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Food processing and packaging machinery – VDMA report

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VDMA: The demand for food processing and packaging machinery continues to rise  4 percent growth expected for 2017.

Munich, 11 September 2017 – The German mechanical engineering industry is expected to grow significantly again in 2017. The signs for this are getting more clear: machinery production rose by 2.4 percent in the first half of 2017. Order intake in July was 10 percent higher than in the previous year.

"We could be at the turning point for the next economic upswing. In view of the positive signals, we expect the production to grow by actual 3 percent in 2017," says Richard Clemens, VDMA Managing Director of the Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association at the VDMA press conference on Monday in Munich on occasion of "drinktec", the world's leading fair for this industry.

In 2016, the mechanical engineering industry reached a production value of 203 billion euros. Employment rose to the record level of 1.02 million people in the companies' headquarters in Germany.

In the first half of this year, mechanical engineering companies exported goods worth 82.4 billion euros. This was an increase of 6 percent compared to the previous year. "After a stagnation of German exports in the year 2016, the demand is currently rising again," says Clemens.

Special development of food processing and packaging machinery

The food processing and packaging machinery industry is the fifth-strongest industry in the mechanical engineering sector and in 2017 is likely to grow at an above-average rate. In 2016, machinery production rose by 2.4 percent to 13.3 billion euros. The industry thus grew by 15 percent between 2012 and 2016, while – during the same period – the entire mechanical engineering industry recorded a 5 percent increase in machine production.

Compared with the previous year, the order intake in the food processing and packaging machinery sector rose by 12 percent in real terms in July 2017. In the period from January to July, orders were 5 percent above the previous year's level. For 2017, the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association expects a production growth of 4 percent.

"It is the market itself that carries us on to new horizons," comment Volker Kronseder, Chairman of the VDMA Beverage and Dairy Technology Group, explaining the exceptional boom of the food processing and packaging machinery sector. "Each year, the world population is increasing by a figure larger than that of the entire population of the Federal Republic of Germany. The growth of a consumer-friendly middle class, especially in the Asia / Pacific region, is the starting point for a dynamically growing world market," explains Kronseder.

Germany – the strongest exporting country in international foreign trade

In 2016, the international foreign trade for food processing and packaging machinery rose to over 38 billion euros, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year. With 22 percent, Germany held the largest share of the worldwide exports right before Italy (21 percent). The USA and China followed at some distance with 7 percent each.

In some specific areas, German manufacturers even did a lot better. In 2016, every third internationally traded beverage packaging machine and every second brewery machine was of German make.

German exports of food processing and packaging machines grew by 4 percent and reached 8.3 billion euros in 2016. The average export rate was 84 percent last year. In the first half of 2017, exports could not beat the level of the previous year, but they are expected to pick up significantly in the second half of the year.

"The US and China are the most important markets for food processing and packaging machinery manufacturers. However, individual countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa are gaining in importance," says Kronseder, naming India, Nigeria, Mexico and Iran. The demand for machinery in these countries has risen sharply in recent years.

Growing consumption worldwide promises positive prospects
Kronseder sees the main reason for the strong demand for machines in the growing consumption of beverages in these countries and also worldwide. In 2016, 1.1 trillion litres of packaged beverages were sold. According to forecasts made by the British market research institute Euromonitor, sales will continue to grow by about 3 percent per year. Euromonitor continues to announce above-average growth in the regions of Africa / Middle East and Asia / Pacific, while sales of beverages in the mature markets will only increase slightly.

"For us, industrialized countries remain strong buyers. Competitive pressure forces the beverage industry to bring innovations and more individual products to the market, which in turn necessitates investments in the machine park," says Kronseder. He also sees the increasing popularity of craft beers boosting the demand – especially for machines for smaller production quantities.

The future prospects for suppliers of the beverage industry remain positive: In the emerging countries, there is a lot of catching up to do. Production is being established and expanded there. The mature markets of Western Europe and North America are characterized by qualitative growth. Product innovations coupled with ever-shorter product life cycles determine the demand for investment.

Quantitative growth, increasing demands on product diversity, and the efforts of the beverage and food industry to have their production run in a safe, economical and efficient manner ensure investment in machinery and equipment worldwide. This still leaves considerable potential for the supplier industry.


Expanding Sustainable Food Market Bringing Fraud Risks

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London – The growing market for sustainable & premium foods is bringing greater risks of food fraud. Ecovia Intelligence (formerly Organic Monitor) believes the way forward is greater transparency in supply chains, with new technologies and global alliances playing an important role.

The recent beef scandal in Brazil highlighted the economic impacts of food fraud. The trade ban is estimated to have cost the Brazilian meat industry over US $4 billion in lost revenues. As will be shown at upcoming editions of the Sustainable Foods Summit (, there are also health (food safety) and environmental impacts of food fraud. According to the World Health Organisation, almost 1 in 10 people get ill from eating contaminated food each year.

