First heat sealed grapes in South African supermarket

Reduction in plastic use is a growing trend in Europe and increasingly in other parts of the world. In line with this trend, in 2017 South African grape and citrus grower-exporter Schoonbee Landgoed investigated the possibilities to replace the conventional grape punnet lid with plastic film, thereby effecting a 30% reduction in plastic use.

Photos supplied by Schoonbee Landgoed (photographer: Justin Patrick)

“There is a big shift in the market place towards sustainable, recyclable, re-usable packaging and more toward less plastics specifically,” notes Gert, sales and marketing manager of Schoonbee Landgoed. “This is more a drive out of Europe than locally, but people catch on fast in the global market place with the media giving more focus on environmentally better options.”

The method necessitates some extra handling before sealing, but at Schoonbee Landgoed that is an opportunity for another quality check of the fruit. “This ensures an extra pair of eyes on the fruit before someone buys it in two to five days‘ time. Client satisfaction and quality always go together.”

Schoonbee Landgoed, based outside Groblersdal, installed a Proseal machine from the UK and proposed to pioneer this method of grape packaging in South Africa to local retailer PicknPay.

From November 2018 – Schoonbee’s table grapes are among the earliest in the country – their heat seal punnets have been available in PicknPay stores and according to Gert, it has proven to be popular among customers.

Schoonbee Landgoed also supply heat seal-packaged grapes to clients in Europe and Asia.

For more information:
Gert Upton
Schoonbee Landgoed
Tel: + 2713 262 4000

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