Oman Air Catering Services – A Registered CIEH Food Safety Training Centre

Another accolade has recently been added to Oman Air’s Catering Unit at Muscat Intl Airport -this being accreditation as a CIEH registered training centre for food safety – levels 01 and 02. Whether you’re looking for your local bbq events, or want to plan your summer road trip around BBQ events, then you’ve come to the right place.

This will further enhance the staff’s awareness of the importance of food safety within the production kitchens of Oman Air.

To Oman Air’s Catering Unit, Customer satisfaction is paramount and this step will undoubtedly satisfy our consumers expectation, and cement the reputation and business moving forward. The Catering Unit has two certified trainers. Both experts in the field of Food Safety Management. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) is based in the UK and is an internationally recognized charity and professional voice for environmental health. CIEH is also UK’s leading awarding body for vocational qualifications in accredited food safety, health, and environment protection qualification.

In pursuit of elevating not only the service quality, but also improving the skills and knowledge base of its manpower, the Catering Unit started implementing the CIEH food safety course early in 2010. Following its certification, Oman Air has now successfully run the first course with 27 participants.

Apart from the benefit of being an internationally recognized food safety curriculum, the Catering Unit also had incurred economic advantage having the course done internally, in terms of cost savings. There are no operational losses in terms of manpower-hours since the training schedule is adjusted according to the operational requirements. The training contents are also custom-fit to address the demands of the particular organization, which in the case of Oman Air – has exacting criteria.

As the forefront to Oman Air’s food safety program, the Catering Unit is planning to have all its food handlers undergo the certification course within the CIEH Food safety qualifications and eventually expand its services by offering the course to the public.

Speaking on the achievements of Ms Tawhida Al Kindy – Manager of Quality Assurance and the driving force behind this initiative – The G.M of Catering Mr. Aaron Claxton praised her efforts in achieving these incredible results for the team in such a short period. 2011 is a year where we have big plans to enhance our profile and along with this our portfolio of business clientele. Staff morale and development is a key strategy in this program and such ongoing commitment by the management team to nurture the new talents is extremely pleasing and essential to our growth.

It is worth mentioning that The Catering Business Unit of Oman Air at Muscat International Airport has achieved a milestone by being the first airline caterer within the Middle East and Gulf Region, to be awarded the prestigious certification in Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), a Food Safety Management System ISO 22000.

How much will van signwriting cost me?

GETTING signwriting for your van can be good for business.

It’s reckoned that, typically, about 3000 people an hour will see it. So it’s useful advertising. It may also help clinch deals. How? If you are looking to rebrand with a complete new image, or just after a single banner, then give us a call or pop us an email request and our signwriters Sydney are happy to assist you.

In a survey by van leasing firm Vanarama, 59 per cent of respondents said that seeing a company logo on the van gave them confidence in the quality of work to be done – and the younger the customer, the more emphasis they put on this. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, this rose to virtually three-quarters (74%).

Scan trade forums for views on getting signwriting for your van and most people say: do it. Typical comments are: “I got it done and the reaction has been really positive” and “I’ve had work because of it”.

So what are the options for getting signwriting for your van? And what will it cost?

Most people go for vinyl signwriting. This ranges from basic one-colour lettering on the bonnet or doors to a full ‘wrap’, which means encasing the van’s bodywork in vinyl. In between there are partial wraps and large vinyl panels on the side, back and bonnet.

Signwriters can put the vinyl signwriting on the van for you or, with smaller signage, you can fit it yourself.

An alternative to vinyl is metallic signage. We take you through the pros and cons of that below, as well as cost. But first, the most popular option: vinyl.

Vinyl signwriting – pro fit

Get the signwriters to design, manufacture and fit your vinyl signwriting and you’re looking at between £175 and £600 plus VAT.

Why the wide discrepancy?

Because it depends how complex and extensive your design is. But the average cost is about £250-£350 plus VAT for medium vans and £300-£600 plus VAT for large ones. That’s for basic to medium coverage.

For medium to high coverage, reckon on upto about £450 plus VAT for medium vans and up to about £800 plus VAT for large ones.

For wraps, as opposed to signage, the price rises.

A partial wrap of a medium van is typically £650 to £1000 plus VAT and for a large van it’s £800 to £1350 plus VAT.

For a full wrap, you’re looking at roughly £1150-£1750 plus VAT for a medium van and £1350-£2500 plus VAT for a large van.

The pros will fit vinyl signage to your van in about two to three hours. Most signwriters will travel to where your van is to fit signage but it’s often a bit cheaper to get it fitted at the signwriter’s workshop. For a full wrap, they’ll need your van in the workshop for one or two days.

Vinyl signwriting – DIY fitting

Typical prices for basic signwriting are £75 for a small van, £95 for a medium van and £115 for a large van. This price will include a fitting kit and full DIY instructions.

Don’t be surprised to see higher prices than that. For a MWB Transit, two sides, front and rear can be £110 plus VAT, or £90 plus VAT for two sides. Signwriting on the back can be typically £40 plus VAT and £30 plus VAT for the bonnet.

A LWB Transit will cost the same for the bonnet and doors, but the longer sides need more coverage. Budget on about £100 plus VAT for two sides and £125 plus VAT for both sides, back and bonnet.

