Highlights from AUSPACK 2019

AUSPACK 2019 is off to a vibrant start. Highlights included far-reaching discussions about sustainability in the sold-out conference, to the latest technologies in Industry 4.0 displayed across the largest AUSPACK floor space ever.

The first of more than 7,000 expected visitors and 300 delegates came through the doors of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, on day one. They partook in the two events kicking off Packaging and Processing Week: the AUSPACK exhibition, now in its 34th year, and the inaugural AUSPACK 2019 Business and Industry Conference.

Dr Michael Okoroafor, vice-president for global sustainability and packaging innovation at McCormick, laid out what he saw as key insights driving the future of packaging for the FMCG industry in his keynote address at AUSPACK 2019.

The circular economy is one area of focus for McCormick, said Okoroafor, who told guests at the packed keynote session that it is creating a new age for packaging.

“The era of make-use-dispose is over. We’re in the era of make-use-reuse,” he said.

Packaging also needs to shift its focus if it is to be successful in e-commerce, he said, arguing that the current approach taken by packagers is wrong for online sales.

“There is no packaging designed for e-commerce – we take the packaging for brick-and-mortar, insulate it as if it’s a nuclear weapon in a corrugated box, and call it e-commerce.

“The time of first moment of truth is over. You have to design for zero moment of truth – if it doesn’t show well in the digital world it’s over. If it shows well, they can buy it right there or go to the store for it,” he said.

With the conference’s theme of ‘Smart. Connected. Sustainable.’, this morning’s sessions revolved around sustainability.

There are plenty of opportunities for packagers trying to meet the Australian Government’s 2025 National Packaging Waste Target, according to an expert panel at AUSPACK 2019.

Craig Reucassel of The Chaser and War on Waste guided a discussion with Steve Lapidge, CEO of the Fight Food Waste Cooperative; Brooke Donnelly, CEO of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO); Paul Klymenko, CEO Planet Ark; and Caitlyn Richards, responsible sourcing manager for sustainable products and packaging at Coles, on how and why packagers should embrace sustainability.

According to Donnelly, consumer pressure on businesses, coupled with external pressure from the global supply chain, has created a “perfect storm” of conditions that have generated momentum for sustainable packaging.

“The conversation is live and active and has great momentum. The issue is corralling everyone with the best of intentions to have a structured and considered approach – you need to plan for how you’ll transition, to avoid perverse outcomes.

“Our conversation is no longer about should we do it – it’s about how we do it,” she said.

Richards noted that companies such as Coles need to look closely at their packaging to determine what’s necessary and what isn’t, and that solutions such as Planet Ark’s PREP tool and the Australian Recycling Label can help make this easier.

“We need to make sure all our packaging serves a purpose,” she said.

According to Klymenko, recycled material can be used for different purposes than it was originally – glass bottles, for example, can be used to make silicon chips, and other materials such as plastics can be mixed with asphalt for roads.

“It’s not always like for like,” he said.

Lapidge drew attention to best-before and use-by dates on packaging, saying they needed to be more conservatively applied.

“We need some regulation in this area – often it is just a marketing tool to get more stock rotation. It results in a lot of perfectly good food being thrown out,” he said.

Lastly, Reucassel himself noted that more investment is needed in waste management here in Australia, particularly in the wake of China’s foreign waste ban.

“I kind of expected the China crisis in recycling to lead to more investment in recycling in Australia, and I’m surprised how little there’s been,” he said.

Out on the AUSPACK show floor, Industry 4.0 user group Open IIoT (stand B237) drew lots of interest. The group combines some of Australia’s most prominent automation brands – SMC Corporation, Beckhoff Automation, ZI-Argus, NORD Drivesystems and Balluff – and demonstrated different technologies working together, giving visitors a solid idea of the benefits and values arising from adopting IIoT technologies.

Another key event today was long-standing APPMA member Matthews Intelligent Identification (stand D140) revealing new branding during an eye-catching announcement. Matthews’ new logo distinctly refreshes its well-known, 19-year-old chameleon, “adapting the adapter” to highlight that technology is an integral part of its business, demonstrate how they seamlessly integrate with suppliers and brand partners, and interact with customers.

Anne-Marie Mina, marketing director of show organiser Exhibitions & Trade Fairs (ETF), said, “Day one of AUSPACK has been a fantastic success. Of course, later today from 5-7pm, I’m sure everyone is looking forward to the networking drinks on the exhibition floor, which offers the perfect opportunity to continue conversations with colleagues and peers.

“Tomorrow we are looking forward to day two of four of AUSPACK and the final day of the AUSPACK 2019 Business and Industry Conference, which will zero in on economics, factories of the future, blockchain and workplace diversity. Don’t forget to check out the free 30-minute workshops in the Insights by insignia area, which will be running again for the next three days.

“Then tomorrow night, the Gala Awards Ceremony for the APPMA Awards of Excellence will be held to announce the winners and APPMA Annual Scholarship recipient. It will be very exciting for the finalists and fantastic for the industry as a whole.”

Sustainability experts to reveal industry-transforming innovations at AUSPACK

With the 2025 National Packaging Waste Target presenting one of the largest challenges today, the packaging and processing industry is poised to be a leader in sustainability.

Sustainability will be a key focus on day one of the AUSPACK 2019 Business and Industry Conference, which is presenting the two-day inaugural conference as part of Packaging and Processing Week 2019.

Dr Michael Okoroafor, Vice President of Global Sustainability and Packaging Innovation at McCormick (USA), will give the conference’s opening keynote presentation – an industry outlook on key insights driving the future of packaging for FMCG.

