Blue Skies has teamed up with Waitrose and the University of Northampton Centre for Sustainable Business Practices to launch an industry research and development hub to find groundbreaking solutions to sustainability challenges, with an initial focus on plastics.
The Fresh Produce Impact Hub, known as FRESHPPACT, will collaborate with retailers, manufacturers and agribusinesses operating within food supply chains rooted in developing or emerging economies to identify shared high-priority social and environmental challenges, and work with research partners to accelerate the adoption of the most promising solutions through a process of rapid evaluation, testing and adoption.
FRESHPPACT is being implemented by Blue Skies and supported by Waitrose, which has been awarded a UKAid grant to develop the operating model and launch three challenge funds to find solutions to problem plastics found in agricultural mulch, workwear and packaging.
Solutions may include new technology and business models that mitigate plastic pollution through material substitution, accelerated biodegradation and improved manufacturing and remanufacturing processes.
The UKAid grant has been made via the Sustainable Manufacturing and Pollution Programme (SMEP). The SMEP programme is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and is implemented in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The grant has been awarded for an initial period until April 2022.
FRESHPPACT is inviting expressions of interest from organisations who would like to be involved in launching the challenge funds and/or identifying solutions. Expressions of Interest may come from, but is not limited to retailers, fresh produce companies, research organisations (including universities) and solutions providers.
More information is available at global.blueskies.com/freshppact.