Sonoco announces 5-year, $2.725 million fresh packaging initiative with Clemson
Sonoco FRESH partnership with Clemson to develop new technologies, package formats
HARTSVILLE — Sonoco, one of the largest global diversified packaging companies, has announced a new research partnership with Clemson University: the Sonoco FRESH (Food Research Excellence for Safety and Health) initiative will develop new technologies and new forms of packaging to optimize the fresh food lifecycle.
“Sonoco is committed to serving fresh brands, using packaging to tackle the challenges they face,” said Sonoco President and CEO Jack Sanders. “Optimizing fresh food packaging to extend shelf life and maintain quality makes fresh produce more accessible to communities, and helps brands and retailers extend sales opportunities and eliminate food waste.
“Each year, the food industry loses $15.6 billion due to food spoilage at retail. Modifying packaging design to extend shelf life by even one day can recover $1.8 billion of that loss — while feeding more people and reducing waste to landfills.”
To establish the multi-disciplinary hub for innovation and research to advance fresh food packaging and distribution, Sonoco will contribute $1.725 million over five years. The Company will also sponsor business-driven research projects totaling $1 million over that period.
Sonoco FRESH is an extension of the partnership that created the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson.
“Working with outstanding industry partners like Sonoco allows us to do more to develop solutions for the grand challenges facing the world, and it helps us to prepare our students to become future leaders,” said Clemson University President James P. Clements. “Leveraging the expertise of our faculty, Sonoco FRESH will play a key role in exposing our undergraduate and graduate students to issues related to the crisis of food waste and sustainability so that they will be informed and responsible decision makers as they enter the workforce.”
“We are honored to be working with Clemson, as reducing food waste is central to our combined efforts — and finding ways to extend freshness through new technology is key,” said Vicki Arthur, Sonoco’s senior vice president of plastic packaging and protective solutions. “We believe this partnership will deliver breakthroughs to help the entire packaging industry, and will have a major impact on the distribution of fresh food across the country and around the world.”
Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics
The Sonoco Institute was created to exploit the synergies that exist between the graphic communications and packaging science departments. It is the only university program in the country with this one-of-a-kind multidisciplinary approach to packaging as a core competency. Learn more at sonocoinstitute.com.
Founded in 1899, Sonoco (NYSE: SON) is a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging, and displays and packaging supply chain services. With annualized net sales of approximately $4.8 billion, the company has 20,000 employees working in more than 300 operations in 33 countries, serving some of the world’s best known brands in some 85 nations. For more information on the Company, visit www.sonoco.com.