With the publication of a guideline, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) has supplemented explanations of the Food Security and Precautionary Measures Act (ESVG). According to this update, companies in the packaging industry are also relevant in the context of food security and are thus included in the Critical Infrastructure (KRITIS) Nutrition.
The guideline complements the Food Safety and Precautionary Measures Act (ESVG), which explicitly refers to the Food and Feed Code (LFGB) in its definitions of “manufacturing” and “treatment”. Among other things, “treatment” also includes the refilling, filling, packaging, storage and transport of food and animal feed.
The KRITIS Ernährung primarily includes companies that carry out activities related to the production, processing or distribution of, among other things, food and animal feed (food companies). In addition, KRITIS Nutrition also includes all those companies that produce, supply, repair or maintain important equipment for food companies.
In its guideline, the BMEL includes companies in the wholesale and retail trade and in the production, processing and treatment of food, and thus also
- companies engaged in the packaging, handling and storage of food or feed,
- companies that manufacture packaging and packaging material for products,
- companies that manufacture, maintain and repair machinery and equipment, including IT laboratories and testing facilities to ensure compliance with legal requirements, and
- suppliers and logistics service providers of the aforementioned companies.
On March 20, the German Paper and Plastics Processing Association (HPV) sent a letter signed by 13 other associations to the German government with demands for maintaining security of supply. One of the central demands was to classify “transport and sales packaging (made of paper/cardboard and plastic) and its raw materials and preliminary products for food and pharmaceutical products” as “integral components and system-relevant products in connection with measures to contain the Corona pandemic”.
At the same time, the Association of Metal Packaging, among others, had also advocated that the Federal Government and the federal states classify the manufacturers of packaging, closures and their supplier industries as part of the “critical infrastructure”. This would also meet the expectations and demands of customers in the packaging industry.
As part of the critical infrastructure, companies are required to adapt their operational crisis management accordingly. To this end, the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) has issued recommendations for action, which are intended to support operators of critical infrastructures in crisis management and operational continuity management in the current situation. The objective remains the best possible maintenance of the operability of the companies and infrastructures. By means of a 9-point checklist, operational crisis management can be checked quickly.