Dr Okoroafor, who was inducted into the Packaging and Processing Hall of Fame at last year’s PACK EXPO International, is an innovation leader with more than 40 patents to his name. He’ll share his insights on using transformational packaging innovation and a re-aligned supply chain to drive FMCG industry growth. He’ll look at how sustainability needs will push the circular economy and shape innovations in the future for FMCG companies, giving some examples of successful innovations that are transforming not only the industry, but society as a whole.

Okoroafor will be followed by a panel of CEOs from leading Australian sustainability organisations talking about what’s good for the planet being good for business, and working through the opportunities surfacing from the 2025 National Packaging Waste Target.

The panel’s facilitator is Craig Reucassel, who many will know as the writer and presenter of ABC’s “War on Waste”, while his fellow panellists include Brooke Donnelly, CEO of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO); Steve Lapidge, CEO of the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre; and Paul Klymenko, CEO of Planet Ark.

It’s been said that the 2025 National Packaging Waste Target is giving industry one of the biggest challenges we’ve seen in modern times. However, it’s important to recognise that in every challenge there really is an opportunity, so this expert panel session will focus on the potential now in front of the packaging and processing industry to be a leader in sustainability. They’ll look at the role packaging has in minimising food waste, innovations as we both move away from single-use packaging and reduce food waste, plus the potential of the circular food economy. The implications for industry and for consumers of the 2025 National Packaging Waste Target will be an interesting discussion point for many too.

Collaborating with others gives businesses an economy of scale and broadens their available skill sets to find solutions that they most likely just would not find by working on their own.

The panel will talk about this, but because there are so many benefits around industry collaboration in achieving sustainability, it will be the sole focus of the keynote presentation following the panel discussion. This keynote after morning tea, kicks off stream one in the conference, processing and packaging. It will concentrate on the value of industry collaboration in finding sustainable solutions, looking at how industry can work together to initially create sustainable solutions, then overarchingly to create a sustainable industry.

Sustainability was so important to the packaging and processing industry, sustainability and innovation will be part of the discussion in the first session in stream two, business growth, a panel discussion about how e-commerce is shaking up the supply chain.


AUSPACK conference speakers announced

The AUSPACK Business and Industry Conference 2019 is about being smart, connected and sustainable.

Learn key insights driving FMCG packaging. Understand where smart packaging fits into sustainability for a business and the planet, while discovering how ‘mindful’ consumers are driving change in packaging and processing. Find out how to tune into the future consumer (hint, it’s not just about Millennials, get the latest on innovating for the growing older population). Understand how to use design trends whether you’re exporting or selling domestically.

Discover just how e-commerce is shaking up the supply chain and how Industry 4.0 and Blockchain are transforming supply chains and traceability. See how the factory of the future is already here, and how your business can benefit.

Get the facts on the economic ‘state of the nation’; what it means now and its future impact on Australia’s manufacturing sector and individual businesses.

Delve into how you can innovatively and sustainably meet the challenges around energy for your operation.

Be fully prepared for the future by uncovering how you can capitalise on broad industry collaboration, while gaining strength through your own workplace’s diversity.

Take advantage of the AUSPACK 2019 Business and Industry Conference to network with your peers, celebrate with colleagues and collaborate with others in the industry.

Key Insights Driving the Future of Packaging for the FMCG Industry
International leader and packaging innovator, Dr Michael Okoroafor, vice-president, global sustainability and packaging Innovation, McCormick (USA) will share his insights on leveraging transformational packaging innovation and re-aligned supply chain to drive groawth for the FMCG industry. His session will cover how the power of e-commerce is shaping the future of retail and consumer behaviour.

Panel: What’s Good for the Planet is Good for Business – Exploring the Opportunities Arising from the 2025 National Packaging Waste Target
Be part of a lively discussion and thought-provoking debate which will explore the 2025 National Packaging Waste Target, how this will affect companies and how the industry has the potential to lead on this issue, plus, the implications and the importance of collaboration. Writer and comedian Craig Reucassel from ABC’s “War on Waste” and “The Chaser”, will charge this industry panel which features Steve Lapidge, CEO, Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre and Brooke Donnelly, Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO).

The Future Consumer – It’s Not Just About Millennials
It’s important to look at what the future consumer looks like for you and your business in order to impact business growth. In recent times most conversations on the consumer of the future has focused on millennials and Generation Z. Shelley McMillan, associate director, Consulting ANZ at Mintel will discuss current research, trends and predictions but most importantly look at what we as an industry needs to consider to optimise business growth.

Blockchain – What is Blockchain and how is it Revolutionising the Supply Chain?
Dr Darcy Allen, postdoctoral research fellow, RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, will explain what blockchain technology is and how it looks to impact the economy and society. He will deep dive in to how blockchain is much more than a technology for creating cryptocurrencies and how it can create enormous opportunities for any business.

The Current Export Landscape
Bryan Clark, director, Trade & International Affairs Australian Chamber of Commerce will use this session to consider the ever- evolving global trade landscape. There will be a particular focus on free trade agreements and the situation with Brexit, plus antidumping and other trade restrictive measures being applied by Governments around the world. Learn how you as a business should respond to this and what free trade agreements can offer to your business.  You will come away with an increased awareness of trends in trade restrictions, as well as compliance requirements for international trade.

Strength Through Diversity
Embrace diversity in your workplace and be part of an interactive session ‘Strength Through Diversity’ at the end of day two, led by leading diversity expert Dr Katie Spearritt.. Dr Katie will share research underlining the importance of diversity of background and thinking to stimulate innovation, improve decision-making and create a more engaged workforce.

Friday 25 January is the last date for you to save the maximum discount on the AUSPACK Business and Industry Conference – register today to secure your seat.