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New Zealand companies have been lauded across the Tasman for packaging innovations that include an automated lamb processing system, packaging that triples the shelf-life of fresh avocados, and a food packet that turns into a breakfast bowl for hardy travellers.

Those and other Kiwi innovations were celebrated at this year’s Packaging & Processing Innovation & Design Awards (PIDA) – a joint Australia and New Zealand industry awards platform – and the World Packaging Organisation’s WorldStar Awards, both held at a major industry conference in Surfers Paradise on early May.

The first called to the stage were Cas-Pak Products from Silverdale, whose foil pouch created for Hamilton’s Radix Nutrition won the PIDA for “Design Innovation of the Year – Food”. The pouches are designed to turn into a breakfast bowl when torn open, and users include Volvo Ocean Race competitors.

Another PIDA success was Silver Fern Farms and its automated system for processing lamb carcases into retail cuts, which won “Design Innovation of the Year – Machinery & Equipment”. The system designed by Dunedin’s SCOTT Automation & Robotics is the only lamb automation system worldwide.

And a High Commendation was given to Oji Fibre Solutions’ re-sealable cardboard box with pop-out scoop, designed for Auckland pet food company Animal Instinct. The scoop is built into the design, making the most of the recyclable box and removing the need for a plastic scoop.

Meanwhile, in the WorldStar awards, Sealed Air NZ secured two awards, including gold in the “Packaging that Saves Food” category, for its Cryovac Freshness Plus packaging, which has allowed the country’s largest avocado processor, Fresh Technologies, to extend the shelf-life of fresh avocado to 90 days.

And Woolcool Australia & NZ won a WorldStar bronze in the “Packaging that Saves Food” category, for its packaging made with waste wool, which outperforms synthetic materials in keeping chilled and frozen products temperature-safe while in transit.

Sharon Humphreys, Executive Director of the Packaging Council of NZ, says the awards show how packaging companies are working with partners to deliver product innovations and sustainable solutions.

“Ours is an industry focussed on delivering what customers want,” Humphreys says, “whether that’s a packet that makes eating breakfast easier in extreme situations, a butchery machine that reduces food wastage, or a cardboard box with a built-in scoop. If there’s a demand for such products, we deliver.”

“The public often don’t appreciate the time and effort that goes into creating such innovations, but the awards showcase just some of the good work our members are doing behind the scenes.”

The Council is also pleased to award its annual Packaging Council of NZ Scholarship to Jaco Scheepers, a packaging technologist at Synlait. Scheepers will use the $9000 scholarship to enrol in the Diploma in Packaging Technology and pursue his interest in developing sustainable packaging for Synlait.

Photo: Mike Rudling from Hamilton’s Radix Nutrition.

Glenn Baker

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


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