Aliya’s Foods Ltd: dedication to consistency and quality
In 1999, Noorudin Jiwani and his wife, an actuarial consultant and a dietician, decied to quit their 9 to 5 jobs and go into business for themselves. The couple gravitated toward the idea of manufacturing authentic foods, interested in seeing that sector grow and helping it along. From that mutual interest, Aliya’s Foods Limited was formed—after a year of examining options and exploring promising regions of Canada, the company put down roots in supportive business-friendly Alberta.
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By its 15th anniversary, Aliya’s Foods has grown extensively from its initial 2,000-square foot facility in Edmonton’s suburb Sherwood Park. Today Aliya’s foods operates out of a fully automated, state-of-the-art 42,000-square foot facility, built in 2010 to support the growing demand for the company’s Chef Bombay brand of authentic Indian appetizers and entrees from butter chicken and channa masala to pakoras and its most famous samosas. As a supplier to every major supermarket chain in Canada, along with Trader Joe’s in the United States, Aliya’s Foods has grown swiftly over the better part of two decades—and the company is poised for further growth in the near future.
Progress in certification and technology
“We both believed if we were going to do anything, we had to make sure that we were fully certified and had HACCP certification,” said Jiwani. At Aliya’s Foods Ltd, third party certification is a crucial part of the brand’s identity and a major factor in its ability to grow beyond its Edmonton roots.
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“If we were not CFIA approved, we could not sell our product outside of Alberta—our first reaction was that, since we would like to sell throughout Canada and the world, CFIA was our first criteria,” said Jiwani. But while the approval of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is an important jumping off point, Jiwani explained that this is only the beginning in a long line of certification approvals… To learn more about quality standards, certification goals, and the future of Aliya’s Foods Ltd, click here to read the rest of this article in FDF World.
Tech firm BestBees helps honey bees with remote monitoring
The global honey industry was worth an estimated $9.2b in 2020. Out of the 100 crop species which feed 90% of the world's population, 70 of them are pollinated by bees. In addition, 1.4b farming jobs, depend on the pollination of crops carried out by bees.
Bees are vitally important to planet earth and everyone on it - but they are in danger. Between April 2019 and 2020, 43% of US hives were lost. Bee hives have been devastated by:
- Climate change
Tech firms have taken on one of the world’s oldest occupations, beekeeping, in order to maintain the welfare of the the mighty bumblebee.
Best Bees Company bumbles forward
US business, Best Bees Company, was shocked at the plight of the American bee colonies.
Best Bees install hives and then use an advanced software system to monitor and record the health of each bee hive.
"We are looking at why thriving beehives live", said Wilson-Rich, chief scientific officer at Best Bees. "We need to understand why they're doing better. With that research data we can get wonderful benefits... it is telling us how the bees are actually doing."
Best Bees also harvests and bottles the honey for the property owners, of where the hives sit, to enjoy.
The data is being shared with Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where researchers are trying to understand and assist the bees in their duty.
Tech saves beekeepers time and labour
The Irish business ApisProtect is also utilising technology to help the bees, through their wireless in-hive sensors, which transmit data.
"We collect temperature, humidity, sound and acceleration [of the bees flying out of the hive] data," said Fiona Edwards Murphy, chief executive "What we do is extract those raw data points and then use machine learning to convert that into useful information. We tell the beekeeper, for example, which hives are growing and which hives are shrinking, or which hives are alive and which hives are dead."
The technology means beekeepers no longer have to manually inspect hives, which saves time and effort and allows the bees to go about their business uninterrupted.
"In a commercial operation only about 20% of hives at any given time need intervention," concludes Edwards Murphy. "The problem is that beekeepers don't know which 20%. They literally go out and pick around a hive to see if it's the one they should be looking at. What we do is enable them to get a picture of what's happening in all their hives, spread across a large area, before they even leave their office in the morning. For commercial beekeepers, we see a 50% reduction in labour costs. That obviously has a huge impact on the business of beekeeping."