RAJA Foundation Women’s Awards

19 November 2014

RAJA Foundation – Danièle Marcovici
Supporting women in the World

“Rewarding the fantastic work done by charities for women”

On 19 November 2014, the RAJA Foundation Women’s Awards rewarded five charities for their exceptional work helping women in France and around the world.

Womens Awards Photo

€80,000 was raised during an evening dedicated to women’s causes!

More than 400 people, including many Raja Group employees came to the awards ceremony which was held in Paris “Maison de la Mutualité”.

On the night, three prizes worth €20,000 and Two Awards “Coup de Coeur” worth €10,000 were awarded to the following charities:

Womens Awards Charity Photos

Women’s Rights and Combat Violence Against Women Award:
“Femmes SDF” – A charity caring for homeless women in Grenoble, France.

Education and Social Measures Award:
“Asie Tana Inter Aide” – A charity based in the slums of Manilla in the Philippines that helps marginalised women in these areas.

Training and Professional Development Award:
SIAD – A charity helping vulnerable women workers in the onion fields of Burkina Faso.

“Coup de cœur” Award – France:
“Etablissements Bollec” – An Art gallery and workshop based in Rennes, France which helped women in prison to create and publish a women’s magazine.

“Coup de cœur” Award – International:

“Actions de Solidarité Internationale” – A charity based in the Republic of Congo helping young female prostitutes towards social reintegration.

More than 400 participants attended the Awards, including many political leaders and celebrities.

Womens Awards Participants

Danièle Kapel-Marcovici, President of the Raja Foundation and CEO of RAJA Group emphasised the fact that the Awards are here to put the spotlight on all the violence women are subjected to, and that it was everyone’s duty to help put a stop to it.

Pascale Boistard, Secretary of State for Women’s Rights who actively supports the Foundation also praised the Awards’ hard work and it’s engagement with women during her speech.

Celebrities were also involved in the Awards including the French singer Agnès Bihl, who performed live during the ceremony.

About the foundation – from 2006 to 2014

The RAJA Foundation was founded in 2006, under the umbrella of ‘Fondation de France’, a government body established by the French government in an effort to stimulate and foster the growth of private philanthropy. Today, as then, it the supports charity programmes for women in France and around the world.

Since 2006, the Foundation has:

    • Supported 260 Programmes
    • Operated in 41 countries
    • Raised €3,000,000 so far

Learn more about the Foundation’s activities on www.fondation-raja-marcovici.com (available in English)

Google’s Secret Drone Delivery

Aside from beating Red Bull’s sky dive, Google has also been busy with another innovative competition. Rajapack investigates the technological giant’s new drone system.

Back in January, we asked robotics & technological experts whether they thought that automatic drones were the future of packaging delivery. At this point in time, Amazon’s automatic parcel drone, the Amazon Prime Air, was the main talking point. It has since been revealed that Google had already staked a claim in the drone delivery space, working in secret for two years on their own delivery system, Project Wing.

YouTube Clip


Conceptually, Project Wing seems similar to Amazon’s propeller drone, but on closer inspection it’s the vision behind each concept which sets them apart. Amazon is geared towards customer delivery and has been consistently dedicated to this purpose.  Astro Teller, head of Google X, the division of the company that works on the search giant’s most ambitious projects, told the BBC that it could have major implications for humanitarian emergencies “even just a few of these [drones] being able to shuttle nearly continuously could service a very large number of people in an emergency situation.” Such a statement suggests that Google isn’t just considering a commercial product.

How has it progressed?

Much of Project Wing’s testing has been carried out in Australia, where laws around the use of drones are much more relaxed. The vehicle’s performance seems promising. It has already made many successful deliveries to local people, with shipments such as radios, candy bars and dog treats.

With user experience always in mind, Google has focussed on the physical recovery of packages to make the process as smooth as any conventional human delivery service. The risk of customers being harmed by drones has been reduced by using a string delivery mechanism. Packages can be lowered on a line, much like that of a fishing rod, directly to the customer. Meanwhile, the drone hovers above at a safe distance.

