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UN Award for food safety technologies in developing countries

United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Packaging in Developing Countries, food safety, food security
GLOBAL
- Promoting food safety technologies in developing countries is the aim of a new award launched today by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s (UNIDO) Investment and Technology Promotion Office, Italy in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP).

 

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According to United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Packaging in Developing Countries, food safety, food security, speaking to PackWebasia.com at the launch of the initiative during Interpack 2011, Dusseldorf, “The award will recognize the innovative content proposed by worldwide stakeholders in research, technical and commercial aspects of technologies to enhance food safety, and to improve the management in regards of food supply, transport, and distribution as well as consumption in humanitarian crises and emergency situations.”

Game changing opportunities

“In recent years, the agro-food industry has undergone changes on a global scale, presenting both new opportunities and challenges for developing countrie.

While new investment flows and advanced technologies have enhanced the opportunities for agro-industrial enterprises to develop, they have also exposed domestic producers to risks and challenges.

Proper packaging not only helps preserve and protect food, but also facilitates its transportation, distribution, and marketing.

“In order to maximize the benefits deriving from agro-industrialization, greater attention needs to be paid to the changes in the structure of value chains in terms of safety and quality criteria within production and transformation of agro-food products.

The ability of agricultural and food industries to reduce post-harvest losses by improved storage, packaging and transportation to respond to the substantial increases in demand expected in future will be highly dependent on the wider application of existing technologies as well as the exploitation of new and innovative technologies.

In this context, packaging is one of the most challenging cross-cutting constraints to the development of, not only the food industry, but most of manufacturing.

“Packaging not only preserves and protects food, it also facilitates its transportation, distribution, and marketing. Therefore our actions focus on analysis of the needs of developing countries, seeking to adapt appropriate packaging technologies and products that can better contribute to socio-economic development, by creating employment, reducing poverty, improving food safety and quality standards, and enhancing environmental protection.

“Bearing in mind the unprecedented gap that has been opened between global agro-industrial markets and local subsistence farming as well as the increasing need for energy for productive use, in particular in rural areas, UNIDO ITPO Italy felt the importance to scout for more efficient and better suited technologies that may contribute to the solution of the food safety problems of developing countries.

“In fact, food safety and food security are closely intertwined as we seek technologies that contribute to an increase in food supply by preventing or minimizing food contamination and spoilage.” said Ms Battaggia.

United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Packaging in Developing Countries, food safety, food securityRecognition of practical innovation

The aim of the UNIDO ITPO Italy Technology Innovation Award for Food Safety in Developing Countries is to identify innovative contents proposed by worldwide stakeholders in research, technical and commercial aspects of technologies to enhance food safety, and to improve the management in regards of food supply, transport, and distribution as well as consumption in humanitarian crises or emergencies.

The technology content will be evaluated on the basis of the concrete applicability and impact in developing countries, originality and innovative features, performance and the benefits the submission offers to consumers in developing countries.

The Award
The UNIDO Award is opened to all those companies and public and private organizations which are interested in contributing concretely to the creation of effective solutions to reduce worldwide hunger on the basis of innovative technologies, services and processes for food safety.

There are awards in the following three categories:

  • Category 1: Technologies and processes related to food safety
  • Category 2: Innovative packaging for food safety
  • Category 3: Innovative packaging for emergency situations

EVALUATION CRITERIA

A prestigious Jury Committee composed of scientists and personalities from the entrepreneurial and academic communities will be in charge to evaluate the proposals submitted by worldwide stakeholders. All the participants will be properly informed about the decisions of the Jury Committee. The winners’ election are made by a majority vote, and the decision shall be considered final and irrevocable and must be accepted by the competitors.

Category 1: Technologies and processes for food safety and hygiene in developing countries

This category is open to organizations and companies which have developed and implemented new production technologies, and the ones which will honour measurable and effective innovations aimed at contributing to  food safety and hygiene at all food production stages, from post-harvesting to the final consumer.

Technology will be based on new developed processes or changes into existing processes. In either case, the technology must have a real impact and should be characterized by a positive social impact on the country and its economic potential.

The elements considered in the evaluation of the proposals are:

  1. Innovation: the technology must include specific and innovative elements which guarantee food safety and/or improvement of food safety at all food production stages;
  2. Socio-economic benefits: the adoption of new technologies should have positive social and economic effects - employment opportunities, working conditions or effects on local communities, energy saving, costs and loss reduction;
  3. Potential replication: there must be clear potential for a wider adoption of the innovative aspects of the technology, and a willingness to share this knowledge and expertise with other organisations and/or companies in developing countries, as well as their social and economic compatibly with these countries 
Category 2: Innovative packaging for food safety and hygiene in developing countries
This category is reserved for those public and/or individuals that have developed a new packaging that contributes to safer food and intensifies health-based consumer protection. Particularly it must meet the consumer needs in developing countries.

Factors considered in the evaluation of this category are:

  1. Innovation: substantial innovation in the packaging which can ensure food safety. Other factors will be considered that demonstrate the benefits to developing countries; including the reduction of  the environmental impact of waste disposal and packaging materials recycling.
  2. Socio-economic benefits: the new packaging must provide proof of social impact and its economic potential in developing countries;
  3. Potential replication: There must be clear potential for a wider adoption of the innovative aspects of the packaging, and a willingness to share this knowledge and expertise with other organisations and/or companies in developing countries.

Category 3: Innovative packaging for emergency situations
This category will reward the solid and/or liquid packaging showing the best innovation to be adapted in case of emergency situations.

It will take into account packages of any material, which demonstrate ease of storage, transportation, opening and use during humanitarian or emergency crisis.  

Other factors which will be considered include material selection, production processes, product protection and light weighting as well as the reduction of  the environmental impact of waste disposal and packaging materials recycling.

The official evaluation of applications will be handled by the jury committee of the Award, that will be responsible for examining the applications received and carrying out the administrative checks to validate the suitability of candidates.

Award Presentations
The award ceremony will be held during the International Trade Fair “IPACK IMA” in Milan from February 28th to March 3rd 2012.

“We have been cooperating with IPACK-IMA since 2009.” Said Ms “We share a common interest – to foster the promotion of food security and food safety technologies to help alleviate world hunger. Our relationship goes beyond this exhibition, our actions focus on analysing the needs of developing countries, seeking to adapt appropriate packaging technologies and products to the local circumstances. This can be done by creating employment, reducing poverty, improving food safety and quality standards, and enhancing environmental protection.”

How to apply
The deadline for application submission is October 31st, 2011

The application to the tender is free of charge

The application form is available on the UNIDO web site Here.

The first section (company profile) of the application form should be completed on-line and submitted it together with the second section (technical proposal) of the application form printed and signed by a representative of the applying subject to:

UNIDO ITPO Italy
Innovation Technology Award
Via Paola 41,
00185 Rome, Italy.


Please make sure that you completed Sections 1 and 2 of the application form; incomplete applications will be rejected.

Please be sure to complete each section before submitting an entry:

  • Application Form (Section 1 and 2) completed, printed and signed by a representative of the applying subject.
  • Digital image of the technology or product
  • Samples of the product (facultative).

OBLIGATIONS OF PARTICIPANTS

The participation to the Award is free of charge. No participation fees or administrative expenses are expected.

Participants are also required to assume the following obligations:

  1. participation of a Delegate to the award ceremony.
  2. authorize the disclosure of information about  the participation to the award with the exclusive purpose of promoting the project or the technology presented in case of press request.
  3. undertake initiatives to promote the diffusion of the information about  the achievement of the Award, with own means of communication.
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