VILLERS TO SPEAK AT COFFEE CONGRESS IN GUATEMALA

August 3rd, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

 

Phil Villers, GrainPro® President, will be at the 28th Guatemala National Coffee Congress organized by Anacafé on August 11 at 11:45 am at the Anacafé Building in Guatemala City. Phil will talk about the benefits of using solar drying and Ultra Hermetic™ storage during the event’s Master Conference. His presentation will include many interesting data and success stories gathered from users around the world. Everyone is cordially invited. See you there!

 

 

GRAINPRO LAUNCHES A NEW ICON FOR ITS BRAND AND LOGO

July 28th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

Concord, Mass., USA, July 28, 2017

GrainPro®, the leader in Ultra Hermetic™ technology, today introduces its iconic corporate brand and logo. The new branding strategy reflects GrainPro’s increasing role in leading the way in innovating Ultra Hermetic™ postharvest solutions that are helping create a more food secure future.

GrainPro's launches new logo

Since its humble beginnings in 1992, GrainPro has been recognized as a leader in hermetic storage and postharvest solutions. The company has been helping food producers of all sizes reduce their food losses and increase overall profits. its technology has continued to evolve to fit the needs of farmers as the world becomes more connected.

Today, GrainPro’s products are being used in more than 110 countries worldwide. Its name has become synonymous in solar drying, and the safe and chemical-free storage of a wide range of dry agricultural commodities. Its impact and positive contributions are felt especially in developing parts of the world where 25 to 40 percent of staple food crops are lost due to infestation and fungal growth because of improper handling and management.

GrainPro’s rebranding reflects its successful and ongoing growth in the food security sector. Today, the company is also leading the way in innovative solar drying and transport solutions – providing a full suite of products designed to protect food from farm to market to tables.

“We’ve been working on a brand that captures our leading role in the industry,” says Tommy Ng, Vice President for International Sales and Marketing at GrainPro. “Its implementation is a step in the right direction as we continue to position our company as more than a product or service, but as an inspiration in the marketplace, in the industry and within the communities we live in.”

The new logo – the first in 10 years – echoes a contemporary look and feel that appeals to this generation’s food producers. It evokes the radical evolution of the symbolic stem and leaves that used to stand out alone into what appears to be embraced and connected to the rest of the image. This signifies GrainPro’s link to its focus on sustainability and growth, and in earning the lifetime loyalty and trust of customers. The green tint mirrors its mission of developing solutions that are safe for consumers and the environment, while raising the quality of life of food producers and smallholder farmers, especially in developing parts of the world. The new typeface lends an elegant, modern, and cleaner appearance.

“Storing the Future” will stay as GrainPro’s tagline. Timeless and on-point, this reminds customers about the company’s ultimate mission, suggesting an optimistic and brighter tomorrow – without hunger –through innovation.

GrainPro’s web presence, marketing collateral, and official documents will begin carrying the new iconic brand. In fact, a team is currently working hard at redesigning the “new” GrainPro’s official website into a more visually-appealing and user-friendly experience, while carrying the new visual themes.

Please watch this video to see how GrainPro’s logo has evolved.

Thank you.

WFP MALAWI SIGNS PARTNERSHIP TO PILOT HERMETIC GRAIN STORAGE

July 13th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

GrainPro is among technology developers working closely with WFP to help achieve its global food security goals.

The World Food Program (WFP) is working with GrainPro® to pilot the use of Ultra Hermetic grain storage solutions in Malawi, according to the latest WFP Country Brief released on May 31, 2017. This pilot is in line with ongoing WFP efforts to break the cycle of food insecurity and poverty in the African country.

Malawi, a small and land-locked country in the sub-Saharan region of Africa, is facing critical food and nutrition security issues. The country’s population explosion – expanding by 3 percent each year – and recent drops in agricultural production leave most Malawians in poverty and without food.

GrainPro and its local representative, Chemicals and Marketing, will train at least 60 WFP-beneficiary farmer organizations in 15 districts in the use of hermetic bags as part of the Purchase for Progress (P4P) program. Additionally, GrainPro will also study the perceptions and demands of the farmers to the effectiveness of hermetic technology.

