Canadian Packaging December 2020

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Packaging for Freshness Page 19

Labeling Page 24




Poultry processor makes no bones about its uncompromising food safety and quality obsession Story on page 14

BRUNO GIANNONE, Vice-President, Giannone Poultry

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December 2020 Vol. 73, No. 14



14 GOOD TO THE BONE Quebec poultry producer using advnced X-Ray inspection technology to ensure optimal product safety on its new premium product line. Cover photography by Pierre Longtin.


19 Spreading Their Wings

Organic chicken producers beefing up its packaging tool-kit to keep pace with growing production volumes.



24 More With Less

Exploring the multiple sustainability and efficiency benefits of novel linerless labeling technology.

26 Digitally Enhanced

Digital printing technology a natural fit for unfolding digitalization of the global CPG (consumer packaged goods) industries.

28 The Digital Path

Integrating digitalization and energy efficiencyto ensure a more sustainable and prosperous future.



NEWSPACK 6 Packaging news round-up.

FROM THE EDITOR 4 George Guidoni Transformation everywhere you look

NOTES & QUOTES 7-9 Noteworthy industry briefs. FIRST GLANCE 11 New packaging solutions.

CHECKOUT 40 Shannon Kaupp Packaging hits and misses.

ECO-PACK NOW 12 Sustainable packaging updates. imPACt 13 A monthly insight from PAC Packaging Consortium ISSN 1481 9287. Canadian Packaging is published 10 times per year by Annex Business Media. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40065710. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation Department, 111 Gordon Baker Rd., Suite 400, Toronto, ON M2H 3R1. No part of the editorial content in this publication may be reprinted without the publisher’s written permission. © 2020 Annex Publishing & Printing Inc. All rights reserved. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. No liability is assumed for errors or omissions. All advertising is subject to the publisher’s approval. Such approval does not imply any endorsement of the products or services advertised. Publisher reserves the right to refuse advertising that does not meet the standards of this publication. Printed in Canada. CANADIANPACKAGING.COM

30 Marked For Life

The need for harmonizing global date-marking standards and practices to help reduce food waste.

34 Deeds Not Words

Flexible packaging powerhouse extends into the plastics recycling business to secure reliable supply of post-consumer resins.

37 The Show Must Go On

Preview of the upcoming virtual IPPE Marketplace global meat industry showcase.




Transformation around every corner, panel, liner, tuck, fold and closure 15

unfolding trends and market demands driving packaging development include safety/ security, delivery coding, customer unboxing, sustainability, reusable packaging, e-commerce and personalization.



redicting the future is usually about as useful as resisting the forces of science and Mother Nature. But as the end of 2020 draws to a close with a long-awaited glimmer of hope sparked by development of COVID-19 vaccines, it’s time to lift the heavy veil of gloom that has made it such a year to forget, without ever forgetting the lessons it has taught us so cruelly. With most wealthy economies around the world bound to remain stuck in their downward spirals at least until global vaccination efforts achieve the sort of herd immunity levels we need to return to some semblance of pre-COVID normalcy, focusing on the future at leasts offers a much needed release valve for a year’s worth of sadness and anxiety many of us feel today. And for the packaging and labeling industries, at least, the future looks much better than the present feels, according to a landmark new report released a few weeks ago by leading supply chain industry group MHI (Material Handling Industries). Aptly tiled Transformation Age: ShapingYour Future, the comprehensive study is a must-read for all material handling, logistics and supply chain professionals of all stripes, and that includes the global packaging industry that suddenly finds itself at the center of global public and regulatory scrutiny on the account of its allegedly oversized environmental footprint. And that’s perfectly okay with us. If one accepts the premise that no publicity is the worst publicity, the public’s misguided distrust in the inherently good and noble aims and purposes that packaging fulfils can and should be answered in the court of global public opinion in coming years, if for no other reason than just to show how far the role and function of packaging has evolved over the last decade, which has been nothing short of transformational. “Over the last decade, packaging and labeling have shifted from being commodity elements to value-added products and solutions that serve key expectations from industrial, commercial and consumer customers,” the report states. “The experience of package shipping, unloading, opening and disposal are now differentiators in product and service delivery [and] innovation and growth in these solutions will escalate over the next 10 years. “This growth will come with added


pressures to meet demands related to shipping characteristics, smart automation, competitive costs, customer preferences and product value.” The report quotes Sealed Air Corporation’s presidentTed Doheny’s recent remarks about the profound impact that the unfolding digitalization and the Internet of Things have already had on the packaging supply chain that no one could foresee 10 years ago. “How does a package communicate with people who want to know what is inside, when it was filled, how much it weighs, whether it was stolen, and whether the contents are nearing their expiration?”, says Doheny, urging companies to focus on development of new interfaces between packaging and technologies, such as blockchain. “Packaging companies can use digital tools that note exactly when something went into a package,” he explains. “We can own that information and share it with customers, so they can trace the inputs and track the package. “By providing that information, blockchain helps us add value,” says Doheny, noting that smart automation also requires new rules and practices for packaging to be addressed in different ways than those used in the past with a human workforce. As Doheny points out, “A robot hand might not be as soft as a human hand, so what packaging is required? “We may have to design for both robots and humans.” There are multiple factors driving this growth and shaping sector innovation, according to MHI, including e-commerce, digitization, sustainability, margin pressures and customer preferences for convenience, customization, safety and security. As the study asserts, “More retail packaged goods brands will emerge as leaders in sustainability, responding to customer demands and driving packaging and labeling innovations. “Greater integration of this philosophy into design, sourcing, production, shipping and merchandising practices will mark this decade for significant progress in positive supply chain value.” And on that upbeat note, Happy New Year to all!

DECEMBER 2020 | VOLUME 73, NO. 14 Reader Service Print and digital subscription inquires or changes, please contact Anita Madden, Audience Development Manager Tel: (416) 510-5183 Fax: (416) 510-6875 Email: Mail: 111 Gordon Baker Rd., Suite 400, Toronto, ON M2H 3R1 Senior Publisher Stephen Dean | (416) 510-5198 Editor George Guidoni | (416) 510-5227 Account Coordinator Barb Comer | (888) 599-2228 ext 210 Media Designer Brooke Shaw | (519) 428-3471 COO Scott Jamieson Annex Business Media 111 Gordon Baker Rd., Suite 400, Toronto, ON M2H 3R1; Tel: 416-442-5600.

Canadian Packaging, established 1947, is published 10 times per year except for occasional combined, expanded or premium issues, which count as two subscription issues. PRINTED IN CANADA ISSN 008-4654 (PRINT), ISSN 1929-6592 (ONLINE) PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40065710 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE PER YEAR (INCLUDING ANNUAL BUYERS’ GUIDE: Canada $78.50 per year,USA $179.50 (CDN) per year, Outside Canada $203.50 (CDN) per year, Single Copy Canada $10.00, Outside Canada $27.10. From time to time Canadian Packaging will mail information on behalf of industry-related groups whose products and services we believe may be of interest to you. If you prefer not to receive this information, please contact our circulation department in any of the four ways listed above. Annex Privacy Officer Phone: 800-668-2374 DISCLAIMER: No part of the editorial content of this publication may be reprinted without the publisher’s written permission. ©2020 Annex Publishing & Printing Inc. All rights reserved. This publication is for informational purposes only. The content and “expert” advice presented are not intended as a substitute for informed professional engineering advice. You should not act on information contained in this publication without seeking specific advice from qualified engineering professionals. Canadian Packaging accepts no responsibility or liability for claims made for any product or service reported or advertised in this issue. Canadian Packaging receives unsolicited materials, (including letters to the editor, press releases, promotional items and images) from time to time. Canadian Packaging, its affiliates and assignees may use, reproduce, publish, republish, distribute, store and archive such unsolicited submissions in whole or in part in any form or medium whatsoever, without compensation of any sort. We acknowledge the [financial] support of the Government of Canada


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Hershey raises its packaging game

As the popularity of video games continues to soar exponentially among today’s younger consumers—with an estimated 23 million Canadians openly identifying themselves as gamers—capturing their attention is no easy feat, even for the iconic Oh Henry! brand candy bar. But that’s exactly what the 100-year-old brand did a few weeks ago with the launch of the new Oh Henry! Level Up bar aimed directly at gaming enthusiasts in need of a quick nutritional boost to raise their gaming

performance while they’re playing. Featuring the time-tested sweet and chewy taste profile comprising the goodness of peanut butter, crunchy pretzels, peanuts, caramel and a chocolate coating, the new Oh Henry! addition has certainly raised the bar’s packaging game to a new level of excellence with a evergreen element of arcade graphics, specifically the pixel, and the authentic 8-bit infused typography with a twist on the Oh Henry! classic branding to convey the message that the Level Up bar is made specifically made for gamers. While gaming and snacking typically go hand-in-hand to begin with, brand-owner Hershey Canada Inc. felt the brand needed an extra ‘Wow’ factor in its packaging to stand out on-shelf and to connect with the gaming

community’s collective consciousness. Working with Australian-based package design specialists Anomaly, the Hershey marketing team developed an innovative promotion using special codes printed on the inside of Oh Henry! Level Up wrappers for an in-game “virtual” level boost for the popular NBA 2K21 basketball video game. “The Oh Henry! bar has always been about conquering hunger, but now we’re helping Canadians conquer the court as well,” says Alejandro Mosquera, marketing manager for the Oh Henry! brand.

Beer holder adds joy to shower experience

Canadian craft brewer Steam WhistleBrewing has never been shy about using packaging and merchandising innovations to help grow the sales of its popular flagship Steam Whistle Premium Pilsner brand to mark special seasonal occasions, but this year the Toronto-based beermaker has arguably outdone itself by resolving the age-old mystery of enjoying an ice-cold beer while having a hot shower. Called the Steam Whistle Shower Caddy, the fun and functional contraption removes the fear of having the beer watered down, being splashed with soap, or accidentally going down the drain by using its high-quality silicone construction to adhere to any smooth flat surface to hold a tall can of beer close by and out of harm’s way. Sold for a limited time at LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) outlets with six-packs of 473-ml aluminum cans of Steam Whistle Pilsner, “The innovative Steam Whistle Shower Caddy solves a real problem for beer lovers,” says Tim McLaughlin, vice-president of marketing at Steam Whistle Brewing. “But Steam Whistle will not accept responsibility for people suddenly feeling the need to shower more often, spend more time in the shower, or convincing themselves that they are great singers.”

