A network of Eco-certified orchards in the northeastern US is taking their commitment to environmentally progressive practices to a new level with the introduction of an innovative eco-friendly apple package for the holidays.
The Heirloom Apple Discovery Pack was developed by nonprofit marketing organization Red Tomato, working closely with apple growers. Designer Diane Rast researched options available in the US and Europe, before settling on a long-time, family-owned packaging company in Massachusetts for the final product. “We went back to the drawing board many times to find the right combination of sustainable materials, strength, size, and visibility to showcase the values and the high-quality fruit represented by the Eco-certified program,” says Rast. “We couldn’t be more proud of the result.”
In addition to new-generation packaging, the discovery pack introduces consumers to an assortment of heirloom apple varieties, with recipes, variety descriptions and resources included and linked via QR code. On-line baking classes and other activities will keep customers engaged.
Scott Farms in Dummerston, VT supplies apples for the new pack. General Manager Simon Renault first posed the idea to Red Tomato last winter. “We are so happy to be working with Red Tomato to launch this Heirloom Discovery Pack,” notes Renault. “I can’t think of a better way to invite more people to discover our beautiful and delicious heirloom apples than this creative box.”
The manufacturer is a 185-year-old independent, family-owned New England company with a strong commitment to sustainable practices and carefully-sourced materials. The paper is 100% recyclable corrugated suitable for common community recycling programs, and meets rigorous standards for Certified Sourcing from the globally-recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative. It is printed with Eekoflex inks that are water based, derived from paper residue and plant based materials whenever possible, with little to no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), minimal hazardous materials, and no heavy metals. With all of those benefits, the box still delivers durability, ease of assembly and packing for the orchard, and is appealing and convenient for customers.
The apples are Eco-certified by the IPM Institute of North America, based on a rigorous protocol for bio-intensive practices that support pollinator health, minimize risk to humans and wildlife, and nurture a healthy environment. The Eco Apple® program has sold over $25 million in certified fruit since 2005.
The Heirloom Discovery Pack is available through Red Tomato, Scott Farm, Dummerston VT, Fishkill Farms, Hopewell Junction, NY, and in Whole Foods stores across the Northeast.