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Packaging conference and free-to-attend seminars at Propak Cape

| Marketing and Promotions

Business decision-makers, purchasing influencers and other industry professionals will be heading to Propak Cape in October. As the Western Cape’s premier packaging, food processing, plastics, printing and labelling trade exhibition, visitors will be looking for the latest products, technologies and services as well as to network, develop supplier relationships and engage with industry organisations.

Taking place at the Cape Town International Conference Centre (CTICC) from 24-26 October, Propak Cape will enable visitors to connect with over 200 local and international exhibitors, gain access to technical experts on the stands and have the opportunity to view live demonstrations of products and machinery. Visitors will also benefit from the daily programme of informative free-to-attend seminars *.

Amongst the speakers at the seminar series will be Charles Muller, Executive Director of Packaging SA His topic ‘Emerging trends in sustainable packaging: 2017 and beyond’ will discuss how sustainability is no longer an option, but an essential design element in order to attract, relate to and retain consumers. To meet the needs of this burgeoning market, new uses for plastic packaging are being continuously unearthed, as innovative plastic materials are being developed to accommodate increased demand.

Anton Hanekom, Executive Director at Plastics SA will focus on initiatives driving growth in the South African plastics industry. The biggest markets for plastics are the packaging, building and construction and automotive industries. While competition from advanced developing countries and cheap imports of relatively low value-added products had a negative impact on domestic demand this past year, this talk will look at what strategies the SA plastics industry can implement in order to maintain growth and remain competitive.

Douw Steyn, Sustainability Director at Plastics SA will provide an overview of what the South African plastics industry is doing to design better packaging, increase recycling rates, and introduce new models for making better use for a circular plastics economy during his presentation ‘rethinking the future of plastics: SA industry insights.’

‘The changing face of the print and packaging industry, and opportunities this creates: a perspective from Printing SA’ is the topic that will be presented by Steve Thobela, Chief Executive Officer at Printing SA. The industry body believes that even during tough economic times there are opportunities for entrepreneurs to gain a foothold – and the printing industry is no exception. Operations who are flexible enough to adapt quickly to change and take advantage of gaps in the market will continue to thrive.

Wendy McLoughlin, Business Development Executive at Kemtek Imaging Systems will address why it’s not enough today for packaging to merely contain the product inside. Consumers are expecting packaging to do so much more: it must excite, inform, create an experience and even save the planet. Her topic ‘Digital disruption and innovation: the future of packaging’ will provide insight into how innovations in packaging are being rolled out to address consumers’ demands for ease of use, sustainability, convenience and fun.

Label and package printing industries are also challenged with the constant need to evolve and meet emerging consumer trends and needs. Technology is changing the way consumers are shopping and the internet has opened up myriad ways for consumers to make informed decisions about what they buy.
Leon Minnie, Digital Print Solutions Product Manager at Konika Minolta will review how the South African Printing industry is adapting to these needs and what applications are projecting this industry forward in his topic ‘Challenging the printing conundrum: Diversification and new applications in print.’

For some, Industry 4.0 is a concept that is known about but maybe not fully understood in relation to improved productivity. Questions also surface around how changes in technology will impact the skills required in an organisation. Hugo van Niekerk, Business Manager: Training and Consulting at Festo Didactic will shed light on this when he presents his seminar topic ‘the dawn of smart factories: reducing downtime costs and maximising productivity for the packaging, processing & plastics industries.’

Focus on the wine and olive oil industry

Launching alongside Propak Cape this year is the Wine and Olive Oil Production Expo, bringing wine and olive oil production and supply into the spotlight.  

Seminar speaker Shelly Fuller who is the Sustainable Agriculture Fruit & Wine Programme Manager at WWF-SA will share her thoughts about ‘a sustainable green wine and olive route: the importance of people, planet and purpose.’ Wine and olive oil farming remains a dynamic business in South Africa, with an abundance of grape and olive production catering for both the local and global markets. Sustainable business practices are increasingly vital to the continued profitability of the modern wine and olive oil farming practice and Shelly will share latest insights with seminar delegates.

