You have founded the CO2OLacademy as a training facility for your service and installation technicians. What happens there?
Carrier Commercial Refrigeration Europe’s CO2OLacademy training facility in Mainz, Germany features an approximately 400 square meter live-store environment, including refrigeration cabinets, fully operational cold and freezer rooms and a separate training room. This facility allows us to simulate real-life situations focusing on practical, hands-on experiences to enhance the technical knowledge and practical competencies of our service and installation field technicians.
The academy serves as the central training site for our commercial refrigeration technicians across Europe. The continuous investment in training for our technicians is necessary to ensure that our knowledge of CO2 refrigeration technology remains world-class.
In short: What are currently the most important trends in refrigeration for supermarkets?
We see three key trends in commercial refrigeration:
Firstly, we see the trend to offer customers a convenient urban shopping environment with a variety of display options. To meet this demand, multideck cabinets and vertical freezers offer thinner cabinets and deeper shelves. The cabinets and freezers Carrier offers for the small store segment are among the slimmest and deepest available.
The second trend is the emergence of new consumer shopping habits, including online, drive-through, and “click and collect,” challenging the traditional brick and mortar business model. Supermarkets are challenged to enhance the in-store retail customer experience in order to maintain competitiveness. They can do this by taking advantage of one of Carrier’s core strengths – the ability to offer a full turnkey concept that operates in harmony with the overall refrigeration system. Carrier’s full range of products can help supermarkets provide an enhanced customer experience.
Finally, European retailers continue to demand increased energy efficiency and environmentally sustainable solutions without compromising temperature integrity or merchandising appeal. In addition to Carrier’s CO2OLtec® technology, we also offer a High Efficiency Frame available on our vertical freezer range. This innovative solution uses glass fiber-reinforced plastic instead of aluminum, and can reduce direct energy consumption by up to 41 percent in comparison to the standard version.
The EuroShop 2017 will be presented with a different structure. One of the seven thematically structured areas of the trade fair will be "Food Tech & Energy Management." Which role could this new structure play for you as an exhibitor?
The proposed structure for EuroShop 2017 is relevant for our industry right now. One third or more of all food that’s produced is wasted; meanwhile, more than 800 million people are chronically hungry. And, if food waste was a country, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, behind the U.S.A. and China.
As the world leader in cold chain technologies for marine containers, road transport and supermarkets, we have a unique perspective on the global food system. We believe that refrigeration technology is critical to ensure food safety and security, all while wasting less food and feeding more people. Additionally, it’s equally important to ensure that we use energy efficient refrigeration technologies, such as natural refrigerants, to help reduce the cold chain’s environmental footprint.
We believe that food waste is an issue that must be elevated and examined globally. To that end, Carrier hosted the first World Cold Chain Summit to Reduce Food Waste in 2014 as a networking platform, allowing all stakeholders in the global cold food chain - growers, food producers, retailers, supply chain operators, policymakers, NGOs, cold chain experts and supply chain journalists – to come together and discuss ways to make the cold chain smarter and more efficient. We’re hosting our second World Cold Chain summit in Singapore on Dec. 2-3, 2015. We hope these events will serve as a catalyst for more meaningful global dialogue which, many think, is essential to the sustainability of the planet.
Interview: Natascha Mörs, EuroShop.com