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Exclusive Interview with Food Contact Conference Presenter Ron Osborn, Mars Wrigley Confectionery

Ron Osborn
Principal Scientist | Scientific & Regulatory Affairs
Mars Wrigley Confectionery


What are the biggest challenges facing the food contact industry? What does the industry need to do to face these challenges head-on? 

One of the major challenges facing our industry is the lack of consumer trust.  We need to do a better job of creating an awareness of what goes on behind the scenes to ensure that the packaging used to deliver food to the consumer does not pose a risk to their families.  Another challenge that we are facing is the ever increasing pressure around creating new, sustainable packaging formats.  We must be very careful not to solve one problem, while creating another, such as creating food safety issues.


What are the biggest opportunities in the industry? 

There is a lot of media attention devoted to creating the perception that food packaging presents a threat to people.  We need to find ways bring an awareness to the public that the materials use to create food packaging is safe.   


Can we have a sneak peek at what your presentation, what happens when things go wrong, will bring to Food Contact Conference? 

My presentation will highlight how and why the entire supply chain must cooperate in ensuring the safety of food packaging.  If we are going to address the problems facing our industry, we must work together.  Every part of the supply chain has a role to play in delivering safe food packaging to the consumer.


You’re on a panel discussing bringing together the supply chain to ensure safety, quality and transparency. Why is this topic so crucial for the industry? What main points would you like to bring to this discussion?   

If we are going to be successful, it will take a cooperative effort of every part of the supply chain.  While the Brand Owners will face the questions, they alone cannot solve, or even effectively address the concerns of consumers or consumer groups without the full transparency and cooperation of their supply chain.


What are you most looking forward to hearing about at Food Contact Conference? 

Hearing the different perspectives of the other parts of the supply chain highlights the challenges that they face, which helps to provide a better understanding of how we can work together to reach our goals.  Hearing about new innovations in food contact packaging and how those materials are evaluated to ensure safety and compliance can be extremely helpful.  And of course I always look forward to hearing about how legislation is changing around the globe.

View the 2019 Food Contact Conference Agenda