European Commission's delay in enacting policies that push use of active, intelligent packaging to cut food waste responsible for technology's slow adoption in Europe; EC needs to provide tax incentives, trade group says

LOS ANGELES , May 2, 2012 () –

Europe’s adoption of active and intelligent packaging has been at a slow pace due to the European Commission’s (EC) delay in adopting policies that encourage the technology, said a trade group official, reported Food Production Daily on May 2.

“The EC is very good at stating its goals -- say on reducing food waste -- but the important question is bringing in practical measures showing how to achieve this,” said Eef de Ferrante, director of the Active and Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA).

The association can help solve the problem of food waste by extending shelf life and monitoring food through the supply chain, but the EC must introduce measures, such as tax breaks, to speed up adoption of the technology, he said, Food Production Daily reported.

Measures that would facilitate rather than legislate are preferred by the AIPIA, “but if facilitation isn’t effective, then perhaps legislation might be necessary,” said de Ferrante.

In addition, the EC needs to add essential details to current guidelines and regulations that seek to encourage AIP use, he said. As an example de Ferrante cited the EC’s aim to review packaging and labeling, but the framework for action lacks details, reported Food Production Daily.

De Ferrante also wants the EC to introduce financial incentives for using AIP as the cost is still prohibitive for some food producers. He suggested that tax opportunities might be “the most powerful instrument” to encourage AIP use.

Officials in the European Union and in the industry should work together more closely on any measures for stimulating AIP, said de Ferrante, and stressed the need to act quickly. The EC “can’t wait five years, but needs to act within two,” he said, Food Production Daily reported.

The primary source of this article is Food Production Daily, Montpellier, France, on May 2, 2012.


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