Circulation: With a circulation of more than 650 and readership of over 2000 the ‘In A Nutshell’ newsletter is available to the general public and interested parties via the Almond Board of Australian website www.australianalmonds.com.au, and high quality printed copies distributed to: Almond Board of Australia members, industry contacts within Australia and overseas, nut producing, distributing and marketing companies.
Why become a member? As a member you have a direct say about the future of the industry and direct access to our organisation. The ABA has undertaken industry-wide consultation to develop an Industry Strategic Plan which establishes funding priorities for the industry’s R&D and marketing programs. We aim to support our rapidly increasing industry by encouraging effective communication and co-operation between industry members. The ABA aims to keep members informed through a range of activities including: • Presentation of the Annual Almond Industry Conference. • Distribution of the ABA’s quarterly newsletter “In a Nutshell” • Regular field days and regional meetings • Technical articles and ABA news in the “Australian Nutgrower” Journal • Collection and distribution of industry statistics • Access to regularly updated information via the ABA website To join the ABA please visit our website and download a membership form, or contact our office on 08 8582 2055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In a Nutshell The Almond Board of Australia is the peak industry body representing the interest of almond growers, processors and marketers in Australia in matters of national importance including regulation, legislation, marketing research and development. In a Nutshell is published quarterly by the ABA to bring news to all industry contacts and members. Advertising/Editorial The Almond Board of Australia (ABA) acknowledges contributions made by private enterprise through placement of advertisements in this publication. Any advertising and/or editorial supplied to this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the ABA and unless otherwise specified,
Editor Jo Ireland
Communications Manager Almond Board of Australia 9 William Street, PO Box 2246 BERRI SA 5343
t +61 8 8582 2055 f +61 8 8582 3503
e email@example.com w www.australianalmonds.com.au
Some of these projects were facilitated by HAL in partnership with the Almond Board of Australia. They were funded by the R&D levy and/or voluntary contributions from industry. The Australian Government provides matched funding for all HAL’s R&D activities.
2 no products and/or services are endorsed by this organisation.
currently filled with stories about banned supplements aiding the recovery of our elite sportspeople following games and training. For the past two years the ABA has been promoting the value of almonds as the ultimate sports recovery food and the message has been welcomed by sport scientists and dietitians. Strong supporting evidence of this has recently been witnessed during an ABA promotion. Tennis ball shaped tins containing 30gm packs of dry roasted almonds were distributed to coincide with the Australian Open tennis in Melbourne. Dietitians from several AFL clubs and state Sports Institutes responded to the promotion within minutes of being emailed, asking for details on how they could obtain supplies
The Australian almond industry has come a long way in a short period of time. In 2000, the industry totalled 6,000 hectares and had a focus on supplying the domestic market. In 2013, we will produce almonds for consumption in over 40 countries around the world, and in the process earn around $400 million in export income. The industry will provide many jobs in our producing regions and importantly, this year the returns look to have improved to the point where growers will earn a sufficient return for their investment of effort and capital. During the past decade the industry has emerged as a viable one, despite fears we may have been expanding too rapidly. Comparisons with the wine industry boom of the late 1990s
abound, and similar stories of heartbreak may have eventuated if it weren’t for the fact that the world’s demand for nutritious
of these tins full of delicious roasted almonds. A superior recovery supplement that isn’t injected must be a pretty good alternative!
Hopefully by the time this issue of In A Nutshell is printed and reaches you, the 2013 harvest will be unfolding as one of the best ever.
and healthy food products appears insatiable. Newspapers are
Neale Bennett Chairman
The nervous anticipation of a new harvest is upon us. This year industry is expecting a crop of around 70,000 tonnes, an increase of 20,000 tonnes over the 2012 crop. The most pleasing aspect of this record tonnage for our industry is that it is being offered on a market where the world price has strengthened significantly in the past months. Smaller than expected recent US harvest and strong growth in world demand lies at the heart of the improved prices. Domestic consumption has again shown double digit growth during the past year, and meeting consumer expectations has not been an easy path for our marketers. After three challenging harvests due to weather it is hoped that dry conditions experienced in spring and early summer continue, and the excellent quality showing on the trees is realised in the product packed for consumers. Despite hoping for a return to hot dry summers, industry has been active in looking at ways to address increased pest and disease pressures caused by humid warm months and challenges of moulds and bacteria. One thing is clear, for consumers to receive quality product, and one they are now paying a good price for, all elements of the supply chain must do their part well. Recent experience with product recalls indicate that the processing sector of the industry cannot undo deterioration that may occur
The past few years have threatened large increases in Australian industry tonnage based on plantings data however, the increase from the 2010 crop to the 2012 was only 10,000 tonnes. This year the jump in production will result in an estimated extra 20,000 tonnes of product available for sale. Allowing for an increase on the domestic market of 2,000 tonnes and 18,000 tonnes on the export market will increase total exports to approximately 53,000 tonnes for 2013. This will be an increase of 50% over the 2012 overseas sales, a large proportion of this will be sold as in-shell product. Gross value of almond exports may reach $400,000,000 this year, placing almonds as Australia’s largest horticultural export crop. Despite gains in terms of tonnage and value, the Australian industry operates in the shadow cast by California, which will trade more than 12 times our volume of product in the coming year, even with a 2012 crop that is only 85% of their record million tonne crop of 2011. At the recent Californian Almond Conference, the Almond Board of California generously met with an ABA delegation to discuss domestic marketing programs and consumer research that is delivering such strong growth in consumption. It is hoped this type of information exchange provides mutual benefit. Similarly, the ABC has been very helpful to our industry, sharing research outcomes and experiences with the introduction of mandatory pasteurisation. A further matter of importance is that the Californian industry has led the way on submissions on the change of name for almonds required by the Chinese authorities. As a key world market, albeit one serviced almost exclusively by the US, efforts to minimise disruption to consumption by this name change has a flow on effect on supply to other markets. The 2013 harvest is an important one for our industry. Higher yields, better global prices and hopefully a return to a consistently high quality product will see a significant improvement in the profitability equation.
