DFT (Distribuidora de Frutas Tropicales) is a Guatemalan company founded in 2000 that grows, packages and markets mangoes of the Tommy Atkins, Ataulfo, Kent and Keitt varieties. Luis Carlos Martínez, general manager, said, “We started exporting Tommy Atkins mango to the United States and we gradually managed to expand in the North American market on the east and west coast, and in Canada and Europe.” Recently, the company has begun exporting mango to Chile after years of discussions between the governments of Guatemala and Chile, and DFT was the pioneer in sending the first fruits. The firm has more than 400 hectares of mango production, “which allows us to control the entire crop cycle.” The harvest season in Guatemala begins in February and ends in June. As part of its growth plans, DFT built a frozen food processing plant in 2016, and began producing mango pulp and frozen mango pieces in IQF. “Although our strength has always been in the fresh product, in order to diversify and add value to our material, we decided to enter the world of frozen products. Our vision for our processed mango is to reach new markets and position ourselves as a leading company in the region and to sell mango all year round,” said Martínez. DFT has a USDA-certified packaging plant for hydrothermal treatment, as well as GlobalG.A.P., Primus GFSI, and HACCP certifications, and is currently undergoing BRC certification. The plant can process over 1.5 million 4kg box of mangoes per season, pack 6kg boxes in ‘ready to eat’ air mode, up to 2,000kg per week, and process 3.6 million kg of frozen mango.
Frutas Montosa has invested in new technology, innovation and corporate social responsibility. “This year, we are offering our clients new packaging solutions that contain less plastic. At Montosa, we have already eliminated almost 80% of plastic from our production,” said digital marketing manager, Luisa Mejías. Montosa is also improving its communication with its clients and potential customers, with the expansion of the firm’s marketing department to handle every possible enquiry. “We are always listening and creating new food solutions to satisfy demand. This year we have consolidated our products in Europe. We help our clients increase sales by providing key information to consumers about how to consume our fresh and healthy products,” said Mejías. In fact, Montosa has updated many of its internal and external procedures.
Frutas Montosa is based in Malaga, southern Spain. The specialist in avocado and fresh guacamole has been operating in the sector for over 35 years, and now supplies the leading retailers across Europe. Its product portfolio includes avocado, mango and guacamole. Production volumes for 2019 are expected to rise from last year’s levels, with 30 million tons of avocado, 3 million tons of mango, and 5.7 million tons of guacamole.
Since Wednesday BelOrta offers the first cardboard punnets with topseal. This new packaging responds to the trend towards more sustainable packaging and is adorned with an attractive “Happy snacking” design. Initially, it will start with the extensive red fruit range. In a later phase, a larger range of fruit and vegetables will be packaged in this sustainable & innovative packaging method.
Sustainable and attractive
Sustainable entrepreneurship has been a commitment which BelOrta has taken up in many areas for many years. With the introduction of these new cardboard punnets, we once again emphasise the absolute attention we give to it. The trend that consumers have a changed vision on plastic has long been unmistakable. BelOrta strives to create innovative packaging solutions that are both good for the environment and attractive to the eye. This cardboard punnet with topseal combines both and will undoubtedly stand out in the vegetable and fruit array.
These new punnets come together with the start of a new snacking line. With “Happy snacking” we are responding to the increasing demand for healthy products for snacking in-between and on the go. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, … are the perfect healthy sweets to eat on the train, at work or at school. Starting from Wednesday, our customers will be able to offer all our berries to their consumers in a handy travel package that is not only attractive, but also helps reduce the use of plastic.
GroentenFruit Huis has reviewed the industry sustainability plan for packaging (2013-2018) to prepare an updated more rigorous sustainability plan for the fruit and vegetable sector in the 2019-2022 period. The Branch Plan is part of the sustainability programme of the GroentenFruit Huis and will be used as a guideline towards further sustainability in the field of packaging. With the Sustainable Industry Plan, Packaging GroentenFruit Huis offers its affiliated companies a framework to make packaging more sustainable.
