Digital printing 'boosted by on-pack traceability'

22nd November 2013 - Fine Cut

The past year has seen the start of a period of development in terms of companies looking to make their products more transparent for consumers, while also ensuring they are easily traceable should any problems occur.

Brought on in large part by pharmaceutical counterfeiting issues and the horsemeat scandal in Europe earlier in 2013, these changes have opened the door for the digital printing industry and encouraged many companies to adopt this method in order to improve their products.

An article published by packaging industry publication WhatTheyThink suggests that developments in both industries have made digital labelling and packaging a "compelling proposition", which could see firms regain trust of the general public and regulators.

Author Sean Smyth noted that companies in the food manufacturing industry need to respond to consumers who have turned to fresh meat and products from local suppliers in order to shun supermarkets and other retailers who inaccurately labelled meat products.

On top of this, the mass-produced frozen ready meal market is also expected to adapt. Consumers are increasingly looking for more detailed labels on food items, in order to ensure they know exactly what they are eating.

Supermarket giant Tesco is just one of the retailers promising to improve its digital labelling, with chief executive officer Philip Clarke promising to "bring more production closer to home and work much more closely with British farmers" as part of the measures.

Going forward, it is likely that regulators and consumers - as well as food processors and supermarkets - will demand more traceability for products, in order to implicate those responsible should another scandal occur.

However, some countries in the EU have recently voiced concern over the introduction of full country of origin labelling, amid fears that individuals will be put off certain products if they know the ingredients.

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