The training program will include the use of the GrainPro’s Ultra Hermetic™ SuperGrainBag® (SGB), a low-cost and reusable liner bag developed primarily for smallholder farmers. Made from multilayered and recyclable polyethylene with a proprietary barrier layer, the SGB ‘s has sufficiently low permeability to air and water to stop infestation and inhibit the growth of aflatoxin-producing molds.

P4P is an innovative food security initiative launched in 2008 by WFP that seeks to help smallholder farmers better cope with fluctuations in harvests and household food security by adapting technologies that will reduce postharvest losses. The program is funded with the help of the Flanders International Cooperation Agency, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

One of the goals of the program is to introduce new technologies to smallholder farmers. GrainPro is among technology developers working closely with WFP to help achieve its global food security goals. The training has commenced with series of workshops in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu with farmers organization leaders, lead farmers extension officers and farmers stakeholders.

Women play a major role in food production and farming in Malawi.

 

A female farmer gets first-hand experience in using the GrainPro SuperGrainbag.

NEW SCIENTIFIC PAPER DISCUSSES AFLATOXIN CONTROL WITH SAFER POSTHARVEST PRACTICES

June 28th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

In human beings, high aflatoxin levels depress the immune system, thereby contributing to many health problems ranging from cancer and susceptibility to HIV, to stunted growth among children. This led governments in Africa to band together to stop the spread of Aflatoxins in the continent. At an October 2016 meeting with the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), Ugandan President, H.E. Yoweri Museveni called for a collective effort among African countries to address aflatoxin challenges.

However, improved postharvest handling remains the most overlooked component for effectively preventing aflatoxin growth. In hot, humid climates, long term conventional storage can cause exponential growth of aflatoxins. It shows that restricting the increase in aflatoxin levels during both drying and storage is a major challenge, particularly under hot and humid conditions.

An increasingly popular and inexpensive alternative method for controlling aflatoxin growth during multi-month storage is using flexible, Ultra Hermetic™ storage containers. This storage technology relies on creating a conditions that will control increase in aflatoxin levels through the bio generation of low oxygen levels. For the successful application of Ultra Hermetic storage as well as for other storage methods, crops must be adequately dried, typically to a point below their ―critical moisture level (in equilibrium with 65% relative humidity).

This paper examines the prevention of the exponential growth of aflatoxin occurring in multi-month, postharvest storage in tropical countries, with examples from field experience and scientific data. Four approaches to modern, safe, postharvest storage methods are described, the most successful being the use of flexible, Ultra Hermetic™ airtight structures creating an unbreathable atmosphere (low oxygen, high carbon dioxide) through insect and microorganism respiration alone, without use of chemicals, fumigants, vacuum, or refrigeration.

SCHOOL KIDS IN HONDURAS ARE BENEFITTING FROM HERMETIC STORAGE

June 15th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

Bags of rice being loaded into a Cocoon.

Children in the village of Krausirpi in Honduras are benefitting from rice that was not treated with any harmful chemicals thanks to Ultra Hermetic™ and patented GrainPro® Cocoons™. The Cocoons were delivered on March 2017 and are currently protecting food crops against insects and fungal growth.

The United Nations’ World Food Programme partnered with GrainPro to store rice as part of a feeding program aimed at local school children. The Cocoons were delivered to the beautiful La Moskitia region – a large wetlands area in Honduras considered by many as the “Amazon” of Central America – using dugout canoes.

Preserving highly nutritious stocks of staple grains is a serious problem for the locals due to it’s location and the atmospheric conditions in the region. To safely preserve the shelf life and protect staple crops against infestation and fungal contamination, new storage methods – such as the Cocoon – are immediately needed to make an immediate impact.

The Cocoon is a hermetic storage container that comes in various capacities of 5MT to 1050MT. It is made from flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with gastight and watertight properties to prevent the exchange of air and moisture. It effectively preserves and extends the shelf life of dried agricultural commodities using inert gases such as carbon dioxide to kill all insects. This means that the stored food crops won’t have any residues of harmful chemical fumigants.

The Cocoons were transported in canoes.

Scenic and pristine community.

A Cocoon storing bags of rice.

PACIFIC ISLAND EXPLORES SUN DRYING AND ULTRA HERMETIC™ STORAGE

June 8th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

New Caledonia is getting much needed help to safely dry and store locally produced food crops as it attempts to invigorate the agricultural sector. Tom de Bruin, President of GrainPro® Philippines, recently visited the area to train government personnel in the use of innovative sun dryers and Ultra Hermetic™ storage solutions.