With the new plan, minimal environmental impact is being sought through the principles of the circular economy. This marks a clear break with current developments that involve more processed and packaged “convenience” products, with even unprocessed products increasingly being packaged. A sectorial approach is now being sought through knowledge-sharing about innovations with other parties in the chain. This should lead to a visibly different image of the vegetable and fruit assortment in the supermarket and other retail channels.
In this plan, this starting point is translated into specific goals based on 5 pillars:
1. Reduce packaging material and packaging alternatives
By 2022, the fruit and vegetable sector wants to reduce the amount (weight) of packaging material used by 15% (and by 25% for 2025) per kilogram of product sold compared to 2017.
2. Design for recycling (end-of-life)
The fruit and vegetable sector wants 90% of the packaging to be recyclable by 2022 (and 100% by 2025).
3. Raw materials and material use
The fruit and vegetable sector uses mono materials from raw materials with the lowest possible environmental impact. The materials used can be sorted out at waste processors and the material is suitable for recycling. The choice of materials will be based in 2021 on an objective measurement method for environmental impact.
4. Transport packaging
The fruit and vegetable sector uses (within the Netherlands) reusable transport packaging that is filled as efficiently as possible.
5. Communication & perception
The fruit and vegetable sector wants its efforts to make packaging more sustainable and to transfer the usefulness of packaging to users/consumers.
UK retail giant Tesco has announced a month-long trial of eliminating plastic-wrapped fruits and vegetables in an attempt to cut out waste. The scheme will start in two of the chain’s Tesco Extra stores (in Watford and Swindon). Instead of packaged items, customers will find loose versions of 45 different products, including apples, onions, mushrooms and peppers. Director of quality, Sarah Bradbury, said, “We hope this trial proves popular with customers. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the results, including any impact on food waste.” Last year, Tesco announced that it would ban hard-to-recycle plastic packaging by 2019 and make all packaging recyclable by 2025. Large supermarkets currently produce over 800,000 tons of plastic packaging waste each year, leading consumers to increasingly demand sustainability.
Obeikan MDF, the sustainable packaging company which belongs to the Obeikan Group, is once again attending one of the most important international events in the fruit and vegetable industry, Fruit Logistica. On this occasion, to take part in the Fruit Logistica World of Fresh Ideas congress, an event that has become the official starting point of the fair and which brings together the production and retail industries, to analyse where the fresh produce industry is heading in the short term.
For the first time, the fourth edition of the congress will host a special section dedicated to packaging. “The importance of having safe, sustainable and practical packaging has increased considerably over the last 12 months so has consumers awareness of its impact on the environment. Consequently, the international fresh produce business needs even more innovation in this area”, as assessed from the organisation of the congress.
Leading this new section, Fruit Logistica World of Fresh Ideas will count with the presence of Obeikan MDF General Manager, Salvador Martínez, who will share his view on the current situation of the packaging industry, continuing with the forecast of the characteristics and conditions that perishable packaging must meet in the coming years. “Consumers’ increasing concern for sustainability has led to an increasing involvement of both the producing and retail industries, in the arrival and presentation of fresh produce on the shelves”, said Salvador Martínez, who will also evaluate the impact this is having on companies dedicated to packaging and reveal the trends they have identified as prevailing in the packaging industry in the coming years.
For more than a decade, Obeikan MDF has been dedicated to custom production of wood fibre packaging. The containers’ shape is achieved by laser cutting, allowing it to obtain a homogeneous surface. Obeikan does not use any other material for its boxes, makes recycling easier, and counts on the simple latest technology assembling system, providing great resistance to the solution it proposes. In addition, MDF material enables you to personalise the boxes, obtaining a high-quality result that allows brands that trust Obeikan, be distributed all over the world.
