Heinz workers band together to save factory

Workers in the tiny town of Girgarre in northern Victoria who will be without jobs when the local Heinz factory closes will start a cooperative with tomato farmers in a bid to save the plant.

About 146 people stand to be out of work when the factory closes, which in a town with only 420 residents aged between 15 and 64, will have a significant impact on the region.

About 300 people attended a public meeting yesterday to begin a plan to take responsibility for the factory from Heinz, the ABC reports.

The plant is due to close in January, and locals believe it will effectively shut the entire community, with local services such as hairdressers and corner stores expected to go out of business as the Heinz employees are forced to move away to find work.

Last month the Australian Manufacturing Union took their fight to Fair Work Australia, claiming the company had unfairly reprimanded staff participating in union talks.

The company will dock four hours of pay from workers who attended union meetings on 17 June.

Heinz management said it is legally required to dock the pay of participating workers as it was “unprotected industrial action.”

The union accused Heinz of ignoring important questions from the Girgarre workers, including when the site will close, the possibility for redundancy packages and how long-term casuals would be treated if they secured a job earlier than the closure.

The spokesperson for the newly formed cooperative, Julia Italia told the ABC it will negotiate with the food giant to get a fair price and discuss possible contracts.

"They’re going to go to New Zealand. What we are hoping is that we can supply them from this factory with tomato product, rather than them importing tomato product back here from New Zealand," she said.
"We can supply them and then they have the right to put Produce of Australia, Made in Australia, on their cans."

 

What consumers look for when buying wine

The reasons why a customer might choose one bottle of wine over another are many and various. Whether it’s a recommendation, the knowledge of a good grape, cost or merely just an appealing label, winemakers need to understand the science of marketing.

Senior Research Associate Simone Mueller at the University of South Australia’s Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, says there is a growing demand for more research into consumers’ choices on wine and the ability of this information to predict market success.

“Historically the wine industry only looked at growing grapes and making good wine. Similar investment is required for the next step – matching expectations by consumers and distributing and selling the wine,” Mueller says.

“There are now tools and methods that can help the wine business to test their wines and wine packaging, to optimise it before aiming for a shelf listing.”

Mueller and colleagues at the Geisenheim Research Centre in Germany, analysed the influence of sensory and extrinsic wine attributes on likeability and purchase intent for 521 regular wine consumers. The first stage of the study required participants to indicate their liking of a wine in a blind tasting. The same wine was then presented in three bottles with different packaging designs and brand and origin labels. The participants indicated their liking of each wine based on the extrinsic attributes, before tasting the wine and indicating their purchase intent and liking again. In the latter stage, the participants were unaware they had tasted the same wine repeatedly.

The results of the study are surprising.

While both taste and extrinsic attributes influenced a consumer’s liking for a bottle of wine, packaging and brand were the biggest influences.

“Some French studies we cite go as far as to say that for wine and especially sparkling wine, 70 per cent of liking can be attributed to the expectation created by packaging and labelling information,” Mueller says.

While the study shows extrinsic attributes such as packaging can play a more significant role in determining consumers’ liking of wine than taste, Mueller says the best advice for food and beverage producers is to ensure taste and packaging are equally as good.

“When successful commercial wines are used, the effect of packaging and labelling is larger than in the case of wines with potential faults,” she says. “[In the latter case], the sensory undesirable characteristics are stronger and can often less easily be compensated by packaging and labelling.

“When explaining our work to practitioners, we mainly say that a 50:50 importance is a good approximation of the relative importance [of taste and extrinsic attributes].”

A nice price

In another study, Mueller and colleagues at the Australian Wine Research Institute found the price of wine to have a significant influence on consumers’ repurchase intent. In the first stage of the study, participants chose one of 21 Australian vintage Shiraz wines based on the extrinsic attributes of each wine. This included packaging, price and brand. Participants then tasted the wine while aware of its retail price, before deciding whether or not they would repurchase the wine.

Mueller and colleagues found that a combination of extrinsic attributes, taste and price, positively influenced purchase intent. Also, the more often a wine was chosen in the first stage of the study, the more likely participants were to repurchase the wine after tasting it.