during harvest and storage. The best they can do is work diligently to identify sub-standard product and exclude this from packs of natural almond products. Volume of product testing has increased during the past few years and
this, added to the slower throughput of product, has added significantly to the cost side of the profitability equation.
Ross Skinner CEO
Marketing Matters Joseph Ebbage Marketing Program Manager Marketing a Record Crop
2013 will set a number of marketing records for the Australian almond industry: the size of our crop will take us to new heights; our domestic ‘New Season’ promotional campaign will be our largest single program ever undertaken; and our international trade conference calendar is expanding. An important new element in our 2013 New Season promotion will be the key role of our growers in talking about the great taste and health attributes of Australian almonds. We know from a recent Essential Research report 1 , that the industry most trusted to act in Australia’s best interests is agriculture. We are also aware that increasingly, people like to know where their food is grown, and who is growing it. Creating a relationship between our growers and our consumers will help build a greater personal interest in almonds and we will feature a number of almond growers across a range of advertising and in-store point of sale promotions. We will focus our advertising during April and May via online recipe, health and news sites. This allows us to utilise photos and images taken during this year’s harvest in March. The online environment will also allow us to tailor the timing of our advertising to support major in-store promotions. Trade and Consumer Promotions The Almond Board of Australia will once again participate in the The Australian Nut Conference held in Melbourne during March. Held biennially, it is the largest conference encompassing all aspects of Australia’s nut industry. This conference provides an opportunity to showcase our marketing and promotional material as well as provide an overview of our forecast 2013 crop. During early June we will be promoting Australian Almonds at the Good Food & Wine Show in Melbourne - Australia’s largest and fastest growing consumer food and wine exhibition.
International Trade Fairs
In 2013 the show will play host to celebrity chefs such as Maggie Beer, Matt Moran and many more. This year’s almond stand will focus on the amazing taste of home-roasted almonds, and include samples and promotional literature outlining the health benefits of almonds. Health Professional Conferences The 2013 health professional conference calendar will target fitness professionals and General Practice doctors and nurses. General Practice nurses who attend GPCE Sydney will be a new focus in 2013, as will their growing role in delivering community health programs from the GP clinic.
The ABA and Australian almond marketers have expanded the international trade fair program for 2013. The program for the new season crop will include shows in Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East as well as South-East and East Asia. In September 2012, we exhibited in Moscow for the first time at World Food Moscow and followed this with an exhibition at Sial in Paris in October. This year, we have again visited Dubai with a major exhibition at Gulfoods, one of the world’s largest international food fairs. This promotion was supported by the Victorian Government’s Department of Business and Innovation, providing grant funding and Agriculture Minister for the Victorian Government, Mr Peter Walsh, opening a well attended industry networking forum. Food and Hotel Indonesia, taking place in Jakarta from April 10 to 13 this year will also be supported by the Victorian Government. This will be our first industry exhibition in the Indonesian market. We follow up the Indonesian exhibition by participating in the Hofex Fair in Hong Kong which runs from May 7 to 10. For further information contact: Joseph Ebbage Marketing Program Manager Almond Board of Australia P 0407 543 340 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Domestic Promotions Calendar 2013
ANC (Australian Nut Conference) Good Food & Wine Show
March 18 - 20 Melbourne
June 7 - 10 Melbourne
March 19 - 20 Canberra April 19 - 21 Sydney May 17 - 19 Sydney
1 Essential Research Report, 21 January, 2013 This report summarises the results of a weekly omnibus survey conducted online by Essential Research with 1007 participants.
Brett Rosenzweig - Industry Development Officer In The Orchard
With harvest knocking on the door, the following checklist will provide you with some helpful reminders over the coming months...
