´Clean label´ concept becoming a global standard

In recent years, there has been a push to not only supply organic products, but nowadays consumers also find it important that products are being grown in a sustainable way. With a large portion of it's customer base in Scandinavia, Lithuanian Auga group, AB, has not only switched to a fully organic offering in 2016, but is also a complete field to fork producer.

Gediminas Judzentas, said that the transition from conventional vegetables to organics was a natural one and made perfect sense; "We are one of Europe’s largest organic food producers from field to shelf. We follow the closed loop principle, with our activities supplementing each other. The organic grain and plants we grow ourselves are used for cattle feed for our livestock, the straw is used for mushroom compost, with the manure being added to the compost as well, along with fertilizing our crops."

On 33,000 hectares of land, AUGA grows organic wheat and other crops, including organic vegetables and organic feed for livestock in its farms, has approximately 3,500 dairy cows and grows 10,000 tons of white and brown champignons, portabella, eryngii, pleurotus and shiitake mushrooms in its own compost.

Packaging is an important element of sustainability
Sustainable and eco packaging is also becoming increasingly important to the industry and consumers as well.
"We work with our material suppliers and constantly look for ways to make our packaging more environmentally friendly. The ‘Clean label’ concept is overall becoming a global standard, because consumers demand to get information about products in a clear and concise way, and do not want to be fooled by marketing buzzwords and vague storytelling," explained Judzentas.

Auga´s hard work has not gone unnoticed, receiving recognition from packaging design blog, thedieline.com, but also by receiving countless awards at the national and international level, including being shortlisted at the World Food Innovation Awards at IFE London for the Best Organic Food and Best Packaging Design category, a Golf Food Innovation Awards 2017 in Dubai and at the WABEL Retail Summit in Paris.

"We have three main criteria when it comes to packaging design. First, we stay true to our concept of clean minimalistic design and the idea of clean label, i.e. explaining what’s inside, and how the products were grown and produced. The second point is to stand out on the shelf – looking for shape that is innovative and different. And last, but not the least is sustainability point. For example, our preserved organic foods and vegetables are packaged in light pouch packs which require less energy to produce and transport therefore generate significantly less CO2 emissions that cans or glass jars of the same size. For the categories where paper packaging is used, we select only FSC certified paper, a mix of recycled and responsibly produced new paper. Fresh vegetables also go into light plastic, unfortunately we cannot do without it, due to regulations and storage conditions."

For more information:
Gedminas Judzentas
Director of Marketing
AUGA group, AB
Tel. +370 5 233 5340

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