Speaker Interview with Marcello Pezzi

Ahead of P&P 2023 we spoke to Marcello Pezzi, Product Safety Director, at DS Smith.

You are speaking about GMP at this year's conference. Can you give us a snapshot of what delegates will hear?

I often say paper in contact with food must comply with two EU laws, The Framework Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 and the GMP Regulation (EC) 2023/2006. Most lectures and discussion focus on 1935/2004, so this year I thought it would be interesting to focus on GMP. We'll discuss the relationships between the GMP law and private Quality Management System standards, with particular attention to which one may be more important and if one can replace the other.

What do you see as the major developments that 2024 will bring regarding food contact regulation, testing and enforcement in general?

Obviously the major regulatory development for next year is the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation. While it is not specifically a food contact law, it will touch on food contact aspects (for example PFAS and BPA content) and we’ll have to review it. We are also likely to see development around a more general food contact law, probably as a development of 1935/2004. If this goes ahead the whole industry will have to contribute to the consultation and review process.

What I am also generally concerned about is the increased attention that is now being given to NIAS (not intentionally added substances). While I agree that dangerous substances should not be in our products and the Industry should do its best to eliminate them, we can’t realistically be expected to control something that we don’t use in the first place, as for example a number of environmental contaminants (i.e. substances that are present in the environment due to different reasons). The only way to address this is to work together with the regulatory bodies to find a solution that works in practice, at scale and through the whole supply chain, and we are definitely committed to play our part in this concerted effort.

What are you most looking forward to hearing about and discussing with your fellow speakers and delegates at this year's conference?

As with every year I am looking forward to hear what our customers and suppliers’ main issues are and learn how they are overcoming them. I am also looking forward to reconnect with many colleagues and meet new ones - after all, one the strengths of this conference are the great networking opportunities that come with it!