Foodservice supplier switches to new paper berry packs to cut 50 tonnes of plastic waste each year
Fresh Direct, the UK’s leading foodservice fresh produce provider, says it has launched innovative new packaging for its range of berries that will drastically reduce plastic content saving almost 50 tonnes of plastic every year.
Following collaborative discussions with the UK’s leading pub company and brewer Greene King and global berry supplier Driscoll’s earlier this year, Fresh Direct says it is moving all its blueberry, raspberries and blackberries into the new, FSC-certified paper packaging in November. Strawberries will follow in January 2024.
The change in packaging, which sees almost 50 tonnes of plastic removed, including more than five tonnes from Greene King’s supply chain, comes after an extensive trial with Driscoll’s, the market leader for fresh berries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, which was designed to ensure that the delicate fruits would be sufficiently protected, maintaining product quality and integrity.
Hardeep Rait, head of procurement for fruit at Fresh Direct, said: “With a crop that’s as fragile as berries, we needed to find a solution that protected the fruit as well as being more sustainable. After trialling various options over an extended period, Driscoll’s identified a fantastic solution that we’ve now implemented across Sysco GB companies.
“Initial customer feedback has been fantastic, and we’ve been delighted that the packaging has really helped support product quality, with the berries arriving in great condition.”
Paul Whiteley, director of food buying at Greene King, said: “We’re delighted to have worked with Fresh Direct to significantly reduce the amount of plastic packaging entering our business and to also see them rolling out this initiative more widely across their supply chains. As we all unite to reduce our environmental impact, joined-up working and collaboration like this is invaluable. The new containers are high-quality and maintain the same standard of product our customers expect.”