Wishing our team good luck for Iran Food and Hospitality 2014 !

Iran Food Hospitality 2014

We give our team good wishes as they leave for Iran Food and Hospitality 2014, next week. We have full confidence in our Shimla Hills team and their achievements. They have done outstanding work in the past.

Iran is a very potential market. The potential of food business with Iran is estimated to be 18.042 billion US Dollar. In 2012 Iran imported 1.7 million MT of rice. Not just this, World Trade Organization in 2012 estimated total Iranian food imports to be 12.442 billion US Dollar which is just double the food exports at 5.600 billion US Dollar done by Iran in the same year. The lifting of restrictions on food imports in Iran has also broadened the scope of investment in the food industry here.

Part of the Iran Agrofood 2014, this event is organised under the aegis of Iranian Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture and Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade. Iran Food and Hospitality 2014 brings with it host of incentives – an excellent visitor base with high percentage of industry decision makers, brilliant interaction and a chance to acquire more about industry’s latest.

The team is wrapping up last minute work these days and looks very busy – so we are not troubling them these days. The checklist for exhibition has already been crosschecked and verified at least thrice.

Shimla Hills team will be available at Iran Food and Hospitality 2014 from:-

  • 30th May to 2nd June, 2014
  • Venue – Tehran International Permanent Fairgrounds, Iran
  • At booth no. 35.23, Hall no 35

We are displaying following products at the event:-

  • Fruit Pulp, Puree & Concentrate
  • Flavours & Colours
  • IQF Fruits & Vegetables
  • Oilseeds, Grains & Pulses
  • Nuts & Spices
  • Animal Feed

Nature’s nourishing touch

Nature’s nourishing touch

It is shivering cold at Shimla Hills’ Shoghi office these days. Apparently, you might find it all sunny outside, but that is where the trap lies. Sun’s warmth these days doesn’t make a difference because we are heading towards the last, but coldest phase of winter. The frost gets your hand, feet and nose. You try draping yourself in the warmest clothes, but one way or another the cold manages to seep into your skin.

Of late, the cold had been getting bone chilling with really frigid air. For a native, it isn’t hard to read the telltail signs of an eminent snowfall ushering in. And finally on February 14, right on the Valentine’s Day, the snowflakes started falling like a magic orchestrated by nature.

Our entire office gasped with happiness, and hysterically welcomed the season’s second snowfall. Most of us have enjoyed snow since our childhood. But the joy of seeing it every year is special and something we wait for year-round.
Within an hour, every inch of earth was covered in snow, trees were beautifully sketched in white sheet and the whole valley came to a standstill in pin drop silence.

Snow has a long, deep-rooted historic connection with humans and is the reason for our evolution. Possibly, this is why we feel so connected to snow. The story of our evolution is knitted into a beautiful, but complex story that has shaped and reshaped earth. And this change hasn’t stopped yet. It is still happening, even though at a miniscule level. This connection takes you back into Earth’s timeline, aeons of years ago.

Snow, the coolest form of precipitation is also the most evident form of energy on Earth. The meltwater from glaciers flows down rolling fertile mountain silt – bringing gallons of freshwater, generating electricity and stimulating every nook and corner of the earth in the lowlands. This shapes the terrain, influences our livelihoods, our economies and most importantly feeds millions around the globe.

What started as a trickle expands into rivulets, transforms into gorgeous waterfalls and rivers that finally merge into the vastness of the ocean. From oceans the water travels back in form of vapours and the eternal cycle continues. It is through these illustrations that nature shows its controlled creative wisdom.

Our instincts didn’t sharpen one fine day. It took this very creative wisdom of nature, over countless millennia to create us. When Homo sapiens learned to brave the chill, heat, moisture and drought they became stronger and inventive. And the quest for food was the driving force all this while.

In our hustling life, nature’s silent work to keep earth alive goes unnoticed. As humans it is our tendency to forget things. But nature works incessantly…with clocked precision…without any fail. Strangely each time I see snow falling, I recapitulate these things and halt in awe!

Shimla Hills: The year gone by…2013!

Shimla Hills: The year gone by…2013!

Today, as we eagerly wait for the moment when we step into the year 2014 we reflect on the year gone by. As growing part of food industry, Shimla Hills has achieved a lot in year 2013. So here we have a snapshot of our achievements for you all to enjoy!

 

Shimla Hills : ‘A Government Certified Export House’.
Shimla Hills – ‘A Government Certified Export House’.

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Turnip, get ready to enjoy some limelight on moon!

Dear Turnip, get ready to enjoy some limelight on moon!

Truly speaking turnips have never enjoyed the limelight most vegetables enjoy. They have never been appreciated for being a very versatile winter food. Personally, I love turnips for its sweet and wholesome taste, and for one special reason. I had won 1st prize for my enactment as the farmer from the children’s fairy tale ‘The Giant Turnip’ as a small kid. Good memories are life’s treasure that makes you happy every time you recollect them.

