Sonoco partners with Clemson on packaging initiative

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – 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,” Sonoco President and CEO Jack Sanders said in a news release. “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 multidisciplinary hub for innovation and research to advance fresh food packaging and distribution, Sonoco will contribute $1.725 million over five years. The company also will 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,” Clemson University President James P. Clements said in a news release.

“Leveraging the expertise of our (more) 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.”