As part of the constant search for more environment-friendly methods and processes, at VOG Consortium it is now time to launch the first all-cardboard 4/6-apple foodtainer.
The new packaging has gone into production, with the first deliveries scheduled for early May, and Biosüdtirol a VOG Consortium member will be the cooperative shipping the first trial pallets to selected customers.
"At VOG we have long been engaged on systematic research to reduce the use of 'throw-away' plastic, replacing it with biodegradable and recyclable materials: the first practical application of this programme is now ready. Our cooperative Biosüdtirol became the first to trial the new packaging, with production, processing and sales tests, in response to strong demand from organic apple customers. This led to the construction of a new packaging line, producing 4-fruit packs made from 100% cardboard."
"One thing to be considered was the dual function trays are required to perform – not only sealing the pack and protecting the fruit but also displaying the product, to enable the consumer to make an informed choice. Unlike a foodtainer covered with stretch film, a foodtainer with cardboard cover does not allow easy “visual inspection” of the contents. Research was therefore focused on this aspect, and led to the creation of a custom-designed layout which provides a satisfactory view of the product."
"We believe that organic apple consumers are extremely sensitive to this issue. We are happy with the results achieved, which we will evaluate on the basis of our customers’ feedback."
The first customers have put the new packaging on their shelves during the last few days. One of them was the Irish firm Begley’s. “We’ve been looking for a plastic-free packaging, especially for our best-selling 4-fruit size, for years. We’re proud to have been amongst the first to be notified of this opportunity by the VOG group, and we checked out the tests and confirmed our order at once,” Greg Begley explains.
“We’ve now broken the ice,” states VOG Consortium CEO Gerhard Dichgans, “and we’re currently investigating a number of alternative solutions, offered by the packaging industry. We will be ready in the autumn, for the start of the new apple season, with more packaging lines for ‘100% cardboard’ 4/6 fruit trays, which we are planning at other VOG group cooperatives.”