According to Mueller, the colour of packaging can say a lot about the value of a wine. Plain colours such as black, grey and cream have been associated with higher valued wines in the past, whilst more colourful packaging have been associated with wines of lower value.

The heart of fine wine

Despite the importance of reasonable prices and attractive packaging, no wine is good wine if it doesn’t taste good, says winemaker Scott Hazeldine who has been in the business for the past ten years (the latter two with Schild Estate in the Barossa Valley).

According to Hazeldine, the key to making good wine begins in the vineyard.

“There’s an old adage, that good wine is made in the vineyard – and I think that probably rings true,” he says. “In terms of the results of the wine that goes into bottles, a lot of it is determined on what’s done in the vineyard and the quality of the grapes.”

Hazeldine knows what he’s talking about: after all, he helped make Schild Estate’s 2008 Barossa Shiraz an international success last year after US magazine, Wine Spectator, labelled the wine as the seventh best in the world.

“If you’ve got good grapes coming in the door; half the work is already done,” Hazeldine says. However, taste is only the first hurdle for a wine business, says Hazeldine. The commercial considerations are becoming more and more important.

“Taste is first and foremost in what we’re trying to achieve, however, that’s only one small component; packaging and price are equally as important,” he says.

“There’s a lot of good wine out there that doesn’t sell because it’s at the wrong price or the packaging is bad.”

Top factors that influence consumers’ liking of wine:

1. Packaging (46%)
2. Brand (27%)
3. Sensory attributes/taste
4. Grape variety
5. Wine region

Top factors that influence consumers’ purchase intent: 

1. Informed liking (a combination of sensory and extrinsic attributes) (77%)
2. Price (21%)
Note: the influence of packaging, wine region, sensory attributes/taste, grape variety and brand were less than 1% each.

 

Image: expensive-wines.com

GreenBlue releases guidelines for designing recyclable packaging

Posted by Rita Mu

US-based sustainable packaging group, GreenBlue, has released a suite of reports that provide technical guidance on designing packaging to be compatible with common recovery methods.

The new reports detail common recovery challenges and barriers for aluminium, steel, glass and paper packaging. They also provide practical instructions on how attachments, inks, coatings, and colorants affect recyclability and compostability.

The guidelines in the reports have been put together by GreenBlue’s Closing the Loop research project—funded by the US California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery and GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

“One of the challenges we see in creating closed loop systems for packaging is the lack of coordination between packaging design and packaging recovery,” GreenBlue Project Manager Liz Shoch said.

“The most important leverage point in a package’s recyclability is during the design phase. These guidelines help packaging designers understand the various end-of-life options so they can design accordingly.”

The guidelines in the reports were inspired by the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers Design for Recyclability Guidelines, says GreenBlue.

The reports are free and available for download on GreenBlue’s website.

Image: blog.edelbioskincare.com

Tna acquires Arcall, boosting seasoning portfolio

Packaging company tna has entered the food seasoning market with the acquisition of Arcall.

Tna Director of Business Development, Bob Fritz, said: “Seasoning is an integral part of the manufacturing process and finding an effective seasoning system is vital for the success of any production line. Our acquisition of Arcall has given tna access to market-leading seasoning technology and now positions us as the only supplier of seasoning solutions for the whole production line – from the end of fryers or ovens right through to packing.”

Arcall develops seasoning systems for wet and dry applications. Its machines for wet applications feature a cross band, spinning disc systems, which can apply a wide variety of liquids to products such as biscuits, crackers, confectionary, pizza, fish, meat/poultry and baked goods. The machines can apply various liquids to these products, including oils, slurries, egg , syrups and barrier fats.

The acquisition, which is effective immediately, comes after many years of effective collaboration between the two companies, says tna.
 

Image: getloans.com

SABMiller could save AUS$11.8m per year from lighter bottle top

SABMiller, the firm looking to takeover the Foster’s Group, claim they could make an annual saving of US$12.6m (AUS$11.8m) by converting to a new lighter bottle top.

The cap was developed by Backus, a Peruvian subsidiary of SABMiller, and Packaging Product Peru.

