US – A coalition of non-profit industry and non-governmental organizations in the fresh produce sector has unveiled the Alliance for Sustainable Packaging for Foods (ASPF).

The ASPF is a global initiative that aims to revolutionize food packaging regulation by championing a holistic and harmonized approach, focusing on environmental sustainability while ensuring food safety and public health.

The alliance seeks to engage regulators and governments worldwide to endorse comprehensive packaging regulations that reduce environmental impact without compromising crucial aspects of the food supply chain.

Among the listed founding members of ASPF is International Fresh Produce Association, Fruit South Africa,  Aneberries, Canadian Produce Marketing Association, FMI – The Food Industry Association, Frutas de Chile, National Milk Producers Federation, National Council of Farmers Coops, National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, North American Meat Institute, Organic Trade Association, Reusable Packaging Association, STOP Foodborne Illness, U.S. Dairy Export Council, and Western Growers Association.

Max Teplitski, PhD, Chief Science Officer of the International Fresh Produce Association and Chair of ASPF, emphasized the non-negotiable commitment to food safety and quality in the pursuit of reduced packaging waste.

“Members of ASPF are clear: we are committed to significantly reducing packaging waste, just not at the expense of food safety,” he stated.

Todd Hoff, Executive Vice President at Reusable Packaging Association and vice chair of the alliance, highlighted the potential for sustainable packaging solutions to enhance product protection and temperature management.

“The Reusable Packaging Association values our participation in this wide-ranging industry alliance to support the transformation to more circular reuse systems while upholding the highest food standards,” he noted.

Holistic approach and working groups

According to the International Fresh Produce Association, the ASPF acknowledges the need for a holistic approach and will establish working groups to drive priorities and action plans.

These groups will focus on government relations strategies and technical approaches to advocate for packaging regulations that are both compliant and technically pragmatic for industry implementation.

The organization emphasizes ongoing consideration and consultation throughout value chains to ensure widespread buy-in and sustainable success.

The alliance has also released a position paper analyzing peer-reviewed publications that delve into the trade-offs between food safety and packaging.

Interested organizations are encouraged to contact Max Teplitski for information on joining the Alliance.

As the ASPF gains momentum, its collaborative efforts signal a promising shift towards a more sustainable future for global food packaging practices.

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