In February both Sealed Air and Diversey were once more the main partners at the Consumer Goods Forum Global Food Safety Conference, which gathered close to 1000 food safety senior leaders from over 50 countries.
The key difference this time was our integrated approach as a single, united company, comprising both Sealed Air and Diversey.
For the first time, we showcased the combined value proposition that the two companies bring to food safety and security at the event, which was held in Orlando, Florida. With the key combination of leading experts in food science, packaging and microbiology, we demonstrated strategies for protecting and enhancing the entire food and beverage supply chain – from farm to fork – by collaborating to reduce contamination, extend the shelf life of food, and elevate the food and beverage experience for the consumer.
As part of our presence at the event, we hosted a breakfast session titled “Facing the Challenge of Building an Effective Food Safety Management System Across Cultures.” The session focused on the ways in which culture can positively impact the building of an effective food safety program, globally, to ensure comprehensive risk management across the supply chain.
Werner Linders and Catherine François from Diversey introduced the round table, stressing three key areas of work where Sealed Air is focusing their efforts:
- To change the industry’s way of thinking to tackle the three most pressing issues facing our food supply – Food Safety, Food Waste, and Food Access
- The challenge of not creating more arable land and growing more food, but providing “access” to sufficient amounts of safe and quality foods – especially in developing countries.
- To manage food safety globally, and contribute to making a safer and sustainable global food supply chain.
The round table members were:
- Alain Dewael, Senior Manager, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs, EMEA, Starbucks, Netherlands
- Vera Petrova, Safety Services Manager, Food Safety, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, USA
- Joan Menke-Schaenzer, Chief Global Quality Officer, Research, Quality & Innovation ConAgra Foods, Inc.
On Thursday, senior leaders from Sealed Air participated in a panel discussion called “Using Innovative Technologies to Implement a Safe and Sustainable Future Supply Chain.” The program discussed how technology can reduce cost, increase transparency, and help an organization remain competitive.
I was honored to open the debate with a key question around the use of technology: In the Food Processing, Food Packaging and Food Retailing industries – How can technology be used to reduce waste and cost, while preserving fabricated foods and ingredients during transportation and retailing and to point of consumption?
Bob Gravani, Professor of Food Science at Cornell University, USA, moderated the round table, which convened:
- Tatiana Koutchma, Research Scientist, Food Process Engineering, Agriculture and Agri-Food, Canada
- Ron Cotterman, Executive Director, Sustainability, Sealed Air Corporation
- Aldin Hilbrands, Senior Manager, Product Integrity, Royal Ahold, The Netherlands
The above are critical issues, especially in light of a recent UN study finding that one-third of all the food produced on the planet – about 1.4 billion tons of food – is wasted every year.
At a Diversey-hosted VIP dinner for our customers, the guest speaker was one of the leading voices on food marketing and the food industry environment of the future, Dr. David Hughes, emeritus Professor at the University of London. He is a strong proponent of building vertical alliances between members of the food industry value chain: farmers, life science and input companies, ingredient firms, food and beverage manufacturers, retailers, and food service professionals.
David’s presentation underscored comments made earlier in the week by Sealed Air CEO Bill Hickey: “Nearly every step in the food production and consumption chain affords the opportunity for business involvement and contribution, and we have committed our company to a path of innovation to help the world increase access to food, to keep it fresh, and make it safe and secure for all people.”
These areas represent a critical nexus between business development and humanitarian needs.
We will continue to push the envelope on both counts. Stay tuned for more news.