In a November Fortune magazine article by Matthew
Boyle, the writer visits the National Center for Food Protection and
Defense, which was launched by the Department of Homeland Security, at the
University of Minnesota. The center’s task is to keep the vulnerable,
fast-moving U.S. food supply – which consists of an estimated 2.1
million farms, 900,000 restaurants, 115,000 food-processing plants and
34,000 supermarkets – safe from terrorism.
The writer visits a microbiologist who is working on
an instrument to detect botulinum. His device detects negligible amounts of
the toxin and could be put into a processing line, shutting down production
to prevent a botulism outbreak if the pathogen found its way in. Both
botulinum and milk have become major concerns for protection because milk
comes from countless small farms, making it hard to monitor, and botulinum
is among the most toxic poisons on the planet. Another scientist was
working on a portable detection device that emergency first responders
could use to quickly detect pathogens. For example, the device could
identify if a processing plant had been tainted with the bacteria listeria
within an hour.
But will companies pay for any of this expensive
technology? Early surveys conducted by the center have yielded the
response, “We’re not going to spend any money on this unless we
Sounds callous, but the industry’s argument is
that over-spending on security-related technology currently doesn’t
make sense. For instance, a beverage company is not under the same threat
as a power plant. While the Bioterrorism Act of 2002, requires most food
and beverage companies to keep records and make them available to the
government, the onus is on the manufacturers to
raise standards. Still, I would say, even with tight budgets, the human
cost of dealing with one terrorist act is not something the industry can
Diageo’s Tanqueray has agreed to a
two-and-a-half minute media buy with Sirius Satellite Radio, featuring an
original track called “Get Your Ice On.” Tanqueray becomes the
first spirits company to advertise on Sirius. Inspired by the brand’s
spokesperson, Tony Sinclair, the song is also the first track to be
released from Tanqueray’s new virtual CD that launched online in
Sweet Leaf hosts Backseat
Sweet Leaf Tea Co. hosted the after-party for the
independent film “Backseat,” which premiered in Austin, Texas.
Backseat received top billing during the Austin Film Festival, held in
October. Sweet Leaf Tea dedicates a significant amount of support to
the arts on a grassroots level as well as for high-profile events.
The company has donated product to several independent film and video
Sïku Glacier Ice Vodka will offer five winners of its Sïku Glacier Ice Vodka Bartender
Signature Drink Contest an all-expenses-paid trip to Playboy Golf’s
Tee and Lingerie and Pajama Party at the Playboy Mansion in March.
Bartenders who compete are to create and name a Sïku signature drink
with no more than five ingredients.
Absolut Vodka was the official spirit of this
year’s Latin Grammy Awards, and added the spirit to the official
Latin Grammy after-party with the illuminated Absolut Bar. Absolut
spokesperson Sofia Vergara and award-winning Latin hip-hop duo Akwid spiced
up the party while Absolut featured the latest cocktails, including
Atrevete, Coqueta and Antojo, as well as seven of Absolut’s flavors.
Audioslave entertained a crowd of nearly 20,000
concert-goers at the 12th Annual Great Shiner Bocktoberfest Music Junket.
The one-day outdoor music festival showcased an eclectic mix of
alternative, modern rock, country and Americana. Shiner Brewmaster Jimmy
Mauric led the crowd in a toast to celebrate the Spoetzl Brewery’s
96th anniversary, and the launch of Shiner 96. Plenty of the commemorative
ale was on hand for concert-goers to sample.
Go Fast Games
The Third Annual Royal Gorge Go Fast Games, held in
October at the world’s highest suspension bridge in Canon City,
Colo., showcased the most experienced BASE jumpers from around the world,
and this year added the world’s highest bungee jump to the lineup.
Holding true to the company’s foundation, Troy Widgery, founder of Go
Fast, took part in both the BASE and bungee jumping, along with the Go Fast
distributor from Mexico and Go Fast Athletes from Hungary.
Beverage Industry’s November issue highlights the 100-year advocacy of the American Beverage Association and what’s next for CEO Katherine Lugar and a new plastics initiative, Every Bottle Back. This issue includes a special report on craft beer, an Up Close With feature on PRESS hard cider and what is sparking innovation in natural colors. Read more about how protein is powering up beverages and how warehouses are using WMS and WCS systems to streamline operations. As usual, the latest trends in new products, packaging and ingredients are highlighted.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.