Safety in the design of these drones will be instrumental in not only granting them access to US airspace, but also in reducing the need for human involvement and control. Drone-based delivery systems are unlikely to be completely devoid of human control however, as Google plans to continue using human interaction to improve automated software. Such interaction is well-advised, especially in instances of physical errors such as misplaced or trapped packages.

When will it be in action?

It will be a few years before such a drone is ready for commercial use. Both Google and Amazon still face a lengthy challenge of negotiating strict regulations around drone flights, which are concerned with safety and privacy.

Speaking to The Atlantic, Astro Teller says that “it’s going to take conversations with the public and with regulators…I’m cautiously optimistic that everyone wants the same thing.”

How long these conversations will last is uncertain. Before these drones are established in large numbers we will have to be patient in waiting for any friction or resistance against them to be significantly reduced. You can read about any future developments here on the Rajapack blog.

The Psychology of Packaging Design

For bees, the most attractive flowers are the ones with the brightest colours.  We’re a bit like bees in that we tend to be attracted to packaging that ‘jumps out’ at us; and it can be easy to let our instinct for attractive packaging override our better judgment when making purchases.

It’s no secret that product packaging is designed to make us pine for the product inside. Just picture a product displayed in the Apple store; rows of moulded plastic cases filled with pops of colour. It’s the same feeling children get in sweet shops.

Product marketers often call on psychologists to determine what shifts products off the shelves and into consumers’ hands. Their ultimate aim is to make us buy and they do this with persuasive marketing techniques such as using colours, textures, words and shapes to signify that their product will enhance our lives.

Ultimately, it’s about psychological triggers that bring out the inner child (a natural reaction) in all of us. If packaging can make us feel excited, eager, safe or secure – and persuade us to buy the products within – then marketers can rest easy knowing they’ve done their jobs.

Cups and Tea Packaging


 Why are so many things packaged?

Occasionally, you may find yourself wondering why many things are packaged the way they are. Do bananas really need to be bagged in plastic? Do cucumbers really have to be shrink-wrapped? If retailers want to sell them, then the simple answer is yes. An attractive package instils us with confidence to trust and in turn stay loyal to the product.

The history of packaging psychology is well-documented, and the word ‘purity’ features a lot. Take Quaker Oats, for example. When the brand was established in the 1870s, it was the first brand of pre-packaged oats available; previously they had always been sold out of barrels. Co-founder Henry Seymour decided that this made Quaker Oats more “pure” and so he decided to name the brand after the Quaker faith, with its connotations of religious purity.

Were they significantly different to any other oats? Probably not. But the idea caught on, and three-quarters of a century later, the sterile environment of the 1950s supermarket summed up our obsession with shrink-wrapped purity. “To the developed world imagination,” says Susan Willis in a study on packaging, “the open-air markets of the developing world are a riot of impurities. In the developed world, the package is the fetishized sign of the desire for purity.”

 Why does shape matter?

 You may think it doesn’t, but the shape of the packaging and texture can have a direct effect on how well an item sells. If consumers are compelled by an attractive or unusual shape, it’s more likely that they will choose that product.

It’s the reason why, for the past thirteen years, bottled water brand Evian has collaborated with designers such as Diane Von Fürstenberg and Jean-Paul Gaultier to produce shapely glass bottles of water decorated with 3D-textured prints, retailing at around £7.00. The product contained within is no different to the usual Evian offering – and a comparable plastic bottle costs just 80p!

Different shaped Evian Bottles








It’s not just the style-savvy who are prepared to pay a premium for less product volume either. In 2013, Coca Cola launched a 250ml ‘slimline’ can in the UK, aimed squarely at the health-conscious. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the slim can is only a tiny bit cheaper than the brand’s standard 330ml can.

Slender packaging can imply that the product within is healthier and will, in turn, make the consumer more slender. Some have even suggested that certain packaging (such as washing up liquid bottles) is designed to resemble the female shape.

Image of washing up liquid








 The importance of colour

 As the most obvious feature of product packaging, colour, has the most potential to affect our perception of a product. Colour is by far the easiest way to make packaging reach out to consumers.

