Listen now

Dick Searle2small

On May 22 BBC Radio 4’s In Business programme was entirely given over to the packaging industry.

In my view Peter Day’s ‘Packaging in a Pickle’ was very balanced, despite the seemingly critical title. The content was not at all anti-packaging. Indeed the programme made it clear from the outset that its approach was all about the industry; its adaptation and responses to politicians and society generally. It also made it clear that no NGOs wished to comment on these issues.

Peter Jay, presenter said: ‘it has to be said that many of the campaigning organisations who have been highly critical of packaging in the past now seem to be much more relaxed about it; so relaxed that they no longer want to talk about it in public. That’s what they told us.’

The radio broadcast began with the vital issue of Brands and Branding, introduced by Robert Opie, founder of the Museum of Brands. It went on to delve into matters of manufacturing, functionality, environmental protection, optimum environmental performance and matters of sustainability.

The programme included contributions from many key industry players, including the Benson Group, Rexam, INCPEN and yours truly at The Packaging Federation. Most key packaging materials were included in the narrative and the programme also succeeded in conveying that the packaging sector was every bit as innovative and technologically challenging as much cutting edge manufacture such as aerospace or electronics.

I and others had the opportunity to puncture a number of myths around the industry and environmental matters – and to draw attention yet again to the central features and benefits of packaging, many of which are of course encapsulated in the Fresher For Longer campaign.

In short, I recommend the Radio 4 broadcast as an enjoyable and entertaining review of current practice and context. A good story well told – topical and with lightness of tone.

Worth a listen now if you can take the time

Many thanks again

Dick Searle


Readers of this blog will know that effective packaging is a help and an opportunity for food and for much else in our world. It works every which way; from field to fork; for consumer choice, for preventing food waste and to also keep produce fresher for longer. Regular readers will also know of my commitment to stop preaching to the choir and to encourage us all to take the message to the streets and engage with new audiences.

A great step in this regard is the video produced from the Fresher for Longer launch. Anyone doubting our industry’s enthusiasm for the cause and for a renewed commitment to the future of food should take a look (]

Let no one be in doubt. We have a great story to tell. The world needs to hear about it – and with some urgency as the issues of food security and food waste continue to bite.