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High standards for fresh produce packaging

Corrugated board is the material of choice for transport and display packaging solutions in supermarkets. It is lightweight, strong, space efficient, able to carry branding messages, fully recyclable and made entirely from renewable resources. The benefits are clear, but what about its role within the fruit and vegetable category where competing systems are playing a significant role?

Across Europe packers and distributors can take advantage of a standard corrugated packaging called the ‘Common Footprint’ (CF) which provides for the effective transport and display of fruit and vegetables.

The CF meets strict technical specifications defined by FEFCO, the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers. There is widespread use of the CF across Europe.

Key elements of the standard are:
•Interlocking tabs and matching holders in common positions ensure stability for high stacking
•Trays have standard bases that fit onto one common pallet or half pallet
•Variable heights ensure that the packaging is matched precisely with the size of the produce
Thus the best use of space is made. In a UK study corrugated packaging achieved the highest space efficiency - 91 to 98 percent. Another study in Italy showed that 20 kg of oranges transported from Catania to a family in Milan will result in CO2 emissions from transport that are 34% lower in corrugated packaging than a competing system.

In Germany a review of the total value chain for the transport of tomatoes revealed that overall costs were 13% lower in corrugated packaging than the main alternative.

Highly significant too is the lower cost to producers of using corrugated packaging against its competition. A study in France revealed this to be up to 40 cents per trip lower. A similar Spanish study revealed the costs to be 14% lower.

Of course the primary objective of any packaging system is to sell the products it carries. Corrugated packaging is ideal with its printability enabling the creation of highly attractive in-store product display areas.

Finally, corrugated packaging is sustainable. It is recyclable, the content of recycled paper into new corrugated being 85%. It is also made entirely from renewable material.

In conclusion, corrugated packaging reduces the costs of logistics and handling and sells the products it displays. All this is achieved using a fully renewable and recyclable material.

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For more information:
Nathalie Schneegans
Tel: +32 2 6500832
Email: [email protected] 

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