My love for this veggie grew even more when I witnessed the Rabechilbi Turnip Festival in Switzerland.  It is an absolutely gorgeous spectacle of light-and-turnip.  I was in Europe for a business meeting few weeks back. Once it concluded, I stole some days to wander in the beauty of the Alps. A visit to the largest turnip festival in Europe – was one of the many suggestions I received while chalking an itinerary for my travel.  As part of Shimla Hills my fascination for food, especially fresh vegetables and fruits comes naturally. But my love for turnip added fuel to fire, and flared my interest and curiosity for this festival.

Approximately 26 tonnes of carved turnips are chiselled to resemble everything from roses, patterns, stars, moons and to what not.  Once fully hollowed and carved, a small candle is placed inside to make a turnip lantern which represents season’s warmth. It then becomes part of an annual parade which has been organised in Rabechilbi since 1905. Undeniably mesmerising, I was lucky to be there and witness this special tradition.

It is common for people to confuse turnip with rutabaga, but the two have notable differences.  Rutabaga is tough and large with waxy outer skin. Turnips on the other hand have delicate texture, sweet taste and hints of purple on its upper half part. They grow on soft, slightly acidic soil with pH ranging between 6.0 – 6.5. Wooden ash sprinkled on soil in moderation proves beneficial as fertiliser and saves seedlings from frost.  Small turnips can be harvested by simple hand pulling, but the larger ones require slight tilling before they can be pulled out.

The bulbous root matures in about 2 months and grows best around 60 F, the reason why early spring and fall crops are favoured. Turnips, a root vegetable are member of the cruciferae family. It is the same family to which cabbage, kale and broccoli (genus Brassica) belong to. The green tops on turnips bring with them endless culinary possibilities and a whole lot of nutrition in form of beta carotene, vitamin K, calcium and vitamin A.

Turnips are hardy, cold-weather vegetables that have ability to grow in wide range of climates and conditions. That speaks a lot about their adaptability.  Possibly this might be the reason why NASA choose turnip to be part of its mission on moon, I wonder!

 

Waste Management Opportunities In Food Processing Industry

Waste Management Opportunities In Food Processing Industry

I wonder often, how our future generation will see nature. Will they ever see and enjoy nature in its purest form? What legacy are we leaving for them? I was pensive, immersed in these  thoughts when my eyes fell on the nearby farms. It was all lush green…melodious rustle of leaves…balmy winds gently swaying the trees… the sweet whiff of mangoes– this is something I have always loved.

 

mango_farm1

 

An answer to these questions came intuitively, that very moment – we preserve what we have, and bequeath this legacy for our future generations to carry on.
At the core of all farming and food processing activities, Shimla Hills has always endeavoured to protect the environment. This makes me a very happy man! For instance, let’s pick waste management methods followed at Shimla Hills’ processing plants. Our waste management practices are a small, yet vital step towards reducing impact on environment through economically viable mediums.

 

Creating organic manure

 

The fibre and residual pulp left in the decanter and pulper is extracted and used for creating organic manure. This organic manure is then given free of cost or at subsidized rates to the farmers.

 

Fuel for boilers

 

The peels, seeds and stones of fruits are first amply dried and then used as fuel for the boilers while processing.

 

Recycling water

 

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A lot of water is used in fruit and vegetable processing plants at various plant production areas. After the water has been used, it is collected at one place and passed through ETP (Effluent Treatment Plant). This wastewater treatment mechanism clears the suspended, as well as toxin material if any, making water suitable for gardening, flushing and cleaning purposes. Discharging this wastewater without any treatment would have posed grave danger for the entire ecosystem.

 

Mandatorily Controlling Boiler Smoke

 

DSC_0757A recent study reveals that “manmade outdoor air pollutions accounts for 2 million deaths each year”. This is reason enough to give impetus to having a strong policy that curbs air pollution to the minutest level. At our plants, strict pollution control measures are followed which come under the state and central governmental authorities.

Recycling Oil

 

The DG generator oil used at the processing plants, after some specific hours is taken out and given to authorized retailors for recycling. This restricts fuel wastage significantly.

 

Animal Feed

 

The refuse material like peels of fruits and vegetables and tit bits left after sorting are never wasted. They are good enough for making healthy animal feed!

 

Minimising raw material wastage

 

Shimla Hills’ quality team makes it a point to select only the best batch of produces. This ensures quality as well as curtails the raw material wastage that occurs while sorting fruits and vegetables before processing.

 

Audits to measure

 

DSC_0732Being aware about waste management isn’t enough. To track and maintain accountability, weekly inhouse audits are undertaken. This helps to streamline our waste management endeavours and measure their impact. At a broader level, monthly audits are done by state and central authorities giving us update-to-date statistics of work done. It’s about time that environment is given precedence. I am sure everyone is conscious about environmental impact, but more than awareness it is the practical solution implemented one step at a time that makes the difference. Collective efforts matter when you want to protect environment because…nature is precious!