ANZCO Foods recently opened the new ANZCO Innovation Centre, based at Lincoln University’s state-of-the-art food and science facility as part of its $87 million FoodPlus project to generate more value from the beef carcase.
FoodPlus is one of the Primary Growth Partnership programmes, which are long-term innovation programmes jointly funded by industry and government.
FoodPlus aims to develop new and innovative food, ingredients and healthcare products from the parts of the red meat carcase that currently generate less value. It’s about improving the value of the carcase and capturing new revenue opportunities.
“We’re one year into the seven year FoodPlus project,” says ANZCO chairman Sir Graeme Harrison. “The first year has mainly been about research, and now we’re ready to move into some new food developments – and we needed a dedicated space to do this.
“There are synergies and advantages in being located on Lincoln University’s campus,” he says.
Every day, the ANZCO team is mixing with a wide range of food and beverage specialists. Working with Lincoln in the very early stages of the project gives the company flexibility while it identifies what our longer-term needs might be, says the company’s food and solutions chief executive Rennie Davidson.
“We’ve also been able to provide summer work with students, which gives us a flexible workforce and is a valuable experience for the students. The location also keeps us close to ANZCO’s marketing team allowing us to regularly interface with key customers.”
The ANZCO team is already working on some new food developments and says there’s plenty more in the pipeline.
“We’re working directly with customer groups to identify and meet previously unrecognised needs. Then we put these new products in front of the customers and get feedback on everything from the packaging to cooking times as well as the actual food product itself. Then, hopefully, it’s a matter of making the required tweaks and we’re ready to start production in earnest. This approach increases the speed and effectiveness of our solutions,” says Davidson.
This article has appeared in Food NZ magazine (April/May 2014) and is reproduced here with permission.