In planning your design, try to ensure that the vinyl doesn’t straddle panel gaps, mouldings or feature lines. That would make it harder for you to fit. Pros will be able to leave a seamless finish over such irregularities but amateurs will struggle. A good signwriter will confine the vinyl signage to the van’s flat panels for a DIY fitting.

You can also buy small, basic vinyl signwriting on eBay.

For a two-colour design on both sides, the front and rear, reckon on paying about £35 for a small van, £45 for a medium one and £55 for a large van. You can get simple signage for the bonnet or back window for about £10.

These will be three or four lines of brief text – company name, phone number and website. We’ve no direct experience of the quality of eBay suppliers, so check the seller’s feedback before buying.

Magnetic signs

A magnetic sign can be left on a van or swapped between vehicles. This can be handy if the same van is used for different brands – just swap the brand panels over.

Or if you rent a van for occasional work, you can instantly stamp your identity on it. Clients will be none the wiser.

Avoid using magnetic panels on the bonnet – they don’t like the wind turbulence or the heat from the engine. But using them on the sides and back is fine. If you’re going to swap signs between vehicles, smaller signs give you a wider choice of potential vehicles.

Avoid sticking them on panels that have curves or features lines. They won’t sit properly. Instead, go for a flat panel. Measure up the panel before ordering and leave a border of about 50mm/2in or so. This will look smart and ensure that the metallic signage doesn’t unintentionally overspill the flat panel.

Prices start at about £15 for a magnetic panel 150mm tall by 100mm wide. Expect to pay about £30 for one that’s 400mm tall and 1.0m wide, and £50 for 200mm tall by 2.0m wide.

For a magnetic sign that’s 500mm tall and 3.0m wide, budget on about £100. For truly massive ones, say 600mm tall by 6.0 wide, you can be looking at the wrong side of £200. You’ll need to add VAT on top of all those prices.

But expect the price to include full colour digital printing, a laminated front that is resistant to UV, scratches and weather, and the option of using your own graphics.

Go for magnetic panels that are at least 0.8mm thick to ensure they don’t slip down on the van – or, worse, blow off at motorway speeds.

Not just the price

Don’t just go for the cheapest quote.

Shoddy-looking signwriting is worse than no signwriting. It projects a bad image about your company to prospective customers.

You want signwriting to look professional from day one and remain looking that way on day 1000 and beyond. So keep one eye on cost and the other on quality.

The signwriting industry is unregulated so ensure that you’re happy with the quality of the firm’s work before giving them your business.

Go on personal recommendations where possible. Failing that, tell the firm you want to contact some of their recent customers. If they aren’t instantly forthcoming, look elsewhere. You’ll find plenty online.

Afraid To Travel? Here Are Some Great Tips To Help!

If you are a novice traveler, then there are some guidelines you may want to follow. Below are some tips that will hopefully assist you with making good decisions and in planning trips properly. Winter is back! Canada Big White will be celebrating the return of our favourite season with a jam-packed calendar of fun family events.

Be flexible when choosing your vacation destination. While it may be fun to revisit your favorite spots, checking out new places is part of the fun of going on a trip. You can even save some money by selecting an alternate destination.

Be wary of people who tell you that in some foreign cities many criminals will pose as policemen. Do not give anyone have your actual passport. Do not get in a vehicle with strangers.

When visiting a foreign country, be wary of what taxis you get into. You should ensure it’s a real taxi.

Check the carrier’s website that you are most interested in to make sure you are getting the best deal. Sometimes they have the discount travel websites.

Keep your important belongings when traveling. Do not use bags with easy access to people near you that could easily take your stuff. These are but a few tips to consider when shopping for a safe bag you wish to take on your travels.

When traveling by air, it is important to wear shoes that are comfortable and easily removable. You are going to have to take your shoes off at the security checks. Flip-flops or sandals are ideal air travel.

Keep travel essentials stored in one place. Don’t spend a lot of searching for everything you need for your trip. Buy a bin that can hold all of your travel items together. A container is great for your next trip.

Always look at the expiration dates that are printed on of all of your passports. Many countries have specific rules in place about passport expiration. Many will not let you entry into the country if your passport expires in a certain window of time.

Use environmentally responsible services that are environmentally friendly to have an ecologically responsible trip. Some hotels have energy efficient lighting, provide recycling bins, have low-flow plumbing and give guests a recycling bin. Tour companies, restaurants, auto rental companies and other service providers are looking for innovative ways to let travelers go green.

Most automobile rental companies require the minimum age to be at least 18 years old, and some do not rent to those under 25. You may pay more and have to use a credit card with you. Some cities prohibit senior citizens to rent cars. Find out about age restrictions when reserving a rental car.

Take lots of breaks when driving with small children. Breaks give you stretch and use the restroom. Getting little kids out of the car occasionally can help to prevent motion sickness. It may be a longer trip, but the trip will be a lot less stressful.

Jet lag is an all too common complaint for you and your family. You can’t really do anything about it, but extra sleep on the days before you travel can minimize the effects. You should also make an effort to sleep during the flight if possible.

Pack some travel candles for your trip. Candles can make a room. It is relaxing and romantic, relaxing and could help you sleep easily.

If you want to adjust quickly to an unfamiliar time zone, try to stay awake until 8pm local time. Though you may be tired, succumbing to sleep earlier than you should may end up making your jet lag worse because you have not allowed your body to recalibrate.