Organic and eco-labelled food products are at high risk from food fraud because they command a premium. Although relatively low, a number of incidents of mislabelled organic foods are coming to light. In May 2017, it was reported that a shipment of 36 million pounds of corn and soya beans into the US was falsely labelled as organic. Starting off from Ukraine, the conventional ingredients shipment increased in value by about $4 million (by obtaining organic status) when it arrived in California via Turkey.
Ecovia Intelligence sees Asia most at risk from food fraud. Rising consumer spending power and growing demand for sustainable & premium foods has made Asia the fastest growing market for such products. China has the largest organic products market in Asia; it is also the epicenter of food fraud. In the last decade, food scandals have involved mislabelled organic pork, rotten meat, and sewage oil. In 2008, the adulteration of dairy products and milk powder with the industrial chemical melamime led to six baby deaths and 300,000 sick.

Mislabelling of sustainable & premium products is rife in Asia. Some operators are making false organic claims on food products because of the lack of regulations and / or enforcement. India, the country with largest number of organic farms (0.6 million), has no laws preventing such fraudulent claims. According to a recent report by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, the absence of such regulations is eroding consumer trust.

The Brazilian beef and horsemeat scandals highlighted the vulnerabilities in supply chains of food products. In general, the longer and more complex the supply network, the greater the risks of food fraud. Transparency is coming to the fore, partly because consumers are keen to know about product origins, production methods, and sustainability credentials. Technology is playing an important role, with smart labels and mobile apps meeting the informational needs of consumers. In the UK, the Soil Association has partnered with the technology firm Provenance to provide smart labels on organic foods. QR codes, Barcodes, and NFC tags, are enabling consumers to track organic food products from farm to fork.

Technology is already being deployed for food authenticity and to detect fraud. Analytical tools, such as mass spectrometry and gas chromatography, are being used to authenticate premium products, such as Manuka honey, basmati rice, and extra virgin olive oil. Forensic techniques, such as DNA fingerprinting, are now making their way to food labs to check product samples.

International alliances are being formed to tackle food fraud. Announced recently, the EU-China-Safe project has European and Chinese organisations partnering to improve food safety and tackle food fraud. As well as providing safer, authentic food, the initiative aims to boost consumer confidence and facilitate food trade between the EU and China.

The Global Alliance on Food Crime is another new initiative. Co-chaired by Andy Morling, Head of National Food Crime Unit UK, the coalition of international thought leaders focuses on the prevention, detection and disruption of food crime.

Such alliances are necessary to combat food fraud. A concern however is that as more fraud cases come to light, a casualty may be consumer trust in sustainable foods. In this respect, prevention – rather than cure – maybe the best course of action for the sustainable food industry.


Linerless labelling system live in action at Labelexpo

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A demonstration of Linerless label printing will be given on the new Logopak labelling system Series 500+. At this year’s Labelexpo, visitors can watch the new labelling machine in use at the Evonik booth (Brussels, 2017, September 25-28, Hall 4, Booth B60). Evonik will launch its new product, TEGO® RC 1717, at the show, including Print&Apply processes of the Logopak Series 500+.

Featuring direct thermal printing and a TB applicator for real-time labelling, the labelling machine with integrated cutter will provide visitors with a personalised labelled surprise. The visitor’s name can be entered manually via a graphic touch-screen display and the personalized label, 100x100mm in size, will be applied onto the give-away.

New Series 500+ Linerless labelling system: Flexible and easily customized
The Logopak Series 500+ labelling system can be easily customized with over 30 types of applicators. It also flexibly supports all standard application methods (top-, front- and side-application). For labels up to A5 size, the Series 500+ Linerless labelling system provides direct thermal printing outside wound labels with widths up to 165 mm. It also features a unique material running length of up to 1.400m.

Depending on the cyclic output, the labeller displays the remaining running length and time. In addition, the 12 mm thick labeller base plate, made of anodised aluminium, ensures stability. A significant benefit in terms of industrial hygiene is the fact that the entire design is completely devoid of corners and sharp edges. The accessible structure of the main drive roller and Print Engine means that media insertion is very straightforward.

About Logopak
Logopak Systeme GmbH & Co. KG is a leading manufacturer of logistically integrated labelling systems, labelling software and industrial barcode / RFID printers. The company headquarters is located in Hartenholm near Hamburg, Germany, where it was founded in 1978.


New Barrier Coatings at LabelExpo Europe 2017

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Cincinnati, OH, USA (September 2017) – Michelman will introduce two new barrier coatings at LabelExpo Europe 2017. Visitors to the show will get a first look at the company’s water-based Michem® Flex Barrier coatings formulated to create an oxygen and mineral oil migration barrier on flexible packaging film and paper.

