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Zespri goes plastics-free at Monoprix

Zespri goes plastics-free at Monoprix

 

Zespri has announced zero-plastic packaging solutions for its conventionally grown fruit at French Monoprix stores. The moves comes two years after Zespri’s launch of cardboard baskets for its organic kiwifruit range and is part of the firm’s sustainability commitments announced at Fruit Logistica 2020.

Zespri’s conventional Zespri SunGold and Zespri Green arrived from New Zealand in May and will now be sold to Monoprix customers in 100% cardboard packaging. With consumers increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of plastic packaging, Monoprix and Zespri decided to join forces in order to reduce their use, with the support of Zespri’s partners responsible for manually packing the baskets in France.

Nele Moorthamers, Zespri’s general manager Europe, said, “Both consumers and retailers expect brands to listen to environmental concerns. At Zespri, we are currently studying different alternatives to best meet these expectations.”

The approach is also a response to the new rules set to come into force in France next year that will severely curtail the use of single-use plastic packaging.

Monoprix’s Damien Castagnier confirmed that reducing plastic was a top priority for Monoprix, with the aim of eliminating its use completely. “After the 100 per cent cardboard baskets initiated on Zespri kiwis in organic farming for two seasons, we are pleased to be able to offer exclusively to our customers these new 100 per cent cardboard baskets on green and yellow Zespri kiwis,” he said.

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Covid-19: EPS packaging increases food safety for fresh produce

Covid-19: EPS packaging increases food safety for fresh produce
PRESS RELEASE

 

FarmFresh conservers address consumer behavior changes arising from the pandemic

With the Covid-19 pandemic, about 81% of Brazilian consumers expressed concern about food hygiene and safety according to a survey conducted in March by the PMA – Produce Marketing Association (pma.agr.br), an entity that brings together producers of Brazilian FLV (Fruits, Legumes, Vegetables) for the export market. At the same time, consuming quality fresh produce is essential to maintain good health and high immunity levels. Supermarket chains have already reported a significant increase, 40%, in the demand for these foods.

This new reality has been changing consumer behavior. According to the same PMA survey, 59% of consumers report that they’ve been looking for more packaged fresh products for safety reasons. What was previously in bulk is now being packaged for greater food safety, that’s because the packaging provides less human interaction throughout all process from production, handling, at the point-of-sale, all the way up to the consumers’ table.

Manufactured by Termotécnica (termotecnica.ind.br) and sold in the Brazilian market under the DaColheita brand, FarmFresh EPS conservers guarantee added safety in protecting, storing and transporting fresh products.

E-commerce and delivery logistics ease

As consumers change their eating and shopping habits, supermarkets and the entire supply chain, in turn, are undergoing major business changes. With the decreased frequency of consumers in physical stores, the FLV market has been growing its e-commerce market-share. And food delivery apps, like i-Food, previously dedicated to food establishments, are already making deliveries for supermarkets.

Purchased via e-commerce and sent by delivery-services, packaged fresh produce gains even more significance, ensuring that they reach the customer’s home while still maintaining quality and safety. And even purchases made online but picked-up at a point-of-sale must be already packed and ready-to-go for the customers.

As for logistical issues, FarmFresh conservers also eliminate expenses with return freight, since EPS is one-way and can be 100% recycled at the destination. This makes FarmFresh solutions sustainable and suitable for packing FLV from the farm to the table. In addition to having excellent shock absorbing properties in transport, EPS maintains freshness and improves retail display while at the same time reduces human contact with the products throughout the entire chain.

With patented technology and designs, FarmFresh EPS conservers allow high thermal insulation, impact absorption, ease in stacking, transport and product display. This also represents more days with healthy, fresher FLV on store shelves providing many advantages for the retailer.

Packaged products also gain importance since product traceability is essential both to guarantee origin and quality as well as in the delivery process.

Reduced human contact when handling food, avoiding contamination risks

In the article “Coronavirus: care in the production, processing and consumption of produce” posted on its website, Embrapa – Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (embrapa.br), stresses that “to date, there has been no reports that food, including fresh produce, is associated with SARS-CoV-2 transmission”.  However, it warns that the steps to be followed must be carried out with rigor and responsibility, from receiving and selecting produce in the agribusiness; in processing, during packaging of processed FLV; until the product’s refrigerated transport to the points-of-sale.