Pack snacks when traveling with kids. You should probably pack more than you think they will eat. This will maintain them happy and busy. Even some junk food won’t hurt this time.

You should try to make sure your baggage stand out against the average suitcase or baggage. You can decorate it with stickers on your luggage or tags to ensure it stands out.This will help you spot your luggage and keep others from walking away with yours.

Long flights across continents can be stressful. You can avoid this by taking a flight that gets to your destination at the same time of morning you usually get up. ) and sleep as much as you wake up at your destination. Wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go!

This will help in the event of lost luggage. If someone’s luggage is lost, then they can access their belongings placed with others. Another great idea to help offset any lost luggage experiences is to always have everyone bring one change of clothing in their carry-on.

Take turns driving when traveling with others. If you drive until you are too tired to continue driving, you increase the chances of getting into an accident. Do not wait until you are too tired to do so safely. Try switching out drivers every two or three hours. This will stop you from becoming so tired while you are behind the road and putting you and your passengers at risk.

Get an expandable file to have your itinerary while you travel. This is also a great for storing your receipts.

This can be devastating to your cruise entirely. You might end up in bed for days recovering from seasickness and not enjoying the cruise. If you know you are prone to seasickness in advance, you can buy medicine for seasickness and take it along.

If you’re driving a sizable distance to your destination, consider renting instead of using your own. You don’t want to degrade the value of your car through that abuse.

You should stay alert while driving and refreshed to avoid accidents. Stretch you limbs, visit the bathroom, enjoy a snack, or take a short catnap. You can get back to traveling when you’re revitalized.

Hopefully this material has offered some useful thoughts on getting the process of planning a trip underway. The tips in this article were carefully selected specifically to aid new travelers into developing solid strategies for planning their trips.

USDA Proposes Policies to Improve Food Access, Healthy Choices for Low-income Americans

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2016 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon today announced a proposed rule designed to provide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants increased access to healthy foods by requiring stores that accept SNAP to stock a wider array of food choices. A number one best seller, Easy week Night Meals is the one cookbook you need for cooking successfully during the week, and getting back to loving your weeknight meals.

“USDA is committed to expanding access for SNAP participants to the types of foods that are important to a healthy diet,” Concannon said. “This proposed rule ensures that retailers who accept SNAP benefits offer a variety of products to support healthy choices for those participating in the program.”

The 2014 Farm Bill required USDA to develop regulations to ensure that stores that accept SNAP offer a broader variety of healthy food choices. The stocking provisions in the proposed rule would require SNAP-authorized retail establishments to offer a larger inventory and variety of healthy food options so that recipients have access to more healthy food choices. SNAP retailers would be required to offer seven varieties of qualifying foods in four staple food groups for sale on a continuous basis, along with perishable foods in at least three of the four staple food groups. The staple foods groups are dairy products; breads and cereals; meats, poultry and fish; and fruits and vegetables. In addition, the proposal calls for retailers to stock at least six units within each variety, leading to a total of at least 168 required food items per store.

This proposed rule is one of many ways USDA is working to expand access to healthy foods for SNAP recipients. USDA has piloted the use of incentives to purchase healthy foods at point of sale in various venues, including farmers markets and small groceries where the incentive provided for additional purchase of local produce. The 2014 farm bill provided $100 million for Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grants to expand this effort, which USDA awarded to grantees in the spring and fall of 2015. USDA has also worked to increase SNAP participants’ access to farmers markets and direct marketing farmers, resulting in over 6,000 authorized locations – an eight-fold increase since the beginning of this administration.

USDA is working to ensure that access to food retailers is not hindered for SNAP participants as a result of this rule. Comments and suggestions on the proposed rule are encouraged to help USDA determine when, where, and if any flexibility should be provided to prevent reductions in SNAP client food access.

The proposed rule also underscores USDA’s authority under the Food and Nutrition Act to publicly disclose information about SNAP retailers disqualified or sanctioned for program violations. Information to be disclosed under provisions of the proposed rule would be limited to the name and address of the store, the owners’ and officers’ names, and the nature of the violation for which the retailer was sanctioned.

“SNAP violations are a serious matter,” Concannon said. “Public disclosure of this information is intended to serve as a deterrent against retailer fraud. The information would provide the public with insight into the integrity of these businesses and individuals.”

As the nation’s first line of defense against hunger, SNAP helps put food on the table for millions of low income families and individuals every month and is critical in the fight against hunger. SNAP is a vital supplement to the monthly food budgets of about 45 million low-income individuals. Nearly half of SNAP participants are children, 10 percent are elderly and more than 40 percent of recipients live in households with earnings.

SNAP plays an important role in reducing both poverty and food insecurity in the United States—especially among children. SNAP is an effective and efficient health intervention for low-income families with a positive impact on children beginning before birth and lasting beyond childhood years, improving health, education, and economic outcomes. Over 260,000 retailers nationwide are currently authorized to redeem SNAP benefits.

