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UK: Fresh produce suppliers urged to fly the flag

Fresh produce suppliers are being urged to use corrugated packaging to boost brand recognition, such as by capitalising on the patriotic themes of the summer, to flag up the best of British fruit and vegetables.

Celebrations to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and London Olympic Games, provided many exciting branding opportunities which growers need to make the most of in order to ensure that their goods stand out to attract a larger slice of the action.

Many commercially grown fruit and vegetables are indistinguishable from each other so branding produce on packaging from source to shelves is an ideal opportunity. There has never been a better time to make corrugated retail packaging do more than just provide protection for goods in transit.

However, there is no doubt that growers are looking to take up this opportunity in the presentation of their products and increasingly they are more conscious of adding value and minimising waste.

Results from a recent survey by Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) found that corrugated packaging is leading the way in optimising the appearance and performance of product ranges, and this can apply to apples and pears as much as it does other food items.

CPI commissioned a poll of predominately food and beverage manufacturing companies and it revealed that corrugated cardboard is rated the first choice packaging material by 79% of the businesses contacted.

80% of respondents thought corrugated is either very important or critical to the future of their business and 83% agreed with the statement that 'corrugated shelf ready packaging helps promote product or brand in store'.

These figures underline the fact that the UK Corrugated Industry is at the forefront of innovation and high quality attractive shelf ready packaging (SRP) now available for an extensive range of fresh produce such as salad crops, exotic fruits and stone fruits.

The Corrugated Industry understands all aspects of the supply chain and works with retailers, category managers, growers, importers, agents and packers to ensure the best solutions for all fresh produce companies, irrespective of size or location.

CPI Director of Packaging Affairs, Andy Barnetson, said: "Corrugated offers much more for fresh produce than just a standard cardboard box. There are solutions for cost-effective SRP with quality printing that can make products eye-catching at the point of sale.

"With the unique set of events that took place in the UK during 2012, Jubilee themed packaging featured prominently on products from chocolate bars to butter and pork pies. Fresh produce can also tap into this patriotic spirit using the extensive range of innovative retail packaging designs available from the UK Corrugated Industry."

In addition to innovative branding, environmental concerns are also impacting on the fresh produce industry. With initiatives to reduce packaging waste and packaging weight to the fore, producers are under pressure to adopt packaging methods to meet the needs of retailers.

The Corrugated Industry is proud to use and promotes a sustainable and renewable material, over 80% of which is recycled, saving an area the size of Greater London from landfill every four months.

Produce growers need packaging partners who can respond quickly to changing demands with the equipment and support needed that also make their goods stand out from the crowd - corrugated packaging can do all this and more.

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