Packaging Automation Auto Berries

The Australian Fresh Produce Alliance (AFPA) has made a Packaging Materials Selector tool available to the fresh produce industry.

Unveiled at a workshop presented by the AFPA and the Produce Marketing Association Australia New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) in Melbourne today (28 October), the new tool has been designed to help industry stakeholders assess packaging types to best match their product and supply chain needs, while considering end-of-life requirements.

“The AFPA and our members acknowledge that packaging solutions cannot be developed in isolation,” said AFPA chief executive Michael Rogers.

“All industry stakeholders including manufacturers, growers, recyclers and retailers must work together to better manage sustainable packaging solutions that reduce food waste and enable the delivery of nutritious food to all Australians.”

Today’s workshop was aimed at engaging industry on the relationship between sustainable packaging design, food waste and recycling.

Sessions included a presentation from Keith Chessell of Sustainable Packaging Design and a panel discussion facilitated by PMA A-NZ chief executive Darren Keating. Joining Keating in the discussion were Adam Quinlan, national produce operations manager at Woolworths, and Rowan Little, general manager of leading apple and stonefruit producer Montague.

The workshop follows research commissioned by the AFPA on the role of packaging for Australian fresh produce, which highlighted the importance of packaging in reducing food waste and increasing product shelf life. The research report, completed by RMIT University, is available on the AFPA website.

“What the RMIT research highlighted, was the importance of packaging working synergistically with the produce and the supply chain to better manage shelf life and quality, which in turn helps to reduce food waste” said Rogers.

AFPA members – who generate a combined A$4.5bn in turnover annually – have previously committed to the APCO 2025 target of ensuring all packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable.

A copy of the Packaging Materials Selector is available via the AFPA website.