The island chain in the Pacific Ocean has big hopes of achieving food and agricultural independence. Called the “Heart of the Pacific”, this French territory is known for its rich deposits of nickel, which play a crucial role in the international nickel trade.

Despite its status as a major economy among the many island countries in the Pacific, it is very dependent on imports to feed an estimated population of 670,000. For example, rice, the staple food of the islands, is imported from Thailand and nearby Australia. An estimated 6000 tons of brown rice are imported each year with only one mill to process everything.

To turn things around, the French government assigned the Agence de Développement Economique de la Nouvelle-Calédonie (New Caledonia Economic Development Agency) or ADECAL to diversify the islands’ agricultural resources. ADECAL is currently developing the rice seed business to provide local farms with acclimatized rice seeds that fit the islands’ tropical climate.

GrainPro is working with ADECAL to test innovative postharvest solutions to safely dry and store rice seeds. Using Solar Bubble Dryers™, harvested seeds at 22 to 17 percent moisture content are dried down to a safe 12 percent. The seeds are then stored in SuperGrainbags® and Cocoons™ to ensure optimal storage conditions and good germination. New Caledonia is now planning to use the Cocoons to store consumption paddy in the next harvest season.

Food sufficiency is a common challenge among small island countries. Their isolation requires them to be self-sufficient, but the lack of resources make it difficult to achieve this. Whether grown locally or imported, dry agricultural commodities can rely on GrainPro’s line of Ultra Hermetic storage solutions and innovative sun dryers to safely preserve quality and quantity of seeds and dry agricultural commodities without using harmful chemical fumigants.

COMMITMENT TO QUALITY INSPIRES GRAINPRO® TQM STRATEGY

June 5th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

Quality is extremely crucial in delivering satisfaction to customers and retaining their loyalty. This understanding is GrainPro’s® driving force in constantly improving its processes to ensure the delivery of top quality postharvest solutions, which led to the official implementation of its Total Quality Management (TQM) program on May 2, 2017 at its plant in Subic Bay, Philippines.

Having been in preparation since 2016, GrainPro’s TQM strategy will involve all the areas of production to check and evaluate all phases of the production process. By getting everyone involved and accountable, problems and defects will be immediately discovered and corrected before products reach completion. Additionally, employees will have a direct hand in improving processes that directly affect their work.

TQM aims to deliver customer satisfaction through a management approach that involves all members of an organization in the continual improvement of all processes, products, and services. It uses strategy, data, and effective communications to integrate the quality discipline into the culture and activities of the organization. This is an integrated, process-centered and fully involved strategy that pushes quality to create a quality-focused working culture within the organization.

Data on performance measures are necessary to determine how well an organization is performing. TQM encourages fact-based decision making among managers by constantly collecting and analyzing data to improve decision making accuracy.

“Collaboration plays an important role in achieving our TQM strategy,” says Hazel Valera, Supply Chain Manager, who was a driving force in embracing a culture focused on delivering quality. GrainPro has a longstanding commitment to quality and holds an ISO 9001:2008 certification since July 2008. The company is currently working on getting its ISO 9001:2015 certification. “We believe that this will transcend our operations, streamline and improve our process efficiency, and guarantee the timely and defects-free delivery of our products.”

FOR LILO FRUITS, QUALITY PRESERVATION A REALITY THROUGH HERMETIC BAGS

May 24th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

LILO Fruits is not your typical fruit trading company. Based in Costa Rica, owners Kris Carvajal and Junior Quesada are passionate about employing innovative and improved ways to protect the quality of their organically-grown products. Their obsession gained the trust and confidence of their customers, both locally and abroad. One of the ways they safely preserve their coffee and turmeric, is by packing them in GrainPro® SuperGrainbags® (SGB) — an Ultra Hermetic™ liner with super low permeability to air and moisture.

The company grows organically different types of foodcrops at their Finca Lilo de Biolley, situated inside the largest rainforest park in Central America. The beautiful and lush location is perfect for growing various food crops that include various fruits-bearing trees such as lime, graviola, rambutan, banana, and coffee, and spices such as black pepper and their prized turmeric.