Tomato grower stays on green course

Located in rural southwestern Ontario, Elmira’s Own Tomatoes has supplied the local and surrounding communities with delicious, quality vegetables for many years the old-fashioned way. The company’s tomatoes are left to ripen on the vine—allowing for maximum flavor and nutrient content—and its natural growing practises include using bumblebees to pollinate the plants and introducing additional bugs to help balance the eco-system. During last summer, Elmira’s Own took the next step along its sustainability journey by changing the conventional plastic packaging to adopt a renewable and compostable alternative—now packing its tomatoes in a compostable fiber pulp tray and wrapped in transparent NatureFlex NVS film from Futamura Chemical Company. Designed to run on existing fresh produce flowrap packaging lines, the NatureFlex NVS films are highly renewable, being manufactured from wood pulp sourced from sustainably managed plantations, while also meeting all the global standards for industrial composting and are certified to meet all the home composting standards for backyard composting. 6



Heat Sealing Packaging, Concord, Ont.-based supplier and distributor of leading packaging materials and equipment for the food processing industry, has announced the launch of a new company website ( and corporate logo (see image) to update the company’s continued commitment to innovation and sustainability. “We were equally inspired by the incredible commitment and effort that the Canadian food processor industry made to continue the supply of fresh food in the face of a global pandemic,” says company vice-president Dan Margorian. “We believe our new look reflects Heat Sealing Packaging today and reflects our path forward, to emphasize the strength of our capabilities, delivering innovation with our collective commitment to servicing our clients as best we can. These are all key elements and will remain the cornerstones of Heat Sealing Packaging.”

St. Louis, Mo.-headquartered rigid plastic packaging products group TricorBraun has been honored with four 2020 AmeriStar Packaging


Awards from the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) last month in recognition of innovation and excellence in packaging design. “At TricorBraun, everything we do starts and ends with our customers, so to receive this recognition for some of our innovative customer solutions is an incredible honor,” says TricorBraun president and chief executive officer Court Carruthers. “Our team, the best team of packaging professionals in the world, is excited to be celebrated for our hard work, dedication and creativity.” The four AmeriStar award-winning entries include: • A new delivery system for the FUNacho chili and cheese sauce sold in convenience stores, stadiums, and movie theaters around the world. • A new refillable bottle for the for Truman’s line of household cleaning products, designed to evoks a beaker in a science lab, with the water fill line falling right where the bottle begins to angle outward. • A redesigned hourglass-shaped the package for EcoClean Solutions’ Green Gobbler Drain Cleaner. • The new Sei Bella lipstick package featuring a custom-made over-shell cover and gift-box made from 100-percent recyclable cardboard material.

Chicago-based packaging products group Berlin Packaging has significantly increased its footprint in Canada following last month’s acquisition of Consolidate Bottle, venerable Toronto-headquartered manufacturer of consumer glass, plastic and metal packaging products founded in 1910. “Consolidated Bottle has an extraordinary history and shares our focus on quality, service and results for customers,” says Bill Hayes, chief executive officer and president of Berlin Packaging. “We are extremely committed to the Canadian market and see tremendous growth opportunities for our employees, customers and suppliers,” says Hayes, noting that the new owners plan to continue operating Consolidated’s facilities in Toronto and Montreal with the existing workforce under the new Consolidated Bottle Corporation, a Berlin Packaging company, banner. “We are extremely committed to the Canadian market and see tremendous growth opportunities for our employees, customers and suppliers,” Hayes states. “We are thrilled to partner with Berlin Packaging for our next chapter,” adds Jonathan Rutman, chief executive officer of Consolidated Bottle. “Our team and our customer base have enjoyed phenomenal growth over the past several years, and we are confident that our shared future is bright with Berlin Packaging.” Camden, N.J.-headquartered folding carton producer Rondo-Pak, LLC has completed a major expansion of its production facilities in Camden and Juan, Puerto Rico, which included installation of a Koenig & Bauer

Iberica Optima 106 die-cutter capable of processing 8,000 sheets per hour, and a Bobst Expertfold 110 foldergluer. According to the company, the new equipment will enable it to meet growing market demand for specialty cartons incorporating value-added features such as child resistance, tamper evidence, crash-lock or auto-bottoms, and inner partitions. “We are continually striving to increase our capacity, efficiency and quality to meet and exceed the demands of our growing customer base,” says Rondo-Pak president and chief operating officer Bob Reilley. “These purchases are critical towards achieving those objectives and supporting our continued growth and are important steps in our ongoing investment plans.” Chicago-headquartered food processing and packaging equipment group Duravant LLC has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Cloud Packaging Solutions, Des Plaines, Ill.-based , manufacturer of high-speed horizontal flexible packaging equipment, including the patented rotary soluble pod equipment and ultra-high-speed packet, pouch, and sachet packaging machinery. According to Duravant, Cloud systems offer a perfect strategic fit for its own Mespack brand of stand-up pouch and stick-pack equipment technologies. “I couldn’t imagine a more complementary addition to the Duravant family of operating companies,” says Duravant president and chief executive officer Mike Kachmer.









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Decades of science, imagination, and commitment that help bring your best products to market Heat and Control has been on a mission to modernize equipment solutions since our founding in 1950. For 70 years, our passion for advancing the food, pharmaceutical, and other industries has guided our work. From the machinery we manufacture and the






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14 28 29 Learn more >

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Trivium Packaging, globally-operating manufacturer of metal packaging products, was a multiple winner a last month’s 2020 Can of the Year awards, picking up a gold meal for the cutting-edge tinplate end with the EasyPeel aluminum membrane designed and produced by Trivium. Produced in collaboration with Amcor and Kezzler for global dairy producer Royal Friesland Campina, the project involved implementation of an optimal process for applying the metallic foil with a unique QR code for each product onto an EasyPeel lid at the company’s state-of-the-art nutrition plant in Hoogeveen in the Netherlands. In addition, Trivium was also awarded: * Silver medal for the 250-ml impactextruded aluminum bottle made for the U.S.-based Ste Michelle Wine Estates. * Bronze medals for the seven-ounce impact-extruded aluminum cans for Formulated Solutions Cutter Foaming Hand Sanitizer, andt he 10-oz (296-ml) impact-extruded aluminum bottle for Hand in Hand soap, produced at Trivium’s plant in Youngstown, Ohio, as

part of a project to convert personal care products into sustainable aluminum packaging. “These awards represent our mission to deliver high quality, innovative, and sustainable packaging,” says Trivium’s chief growth officer Rob Huffman. “There is no greater accomplishment than working closely with our partners to deliver packaging solutions that exceed expectations in protecting and promoting their brand.”

The new vial table is part of Aphena’s new large-scale biologics packaging operation. Aphena Pharma Solutions has announced that it now offers cold chain storage and large-scale biologics packaging and distribution services at a new 500,000-square-foot facility in Cookeville, Tenn., that was specifically purpose-built for FDA-approved pharmaceutical and packaging operations. Built as part of the

company’s US$21-million capital upgrade project t at the company’s Solid Dose Division, the facility has dedicated 47,000 square feet to cold chain storage, accommodating 14,000 pallet spaces. According to Aphena, this space features 24-hour, state-ofthe-art security; redundant power supplies with a failover compressor; temperature mapping and monitoring; automatic alarm notification; and chilled storage and distribution with temperatures ranging from 2ºC to 8°C refrigerated and -10ºC to -18ºC frozen. “This addition of cold chain storage, turnkey biologics packaging and distribution services establishes Aphena’s position as a top contender in the pharmaceutical contract service space,” says Aphena’s executive vice-president of sales Eric Allen. Leading Austrian plastic packaging products manufacturer Greiner Packaging and German consumer products multinational Henkel have been honored the Green Packaging Award 2020 of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) last month in recognition of the sustainability attributes of the combination cardboard-plastic packaging used by




Henkel for its Persil 4in1 Discs laundry pods, boasting 50-percent r-PP (recycled polypropylene) content. “Greiner Packaging has been producing sustainable solutions for many years, and the new Persil 4in1 Discs packaging solutions are an example of the ongoing collaboration between our companies in this area,” says Greiner’s, chief executive officer Axel Kühner, citing 40-percent weight savings and 50-percent reduction in the use of virgin materials used to make the new package compared to the previous version. “We make the inside of the plastic container from white virgin material, which guarantees a high degree of color contrast with the colorful detergent discs,” explains Eduardo Celada, international packaging manager for laundry care at Henkel. “The packaging’s outer coating, meanwhile, contains recycled plastic obtained from end consumer households but this layer’s gray color does not impact the packaging’s look because it is wrapped in an attractively printed cardboard sleeve.”

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VIPER STRIKE The new Viper thermal inkjet (TIJ) printing system from Squid Ink Manufacturing, Inc. is designed to print superior quality hghi-resolution characters on porous and non-porous surfaces in high-speed product coding and marking applications with up to 0.5-inch (12.7-mm) of print height per printhead. The new Viper TIJ utilizes high-performance Funai no-mess ink cartridges to print up to 600-dpi high-resolution codes on wood, coated and non-coated stocks, polystyrene, films, foils and other substrates to print permanent marks that dry in seconds on glossy cartons, cases, trays, plastics at speeds up to 60 meters (197 feet) per minute at 300-dpi resolution. The Viper TIJ printing system features an 8.9- full-color touchscreen PC that gives users access to the printer’s internal messages and print functions, while allowing users to create and edit messages using Squid Ink’s intuitive Sirius PC software to print date codes, lot numbers, barcodes and other graphics needed for most coding and marking applications. Squid Ink Manufacturing, Inc.

LOOKING SHARP The new Sharp Packaging Systems MAX-PRO 24 continuous bagging system from Pregis LLC can handle a wide range of products and bag sizes to provide a cost-effective and efficient solution for fulfillment operations with a broad e-commerce offering product offering. Simple to operate and integrate into current operations and processes, the MAX-PRO 24 has a number of features that contribute toward reducing packaging costs, including innovative web handling features that simplify operations, automated pass-through settings, an easy-touse bag threading system, and a user-friendly HMI (human-machine interface) control panel that

simplifies operation and guides troubleshooting. Accommodating bags up to 24-inches-wide and 36-inches-long, while handling products that weigh up to 10 pounds, the MAX-PRO 24 features a low-force jaw designed for safe and simple operations, according to Pregis. Pregis LLC TUFF ENOUGH

The new Tuff Stack Pro intermediate bulk container (IBC) from Elkhart Plastics, Inc. is an inner cylindrical tank positioned within a heavy-duty all-poly structural frame designed to fit a variety of applications and process uses. Available in 275- and 330-gallon sizes, the Tuff Stack Pro offers optional top lifting plates and is designed and tested for 1.9 SG (specific gravity) product weight, and its rotationally molded construction enables Tuff Stack Pro to provide superior impact strength. Elkhart Plastics, Inc.

