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Packaging's role in ensuring food safety and security

Judges of the 25th DuPont Awards share their insights on how packaging can play a more crucial role in ensuring the safety and security of our global food resources.
FILED IN:  Trends and Issues  > Food waste
Efforts to feed a growing population involve every aspect of the “farm-to-fork” value chain. DuPont, which believes collaboration stimulates insights and action, asked packaging thought leaders to discuss how packaging can play a more critical role in ensuring food safety and security. Their comments were made after judging of the 25th DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.

Tony Burns, associate director, The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, OH USA:
“We need to look holistically at the entire system and integrate with the end product in mind instead of looking at just the product; just the material. It’s very easy to bucket things into our areas of expertise. We’re selling brand experience, so we need to look at the whole system. We need to look at system and total system benefit.”

Jason Wadsworth, sustainability manager, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., USA:
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“Solutions start with asking the right questions. What is the ‘need’ to be solved? What is the right packaging to solve that need? Food waste is a huge problem. We need to help customers understand this, and packaging can help support change in consumer behavior by offering portion control and  longer shelf life. Most of all, we need to remember packaging’s primary purpose—to protect and preserve.”

Sudhakar Gupta, director, international business development, IFFCO Group of Companies at International Food Stuffs Company, UAE:
“There are a number of ways packaging can play a greater role in food safety and security. We need to find a way to package products for a longer shelf life and to protect products from distribution through consumption. To contribute efficiently with the environment, we need a cradle-to-cradle approach. We need to design from beginning to end. That will help achieve natural sustainability.”

Sommai Tachasirinugune, Ph.D., executive vice president, R&D - Food Processing Business, Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Co. Ltd., Thailand:
“Packaging is an increasingly important component in food safety and security. Companies need to invest in research and development for more innovative ways that packaging can keep food fresh and protected it until the food is consumed.”

Shanna Moore, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers director of sustainability and leader of the DuPont Packaging Awards program:
“It starts by recognizing that there is no greater role that packaging can play today than the role of protecting and preserving food. When we agree it is priority and we know where the challenges lie—in long-distance distribution, in preserving nutrients, in reducing waste, just to name a few—then we can come together, set goals for packaging, and develop strong programs to combat the issue. But it starts with alignment and collaboration throughout the value chain.”

Jeff Schuetz, staff vice president, global technology, Consumer Packaging, Sonoco, USA:
“Our industry should continue to come to together and educate about the value of packaging and communicate more about the environmental footprint of the package.”
 
David Luttenberger, CPP - vice president/packaging strategist for Iconoculture's Global Packaging Advisory Service, USA:
“Focus on some of the packaging award winners to showcase how packaging enables safer foods, broader distribution of healthcare products. Engage the major media—outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Good Morning America—media outside the of world of packaging that influence the conversations we have every day. This will bring a greater awareness and possibly generate more ways packaging can help solve issues surrounding health, safety, and food. Any one of these winning technologies could be a front-page story.”

Mary Gregg, director, packaging, Campbell North America, Global R&D, Campbell Soup Company, USA:
“I agree with the idea of engaging the major media outlets. Right now, packaging is getting negative feedback. The plastics industry is doing a pretty good job showing how plastics make your life better, but nothing is really focused on packaging. We need to step up and highlight how packaging can help solve the big societal problems, so there can be a greater appreciation of packaging.”

Ann O’Hara, vice president and general manager, Amcor Flexibles, Australia:
“Side-by-side case studies that highlight the advantages of packaging can help people clearly see the importance of packaging.”

The DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation, sponsored by DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, are the industry's longest-running, global, independently judged celebration of innovation and collaboration throughout the value chain. Winners of the 25th annual awards will be announced on May 17. Follow DuPont Packaging: @dupontpackaging

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