EPS packaging from Termotécnica not only preserves FLV quality and prolongs their useful life, but also acts as a physical barrier that prevents hand contact with the products. Maintaining them protected throughout the process, the packaging prevents direct human contact with the fresh products until they are purchased by the consumer. As a result, contamination risk of fruits and vegetables throughout the supply chain is effectively eliminated.

Shelf-life extension of fresh produce

Another consumer behavioral change during this social isolation moment has been the decrease in frequency of visits to supermarkets and an increase in the purchase volume per visit.

EPS packaging effectively delays the ripening and aging processes, inhibits microbial decomposition and preserves the quality and nutritional value of packaged fruits and vegetables, prolonging the time in which they can be consumed. They are widely used also for long-term storage and long-distance fresh produce shipments.

This is critical at a time when FLV export cargoes, for example, are not being unloaded on schedule and left in warehouses for longer periods. Exporters and importers of fresh products are concerned that by the time the harvest reaches the customer, the quality will have deteriorated considerably, impacting its value and increasing waste.

The exclusive formulation of FarmFresh EPS conservers also demonstrated the potential to preserve the nutritional value of fresh produce after prolonged storage, maintaining its quality for longer while also avoiding food waste. Certified by tests in European laboratories (AgroTropical and HDG), FarmFresh EPS packaging can extend the shelf-life of fresh produce by up to 30%, providing benefits to all stakeholders in the FLV supply chain and helping to address these logistical issues.

More hygiene throughout the entire chain

FarmFresh EPS packaging solutions maintain the ideal atmosphere to extend FLV’s useful life and help to alleviate the consumers’ many concerns when buying fresh produce.

EPS is a totally inert material, hygroscopic (repels moisture) and washable, providing maximum hygiene levels. FarmFresh conservers can also be produced with Safe Pack, an antimicrobial raw material that reduces, by up to 99.9%, the action and presence of microorganisms, an extra protection that makes contact surfaces and products free from invisible threats of everyday life.

About Termotécnica

With a 58 year history, Termotécnica is one of Latin America’s largest EPS processing companies and one of the most sustainable companies in Brazil, according to Exame Guide 2019. With an entrepreneurial spirit, it develops solutions from Packaging & Components, Conservation, Agribusiness, Cold Chain, Cargo Handling to Building Construction materials. Headquartered in Joinville (SC), it has production and recycling units in Manaus (AM), Petrolina (PE), Rio Claro (SP), São José dos Pinhais (PR) and Pirabeiraba (SC).

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NOVO-PACK™, a Polish solution to reduced-weight packaging

NOVO-PACK™, a Polish solution to reduced-weight packaging

Famag was established in 1992 as a family company specialising in trading in packaging. Market transformations, acquired knowledge, and extensive experience prompted Famag to produce its own packaging. Recently, Famag has created a reduced-weight NOVO-PACK™. It is a special mesh packaging for fruit and vegetables to address the changing preferences in the market. It was made possible by investing in research and technology. “Unit packaging will be getting smaller due to the demographics, the economy, and the variety of choice,” said Grzegorz Karaś, export manager at Famag. 

The company is now moving forward in producing active packaging that focuses on creating innovative and environmentally friendly alternatives. “This packaging has the ability to monitor specific parameters to slow down product spoilage,” said Karaś. The active packaging can extend the freshness of goods. This proves to be beneficial as extending the product life on the shelf is a priority for supermarkets to ensure the freshest products for their customers. “This allows customers to trust the brands we work with. We can do something not only for consumers but also to reduce the amount of food thrown away,” said Karaś.

The packaging industry is a very dynamic sector. Despite this, Famag has maintained a strong and stable position in the Polish market. “We listen to the needs of the market and our customers, and adapt the offer to the changing requirements,” added Karaś. 

Famag specialises in the production of packaging for fruits and vegetables. The company exports to Russia, the European Union, South America, South Africa and the Middle East. It uses high-quality PE film welding machines and various types of nets. 

For inquiries: Grzegorz Karaś, FAMAG: export@famag.pl

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Smart packaging enhances food safety and security

Smart packaging enhances food safety and security

StePac’s modified atmosphere packaging promotes fresh food safety and security during Coronavirus outbreak

The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment (EUROPEN) called on the European Commission on 20 March to recognise packaging as an essential component in maintaining the uninterrupted flow of product groups that the Commission has identified as critical such as “health-related and perishable goods, notably foodstuffs.

