As we move through July, challenges associated with inflation, a possible recession and continuing labor shortages have challenged our industry. Additionally, a rise in dust and bulk ingredient accidents have put a focus on improving safety during the manufacturing/bulk ingredient handling process.
Here are five headlines you may have missed in July:
Study Says That Silica Dust Exposure Could Increase Cancer Cases
A study conducted in Australia has shown a connection between lung cancer and current exposure to silica dust, showing a need for improved dust collection systems in silica plants. Up to 100,000 workers in construction, mining and manufacturing industries could be affected from silica dust.
The study also goes on to show the improvement of production process methods could help reduce these numbers. Improvements in dust collection, using wet-cutting and better personal respiratory protection can all help cut down on those figures.
FDA Strengthening Operations Through Evaluations of Agency Activities
A comprehensive evaluation of the FDA’s Human Foods Program was announced in July in an effort to improve how the agency approaches policy for the increasingly complex nature of our nation’s food systems and supply chain. Stresses related to COVID-19 has also taxed the agency when it comes to inspection activities, and steps to improve processes need to be taken.
The Reagan-Udall Foundation, an independent partner organization for the agency, will be working with an external group of experts on the evaluation. The Foundation will report its findings, including an initial assessment of the processes and procedures, resourcing, and organizational structure for the Foods program and CTP, to the agency within 60 business days of initiation.
US Chemical Production Dipped in June Following Two Months of Gains
The U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) eased by 0.1% in June following gains of 0.5% in May and 1% in April, according to the American Chemistry Council.
While there were gains in the production of synthetic rubber, gasses, coatings, fibers, pigments and adhesives, they were offset by lower production of consumer products and plastic resins.
Compared to June YoY, US Chemical production is growing at a slower rate (2.5%) overall for the year.
2022 Pack Expo to Offer New Features to Attendees
After years of restrictions and limited participants, the 2022 Pack Expo is determined to make up for lost time by introducing some exciting new features for attendees of the expo taking place October 23-26 in Chicago. The show saw a record breaking 2000 exhibitors participate in 2019, and this year expo leaders expect 40,000 attendees.
The “Pack to the Future” stage will feature new sessions on the latest advancements in cannabis packaging, wireless factory automation, smart packaging and more. This stage celebrates the evolution and future of processing with equipment, materials and photographs spanning 250 years.
The new “Processing Innovation” stage will allow attendees to experience the latest processing breakthroughs in food and drink, while at the “Industry Speaks” stage, attendees can listen to hot button topics, such as supply chain solutions, augmented reality and sustainability, to name a few.
New Pact Between Russia and Ukraine to Free Grain Exports
Russia and Ukraine both signed agreements with Turkey and the United Nations to resume grain shipments from the Ukraine to world markets, ending a standoff that threatened world food security due to ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The deal will enable Ukraine to move millions of tons of grain through its major Black Sea ports allowing for one of the world’s biggest wheat and corn producers to provide bulk ingredients to the world.
The Middle East and Africa, regions that depend heavily on wheat imports from Ukraine, have experienced record high grain prices, as well as supply shortages from the five-month long conflict.
The deal includes a reduction on sanctions imposed on Russia, the world’s leading exporter of fertilizers.