Stroll down the aisles of a toy superstore or sweet shop and you’ll see that the shelves throng with colour. Any parent will be well aware that this works to capture the attention of children! Take a nosy round a health food store, however, and you’ll find a very different scene. All the packets are decorated in colours that look safe and mature – including tans, vegetable hues and watery blues.

The comparisons are endless. The metallics, greys and whites used to package digital goods and cleaning products appeal to efficient and modern people. Pastels are light-hearted and feminine. The neon shades that adorn the bottles of energy drinks and nachos can suggest energy, youthfulness and vitality.

We might like to think that we base our shopping decisions on price and quality – and to some degree, we do. But colour does continue to form a huge part of our unconscious buying habits. Which would you perceive as safest: the neon pink and bright green box of baby formula? Or the soothing pale blue box? Fortunately marketers can test different ideas through market research to minimise the risk, before the product packaging is trialled on the market.


The Luxury Packaging Awards – Our Reaction

The Luxury Packaging Awards are a brand new annual event that celebrates the best and brightest in luxury product packaging design. This year’s inaugural event took place at the wonderful Underglobe on London’s Bankside, with a shortlist of hopefuls that included companies as Stölzle Oberglas, Allied Glass and many more.

Image of Black Bottle by Allied Glass

Black Bottle Whisky by Allied Glass

Rogue by Rihanna

Rogue by Rihanna by Glass Stölzle Oberglas

The awards are organised by Packaging News, and run in conjunction with the annual easyFairs’ Luxury Packaging exhibition and conference. The awards aim to showcase the most inventive and original designs from around the world in a range of categories from food and drink to cosmetics, perfumes, bags and tobacco products.

The nominees are judged by a panel of industry experts on several different criteria, including:

  • Quality and innovation in graphics, decoration, shape and structure.
  • Functionality.
  • Shelf stand-out.
  • How the pack adds value to the brand.
  • Luxury feel.

The winners were announced on September 29th in front of a special V.I.P crowd; here are our reactions to the winners, from Rajapack’s Senior Buyer Kezia Gray and Purchasing Manager Hector Au

  • Drinks Primary PackTanqueray No Ten by Allied Glass

Tanqueray Glass

Kezia really liked this new take on the Tanqueray bottle. It was reminiscent of the Art Deco period with its classical, yet contemporary styling. Kezia felt it was definitely an improvement on the current bottle and it looks an expensive, premium product.

  • Drinks Secondary PackGlengoyne 25-year-old Highland Single Scotch Whisky by PPS

Image of Glengoyne Whiskey

Hector regarded the design as very old fashioned and doesn’t think this is pushing the boundaries much in terms of the ‘Whisky bottle in a box’ theme.  The design evokes ideas of a late 19th and early 20th century heritage.

  • Perfume PackTresor Repack by Stolzle Oberglas

Tresor Repack by Stolzle Oberglas

Kezia thought the design was very old fashioned for the perfume market. She wasn’t sure what demographic the product was targeted to. For her it wasn’t enough of an inspiring design to warrant being on the winner’s list. 

  • Cosmetics & Personal Care PackGENEU Airlift Pump System by Toly Products UK

GENEU Airlift Pump System by Toly Products UK

Both Hector and Kezia found it difficult to understand what this product could offer you from the packaging alone. For Hector it reminded him of a late 90s Armani perfume or after shave dispenser.

  • Jewellery & Accessories PackNew Accurist Watch Box by Hunter Premium Packaging

New Accurist Watch Box by Hunter Premium Packaging

Hector thought that the packaging gave the product a more upmarket feel. However, he thinks that Accurist need to do more with the overall brand, to change perceptions of this brand. But nonetheless a valiant effort.

  • Luxury Food PackAloha Gelato Box by Pringraf

Aloha Gelato Box by Pringraf

This evokes memories of American style take away Chinese food packaging. But one thing was on Hector and Kezia’s minds in terms of how the frozen ice cream filled fruits were insulated within the packaging. Was there a polystyrene inner layer that we could see from the photos?

  • Luxury Tobacco Pack – Dunhill Special Reserve Limited Edition Global Travel Retail Pack by Webb DeVlam

Dunhill Special Reserve Limited Edition Global Travel Retail Pack by Webb DeVlam

Both Kezia and Hector felt that there was more packaging than there was actual product. But they agreed it had a very upmarket look. Wouldn’t look out of place in a Gentleman’s club or an old fashioned smoking room.