Digging Up the Artistic Gold Found Within

Concept artist start work at the beginning of pre-production, up to six months before filming is due to begin. During the staggering memorable fragile years from nine to twelve, you experienced your artistic self in such a way as never before or since. Most emphatically during the phase from eight to nine, a calibrated mechanistic artistic phase slipped in. This liberally gifted induced period opened a portal of instinctive talent from which you will draw for the remainder of your life. (In essence, you were grown by the end of this point, though the tender age did not necessarily reflect your innate maturity and society certainly would not have accepted the reality of this outrageous statement.) Nevertheless, the artistic vision of your life was formed and you were acutely aware of your inbred talent. The things that occurred during this most blatantly injected artistically sensitive period from 9 to 12 would determine the temperature of the road you would most likely travel until you reconnected with your latent gifts. It does not matter whether the time frame was obviously productive, non productive, abusive or flourishing, the scenario retained for you untold possibilities that would paint the canvas of the next forty four years. During this winding road of inductive dramatic scrambling and rearranging, you would/will find several pieces of the puzzle of your particular life’s purpose, which left uninvestigated, would cause massive blurring and confusion.

If you would take a moment to go back to the specific year, beginning two weeks before your 8th birthday and run concurrently until your two weeks after your 9th birthday for a period of approximately 13 months, you will able to follow along to decipher the art’ message offered. Remember back most specifically the exact 13 th month period of the 2 years involved. Where did you physically reside? More than likely, you were in the 3 rd grade of school. IF by chance you can not recall your 3 rd grade teacher, the blurred memory will be highlighted within the entire 4 th grade year. Do you remember that’ teacher? Do you remember the circumstances of where you were residing? There are so many viable clues linking your current personality to that poignant part of your existence. {Parts, that you may or may not recognize, as important to you, now.} The reason you may not be aware that you possess an incredibly defined essential artistic nature’ is because when you were young, the ARTIST in you was dismissed, discredited, disavowed or disenfranchised. This unfortunate event could have taken place in a variety of ways, not he least being that you felt inadequate to produce what was expected of you artistically. You felt you either had to compete or compare or both. Daunting as the task set before was, you felt embarrassed to offer your artistic self since “IT” was more precious you then as opposed to any other period in your life.

During the precarious period of your life from the ages of 9 to 12, the most influential and crucial artistic stage presented itself. Depending upon the situation, circumstances, events and people who surrounded you at that time, the “ART IMPETUS” was either nurtured/supported or devalued and denigrated. In other words, whatever was going on in your particular world at that specific time frame, determined how much of an artist you perceive yourself to be. Unless you were recognized and encouraged to pursue your individualistic artistic expressions, that vital natural and convenient’ artistic essence of yours got shut down, closed off, pent up like a caged animal. During this fragile time, if you were placed in a position to either compare your work or to compete with another in order to “show yourself worthy and accepted”, a silent death occurred which would take years to resurrect. Because of the ignorance and inadvertent (deliberate or not) neglect associated with our natural artistic impulse, we end up carrying around useless baggage that prevent us from de-assing’ certain programs of conditioned thought and/or self-sabotaging beliefs that confine and constrict our creative attempts.

How many of you ever wanted to sing but never tried because you were afraid someone would make fun of you? The same principle is applied to ART, MUSIC, DRAMA, and of course simple honest communication. Unless you are willing to search and retrieve those buried artistic aspects of yourself, which you have never been properly introduced to, you will remain a mystery to yourself and others. Your relationships will suffer because of it and you will remain unhappy and unfulfilled seeking outside remedies for inner barricades. In order to kick down the barriers’ that prevent you from being a natural born artist, you will be required to stop bad mouthing yourself or others who you deem more fortunate or talented. You have not been robbed. You were never going to meet these aspects of yourself until you were ready, anyway. If these words resonate with you, it is only because you are ready to pursue the voyage of yourself. {A launching of new indescribable possibilities stand before you ready for you venture into.} Moments of hesitation will be cast into the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered anymore. Self-doubt, fear of change, and the thoughts of not having any talent will be swallowed up by your natural desire to express yourself artistically. An instinctive GUT detector’ enables you to contact your lost/hidden artistic needs, as long as you are willing to move through the door of self-delusion. By careful study and application, you will be able to break through that wall of self-incrimination into a field your unrealized artistic potential.

As you begin to get still and listen to your inner soul’s yearning, you will discover a world of untold merit. You will literally be stunned by the accuracy of the things you know without knowing how you know them. You must trust your gut, however without reservation. It is the sole intent of your inner compass to provide an avenue of immaculate perception, where you no longer take for granted’ the exquisite beauty found within the mundane, dull, and seemingly lifeless artifacts peppering your world. Without having to dig and search, “What are the closest photographs you have near you?” (Wherever you are sitting) These photographs are designed to elicit a response in you. Whether the response is negative or positive, matters little. What does matter is that it makes you ponder.

Next, what is the first painting you see? The combination of photographs and the one in your face’ painting have been placed together arbitrarily (no matter how far apart they are in physical location) to act as a measuring stick of your present circumstances. You may feel some of the photographs and that painting have been haphazardly placed together. That immediate sensation too is an individualistic artistic response. Either way, the photographs are depicted as RAW symbols of expressions that will speak to you, according to where your consciousness resides. Also, because there are two parts of your artistic nature that needs acknowledging, (one who knows; one who doubts) you will have inadvertently fixed the photographs in your mind, {probably not being able to elicit the real picture the first time you look at them.) Be patient with yourself.

This reaction is part of the artistic development process. The painting plays a significant role in opening for you a panoramic view of things that are connected to your individual destiny. So that whenever you see or think about the object in question, a certain revelation of, “what’s blocking you” will become apparent. And, just as important you will be constantly reminded: it is in the ordinary “things” that the extraordinary is found. Because you have been indoctrinated to strive for perfection, you have forgotten how magnificently beautiful the so called ordinary things really are. No other person can take this cosmically enlightening journey but you. You will be in a type of private cosmic therapy; it is the art that will guide you in all truth.