Increasingly used for the packaging of fruit and vegetables, Obeikan has already introduced its packaging throughout the 5 continents, reaching anywhere in the globe quickly and easily, since it can send the order disassembled offering the possibility of direct assembly in their customers storage centres.
The results derived from 2018 reflect the growing interest of European markets in Obeikan MDF packaging. For the first time, the United Kingdom ranked first in its ranking of partner countries, surpassing Germany. Switzerland and the Nordic countries follow up, on an on-going growing list.
The multinational has always expressed its interest in all markets that “make quality their standard for export”, says Martínez. Based on this idea, in 2019 Obeikan is expecting to present a double-digit growth rate and direct its efforts and growth in reference export markets of the American continent.
After marking its debut at Fruit-Attraction in Madrid, Graziani-packaging presents the Magic Corner X-TOP corner board for the very first time in Italy at Interpoma 2016. This brand new model of corner board is the Italian firm’s flagship product capable of meeting the needs of even the most demanding clientele in overseas markets, where logistics is a greater issue than in Europe. The product was developed using relatively smaller amounts of raw materials while attaining a significant increase in mechanical resistance during refrigeration. “This has all been achieved through the work of our internal research department,” said general manager Roberto Graziani. From early 2017, investments will allow the firm to increase production capacity in Italy by 20%. Over the course of 2016 the Italian-Spanish production units of GRAZIANI-PACKAGING reached sales of 80 million metres of corner boards worldwide and 160 million metres of strapping, corresponding to the shipping of approximately 10 million pallets of goods. With an average price of €1,000, that amounts to around €10 billion. This all goes to underline how fundamental these two products are to world trade.
In 2017, leading Italian packaging company INFIA celebrates 70 years since its founding. During these seven decades INFIA has achieved a level of great prestige within the industry. Commercial manager Alessandro Mariani said, “Over the years INFIA has developed a brand that is synonymous with quality.” Mariani believes the secret of the firm’s success is very simple. “We have always kept a close eye on the needs of the market and have strived to meet these needs with solutions that are simple, practical, efficient, and of high quality, while always offering the best levels of service.”
One of the latest products to be unveiled by INFIA is called K29 – a 6-item model in a 30×40 sealable box that can therefore be stacked for better logistics (12 items in a 30×40 box). The box is produced in different heights and is designed principally for packaging small fruits. One special feature of this new product is that it allows differently coloured absorbent pads to be placed internally, while labels can be applied directly in-company. But that’s not all. Coming soon is a new multi-purpose kit for 12 items in a 40×60 zip-top box that can be used for everything from cherries to cherry tomatoes to grapes. Also soon to be launched is a 40×60 heat-sealed container for 20 items designed for the UK market. These innovations were made possible thanks in part to the firm’s expansion, completed at the end of 2016. The company also set up new production lines and automatic palletising systems to ensure greater levels of efficiency.
Founded in 1924, Green Box, SL is a family-owned company based in Alcacer, Valencia, that is dedicated to the manufacture of packaging for fruit and vegetables.
It uses the most advanced technology in order to offer innovative and high quality products that cater to customers’ needs.
For over 30 years, this Spanish company has been perfecting its Green Box models, which adapt fruit and vegetable packaging to store requirements, optimising product displays and allowing produce to arrive in excellent condition even from far afield.
This box helps retailers increase sales because not only is its attractive design fully customisable, it is also 100% recyclable – a huge cost saving.
Green Box, which is currently available as models G100, G70 and G50, with respective product capacities of 180 kg, 120 kg and 80 kg, can be seen in supermarkets across Europe. Retailers such as Lidl, Netto, Edeka, Carrefour, Danks and Rewe are using it for for various types of fruit and vegetables, such as watermelon, other melons, citrus, potatoes and onions.
In the coming years, the company expects to double production with the addition of new assembly plants in strategic locations in Seville and Almeria and with local partners in Germany, France, Belgium and Holland.
