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Interview with Henkel

Ahead of this September's Food Contact Asia 2022, we spoke with Wen-Gie Siew, Regional PS&RA Manager – Asia Pacific at Henkel, to get a sneak peek of what we can expect from his presentation on 'Adhesives for Food Contact Packaging'. Here's what he had to say...

Current Industry Focus:
Q1. As consumers/end users continually push for more sustainable/greener/safer solutions, what do you think is the biggest concern regarding food contact materials/packaging?

No doubt the consumer market is pursuing for more sustainable/greener/safer solutions not only related to food, but food contact materials and packaging, hence many manufacturers have been putting marketing campaign to promote for the same requirements.  However, the main concern is how legitimate are those claims made by the manufacturers?  Especially for the indirect materials used in the FCM and packaging, or so called the “forgotten layers” of the FCM and packaging, e.g. adhesives, coating, inks, and other additives.
Q2. What are some of the biggest opportunities gaining attention within the food contact field? How has your company chosen to react/adapt to stay on trend?

There have been some substantial development in regulations and standards for FCM globally, especially in China and other Asian countries, which have provided excellent opportunities for the responsible manufacturers and consumers ensure transparencies in safety and regulatory compliance of the FCM and those indirect materials.  However, these emerging regulatory and standard development are not necessary heading towards to the harmonized approach and direction, which could created additional complexity and challenges for the manufacturers to ensure compliance.  Therefore, Henkel has chosen to be involve ourselves into the advocacy and development of these emerging regulations and standards, as to support and provide industry experiences to the policy making bodies and authorities the adequately globally harmonized and industry friendly recommendations in their regulatory and standard development.
Future Focus:
Q3. What industry topics are getting the most attention at this time? How are these factors influencing the future of food contact packaging/materials?

Besides harmonization of all the different FCM regulatory standards, the compliance of recycled materials for FCM applications is getting a lot of attention in recent years.
Q4. What does your company/organization hope to achieve over the next 5 years with regards to the future of food contact packaging/materials industry?

All manufacturers could compete in the same level playing fields in the emerging markets based on the same level of enforcement of the FCM regulations and standards.
Q5. What opportunities are there for harmonization of food contact regulations in the Asia Pacific region?

There are many opportunities with harmonized FCM regulations in the Asia Pacific region, the most critical advantages for Henkel is that we could leverage the same safety and compliance assessment results for the same products that could be marketable in all countries in Asia Pacific.
Conference Related:
Q6.  Your presentation at this year’s event is Adhesives for Food Contact Packaging. Why is it important for others in your industry to hear this message? What are some of the key take-aways?

Adhesives used in FCM and packaging are often called “the forgotten layer”, but safety and compliance of this “forgotten layer” is also extremely critical for the safety and compliance of the overall FCM and packaging, therefore it is very important for other industry and even the consumer market to be aware and understand the severity of the safety and compliance of adhesives used in FCM and packaging, and how best to manage the safety and compliance requirements of adhesive “hidden” beneath the FCM and packaging, there is “Henkel inside” every FCM and packaging.
Q7. Which presentations (what session topic) are you most looking forward to hearing about at Food Contact Asia? 

All topics that could provide new insights on Safety and Compliance of FCM and packaging.