SABMiller have said that it is a low-gauge bottle top, which uses less steel in production, slashing both raw material cost as well as CO2 emissions.

Taking into account both their bottled larger and carbonated soft drinks, SABMiller annually produce something in the region of 42 billion bottle tops, totalling a weight of about 100,000 tonnes.

Should the new bottle top be round out around globally, the firm expects an overall decrease in steel use of 10 percent. 

The company has designed the cap using 0.17mm steel rather than the standard 0.22mm thickness and finished with an embossed ring around the bottle lip, which prevents leakage from “spring back”. 

SABMiller say the standard cap weights about 2.38 grams, while the new cap is 2.14 grams. This means that each pallet of bottles using the low-gauge cap will be 360 grams less, than standard capped bottles. 

SABMiller is expecting to roll out the new bottle top across Peru and Ecuador during the second half of next year. 

 

Image courtesy of https://brewgadgets.com

Zip-Pak opens first Chinese packaging factory

Posted by Rita Mu

Packaging company Zip-Pak has opened its first factory in China.

The new factory, located in southern China in Guangzhou, will manufacture resealable zipper closures.

Since establishing an office in Shanghai in 2008, the company has been providing resealable packaging products to its Asia Pacific customers like Dumex and Mars from international production facilities.

Business Development Manager, Tracy Wang, of Zip-Pak China said the new factory was built to better serve the needs of the Asia-Pacific market.

Zip-Pak will showcase its packaging solutions at ProPak China 2011, which runs from 13 to 15 July. 
 

Image: Zippak.com

Food industry gets advice on labelling standards

Posted by Rita Mu

The Parliamentary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, today announced the start of a new service designed to help the food industry interpret the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

King said the Code Interpretation Service (CIS) was designed to give businesses advice on Chapters 1 and 2, which focuses on food labelling, composition and contamination.

“The food industry in Australia operates in a complex, layered regulatory environment, with many agencies involved and varied circumstances in each state and territory,” King said.

“Interpreting and implementing the Food Standards Code can place significant regulatory imposts and cost burdens on the food industry. This service seeks to reduce that burden by providing a single source of advice on an issue that can be applied across the country.

“Under these new arrangements, businesses seeking to comply with the Code will have a central point from which they can seek interpretive advice. All advice will be published and will be adopted and applied by all state and territory food regulatory agencies.”

The CIS, which will operate in Australia only, was agreed to in February 2011 by the Council of Australian Governments.

The CIS Service will be provided on a fee for service basis. State, territory and New Zealand officials can also provide advice on the Code. 

For more information visit the FSANZ website or contact the Parliamentary Secretary’s Office on 02 6277 4230.
 

Image: foodauthority.nsw.gov.au

Wine industry panicked over links to plain packaging tobacco

Winemakers have expressed a wish to distance themselves from the tobacco industry, after an anti-plain packaging campaign made associations between tobacco and alcohol.

An advertising campaign, which has been developed by British American Tobacco and rolled out in the national newspapers, shows a beer bottle minus the brand label.

The advert has several messages

1) Plain packaging will “destroy brands that are worth millions, if not billion, of dollars”.
2) The policy “may infringe international trademark and intellectual property laws.
3) And because of this, the Government could face millions of dollars in legal fees defending the policy.

The plain packaging plan has obviously raised hackles and the forthright and belligerent tone of the ad campaign attests to just how far the tobacco industry is willing to go in fighting its implementation.

But the ad has ruffled some feathers in the wine industry, as it plays on fears that alcohol might be forced to follow tobacco down the path of plain packaging.

The Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA) has been quick to disassociate alcohol from tobacco, stating that its members would reject any links made between the two industries.

Stephen Strachan, the Chief Executive of the WFA, was quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald as saying, ”our industry does not like any association between tobacco and alcohol”.

The concern voiced by the wine industry does raise an interesting issue: if the Government forces tobacco companies to sell using plain packaging on the basis of health policies, which other products should be sold in plain packs? Alcoholic beverages? High sugar beverages? Confectionery? Fast foods?   

