Thai Union Group PCL (TU) and PTT Global Chemical PCL (PTTGC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for and R&D partnership that will focus on the development of innovative and environmentally friendly bio-based and petroleum-based materials and packaging for the food industry. The goal is to enhance food safety and packaging durability while also minimizing waste and costs, including production and raw material costs.
Supattanapong Punmeechaow, president and chief executive officer of PTTGC, said the company aims to improve the efficiency of polymers to meet customer requirements more effectively in alignment with the needs of Thai Union, the Bangkok-headquartered producer of frozen shrimp, shelf-stable tuna, and other seafood products. TU’s sales in 2016 amounted to approximately USA $3.8 billion.
The collaboration is a natural extension of work the two companies have already worked on, including an anti-bacterial plastic film used in aqua-cultural to minimize growth of unwanted bacteria, keeping shrimp farms healthy and disease-free. In addition, the companies developed a new packaging material with higher levels of durability and product safety while reducing raw materials by 30 percent.
Apart from the R&D partnership on packaging and materials, the two companies will connect PTTGC’s Innovation Center and Thai Union’s Global Innovation Incubator (Gii) to work together on technology and innovation development, in line with the Royal Thai Government’s Thailand 4.0 policy.
“Our partnership is aimed at developing safe and sustainable packaging for Thai Union’s food products and processes. Through our SeaChange sustainability strategy, we are demonstrating our leadership and our company’s commitment to sustainable development. Innovation in processes, packaging and product development is an important part of delivering sustainable growth for all,” said Thai Union CEO Thiraphong Chansiri.
The companies’ cooperative R&D efforts are expected to deliver innovations in new materials and packaging, such as bioplastics and biodegradable plastics, which lessens impact on the environment by reducing raw materials and waste.