Leaf Sampling Leaf sampling should be completed for this season. Leaf sampling is a good tool to indicate the nutrient status of the orchard. Post harvest fertiliser applications can be tweaked (if needed) according to January sampling results. The downside of January leaf samples is that it is too late to rectify any nutrient imbalance for the current season. Professor Patrick Brown and his research team at UC Davis have developed a new model that allows October leaf sampling results to allow changes to spring fertigation programs. There is a significant advantage by sampling in October since the results are based on the current crop load and growing conditions. More information on the model will be released in a fact sheet in September. Refer to Fact Sheet 15 – Leaf Tissue Analysis Review. Check Fruit Moisture Content Here’s another reminder to be vigilant about checking the moisture content of the fruit before shaking, or before pick-up and stockpiling. Even though we have been experiencing a dry spell that may continue into harvest, it’s still vital the fruit is at the correct moisture content before stockpiling. Research has indicated the incidence of mould growth and food safety risks increase dramatically when fruit is stored with kernel
Disease and Pests This season has been one of the better seasons for disease control. While there were some signs of rust early in the season around flowering, there has not been the usual sign of leaf loss at the top of the canopy that occurred in the past couple of seasons. There has been an increased incidence of mite damage in orchards this year. While it is too late now for control, it will be important to take additional care when applying your winter oil spray during dormancy to aid control for next season. If your orchard is affected by mites, this is another reason for applying post harvest fertiliser sooner rather than later as leaf functionality and therefore water/fertiliser uptake is reduced. Canopy Coverage Spray Trials Update Ongoing trial work to improve spray coverage in orchards continued this season. This time three different rates of speed using an engine driven PTO orchard sprayer and three different water rates using a PTO driven orchard sprayer were tested. All of the trial work again showed adequate coverage in the top third of the tree is harder to achieve than in the bottom two thirds. The most interesting observation of the trial work is it appears more nozzles of the same specification can have a beneficial result in improving coverage. Field days highlighting all the trial results will be held during winter and spring later this year. The field day in winter will focus on basic principles whilst the one in spring will focus on the trials results and include the use of UV dye and black lights to view the canopy coverage first hand. For further information contact: Brett Rosenzweig Industry Development Officer Almond Board of Australia P 08 8582 2055 or 0429 837 137 E: email@example.com
moisture of greater than 6%. Remember – Food safety starts in the orchard! Refer to Fact Sheet 10 – What Threatens The Safety Of Almonds. Soil Salinity and pH Soil samples for salinity and pH should be taken after harvest. Samples should be taken at least three depths within the wetted area of the rootzone for sprinklers and both 20cm and 60cm from the dripper of drip irrigated orchards. Target known salinity hotspots from previous years or known drainage areas to start with. Don’t forget to test for pH and surface soil acidification in drip irrigated orchards. Refer to Fact Sheet 09 – Soil Acidification. Post Harvest Nutrition To get the most efficient fertiliser uptake after harvest, the best time for application is in March or after Nonpareil has been harvested, but remember to ensure the rootzone has sufficient moisture to facilitate uptake. Applications later than this or on dry soil can result in the fertiliser remaining in the soil, not readily being taken up by the tree and prone to leaching beyond the active rootzone during winter. Refer to the two fact sheets titled “Balancing Nutrient Input and Output – CT Trial Results” and “Timing Nutrient Inputs For Best Effect”. “Bud building” sprays using Lo-Bi Urea and other micro nutrients
(e.g. Boron and Zinc) should also be applied. Rates for “Bud building” sprays of Lo-Bi Urea are usually 1% or 10kg/1000L. Refer to Fact Sheet 02. You can also read the Almond Doctor blog at www.thealmonddoctor.com where there are specific discussions about post harvest foliar applications of Lo-Bi urea and Solubor.
Amazing Almonds In October 2012 the ABA launched a new consumer targeted website, www.amazingalmonds.com.au , commissioning Christina Soong-Kroeger, a freelance food writer, blogger and photographer to create some new and exciting content and to manage the site. Here you’ll find the latest Australian almond news, competitions, quick ideas, almond recipes, grower interviews and more. The key strength of this relationship is that the site will have a stream of fresh content every month that is based on our promotional calendar. Since the launch of the site there have been many new and interesting referring sites helping to bolster our fan base. Food photography sites like Foodgawker, Tasteologie, Tastespotting and Photograzing are now some of the top 15 referring sites. We are continuing to develop our amazingalmonds website and expand our recipe collection by adding great seasonal recipe ideas. Become involved and subscribe and we will let you know about new updates. Also, there is a great opportunity for you to suggest recipe ideas that we haven’t developed yet! If you would like to know more about the ABA’s social media accounts or amazingalmonds.com.au - contact Jo Ireland or join the conversation by liking or following any (or all) of the ABA social media accounts! Almond sweeper Flory 6650 Kubota diesel with 4200 hrs. Good condition, extra transaxle and other spares, ready to run for this season. $14,000 incl GST. Almond elevator Dix built, new tyres, spare belt, flat bottom loading, plus hopper for bucket loading. Ready to run. $10,000, incl GST. Slasher 4.9m or 16 foot. Chris Grow Engineering, Trailing. Heavy duty would not be a sufficient description. 4 rotors, 5 gearboxes. Bomber tyres. Leaves 2 neat windrows. New paint, top cond and appearance. $14,000 inclusive. PH B/hrs 08 8595 8033 or A/hrs 0412 809 991 For Sale Check out the back cover for one of our delicious recipes!
