycling loop for the UK dairy industry.

veolia bottles

The project will see more than 100m new recycled bottles created each year by ensuring they are produced, distributed, consumed, collected, sorted, washed and reprocessed and made into bottles in the UK. 

Every year, 300m milk bottles arrive at Veolia's plastic recycling facilities. After being collected and compressed into bales, the bottles are ground into flakes. They are washed several times to remove label residue and clean the plastic. Infrared sorters then separate the transparent HDPE body of the bottle from the cap, which will also be recycled, and the transparent HDPE is then formed into premium grade pellets ready for conversion into new bottles.

As recycling these into new containers uses up to 75% less energy than using virgin material, the process will lower carbon, and support the UK Dairy Roadmap initiative. If all plastic were recycled this could result in annual savings of 30m to 150m tonnes of CO2​ and can both curb the growing life-cycle GHG emissions from plastics, and also prevent plastics from entering the marine environment.

The new agreement is also a step towards achieving the goals set by the UK Plastics Pact. Created in April 2018 to fight plastic pollution, the collaborative initiative lays the foundation for a circular plastics economy and its members include 40 brands representing the entire plastics value chain, UK government institutions and NGOs.

The pact has three main goals for 2025: 100% of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or biodegradable; 70% will be efficiently recycled or composted; and all plastic packaging produced will contain 30% recycled material.

Tim Duret, director of sustainable technology at Veolia UK and Ireland, said, "This marks another significant step towards building a circular economy and a greener, lower carbon future. To kickstart the green recovery, the environment and climate change must be priorities and by capturing, converting and re using this material in the UK we can deliver a local recycling loop and support the sustainability goals of the UK dairy industry."

Veolia said key to limiting the environmental impact and carbon emissions is effective waste management to treat packaging at its end of life, and recycling always wins over virgin production on all environmental indicators.  For plastics, it has been shown recycling saves 30% to 80% of the carbon emissions virgin plastic processing and manufacturing generate. 

Danone launches formula milk in pre-measured tab format

Danone has launched the first formula milk in the UK to be sold in a pre-measured tab format.

The company said the new format is in response to parents’ desire for greater convenience and ease when preparing formula milk feeds.

Aptamil _Carton and Flow Wrap
Pic: Danone

Gustavo Hildenbrand, general manager UK & Ireland, Danone Specialized Nutrition, said, “Breastmilk is the gold standard when it comes to feeding babies. But if parents feel they need to move on from breastmilk, they tell us they’re looking for ways to make a formula milk feed simpler and more convenient.”

According to research conducted in 2018 with more than 1,300 UK mothers, ‘convenient for feeding-on-the-go’ was the second most important criterion mums cited. And 31% said they looked for ‘greater convenience when preparing a formula feed.’

Danone said the new formula milk tabs dissolve easily, with one tab equal to one standard scoop of powdered formula. The new pre-measured tab format will be made available in packs of 24 sachets, with each sachet containing five tabs. Danone expects the new format to help reduce mess when preparing a formula feed, making the new format useful – in particular for night-time feeds.

Besides allowing for more accurate measurement and less waste, the new format helps provide extra reassurance – in particular for parents who favor formats that emphasize hygiene. The new format will be available exclusively via the UK retailer, Boots, under the Aptamil brand.

“We hope bringing to market formula milk in a pre-measured tab format will offer added convenience and support for formula feeding parents – especially in the ‘new normal,’ when parents are often stretched and trying to juggle balancing family and work-life from home,”​ Hildenbrand added.

Danone is producing the tabs at its formula milk production facility in Wexford, Ireland, through a manufacturing partnership with Japanese food manufacture, Meiji.

The exclusive memorandum of understanding between Danone and Meiji covers the production of the format innovation through which Danone is combining its formula milk recipes with Meiji’s patented tab-production technology.

Jean-Michel Lequin, director of Danone’s Wexford, Ireland, formula milk production facility, said, “At Danone, we’ve seen how in other food categories – like coffee and culinary stocks – introducing portion controlled and dosed formats has been a game changer for consumers, who look for more convenience and ease. That’s why we’ve worked with Meiji to set up a production line for pre-measured formula milk tabs at Danone’s formula milk production facility in Wexford, Ireland to serve the UK market.”

Lequin added, “By installing Meiji’s tab production technology at Danone’s formula milk facility here in Wexford, Ireland, Danone can source and produce formula milk in this new format locally for the UK market, and that helps reduce our carbon footprint.”

Following the launch in the UK, Danone plans to begin offering this new format in other countries in Europe in 2022.

Kerry at the IDFA Ice Cream Technology Conference

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) is hosting a virtual Ice Cream Technology Conference from April 6 to 8.

The event is intended to focus on innovations in frozen dessert research, technology and new market trends, and features experts on food safety, labeling and regulations that affect the industry.

Speakers includes representatives from the University of Guelph in Canada, University of Wisconsin-Madison, the US FDA, and companies including bioMérieux, Tate & Lyle, Tetra Pak, IFF, and Kerry.

During Wednesday’s session, Logan Cisewski, RD&A scientist, and Samantha Gonfiantini, marketing specialist, at Kerry, will give a presentation on the market trends for new ice cream flavors, and will cover ingredients, nutritional enhancement, and flavouring, as well as look at plant-based consumer insight and product innovation.




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