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PrimePro now being expanded to be more cost-effective and sustainable

In 2015, PrimePro Core won the Best New Food Packaging Award for Best New Packaging in Barcelona, Spain. Chantler Packaging, the company that developed PrimePro technology, has now expanded its product range. “We’re using PrimePro technology and ethylene-absorbing abilities, as well as quality-improving and shelf life-extending attributes, and we’re using this tech-based film and are applying it to other products,” explains Grant Ferguson.

In the factory
PrimePro started with sheets to be used in boxes, but it expanded fast with pallet covers, carton liners and more. With PrimePro Core the technology is laminated to paperboard. “That’s the product that we’re now expanding on to be more cost-effective and more sustainable. We’ve taken PrimePro material and laminated it into a simple paperboard structure. It’s mainly used for speciality tomatoes, vine tomatoes, peaches, pears and apples,” Grant explains. Companies wishing to use PrimePro, don’t have to introduce new packaging technology. “They can just replace their current tray with our PrimePro trays.”

Primepro on the machine

An enormous amount of food is wasted globally. “We needed to branch out, and this product communicates food waste reduction into people’s minds. Consumers can see they’re contributing to limiting this problem when they use our product. Millennials make up 40 per cent of shoppers in North America, and they want to know they’re making a positive contribution on the environment. They therefore want this technology. Millennials want to make a difference.”

Grant and Ian Ferguson
Chantler Packaging cooperated with Flexomed in Spain, which developed the technology to apply PrimePro to the packaging.“We’re constantly looking for new partners who can help us integrate the technology. Reducing food waste has forced us to be more innovative and to think outside the carton liner. It’s important for packaging companies to work together on that. For PrimePro, we’re combining materials already used, we’re not adding another material requirement,” Grant says.

The company’s next step is focused on two formats: corrugate and paper-based product. “We’re going to focus on tender fruit (tree fruit, such as peaches, cherries, plums, products that are highly perishable) and greenhouse products.” The company will also focus on miniature vine tomatoes and grape tomatoes on vine.

This machine manufactures Primepro

PrimePro’s irradiation packaging has been approved by the USDA. The irradiation bags have a specialised micro-perforation pattern that allows venting but is also effective when the bag is sealed. “For a lot of Peruvian growers, it’ll be the first time they’ll be able to ship to the US, thanks to our irradiation technology. This product was originally developed for pomegranates, but is now also used for figs. Peru has become a major player.” Shipping product to markets further away could result in more waste.“We think it’s good we’re taking responsibility for reducing waste,” Grant says.

Rolls of PrimePro
“We’re working in Africa more, and India is also developing phytosanitary regulations, so that market will also have more potential in future,” Grant explains. “However, Spain remains our main hub in Europe, but because some Spanish customers have expanded their market, our PrimePro product is also sent to, for example, Singapore. Canada and the northwest of the US are focusing more on Mexico, so we’re developing that market. Guanajuato State exports 80 per cent of its products to the US, but they’re also looking for other markets. We’re very proud to help them take ownership of their product.”


“Most of our competitors don’t focus on ethylene, but on traditional CO2/O2 technologies. That’s why we’ve been able to branch out in other technologies. PrimePro IR focuses on shelf life extension. Competitors usually use some form of tying, gassing or sealing, but PrimePro doesn’t, saving labour. For example, banana bags don’t have to be reopened, they can be put through the gassing process without being opened. Current bags have to be sealed, and reopening them is labour-intensive.” What’s more, when using an ethylene-absorbing product, you don’t need additional inventory, and depending on size, the product can be used interchangeably. “We use Felix tools as a demonstration tool. It’s great to understand their technology, because growers and packers use it. We need to understand all technologies to stay on top of new products.”
PrimePro Plus

In Washington State, PrimePro Plus is used for pears, cherries and apples. “This is an ultra-competitive market, with many players. We’ve been able to reduce the amount of plastic needed in our liners while keeping the same performance. We’re preaching to our customers to reduce food, but we’re also constantly developing the film to be thinner, in order to reduce waste. PrimePro Plus is 25 per cent thinner than our PrimePro Core. That’s unique, because of the flexibility of our technology we can reduce cost material and source material, precisely because we don’t use CO2/O2 technologies. So we’ve made some green improvements as well,” Grant concludes.
For more information:
Grant Ferguson
Chantler Packaging

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