Bread maker walks the environmental talk
250,000 tonnes of food is thrown out by foodservice venues each year, according to a report from RMIT University. The research also found that venues throw away 40% of their food stock purchases over the duration of a year.
And while this is a huge waste of money, it’s also an environmental waste as over five million tonnes of food ends up as landfill. And while much of it is biodegradable, the food production efforts are wasted and it releases greenhouse gases as it breaks down.
The use of snap frozen products could help address this problem. Frozen products provide a number of environmental benefits for the foodservice industry. Firstly, they remain fresher for longer and therefore negate the need for more frequent deliveries, which means fewer delivery vehicles making frequent trips.
Secondly, in an age of phenomenal food wastage, it is beneficial to be able to manage what is used and what is saved for another day. Frozen items can be used as required, with the excess stock retained in the freezer. It also means that there is no such thing as ‘yesterday’s bread’, which eliminates the need for disposal and reduces the impact on the environment.
Bakers Maison is part of a growing trend in frozen food products with its range of frozen breads, pastries and sweets that are available as fully baked, par baked, ready to bake and ready to prove.
“Customers of restaurants and cafes care about the footprint the food they buy is leaving behind, which is driving business owners to make decisions about the environmental impact of the pre-prepared food they purchase,” said Bakers Maison Managing Director Pascal Chaneliere.
“We also find that the restaurant, cafe and catering company owners who we supply our products to also want to know that we’re serious about environmental impact in our manufacturing process. That premise was one of the drivers when we changed to solar power a couple of years ago.”
Bakers Maison has installed 1900 m2 of solar panels on its facility roof that generates 200 kVA. It is specifically tailored to the food industry because it targets the energy-intensive process of cooling hot baked goods, an integral part of making Bakers Maison’s operations as efficient as possible.
“By showing that a large-scale food manufacturing operation such as ours — we produce 15 tonnes of various products each day — can be reliably powered by renewable energy, we hope others in our industry and in other energy-intensive industries follow the lead we have set,” Chaneliere added.
Bakers Maison was also a trailblazer in the funding of the project as the beneficiary of $390,000 from 20 investors — one of the largest community-funded solar projects in Australia. Over a 7- to 10-year period, the recipient business then pays the investors for the solar power, which is significantly cheaper than the mainstream electricity market.
As well as the solar panels, the company converted 12 electric ovens to gas, replaced factory lighting with LED lights and converted refrigerant gas from R22 to ammonia gas.
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