Food processing and manufacturing is responsible for 43 per cent of avoidable food waste in Canada, costing food manufacturers a whopping $49.5 billion a year. If you’ve been wondering how your dairy manufacturing plant can reduce costs, it’s time to put waste reduction on the list. From pigging systems to steam traps to transfer line recovery, these three Canadian dairy case studies prove that process changes that reduce your waste will increase your bottom line.
COMPANY: Lactalis Canada (formerly Parmalat)
FOCUS: Indoor water use
ANNUAL SAVINGS: $87,552
Lactalis Canada, known to Canadians for brands such as Lactancia, Beatrice, Astro and Black Diamond, was the first company to participate in the Region of Peel’s Indoor Water Assessment program. The program offers businesses a free indoor water assessment to identify ways to achieve permanent water savings. Participants receive a rebate to help defray the costs of recommended process changes or equipment upgrades.
At the time of the assessment, Lactalis’s Brampton plant was using an average of 1,303 m3 of water every day. The assessment recommended three process improvements. The first was to install steam traps at five carton filling stations. The second was to reuse discharged steam from milk processing to wash cases. The third was to reuse the water used to cool hydraulic oil and cool steam for case washing.
The three initiatives resulted in water savings of 191 m3 per day and annual financial savings of $87,552. The company’s pay-back period was a fast 2.7 months, thanks to the Region’s rebate.
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COMPANY: HANS Dairy
FOCUS: Raw and pasteurized milk waste
ANNUAL SAVINGS: $71,719
HANS Dairy, an Ontario-based business specializing in South Asian dairy products, used Provision Coalition’s free online Food Loss + Waste Toolkit and the root cause analysis expertise of Enviro-Stewards to prevent 75 per cent (67,500 L) of the milk it uses being wasted each year.
The first savings came from reimagining waste milk as an ingredient for another HANS product. HANS now captures the pasteurized milk and water it uses to flush its piping systems and uses it as a smoothie ingredient instead of sending it down the drain. The annual milk savings are $59,766, plus 820 kWh of electricity, 33 tonnes of CO2, 74 m3 of water, and 65 m3 of natural gas. The payback time was 3.5 months.
The second savings opportunity involved ensuring all the raw milk in the transfer lines that run between delivery trucks and milk silos ends up in the silos, not on the floor. The total savings in milk amounted to $11,953 per year and a payback period of 2.5 years.
View the full case study from Provision Coalition.
COMPANY: Fiasco Gelato
FOCUS: Recovering ingredients and finished product
ANNUAL SAVINGS: $118,300
A Canadian entrepreneurial success story, Fiasco Gelato is an artisanal manufacturer of small batch all-natural gelato and sorbets in flavours such as dark chocolate caramel sea salt and raspberry lime. They used Provision Coalition’s Food Waste + Loss Toolkit to identify three opportunities to prevent food waste and save money.
Two of these involved recovering finished product. The first recovers gelato from piping using “a pig” and compressed air or water. (This is technically known as a “pigging system,” where a projectile is sent down a pipe to remove or recover leftover liquid.) Not only does the new system use less water and chemicals, but the captured gelato can be sold. The second recovery initiative was to train employees to completely empty holding tanks of the gelato. A third initiative recovered milk from transfer lines, again using a pigging system.
The full case study shows annual savings of $118,300, plus 28.8 tonnes of CO2