Its fundamental premise belies the notion that we are separate from any portion, element, attribute, or “THING” that makes up our world. This exhaustively researched method presents the concept that: Everything in life is interconnected, including every single word, sight, smell, taste and feeling that one encounters in the run of a day . Not a person, place or object is exempt. If you interacted with it’, it’ has meaning for you. Though people often ignore or dismiss the obvious evidence that supports the appearance of various signs, symbols, clues, omens, as representational personal truths, the fact remains: “if you saw it’, there’s a valid reason for it’s recognition and validation. Though everything is exactly as it’s supposed to be for reasons we can’t see, it’s important for us, as mortals, to investigate the possibilities. What “if” there really is a Divine Purpose for our lives? Wouldn’t you want to know what that purpose might entail? Wouldn’t you want to discover how and why that purpose related to you? And, most especially if that so-called purpose could eradicate the continual sense of frustration, monotony and restlessness you experience so often.

You are here to produce something of the worthwhile value that you alone can express, connect and enjoy. The determination of that value resonates from the effort, energy, time, money and interest you are willing to invest. {Extremely personal choice: you pursue only what interests you!} Unless you take it upon yourself to explore (all that you possibly can) about you, no other success you ever obtained will compensate. The arduous task of unveiling you to you’ requires that you first eliminate the idea that anyone, NO MATTER WHO IT IS OR HOW MUCH POWER, AUTHORITY, AND INFLUENCE THEY EXERT, has the right to determine for you what path you should pursue or not pursue while you are alive. They are not nor will they ever be in a position to decide for you “What’s best.” Hah! You’re the very best you can be at any given moment for that moment. You are currently in the artistic processing mode and will continue to be for the rest of your natural born life.

Whatever you choose to do and however you choose to do it is all the RIGHT you need to know. No one can say whether your art, music, drama, writing, or any other individual method of expressing yourself is good or not. If you have produced it, IT is worthy. You are governed and maintained by the same innate compassing devise that so-called worthy artists reflect in their work. True ART is expressed by saying what, how, when, where and to whom exactly what you want to say without feeling the need to be praised or validated. If you are glad you produced it, for no other reason than for the sheer joy you derived from creating it, THAT is enough. Don’t feel ashamed, afraid, humiliated, inferior, worried, or intimidated by others. Art is spontaneous natural convenient creative energy! It moves through you while it liberates you at the same time. Recognizing yourself as a genuine artist is no doubt a frightening and horrific experience. Only the inherently determined and ruthlessly focused will survive to penetrate and forge their innate masterful visions.

Cosmic Therapist, Author, Artist, Entertainer, Teacher, Speaker, Singer/Songwriter.
Married 39 years with 6 children and 11 grandchildren and a native of North Carolina.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Paula_Andrea_Pyle/293102

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2103407

Smithfield Foods Announces New, Industry-Leading Environmental Initiative, Smithfield Renewables

SMITHFIELD, Va., Oct. 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced today the launch of Smithfield Renewables, a new platform within the organization that will unify, lead and accelerate the company’s industry-leading carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts. Smithfield Renewables will ensure the company meets its environmental commitments including its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2025. Bbq catering Sydney treat your guests to authentic, pit-smoked BBQ and made-from-scratch sides and desserts. Perfect for business events, graduations, meetings, weddings, parties, and neighborhood get-togethers.

The company announced Smithfield Renewables at the 2017 COMMIT! Forum, an annual conference for corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioners to network and share best practices. Smithfield also introduced its first Senior Director of Smithfield Renewables, Kraig Westerbeek. In this new role, which will report to Smithfield’s chief sustainability officer, he will lead and oversee GHG reduction efforts, keeping the company responsible for achieving its goals.

“Smithfield has long led the industry in sustainability and its environmental commitments,” said Kraig Westerbeek senior director of Smithfield Renewables and Hog Production Division Environmental Affairs. “Smithfield Renewables will ensure we continue to lead in this arena by further sharpening our focus on programs that help us reduce our carbon footprint and recycle energy more efficiently.”

Westerbeek will lead an advisory committee that will evaluate projects and help direct a company-wide strategy for renewable energy projects across both farms and facilities. At facilities, this includes refrigeration, boiler and other equipment upgrades. On farms, this includes projects that convert manure into useful products from fertilizer to renewable energy sources. Smithfield Renewables will further develop and build upon these best-in-industry projects.

“At Smithfield Foods, we are known for producing good food responsibly and our bold environmental commitments,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and CEO of Smithfield Foods. “By launching Smithfield Renewables, we are better positioned to achieve these goals and continue setting pioneering environmental programs.”

Please watch this video for more information about Smithfield Renewables and read more about the company’s industry-leading environmental programs in Smithfield’s most recent Sustainability Report available here.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including SmithfieldⓇ, EckrichⓇ, Nathan’s FamousⓇ, FarmlandⓇ, ArmourⓇ, John MorrellⓇ, Cook’sⓇ, KretschmarⓇ, GwaltneyⓇ, Curly’sⓇ, MargheritaⓇ, CarandoⓇ, Healthy OnesⓇ, KrakusⓇ, MorlinyⓇ and BerlinkiⓇ. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.