Trend: small consumer trays for strawberries & clementines, eliminating plastic punnets.
In-line weight control
The ACB Mini Control Weighing Machine checks punnet weights in-line for products that are packed as they are harvested, such as mushrooms or strawberries. The machine has two lines, each with five weighing scales. A LED system shows the level of over-or under-weight in the punnet. In this way, the operator can easily remove or add some of the product to achieve the exact weight. With 50 to 1000 g punnets, a single operator can check 60 units/minute.
Weigher-packer for blueberries
BBC Technologies, a blueberry grading and packing specialist, was presenting a dedicated weigher-packer for blueberries: the Curo-16, which fills the punnets at a rate of 220 punnets/minute with a precision of 3 g. It can handle different types of punnets or cups. The materials used and the short drops are gentle on the fruit. The machine is made of stainless steel for easy cleaning.
LDI 20 labeller
Bizerba supplies weighing, labelling and cutting systems and has just bought an Italian firm: Mac & Label. Mac & Label is based in Cesena and specialises in fruit and vegetable labelling. This acquisition will enable Bizerba to expand its range for fruit and vegetables. The new company, Bizerba Applicador System (BAS) aims to pursue growth particularly in Spain, Italy and France. It was showing the LDI 20 labeller, which can label up to 50 packs on 1 to 9 lines of fruit per minute.
Fast and compact tray-forming machine
Boix was presenting the Q-1800, a compact tray-making machine that can form and glue up to 1800 trays/hour. One new feature is that it can make up small trays (220 x 130 mm) with hoods (flat top sections), whereas standard tray-forming machines generally cannot manage sizes below 300 x 200 mm. It is also easy to use and access. No tools are needed for changeovers.
Integrated potato weighing and packing system
Ilapack offers a complete weighing and packing solution for potatoes and onions, in vertical bags with or without netting windows. The system combines a precision weigher with a versatile, easy to clean Vegatronic vertical packing machine.
Hands and fingers for robots and cobots
The Dutch company Koat creates hands and fingers for fruit- and vegetable-packing robots and cobots. The hands and fingers are manufactured with a 3-D printer. They are designed to adapt to different products and to be soft in order not to damage the fruit and vegetables.
Redpack presented NTS, a versatile, robust and compact horizontal flow-packing machine. This machine can pack products of different sizes into flow-pack bags. Modules integrated under the packing line print the bag and stick labels onto it. Its speed is two bags/second. The NTS also has a very small footprint, measuring only 4.80 m long by 1.05 m wide and 1.45 m high, and is very robust as it is made entirely out of stainless steel. It is mounted on rollers, so it can be moved by two people, and it can be placed on a trailer for packing in the field.
Flow-packer that detects the length of the product
Reepack was presenting ReeFlow 250 PM, a flow-packing machine with an optical system for automatic detection of product size. This makes it highly versatile. The patented ‘planetary system’ for cutting and sealing developed by Reepack combines rotary and linear systems to reduce vibration. It can form up to 250 packs/minute, top or bottom sealed, with guaranteed sealing pressure.
Tray-making machine for trays with reinforced corners
The GD25 Develop presented by Sacmi is a machine for making up trays with reinforced corners. It has a new design and is easy to use. It can make up trays from as small as 200 x 300 mm up to a 600 x 400 mm size at a speed of up to 30 trays/minute. It is very compact and can also be mounted on a truck. Changing the size is a quick operation.
Octagonal box-forming machine
Gama TGO-4 Molde Octogonal makes up octagonal trays. It automates base and lid forming for octobins, which are mainly used for packing watermelons. The machine uses two types of glue: a hot one which sets quickly and a cold one that glues more slowly but more solidly. It has a capacity of 1200 pieces/hour.
Cucumber grading and packing robot
Viscon Hydroponics, a hydroponic culture solutions supplier, also offers a cucumber grading and packing robot that can grade by weight and by size.