• The inaugural Women in Packaging Awards, powered by PKN, will open for entries on 18 March.
    The inaugural Women in Packaging Awards, powered by PKN, will open for entries on 18 March.

In our ongoing quest to celebrate leadership excellence in the Australian packaging industry, PKN is launching the inaugural Women in Packaging Awards program, which aims to foster diversity, promote innovation, and inspire future leaders in the Australian packaging industry. The program is inviting expressions of interest, with entries open on 18 March.

"As the leading source of news and information in the Australasian packaging industry, PKN is dedicated to recognising the exceptional achievements of leaders in our sector, many of whom are playing a vital role in driving sustainable change at this pivotal time for packaging," said Lindy Hughson, PKN's managing editor and publisher.

"Traditionally, the packaging industry has been male-dominated, with women often underrepresented in key leadership roles and decision-making positions. This lack of diversity has hindered innovation and limited the industry's ability to address critical sustainability challenges effectively.

"It's time to change this narrative and empower women in packaging to take centre stage. We believe that by shining a light on the achievements of women leaders, this will inspire, encourage and empower more women to step up and take their seat at the table."

The PKN Women in Packaging Awards program will recognise and honour women who have made significant contributions to the Australian packaging industry. From product design and materials innovation to supply chain management and sustainability initiatives, the awards will cover a broad spectrum of achievements. This year there are six award categories: Innovation Champion Award; Sustainability Leader Award; Packaging Technologist of the Year Award; Design and Branding Visionary Award; Manufacturing Leader Award; and Communications Excellence Award. You can find out more about the awards criteria and scoring rubric here.

Hughson said the PKN team has been thrilled by the positive response the program has had from industry ahead of the launch, with a solid list of high calibre sponsors, and support from association partner AIP. Amcor is the program's Platinum sponsor, with Currie Group taking Gold. Silver sponsors are Avery Dennison, Close the Loop Group, Impact International, Planet Protector Group and Tetra Pak, while Bronze sponsors are Positiv and Trimatt.

"We want to encourage as many nominations as possible from companies working across the entire packaging value chain; everyone is talking about fixing the gender gap and promoting diversity and inclusion -- recognising the achievements of women in packaging is an important part of addressing this issue," Hughson said. 

The Awards will open for entries on 18 March, and close on 25 April. The finalists will be announced in May, with finalists and winners recognised at the PKN Women in Packaging Awards luncheon event taking place on Friday 21 June in Sydney. More details will follow in subsequent announcements.

Food & Drink Business

The federal government is in pre-budget mode with prime minister Anthony Albanese announcing a new wave of economic reform under the banner of the Future Made in Australia Act. Thin on detail but heavy on promise, Albanese says it's time for the government to step in and shore up the country for a more competitive global economic reality.

Lactalis will close its factory in Echuca, Victoria this year as it consolidates operations at its Bendigo site, where much of an $85 million investment will be spent.

In a move to provide working capital and pay down debt, Top Shelf International (TSI) has signed a $5 million sale and leaseback deal on its Eden Lassie agave farm with a company owned by non executive director, Stephen Grove.