The Packaging Cluster visits three continents on different international missions

Submitted by Serena Rebollo… on 17 August 2022

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  • The entity seeks to open new markets in foreign countries to learn about good practices and establish business connections
  • In recent months the Cluster has been present in Amsterdam, Belgium, Mumbai, Thessaloniki, Tunisia and Dijon
  • This tour is part of European projects such as Safe Smart Food or FoodPackLab2 where the entity participates as a member of the consortium

The Packaging Cluster, a non-profit entity made up of more than 130 active members representing the entire value chain of the sector, has toured Europe, Africa and Asia on various international missions. Specifically, the Cluster has been present in Amsterdam, Belgium, Mumbai, Thessaloniki, Tunisia and Dijon

The objective was to open new markets in foreign countries to learn about good practices, establish business connections and exchange knowledge. This tour was part of European projects such as Safe Smart Food or FoodPackLab2, where the entity participates as a member of the consortium. These initiatives allow the Packaging Cluster to improve and expand its knowledge about innovation within the food market or new technologies.

First stop: Holland and Belgium

Amsterdam and Belgium were the first stops, where knowledge and experience were exchanged with different local agents. 

In the Dutch capital, various members of the Cluster visited the international fair "The World of the Distribution Brand" (PLMA), where contact with suppliers was valued. On the other hand, during the visit to Belgium, Celabor was visited, one of the reference research centers that offers scientific and technical support to companies in the agri-food field, and KITOZYME, a leader in chitosan of fungal and plant origin. 

The trip continued with a visit to the Smart Gastronomy Lab – to learn about its project on the food of tomorrow carried out under the Think Tank strategy – and to Prayon, the company that supplies phosphorus for food. 

Finally, a meeting was held between companies such as the Packaging Cluster, ACCIÓ or the Clúster Foodservice together with the companies participating in the clusterxchange.

Second stop: Mumbai, India

India was the second stop within the FoodPackLab to get to know first-hand the market of an emerging country. In Mumbai, a meeting was held with HAMER to establish new connections with entities such as ACCIÓ, the Institute of Packaging Machinery Manufacturers of India (IPMMI) and the Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR) and companies such as TCPL Packaging and the Director General of MESPACK INDIA. The Cluster took advantage of this trip to attend InterFoodTech, a strategic packaging fair on the Asian continent with more than 6,000 attendees and 170 exhibitors.

Third stop: Thessaloniki, Greece

From India, the Cluster traveled to Greece to attend, together with the FoodPackLab Project consortium, the European Regions for Innovation in Agriculture, Food and Forestry Conference (ERIAFF). 

SECPHO, a technological innovation cluster made up of companies, technology centers and research groups, gave attendees recommendations for good practices, experiences and results of the project.

Fourth stop: Tunisia

The fourth stop was Tunisia, the country that hosts the final event of the Next Society program, where the Cluster participated as a mentor in a collaborative networking session. The objective was to promote the Transfer of Technology and Innovation between knowledge centers.

Fifth stop: Dijon, France

The journey of the Cluster ended in Dijon. There he had the final event of the FoodPackLab2 project, concluding two years of joint work between European clusters. During the session, topics about the sector, the impact of Covid-19, technological restrictions, new environmental challenges or challenges to reduce consumption, among other topics, were discussed. 

Parallel to the final event, a clusterxchange was held within the Safe Smart Food project and the Unité Mixte de Recherche Procédés Alimentaires et Microbiologiques (UMR PAM) was visited. In addition, different companies such as Novolyze, which is dedicated to data processing for better food quality in packaging production companies, were presented. 

The day ended with an exchange of good practices in cluster management with Vitagora, the leading French cluster in the food sector, and the rest of the attendees.

Cluster organisation
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