Robinvale, Griffith & Hillston
On 31 st January and 1 st February a group of 15 growers embarked on a two day study tour to Robinvale, Griffith and Hillston. The first objective of the study tour was to provide growers the opportunity to look at other properties prior to harvest to compare yields, vigour, crop maturity and general orchard operations. A secondary objective was to provide growers the chance to interact with other growers, both those on the study tour and also local growers in Robinvale, Griffith and Hillston. The third objective of the study tour was to inspect a new self compatible almond variety called ‘Independence’ which was a recent release by Zaiger Genetics, California. The participants visited Olam Orchards, Almond Investors Ltd at Piangil, Callipari’s property at Griffith, Select Harvests at Hillston and Rural Funds Management also at Hillston. There was a grower dinner on Thursday night which was also well attended with 14 local growers joining the study tour participants. The study group observed tree growth and canopy management in the Riverina region was different to other growing areas. The heavier soils seem to facilitate better water and nutrient uptake resulting in better tree growth from lower nutrition inputs. All the participants were impressed with each of the properties visited. Initial observations of new variety ‘Independence’ were promising. Its self compatibility characteristic may potentially result in the need for fewer bees and no additional variety for cross pollination, meaning it may be possible to have a single variety orchard. A fact sheet on ‘Independence’ provided by Graham Fleming of Graham’s Factree has been uploaded to the login section of www.australianalmonds.com.au. The fact-sheet is primarily based on Californian information, but as data is collected from the Australian trial plot, a localised fact sheet will be published.
Study tour participants view orchards at Almond Investors Ltd (above) and at Callipari’s property in Griffith (below)
The Ultimate Recovery Snack
During the Australian Open Tennis Tournament in January, the ABA ran a very successful ‘sports recovery’ promotion of our new tennis-ball themed almond snack tins. We distributed 2000 tins to walkers and runners around
Melbourne’s most popular exercise track ‘The Tan’ – located around Melbourne’s Botantical Gardens and directly opposite the Australian Open tennis tournament.
In keeping with the Australian Open, we gave a box of tins to a dietitian who works with Peter Luczak - a former member of the Australian Davis Cup team – in tennis camps. They gave some of our tins to the ‘Fanatics’ at the Australian Open.
The response to our new tins from the thousands of people we engaged was extremely positive. These tennis-ball themed tins continue our tradition of creating engagement and fun with our consumers as well as communicating our key health message. As part of this promo, we also ran an educational program with Sports Dietitians Australia (SDA) and offered 20 boxes of fifty tins to dietitians running programs during ‘Healthy Weight Week’ which always coincides with the second week of the Australian Open. Within 90 minutes of the SDA email going out we were receiving numerous requests from SDA members to participate in the program. We asked participants in the promotion to share with us what they want to do with the tins and to provide some feedback and photos of them using the tins with their clients. Whilst most of these requests came from dietitians working with local gyms, we also sent our tins to dietitians working for the NSW Institute of Sport, the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Western Australian Institute of Sport. Our tennis-ball tins have also been distributed to players at the Richmond, Hawthorn and Fremantle AFL football clubs.
I am presenting a talk to some junior tennis players next Wednesday on the Gold Coast & I will also give them to clients that have difficulty portion controlling nuts (common problem.. they just taste too good)! I will also give them to my athletes for easy travel transport of nuts. Thankyou! Peta Next week i am running classes with the students at the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne (where I work as the Nutrition Consultant).
