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Global congress to discuss packaging solutions for food loss

Global congress to discuss packaging solutions for food loss, Packaging, Asia, Germany, Interpack 2011
GERMANY –
SAVE FOOD, an international congress happening during Interpack on 16 – 17 May, will focus on global food losses and highlight the contributions packaging can make towards safeguarding foods.

At a time when resources are becoming more and more scarce around the world, it is more effective to reduce food losses than to increase food production. Innovative packaging solutions have a central role to play here.

These are the results obtained by international research teams (Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology / University of the Philippines) in two recent studies commissioned by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

The researchers investigated the extent, and reasons for food losses in various regions of the world and throw light on the role that packaging can play in avoiding these losses. The aim of these studies was to gain further knowledge in achieving resource-conserving global food security.

The studies will be presented at the SAVE FOOD congress on 16 – 17 May during Interpack. A joint initiative of the FAO and Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, this event brings together stakeholders from the food and packaging industries, retail, politics, administration, research and NGOs in Düsseldorf to discuss the important global food problems and solutions, particularly from packaging.

According to the FAO, Western consumers play a key role. As Robert van Otterdijk, FAO Officer for SAVE FOOD explains: “Food commodities are traded at an international market, and waste in one part of the world affects prices in other parts of the world. When food is thrown away in rich countries this affects the availability of food in poor countries.

“Since our natural resources such as land, water, and energy are limited, it is more effective to reduce food losses than to increase production.”

The congress programme will focus on the options open to policy-makers and solution approaches along the food value chain. The challenges for policy-makers, business and society in striving to achieve food security while conserving resources will be highlighted by Ilse Aigner, German Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, while the former executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Prof. Klaus Töpfer, will be speaking about food losses between the poles of fighting poverty and creating awareness in affluent societies. Johannes Remmel, Minister of Agriculture of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, will be presenting new strategies for sustainable agriculture.

Multinationals including Nestlé and METRO will report on the challenges facing the food and retail industries, while international packaging experts from EUROPEN and Clemson University will explore how packaging is part of the solution and packaging ideas of the future will be explored by international representatives of this sector.

FAO consultants will describe possibilities to improve the infrastructure and develop the processing and packaging industry in low-income countries. Shraddha Shridhar Jadhav, Mayor of Mumbai has been invited to speak on the topic of food supplies in megacities. Best practices will be presented by, among others, Albis, Bosch, Cofresco, Danone, the “die Dosenköche” initiative, FEFCO, Multivac, Rexam and VDMA.

In addition, a special SAVE FOOD exhibition on the open-air space of the Messe Düsseldorf exhibition grounds will reflect the topics covered by the congress. For example, in the Best Practice Area, companies and trade associations will present innovative solution approaches. And, in cooperation with METRO AG, the Sustainable Food Court catering area will be showing responsible ways of handling food in everyday catering practice.

The sale of tickets for the SAVE FOOD congress has begun. Tickets can be obtained at www.save-food.org for a price of € 950 incl. VAT (including an evening get-together and a three-day pass for the interpack). A limited quota of free tickets is available for NGOs, non-profit organisations and research establishments.

SAVE FOOD is sponsored by ALBIS PLASTIC GmbH, Bosch Packaging Technology GmbH, Cofresco Frischhalteprodukte GmbH & Co. KG, DANONE GmbH, FEFCO (European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers), Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products GmbH, IK (the German industry association of plastic packaging manufacturers), the “Die Dosenköche” initiative, METRO AG, Multivac Sepp Haggenmüller GmbH & Co. KG, Rexam Beverage Can Berlin GmbH and VDMA (the German Engineering Federation).