Packaging key to exports
Samoa could earn more from exporting food if they are packaged correctly.
That’s the message from prominent Pacific food technologist Dr Richard Beyer who is in Samoa this week to run a food packaging workshop.
Beyer gave the example of koko Samoa as a product that could have a strong export market if it was packaged in a way that overseas buyers would find it acceptable.
Food packaging is linked to chemistry, shelf life and consumer acceptability, you cannot separate them,” he said.
The two-day workshop was facilitated by food and nutrition officer Dirk Schulz of FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands at Mataautu.
Schulz says one of the objectives of the workshop was to help finalise the content for a manual on food packaging in Samoa, which should be available at the end of the month.
Topics covered in the workshop covered how to pick the right types of packaging for your food product, why food deteriorates, the range of packaging materials available, and the business side of packaging.
During the workshop, Beyer demonstrated how picking the right type of packaging will extend the shelf life of your products.
“As soon as you package food, it changes and it starts to deteriorate.
Bacteria, insects, chemical build-up will potentially make your product unsafe.”
The participants included Women in Business Development Inc, Uncle Johnny’s, Apia Bottling, Samoa Crunch, SROS and several snack food makers.
A Women in Business representative said the workshop really highlighted how hygienic production standards, the right packaging and storage conditions all affected the shelf life of food products.