A problem and its technical solution

Nicholas Trim is working to ensure that people in Indonesia have daily supplies of flour.

Makassar is a city of over a million people located on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. It’s also home to one of the world’s biggest mills. The mill processes around 2,800 metric tons of wheat every day to supply some 250 million Indonesians. In the tropical climate of the largest island state in the world, this is no easy task. Flour is a perishable product that spoils very quickly if poorly packaged or incorrectly stored.

For many end consumers, 25-kilogram sacks of flour are simply not practical. They seldom need such huge amounts. On market stalls, the flour is stored loose, with sellers only packaging it in individual bags as required. As a result, much of it goes to waste or spoils. What’s more, some stall-owners use loaded scales, meaning customers actually receive less than a kilo.

Now, PT Eastern Pearl is using a Bosch packaging machine to package and seal flour directly in one-kilogram bags. This ensures Indonesian customers receive the goods they want in the quality and quantity they expect.

The mill manager

As GM Operations at PT Eastern Pearl, Nicholas Trim is responsible for making sure flour reaches consumers in perfect condition.

As part of his job, Nicholas Trim has to think about how to package the flour the mill produces. Intelligent packaging can help to stem the volume of food losses. Waste has reached shocking levels worldwide. One-third of all food produced never reaches the consumer – yet, at the same time, there are a billion people suffering from hunger. It’s a familiar problem in the emerging Indonesian market. “With innovative packaging technology for the one-kilogram bag, we and Bosch are helping to ensure that our flour gets to the people who really need it,” Trim says.

For Trim, who was born in Australia, living and working in Indonesia is an exciting and enriching experience. “It’s a thoroughly enthralling and challenging task,” he says. According to the global Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), waste of grain products is particularly acute in south and southeast Asia. Some 20 percent is lost, and some of that loss is due to the lack of proper packaging.

28 percent of the world’s food cultivation area...

...produces crops that go to waste. That’s equivalent to an area twice the size of Australia.

Save food through proper packaging

Huge amounts of food are wasted each year because they spoil en route to the consumer.

According to the global Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 1.3 billion metric tons of food are thrown away each year. Just one-quarter of that amount would be enough to eradicate world hunger. Held on October 16 each year, World Food Day aims to raise awareness of this enormous level of waste.

The 300 million metric tons of food thrown away each year in the industrialized nations alone would be enough to feed all those who are starving. In contrast, in the developing and emerging nations, most of the food is lost right at the very beginning

of the supply chain – due to inadequate harvesting methods, spoiling en route to the consumer, or poor storage and packaging.

In the industrialized nations, modern distribution systems have helped to reduce post-harvest losses. In Germany, for example, the losses involved in harvesting basic foodstuffs such as wheat are only around 3 percent. And further along the supply chain, proper packaging plays an important role.

The FAO’s Save Food initiative...

...aims to reduce the amount of food that spoils before it reaches the consumer. Bosch is also committed to this project.