“LILO Fruits strives to inspire our buyers and our communities to lead an active, healthy lifestyle by offering simple and convenient options that are always fresh, safe and healthy,” explains Jennifer Long, a partner and spokesperson. Their commitment to their customers, farmers and the communities they belong to motivates them to utilize bio-intensive, bio-dynamic and permaculture techniques to ensure that they have the best, healthiest, cleanest, and the freshest offerings.

However, protecting their organically-grown commodities against insects and fungal growth is a major cause of concern. This is when LILO Fruits began using SGBs.

Other similar companies would’ve resorted to chemical fumigation. A common problem among companies that promote organically-grown commodities is that they employ inorganic measures along their production processes. Chemicals tend to kill adult insects, but leave eggs to develop and do damage later. Additionally, chemical residues are left on the commodities, which are eventually ingested by consumers. These are some of the reasons why international regulations are implementing tighter policies on the use of chemical fumigants on food crops.

The SuperGrainbag is just one of many Ultra Hermetic solutions developed by GrainPro. It’s an affordable liner bag designed to protect dried agricultural commodities against infestation and mold growth, while preserving freshness and aromatic qualities for more than a year. What’s more is that using the SGB can kill all insects, including their eggs, without chemical fumigation.

“We’ve had positive results from using the GrainPro bags (SGB) in shipping roasted coffee and powdered turmeric,” says Long. She described that they store the commodities in double layered SGBs for added protection. “I am happy that the bags organically control insects without any chemical residues. GrainPro truly pleases us!”

The combination of the quality of their products’ and their handling make them stand out in the market. They have big plans ahead, too. Organic medicinal food products made of raw materials grown from the region are already in the works.

It’s all about quality. Through Ultra Hermetic storage, LILO Fruits has a sustainable way to safely preserve quality without putting in chemicals that could harm those they serve their products to. The future is looking bright for LILO Fruits.

WINNING THE WAR AGAINST STALE, MOLDY FLAVORED SPECIALTY COFFEE

May 18th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

Photo Credit: White Horse Coffee / Dom Majdandzic

When it comes to coffee, flavor is king.

Roasters around the world pay huge sums to purchase single-origin varieties that yield distinct flavor and aromatic characters. Their customers also pay a premium for a sip. Often, however, the subtle differences and undertones are lost by the time the coffee arrives at the shop. This leaves a bad taste to both roasters and customers.

Many consumers seeking high-quality coffee have acquired a taste for this kind of coffee. The majority of top-rated quality restaurants in the US actually cater to the acquired taste of deadened generic woodiness coated with dark-roasted caramel and carbon flavoring.  From a business standpoint, this is the profitable course of actions. After all, consumers won’t know the difference.

Coffee doesn’t just magically teleport itself from the farm to your cup. It takes a long time for coffee from remote villages in Asia, Africa or Latin America to arrive in the US. For example, bags of coffee from Guatemala that are shipped out to specialty coffee houses in Australia and Asia take months to arrive, often spending long layovers at Middle Eastern seaports.

But that’s only half the story.

Coffee is traditionally packed in burlap or jute bags, and it doesn’t take long for the beans to absorb the undesirable taste of these bags. By the time the bags reach their destination, they may be infested, caked with molds, and have developed an moldy taste from the long exposure to the jute bags.

George Howell, a pioneer of the specialty-coffee movement in the US in the early 1970’s and a recipient of the Specialty Coffee Association of America Lifetime Achievement Award, sums it all up:

“Green coffee is shipped and stored in woven jute or sisal bags, which have been coated with petroleum-based batching oils to increase fiber yield and facilitate the spinning process. Green coffee is traditionally kept in these bags for the year or more it takes to go through them (fine coffee is harvested once a year). And so, the green coffee devolved – exposed to oxygen, changes in the environment and to the bags themselves.”

Howell recommends packing coffee beans in hermetically sealed bags to prevent the evaporation of the aromatic oils that give it its unique aroma and flavor. Second, it prevents coffee from coming into contact with the jute bags, thus, preventing coffee from absorbing the foul odors caught in the bags. Finally, hermetically-sealed bag protects the beans against the exchange of air and moisture to stop infestation and fungal contamination.

