After four years of development and one year of in-market trials, Zespri has announced it will introduce a new compostable label for its organic kiwifruit from next season.
The new label, developed with US labelling manufacturer Sinclair Systems, caters for increased demand for sustainability in packaging in global markets, according to Zespri’s global organic marketing manager Glen Arrowsmith.
“Our international customers – retailers, wholesalers, consumers, governments – are increasingly interested in the sustainability of products arriving in their markets and we’ve invested in research and development to continue to lead the market in this area,” he explained.
Zespri trialled the new label this year, with over 5m organic kiwifruit sold with the label in Europe, North America and Asia.
“The large-scale label trial we ran this year showed the compostable labels could be applied at speed in the packhouse and performed well through the supply chain to the retailers around the world which stock our fruit,” said Arrowsmith.
Developing a label that would stick to kiwifruit and not begin to break down until it was thrown out by consumers was a challenge, according to Arrowsmith.
The new label reportedly degrades within 22 weeks, leaving less than 10 per cent of the original dry matter, conforming to American Society for Testing and Materials standards and all food safety regulations in Zespri’s markets, the company stated.
“We are extremely happy with the capability this compostable label brings to Zespri and the alternatives it represents to their customers. Sinclair continues to focus on new ways to provide value for the industry. Zespri's collaboration in this project was key in bringing this initiative to fruition,” said Sinclair CEO Bill Hallier.