NEWER DIMENSIONS The new Gawis 4D dimensional and thickness measurement system from Agr International, Inc. is an innovative light-based solution for non-contact thickness measurement of non-PET containers, including HDPE, PP and PE plastics. The patent-pending method incorporates a proprietary programmable spectrometer and utilizes an integrated method to analyze the signal level of multiple absorption bands within the entire NIR band width—allowing for highly colored bottles with low transparency to IR light to be measured for thickness. According to Agr, the new system is designed to provide highly accurate and repeatable dimensional gauging, as well as high-precision, non-contact thickness measurement over the entire bottle or preform, with robust throughput of less than twenty seconds per sample. Agr International, Inc. December 2020 · CANADIANPACKAGING


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Maple Leaf setting new green benchmarks for meat industry


eading Canadian meat processor Maple Leaf Foods is quickly emerging as one of the world’s most sustainable protein companies, according to the 2020 Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index of Environmental, Social and Governance Performance list that ranks the company as the second-best among the world’s top 60 publicly-traded meat producers in terms of CSR (corporate social responsibility) performance metrics. Coming justs days after Maple Leaf was globally certified as carbon neutral, its high ranking on the list—up from 7th place last year— also comes with a special ‘low risk investment’ recognition that only two other companies on the list have received.

“We are grateful that the meaningful progress we made on our sustainability journey throughout 2020 has been recognized,” says chief executive officer Michael McCain. “At Maple Leaf Foods, we believe that real change results from meaningful action,” he states, noting Maple Leaf is one of only three animal protein companies in the world to adopt science-based greenhouse gas emissions targets. The annual Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index ranks the listed meat, dairy and aquaculture com-

panies by assigning scores to 10 key sustainability factors that include governance, greenhouse gas emissions; deforestation and biodiversity loss; water scarcity and use; waste and pollution; antibiotics; animal welfare; working conditions, food safety, and alternative proteins. In fact, Maple Leaf Foods’ leadership in plant protein was a key factor contributing to itss rise in the global ranking. With the company aiming to reach $3 billion in annual sales of plant protein by 2029, Maple Leaf is already off to a

flying start in this category with a successful recent launch of the Maple Leaf 50/50 brand of socalled “fusion protein” products. Launched as a “direct response to rising consumer interest in flexitarian eating,” according to the company, “these products are made with 50-percent premium quality meat and 50-percent natural and plant-based protein for consumers who want to make sustainable protein choices for themselves, their family and the planet—without giving up meat entirely.”


Clip Packaging Systems When it comes to clip packaging solutions, there is no equivalent to TIPPER TIE. Since its founding in 1952, the company has introduced many welcome innovations in clippers and clip technology, starting with the Tipper Casing Tyer. Over the years, and thanks to the acquisition of TECHNOPACK GmbH and ALPINA GmbH, the product line has grown to address the needs of meat processors around the globe. Today, TIPPER TIE and Pemberton provide application expertise, equipment and after-sale support to customers of all sizes – from the independent sausage maker and small butcher shop to multi-national Fortune 500 processors.



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From Left: Giannone Poultry vice-president and general manager Bruno Giannone; PLAN Automation’s senior technician Eric Morisette; and Giannone’s plant manager Pascal Lavallée pose for a group shot in front of the new Eagle RMI 400 PXT X-Ray inspection system at the plant.

NO BONES ABOUT IT High-end poultry processor deploys new state-of-the-art X-Ray inspection technology to remove tiny bone particles and other contaminants from its new boneless chicken product line By George Guidoni, Editor Photos By Pierre Longtin




aking up with the chickens may not be everyone’s ideal way to kick off a new day. But for the hardworking folks employed at the Giannone Poultry processing plant in Saint-Cuthbert, Que., being an early bird is all part and parcel of putting in a good day’s work. Founded in 1989, the family-owned business has come a long way since shifting its focus from raising small-game birds to producing premium fresh chicken products for an ever-growing list of customers across Canada and New England, and it did not achieve this successful transformation by simply winging it.

Aside from being one of the first North American processors to use revolutionary new air-chilling methods to produce tastier and more wholesome meat, the pioneering company has also been a poster child for the virtues of humane animal treatment and welfare, headstrong in its belief that a happier chicken is always bound to be a better-tasting chicken. As the company’s website proudly proclaims, “The Giannone method is based on ethical concerns for the welfare of animal and humane care, which results in a more tender, tastier product. “We give our chickens the time to complete their normal growth cycle, making sure that they are grain-fed with corn, soy and wheat supplemented with natural vitamins and minerals. “All our chickens are raised in barns to give them enough room for freedom of CANADIANPACKAGING.COM

movement.” The company’s genuine animal welfare ethos—validated with the Antibiotic-Free Certified Humane certification—is in fact one of the several calling cards used by Giannone Poultry to grow its client base in the highly competitive poultry industry. With capacity to slaughter and process up to 725,000 broilers per week, the 250,000-square-foot Saint-Cuthbert production facility has recently started a second production shift to keep up with soaring market demand for its products, boosted even further with Giannone obtaining the highest Halal certification for the Halal hand-slaughtered method. Employing about 250 people, the busy plant houses a total of six production lines—each dedicated to a specific prod- no effort to maintain a strict HACCP uct type—to turn out a variety of prod- (Hazard Analysis of Critical Control ucts ranging from whole chicken to sea- Points)-compliant sanitation and hygiene soned whole chicken and various primary environment as required by its SQF and secondary cuts, which are shipped in (Safe Quality Food) certification, one bulk or vacuum-sealed inside air-tight of the highest levels recognized worldwide under the GFSI (Global Food skin packaging for retail sale. “We are a high-end poultry processing Safety Initiative) program, and its plant that aims for nothing less than commitment to environmental protec100-percent quality and service levels,” tion is second to none, according to says Giannone Poultry vice-president Giannone. “We treat 100 per cent of all the water Bruno Giannone, citing the company’s unique air chilling process as one of sev- coming out of the plant operations,” he eral key competitive advantages in what says, “and we also have an environmental certification that allows us to burn all the he calls a “very tough” market segment. “All our chickens are chilled in our sludge that the processing plant produces, exclusive air-chilling process with no so there is no sludge sent to the landfill.” As Giannone explains, the facility water added,” Giannone explains. “This ultra-modern system is greatly operates an on-site biomass combustion superior to the regular water-based system using wood and the processed method,” he says, “because air-chilled sludge to heat and create the steam rechicken conserves the meat’s natural quired for production and plant needs— juices, while also preserving its precious eliminating the use of diesel fuel and substantially reducing the company’s enzymes and proteins. “Eliminating water from the process environmental footprint. Naturally, the company’s focus on reduces bacterial contamination and significantly extends the product’s shelf- animal and environmental welfare is fitlife,” says Giannone, noting that Canada tingly matched by its relentless focus on is the only country to have a supply product and consumer safety, as evimanagement system for live chicken denced by the two Eagle Pack 1000 Pro X-Ray inspection systems installed at the products. “As a federally-inspected slaughterhouse we have many regulatory systems that we have to respect,” says Giannone, “and we have to plan all our slaughtering and marketing operations within this supply system, ensuring optimal safety and full compliance to regulations from plant level to the environmental impact.” On the plant level, the company spares

plant in 2009 to detect tiny contaminants making their way into packed cases of bagged bulk chicken products coming off the plant’s production lines. Both units were expertly installed by food safety and product quality-focused staff of PLAN Automation, Orangeville, Ont.-based packaging line integrators who are the largest packaging automation supplier in Canada. Employing over 60 people and 11 technicians at offices across Canada, PLAN Automation is in fact Canada’s exclusive distributor for the product inspection systems manufactured by Eagle Product Inspection of Tampa Ba, Fla., storing about $425,000 worth of spare X-Ray system parts at locations in Toronto, Montreal and British Columbia, along with a PXT demonstration system ready to be deployed for testing, trials, emergency product reclaim projects and rentals right across Canada. The two Pack 1000 Pro X-Ray systems installed by PLAN Automation in 2009 have proven to be exceptionally good servants for the facility’s rigorous quality control process, according to Giannone. But despite being great for inspecting large-sized cases or packages, the Pack 1000 Pro systems have their limitations

(from left) Outside of the Giannone Poultry processing facility in Saint-Cuthbert; the brand new Eagle RMI 400 PXT X-Ray detection system installed by PLAN Automation; chicken breasts pieces being sent back for rework; the new PXT technology provides poultry bone detection down to 1.0-mm.

“We are a high-end poultry plant that aims for nothing less than 100-percent quality levels.”





(From Left) The Maralec weighing, grading and portioning system supplied to the plant by Reiser Canada; food-contact grade plastic conveyor belting and conponents used to transfer inspected pieces of bonessles chicken for placement inside plastic-lined bulk boxes; finished boneless and skinless chicken breasts inside retail skin-packs.


when inspecting individual chicken breasts, thighs and boneless whole-leg meat. As a result, Giannone decided he would need even a more powerful X-Ray inspection solution to put to the test on a new production line dedicated to processing boneless chicken products—adding another promising value-added offering to the company’s premium product portfolio. After having installed a new automatic deboning line at the plant recently, Giannone realized the new process also resulted in generating many tiny bone fragments that would stay embedded in the meat—many of them being so tiny that the visual inspection method used by line operators would be ineffective due to their small size. To resolve this new challenge, Giannone once again turned to PLAN Automation to come up with a suitable solution. As it happened, Eagle Product Inspection had just introduced a brand new RMI 400 PXT (Performance X-Ray


