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Value4Pack workshop identified regional challenges and opportunities of the food packaging value chain

Value4Pack workshop in Finland identified regional challenges and opportunities of the food packaging value chain in order to move towards EU Green Deal 4R (refuse, reduce, re-use, and recycle) goals.

As we navigate through the pivotal changes brought about by the new EU legislation, the food packaging industry stands at a crossroads of innovation and sustainability. The sustainability targets that new legislative changes will bring are substantial and are changing the requirements for food packaging industries and applications. Value4Pack project is part of S3Partnership alliance activities where CLIC Innovation represents Finnish food packaging cluster. Value4Pack is an interregional innovation investment (I3) project aiming to strengthen the capacity, competitiveness, and resilience of stakeholders in the European food packaging value chain, and their ability to address societal, environmental, and economic challenges.   

Value4Pack consortium

We gathered leading Finnish multi-stakeholder knowledge about food packaging around the same table in our co-creation workshop. We started the co-creation workshop by mapping the local food packaging value chain and organisations active along the value chain and also identified early innovators. The work also included identifying of challenges and bottlenecks in attempt to reach the 4R goals from Penta-Helix point of view. The work continued by listing competences and opportunities for Finnish food packaging value chain coming with the evolving legislation. 

Value4Pack workshop

Findings from the workshop disclosed several key challenges in reaching 4R goals in the future, here just naming a few: 

  • Moving targets and goals due to changing legislation 
  • Substantial long-term investments needed for substantial changes (starting from design, manufacturing, collection lines, transportation etc.) 
  • Lack of local innovative solutions in some parts of the value chain 
  • Contradictory targets between the 4R’s 
  • Need for further digitalisation and use of technology & data 
  • Premium prices for more sustainable products are still within the aptitude to use them for few 

Despite the challenges that exist, the participants identified a lot of competences & opportunities for Finnish food packaging value chains: 

  • Small market, agility to test and pilot new solutions and function as demo platform for scalable solutions 
  • Good collaboration among different value chain organizations  
  • Honesty and openness to work in open innovation spirit 
  • Innovative start-ups and SME companies bring in new solutions to markets 
  • World class research & know-how especially for innovative sustainable packaging material  
  • Opportunities to increase higher value to the materials and circulation  
  • Best practices like PALPA bottle collection system 

As we look forward to the next steps, the collaborative effort of 14 European clusters will be crucial in identifying inter-regional opportunities and fostering an ecosystem of innovation and sustainability. Stay tuned for our inter-regional workshop in Helsinki this May, where we’ll continue to share insights, benchmark best practices, and pave the way for a more sustainable future. 

Read more about Value4Pack project here. 

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