Amid food shortage fears, particularly for fresh produce and uncertainties unnerving the global community in the wake of the Corona virus pandemic, sustainable packaging specialist StePac demonstrates how its modified atmosphere packaging solutions can help alleviate many of the concerns related to food contamination and food security.

While governments are coordinating necessary measures to ensure the continuous movement of fresh produce between countries and continents, border restrictions and workforce shortages have induced considerable delays in cargo flows, rendering perishables particularly vulnerable to spoilage and waste.

StePac developed advanced Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) solutions which effectively delays ripening and ageing processes, inhibits microbial decay and preserves the quality and nutritional value of the fruit and vegetables packed within. The packaging is extensively used for prolonged storage and long-haul shipments of a range of fruits and vegetables.

The implicit abilities to significantly extend shelf-life via StePac’s modified atmosphere packaging has been instrumental in helping growers, packers and distributors extend seasonality, ship by sea instead of by air and reduce waste along the supply chain in order to supply fresh produce safely and in intact quality.

“We are continuously hearing reports of vessels not being unloaded on time, and containers left sitting for long periods at harbours,” says Gary Ward, Ph.D., Business Development Manager for StePac. “Fresh produce exporters and importers are concerned that by the time their produce reaches the customer, the quality will have deteriorated considerably, impacting its value and increasing waste. Our unique packaging products can extend the shelf life of fresh produce by 50% to 100% offering a lifeline for all stakeholders in the fresh produce supply chain and help weather the logistical storms.”

Another current major concern is the contamination risks that can arise from handling of foodstuffs. Customers are increasingly seeking packaged fresh produce that traditionally sit naked on the shelves.

“StePac’s Xgo™ brand of retail packaging formats are hermetically sealed,” explains Ward. “They not only preserve the quality of the produce and extend shelf life, but also act as a physical barrier that prevents contact of the produce by the human hand from the moment it is packed until it is opened by the consumer. Consequently, once packed – the risk of produce being contaminated during the supply chain is effectively eliminated. Such assurance is not guaranteed when fruits and vegetables are sold loose or housed in packaging with punch holes or perforations.”

Perishable fruits and vegetables, characterised by a relatively short shelf life, gain an extended life span— a benefit that becomes only more vital in times of possible shortages and profligate stockpiling by the consumer.

The company’s unique polymer packaging formulation has also demonstrated capabilities for preserving nutritional value of fresh produce following prolonged storage. A 2018 independent study conducted by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey analyzed the post-harvest quality of Hicaznar pomegranate fruit packaged in StePac’s Xtend® branded MAP packaging and noted that this packaging better preserves the vitamin C content than the naked control during  six months of storage at 6°C.

In addition, nutritional analysis of shipments of fresh broccoli arriving to Japan revealed that the general nutritive value and vitamin C levels were better retained in Xtend iceless packaging than in standard iced packed broccoli. “Vitamin C is known to help strengthen the immune system and tackle infections, such as the common cold and flu. Consumers are seeking natural immune boosting sources in the hope of building better resistance to the COVID-19 virus,” adds Ward.

StePac’s MAP solutions are based on 25 years of accumulated research and expertise in biology, plant physiology, phytopathology, and post-harvest sciences.

 

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Corrugated: Circular by nature – what else?  

Corrugated: Circular by nature - what else?  

FEFCO welcomes the new Circular Economy Action Plan published by the Commission today.  The circular economy is vital for achieving the Green Deal ambition for climate neutrality, preserving natural resources and supporting the competitiveness of the European economy.  
 
The sustainable product policy framework could be a real driver for circularity which starts with the right selection of raw materials and the efficient use of resources. The bioeconomy plays a key role by providing renewable fibre-based materials as a sustainable alternative to other finite resources. FEFCO is pleased with the Commission initiative to support the “sustainable and circular bio-based sector”. 
 
Recycling gives valuable materials like paper and board a long-life span. The circular economy needs recycling as much at it needs waste prevention and re-use to keep the materials in the loop and to minimise the use of resources. 
 
Designing sustainable products is key and should be a requirement for all packaging. The paper and board industry already issued “Paper-based packaging recyclability guidelines” to support the industry and its customers in building circularity into their products.  
 
Corrugated cardboard packaging is a real example of circularity and sustainability. Paper comes from a renewable source and we use recycled paper as a major raw material, optimising the use of natural source and reducing the environmental impact. “On average corrugated packaging contains 89% recycled content and is circular by nature”, says Angelika Christ, FEFCO Secretary General.  
 
