Appropriate food packaging solutions for developing countries
This publication (PDF) by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) assesses the state of packaging and packaging technologies in developing countries, with the challenge of global food losses and the potential for agri-food systems as the backdrop. The report aims to identify packaging solutions in developing countries while taken into account local challenges and making better use of locally available packaging materials. The food packaging industry sector of developing countries derives its strength from the large and growing volume of agricultural production. However, industry limitations include limited packaging solutions to meet international market requirements, and the small size of the domestic demand for packaging materials, both leading to low investment by the packaging industry. This, in turn, limits the ability to meet product quality standards of consumers, both in domestic and international markets. With regard to packaging machinery, creativity in coming up with locally designed equipment suited to local needs and conditions will help propel packaging industry development. Initiatives to support the packaging industries may entail improving traditional technologies or importing new ones. However, the authors state that mostly the success of these initiatives will be contingent on a country’s enabling environment, both economic and political. As packaging materials are in short supply in developing countries, relaxing packaging regulations without sacrificing food safety considerations may assist the industry to develop. Such relaxation of packaging standards will at the same time addressing food loss concerns.