Over the years both the ILO and TOOL Question/Answer Service received signals indicating that there is a considerable demand for information on food packaging materials and the application of packaging methods in developing countries. Plans to produce a publication on this subject were made within the joint ILO and TOOL project Farm Implements and Tools.
An inventory of available documentation showed that information on packaging materials and methods can be found in several publications on processing one particular kind of food (fish, fruit, etc.) or in publications on a particular packaging method (canning). A disadvantage of these publications is that they do not offer an overview of alternatives in packaging and packaging methods. Often economic aspects are omitted, although the costs of packaging materials are a major point of concern in developing countries.
This publication on packaging materials for food products should offer an inventory of packaging materials and cost effective methods which can be applied on a small scale in developing countries. The information is primarily aimed at entrepreneurs in small-scale food processing industries in developing countries and employees of development organizations supporting these entrepreneurs.
Maurice Allal, ILO
Albert Jan van Weij, TOOL
About the authors
Dr Peter Fellows is a food technologist with 15 years' experience in small-scale food processing in Africa and Asia. He is currently a Senior Technical Manager with the development agency Intermediate Technology in the United Kingdom. Previously, he was a Senior Lecturer at Oxford Polytechnic and he has worked in the United Kingdom's food industry. He obtained his Doctorate from Reading University after conducting research into the symbiotic growth of edible yeasts on fruit processing wastes. His specialisms include fruit and vegetable processing, small food enterprise development and food packaging.
Barrie Axtell worked in the United Kingdom's food industry for over ten years and then joined the British Overseas Development Programme. He then spent four years in the Eastern Caribbean as an adviser in food processing followed by three years in Guatemala teaching and developing small scale drying systems. In 1981, he joined Intermediate Technology to start its agroprocessing programme and travelled extensively to developing projects in Asia and Latin America His particular areas of interest are drying, packaging and fruit processing. After ten years as Senior Technical Manager with ITDG he became a private consultant providing technical consultancy inputs to agencies such as FAO, ILO, UNIFEM and ITDG.
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