  • Luxury Shopping BagRose Demi Sec La Montina by Gruppo Cordenons

Rose Demi Sec La Montina by Gruppo Cordenons

Kezia liked the bag for its very contemporary look – she regarded it as a modern, Mediterranean take on a typical upright bottle packaging concept. Perfect for hot, summery weather.

  • Special EditionBombay Sapphire Laverstoke Mill Distillery Limited Edition by Webb deVlam

Bombay Sapphire Laverstoke Mill Distillery Limited Edition by Webb deVlam

Not a massive departure from the iconic Bombay Sapphire standard bottle, it is more of an evolution says Hector. It is more see through and less opaque than the standard bottle and similar to the approach Cristal have followed with their champagne bottles.

  • Innovation of the YearAbsolut Originality by Ardagh Group

Absolut Originality by Ardagh Group

Both Hector and Kezia preferred the standard bottle design with its italic script on the label rather than the blue vein design that runs through the glass. The shape of the bottle hasn’t really changed that much, it’s really only the label that looks different.  But they both thought it was less exclusive looking than the standard bottle design.

  • Best in Show – Aloha Gelato Box by Pringraf

Aloha Gelato Box by Pringraf

Both Hector and Kezia would have opted for other designs that were up for this award rather than the Gelato box. For Kezia it was the luxury shopping bag for the Rosé wine and for Hector the Tanqueray bottle was more to his liking.

Uber Taxi Set to Shop

Does Amazon have a new business to compete with? With the popular taxi hailing app, Uber branching out, Rajapack takes a look at its new delivery service.

If you hadn’t already heard, Uber is an app-based taxi service originating in San Francisco. The app connects the driver to the passenger, organising taxi hire at the lowest possible cost. It has proved particularly successful amongst Londoners.

 Introducing Uber Essentials

Currently being trialled in Washington DC, the Uber Essentials service offers an inventory list of around one hundred items ranging from sweets to ping pong balls that users can order to their door. The full shopping list can be found on Uber’s official Corner Store. Although it’s a fairly limited stock list right now, a form on Uber’s site allows you to request other products that are missing from the list.

New York Taxi Photo

 New York Taxi by Craig Cloutier

How does it work?

Though it’s just in the planning and trial stages right now, the service is simple to use:

  • ‘Toggle’ your Corner Store option (which will be available Mon-Fri 9am-9pm).
  • Set your delivery location and confirm your address.
  • Meet your driver and place your order.
  • No cash needed. You will only be charged directly to your Uber account.

UberEssentials Picture

What does this mean for the packaging industry?

This is changing delivery and packaging by the day, with companies competing with each other more than ever before due to the growth of ecommerce. Market leaders are catering to the demands for longer opening hours, faster communication and bespoke services, all delivered fast!

For now, the battle between Uber and its competitors is one to watch. eBay offers a same day delivery service that could potentially disrupt Uber’s attempts, for example.  Though Amazon packages its own items itself, both Uber and eBay could be looking to external packaging options and innovations.

Power Sellers – significant sellers on eBay – may also take advantage of Uber’s new service by making sure they’re prepared with shipping materials like envelopes and other mailing items. Access to constant packaging stock would not only improve the seller’s business efficiency, but also the customer’s overall experience.

What’s next?

Not only is Uber offering sweets and games, they have also partnered with Vaccine Finder offering UberHEALTH on a one-day trial in America. Through Uber Health, a registered nurse will come and give taxi users a flu jab for free. By partnering with different companies, Uber has managed to increase its reach whilst dominating ideas for personal delivery service, far beyond just catching a lift.

Although in its early days, Uber is showing a clear head start in its goal of supplying and serving customers in a personal and immediate way. If the initial trial is a success, then waiting up to a week for deliveries will surely become a thing of the past.

Circular Economy: The key to better waste management for your business

If you are a business owner, correct and proper waste management has never been so important. In the past, waste was seen as a necessary by-product of production, but it has now become one of the biggest global, economic, social and scientific challenges of all time.

