Earlier in the year Chadwicks exhibited at Australia’s processing and packaging event, Auspack in Melbourne, which brings together more than 350 exhibitors unveiling the latest technology to more than 7000 targeted industry professionals.

John Harrison, Technical Sales Manager for Australia and New Zealand was at the event, and here’s what he had to say about it.

Overall the exhibition provided valuable insight into current and emerging trends across the packaging and processing sectors in the region, as well as issues like food safety and sustainability.

Recent shortages in aluminium and escalating costs, meant that we received a lot of interest in our PET lidding solution from technical and procurement personnel keen to explore other options. Of course, any changes to material usage is likely to be influenced by future environmental legislation, and new alternative packaging materials and methods which provide a more sustainable packaging approach, such as Chadwicks proposed PP lidding,  were also being sought.

What were the main highlights for you of the show?

The main highlight was that this was the first post-COVID trade show of any kind in Australia. There was certainly a sense that people were glad to be talking face-to-face with suppliers and users alike – something that none of us have been able to do for a very long time, particularly with the Australian market having been physically closed to overseas travel (even from NZ) for virtually the whole of the COVID pandemic. For me personally, Auspack was the first time that I have been able to see many existing or potential Australian customers since 2020.

The show was set up differently to previous shows with definite zones through the exhibition – Processing Equipment, Packaging Equipment/Machinery, Packaging Materials and IT & Services. This made it easier for visitors to compare and research particular interests. Our stand being located in close proximity to competitors and collaborative partners, allowed visitors to easily see differences and advantages in our offering in a way that was easy for them to remember. 

What were the main themes/topics at the exhibition? e.g. sustainability, innovation 

The main theme was the concerns over the best approach to sustainability requirements. Most major users are, or have actively moved away, from PS tubs to either PP or PET. Many see PET lidding as a disadvantage as it adds plastic rather than removing it from the mix. However, there is also a realisation that aluminium is not necessarily the best alternative. PP is of definite interest as it potentially gives a single plastic tub and lid that is recyclable. In general, there is a lot of confusion over the best approach

 What was your biggest takeaway from the event?

The main takeaway for Chadwicks was the potential and need for better collaboration between packaging users, equipment manufacturers, tub suppliers and lidding suppliers, especially as the requirement for more sustainable solutions is only going to increase.