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Q&A with Pro2Pac event director

10 December 2012

Pro2Pac's event director Chris McCuin talks about what the show - which is due to be held between 17 and 20 March - holds in store for 2013.

For those who are unfamiliar with the event, what is Pro2Pac and how does it differ from other trade shows?
Pro2Pac is the only processing and packaging event dedicated entirely to the food and drink sector, making it uniquely positioned to offer a 360-degree perspective into key industry issues. Another unique feature is its co-location with the UK’s largest and most respected food and drink event, IFE, which means the shows bring together key decision makers from the entire food and drink industry and offer unbeatable networking opportunities.

Who are your main exhibitors and visitors and why do they attend the show?
Our exhibitors are processing and packaging suppliers showcasing innovative packaging solutions, cutting-edge food processing services, new manufacturing equipment, or sustainable solutions to key decision makers, from manufacturing, retail and foodservice. For our 2013 show, we have more than 130 exhibitors from across the world, including leading firms such as Brother UK, Group Guillin Holding, Multivac UK, PFM Packaging Machinery, Rapid Action Packaging, and Silgan Plastic Containers. There are also lots of new companies and products to see, with over a third of exhibitors making their Pro2Pac debut, including Miller Graphics Group, Logson Group and Packwood UK.

What will the Sustainable Solutions Zone offer and why did you decide to launch it?
The Sustainable Solutions Zone is a brand new addition for our 2013 show and will provide the latest information on cutting-edge sustainability practices, including waste reduction, responsible recycling and renewable energy.

As part of a partnership with the Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas Association (ADBA) the zone will also enable Pro2Pac visitors to learn about the benefits of Anaerobic Digestion (AD), which is a process for generating energy using biodegradable material, cutting costs and carbon emissions. Because of the environmental, efficiency and profitability benefits AD offers, leading food and drink manufacturers, including Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Diageo and Branston have already invested in it.

What will be the key issues for food companies in 2013?
The reason we’ve added the Sustainability Solutions Zone to the show is because we believe sustainability will be a key issue for food companies over the next year. It’s also something that can prompt a lot of debate – some argue that sustainability is all too often treated as a byword for light-weighting, whereas, in fact, increasing packaging to extend shelf life and cut down on the amount of food sent to landfill might be better for the environment. It’s definitely an area in which we’re keen to facilitate debate and share the latest learnings and practices. There will be other important issues of course – managing costs will continue to prove a major concern, while legislation and labelling issues will also be on people’s minds as we go into next year.

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