I would love to receive the almond tennis ball tins to distribute to my AIS slalom canoe kayak athletes next week as part of their camp at Penrith. They are great to show them portion sizes! ERIN We would LOVE to distribute these cute tennis balls in conjunction with Healthy Weight Week next week! Susanna
I will make some fun activities for the students eg. Quiz including questions on using almonds as part of their recovery plan with the tins as prizes. The students would LOVE this & would be a valuable teaching tool. Fiona
9 morning. There will be a variety of athletes attending from diving to hockey who can see the benefits of almonds as a good snack for recovery. Also theNSWIS staff will also be attending - they ordinarily have a supply of I would like to please request a box of tins because each month NSWIS hosts a breakfast for the athletes who train here in the
We are holding a stall on Sydney’s northern beaches for passsers by, promoting healthy eating and nutrition for Australia’s healthy weight week. Will get participants to do a quiz and use almond tins as a prize! Courtney I work in a School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences (QUT Brisbane) & my colleagues are all sport (including tennis) and nutrition nuts (excuse the pun). They are all coming back to work next week, so almonds would be a good “back to work” gift! Kelly
Spotting the dodgy ones: • Probably the most obvious way to spot them is a line such as “Send this email to everyone in your address book”. Hoax writers want their material to spread as far and as fast as possible, so almost every hoax email will in some way tell you to send it to other people. Some email hoaxes take a more targeted approach and suggest that you send the email to a specified number of people in order to collect a prize or receive a benefit (mobile phone, iPad, digital camera etc). • Hoaxes tend not to provide checkable references to back up their claims. Genuine competitions, promotions, giveaways or charity drives will usually provide a link to a company website or publication. • The actual language used. Email hoax writers tend to use “over-the-top” writing peppered with words and phrases such as “Urgent”, “Danger”, “worst ever virus!!”, or petitions “sign now”. They are often in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS or technical jargon for added emphasis. Spyware While the term spyware suggests software that monitors your activity, the functions of spyware can extend beyond simple monitoring. Spyware is a type of software that installs in the background of your computer, helping to gather information without your knowledge. Spyware can collect almost any type of data, including personal information like Internet surfing habits, user logins, and bank or credit account information. Spyware can also interfere with user control of a computer by installing additional software or redirecting Web browsers. Some spyware can change computer settings, which can result in slow Internet connection speeds, un-authorized changes in browser settings, or changes to software settings. Spyware is rarely alone on a computer: an affected machine usually has multiple infections. Users may notice unwanted behaviour and slow system performance. Stability issues, such as programs freezing, failure to startup, and system-wide crashes are also common. In some infections, the spyware is not even evident. Users assume that performance issues relate to faulty hardware or installation problems. Some owners of badly infected systems resort to buying a new computer because the existing system “has become too slow”. Badly infected systems may require a clean reinstallation of all their software in order to return to full functionality. The best defence against spyware is not to download it in the first place. Here are a few helpful tips that can protect you from downloading software you don’t want:
T ech Bytes Jo Ireland Communications Manager Protecting yourself from digital nasties What to watch out for....
• Read all installation windows carefully. When installing or updating a program, if you are asked (often checkboxes already checked) if it’s ok to install additional programs, uncheck them. Only install the program you paid for. Email Viruses An e-mail virus is computer code sent as an e-mail attachment (usually a .zip or .exe file) which, if clicked on, will cause some unexpected and usually harmful effect, such as destroying files or causing the attachment to be remailed to everyone in your address book. E-mail viruses are the best known and most common type of computer infection, and cause the greatest loss of time and money overall. The Best DEFENCE is a good Offence. Never open an e-mail attachment (double- clicking on it) unless you know who sent it and what the attachment contains or use your anti-virus software to scan any attachment before you open it. Hoax Emails & Viruses Have you ever received an email stating that you are the recipient of a large sum of money in a foregin bank account? Or won a great deal of money in a lottery that you never bought a ticket for? There are thousands of email hoaxes moving around the Internet at any given time. Some may be the latest email hoaxes around. Others may be versions of hoax messages that have travelled the Internet for years. The good news is that, with a little bit of foreknowledge, email hoaxes are easy to detect. Hoaxes are usually harmless and accomplish nothing more than annoying recipients and wasting time of people who forward the message. Nevertheless, a number of hoaxes warn users that vital system files are viruses and encourage the user to delete the file, and if acted upon, potentially damage their computers.
Email and the Internet are wonderful resources that have revolutionized the way humans communicate and access information. Unfortunately, they have also proven to be a fertile medium for the unscrupulous and the morally challenged. By taking the time to educate yourself about common types of scams and security threats, and by sharing this information with others, you can make a valuable contribution to the war against Internet fraud. Viruses A computer virus is malicious code that is engineered to replace or destroy files or disable functions on your computer. Computer viruses are “executable:, meaning that they can be double clicked and “run” like any other program on your computer. However, unlike other programs they have undesirable consequences. Many viruses attach themselves to files that may be part of legitimate programs and when the user attempts to launch the program; the virus’ code is also executed – infecting your computer. Computer viruses are most commonly spread by downloading information, programs, music, movies and tv shows from the internet. If you or someone on your computer is downloading copyrighted music, movies, software for free, often many of these files can contain viruses, spyware or malicious software. Avoid Computer FLU • If you are browsing the Internet, and an advertisement or window appears that says your computer is infected with a virus – do NOT take any notice of it. This is one of the most common causes of computer virus infection, and extremely difficult to get rid of. • When downloading any software (programs, utilities, games, updates,
