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Another successful edition of Smithers' Global Food Contact conference

A record breaking number of 181 delegates joined the 2 day event in Rome, Italy from 19-21 May 2015 and heard presentations from industry experts across the entire food contact supply chain including Nespresso, ISS, EFSA, Health Canada, NIHS Japan and many more.

Day 1 of the Global Food Contact agenda encompassed an overview of European legislation in food contact offering insight from ISS, BASF, Crème Global, Nespresso and TNO Triskelion BV. Dr Anna Castoldi of EFSA gave a talk on their latest scientific views relating to Bisphenol A and Smithers' Ian Cooper presented on the considerations for evaluating NIAS. Alistair Irvine from Smithers chaired the session and introduced the topics of probabilistic exposure and risk assessment by Dr Seamus Kelly of Crème Global and FCM regulatory challenges in the European food Industry delivered by Carlos De La Cruz Garcia of Nestle Nespresso HQ.

The first day of the conference ended with a dedicated session on North and South America, with expert insight into regulation in Canada, USA and MERCOSUR. Anastase Rulibikiye from Heath Canada provided updates on food packaging regulations in Canada, whilst Alejandro Ariosti from INTI sparked discussions surrounding the MERCOSUR block with his talk on FMC regulations in this region and other South American countries. We also heard an update on Project Passport, authored by Jim Huang of Bemis USA and presented excellently by Kevin Kenny from Decernis.

Most of the delegates then embarked by coach to the Colosseum to start a walking tour of Rome where we saw and heard information on wonderful sights such as the Arch of Constantine, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona, before enjoying an Italian evening meal and drinks.

A popular presentation on Day 2 came from Luigi Rossi of Keller and Heckman, who described activities in ASEAN countries surrounding food contact and EU BTSF training programs which aim to spread knowledge of EU food regulations and promote consistency among national control systems. Such initiatives as the BTSF training programs and attempts to create a Common Market were covered in depth during the talk and elicited plenty of discussions on whether the Japanese, EU and US regulations currently enforced in ASEAN countries could ever be harmonised.

In the closing session we heard from Dr Anna Gergely of Steptoe and Johnson on practical and legally sound approaches to evaluating compliance of food packaging. Rachida Semail of Keller and Heckman delivered crucial insight into global submission processes for food contact materials, comparing US legislation and EU legislation as well as other regions across the globe.

The conference was a great success and the discussions inside and out of the conference room highlighted the commitment of the whole supply chain to keep up to date on food contact regulations on a global scale, proven by the well-received presentation from Kevin Kenny of Decernis on the African continent. Kevin covered the state of regulatory developments in a range of countries including Tunisia, Egypt, Mauritius, Nigeria and South Africa, and delivered a very interesting angle on where the industry could be in 5 years’ time given Africa’s potential market growth.

Another positive outcome from this year’s event is the industry’s will to support harmonisation initiatives to improve food contact safety worldwide, which was evident from the conversations that took place throughout the 2 day conference and in presentations from the likes of Luigi Rossi, Kevin Kenny and Monika Toenniessen of Henkel.

We would like to thank everyone who attended, presented and supported the Global Food Contact 2015 conference, and for making it such a great event!

View the 2015 Conference Agenda here >>

View the 2015 Event Gallery here >>