Industry News

  • French plastic packaging ban for fruit and veg begins

    French plastic packaging ban for fruit and veg begins

    A law banning plastic packaging for large numbers of fruits and vegetables comes into force in France on New Year’s Day, to end what the government has called the “aberration” of overwrapped carrots, apples and bananas, as environmental campaigners and exasperated shoppers urge other countries to do the same. Emmanuel Macron has called the ban on plastic packaging of fresh produce “a real revolution” and said France was taking the lead globally with its law to gradually phase out all single-use plastics by 2040. Spain will introduce a ban on plastic packaging of fruit and vegetables from 2023. For years, international campaigners have said unnecessary plastic packaging is causing environmental damage and pollution at sea. From New Year’s Day, France will ban supermarkets and other shops from selling cucumbers wrapped in plastic, and peppers, courgettes, aubergines and leeks in plastic packaging. A total of 30 types of fruit and vegetables will be banned from having any plastic wrapping, including bananas, pears, lemons, oranges and kiwis. Packs over 1.5kg will be exempt, as will chopped or processed fruit. Some varieties, including cherry tomatoes or soft fruits such as raspberries and blueberries, will be given longer for producers to find alternatives to plastic, but plastic packaging will be gradually phased out for all whole fruits and vegetables by 2026. With an estimated 37% of fruit and vegetables sold wrapped in plastic packaging in France in 2021, the government believes the ban will cut more than 1bn items of single-use plastic packaging a year. The environment ministry said there must be curbs on the “outrageous amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives”. Fruit and vegetables wrapped in layers of plastic have exasperated consumers not only in France but neighbouring countries. Nearly three-quarters of British people have experienced “anxiety, frustration or hopelessness” at the amount of plastic that comes with their shopping and 59% think supermarkets and brands are not doing enough to offer refillable, reusable or packaging-free products, according to a poll commissioned by Friends of the Earth and City to Sea in June. An Ifop poll for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) France in 2019 found that 85% of people were in favour of banning single-use plastic products and packaging. More than 2 million people have signed a WWF petition calling on world governments to stop the plastics pollution crisis. In angry posts on social media, shoppers have complained of what they deemed absurd wrapping such as coconuts in several layers of plastic or single bananas in individual plastic bags. Moïra Tourneur, an advocacy manager at the NGO Zero Waste France, said the French law was a “good and appropriate” move, although she questioned what she called the “surprising” list of exempt fruit and vegetables given a longer transition time of at least another year before going plastic-free. These include brussels sprouts, spring onions, green beans, broccoli, mushrooms, peaches and apricots, some of which are already sold loose in many shops. Tourneur said: “The ban is fair and fitting … Giving more time for certain fruit and vegetables is a bit of a shame. There is a climate emergency. People are conscious of the need to act urgently on this issue.” WWF France, which has campaigned on the impact of plastics on biodiversity and marine life in the Mediterranean and across oceans, said it was important to welcome the law as “a positive step in the right direction”, while reminding governments there was more work to be done to end plastics pollution, including on microplastics. Pierre Cannet, its director of advocacy and campaigns, said the law sent a positive message and “puts plastics at the heart of the national debate”. He added: “We need to stay humble and vigilant by saying there is still a lot to do. We’re still very far from an economy without plastic, and from all the steps needed to eradicate plastics pollution.” Camilla Zerr, a plastics campaigner at Friends of the Earth for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said: “I think it’s a very good approach and I would hugely urge the UK to be doing the same and not to lag behind.” She said that in the UK fruit such as bananas or apples wrapped in plastic packages were sometimes cheaper than those sold loose, which was “very problematic”. Zerr added: “It is interesting to note that in the UK the main brands sell fruit and vegetables wrapped, but at corner stores you can find a lot of loose fruit and vegetables on sale, which proves it is possible to go without plastic.” More

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  • THAIFEX – Anuga Asia 2022 concludes with trade visitor numbers exceeding expectations and top trends in the F&B industry revealed