Packaging plays a key role in protecting products and ensuring safe delivery and storage, maintaining the quality of the product and often extending shelf life of fresh food. While overpackaging should be reduced, underpackaging can have a hugely negative impact on the environment. Packaging fit for purpose can prevent food waste and support the EU ambition and the UN Sustainable Development regarding food loss and waste. 
 
It is essential to maintain the competitiveness of the EU industry and to support its growth while protecting the environment and building a new circular economy.  
 

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America’s berry sector commits to recyclable packaging

America’s berry sector commits to recyclable packaging

The berry sector is taking an important step in the direction of sustainability with the announcement by a group of major North American fresh berry producers that they will commit to using 100% recycle-ready packaging by 2025. The group includes the California Strawberry Commission, the North American Blueberry Council, Mexico’s Asociación National de Exportadores de Berries, the National Berry Crops Initiative, and South American exporters.

In his statement, Rick Tomlinson, president of the California Strawberry Commission, said: “Berry farming has a long history of innovation and leadership that once again came together to make this ambitious pledge. Achieving 100 percent recycle-ready packaging represents the type of continuous improvement that is common among farmers as they strive for ever improving efficiency.”

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Two Major Innovations for Ecofriendly Exotic Fruit and Vegetable Packaging

Exotic fruit and vegetable printed

Action on plastic pollution: an environmental emergency

According to an Ellen MacArthur Foundation study, “the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight).” In response to that environmental emergency, the Environment and Community Ministry launched France’s National Plastics Pact on 21 February 2019.

 

Target: 60% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging in 2022 and 100% in 2025.

 

In the exotic fruit and vegetable sector, plastic packaging is a pressing issue that raises the challenge of developing eco-friendly solutions from the packaging to the labelling whilst maintaining the quality and traceability of fresh produce.

The company CAPEXPO is now making its contribution with two major innovations in exotic fruit and vegetable packaging and labelling, beating the official target by two years!

 

INNOVATION #1 

EXOTIC FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PRINTING

The patented process, which CAPEXO owns for France, makes it possible to print food-grade ink on the skin of almost all fruit and vegetables, adding a barcode, price or any other consumer information. The innovation heralds the end of excess plastic packaging and stickers for exotic fruit and vegetables and more. 

All exotic fruit and vegetables with a relatively smooth skin can be printed. Pineapple, for example, cannot. Grainy-skinned avocado can, but a barcode would not be legible enough to work properly at the checkout. It is possible to print the sale price, however. The printing process also adapts to the fruit’s ripeness to avoid any possible damage. 

Exotic fruit and vegetable printed

Food safety guaranteed 

The process involves patented, quality-tested food-grade inks — the same ones used in the pharmaceutical industry to coat tablets. 

End of checkout shrinkage

In store, on-fruit printing avoids the problem of differentiating between, for example, an air-freighted and seaborne mango, which have different sale prices, at the supermarket checkout. The process removes all possible confusion as either the barcode or price is shown on each individual fruit.

INNOVATION #2

BIOCOMPOSTABLE PUNNET PACKAGING 

Ready to eat fruit sold in batches, such as ripe avocadoes or air-freighted bananas, needs punnet packaging to protect it and prevent checkout shrinkage. To replace the plastic film and punnet, which are at best recyclable, CAPEXO biocompostable packaging features cardboard sourced from sustainably managed birchwood forests, wrapped in a protective transparent film, which is also derived from birchwood, and heat-sealed on a flow-pack machine. That makes the punnet packaging fully biocompostable. Corn starch-based biocompostable films are already available. As they may not be 100% GMO-free, however, CAPEXO rejected that option as a precautionary measure. 

Home composting 

End consumers can throw the punnet and film away in their home compost bin, where they will naturally degrade in the same way as other compostable waste. Failing which, the packaging can be disposed of in a recycling bin.

Punnet traceability maintained 

CAPEXO biocompostable packaging enables ecofriendly product traceability with a batch number, origin, best-before date and all other information required by consumers using foodgrade ink.

Exotic fruit and vegetable printed

About CAPEXPO

Founded in 1996, the company CAPEXO imports and markets exotic fruit and vegetables in France under the Lilot Fruits brand. A key player at Rungis International Market, CAPEXO provides a constant supply of delicious and nutritious produce to wholesalers and the wholesale markets as well as specialist (Grand Frais, Métro, etc.) and generalist (Carrefour, Casino, Monoprix, etc.) food retailers. 
Sharing the same high standards as its suppliers, CAPEXO selects produce from the finest sources. The company works closely with one of Reunion’s biggest cooperatives. 90% of the island’s air-freighted fruit is exported by Lilot Fruits. 
Victoria pineapple, avocado, mango, passionfruit, lime, etc. are just some of CAPEXO’s flagship products.