demos, etc.), make sure you’re downloading the software from a reliable source
Top Tips & How to Protect Yourself The best and most obvious protection method is installing an Anti-Virus program such as Norton, Kaspersky, Trend Micro or one of the many others. . When it comes to security, there is no substitute for quality. If you’re not sure, get an IT Expert to do it for you. DON’T IGNORE THE UPDATES!!! Be sure to regularly update your ‘virus definitions’ – this is key to avoiding any new viruses that may have been released since you purchased your program. Turn on your Firewall (check your AntiVirus program as most come with a firewall) or install a third party firewall. Try the free ZoneAlarm program ( www.zonealarm.com ), or they provide a paid version with extra tools (of course), but the free firewall-only option is fine. Install an anti-spyware application. There are many available, some good, some bad. Free programs such as SpyBot Search & Destroy ( www.safer-networking.org ) or AdAware ( www.lavasoft.com ) both have a good reputation. Links SCAMwatch is a website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). SCAMwatch provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams - www.scamwatch.gov.au SNOPES is an reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation. Evern wondered if the rumour that baby carrots “preserved with Chlorine” is true??? www.snopes.com The little black book of scams by the ACCC (PDF download) highlights a variety of popular scams that regularly target Australian consumers and small business such as fake lotteries, internet shopping, mobile phones, online banking, employment and investment opportunities. It also offers tips on how to protect yourself from scams, what they can do to minimise damage if you do get scammed and how you can report a scam. www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/ littleblackbookofscams Do you have a suggestion for an article you would like to see? Let me know! Jo Ireland Communications Manager Almond Board of Australia P 08 8582 2055 or 0417 819 765 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
You will then be asked to open the event viewer on your PC, displaying apparent critical warnings (a normal part of computer events and nothing to worry about!), and then directed to a website to download a program that allows the caller to control your computer remotely. If you give the scammer access, they will claim to run a scan, discover a fake virus and then apply high pressure sales tactics to convince you to buy unnecessary anti-virus software or technical services to ‘fix’ your computer. By giving the scammer remote access to your computer, they can cause all sorts of mischief – including infecting your computer and acquiring your personal information and banking details. Such is the guile of these callers, they will even try to tell you that you have a computer when you don’t own one at all! But wait! There’s more!!! In a new twist, these schemers are making follow-up calls to people who initially fell victim to the scam. In these calls the scammers falsely claim to be from a foreign government, foreign law enforcement body, or from your bank, offering to recover the money which you initially lost to the scam, in return for a fee. Beware – the scammer will not give you your money back and will only ask you for more money. If you receive a call like this, just hang up . So which is safer, Mac or PC? Neither. The Mac vs. PC debate has raged for years and a huge part of this has always been that a MAC is safer and more secure against viruses than PCs. A large, but quiet, admission by Apple that their systems are not any more secure than PCs is the recent change made to the “Why You’ll Love a Mac” section of their website. One of their arguments was “A Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers.” That statement has now been removed and replaced with “It’s built to be safe.” No one is arguing that using a Mac is dangerous, what security experts are stressing is that using a Mac does mean you are less vulnerable to attacks. Security precautions and best practices should be adhered to regardless of the system you are running. If one of your major considerations for buying a Mac is that you want the extra security, you may need to reconsider the pros and cons of a Mac versus a PC - no matter what system you have, security is something you will need to invest in.
• Only download programs from websites you trust. If you’re not sure whether to trust a program you are considering downloading, enter the name of the program into your search engine to see if anyone else has reported that it contains spyware. • Read all security warnings, license agreements, and privacy statements associated with any software you download. • Never click “Agree” or “OK” to close an installation window. Instead, click the red “x” in the corner of the window or press Alt + F4 on your keyboard to close a window. • Be wary of popular “free” music and movie file-sharing programs (ie Bearshare, Limewire), and be sure you understand all of the software packaged with those programs. Phishing - Not Fishing Phishing occurs by email, and generally says something like; “there has been a security breach of your bank account, ebay or paypal account and you have to click here and log in a change your password”. The email generally includes the logo of the alleged sender, say the Westpac Bank or the Commonwealth Bank, and the link that you are encouraged to click goes to “look-a-like” website that is designed to resemble the target company’s official website. Once you log in to this site, the scammers now have your password and account details and will usually change your password and lock you out. Then the onus is then on you to prove to your bank you are who you say you are and get your access back. Most legitimate companies will never request sensitive information from customers via email. DO NOT click links in these emails. DO NOT provide any information about yourself. If you are unsure, check your bank or paypal website by opening your browser and type in the URL to start your session. Most banks and financial institution websites also contain “Security” sections that detail any recent and past scams involving them. Phone Scams A telephone scam, being operated from India has been active since 2008. Upon answering your phone, you are quoted your name and address, and told: “I’m calling for Microsoft (or an entity that sounds like it is connected to Microsoft, such as the “Windows Service Center” or “Windows Technical Department”). We’ve had a report from your internet service provider of serious virus problems from your computer.”
