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FOODIS goes Jaritz Transport GmbH – start of the value chain analysis

Together against food waste: Carinthia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia are taking the first steps towards reducing food waste and circular economy. The Austria-Italy Interreg project FOODIS provides the official framework for this.

Fürnitz, June 13, 2024. Last week the 2nd partner meeting of the FOODIS project partners took place in Carinthia. Over two days there was intensive discussion about the current situation in the food sector and the first 6 months of the project were also looked at retrospectively and in detail: what have we already implemented, are we on schedule, what is still to come this year and what results have we already achieved? We discussed questions like these and more on the first day in Fürnitz, at the location of LCA Logistik Center Austria Süd GmbH, the main partner in the project alongside the lead partner Agrifood Cluster. All other project partners also actively participated in the discussion, from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, to the university medical facility ASUGI Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Giuliano Isontina, to Insiel S.p.A., the IT company of the state of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

The second day was dedicated to the fact-finding mission. As part of this, together with our project partners, we visited a company in the “food” value chain, namely Jaritz Transport GmbH, and thus heralded the start of the value added analysis of the food sector.

For more than 40 years, Jaritz Transport GmbH has stood for reliability and competence when it comes to refrigerated logistics. The company with 40 employees has made a name for itself in the areas of Carinthia, East Tyrol and southern Styria, especially in the areas of fresh and frozen temperatures. In addition to transport services, the company also offers storage spaces for up to 500 pallet spaces for all temperature ranges and has a fleet of 45 transport vehicles to meet any customer requirements. Due to high demand, there are also plans to build new cold rooms at the new company location.

Since the Jaritz company carries out food transport, we are of course interested in how it organizes and implements this on behalf of its guild and whether there can be problems along the routes and, as a result, food waste. Roman Jaritz and his father Robert Jaritz, who built the company, were happy to explain the internal processes to us and also took part in the lively discussions on the topics of green food logistics, sustainable innovation and cross-border cooperation.

What many people probably don’t know is that Jaritz Transport brings frozen goods from grocers from A to B on behalf of a large Austrian frozen food logistics company.

But how does the interaction between the partners involved work?

The frozen logistics company collects the orders for the next day from all relevant branches of the food retailer and then forwards them to Jaritz Transport, which in turn collects the goods from the frozen logistics company in Austria with 6-7 trailers. At the Jaritz location in Ebenthal near Klagenfurt, the frozen goods are reloaded from semi-trailers into motor vehicles that also have refrigeration units. There is therefore no need for interim storage in the warehouses. In logistics, this process is called cross-docking. The goods are then unloaded the next day at the respective shops in Carinthia, East Tyrol and Southern Styria area.

As part of the company visit, we wanted to take a look at how the processes actually work, where and under what circumstances food waste may occur in the industry, what the situation is with green frozen food logistics and where there is any need to catch up on the part of vehicle manufacturers – Keywords range, battery size.

We found out a lot, including that it is very rare for goods to be lost in refrigerated or frozen logistics. The vehicles as well as the warehouses are already equipped with reliable cooling systems and should a failure occur, the transport companies have replacement vehicles that they can use immediately without there being a drop in temperature or failure. In this context, it should be mentioned that Jaritz Transport even has its own workshop, which allows them to react to failures day and night.

In this context, we learned that in Italy other cooling systems are often used in vehicles and that greener logistics are also being sought there.

As far as sustainability in the company is concerned, Jaritz Transport has equipped the new location in Ebenthal with photovoltaic collectors in order to reduce the costs of the electricity consumption required for cooling. The company also plans to completely close the flight roof in front of the freezer cells in order to create a temperature buffer zone. This manages to reduce electricity requirements, especially in the hot summer months.

During the visit we also talked about circular economy models and how they are treated differently in Austria and Italy. For example, in Italy today pellets are produced from coffee residues. However, this is a very complex undertaking because coffee residues are legally classified as hazardous waste and not as a by-product. In order to introduce these residues into the production process, laborious bureaucratic hurdles must be overcome.

Another example concerns grape skin. When the grapes are harvested, this residue is created, which was previously applied to the fields as fertilizer. Today this is no longer permitted for legal reasons as it is declared hazardous waste. Today this is burned in the biomass heating system instead of being used for other purposes, for example in the fashion world when producing artificial and sustainable leather.

What we have found is that it takes some effort to give the circular economy its rightful and urgently needed place. The project team around the Interreg FOODIS project would like to help with this. What legal framework does Austria offer its companies? Can Italy and the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region learn from us in order to implement new circular economy business models? Can we learn from our Italian neighbors in this area? Are there new business models from Italy that have not yet been considered here, but could also offer an opportunity for Carinthian companies? The next meetings and fact-finding missions as part of the project will show this and much more.

A big thank you to Jaritz family from Jaritz Transport GmbH for the time and industry insights they gave us and of course for the delicious culinary catering during our stay.

Would you like to know more about the FOODIS project? Click here!

More pictures from our fact-finding mission at Jaritz Transport GmbH (photo credits: LCA|Zmerzlikar and Jaritz Transport|Jaritz):