100 MSMEs attend 2-day Japan Packaging Workshop

Local MSMEs gain insight into the innovative and latest packaging technologies and designs from Japan at ICC

Over a hundred local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) gained insight into the leading product packaging technology from Japan’s industry during the two-day packaging workshop that was held at the Sepakat Rooms of the International Convention Centre earlier this week.

The workshop, a collaboration between Darussalam Enterprise (DARe) and the ASEAN-Japan Centre with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, brought three experts from the Japan Food Packaging Association (JFPA) and the Japan Packaging Institute (JPI).

The objective of the two-day workshop was to increase awareness among local MSMEs regarding the importance of packaging and brand development to their growth. Businesses were also briefed on standards and certifications from local agencies, including on halal, labelling and expiry dates.

Vice President of the JFPA, Moritoshi Oguni, shared how Japan has seen success processing basic traditional produce, like soy, tofu, and rice, into consumer products exported globally using the latest technology.

Oguni explained the initial challenges to exporting these Japanese staples including rice cakes and confectioneries like mochi, were due to their short shelf life, which was susceptible to high humidity and temperature.

Gas barrier packaging, which controls the water activity and oxygen within the packaging and prevents oxidation, is one of the solutions that have been popularized.

Good packaging, Oguni added, should bridge the gap between extending the products longevity, as well as providing convenience and functionality.

Shirakura Akira from JPI also talked about the increasing use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) on products to improve supply chain management. RFID uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags, which contain stored information.

RFID’s are arguably also superior to barcodes – they are rewritable and can be read from a distance up to several hundred metres, allowing product information to be easily stored and tracked, including country of origin and producer.

Attendees also learned about the upcoming Tokyo International Packaging Exhibition this October, one of the largest packaging trade shows in Asia, showcasing packaging materials and machines covering all fields from procurement, distribution, logistics, sales consumption, disposal and recycling.

The workshop also included talks regarding branding by local company Hoco Creative and MSME Assistance Programmes that are offered by DARe.

For more information regarding the Tokyo Pack 2018, as well as any Q&A that people may have regarding the exhibition can be found at www.tokyo-pack.jp/en/.