Tom Carr from Fonterra Co-operative Limited Interview

Ahead of Plastics and Paper in Contact with Foodstuffs we caught up with Tom Carr, Senior Packaging Technologist from Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited about his upcoming presentation, food contact industry challenges, staying compliant and more.

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1. Could you please give us a quick sneak peek of what we can expect to hear during your presentation?  
As a global exporter of Dairy Products, our products can go anywhere, and meeting the plethora of regulatory requirements is complex.  I’ll be sharing the approach Fonterra has taken, as well as the challenges and frustrations we face, and the hope we have of new tools to manage the process more effectively.

2. What do you consider to be one of the biggest challenges that the food contact industry is facing?  
I see sustainability and recycling for Food contact applications as the biggest challenge and opportunity to the Food Contact Industry.   In the haste to ensure food safety for these materials, we seem to have missed the opportunity to create a global position for their food contact requirements.  This is going to create significant issues for global exporters as we navigate the positions that are taken around the world.  

3. How can you ensure you stay compliant with the latest food contact regulations and best practice?  
You need a good team and good tools.  Without these, it is a constant battle.  We do our best to keep up with the top global regulations, but we couldn’t do it without access to independent regulatory advisors and compliance assessment services.

4. Are there any sessions within the agenda that you are particularly interested in attending?
Session 1 – A Roadmap on FCM Legislations, regulations & compliance:   I’m interested to understand the work being done to find common ground between the regulatory bodies.

-Is anyone working on sorting out the 3% v 4% acetic acid simulant situation;
-Will cross credit testing for OML and SML across EU/China/Mercosur ever be possible?  
-Will the other South East Asian countries follow the lead of Japan’s upcoming FCM rules?

5. Why is this international conference relevant to the industry right now?
These types of conferences give the industry excellent opportunities to share knowledge, find best practices, and hear the views from all sides of the game.  Hearing from raw material suppliers, packaging manufactures, brand owners, supermarkets and consumers, can be an eye opener and often lead us to find solutions to shared frustrations.