Total Imports has introduced new environmentally friendly fruit packaging as it looks to boost its green credentials.
The company is rolling out new compostable and recyclable cardboard punnets this month for its wholesale and foodservice customers, having worked with manufacturer Westpak to develop a container suitable for its products.
The first lines to come in the new punnets will be blueberries from Peru this month and these will be packed in the UK. Selected raspberry growers in Spain will also be packing directly into the new punnets.
Ultimately, the company plans to roll out the packaging year round for all of its soft fruit and cherries, eliminating the use of plastic altogether, explains Marcel Van Wyk, commercial manager at Total Imports.
“Of course there’s a slightly higher cost involved but it’s worth it for the environmental impact, and our customers agree this is the future,” he adds.
Two different pack sizes are being introduced in Total Imports’ wholesale and foodservice supply chains and appearing on its recognisable The Cream brand. The packs feature air holes on top, which Van Wyk says even improve on the airflow seen in conventional plastic packs.
While the move away from plastic has been driven by retailers in response to public outcry over the damage to the oceans from plastic dumping, Van Wyk says the wholesale sector has been slower to follow suit and Total Imports’ new development is a frontrunner in making the switch.
“In foodservice they have more motivation for reducing plastic but there’s not as much pressure in wholesale and we want to stay ahead of the game and be pioneers. We want to be market leaders rather than followers.”