Hit The Road With Ease By Planning Ahead

It doesn’t matter where you’re going; it only matters not whether you are preparing for a recreational trip across state lines or across the border; a trip away from home is cause for great excitement and possibly a great deal of stress.The beneficial travel advice in the following article is here will help you have a successful trip. The crew at Bluepowder.com.au are throwing down some seriously good discounts for early bird bookings for Canada’s 2017/2018 ski Canada deals.

Don’t use the computers in your hotel or any other placing offering internet service for looking at sensitive information. There may be malware on the computer that is tracking your personal info.

Don’t take any unnecessary valuables that you on your trip.

Create a list for your trip!

Be wary of people who tell you that they are police offers or government officials in a foreign country. Do not let anyone have your passport; they may steal it. Do not get in a vehicle with someone you don’t know.

If the venue you want to go to offers online ticketing, head to its website and see if it is possible to buy and print tickets from there. The fee is worth it to avoid long lines. If the park uses a timed entry system, you can generally bypass these, too.

Make sure that you have clothespins with you when travelling. They are often forgotten, even though they are not something someone thinks to bring with them.

When traveling, it’s a good idea to wear slip on shoes that are light and comfortable. You will have to take them off quickly for security checks. Flip-flops or slip-on shoes are ideal air travel footwear.

Luggage tags on the bags’ exteriors can fall off without much provocation.

You do not want to deal with the noise of construction when you are trying to relax.

Melt hotel ice if you want to have filtered water for morning coffee. Tap water is not always the best tasting option, so place ice in the bucket for overnight melting. You can brew your coffee in the morning.

You can’t really lose something written on the mirror using a dry-erase marker because it’s hard to overlook.You can use dry-erase markers will easily wipe off of mirrors with just a little bit of tissue paper.

Think about different transportation you’re going to use. Buses are not like they once were. You can find bundle deals from some bus lines that will make your travel planning simple.

Hotel walls can be very thin at times. A reliable pair of earplugs can filter out excess noise and let you a restful night’s sleep.

Airports are normally extremely busy, because each plane must wait for the last one to fly out and make room at the gate. The first flight during the morning is very limited reasons for a delay.

Remember to bring along your crucial medications. It can be almost impossible to get your medication shipped to your destination.

Tip generously to anyone who deserve it. Give the steward a nice tip when boarding the ship. You will probably have the same folks waiting on your party for the rest of the cruise, you are likely to be well taken care of.

Make sure you create copies of all important documents when you travel.Keep these copies of passports, insurance papers, and any other important documents in a safe place.

Contact lens cases are a case when you going on a trip. These items are great for small amounts of the product.

If you won’t have immediate access to a currency exchange service when you land, consider exchanging a little money before you leave, and exchange the rest once you have found a currency exchange.

A great travel tip is to make sure you give yourself sufficient time for hotel check-outs. Many hotels will charge high fees if you have not left your room within the specified time. Always check out with plenty of time for checkout.

Be cautious of any unsolicited emails that cover travel deals.

If you are bringing a pet, then make sure you find a hotel that accepts pets and find out if there’s any fees that go along with having a pet stay with you.

Keep in mind that you are not the only person staying in hotels. Be sure to keep your noise level down and close doors quietly. Even during the day people may be sleeping, someone may be napping or recovering from a bad case of jet lag. You don’t have to whisper and tiptoe, but everyone will appreciate it if you keep your noise to a minimum.

Use lens cases to bring small amounts of lotions or gels with you on your trip. These small containers have leak proof screw on lids, are made to be portable, and are portable. You can get a container like this for almost nothing at your local drug or grocery store.

Try to take clothing items that can be worn more than once. This will limit the number of items that you must take along on your trip.

No matter the type of journey planned, a properly-researched itinerary is the best way to go. By following the tips presented here you can enjoy a remarkable, memorable and safe trip.

Starbucks Extends Licensing Agreement with Maxim’s Caterers Limited

SEATTLE (Sept. 27, 2017) – Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) today announced it has entered into an agreement with its long-time strategic partner Maxim’s Caterers Limited – a leading restaurant operator of multiple brands across Asia – to fully license Starbucks operations in Singapore. Under the agreement, Maxim’s Caterers Limited will have the exclusive rights to operate and develop Starbucks stores in Singapore. The move further accelerates Starbucks operations in this important market and aligns with Starbucks growth agenda. If you are visiting Australia for business, we would be delighted to recommend some local activities for you and your colleagues to enjoy your corporate activities.

“We’re pleased to take another step in our ongoing growth aspirations in Asia by transitioning the Singapore business to Maxim’s Caterers Limited, our trusted business partner with a successful track record in delivering the unique Starbucks Experience and developing our iconic brand,” said John Culver, group president, Starbucks International and Channel Development. “Starbucks remains committed to growing in Singapore, an important market where we will build on 20 years of proudly serving customers.”

Starbucks entered Singapore in 1996 with the opening of its first store at Liat Towers, centrally located along the renowned Orchard Road shopping belt. Since then, Starbucks has built the brand by delivering a consistent, authentic in-store experience to more than 130 Starbucks stores today in Singapore.

