Advances in flow-wrap technology are set to benefit bakery businesses, providing greater flexibility and ensuring high-quality display packs.Managing director of Ulma Packaging Derek Paterson says it is “vital to ensure the packaging machine is versatile enough to handle a wide range of bakery product sizes and shapes” and advises bakeries not just to opt for the cheapest option.His company has announced plans to target further growth within the bakery and confectionery sectors, by raising the commercial profile of its horizontal form fill and seal (HFFS) flow-wrappers. Its Florida entry-level flow-wrapper is suitable for packaging fresh bread in a range of formats, such as rolls, batched products and baguettes. It can also handle cakes, savouries and morning goods.Ulma, which is based in Worksop in Nottinghamshire, says its Florida model is suitable for small to medium-sized bakery operations and, depending on the product being handled, can operate at up to 150 packs per minute.The machine incorporates standard fully electronic motion control, a three-motor system to give control over various drives and greater programming flexibility with fewer mechanical adjustments and components.At the top of Ulma’s range of flow-wrappers is the Atlanta hi-tech, aimed at bakers with medium to high volume production. It has left-to-right operating direction, rotary cross-sealing jaws, a self centering fill reel holder and a two-metre long in-feed conveyor.Paterson points out that the company’s flow-wrappers also have “a unique double flexing form box, which allows infinite set-up variations”. He says: “The equipment should offer flexibility and be tolerant to the unpredictable nature of yeast as an ingredient.”Mantle Packaging Machinery in Whalley, Lancashire has obtained the distribution rights for the UK for the Italian-made CRIMA semi-automatic flow-wrapper. It can adjust from a horizontal to a vertical flow-wrapper position in a couple of minutes, according to managing director Ken Mantle.He says the hand-fed CRIMA automatically senses the length of a product to ensure a flow-wrap pack that fits. “This is particularly useful when you have random lengths of French sticks where a conventional flow-wrapper normally deals with uniform lengths. It is also good for the collation of bread, teacakes and pies,” he adds, pointing out that bakery products not cooked in a mould can vary in size and shape when they are taken out of the oven.John Colk, part of the sales team at FDA Packaging Machinery, says the company’s flexi-wrap machine produces flow-wrapping, but is more efficient than conventional machinery. He says that switching from flapjacks to baguettes on a conventional machine entails a 15-minute changeover, while the flexi-wrap enables this in a much shorter time.”A baker is not a packaging engineer and wants something simple and reliable which doesn’t need maintenance,” says Colk. “The flexi-wrap is more hygienic because it does not lose any product.”Paterson says that, when choosing a flow-wrapper, bakeries should approach suppliers with “a diverse range of machines to suit small, medium and high-volume production arrangements”. They should also avoid manufacturers or agents that offer a “one-size-fits-all” approach, who are “not willing work with you to develop specific ideas and concepts”.He suggests that, because of the increasing use of migrant workers, the flow-wrapper machine should be easy to set up and use, with minimum training required and the use of icons instead of written instructions on the control panel.Above all, he believes the criteria when buying a machine should be “value for money and robust build quality for longevity” coupled with “fast and responsive after-sales back-up and support, as down time costs money”.
Scheltema said pension funds should be more persistent in recruiting female trustees, and urged women to consider taking up a board seat “as pension funds are very interesting from a governance point of view and offer many part-time jobs”.She stressed that not all board members had to be financial experts, and that other competences, such as communication, administration, and financial housekeeping, were also needed.The monitoring committee also highlighted problems with communication in several areas. A quarter of the pension funds it surveyed hadn’t accounted for how far they had come in reaching goals mentioned in their vision, strategy, and mission.Scheltema said pension funds had communicated “fairly” about the possibility of rights discounts, but said that there was room for improvement. She cited her own uniform pension statement as “not being the best example of clarity yet”.In the interview, the chair of the monitoring committee also noted that 40% of the pension funds hadn’t contributed to the survey.“Some of them had a sound explanation, pointing out for example that they were busy with a merger, but others haven’t provided clarity about why they hadn’t co-operated,” the FD quoted her as saying.Scheltema acknowledged that pension funds were already facing an enormous administrative burden, but stressed that the committee had only made inquiries about a “limited number” of the 83 norms of the code.The code for pension fund governance was introduced in 2014, and received legal backing in the same year. Dutch pension funds are still falling short in implementing diversity requirements contained in the Netherlands’ code for pension fund governance.The monitoring committee responsible for the code concluded that there was room for improvement regarding the representation of women and younger participants on pension fund boards.It found that no more than 55% of the 150 surveyed schemes had appointed a female trustee, while just 33% had a board member aged under 40.In an interview in Dutch financial news daily Het Financieele Dagblad (FD), Margot Scheltema, the committee’s chair, emphasised that the introduction of diversity onto pension funds’ boards was happening “far too slowly”.
Ghana picked up a positive result in the first leg of the final round of qualifying for the 2014 African Women’s Championship after beating Ethiopia 2-0 in Addis Ababa on Sunday.The Black Queens now need to avoid defeat in the return clash at home in a fortnight to reach the finals of the tournament to be staged by Namibia in October of this year.Seven winners after the return leg which will take place on the weekend of 6-8 June will join hosts Namibia for the final tournament from 11-24 October.Coach Yussif Basigi will be pushing to return Ghana to Africa’s flagship women’s football tournament after missing out of the tournament for the first time in 2012 since the inception of the biennial championship in 1998.