Office: 8584 5511 Mobile: 043 88 22 681 email@example.com www.pipostechnologysolutions.com.au On-site computer service, sales, repairs and maintenance in the Riverland & Mallee
P ippos T echnology S olutions
... we come to you
Photo courtesy Brent Martin
R&D Roundup Ben Brown - Industry Development Manager
Almond Food Safety A Friendly Reminder at Harvest
and testing product to minimise risk. Product integrity issues can cause a loss of sales, but of greatest importance is the avoidance of people falling ill. Below I explain the fundamental causes and challenges of managing food safety risks in a fresh produce environment, a snapshot of the preliminary results from industry’s current R&D investment in this area, and potential steps to particularly reduce the risk of Salmonella and aflatoxin contamination. Fundamental Principles Bacteria, fungi and mycotoxins are naturally occurring contaminants that reproduce following exposure to a set of fundamental causes and favourable growing conditions: 1. Carrier(s) – air, soil, animals, insects, etc
2. Moisture and Nutrients – required for germination and reproduction 3. Substrate – substance capable of sustaining reproduction 4. Temperature and Time – governs rate of reproduction You will see below the almond industry meets all of these fundamental principles with some being more manageable than others; however, with an increased understanding of the issues facing almond production we will ensure Australian almonds maintain their optimum quality and are food safe. More Specifically... Whilst I do not wish to dilute the importance of contaminants such as chemical residues, foreign matter and
With harvest beginning I thought it is an appropriate time to remind everyone of the need to take due care in addressing food safety risks associated with almonds. Almonds are generally low in moisture and not normally considered a readily perishable commodity. However, they are still a raw food that has a risk of contamination from chemicals (pesticide residues and mycotoxins), biological (fungal or bacterial), or physical objects (stones, glass, plastic, metal fragments). The cost to industry stakeholders of contaminated nuts is multi-faceted. There are significant costs associated with sorting
Potential causes and conditions within the almond supply chain that may contribute to a food safety risk
Almond Supply Chain Example
Carrier(s) Soil and Dust – is a critical part of the life cycle of Aspergillus and Salmonella and can either: directly infect product with contaminated soil during ground harvesting procedures; or be the basis of general environmental contamination by being transported within and between orchards with harvest machinery (in particular pick-ups), x-blading and other general operations. Air – natural air currents created by wind events or artificial air currents created by airblast spray operations and harvest machinery, in particular pick-ups. Animals – birds, reptiles and mammals can all carry contaminants. Insects – carob moth could possibly act as a carrier and vector for mould spores as is the case for navel orange worm in California. Rain and Irrigation – water applied as much as daily through the growing season has the potential to provide ideal conditions for contaminant growth. Under Tree Canopy – large canopies are creating: increased shade; mild orchard floor temperatures; and maintaining the moisture content of the orchard floor. These are ideal conditions for contaminant growth. Fertilisers – the plentiful supply of nutrients also has the potential to provide ideal conditions for contaminant growth. It is worth noting some of the nutrients used in fertilisers are used in laboratory agar solutions to optimise growth of various pathogens. Substrate Hull and Kernel – the hull and kernel are very rich in nutrients and provide an ideal resource for contaminant growth. Under Tree Canopy – the creation of larger and unpruned canopies are maximising shade under the tree canopy, maintaining mild orchard floor temperatures, and increasing the moisture content of the orchard floor and early fruit falls. These conditions increase the risk of contaminant growth. Harvest Duration – the increased time to complete harvest caused by rain interruptions or the lack of equipment increases the risk of contamination. Storage Duration – with increasing crop sizes, the product may be held for increased periods in storage. Product stored longer and particularly under poor conditions, is at increased risk of contamination. Moisture Nutrients Temperature Time
R&D Roundup (cont) Ben Brown - Industry Development Manager
Risk Reduction Steps The control of Salmonella and aflatoxin contamination must be practised across the entire supply chain as a crucial part of any HACCP or QA program. Pasteurisation may form part of this program as it is effective in managing Salmonella however it is not effective in removing aflatoxins and consequently other risk reduction steps need to occur. In anticipation of the results from the current food safety R&D project, I would encourage you to refer to the table below and the ABA Fact Sheet 10 – What Threatens The Safety Of Almonds. by Prue McMichael of Scholefield Robinson Horticultural Services. For further information contact: Ben Brown Industry Development Manager Almond Board of Australia P 08 8582 2055 or 0447 447 223 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fungal and Mycotoxin Contaminants – Aspergillus and Aflatoxins Aflatoxins are derived from fungi, primarily Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus . The growth of the fungi inside almond hulls and shells is affected by temperature, humidity and moisture levels. In mild- warm temperatures (15-37 +° C), spores of Aspergillus spp. can germinate and produce heat stable aflatoxins within 24-48 hours of nut exposure to a moist environment ( ≥ 7% kernel moisture). Once inside the shell, the nutrients of the kernel provide a rich growth environment. Affected nuts are not always ‘mouldy’ but kernels that display yellow-green growth may be contaminated. However, not all moulds are Aspergillus spp. To address the risk of mycotoxins the Australian almond industry has recently invested in a R&D project with Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL), Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and
other microbial contaminants, I would like to take this opportunity to briefly describe two key contaminants facing our industry; Salmonella and aflatoxin. Bacterial Contaminant - Salmonella Salmonella is the leading cause of food- borne illness in many countries. In the last 10 years in Australia there have been 229 recalls of food products caused by microbial contamination with Salmonella being the second most common (FSANZ food recall statistics, 2002 to 2011). The primary habitats of Salmonella spp. are the intestines of birds, animals, some insects, reptiles and mammals, and consequently are frequently located in the environment. Salmonella spp. grow over a wide temperature range (5-45°C) at moisture levels above 10% and are therefore very persistent in the environment. Even at lower moisture levels these bacteria remain a problem because their tolerance to high temperatures is increased at low moisture levels. Salmonella spp. rapidly proliferate in wet almond hulls and free moisture allows bacteria sitting in soil on hulls to move onto shells, through the shell and onto the kernel. If established inside a shell, the bacteria are protected from drying conditions and direct sunlight, and they can rapidly multiply. The persistence of Salmonella spp. at a wide range of temperatures and at low moisture makes them an ongoing concern in almond production, handling, storage and processing or wherever soil or dust is present. It is thought the Salmonella contamination in 2001 and 2004 in California and to some extent in 2011 and 2012 in Australia is linked to a micro climate created with the assistance of large rainfall events prior or during harvest. The combination of rainfall with moist soil, premature fruit drop, shaken fruit on the ground, fruit missed during harvest, and a nutrient rich and moist hull, exposed the product to a prolonged drying process both during harvest and in storage.
