International insights from the World Packaging Organisation

The seven international speakers who formed part of the World Packaging Conference at the recent AUSPACK PLUS in Sydney, had some very valuable lessons to share with Australia's packaging community.

At AUSPACK PLUS 2013, the AIP conducted the National Technical Forum with the theme ‘Global Packaging Trends’. The seven international speakers were part of the World Packaging Conference organised by the AIP. These were leaders in their fields from USA, Austria, Indonesia, India, Brazil and South Africa.

The world cannot do without packaging was the core message from Tom Schneider (USA) – president of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO). The WPO does provide a global advantage under its motto of “Better quality of life through better packaging for more people” and Tom reminded the audience that we as packaging professionals are making a difference, but it starts with education.

Jin Zhe (Jack) from the World Packaging Centre (China) spoke on the scale of the changes and future of the Chinese packaging industry. The value of the Chinese packaging industry was $248 billion in 2012 or 50 percent of the world’s output and growing.

Dr. Johannes Bergmair of the Austrian Packaging Institute presented Packaging and Food Safety on a Global Level. This presentation was full of alerts to packaging and food technologists about the risks to food safety with the core message being “the problem is already out there.” There is relevant legislation in many parts of the world but there is little cohesion between them and they are not complimentary.

Global Trends in Packaging in Indonesia and Within the Region was the presentation from Ariana Susanti of the Indonesian Packaging Federation. Our nearest neighbour has geographical challenges of 17,500 islands and 250 million people, which affect the required packaging formats to serve its culturally diverse people with the limited supply chain resources. The radically changing retail environment provides another dimension.

Professor Narayan C. Saha represented the Indian Institute of Packaging and spoke on Economical, Social and Ecological Aspect of Packaging and Indian Market Potential. With a population 55 times that of Australia, diverse food habits, economic growth rates of 6.9 percent, an emerging middle class and booming retail market, India has addressed its ecological aspects across the country. Government controls on certain packaging formats are being applied. Rural India, where 74 percent of the people reside, is the “challenge of distribution – the market for the future.”

Luciana Pellegrino represented the Brazilian Packaging Association on the topic of Packaging as a Marketing Tool – Global Approach. The marketing strategy of a brand has to be materialised to consumers through its packages, Luciana insisted. For consumers, packaging and product are one single element that cannot be disassociated. Luciana’s last and most telling comment was the impact that an online presence can have on influencing consumers’ buying decisions. Be online; be connected with the real world.

Keith Pearson provided the closing presentation on Discovering the Missing Link – Sustainable Advances in the Packaging Supply Chain, which was directed at all parties in the packaging industry, encouraging them to change the way they think and act. Food waste is becoming an increasing concern for consumers and industry members, with the former buying more than is needed and the latter often not packaging their products appropriately.

Keith shed light on the implications of our growing waste, especially in regards to sustainability, with one-third of global food production lost or wasted annually. His messages were simple: good packaging saves food; and recycling is not about removing waste but extending a material’s value and usability. A fine end to a global review of packaging.

Ralph Moyle MAIP
National President
Australian Institute of Packaging

 

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