August 24, 2015

24/08/2015: Designing a resilient future: Food, technology, and sustainable development

Milling and Grain talks to the President and CEO of IPACK IMA to find out why this event will be critical for the future of the milling industry

by Olivia Holden, Milling and Grain
First published in Milling and Grain, May 2015


Ipack-Ima is among the most attractive international exhibitions for suppliers of technology and materials for processing and packaging. It will be held May 19-23 2015 at Fieramilano, Milan, Italy. Ipack-Ima is a large system exhibition showcasing the very top solutions in food and non-food sectors for industry professionals; in particular it is world renowned for its display of dry pasta technology.

A rich programme of meetings, conventions and seminars will flank the global event for the duration of the five exhibition days: these events will have a common keyword, sustainability. More than 40 events have been already scheduled focusing on the main issues and trends of each business community.

“Designing a Resilient Future: Food, Technology, and Sustainable Development” is the central theme of Ipack-Ima and will be developed – in concordance with “Feed the planet. Energy for life” – (the theme of the Expo 2015) - through an international convention scheduled on May 20th 2015 and organised in partnership with UNIDO and the UN Food Agencies. The main issue under discussion is sustainability, the leitmotiv of all side events to the 2015 shows, and the conference aims to enhance the possible evolution of food technologies in the future.
Marco Pedroni, Chairman of Coop Italia
Following a tradition of prominent chairmen who are key figures in the industries represented at the show, Ipack-Ima’s Chairmen for 2015 is Marco Pedroni, Chairman of Coop Italia (the largest retail chain in Italy, with a turnover of 13.1 billion Euros, and a 19 percent market share). In the lead up to this much anticipated event, Milling and Grain magazine spoke with both Mr Pedroni in his official capacity as Chairman and Guido Corbella, CEO of Ipack-Ima about what this must attend event has to offer.  
As chairman of Coop Italia, the largest retail chain in Italy, what do you believe to be the main consumer concerns regarding fresh food?
Food production and distribution are a great opportunity for Italy’s economic system. Italy boasts an incredible variety of wine and food products and an unparalleled culinary tradition famous around the world. However, Italian companies are not equally able to organise an efficient supply chain and export this remarkable heritage; the Milan Expo is a crucial chance to make that quality leap in our agro-food system. As Italy’s leading distributor we are committed to this goal and have been putting in place partnerships centered on Italian food with other European and international retailers. Our main concern is to make good, safe food accessible to everyone. Quality and safety must be accessible to all population ranges at a fair price, including to the less wealthy in developed countries and to the poor everywhere in the world. Packaging is a fundamental part of this concept of food accessibility, safety and quality.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background in the food industry and what you believe your contribution to Ipack-Ima as this year's president will be?
Coop Italia is not just a distributor of consumer goods; it’s also a leading producer. Our private label with its two product lines represents 30 percent of Coop’s total sales, and is one of the key private labels in Italy. We gather over 200 medium and small-size food-producing companies and we enabled many of them to grow larger, reaching markets that would not otherwise have been accessible to them. As a food distributor our contribution to the packaging industry is relevant, both to bring consumers’ needs to manufacturers of packaging materials and machinery and to promote packaging-driven product and service innovation.     
Good distribution must first know today’s consumers and understand tomorrow’s trends; this is essential to guide the choices of all players in the production chain. The demand for safety, shelf-life-related needs, fair prices, environmental protection, transparency and product information accessibility are the basic principles that must be observed by everyone - manufacturers of goods, packaging producers and distribution companies. In addition, this must be done with a strong ability to integrate things and cooperate. It is in this spirit that I accepted this responsibility in Ipack-Ima, and I hope to contribute through Coop’s closeness to consumers and to all families.

Sustainability is obviously a very pressing issue, how will this be addressed at the event?

Sustainability is a central issue. Counter-posing it to cost effectiveness is not the right way to look at it. In fact the opposite is true: it is possible to produce and distribute in a more effective as well as more sustainable way. I’m thinking of innovative packaging materials making it possible to produce using less energy, prolong products’ shelf life and reduce waste. Of course this requires investing in applied research and not settling for easy ways to increase profits. Long-lasting enterprises are the ones that take no shortcuts and invest in honest, long-term relationships with their clients. Products and packaging will exemplify all of these aspects of sustainability. At the Milan Expo, Coop will present a selection of products, and more specifically the lines Vivi Verde, Fior Fiore, Senza Glutine, Bene Sì, which represent the practical application of these principles.

What do you believe are the major issues facing the global supply chain?