Technology) X-Ray system capable of detecting small poultry calcified bone fragments as small as 1.0-mm or even smaller, compared to the minimum 3.0mm 5.00-mm particles that traditional X-Ray system are able to detect, due to their low density and the creation of cluttered images outside of the chicken’s breast area, such as thighs and trim. Combined with an X-Ray infeed and reject system, the new poultry inspection solution was developed specifically to deliver superior inline contaminant and bone detection with reliable and consistent results to provide optimal brand protections. Designed to NAMI standards and built with hygienic construction for the inline inspection of raw and unpackaged poultry products prior to further processing, the new system features unobstructed sightlines and contoured surfaces to minimize potential material harborage areas, while ensuring fast and convenient visual inspection during cleaning with a unique curtain-less design. According to Eagle, the combination

of breakthrough PXT technology and SimulTask PRO image analysis software provides the industry’s highest level of inline automated bone detection available. “SimulTask PRO analyzes the high-resolution images captured with PXT, allowing the application of multiple processing algorithms to work in parallel for every image—providing remarkably more accurate image analysis then ever before,” says Eagle. “The ultra-high physical resolution of the detector run in a high-resolution mode, combined with the TDI (time delay integration) array, provides both low noise and high contrast.” Suitable for both slaughterhouses and further processor of meat products, the system excels in the inspection of all forms of poultry—from fresh or frozen, bulk flow to retail, and from single- to multi-lane processing lines—to ensure extremely low FFR (false reject rate) performance to help minimize product rework, while maximizing uptime and improving throughput. As the product is X-Rayed to detect bone fragments and other foreign body contamination caused by tiny bits of glass, aluminum, steel, stone and other standard foreign debris finding its way into the process, the X-Ray system’s contaminant detection sends a signal to the reject unit to activate the retractable belt, whereby the rejected product is dropped onto the reject return conveyor and delivered back to the operators for rework. Using a lighted trim table, the operators can quickly access and rework the rejected product, which is placed onto a return chute that feeds the main line, while discarding any extra trim or waste into a nearby waste container. Running at speeds of up to 240 pieces CANADIANPACKAGING.COM

per minute in dual-line configuration, the new RMI 400 PXT X-Ray inspection system was installed at the Saint-Cuthbert plant this past summer and, according to Giannone, has already proven to be an indispensable part of the new boneless chicken production line. “The new X-Ray system has been resulted in a dramatic reduction of bones in our boneless products,” Giannone extols, “basically down to zero. “By purchasing a dual-lane system, we were able to double our output, or do different products at the same time,” Giannone notes, “and we have had great customer feedback since the installation.” Says Giannone: “We always update our facility on a yearly basis, and one of the most important investments in machinery and equipment we have made this year was purchasing this new X-Ray machine from PLAN Automation. “Giannone Poultry prides itself on providing quality poultry product with 100-percent service level,” he says, “and adding this equipment to our production process is definitely helping us maintain the Giannone name in the market as a high-quality poultry processor.” For PLAN Automation’s vice-president and chief operating officer Mat Bédard, such customer feedback provides perfect validation for his long-term faith in the technological superiority of X-Ray inspection technologies developed by Eagle. “This radically enhanced detector technology features smaller diodes with a smaller pitch, combined with a revolutionary dual-energy TDI detector to collect more detailed data about the product being inspected,” Bédard says. “When analyzed with advanced image analysis software, this provides images with much higher resolution,” he adds. “The breakthrough PXT allows poultry processors to find the smallest bone fragments, down to 1.0-mm, with high repeatability, low false rejects and less rework,” Bédard states. “Moreover, the PXT can be deployed to suit a wide range of applications at any product control point, including chicken and turkey, intended for retail packs,” he says, “as well as incoming raw material bound for further processing and finished products like sausages, patties, nuggets, and even breaded fish fillets. “This versatile technology is successful in detecting poultry bone and foreign contaminants in both fresh and frozen products, and it can handle thick products like turkey breasts or thinner products such as chicken tenderloins,” Bédard explains. “The system can also effectively detect poultry bone fragments in all types of cuts such as breast, thighs and trim meat, CANADIANPACKAGING.COM

(Top) Close-up of the Leeson SST motor from Regal Beloit used to power the takeaway conveyor transporting chicken pieces from the Eagle X-Ray inpection system down the line for packing. (Bottom) Air-chilled birds being lined up and prepared for a run on the Giannone plant’s new automatic deboning machine.

as well as finished and cooked products in their final retail package.” “From an operational standpoint,” Bédard points out, “processors can use X-Ray devices equipped with PXT in both single- and multi-lane set-ups either as stand-alone critical control points, or networked to other systems to enable full process optimization and efficiency analysis.” Says Bédard: “Using an automatic deboning machine like they have at Giannone will always result in creation of smaller loose bone fragments that can go undetected at the rework table, where operators can only use visual detection. “But with its ability to detect and pinpoint bones a small as 1.0-mm or even smaller, this new system really sets the gold standard for bone and contaminant detection that has never been seen before. “I have personally seen this machine catch bones as small as 0.6-mm at the Giannone plant,” he says, “so there is no question in my mind that having this system in place will help Giannone remain one of the industry leaders, by applying state-of-the-art X-Ray technology to ensure they have the best-qual-

ity product available on the market.” As Giannone reciprocates, “All I can say about PLAN Automation is that they have been a great partner for us to work with. “They have a great team that provided full support from the purchase, delivery and installation of the new X-Ray machine,” Giannone states, “and they approach their business very much the way we do, providing the highest possible quality and safety to the end-use customer. “We have some further new exciting projects planned for our facility in 2021,” Giannone concludes, “and PLAN Automation is definitely included in those plans.”

SUPPLIERS PLAN Automation Eagle Product Inspection Reiser Canada Ltd. Regal Beloit Corporation Please see the Eagle RMI 400 PXT X-Ray product inspection system in action at the Giannone Poultry processing plant on Canadian Packaging TV at December 2020 · CANADIANPACKAGING



Voltigeurs Farm’s director of planning and marketing Georges Jr. Martel (foreground) and Duropac’s senior packaging procurement representative Claude Ratelle display the perfectly vacuumpacked Duropac bags used to package the company’s premium organic chicken brand.

SPREADING THEIR WINGS Organic chicken processor beefs up its packaging capabilities to cope with buoyant demand from leading grocery giants By Andrew Snook



s manufacturing and processing operations grow, bottlenecks are almost always certain to occur at some point within the process. Whether it’s at an infeed, a processing line, packaging, warehousing or shipping, upgrading various aspects of a plant to ensure its efficiency is a never-ending battle. At Ferme des Voltigeurs Inc. (Voltigeurs Farm), Drummondville, Que.based producer of high-quality organic and grain-fed poultry products supplying grocery stores across the country since 1958, that bottleneck was building up for

some time within its cut-up line and packaging department. “With a process like this, when you start with a live bird, each time you increase the speed somewhere, there’s always a new bottleneck somewhere else,” explains Georges Jr. Martel, director of planning and marketing at Voltigeurs Farm. “Packaging was over-saturated, but there was no more ability to increase the capacity or the speed of the line.” To solve the company’s bottleneck issues,Voltigeurs Farm spent the past five years planning and investing in some of the latest packaging technologies, and those investments are paying off. The processing plant is a continuous December 2020 · CANADIANPACKAGING



line that starts with birds being slaughtered on-site at speeds of 2,500 to 3,000 birds per hour. Demand for the company’s products is always increasing, with .Voltigeurs Farm currently producing approximately 75 different products to supply multiple brands. One of its biggest clients is grocery store chain Metro, which co-branded with Voltigeurs Farm to supply 10 different poultry products for Metro’s Irresistibles store brand through its Naturalia and Organic products, including boneless grain-fed chickens, breasts, thighs, skinless thighs and drumsticks sold at Metro and Metro Plus store locations. To keep up with increasing demand, the company has been planning out upgrades to all aspects of its production lines over the past five years, identifying the packaging line was one of the problematic areas that required immediate up-

(Above) The Tipper Tie Rotamatic automatic rotary vacuum-packing system supplied by Pemberton & Associates. (Right) The RS 420 thermoform packaging machine manufactured by VC999.

“The shrink level is very good. It’s a brilliant and nicelooking bag that catches the eye.” 20 CANADIANPACKAGING · December 2020

grades. “When the birds go out of the air-chill line, we have to package at the same speed because we don’t want to slow down the killing line,” Martel explains, adding that the packaging department was preventing the production lines from meeting their peak efficiencies. To improve the capacity of the packaging department, Voltigeurs Farm invested in several pieces of new technology over the past three years. One of those investments was a Tipper Tie Rotamatic automatic rotary vacuum-packing system, manufactured by JBT FoodTech in the U.S. and distributed in Canada by Pemberton & Associates of Mississauga, Ont. The unit was installed for the bagging of Voltigeurs Farm’s whole chickens and turkeys. “It was quite a big investment, about $300,000 to do

the vacuum clipping, instead of having five or six machines with one person on each,” Martel explains. “We installed it last year,” he relate. “The advantage is we need less people on the line and we increase the capacity of the line. “Now we can increase orders and have three or four less workers [on that line].” Éric Lechatelier, vice-president of sales for Pemberton & Associates, says that the Tipper Tie Rotamatic is a fairly straightforward machine to add to a processing plant. “It’s a pretty standard machine that major operators in North CANADIANPACKAGING.COM

(From top left) Bagged chicken coming off the Tipper Tier Rotomatic; top film layer applied to the packs of fresh chicken breasts on the RS 420 thermoformer; Videojet DataFlex thermal-transfer printer; Georges Jr. Martel.

America use,” he says. “It’s more or less a plug-and-play system, other than a few adjustments. “It’s not a difficult machine to install,”adds Lechatelier. “It’s more about the organization of conveyors to feed that machine and the outfeed—putting everything in place around it. “The machine itself is not really complex,” he adds. “Even if the operator needs a bit of training, in two days it’s a done deal.” “Coupled to a continuous shrink tunnel, the system supplied by Pemberton & Associates produces


an airtight, aesthetically pleasing tacted Duropac to find an alternafinal package,” adds Patrick Colin, tive supplier for their poultry bags,” national sales manager for Pember- recalls Duropac’s chief executive officer Jean-François Bourdeau, ton & Associates. After the Tipper Tie Rotamatic adding that the company was lookwas installed, the line now only re- ing for increased flexibility from quires one or two employees to feed their supplier related to printing the machine and put the plates on plate changes, lower minimum production runs, and more comeach bag. The bags for the unit are supplied petitive pricing. Bourdeau says his company’s by Duropac, Candiac, Que.-based supplier of vacuum pouches and bags are unique because they offer modified atmospheric packaging the lowest minimum product run (MAP) products for slaughter- for poultry bags in the Canadian houses, food processing plants, marketplace, along with: the lowest printing plates costs butchers, delicatessens and retailers. • that allow making graphical “Ferme des Voltigeurs conDecember 2020 · CANADIANPACKAGING





changes at a lower cost; competitive price per bag; an inventory management program that includes warehousing and purchasing by Duropac; • high-quality poultry bags for a product being manufactured in a BRC (British Retail Consortium)-certified plant. “The shrink level is very good, and the appearance of the bags on store displays is very nice,” Martel says. “It’s a brilliant and nice-looking bag that cathes the eye.” The other significant investment in the company’s packaging line was the purchase of a new VC999 RS 420 thermoform packaging machine and a new Videojet DataFlex thermal-transfer printer to take care of all the product traceability requirements. “We had a VC999 thermoformer already, but we bought a larger one a few years ago,” Martel says, adding that it was a much-needed purchase to continue expanding his company’s processing operations. “The Videojet DataFlex printer on the thermoformer increases our capacity because we some generic labels for four brands, and you don’t need to change the roll of labels each time,” he explains. “ The VC999 system and the Videojet coder are a good combination.” The company also purchased a Sipromac shrink tunnel for its

• •

22 CANADIANPACKAGING · December 2020

whole-chicken line. “After we package the birds into Duropac bags and clip them with the Tipper Tie, they then go through to shrink tunnel,” Martel explains. “Then once everything is put in the box, it goes to an automatic line scale to apply labels on the box.” To continue growing and meeting future product demands, the company has another large project on the go—involving its refrigeration line and eviscerating department, according to Martel. “Next year we will start construction of a new building and new automated eviscerating equipment that will increase our speed up to 4,000 birds per hour. “Right now, we’re limited by our refrigeration line,” Martel says, adding that the transfers to the refrigeration line will be automated after the upgrades are complete. “But it would not have been possible to think about this if we had not invested in the packaging and cut-up departments before,” he concludes. “This is the reason why we invested so much capital in the packaging department—to be able to cope with the next big increase in volume.”

