1. Mr. Rustler, can you explain in a few words what your company Theegarten-Pactec manufactures?
Markus Rustler: We design and manufacture packaging machines for food, primarily for small-sized confectionery. Among them machines which wrap up to 2,300 sweets per minute in double-twist wrap style. Our machines also wrap chocolate, stock cubes or non-food products – as, for instance, dishwasher tabs.
2. In Asia, packaging means are on a growth course. How do you assess the chances of German machinery and plant manufacturers to participate in this growth?
Rustler: Asia is a huge, extremely heterogeneous market. The demand for high-performance wrapping machines differs from region to region. In some South East Asian countries, we have been represented for decades, while we see other countries, among them China, as growth markets. One of the reasons is that the Chinese tend to prefer savoury snacks. Instead of sweets or chocolate bars, they rather eat smoked chicken feet. In the Eastern industrial centrers where the middle class is growing, eating habits are changing. There, especially the chocolate market is growing at rates around 20 percent. This scene is determined by the global food groups that have been our customers for a long time.
3. How great is the importance you attach to the FoodPex and Shanghai World of Packaging as a whole?
Rustler: Since it`s a new exhibition, we see the swop first of all as a test balloon. Previously, we were unable to find a satisfactory exhibition in China. The fact that Messe Düsseldorf backs it as an organizer is a good omen. We are represented at many exhibitions from its portfolio because it understands its business.
4. Within the VDMA, the Packaging Forum established itself a short time ago. What are your expectations from such a platform?
Rustler: Such properly organised fora can always strengthen us in the international competition. As to me, its field of activity focuses on the image of packaging means. Worldwide, 50 percent of all field crops spoil on their way to the consumer. Packaging can help to reduce this rate and ensure the provision of fresh food to a growing world population. Packaging is indispensable, but we have to solve environmental questions. Nobody wants to see packaging waste floating in the ocean or micro plastic material swimming in seas – we don`t want it either. If cooperative research within the Packaging Forum can contribute to biodegradable products being developed which can be processed by machines, this would be a good thing.