To provide an overview of the local wine and olive oil industry, Pieter van Niekerk who is the Agricultural Economist at VinPro, will share insights around the market size, economic impacts and demand of this industry. Current growth trends will also be discussed in the presentation providing industry players with a sense of how the industry is growing and developing locally.

Bhekithemba Dlamini, the Deputy Director Agro Processing at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will present the DTI perspective on South Africa’s multi-billion agro-processing sector which plays a significant role in terms of job creation and sustainability in the economy. An overview will be presented of the challenges and opportunities that this sector poses for the packaging, printing and processing sectors.

Insights of the bottled water industry

The free-to-attend seminar series will also include an afternoon of enlightening talks hosted by the South African National Bottled Water Association (SANBWA). John Weaver, Chairman of SANBWA will talk about the bottled water landscape in southern Africa and opportunities for growth as well as providing an overview around the SANBWA seal of quality on bottled water bottles. A bottled water market review will be presented by Hayley van Schalkwijk, Research Manager at BMI Research. Cheri Scholtz, CEO at PETCO – the PET recycling company - will look at how PETCO is driving the transition to a circular economy in South Africa: moving from our traditional take-make-dispose economy, to one where materials are continuously repurposed, creating new value and delivering long-term economic, social and ecological prosperity.

Efficiencies, waste management, design and economics

Other speakers include technology specialist Imraan Lambat who will speak about the future of manufacturing and the innovations and opportunities driving economic growth. Laura Minter, Technical Director at DigitalView will present a technical perspective of the power of efficient printing processes; Roland Thompson, Business Development Officer at Mpact will discuss the recycling opportunities and challenges that are facing the SA packaging industry; Agripa Munyai, Environment Manager at Tetra Pak South Africa will talk about managing waste responsibly as a key environmental, economic and social priority in the 21st century; Jason Forbes, Owner and Creative Director at The Graphic Ballroom will give insight to successful design thinking for packaging and printing innovation; and Jaco Coetzee, Regional Sales manager at GEA Africa will unpack trends and technological innovations changing the face of food and beverage processing.

The presentation by David McCall, National Head of Transactional Banking, Global Trade and Investments at Nedbank will highlight how businesses can create efficiencies, enhance the bottom line and manage risk through more effective management of their treasury systems and processes both locally and abroad. Mark Dowson, Director and Shareholder at First Asset Finance will talk about accessing funding for the packaging, processing and plastics industry.

Analysing the impact of the drought on the Western Cape Agricultural sector, Johann Boonzaaier, Manager of the Horticulture Division Bureau for Food and Agriculture Policy (BFAP), will discuss the financial and economic implications on various agricultural sectors and industries in the region.

Informative one-day Packaging Indaba

This year’s event boasts a block buster format which encompasses sustainability concerns and developments surrounding substrates and raw materials, how South Africa’s top retailers and brand owners are incorporating sustainable packaging formats and how packaging can reduce food waste.

The Packaging Indaba is taking place alongside Propak Cape on 26 October and will be hosting top speakers and encompassing topics such as: economics and packaging – investing in a sustainable future; food waste and packaging – insights and advice;  sustainable manufacturing and whether imports are decimating the future of packaging; the future of FMCG retail packaging and whether retailers and brand owners are thinking sustainably; and the battle of the substrates and raw materials and looking at the best in sustainable board, glass, plastic and metal packaging options, amongst other topics.

This is a valuable event for anyone wanting to enhance their packaging know how, network and meet industry experts and learn about current, contextual information relating to the packaging industry, various value chains and concerning sustainability issues. The price to attend is R2 250 per person while IPSA, Packaging SA or Plastics SA members pay R2 000 per person. For more information contact VDS Media at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

Propak Cape is endorsed and supported by the Institute of Packaging South Africa (IPSA), Plastics SA, Printing SA, Packaging SA, the South African National Bottled Water Association (SANBWA), and the Italian SA Chamber of Trade and Industries (Italchamp). The show is organised by Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, a member of the prestigious Montgomery Group.

To register for free entry to Propak Cape and for further information, go to

*The seminar programme is subject to change; the Organiser reserves the right to change the programme.

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