 

Image courtesy of https://www.mydiscountcigarette.com

Chemicals in food packaging may harm unborn babies: Study

Fears surrounding the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) have been reignited following the publication of a new US study that has identified risks to unborn babies.

BPA has attracted much attention over the last few years, amid fear that it might be harmful to the health of babies when the chemical is present in baby bottles.

The new study, however, has suggested that unborn babies might be at greater risk via the mother’s diet.

Conducted at the University of Missouri in the US, the author of the study, Associate Professor Cheryl Rosenfeld, has found that the testosterone production of unborn babies may be affected by exposure to BPA.

The researchers conducting the experiment fed pregnant mice small amounts of BPA and tested the navigational abilities of male offspring when they became sexually mature.

"The males that were exposed to BPA performed at a worse rate than those that were not exposed to BPA” Prof. Rosenfeld said.

The use of BPA in baby bottles has already been banned in some countries and some companies begun to remove BPA from their products.

In light of the new research, Prof. Rosenfeld has urged more research to be done into the effect of BPA before birth rather than just after birth.

She says there needs to be regulation to make it mandatory for companies to display whether or not their products contain BPA.

Scientific research has been published supporting both sides of the argument, rending the issue quite inconclusive and leading national health policies to vacillate with each new set of findings. 
 

 

Image: aboutlawsuits.com

 

Green bottle gets a boost from new plant-based PET

The search for a fully renewable PET drinks bottle has moved a step closer with the development of a PET feedstock from plant sugars.

By using its own catalytic process, the US-based company Virent has created paraxylene (PX), a new feedstock created entirely from plant-based sugars.

According to the manufacturers, the PX molecules exactly match those of petroleum and therefore share the same properties.

With the trademark BioFormPX, the petroleum-free feedstock has potential applications in bottling, other packaging and various fibres and materials.

“Our plant-based PX paves the way for 100 per cent sustainable, recyclable products and packaging with complete freedom from crude oil,” said Virent CEO, Lee Edwards.

The process used to create PX can incorporate different raw materials and can be adapted to specific customer requirements, according to Mr Edwards.

“Our PX can be blended at any ratio the customer desires, and made from a wide variety of feedstocks, including sugar cane, corn, and woody biomass. Our catalytic process is tunable to customer specs, and situated to meet the entire spectrum of fossil fuel replacement.”
 

 

Image courtesy of www.youwb.com

Nestlé looking to the future of bioplastics

The next generation of bioplastics will see an increasing focus on the use of renewable and non-food sources to develop conventional materials like polyethylene, according to Dr. Anne Roulin, Nestlé Global Packaging Chief.

During an interview with FoodProductionDaily.com, Dr. Roulin outlined the company’s position in relation to bioplastics, and described the three-stage evolution of bioplastics.

Dr. Roulin believes the problem with the first generation of bioplastic materials, which included polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), is that “they don’t have the properties required for mainstream applications; particularly the moisture vapour barrier to protect dry products”.

 While Nestlé do use the first generation materials, the application is limited. One trend that is beginning to appear is the introduction of conventional plastics made with renewable resources, for example a polyethylene derived from sugar cane.

“This is very interesting”, says Dr. Roulin, “because polyethylene is a material that has been optimised for packaging applications for around 50 years.”

A plant-based PET, produced from partially renewable resources, is also now available and research is underway that will allow it to be 100 percent renewable.

But Nestlé believes the future for bioplastics will be with non-food sources, using materials such as waste products, algae, draught resistance plants and cellulose. Although these developments are still very much at the research stage and we will not be seeing such product packaging until at least 2015 and beyond. 
 

Image:  www.icis.com

 

Chinese Milk market preferring cartons

Carton pack makers are set to profit from the rapid growth of China’s milk market, according to market analyst, Euromonitor. 

In an article posted on DairyReporter.com, Euromonitor cartons are tipped to increase a market dominance. Brick and shaped liquid cartons represented two thirds of China’s milk market in 2010, which left flexible plastic pouches with roughly 23 percent. 

According to Dr Benjamin Punchard, head of packaging research at Euromonitor “Liquid cartons will take share from flexible plastic, the other main pack type used for liquid dairy in China”.

