Packaging is an extremely important industry to Australia's economic well being. It employs over 50,000 people, directly and indirectly, and achieves annual sales of over $5 billion. Victoria dominates the Australian packaging industry with the majority of the industry's employment and production capacity.
This is the second edition of the Guide to Current Research in the field of packaging, and its focus remains on providing both packaging companies and users of packaging with details of current research activities in the field of packaging technology. This edition contains projects from four Victorian universities and the Cooperative Research Centre for International Food Manufacture and Packaging Science.
In Australia, approximately 65% of all packaging is used by the food and beverage industries - Victoria's largest manufacturing sector - which have been increasing their export sales at very rapid rates. In these industries, packaging is a key component of export success, requiring continuing innovation and improvements. This will only be achieved through a strong culture of research and development, and close collaboration between researchers and industry.
This Guide provides a comprehensive listing of packaging research projects being conducted in Victoria's universities and research institutes. It is to be hoped that industry will make use of the strength and diversity it illustrates and that it will foster new collaborations and alliances between researchers and industry.
Consumers are now demanding packaging that is environmentally sensitive with extended shelf life and greater durability. In pursuing this development we will need to take into account the value the community places on considerations such as these. We will need to ensure that emerging packaging services are made available in ways that encourage social, environmental and economic acceptance. And we will need to overcome a variety of technical barriers.
It is exciting to note that much of the current research listed in the Guide addresses these areas. This is a sure sign that the Victorian universities and research institutions that have contributed to this Guide have a sound appreciation of what is required by our food and beverage and packaging industries to maintain and grow our export markets.
I look forward to seeing these research projects develop into high-tech packaging products and systems that assist Victoria's industries scale new heights.
Rob Hulls MP
Minister for Manufacturing Industry