Every year, billions of dollars worth of packaged food is lost due to spoilage. Sonoco, one of the largest global diversified packaging companies, has announced a new research partnership with Clemson to address that packaging challenge.
“Sonoco is committed to serving fresh brands, using packaging to tackle the challenges they face,” said Sonoco President and CEO Jack Sanders. “Optimizing fresh food packaging to extend shelf life and maintain quality makes fresh produce more accessible to communities, and helps brands and retailers extend sales opportunities and eliminate food waste.”
The Sonoco FRESH (Food Research Excellence for Safety and Health) initiative will develop new technologies and new forms of packaging to optimize the fresh food lifecycle. Sonoco will contribute $1.725 million over five years to establish the multi-disciplinary hub for innovation and research. The company also will sponsor business-driven research projects totaling $1 million over that period. Sonoco FRESH is an extension of the partnership that created the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson.
“Working with outstanding industry partners like Sonoco allows us to do more to develop solutions for the grand challenges facing the world, and it helps us to prepare our students to become future leaders,” said President Clements. “Leveraging the expertise of our faculty, Sonoco FRESH will play a key role in exposing our undergraduate and graduate students to issues related to the crisis of food waste and sustainability so that they will be informed and responsible decision makers as they enter the workforce.”
“We are honored to be working with Clemson, as reducing food waste is central to our combined efforts — and finding ways to extend freshness through new technology is key,” said Vicki Arthur, Sonoco’s senior vice president of plastic packaging and protective solutions. “We believe this partnership will deliver breakthroughs to help the entire packaging industry and will have a major impact on the distribution of fresh food across the country and around the world.”