I believe many things will have to be done to ensure efficiency and sustainability on a national and global scale. There is a crucial pre-competitive area requiring the cooperation of all players - producers, distributors, transporters, public  institutions: better transportation systems, product identification standards, traceability. And each company has its own specific area of competence. In food, the key idea is to shorten all production and distribution passages and make them more efficient, especially in Italy where the situation is very far from optimal. The packaging industry plays a crucial role in meeting these objectives. It can contribute to optimising products, make them safer and longer lasting, encourage volume aggregation, improve product recognition and information for consumers. In a well-organised system, even small and medium-size enterprises can overcome the obstacles of an increasingly globalised trade and be competitive.
Guido Corbella, CEO Ipack-Ima
What makes Ipack-Ima a unique and must attend event for our industry?
The 2015 edition will be unique as Ipack-Ima for the first time will be held in conjunction with other 5 exhibitions: Dairytech, Fruit Innovation, Meat-Tech, Converflex, Intralogistica, all in one place and date. It is a truly a one-of-a-kind global event that will offer a special opportunity for visitors, who can access all of the six shows with a single entrance ticket. This concentration of exhibitions creates a unique ensemble that is unparalleled in the world for its all-comprehensive display of interconnected sectors spanning across the entire supply chain. Milan will be home to the world’s largest and most wide-ranging showcase in the fields of processing, packaging, converting, package printing and logistics.

Last but not least, our big event will be held in conjunction with the Expo Milano: just a short distance between the two exhibition sites! Furthermore Ipack-Ima is the only event officially recognised by the Expo Milano (the Universal Exposition running at Fieramilano from May 1 to October 31, 2015) as Italy’s leader in processing and packaging technology. The show is among the most attractive international exhibitions for suppliers of technology and materials for processing and packaging. It is a large system exhibition showcasing the very top solutions in food and non-food sectors for industry professionals; in particular it is world renowned for its display of dry pasta technology and for its suppliers to the milling industry. 

IPACK-IMA is now a joint staging of six shows. What sectors of the food industry will be covered?
The 2015 edition is set to be a major one for Ipack-Ima: it will showcase technology for the fresh food industry. The exhibition halls will give extensive room to one of the liveliest sectors of the food and distribution industry, faced with new consumption habits. Fresh food requires new, specific packaging and packaging technology, which finds its perfect showcase at Ipack-Ima, flanked by vertical exhibitions dedicated to the fresh food technologies: Meat-Tech (processing and packaging for the meat industry), Dairytech (processing and packaging for the dairy industry), Fruit Innovation (dedicated to product innovation, technologies and Services for the fruit and vegetables industry).

Ipack-Ima is now acknowledged by MISE as a ‘top 15’ show for its dedication to promoting Made in Italy products. What does this recognition represent?
Ipack-Ima now belongs to the top shows for made-in-Italy products enjoying the support of the “extraordinary plan for Italy’s international relaunch”, part of the government’s decree for the country’s recovery. The recognition by the Ministry for Economic Development qualifies Ipack-Ima as one of the topnotch events for the promotion of Italian technology. MISE’s initiative has the goal of strengthening (on a global scale) top exhibitions where Italy is already recognised as the leader but which are often under attack by international competitors, also by capitalising on the unique promotional springboard provided by the Expo. Thanks to this recognition and benefitting from the government’s special decree for Italy’s recovery, Ipack-Ima has organised a plan to support incoming foreign buyers visiting the exhibition, with the cooperation of the MISE and the operational support of ICE – the Italian agency for foreign trade. Ipack-Ima 2015 will welcome 270 international buyers from 50 countries selected also according to the preferences expressed by exhibitors.

What will there be of specific interest to millers at the Expo?
As I said before, Ipack-Ima is world renowned for its display of dry pasta technology. It focuses a particular attention to the technologies for the grain based food business community (pasta, bread, biscuits, flours, rice, grain, cereal, couscous, feeds, pet food). With one month to go, Ipack-Ima 2015 will host 278 companies active in the GBF industry, 20 percent from outside of Italy (China, Poland, Germany, Malta, Turkey, Switzerland, France, Taiwan, UK, The Netherlands). Moreover, there will be important scheduled side events dedicated to this sector, such as the press conference of AIDEPI (Italian Association of Confectionary and Pasta Industries) on May 20.

On May 21st, Bühler will present “One step ahead in processing grains to food”, the annual plenary meeting of SEMOULIERS (Union des Associations des Semouliers des Pays de l’UE), UNAFPA (Union of Organisations of Manufacturers of Pasta Products of EU), and IPO (International Pasta Organisation). On May 22nd, there will be the Annual Plenary Meeting of ITALMOPA (Italian Millling Association) and the “4th Italian Fresh Pasta and Gnocchi Seminar” organised by APPF (Association of Fresh Pasta Producers). All the attention given to these events testifies that Ipack-Ima is becoming a crucial reference point for the grain based food business community.              
Read the magazine HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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1 comment:

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