(from left) Claude Ratelle of Duropac inside the plant’s on-site storefront; Georges Jr. Martel holds up freshly-bagged whole chickens; a close-up of air-tight packaging provided by the Duropac bags; thermoformed retail packages of premium chicken meat placed inside corrugated trays for shipment.

SUPPLIERS VC999 Canada Ltd. Pemberton & Associates JBT FoodTech Videojet Technologies, inc. Duropac Sipromac CANADIANPACKAGING.COM









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Doing More With Less Quebec label manufacturer forging its own market path with linerless label technology

hroughout its 40-year history, Quebec label producer Imprimerie SteJulie has known how to elevate each printing technique to a point where it is an art mastered to perfection. As leaders in this industry, the company is always looking for a way to do things better in order to give its customers a more comprehensive and contemporary range of products and services that includes labels, shrinkseleeves, flexible packaging, finishing processes and specialty services. Proud of its progressive environmental mindset and corporate philosophy based on achieving the highest CSR (corporate social responsibility) performance in the label industry, Imprimerie Ste-Julie has recently become the first printer in Canada to offer Ravenwood’s new linerless labeling technology to replace traditional labeling methods. Doing everything that the regular labels can do to provide effective labeling solutions for food products such as fish and meat, fruits and vegetables, pastries, ready-to-eat foods, and pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, linerless labels do it all without the traditional support paper layer (liner)—meaning drastically less waste a the end of the process, along with considerable cost-savings and a notable reduction in the customers’ overall environmental footprint of their business. The application of the linerless labels can be done manually or automatically, with the ideal scenario using the Nobac applications system for automatic linerless application. This technology offers about 10 different packaging options to help customers save time and to guarantee no application defects during the process. Having recently become a certified ECOresponsible–Level 1 company, Ste-Julie is naturally very excited about the new business opportunities offered by this certified recyclable, waste-free packaging solution that easily adapts to any product format. To find more about this innovative new


24 CANADIANPACKAGING · December 2020

labeling technique, the Canadian Packaging magazine recently reached out to the company’s Canadian linerless product manager Éric Thibault to explore the subject in further detail. When did your company get into the linerless label business? We purchased the equipment that allows us to manufacture this type of product in June 2019, and the installation at our plant was completed in January 2020. How big of a business is linerless, in terms of market share, globally and in Canada? The linerless technology, patented by Ravenwood Packaging in England, has been around for over 10 years. It is currently the most widely used packaging technology in Europe, and Imprimerie Ste-Julie has been offering it exclusively for Canada since last year. Linerless labels are new in Canada, but they are already found on some packages in the displays of some products imported from the U.S. Canada, despite its market being 10 times smaller than that of the U.S., will undoubtedly become a great consumer of linerless labels. Food companies are starting to rethink their packaging philosophy, and they know full well that consumers are now demanding responsible, intelligent and recyclable packaging. Linerless meets all these criteria, because it was developed with all of this in mind.

Linerless labels are said to be especially well-suited for the labeling of food products packaged in skin-pack retail pakaging formats.

What is your company’s market share in the linerless business? Our company currently specializes in the printing of self-adhesive labels and shrinksleeves. We wanted to take a greener direction, while continuing to package products in our current niches. We wanted to change the image of our industry by making it greener, because we believe that it is everyone’s business do to so. Our company currently has annual sales of over $20 million, but we believe that it will be possible for us to significantly increase this number within 10 years with linerless labels alone. What are the advantages of linerless labels versus lined labels? Compared to other linerless labels known in Canada, where the back of the label is 100-percent covered with glue and silicone, the Ravenwood linerless labels we CANADIANPACKAGING.COM

A linerless label used as a decorative overwrap band for a retail plastic meat tray containing fresh chicken pieces.

The Nobac 5000 linerless label applicator manufactured in the U.K. by Ravenwood Packaging.

A rendering of the many packaging formats suitable for the application of linerless labeling solutions.

offer use 80 per cent less glue and silicone, since only fine lines of glue and silicone are positioned in specific areas, depending on the packaging. Compared to conventional labels, our linerless labels offer several advantages. Having no support paper, they generate no manufacturing waste, and no waste after use. As for roll diameter, we can reduce transportation costs and storage space by 40 per cent. Linerless labels can be printed on both sides, therefore doubling the space available to communicate brand messaging to the consumers. They easily come off the trays after use, allowing for recycling of the label and of the tray. We can offer linerless in two ways: either on a roll, for automatic application by Ravenwood applicators; or on sheets for manual application. The Nobac 5000 applicators are very versatile and efficient, but they do require an investment. They are very easy to use, and some models allow you to apply up to 10 different types of labels. The biggest challenge for customers is the desire to take an eco-responsible approach. This technology requires a different way of thinking, both for operations and for administrative decisions. This technology meets several criteria for government subsidies based on increasing productivity and reducing the carbon footprint.

placed between two conveyors. They are easy to install, and a few hours’ training is sufficient for the operators. The machine maintenance is simple, and most adjustments require no tools. There are definitely many productivity gains enabled by this technology. The optimization of your chain of operation is guaranteed, with applications possible at throughput speeds up to 150 -ppm (pieces per minute), with a minimal loss of only one to two labels per reel change, which itself only requires 60 seconds. The Nobac 5000 applicators truly are reliable allies in linerless production.

What is the general market outlook for linerless labels in the future: globally, in Canada, and in terms of you company’s business? There is no doubt that linerless labeling represents the future packaging solution for the food industry. Currently in Europe, it is by far, the most widely used type of packaging. For Canada, the potential is enormous, as Canadian consumers are respectful of the environment, and all the big chain stores are looking for this type of packaging. The good news is that linerless meets the demands of consumers and also offers many production benefits for the users. As for Imprimerie Ste-Julie, the acquisition of this technology corresponds in every way to our corporate values. We believe that this product is ingenious, and our relationship with the Ravenwood team in the U.S. and U.K., as well as with our Ravenwood-certified equipment distributors in Toronto and Quebec, are strong. We are very proud to be able to offer this line of labels to the Canadian market, and we see a bright future for what linerless labels can bring to businesses and consumers.

How much of your company’s business is now driven by the linerless label solutions? Actually not much at the moment, because we only started to include linerless options in our production in January of 2020. However, we recently acquired two new presses in order to meet the growing demand for our various products, as well as in anticipation of the take-off of linerless solutions in the market. We are currently in contact with several big players, and the arrival of skin-pack packaging in Canada leaves no doubt that What is the value proposition that your there will be strong growth in demand for company offers to the market with your our linerless recyclable zero-waste labels. linerless solutions? This product is designed for the food inWho are the main end-users of linerless dustry of fresh and frozen goods. It is a labels at the moment, and what new in- product that consumers are looking for, dustries do you expect to join in the fu- because it is attractive and recyclable. ture? This zero-waste product is easy to use Currently our customers are all in the and it allows users to record major proHow complicated is it for existing pack- food sector, including fish, meats (fresh ductivity gains, while substantially reaging lines to turn over to linerless and frozen), fruits and vegetables, and ducing their carbon footprint. prepared meals. solutions in their process? This is what our linerless labels bring We do expect to reach other sectors to the Canadian market, and anyone who Integrating the Nobac 5000 into current customer production lines is as easy as soon, such as the packaging of soap bars, is interested in benefiting from this techbottles, etc. integrating a conventional labeler. nology can fully count on our support for We are aiming to extend this new range easy and expert integration. The machines are very compact, and they can be fitted with variable printheads of labels, because they inevitably meet the and linked to electronic scales. They are expectations of consumers, who are SUPPLIERS versatile tools that simplify the work of looking for innovative and eco-respon- Imprimerie Ste-Julie sible packaging. users. Ravenwood Packaging The compact machines and are often CANADIANPACKAGING.COM

Éric Thibault, Canadian Sales Manager, Linerless Products, Imprimerie Ste-Julie




DIGITALLY ENHANCED Using printing press and process digitalization to embrace big challenges and opportunties facing package printers By Isidor Leiser

he global printing industry, packaging included, is under intense pressure to transform itself. Brandowners are upping the pace with many new and different requirements—meaning the industry has to be more competitive than ever to deliver the innovation that our brand-owner clients are looking for. One very important aspect is sustainability. Printing, and especially packaging, is under huge pressure to improve its carbon footprint and to limit waste. Today’s younger generation participates in regular demonstrations to put pressure on governments and brandowners. Although they often don’t know why packaging is important, many of them tend to assume that packaging is just somehow inherently evil. Most don’t understand the benefits of packaging and look only at the waste it generates. Even though there are many more sustainable solutions available today, a lot of them are not implemented simply because they are not yet economically viable. Yes, everyone wants a better, cleaner planet, but nobody is prepared to pay for it. Packaging customers are out to cut cost, whatever it takes. Our group has, for example, developed many new solutions and brought them to the market. But even though Stratus Packaging is certified to both PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) standards, with our process validated by Imprim’vert (Green Printing) carbon footprint analysis, our turnover from our “green” products is still very small. Maybe we are not good enough in promoting or selling our solutions, but the resistance to change is also still very


