Packaging food for export to China

27 April 2018

Packaging is the common element that connects Scion to New Zealand/Chinese collaborations around food safety and security.

Lou Sherman, Packaging Technology and Service Leader at Scion, is on the leadership team of the New Zealand China Food Protection Network (NZCPFN).

“Packaging is an integral part of most food products, especially those that New Zealand exports,” says Lou.

“There are many opportunities to develop new packaging that is better able to protect the food inside, but we find consumer acceptance and meeting regulatory requirements in foreign markets is a big barrier to introducing new packaging solutions.

“To overcome current and future market barriers we want to establish a partnership between New Zealand and Chinese researchers to help the development and uptake of innovative packaging solutions.”

Lou, with the University of Otago, organised a workshop with topics that included food contact safety, antimicrobial packaging, sustainable materials and smart packaging in Jiangnan, China, July 2017.

Another workshop, this time to help local exporters understand changes to Chinese food contact regulations, was held at Scion in February this year that featured. Professor Hu from Jinan University as the guest speaker. Read more about the workshop.

The New Zealand export and packaging industry are looking for more clarity around Chinese food contact regulations so it was great to be able to access funds from the network to make this seminar happen.

The next NZCFPN engagement is planned to coincide with Scion’s biannual packaging convention. Run over 22 and 23 August, the first day will cover global packaging trends with the second day is sponsored by the network. Three Chinese professors have been invited to talk on topics including antimicrobial packaging, food contact testing, fibre-based packaging, blockchain and the internet of things. NZ members of the network will also present around packaging.

“All the participants in the network have an interest in packaging, so it will be a great opportunity to bring them all together to share knowledge with each other and industry participants,” says Lou.

Find out more about the packaging workshop.

The New Zealand-China Food Protection Network was established in July 2016 to strengthen connections and create new collaborations between leading organisations and individual scientists in New Zealand and China engaged in food safety and security research and policy-making. It is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment. The Network is hosted by Massey University and involves AgResearch, Plant & Food Research, ESR, Cawthron Institute, Massey University, University of Otago, the University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology and Scion.