Luciana Pellegrino has been elected President of WPO for the period 2024-2026. She shares the organizations key points and future plans.
Luciana Pellegrino’s professional journey has largely been a dedicated career in the packaging industry. Though she worked for an investment bank in Brazil before a brief stint at the American Chamber of Commerce; her career in packaging started in 1996 at Bryce Corporation in the USA for an internship. Her following 26 years were at ABRE – 20 years of them managing the Brazilian Packaging Association and representing ABRE at WPO´s board.
Luciana has recently been elected as the President of The World Packaging Organisation (WPO). “I would like to thank so many packaging professionals and partners from all over the globe at this special occasion,” says Luciana while taking over her latest responsibility as the President of WPO. “It is indeed a great honour to become the first woman president of such a prestigious global organization. I am receiving so many massages daily that truly inspire and empower me for the great impact of this role,” she adds.
Throughout this journey I have always focused on making an impact, counting and embracing the support of peer packaging passionate professionals. In a nutshell, I have always focused on structuring projects opened for the market aiming to build a positive impact to strengthen and foster the packaging industry. Going beyond, exploring different innovation approaches and mindset and at the same time building a strong connection with the entire ecosystem.
Sharing her vast experience in the packaging industry, she continues, “This industry is so dynamic and continuously evolving that I can say each year has been different from another. There was consistency, continuity, hard work, proactivity, engagement, team work, transparency, governance, respect, friendship and fun for over 20 years.”
Of course the responsibilities with the new position are vast but Luciana has her focus areas well sketched. “Together with WPO members, the General Secretary and the executive team, I aim to continue and expand the excellent work that is being done and lead by Prof. Pierre Pienaar. Key highlights of first initiatives would be:
- strengthening the voice of the entity globally
- placing it more as a spokesperson for the industry in international forums
- be present at more events carrying our message and sharing the references and content available
- expand strategic partnerships for projects of positive impact for the sector
- bring WPO closer to members by strengthening them and jointly offering knowledge exchange programs (such as a MasterClass for their members and market
- expand the focus areas of WPO, embracing innovation culture and ecosystems’, FMCG´s market + retail + supply chain dynamics, among others.
Luciana’s extensive experience with ABRE will certainly be a crucial asset for her at WPO in coming years. Her vast career at ABRE has been built in governance and transparency and on the innovation mindset. That largely involved analyzing the challenges and opportunities for the packaging industry from a broader perspective, beyond packaging. All these years, she attended different global conferences expanding her understanding on leveraging on strategic networking and ecosystems of platforms for strategies. “I intend to share all this knowledge at WPO and leverage it on a global level,” states Luciana.
When asked about key challenges before world packaging industry today, Luciana points out the superficial knowledge about packaging as the main concern. “While on my visit with my colleague Mrs. Soha Atallah, VP, Trade Shows and Awards, WPO, to Expo Dubai in 2021, I observed this commonly there. The information that flows among society about packaging is based on assumptions. Everyone talks about packaging but they know little about real issues with packaging and the packaging industry. At WPO we, along with our members will be focusing on redefining the cause of packaging before society and striving to expand the right information flow for packaging,” perceives Luciana.
“As WPO we understand that we have to empower WPO member organisations, national and regional ones to raise the voice on behalf of the packaging industry. It only can happen by collaborating with key strategic partners that have been joining efforts with us as UNIDO, international packaging tradeshows, packaging journalists, members of IPPO and magazines among others,” she continues.
Luciana emphasizes the role that India can play in the growth of global packaging industry. “India is the largest populated country in the world, with huge challenges, huge opportunities, strong knowledge and capabilities in packaging and cutting-edge technology in place. The IIP – Indian Institute of Packaging is an important member of WPO, and with the support of Chakravarthi AVPS as a WPO Ambassador, we expect an active involvement of both to build the bridge between the packaging industry in India and other countries and to promote the exchange of knowledge and references. We can tell from the WorldStar Packaging Awards promoted by WPO that India is very well advanced in flexible packaging and cartons, among others. Only in 2023 we got more than 50 entries from the country, showing that the industry is investing in innovation and technology,” emphasizes Luciana.
All of WPO activities in India are being managed with the support of IIP. In May 2024 the WorldStar Packaging Awards ceremony will happen in Hyderabad, India, hosted by IIP and Chakravarthi AVPS.
WPO offers online Webinars via its Youtube account. There are numerous guidelines, position papers and trend reports available for download at www.worldpackaging.org. “When it comes to training programs, this is in fact one of WPO´s main areas of activity and it goes on in different countries aligned with the local members (for example IIP in India). At the same time, since the pandemic, WPO has been offering once a year an online packaging developing program, that is announced via WPO´s Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram.
The future of packaging – balancing the technology, sustainability and affordability aspects
Balancing the technology, sustainability and affordability is the only way possible for future of packaging, underlines Lucianas. “Sustainability is default; not only from packaging, materials and production perspective, but from our lifestyle as well. That means, it goes beyond packaging and embraces consumers’ behavior; municipality and its infrastructure for reverse logistics and recycling; and most of all, brands’ purpose focused on building a sustainable consumption chain,” she elaborates.
“When it comes to technology, we have to embrace technology – manufacturing through smart processes like Industry 4.0, flexible volumes and digital printing processes to cope with a more customized market and also to offer different experiences to consumers, and to cope with a more tailored supply chain. And last but not least, make sure the product is suitable to each consumer. That it comes with quality, functionality, information, safety and experience at an affordable cost,” further adds Luciana.
WPO supports its member organisations and global bodies as per WPO´s MOU with UNIDO to strengthen the industry in different regions. In addition, it creates packaging associations and awards where there is none. And those projects may start from a Government contact, with the aim to foster the privet sector.
Food safety – one of the key focus areas of WPO
One of the key topics for WPO is food safety. Luciana plans WPO to reinforce and share knowledge globally in this area: “Our General Secretary, Dr. Johannes Bergmair, PhD, CPP, is specialized in this field and we do have to foster food safety legislation, references and benchmarks on a global level. We will take a note on this!”
The packaging industry people can follow WPO in social media: Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram and access the organisation’s website to download many research articles and papers as well as attend online webinars. “Besides, our industry people can keep close contact with IIP that is a key and strategic body to foster the packaging industry in India,” concludes Luciana.