Coalition launches Alliance for Sustainable Packaging for Foods to engage with regulators, governments around the world; alliance prioritizes negotiations in the EU on packaging and packaging waste rules, and P2 regulatory developments in Canada

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January 16, 2024 (press release) –

Alliance for Sustainable Packaging for Foods is Launched

A coalition of non-profit industry and non-governmental organizations announced the formation of the Alliance for Sustainable Packaging for Foods (ASPF). The ASPF brings together a diverse group of global stakeholders to engage with regulators and governments around the world to encourage the adoption of a holistic and harmonized approach to food packaging regulation in order to achieve environmental sustainability without compromising on food safety and public health, and without increasing the environmental footprint of the food supply chain. The alliance prioritizes engagement with the on-going interinstitutional negotiations in the EU on the revision of applicable packaging and packaging waste rules, and the P2 and other packaging-related regulatory developments in Canada

“When discussing the future of packaging, food safety and quality, and reducing food loss and waste are non-negotiable. Members of ASPF are clear: we are committed to significantly reducing packaging waste, just not at the expense of food safety. We will work hard with the regulators and policy makers around the world to do so,” said IFPA Chief Science Officer and Chair of ASPF, Max Teplitski, PhD. “We must take into account the footprint of the entire lifecycle of packaging use while maintaining food safety and addressing phytosanitary concerns. The purpose of ASPF is to find opportunities for partnership across global stakeholders to create a holistic and harmonized approach to packaging regulation, which reflects and accounts for the key outcomes central to a sustainable food supply.”

The ASPF founding members, demonstrating the breadth of this global alliance, include: Aneberries; Canadian Produce Marketing Association; FMI – The Food Industry Association; Fruit South Africa; Frutas de Chile; International Fresh Produce Association; National Milk Producers Federation; National Council of Farmers Coops; National Wooden Pallet and Container Association; North American Meat Institute; Organic Trade Association, Reusable Packaging Association; STOP Foodborne Illness; U.S. Dairy Export Council; and Western Growers Association.

“Sustainable packaging solutions for food, such as reusable packaging, can also lead to superior product protection and temperature management performance, ensuring food quality and safety and reducing waste,” said Todd Hoff, Executive Vice President at Reusable Packaging Association, and vice chair of the alliance. “The Reusable Packaging Association values our participation in this wide-ranging industry alliance to support the transformation to more circular reuse systems while upholding the highest food standards. We look forward to working with other industry leaders to demonstrate that packaging can be sustainable, cost-effective, and high performing without compromising.”

In addition to ASPF executive leadership, the organization will also include working groups to drive priorities and action plans that will focus on the government relations strategies and the technical approach to advocate for packaging regulations that not only are sound in regards to compliance but are also technically pragmatic for industry implementation. The organization also encourages on-going consideration and consultation throughout value chains, for extensive buy-in and sustainable success.

The Alliance has also released analysis of peer-reviewed publications that focus on the food safety vs packaging trade-offs. The position paper can be found on the Alliance website.

Those organizations interested in joining the Alliance can contact Max Teplitski to learn more.


Additional Quotes:

The need for a holistic approach is shared by GLOBAL G.A.P. (a farm assurance program, translating consumer requirements into Good Agricultural Practice) which, while not a member of the alliance, issued the following statement in support of the Alliance:

“At FoodPLUS, we believe that a holistic approach is foundational to responsible farming practices”, says Elmé Coetzer-Boersma, Managing Director of FoodPLUS GmbH, which owns the GLOBALG.A.P. brand. “With our GLOBALG.A.P. standards, we aim to provide a framework for farming practices that not only yield safe and nourishing food but also protect the environment. This balancing act is a challenge that requires careful management of agricultural inputs and materials used, including packaging and plastics.”

“As a founding member of ASPF, the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association is proud of the wooden pallets' role in fostering environmental sustainability without compromising safety or quality,” says Jason Ortega, Vice President, Public Affairs of NWPCA. “Inherently reusable and 100% recyclable, wooden pallets support ASPF's goal of significantly reducing packaging waste. By promoting wooden transport packaging, the alliance can advocate for a circular reuse system, minimizing the environmental impact of packaging disposal."

“The U.S. dairy industry aims to continue producing safe, high-quality, nutrient-dense dairy foods while minimizing dairy’s environmental impact,” says Sandra Benson, Vice President of Market Access and Regulatory Affairs. “Dairy product packaging must balance quality and safety with environmental concerns.”

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