Source: Press release
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Spotlight keeps fresh produce innovation in focus

Biopac, McGarlet introduces completely compostable packaging
© Biopac, McGarlet introduces completely compostable packaging

 

As a launchpad for innovation in the international fresh produce business, Berlin’s annual FRUIT LOGISTICA trade show remains the preferred place for new ventures to be noticed by as many people as possible. For those visiting FRUIT LOGISTICA 2020 on 5-7 February, Spotlight – the show’s dedicated collection of world firsts, European premieres and event debutants – is an easy way to identify the very latest developments making their first appearance at the show.

 

© SoFruMiniPak® EcoView is made from renewable resources

 

FRUIT LOGISTICA puts
sustainability centre stage

Sustainability plays a starring role in 2020, with several Spotlight stars reflecting what is a central theme across this year’s exhibition. Italian firm McGarlet, Poland’s Sofrupak, UK-based Keymac and Canadian company CKF will all unveil environmentally friendly packaging options. Dutch group VAM WaterTech will display its new water processing solution, which recycles water to protect the environment.
FRUIT LOGISTICA’s sustainability focus starts with the publication of a major new study into challenges faced by companies throughout the global fresh fruit and vegetable business, as the industry grapples with a series of environmental and ethical issues. Entitled “Do The Right Thing (Right)”, the FRUIT LOGISTICA Trend Report 2020 will be published during Fruitnet World of Fresh Ideas, the exhibition’s official curtain-raiser event, which takes place at Messe Berlin on 4 February.

A total of 81 fresh innovations from 14 countries – including 38 world premieres – are featured in this year’s Spotlight collection. Together with the annual FRUIT LOGISTICA Innovation Award, informative sessions on the event’s Future Lab stage and the return of last year’s successful Start-up Day, Spotlight is a shining example of the industry’s innovative spirit, providing media and trade visitors alike with easy access to the latest trends and products.

Spotlight is available in German, English, Italian and Spanish on the FRUIT LOGISTICA website.

 

Source: PRESS RELEASE
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The European Packaging Forum: Congress & Get-together on May 14, 2020

The European Packaging Forum: Congress & Get-together on May 14, 2020

The European Packaging Forum is a precisely tailored congress event for the fruit and vegetable industry, focusing on marketing, sustainability, traceability, consumer and trade acceptance, innovative solutions, logistics, protection and functionality, hygiene and law. These are the topics that the experts from all stages of the value chain will be discussing on 14 May 2020 in Düsseldorf at Hotel Nikko Düsseldorf. This will be followed by the DFHV Annual Conference on 15 May 2020. 

The organisers – Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft (AMI) and Fruchthandel Magazin – will be addressing a central topic in the sector, which is not only being strongly discussed in the entire value chain, but also in society. A press release stated: “Since the recent pictures of dead whales and polluted seas make this topic difficult to be ignored. We want to tackle the challenges and take a close look at them in order to discuss and sketch out alternatives and solutions with the competent experts in the end and thus give the industry new impetus. We want to bring together the most important market partners in the European sector in order to objectify the discussion and jointly develop new ideas and strategies for contemporary solutions and offers for the entire value chain.”

Simultaneous translation is provided of the plenary sessions in German and English.

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Tesco to remove 1 billion pieces of plastic

 

UK retailer Tesco has stapled its green credentials to its mast and laid down a challenge to its rivals by pledging to eliminate plastic in its packaging of many own-brand products. The pledge cites a commitment to remove one billion pieces of plastic from its products by the end of 2020. The initiative is part of the retailer’s commitment to its 4Rs strategy: Remove, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

The items that will affected by the drive include: plastic bags used to pack loose fruit, vegetables and bakery items, replacing them with paper ones; plastic trays for ready meals; secondary lids on products such as cream, yoghurts and cereals; sporks and straws for snack pots and drinks cartons; as well as 200 million pieces of plastic used to pack clothing and greetings cards.

According to a company statement: “If packaging can’t be recycled, it will have no place at Tesco.” The retailer announced that in 2019, it had removed over 4,000 tons of materials from 800 lines.