At its annual congress in Barcelona on 15 and 16 September, the European Carton Makers Association ECMA has released the Good Manufacturing Practice Guide for cartonboard based food packaging.
The ECMA GMP Guide offers a management tool for the minimisation of migration, organoleptic changes and contamination in carton manufacture. It covers the entire process, from raw materials intake, through design for compliance and manufacturing, to storage and delivery. The Guide also features a specific guidance chapter on inks.
The ECMA GMP Guide was prepared under the responsibility of the ECMA Technical Committee, in close collaboration with stakeholders from the industry and the national carton associations from Germany (FFI), UK (BPIF Cartons), France (FFC) and Italy (Gifasp). It is to be considered as the core European reference for carton making and will be updated on a regular basis. The GMP Guide can be downloaded free of charge from the ECMA website, www.ECMA.org, from where also a general brochure on the subject will be available in pdf format.
Supplementing this reference document, national associations concerned will offer detailed documentation to their members containing more in depth background information.
Presenting the first copy of the Guide to outgoing ECMA President Per Lundeen, Technical Committee Chairman Arend-Jan Luten (Contego Packaging Group) commented: “In recent years, the European folding carton industry has built up a track record in addressing health and safety alerts arising from elevated concentrations of substances found in food products packed in cartons. At several occasions, the carton industry responded overnight to individual cases of perceived health risks, most recently related to mineral oils. In the absence of a specific legal framework governing our products, the folding carton industry has chosen an approach of self-regulation. The ECMA GMP Guide takes us beyond repairing these emerging issues. It aims to provide guidance to our members on what needs to be in place in order to produce food safe cartons.”
Members of ECMA that operate in accordance with the ECMA GMP Guide will have the opportunity to issue a self-declared compliance statement for the manufacture of food cartons. Such a statement will have to be issued per manufacturing plant. Companies that have issued such a statement will be listed on the ECMA website and will be allowed to use the ECMA GMP compliance seal (enclosed with this press release).
On Wednesday 26 October, ECMA will organise a special one-day seminar at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Brussels on Food Safety and the ECMA GMP Guide. The seminar will also feature the announcement of the category award winners of the Pro Carton/ECMA Awards 2011. The seminar is open for members of ECMA and to non members upon invitation by ECMA. A small participation fee will be charged. For more information see www.ECMA.org.
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ECMA, the European Carton Makers Association
Contact: Jules Lejeune, Secretary-General
Tel. +31 70 312 39 11; Fax +31 70 363 63 48
Contact: Jan Cardon, Executive Director
Tel. +32 2 343 64 74 or +32 478 506 155; Fax : +32 2 344 86 61