Interview between Véronique SESTRIERES – ALL4PACK Exhibition Director, Comexposium and Michel FONTAINE – CNE Chairman

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Oct 2016

Interview between Véronique SESTRIERES – ALL4PACK Exhibition Director, Comexposium and Michel FONTAINE – CNE Chairman

vs-_-mf-itw-croisesMichel Fontaine

Could you tell me what’s new and exciting in the ALL4PACK exhibition taking place from November 14th to November 17th?

Véronique Sestrières 

The 2016 edition is full of “firsts”; the exhibition’s theme is “Let’s be creative!”.

First, the exhibition has changed its name and has relocated. Given current trends to integrate the entire production chain, we decided that the packaging and handling exhibitions should reaffirm their synergy and merge to create ALL4PACK Paris, the Global Marketplace for Packaging, Processing, Printing & Handling. This new name perfectly represents the way the industries’ four main sectors complement each other. Furthermore, the ALL4PACK brand has an immediate impact on potential international participants, which is an important advantage for the exhibitions future.

We’ve also reorganised and simplified the different sectors. They will be set up in new halls (5A, 6, and 7); we’ve changed things up! This encourages us and our partners to evolve and adapt. We’ve overhauled activities and demonstrations (Pack Innovation, TV Stage, etc.) and we’re hosting 10/10 Pentawards’ first ever Exhibition, which presents a selection of 100 outstanding packaging. We are also in the process of creating new Business Meetings for our foreign delegations program. Top buyers are invited, including some African countries (20% of our visitors come from Africa).

In short, 2016 will be completely different from 2014, as 2018 will be from 2016. The exhibition’s success depends on our ability to innovate and our efficiency; client feedback is our top concern.

VS

Speaking of the organisation’s highlights, the CNE is hosting its third European summit on packaging at ALL4PACK. Without revealing everything about this summit, can you tell us what main topics will be addressed?

MF 

This European gathering will be comprised of two complementary parts. First, current regulatory changes around what everyone is calling the circular economy “package”. Second, the actual situation in each major country when it comes to technical policies undertaken for environmental, sustainable development, and circular economy issues.

VS

This European summit is an opportunity to address European regulations; what would you tell producers in order to create the right packaging?

MF 

The initial regulations pertaining to packaging and packaging waste were particularly visionary and producers have to conform to a “minimum” packaging policy in terms of weight, volume, and dangerous substances. The right packaging was part of the regulation and was easily available to anyone.

VS

The CNE is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, what are in your opinion the best outtakes of these past two décades?

MF 

You spoke before about the right packaging, and it’s precisely this word, “right”, which the CNE chose to assemble our most important documents written by our collective efforts in one document “20 years: the right packaging”:

  • Right for the planet: eco-design and packaging
  • Right information for all: environmental claims
  • Right for consumption: packaging as a tool to reduce waste
  • Right on time: packaging as a major element of product logistics
  • Right in circular economy: packaging and its essential role in circular economy
  • Right on security: packaging as a means of traceability

MF

Comexposium-ALL4PACK has been a CNE member for a few years now; what benefits did this relationship yield? How can we improve the packaging industry?

VS

Comexposium values quality relationships with partner industries. ALL4PACK maintains several proactive partnerships in France and abroad. We joined the CNE to expand our knowledge of the French industry, working closely with its players, both professionals and consumers. As for improvements, I think the industry could benefit from greater “federation” in order to gain value in the final consumers’ eyes. 

MF

Do you have any suggestions to develop the CNE’s activities and visibility?

VS

With the help of social networking, the CNE now has very efficient tools to spread its publications and expand its reputation.

A widespread awareness campaign to educate the public on the value of packaging, as we’ve seen in other countries, could show how much the industry is constantly innovating for every single sector.

VS

You’ve just published a book, “L’Emballage, ce bel inconnu” (“Packaging, a beautiful stranger”). Does it shed a new light on packaging?

MF 

During my six years as Chairman of the CNE, I’ve learned that packaging design follows the same rules regardless of the industry; food, household products, cosmetics, industrial products, etc. The need for packaging and certain features is always there. With my 40 years’ worth of experience, I wished to educate by answering 30 questions that the average consumer could be interested in.

VS

In conclusion, after reading this book I’m curious to know: according to you, what’s left to do to raise awareness for packaging issues?

MF

People often like to complain about things that go bad, without stopping to appreciate things that go well. It’s the same for packaging. I recently read a negative article attacking “misleading” packaging by pointing out the aesthetic disparity between the product and the picture displayed on the packaging. Packaging is only a media in this issue… and the culprit is the product itself. Talking about packaging that works isn’t necessarily exciting but the first stone has to be laid down, imperfect as it is. Some fields such as e-commerce and digital trade will no doubt require new developments in the near future.