Ever more complex and rapidly changing rules for food packaging - if these ever gave you a headache, our regulatory affairs expert Maria van Liere is here to help.
Ink makers, converters and brand owners alike are faced with ever more stringent and complex regulations governing food contact applications and the use of chemicals in packaging. Maria van Liere from our Product Stewardship team in Heerenveen, Netherlands, should know: she deals with these questions every day, supporting our business and our customers. Find out about her take on current regulatory trends, particularly in food packaging.
Maria, what do you see as the biggest challenge ahead?
Consumers’ increasing focus on sustainability and the safety of food packaging has led to changes in demand. This translates into many different challenges for the whole value chain, including a changing regulation. The name of the game – for our business and for our customers – is to collaborate and use all available expertise to prepare for any changes.
Can you give examples on how the rules are changing?
In the European and US markets, legislation has remained much the same, but as awareness develops, the screening and interpretation of the regulations have become more rigorous. They yield more detailed and more relevant findings than, say, 10 years ago. Which means that significantly more work and greater expertise is required to obtain clearance for food contact applications from regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US or the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and from test institutes.
In other big markets, such as China, chemical regulations are changing very rapidly. To secure or safeguard their market share, companies in Europe that export to those markets need to monitor the changes, evaluate the relevance to their products and prepare for the required changes.
This seems like a mountain of work. How can a small or medium-sized company get a handle on that?
For example, by collaborating with partners who have the necessary expertise and network. At BASF, our dedicated Product Stewardship team works with R&D, customers and brand owners, as well as with BASF colleagues from other relevant regions and central services. This way, we are able to provide ink formulators, converters and brand owners with valuable insights on food contact regulatory trends. We offer regulatory support with a high level of expertise and help our customers ensure that they can keep their products on the market world-wide, even when the rules are changing.
If you would like more regulatory information regarding our products or services, please contact our Product Stewardship team at firstname.lastname@example.org.