Food science party

first_imgBy Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaThe University of Georgia Department of Food Science and Technology will mark the completion of a $4.2 million building addition and the $2.4 million renovation of its previous facilities with an open house and ribbon cutting in Athens Sept. 5.”The improvements to the food science building will make UGA even stronger in the field of food safety,” said UGA president Michael F. Adams. “The safety of our food supply is critically important. I’m proud that the University of Georgia is poised to make a real difference.””The addition and renovations will enhance food science research and extension outreach capabilities,” said Gale Buchanan, dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.State-of-the-art labsThe addition houses four state-of-the-art microbiology labs. In three biocontainment level 2 labs, researchers can work with foodborne pathogens like Listeria, E coli 0157:H7, Salmonella and Campylobacter. In the biocontainment level 3 lab, scientists can work with more restricted foodborne hazards like botulism.”This is a new capability for the Athens campus and will certainly further our ability to do cutting-edge food safety and food-processing research,” said Rakesh Singh, food science and technology department head.”The additional facilities, along with our recently renovated food-processing pilot plants, greatly improve our ability to conduct programs designed for economic development,” he said.Outreach classrooomA new extension outreach classroom, which can seat 70 people, serves a variety of needs: short courses, workshops and certification programs. It has been in use since June and the first two programs were filled to capacity.”Many of these programs are designed to help small businesses get on their feet, while others focus on bringing industry personnel up-to-date,” Singh said. “But they’re also for anyone who is interested. We work with a lot of nontraditional students, small-business folks and industry folks.”The addition was funded through the Georgia Food Processing Advisory Council. FoodPAC is a group of Georgia state agencies, colleges and universities and private food businesses. It supports Georgia’s food processing and allied industries.ProgramThe open house and ribbon-cutting celebration features a 10:30 a.m. program with Adams, Buchanan, Singh, Georgia Poultry Federation President Abit Massey, Georgia Agribusiness Council President Gary Black and food sciences graduate student Beth Bland.Tours will follow at 11 a.m. Refreshments will be provided. For more on the event, call (706) 542-2574 or e-mail marianw@uga.edu.(Cat Holmes is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Burton to close South Burlington manufacturing plant

first_imgBurton announced Tuesday that it will shift premium snowboard production from its small, Vermont-based Burton Manufacturing Center (BMC) to Austria, where the company has been building snowboards for over 25 years. Product design and development will still be home-grown in Vermont, where the company will relocate its snowboard prototyping resources from BMC into a new, purely R&D-driven prototype facility at its global headquarters in Burlington. Burton said 43 jobs will be lost, leaving 377 in Vermont and 900 worldwide.BMC, located in South Burlington, Vermont is slated to close in June of this year. Burton’s premium factory in Austria already has the high-end technology and capacity to increase its production. Forty-three employees will be affected by BMC’s closure, and Burton is working closely with the Vermont Department of Labor’s Rapid Response program to assist these employees with unemployment and re-employment resources. “When I started Burton Snowboards in 1977, all we did was make snowboards in Vermont,” says Jake Burton Carpenter, Founder and Chairman, Burton Snowboards. “Thanks to the BMC staff, we’ve excelled at prototyping and developing product in Vermont, which is why all four Burton Olympic halfpipe medals were won on snowboards coming out of our local factory. But simply put, it costs us significantly more to produce a board in Vermont than we are capable of selling it for, and sadly, this is not sustainable in the current economy.”Carpenter started the company in Londonderry after seeing someone riding a homemade board.Carpenter cited several factors for closing the South Burlington facility in a Burlington Free Press story, including labor, real estate, utility and health care benefits. The cost is significantly less in Austria, he said.The relocated BMC R&D facility will continue to turn riders’ ideas into the most advanced prototypes on snow, with the added benefit of having all prototyping resources under one roof at Burton’s global headquarters, Burton said in a statement.”Our biggest priority at Burton is to make the best product for snowboarders, and we do that by listening to riders and investing more in research and development than anyone in our industry,” says Burton CEO Laurent Potdevin. “It makes the most economic sense to produce all of our high-end snowboards in Austria. Here in Vermont, we will continue to focus on advanced product development, which will allow us to bring the latest snowboard technology to riders faster than ever before.”Burton is the world’s leading snowboard company and owns other top boardsports brands, including Channel Islands Surfboards, DNA Distribution (Alien Workshop and Habitat Skateboards), The Program (Forum, Special Blend and FOURSQUARE) Analog, Gravis, ANON and R.E.D.  After the BMC manufacturing changes, Burton and its family of brands will employ over 900 people worldwide.Source: Burton. 3.16.2010last_img read more