Michem® Flex Barrier 3510 is a transparent, high oxygen barrier coating that can extend the shelf life of oxygen sensitive products. After being applied to either polymer or preferably polyester substrates in packaging laminate structures used in food packaging applications, it can reduce oxygen transmission rates up to < 5 cc/m2/day. Not only can Michem® Flex Barrier 3510 improve shelf life, it preserves product appearance and flavor, and potentially minimizes preservative use. It also allows for increased shelf appeal, because its transparency enhances visibility of the product through the packaging.

Michelman’s new oxygen barrier coating eliminates the need to use alternatives containing chlorine, or nanoparticles, while maintaining effectiveness through processing and distribution functions. It shows excellent printability and lamination bond strength, and is compliant for use in food packaging in the USA and Europe.

Formulated as a single component, ready to use coating, Michem® Flex Barrier 3510 is easy to apply in-line or off-line, and without a primer. Because it requires no mixing, it exhibits excellent shelf life.

Michem® Flex Barrier 1000 offers brand owners the latest in food safety innovation. This new coating acts as both an oxygen and mineral oil migration barrier, making it ideal for numerous food packaging applications. It is formulated for use on paper substrates, where it reduces mineral oil migration to less than 0.6 mg per 1 kg of food.

Michelman will exhibit in Labelexpo Europe 2017, which is being held September 25-28 at the Brussels Expo.


WPO accomplishes new packaging training programs in Africa

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Both East and West Africa countries were contemplated with the World Packaging Organization´s globally recognized packaging education programs in the first half of 2017.

August 2017 - After three years, WPO ( was back in Lagos, Nigeria, supporting a training program in Packaging Technology given by Pierre Pienaar, WPO Vice President Education and member of AIP (Australian Institute of Packaging), a WPO member. It was a 3 days residential training program (RTP) in Food and Beverage Packaging Technology. Students were predominantly from Nigeria and more than ever before it was evident that there is a need, as well as a desire for some, to learn more in the science and technology of packaging. Besides Pierre Pienaar, Kishan Singh, from South Africa, also conducted the program. Ahmed Omah, from Nigeria Packaging Institute, another active WPO member, hosted the event.

There is a significant amount of informal packaging happening in Central and West Africa as well as from what I was told throughout the African continent. This is where vendors buy in bulk and repack into small pack sizes for ‘open market’ sales. It is therefore in this area of packaging where support, advice and help  is required. The mere fact that a RTP was run in Nigeria is a start in helping in packaging training in general. Lots more education is required at all levels of the packaging spectrum, i.e. formal and informal sector”, states Piennar.

Pienaar and Singh were also responsible for another WPO packaging technology training program given in Nairobi, Kenya, and hosted by local WPO member,  Institute of Packaging Professionals Kenya (IoPPK), represented by Joseph Nyongesa. The 42 students were predominantly from Kenya, but also from Nigeria and Tanzania. The program covered a broad spectrum of packaging technology relating to the industries in Kenya; it showed the students how to improve packaging, to reduce costs, to understand what packaging counterparts were doing in developed countries and how it is possible to improve packaging and reducing wastage.

Asian countries are also a target for WPO educational programs in packaging. On February, the Organization was responsible for an international packaging training course hosted by the Indonesian Packaging Federation (IPF) and given by the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), both WPO members. The course took place in Yogyakarta, Java, with 52 attending; it was the 4th time WPO organized a training course in Indonesia.

Indonesia is the world’s 4th most populous country and packaging is a vital part of its industry and economy. “For this reason, the aim of the training was to equip participants with greater in-depth knowledge in order for them to tackle the challenges facing the packaging industry in their current environment and to prepare them for the competitive advantages emerging in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community Market. This WPO Packaging Technology intensive training course serves to grow participants’ confidence in packaging capabilities, providing a level of insight and understanding of the packaging industry that adds real and measurable value to careers and businesses”, states Pierre Pienaar.

As with many developing countries, the greatest challenge in Indonesia is the packaging of local foodstuffs as well as packaging for the informal sector. Developed countries can learn from packaging partners in the Asian nations. The majority of Indonesia’s population shops frugally for everyday food and personal needs at the traditional markets called the pasar. Crowded with small carts and lined with small stores, the pasar is a hive of activity. They sell every possible household good, some wrapped and many not when it comes to foodstuffs. Packaging is largely driven by consumer affordability.

Much fresh produce is sold at the pasar where, if better knowledge of material selection coupled with the correct storage was used, much less meat, fresh fruit and vegetables would be wasted. Fresh produce is often exposed to the elements resulting in short shelf-life owing to ineffective storage and display conditions.

Institutionally, WPO aims to educate packaging professionals and society, through its members (packaging associations and institutes), about the important and invaluable aspects of packaging. “We are advocates for packaging: good packaging, cost-effective packaging, packaging that contributes to creating a more sustainable society. The world cannot do without packaging, so we must educate people everywhere to respect the purpose of packaging and teach them how to incorporate this tool into the process of building an ever more sustainable society”, resumes Thomas Schneider, President of WPO.


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