With the December-March period dominated by South African table grapes at OTC Organics, the company has launched two new cardboard grape packages.
In 2019, OTC took its first steps in developing sustainable packaging, and this year the packaging line has been expanded with two new sustainable alternatives.
“The reduction of plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables is and will remain an important and much-discussed theme," said Bart van der Vliet, sales and marketing manager at OTC Organics.
"Many products can be sold without packaging," he continued. "For some products this is more complicated, such as for organic grapes. At OTC Organics we have developed new packaging to further reduce the presence of plastic in the chain.
Van der Vliet noted that OTC had developed two new fully recyclable grape packaging options in collaboration with its grape suppliers, JASA Packaging Solutions and customers.
"We have a version in which a cardboard tray with the FSC quality mark is combined with a transparent 100 per cent r-PET lid," he explained. "The use of r-PET material has a number of important advantages: it is fully recyclable and no new raw materials have been used.
"The other version that we can offer is the same cardboard tray with FSC quality mark that is combined with a cardboard sleeve, which is illustrated. Besides the fact that it is a sustainable packaging, the consumer can see the content of the packaging very well through the many openings in the cardboard, despite the lack of transparent plastic. This new packaging therefore consists entirely of FSC certified paper and can easily be recycled after use."
The call for sustainable packaging from OTC's wholesale customers had also been honoured, van der Vliet confirmed, with the group only offering so-called carry bags made of paper.
"By already packing the grapes in cardboard trays in the country of origin, OTC Organics is taking another big step in our efforts to further reduce unnecessary use of plastic in the chain.”
OTC is offering a wide range of organic grapes across the colour spectrum, Van der Vliet said, both seeded and seedless, delivered by its South African suppliers Orex Export, Carpe Diem and Lushof Fruit.
"We start the season in December with white seedless grapes (Early sweet, Prime, Sugraone, Regal, Thompson, Sundance, Arra fifiteen, Sweet Globe)," he added. "Then in January we also receive seedless red grapes (Evans Delight, Flame, Desert Dawn, Sweet Celebration , Jack’s Salute, Crimson, Allison) and black seedless grapes (Midnight, Autum Royal, Arra 14 and Melody) followed by seeded grapes (Red globe (Red), Dan Ben Hanna (Black))."