Economy, Business And Markets

Packaging Industry to Get New Lease of Life

Packaging Industry to Get New Lease of Life Packaging Industry to Get New Lease of Life

The World Packaging Organization has set up the Iranian Institute of Packaging (IRIP) with the aim of providing Iran with packaging education by holding workshops in Tehran as of next August, according to English magazine Plastics in Packaging.

“One of the first and most important activities of the IRIP was the signing of an agreement with a local Tehran-based bank. The bank has committed financial support to the establishment of the Iranian Institute of Packaging School,” said WPO’s general secretary Keith Pearson. Name of the bank and financial details were not available.

The World Packaging Organization, of which Iran is a member, is a non-profit, non-governmental, international federation of national packaging institutes and associations, regional packaging federations and other interested parties including corporations and trade associations. Founded in Tokyo in 1968, the organization seeks to encourage the development of packaging technology, science, access and engineering; contribute to the development of international trade; and stimulate education and training in packaging.

Primary activities of the organization today are to promote education through meetings, special activities and publications, to sponsor an international packaging design awards program; and facilitate contact and exchange among the various national institutes of packaging, according to the organization’s website.

According to Pearson, packaging education is a priority for the Iranian packaging industry as the country prepares for the post-sanctions era and the resultant export opportunities.

“The workshops aim to equip participants with greater in-depth knowledge to tackle the challenges facing the packaging industry in the current environment… The packaging training courses help to strengthen participants in packaging capabilities, providing a level of insight and understanding of the packaging industry that adds real and measurable value to careers and businesses,” said Pierre Pienaar, WPO’s vice president for education affairs.

IRIP president Afshin Fakhr says networking in packaging, nationally and internationally, is vital to achieving its long term goals and any promotion of exports would not be possible without a dynamic packaging industry.

“In recent years, packaging has never been a priority of major domestic industries, therefore it became isolated and unable to establish international connections,” he said.

Andrew Manly, communications director, of the Netherlands-based Active Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) has welcomed the news Iran has established a forum for industry professionals inside the country and a communications hub for international dialogue.

“Iran is one of the most developed economies in the region and we look forward to developing better links with its packaging sector,” he said. “The Middle East is showing increasing interest in active and intelligent packaging technologies, particularly in the areas of brand security and supply chain management.”

  Squandered Potential

Almost half of all the fruit produced in Iran perishes due to improper packaging and lack of cold storages, according to the head of the Institute of Labor and Social Security. Speaking in the Second International Festival of Leaders in Packaging Industry, Mohammad Reza Sepehri added that packaging increases high added value in products and services, which signify the need to improve and update the domestic industry.

“During the sanction years, most of the packaging machinery was imported from China. Now, after the removal of sanctions, we are looking to purchase high-quality machinery and make the necessary changes,” he said.

The four-day International Festival of Leaders in Packaging Industry was held in May-June in cooperation with World Packaging Organization and Asian Packaging Federation, with the aim of expanding cooperation with international organizations active in the field and familiarizing producers at home with the latest knowhow and technology in the packaging industry.  

“A strong packaging industry is essential, if the country is eying developed countries as new export destinations for its non-oil exports,” says Mohammad Reza Modoudi, deputy head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran.

 “Iraq and Afghanistan have traditionally been two of our main export destinations. Since they are facing domestic turbulence, they do not seek high quality packaging because of the extra expenses it entails. But this is not the case with developed countries,” he added.

“At present, there are some 20,000 exporters active in Iran and our membership in WPO and APF provides us with the opportunity to train our businesspeople in the packaging industry, enter joint cooperation with other unions and companies active in the area and take part in conferences, workshops and contests.”