Controlling both pre-production and post-production

For businesses, there are two areas of waste management that need to be looked at in order to have an impact on waste reduction:

Pre-production waste – this is produced before and during the production process, such as:

  • Over mining of resources
  • Products damaged in transportation
  • Unfinished products
  • Replacement of production machinery
  • Over production of products
  • Defected or faulty products 

Post-production waste – this is produced after the actual production, such as:

  • Packaging a product was sold in
  • Packaging used to transport goods
  • Used goods
  • Out of date technology
  • Waste produced by the use of product

Waste Management Triangle









The waste hierarchy (above) is one tool that’s been used to examine ways of reducing post-production waste. Through prevention and minimisation, the hierarchy has been effective in reducing post-production waste, but has proved to be costly. For many companies this costly approach has stopped them from using the system, and ultimately reducing their waste.

Prevention is the most favoured option as not only can it save businesses money, but it also is the easiest option in the long run. Disposal is the least favourite option because it can look less organised for a business and isn’t as much of a sustainable option as preventing waste.

It’s clear that a new approach is needed. Companies need to be able to reduce waste, but in an economical way.

Try creating a ‘Circular Economy’

The term ‘Circular Economy’ means an industrial economy that is designed to be restorative – i.e. many of the aspects of manufacturing that are thought of as waste, actually become thought of as a useable by-product.

The Circular Economy looks at materials in two categories: biological and technical. Each of these materials move through the system differently – biological materials re-enter the biosphere safely, whilst technical materials circulate in the system indefinitely without entering the biosphere. Take a look at the infographic below for an overview of this process.

The Circular Economy Infographic

The Circular Economy system results in very little landfill. By re-using, refurbishing, and recycling materials as commonplace, the cost of materials is also reduced.

We talked to Joshua Balmer – MSc at the University of Central Lancashire’s Centre of Waste Management about the advantages of a Circular Economy, he said:

“Disposal should be a last resort in most cases, particularly if you’re manufacturing. It isn’t always possible to avoid waste, but it’s becoming more commonplace to reintroduce what was previously thought of as waste back into your production process. There are always direct cost savings and environmental benefits to be found here and we are likely to see more used products becoming available as new through refurbishment. An example would be ball bearings:  they largely lose very little of their overall effectiveness during a product’s lifetime, but are then lost to waste when the product is disposed of.”

 The benefits of waste management systems

 The United Nations’ Environmental Programme ‘Guidelines for National Waste Management Strategies Moving from Challenges to Opportunities’ describes the benefits of a waste management system as:

Waste is not something that should be discarded or disposed of with no regard for future use. It can be a valuable resource if addressed correctly, through policy and practice. With rational and consistent waste management practices there is an opportunity to reap a range of benefits. Those benefits include:

 1. Economic – Improving economic efficiency through the means of resource use, treatment and disposal and creating markets for recyclable products can lead to efficient practices in the production and consumption of products and materials resulting in valuable materials being recovered for reuse and the potential for new jobs and new business opportunities.

 2. Social – By reducing adverse impacts on health by proper waste management practices, the resulting consequences are more appealing settlements. Better social advantages can lead to new sources of employment and potentially lifting communities out of poverty especially in some of the developing poorer countries and cities.

 3. Environmental – Reducing or eliminating adverse impacts on the environmental environment through reducing, reusing and recycling, and minimizing resource extraction can provide improved air and water quality and help in the reduction of greenhouse emissions.

 4. Inter-generational Equity – Following effective waste management practices can provide subsequent generations a more robust economy, a fairer and more inclusive society and a cleaner environment.

A Circular Economy is not only designed to accommodate every single one of these points, but it can reduce your business waste and your costs too. By implementing a Circular Economy system that focuses on reducing pre-production waste, you’ll cut post-production waste and so reduce your business’ impact on the environment while improving your bottom line.

Waste Management – what it means to Rajapack

Simon Howes (Head of Logistics) at Rajapack UK states: “The issue of waste recycling is at the forefront of government and local authority priorities, simply getting rid of waste in landfills is not good enough. Waste prevention is based on a simple concept. If you create less waste, you consume fewer resources and you will have to spend less effort (e.g. money, energy) to recycle or dispose of your waste”.