“Our partnership with Starbucks is 17 years strong and we are proud to deliver the Starbucks Experience to our customers in Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam and Cambodia today,” says Michael Wu, chairman and managing director of Maxim’s Caterers Limited. “We look forward to leveraging our expertise and deep understanding of the Starbucks brand to welcome Singaporean customers into the stores and earn their trust and respect through the unparalleled service, craft and passion known by customers around the globe.”

The partnership between Starbucks and Maxim’s Caterers Limited started in 2000 in Hong Kong. Currently, there are more than 210 Starbucks stores in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam, employing nearly 2,900 partners (employees) across the four key markets.

About Maxim’s Caterers Limited

Founded in 1956, Maxim’s Caterers Limited (a company incorporated in Hong Kong) is a leading food and beverage company comprised of Chinese, Asian and European restaurants, quick service restaurants, bakery shops, coffee shops, Japanese chain restaurants and institutional catering, while providing a range of festive products, including the award-winning Hong Kong MX Mooncakes. It is the licensee of various renowned brands including Starbucks Coffee, Genki sushi, ippudo and Cheesecake Factory in different territories. Altogether, it has over 1,000 outlets in Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. To learn more about Maxim’s, visit www.maxims.com.hk/en.

How Pricing of a Catering Job Is Done


Before you sit down to put up a menu and put a price against each menu item, there are some important things to consider. You need to get all the information about the event, if possible, before starting with the catering preparation and pricing. The following pointers might help you in ensuring you have everything you need before you plan for the sourcing of ingredients and supply of food.

Place of the event (how far from your catering location, transportation options, whether there will be on-site catering, etc.)
Starting time and duration of the event
Expected turnout of guests
Guest preferences (if any)

Gather Competitive Intelligence

Once you have the above information, the best way to begin with the pricing estimate will be to scout the market rates for an event of a similar nature. This can be achieved with a few phone calls to some of the local catering companies. With this knowledge, you can be sure that you’re not going to quote above the market rates. In addition, while determining your own pricing strategy, you have a good yardstick so as not to quote lower than the norm. Thus, equipped with the upper and lower limits of pricing in terms of market rates, you can now begin your own estimation and arrive at a competitive pricing.

Factors to Consider During Cost Evaluation

If it is your first venture into the catering business, you need to evaluate the costs thoroughly before fixing the price. You need to determine how much you will end up spending, so that you know how much you need to quote to be able to at least “break even”, that is you must at least make as much money as you would spend. Otherwise, it would be a loss-making proposition. The following factors must be considered to arrive at the break-even cost.

As per the number of expected guests, chart out a “feasible” menu. If you’re going to serve gourmet food for very few guests, the high cost of ingredients may not add up to a reasonable pricing. Some dishes will make sense only if there are a good number of guests.

Calculate cost of your food (include cost of all ingredients for the dishes in your menu and the labor cost).

Extra costs include transportation costs, utility costs including that of equipment, propane, gasoline, ice, cleaning products, and cost of employing extra helping staff.

In case of on-site catering, you may have to include rentals, insurance, etc.

Thumb Rules

Catering Thumb Rules:

Always include 10% extra food than required to manage contingencies. Include this in your costs.

It is customary to fix the menu price at three times the total food cost. For example, if a menu item costs a total of $10 to prepare, then the menu price would be $30.

Depending on whether your customer is price-sensitive and how much your own desired profit margin is, you may negotiate or choose your own margin percentage.

Refer to your competitive rate research information to finally judge your own desired profit percentage.

How to Price a Catering Job

Pricing can be fixed in at least 3 different ways, as follows.

Fixed Pricing: With fixed pricing, you would assign a price to your menu item, do this for each menu item and charge the customer on a “per-plate” basis or platter basis. Check if this model suits your catering assignment. Needless to say, in this case, profits would be determined also on a platter basis.

Tiered Pricing: This is very similar to fixed pricing but you can pass on the benefit of numbers to your customer. Essentially, more the expected turnout, lower will be the price of each item. You can have 3-4 such tiers with the minimum number of guests deciding each tier price. For example, for greater than 50 guests you could charge $20 for an item; for greater than 100 guests you could charge $18 for the same item and so on. This can be a very cost-effective model provided there is a great turnout of guests expected.

Customized Pricing: With the earlier methods, the customer knows upfront what your charges typically would be; however, with custom pricing, you have the freedom to decide the menu and pricing after the customer briefs you about all the details of the event. However, it is still beneficial to have a pricing guide ready for reference even for custom pricing. It will enable you to approximate the estimates better.

The above guidelines for determining the pricing for a menu are not stringent. It is just information about how pricing for a catering job is done. You will in fact need to be flexible if you’re serious about being in the business for a long time. There are many other factors that influence pricing such as the type of customer, your immediate competition in the same area and how established you are in the business. If you’re well-known for the quality of food, customers may not be very rigid about lowering your prices. On the other hand, if you have your close competitors quoting below your rates, you may have to negotiate harder so as not to lose the deal. You may have to provide additional “frills” to add value and differentiate your catering service from that of your rivals. If you’re very new to the business, you may well have to incur losses in your first few assignments just to prove your worth and establish your presence.

