One of the most comprehensive mock recall and traceability field trials for the packaging industry including retailers, food manufacturers and suppliers is scheduled for Jan. 2011.
Organized by PAC – The Packaging Association, the field trial is being held to help companies gain a better awareness of what is expected of them should a product recall affect them.
“Most packaging converters do not have a comprehensive recall and traceability program in place,” says Larry Dworkin, PAC director of industry government relations. “Also, many consumer goods packaging firms are unaware that food safety issues could occur in the packaging manufacturing and transportation process.”
Dworkin explains that The PAC under its PACsecure HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points)-based food safety standards program for packaging materials is leading the initiative.
With funding coming from Agriculture and Agri Food Canada under the Canadian Food Safety and Quality program, more than 50 retailers, food processors, packaging converting firms and their suppliers have expressed an interest to participate in the trials including: Overwaitea Food Group, McCain Foods, Old Dutch Foods, Atlantic Packaging Products Ltd., Maritime Paper, Farnell Packaging, Jones Packaging, Cascades Paperboard Group, Peel Plastics Products Ltd., Canadian Liquid Processors, Owens-Illinois Inc., Plastipak, Harlund Industries Ltd., Polybottle Group Limited, The Small Scale Food Producers Association, Comeau’s Sea Foods Ltd., Color Ad Packaging, Domino Printing Solutions and Aria Foods.
Always looking to help more companies, the PAC is seeking an additional 40 more to participate in the program. Dworkin notes that if each participant can then add an additional one or two customers and/or suppliers, the mock field trial will have close to 400 businesses participating.
The necessity for the initiative was also based on research which indicated that many mock recall and traceability field trials carried out by the food sector did not included the packaging or transportation sectors.
“We don’t require each firm to involve all of its customers or suppliers. Rather, we are only interested in the process of what works and problems that firms might encounter,” offers Dworkin. “To this end, PAC has developed a comprehensive recall and traceability document which it introduced to its members through a recent series of six workshops across the country.
“We are preparing background material and instructions to be sent to each firm on what will be required—including notices of recall, media press releases, names and phone numbers of government contacts in Canada, the U.S. and Europe where the mock trial will be conducted.”
PAC is currently in contact with various government agencies such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to participate in the initiative with the end result of providing an assist to the entire consumer goods sector in being able to respond more efficiently to an actual issue and thereby look after the end users.
For further information, contact Larry Dworkin at 416-496-5075 or via e-mail at email@example.com. For more information on the PAC, visit www.pac.com, and for more on the PACsecure program, visit www.pac.ca/index.php/pac/pacsecure.