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The largest packaging show on earth takes place in the German city of Düsseldorf from May 4th to 10th, 2017. Exporter shares a special preview of interpack and its many initiatives.

Where do you start? Like most German international trade fairs, there will be so many initiatives and innovation crammed into interpack 2017 – the world’s most important trade fair for the packaging sector and related processing industries, held every three years in Düsseldorf.

It’s little wonder that a large contingent of New Zealanders visit the show each time it’s held.
Sebastian Pflügge, head of the packaging and processing portfolio at Messe Düsseldorf’s press department, agrees that there’ll be a lot going on. Already interpack 2017 has recorded the biggest exhibitor demand in its more than 55-year history. By the official closing date for registrations at the end of February this year, companies had booked about 20 percent more space than is available at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre with its 19 halls. 

One of the key initiatives, which began in 2011, will be the third international SAVE FOOD Congress – a cooperation of Messe Düsseldorf, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme).

“The aim of the initiative is to reduce food waste and food losses, and it’s pretty much open to everyone, including non-government organisations (NGOs),” says Pflügge. “Currently the SAVE FOOD initiative has more than 130 business members, and more than 230 NGOs, universities and research institutes – including organisations registered with the FAO. So it’s a major project; a chance for the packaging industry to demonstrate how they can reduce food losses and waste with their products.”

Pflügge explains how a processing crisis within the annual Kenyan mango harvest was solved by a SAVE FOOD member who developed prototype low-tech process and packaging equipment to produce dried mangoes for export. “It’s a great business example of what the SAVE FOOD initiative is capable of achieving.”

The 2017 SAVE FOOD Congress will have a special emphasis on food losses in India. The associated ‘innovationparc’ exhibition will highlight innovative packaging solutions designed to extend shelf-life and combat food losses. Integrated with innovationparc is a lecture forum that companies can use for the presentation of their solutions and strategies.
Another highlight at interpack 2017 is ‘Industry 4.0’, held in conjunction with VDMA, the German engineering association, which highlights the smart communication capability of today’s processing and packaging machinery.
An additional 5000 square metre temporary hall is also being built in time for interpack 2017 to host exhibitors of components for packaging machinery. Again, it has already sold out.

Pflügge says sustainability, personalisation and digital technology will be common themes amongst the many packaging exhibitors at the 2017 show, along with greater machinery speeds and more efficient use of raw materials.
“We have a saying here that ‘every innovation has its starting point’,” says Pflügge. 
And whether it’s specialist packaging, advanced machinery, innovative new processes, or just a great idea that the world’s producers have been waiting for – chances are you’ll find it at interpack 2017.

The interpack alliance 
The label “interpack alliance” now spans all ten global events staged by Messe Düsseldorf and its subsidiaries under its Processing & Packaging portfolio. The events are staged under the yellow and blue umbrella logo which echoes that of the flagship trade fair interpack. 
The interpack alliance includes upakovka (Moscow), food pex (Shanghai), china pharm (Shanghai), bulk pex (Shanghai), pacpro Asia (Shanghai), packtech India/food pex India (Mumbai), components (Düsseldorf), food processing & packaging exposyum Kenya (Nairobi), indopack (Jakarta), and process expo (Chicago). 
The four Chinese trade fairs take place every two years in a combined event known as Shanghai World of Packaging (swop).
The interpack alliance addresses the target groups of food, beverages, confectionery and baked goods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, non-food consumer goods and industrial goods in key emerging markets, focusing on different areas in each individual event. Each show seeks to deliver the same high standard of management and service characterised by the parent interpack in Düsseldorf.

For more on the SAVE FOOD initiative go to 
Information on the interpack alliance is here: 
For information about visiting or exhibiting at Messe Düsseldorf trade fairs contact the New Zealand representative, Robert Laing, at Messe Reps. & Travel.
Email [email protected] or visit 


Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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