• A night at THE LUME with foodpro 2023.
    A night at THE LUME with foodpro 2023.
  • A night at THE LUME with foodpro 2023.
    A night at THE LUME with foodpro 2023.
  • Ulma at foodpro 2023
    Ulma at foodpro 2023
  • Sew-Eurodrive at foodpro 2023
    Sew-Eurodrive at foodpro 2023
  • Combilift at foodpro 2023
    Combilift at foodpro 2023
  • Kerry at foodpro 2023
    Kerry at foodpro 2023
  • foodpro 2023
    foodpro 2023
  • A night at THE LUME with foodpro 2023.
    A night at THE LUME with foodpro 2023.
  • A night at THE LUME with foodpro 2023.
    A night at THE LUME with foodpro 2023.
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As Day 3 unfolded at foodpro 2023, the Food & Drink Business team was busy interviewing exhibitors – see some of them in the links below and all are up on our YouTube channel and the website – and our live streaming podcast was running hot. In fact, Tuesday was the biggest day for the show, with the most visitors through the door so far.

Some of the highlights included visitors to the Food & Drink Business stand (H49), including Rod Lewis from Extracta, who explained how the company is upcycling (or rescuing as Rod calls it) food that would otherwise go into landfill into healthy ingredients for the food and pharmaceutical industries.

One thing I loved talking about with Rod was how Extracta is making pectin – the only company in Australia to do so. Currently all pectin used here is imported from China. So an Australian company is using Australian grown produce that would otherwise go to waste, manufacturing it onshore and re-establishing an industry that was lost decades ago.

All the exhibitors we spoke to said they were incredibly happy with the traffic coming through their stands and the high calibre of potential customers.

Highlights from the foodpro team focused on the processing and packaging materials zone at the show, the largest group on the exhibition floor.

Ulme at foodpro 2023
Ulma at foodpro 2023

Ulma is showcasing its new plastic reducing machine. The Ulma tam said one machine in particular – the Flow Pack (HFFS) – was drawing keen interest. These machines are used for high productions in horizontal packing using a single film coil with three weldings.

Ulma say they are already using flow wrap plastic for meat tray products in Aldi Queensland, with the advantage that it uses 70 per cent less plastic compared to conventionally wrapped trays. The machine can also be used to wrap paper packaging around certain food items such as apples which they had on display, which the company is hoping will catch on more.

Also present is Great Wrap, the material science company which started just four years ago with a mission to end reliance on plastic. Great Wrap manufactures the world’s first compostable Cling Wrap and Pallet Wrap.

Reps report they had constant visitors to their stand from day one, eager to use the wrap for their manufacturing purposes. Great Wrap says many businesses have major environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals to eliminate plastic, so its product has generated great leads at foodpro.

As first-time exhibitors, the company says foodpro has been their most successful trade show to date.

Meanwhile, global leader in flexible packaging used by major meat and cheese companies globally, Flexopack is showcasing its commitment to investing in the latest technologies and sustainability. This includes reducing the carbon footprint of their production process, reducing energy consumption, water usage, and waste output. 

The company produces some of the most advanced shrink bags in the world for food packaging applications. These include the FlexoShrink shrink bags, produced with the latest extrusion technology, FlexoShrink Flowpack Films, which combine increased toughness with high performance formability and FlexoShrink Forming/Non-Forming films which are thermoforming films incorporating advanced sealing technology.

 Day 3 also hosted the remarkable evening event at The Lume. Sponsored by Contech, the night was an immersive sensory experience of the connection First Nations peoples have to the land, water, and sky. The walls came alive as light rippled across every surface with curated tastes, aromas and a choreographed soundtrack.

The show continues until 26 July.

Packaging News

In news that is disappointing but not surprising given the recent reports on the unfolding Qenos saga, the new owner of Qenos has placed the company into voluntary administration. The closure of the Qenos Botany facility has also been confirmed.

An agreement struck between Cleanaway and Viva Energy will see the two companies undertake a prefeasibility assessment of a circular solution for soft plastics and other hard-to-recycle plastics.

Industry groups and local manufacturers, including Kimberly-Clark Australia, have voiced approval of the government's Future Made in Australia Act announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, although there's recognition that the plan needs "fleshing out".