Innovation in food production means more than just coming up with a new product or an unusual mixture of spices.
Innovations are a prime driver for more sustainable business. Sustainability through innovation is achieved by adopting and using new technologies, processes and strategies through which the environment benefits, while at the same time boosting the company’s competitiveness.
Innovations that go far beyond pure product innovations are what are sought after and effective: from process innovations (such as in energy supply, with new materials or more efficient technologies) to business model innovations (such as in the scope of backward integration).
These require systematic processes and financial means. Applied research and development are also key factors. In this context, sustainability aspects including resource scarcity, ergonomics and energy requirements are to be explicitly taken into account in the development and innovation processes.
An innovation-friendly culture is absolutely crucial for innovative performance. Innovation capability must be boosted on all levels and in all dimensions.
Since 2016, Micarna uses a packaging innovation for selected organic products: our new HybricFlat® packaging is comprised up 70 per cent from renewable raw materials and a plastic coating that is easy to remove from the cardboard after use and then dispose of with the household trash. Since the film liner can be easily separated from the cardboard once it is opened, in the end only 6 grams of plastic film remain for the household trash. The cardboard is recyclable. The new packaging protects the meat from exterior influences just as well as the previous PET packaging.
The demand for sustainably produced, fresh seafood products available all year round is steadily growing. This is why the Micarna Group founded the joint venture KM Seafood together with its project partner, Kirschauer Aquakulturen. This joint venture has been part of the Micarna Group since 2015 and sustainably produces fish in aquacultures with the aim of leaving the smallest possible environmental footprint behind in the process. This sustainable seafood production in eastern Germany is a worldwide unique project, for which those in charge at KM Seafood in recent years have acquired the necessary specialists and also built the appropriate production facility – always with the objective of breeding fish in aquacultures year round and thus ensuring sustainable seafood products in the region.
Insects as food offer great potential and are a popular conversation topic. Micarna is looking into the possibilities within the scope of basic research in the areas of insects. Because insects represent a promising and sustainably produced animal protein source for humans; they can help cover the protein needs of humankind. Micarna hired an insect product manager early in 2017 with this in mind. The product manager’s main duties primarily consist of building up basic knowledge in this field, to develop an international network and to clarify requirements and wishes. Micarna is convinced that the potential for such products is growing in the market. It does not primarily involve consumption of the whole insect, but insect flour might also be an interesting protein supplier for many other products (not just meat); a practice that is already established in other countries.