    THAIFEX – Anuga Asia 2022 food and beverage trade fair has reported over 51,535 trade visitors attended the event since it opened Tuesday, 24 May, as it came to a successful conclusion on Saturday, 28 May. The event also highlighted top and emerging trends in the F&B industry.   Bangkok (31 May 2022) – Asia's leading food trade fair has reported that trade visitor numbers at THAIFEX – Anuga Asia 2022 have exceeded all expectations, with over 51,535 trade visitors from 111 countries welcomed between 24 and 28 May.   The pandemic has forced the F&B market to make drastic changes, with industry operators adapting their businesses quickly. THAIFEX – Anuga Asia 2022 welcomed both local and international trade visitors to IMPACT Muang Thong Thani across the week, with top industry players showcasing their unique product innovation approaches and meeting consumer needs.   Mathias Kuepper, Managing Director of Koelnmesse Pte Ltd, said: "The challenges of Covid-19 have severely impacted the F&B industry. As a globally acclaimed F&B tradeshow, THAIFEX - Anuga Asia purposefully solves some of these challenges by providing a platform for creating new enterprises to bring their goods to market, boosting their brand and market exposure."   "At the same time, as guardians of industry standards and leading exponents of developing opportunities in this business area worldwide, it is our responsibility to build platforms of growth for the new age by linking small and big F&B businesses with trade visitors, buyers, investors, and enabling them to promote economic success in a conducive atmosphere. This will likely result in increased diversification, new growth prospects, innovations, operational optimization, and stakeholder value creation."   The fully realized hybrid event format achieved maximum build-up, remote connections, and engagement from show-goers. Exhibitors, visitors, and buyers were also pleased to meet face-to-face as the F&B sector moves towards an era of positivity and boundless growth through innovation.   One of the exhibitors, Norbert Back, Bangkok Bureau Chief at Polish Investment and Trade, said: "Despite the backdrop of a very turbulent year and the challenges of Covid-19, trade between Poland and Thailand exceeded a record 1.5bn USD last year. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of PolishThai diplomatic relations, we see a huge amount of potential, so it's been very exciting to have the Poland National Pavilion at THAIFEX - Anuga Asia. Together with the National Support Center for Agriculture from Poland, we already see a good outcome of this year’s event and we are looking forward to the next edition of THAIFEX – Anuga Asia."   Hosted buyer, Prajith Moorkoth, Managing Director of Golden Praxis (Dubai) said: "This is my first time in THAIFEX - Anuga Asia. It's a well-organised show with many innovative products at the showground. As a hosted buyer, I'm very satisfied with the number of international business contacts that I’ve gathered in the past few days. I know it will translate to revenue growth for my company in the coming days."   The 2022 "restart" brought 1,603 exhibitors across 9 halls of exhibition space at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, which is more than double the number of exhibitors present for the last event in 2020. Despite travel regulations affecting participants from some countries, the event attracted 6,898 international trade visitors, especially from Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea and India.   Visitor, Qurrata Ayuni, from Indonesia, said: "THAIFEX - Anuga Asia took me on an exciting journey into food innovation. I particularly enjoyed exploring some of the upcoming trends in food that we're likely to see more of in the future, and it's been so nice to visit in person, talk to the exhibitors and see their products with my own eyes."   As the pandemic has focused consumer focus on health and sustainability, THAIFEX - Anuga Asia 2022 has also revealed some of the leading and emerging trends following the show: Halal: All regions have recorded a growing trend of halal product launches in the past five years. Halal also had the biggest showcase at THAIFEX - Anuga Asia showcase with 386 exhibitors. Sustainably produced and packaged: In the five years ending 2021, launches of food and beverage using upcycled ingredients rose at a CAGR of 63%, compared with 20% for products using recycled materials, 46% for products with water-saving claims, 30% for products carrying carbon emissions claims and 35% for palm oil-free products. Clean labels: Around half of consumers globally consider the absence of additives and use of only natural ingredients to be at the heart of "clean" eating, ahead of organics and sustainability. Plant-based: There is an annual growth of 46% (CAGR, 2018-2021) with food and beverage launches with a plant-based and premium & indulgent claim. Alternative protein, including edible bugs: Two-thirds of consumers globally state that they eat meat substitutes, while almost a quarter (23%) consume them at least once a day.   Mr. Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit, Director-General of Thailand's Departmentof International Trade Promotion, one of the organisers of THAIFEX – Anuga Asia said: "THAIFEX - Anuga Asia 2022 has attracted the attention of both Thai and foreign F&B buyers and businesspeople even more than expected. They came to visit the event to source new products, negotiate with trade representatives, and do business matching with exporters and manufacturers. It proved that Thailand's food and beverage industries have gained theconfidence to be an essential resource for global foods. Future Foods has received much attention, considered to be a new business-solution idea that assures food safety and resilient food system in the future."   More

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