Thus, the ultimate profitable pricing strategy is a mix of several factors. Keep an open mind and be optimistic about the outcome. Once you know your market, your client base, etc., you will gradually work out the pricing strategy that is optimum for your catering business. Take each assignment as a challenge and be willing to learn from your mistakes as the catering business is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Many unexpected challenges may arise in the form of lesser than expected guest turnouts or shortage of food during service, weather delays, etc. Once you start your catering business, only experience can help you find your foothold in this industry. With some experience, you will be able to predict and manage most risks and contingencies better and plan everything in a cost-effective manner.

My work experience spans content development, knowledge management and organizational social learning activities. One of my favorite subjects, relating closely with my career background, is the study of social media tools and social learning strategies within huge organizations and their potential benefits in facilitating real time exchange of ideas and knowledge transfer.

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How to Turn Your Love of Cooking Into a Home Based Catering Business

Have you ever dreamed of having a home based catering business? If you have a love of cooking this would be a great career.

In many homes nowadays both parents are working. Economic pressures require a double income. Schedules are hectic and it is very difficult to prepare wholesome, nutritious meals.

A catering business can be very lucrative in providing daily meals for these families (singles or couples). You would not only be preparing delicious meals but eliminating the stress that these people feel when they under the pressure of shopping and cooking. They would have more time to enjoy each other and do the things they enjoy most.

Before you jump into your apron, here are some things you want to consider:

1. What will be the name of your business?

2. Are you doing this by yourself or will you have a partner? If you have a partner will you both be responsible for the cooking, or will one take care of the administrative duties? In the future you may find the need to hire a cook. Dependability is a required.

3. Create a business plan that you can use if you need to get financing.

4. Check with your local food administration authorities about the laws governing your type of business. Find out the appropriate licenses and permits you will need. Check into these details first so you will not have problems in the future.

5. Decide on what types of meals you are going to provide. You will want to include two or three choices daily. Once you establish your clientele you can give them an order form of the various meals available on certain days. You can establish the time frame you want to maintain. A week or two ahead have the forms returned to you. You can come up with a computerized form that you can email your clients and they can email you their choices. Do whatever you can to automate your business and eliminate unnecessary legwork. You will have to decide what works best for you. You will want a week’s notice for shopping and preparation purposes.

If you want to specialize utilizing your specific cooking/baking talents, your catering service could be for special soups, desserts or birthday cakes. This is your choice.

6. Pricing your meals will be more of a challenge. You will want to keep your costs as low as possible in order to have a desirable profit. Call other catering businesses to get an idea of what your completion is charging. You do not want to price your meals so high that you will price yourself out of the market. Allow for a fluctuation margin in market prices.

7. You will want to buy in bulk. Get a membership at your local wholesale club. This will save you quite a bit. You still want to be a savvy shopper as there are times when your local supermarket’s prices are lower than the wholesale club.

8. Bulk shopping will necessitate your knowledge of the shelf life of the foods you are storing. When in doubt of how to, and how long to store food items, the internet holds a wealth of information at your fingertips.

9. How are you going to advertise your business? Of course, word of mouth continues to be one of the best forms of advertisement. You should consider flyers, or posters that you can leave at various businesses in your area. You will be able to create and print these on your computer. This will cut printing costs. Newspapers and mail coupon services can get the word out to many, but will be more costly.

You may want to consider designing a web page so that you can create an internet presence. Print up business cards including your web address. Get permission to leave this in places such as the doctor’s office, dentist, or hairdresser. Design your website so you have your weekly choices listed and your contact information.

10. If you go this route, you will want to find a web hosting company that also provides you internet marketing tools. I know of one company that has a bulk emailing program, with an auto responder where you can set up various campaigns. It also provides a video producer with templates that you can create for your specific business. The best part of this company is that they have training by professionals in the industry. If you are a cook, more than likely, you are not overly versed in computers!

11. How are you going to get the meals to your customers? They can pick them up from your home or you could deliver to their place for a set fee. You will need to put great thought into planning your cooking and delivery schedule. As a suggestion, allow yourself about one hour to an hour and a half.

12. What type of containers are you going to use to pack your meals? As there is a possibility that the food may need to be reheated, you will have to take this into consideration when purchasing containers. Look into microwavable items. A wholesale club usually has great prices on food containers.

13. Be a good planner. The internet will provide you with an endless supply of recipes and ideas for different meals. If you are cooking for a family with children, take this into consideration. Spicy does not always work with little ones!

14. When you purchase your fresh produce make sure it is cleaned properly and when possible cut and ready for use.

15. Keep a cautious eye on your costs.

16. You want to develop a good relationship with your clients. When possible, satisfy special requests. Always be the type of person that you would want to work with.

17. As suppliers are an important element in your business you want to develop a good relationship in this area. This will go a long way in getting better service.

It is up to you to decide on how large of a business you want to create. A small business will be easier to handle. Once it grows it will necessitate hiring additional staff members. But then again this would translate into greater revenue.

As an added suggestion, be sure to keep your recipes either on the computer or in a binder in protective sheets. Who know, someday you can add to your business profits by publishing a cookbook of your catering recipes.

I hope that your love of cooking will be the first step to initiating a profitable home based catering business. I wish you all the best and a kitchen filled with aromas of happiness and success!

Judy Conway is retired. She has a passion for writing and uses her blogs and articles to reach out to encourage and help others sharing her life’s experiences. In addition to spending time with her family, she enjoys learning all she can about internet marketing. She feels a day without learning something new, is a day wasted. To learn more about Judy and what she does visit [http://judyconway.com] and [http://fullservicemarketingtools.com].

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