It was a losing battle until the coffee industry came to discover Ultra Hermetic™ liner bags. This simple innovation, which was initially developed in 2002, has helped protect both quality and quantity of coffee all over the world. In fact, the patented GrainPro® SuperGrainbag® (SGB), a pioneering force in Ultra Hermetic storage technology, has become synonymous to the safe preservation of coffee. The SGB allowed coffee to arrive direct from the farms in pristine condition to allow drinkers around the world to experience the distinct aromas and flavors that the farmers cultivated.

“In coffee growing areas prone to weather volatility, parchment storage in GrainPro bags is critical to maintaining quality,” explained Caravela Coffee – an international coffee trader with offices in the US, UK and Australia. “Without this extra layer, green beans can re-humidify, undoing the stability achieved in the drying process, thereby reducing the coffee’s shelf life.”

Meanwhile, in Australia, Dominic Majdandzic of White Horse Coffee in Sydney went as far as saying that the SGB is the greatest advancement in coffee. “These humble bags not only maintain the freshness and integrity of the coffee, they also increase the longevity of coffee by up to four times,” revealed Dominic in his blog article.

The SGB is also a good solution for the safe and chemical-free preservation of other staple food grains and seeds, and high-value commodities. These bags are widely used for rice from Southeast Asia, spices from India, maize from Africa, and cacao from the Latin Americas.

With the high demand for coffee, the ability to protect both quality and quantity is allowing everyone to experience coffee at its primeval, and uncontaminated state. Ultra Hermetic liner bags such as the GrainPro SGB are leading the way in a winning war against undesirable and baggy flavors, ultimately, to the benefit of everyone who loves coffee.

Photo Credit: White Horse Coffee / Dom Majdandzic

US-BASED CRAFT CHOCOLATIER STORES PRIZE CACAO IN GRAINPRO BAGS

May 9th, 2017 by GrainProMarketing No comments »

“The first thing we do when we get bags is empty them out, line the bags with GrainPro plastic, then refill them. We do this so that the beans stay fresher longer and keep out pests.” – LetterPress Chocolate

While the international coffee trade has benefitted greatly from using GrainPro® SuperGrainbags® (SGBs) to organically preserve specialty and single-origin beans, the cacao industry has yet to fully discover the benefits of these miracle liner bags. One chocolatier in Los Angeles, California knows how these SGBs can protect both quality and quantity of their cacao stocks and shared to us how they are using these bags in their operations.

Letter Press Chocolate is California’s fastest growing craft chocolatier who sources their cacao from single origin farmers in Peru, Belize, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. According to their website, when the bags arrive at their facility in L.A., the first thing they do is empty each one out. The bags are lined with GrainPro SGBs and refilled with the cacao beans. They added that they do this to keep out insects, and to preserve the freshness of the beans.

Rightfully so.

Letter Press Chocolate is the type of chocolatier that truly loves chocolates, and understands the value of protecting their most important investment – the cacao. According to their website, they don’t like how most chocolates taste artificial, and full of sugar and vanillin. They want their customers to experience the subtle differences and characters of each single-origin cacao they sourced from different regions – much like coffee or wine.

A joint study between Ghana, Israel and the Philippines in 2008 validates the effectiveness of GrainPro SGBs in protecting cacao against insects. Cacao beans were stored for 30 days in SGBs. Steep decline in oxygen concentration and anoxia was observed only after 15 days, resulting in 100 percent mortality of the insect population, including eggs and larvae.

An additional benefit of using the SGB is that it can protect and extend the aroma and flavor of the beans. Like coffee, cacao also comes in burlap or jute bags. After a while of being inside these bags, the beans may absorb the undesirable aromatic qualities of jute that are reflected in the flavor and aroma of the cacao. This results in the development of undesirable aromatic qualities and flavors.

Besides using GrainPro SGBs, Letter Press Chocolate is also a firm believer in cacao farmers. They forge direct relationships with farmers and provide much needed support to cooperatives. Additionally, farmers are paid a premium amount to help raise their quality of life.

Despite being relatively new, Letter Press Chocolate has already won the prestigious Good Food™ Award in 2017 for their Costa Esmeraldas Ecuador Chocolate bar. This achievement proves that their philosophy of sustainability and transparency is working for them, their farmers and customers.