“Liquid cartons are considered to be a quality pack type”, Dr. Punchard explained, “that engenders a feeling of trust in the product. With the melamine scare still in memory, packaging that conveys quality, robustness and trust are well positioned to do well.”

However, given the increase of milk consumption in China over the coming years, Dr. Punchard believes that all types of packaging will benefit.

Per capita consumption is currently low but with a big population and positive market momentum, milk packaging is on its may to becoming big business in China.
 

 

Image courtesy https://www.tradekool.com

Active packaging offers alternative to MAP

Using a cinnamon based active packaging material for gluten-free bread provides an alternative to modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), a new study has found.

Funded by the Spanish government, the research looked into the viability of using antimicrobial material to create an “active packaging”, which is would help extend the shelf-life of fresh food, without compromising the taste.

The study was based on a comparison of three types of packaging system: active packaging, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and combinations of both.

While the results showed that MAP provided greater microbiological inhibition, which increases the shelf-life of the bread, it also had a negative effect on the taste, flavour and texture.

The active packaging also increased the shelf life of the food but, unlike the MAP, helped retain better sensorial properties, such as the characteristic flavour and the spongy texture.

“Thus, the use of active packaging can be a better solution than the modified atmosphere packaging in getting a longer shelf life while achieving optimal sensory properties,” the report said.

Active packaging offers alternative to MAP

Using a cinnamon based active packaging material for gluten-free bread provides an alternative to modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), a new study has found.

Funded by the Spanish government, the research looked into the viability of using antimicrobial material to create an “active packaging”, which is would help extend the shelf-life of fresh food, without compromising the taste.

The study was based on a comparison of three types of packaging system: active packaging, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and combinations of both.

While the results showed that MAP provided greater microbiological inhibition, which increases the shelf-life of the bread, it also had a negative effect on the taste, flavour and texture.

The active packaging also increased the shelf life of the food but, unlike the MAP, helped retain better sensorial properties, such as the characteristic flavour and the spongy texture.

“Thus, the use of active packaging can be a better solution than the modified atmosphere packaging in getting a longer shelf life while achieving optimal sensory properties,” the report said.
 

Active packaging offers alternative to MAP

Using a cinnamon based active packaging material for gluten-free bread provides an alternative to modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), a new study has found.

Funded by the Spanish government, the research looked into the viability of using antimicrobial material to create an “active packaging”, which is would help extend the shelf-life of fresh food, without compromising the taste.

The study was based on a comparison of three types of packaging system: active packaging, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and combinations of both.

While the results showed that MAP provided greater microbiological inhibition, which increases the shelf-life of the bread, it also had a negative effect on the taste, flavour and texture.

The active packaging also increased the shelf life of the food but, unlike the MAP, helped retain better sensorial properties, such as the characteristic flavour and the spongy texture.

“Thus, the use of active packaging can be a better solution than the modified atmosphere packaging in getting a longer shelf life while achieving optimal sensory properties,” the report said.

Active packaging offers alternative to MAP

Using a cinnamon based active packaging material for gluten-free bread provides an alternative to modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), a new study has found.

Funded by the Spanish government, the research looked into the viability of using antimicrobial material to create an “active packaging”, which is would help extend the shelf-life of fresh food, without compromising the taste.

The study was based on a comparison of three types of packaging system: active packaging, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and combinations of both.

While the results showed that MAP provided greater microbiological inhibition, which increases the shelf-life of the bread, it also had a negative effect on the taste, flavour and texture.

The active packaging also increased the shelf life of the food but, unlike the MAP, helped retain better sensorial properties, such as the characteristic flavour and the spongy texture.

“Thus, the use of active packaging can be a better solution than the modified atmosphere packaging in getting a longer shelf life while achieving optimal sensory properties,” the report said.

Coca-Cola Amatil opens $57m bottle factory

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has opened a $57 million bottle preform and closure manufacturing site at Eastern Creek, New South Wales, bringing the company’s investment in bottling to $450 million.

The site will use injection moulding technology to manufacture plastic bottle closures (caps) and PET resin preforms that will be used to make PET plastic bottles at CCA’s other manufacturing sites in Australia and New Zealand.

