Smithers: As an advisory board member for this conference, can you tell us a bit about the overall themes for this year’s agenda
Dr. Stephen Klump: The 2018 agenda has global regulatory topics from the different regions from around the world and will have a great mix of speakers from the major regions of the world involved in food contact regulations. Bringing together the industry on a global scale is a great opportunity to hear the concerns, struggles and challenges each region is facing and where we as an industry can come together to solve those.
Smithers: In your role as Global Head of Packaging Quality and Safety what are the key food contact challenges you see facing major CPG’s
Dr. Stephen Klump: One of the common challenges that is becoming more and more acute is what we call at Nestle, the Intermarket Supply- the cross border or regions shipping of goods, you take something from Europe and ship to china – there is an ever growing burden to stay compliant. We are no longer at a point where we can just ship a product out to another region and assume compliance is ok. Now we have Chinese regulations and Mercosur and India with their own set of food packaging regulations. It is becoming harder and harder for multinational companies, such as Nestle, to stay compliant across the globe.
Smithers: What advice do you have for the packaging value chain in better supporting CPG’s food contact requirements
Dr. Stephen Klump: Communication up and down the supply chain is key to understanding what the requirements are for the end use. A lot of times a supplier, 2 or 3 steps removed from the end user, is not told that their material is going into a food contact application. The materials might not be compliant to the country/region is it intended to be sent to, so the lack of communication could make the product not compliant. So this requires more communication. When communication is achieved and suppliers up the chain understands where the application will be, that supplier can then do their utmost to ensure that their materials will be accepted by as many global regulations as possible.
Smithers: The Global Food Contact Conference focuses on different food contact regulation around the globe: what scope do you see for further harmonization
Dr. Stephen Klump: Harmonization of food packaging regulations on a global scale would be beneficial to the global economy. I think regulators need to come together and decide if they can make some kind of trans-national regulations that are acceptable to all and for example, make them part of Codex.
Smithers: What are you most looking forward to about this year’s conference?
Dr. Stephen Klump: I am looking forward to seeing some presentations on the updates for regulations around the globe. It is always nice to network and meet with other speakers and attendees to hear their thoughts and opinions on the latest updates for the industry. DC in May is really nice, and a great meeting place for the industry to come together to learn and collaborate.