Exhibitor Interview: Ishida
One of our biggest exhibiting companies at Propak West Africa 2018 is Ishida Europe, with just over a month to go until the show, we wanted to catch up with one of their senior representatives to get a better understanding of what the industry giant will bring to the event. We spoke with Ishida's Marketing Director, Steve Jones to find out more.
Q1. What is the reason you have chosen to exhibit your products/ services at Propak West Africa 2018?
Ishida have had customers in West Africa for many years but since 2014 we have been working more proactively in the sub-Saharan region. This is because like many organisations we recognise the evolving significance of the continent founded in economic development supported by the well published facts about urbanisation, population growth and industrial diversification with multiple countries now identifying the agri-business sector as an opportunity.
Q2. Can you highlight any particularly exciting products/ services you’ll be showcasing this year? I.e. any new launches, top selling products, new partnerships etc.
In demonstration of our commitment to the market we will be showcasing our entire product portfolio and to ensure visitors receive the very best advice our local representative will be supported on the stand by experienced staff from Japan, South Africa and the UK.
The breadth of the available product portfolio and the Ishida support package that comes as standard provides significant value whether your organisation is just starting to consider an automation solution or looking to upgrade or replace a current installation.
Q3. What makes you stand out from your competitors? Why should a visitor pick your brand over another?
Ishida are a fifth generation family owned company who have been in business for 125 years, our corporate philosophy is founded upon delivering what we promise and providing comprehensive support for the lifetime of the machine. In terms of comprehensive support we will provide spares for your machine for at least 10 years after the current machine is replaced by the next generation. Additionally we have an “Internet of Things” software package which means no matter where our customers are located we can access our machines (as long as an internet connection is available) and fine tune settings or diagnose issues remotely ensuring customers have optimum performance from their Ishida investment on an on-going basis.
Q4. Are you planning to meet existing clients as well as potential new ones?
Certainly, in fact when we bring a team into territory our approach is often to visit customer’s facilities whilst simultaneously running the exhibition. Key to our approach is to actually visit the customer and look at their facility, current packaging methodology and products to ensure we define the very best solution.
Q5. Why do you believe industry events such as Propak West Africa are crucial to the industry?
These events bring a variety of industry players offering different products and services to one location and hence offer visitors a unique opportunity to engage with diverse suppliers, many of whom may be able to offer value to their business going forward. Whilst obviously a standard method of identifying solutions to any issue is to type keywords into a search engine the opportunity for rich face to face discussion can lead rapidly to the best, most informed solution to any requirement.
Q6. In your opinion, are there any specific challenges you foresee for the global packaging market?
For me there are two key issues facing the packaging market on a global basis, these are the environmental impact of packaging materials and food waste.
I believe it’s now common knowledge that one third of food produced annual is wasted either in the stage from farmer to retailer or post retail when in the hands of the consumer. Indeed the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations state that “Even if just one-quarter of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world.”
To a certain extent packaging and packaging technology assists in reducing food waste through the packaging process and techniques such as modified atmosphere packaging.
Q7. And more locally, what kind of potential do you see in the West African packaging market specifically?
Dependent upon which countries you include within the definition of “West Africa” the regional population is in-excess of 350 Million. Given the development of some nations and the previously referenced criterion of urbanisation and population growth it is clear that the demand for packaged foods will grow. Initially this growth may be in dry product categories such as snack foods, but as infrastructure and logistics improve, in time demand from other categories will rise.
Q8. Sustainability and Recyclable packaging are extremely popular in the market at the moment, what do you think about this apparent trend and have you seen it personally affecting your audience?
As is well known, this positive development is in response to a global concern about the environmental effects of packaging materials. To derive the maximum environmental benefit from this initiative the material used/ developed must maintain the properties that are required for techniques such as MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) which extend the shelf life of the product. Hence, the environmental impact of packaging material is reduced with no detrimental effect on the food shelf life and thus waste.
These issues are frequently discussed at Ishida and are becoming increasingly included in customer discussions. We are obviously keeping a keen eye on packaging material development in association with our range of machinery.
Q10. Is there anything else you’d like to highlight about your brand or products to our exhibitors ahead of their visit in September?
Ishida provides some 15 different categories of machines covering weighing, packaging, quality control and end of line solutions. The products provided are largely manufactured in Ishida factories in three different geographic locations. The resulting breadth and depth of product range enables us to offer solutions, that all benefit from the dependability of Ishida, for those companies considering automation for the first time all the way through to the major multinationals.
Ishida will be exhibiting at Propak West Africa 2018 on stand C12 this September, to attend for free, please register here.