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Small change, big impact:

TFC Holland eliminates over 15 tons of plastic waste in the pomelo supply chain

In a recent LinkIn post, TFC Holland spoke about their delivery of pomelos without additional packaging. The post read:

Since 2019, TFC Holland B.V. has been delivering red and white pomelos to its customers without additional packaging. This allows for saving between around 25 and 53 grams of plastic waste per carton or EPS crate. Despite still finding pomelos in shrink wrap or even shrink-wrapped and additionally packed in a net at many grocery stores, Mike Kooi from TFC explains: "We offer pomelos without any (plastic) packaging and as a result save over 15 tons of plastic waste per season. Before the market launch, we extensively tested this approach and found that we do not need the plastic shrink wrap to warrant a high-quality product. We've further developed this 'plastic-free' approach since and have been very successful so far." In close collaboration with their customers, TFC can also avoid a large quantity of disposable cardboard boxes. "If we have sufficient lead time, we can already pack the fruit in EPS / IFCO SYSTEMS crates at the source and thus no longer need cardboard boxes there – a reliable agreement with our customers is of course very important," explains TFC Holland's CEO Falk Schlusnus.

He further emphasizes that unpackaged products cannot be a solution for everything and everyone, as packaging serves a variety of purposes. This includes, for example, product labelling, protecting fruits and vegetables from mechanical damage, extending shelf life, and ensuring hygienic aspects. Many consumers appreciate certain origins or certifications such as Fair Trade or organic and want to recognize them easily. This is more difficult with a loose product, especially if it is smaller.

Furthermore, the convenience factor of packaging should not be underestimated, especially consumers who appreciate quick and easy shopping often prefer pre-packaged products for smaller fruits. One of the most important tasks of packaging is to maintain quality, transport products safely, minimize losses, and thus significantly reduce food waste. Depending on the product, plastic packaging may also be the best solution. On various packing lines, a vast diversity of exotic fruits is packed at TFC in Waddinxveen, every day. "We offer a variety of packaging solutions, including custom-designed punnets for customers such as limes, avocados, or mangos that are 100% plastic-free," adds Ben van der Dussen. Warehouse Manager at TFC Holland.


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