Eosta, a distributor of organic fruits and vegetables, has won the Packaging Award 2018 within the category of sustainability for its 'Natural Branding'.
Nature & More, the 'trace and tell' trademark for organic fresh produce from Eosta, was the first company in Europe to introduce ‘Natural Branding’ in Europe in 2016, in order to battle against useless, environmental polluting plastic.
"Due to the laser coding of fruit, Eosta introduces a system change that encourages people to think: do you always need packaging materials, it creates awareness among the consumer and it shows that the packaging can be completely eliminated," said the Packaging Awards 2018 jury. "The first application of Natural Branding can be found in the organic fruit and vegetables sector, where the technique prevents fruit and vegetables from being considered as non-organic, as the sticker has for example been released. The question is whether it can also be extended to other categories."
Paul Hendriks, packaging expert at Nature & More, added: "We are the proud winners of this award. We think that green consumers will be delighted, because research shows again and again that they disapprove of plastic packaging.
“The most sustainable way to pack is not to pack," he added. "But in practice it was difficult to realise in the supermarket, due to the obligation that they must be distinguished from conventional products that are sold in bulk. With Natural Branding it is possible."
Nature & More can now mark fresh produce without using any materials. Natural Branding is the organic approach to marking fruits and vegetables with a laser beam.
In the process, a bit of pigment is removed from the outer layer of the peel. This contact-free method was approved by EU Organic certifier SKAL, no additional substances are used, and the method is so superficial that it has no effect on taste or shelf life.
The energy needed for a marking is less than 1 per cent of the energy needed for a sticker. The biggest advantage of this innovation is that it is no longer necessary to pack the organic products in harmful plastic foil.
According to Eosta, Natural Branding saves tonnes of plastic and other packaging materials; Just for one product line for one customer, saves over 750,000 packaging units, which is tonnes of plastic.