The plant is situated within the Roussell Road, Eastern Creek site of the company’s $90 million automated distribution centre, which has won various awards for its use of sustainable manufacturing techniques.

The new site is reportedly the final “final stage in CCA’s vertical integration of its manufacturing facilities in Australia and New Zealand,” a notice from the company said.

CCA is now investing $450 million in bottle self-manufacture, or blow-fill technology across the Group.

“The technology enables the company to make its own bottles on production lines within its facilities. Preforms are fed into the blow-fill machines and bottles are blown to CCA’s specific design, enabling the company to produce the lightest weight beverage bottles in Australia,” the company said.

The site will initially produce 1.4 billion preforms and 1.4 billion closures per year, however there is room for expansion to meet future growth, CCA says.

The preforms and closures will be used in blow-fill production lines in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Terry Davis, CCA’s Group Managing Director, said: “We are very pleased to be able to add this preform and closure facility to our significant investment in food and beverage manufacturing in Australia.

“This facility enables us to bring in-house all the intellectual property associated with innovation in design and light-weighting which was previously not exclusive to CCA. It also enables us to help reduce our carbon footprint because we are making bottles with approximately 20% less PET resin and reducing our need to transport preforms, closures and empty bottles from suppliers.

“As part of our Project Zero capital works program, this facility will help us deliver on our goal to develop the most efficient and customer-centric fast moving consumer goods supply chain in the country.” 

Image: CCA group managing director Terry Davis (right) and Mayor of Blacktown Alan Pendleton officially open the new site at Eastern Creek last Friday.

Packaging in an age of visual literacy

Over the years the packaging industry has experienced a distinct shift from consumers who wanted quality in the product and were therefore seeking a pack to protect the product, and not much else; to a world that has raised a generation on immersion in visual literacy.

Gaining information about a product is no longer the challenge; this is now merely at the consumer’s fingertips and this access will only grow as people of my generation begin to appreciate how flat the world is and how connected we ought to be if we do not want to be left behind.

How important then is the visual impact of a pack for a generation that has grown up with visual stimulus from the day it was born? This generation’s consumer has its fingertips permanently connected to a button of sorts and at the end of that finger is powerful, all consuming visual information.

The question, therefore, is what ought we to be doing about the visual information on our packaging to ensure our product is the one that visually stimulates the consumer while also offering sufficient, reliable facts for an impatient information seeker?

The past decade has seen a paradoxical shift from consumers relying on brand security and recognition and a dependence on honest information supplied on the pack to a world tormented by mistrust and suspicion owing to the impact of 9/11 on our psyche. The security for the new consumer now lies perhaps far more in the message delivered by the visuals on the pack. The colours, the dimensions, the contrasts, the branding. We need to be preparing faster than ever for a world that has become visually literate and discerning beyond even its own comprehension.

With this emerging connectivity, however, has come the danger of self indulgence where we feel the world has to know our every thought and movement through Facebook or Twitter or podcasts or simply through instant messaging on our mobile phones. My wife reminds me that in such an age where minimum words have the potential for maximum, global coverage, it is the picture that will need to be saying a thousand words.

The need for more information can now be easily satisfied in this world of ours that has become flatter and more connected. Do you have the skills to sell your product to the visually literate? If not, it is highly recommended that you consider using the services of designers who have the expertise to place your product in the hands of consumers who are increasingly greedy about how quickly they want satisfaction. You may think consulting a designer or brand developer is too expensive. Can you afford the long term cost if your product is overlooked?

Pierre Pienaar MSc FAIP
National President
Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP)
 

Packaging in an age of visual literacy

Over the years the packaging industry has experienced a distinct shift from consumers who wanted quality in the product and were therefore seeking a pack to protect the product, and not much else; to a world that has raised a generation on immersion in visual literacy.

Gaining information about a product is no longer the challenge; this is now merely at the consumer’s fingertips and this access will only grow as people of my generation begin to appreciate how flat the world is and how connected we ought to be if we do not want to be left behind.

How important then is the visual impact of a pack for a generation that has grown up with visual stimulus from the day it was born? This generation’s consumer has its fingertips permanently connected to a button of sorts and at the end of that finger is powerful, all consuming visual information.