CSIRO. Research is only in its second season but preliminary findings indicate: • Aspergillus growth can begin on split fruit in the tree prior to harvest, but is largely been found in covered stockpiles.
• The longer the fruit is
held in a stockpile the greater the opportunity for Aspergillus growth to occur.
• Aspergillus growth is mostly located at the
surface and top of covered stockpiles,
particularly in areas in contact with the tarp. • Carob moth damage can be associated with Aspergillus growth but is not an exclusive relationship. • Appropriate stockpile
management is crucial for minimising aflatoxin contamination risks.
Appropriate stockpile management is crucial for minimising aflatoxin contamination risks.
References FSANZ. Food recall statistics between 1 Jan 2002 – 31 Dec 2011.
Gouk, C. 2013. Research update: HAL Project 11009, Food Safety in Almonds Stage 2. Unpublished. McMichael, P. 2010. Fact Sheet: What Threatens the Safety of Almonds? Almond Board of Australia.
Risk reduction steps for Salmonella and aflatoxin contamination (reprinted from McMichael 2010) *Summary only. Specific QA and food safety requirements must be met for all food handling activities beyond orchard.
Risk Reduction Category
Risk Reduction Steps
In the orchard
Avoid orchards with land use history involving animals Map adjacent land use, water courses, drainage patterns Map orchard layout, harvest sequence
Plan and prepare
Knowledge and traceability
Document all activities and weather events Consider equipment capacity and availability Train workers in food safety practices
Minimise habitats and hiding places Control insect pests Avoid bird, insect, disease, vermin, mechanical damage
Enforce highest worker hygiene standards in orchard and handling areas Clean anything that contacts almonds -equipment, hands, shoes, clothing Test (or access results) water quality and record results Foliar spray only with ground or mains water Do not apply manure, biosolids, or untreated effluent Minimise animal, bird, vermin presence in orchards Minimise bird life in water courses, dams Do not irrigate with water sourced or held near animal operations Harvest in good conditions, at full maturity Avoid rain, re-wetting, delayed harvests Dry rapidly; manage windrows Minimise time on ground Re-shake to remove all mummies and stick-tights before budswell Destroy winter re-shakes on ground Test nut moisture before stockpiling Orient piles north-south Stockpile low moisture (< 7%) nuts only Monitor nut moisture (top, middle, bottom) in stockpiles Manage covers and stockpile form (height) to achieve low moisture equilibrium Slope stockpile pad to avoid pooling of condensate or rain at base Do not share equipment with animal operations Train workers in food safety and handling requirements Isolate late season nuts - mummies, windfalls, re-shakes from others Isolate organic nuts from others Do not mix (or process) loads of moist and dry nuts Remove ‘inedibles’ and physical contaminants early in handling stage Clean all equipment and contact surfaces thoroughly Destroy re-shakes with high insect infestation Isolate re-shakes, mummies, wet nuts from others
Minimise introduction of contaminants
Maturity of crop
Beyond the orchard
Hulling and shelling
Focus on QA and GMPs requirements Clean surfaces and equipment between lots Clean with low moisture, fast-evaporating sanitisers Ensure personnel trained in hygiene Linear directional flow in plant – air, product Re-mediate, treat ‘at risk’ lots (Salmonella) Do not combine re-runs
Cross contamination and re- contamination
Use dry, clean, protected (from rain, dust, vermin), ventilated storage Maintain low moisture (< 7% water activity)
Product protection - moisture
Product protection- temperature Store at low temps and monitor for ‘hot spots’
Contamination - equipment hygiene
Use only dry, sanitised/lined containers, vehicles, machinery Do not use equipment or transport used in animal industry Monitor Avoid long periods/distances without temperature control