26 CANADIANPACKAGING · December 2020

strong—too strong in my view. I really hope to see more sustainable packaging materials coming through, along with more environmentally-friendly inks and printing presses able to print and process substrates in a more environmentally-friendly manner. In the context of relentless consumer demand for more sustainability, better quality, shorter delivery times and reduced costs, all printing technologies are improving, with innovation often driving the transition of applications from one printing technology to another. That said, it also important to avoid the hype of those who only believe in one printing technology (their own) and don’t appreciate the advantages of others. I expect major changes to come for all printing processes as they need to improve efficiency, waste management and quality, while significantly reducing their environmental impact. As the traditional print techniques are becoming more and more digital, with sensors all over the machines taking over time-consuming tasks from the operator, new digital set-up tools enable printers and converters to be more efficient by reducing the set-up time and increasing productivity. The digitalization of our world and our lives is everywhere, and it is rapidly transforming the print and packaging industry. While digital printing may be a competitor to the more established traditional processes, it can also be part of the solution for printers and converters to become efficient, to calculate their real costs more precisely, and to integrate

Product label manufacturers are expecting increased business opportuniies in coming years with growing demand for RFID tags and printed electronics to be applied to a vastly expanded range of branded consumer products.

physical products into the digital world using new technology such as AR (augmented reality), to give an example. Moreover, applications like RFID (radio frequency identification) and printed electronics (see pictures) also offer great opportunities for the print industry to connect with the digital world. Digital printing in general—incorporating prepress, printing and converting in one system—is in step with the rise with the automation of all the steps of the print workflow. Hence it is helping operators to optimize the entire production floor, rather than just the printing parts. Moreover, it also links printers and converters better with their customers and suppliers with seamless integration into multichannel communications offering personalization (individualization) capabilities. It is time to start thinking beyond the printing press. Substrate innovations are going to be critical in the coming years. The digitalization and the automation of the entire workflow will change many organizations, and new technologies will require the hiring of new staff and development of new skills. The way you will engage with your clients will change significantly as they are all soon going to be digital natives. So rather than resist the changes, be ready to embrace them.

ISIDORE LEISER is chief executive officer of Stratus Packaging, one of the leading European label converters using both conventional and digital technologies to transform the label industry. CANADIANPACKAGING.COM

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The Digital Path To Sustainable Future Digital process integration and optimized energy efficiency hold key to a more sustainable global economy By Jean-PascalTricoire

s we all continue to adapt to the ‘New Normal’ and learning new ways to live, we all see that digitalization as the solution to make remote and collaborative operations possible, while strengthening our resiliency by allowing us to better understand, anticipate and adapt to change with greater agility. By enabling greater efficiency, at a much lower cost and with a much faster implementation, as well as better energy use and operational processes, it is also enabling a steep change in sustainability in everything we do. Digitalization has disrupted the way we live together, and it is now disrupting the way we live with our environment—by enabling us to bridge progress and sustainability together. Just as Internet had dramatically changed the way people live and work together, the new Internet of Things that connects machines to machines will completely disrupt our current notions of efficiency and sustainability. Thanks to large data centers, we have a multiplication of Big Data and AI (artificial intelligence) that can be used to have machines training other machines digitally, with massive amounts of data generated through digitalization. This creates a virtuous circle, where digitalization also lays foundation for managing a much more desirable future for all of us. Just as cellphones became smart phones, buildings are becoming ‘smart buildings,’ the industry is moving to ‘smart’ manufacturing,’ and cities’ infrastructures are moving to the ‘smart city’ model. And it seems intuitive that the world would be massively more electric, with


28 CANADIANPACKAGING · December 2020

Schneider Electric’s chief execitive officer Jean-Pascal Tricoire (right) deilvering a powerful keynote address at the company’s virtual forum on digital innovation last month, highlighting the company’s strong focus on process digitlization and energy efficiency.

It’s about renewable energy, especially solar energy. It’s about decentralized micro-grid; it’s about the possibility to create net zero-carbon buildings; it’s about using solar panels or wind farms to power electric cars. Saving energy resources is good for our planet and for our companies’ bottom lines, and if we can leverage digital efficiency to achieve much better energy efficiency in every building and every manufacturing plant out there, we can “We have seen a achieve new levels of efficiency at new massive difference in building and manufacturing operations at much lower cost point, while increasing the resilience levels of the rate of retrofits of existing installacompanies that had tions. The biggest problem is not new prodigitized their processes jects: it is the existing stock of buildings and those who have not” and manufacturing instillations that we need to digitize in order to become more Some would say that electricity is not energy-efficient in everything we do.. While living with COVID-19 has made a new technology, but it’s not about electhings painful for all of us, it has forced us tricity as we know it. the best example being this ongoing mass migration in the direction of electric cars in the next 10 years. But the biggest migration for electricity down the road will be in buildings. In many countries around the world, building are still using fossil fuels for their heating functions, and it will take a massive effort to see them moved to renewable electricity.


Schneider Electric’s new ExoStuxure suite of software systems is an an IoT-enabled digital platform consisting of connected products; edge control solutions; and apps, analytics software, and services designed to provide visibility and control across the enterprise via real-time monitoring, mobile to adapt to digital technologies faster coming at us, which is climate change. insights, digital At Schneider Electric, we are fo- twin capabilities, than ever thought possible, and there is cused on offering more and more services and proactive risk no going back. Being able to do things remotely by and education to our customers to keep mitigation. using digital collaborative tools to design progressing on sustainability, which is a construction site, to assist machine like a marathon without the finishing line. We believe that the only true way to operators through augment reality, or completely train operators using virtual gain in sustainability, as well as economically, is to target a much higher level of reality is priceless. Throughout the COVID crisis, we have energy efficiency through a much higher seen a massive difference in the resilience level of digital integration. This means the integration of energy levels of companies that had digitized their processes and those who had not, supply and automation; integration of every connected object on the shop floor finding themselves in a real bind. And one thing we have found is that or in the building; and integration of resilience comes from the automation of every end-point object connected into processes that can keep going locally the loop up into the Cloud. We’re talking a life-cycle integration, without human intervention through digital monitoring of system installations, whereby your installation should be combecause its puts you in a much better pletely digitized from design stages into position to understand what’s going, and building and commissioning, with seamless integration into the world of the prevent any breakdowns. Another thing we have learned about world of operation and maintenance. We are proud that our ‘smart’ factory resilience is that you’re only as resilient as the weakest point in your process, which in Lexington, Ky., where 90 per cent of all demands digital integration throughout processes are completely paperless, has been recognized by the World Economthe entire IT system. The other thing that the COVID-19 ic Forum as one of the ‘lighthouse’ fachas made clear is just how vulnerable we tories of the new smart manufacturing are to natural threats. Just as a virus can age. Over the past 16 years, Schneider shut down a society and kill the economy, we need to tackle the biggest wave of all Electric has been working hard to build CANADIANPACKAGING.COM

up a unique portfolio of application software and artificial intelligence solutions to help customers optimize the way they design, build and operate their installations. Using the Schneider portfolio to manage information better has enabled all project stakeholders—from the construction site to user, designer, architect and end-user—to test every available option for planning, scheduling, costing and materials in real time on the digital platform. Our customer Walmart, who is very committed to sustainability, realizes that its environmental footprint is not just a byproduct of what they do, but also a byproduct of what its suppliers do. By working with Walmart to digitize and integrate their supply chain, we have been able to save them over one million metric ton of carbon emission per year. We’ have worked with UPS to enable one of their major logistics centers to distribute more than 100,000 parcel every hour in a completely automated process running over 15 line of conveyor belts simultaneously. We are committed to partnership in everything we do at Schneider to drive innovation forward. In addition to developing our own technologies, we work daily with numerous technology start-ups in the areas of green energy and electric mobility. We have a vast network of partners around the world, with more than 650,000 people working together with us with our technologies We work with 45,000 system integrators around the world, and we have a close relationship with over 3,000 major utilities. And we have created a digital platform for Schneider Electric Exchange to connect our network partners to come together on the web to cross all existing boundaries across many industries. While we are currently living in very special times, but these are also very exciting times for implementing big disruptions in digitalization and electrification, whereby we can scale technology to resolve customer problems as we work to the end goal of making our world more sustainable and energy-efficient.

JEAN-PASCAL TRICOIRE is chairman and chief executive officer of Schneider Electric, a leading multinational company providing energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability in the construction, infrastructure and industrial markets worldwide. The above text is an edited and shortened version of Tricoire’s keynote address made at the company’s Digital Innovation Summit North America 2020 virtual forum last month. December 2020 · CANADIANPACKAGING


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MARKED FOR LIFE Global food industry needs united front to fight food waste with clear and cohesive expiration date marking standards By Lee Metters ccording to research carried out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), American households throw out approximately 150,000 tons of food each day, with fresh fruit and vegetables the most likely to be thrown out. The USDA estimates that 31 per cent of all food waste in the county occurs at the consumer and retail level. In the U.K., according to the Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP), 7.3 million metric tons of food is wasted each year. Some 660,000 metrics tons of that waste is, in some way, can be raced down to ambigous date labeling— accounting for nearly 10 per cent of the total. It’s no surprise that a significant portion of global food waste is associated with date labeling on food packaging—a challenge exacerbated by the differing use of terms and regulations around food dating. Until recently, ‘display until’ and ‘sell by’ were a common sight in U.K. retailers, and across the EU (European Union)countries, often seen alongside ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t require the labeling of expiration dates on foods, except on infant formula, some states and local regulators do require expiration dates to be put on certain food labels. With no uniform requirement for date labeling, ‘expiration’, ‘use by’, ‘best by’, ‘sell by’, ‘best if used by’ and ‘best through’ dates are a common sight on grocery store shelves in the U.S. Even though date labeling is not required under federal law, some states in the U.S. prohibit retailers from selling food with an expired food label—only adding to the food waste issue. Indeed, research by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that confusion surrounding expir-



ation dates in the U.S is strongly associated with increased food waste. In 2017, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) in the U.S. launched an initiative to standardize date labels on food packages. finding that ‘use by’ was perceived as communicating the safety of the product, but that the other terms were focused solely on quality – and would be better replaced a by a single ‘best if used by’ label’. Similarly, in 2017 WRAP worked with the British government’s FSA and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to developp guidance for retailers and also to give shoppers simple, more consistent date label advice. Titled Labeling Guidance: BestPpractics on Food Date Labeling and Storage Advice,’ the documen advocates best practice as “only having one date label on a single product,” and also recommends only applying ‘use by’ when there is a food safety reason to do so. While dating standards differ from country to country, there is a distinction between dates related to product quality and those related to consumer safety, health, and well-being. In the U.K., food industry consulting and research organization Campden BRI makes it clear that consumers should not consume a product after its ‘use by’ date, owing to safety concerns. For its part, ‘best before’ is all about “quality and not safety,” according toFSA. The advice is similar in France, with the