“Recycling is a noble task but definitely not so favourable amongst all employees.  In general, environmental issues have become more important to more people. You can tell in the last few years there is more natural concern over this topic with our own employees now openly asking questions. However, the initial education of a team to identify the different streams of waste and separating them is a task harder said than done and some will even ignore it after implementation. “

“Many people lack the knowledge of the impact this has on future generations. In addition many people won’t think too much of it until they feel the effects which will take some time. It must also be noted that there is still also a factor of “Cannot be bothered” or “It’s a minefield”. This simply is not the case, in reality how hard can it be to separate food, cardboard, plastic, tins etc. There is of course an initial outlay on the purchase of bins in order to separate and a call to a waste carrier should see you set well on your way. “

Simon went on to say that “Ignoring waste recycling potentially incurs loss”. “With cardboard and plastic rates at a high, there are obvious rewards for recycling waste”.

“At Rajapack we currently have two baling machines. One of which produces mill sized bales of cardboard and the second is a twin baler used for plastic (stretch wrap, plastic straps etc). Both are utilised pretty much all day and each operative is trained on the apparatus to comply with Health and Safety. All materials are separated on arrival and taken to the recycling area ready for baling.  Any other materials are collected throughout the day. “

Simon concludes “Ultimately, a total prevention of waste to zero will result in a society with no waste at all and thus waste management would be obsolete. In practice our societies are far away from a status of no waste and it is also evident that, in theory, a complete avoidance of waste is impossible.  Therefore we must all try to help; after all, you could be missing out on small or large rebates.  At the very least, you get the sense that you’re doing something to make a difference!”

A day in the life of…a Rajapack Field Sales Executive

Graham Williams has worked for Rajapack for just over a year covering South London, Kent, Surrey, East and West Sussex and Hampshire. Graham has over 25 years of sales and contract management experience in print and packaging. Outside of work Graham is active in coaching his younger son’s Under 13 football team, off-road cycling and gardening.

Graham Williams Photo

Here he describes a typical day in the life of a Rajapack Field Sales Executive.

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The Cardboard Tech Revolution

We live in a decade where technological innovation is pretty commonplace – everyday there’s something new. The news is full of stories of fresh ideas for everything from entertainment to medicine. There always seems to be a sleek new machine being made or a more advanced material being used. But after a little research, Rajapack have discovered that even something as established as cardboard is getting its time in the technological limelight.

Don’t believe us? Well, we’ve gone out to find the most impressive new technologies that use cardboard and some of the things we found may surprise you.

Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard

Image: Google Play

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How to Package Glassware & Ceramics

Third in our packaging guide series is how to deal with what can be some of the trickiest items to pack safely; glassware and ceramics. These items are obviously very fragile and often have delicate handles or protrusions which are easily damaged, so need a lot of protection.

Here we list some steps you can take to minimise the risk of your prized porcelain being damaged while being transported.  

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Solidarity Commitment Week

16-20 June 2014

RAJA Foundation – Danièle Marcovici
Supporting women in the World

“At Raja, solidarity towards women is everyone’s business”

Last June, the “RAJA Foundation – Danièle Marcovici” held its 2nd Solidarity Commitment Week at the RAJA Group European headquarters in Roissy, France. Raja employees were fully committed to this initiative thanks to the RAJApeople program.

Raja employees can support charities all year long thanks to a micro donation scheme. So far more than €7,000 has been raised.

Association pour les Femmes en Situation Précaire (AFESIP)

The “microDON” (micro donation) is a payroll giving scheme whereby each employee can donate from a few cents to several euros towards the Foundation. The funds raised are doubled by the company and are donated to a charity chosen by the Foundation.

This year, the winning charity of the RAJApeople Award is the “Association pour les Femmes en Situation Précaire (AFESIP)” – Association for Women in Vulnerable Situations. On June 20th, a cheque for €7,076.78 was awarded to Claude Pretot, President of the Association, by Danièle Kapel-Marcovici, President of the Foundation and CEO of RAJA Group at the European Group headquarters in Roissy.

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