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4 Questions for... Fernando Bocchi (M. Dias Branco)

PackTech Ventures - Newsletter #1 - November 2022

We exclusively interviewed Fernando Bocchi, R&D Director at M. Dias Branco, a leading company in the Brazilian Biscuits & Pasta market. With a portfolio full of brands recognized by consumers such as Adria, Fortaleza, Vitarella, Richester, Piraquê, Jasmine, and FitFood (both acquired in the last 2 years), it continues to positively impact the Food sector with its program to connect with startups called "Germinar" (in English, "Germinate"). The following is a record of our conversation about Open Innovation, Organizational Culture, and the challenges in developing packaging solutions in line with ESG (Social-Environmental Governance) goals.

Credit: M. Dias Branco.

PackTech Ventures (PTV): M. Dias Branco's "Germinar" Open Innovation program has been a reference among corporate programs since 2018, fostering startups and the FoodTech market in Brazil, in addition to being an experience for the company's employees who are involved in the interface with the startups. How has the Cultural impact of this program been for the company? What are the benefits for employees who participate?

Fernando Bocchi (FB): The Germinar M. Dias Branco Program brought a change of mindset to the employees who participated in these four editions, experiencing open innovation in practice. New skills focused on agile and disruptive models were incorporated into the teams, as well as skills in project management tools, effectively contributing to fostering a culture of innovation in the company.

PTV: What are the challenges in the search for solutions in Packaging through Open Innovation programs? What is missing to have more solutions on this subject?

FB: This is a topic of great impact and importance in the sustainable agenda of companies. The Germinar program brought us the opportunity to interact with several startups, but many with solutions in early stages of research and development. I believe that the great challenge is to expand these startups' access to mentors and business financing, providing the development of their solutions, including thinking about the intellectual protection of these solutions.

PTV: This year, M. Dias Branco was elected the best company in the Agribusiness, Food and Beverage category in the "Guia Exame Melhores do ESG 2022" award. Despite all efforts to reduce the use of resources and CO2 emissions, Consumer Goods companies are charged for environmental issues by the general public through their packaging. What are the challenges faced in implementing and marketing products in sustainable packaging, particularly in the Food sector?

FB: Packaging, in the food sector, in addition to allowing proper marketing and bringing nutritional information to consumers, is intended to ensure product safety, avoiding contamination, and ensuring the maintenance of its shelf life. Due to the complexity involved, the cost of material and adequate protection barriers are the main offenders when we think about more sustainable packaging.

PTV: In addition to partnering with startups in Open Innovation programs, co-creating solutions with established suppliers and partners is another way to leverage Innovation. What do you expect from packaging suppliers so that a good partnership in the development of solutions is formed?

FB: Suppliers must maintain an innovation agenda, fostering research in academia and the startup ecosystem, in addition to training their internal teams. We have a solid partnership with our packaging suppliers, and we observe their continuous search for innovations, and recognize their relevance for co-creation with their customers.

Learn more about M. Dias Branco by visiting the website:

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