Fresher for Longer – a permanent initiative

Dick Searle1smallThe more I reflect on our recently launched Fresher for Longer campaign the more it’s clear to me that this initiative truly is a win, win and win situation; producers, consumers and society all benefit.

It is also evident that Fresher for Longer is set to become a universal and global initiative. It is here to stay, and permanently. Our particular contribution to the cause was launched in Tunbridge Wells on Tuesday March 5th. A few days later on the other side of the world the Sustainability in Packaging Conference (Orlando, Florida) was hearing very similar things.

Joseph Mpagalile for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN made a big impact with his presentation entitled Food Loss and Waste – and Food Packaging – Extents, Causes and Solutions and the Link with Developing Countries.

I guess that in one sense, Tunbridge Wells is about as ‘developed’ as the developed world gets. At the Sustainable Packaging conference Josepeh Mpagalile ran the rule over the other side of the coin; those countries where food waste spells life or death.

I said at the time of our launch that food waste is a scandal. In fact it’s a two sided scandal; firstly involving those countries with over-production; where consumers throw their excess away, and then those countries who throw their natural resources; harvest and cultivation away, through lack of applied technology.

The UN’s FOA statistics prove it to be so – all over the world. A total of 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted in the world each year. In industrialised countries over 40% of food waste is accounted for by consumers and retailers. In developing countries over 40% of these losses are accounted for at post harvest handling and processing. Mr Mpagalile noted that ‘Multifaceted solutions and approaches are needed – however, he added that appropriate packaging helps to reduce food loss and waste at any stage in the food supply chain.’ (my italics) And that is exactly why Fresher for Longer is self-evidently a ‘no brainer’.

Mr Mpagalile finished up his Orlando presentation with the following conclusions.

‘Packaging,’ he summarized:

– Is crucial for reduction of food loss and waste along the supply chain

– Is a shared responsibility for all trading partners

– Provides opportunities and potentials due to its increasing dynamism’

I could not agree more.

And – just in case you missed my call to action in the last blog – I’ll say it again: “Fresher for Longer is a unique collaboration for the developed and developing world: It simply challenges us – the packaging sector – to do what we do best. If your company is not already a part of it; please do not hesitate to contact me personally to see how we can get you on board. I look forward to it.”

Many thanks again

Dick Searle