French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety stating that ‘use by’ dates must be respected, with anything beyond that date “legally unfit for consumption, since it may represent a health risk for the consumer”. In the U.S., the proposed Food Date Labeling Act of 2019 attempts to establish a similar dual-label system for food products in the US. If passed, the act will require all manufacturers using a date label to indicate a food product’s quality to use the phrase “best if used by,” and all manufacturers using a date to indicate when a food should be discarded for safety reasons, to adopt “use by.” The act will also eliminate state laws that bar the sale or donation of food past the quality date. According to Campden BRI, there are many forms of analysis used in order to determine date labeling for safety and quality purposes. For ‘use by’, or safety-related dates, a shelf-life test can be conducted, whereby the product is packed subjected to microbiological-testing over a specific period. Once microbiological substances get beyond certain levels, the product is then considered ‘end of life.’ Other forms of testing include predictive modeling, where software is used to predict the shelf-life of a product; or a challenge test, where microorganisms are introduced into a packed product to see if they will grow. For ‘best before’, ‘best if used by’ dates, other possible test include sensory assessment, which judges the appearance, odor, flavor, and mouth feel of products; texture analysis, which tests for staleness in bakery products; and chemical analysis, which assesses aspects such as taint and rancidity Insconsistent in a product’s flavor profile. approaches to date Some believe that dates related to the marking of food products around the quality of food products are arbitrary, and even encourage food waste. world has been However,WRAP argues the presence of linked to contributa date label of any type makes people less ing to the growing likely to discard food before the date, sugglobal food waste gesting that these dates could play a role in problem. the fight against food waste. Similarly in the U.S., the FDA supports manufacturers using an introductory phrase of ‘best if used by’ when adding a quality date label. These dates, it is suggested, convey to consumers that products do not have to be discarded after the date if they are stored properly, and so could be beneficial in combatting unnecessary food waste. Across the globe, organizations have been working hard to address consumer confusion surrounding date labeling in a bid to reduce food waste. In fact, the USDA has developed a December 2020 · CANADIANPACKAGING



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smartphone ap, called FoodKeeper, to provide a way for consumers to determine if their food is safe to eat. Created in conjunction with Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute, the app is intended to be a complete guide to how long “virtually every food available in the United States” will keep. For its part, Denamrk-based group Too Good To Go works with a multitude of other countries, including Norway, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, and Poland, to reduce food waste. The organization campaigns for clearer date labeling, as well as initiatives enabling local stores, cafes, and restaurants to sell or donate surplus food rather than letting it go to waste. In a white-paper titled Expiration Dates: an Out-dated Iidea?,’ the organization supports WRAP’s research by stating that 49 per cent of Europeans think that better and clearer information on the meaning of ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates would help them waste less food at home. Significant work undertaken to combat this subjective cause of waste includes the Often Good After campaign, which reminds consumers that food may still be edible after that specified date if it smells and tastes fine—encouraging consumers to trust their senses to test the shelf-life of the product. A number of food manufacturers, including Unilever, Carlsberg and Arla Foods, have worked collaboratively withToo Good To Go to bring the initiative to life. Carlsberg and Arla Foods have added an ‘Often Good After’ date to certain beers and milk products, while Unilever adopted the label for its three Knorr brand of rice noodle mini-meals. As many food manufacturers welcome international initiatives to reduce waste, work is also being undertaken behind the scenes to investigate alternative packaging materials to plastic. Many industry bodies have spoken out about the pressure facing companies to reduce plastic use whilst not increasing food waste. The industry—including both

food manufacturers and grocery retailers—has become increasingly aware that there could be an increase in food waste due to the reduction in plastics. But as the industry learns more about the alternatives to plastics, this could change. Currently, some quality-related expiration dates for new packaging materials often giving products a shorter shelf-life epectancy to begin with, which is then extended as the study progresses. The use of alternative packaging is being supported by groups and initiatives such as NanoPack, which is an EU-funded project seeking to extend the shelf-life of products with the use of active food packaging technologies. Additional methodologies include the use of plant- or food-based materials in packaging films, protective coatings, and the use of antioxidant nanoparticles, as discussed in a recent report by PreScouter. Whilst this is all vital work, the next step when using any material, as stated by Campden BRI, needs to be re-establishing the product’s shelf life. If using alternative materials, this should also entail assessing the packaging material itself, as well as the food packed within, to ensure that the food does not spoil before it gets to the consumer. Food manufacturers are clearly on a journey, and many are demonstrating their commitment to reducing food waste by working collaboratively with organizations that are making a mark in the area. As regulations continue to change, food and beverage manufacturers should strive to work with organizations that have up to date knowledge of date coding requirements, and coding and marking regulations, in order to remain compliant and contribute to the global goal of reducing food waste.

32 CANADIANPACKAGING · December 2020

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Deeds Not Words Leading flexible packaging producer takes vertical turn on righteous path to the Circular Economy By Pierre Deschamps

ll too often, inspiring words and slogans geared towards preserving the environment are not followed with the required concrete actions to turn them into reality. We say we are going to take action, but nothing happens.We say we are concerned, but nothing changes. We say we want to modify our behaviors, but nobody acts. Thankfully, empty promises have no place at the multiple state-of-the-art flexible packaging production facilities operated across North America and beyond by the Montreal-headquartered group TC Transcontinental Packaging, whose firm commitment to resolving the problem of flexible packaging waste is displayed each and every working day throughout the corporation. Today,TC Transcontinental Packaging operates installations in the U. S., in Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, New Zealand and, of course, in Canada. To do this, over the years it has acquired several flexible packaging manufacturers—including Coveris Americas, Flexstar Packaging—to become a North American industry leader that can offer its clients a diversified portfolio of products such as film rolls, stan-up pouching, bags and heat shrink films, among others. Some of these products have been awarded by authoritative industry organiations such as PAC Packaging Consortium, Flexible Packaging Association and the Flexographic Technical Association, along with many other global accolades. Most recently, the company was selected as the winner of the prestigious Mercuriades 2020 in award in the competition’s Innovative Manufacturers-Large Company category for its innovatiosn in


(Top) A close-up of recycled pastic resins processed by the Recycling Group. (Bottom) Bales of collected plastic materials next to the holding bins filled with recycled plastic resin pellets.

the packaging sector that promote sustainable development and the emergingCircular Economy. By creating its own Recycling Group unit in 2020, a team dedicated to the recycling of flexible plastic waste, TC Transcontinental Packaging has restructured itself in orer to suupply its operations with more eco-responsible raw materials, while opening up new business prospects and ensuring its own important role in guiding the implementation of Circular Economy prinicples in the plastics industry at large. “The Recycling Group has the objective of vertically integrating the recycling

of plastics in our packaging production line in Canada, the United States and Latin America, ensuring the long-term stable supply of this material,” says TC Transcontinental president François Olivier. According to lead vice-president of the Recycling Group Sylvain Levert, this major new sustainability initiative was launched last June with the acquisition of Enviroplast Inc., long-time specialists in the recycling of the myriad of plastic films used to make flexible packaging. As in many other jurisdictions, the recycling of flexible plastics in Quebec is fraught with difficulties on many levels,

“More and more of our clients are demanding, more than ever, packaging composed of plastic that includes PCR (post-consumer recycled) resins.” 34 CANADIANPACKAGING · December 2020


with the amount of collected waste varying from one season to another, from one region to another, and the uneven quality of collected waste. Despite all that, “More and more of our clients are demanding, more than ever, packaging composed of plastic that includes PCR (post-consumer recycled) resins,” Levert states. For TC Transcontinental, this need to respond sustainably to new customer requirements and expectations made clear the need to strengthen its own recycling capabilities, therby ensuring reliable local supply of raw materials to provide the sought-after PCR content. “This situation has therefore led us, almost two years ago now, to initiate strategic thinking on the production of eco-responsible packaging, supplying raw materials, and the means to implement this vision to become a leading supplier in this highly competitive environment,” Levert recalls. “Wen we first studied the flexible plastic recycling market,” Levert relates, “we quickly realized that it was more complicated than we first

Recycling Group’s staff keeping an eye on the quality of plastic resin pellets processed at the facility.

thought to obtain quality raw materials, specifically the post-consumer soft plastic which we transform into granules. “From the moment we set about to better understand this sector of activity, we came to understand that it was better to do things for ourselves if we wanted to reach our

next-day goals of offering our clients plastic products containing RCR resins resins. Eventually, it was decided that the most practical solution was to initiate a shift to a vertically-integrated operational structure. “In essence, we concluded that the best thing we could do was to

build our own recycling site and then put in place a network of suppliers that can supply us with different types of flexible plastics that, from the gathering stage, could better meet our quality criteria in order to produce recycled resins,” Levert explains. To make this happen, TC Trans-

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Recycled plastic pellets free-flowing directly into the bulk storage bins.

continental made the decision to acquire the assets of Enviroplast this summer. At that time, thie company that was once an active in the recycling industry for more than a quarter-century was actually sitting idle, having been placed under bankruptcy and insolvency protection. Prior to this acquisition, TC

Transcontinental made all the necessary necessary checks to ensure the equipment in place at the former Enviroplast plant, located on Parkway Boulvard in Anjou, was in good enough working shape. “The plant’s washing line, which has annual processing capacity of 7,500 tons, was found to be in good

condition,” Levert relates. “However, we will have to make investments to provide the site with advanced sorting technology to enable the production of more plastic granules that better conform to our quality requirements.” According to Levert, TC Transcontinental has big global plans for

the Recycling Group, growing it into a primary supplier of post-consumer recycled resins for many of its manufacturing facilities producing flexible packaging. “In fact, in the future we intend to become a true ‘Center of Excellence’ that will provide world-class plantlevel expertise to participate in the Circular Economy model for flexible plastic products,” say Levert, noting that TC Transcontinental is actually the first Canadian packaging manufacturer to sign a global commitment for plastics with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, U.K. organization that developed the Circular Economy business model. As Levert sums up, “Words have no meaning when they are not backed by action, and our actions speak for themselves loud and clear about our commitment to increasing the PCR content in our worldclass flexible packaging products.”