The question, therefore, is what ought we to be doing about the visual information on our packaging to ensure our product is the one that visually stimulates the consumer while also offering sufficient, reliable facts for an impatient information seeker?

The past decade has seen a paradoxical shift from consumers relying on brand security and recognition and a dependence on honest information supplied on the pack to a world tormented by mistrust and suspicion owing to the impact of 9/11 on our psyche. The security for the new consumer now lies perhaps far more in the message delivered by the visuals on the pack. The colours, the dimensions, the contrasts, the branding. We need to be preparing faster than ever for a world that has become visually literate and discerning beyond even its own comprehension.

With this emerging connectivity, however, has come the danger of self indulgence where we feel the world has to know our every thought and movement through Facebook or Twitter or podcasts or simply through instant messaging on our mobile phones. My wife reminds me that in such an age where minimum words have the potential for maximum, global coverage, it is the picture that will need to be saying a thousand words.

The need for more information can now be easily satisfied in this world of ours that has become flatter and more connected. Do you have the skills to sell your product to the visually literate? If not, it is highly recommended that you consider using the services of designers who have the expertise to place your product in the hands of consumers who are increasingly greedy about how quickly they want satisfaction. You may think consulting a designer or brand developer is too expensive. Can you afford the long term cost if your product is overlooked?

Pierre Pienaar MSc FAIP
National President
Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP)
 

Jason Fields awarded AIP Fellowship

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) National Board is pleased to advise that they have awarded Jason Fields, Packaging Development Manager, SunRice, a Fellowship.

The grade of Fellow is the highest recognition to AIP members and is designed to recognise the significant and sustained contribution to the technology, science or application to packaging in the industry.

Pierre Pienaar FAIP, National President of the AIP, announced that Jason Fields is a BSc Applied Science graduate who has worked for the past twenty years in the field of packaging technology.
 

Jason’s first job in the packaging industry was as a Packaging Officer with SC Johnson & Son. Since then he has held packaging development roles with Carter Holt Harvey Plastics, Colgate Palmolive and for the last nine years he has been the Packaging Development Manager for SunRice’s global businesses.
 

When asked what he has seen change in the industry over the years Jason indicated that the biggest change to the packaging industry is the power of the retailers.
 

”They are now prescriptive in relation to what packaging formats must be used, the coefficient of friction of shrink film, bar-coding requirements of shippers and pallets, and the move to shelf ready packaging. The continuing growth of private label is also having a major impact on brand owners,” Mr Fields said.
 

The most significant technology that he has seen revolutionise the packaging industry is Digital pre-press and electronic artwork approval.
 

“The world is a truly global market place now, and with advancements in electronic communication, large artwork files can be transferred from a graphic artist in Australia to a printer in Asia in a matter of hours, with pre-press completed and colour separated and trapped PDF’s returned to the client within 24 hours for final electronic approval. It will be interesting to see how long before conventional static printing methods such as gravure, flexo and litho are replaced by digital printing with its options for individualisation of each image for long run work (millions of impressions),” he said.
 

Jason added that receiving the Fellowship is a great and unexpected honour.
“It is humbling to be recognised by ones packaging peers whom understand what our profession actually does.” Mr Fields said.
 

Pierre Pienaar added that “Jason is a person who always strives to maintain and give of his best in the profession of Packaging Technology,”
 

“He has a sound knowledge of the science of packaging and always has the patience and ability to share that knowledge in a way that those around him who may not be in our field, understand and remember it,” Mr Pienaar said.

“Jason’s application to packaging is beyond repute. He is always helping people the rural areas of central and southern NSW where often expertise in this profession is not always in abundance to further their packaging education,” Mr Pienaar said.
 

“Currently Jason is helping with the development of packaging technology in a third world pacific island country. Here away from home, he is giving theoretical lessons, as well as spending many hours on the packaging lines teaching and showing his skills in packaging technology so that they too can benefit from his knowledge,” he said.

The AIP National Board would like to once again congratulate Jason Fields for his significant contribution to the packaging industry in Australia.