GREECE: German budget supermarket Lidl has been caught airbrushing Christian symbols from its packaging in order to remain ‘religiously neutral’. The chain’s Greek food range, which features packaging images of the famous Anastasis Church in Santorini - complete with its world-renowned blue dome roof – has been altered to remove the Christian crosses that usually sit atop the dome and surrounding PA C K A G I N G At the hub of many great food and beverage manufacturing projects is a great finance company. Let’s do great things together. Visit www.creditone.co.nz for a 60 second Online quote or call 0800 300 500 24 OCTOBER 2017 “We are extremely sorry for any offence caused by the most recent artwork and would like to reassure our customers that this is not an intentional statement. In light of this we will ensure that all feedback is taken into consideration when redesigning future packaging.” The spokesman Specialists in: • Equipment Finance • Plant & Machinery Finance • Truck Finance • Working Capital • Vehicle Finance FT360-B THE SOURCE FOR FOODTECHNOLOGY INFORMATION buildings. Irate customers have also noticed that some of the Halal meat products on offer feature buildings with minarets – a piece of Islamic religious architecture - on their packaging. The ‘Eridanous’ range features Greek delicacies such as olive oil, Moussaka, yoghurt and gyros, and a Lidl UK spokesman says it has been sold across Europe for more than a decade, updating its packaging images regularly. 24 PACKAGING | 28 PROCESSING | 32 TESTING | 34 LOGISTICS says the company avoids the use of religious symbols on packaging to maintain neutrality in all religions. JAMAICA: The Jamaican government is being urged by the Caribbean’s largest food company not to relax the new packaging and labelling standards for sugar, and instead extend it to other basic commodities such as flour. Speaking against public pressure, Seprod Group chief executive Richard Pandohie says food security is one factor in his call not to be tempted to relax the rules, which are not popular amongst interest groups. “There are clearly teething pains, but this is about food security, and this needs to remain in place,” Pandohie says. “We need to hold the course on this and even expand it to include items such as flour.” The new standards for packaging and labelling brown sugar being sold in the retail trade became mandatory in July. However, the scarcity of smaller packaging has irked some consumers and merchants, who are calling for a revocation of the new standards. Pandohie says Jamaica is not experiencing a shortage of sugar, but there is insufficient packaging capacity to cover the most popular customer choice of ‘one-pound sugar’. “In hindsight, we look at that, but the industry should have been more prepared,” he says. The new standards were expected to address public health concerns and improve traceability, and designed to include required information such as net content, details of the manufacturer, distributor, importer and vendor. They are part of a national strategy to guarantee the integrity of sugar and protect it from contamination, as well as to thwart the importation of the sweetener for use as raw material but sold on the local market instead. UNITED STATES: It’s not surprising that Americans throw away around $29 billion in perfectly good food each year, but now the country is not only being told that the partial blame lays with packaging that is confusing and hard to understand, but major companies are banning some words to make reading easier for customers. News agency Quartz says companies use a variety of different language on food packaging such as ‘best before’ or ‘display until’ which are meant for either consumers or retailers, and the true meaning of the terms can be blurry. As a result, customers often interpret retailer information as an expiration date, leading them to throw away perfectly good food. Walmart, Tesco, Kellogg and Campbell have pledged to stop using the terms on packing, instead using labels that are easier to understand. For example, ‘use by’ will be used for perishable foods you shouldn’t eat after a certain date, and ‘best if used by’ will be used for goods that will be better consumed by a specific date. The new packaging changes will be in place by 2020.
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