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Home » FRIGAIR 2022 Kickstart Week: Newsletter – 9 June 2021

FRIGAIR 2022 Kickstart Week: Newsletter – 9 June 2021

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The growth of the cold chain in the local environment has seen an exponential increase, driven by (amongst others) the accelerated international appetite developed for quality South African produce (which saw a significant boost during the pandemic). A conservative estimate across the board of fruits and vegetables that are set for the export market reveals a figure of around 1-billion cartons a year.

 SAIRAC Technical Talks this week 

 Click below for more information

 – 9 June 2021 (Chillers: applications and maintenance) – TODAY
 – 10 June 2021 (New refrigerant safe handling national skills programme)

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Maintaining of the cold chain from when harvested at the farms in cases of fruit and vegetables or from processing facilities such as abattoirs in the case of livestock, is essential to preserve the required quality and condition of goods. It is unfortunate that the United Nations and World Health Organisation (WHO) continue to report high figures in food waste, primarily pointing to many inadequate or broken links in the supply chain of perishables.

The staggering figures in fact reveal that wastage volumes are so excessive that in South Africa alone, estimates show 10 million tonnes of food are wasted (for various reasons) each year. Over and above the obvious financial implications are the important factors addressing hunger and poverty, and the environmental impacts such as by-products in natural anaerobic digestion.

The awareness around these figures provides opportunity to pick the low hanging fruit and address the shortfalls in the cold supply chain that starts from when produce is harvested in the field and need to be cooled within a shorter timeframe (and where packaging plays an important role), right through the processing and transportation aspects to the various destinations, and ultimately the retail outlets responsible for sale of quality goods to the consumer.

Message from the industry: Patrick Gwitirwa, senior projects engineer, VMG Consultants

Each step in the process has areas for continuous improvement. Pharmaceuticals are not left out of the equation here as any deviation of required parameters has a direct impact on shelf life or efficacy such as we have seen in vaccine development and ultra-cold storage. Should vaccines of that nature be subject to other conditions, they will essentially become ‘worthless’ within a couple of hours.

Market trends and consumer behaviour has also forced a shift in how cold chain goods are supplied. These factors include steep growth in online shopping activity, increased facility capacities, establishment of many new cold stores, and the creation of alternative storage and outsourcing models to cater to new risk management strategies.

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up for the SAIRAC Technical Talks this week that are open to all participants!


Chillers: applications and maintenance 
Click here to register

Date: 09 June 2021
Time: 18h00
Presented by: Rampuru MMM Mpuru

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Scroll bact to the top

Rampuru MMM Mpuru, is the founder and managing director of Mpuru Engineers and Contractors (Pty) Ltd. Mpuru Engineers and Contractors is a new multi-disciplinary engineering company. Mpuru’s career started with Barloworld Equipment as a service development engineer where he was involved in the design and building of an online fuel filtration system use for fuel cleanliness at all Barloworld Equipment sites. He joined Air Liquide SA as product manager – specialty gas equipment, completing the supply and installation of high-pressure gas regulating equipment for the new brewing laboratory for Heineken Breweries.

From 2011, he has been in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry with Metraclark as business development manager Africa (thermal and acoustic insulation solutions) with the introduction of the elastomeric insulation solutions into Africa from Armacell India, following a joint venture between Metraclark and Armacell India.

Mpuru’s membership and professional affiliations include:

  • ECSA (Engineering Council of South Africa) as candidate engineer;
  • SAIRAC (SA Institute of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning) as committee member;
  • SAIMechE (SA Institute of Mechanical Engineers) as member;
  • ASHRAE (American Society for Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers) as an associate member; and
  • Authorised Refrigeration Practitioner License (Safe Handling of Refrigerants and Pressure Equipment Regulations) / SAQCC Gas as practitioner.

New refrigerant safe handling national skills programme 
Click here to register 

Date: 10 June 2021
Time: 18h00
Presented by: Grant Laidlaw

 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Scroll bact to the top

Grant Laidlaw is the owner of ACRA, the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Academy, He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, an associate degree in educational administration, a National Technical Diploma, and Refrigeration and Electrical trade tests. He is the industry appointed subject matter expert for the National Artisan Moderating Body (NAMB) and the Qualification Council for Trades and Occupations. Laidlaw sits on the national council for SAIRAC and is a past president.

Presentation Synopsis

With South Africa signing the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol there is increasing momentum towards natural refrigerants. Training needs to be at the forefront of the changing landscape, especially when considering the fact that some of the natural refrigerants are flammable.

The safe handling of refrigerants curriculum, training material and assessments have been revised on a national level. SARACCA has mandated the new national safe handling curriculum which is being registered as a national skills program. This milestone has been achieved with inputs from UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) and the DFFE (Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment).

What does this all mean? How will it impact industry? When will it all come into effect?

Laidlaw will discuss the implementation of the new Safe Handling National Skills Programme and the process moving forward.