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THE SHOW MUST GO ON Preview of next month’s virtual IPPE Marketplace

iven the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its killer impact on consumer societies throughout the world, it is virtually impossible to overstate the importance of having a well-functioning global meat supply chain to keep the world’s social and economic order from slipping into complete chaos. And while the pandemic has prompted cancellation of major global trade shows and other landmark industry events over the course of last year and well into 2021, meat, meat, poultry, egg and feed industry professionals will still have a perfect opportunity to network and learn about the latest technologies and trends impacting their business next month. Scheduled to run online from Jan. 25-29, 2021, and beyond, the virtual IPPE Marketplace will connect more than 1,000 exhibitors and over 30,000 industry professionals originally expected to descend on the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Ga., for the annual International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE). “While we are disappointed that we will not be hosting an in-person event in 2021, we heard very clearly from our IPPE community of attendees and exhibitors that they still want to connect,” IPPE show management states. “More information about the exciting things you can expect during IPPE Marketplace week will be coming soon.” According to IPPE sow management, the participants will be able to search for exhibitors using product categories and keywords and then review the descriptions and links provided by each matching exhibitor. Using digital personal guides, participants will be able to review all exhibitors and select those matching their individual needs. The IPPE Marketplace will host live and on-demand, free and paid education programs during the week, including: • International Poultry Scientific Forum; • Pet Food Conference; • Latin American Poultry Summit; • Market Intelligence Forum; • International Rendering Symposium; • Feed Education Program.


IPPE Marketplace: Jan. 25 – 29, 2021 IPPE is offering short educational presentations by exhibitors regarding operations and technical issues critical to all aspects of the animal food, meat and poultry industries.




Young leadership engagement and student recruitment will also be offered through the IPPE’s Linked In With Tomorrow’s Leaders program and the USPOULTRY College Student Career Program, where hundreds of students will have an opportunity to interview for jobs and internships within the poultry and egg industry. To round out the IPPE Marketplace, on-demand TECHTalks and the opportunity to view innovative products through the Innovation Station / New Product Showcase will be available. Participants will also have access to view the industry trade publications that are typically offered during the Expo via IPPE’s website ( throughout the IPPE Marketplace. Here is the listing of scheduled IPPE Marketplace event confirmed so far at press time:

IPPE Marketplace: Jan. 25 – 29, 2021 Exhibitors are showcasing their newest technology through IPPE’s Innovation Station/New Product Showcase.


Jan. 26-28, 2021 The USPOULTRY College Student Career Program will be offered online during IPPE Marketplace Week. Hundreds of students will have an opportunity to interview for jobs and internships within the poultry and egg industry.


IPPE is offering an online IPPE Linked InWith Tomorrow’s Leaders program designed to recognize leadership qualities in young professionals. The program will include participation in a LinkedIin group and online meet-ups with key industry leaders to further their leadership development. The program not only exposes these young lead-

Handtmann’s minced meat solution features the new GD 453 inline grinder with fewer plates, a shorter product path and hygienic design. READY FOR DAILY GRIND To be displayed at next month’s virtual IPPE Marketplace exhibition, Handtmann’s minced meat solutions are perfect for poultry operations with the VF 800 vacuum filler featuring patented hygienic design; inline grinding technology with fewer blades and knives with shorter travel distance; and inline checkweighing that safely ensures gram-accurate weights within the industry’s tightest weight parameters. Combining robust operating speeds of up to 200 peices for minute, the turnkey Handtmann minced meat line is designed to ensure exceptionally gentle handling to deliver excellent product presentation for all packaging requirements from—from premium noodles in trays to bricks and flowwrapped portions—without any smearing . Featuring reliable automation and flexible product spacing with servo-controlled precision, the inline grinding system features fewer plates and knives along with independently driven, servo-precise knife speed control for simple adjustment and pristine product appearance. This system enables extremely high speeds and guaranteed filling capacities even at low temperatures and the separate grinder drive lets processors easily change the ratio between portioning and cutting speeds for more control over product appearance. All of those production parameters are all stored in memory for more certain process reliability and more consistent product quality. Handtmann’s high-speed moving knife is designed deliver precise, error-free portioning and meets all the demands of toughest ground product production demands at up to 200-ppm. With the most modern state-ofthe-art technology on the market, including a blade scraper that prevents products from sticking, this virtually noiseless portioner creates less heat and less cutting set wear, while its servo technology with flexible product spacing ensures smooth depositing of minced meat into trays or thermoformers. December 2020 · CANADIANPACKAGING


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ers to the key industry leaders, but also allows them to attend valuable education programs to assist in their leadership development.

eases. Students with a valid student ID may register complimentary onsite.


Tuesday, Jan. 26, 10 am – 4:30 pm Registration Fee: (Member Early Bird $50; $100 after Jan. 5 / Nonmember Early Bird $100; $150 after Jan. 5) AFIA’s Pet Food Conference covers a variety of topics from regulatory to technical aspects of production to product claims, marketing and nutrition. This annual educational session attracts more than 250 attendees from pet food manufacturing to ingredient suppliers covering all ingredient categories, offering an excellent opportunity to network with this diverse audience.

January 2021: IPPE Marketplace and IPPE website IPPE will provide access to view the industry trade publications that are typically offered during IPPE through IPPE’s website and the IPPE Marketplace. These publications will be available for viewing beginning Jan. 4, 2021.


tainability of animal agriculture. Every year, renderers safely convert more than 50 billion pounds of excess animal products such as fat, bone, and used cooking oil into everyday products.

on how the domestic and global economies, continuously improving performance, and regulatory issues impact the poultry and egg industries.


Thursday, Jan. 28, 3 – 5 pm Registration Fee: FREE Pre-recorded presentations, live Q&A As regulatory requirements for the feed industry continue to evolve, this training session will update participants on recent changes from several federal agencies including DOL, DOT, EPA, FDA and OSHA.

Monday, Jan. 25, 10 am – 12 pm Tuesday, Jan. 26, 10 am – 12 pm Registration Fee: FREE Pre-recorded presentations, live Q&A Sponsored by USPOULTRY, WATT Global Media and the Latin American Poultry AssociPAID PROGRAMS: ation, the Latin American PoultINTERNATIONAL POULTRY ry Summit will focus on leading SCIENTIFIC FORUM technical topics covering live proMonday, Jan. 25, 8 am – 4 pm duction and processing issues of Tuesday, Jan. 26, 8 am – 12 pm greatest priority to Latin American Registration Fee: $100 INTERNATIONAL RENDERING poultry and egg producers and proLive program SYMPOSIUM 2021 Sponsored by the Southern (Sponsored by the North Amer- cessors. Poultry Science Society, South- ican Renderers Association and ern Conference on Avian Dis- USPOULTRY) MARKET INTELLIGENCE FORUM eases and U.S. Poultry & Egg Thursday, Jan. 28, 1– 4 pm Wednesday, Jan. 27, 9 – 11 am Association, the forum presents Registration Fee: $50 Registration Fee: FREE information on industry topics such Pre-recorded presentations, live Pre-recorded presentations, live as environmental management, nu- Q&A Q&A trition, physiology, pathology, proAs “The Invisible Industry,” the A leading industry economist and cessing and products and avian dis- rendering sector is vital to the sus- industry experts will provide insights



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For further information on IPPE Marketplace exibition and education programs, please go to:


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Patchining Up the Family Plastic Footprint / Shannon Kaupp


educing our plastic footprint is important for many families today, and packaging is one area where this can be accomplished. The Australian company Nutracare is changing wound care by taking the plastic out of both the product and the packaging by packing its bandages are uniquely packaged in a compact, compostable bamboo cylinder. The front of the package is adorned with a green cross denoting its medical related contents, as well as color-coding the specialized use of a particular bandage. Hence, the green cross is green because it contains the precious n aloe vera compound to help soothe and heal. The back of the package has all the information you need to know about the latex free, biodegradable and sterile bandages inside, while a tamper-evident seal strip affixed to the top helps to reassure consumers about sterility of the product inside.

(Clockwise from the top) A charming Whiskas cat-food twin-pack; We have all seen pictures of those fancy Walter Craft Caesar Bloody Caesar cocktails decorated with Mix; Instant Age elaborate garnishes that make it a meal in Defying Face a glass, but what about the beverage it- Masks; Nutracare self? Produced by Vancouver-based Patch bandaids in a Brutus Beverages Inc., the Walter bamboo cylinder Craft Caesar Mix brand really contains container; the everything you need to mix the perfect Malagash Cidery Caesar inside the 946-ml glass bottle— apple cider brand from Nova Scotia.

Located on the North Shore of Nova Scotia, Malagash may not be a worldfamous tourist destination, but it is home to the delicious, small batch-crafted cider produced at the Vista Bella Farm. The Malagash Cidery cider is packaged in clear 750-ml glass bottles sealed with with resealable flip-top caps that allows you to drink some and save some for later, if you minus the alcohol—by premixing all the can.With so many cider products now sold common requisite ingredients. The in cans, I simply find the clear glass option shapely bottles is adorned with a classy more aesthetically appealing for quick label befitting the finest distilled spirits, visual quality assurance assessment, while with the hallowed Maple Leaf graphic at the simple cheerful label graphics of apple the top of the label reminding Canadian trees and bees—representing the two key beverage connoisseurs about the cock- ingredients of apples and honey—provide a wholesome finishing touch. tail’s proud Canadian origins. The Whiskas Perfect Portion cat food from Mars, Incorporated effectively solves the old problem of leftover cat food ending up in the garbage can. Simply open one or both sides of the 75-gram double-

SHANNON KAUPP is a licensed naturopathic doctor living in Halifax, N.S.

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Made by Andalou Naturals of Petaluma, Ca., the single-use Instant Age Defying Face Masks literally jump off the shelf from amongst a wall of other masks thanks to the prominent, colorful plastic pods protruding from the flat cardstock. The bright bold colors of the pods match the colors of the peg-holed cards holding them in place, indicating their exact purpose and role in the face rejuvenating process, with and each one is a different focus. Although small and compact, the cardboard sheet is large enough to read the instructions and ingredients on the back without too much eye-strain. The back of the card stock is pre-perforated, so you can easily get your fingers on the mask itself, contained in the color-coded pod nestled inside the perfectly recyclable cardstock.

pack, depending on the number of feline friends you are feeding, with a convenient peel-off tab to pull off the decorative foil lidding, and let the kitties enjoy just the right amount of tasty and nourishing contents in a precisely measured 37.5gram portion that contains just the perfect amount of food for their immediate needs. In my experience, the freshly opened contents of this package have never ended up in the waste basket yet.

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